The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | November 26,

U.S. & World News
ALA News
Booklist Online
Denver Update
Division News
Seen Online
Tech Talk
Actions & Answers

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AL Buyers Guide

U.S. & World News

Donna Nicely Karl DeanNashville mayor wants city library to enfold media centers
Officials of the Metro Nashville Public Schools seemed taken aback by a November 20 press conference Mayor Karl Dean (on left) held at Nashville Public Library’s East branch where he announced that the city library would begin taking over the operation of school libraries systemwide in January 2009. Nashville Public Library Director Donna Nicely (on right) confirmed to American Libraries that she and Mayor Dean had been conferring with each other for several months about the prospect of combining public and school library operations. But school officials seem to have been left out of the loop....
American Libraries Online, Nov. 23

FBI compiles list of most-coveted library books
Some seven months after charging James Brubaker in the theft of hundreds of books from at least 100 academic and public libraries in the United States and Canada, the FBI has entrusted the Western Washington University librarian who helped crack the case with a list of some 800 titles recovered in the case—600 of which were identifiable as having been taken from specific libraries. Librarian Rob Lopresti said WWU would send a paper copy of the list by U.S. mail to any library that requests it on library stationary....
American Libraries Online, Nov. 21

Las Vegas-area school librarians likely safe for now
The elimination of 105 middle and high school librarian positions has been proposed as part of the solution to a $120-million shortfall at Clark County (Nev.) School District, but following two heated public meetings, it appears likely that other areas of school funding will be cut to balance the budget. The district has circulated a list (PDF file) proposing 23 programs that could get the axe, with the elimination of librarian positions as one of the possibilities....
American Libraries Online, Nov. 21

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ALA News

ALA President Jim Rettig holds forth on the Wii version of the Rock Band drum controller during National Gaming Day, November 15, at the Clarence V. Cuffee Library in Chesapeake, Virginia. Photo by gamer_librarianLibraries celebrate National Gaming Day
The growing interest in gaming has generated impressive activity at the nation’s libraries. Recently, more than 14,000 people of all ages came together to participate in gaming events at more than 600 libraries around the country on ALA’s National Gaming Day @ your library, November 15. ALA President Jim Rettig (right) celebrated National Gaming Day at Cuffee Public Library, Chesapeake, Virginia, where he was found playing Rock Band with a variety of young gamers....

Semiramis Morales GradyIllinois librarian helps reach out to Latinos
“I can help you” are words that resonate with librarians and library users alike. Semiramis Morales Grady, interlibrary loan bibliographic assistant at the Metropolitan Library System in Burr Ridge, Illinois, is one of the voices in a radio PSA effort that reaches out to the nation’s Latinos. She is part of the team that helped create “en tu biblioteca,” ALA’s outreach campaign in partnership with Univision Radio. Two PSAs featuring Grady and Univision Radio personality Javier Romero are airing in nine of the country’s top Latino markets....

Visions of the Universe logo40 libraries to host “Visions of the Universe” exhibit
The ALA Public Programs Office has announced that 40 public libraries will host “Visions of the Universe: Four Centuries of Discovery,” a traveling exhibition developed in cooperation with the Space Telescope Science Institute Office of Public Outreach and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory to mark the International Year of Astronomy in 2009. All libraries on the tour will receive $500 programming support stipends, $250 collection development stipends, and additional materials to support library programming....

National Women's History Museum bannerALA joins National Women’s History Museum project
ALA has added its name to the list of national organizations supporting the National Women’s History Museum project. The NWHM raises public awareness and access to the historical contributions women have made in the United States and is advocating for the creation of a permanent national museum in Washington D.C....

Booklist Online logo

Cover of The Great Wide SeaFeatured review: Books for youth
Herlong, M. H. The Great Wide Sea. Oct. 2008. 240p. Grades 6–10. Viking, hardcover (978-0-670-06330-7).
Soon after their mother’s death, 15-year-old Ben and his two younger brothers are stunned when their father sells their home, buys a sailboat, and announces that they will live on board and cruise the Bahamas for the next year. Wrenched from everything he knows and forced to obey his father-captain’s orders, Ben starts out angry and finds no escape. As he says, “We were always together.” When their father sets a course for Bermuda and disappears overboard one night, the boys have little time to wonder if he jumped or fell before they’re struggling to stay afloat in a fierce Atlantic storm. Lost at sea in a damaged boat, they find their way to an island where they are stranded with little food, little water, and little hope of rescue. Herlong’s first book is a great survival story and a fine portrayal of family relationships in a time of crisis....

