The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | September 3,

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

SirsiDynix ad

AL Buyers Guide

U.S. & World News

Cover of Library DiariesDirector: Library Diaries author invaded patrons’ privacy
The director of the Mason County (Mich.) District Library contends that he did not violate the First Amendment rights of a library assistant he fired in late July after reading her unflattering book about the quirky and disreputable characters who populate The Library Diaries. Robert Dickson told American Libraries that “every single character in the book is a specific, identifiable person with nothing changed [except their names],” some 15–20 of which are real-life patrons of the Ludington library Dickson heads and at which author Sally Stern-Hamilton worked for 15 years. “The information she’s learned about these people over the years was revealed in the book, and our immediate reaction was that this was an invasion of privacy.”...
American Libraries Online, Aug. 30

JoAn Karkos, still from an ABC News videoCity won’t seek jail for It’s Perfectly Normal protester
A standoff of more than a year ended August 29 in Lewiston, Maine, when city officials decided not to pursue further action against JoAn Karkos (right), who has refused to return the Lewiston Public Library’s copy of the youth sex-education book It’s Perfectly Normal that she borrowed in the summer of 2007 to keep it out of circulation. Karkos had defied an August 27 district court order to return the book and pay a $100 fine and was threatened with jail time if she did not return the book by 4 p.m., August 29....
American Libraries Online, Aug. 29; ABC News, Aug. 29

KLA/KSMA/SELA/ARL conference ad

ALA News

ALA statement on censorship
ALA opposes book banning and censorship in any form, and supports librarians whenever they resist censorship in their libraries. ALA is a nonprofit, 501(c) (3) educational association that supports quality library and information services and public access to information. As such, it is not allowed to take a position on political candidates and strives to be nonpartisan in its activities….

Cover of 2007-2008 Libraries Connect Communities reportNew ALA study shows online public library services increasing
America’s 16,543 public library buildings are leveraging technology to help children succeed in school and support lifelong learning, according to a report released September 2 by ALA and Florida State University. More than 83% now offer online homework resources, including live tutors and collections of reliable web sources—a 15% increase in one year, according to Libraries Connect Communities: Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study 2007–2008. The new study collected data through surveys from more than 5,400 public libraries....

Website progress
At its August 27 meeting, ALA’s Web Editorial Board reviewed the progress of the redesigned and restructured ALA website against 10 objectives that must be completed before it launches. Those key objectives will be met with increased staff effort over the next week or so. While this work is continuing, the current site will remain active; key content, such as the registration for the Midwinter Meeting, will be updated....
ITTS Update, Aug. 28

Andy Strasberg at ALA Annual ConferenceStepping up to the plate
The Step Up to the Plate program, conducted by the Campaign for America’s Libraries, in conjunction with the National Baseball Hall of Fame, teams up two American classics—baseball and libraries—to promote the importance of information literacy skills and increase awareness of the library as an essential information resource. In this video (4:35), Campaign manager Megan Humphrey talks about the program and author Andy Strasberg (above) discusses the song “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”...
Visibility @ your library, Aug. 28

Cultural Communities Fund logoGift benefits Cultural Communities Fund
A generous estate gift of $225,000 from Lee Allen Wheeler, a library enthusiast and frequent patron of the Oshkosh (Wis.) Public Library, will assist the Cultural Communities Fund in meeting its ambitious campaign goals. Though initial support has been strong, ALA must still raise a final $52,000 by September 12 in order to meet the terms of the challenge grant....

Branford Marsalis promotes North Carolina library cards
The State Library of North Carolina has selected world-renowned saxophonist Branford Marsalis as this year’s state spokesperson for Library Card Sign-up Month. For the past three years, the state library has selected a celebrity to champion the library card as the most important card in every North Carolinian’s wallet. Marsalis kicked off the campaign September 2 with a press conference at Durham County’s North Regional Library....

