The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | October 22,

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

SirsiDynix ad

AL Buyers Guide

U.S. & World News

Cover of Hang-Ups, Hook-Ups, and Holding OutTeen sex guide withstands physician’s review
After a patron’s complaint led to a review, the director of the Galway (N.Y.) Public Library has decided that a sex and dating guide for young teenage girls will remain on the shelves. Hang-Ups, Hook-Ups, and Holding Out: Stuff You Need to Know about Your Body, Sex, and Dating was removed after the library board’s August 6 meeting, but later it received a favorable review from local family-health clinician Anneke Pribis....
American Libraries Online, Oct. 21

ALA News

Welcome to all
This is the first issue of AL Direct sent out to all those who have signed up for a subscription (in addition to ALA members) under our new open-access policy. Greetings! We hope you find a wealth of useful and entertaining information in each issue. Listen to this podcast interview with AL Direct Editor George Eberhart....
Visibility @ your library, Oct. 21

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar print PSAKareem PSA generated $900,000 in library publicity
Throughout Library Card Sign-up Month in September, NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar could be seen and heard speaking out about the value of owning a library card. As honorary chair, Abdul-Jabbar donated his time and image to the creation of print and radio public service announcements. Print PSAs (right) were placed by ALA in such national publications as Entertainment Weekly, O, The Oprah Magazine, and USA Today, generating $900,000 in donated advertising space on behalf of libraries....

Apply for a travel grant to ALA Annual Conference
ALA Library Director Karen Muller writes: “Other bloggers are discussing the cost of attending an ALA Annual Conference. I’m going to help you do something about it. There is now easy access to the entire list of travel grants offered by ALA and its divisions and round tables on the new website. The time to get your application together is now, because the deadline for most of the awards is the first business day in December.”...
ALA Marginalia, Oct. 22

ALALibraryVal Miles in the newly named ALA Story Hour GardenALA gets a Story Hour Garden
ALALibraryVal Miles writes: “The Name-the-Garden Contest that took place during Banned Books Week was won by Second Life avatar Bookie Balogh, who contributed the name Story Hour Garden. We thank Bookie for the name, all the more so appropriate as it is the place of our book and other literary audio features, including StoryLines America (which are usually an hour long!).” For more BBW Second Life pix, visit alalta97’s Flickr photostream....
Virtual Presence, Oct. 21; Flickr

Volunteer to serve on an ALA committee
ALA President-elect Camila Alire is encouraging members to volunteer for appointment or reappointment to the 2009–2010 ALA and Council committees. Submit a volunteer form by December 5....

AL Focus

Michael Porter, in the LITA National Forum video, talks about his presentation, "Hi-Fi Sci-Fi Library"LITA National Forum: The video
Here is a video review (3:43) of the Library and Information Technology Association’s 2008 National Forum, “Technology and Community: Building the Techno Community Library,” held October 17–19 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Included are general session speakers Michael Porter and Tim Spalding, session presenters Dinah Sanders and Nicholas Schiller, Conference Chair Dale Poulter, and LITA President Andrew Pace....

Booklist Online logo

Cover of Seven Days in the Art WorldFeatured review: Adult books
Thornton, Sarah. Seven Days in the Art World. Nov. 2008. 256p. Norton, hardcover (978-0-393-06722-4).
Art and business, personal quests and personality cults, big bucks and the triumph of concept over beauty, being cool and in the know—these are the cardinal points in the contemporary art world. Enter Thornton, an art historian and sociologist with moxie and a brilliant game plan. Willing to ask obvious questions, she infiltrates the seven circles of this competitive realm. An astute observer and stimulating storyteller whose crisp sentences convey a wealth of information, Thornton’s uniquely clarifying dispatches from the art front glimmer with high-definition profiles of artists, dealers, critics, and collectors....

Top Ten Art Books graphicTop 10 art books, 2008
Donna Seaman writes: “From one of the world’s most famous painters to extraordinary yet forgotten artists now reclaimed, from country music to No Wave, Hollywood to Cuba, this year’s best art books combine aesthetics and history, biography and memoir, to celebrate the crucial role art plays in our lives.”...