Back Pages graphicDiagramming sentences
Bill Ott writes: “We were talking the other day at our Booklist coffee break about Sarah Palin’s sentences. Well, maybe sentences isn’t the right word, though her speech patterns do have beginnings and endings, places you might think to put a period, or so one might conclude from her occasional need to take a breath. But are those wandering convolutions really sentences? As we pondered this conundrum, someone asked, ‘Do you think you could diagram a Palin sentence?’ We all agreed that this would be a good test, but none of us volunteered to give it a try. Then, shortly after I’d returned to my desk, intrepid Googler Ben Segedin emailed me an article from Slate in which Kitty Burns Florey demonstrated exactly how to diagram a Palin utterance. Somehow, I found this instant access to the information I needed a bit depressing.”...

@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....

Denver Update

Fine Colorado ales, courtesy of the Breckenridge Brewery10 Denver microbreweries
The city claims that more beer is brewed in Denver than in any other city in the United States. Accordingly, there are many microbreweries and brewpubs in the area that any self-respecting beer connoisseur simply must visit. Writer Irene Middleman Thomas has bellied up to the bar at all of them, and she shares her favorites in this wrapup....
Denver Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau

Book art on exhibit at the Abecedarian GalleryStudent book art
The Abecedarian Gallery will be presenting an exhibition of U.S. student bookworks from January 8 through February 7. The gallery, in Denver’s Santa Fe Arts District, presents local and national artists working in contemporary book arts and printmaking and is the only gallery specializing in artists’ books in the area....
Abecedarian Gallery

Molly Brown House MuseumThe Molly Brown House Museum
In 1970, local citizens joined forces to preserve the long-time home of Molly Brown, the Titanic’s most famous survivor. They organized as Historic Denver and began a long-term project to preserve Denver’s historic places. Today, you can visit the Browns’ opulent 1889 home, designed by architect William Lang with electricity, central heat, and indoor plumbing. You’ll also find out about Molly Brown’s incredible life, from instant mining-town wealth, to labor reform and the stages of New York....
Molly Brown House Museum

Division News

Cover of Blue Bloods, by Melissa de la CruzYALSA offers book tie-ins to Twilight movie
Last weekend, Americans flocked to see Twilight, the film adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s young adult novel that raked in $70 million in box office receipts. For those who can’t get enough of Meyer’s series, in film or book format, YALSA suggests similar books and offers resources for planning teen-focused programs that feature Twilight and its sequels....

Marco Torresdanah boyd at the 2005 Web 2.0 Conference. Photo by Duncan Davidsondanah boyd, Marco Torres to speak at AASL National Conference
danah boyd, the “high priestess” of networked social media, will keynote the AASL 14th National Conference and Exhibition, “Rev up learning @ your library,” November 5–8, 2009, in Charlotte, North Carolina. Her unique and controversial perspectives on how America's youth are engaging in social networking will help school library media specialists understand how students are changing the way they communicate. Renowned speaker, filmmaker, high school teacher, and author Marco Torres will be the closing speaker....


Robert S. MartinAnne-Imelda RadiceRadice, Martin receive Presidential Citizens Medal
President George W. Bush conferred the Presidential Citizens Medal on Anne-Imelda Radice, director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and Robert Martin, the former IMLS director who recently retired as LIS professor at Texas Woman’s University. Bush made the surprise announcement at an East Room ceremony November 17 honoring this year’s recipients of the National Medals of Arts and the National Humanities Medals. The Presidential Citizens Medal is the second-highest civilian award that the United States can bestow....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Nov. 18; White House, Nov. 17; Denton (Tex.) Record-Chronicle, Nov. 21

ASCLA award nominations due December 15
Don’t miss out on an opportunity to recognize a colleague for contributions to the library professions represented by ASCLA. The division’s five awards encompass three key areas: service to special populations, contribution to state library and multitype library systems, and service to the division. The nomination deadline for all awards is December 15....

Nominate someone for a RUSA award
You can thank your colleagues for their outstanding contributions to the library profession this year by nominating them for an award offered by RUSA. The division—representing professionals in reference, collection development, readers advisory, genealogy, resource sharing and many other related fields—is accepting nominations for its 15 awards and two grants until December 15....

Deidra GarciaLetitia BulicFSU supports two Spectrum Scholars
The Florida State University College of Information will provide matching funds for tuition to Letitia Bulic and Deidra Garcia, 2008 ALA Spectrum Scholarship winners. Bulic and Garcia are each pursuing a masters’ degree in library and information studies at Florida State, which has offered tuition remission to Spectrum recipients since 1999....

