The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | October 8,

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

SirsiDynix ad

AL Buyers Guide

U.S. & World News

HAPLR logoWrong numbers used in HAPLR report
American Libraries has discovered an unfortunate error that invalidates the results of Hennen’s American Public Library Ratings as published in the October 2008 issue of the magazine of the American Library Association. Thomas J. Hennen Jr., author of this independent study, discovered after the issue was mailed that the figures used in compiling the statistics were the same as those used in 2006. The new numbers are posted on the HAPLR website. Corrected tables also appear on the AL website (PDF file)....
American Libraries Online, Oct. 2

Cover of The Gay Gospel?, one of the requested titlesVirginia high schoolers rally for gay-cure books
Groups of students and parents staged rallies and presented some 85 books on homosexuality from a conservative Christian perspective for inclusion in the libraries at 11 schools in the Fairfax County (Va.) Public School District October 2. The inspiration for their actions came from a nationwide campaign organized by the Colorado Springs, Colorado–based traditional values group Focus on the Family....
American Libraries Online, Oct. 8

ALA News

Kent OliverRoberta StevensRoberta Stevens, Kent Oliver seek ALA presidency
Roberta Stevens and Kenton L. Oliver are candidates for the 2011–2012 presidency of ALA. Stevens is currently outreach projects and partnerships officer at the Library of Congress and project manager for the National Book Festival. Oliver has been executive director of the Stark County District Library in Canton, Ohio, since 2001....

ALA goes paperless for Spring 2009 election
ALA will hold its first completely online election in the spring. In deciding to discontinue paper ballots, the ALA recognized the success of the electronic balloting initiative it started five years ago. Online balloting has also spurred member participation in the election process. Under the new election procedure, members who have not provided ALA with email addresses by March 1, 2009, will receive a paper mailing containing information and instructions on how to vote online....

Emerging Leader logoALA names Emerging Leader participants
ALA has announced the librarians (PDF file) who will participate in the Emerging Leaders 2009 program. The EL program, which is in its third year, will enable more than 100 librarians from across the country to participate in project-planning workgroups; network with peers; gain an inside look into ALA structure; and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity....

Public Library Funding and Technology Access survey logoAnnual survey of library internet use
ALA encourages all public libraries to participate in the 2008–2009 Public Library Funding and Technology Access online survey. The survey provides an important opportunity for libraries to share information on their computer and internet resources and infrastructure, as well as funding, technology training, and other public library roles as public access technology centers in their communities. The survey will be available through November 7....

“Kid Connections” in the ALA Connections Salon
The next installment in the series of ALA President Jim Rettig’s ALA Connections Salons will be an online discussion with ALSC President Pat Scales. The discussion, entitled “Kid Connections,” will take place 2–3 p.m. Eastern Time, October 17....

Quick Tips logoBook Links partners with
Starting with the September 2008 issue of the monthly e-newsletter Quick Tips, Book Links magazine has teamed up with to give readers free access to online author interviews, discussion guides, book readings, and websites that support the titles and authors covered in each issue. is a time-saving portal to thousands of online resources that support exploring children’s and YA books and their authors....

Chris Crutcher's avatar on ALA Island for Banned Books WeekChris Crutcher on ALA Island
Lisa Perez writes: “On October 4, author Chris Crutcher appeared on ALA Island in Second Life as part of the 2008 Banned Books Week celebration. Crutcher, one of last year’s top 10 banned authors, spoke about issues related to intellectual freedom and censorship. As a therapist and former administrator at an alternative school, Chris has witnessed the damage that can be caused by children keeping harmful secrets and that books can often provide a impetus for discussion.”...
Chicago Public Schools Department of Libraries and Information Services in Second Life, Oct. 4

Culturally responsive library services survey
The ALA Office for Literacy and Outreach Services, the American Indian Library Association, and the National Institutes of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums are seeking information on multicultural services offering by all types of libraries. Take a few minutes to fill out the survey. The deadline is October 17....

Postcard announcing 1911 ALA Annual ConferenceThat wonderful 1911 conference
Larry Nix writes: “This postcard, which announces the travel arrangements for the 1911 ALA Conference in Pasadena, California, was mailed on March 2, 1911. A report on the train trip to the conference appeared in the June issue of Public Libraries. The train trip included a two-day stay at the Grand Canyon: ‘A number of the men properly garbed went down to the river’s brink afoot and tried to look happy over it during the next 36 hours, likewise did those who rode the mules. Less active persons sat and gazed for hours at the changing colors of the gorges, chasms, and peaks, heedless of the lobster pink the open air bestowed on their faces.’”...
Library History Buff

AL Focus

Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson, authors of And Tango Makes ThreeBanned Books Week Read-Out
Here are scenes (4:35) from the 2008 Banned Books Week Read-Out, held at Chicago’s Pioneer Plaza September 27. Speakers included authors Judy Blume, Lois Lowry, Stephen Chbosky, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, and Luis Alberto Urrea; a selection of challenged music performed by Matt Ryd; interviews with Judith Krug, And Tango Makes Three authors Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson, and ALA President Jim Rettig; and a reading from Lauren Myracle’s TTYL by the author, with special guests Ron Koertge and Nanette Perez....

