The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | September 17,

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

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U.S. & World News

Beginning of FBI affidavit filed in Federal District CourtFBI: Suspect surfed for bomb-making information
The U.S. Department of Justice revealed September 3 that the content of a library internet search was among the pieces of evidence (PDF file) leading to the August 30 arrest of a Michigan man for allegedly plotting to disrupt the 2008 Republican National Convention with Molotov cocktails. However, FBI agents pursuing the case never asked for assistance from any staff members at Hennepin County (Minn.) Library, where the suspect allegedly sought information on how to make more effective bombs....
American Libraries Online, Sept. 12

Louise BlalockShuttered Hartford branches get second reprieve
The Hartford, Connecticut, city council broke into cheers September 9 at the announcement that two state legislators had persuaded the leaders of the state house and senate to give the city library one-time donations of $100,000 apiece from their respective $2-million contingency funds to reopen the Blue Hills and Mark Twain branches as of September 15. A September 4 library board meeting also brought trustees the news that Louise Blalock (above) would retire as director at the end of 2008 after 15 years at the library’s helm....
American Libraries Online, Sept. 12

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ALA News

Rettig to discuss creating connections
Join ALA President Jim Rettig at the ALA Connections Salon, an online event scheduled for 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern Time, Friday, September 26. Online Programming for All Libraries (OPAL) Coordinator Tom Peters will begin the hour with an interview with Rettig, whose presidential focus is “Creating Connections.” He is particularly interested in fostering connections among ALA members and exploring new ways for members to benefit from and contribute to our association....

Still from Lisa Loeb videoLisa Loeb loves libraries
Singer-songwriter Lisa Loeb discusses her love of libraries on a new video produced by the Public Information Office. Most recently, she used the public library as a resource when she remodeled her house in Los Angeles. “To me, the library is important because I have a lot of intellectual curiosity, and there’s a lot of fun in that,” she says. “And the library is the place to explore that.”...
Visibility @ your library, Sept. 16

Online ALA meeting spaces available
ALA now has four virtual rooms—two 25-seat rooms, one 50-seat room, and one 100-seat room—available for use by any ALA or ALA-affiliated group at any time. This service is run through OPAL (Online Programming for All Libraries), but rooms must be booked by ALA staff. Groups may contact their staff liaison to reserve space....
ALA Marginalia, Sept. 11

Frontline/World logoFrontline/World grants announced
In celebration of its groundbreaking Social Entrepreneurs Series, the PBS-TV series Frontline/World, in cooperation with the ALA Public Programs Office, has selected 50 public and academic libraries to receive grants of $500 plus supporting program materials. The funds will promote the screening and discussion of one of the series’ short documentary films on innovative social entrepreneurs around the world....

School library named MVP
This season’s Step Up to the Plate Most Valuable Player is Maplewood Junior/Senior High School Library, in Guys Mills, Pennsylvania. The library brought in nearly 200 entries for this year’s Step Up to the Plate @ your library program, which concluded September 1. For submitting the most entries, the library will receive a $100 bookstore gift certificate, a copy of the book Baseball’s Greatest Hit, and a baseball autographed by Ozzie Smith....

Booklist Online logo

Cover of The War WithinFeatured review: Adult books
Woodward, Bob, The War Within. Sept. 2008. 512p. Simon & Schuster, hardcover (978-1-4165-5897-2).
Here is the fourth installment in Woodward’s examination of the way the Bush administration has pursued the war on terror in general and the war in Iraq in particular. The book picks up in early 2006, as violence in Iraq begins spiraling out of control, and as readers will soon see, the title of this book could easily have been, The Confusion Within. Even as President Bush repeated the mantra that progress was being made, those in the administration knew it was not, and perhaps more surprising, even at that rather late date, there were conflicting ideas among generals and the State and Defense Departments about what the war strategy actually was. Woodward, of course, has had unprecedented access to the players for all four of his books (though the president demurred last time around), and while this obviously is what makes his series a standout, the wealth of information sometimes becomes overwhelming for anyone not a policy wonk. That said, the enormity of invading and remaking a country comes through in all its amorphous and frustrating detail....