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

Denver Update

Denver skylineMidwinter at a mile high
Remember, Denver is called the Mile High City for a reason; parts of it really are 5,280 feet above sea level. As you plan for the Midwinter Meeting, keep in mind that in the city’s rarified air, golf balls go 10% farther and so do cocktails. Alcoholic drinks pack more of a wallop than at sea level. The sun feels warmer, because you’re closer to it, but your coffee is cooler, because water boils at 202° F. Denver is also extremely dry, and with less water vapor in the air at this altitude, the sky really is bluer in Colorado. But there’s 25% less protection from the sun, so sunscreen is a must....
Denver Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau

First contact with ALA acronyms?
First-timers at ALA Midwinter Meeting or Annual Conference often run into more acronyms than they’ve seen since library school. To keep them all straight, ALA has compiled and maintains a master list that incorporates all ALA unit, division, round table, committee, and publication acronyms, as well as acronyms for other library organizations. Make a cheat sheet for Denver....

Division News

Dr. Horrible, from Tim Spalding's LITA presentation on social catalogingTechnology gets the human touch at the LITA National Forum
Science fiction met technology fact at the LITA National Forum in Cincinnati, October 17–19, but it was the human factor—community and collaboration—that reigned supreme. Even science fiction’s presence had a human focus. At Saturday’s general session, Michael Porter of WebJunction presented “Hi-Fi-Sci-Fi Library: Technology, Convergence, Content, Community, Ubiquity, and Library Futures.” And Tim Spalding, creator of LibraryThing, invoked Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (a Joss Whedon internet film) at the Opening General Session for his talk (above) on “What is Social Cataloging and Where Is It Going?” Look for full LITA coverage in AL Inside Scoop and the LITA Blog, and don’t miss the AL Focus video....
American Libraries Online, Oct. 20; AL Inside Scoop, Oct. 17–19; LITA Blog, Oct. 16–21

Cover of Eclipse by Stephenie MeyerEclipse tops YALSA’s Teens’ Top 10
More than 8,000 teen readers across the country chose Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer as their favorite book in the annual Teens’ Top Ten vote, sponsored by YALSA. The online vote took place during Teen Read Week, October 12–18, with the third entry in Meyer’s popular vampire romance series winning easily over J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid....

Teens choose Read Beyond Reality
During Teen Read Week, October 12–18, more than 5,000 libraries embraced the theme “Books with Bite @ your library” by hosting an array of events and programs that encouraged teens to read books about vampires, cooking, and bytes. Nearly 1,000 teens chose “Read Beyond Reality @ your library” as the theme for next year’s Teen Read Week. “YALSA’s Teen Read Week 2009 is bound to be out of this world with the teen-chosen theme, Read Beyond Reality @ your library,” said YALSA President Sarah Cornish Debraski. “Science fiction and fantasy continue to be hugely popular genres with teens.”...

WrestleMania Reading Challenge
The national WrestleMania Reading Challenge, sponsored by YALSA and World Wrestling Entertainment with support from Mattel, had its formal launch last week as part of national Teen Read Week. More than 1,800 librarians across the United States registered for the fourth annual reading challenge, which this year expands to include teens and tweens in grades 5–12. The reading challenge has the goal of extending the habit of reading from Teen Read Week into the rest of the academic year....

PLA Boot Camp logoPLA Results Boot Camp 4
Anne Heidemann writes: “Today was the first day of our boot camp and wows! It was intense from the get-go. They don’t call it boot camp for nothing! Attendees here represent 18 different states, are from small and large libraries, are directors and middle managers and front-line staff. Many people are here from libraries that are in the midst of or about to undertake the strategic planning process. Trainers Sandra Nelson and June Garcia have a very no-nonsense approach that I think is crucial to an effective planning process.”...
PLA Blog, Oct. 20

Upcoming RUSA online courses
RUSA is offering online courses that can help librarians assist both their customers and their own careers. Business Reference 101 and The Reference Interview, two of RUSA’s online professional development opportunities, provide solutions to the challenges of the economic downturn and the tightening job market....

Cover of Informed LearningACRL’s Informed Learning
ACRL has released a new publication titled Informed Learning. Written by noted Australian learning theorist Christine S. Bruce, it provides a unique perspective on helping students become successful learners in fluid and fast-moving information environments. Bruce has created a powerful and extensive examination of how information literacy and disciplinary learning can coexist....

Round Table News

New map and cartographic resources (PDF file)
The Map and Geography Round Table offers a list of recently published maps and atlases, as well as some fun online cartographic resources, in the October issue of its Base Line newsletter. David J. Bertuca at the University at Buffalo includes such interesting items as a marzipan map of the European Union, a map of Mississippi blues artist birthplaces, and special resources on world water supplies....
Base Line 29, no. 5 (Oct.): 12–23


PLA Leadership Fellowship winners
PLA has awarded its first Leadership Fellows scholarships. Chris Bates, senior manager of library experiences at the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County in North Carolina, and Lynn Hoffman, information services coordinator at the Allen County (Ind.) Public Library, were selected to attend executive leadership training programs at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Michigan....

