The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | October 1,

U.S. & World News
ALA News
AL Focus
Booklist Online
Division News
Seen Online
Tech Talk
Actions & Answers

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AL Buyers Guide

U.S. & World News

ALA President-elect Camila Alire with Zoila Bofill (Marketing & Communications Department, Queens Library), and Jacqueline Ayala (San Diego County Public Library System & co-author with Camila of Serving Latino Communities). Photo by Camila AlireBorder location offers unique opportunities for Reforma attendees
President Luís Chaparro called the 452 attendees, including 61 exhibitors, at the Reforma National Conference part of an extended family. The gathering of ALA’s affiliate organization, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking, was held September 18–21 primarily at the El Paso (Texas) Convention Center, just blocks from the border of Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. The theme was “Bridging the Gaps—Juntos @ the Border.”...
American Libraries Online, Oct. 1

EPA logoEPA reopens five shuttered libraries
The five Environmental Protection Agency libraries whose closures in 2006 as part of a cost-cutting measure by President Bush elicited a storm of controversy reopened September 30. In a Report to Congress (PDF file) submitted in March, the agency had committed to reopening the facilities by that date....
American Libraries Online, Oct. 1

Galveston Tribune page encouraging commerce and rebuilding after the Hurricane of 1900. From the Rosenberg Library and MuseumLibraries regroup in the wake of Hurricane Ike
Hurricane Ike’s Category 2 force slammed across the Louisiana and southeast Texas coasts September 12–13, just two weeks after New Orleans evacuated in anticipation of Hurricane Gustav. As with Gustav, most Louisiana libraries dodged major disaster; except for brief power outages, they could concentrate on helping South Texas evacuees and local residents with FEMA applications. One of the hardest-hit libraries in Texas was Galveston’s Rosenberg Library and Museum, the public library for the community where Ike made landfall early on the morning of September 13....
American Libraries Online, Sept. 26

Anne Marie GoldSacramento director announces retirement
Ending a seven-year tenure amid accusations of mismanagement, Sacramento (Calif.) Public Library Director Anne Marie Gold announced at a September 25 meeting of the library’s governing board that she would retire, effective December 1. A matter-of-fact library press release announcing the retirement made no mention of the controversy in which Gold has been embroiled, and the Sacramento Bee reported September 26 that Gold, 59, had told the board, “I’ve long planned to retire when I reached 60, and that’s around the corner for me.”...
American Libraries Online, Sept. 26; Sacramento (Calif.) Public Library, Sept. 25

ALA News

ALA’s 2009 budget
ALA Treasurer Rod Hersberger and Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels write: “Last week, the ALA Council raised the question of what steps the Association was taking to deal with the impact of the current financial crisis. Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels’s response to Council briefly outlined the steps that are being taken in anticipation of what will certainly be a tough year for libraries and ALA. We want to take the opportunity to expand on those comments and to talk more specifically about the Fiscal Year 2009 budget.”...
ALA Marginalia, Oct. 1

Judy Blume on WLS-TVJudy Blume on Banned Books Week
Author Judy Blume discusses book challenges and ALA’s Banned Books Week on Chicago TV (4:12). “It’s so contagious,” Blume said, “this fear that leads to trying to ban books. If libraries gave in to all the requests to ban books, what would we have left? Fun with Dick and Jane?”...
WLS-TV, Chicago, Sept. 26

YA author Lauren Myracle, author of ttyl and Bliss, at the ALA BBW Read-Out! Photo by Deborah Caldwell-StoneAuthors take a stand against the ban
Dozens gathered at Pioneer Court in downtown Chicago September 27 to hear authors read their controversial works and celebrate the right for books to exist, even if some find them offensive. The Banned Books Week Read-Out! event, cosponsored by ALA, the McCormick Freedom Museum, and the Chicago Tribune, marked the 27th observance of Banned Books Week. “What we’re basically saying is our rights are fragile,” said Judith Krug, director of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom....
Chicago Tribune, Sept. 28; OIF Blog, Sept. 30

Banned Books Week image from Amnesty InternationalWhy Banned Books Week matters
John Mark Ockerbloom (University of Pennsylvania) writes: “Banned Books Week is really about two different, but related, things. The first of these, the focus of sites like Amnesty International (right), deals with attempts to restrict who is allowed to speak about what matters to them. But the banned books lists you’ll find in many libraries and bookstores are often full of classics and popular titles sold widely in bookstores and online. The bans that dominate the ALA lists are the obverse of publication bans: They’re attempts to restrict who is allowed to hear about what matters to them.”...
Everybody’s Libraries, Sept. 29

Banned Books Week Town SquareBanned Books Week in Second Life
Many events are scheduled for ALA Island in Second Life for the 2008 Banned Books Week. Locations are subject to change, so see this blog and/or the (new!) ALA Island Facebook Fan Page for the latest information....
Virtual Presence, Sept. 29

