The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | February 4,

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

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AL Buyers Guide

U.S. & World News

Kate McClellandKathy Krasniewicz. Photo by Molly CollinsTwo librarians killed in Denver car crash
Two librarians on their way home to Greenwich, Connecticut, from the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Denver were killed January 28 when the taxi they were taking to Denver International Airport was struck by a suspected drunk driver. Kathy Krasniewicz (left), 54, director of youth services at the Perrot Memorial Library, and Kate McClelland, 71, who retired in 2007 from the same post Krasniewicz held at Perrot, were thrown from the minivan when it was hit by a pickup truck on Peña Boulevard. ALA and ALSC released a statement January 29 regarding the tragic accident....
American Libraries Online, Jan. 29

Children’s books get one-year reprieve from anti-lead law
Librarians can breathe a sigh of relief thanks to a one-year stay of enforcement on having to test for lead in books geared to youngsters under the age of 12. The extension until February 10, 2010, puts an end to the nightmare scenario envisioned by some in the library community of having to either ban children from their facilities or cordon off the book collections in youth services areas until federal regulators concede that children’s literature complies with the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act....
American Libraries Online, Jan. 31

Philadelphia branches to stay open until July
Mayor Michael Nutter has retreated—at least for the time being—from his plan to close 11 branches of the Free Library of Philadelphia. Four weeks after a judge ordered a halt to the closings, Deputy Mayor Donald Schwarz announced at a January 28 budget meeting that the branches would remain open at least through June 30....
American Libraries Online, Jan. 30

ALA News

Future of libraries addressed at ALA Midwinter Meeting
The future role of libraries in tough economic times and the influence libraries will exert within the new administration of President Barack Obama were key themes discussed during ALA’s 2009 Midwinter Meeting in Denver. The annual planning meeting, held January 23–28 at the Colorado Convention Center, attracted 7,905 librarians and 2,315 exhibitors....

ALA news on Twitter
Regular updates on news from ALA and its divisions can now be found on Twitter. The ALA News Twitter feed will have ALA-related video and photos, posts from the PIO Visibility @ your library blog, and news from the Campaign for America’s Libraries. American Libraries is also featuring its news stories, videos, and blog posts on an American Libraries Twitter feed....

Improving Literacy Through School Libraries gets high marks
In January, the U.S. Department of Education released a second evaluation of the Improving Literacy Through School Libraries program. The evaluation indicated that students attending schools participating in the program are performing 2.7% higher on state reading tests than students in schools that do not take part....

Graphic from Job-seeking issues briefNew issues brief on job-seeking in public libraries
The ALA Office for Research and Statistics is drawing attention to the increasingly important role public libraries are playing in supporting job seekers. Job-seeking in U.S. Public Libraries (PDF file) discusses the range of library resources available and the challenges libraries face in maintaining these services. Nine states report increased use of library computers for job-seeking and e-government services, while nearly 73% of libraries are their communities’ only source of free computer and internet access....

Diversity Office calls for grant proposals
The ALA Office for Diversity seeks proposals for its Diversity Research Grant program. Applicants must be current ALA members, and 2009 proposals must address one of three identified topics: meeting diversity goals in the context of economic challenges, librarianship in multicultural or multigenerational community building, or libraries’ multicultural involvement in social networking. Deadline is April 30....

Children at the American Memorial Library, a branch of the Berlin Central and Regional Library, look at books donated by the American EmbassyAmerica @ your library
Since 2005, the embassies of Germany and Finland have been working to provide up-to-date information and resources about the United States to libraries in their communities through the America @ your library program. In Germany, information resource centers in the embassy and consulates work with local libraries to select books and other information materials on the United States. The program also brings authors and experts, including Pulitzer Prize–winner Annie Proulx, abroad to read from their works....

The 60 or so submissions for this year's Library Design ShowcaseBuildings and landscapes
Greg Landgraf writes: “The beginning of February also means the beginning of facilities season at American Libraries. The Library Design Showcase in the April issue is one of the largest individual articles of the year, and with the deadline for submissions passing yesterday, the bulk of the work on this end starts now. AL editors and designers will meet soon to select the projects and the photos that will be included in the showcase.”...
AL Inside Scoop, Feb. 3

2009 NLW logo, "Worlds Connect @ your library"New radio PSAs for National Library Week
New radio-quality public service announcements are now available online to help libraries reach out to their communities during National Library Week (April 12–18) from the ALA Public Information Office and the Campaign for America’s Libraries. They are available in both 15- and 30-second formats and focus on libraries as places of opportunity....