Stephen Chbosky holds up a letter he received from a readerWhy not to ban books
Author Stephen Chbosky shares a letter he received from a reader of his young adult novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower (4:26). Alternately funny and moving, it demonstrates the effect that a book can have on a life—even (and especially) a book that some would have removed from library shelves. Filmed at ALA’s Banned Books Read-Out in Chicago September 27....

Lucille Thomas, Brooklyn Public Library, talks about the Merritt FundLeRoy C. Merritt Humanitarian Fund
The LeRoy C. Merritt Humanitarian Fund supports librarians who are facing financial difficulty due to discrimination or because they have taken a stand in support of intellectual freedom. In this video (3:51), trustees describe the fund, and why it’s needed....

Booklist Online logo

Cover of The YIVO EncyclopediaFeatured review: Reference
Hundert, Gershon David, ed. The YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe. May 2008. 2,448p. Yale, hardcover (978-0-300-11903-9).
YIVO (Yidisher Visnshaftlekher Institut, or Yiddish Scientific Institute) was founded in Germany and became the leading institute for scholarship in Yiddish and the study of the history and culture of Eastern European Jews. The founders planned to locate the institute in Berlin but actually built it in Vilna, the heart of Jewish learning in Eastern Europe. The few surviving scholars and the documents that they were able to hide from the Nazis relocated to New York, where YIVO continued its work. It is now part of the Center for Jewish History. This encyclopedia aims to “recover and represent the civilization of the ancestors of the majority of the Jews in the world on the basis of the most up-to-date and objective scholarly research available.”...

EBSCO's Big Leap graphicEBSCOhost 2.0
Mary Ellen Quinn writes: “In July, EBSCO released its new interface, EBSCOhost 2.0. You might have liked the old interface, which was last redesigned in 2002, just fine—RBB reviewers did—but nothing stands still in the online world, and yesterday’s cutting-edge functionality is old hat today. The formal redesign project began in 2007 with a blank slate. Folks at EBSCO created wish lists and also looked at usage logs and patterns, which helped them determine that the focus should be on the Results list since that’s where users spent most of their time.”...

Wikitannica graphicBritannica’s new look
Barbara Bibel writes: “Visitors to Britannica Online will find something added to the article pages retrieved when they search. In addition to the traditional save, print, email, and cite buttons, there are now Comments or Suggestions and Share This Article with Your Readers buttons. The encyclopedia hopes to promote greater participation from its contributors and the scholarly community at large as well as members of the public using the site. Is this most venerable resource turning into a version of Wikipedia? Tom Panelas, Britannica’s director of corporate communications, explained the new site.”...

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

Denver Update

Midwinter wiki launched
The 2009 Midwinter wiki is up and ready for you to consult and/or add information to. Space has been created for divisions, round tables, and offices to share information about meetings, committees, discussions, institutes, parties, and other events....

Painting by Ernest L. BlumenscheinVisit the Denver Art Museum
The Denver Art Museum, located at the Civic Center Cultural Complex on 13th Avenue, is known for its collection of American Indian art and has a comprehensive collection numbering more than 60,000 works from across the world. Through February 8 it is hosting an exhibition of the art of Ernest L. Blumenschein, one of the 19th and 20th centuries’ most renowned painters of the American West....
Denver Art Museum

Division News

In a special election, ALA’s Association for Library Trustees and Advocates (ALTA) overwhelmingly approved revised bylaws and a new name: the Association for Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends, and Foundations (ALTAFF). The results were certified October 6. With this support from ALTA members, the ALA Executive Board and FOLUSA Board will move forward with the next steps, following a year-long process intended to bring together library trustees, Friends, and advocates, along with corporate Friends and library-based foundations in an expanded, strengthened division....

Get out the vote during Teen Read Week
YALSA invites all teens to get out the vote for Teen Read Week, October 12–18. Teens can vote for their favorite books in the annual Teens’ Top Ten poll or vote for next year’s Teen Read Week theme. The final 2008 Teens’ Top Ten list will be announced October 20....