Name the Garden Contest sign in Second LifeName the Garden Contest
ALA needs your help to name our beautiful new garden on ALA Island in Second Life, designed and built by Jedda Zenovka. Submit your garden name suggestions via note card to Second Life avatar Kay Tairov by 8 a.m. SLT, October 4. Be sure you also include your SL Name on your card. The winner will receive the real-life READ Poster of their choice from ALA Graphics....
Virtual Presence, Sept. 29

404 page from ALA websiteRedirects, bookmarks, and the ALA website
ALA Senior Usability Officer Louise Gruenberg writes: “It is impossible to make a souffle without cracking some eggs. We are in the process of transforming 60,000 pages so that any of them that link through the left navigation end in index.xml. But 60,000 redirects are far more than we have the staff to make, and what that many would do to website speed makes me cringe. Now that the site has been launched, we can analyze the 404s (page not found) to help us determine which redirects are really needed.”...
ITTS Update, Sept. 29

A greener ALA election coming
Association, division, and round table nominating committees are still assembling their slates for the ALA ballot next spring—and you can still petition to be on the Council ballot—but there are changes coming. Faced with a tight budget for the coming year, and seeking to be more environmentally aware, the Executive Board made the decision to conduct the election online. We will soon be asking all ALA members to provide us with an email address or verify that the one we have on file is accurate....
ALA Marginalia, Sept. 30

Lawyers for Libraries logoLawyers for Libraries training in Los Angeles
ALA will present a “Lawyers for Libraries” Training Institute February 20, 2009, in Los Angeles. The institute is primarily intended to equip attorneys with tools they need to effectively defend the First Amendment in libraries. In addition, a panel of librarians will discuss their real-world experiences with creating and enforcing library policies....

AL Focus

Musician at Reforma, from the video2008 Reforma National Conference
This overview (1:31) of the Reforma National Conference, held September 18–21 in El Paso, Texas, features musicians at the exhibit hall opening, conversations with Author Luncheon speaker Diana Washington Valdez and former ALA President Carol Brey-Casiano, a tour of the Biblioteca de la Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, and music and dance under the stars at the Awards Banquet....

Booklist Online logo

Box for Confronting DeathFeatured review: Media
Confronting Death: A Christian Approach to the End of Life with Walter Wangerin Jr. July 2008. 60 min. Paraclete, DVD (978-1-55725-597-6).
Seated in his book-lined study, author and Valparaiso University lecturer Walter Wangerin Jr. speaks frankly about his cancer and talks about facing death from a Christian perspective. Wangerin begins by describing the diagnosis and the effect of his illness on his close-knit family. Although his looming death has made him intensely aware of everything around him, he understands that his wife and other family members, as caregivers and survivors, may be dwelling on the future without him and the emptiness they face. Wangerin shares ways to comfort both patient and family as they begin the grieving process....

Book Group Buzz logo

Read Book Group Buzz for National Reading Group Month
The Booklist blog Book Group Buzz, which provides helpful and entertaining information to reading groups, has been selected as the official partner blog by the Women’s National Book Association for its second National Reading Group Month in October. Book Group Buzz addresses the growing interest in adult and youth book-group related news expressed by librarians, general readers, authors and publishers, with regular posts by a selected group of expert contributors from around the country....

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

Division News

ACRL podcast: Greening Seattle
In this podcast (5:36), ACRL 14th National Conference Virtual Conference Committee Co-Chair Scott Walter and Green Conference Planning Committee members Juliet Kerico and Karen Munro discuss environmentally sustainable practices at next year’s Seattle conference....
ACRL Insider, Sept. 23

Books with Bite bookmarkTools to promote Teen Read Week
As Teen Read Week 2008 approaches, YALSA offers several tools aimed at helping librarians, booksellers, educators, and others promote events in their libraries, stores, schools, and communities. Teen Read Week will be celebrated October 12–18. Anyone planning an event in honor of Teen Read Week should visit the YALSA wiki and list their own events. Registration is required to edit the wiki, but it only takes a few minutes....

Tote bag to be given out at YALSA SymposiumSign up by October 3 for YALSA Symposium
Advanced registration ends October 3 for the inaugural Young Adult Literature Symposium, November 7–9, at the Millennium Maxwell House Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. Registrants will save more than 10% over onsite registration fees....

ALSC Board Members at the National Institute: Back row (l-r) Tim Wadham, Thom Barthelmess, Mary Fellows; Front row (l-r) Betsy Orsburn and Pat ScalesThe ALSC 2008 National Institute in Salt Lake City
Allison G. Kaplan writes: “What a great first experience! There were about 250 participants from across the country (and even one from Bermuda). I’m not going to provide a play-by-play account of the activities, but I will say that from Thursday afternoon through Saturday morning, there was more information disseminated, more networking done, and more expertise shared than I have seen in a long time.”...
ALSC Blog, Sept. 24


Sara Jaffarian Award recognizes programming excellence
The ALA Public Programs Office is now accepting nominations for the 2009 Sara Jaffarian School Library Program Award for Exemplary Humanities Programming. School libraries, public or private, that serve children in any combination of grades K–8 and have conducted humanities programs during the 2007–2008 school year are eligible. Apply by December 1....