New We the People Bookshelf grants
The ALA Public Programs Office will again partner with the National Endowment for the Humanities for the sixth We the People Bookshelf project. Part of NEH’s We the People program, the Bookshelf encourages young people to read and understand great literature while exploring themes in American history. This year’s theme, “Picturing America,” will be a literary complement to NEH’s Picturing America art program. Public and school libraries can apply online through January 30....

Booklist Online logo

Quantum HoopsFeatured review: Media
Quantum Hoops: The Caltech Basketball Story. June 2008. 85min. Green Forest, DVD.
California Institute of Technology (Caltech) is known for many things: an unparalleled reputation for high academic standards, illustrious alumni and faculty (including 31 Nobel Prize winners), and a basketball team that has lost 243 consecutive conference games. It’s not easy to recruit athletes in a school with impossibly high entrance standards. What the players lack in basketball skills, they make up for with heart and spirit. In this overwhelmingly inspiring program, narrated by actor David Duchovny, players, alumni, and coaches speak fondly of the lessons learned on the basketball court, the rewards of cramming practices into schedules filled with academics, and the burden of constantly losing....

Sports sites for youth graphicWebsites for youth: Sports
Joanne Troutner writes: “The world of sports remains popular with most youngsters and is a good way to engage learners. This update of two previous Web-site sports lists (run in 2002 and 2006) again spans a variety of athletics and interests, including martial arts, baseball, and the Olympics. The sites were last accessed on July 24.”...

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

H.W. Wilson ad

Division News

AASL Fall Forum logoAASL’s Fall Forum
Early bird registration for AASL’s Fall Forum ends Friday, September 12. Sessions for this year’s gathering, “Assessment, Part II: Constructing and Interpreting Viable Tools for Effective Student Learning in the Library Media Center,” will be led by Judith Dzikowski, Julie Gedeon, Celeste Nalwasky, and Barbara F. Schloman. The forum will be held October 17–19 at the Oak Brook Hills Marriott Resort in Oak Brook, Illinois....

PLA Spring SymposiumRegister for PLA’s 2009 Spring Symposium
The 2009 PLA Spring Symposium will be held April 2–4 in Nashville, Tennessee, at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel and Nashville Convention Center. The Spring Symposium will feature six intensive day-and-a-half-long workshops focusing on subjects pertinent to public libraries and public librarians, as well as an Opening General Session with keynote speaker musician Tom Chapin, an author luncheon, and area library tours. The early bird registration rate for PLA members is $250 before October 31....

Kimberly Pauley of Mirrorstone BooksWin a YA author visit
YALSA and are looking for the best Teen Read Week celebrations that involve significant collaboration between teachers and librarians. They are giving away two author visits plus other prizes in the 2008 Best Teen Read Week Celebration Contest. One winner will receive an author visit from Kimberly Pauley (right) of Mirrorstone Books; another will receive a visit from author Geno Salvatore, who will run a D&D game at the winning library; and five runners-up will each receive a $50 prize package....

Advanced registration open for YALSA Symposium
Advanced registration begins September 3 for YALSA’s 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 before October 3....


I Love My Librarian Award 2008Nominations open for I Love My Librarian Award
Nominations for the Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times I Love My Librarian Award are now open. Up to 10 librarians in public, school, and academic libraries will be selected for the award, which encourages library users to recognize the accomplishments of librarians for their efforts to improve the lives of people in their community. Nominations for public librarians will be accepted through October 1, and for school and academic librarians through October 15....