Still from Kendall Young Library TRW videoPromote Teen Read Week through video
Stephanie Kuenn writes: “One popular promotional tool I’ve seen this year is the Teen Read Week trailer. Here are two great examples: one featuring teens at the Kendall Young Library in Webster City, Iowa (right), and the other from the Readergirlz, for their Night Bites chat series, in which they’re sponsoring live chats with YA authors each night of Teen Read Week (October 12–18).”...
YALSA Blog, Oct. 3

Rebecca MoestaKevin J. AndersonClosing speakers at YALSA literature symposium
YALSA announced that husband-and-wife authors Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta will be the keynote speakers at the closing session of the inaugural Young Adult Literature Symposium, 10:30 a.m.–noon, November 9. Anderson is the author of Captain Nemo and Hopscotch, and Moesta is the author of the Young Jedi Knights series....

YALSA seeks contributors for new book
YALSA issued a call for contributors to its new book, Cool Teen Programs on a Shoestring, edited by Jenine Lillian and expected to be published in 2009 by Neal-Schuman. Librarians who have hosted inexpensive (under $100) programming or special events at their public or school libraries are invited to submit their programs for possible inclusion in the book....

Reviewing and negotiating licenses
The next installment of the ACRL OnPoint chat series, Reviewing and Negotiating Licenses, will take place at 1 p.m. Central Time, October 30. Negotiating licenses for electronic content remains a dynamic process. While librarians responsible for these activities share many concerns, they take different approaches based on the norms at their institutions and the needs of their user communities....
ACRL Insider, Oct. 7

AASL’s Pre-Midwinter Institute
AASL will offer its Pre-Midwinter Institute, “School Library Advocacy Institute,” before the ALA 2009 Midwinter Meeting. This institute provides information, resources, and strategies that will help define advocacy and facilitate the development of long-term advocacy action plans for school library media programs....

Two ALCTS Midwinter symposia
Join your colleagues for two exciting and timely symposia from ALCTS January 22 and 23, just before the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Denver. Registration is now open. Topics are institutional repositories and resource discovery....


ALA recognition awards and grants
Nominate yourself, your colleagues, or your library for a 2009 ALA recognition award or grant. Unless otherwise noted, the deadline is December 1. Details of 17 awards and grants are provided....

ASCLA award honors accessibility-related projects
ASCLA seeks nominations for its 2009 KLAS/NOD award. Sponsored by ASCLA, the National Organization on Disability, and Keystone Systems, this award recognizes an innovative and well-organized project that successfully develops or expands services for people with disabilities. Nominations must be received by December 15....

ASCLA seeks nominees for service and leadership awards
ASCLA is accepting nominations for its Leadership and Professional Development Award, the Exceptional Service Award, and the Cathleen Bourdon Service Award for 2009. All nominations must be received by December 15....

Deadline extended for National Library Week grant
The deadline for the Scholastic Library Publishing National Library Week grant has been extended to November 14. U.S. libraries of all types are invited to apply for a $3,000 grant that will be awarded to the best public awareness campaign that promotes the theme “Worlds connect @ your library” during National Library Week (April 12–18, 2009). Application forms and guidelines are available on the Campaign for America’s Libraries website....

LLAMA divisional awards
LLAMA seeks nominations for its 2008 Recognition of Group Achievement Award, the Leadership Award, and President’s Award. The deadline for nominations is December 2....

Apply for a LLAMA Cultural Diversity Grant
LLAMA is now accepting applications for its Cultural Diversity Grant. The award is available to division members or units in support of the expansion of diversity within the profession. Applications must be submitted by January 9....

AASL Fall Forum Spectrum Scholar stipend
AASL will sponsor the attendance of a Spectrum Scholar, Kathy Carroll, school library media specialist at Ridge View High School in Columbia, South Carolina, at its 2008 Fall Forum in Chicago, October 17–19. Carroll will receive complimentary registration for the forum and a $750 travel stipend. Funding is provided by Capstone Publishers....

Has the Newbery lost its way?
Anita Silvey writes: “Are children, librarians, and other book lovers still rushing to read the latest Newbery winners? Or has the most prestigious award in children’s literature lost some of its luster? To answer those questions, I spent the last few months talking to more than 100 people—including media specialists, children’s librarians, teachers, and booksellers—in 15 states across the country. Here’s the gist of what I learned.” Nina Lindsay says the Newbery is right on track....
School Library Journal, Oct. 2; Heavy Medal, Oct. 1

Curious George Comes to Hattiesburg, an exhibit held at the de Grummond Children's Literature CollectionChildren’s literature research fellowship
This fellowship program, established by the Janina Domanska Literary Estate and the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, awards grants to scholars engaged in projects based substantially on the holdings of the de Grummond Collection. Grants up to $850 may be made for travel to the collection, lodging, and meals. Applications must be postmarked by December 1....
University of Southern Mississippi

Chicago Public Library wins web marketing award
The Chicago Public Library was honored September 16 with the Web Marketing Association’s Government Standard of Excellence WebAward for its newly designed website, launched March 4. The new site presents a user-friendly experience and interactive interface with the library’s offerings....
City of Chicago, Oct. 1