SirsiDynix ALA-APA award for improving salaries
The ALA–Allied Professional Association seeks nominees for a $5,000 award, courtesy of SirsiDynix. Nominees will include individuals and organizations that have made a positive change in the salaries or status of librarians or support staff. Nominations are due by December 12....

University of Missouri SISLT supports Spectrum Scholar
The University of Missouri School of Information Science and Learning Technologies will provide $5,000 in matching scholarship funds to Nicole Head, a 2008 ALA Spectrum Scholarship winner pursuing a master’s degree in library science and library media certification. The University of Missouri has offered matching scholarships to Spectrum recipients in their graduate program in library and information science since 1999....

YALSA names Spectrum Scholar, two Emerging Leaders
As part of its commitment to furthering young adult librarianship, YALSA chose its first Spectrum Scholar as well as two Emerging Leaders for 2009. Jamie Young is the division’s Spectrum Scholar, and Carla Land and Katherine Voss are the Emerging Leaders....

YALSA offers $34,000 in grants
YALSA will offer more than $34,000 worth of grants and awards to YALSA members. Division members can use the awards to attend ALA Annual Conference for the first time, start a research program, add to their library’s collection, and much more....

Carnegie-Whitney grants
The ALA Publishing Committee provides a grant of up to $5,000 for the preparation of print or electronic reading lists, indexes, or other guides to library resources that promote reading or the use of library resources at any type of library. Apply by November 3....

Apply for the WNBA Eastman grant
The Women’s National Book Association sponsors the WNBA Eastman Grant, which offers up to $750 for a librarian to take a course or participate in an institute devoted to aspects of publishing as a profession. The grant honors Ann Heidbreder Eastman, who was an active and prominent member of both ALA and the WNBA. Applications are due by November 3....

Giant spines featuring classic world literature titles decorate the exterior of the Kansas City (Mo.) Central Library’s parking garage, photo by Mike Sinclair.Five libraries to receive National Medal
First Lady Laura Bush will award five museums and five libraries the 2008 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor, at a White House ceremony on October 7. The libraries are the Jane Stern Dorado Community Library, Puerto Rico; Kansas City (Mo.) Public Library (right); Miami-Dade (Fla.) Public Library System; Skidompha Library in Damariscotta, Maine; and Skokie (Ill.) Public Library....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Sept. 29

Still from Sail Away with Books video showing pirate in front of the libraryRound Rock library video wins Texas award
Last year’s Round Rock (Tex.) Public Library’s Summer Reading video (3:07), “Sail Away with Books,” recently won first place for Special Audience Programming in the 2008 Texas Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors Programming Awards. The video helped promote the library’s Summer Reading program to elementary schools. Brooks Bennett, RRPL technology specialist, shot and edited the video, and Lucas Miller, the “Singing Zoologist,” performed his title song....
City of Round Rock, Sept. 29; YouTube; Texas Reading Club

Seen Online

Economy expected to take a toll on charitable giving
To the list of big losers in the turmoil on Wall Street, add these: some big foundations. A family foundation set up by Richard S. Fuld Jr., Lehman Brothers’ chair and chief executive, gave away about $5 million in 2006. The Fulds are still on the philanthropy scene, and are among the cochairs at the New York Public Library’s annual Library Lions benefit on November 3. Also, the Starr Foundation has pledged $7.5 million over five years beginning in 2006 to the New York Public Library, and a library spokesman said it was on track to meet its pledges....
New York Times, Sept. 29

Cover of Twilight by Stephenie MeyerThe vampires come back to Capistrano
A series of fantasy novels about a vampire and his teenage girlfriend were banned September 26 from middle school libraries in the San Juan Capistrano (Calif.) Unified School District over concerns about age-appropriate content, but reinstated the following week without explanation. Books in Stephenie Meyer’s popular “Twilight” series were ordered removed from the district’s 12 middle schools in an email sent to library staff from Linda Meyers, an instructional materials specialist for the district....
Orange County (Calif.) Register, Sept. 30

Cover of Nineteen MinutesBeardstown board approves Nineteen Minutes
Despite some recent controversy, the novel Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult will remain on the shelves of the Beardstown (Ill.) High School library. The school board voted unanimously September 24 to follow the recommendation of the library committee and return to the library the novel, which, according to a detractor, has some “R-rated” content. However, the book will be held in the high school section of the library and may only be checked out with a parent’s permission....
Jacksonville (Ill.) Journal-Courier, Sept. 24