Graphic for Urban Fantasy RomanceThe dark, paranormal side of romance
Nina C. Davis writes: “Urban fantasy and paranormal romance are two of fiction’s hottest genres. Urban fantasy blends the magic and larger-than-life battles between good and evil seen in Lord of the Rings with the interpersonal conflicts, romantic interests, and adventures found in Pirates of the Caribbean, and transports it all to the real world, usually a big modern city. Paranormal romance orchestrates love relationships between humans and vampires, werewolves, elves, and other fantastic beings. The following urban fantasy romance novels are an important, emerging subgenre. In these tales, the love story and the fight to protect the beloved take top billing over the epic struggle between good and evil.”...

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

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Division News

Cover of recent Knowledge QuestFive authors chosen for Knowledge Quest
In 2007, the Children’s Book Council and AASL created a “Meet the Author/Illustrator” column for the journal Knowledge Quest. Five new contributors have been chosen for the 2008–2009 editorial cycle. In order to show readers the wonderful variety in children’s book publishing, columnists will represent different genres, target audiences, publishing companies, and levels of national prominence....

2008 PLDS report highlights key financial statistics
The PLA 2008 Public Library Data Service Statistical Report, which presents timely and topical data to public library administrators, is now available. For the fourth time since 1998, the PLDS Statistical Report includes a special section on public library financial practices. In addition to the report, a full dataset from the 2008 survey is available though an online subscription, which allows users to create customized reports and datasets....


Call for ALCTS awards
Nominations are being accepted for the 2009 ALCTS awards for professional achievement, publications, serials, preservation, innovation, and the Ross Atkinson Award. The deadline in all cases is December 1....

ALSC offers eight awards, grants, and scholarships
ALSC is offering more than $82,000 to members through its 2009 professional awards, grants, and scholarships. All applications are due December 1, except for the Frederic G. Melcher Scholarship and the Bound to Stay Bound Books Scholarship, which are due March 1....

LITA Library Hi Tech Award nominations sought
Nominations are being accepted for the 2009 LITA Library Hi Tech Award, which is given each year to an individual or institution for outstanding achievement in communication for continuing education in library and information technology. The deadline for nominations is December 1....

School principal rewarded for supporting libraries
Kathy Harrington, principal of the Pine-Richland Middle School in Gibsonia, Pennsylvania, was presented recently with the Western Pennsylvania School Librarians Association’s Advocate Award, which recognizes a school advocate who has maintained an exemplary library program, improved an existing program, or initiated a program where none existed. Middle School Librarian Kathy Batykefer nominated Harrington for the honor “because she has given me the funds and encouragement to really make an extraordinary library.”...
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Sept. 7

Seen Online

In the digital age, government information gets lost
Countless federal records are being lost to posterity because federal employees, grappling with a staggering growth in electronic records, do not regularly preserve the documents they create on government computers, send by email, and post on the Web. Federal agencies have rushed to embrace the internet and new information technology, but their record-keeping efforts lag far behind. Moreover, federal investigators have found widespread violations of federal record-keeping requirements....
New York Times, Sept. 12

ITU flagUN agency eyes curbs on internet anonymity
The International Telecommunication Union, a United Nations agency, is quietly drafting technical standards, proposed by the Chinese government, to define methods of tracing the original source of internet communications and potentially curbing the ability of users to remain anonymous. The U.S. National Security Agency is also participating in the “IP Traceback” drafting group, named Q6/17, which is meeting this week in Geneva to work on the traceback proposal. Members of Q6/17 have declined to release key documents, and meetings are closed to the public....
CNET news, Sept. 12

Highsmith logoHighsmith relocating, not closing
Contrary to a report in the Madison (Wis.) Capital Times, the library supply company Highsmith, of Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, will not be closing. It will, however, be relocating in November to Janesville, where its new owner, Lab Safety Supply, is headquartered. The majority of Highsmith employees will be moving to the new location, according to LSS. Highsmith customers may continue to reach the company at the current phone, fax number, and website....
Watertown (Wis.) Daily Times, Sept. 10; Highsmith

Lawmaker to sponsor Oregon school library bill
Fund Our Future Oregon, a campaign to save school libraries across the state, recently obtained word that state Rep. Peter Buckley (D-Ashland) will sponsor a bill to support their efforts. Nancy Sullivan, media specialist at James Madison High School in Portland, says she and FOFO cofounder Suzie Kabeiseman hope to meet with Buckley in coming weeks to help draft a bill....
School Library Journal, Sept. 8