Cover of I Love You, Beth CooperDoyle wins Thurber Prize
Larry Doyle, a former television writer-producer for The Simpsons, was named the winner of the 2008 Thurber Prize for American Humor October 6. He was cited for his novel I Love You, Beth Cooper, characterized as “a hilarious yet painfully accurate account of high school in all its pimply glory.” Doyle will receive $5,000. The two other finalists were Patricia Marx for Him Her Him Again The End of Him and Simon Rich for Ant Farm....
Washington Post, Oct. 7

Seen Online

Residents miffed at Trenton library brush-off
Residents complained one day after they were dissed at the Trenton (N.J.) Public Library Board of Trustees meeting as the city’s library crisis reached a new pitch. Board members bypassed a portion of their agenda that allowed for public comment and avoided a dozen residents to hold an executive session meeting. “We were just pushed out the door,” said Brunivette Ramirez, who represented a group named Citizens Against East Trenton Library Closure....
The Trentonian, Oct. 3

Logo for Vroengard Academy, Random House's Alternative Reality Experience game to promote the novel Brisingr by Christopher PaoliniVideo games as reader bait
Spurred by arguments that video games may teach a kind of digital literacy that is becoming as important as proficiency in print, libraries are hosting gaming tournaments, while schools are exploring how to incorporate video games in the classroom. But doubtful teachers and literacy experts question how effective it is to use an overwhelmingly visual medium to connect youngsters to the written word. They suggest that while a handful of players might be motivated to pick up a book, many more will skip the text and go straight to the game....
New York Times, Oct. 5

First royalty rates set for digital music
In a decision closely watched by the music industry, a panel of federal judges who determine royalty rates for recordings ruled October 2 to renew the current royalty rate for CDs and other physical recordings, while setting rates for the first time for downloads, ring tones, and other services. The ruling by the Copyright Royalty Board—a panel of three judges appointed by the Librarian of Congress—applied strictly to mechanical royalties, which are paid to the songwriters and publishers of music, not the performers....
New York Times, Oct. 2

Yarmouthport branch of the Yarmouth Town Libraries, one of the branches considered for closingResidents plead to keep Yarmouth branch library
More than 100 people, primarily seniors, turned out at a public forum October 6 to speak about the state of budget cuts in Yarmouth, Massachusetts, and how they will affect library services. They expressed displeasure at the possibility that one of the three branches of the Yarmouth Town Libraries might soon be closed. They pleaded with members of the library board to keep their library open no matter what else was cut. The budget cuts are necessary after a $1.4 million override failed September 16....
Cape Cod (Mass.) Times, Oct. 7

David AdjayeDCPL hires an architect
The District of Columbia Public Libraries have hired one of London’s busiest and most prominent young architects to design replacement buildings for two of the most distressed branches of its system. David Adjaye, 42, a Tanzanian-born designer who has created homes for such celebrities as Ewan McGregor, will design modern facilities to replace the 1959 Washington Highlands branch and the 1961 Francis A. Gregory branch. The choice of Adjaye, which came through a competitive process involving library officials and neighborhood representatives, is a remarkable statement of architectural ambition....
Washington Post, Oct. 2

Cover of Hang-Ups, Hook-UpsNew York library pulls Hang-Ups book
A book written for teenage girls has been pulled temporarily from the shelves of the Galway (N.Y.) Public Library after a complaint filed by a patron. Hang-Ups, Hook-Ups, and Holding Out: Stuff You Need to Know About Your Body, Sex, and Dating, by Melisa Holmes and Trish Hutchison was offered at the library for a couple of months before being removed in August, according to Library Director Ashley Poulin. Parent and library patron Patricia Venditti raised concerns about the accuracy of some of the information in the book....
Schenectady (N.Y.) Daily Gazette, Oct. 3

Artifact thief to serve prison time
A former state archivist and Civil War expert who stole hundreds of historical documents and artifacts belonging to the New York State Library and sold some of them over the Internet for personal profit was sentenced October 2 to two to six years in prison. Daniel D. Lorello must also must pay $125,500 in restitution and forfeit his personal collection of historic artifacts and documents, valued at approximately $80,000, to the New York State Library and Archives....
Schenectady (N.Y.) Daily Gazette, Oct. 3

Flexible Fred is dead
Flexible Fred, a 5-foot-tall, 200-bone plastic skeleton now slumps on his roller stand in a corner of the Delaware County (Ohio) Law Library. Purchased two years ago, the German-made skeleton is used by local lawyers, often for research in injury lawsuits. In his off-hours, Flexible Fred has become a playmate for lawyers and clerks who haunt the law library, librarian Judith Maxwell said. But after a complaint, the skeleton was removed from public view....
Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch, Oct. 2