Cover of ttyl by Lauren MyracleRound Rock parents upset over TTYL
A group of Round Rock, Texas, parents are outraged that students have access to a book in a middle school library that discusses sex, porn, booze, and an inappropriate teacher-student relationship. Parents of one sixth-grade student started a petition to move the book, Lauren Myracle’s TTYL, to a space where more sensitive material would be placed. School District Public Relations Director JoyLynn Occhiuzzi said, “This is the first complaint we’ve received about this particular book.”...
KXAN-TV, Austin, Tex., Sept. 26

Cover of Nick and Norah's Infinite PlaylistNick and Norah stays on the shelf
Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist has been off the shelves in the Geneva (Ill.) Public Library since the beginning of August, as a staff committee considered a patron’s challenge about whether the book is appropriate reading for teenagers. But library administrator Matt Teske reported September 25 that he agrees with the recommendation to put it back on the shelves of the teen fiction section of the library. Patrons of any age can check it out....
Arlington Heights (Ill.) Daily Herald, Sept. 26

The portrayal of Jim can be problematic for some modern readers. In this scene illustrated by E. W. Kemble, from the first edition of 1884, Jim thinks Huck is a ghost.Teaching Huck Finn takes special skills
Nine months ago, the Manchester, Connecticut, school system began navigating the choppy waters of teaching Twain’s most admired and vilified book, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. One parent complained, and the book was removed from the reading list. Now after months of study, the school system is training 11 high school teachers in how to teach the novel in a broader context that includes discussions of Twain’s era, satire, white privilege, diversity, and social change. The teachers are to receive two days of training before bringing the book back to classes next month....
Hartford (Conn.) Courant, Sept. 24

Cover of The Golden CompassPhilip Pullman defiant over U.S. challenges
Author Philip Pullman revealed he was delighted to discover his novel The Golden Compass was one of the most challenged titles of the year in America, with numerous calls made to have it removed from libraries. The children’s novel was the fourth most challenged book in 2007. Pullman said his immediate response was “glee” and that banning a book on religious grounds was “the worst reason of the lot.” Take The Guardian’s Banned Book Quiz....
The Guardian (U.K.), Sept. 29–30

Reading shouldn’t be a numbers game
Regina Powers writes: “School has started. I can tell because frazzled parents drag their embarrassed children up to the reference desk at my library to ask, ‘Where are the 5th-grade books? We need a 5.6 level that’s worth at least 7 points.’ I avoid frustrating both parties with an explanation of how the Dewey decimal system works, and ask the child, ‘What do you like to read?’ The response from both adult and child is all too often a blank expression.”...
Los Angeles Times, Sept. 30

Senate passes bill creating copyright czar
U.S. lawmakers approved the creation of a cabinet-level position of copyright czar as part of sweeping intellectual property enforcement legislation that sailed through the Senate September 26. However, a controversial measure granting the Justice Department the authority to sue copyright infringers on behalf of Hollywood and the music industry was removed after the White House lobbied against assuming those new powers.”...
Threat Level, Sept. 26

Orphan works bill moribund
Lost in the House of Representatives’ push to pass $700-billion bailout legislation is the Orphan Works Act of 2008. The Senate passed the measure (S.2913) September 26 and sent it to the House (H.R. 5889), where it landed dead on arrival. Lobbyists believe the House won’t take it up again, at least not until after the November elections. Dozens of copyright stakeholder groups opposed the act, saying that it would encourage infringement....
Threat Level, Sept. 30

Stolen Shana Kay statue, Commack Public LibraryReward offered for stolen library statue
The Suffolk County police are offering a reward of up to $5,000 for anyone who can help detectives track down those responsible for stealing a bronze memorial statue from the Commack (N.Y.) Public Library. Sometime during the night of September 25–26, the statue commemorating Shana Kay, a local teen who died suddenly in 2005, was stolen from the entrance of the library. A beloved fixture, the statue commemorated Kay’s love of reading....
Long Island (N.Y.) Newsday, Oct. 1

Ohio joint-use library branch will close to the public
After 22 years of failed levies and a continued decrease in state funding, Southwest Public Libraries of Franklin County, Ohio, are being forced to close one of their branches. The Central Crossing Library in Grove City, which represents a rare partnership between library and school districts, will cease to be a public library at the end of this school year. Since 2002, the library has operated as a high school library during the day and a public library in the evenings and on Saturdays....
Columbus (Ohio) Local News, Sept. 24

Reading Room, new West Point libraryWest Point opens new hall of learning
The new library on the campus of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, dedicated September 24 as Thomas Jefferson Hall, is meant to show a commitment to modernization. It was completed after more than 10 years of planning and construction at a cost of $65 million, and it took a hard fight to get the funds at a time when the military is fighting expensive wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The most striking aspect of the building is its use of glass, including 8,000 glass bricks that form a glass curtain on the north side....
New York Times, Sept. 24