Intellectual freedom awards deadline extended
The deadline for nominees for the 2009 Intellectual Freedom Round Table Awards has been extended until January 9. The John Phillip Immroth Memorial Award honors intellectual freedom fighters in and outside the library profession who have demonstrated remarkable personal courage in resisting censorship. The ProQuest/SIRS State and Regional Intellectual Freedom Achievement Award is given to the most innovative and effective intellectual freedom project covering a state or region....
OIF Blog, Nov. 25

Cover of The Hemingses of MonticelloNational Book Awards 2008
The National Book Awards were announced November 19 in New York City. Peter Matthiessen took the award for fiction for Shadow Country, nonfiction went to surprise winner Annette Gordon-Reed for The Hemingses of Monticello, and Judy Blundell won the children’s literature award for What I Saw and Why I Lied. Mark Doty won the poetry award for Fire to Fire. Each winner will receive $10,000....
Los Angeles Times, Nov. 20

"Food for Thought" was first-place winner in Pimp My Bookcart contestColumbia University wins Pimp My Bookcart contest
Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum of Unshelved have announced the winners of their 2008 Pimp My Bookcart contest. In first place was “Food for Thought” by Columbia University Library student work-study employees, who transformed a vintage wooden bookcart into Broadway’s hottest book stand. “We both love this with a mad passion,” they wrote. “It made Bill homesick, and Gene hungry.” One fantastic runner-up was the University of California, San Diego’s “Cat in the Hat Reshelving and Cleaning Machine.”...
Unshelved, Nov. 21

Hennepin Friends group receives Minnesota award
The Friends of the Rogers Library, which brainstormed an innovative program to connect seniors with technology, was awarded the Minnesota Association of Library Friends’ Evy Nordley Award November 20 at the MLA annual conference. The group, advocates for the Rogers branch of the Hennepin County Library, partnered with Best Buy for “Senior Tech Day” in May to demonstrate five devices of interest to seniors: MP3 players, digital cameras, cell phones, high definition TVs, and laptop computers....
Hennepin County Library, Nov. 25

Cover of Shire HellRachel Johnson wins Bad Sex in Fiction Award
The air turned blue November 25 as Rachel Johnson beat Alastair Campbell to take this year’s Bad Sex in Fiction award. The Literary Review’s annual award was presented to Johnson for her novel Shire Hell (Penguin, 2008) at a ceremony at London’s In and Out club. A lifetime achievement award was also given to John Updike after the American author achieved four consecutive nominations for the award....
The Guardian (U.K.), Nov. 25

Seen Online

Susan HildrethHildreth to lead Seattle Public Library
The Seattle Public Library board has selected Susan Hildreth, currently State Librarian of California, to serve as its new library director. Seattle’s five-member board made its unanimous decision November 24 after a nationwide search. Hildreth will succeed Deborah L. Jacobs, who left SPL in July to join the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She is expected to begin her new position in early 2009....
Seattle Public Library, Nov. 24

Roxbury (Vt.) Free LibraryRoxbury gets a restroom
For decades, when you had to go in the Roxbury (Vt.) Free Library, you really had to go—somewhere else, that is. The one-room clapboard building, originally built as a tea room in 1923 and converted to a library in 1934, had no restrooms. Back then a toilet wasn’t required, and the structure was grandfathered under Vermont plumbing rules. But work is now near completion on a small addition that includes a 6-by-8-foot restroom with a sink and toilet (which was installed November 21)....
Associated Press, Nov. 21

Still from BBC News report on Europeana launchEuropeana goes online, gets overwhelmed
A new digital library of Europe’s cultural heritage crashed just hours after it went online and will be out of operation for several weeks, the European Commission said, attributing the failure to as many as 10 million hits an hour. Europeana, a website of 3.5 million documents and images, opened November 20 with international publicity. But by the next day, those trying to log on were greeted with a message telling them that the service may not be running again until mid-December, while computer capacity is upgraded. Watch the BBC report (1:55) on the Europeana launch....
New York Times, Nov. 21; European Commission, Nov. 21; BBC News, Nov. 21

Ex-director threatens legal action
An attorney representing the former director of the Gulf Beaches Public Library in Madeira Beach, Florida, claims her recent firing by the library board “is in breach of several provisions of her contract.” The threat of a lawsuit over Jan Horah’s termination November 3 comes as the library board struggles to emerge from a financial crisis and possible closure from lack of operating funds....
Seminole (Fla.) Beach Beacon, Nov. 18

Greg Benjamin, rally organizer, at a Philadelphia branch protest, from KWY-TV news, PhiladelphiaRallies continue against Philadelphia closings
Library supporters gathered outside the Fishtown, Kingsessing, and Eastwick branches of the Free Library of Philadelphia November 22 and 23 to protest Mayor Michael Nutter’s proposed closing of 11 branches. It was Kafkaesque, said library advocate A. J. Thomson, as more than 100 bundled-up Fishtowners marched a mile and a half on a chilly Sunday afternoon to the Kensington branch, suggested as an alternate to Fishtown. Maura Kennedy, a spokeswoman for the mayor, said the city is in discussions with private organizations about their taking over management of the branches scheduled for closing....
Philadelphia Daily News, Nov. 24; KWY-TV, Nov. 22; New York Times, Nov. 25