PLA awards and grants applications
PLA is now accepting applications for 2009 awards and grants. Members can nominate their colleagues and libraries through the PLA website. The deadline for submitting an application is December 15....

2008 Estela and Raúl Mora Award
The Riverside County (Calif.) Library System and the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, are the recipients of the 2008 Estela and Raúl Mora Award for their commendable efforts promoting El día de los ninos/El día de los libros in their states. Members of Reforma, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking, serve as judges for the award, which consists of $1,000 and a plaque donated by the Mora grandchildren....

Big Read logoApply for a Big Read grant
The Institute of Museum and Library Services and the National Endowment for the Arts have announced a fifth deadline for Big Read grants. The purpose of the Big Read is to revitalize the role of literature in American popular culture. Grants ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 are available to encourage local communities to inspire reading by developing and carrying out programming revolving around a single work of literature. Programming must be conducted between September 2009 and June 2010. This will be the only application deadline in 2009....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Oct. 22

Simsbury High School students using the Townsley LibrarySimsbury media center offers students assured experiences
The Joe Townsley Library at Simsbury High School was one of the winners of the 2008 AASL National School Library Media Program of the Year Award. In order to ensure that students are effective and efficient users of ideas and information, the library program includes an “assured experiences program,” which provides all students with guaranteed opportunities to meet local, state, and national standards in information and technology literacy....
I Love Libraries

NYPL’s new LGBT Visiting Scholars program
The New York Public Library has created an LGBT Visiting Scholars program to provide travel stipends to New York City for up to three visiting scholars to do LGBT research in the library’s collections. The awards will be limited to emerging scholars or those who are unaffiliated with an academic institution. The selected Martin Duberman Scholars will receive travel grants that range from $1,000 to $8,500 and will be provided with workspace at the library to pursue their research. Apply by January 31....
New York Public Library, Oct. 20

Black Gangsters of Chicago, by Ron Chepesiuk (Barricade) was the winner in the African-American Studies categoryFirst Snow in the Woods, by Carl R. Sams II and Jean Stoick (Carl R. Sams II Photography), winner in the Children's Picture Book: Hardcover Fiction categoryNational “Best Books 2008” winners
USA Book News has announced the winners of its National “Best Books 2008” Awards. The online magazine selected more than 500 print and audiobook winners and finalists in some 140 categories, all published in 2008 or late 2007. Selections include titles from major publishers as well as independents and university presses....
USA Book News, Oct. 20

Scholarly publishing awards: Call for submissions
The Professional Scholarly Publishing division of the Association of American Publishers is accepting nominations for its 2008 PROSE Awards. Previously open to PSP members only, the American Publishers Awards for Professional and Scholarly Excellence are now open to members of the Association of American University Presses. The deadline is November 3....
AAP Professional Scholarly Publishing

Law Library for San Bernardino County, California2008 Federal Depository Library of the Year (PDF file)
The U.S. Government Printing Office has named California’s Law Library for San Bernardino County as the 2008 Federal Depository Library of the Year. To meet the needs of its patrons, the library has extended its hours of operation, developed a new and improved user-friendly website, and offers the AskNow Law Librarian online reference service....
Government Printing Office, Oct. 21

South Dakota librarians of the year
Two librarians from the Sioux Falls School District were honored in September by the South Dakota Library Association as librarians of the year. Kerri Smith, media specialist at Washington High School, is New Librarian of the Year, and Ann Smith, coordinator for libraries and technology for the district, is Librarian of the Year. The district now has 20 elementary school librarians, up from 13 last year....
Sioux Falls (S.Dak.) Argus Leader, Oct. 20

Seen Online

Bernard A. MargolisMargolis hired as New York state librarian
The embattled former head of the Boston Public Library has been hired as the New York state librarian and assistant commissioner of education in Albany. The state board of regents confirmed the appointment of Bernard A. Margolis at an October 21 meeting. Margolis spent 11 years as president of the Boston library system before he was ousted last year by Mayor Thomas M. Menino....
Boston Globe, Oct. 21