Booklist Online logo

Cover of Nation audiobook, by Terry PratchettFeatured review: Media
Pratchett, Terry. Nation. Read by Stephen Briggs. Oct. 2008. 9.5 hr. Harper, CD (978-0-06-165821-1).
What qualities ensure the continued existence of a nation? This thoughtful survival story examines the concepts that create a civilization’s collective consciousness, pitting science against superstition as survivors of a massive tsunami struggle to forge a new culture on a tiny tropical isle. Thirteen-year-old Mau, the sole native survivor of a small island “somewhere in the South Pelagic Ocean,” and Daphne, a shipwrecked successor to the British throne, unite in a shared duty to build a community of survivors. Briggs’s eloquent reading, with perfectly balanced expression, begins with restrained tones that intensify listeners’ engagement....

Still from video trailer for Daniel Kraus's Monster VariationsVideos filled with literary stars
Keir Graff writes: “Among the many exciting things Booklist will be doing in 2009 is adding original videos to the Likely Stories blog. Shot by our talented Books for Youth editors, they’ll be edited by our singularly multitalented associate editor (and former American Libraries associate editor) Daniel Kraus. Actually, I’m going to kick this thing off with one of the trailers for Dan’s forthcoming book, The Monster Variations (Delacorte).”...
Likely Stories, Feb. 4

Graphic for Playaway audio player storyThe Playaway digital audio player
Mary Burkey writes: “The Playaway preloaded digital audio player has become a circulation hit in libraries. Each unit (one half the size of a deck of cards) holds one audiobook title in a durable housing and comes with a battery, lanyard, and earbuds. The controls are easy to use (especially important for seniors and the visually impaired), and the content cannot be erased or duplicated. Playaways complement existing cassette, CD, and download formats in audio collections.”...

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

Denver Update

A dozen neat takeaways from the ALA Midwinter Meeting
Karen Schneider writes: “My killer-app moment was with Summon, a new unified-search service from Serial Solutions that does what we really want a product like this to do: natively indexes data from its sources (databases, ebooks, OPACs, etc.) so that retrieval is fast and consistent. Also, following ALA Council proceedings via Twitter. Yup, there are folks twittering key Council votes. Council may not be interested in transparency, but transparency is interested in Council.”...
Free Range Librarian, Feb. 2

The Hyatt Regency’s librarian cocktails
Check out some of the drink selections developed by the Denver Hyatt’s bartending staff especially for librarians attending the ALA Midwinter Meeting: the Overdue, made with rum, orange and pineapple juices, and raspberry purée; the Boolean Operator, with mango rum, crème de cacao, and cream; and the Happy Librarian, a mix of tequila, triple sec, fresh lime, cucumber, cilantro, and green Tabasco....
Denver Westword, Jan. 28

Division News

AASL launches third year of longitudinal study
AASL launched the third year of its School Libraries Count! longitudinal study on January 27. The study gathers basic data about the status of school library media programs across the country. The division will use this information to develop advocacy tools to support school library media programs at the local, state, and national levels. The last day to complete the survey is March 12....

Cover of Standards for the 21st-Century Learner in ActionThe 21st-century learner in action
AASL has released a new publication, Standards for the 21st-Century Learner in Action, which expands and supports the division’s new learning standards, Standards for the 21st-Century Learner. The publication includes indicators, benchmarks, model examples, and assessments to support school library media specialists and other educators in teaching the essential learning skills defined in the standards....

ACRL 2009 National Conference logoRegistration opens for ACRL Virtual Conference
ACRL will offer a Virtual Conference during its 14th National Conference in Seattle. The Virtual Conference, held March 13–14, will provide academic and research librarians unable to make the trip to Seattle an affordable opportunity to participate in the conference. For those librarians with reduced support for professional development or travel, the virtual National Conference is a great way to leverage a small investment into large learning opportunities....

ASCLA’s silent auction a success
A silent auction held at the ASCLA/COSLA reception at the ALA Midwinter Meeting raised $1,145 to benefit the ASCLA Century Scholarship. Reception attendees enjoyed delicious desserts, while bidding on a variety of items generously donated by vendors. Proceeds from the auction directly benefit the scholarship fund and promote its long-term financial viability....

ALSC Student Sessions in February and March
ALSC is inviting student members to interact, network, and learn virtually through its new online workshop series, ALSC Student Sessions. These one-hour programs, taking place in OPAL (Online Programming for All Libraries), give students the opportunity to learn first-hand about hot library issues from ALSC members around the country....

PLA offers marketing workshop for public libraries
PLA is offering public librarians an opportunity to learn practical skills and knowledge that will help them better market their libraries’ programs and services. The Marketing workshop, taught by Wayne Piper, is scheduled for April 21–22 in Kansas City, Missouri, and features an intensive, small-group environment. Participants will learn how to draft, implement, and measure an effective marketing plan that aligns with their library’s strategic goals....