Library supporters honk in San Diego
Drivers passing the University Community branch of the San Diego (Calif.) Public Library November 22 honked their horns to show support for the protesters of all ages who stood on the sidewalk holding signs declaring their opposition to a plan to close the facility. It was the same scene at six other branch libraries from Ocean Beach to Carmel Mountain Ranch. Mayor Jerry Sanders has proposed closing seven libraries to help reduce a $43-million deficit....
San Diego (Calif.) Union-Tribune, Nov. 23

Time online teaches kids important skills
By socializing, tinkering with technology, and intensely delving into media, teens and children on the internet “are picking up basic social and technical skills they need to fully participate in contemporary society,”' according to a three-year national study (PDF file) released November 20. The $3.3-million study, funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, found that youths use online networks to extend friendships, acquire technical skills, learn from each other, explore interests, and develop expertise. This all takes “ongoing maintenance and negotiation.”...
San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News, Nov. 20

Cover of Michelangelo: La Dotta ManoWould you pay $100,000 for a book?
You’d need a pretty sturdy coffee table to house the New York Public Library’s latest acquisition: a 62-pound, velvet-and-marble-bound volume on the life and work of Michelangelo. The handmade book—Michelangelo: La Dotta Mano, which took six months to make and is valued at more than $100,000—was donated by Italian publisher Marilena Ferrari this week and will go on display December 2. About 20 have been sold....
Chicago Sun-Times, Nov. 26

Iranian scholar mutilated British Library manuscripts
To staff at the British Library, the well-dressed Iranian gentleman was a regular and well-respected visitor to the private reading room where he studied valuable texts. Several times a month, between 1997 and 2003, Farhad Hakimzadeh would examine six books at a time, mostly dating from the 16th and 17th century and relating to European involvement in the Middle East, and quietly pore over their pages. However, he was carefully cutting out those pages with a scalpel or a razor and adding them to his personal collection. The total cost of the damage that he inflicted on books from the British Library could add up to £1 million ($1.5 million U.S.). Oxford’s Bodleian Library was also a target....
The Times (U.K.), Nov. 21; Chronicle of Higher Education, Nov. 21

Police not sure offender was living in UIUC library
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign police are unsure whether the sex offender arrested at the Undergraduate Library had been living there for a couple days prior to his arrest. Eric Kaminski was arrested early November 13 after security guards notified university police of his suspicious behavior. Undergraduate Library Head Lisa Hinchliffe said Kaminski had not been living in the library. Instead he violated library rules, which prompted the security guards to take further action....
Daily Illini, Nov. 18

Freetown artifacts found in the town library are displayed at the Historical Society Museum. The treasures date from the 19th century to the mid-20th century and include a handwritten list of World War II airplane spotters who were town residents. Photo submitted to Falls River Herald NewsAttic clean-up in Assonet library turns up treasures
When cleaning out the attic of the Guilford H. Hathaway Library in Assonet, Massachusetts, Michael McCue and others found more than just cobwebs. Instead, they found historical treasures from the 19th century to the mid-20th century that they now plan to preserve at the local historical society museum. Among the artifacts were pencil sketches of two early town officials; a handwritten list of local World War II airplane spotters (above); items from the town’s various temperance society groups; and an 1897 original layout of the Assonet Burying Ground....
Fall River (Mass.) Herald News, Nov. 24

D.C. Public Library to close kiosks
The District of Columbia Public Library, struggling to redefine itself and deal with a collection of old, declining buildings, will close all five of its neighborhood kiosks, four of them by the end of this year. The kiosks—plexiglass and metal booths that were built in the 1970s to bring books and after-school homework help to some of the most impoverished neighborhoods—are all located in eastern D.C....
Washington Post, Nov. 20

First Nations Information Connection logoAlberta’s indigenous colleges get connected
Native American colleges in Alberta have joined the digital age, thanks to an infusion of technology that provides the schools online access to their own library collections. The First Nations Information Connection is essentially a web-based portal that gives students an easier way to find what they need and links them to a host of research materials around the province, said University of Alberta Chief Librarian Ernie Ingles, who led the project....
Edmonton (Alberta) Journal, Nov. 17

Tech Talk

Wireless network properties window15 tech secrets for the road warrior
Adam Pash writes: “Your work increasingly demands that you be able to get things done no matter where you are, so the bigger your mobile tech toolbox, the better. This time we’ll take a closer look at 15 mobile tech tricks and tools that will have you working better, smarter, and faster on the go—including how to use your laptop as a Wi-Fi hotspot.”...
PC World, Nov. 21