Cover of The Joy of Gay SexPublic hearing on Joy of Gay Sex in Helena
Mike Cronin testified that the public library has an obligation to provide all material to clients and does not have any obligation to serve as parents. He was one of about 20 people who spoke at a public hearing September 16 in support of keeping The Joy of Gay Sex at the Lewis and Clark Public Library in Helena, Montana. More than a dozen people testified for removal of the book. The request to remove the book came from Paul Cohen, of Helena, who found the book on one of his frequent visits to the library in February....
Helena (Mont.) Independent Record, Sept. 17

Title page of 1830 edition of Book of MormonHackley Library discovers a rare book
Philanthropist Charles H. Hackley continues to give to Muskegon, Michigan, this time through a chance purchase 110 years ago of a 50-year-old book that apparently had interested him. It turns out that book—long stored and virtually forgotten at the public library Hackley built—is a rare first-edition Book of Mormon, which library leaders believe will fetch more than $70,000 that will be used to benefit library users....
Muskegon (Mich.) Chronicle, Sept. 15

Cindy SchillingMaine librarian appears on Jeopardy
Half a dozen staff members ambled into the Deerfield (Ill.) Public Library meeting room September 12 and took their seats. They clapped and cheered when the game show Jeopardy introduced one of their own, Cindy Schilling (right), who worked in the children’s department until she took a job as assistant library director for youth services at the Wells (Maine) Public Library in 2006. She made an impressive showing in the first round, but in the end, Schilling was done in when a math teacher from Gurnee, Illinois, got all three daily double questions. Finishing second, she earned $2,000....
Deerfield (Ill.) Review, Sept. 15; Portsmouth (N.H.) Herald, Sept. 16

Why home libraries are back in style
Reading rates are down and Americans say they love casual living. And yet, one of the most popular rooms in big new houses is a library. Rather than being about books, their appeal is often about creating a certain ambiance. In the latest annual National Association of Home Builders consumer survey, 63% of home buyers said they wanted a library or considered one essential, a percentage that has been edging up for the past few years. Many mass-market home builders are including libraries in their house plans, sometimes with retro touches like rolling ladders and circular stairs....
Wall Street Journal, Sept. 12

Cadwalader Branch of the Trenton Public Library, one slated for closureFour Trenton branches to close
All four Trenton (N.J.) Public Library branches will close later this year and workers there will be laid off due to budget cuts, according to the city library board. The board decided September 10 to shutter the branches after city officials informed the library that its $3.5 million in funding would be cut by 10%. The closures of the Briggs, Cadwalader, East Trenton, and Skelton branches were decried by residents, city council members, and members of the library board....
Trenton (N.J.) Times, Sept. 12

Fewer library hours for Hawaiians?
With deeper, more severe budget cuts possibly on the horizon, the Hawaii State Public Library System may have to again cut services after nearly five years of attempting to restore previous cuts to library hours and staff. “We just barely recovered from the 2003 reductions,” State Librarian Richard Burns said. The library’s budget is down to $28.3 million, a 6.9% reduction compared with 2007–2008....
Honolulu Advertiser, Sept. 15

West Side Story album cover showing Leo Friedman's photoNYPL Broadway photos stuck in a copyright tangle
A 1957 photo (right) promoting West Side Story, as well as thousands of other famous images by photographer Leo Friedman, are in limbo, largely uncataloged, caught in a dispute between Friedman and the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, where he had the pictures sent in 1971. At stake is an extraordinary theater archive: about 4,580 prints and 2,655 contact sheets representing 168 stage productions from the 1950s and 1960s, the golden age of the Broadway musical....
New York Times, Sept. 12

Find out what’s shaking at the library
The new Portola Valley branch of the San Mateo County (Calif.) Library sports a seismograph that allows patrons to measure earthquakes affecting the tectonic plates that underlie the Bay Area. Built by local engineers for less than $2,000, the instrument takes readings of earth movements and displays them on a digital screen in real time. The new green facility opened September 15....
San Mateo County (Calif.) Times, Sept. 12