Stevie Wonder. 2006 photo by Agencia BrasilStevie Wonder gets LC’s Gershwin Prize
Librarian of Congress James H. Billington named singer/songwriter Stevie Wonder the recipient of the Second Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song on September 2. The award presentation will take place in the Great Hall of the Library on February 23. The prize is awarded to musicians whose lifetime contributions in the field of popular song exemplify the standard of excellence associated with George and Ira Gershwin. As an added distinction to this year’s prize, LC has offered, and Wonder has accepted, a musical commission....
Library of Congress, Sept. 2

Seen Online

Wasilla (Alaska) Public LibraryWhat do we know about Sarah Palin and the library? Not much
Norman Oder writes: “John McCain’s surprise choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate on the Republican ticket has led journalists and bloggers to the clip and web files, and a library connection—suggesting but hardly proving dubious behavior by Palin as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska—has emerged. We do know that small-town politics can get ugly. It’s not illegitimate for the press to dig up old quotes, but we’d be much better served if others in Alaska elaborate on situations that remain murky.”...
Library Journal, Sept. 2

Andrew Carnegie and his wife Louise, leaving East Liberty Station in 1914 on last visit to Pittsburgh. Image from the Carnegie Library collectionsCarnegie Library of Pittsburgh makes digital history
A 2008 National Leadership Demonstration Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services will enable the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh to digitally preserve more than 400,000 pages of historic materials related to the iron and steel industry. The $600,000 grant, awarded September 2 by IMLS Director Anne-Imelda M. Radice, will finance “The Legacy of Iron and Steel” project. With this grant, the library will demonstrate how it can use current technology to provide access to and excitement about its historic collections....
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Sept. 2

Cover of Nineteen MinutesBeardstown wrestles with school library challenge
The Beardstown (Ill.) School Board meeting became a debate about morality, free speech, and the responsibilities of public school libraries August 27. Local resident Stephen Griffin approached the board with the request that the book Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult be removed from the high school libraries’ shelves permanently. Griffin said that his then-7th-grade daughter brought the book home from school last year, and he was disturbed to find it contained the “f-word” more than 40 times in varying contexts....
Jacksonville (Ill.) Journal-Courier, Aug. 27

Cover of TTFNTTFN pulled from Oklahoma school library
Parent Kathy Davis was shocked when she saw what her 13-year-old daughter was reading. The book—TTFN by Lauren Myracle—came from the Marietta (Okla.) Middle School library, and it was on an advanced reading list. Graphic descriptions of oral sex are detailed in passages discussing recreational drug use. The book was recommended for Grades 10–12, but it has now been pulled from the shelves....
KXII-TV, Sherman, Texas, Sept. 2

Aides now in charge of Mesa school libraries
Debra Faysak used to help at the John Philip Sousa Elementary School library in Mesa, Arizona. Now she runs it. The library aide is part of a three-year plan to transfer certified librarians back into the classroom, saving the district about $3 million. The librarians had fought to keep their jobs, protesting at school board meetings and proposing alternative plans last year. Of 78 Mesa school librarians, 47 retired or decided to return to classroom teaching this school year....
Phoenix Arizona Republic, Sept. 2

Martha SmithNo retirement for soon-to-be 103-year-old
In 1926, Martha Smith (right) took a job at the tiny Coal Creek Library in Vinland, Kansas. Eighty-two years later, she’s still there. Others might have retired 30 years ago. Not Smith. She still shows up every Sunday to put in her hours at the oldest continuously operated library in Kansas. With her 103rd birthday coming up September 15, Smith wears a hearing aid and needs an oversized pair of magnifying goggles to read. Watch the video (2:50) of Smith at work....
Kansas City (Mo.) Star, Aug. 29

NYPL for the Performing Arts buildingNew York Public Library for the Performing Arts
The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts is a treasure trove of 9 million items related to every kind of performance. There are plenty of books, of course, but also audio and video recordings, manuscripts, sheet music, stage design models, press clippings, programs, posters, photographs, and letters. It’s the largest collection devoted to music, dance, theater, recorded sound, and other performing arts that is free and open to the public....
St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, Aug. 31

Gateway branch of Mesa County Public Library DistrictMesa County branch cuts its paid staff
The Mesa County (Colo.) Public Library District board of trustees voted 4–2 August 28 to stop staffing the Gateway branch and transition to a stand-alone “leaf” that would be run by volunteers. Officials backed away from an initial option of shutting down the branch and moving the books to a new location in Orchard Mesa. Gateway librarian Janey Raney, who keeps the branch open four hours a day, four days a week, said after the meeting she figures she’s out of a job....
Grand Junction (Colo.) Daily Sentinel, Aug. 28