An Art is Resistance flier from the Year Zero alternate reality gameAlternate Reality Games
Jason Griffey writes: “I want to introduce you to a type of game you might not be aware of: the Alternate Reality Game. ARGs are becoming more and more popular, and libraries need to be aware of them and ready to embrace them. An ARG is a game that utilizes the real world as a gameboard and everyday communications mechanisms (cellphone, email, snail mail) as the controls. Think of an ARG as a form of live-action role-playing game that doesn’t necessarily involve a role; it is you, and not a character you are portraying, trying to unravel the mystery or solve the puzzle.”...
TechSource Blog, Nov. 21

How to buy a laptop
The most highly evolved species of computer, the laptop (aka notebook) computer allows you to work without being tethered to an office. Portability and good performance make laptop PCs an essential part of the daily lives of millions of people, from college students to conference-goers. Even the least expensive of today’s laptops are well-equipped for everyday work. This overview covers the available options, specification details, and shopping tips....
PC World, Nov. 24

22books tracks books you’ve read or want to read or own40 resources for making lists
Doriano “Paisano” Carta writes: “We like to keep all kinds of lists; wish lists, checklists, lists of lists. In this roundup we will focus on services specializing in wish lists (things we want) and checklists (things we want to get done). Using these 40 mobile and web-based tools, you can keep track of daily tasks, build your reading list, and organize your holiday gift giving.”...
Mashable, Nov. 20

Pirate digging up a 404 errorA more useful 404
Dean Frickey writes: “Encountering 404 errors is not new. Often, developers provide custom 404 pages to make the experience a little less frustrating. However, for a custom 404 page to be truly useful, it should not only provide relevant information to the user, but should also provide immediate feedback to the developer so that, when possible, the problem can be fixed.”...
A List Apart, Nov. 18

Google Chrome logoWhy I switched from Firefox to Chrome
Stephen Shankland writes: “Sorry if it sounds like I’m drinking the Google Kool-Aid here, but I switched from Mozilla Firefox to Google Chrome as my default browser for the very reason Google’s executives said we should: speed. Using Chrome removed a bit of friction from the Web I hadn’t realized was there. It felt like discovering I’d been driving with the parking brake on just a bit.”...
Webware, Nov. 25

RSS and scholarly journal tables of contents
Lisa Rogers writes: “A growing number of scholarly journal publishers provide RSS feeds for their tables of contents. Subscribing to a feed enables someone to not only read the latest TOC, but also to share and reuse the information by publishing it to their blog or adding it as a widget to their website. In theory, anyone can keep fully up to date with all the scholarly journals they want. However, as I have found from my work on the ticTOCs project, it isn’t always that easy.”...


CD set of The Spoken Word: American WritersThe Spoken Word: American and British writers
The British Library released two new additions to its popular series of literary spoken-word CDs, featuring many previously unpublished recordings of great British and American writers. Stand-out tracks include the sole surviving recording of Virginia Woolf published in its entirety for the first time, Raymond Chandler interviewed by Ian Fleming, the only audio recording of Arthur Conan Doyle, and John Steinbeck discussing his reasons for writing The Grapes of Wrath....
British Library, Oct. 23

Cover of The Pesthouse by Jim Crace, an apocalyptic novelThe end of the world as we know it
Neil Hollands writes: “One of the reasons why apocalyptic fiction is so compelling is that it pokes a stick into the most basic of questions: What is human nature like at its core? If we strip away the complicated trappings of civilization, how will people behave? Cormac McCarthy’s version in The Road is about as bleak as it gets—a few lovely moments between a father and son as the candle gutters out—but his approach is just one among dozens. Comparing and contrasting these versions of the end would make a fascinating study for brave book groups, either in one themed meeting or in a series of shared readings.”...

Book Group Buzz, Nov. 21

William Wyler's 1959 film Ben-Hur was based on Lew Wallace's 1880 novel10 movies that are better than the books
Jamie Frater writes: “I am a firm believer in the idea that reading a book is better than watching a film, because it allows your own imagination to make marvelous worlds and characters. Nevertheless, I concede that on a number of occasions, a film director has managed to take a great book and make it an even greater movie. Sometimes it is better for us to watch the creations of someone else’s imagination. Here is a list of 10 such movies.”...
The List Universe, Nov. 22

AL Buyers Guide ad

Actions & Answers

Batgirl Was a Librarian graphicTop 20 things librarians wish patrons knew or did
Danielle Dreger-Babbitt writes: “Librarians work harder than most patrons and nonpatrons realize. I took an informal poll of librarians I know in Boston, Dallas, Detroit, Indianapolis, New York City, and Portland about what they wish library patrons knew or did. The following list is what they came up with. (Note: They’re not disgruntled; they just want to be able to provide the best customer service to patrons possible.)” Read parts 2, 3, and 4....
Seattle Books Examiner, Nov. 19–21