Gloriana St. ClairGloriana St. Clair named 2009 Academic/Research Librarian of the Year
Gloriana St. Clair, dean of university libraries at Carnegie Mellon University, is the 2009 ACRL Academic/Research Librarian of the Year. The award, sponsored by YBP Library Services, recognizes an outstanding member of the library profession who has made a significant national or international contribution to academic/research librarianship and library development. St. Clair will receive a $5,000 award on March 12 at the opening keynote session of the ACRL 14th National Conference in Seattle....

Interior of Wyndham Robertson Library, Hollins University2009 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award
ACRL has announced the recipients of its 2009 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award: The Moraine Valley Community College Library in Palos Hills, Illinois; the Wyndham Robertson Library (right) at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia; and the University of Minnesota Libraries, Twin Cities Libraries. Sponsored by ACRL and Blackwell’s Book Services, the award recognizes the staff of a college, university, and community college library for programs that deliver exemplary services and resources to further the educational mission of the institution....

Campaign button for "St. Paul-itics" program2009 John Cotton Dana Public Relations Award winners
Six libraries are winners of the John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award, which recognizes and honors outstanding achievement in library public relations. The honor has been awarded continuously since 1946 and is sponsored by the H. W. Wilson Company, the H. W. Wilson Foundation, and LLAMA. One of the winners was the St. Paul (Minn.) Public Library for its “St. Paul-itics” campaign, a dynamic program created to inform and engage citizens in the political convention and election season....
Leads from LLAMA, Feb. 2

Zora Neale Hurston Award inaugural winner
Miriam Rodriguez, assistant director for public services and community integration at the Dallas Public Library, is the recipient of RUSA’s first Zora Neale Hurston Award. Rodriguez was selected for her role in Tulisoma, a successful and growing community-based literary festival that features African-American authors and artists and promotes literacy and the arts. The award recognizes an individual RUSA member who has demonstrated leadership in promoting African-American literature....

Cover of Dark Dude, by Oscar Hijuelos, a 2009 Best Book for Young Adults2009 Best Books for Young Adults
YALSA has announced its 2009 list of Best Books for Young Adults. The list of 86 books, drawn from 224 official nominations, was presented at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Denver. The list comprises a wide range of genres and styles, including contemporary realistic fiction that reflects the diversity of the teen experience, nonfiction that brings to teens an awareness of the world they live in and its history, and fantastical stories told in both narrative and graphic formats. The fully annotated list is available online....

Cover of Monster Zoo, by Doug TenNapel, a 2009 best graphic novel2009 Great Graphic Novels for Teens
YALSA has announced its 2009 Great Graphic Novels for Teens. The list of 53 titles, drawn from 154 official nominations, was presented at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Denver. The books, recommended for those ages 12–18, meet the criteria of both good quality literature and appealing reading for teens. The fully annotated list is available online....

Cover of Farts: A Spotter's Guide, by Crai S. Bower, a 2009 Quick Pick2009 Quick Picks for Reluctant YA Readers
YALSA has announced its 2009 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers selection list. The list was presented at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Denver. The Quick Picks list suggests books for teens, ages 12-18, to pick up on their own and read for pleasure; it is geared to the teenager who, for whatever reason, does not like to read. The annotated list is available online....

Box cover of 10 Things I Hate About You, a 2009 Fabulous Film2009 Fabulous Films for Young Adults
YALSA has announced its 2009 Fabulous Films for Young Adults list. The list identifies a body of films relating to the theme “Coming of Age Around the World” that will appeal to young adults ages 12–18; it was presented at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Denver. It includes films, both fiction and nonfiction, that deal with what it’s like to come of age in different places and diverse cultures. The full list is available online....

Cover of Skybreaker, by Kenneth Oppel, a 2009 Amazing Audiobook2009 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults
YALSA has announced its 2009 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults list. The list, for those ages 12–18, is drawn from the previous two years of spoken-word releases and was presented at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Denver. This year’s list includes 20 fiction titles and one nonfiction title representing diverse genres and styles, including historical fiction, fantasy, and realistic fiction. The full list is available online....

Cover of American-Made, by Nick Taylor, a 2009 Notable Book2009 Notable Books
RUSA has announced its selections for the 2009 CODES Notable Books Council Book Award. The Notable Book Award makes available to the nation’s readers a list of 25 very good, very readable, and at times very important fiction, nonfiction, and poetry books for the adult reader. Authors of these selected titles will be invited to speak at the Literary Tastes Breakfast, a ticketed RUSA event at the ALA Annual Conference....