Volunteers filling in for laid-off pages
Volunteers are picking up the slack at the public libraries in Riverside, California. The city’s library system has a record number of volunteers who have stepped up to help the library maintain order following the layoffs of 30 part-time pages July 1 as a cost-savings measure. Staff also are taking on responsibilities to ensure there is no difference in service, said George Guzman, the library's Administrative Services manager....
Riverside (Calif.) Press Enterprise, Sept. 2

Dennice AlexanderLibrarian works to revamp Arkansas prison libraries
Dennice Alexander (right) is the first full-time library administrator for the Arkansas Department of Correction, whose prisons hold more than 14,000 inmates spread among 20 locations. For the longest time, advisory boards held sway over what books made it inside the double razor-wired fences. But in recent years, Alexander has approved the books and magazines that bring light inside a system once deemed by federal courts to be a “dark and evil world.”...
Associated Press, Sept. 2

Anti-porn group wants St. Louis County to review teen titles
A citizens’ anti-pornography group wants certain books in the St. Louis County (Mo.) Library’s teen section segregated from younger eyes and placed in the adult section. Carl Hendrickson, chairman of Citizens Against Pornography, submitted petitions signed by almost 150 residents at the library’s board of directors meeting. The petitions call on the board to establish an Adult Advisory Committee to review literature going into the teen section. However, Library Director Charles Pace says a system is already in place to review materials on the shelves....
Kirkwood-Webster (Mo.) Journal, Aug. 26

Cover of Maynard Ferguson Live from London albumJazz library a high note for North Texas
A moving van delivered the 400-piece Maynard Ferguson collection to the University of North Texas library in Denton last week. The materials, provided by a consortium of donors, spans the Canadian jazz trumpeter’s career from the mid-1950s to his death in 2006. This important resource is the second for the university, which, decades ago, acquired the work of Ferguson’s mentor, Stan Kenton. Like Kenton’s music, Ferguson’s will be cataloged and digitized by librarians experienced in preserving documents....
Denton (Tex.) Record-Chronicle, Aug. 30

Cardiff wants to sell its rare books
An action group says it is aghast at plans to sell some of Wales’s oldest and rarest books. Cardiff Council could eventually sell up to 18,000 items dating from the 15th century at auction to raise money for improvements in library services. The collection at the central library includes early atlases along with a second edition of Shakespeare. An initial 139 items are under review, but the group, which includes academics, wants the process to end....
BBC News, Sept. 2

Queens librarian donates hair
A Queens librarian chopped off her long hair and donated it to charity August 27 after the kids in her summer reading program at the Hollis branch of the Queens (N.Y.) Public Library won a bet. Sueli Zaqem had wagered that the children couldn’t finish twice as many books as they did last year—and said she’d cut off her black tresses if proven wrong. She lost, and the kids clapped and cheered as she sat in a chair and let a colleague snip off a 13-inch ponytail for Locks of Love, which donates hair to kids made bald by illness....
New York Daily News, Aug. 28

The General History of All Eight Banners, a book dating back to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), before (left) and after insect holes were patched. Photos courtesy of Rare Books Restoration CenterRestoring ancient Buddhist texts a painstaking art
Over the past 18 years, Hu Yuqing and her 29 colleagues at the Rare Books Restoration Center of the National Library of China have repaired 5,000, or half of the Dunhuang scrolls—handwritten Buddhist scriptures dating from the Tang Dynasty (618–907)—owned by the library. Hu is one of fewer than 200 professionals in China who can restore ancient texts. Despite a shortage of funding, Hu and her colleagues have devoted themselves to restoring the ancient classics....
China Daily, Aug. 26