IUPUI leads the way in digital depositories
Libraries are taking a leading role in working to save important online texts, videos, audio, and photos from vanishing as websites change and die. Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis in particular has developed a national reputation for building these online databases. IUPUI has four of them, which is more than most universities. Two that launched recently also store content from outside organizations, a step beyond what most universities do....
Indianapolis Star, Sept. 29

Westport librarians miss Paul Newman
At the Westport (Conn.) Public Library where Newman and his wife of 50 years, Joanne Woodward, were often seen, Reference Librarian Nancy Clark said she set up a display of all his books, movies, and biographies as a tribute. “We are all terribly sad,” said Clark. “Once this sinks in it is going to hit the community terribly.”...
Reuters Fan Fare blog, Sept. 27

Bancroft Library returns to UC Berkeley
The University of California, Berkeley is about halfway through its 11-week move back into the Bancroft, where three years and millions of dollars worth of renovations are giving some of the world’s rarest books and manuscripts a significantly classier home than they had before. Greeting those materials upon their homecoming is a Bancroft that just barely resembles its predecessor. The entry rotunda has a new marble floor and a gold-leafed dome, and the renovation turned a nine-story library into a five-story one....
Walnut Creek (Calif.) Contra Costa Times, Sept. 24

Britannia Depicta, a series of 18th Century maps, is in the collection. Photo: Cardiff University LibraryNew twist in battle to stop Welsh rare book sale
Senior city councilors in Cardiff, Wales, are reexamining whether their planned auction of rare items held by local public libraries is in the best interests of the city. The plan was to sell the books to raise money for improvements in library services. Cardiff University officials said they hoped to find funding to house and look after some of the oldest and rarest Welsh books....
South Wales Echo, Sept. 27; BBC News, Sept. 24

Tech Talk

Apple threatens iTunes shutdown
Apple has threatened to shut down the iTunes music store if the three-person Copyright Royalty Board appointed by the Librarian of Congress increases the royalties paid to publishers and songwriters by six cents per song. The board is scheduled to hand down its decision on these rates by October 2. Music publishers had asked the board to increase the royalties paid to publishers and songwriters for the sale of digital downloads from 9 cents to 15 cents per song....
Listening Post, Oct. 1

Firefox 3 graphicFirefox 3: Eight things you didn’t know you could do
Logan Kugler writes: “The latest version of Mozillas popular open-source browser enjoyed one of the most successful launches in software history, with a record-setting 8.2 million downloads the first day it was available. With the ability to drastically expand the browsers functions using plug-in extensions and Greasemonkey scripts, many of Firefox 3s built-in features are overlooked. Here are eight handy things you can do, ranging from tiny tweaks to hugely powerful capabilities, all with nary an extension to install.”...
PC Magazine, Sept. 29

Laterloop logo11 tools to help you save sites for reading later
Palin Ningthoujam writes: “Sometimes we discover interesting websites that we want to save to check out later because we’re busy with other tasks. For such occasions, there is a new breed of browser add-ons, bookmarklets, and special bookmarking services available to help save those URLs and retrieve them easily later. Here are 11 of them.”...
Mashable, Sept. 15

Xpenser logoTop 18 new money management sites
Web 2.0 technology has given rise to many new money management tools and services that make keeping track of personal finances easy. If you have never used a Web 2.0 money management tool or service, don’t miss out on all the advantages they offer. Here’s a monster list of 18 of the top Web 2.0 finance services currently available in a variety of specialized fields ranging from online banking, personal finance, investing, business tools, shared bills, and housing prices. Be sure to fully investigate all the features and security details....
Wall Street Fighter, Sept. 23

Marriott's AV panelNeed to plug in while traveling? Marriott’s A/V panel has it
Jenny Levine writes: “The New Orleans Marriott Metairie had the most awesome, techno room I’ve ever stayed in. What actually made me gasp out loud was the A/V panel. Apparently this is part of a service called Plug into Marriott, and it’s a traveling geek’s dream come true. The panel has four surge-protected outlets, an ethernet port, an audio-in port, RCA jacks, an S-Video port, a computer video port, and even a memory card reader. And the hotel provides all the cables.”...
The Shifted Librarian, Sept. 25

Test your website’s usability: A checklist
Jessica Hupp writes: “So you’ve got a website, but do you know whether it’s usable or not? The answer to this question can make the difference between a successful site and one that’s just ignored. Go through this checklist to make sure your site is up to snuff.”...
Virtual Hosting, Sept. 4

Yale to investigate topic modeling
Yale University Library has received a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to improve the searchability and usability of digital library and museum collections through topic modeling. Topic modeling is a relatively new text-mining technique that can be used to extract semantic topics from any large collection of text items. Investigators will apply the concept to three important classes of digital library resources: full-text books, images with descriptive metadata, and tagged images....
Yale University Library, Sept. 29