Iowa City UNESCO designationIowa City named world City of Literature
The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization has designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world’s third City of Literature, making it part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, along with Edinburgh and Melbourne. The network was designed to promote the social, economic, and cultural development of cities in both the developed and the developing world....
University of Iowa, Nov. 20

Postcards from the NYPL collection, from the Design by the Book videoDesign by the Book: Episode 1
For this online-only miniseries, Design by the Book, the New York Public Library partnered with the leading design blog Design*Sponge and invited five New York City–based artists to sift through its collections in search of inspiration. This episode (9:45) introduces the artists, ranging from a glassblower to a letterpress printer, who in future episodes will be creating unique works inspired by items in the NYPL collections. Produced by Amy Azzarito and James Murdock of the New York Public Library Digital Experience Group, in partnership with Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge....
New York Public Library, Nov. 17

Fun—not like those other librarians
Mary K. Eagle writes: “On the second day I started work at this school, I told one of the first students I met that I was in school to become a school librarian. ‘You’d make a fun librarian,’ she told me. ‘Not like those boring ones.’ I was pleased, but also a little puzzled—we’d only just met. Earlier today, a teacher at the same school told me in a stage whisper that the way I was sitting at the circulation desk was ‘not so professional-looking.’ So how do I balance being the Fun Librarian with being a Professional Librarian?”...
YALSA Blog, Nov. 20

Curious George "Explore Sand, Water, and Wind" bannerSet up a Curiosity Center
PBS has created some easy-to-use activities based on the Curious George character designed for children’s programming. The activities, recently mailed to public libraries on the back of a colorful Curious George banner (above), detail how to set up and run hands-on Curiosity Centers where children can explore earth science topics, making their own discoveries about recycling, wind, soil, and sand. Book recommendations are included, as well as simple materials lists, learning goals, and leader notes....
PBS Kids

First page of 21st Century Skills map for English21st Century Skills and English Map
The Partnership for 21st Century Skills has joined up with the National Council of Teachers of English to produce a 21st Century Skills and English Map (PDF file). The map—which demonstrates how the integration of 21st-century skills into the English curriculum supports teaching and learning and prepares students to become effective and productive citizens in the 21st century—highlights the critical connections between English and 21st-century skills....
Partnership for 21st Century Skills, Nov. 24

2007 state library agency report
The Institute of Museum and Library Services issued its second library statistics report on state library agencies in the 50 states and the District of Columbia for FY 2007. The report includes a wide array of information on internet access and electronic services, collections, staff, and revenue, such as the number of book and serial volumes held by state library agencies (24.1 million)....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Nov. 26

Hunt the Coal Thief game from the 1930sFive centuries of board games
Paul K presents some fascinating illustrations of board games in books and prints published between 1588 and 1940. Included are an etching showing the “new and pleasant game of biribisse” by Giovanni Giacomo de’ Rossi (17th century), a dice game called “pluck the owl” possibly published in Parma by Giovanni Battista Panzera in the 18th century, a steamboat game published in Paris by A. Daane between 1810 and 1825, and a very rare propaganda board game called “Hunt the Coal Thief” (above) published by Lepthian-Schiffers in the 1930s that sought to promote economy in the use of raw materials in Germany....
BiblioOdyssey, Nov. 19

Garmin Etrex GPS deviceGeocaching for educators
Kelly Czarnecki writes: “The Geospatial Information and Technology Association has a program called Location in Education where educators can borrow 10–15 GPS units (like the one pictured here), free of charge except for shipping and handling. People then can use these units to locate treasures that have been hidden around town. Many libraries already have scavenger hunts, and chances are that teens will pick up pretty easily on using these devices. It’s possible to create endless tie-ins with literature and get readers involved in books in a different way.”...
YALSA Blog, Nov. 23

How librarians are overcoming the language divide
Judith Rosen writes: “As the Hispanic population continues to grow, more and more libraries across the country have begun reaching out to the Spanish speakers in their community. It’s not always easy, as those who started earlier have learned. In upstate New York, says Kimberly Iraci, many Hispanic migrant farm workers—some undocumented, others anxious about coming under scrutiny—are wary about being visible in public places. Others lack transportation to get to the closest library, which may be 8–10 miles away.”...
Críticas, Nov. 1

Portion of table from Multilingual GlossaryMultilingual library jargon
Understanding library jargon—OPAC, CD-ROM, microfiche, holdings, stacks—can be difficult for anyone who is not a regular user of the library. The difficulty is compounded for English as a Second Language speakers who must process these specialized terms in a language that is not their native one. ACRL’s Instruction Section has put together a Multilingual Glossary in two parts: a Language Table (PDF file), which presents a list of these terms in six languages, and Definitions (PDF file), which gives explanations in English for each of the terms....
ACRL Instruction Section