Cover of The New Encyclopedia of Orchids, a 2009 Outstanding Reference Source2009 Outstanding Reference Sources
RUSA has announced its selections for the 2009 Outstanding Reference Sources list. Established in 1958, the Outstanding Reference Sources award recognizes the best reference publications for small and medium-sized libraries. An annotated list of these outstanding reference works is published annually in the May issue of American Libraries....

Cover of The Spymaster's Lady, by Joanna Bourne, a romance fiction winner2009 Best Genre Fiction Titles
RUSA has announced its selection for its 2009 Reading List award. The Reading List annually recognizes the best books in eight genres. This year’s list includes novels that will please die-hard fans as well as introduce new readers to the pleasures of genre fiction. Authors of these selected titles will be invited to speak at the Literary Tastes Breakfast, a ticketed RUSA event at the ALA Annual Conference....

Cover of Songs for the Butcher's Daughter2009 Sophie Brody Medal
RUSA has announced its selections for the 2009 Sophie Brody Medal. The award, which consists of a medal for the winner and citations for honor books, is funded by Arthur Brody and the Brodart Foundation, and is given to encourage, recognize, and commend outstanding achievement in Jewish literature. This year’s winner is Peter Manseau for Songs for the Butcher’s Daughter (Free Press)....

Youth Media Awards Today Show clipALA Youth Media Awards on Today Show
On January 27, the ALA 2009 Caldecott and Newbery Medal winners and the chair of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee appeared on NBC’s Today Show to discuss the Youth Media Awards. Neil Gaiman, Beth Krommes, and Deborah Taylor were interviewed by coanchor Al Roker....

ACRL Distance Learning Librarian award
Jack E. Fritts Jr., director of library services at Benedictine University, has been named the 2009 recipient of the ACRL Distance Learning Section Haworth Press Distance Learning Librarian Conference Sponsorship Award. The award honors an ACRL member working in the field of, or contributing to the success of, distance learning librarianship or related library service in higher education....

ACRL Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship
Krystyna K. Matusiak, digital collections librarian at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee libraries, has been awarded the 2009 ACRL Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship for her proposal, “Use of Digital Resources in an Academic Environment: A Qualitative Study of Students’ Perceptions, Experiences, and Digital Literacy Skills.”...

2009 Best Teen Read Week Celebration contest
Jennifer Velasquez, a young adult librarian at the San Antonio (Tex.) Public Library, and Kim Dillon, teacher-librarian at Washougal (Wash.) High School, won YALSA’s 2009 Best Teen Read Week Celebration. Teen Read Week corporate sponsor Mirrorstone Books,, and YALSA cosponsored the contest....

2009 Baker & Taylor Conference Grant winners
YALSA awarded Kate Toebbe and Laurie Amster-Burton the 2009 Baker & Taylor Conference Grant. Each will receive a $1,000 grant to attend the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, July 9–15. The grant is awarded for first-time attendance at an Annual Conference....

2009 BWI Collection Development Grant winners
Lexie Robinson of the Huntsville–Madison County (Ala.) Public Library and Wini Ashooh of the Porter branch of the Central Rappahannock Regional Library in Stafford, Virginia, won the 2009 BWI Collection Development Grant, administered by YALSA. Each receives a grant of $1,000, donated by BWI, for collection development. The grant recipient is a YALSA member who represents a public library and works directly with young adults ages 12–18....

Broder, by Paulette Myers-Rich, detailPaulette Myers-Rich wins 2009 Minnesota Book Artist award
Paulette Myers-Rich is the winner of the 2009 Book Artist Award, cosponsored by the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library and the Minnesota Center for Book Arts, which recognizes a Minnesota book artist or book-artist collaborative group for excellence throughout a body of work. Myers-Rich works extensively with black-and-white photography, with artists’ books being her favored format....

Friends of the St. Paul (Minn.) Public Library, Jan. 31

Arabian branch of the Scottsdale (Ariz.) Public LibraryScottsdale branch receives Smart Environments Award
Designed by Phoenix-based firm Richärd + Bauer, the Arabian branch of the Scottsdale (Ariz.) Public Library utilizes innovative, green building design to encourage people to visit the library. The building is gorgeous, inviting, brightly lit, and a recent winner of the 2008 International Interior Design Association/Metropolis Smart Environments Award. Additionally, the librarians have removed themselves from behind the traditional desk and are stationed by computer kiosks to help patrons find the information they need....
Inhabitat, Jan. 28; Metropolis, Jan.