Former Saskatchewan library director gets two years
The former head of a regional library system in Saskatchewan, who embezzled half a million dollars over 14 years, was sentenced August 27 to a jail term of two years. Bruce Cameron pleaded guilty in May to defrauding the Wheatland Regional Library in Saskatoon of $497,503 (Can.). Cameron, who was executive director of WRL for 30 years, created a fake company in Nevada called Desert Rose Books and operated under an alias to perpetrate the fraud....
Regina (Sask.) Leader-Post, Aug. 28

Tech Talk

Google Chrome logoGiving Google Chrome a spin
Don Riesinger writes: “Google announced its new web browser Chrome September 1 and already the company has offered Windows XP and Vista owners the opportunity to try it out. And although I’ve only been able to use it for just a little while, Google Chrome is not only one of the fastest browsers I’ve ever used, it’s easily one of the best. Chrome offers an ‘Omnibox,’ which lets you input a web address or search the web in the address bar. Perhaps more than anything, you’ll notice just how fast Chrome is immediately.” Tabs are more robust, it’s crash-resistant, and the browser has its own stealth mode. Ina Fried warns that you might see more ads and that Google might update the browser automatically. Beware cute error messages and occasional installation glitches. Watch the video or read the comic interpretation by Scott McCloud....
TechCrunch, Sept. 2; Ars Technica, Sept. 1; PC World, Sept. 2; C|Net, Sept. 2; Beyond Binary, Sept. 2; Chicago Tribune, Sept. 2; Dallas Morning News, Sept. 2; Google, Sept. 1

Cover of Drupal in LibrariesDrupal in libraries
Drupal is hot in the library world, with sessions devoted to it at several recent library conferences. Like many nonprofits, libraries turn to Drupal as a powerful tool with a low cost of entry. The Idaho Commission for Libraries has led the way, leveraging the multisite features of Drupal to provide sites for libraries across Idaho. Drupal in Libraries is the subject of the May/June edition of Library Technology Reports, written by Andy Austin and Chris Harris....
Drupal, Aug. 24

OLE Project logoCanada joins OLE Project
Library and Archives Canada will be joining Duke University Libraries and other partners in the Open Library Environment Project. With funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the OLE Project will develop a design document for a next-generation open-source library automation system that fits modern expectations for library workflows and is built on a modern service-oriented architecture. LAC will facilitate cooperation among Canadian institutions....
Library and Archives Canada, Sept. 2

20 tech habits to improve your life
Gina Trapani writes: “Technology is supposed to make life easier, but it doesn’t seem that way when you’re struggling to wrangle 289 new email messages, dealing with a hard-drive crash, or suddenly realizing that you left an important file on the office computer. Thankfully, plenty of tools can help,” among them the “inbox zero” philosophy, using a camera phone to remember things, and cable proliferation controls....
PC World, Aug. 28

Present Live screen from AuthorStreamPresent Live shares PowerPoint presentations
Alana Taylor writes: “AuthorStream, the site that allows you to send PowerPoint presentations straight to YouTube, your iPod, and your blog, released Present Live September 2. This allows you to share your presentation with a selected group of friends and contacts on the internet in real time. I can see this working well not only at conferences but also in the classroom where students and teachers can easily interact through the internet.”...
Mashable, Sept. 2


Presidential campaign buttonsFree presidential election resources through November 4
School librarians and teachers can use the excitement of current events as a springboard to answer questions about campaigns and voters, and teach the history of the American political process with an authoritative collection of free resources from ABC-CLIO. Launching on September 5, “Presidential Elections: In History and Today” features historical background on elections paired with classroom activities and research project ideas that will help put Campaign 2008 into historical context for students....
ABC-CLIO, Aug. 28

Cover of The Jewel of MedinaMuhammad’s bride finds another publisher
British independent publisher Gibson Square has bought Sherry Jones’s controversial novel about the child bride of Muhammad, which was dropped by Random House US following warnings that it could incite acts of violence from radical Muslims. The Jewel of Medina was also pulled from bookshops in Serbia last month after pressure from an Islamic group....
The Guardian (U.K.), Sept. 3