Baltimore birthday cake for Enoch Pratt, who appears at the top as a candleHappy birthday, Enoch Pratt
As a pianist played “200 Candles,” a roomful of Enoch Pratt Free Library fans in Baltimore toasted the bicentennial September 10 of the benefactor who gave away his millions, as he put it, “for all, rich and poor, without distinction of race or color.” The event was cast as the start of a citywide celebration of philanthropist Enoch Pratt (1808–1896). Duff Goldman, owner of Charm City Cakes, donated a flour-and-sugar rendition of a book stack (right) that included H. L. Mencken’s The American Language, Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Black Cat,” Anne Tyler’s Breathing Lessons, and Laura Lippman’s Every Secret Thing....
Baltimore Sun, Sept. 11

Gulfport council delays library demolition
The Gulfport, Mississippi, city council did its part September 16 to spare the former Gulfport Library building from demolition, for now at least. The council voted 4–3 to stop the demolition, despite this admission from the head librarian: “Our first choice was to never return to that building; we don’t want to go back there,” said Celia Barrett, who spent more than a decade as the head librarian in Gulfport. The library, which was heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina, has been a hot-button issue between the county and the city for about a year....
Biloxi (Miss.) Sun-Herald, Sept. 17

Seeley G. Mudd Library, Yale UniversityYale’s Mudd library closes
On September 12, the Seeley G. Mudd Library—a two-million volume, high-density, storage library—officially closed to the public. There was no fanfare and little certainty for the library’s future. For 12 to 18 months, Yale University officials say, the library staff will complete the cataloging of more than a million of Mudd’s volumes. The library will then either be renovated or demolished to make room for Yale’s two new residential colleges and a new Social Science Library....
Yale Daily News, Sept. 15

Maxwell Code, 1796Three arrested in Hayes Library book theft
A Columbus, Ohio, couple and a Marysville man were arrested this week in connection with the thefts of two rare books from the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library in Fremont, Ohio, on June 27 and August 25. One of the books, Laws of the Territory of the United States North-West of the Ohio (the Maxwell Code, 1796, right), is thought to be the first book printed in the territory that became Ohio. Valued at more than $100,000, it was recovered shortly after the couple’s arrest. An apparent accomplice took a related volume, Laws of the Territory of the United States North West of the River Ohio (the Freeman Code, 1798), on the later date. The FBI has located that volume overseas, but it may be difficult to seize and return it....
Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch, Sept. 13; Toledo Blade, Sept. 12, 17

UIUC professor: Library theft not unusual
An expert on the theft of rare books says he is not surprised James Brubaker of Great Falls, Montana, was able to steal documents from libraries in broad daylight. “I don’t find it odd at all,” said Travis McDade, assistant professor of library administration at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “This stuff is surprisingly common.” McDade said Brubaker appeared smarter than many thieves by selling less expensive items that would attract less attention. Brubaker was sentenced to 2-1/2 years September 15 for stealing rare and valuable documents from libraries across the West....
Great Falls (Mont.) Tribune, Sept. 16

Berlin City LibraryProject tracks books stolen by Nazis in Berlin libraries
Up to 150,000 of the books on the shelves of Berlin’s Central and Regional Library headquarters are thought to have been stolen by Nazis from Jews, freemasons, social democrats, and other minorities persecuted between 1933 and 1945. Because previous ownership traces have been removed and victims’ descendants are scattered across the globe, the job of returning them to their rightful owners will be difficult....
Die Welt, Sept. 14

Tech Talk

KickApps logo10 platforms for creating online communities
Dion Hinchcliffe writes: “Creating online communities of customers and workers has been one of the hotter topics in business and technology this year. Whether you’re on the business side, in IT, or are just trying to build virtual teams around shared goals, online communities are rapidly becoming a popular way to organize people and accomplish work in a highly collaborative manner. These communities aren’t just for socializing but for getting things done.”...
Enterprise Web 2.0, Sept. 4

Samsung SyncMaster 305T, 30-inch monitorScreen size does matter
Jennifer DeLeo writes: “The computer monitor or HDTV you pick says a lot about you. If you’re a web designer, you’ll need plenty of screen real estate to do your job, so a 22-inch or larger LCD monitor is a necessity. There is one universal truth, though: The standard 17-inch LCD monitors and 22-inch flat-panel TVs just don’t cut it anymore; everyone—no matter their needs—wants to upgrade to a bigger screen. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up the 17 best LCD monitors and HDTV sets for your computing or viewing pleasure.”...
PC Magazine, Sept. 16