Still from To Infinity and BeyondSparky Award winners
Four student productions are winners of the second annual Sparky Awards, a contest organized by SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) and adopted by campuses nationwide that calls on entrants to creatively illustrate in a short video the value of sharing ideas. The winners were announced January 24 at a public screening held in connection with the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Denver. The Grand Prize winner is To Infinity and Beyond (0:59), by students at the University of Illinois at Chicago Honors College....
SPARC, Feb. 3

Seen Online

Judith Hoffberg. Photo by Art Librarians of Southern CaliforniaArt librarian Judith Hoffberg dies at 74
Judith Hoffberg, an art librarian and curator who was a major influence in the emergence of books as an artist’s medium yet winked at the genre by establishing a global festival of edible books, died January 16 at her Santa Monica, California, home. Hoffberg was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in October. Since 1978, Hoffberg had edited and published Umbrella, a journal increasingly dedicated to artists’ books. She was a cofounder of the Art Libraries Society of North America and served as its first chairman in 1973....
Los Angeles Times, Jan. 27

Sara SiebertFormer YA librarian leaves Pratt Library $650,000
Officials at Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore happily discovered the esteem one of their retirees held for the place. Upon her death in 2008, Sara Siebert directed that more than $650,000 of her assets go to the library, a figure that exceeds the total of all the paychecks she took home in her 34 years as Pratt’s director of young adult reading. Siebert, an energetic and popular librarian who sought no attention as a donor during her life, left an estate of more than $2 million after her death at age 88....
Baltimore Sun, Jan. 31

US Airways pilot Chesley SullenbergerCSU Fresno waives lost book fee for heroic pilot
Heroic US Airways pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger (right) splash-landed his jetliner in the Hudson River on January 15, and everyone on board escaped safely. But left in the cargo hold was a book on professional ethics that Sullenberger had checked out from California State University, Fresno, through the Danville branch of the Contra Costa County Library. Sullenberger asked for an extension, but Fresno librarians were struck by Sullenberger’s sense of responsibility, waived all the fees, and dedicated a replacement book to him....
Fresno (Calif.) Bee, Feb. 2

Berkeley library given waiver to sign 3M deal
The Berkeley, California, city council voted January 28 to allow its public library to bypass the Nuclear Free Berkeley Act in order to get its checkout machines serviced. After a heated debate that lasted past midnight, the council voted 6–2, with one abstention, to grant a waiver for the library to contract with 3M, even though the firm refused to sign a form promising it does not engage in nuclear research or development....
San Francisco Chronicle, Jan. 29

Proposed new San Diego Central LibrarySan Diego responds to library-school concept
San Diego and its school district have come up with a new twist to save the downtown public library–school concept: Instead of spending more money and time on a feasibility study, perhaps state safety codes for public schools can be waived. In a February 2 letter (PDF file) to California State Librarian Susan Hildreth, Mayor Jerry Sanders said he “remains cautiously optimistic that such an arrangement can be reached” to save the longstanding plan for an iconic $185-million central library downtown....
San Diego (Calif.) Union-Tribune, Feb. 3

The first black public library supervisor in North Carolina
She came from a family of educators and achievers. Fresh out of library school in Atlanta, she arrived in Charlotte in 1947 as director of the city’s only library for African Americans. Three years later, Allegra Westbrooks, now 87, was reassigned to the main public library that served only whites; ultimately, she was placed in charge of all branches. That made her the first black public library supervisor in North Carolina....
Charlotte (N.C.) Observer, Feb. 4

Cedar Rapids’ smooth move
Dozens of volunteers helped move books, DVDs, and other materials from the Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Public Library’s Westdale branch February 1 to the new Bridge Library in a former drugstore space. The Bridge, the temporary replacement for the flood-wrecked downtown library, may open later this week, and it’s certain to be operating before the February 13 grand opening....
Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Gazette, Feb. 2

Study links TV and depression
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and Harvard Medical School looked at the media habits of 4,142 healthy adolescents and calculated that each additional hour of TV watched per day boosted the odds of becoming depressed by 8%. Other forms of media, such as playing computer games and watching videos, did not affect the risk of depression, according to the study published February 3 in the Archives of General Psychology. Compared with other forms of media, TV may be particularly damaging because it is so time-consuming, all-absorbing, and laden with ads....
Los Angeles Times, Feb. 3

Closures loom for University of Arizona
As the University of Arizona tries to accommodate a recent $142-million statewide cut in higher-education funding, its libraries face the decision of either increasing tuition or eliminating two libraries. Carla Stoffle, dean of libraries and creative photography, said the Fine Arts Library and the Center for Creative Photography library would close this summer if there were no increase in the “information technology/library” student fee. She also said that the Special Collections library would have to reduce its hours to 20 per week....
University of Arizona Daily Wildcat, Feb. 2