Shop for school libraries
On October 1, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, author Caroline Kennedy, and actress Sarah Jessica Parker kicked off Shop for Public Schools 2008. For one week in the fall, from October 1 through October 8, participating merchants donate a portion of their proceeds to the Fund for Public Schools to help revitalize public school libraries across the city. Funds go toward a competitive grant program called Library REACH (Revitalizing Education for Adolescents and Children)....
Broadway World, Oct. 1

Tech Talk

Computer keyboardTech tips for the basic computer user
David Pogue writes: “Last week, I wrote an entry on my blog that began like this: ‘One of these days, I’m going to write a book called The Basics. It’s going to be a compendium of the essential tech bits that you just assume everyone knows—but you’re wrong.’ I’m sure the basics could fill a book, but here are a few to get you started. All of these are things that certain friends, family, or coworkers, over the years, did not know. Clip, save, and pass along to . . . well, you know who they are.”...
New York Times, Oct. 2

Mahalo logoWhat is the future of human-powered search?
Bernard Lunn writes: “Mahalo popularized the term ‘human powered search’ when they launched just over a year ago. Many of the pitches we get still use that term as part of their positioning. Many of them are bootstrapped, so the price of entry is clearly low. But the upside has not yet been established. In this post we look at the pros and cons of human-powered search engines in general, look at some differentiating strategies, and ponder the future”....
ReadWriteWeb, Oct. 8

Top 10 entertainment sitesState of the blogosphere, 2008
For its 2008 study, Technorati resolved to go beyond the numbers of the Technorati Index to deliver even deeper insights into the blogging mind. For the first time, it surveyed bloggers directly about the role of blogging in their lives; the tools, time, and resources used to produce their blogs; and how blogging has impacted them personally, professionally, and financially. Bloggers were generous with their thoughts and insights....
Technorati, Oct.

Sample WordPress theme15 free high-quality WordPress themes
Many designer WordPress themes are good but few are one of a kind. The choice is wide enough, but searching for new themes can be a challenge. Noupe presents 15 free premium-like WordPress themes that you might want to use for your next project. All have been released over the last few months....
Noupe, Oct. 5

Setting up text alerts from your library is easy
Nate Hill writes: “I like to track librarians’ efforts to make public libraries and their services accessible on mobile devices. Reports like this one from Nielsen (PDF file) forecast that accessing web content from your cellphone is going to be the widespread norm of the future no matter where you live. The big question is how can public libraries find a way to leverage their content in a manner that identifies them as unique, convenient, and fun to use on a mobile device?”...
PLA Blog, Oct. 2


Cover of Obscene in the ExtremeThe flames of Wrath
Dixie Reid writes: “In August 1939, The Grapes of Wrath was the most popular book in America, and quickly becoming the most beleaguered. The Kansas City library banned it, the San Francisco library relegated it to closed shelves, and members of the East St. Louis, Illinois, library board burned three copies. For a time, John Steinbeck’s epic Dust Bowl saga was prohibited from traveling through the U.S. mails. Then the Kern County Board of Supervisors voted to remove it from Bakersfield’s schools and public libraries. So begins Rick Wartzman’s Obscene in the Extreme: The Burning and Banning of John Steinbeck’s ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ (Public Affairs Books).”...
Sacramento (Calif.) Bee, Oct. 6

Cover of Steinbeck's GhostThe Salinas saga in fiction
Coleen Mondor writes: “Lewis Buzbee’s new mystery/ghost story Steinbeck’s Ghostis is very original. Buzbee has taken the real events surrounding the 2004 proposed closing of the John Steinbeck Library in Salinas, California, and turned it into a novel about why books matter, especially John Steinbeck in particular, why living an original life that doesn’t blindly follow the herd is something to strive for, and—most deliciously—why dead authors sometimes haunt their former surroundings in an effort to give one final message to readers.”...
Bookslut, Oct.

Cover of Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, by Judy BlumeIn praise of Judy Blume
Diablo Cody writes: “I grew up devouring the Judy Blume canon at our woefully small public library. The covers were hazy illustrations that evoked Playtex bra ads from the ’70s; the pages had been worn pulpy-soft by a thousand juvenile thumbs. But the first book I read of Blume’s was not one of her infamous adolescent sagas. It was a kiddie story called Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, which nonetheless seemed so exotic to me it might as well have been a Macedonian travelogue.”...
Entertainment Weekly, Oct. 3

BioMed Central logoBioMed Central sold to Springer
Open access pioneer BioMed Central has been acquired by German publisher Springer Science+Business Media. Those in the open access movement had watched BioMed Central with keen interest. Founded in 2000, it was the first for-profit open access publisher and advocates feared that when the company was sold, its approach might change. BioMed Central publisher Matthew Cockerill said the open access policy wopuld continue....
Scientific American Blog, Oct. 7