Salmon Rushdie at the National Book FestivalWriters on display at National Book Festival
Bob Thompson writes: “There are hard ways and easy ways to get ideas for books, and both were on display September 27 at the National Book Festival on the Mall. The hard ones involved such things as surviving car bombings in Baghdad and hiding in a tiny bathroom for three months during the Rwandan genocide. As for the easy ones . . . well, all Neil Gaiman had to do was carry his son’s tricycle down some stairs.” Watch the video (3:39)....
Washington Post, Sept. 29

Cover of Jewel of Medina, Gibson Square editionAttack won’t stop The Jewel of Medina
A firebomb was apparently pushed through the mail slot in the home of Martin Rynja, the publisher of Gibson Square in London, September 27. Rynja says he is going ahead with plans to publish The Jewel of Medina, a novel about the early life of A’isha, a wife of the Prophet Muhammad. The book’s original American publisher, Random House, canceled publication after being warned that the novel might inflame Muslim extremists....
New York Times, Sept. 28–29

The Wasp Factory, by Iain Banks, a disturbing novelThe top 10 most disturbing novels
Jamie Frater writes: “Not everyone has the stomach for disturbing literature, but there is such a large amount of writing in the genre that everyone should give it at least one try. This list will help to introduce you to the darker side of novels—the disturbing, macabre, and oftentimes downright sick. The only rule to this list is that the book must be a work of fiction. If you think something has been left off the list, leave a comment.”...
The List Universe, Sept. 29

EBSCO Research Starter in EducationEBSCO Publishing introduces Research Starters (PDF file)
EBSCO is introducing a series of databases designed to provide researchers and students with a starting point for their research and assignments. Research Starters are topic overviews, relevant to key areas of academic study, including links to key articles in associated EBSCOhost databases. Each Research Starters database initially consists of 500 topics with approximately 25–50 new topics added each year, as well as an exclusive collection of summary articles written by subject-matter experts....
EBSCO Publishing, Sept. 23

AL Buyers Guide ad

Actions & Answers

HAPLR logoHennen’s 2008 public library ratings published
New data for 2008 was added to Hennen’s American Public Library Ratings website October 1. Developed by Thomas J. Hennen Jr., the 2008 HAPLR edition rates over 9,000 public libraries in the United States using the latest federal data. Libraries are rated, scored, and ranked on 15 input and output measures. HAPLR 2008 is also featured in the October issue of American Libraries, where the ratings have been profiled since 1999....
HAPLR Index, Oct. 1

Blocked Bytes Week, suggested promoA friendly suggestion
Doug Johnson writes: “Banned Books Week is a good thing. Let’s keep Harry Potter on the shelves. But if we are truly committed to the Freedom to Read, what we really need is: Blocked Bytes Week. Celebrate the Freedom from Filters, September 27–October 4, 2008. Americans need the freedom to read more than just books.”...
Blue Skunk Blog, Sept. 23

Front page of After-School ChicagoChicago’s new after-school website
Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley rolled out an interactive website in September that will help youths and their families research and choose from thousands of different after-school programs located throughout Chicago. After-School Chicago is one of the most comprehensive websites of its kind in the nation and will include a diverse variety of afternoon, evening, and weekend program options that span organizations including the city’s Department of Children and Youth Services, Chicago Public Schools, and the Chicago Public Library....
WLS-TV, Chicago, Sept. 24

A Reluctant Reader’s Bill of Rights
Kiera Parrott writes: “I often find myself invoking Daniel Pennac’s Reader’s Bill of Rights when encouraging reluctant readers. The right to skip pages, the right to browse, and the right to reread are all tenets that have helped me begin to unite young readers with books they will enjoy. However, I found myself wanting more. I posted the idea of a Reluctant Reader’s Bill of Rights on my personal blog and encouraged visitors to add their own additions. Here’s what we came up with.”...
ALSC Blog, Sept. 26

Cover of new SETDA reportSETDA report calls for refocus in science education
A new report (PDF file) issued September 23 by the State Educational Technology Directors Association is calling for sweeping changes to bolster science, technology, education, and math (STEM) education in the United States. Citing an impending shortfall in scientists, engineers, and mathematicians in this country, the report highlights the need to expose children to STEM early and to integrate these subjects throughout the curriculum, beginning as early as kindergarten....
T.H.E. Journal, Sept. 25

Ad promoting Memorial Hall Library lecture by Gary HirshbergLibraries are getting greener
Libraries are blogging, hosting movie screenings, and discussion groups to promote awareness of the benefits of going green. Throughout October, the Memorial Hall Library of Andover, Massachusetts, will host Go Green @ your library, a series of four weekly programs (right) focusing on environmentalism. And this past summer the Goshen (N.Y.) Public Library and Historical Society offered a series of environmental events, including “Transforming Trash to Treasure,” during which participants used recycled glass jars to create a decorative candle holder....