Winning design for a library pictogramSwedish library pictograms
Nate Hill writes: “New Graphical Symbols for Many More (RAM Publications, Sept. 2008) is ‘a [Swedish] national development and standardization project aimed at making public symbols more uniform and more serviceable in keeping with the concept of Design for All.’ What really got me excited was this: One of the symbols that all 124 competitors had to create for the contest was a symbol for a public library. I’ve posted scans of all of them below for preview and for educational purposes.”....
PLA Blog, Nov. 22

Giving thanks by listening
Leonard Kniffel writes: “StoryCorps has declared November 28, the day after Thanksgiving, the first annual National Day of Listening. ‘This holiday season, ask the people around you about their lives,’ StoryCorps is urging. The day after Thanksgiving is the perfect day for us all to grab a few of those technological marvels we have all over the house and sit down with someone we love and ask those questions the answers to which may live in our hearts for as long as we are alive.”...
AL Inside Scoop, Nov. 25

Domesticated turkey (Meleagris gallopavo), Broad Breasted Bronze variety. Photo by LupinTurkey history and trivia
The National Turkey Federation operates a website that might help you answer a few last-minute Thanksgiving (or other holiday) reference questions. Some factoids: White meat is generally preferred in the United States, while other countries choose the dark meat. It’s estimated that turkeys have 3,500 feathers at maturity. President Andrew Jackson ranked turkey hash first among his favorite foods. Nearly 88% of Americans surveyed by the National Turkey Federation eat turkey at Thanksgiving. And here are some cooking tips....
National Turkey Federation

Cover of CLIP's 2009 calendar, showing the Maquoketa (Iowa) Public LibraryIowa’s Carnegie libraries
The Carnegie Libraries in Iowa Project is preserving the history of Iowa’s Carnegie libraries by creating a digital library of images and other documentary and statistical information about them. A partnership among students, staff, and faculty at the University of Iowa SLIS, the University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa librarians, and library supporters, the project recently was expanded with the help of some students in UI’s Digital Librarianship Program. They are offering a 2009 calendar that shows all 101 of the Iowa Carnegie public libraries....
Carnegie Libraries in Iowa Project

Jane Curtin and Noah Wyle stare at artifactsReturn of The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice
The world is in danger of being overrun by vampires, and the only person who can prevent it from happening is Flynn Carsen in the third installment of TNT’s Librarian series, starring Noah Wyle. The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice, costarring Bob Newhart and Jane Curtin, sends the bookish hero to New Orleans. The new feature premieres Sunday, December 7, at 8 p.m. Eastern time....
Turner Network Television

Still from Orange County PL videoGot any World War I books?
The Orange County (Calif.) Public Library released this video PSA for its services in 2007, with the theme “Reading increases the imagination,” showing how one reader found some history books more vivid than he could handle....

Still from Cookie Monster in the Library skit from Sesame StreetNo cookies in the library
Much to the chagrin of a temperamental librarian, Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster can’t seem to comprehend that libraries don’t have cookies or other edibles: “You got some carrots? How about rutabagas? You got any cantaloupe?” This is a classic late-1970s parody (2:53) of a Monty Python skit. Sesame Street’s website has an enormous searchable video archive of segments, skits, and songs that span nearly four decades, and more than 3,000 videos....
Sesame Street

ALA 2009 Midwinter Meeting logo, Denver

ALA Midwinter Meeting, Denver, January 23–28.

Muhammad Yunus

The Midwinter ALA President’s Program will feature Nobel Peace Prize–winner Dr. Muhammad Yunus, January 25, at 3:30 p.m. in the Four Seasons Ballroom at the Colorado Convention Center. Yunus is the author of Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty (1999) and Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism (2007).

Cover of More Family Storytimes

This new book from best-selling author Rob Reid features stories, fingerplays, songs, and movement activities to enhance the time families spend at the library. Brimming with all new material, More Family Storytimes offers practical, creative, and active storytime programs that will captivate audiences of all ages with program plans, engaging activities, and relevant themes. NEW! From ALA Editions.

In this issue
November 2008

Cover of October 2008 issue

Effective Training

After-School Success Stories

Time to Retool

Hennen’s Public Library Ratings

LSSCP logo

The ALA–Allied Professional Association is offering ALA Midwinter Meeting attendees attendees an opportunity to provide feedback on the development of a national Library Support Staff Certification Program. This forum will be held 10:30 to noon, on Saturday, January 24, in Denver.

Career Leads from
ALA Joblist logo

Head of Media Services, Preston Library, Virginia Military Institute, Lexington. Responsible for the leadership, management, and support of media services and the development of state-of-the-art applications and solutions for the library’s integrated library system and web technologies. The primary duties and responsibilities include the management of instruction in the use of presentation, audio, and video resources; management of training workshops for the use of media software; management of satellite and cable broadcast system; and the development of web technologies to enhance access to the library’s collections....