ABC-CLIO to publish Greenwood titles
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has granted ABC-CLIO a perpetual license to use the imprints and publish the titles of Greenwood Publishing Group, including Greenwood Press, Praeger Publishers, Praeger Security International, and Libraries Unlimited. Greenwood copyrights will also be transferred to ABC-CLIO, effective October 1....
ABC-CLIO, Oct. 1

AL Buyers Guide ad

Actions & Answers

Banned Books Week display featuring live humans, Twin Hickory Area LibrarySee live humans read banned books!
The Twin Hickory Area branch of the Henrico (Va.) Public Library created a “live” Banned Book Week display. Volunteer readers sat in the display and silently read banned and challenged books. Adrienne writes: “So far it’s gotten a lot of attention—we hear a lot of ‘Mom, what are those people doing in there?’ The best part has been hearing parents explain to their kids what the display is all about, which is exactly what we wanted to happen!”...
Boing Boing, Oct. 3; Henrico (Va.) Public Library

Supreme Court declines gay-exposure case
The U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the appeal of two Massachusetts families that a school district violated their rights by exposing children to books promoting tolerance for gay marriage and families led by same-sex couples. One family objected to their child being presented in kindergarten and 1st grade with two books that portrayed diverse families, while the other family objected to a 2nd-grade teacher’s reading to their son’s class a book that celebrated gay marriage....
School Law Blog, Oct. 6

Why librarians should contribute to Wikipedia
Lauren Pressley and Carolyn J. McCallum write: “The presence of librarians in Wikipedia as content contributors would assist with the creation and maintenance of a more scholarly environment. Their involvement could change academicians’ minds about Wikipedia. What is currently shunned by many in academia as a flawed information resource would become regarded as a good place to begin their research. When following an external link to a library’s website, nonlibrary users may want to explore their local libraries to discover what other valuable information and resources can be found.”...
Online, Sept./Oct.

Bookmobile for Granma province, CubaBookmobile to Cuba
This project started with two U.S. librarians, Dana Lubow and Rhonda Neugebauer, who had organized librarian delegations to Cuba and who wanted to support Cuban librarians. They learned from Cuban librarians that a bookmobile would be very appreciated in the rural province of Granma to provide outreach services, so they purchased one on eBay. Soon they determined that the best way to get the bookmobile to Cuba was to join the Pastors for Peace Caravan travel challenge. This travel blog tells their story....
The Bookmobile and Pastors for Peace

The Amphicar was a German vehicle manufactured 1960-1968. It was the first commercially produced amphibious car and used a Triumph Herald engine over the rear axle to power the wheels and twin propellors. In the water, the front wheels acted as rudders.Australian library photo archive on Flickr
The State Library of New South Wales has partnered with Flickr to provide unprecedented access to its extensive archive of photographs. This is the first partnership between Flickr and an Australian library. 100 images have initially been made available, among them an image of Australia’s first commercially produced amphibious car, the German Amphicar (right); photos from the first Australasian Antarctic Expedition; and shots from the opening of the Harbour Bridge....
PC World (Australia), Oct. 2

Cover of October District AdministrationSchool libraries renewed
Ann M. Martin writes: “School library programs provide context to learning, synthesis of curriculum, and real-life applications of concepts. They can act as the great equalizer when it comes to educating all students and preparing them for the 21st century, and they can offer all students resources and information that can support every facet of their life and learning. In this time of accountability and assessment, studies show that a well-stocked library staffed by a licensed library media specialist results in increases of 10%–20% on standardized tests.”...
District Administration, Oct.

Pat LosinskiLosinski elected ULC chair
The Urban Libraries Council has elected Patrick Losinski, executive director of the Columbus (Ohio) Metropolitan Library, as chair of its Executive Board. As chair, he will lead ULC’s 16-member board through June 2009. Representing both ULC members and stakeholders of North America’s major public libraries, the board sets direction and guides ULC’s programs and its development....
Urban Libraries Council, Oct. 7

IMLS releases 2007 state library agency data
The Institute of Museum and Library Services has released 2007 data on state library agencies in the 50 states and the District of Columbia collected through the State Library Agencies Survey. The survey collected data on 278 items, including state library agency identification, governance, public service hours, service outlets, collections, library service transactions, revenue, expenditures, and electronic services and information. The data is available in Access and Flat (ascii) File format....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Oct. 2

Elaine Peterson (center) with Bahraini librarians. Photo by Elaine PetersonFrom Bozeman to Bahrain
Elaine Peterson (center), information resources specialist at Montana State University’s Renne Library in Bozeman, was in Bahrain for more than a month this summer through the Fulbright Senior Specialists award program to help train staff members who will be working at a new national library in Manama. Although she had vowed not to bring up political or religious topics, she quickly learned that the Bahraini people with whom she worked wanted to discuss the very issues she sought to avoid....
Montana State University, Oct. 1