Publishers should all have a covers directory
Cory Doctorow writes: “I often blog about books and when I do, I like to put up a picture of the cover. It’s often the case that Amazon’s covers are grainy, missing, too small, or otherwise unsuitable. So here’s the idea: Publishers should create default directories called ‘covers’ at their server-root (for example, filled with high-rez PNGs or JPGs named after the book’s ISBN. Tweak your robots.txt file to make sure the search engines all crawl these directories, so when you search on or for an ISBN, the high-rez cover image will be right there at the top.”...
Boing Boing, Sept. 1

Kindle user guide opening screenKindle kudos
Jenny Levine writes: “I’ve had my Kindle ebook reader for just about four months now, and as I suspected, the amount of book reading I’m doing is going up. During the summer, I’ve tended to start multiple books and finish none of them. But the Kindle is changing this, mainly because I’m using my daily commute and other travel times to integrate reading books back into my routine. I’m reading less online and more on the Kindle. I especially like having Newsweek automagically appear on the device at the beginning of each week.”...
The Shifted Librarian, Sept. 2

AL Buyers Guide ad

Actions & Answers

LC Preservation imageLC’s “Learning from Katrina” web page
August 29 marked the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s devastating impact on New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. In commemoration, the Library of Congress has created a website titled Learning from Katrina, which provides insights for better responses to record and artifact damage by hurricanes. Visitors can hear seven interviews with professional conservators who helped salvage collections affected in August 2005....
Library of Congress, Aug. 29

Open Access Day logoOctober 14 is Open Access Day
The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, the Public Library of Science, and Students for FreeCulture have jointly announced the first international Open Access Day. The event will offer researchers, educators, librarians, students, and the public the chance to participate in live, worldwide broadcasts of events. In North America, events will be held at 7:00 p.m. (Eastern) and 7:00 p.m. (Pacific) and will feature appearances from English biochemist Sir Richard J. Roberts and pharmacist and PLoS editor Philip E. Bourne....
PARC, Aug. 28

Opposing Views logoThe Net Neutrality debate on one page
Erick Schonfeld writes: “Are you confused about Net Neutrality? Some people argue it is necessary for continued innovation on the internet; others claim that it is unnecessary regulation that will create unintended consequences. The debate site Opposing Views has put up a page that lays out the arguments pro and con for Net Neutrality, and then links to fuller arguments. Marshaling the arguments for Net Neutrality are the Save The Internet Coalition, the Open Internet Coalition, and Public Knowledge. Arguing against are the Cato Institute and Hands Off The Internet.”...
TechCrunch, Aug. 31

Cover of new Brookings Institution report on e-governmentThe state of American e-government
Using a detailed analysis of 1,537 state and federal government websites, a Brookings Institution report (PDF file) examines whether government agencies are making effective use of the Web to improve service delivery and public outreach. Although sites have generally improved in recent years, the report notes that “legislative and judicial sites often were simply billboards that offered little useful content or few electronic services,” and “e-government has fallen short of its potential to transform public-sector operations.”...
Brookings Institution, Aug. 26

Survey of library digitization projects
A new study by Primary Research Group offers data on digitization projects in more than 100 museums and academic, public, and special libraries in several countries. More than 53% have teamed up with another department to work jointly on a project. The mean number of hours spent obtaining rights permissions or copyright clearance was 221. Nearly 49% of the organizations in the sample outsource some form of digitization, in whole or in part, to an outside party....
Primary Research Group, Aug.