Library use rises as economy falls
Haverhill (Mass.) Public Library Assistant Director Susan Katzenstein said the library is usually “an incredibly busy place.” But nowadays, “our usage is through the roof.” The Haverhill library is not alone. Across the region, local public libraries are reporting a surge in use, a trend officials tie directly to the economic hardship many are facing....
Boston Globe, Oct. 16

Cover of The Book of Bunny SuicidesBunny Suicides irks mom
The mother of a 13-year-old who checked out Andy Riley’s Book of Bunny Suicides from the Central Linn High School Library in Halsey, Oregon, has decided never to give the book back to the school district and to do her best to make sure it’s never replaced. Taffey Anderson plans to follow the district’s book-challenge policy, but asserted she would not return the book for review. But people from as far away as Seattle have called and emailed the library, offering to buy and donate the popular graphic novel along with literary classics that have shown up on banned-book lists in the past....
Corvallis (Oreg.) Gazette Times, Oct. 19; Portland Oregonian, Oct. 21

Cover of Daddy's RoommateTwo gay-lifestyle books fail to make the cut at Wasilla
Wasilla (Alaska) Public Library has decided not to keep two children’s books dealing with homosexuality donated by a gay activist in San Francisco. Michael Petrelis donated Heather Has Two Mommies and Daddy’s Roommate during Banned Books Week in September after learning of Gov. Sarah Palin’s question about banning certain books when she was Wasilla’s mayor. Library Director K. J. Martin-Albright said the titles failed to land on library shelves because they are poorly constructed, lacked engaging illustrations, and seemed to lack the ability to engage young readers....
Wasilla (Alaska) Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman, Oct. 16

Cover of Dewey, the Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the WorldDewey the bestseller cat
He was a yellow tabby with twinkling green eyes, who arrived in the overnight drop box of the Spencer (Iowa) Public Library one frigid January night. Dewey Readmore Books became the library’s star boarder and an international celebrity. His story, Dewey, the Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World, by Vicki Myron and Bret Witter, has 336,000 copies in print and has quickly climbed to the top 10 on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly, and other lists of bestsellers....
Associated Press, Oct. 20

Shakespeare's Macbeth, co-illustrated by Eve GrandtHigh school librarian fined for conflict of interest
For 39 years as an educator, Robert Grandt has been promoting other people’s books. So this year, when his daughter Eve helped create a graphic novel of Macbeth, Grandt could not resist bragging a little in the newsletter he distributes as a librarian at Brooklyn Technical High School. He also placed a few copies of the book at a library display table, and posted a sign: “Best Book Ever Written.” But on October 20, the city’s Conflicts of Interest Board fined him $500 for violating the municipal ethics code....
New York Times, Oct. 21

New Presidential Records Act signed
President George W. Bush signed the Presidential Historical Records Preservation Act of 2008 (S. 3477) into law October 13. The act establishes a matching grant program for the preservation of historical records of former presidents whose archives are not maintained in federal depositories. The legislation culminates years of effort by Virginia legislators and the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum in Staunton, Virginia....
Staunton (Va.) News Leader, Oct. 21; White House, Oct. 13

James J. Hill Reference Library. From its 2007 Annual ReportJames J. Hill Reference Library takes deep cuts
Beset by $2-million annual deficits, the 88-year-old James J. Hill Reference Library in St. Paul, Minnesota—an iconic legacy of the Great Northern Railway tycoon—last week laid off nine staff members, or about a fourth of its work force. The recent stock market tumble hit its endowment hard. With an uncertain future as its board explores a new strategic direction, the library for the interim will continue to provide business research and reference service to small businesses and entrepreneurs....
St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press, Oct. 20; Hill Library Blog, Oct. 21

Target remodels Long Beach school library
Students at Starr King Elementary School in North Long Beach, California, got a first glimpse of their new school library October 17 when Target Corporation unveiled the fruits of a $100,000+ project that began earlier this summer. The newly renovated Starr King library is part of the Target Volunteers school library makeovers project, taking place at 23 schools nationwide....
Long Beach Grunion Gazette, Oct. 16

Poem in the shape of a cross in a copy of the Carmina by the court poet Venantius Fortunatus (ca. 540-600), written and illustrated in the Abbey of St. Gall, 9th c., ms. 196, p. 40.Swiss abbey gets a Mellon grant to digitize manuscripts
One of the oldest and most valuable collections of handwritten medieval books in the world, housed in the magnificent baroque halls of the Abbey Library of St. Gall in Switzerland, is going online with the help of a $1 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The collection includes material as varied as curses against book thieves, early love ballads, hearty drinking songs, and a hand-drawn ground plan for a medieval monastery, drafted around A.D. 820, the only such document of its kind....
New York Times, Oct. 18