Cover of An Introduction to the Science of the HadithBasic primary sources in Islamic religion (PDF file)
Paula Youngman Skreslet writes: “Few librarians have much training in Islamic culture and religion, and fewer in the Arabic language (or Persian or Turkish), making the whole task of instructional support seem quite intimidating. Librarians with experience in medieval studies, patristics or scholastic theology will find they can cope more easily with the bibliographic challenges, but they will still have to deal with unfamiliar subject matter in a highly specialized area. This bibliographic essay offers a glimpse of some of the chief categories in the literature of Islam, and mentions a few works that are accessible in English translation.”...
Theological Librarianship 1, no. 1 (2008)

Google Blog Search logoGoogle Blog Search relaunches
Marshall Kirkpatrick writes: “In its first major upgrade ever, Google Blog Search just relaunched and looks radically different. Instead of the blank page look of, Blogsearch now looks like Google News (but uglier), with the hottest topics from the blogosphere aggregated on the front page. Readers can drill down in 11 different categories, from technology, business, sports, and entertainment. Google says you can use Blogsearch to see what the world is talking about.”...
ReadWriteWeb, Oct. 1; Official Google Blog, Oct. 1

Dutch researcher: Paper and pencil boost creativity
Paper, pencil, and books are the key to developing one’s creativity and maximizing one’s intelligence, says Dutch psychologist Christof van Nimwegen. The Dutch researcher recently completed a doctoral dissertation at Utrecht University on the effects of software on the functioning of the human brain. He says software turns us into passive beings, subjected to the whims of computers, randomly clicking on icons and menu options. In the long run, this hinders our creativity and memory....
eNews 2.0, Oct. 3

Hadley School for the Blind logoHadley School for the Blind seeks librarian volunteers
The Hadley School for the Blind in Winnetka, Illinois, is seeking 10 librarian volunteers to help expand its online library, which offers books and periodicals in refreshable Braille and talking book formats through Librarians interested in helping should contact Dianna Messina, (800) 323-4238, by October 15....
Hadley School for the Blind

Le Docteur Alchemiste, by David TeniersAlchemy laboratories
PK has gathered together a fascinating selection of rare-book illustrations depicting alchemists and their laboratories. Many were sourced from the Edgar Fahs Smith Collection at the Schoenberg Center for Electronic Text and Image at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries. The illustration here is Le Docteur Alchimiste, from an original painting by David Teniers the Younger (1610–1690) and engraved by Jacques Nicolas Tardieu sometime in the 1700s....
BibliOdyssey, Oct. 6

Tom Ko describes Dungeons and DragonsWizards of the Coast: Gaming in libraries
Libraries are a perfect place to provide gaming support to local gamer groups and clubs. The Wizards Play Network is aimed at arranging for locations—such as libraries, schools, and community centers—and the resources to get people together, to make it even easier to set up and host gaming nights and casual gaming competitions. Tom Ko (right) explains the basics of Magic: The Gathering (a trading card game) and Dungeons and Dragons (the archetypal role-playing game)....
YouTube, Oct. 8

The librarian, from The Smittens' "Gumdrops" videoGumdrops in the library
This catchy music video (2:07) stars a library, a librarian (right, played by Esse L. Maple), a fluffy library cat, a bunch of dancing kids, and a bunch of dancing Smittens. “Gumdrops” is from The Smittens’ third album, The Coolest Thing about Love. Scenes were shot in the Lawrence Barnes Elementary School library, Burlington, Vermont. The Smittens performed the soundtrack for the YALSA Young Adult Literature Symposium video....
YouTube, July 12

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ALA 2009 Midwinter Meeting logo, Denver

ALA Midwinter Meeting, Denver, January 23–28. Each morning (Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, January 24–26), get up early and attend a lively, educational, and innovative Sunrise Speaker session, which will run from 8–9:00 a.m. Featured speakers are Leigh Rubin, Dom Testa, Kevin J. Anderson, and Richard North Patterson.

Booklist October 15 cover

The October 15 issue of Booklist features a spotlight on series nonfiction (including the Top 10 Ongoing Series). A second spotlight on business includes Brad Hooper’s picks of the top 10 business books, and Sue Ellen Beauregard's business on audio. NEW! From Booklist.

In this issue
October 2008

Cover of October 2008 issue

Libraries Connect Communities

Dysfunctional Staff

Rethinking the E-Rate

ALISE conference logo

The Association for Library and Information Science Education is gearing up for its 2009 Annual Conference in Denver, January 20–23. The theme is “Transforming LIS Education for the 21st Century: i-Create.”

Career Leads from
ALA Joblist logo

Children and Teen Sales Coordinator for Western U.S., Baker & Taylor. Responsible for increasing sales revenue of CATS materials and services in the public library market. The job will support and leverage the existing field sales force to assist them in selling CATS services and programs. The individual will be developing and closing new account opportunities, calling on and retaining current public library customers, while growing sales within the Western U.S. region....