@ More jobs...

Digital Library of the Week

Apollo 11 Astronaut assembling seismic experiment, July 20, 1969, from Apollo Image Atlas, AS11-40-5946

The Lunar and Planetary Institute’s collection of online lunar atlases includes a digital version of the Lunar Orbiter Atlas of the Moon, first published in 1971 and considered the definitive reference manual to global photographic coverage of the Moon; the 1967 Consolidated Lunar Atlas by Gerald P. Kuiper, Ewen A. Whitaker, Robert G. Strom, John W. Fountain, and Stephen M. Larson, a collection of the best photographic images of the Moon; an Apollo Image Atlas with some 25,000 photographs from the Apollo 4–17 missions; panoramic surface images from the Apollo missions; photos from the 1964–1965 Ranger 7–9 missions; and various other map series, including geologic, topographic, and topophoto maps.

Do you know of a digital library collection that we can mention in this AL Direct feature? Tell us about it. Browse previous Digital Libraries of the Week at the I Love Libraries site.

Public Perception
How the World
Sees Us

“America’s libraries are the fruits of a great democracy. They are living evidence of the democratic values we cherish. . . . They exist because we believe that memory and truth are important and so we pass what we know from one generation to the next. They exist because we believe that information and knowledge are not the exclusive domain of a certain type or class of person but rather the province of all who seek to learn.”

—Robert S. Martin, then-director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, in “Equipping Museums and Libraries for the 21st Century,” testimony before the House Subcommittee on Select Education, Feb. 14, 2002.

Ask the ALA Librarian

Cover of Is Consulting for You?

Q. I recently retired, but due to the economy, I now find myself needing to go back to work. Rather than going back to working in a library, I was wondering about becoming a consultant and using my skills as an information professional. Any advice or pointers you can pass along?

A. The skills you gain as a librarian are versatile, and becoming a library consultant or independent librarian is often the next step for librarians facing retirement. There are several resources available to help librarians move into this new role within the ever-changing information landscape, including Ulla de Stricker’s 2007 book, Is Consulting For You? A Primer for Information Professionals and Rachel Singer Gordon’s 2008 book, What's the Alternative? Career Options for Librarians and Info Pros. From the ALA Professional Tips wiki.

@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.

LLAMA logo

LLAMA is looking for mentors and mentees for its 10-month mentoring program that will nurture leadership and promote outstanding management practices. Applications will be accepted through December 15 (deadline extended).


Jan. 30–
Feb. 1:

International Conference on Technology, Knowledge and Society,
Huntsville, Alabama.

Feb. 1–3:
Annual Meeting, Tempe Mission Palms Hotel, Arizona. “Cyberinfrastructure for E-Research.”

Feb. 8–11:
4th Annual iconference,
School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “iSociety: Research, Education, Engagement.”

Feb. 13:
Online Northwest,
Oregon State University, Corvallis.

Feb. 13–14:
American Antiquarian Society,
Conference, Princeton, New Jersey. “Home, School, Play, Work: The Visual and Textual Worlds of Children.”

Feb. 14–21:
Havana International Book Fair Tour,
Cuba, sponsored by Zunzun Education Services (in Vancouver, B.C.), which says the program is legal and licensable for U.S. professionals whose work is related to this tour’s theme.

Feb. 24–26:
Southwest Regional Conference, Marriott Plaza San Antonio, Texas.

Mar. 2–6:
Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education,
20th International Conference, Charleston, South Carolina.

Mar. 9–11:
North East Regional Computing Program,
Annual Conference, Rhode Island Convention Center, Providence. “Creative Intersections, Wise Collaborations, and Sustainable Technology.”

Mar. 10–12:
Consortium for School Networking,
Annual Conference, Austin, Texas. “Leadership, Policy, and Innovation in a Collaborative World.”

Mar. 12–14:
Louisiana Library Asociation,
Annual Conference, Baton Rouge. “Together We Make a Difference.”

Mar. 12–15:
Association of College and Research Libraries,
14th National Conference, Seattle. “Pushing the Edge: Explore, Engage, Extend.”

Mar. 13–16:
Alaska Library Association,
Annual Conference, Kodiak. “Libraries: Going the Distance.”

Mar. 20:
North American Serials Interest Group, Regional Unconference, Hale Library, Kansas State University, Manhattan. “An Overview of Serials and Electronic Resources in Libraries.”

Mar. 23–25:
Midwest Regional Conference, InterContinental Chicago Hotel. “Intersections: Emerging, Commonly Accepted, and Best Practices in Higher Education IT.”

@ More...

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