Telecom immunity law challenged in court
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has filed a constitutional challenge of a law that gave legal immunity to telecommunications companies cooperating with the Bush administration’s domestic wiretapping program. The brief filed October 16 in U.S. District Court in San Francisco argues that the FISA Amendments Act denies telecom customers their rights without due process of law, since they’re subjected to warrantless surveillance....
Information Week, Oct. 17

Man fined for locking National Library doors
An angry retiree who used a bicycle chain to lock a set of doors at the National Library in Singapore was fined $1,000 ($677 U.S.) October 15. Bin Hee Heng admitted in a district court to chaining the doors in March following an argument with library staff members. He was upset that security personnel had earlier locked up his bike, which was left illegally on a pedestrian walkway....
Singapore Straits Times, Oct. 16

Jeff Baillon explains avatars; from newscastFox newscaster discovers Second Life
KMSP-TV’s Jeff Baillon in Minneapolis/St. Paul takes you to a place where you can escape the harsh realities of the economy, cut some of your everyday expenses, and even make some money. Yes, it’s Second Life, and the Fox affiliate does a fairly good job explaining how colleges incorporate the virtual environment into their curricula....
KMSP-TV, Oct. 19

Luis Soriano and his Biblioburros
In a ritual repeated nearly every weekend for the past decade in La Gloria, a village in Colombia’s war-weary hinterland, Luis Soriano gathered his two donkeys, Alfa and Beto, in front of his home on a recent Saturday afternoon. Sweating already under the unforgiving sun, he strapped pouches with the word “Biblioburro” painted in blue letters to the donkeys’ backs and loaded them with an eclectic cargo of books destined for people living in the small villages beyond....
New York Times, Oct. 19

UK libraries redefine themselves
The British town library, byword for mousy respectability and decent endeavor, is at last showing a capacity to fight to escape from a deathly decline. At a conference in Liverpool last week, Roy Clare, head of the Museums, Libraries, and Archives Council, argued for libraries’ role in lifelong learning from school to senescence, now rebranded as “Find Your Talent.” Earlier this month, Culture Secretary Andy Burnham announced a radical rethink of libraries’ contemporary purpose. There is not much time left....
The Guardian (U.K.), Oct. 20

Tech Talk

Cover of October Library Technology ReportsMUVE into virtual worlds
Virtual worlds are here to stay, says Tom Peters in the October issue of Library Technology Reports. In “Librarianship in Virtual Worlds,” Peters explores how librarianship can survive and thrive in these multi-user virtual environments (MUVEs). For libraries and library-related organizations interested in developing a presence in one or more virtual worlds, this issue of LTR may prove a useful tool for understanding the breadth and depth of the VW scene....

EveryZing logoNew media player allows spoken-word search
EveryZing, a media indexing company, is launching its own media player that lets people search for spoken words within videos. The new video player, called MetaPlayer, uses technology the company already has in its ezSearch and ezSEO products. On sites that support it (the first announced is the Dallas Cowboys site), users will be able to type in a query in the video player and see where the term entered comes up; they can then jump to that spot....
Webware, Oct. 22

How to limit a search by date
Phil Bradley writes: “One of the problems with searching for material in a specific date range is that it’s hard for a search engine to know exactly what is required. For example, if you add the date limit ‘last 3 months,’ that doesn’t necessarily mean ‘new’ pages that have been created in the last three months—if a search engine finds a page written 5 years ago that they’ve only just included in their database, that could be included as a new page. However, there are a few places you might go.”...
Phil Bradley’s Weblog, Oct. 19

Fixed up dog photo, before and afterPunch up a photo in under 60 seconds
Jackson West writes: “Using a couple of basic tools in Photoshop and other image editing programs, you can take a flat image and make it pop with just a little bit of effort and no experience in the finer arts of exposure and color correction. With a little practice, you can get some quick and dirty work done in just seconds that will make your presentation, blog, or social network profile pictures look a lot better online. Even cellphone snapshots can be made presentable while your instant noodles soften.”...
Lifehacker, Oct. 21


Chart showing blogging's effect on story ideas and leadsSurvey of journalism blogs
Paul Bradshaw writes: “Blogs have become part of the editorial furniture. As of this year, 70% of U.S. newspapers, 85% of UK news organizations, and 44% of European news organizations were offering journalist-authored blogs, and all the signals from editors and management suggested these figures would continue to rise. To consider whether journalists feel that blogging has affected their working processes, an online survey was distributed in June and July 2008. Perhaps the most significant change was in the way that blogs provided a platform for stories or detail that would otherwise not make the print or broadcast version at all.”...
Online Journalism Blog, Oct. 14–22