Partner with a local business
Nate Hill writes: “I’ve had a couple of recent successes partnering my library with local businesses here in Brooklyn, and I thought I’d share them with you all. With the economy in a tight spot, I have no doubt that many library systems and small businesses out there see themselves in quite a pickle. Partnering with new, budding businesses is a great way to bring energy and diversity to your programming portfolio, and a really nice way to lend them some of that library feel-good PR.”...
PLA Blog, Sept. 30

AIDS outreach and Second Life
The National Library of Medicine has awarded the Alliance Library System in East Peoria, Illinois, a $60,000 grant for a project entitled “AIDS Information and Outreach in the Virtual World of Second Life.” The project includes the creation of a new island with a community AIDS/HIV library and resource center where where narratives about the AIDS/HIV experience can be shared through art, audio, video, poetry, and essays....
Alliance Library System, Sept. 29

GMU sued by Reuters over Zotero
Peter Murray writes: “Thomson Reuters is suing George Mason University to stop distribution of the newest version of Zotero, a Firefox browser plug-in for managing citation data. Reuters is claiming (PDF file) that GMU is violating the terms of its license agreement by including a function in Zotero that will convert citation styles from its proprietary EndNote format to a format that can be used by Zotero. Reuters is also asking for $10 million in damages for destroying the EndNote customer base. Since GMU is a state institution, the Commonwealth of Virginia is also named in the suit.”...
Disruptive Library Technology Jester, Sept. 27; Courthouse News Service

Graphic from Voyages database websiteTrans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database
Elisabeth Grant writes: “From datasets to CD-ROM to online project, the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database was decades in the making. And it was time well spent. Voyages (the website of the project) allows users to experience information on nearly 35,000 slave voyages through a clean and well-designed interface. Visitors should start off by reviewing the Guide to Understanding and Using the Voyages Database and Website (PDF file).”...
AHA Today, Sept. 24

Martians for Education Festival logoMartians for Education Festival
The David Sarnoff Library in Princeton, New Jersey, is holding its first Martians for Education Festival, October 18–29, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Orson Welles “War of the Worlds” broadcast in 1938. The event will raise funds for the library, which is devoted to the history of radio, TV, and communications. The Princeton Public Library is helping out by hosting a talk on the 1938 broadcast and its effect on society, and the Plainsboro Historical Society will run trolley tours of sites related to the alleged landing....
David Sarnoff Library Blog, Sept. 29

Osama bin LadenYale preserves bin Laden tapes
Yale University is currently in the midst of processing, preserving, and archiving 1,500 audiotapes recorded in bin Laden’s Afghanistan headquarters from 1988 through 2000—a collection that includes recordings of everything from celebrations after militant actions to religious sermons to bin Laden’s poetry. The university has already digitized 335 of the tapes and will have the rest of the project completed in a few years....
Yale Daily News, Sept. 25

Libraries of Early America logo contest
Jeremy Dibbell writes: “We’re looking for a logo to use with our new LibraryThing project, Libraries of Early America. Very ambitiously, we intend to LT-catalog all known American libraries from before about 1825 (you’d be amazed at how many there are). We are focusing on individual and family libraries for the time being, but may look to expand that in the future.” The deadline for submitting a logo is October 15....
LibraryThing Blog, Sept. 30

Still from Trustee Trouble videoTrustee trouble
The Wyoming State Library has created a series of 10 videos that discuss general problems that new library trustees face. In “Trustee Trouble: The Misadventures of a New Library Board Member,” laugh and learn along with Dan (right), a new library trustee, as he muddles through his first year on the library board. Each video segment deals with such topics as meetings, finances, policies, and planning. Episodes also feature a discussion section so trustees can understand the do’s and don’ts of good board behavior....
Wyoming State Library, Sept. 25

Still from Internet Overdose videoThe Internet Overdose Song
Rhett and Link are long-time friends who make web videos for a living. They call it internetainment. This one is a song (2:32) about how things were much simpler online back in 2006—before video blogs, digg, and Twitter: “Lately I’ve been signing up on so many sites I’ve had to hire a full-time password guy.”...
YouTube, Sept. 8

ALA 2009 Midwinter Meeting logo, Denver

ALA Midwinter Meeting, Denver, January 23–28. Registration and housing for the meeting are now open. If you have already registered for the Bundled Registration you may now go back into your registration and add any pre-conferences, Midwinter Institutes, or special events (PDF file) to your registration.

Duck for President poster

Register! Read! Vote! When Duck gets tired of working for Farmer Brown, his political ambition eventually leads to his being elected president. Illustrate the importance of voting with this colorful poster and bookmark from Betsy Lewin and Doreen Cronin’s beloved book Duck for President. This is a great tool to teach youngsters about the election process. NEW! From ALA Graphics.