7 things you should know about geolocation
Geolocation, also called geotagging, is the practice of associating a digital resource with a physical location. A photographer, for example, might include the longitude and latitude coordinates for where a picture was taken, allowing others to pinpoint that location on a map. Increasingly, geolocation is being applied to infrastructure components and end-user devices for the purpose of knowing where people are. This additional layer of location data can make resources much more useful to a broad range of users....
Educause Learning Initiative, Aug. 27

WorldCat on iPhoneWorldCat for iPhone
Alice Sneary writes: “I don’t have an iPhone yet, but I just found (another) reason to want one: There is now a WorldCat app developed for it, available for download at the Apple apps section (for free). If you have an iPhone, download it and let us know how it performs for you. In fact, we might even send you a free WorldCat t-shirt in exchange.”...
WorldCat Blog, Sept. 16

The state of cloud computing apps
According to a new Pew Internet and American Life Project survey (PDF file), some 69% of online Americans use webmail services, store data online, or use software programs such as word processing applications whose functionality is located on the Web. Online users who take advantage of cloud applications say they like the convenience of having access to data and applications from any web-connected device. However, their message to providers of such services is: Let’s keep the data between us....
Pew Internet and American Life Project, Sept. 12


Cover of the first Babar book, Histoire de BabarBabar and the French colonial imagination
An upcoming exhibition at the Morgan Library in New York of Jean de Brunhoff’s working drafts and watercolors for Histoire de Babar, le petit éléphant (1931) has reignited a controversy over the meaning of the Babar books, said by some critics to represent European colonialism. Writer Adam Gopnik analyzes the series and concludes: “Far more than an allegory of colonialism, the Babar books are a fable of the difficulties of a bourgeois life.”...
New Yorker, Sept. 22

Cover of The Love DareFirst the movie, then the book
Marjorie Kehe writes: “It used to be that you read the book and then, a couple of years later, you saw the movie. But recently, it’s been happening the other way around. Especially interesting is the fact that sometimes the book starts as a figment of the filmmaker’s imagination. The forthcoming Christian movie Fireproof features an imaginary book, The Love Dare, as a plot point. But the codirectors of the movie sat down and penned such a book in the space of a few weeks. It hasn’t hit bookstores yet, but has already sold 300,000 copies and may become the bestselling Christian book of 2008.”...
Christian Science Monitor, Sept. 16

Illustration from 'Découverte Australe par un Homme Volant, ou Le Dédale Français' (Southern Discovery by a Flying Man, or The French Dedalus), by Nicolas-Edmé Restif de la Bretonne (1734-1806)The roots of science fiction
Lauren Davis writes: “Science fiction came of age in the 19th century under the talents of writers like Mary Shelley, Jules Verne, and H. G. Wells. But before these authors stands a long history of proto-science fiction tales, replete with voyages to the moon, socially and technologically advanced civilizations, and visions of the future. We’ve delved into our sci-fi roots and found some of the surprisingly forward-looking works from poets, mathematicians, politicians, and philosophers that predate the year 1800.”...
io9, Sept. 16

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Actions & Answers

Banned Books flag from Dayton Metro LibraryDayton flags banned books on Flickr
Eric Wirick and Kevin Delecki at the Dayton (Ohio) Metro Library’s East branch are showing the stars and stripes for Banned Books Week (September 27–October 4). This banner, posted on Flickr, features 99 of the 100 most banned books for the years 1990–2000. There are a great number of literary classics, children’s books, and books that many people have grown up reading at home, in the library, and at school....