Still from Kay Ryan poetry reading videoPoet Laureate Kay Ryan at LC
The Library of Congress fall literary season opened on October 16 with a reading (53:00) by Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry Kay Ryan. Ryan, who was appointed to the laureateship by Librarian of Congress James H. Billington in July, is the author of six books of poetry. Her latest is The Niagara River (2005). Her philosophy is that “Poetry should leave you feeling freer and not more burdened.”...
Library of Congress

OED 80th anniversary graphicDictionaries celebrate birthdays
To celebrate the 80th anniversary of the publication of the last fascicle of the Oxford English Dictionary in 1928, Oxford University Press is offering a special price for the printed edition. The full 20-volume printed set is now available to U.S. customers for $895 until January 31. The OED was begun 44 years earlier, in 1879. The 250th birthday of lexicographer Noah Webster (1758–1843) was the focus of a commemoration October 16–17 at Yale University with lectures, an exhibition of memorabilia, and a visit to his grave in New Haven, Connecticut....
Los Angeles Times, Oct. 12; Oxford University Press; Associated Press, Oct. 12

Screen shot of a Judge a Book by Its Cover websiteJudge a book by its cover
Jack Cheng designed the Judge a Book by Its Cover website, which pulls book covers from and lets you guess the customer star rating. He says: “After you click, you see what Amazon reviewers actually rated it (and can head to the book’s Amazon page to find out more). Rinse. Repeat. Amazon’s system doesn’t let you select a random book, so to compensate we select a random page from a randomized search query.”..., Sept. 25

Books to drink by
Michelle Kerns writes: “The consumption of alcoholic beverages isn’t just a coincidentally recurring quirk in the literary world: It’s downright traditional. With this in mind, there can only be one logical way to truly enjoy a book—with an adult beverage in hand. However, don’t think just any old drink can be paired with your tome of choice. Lucky for you, the Book Examiner has labored long and hard to find the perfect combinations.”...
Chicago Examiner, Oct. 21

AL Buyers Guide ad

Actions & Answers

Living Books waiting to be checked outLiving Library a success in Santa Monica
The first official Living Library in the United States went live October 18 at the Santa Monica (Calif.) Public Library. The event was organized by library staff to foster community understanding of alternative lifestyles. Patrons could check out one of 14 Living Books (people, volunteers really, including two Buddhists, a feminist, a teenager, a nudist, and a vegan) for 30 minutes to engage in a conversation and challege a stereotype. The Living Library Project was first presented in 2000 to the public in Denmark at the Roskilde Festival. Since then it has been adopted by organizations in Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Iceland, Norway, and Portugal....
Living Library, Oct. 20; Santa Monica (Calif.) Public Library; Associated Press, Oct. 17

Brave New Classroom 2.0 graphic, with laptop and appleBrave new classroom 2.0
The Britannica Blog is hosting a special forum this week on new digital instructional technologies. Do the new technologies represent an educational breakthrough, a threat to teaching itself, or something in between? Participants include Kansas State University cultural anthropologist Michael Wesch, K12 Open Technologies Initiative Director Steve Hargadon, School Library Journal Technology Editor Kathy Ishizuka, school library media specialist Joyce Valenza, and others....
Britannica Blog, Oct. 20–24

Google Voting Info result for a Chicago locationGoogle launches U.S. voter information site
Google has released a new website to help simplify and centralize information about voting locations and voter registration. According to a blog post about the new U.S. Voter Info site, Google found it hard to believe that in 2008, this type of important information isn’t better organized on the Web, so they took it upon themselves to step in and create a useful site for all U.S. citizens. But why did they wait so long?...
ReadWriteWeb, Oct. 22; Official Google Blog, Oct. 22

Creative Commons logoUniversity of Michigan adopts Creative Commons licenses
The University of Michigan Library has decided to adopt Creative Common Attribution-Non-Commercial licenses for all works created by the library for which the school holds the copyright. These works include bibliographies, research guides, lesson plans, research studies, and technology tutorials. The license allows anyone to copy, distribute, display, or perform a work or derivative works based on it, as long as the user gives proper attribution to the University of Michigan Library and the use is noncommercial....
University of Michigan Library, Oct.