In this issue
October 2008

Cover of October 2008 issue

Hennen’s American Public Library Ratings 2008

Libraries Connect Communities

Keeping Unproductive Employees

Rethinking the E-Rate

Canadian Library Month graphic: Your Library, Your World

The Canadian Library Association / Association canadienne des bibliothèques has designated October as Canadian Library Month. The idea for a month dedicated to library and information services in Canada was developed by library partners from across the country to help raise public awareness of the valuable role that libraries play in the lives of Canadians.

Career Leads from
ALA Joblist logo

Special Collections Digital Initiatives Librarian, University of Mississippi, Oxford. Coordinates selected digital initiatives projects regarding the overall management of the digital intellectual output and digital conversion of Special Collections materials. This position is a twelve-month, tenure track, assistant professor....

@ More jobs...

Digital Library of the Week

Wrecked houses along street. One house turned over on its roof. G-1771FF7.3-3

The Galveston and Texas History Center photographic holdings at the Rosenberg Library number close to 80,000 images. One of the collections documents the hurricane that destroyed Galveston on September 8, 1900, still the deadliest natural disaster in United States history. The storm claimed upwards of 8,000 lives on Galveston Island and several thousand more on the mainland. In Galveston, it destroyed 2,636 houses and left thousands more damaged. The city’s property losses were estimated at $28–$30 million. The Rosenberg Library’s manuscripts, photographs, and other archival holdings provide graphic evidence of survivors’ storm experiences and the carnage that was left in its wake. The library’s special collections were apparently undamaged during Hurricane Ike in September 2008.

Do you know of a digital library collection that we can mention in this AL Direct feature? Tell us about it.

Public Perception
How the World
Sees Us

Beware local librarians. They look innocent enough— checking out your books; charging you 25 cents for late tomes you return at the counter. Look again. Look closely. There’s a lot more going on behind those wire-rimmed glasses than you might think. . . . For years, I have labored under illusions that librarians are all like Marian in the movie The Music Man; or, at least, no worse than librarian Mary in Party Girl. But what was I thinking? These are all Hollywood images. Hollywood is a player in this insidious plot— putting up a smoke screen to cover librarians’ attempts to fray and then unravel the very moral fabric of a nation.”

—Editor-in-Chief Don Corrigan, after the South St. Louis–based Citizens Against Pornography informed him that his Sept. 12 news report about public support for the St. Louis County Library’s collection policies was all wrong, in “Librarians: Throw the Book at ’Em,” Webster-Kirkwood (Mo.) Times, Sept. 26.

International School Library Month logo

October is the first International School Library Month. The International Association of School Librarianship changed the celebration from a day to a month, effective this year. Check out what others across the world are doing to mark the importance of school libraries.

I Love My Librarian Award logo

Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times I Love My Librarian Award.
School and academic librarian nominations are open through October 15. Up to 10 librarians will win $5,000 and be recognized at an awards ceremony hosted by The New York Times at TheTimesCenter in December.

Ask the ALA Librarian

READ mini-poster by George Eberhart and George A. Custer

Q. I am supposed to create my own poster promoting reading, and I thought that there was something like that on the ALA site, but now I can’t find it. Can you help?

A. Yes! READ mini-posters are available through the ALA website (they’re free). If you are interested in making your own posters and other items based on ALA’s popular Celebrity READ posters, then check out the READ CD box set, see how to use it, and look at the creative things people are doing with the art files. To order ALA Celebrity READ posters, go to the ALA store. From the ALA Professional Tips wiki.

@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.


Apply for:

By Oct. 15:
ALA seeks nominations for the 2009 Carnegie/New York Times I Love My Librarian award. Nominations for school and academic librarians run until Oct. 15.

By Oct. 16:
The Institute of Museum and Library Services seeks proposals for 2009 Connecting to Collections Statewide Planning Grants that address recommendations published in the Heritage Health Index.

By Oct. 17:
ALA seeks applications for the 2009 Scholastic Library Publishing National Library Week Grant.

By Oct. 31:
Unshelved seeks entries for the third annual Pimp My Bookcart contest. Prizes include book trucks and Unshelved gift certificates.

By Oct. 31:
ALA and the National Endowment for the Humanities seek applications for the second round of Picturing America grants, which provide a set of high-quality reproductions of 40 pieces of American art and an illustrated teachers resource book.

By Nov. 7:
YALSA seeks entries for the Best Teen Read Week Celebration contest. Two winners will receive an author visit from Kimberly Pauley or Geno Salvatore; five runners-up will receive a $50 prize package.

By Nov. 14:
The Young Adult Library Services Association and ALA’s Public Programs Office seeks applications for the Great Stories CLUB reading and discussion program.

By Jan. 30:
ALA and the National Endowment for the Humanities seek applications for We the People bookshelf grants. This year’s Bookshelf contains books complementing the Picturing America grant program.

@ More...

Contact Us
American Libraries Direct

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