The counties making up the State of Washington in 1859 appear in the Atlas of Historical County Boundaries under the title "Washington Historical Counties."Cartography project puts Newberry Library on the map
Chicago’s Newberry Library is finishing up a digital project that will provide a valuable tool for collections in demographics, geography, and genealogy—the Atlas of Historical County Boundaries. By December 31, the Newberry’s project staff will have finished plotting the histories and drawing the maps that show all significant changes in the jurisdictions of the United States’ 3,000-plus counties and parishes. The project began in 1988 with plans for a printed set of atlases, but by 2002 it became clear that a digital format was imperative....
Newberry Library

School libraries try to do more with less
This fall, school libraries across the country will be working to implement new standards for learning in the 21st century—but many will be doing so with fewer resources at their disposal. AASL’s new Standards for the 21st-Century Learner come as budget cuts are threatening the job security of many library media specialists and are making it hard for school libraries to implement new programs....
eSchool News, Sept. 16

Laramie County Library, CheyenneWhy cowboys read
Libraries in Laramie County, Wyoming, are the best of an excellent lot. The collection is skewed towards local interests; there is a lot of Christian fiction, as well as volumes on truck repair. The central library runs book clubs for home-schooled children and teenagers, which are well-attended. In southern Wyoming, at least, an excellent library system was not built in the face of resistance to public spending. The interesting truth is that it is excellent precisely because of it....
The Economist, Sept. 11

Portion of table from gaming survey showing civic engagementTeen gaming is universal, diverse, and constructive
The first national survey of its kind (PDF file) finds that virtually all American teens play computer, console, or cell-phone games and that the gaming experience is rich and varied, with a significant amount of social interaction and potential for civic engagement. The survey was conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life Project and supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The study found that most teens play games with others at least some of the time and can incorporate many aspects of civic and political life....
Pew Internet and American Life Project, Sept. 16

OSU Valley LibraryOregon State alumnus leaves $2.6 million to main library
An alumnus of Oregon State University who surrounded himself with books has surprised his alma mater by giving OSU’s Valley Library in Corvallis the vast majority of his estate. Franklin A. McEdward, a 1957 OSU electrical engineering graduate, left a total of $2.6 million to the university. His gift, designated primarily for OSU’s Valley Library, will fund a new professorship dedicated to undergraduate learning initiatives and a new reading room. A portion of his estate will also support the College of Engineering, naming a lounge in the Kelley Engineering Center....
Oregon State University, Sept. 17

How to reach people who don’t use social media
Marshall Kirkpatrick writes: “Are you the only person at work who likes to read blogs? Is it your job to talk to people who would probably throw you out of their offices if you said the word ‘Twitter?’ Are you trying to reach audiences who’ve never visited a social networking website because they’ve heard those sites are used by no one but virus peddlers, sex fiends, and 14-year-old losers? Here are five strategies for using social media to reach people who don’t use social media, with specific tools you can use to do it.”...

ReadWriteWeb, Sept. 11

Michael SauersPsst! Are you Twittering yet?
Michael Sauers (right), technology innovation librarian at the Nebraska Library Commission, uses Twitter, a free message-routing and social-networking tool, to communicate with colleagues and spread the word about his organization’s reference service. He encourages others to check out Twitter for themselves—but don’t ask him to describe it. “My best answer is that it’s a mix between email and chat, where you get the benefits of the group without requiring the group to be there all the time.”...
Federal Computer Week, Aug. 25

Why doesn’t anyone comment on your blog?
Although written with associations in mind, this article offers tips that any blogger can use. Lindy Dreyer and Maddie Grant write: “Getting more comments is often important to achieving your blog’s objectives. Most of us want our audience to be more vocal, but it’s not something that happens overnight. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to build an audience that cares enough to speak up. Here are five qualities common to many blogs with a vocal audience.”...
Associations Now, Sept.

Cover of Latinos and Public Library PerceptionsNew report: Latinos and Public Library Perceptions
In partnership with the Tomás Rivera Policy Institute, WebJunction surveyed more than 2,860 Latinos in six U.S. states about their library use and perceptions of libraries. The results (PDF file) indicate that 54% of the Latino population visited libraries in the past year, and that Latinos hold positive perceptions of libraries. The report was written by Edward Flores and Harry Pachon with funds provided by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as part of the Spanish Language Outreach project....
WebJunction, Sept.

Apply for a 21st Century Librarian Grant
The Institute of Museum and Library Services invites proposals from libraries, archives, library agencies, associations, and consortia for the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian grant program. Categories of funding for this grant include master’s and doctoral LIS programs, research on librarianship, pre-professional LIS studies, and CE courses. IMLS staff will host two conference calls (October 21 and November 6) for prospective applicants....