Video still that says "You have the right to privacy"The Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns 60
On December 10, a milestone in the history of promoting human rights will be celebrated. This day will mark the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the General Assembly of the United Nations. The right to freedom of opinion and expression was number 19 of the 30 articles articulated in the Declaration. Watch a video (4:31), created by Seth Brau and produced by Amy Poncher, that explains it all. On October 29, a Symposium on Freedom of Expression will be held at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris....

DTV flyer information3 million analog TV viewers are unprepared
According to a new survey by ABI Research, 20% of TV viewers—3 million Americans—who rely on analog over-the-air reception will let their sets go dark after the DTV transition on February 17, 2009. The survey of 1,002 consumers found that 70% will purchase a DTV converter box, 10% will switch to cable, and 20% will do nothing, causing their old analog TVs, incapable of receiving the new broadcasts without additional equipment, to go dark or display only snow. Find out how you can spread the word....
Crave, Oct. 22; ABI Research, Oct. 21; ALA Washington Office

Teacher in the Library program logoChicago Foundation gets $1 million for homework help
The Shirley H. and Benjamin Z. Gould Family Foundation have given the Chicago Public Library Foundation an endowment gift of nearly $1 million to provide funding for Teacher in the Library, a program that offers after-school homework help in seven branches of the Chicago Public Library. The gift ensures 15 years of continuity for program support....
Chicago Public Library Foundation, Oct. 20

Teacher using Braille with her studentsResources for Louis Braille centennial
January 4, 2009, marks the bicentennial of the birth of Louis Braille (1809-1852), a genius inventor who bestowed the gift of literacy to blind people around the world. This National Braille Press website offers a tour through Braille’s life, a list of worldwide celebrations taking place, and books and other resources suitable for classroom use....
National Braille Press

Libraries and Autism logoServing patrons with autism
The Scotch Plains (N.J.) Public Library and the Fanwood (N.J.) Memorial Library have produced a customer-service training video for library staff to help them serve individuals with autism and their families more effectively. The video focuses on what you need to know about autism and suggests specific techniques to offer more inclusive service to this growing and underserved population. Their Libraries and Autism site also has links to other useful resources....
Libraries and Autism: We’re Connected

Civics and Citizenship ToolkitCivics and Citizenship Toolkit
The Civics and Citizenship Toolkit, originally designed by the San Francisco Public Library, is now being distributed by the Task Force on New Americans (part of the Department of Homeland Security) to any organization that serves immigrants. The toolkit contains a variety of educational materials designed to help permanent residents learn more about the United States and prepare for the naturalization process. Organizations can register at the site to receive one free copy....
U.S. Task Force on New Americans

Leek Deng is the first to the finish line at the Wake the Library Fun RunWake the Library Fun Run
More than 150 people participated in the Wake Forest University Z. Smith Reynolds Library’s first annual Wake the Library 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run on October 11. The race started and finished in front of the library and followed a scenic route through the campus in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The library organized the event as a way to engage the community and raise funds for library programs....
ZSR Library Gazette, Oct. 13

Run on the Fourth National Bank, No. 20 Nassau Street, New York City, 1873. From Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, October 4, 1873.10 American financial meltdowns in the past century
Banks failed, stock prices collapsed, and panic descended on Wall Street. Americans were holding their collective breath as a rescue plan was hastily drafted. The 2008 financial crisis? Nope—it was the Panic of 1907, and again in 1929, 1987, and so on. Since its independence, the United States has grown to have the largest economy in the world; but we didn’t get there without quite a few bumps on the road. To put today’s economic troubles into perspective, take a look at 10 U.S. financial disasters in the past century....
Neatorama, Oct. 8

Still from Saul Amdurksy staff pep talk videoHave you embraced Dewey?
Saul Amdursky (right), director of the Des Moines (Iowa) Public Library, gets excited as he presents a pep talk (3:03) on the library’s mission at the staff in-service retreat. “We are a bridge to information and ideas,” he emphasizes. “We are not a bridge to nowhere!”...
YouTube, Oct. 16

Still from Head over Heels mashup: "Now I'm singing in the library..."Head over Heels: Literal video version
The video for the 1985 hit song “Head over Heels” by Tears for Fears centered around Roland Orzabal’s attempts to get the attention of a librarian, played by Canadian model Joan Densmore (right). It was filmed in the Emmanuel College Library at the University of Toronto. Now DustFilms has mashed up the video (3:06) using lyrics that more accurately match the words and thoughts of the characters with their on-screen antics....