Winthrop (Mass.) Public LibraryWinthrop Public Library in jeopardy
Deep budget cuts could force the town of Winthrop to close its beloved public library, making it the first in Massachusetts to shut down because of the recession. In late January, Gov. Deval Patrick cut $511,000 in state aid to Winthrop and some town officials want the Winthrop Public Library to fork over the remainder of its fiscal-year budget, about $220,000, to help cover the shortfall, said Jim Matarazzo, chairman of the library’s board of trustees. “We don’t mind helping the town, but to take all of our budget in effect closes the library,” Matarazzo said....
Boston Herald, Jan. 31

Bozeman partially reimbursed for toxic cleanup at library
The Montana Department of Environmental Quality sent the city of Bozeman $830,000 in late January to cover a portion of the cleanup costs of toxic materials at the public library site. The city had spent more than $2.4 million to remove thousands of yards of lead-, asbestos-, and petroleum-contaminated soil from the site before it began constructon of the new main library that opened in 2006. The city and state have wrangled for years over the reimbursement....
Bozeman (Mont.) Daily Chronicle, Jan. 31

Sex offender pleads guilty to New Bedford library rape
Convicted sex offender Corey Deen Saunders pleaded guilty February 2 to raping a 6-year-old boy in the second-floor magazine room of the New Bedford (Mass.) Public Library in January 2008. Saunders entered a guilty plea to multiple charges including rape of a child, indecent assault and battery, and enticing a child. City-wide outrage after the incident prompted the city to adopt a child safety-zone ordinance, which bans individuals convicted of juvenile sex crimes from being in public places where children are present....
New Bedford (Mass.) Standard-Times, Feb. 3

Waldo (front) and Olivia, the Ocean Shores library catsLibrary cats are purr-fect for the job
Long before Dewey became a best-selling book, the Ocean Shores (Wash.) Public Library board voted to add library staffers with fur. Since then, cats have found a place in the small community’s library, creating an atmosphere that patrons say draws the community together, encourages children to settle down and read, brings out the gentler side in even the most difficult teen, and has the side benefit of being one of the most effective marketing strategies around. Watch the video (1:45)....
Seattle Times, Feb. 3

Philadelphia Housing Authority opens first library
The Philadelphia Housing Authority and city officials came together January 29 with children from the Boys and Girls Club to dedicate their first library. It will serve the families living in North Philadelphia’s Richard Allen and Cambridge housing developments. Two other PHA libraries are planned in south and west Philadelphia. With the future of the city’s public library branches in question, a new library seems like a luxury....
Philadelphia Inquirer, Jan. 30

Ernest Hemingway at the Finca Vigia, San Francisco de Paula, Cuba, 1947. Photo from JFK Presidential LibraryCuba agrees to share Hemingway papers
A 1940 letter from author Sinclair Lewis is one of hundreds of revealing notes, letters, and manuscripts included in more than 3,000 documents copied from file cabinets and a large trunk kept in Ernest Hemingway’s home outside Havana, Cuba, that were recently obtained by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library. The collection, never before available to U.S. researchers, arrived recently in Boston out of a rare cultural exchange launched by Hemingway family members and friends, with assistance from Rep. James P. McGovern (D-Mass.) and approved by Fidel Castro in 2002....
Worcester (Mass.) Telegram, Jan. 30

Director of the National Library of Peru Hugo Neira (right) thanks  Francisco Miró Quesada, editor of the El Comercio newspaper, for returning four stolen books acquired by an anonymous collectorStolen rare books returned to National Library of Peru
Four rare 16th–19th-century books stolen from the National Library of Peru have been purchased and returned by an anonymous collector in order to prevent their irreplaceable loss. The collector received a visit from a man who offered the valuable books to him, but he rejected the deal and threatened to report him to the police. To his surprise, a few days later another person dropped by and offered to sell him the same books; at that point he decided to acquire them to prevent their loss. One of the books was a 1578 edition of the Annalium libri quatuor by French historian Jean Papire Masson (1544–1611). The El Comercio newspaper in Lima acted as go-between....
Latin American Herald Tribune, Jan. 27; El Comercio (Lima), Jan. 26; National Library of Peru

Alleged Shakespeare Folio thief Raymond Scott emerges from a Stretch HummerTo plea or not to plea?
A British antiques dealer was charged January 28 with stealing a £3-million first edition of Shakespeare’s works from Durham University. Raymond Scott (right) said he would plead “very much not guilty” and would relish his day in court. Durham University’s Shakespeare First Folio, published in 1623, was stolen in 1998. Scott posted bail and is slated to appear before North Durham Magistrates on February 10. He said he did not believe he would be jailed, saying he loved his “fair England,” but added if he were, he would seek a job in the prison library. Be sure to watch the news video....
Darlington (U.K.) Northern Echo, Jan. 29