Institute of Museum and Library Services, Sept. 15

Patrons play miniature golf in the stacksPuttering around in the stacks
Jenny Levine writes: “The Library Mini Golf fundraising group will create a miniature golf course for a library, 80% of which is a standard course. The individual holes are created in such a way that they can be set up and taken down quickly, and they can be folded down for easy storage. LMG plans to work with college design-school students to create the unique 20% of the course, which might include replicas of local buildings or other items of interest to the community. For example, it’s easy to imagine a Chicago version with a mini Sears Tower and Hancock Building.”...
The Shifted Librarian, Sept. 15

Cataloging tools from LC
Carla writes: “LC’s Cataloging and Acquisitions homepage contains a myriad of cataloging resources. One great resource that was just posted last week is an FAQ about form/genre headings (PDF file). Who hasn’t struggled occasionally to keep the distinction between subject headings and form/genre headings clear, or to figure out whether an authority record represents a form/genre heading or not?”...
Blog About Technical Services, Sept. 15

Fireshot add-onThe top 20 scholarly Firefox add-ons
Benson Varghese writes: “The popularity of Firefox continues to grow primarily because of its speed, ease of use, and the availability of free add-ons. As the amount of scholarly material available on the web increases, so to does the need to an efficient means to find, sort, organize, and cite the material. Here are 20 of the best tools available on Firefox that researchers can choose from to build a customized, highly efficient research tool.”...
Res Ipsa Blog, Aug. 23

Google News picks up some old stories
Barry Schwartz writes: “Michael Gray noticed that Google News is continuously indexing old stories on some sites as new stories. Yes, this is the exact issue that influenced the United Airlines stock price drop just a week ago. But Google News is even indexing articles from 2007 as if they were posted just days ago, although the results are not supposed to contain articles older than 30 days. So what is going on here?”...
Search Engine Land, Sept. 16; Graywolf's SEO Blog, Sept. 16; Google News Blog, Sept. 8

IMLS sponsors Pavilion of the States
Librarians from every state will participate in the Pavilion of the States at the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C., on September 27. This is the seventh year the Institute of Museum and Library Services has supported the Pavilion at the festival. This year, IMLS is distributing a free “What’s in Your Collection?” fan that includes information on the institute’s Connecting to Collections: A Call to Action, a national initiative to raise public awareness of the importance of caring for our treasures....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Sept. 15

Public radio survey on library use
Are you experiencing an increase in library usage? Has the slowing economy changed the atmosphere in your workplace? Public Insight Network is conducting a survey on library use to help American Public Media’s Marketplace show cover the news and add depth to its reporting. They claim to read every comment; a reporter may follow up for more information or an interview....

Still from Professor Wikipedia videoProfessor Wikipedia
The latest video clip (2:54) from CollegeHumor, a New York City–based website, showcases Professor Wikipedia’s attempts to teach a college class. Learn the fate of the yearbook editor who was not notable enough to include, and witness a guest appearance by Professor Britannica....
CollegeHumor, Sept. 16

ALA 2009 Midwinter Meeting logo, Denver

ALA Midwinter Meeting, Denver, January 23–28. SuperShuttle is offering discounts on round trip travel to and from the Denver International Airport and the hotels in the ALA block: $22 one way and $36 round trip using the special ALA online discount code LET6A (PDF file).

Current cover of Book Links

Looking for ways to integrate the arts into the curriculum? Find inspiration in the newest issue of Book Links, which features: interviews with Caldecott-winning illustrators Paul O. Zelinsky and Lois Ehlert; tips for conducting illustrator studies; an essay by Roxie Munro on the art of making mazes; a feature on Bob Raczka’s Art Adventures series; spine-tingling ghost stories; features on Mary Downing Hahn and Neal Shusterman; ideas for celebrating Teen Read Week and fantasy read-alouds for fantasy-phobes. NEW! From ALA Publishing.

In this issue
September 2008

Cover of September 2008 issue

The Future of Privacy

A Privacy Victory in Vermont

ALA Award Winners

Scholastic NLW grant button

The Scholastic Library Publishing National Library Week Grant will award $3,000 to a single U.S. library for the best public awareness campaign during National Library Week 2009. This year’s grant focuses on the National Library Week theme, “Worlds connect @ your library.” All proposals must use this theme. Applications must be postmarked by October 17.