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ALA 2009 Midwinter Meeting logo, Denver

ALA Midwinter Meeting, Denver, January 23–28. Nonmembers and former members of ALA are invited to join the Association to receive both the member Midwinter registration discount as well as ongoing career and professional benefits.

Twilight READ poster

Get ready for the December release of the new Twilight movie, based on Stephenie Meyer’s novel, with this ALA celebrity READ poster that shows the Twilight stars, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart. The story is about a teen who risks everything when she falls in love with a vampire (“I know what you are. You’re impossibly fast. And strong. Your skin is pale white and ice cold”). NEW! From ALA Graphics.

In this issue
October 2008

Cover of October 2008 issue

Libraries Connect Communities

Dysfunctional Staff

Rethinking the E-Rate

American pottery and baskets, 1100 to ca. 1960

The deadline for Picturing America applications has been extended to November 14. Additional schools, libraries, and school and library districts have the opportunity to apply for Picturing America, a free resource that provides educators with an engaging way to teach American history and other subjects through American art.

Career Leads from
ALA Joblist logo

Hebrew Manuscript Project Cataloger, Columbia University. Reporting to the Head of Special Collections Metadata and Cataloging, the incumbent will provide original cataloging for manuscripts in vernacular Hebrew, transliterated Hebrew, English and other related languages such as Yiddish, Ladino, or Judaeo-Arabic, aided by the Mendelsohn print catalog and Hebrew University catalog records. This is a two-year temporary position with the possibility of extension....

@ More jobs...

Digital Library of the Week

Dancers in William Lee's School, Georgetown, D.C., ca. 1919. National Photo Company glass negative.

Shorpy is an online archive of thousands of high-resolution photos from the 1850s to 1950s. Its namesake, Shorpy Higginbotham, was a teenager who worked in an Alabama coal mine 100 years ago. The site is actually a blog that posts photos on a daily basis and keeps them archived and searchable. Each photo links to a high-resolution image. Most of the photos on the site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution TIFF files, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. Most were digitized by LC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They were adjusted by the Shorpy webmaster for contrast and color before being downsized and turned into JPEGs.

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

“Children must be able to use the library as both a place to do homework and a haven from trouble, especially in areas where street violence has escalated to a frightening degree. The city can’t afford to close the curtain on hope.”

Hartford (Conn.) Courant editorial, Sept. 12, following the decision to close two branches of the Hartford Public Library.

Hunterdon County Library's We Treasure Friends display

It’s National Friends of Libraries Week, October 19–25, sponsored by Friends of Libraries USA. The Hunterdon County Library System in Flemington, New Jersey, celebrated by creating a treasure chest with gold medallions illustrating the various ways the Friends support the library.

Ask the ALA Librarian

Waukegan (Ill.) Public Library Early Learning Center

Q. I read in the paper recently about a library that is creating an Early Learning Center in its children’s department. I would like to see if my library can do something similar. Can you direct me to any resources that will show the value of early childhood literacy programs and some examples of current programs?

A. There is a growing body of literature that shows the importance of Early Childhood Literacy, even before children begin kindergarten. These programs can be merged into your library’s Children’s Services, or can be an opportunity to partner with groups within your community. From the ALA Professional Tips wiki.

@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.


Dec. 3–5:
Educause Center for Applied Research, Symposium, Boca Raton Resort and Club, Florida. “IT and Higher Education: Minding and Closing Gaps.”

Dec. 5:
ACRL New York Chapter,
Annual Symposium, Baruch College, New York City. “The 21st Century Library: Targeting the Trends.”

Dec. 7–10:
International Reading Association,
26th Southeast Regional Conference, Nashville, Tennessee.

Dec. 8–12:
52nd Military Libraries Workshop,
Monterey, California. “Military Library 2.0: the Dawn of a New Revolution.”

Dec. 9–10:
Northeast Document Conservation Center,
InterContinental Hotel, Chicago. “Persistence of Memory: Sustaining Digital Collections.”

Jan. 5–8:
Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences,
Hilton Waikoloa Village Resort. “Digital Media: Content and Communication.”

Jan. 7–9:
Educause Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference,
Loews Philadelphia Hotel. “The Technology Revolution in Higher Education: IT as a Catalyst for Change.”

Jan. 20–23:
Association for Library and Information Science Education,
Annual Conference, Denver. “Transforming LIS Education for the 21st Century: i-Create.”

Jan. 23–28:
American Library Association,
Midwinter Meeting, Denver.

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