Libraries’ silence abets tome raiders
Libraries across the world were given a brief respite when William Simon Jacques, a Cambridge graduate with an IQ on the genius rating, was convicted in 2002 and jailed for four years for stealing £1-million worth of rare books from the British Library. Still a master of the alias and disguise, Jacques is out of prison and up to his old tricks once more. Alan Shelley, current president of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association, said the only way to eradicate the trafficking in rare books is to work closely with libraries, auctioneers, and dealers....
The Guardian (U.K.), Feb. 2

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Tech Talk

M-Lab logoIs your ISP throttling your internet connection?
Think your Internet Service Provider is messing with your connection performance? Now you can find out, with Google’s new online tools that will diagnose your network connection. Out of the three available tests, Glasnost will check whether your ISP is slowing down (like Comcast) or blocking Peer2Peer downloads from software such as BitTorrent. Here’s a quick walkthrough....
Today @ PC World, Jan. 29

Google Earth underwater viewGoogle Earth 5.0 goes under the sea and back in time
David Chartier writes: “Google announced February 2 a new version of Google Earth with features that focus on what is under our ocean, in our past, and above our heads. Ars Technica did some vicarious adventuring to check out the new features. One of the most interesting features of this release is the introduction of an interactive ocean; others allow the user to view changes across time, visit Mars, and create a video record of a trip through Google Earth.”...
Ars Technica, Feb. 2

Twitterfeed logoThe 100 most popular Twitter applications
Paul Fabretti writes: “Ok, so the title is a little sensationalist, but I had to get you here somehow so you could see the most bookmarked web-based Twitter applications of the moment. This has been compiled on the basis of the number of saved bookmarks on Delicious and clearly not the definitive list based on registered users or traffic.”...
Blending the Mix, Jan. 23

Dynastree map for surname EberhartDynastree maps last names
Web site Dynastree’s surname map lays out how people with your last name are distributed across the United States (along with Canada and Germany). The search tool is a breeze to use. Just enter your last name, hit Search, and Dynastree returns a very simple heatmap displaying the distribution of your last name across the United States....
Lifehacker, Feb. 2

Embed custom Google News on your website
Another new feature from Google: the ability to create a Google News slideshow that you can embed on your own website. The company has launched the NewsShow wizard that lets you pick a search expression (such as “public library”), a search topic (like “Top Headlines”), and specify a few design options. From there, the Google NewsShow is just copy-and-paste iframe code....
Mashable, Feb. 3

How to take your data back from Google
Stan Schroeder writes: “Let’s face it: Every web service, Google included, can mess up, and sometimes it means losing your data. So, when was the last time you backed up the data on the various Google services you use? I thought so. Let’s look at some easy solutions for extracting and backing up your data on such popular Google apps as Google docs, Gmail, Google Reader, Google Calendar, and more.”...
Mashable, Feb. 2


Holocaust Survivors recordings logoBritish Library puts Holocaust testimonies online
The moving and often disturbing testimonies of Jewish migrants and refugees to Britain, many of whom survived Nazi concentration and labor camps, are being made freely available online in their entirety for the first time by the British Library. More than 440 hours of life-story recordings explore 66 personal experiences of persecution across war-torn Europe and the impact of the Holocaust. This Jewish Survivors of the Holocaust resource supports primary and secondary education, supplementing the online study materials and lesson plans provided by the British Library’s Learning team....
British Library, Jan. 28

GradShare logoAn online community for graduate students
Steven Bell writes: “A potential source of help for grad students may be a new online community developed by ProQuest for graduate students called GradShare (in beta, of course). According to an interview with a GradShare spokesperson, ‘Gradshare will become a way for graduate students to use peer mentoring to get answers to questions that they’re either not comfortable asking their advisors or unable to ask their advisors.’”...
ACRLog, Jan. 30; Chronicle of Higher Education, Jan. 29

BookExpo Canada bites the dust
BookExpo Canada is no more, and neither is the planned Toronto Book Fair in October. In an expected move, the trade fair’s U.S.-based organizer Reed Exhibitions announced February 2 that it won’t hold the Toronto-based BookExpo in June—the first time in more than 50 years that the country has not had an industry-themed spring event for booksellers, publishers, distributors, and authors. There is some question as to whether BookExpo America will survive in the long run, an industry insider said....
Toronto Globe and Mail, Feb. 2–3

Cover of Flood by Stephen BaxterLocus magazine’s best science fiction list
This recommended reading list is a consensus by Locus editors and reviewers with input from outside reviewers, other professionals, and other lists. Essays by many of these contributors are published in the February issue. The list is divided into SF novels, fantasy novels, first novels, YA books, collections, anthologies (original, reprints, and best of the year), nonfiction, art books, novellas, novelettes, and short stories....
Locus, Feb.