@ More jobs...

Digital Library of the Week

Ad: "20,679 physicians say Luckies are less irritating

Stanford School of Medicine’s Lane Library put together Not a Cough in a Carload exhibit in the library’s physical space from February through September 2007. Early in the 20th century, when questions about the health effects of smoking became a topic of widespread discussion, tobacco companies undertook a multifaceted campaign to allay the public’s fears. As terms like “smoker's cough” and “coffin nails” (referring to cigarettes) began to appear in the popular vernacular, tobacco marketers recognized the need to counter this threat to their livelihood. One strategy was to use endorsements by healthy and vigorous appearing singers, Hollywood stars, and elite athletes. Another was to depict doctors as satisfied and enthusiastic partakers of the smoking habit. In order to extend access to a broader audience and provide expandable digital display space for Robert, Laurie, and Rachel Jackler’s extensive collection of tobacco advertising images, Lane developed this web-based interface. The physical exhibit is on display through December 26 at Healy Hall at the Science, Industry, and Business Library of the New York Public Library, 188 Madison Avenue, at 34th Street.

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

Some readers pine for the time when they were the only ones in the library. How long do you think taxpayers will support an institution that serves so few? . . . These readers do not understand the true purpose of the library; they are nostalgic for an earlier time. Do they want to go back to black-and-white TV or telegrams? Why should they expect a dynamic, service-oriented institution to remain the same?”

—Bobbi, in a letter to the King Features Syndicate column Hints from Heloise, Oct. 6.

Association of Research Libraries logo

Find out how fair use prevailed in the Harry Potter Lexicon case in this special Association of Research Libraries report (PDF file) by Jonathan Band.

Ask the ALA Librarian

Newbery medal

Q. I have been trying to locate information on the latest Newbery Award winners, but all the links appear to be broken. Can you help?

A. The ALA website went through a complete overhaul in late September and we are still sorting out and repairing the resulting broken links. There are several ways to find the information you are seeking, but any stored bookmarks on your browser from before October 2008 will probably not work. Information about the latest Newbery Medal winners, and many of ALA’s other well-known awards, can be found on our Media Awards wiki page. You may also be interested in our Fun Facts About ALA’s Literature and Media Awards, or Media Awards Acceptance Speeches. From the ALA Professional Tips wiki.

@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.


Oct. 25:

York Book and Paper Fair,
York (Pa.) Expo Center.

Oct. 26–28:
HBCU Library Alliance,
Third Membership Meeting, Marriott Charlotte Executive Park, North Carolina. Oct. 26 preconference on “Care and Conservation of Photographic Collections.”

Oct. 28–29:
Translating the Middle Ages: An International Conference,
cosponsored by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Program in Medieval Studies, the Center for Translation Studies, and International Programs and Studies, held at the Illini Union.

Nov. 23:
Massachusetts School Library Association, Annual Conference, Sturbridge. “Survivor MSLA!”

Nov. 4–7:
Wisconsin Library Association, Annual Conference, Madison Marriott West, Middleton. “Wisconsin Libraries: Building a Better Tomorrow.”

Nov. 5–6:
Ohio Library Council, Innovative Environments Conference, Columbus.

Nov. 5–8:
New York Library Association,
Annual Conference, Saratoga Springs. “Connecting, Collaborating, Cooperating.”

Nov. 6–8:
Colorado Association of Libraries,
Annual Conference, Marriott Denver Tech Center. “Communities and Libraries.”

Nov. 8 –15: Pennsylvania Library Association, Annual Conference, Valley Forge Convention Center/Scanticon Hotel. “Pennsylvania Libraries: Leading For Life.”

Nov. 14–17:
California Library Association,
Annual Conference, San Jose. “Leading the Way.”

Nov. 1618:
Public Education Network, Annual Conference, Intercontinental Mark Hopkins Hotel, San Francisco.

Nov. 1718:
Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, Digital Repositories Meeting, Renaissance Harborplace Hotel, Baltimore.

Nov. 18–20:
Indiana Library Federation,
Annual Conference, Indianapolis. “Libraries Without Walls.”

Nov. 19–21:
Minnesota Library Association,
Annual Conference, Sheraton Bloomington.

Nov. 20:
North Carolina Preservation Consortium, Annual Conference, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. “Cultural Respect in Preservation and Conservation.”

Nov. 2022:
Tennessee Association of School Librarians,
Annual Conference, Franklin Marriott, Cool Springs.

Nov. 25–27:
World Congress of Muslim Librarians and Information Scientists,
Putra World Trade Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. “Knowledge Empowerment and Information Resources Enrichment.”

Feb. 9–12:
Electronic Resources and Libraries Conference,
University of California, Los Angeles.

@ More...

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