PALINET Leadership Network imagePALINET Leadership Network
Meredith Farkas writes: “Walt Crawford started his work on the PALINET Leadership Network site less than a year ago, but already he has made it a terrific resource for people in our profession. Some of the articles on the wiki are original, while others are compilations of writings on a theme by a variety of innovators and leaders in our profession. For anyone interested in reading various perspectives on library leadership, management, planning, and marketing, this is a useful resource to check out. The site’s more than 300 pages of content are easy to browse or search.”...
Information Wants To Be Free, Sept. 1

OCLC’s Cooperative Identities Hub
Amanda Hill writes: “OCLC is planning to prototype a Cooperative Identities Hub to bring together information from a wide range of name sources and make them available more widely. The hub will build on the work of the WorldCat Identities service, which takes the names of people and organizations from the LC/NACO authority file and WorldCat, and displays contextual information such as titles of works, associated subjects, publication timelines, and book covers. The service also holds links to library authority files and to Wikipedia.”...
Names Project Blog, Aug. 26; OCLC

The Dublin Core Abstract Model, demystified
Karen Coyle writes: “I understand the need that standards have to be very precise in their terminology and to give terms specific meaning. There often is a conflict, however, between that desire for precision and the need to communicate well with the users of the standard. Simplification is needed for the Dublin Core Abstract Model, which defines a set of metadata types that can help us communicate to each other about our metadata. I’m going to attempt that (even though I think it’s a dangerous thing to do).”...
Coyle’s InFormation, Sept. 2

John August Swanson's Rainy Day, a 1981 serigraph, can be borrowed through the Graphic Arts Loan Collection. Courtesy of the UCB Morrison LibraryUC Berkeley revives arts loan program
The University of California, Berkeley’s Morrison Library is reviving a Graphic Arts Loan Collection program that 50 years ago began placing Picassos, Mirós, and the works of other renowned and emerging artists into the hands of students, faculty, and staff. To that end, the Morrison Library has launched a new website with images of approximately 700 framed original, numbered prints that are signed by their creators. The artwork can be perused and favorites selected for checkout by borrowers with valid UCB IDs....
University of California, Berkeley, Aug. 28

Part of a first day cover with the June 7, 1965, Algeria stamp commemorating the burning of the libraryRemembering the burning of the University of Algiers library
Larry Nix writes: “On June 7, 1962, the Organisation de l’armée secrète (OAS), a militant underground organization opposed to Algerian independence, burned down the library of the University of Algiers, destroying 112,500 books. This was one of the culminating acts of the 1954–1962 Algerian War. On July 1, 1962, Algerians in overwhelming numbers voted in favor of independence from France. The burning of the library was seen as a symbol of the rightness of Algerian independence and resulted in a number of Muslim countries issuing postage stamps commemorating the tragic event.”...
Library History Buff

Jeff Paulson, Librarian of the Year nomineeLibrarian of the year
Sean Becker stars as Jeff Paulson, a library assistant who is apparently the last employee to be nominated for Librarian of the Year. “He’s not ‘of the year’ material,” says a friend. “He’s a pretty rotten person.” Inspired by The Office, this video (10:25) is part of the “Three of a Kind” series of Atom’s user-uploaded comedy sketches. Filmed at the Milpitas branch of the Santa Clara County (Calif.) Library....

ALA 2009 Midwinter Meeting logo, Denver

ALA Midwinter Meeting, Denver, January 23–28. New this year: You must register for the Midwinter Meeting before you can register for housing.

Cover of Teen Spaces, 2d edition

When writing the first edition of Teen Spaces in 2002, YA expert Kimberly Bolan was challenged to find excellent examples. Now, teen spaces in libraries abound and interest continues to grow. With a strategic use of web-based technologies—from the author’s website to a Flickr account—this second edition showcases success stories as it reaches out to attract a global community of YA librarians committed to meeting the needs of young adults. NEW! From ALA Editions.

In this issue
September 2008

Cover of September 2008 issue

The Future of Privacy

A Privacy Victory in Vermont

ALA Award Winners

Banned Books Week adult poster featuring Stephen King

Closing books shuts out ideas. Banned Books Week, September 27–October 4. Celebrate the Freedom to Read with a Stephen King poster.