Career Leads from
ALA Joblist logo

Research Librarian for Mathematics and Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Irvine, to plan and deliver innovative reference and instruction services, and develop and manage electronic and print collections in mathematics, physics, and astronomy. The successful candidate for this position will be based in Science Library Reference and jointly supervised by the Head, Reference Department and the Head, Collection Development Department....

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Digital Library of the Week

First page of trade pamphlet from ca. 1934 on the Dodge Six automobile

The Hagley Digital Archives allow researchers to access digitized items from the collections of the Hagley Museum and Library. Located on 235 acres along the banks of the Brandywine River in Wilmington, Delaware, Hagley is the site of the gunpowder works founded by E. I. du Pont in 1802, and its mission is to collect, preserve, and interpret the history of business and technology in America. Among its special image collections are aerial photos from the Dallin Aerial Survey Company (1924–1941), the Sun Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company (1917–1983), the Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company (ca. 1930), the Pierre Gentieu collection of Brandywine Valley images (1880–1920), and the Pusey & Jones Corporation collection (1865–1955). It also includes a small selection (approximately 300 items) from the library’s collection of trade catalogs and pamphlets.

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


Friends of Libraries U.S.A. is coordinating the third annual National Friends of Libraries Week, October 19–25. Friends groups can use the time to creatively promote their group in the community, to raise awareness, and to promote membership. The celebration also offers an excellent opportunity for the library staff and Board of Trustees to recognize the Friends for their help and support of the library.

Public Perception
How the World
Sees Us

“The coarsening of our society is worthy of concern and even action. It is up to us as a community of caring, thoughtful people to take that action, together, particularly in defense of our children. But let’s not start by taking library books.... Upon reflection, I wondered why my conservative brethren get so bothered by words that they resort to censorship and taking books from a library. We ought to defend all words and condemn censorship, particularly the censorship by one zealot like [JoAn] Karkos who believes she knows better than her community what is acceptable to read. Words are not dangerous. Zealotry and censorship are dangerous.”

—George Smith, executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine and chairman of the Trustees of the Shaw Memorial Library, Mount Vernon, Maine, in an editorial on JoAn Karkos, who refused to return a book she deemed inappropriate to the Lewiston Public Library, Waterville (Maine) Morning Sentinel, Sept. 3, 2008.


In early September, ALTA members received a special ballot on a bylaws change that would provide for combining the division with Friends of Libraries U.S.A. into a new, expanded division of ALA. If approved, the new division would be called the Association for Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends, and Foundations (ALTAFF). Division members have until October 6 to return their ballots.

Ask the ALA Librarian

Classic kids books recommended by ALSC and Oprah

Q. One of my patrons mentioned something about Oprah and a children’s book list. Can you give me more information about this?

A. In August, ALSC partnered with The Oprah Winfrey Show. There was a press release that explained the list, which can be found on Oprah’s Book Club website. See the Readers’ Advisory wiki page for additional sources of information on books to suggest to your patrons, be they young or old. By the way, the books listed are not part of the ALA organizational membership benefit of providing copies of the Oprah books. From the ALA Professional Tips wiki.

@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.

Stage in ALA Island, Second Life

ALA Island in Second Life now has a Facebook Fan page. Feel free to join and tell your friends.


Oct. 26–30:

17th Conference on Information and Knowledge Management,
Napa Valley Marriott Hotel and Spa, California.

Oct. 27–28:
Conference and Vendor Fair, Sheraton Philadelphia.

Oct. 28–31:
Annual Conference, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Florida. “Interaction, Ideas, Inspiration.”

Oct. 29–31:
North Carolina School Library Media Association,
Annual Conference, Benton Convention Center, Winston-Salem. “Innovation: Media Specialists for Change.”

Nov. 7–8:
WorldCat Hackathon, Science, Industry, and Business Library, New York City. Sponsored by the OCLC Developer’s Network and NYPL Labs, the event will provide an opportunity for brainstorming and coding mashups with local systems and other Web services to take advantage of all that WorldCat has to offer.

Nov. 17–18:
Digital Repositories Meeting, Renaissance Harborplace Hotel, Baltimore.

Nov. 17–21:
E-Learn 2008,
World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education, Riviera Hotel and Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Dec. 1–3:
ARL/ACRL Institute on Scholarly Communication,
Portland, Oregon.

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

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

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