Career Leads from
ALA Joblist logo

Media Specialist, Harford County Public Schools, Bel Air, Maryland. Establishes behavioral standards for students in the LMC. Assists students in becoming effective and discriminating users of library resources. Helps students develop habits of independent reference work and skills in the use of reference material in relation to planned assignments. Organizes library material, equipment, and facilities for effective and efficient utilization and circulation....

@ More jobs...

Digital Library of the Week

Phillipe La Hire's Planisphere Celeste Meridional

The collection of Star Atlases owned by the Linda Hall Library in Kansas City, Missouri, encompasses atlases and maps from 1482 to the 19th century. The materials in this collection range from the rudimentary to some of the most beautiful and accurate scientific books ever published, finishing with later pictorial atlases for the general public. The star chart above is Phillipe La Hire’s Planisphere Celeste Meridional (1705). La Hire was a notable French astronomer, and his two planispheres of the northern and southern stars were published as individual sheets (although they were included in many French atlases throughout the 18th century). The Linda Hall copies were colored expertly by hand. The constellation figures are ultimately derived from the prototypes in Bayer’s Uranometria.

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

“I recently learned of the pending forced closure of the Long Beach Main Library from public access to balance the city budget. This is heartbreak and an outrage. Libraries are also an essential core public service. How can a major city not provide public access to a civic center library? City Hall decisions will remove access to over 1.5 million books from one square mile of the city! Is Long Beach at war with the printed word and books?”

—Author Ray Bradbury, in a letter of protest on the proposed closure of the central Long Beach Public Library, Long Beach (Calif.) Press-Telegram, Aug. 5.

International Literacy Day 2008 poster

On International Literacy Day each year, UNESCO reminds the international community of the status of literacy and adult learning globally. This year, September 8, the theme is “Literacy Is the Best Remedy.” Find out how other countries are celebrating.

Ask the ALA Librarian

Overdue rubber stamp

Q. We're reviewing our policies on overdue fines. Do you have anything to help?

A. Several state libraries and Webjunction have assembled collections of sample policies—and these are as varied as the libraries preparing them. Some may also be found with this prestructured web search and additional tips may be found in the portion of this wiki on circulation and fines. From the ALA Professional Tips wiki.

@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.


Oct. 5–9:
Canadian Association of Research Libraries,
Fall General Meeting, Ottawa, Ontario.

Oct. 7–8:
University of Maryland at College Park and the National Archives and Records Administration,
Joint Conference, College Park, Maryland. “Partnerships in Innovation II: From Vision to Reality and Beyond.”

Oct. 9–11:
Oregon Association of School Libraries and Washington Library Media Association,
Joint Conference, Oregon Convention Center, Portland.

Oct. 16–17:
Association of Research Libraries and the Coalition for Networked Information,
Fall Forum, Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon City, Arlington, Virginia. “Reinventing Science Librarianship: Models for the Future.”

Oct. 16–17:
Maryland Association of School Librarians,
Fall Conference, Turf Valley Conference Center, Ellicott City.

Oct. 19–24:
Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research,
Digital Preservation Management training program, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Oct. 22–24:
Ohio Educational Library Media Association,
Annual Conference, Columbus Convention Center. “School Libraries: Transforming Lives.”

Oct. 24:
Long Island Library Resources Council,
Annual Conference on Libraries and the Future, Fortunoff Hall, Dowling College, Oakdale, New York. “Millennials: Talkin’ Bout Y Generation.”

Oct. 25–27:
6th International Conference on the Book,
Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.

@ More...

Contact Us
American Libraries Direct

ALA logo

AL Direct is a free electronic newsletter emailed every Wednesday to personal members of the American Library Association.

George M. Eberhart,

Daniel Kraus,
Associate Editor:

Greg Landgraf,
Associate Editor:

Leonard Kniffel,
American Libraries:

To advertise in American Libraries Direct, contact:
Brian Searles,

Send feedback:


AL Direct FAQ:

All links outside the ALA website are provided for informational purposes only. Questions about the content of any external site should be addressed to the administrator of that site.

American Libraries
50 E. Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611
ext. 4216

ISSN 1559-369X.