The H. W. Wilson lighthouseA tour of H. W. Wilson in the Bronx
Corey Kilgannon writes: “The 30-foot-tall iron lighthouse atop a building in the Highbridge section of the Bronx is the longtime logo for the H. W. Wilson Company, an outfit that is as old as it sounds (founded in 1898) and whose offices looked almost as old when I walked into the place January 30. ‘The lighthouse is our company logo, you know, shining a light,’ said Director of Marketing Frank Daly, and he rebuffed my repeated attempts to persuade him to take me to the roof.”...
New York Times, Feb. 3

Cover of Wikipedia: The Missing ManualO’Reilly Media posts online, editable Wikipedia manual
As of January 26, the entire contents of Wikipedia: The Missing Manual (O’Reilly Media) by John Broughton is available for free online for editing and updating, just like any other Wikipedia entry. The drive to post it online was spearheaded by the author, a registered editor at Wikipedia since 2005, who says he looks forward to seeing what changes and improvements his fellow Wikipedians will make to his book....
O’Reilly Media, Jan. 26

The once and future e-book
Veteran e-book publisher John Siracusa writes: “The pace of the e-book market over the past decade has been excruciatingly—and yes, unjustly—slow. My frustration is much like that of the Mac users of old. Here’s an awesome, obvious, inevitable idea, seemingly thwarted at every turn by widespread consumer misunderstanding and an endemic lack of will among the big players. I do have a lot of e-book related things to get off my chest. And so, this will be part editorial, part polemic, part rant, but also, I hope, somewhat educational.”...
Ars Technica, Feb. 1

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Actions & Answers

Book on disco dancing last checked out in 1985 from a Twin Cities school library, from KSTP-TV news reportMinnesota’s aging school library collections
Doug Johnson writes: “Hard-hitting investigative reporting: ‘Books on disco dancing from the 1970s. On computer graphics from the 1980s. Where did we find them? Your local school library.’ This short (5:18) clip, an over-generalization of the status of school library print collections, is probably pretty accurate. The automatic assumption is that the reason for aged collections is a lack of funding. It’s actually more complicated than that.”...
Blue Skunk Blog, Feb. 2; KSTP-TV, St. Paul, Jan. 27

Research libraries and digital repository services
The Association of Research Libraries Digital Repository Issues Task Force has released its final report on evaluating trends and contextualizing repository activities among ARL libraries. The Research Library’s Role in Digital Repository Services (PDF file) identifies key issues surrounding repository development, explores common strategies that libraries are using, and discusses issues where ARL and its member libraries should focus attention....
Association of Research Libraries, Feb. 3

Curious George Earth Science bannerCurious George activities
Recently, children’s librarians nationwide received a Curious George Earth Science banner (right), which offered easy-to-use activities on its reverse side. Now PBS needs to hear from anyone who has used the activities. A number of librarians who answer a brief online survey will win 25-book sets of Curious George Flies a Kite to distribute to children. Your feedback is essential to PBS’s continuing to provide such free resources....
WGBH Educational Foundation

Google: What’s in it for libraries?
Karen Coyle has posted a version of her talk at the ALA Midwinter Meeting on the Google/AAP settlement: “What I have to work with is the settlement document, all 140+ pages and 15 appendixes, which is the same information that is available to you. But in spite of its size, that is just the tip of the iceberg. It doesn’t reveal the discussions that took place nor the reasons behind the decisions that were made. This greatly limits what we can and cannot know about the potential effect on libraries. Although I do not have answers, I do have many questions.”...
Coyle’s InFormation, Jan. 28

Still from screencast demo of Camtasia softwareScreencasting as infotainment
Ellyssa Kroski writes: “With just a little practice, an inexpensive headset, and a free or discounted software program, you too can create snazzy, instructional videos for your library. Just follow the eight steps outlined below and start recording helpful screencasts to teach your students and library patrons how to search library databases, find homework help, research colleges, sign up for the summer reading program, and more.”...
School Library Journal, Feb. 1

Using Twitter in libraries
Phil Bradley writes: “It may be useful to provide some justifications for the use of the service by libraries or librarians. Speaking from my own experience I use Twitter for a variety of different things, among them information updating, trending information, asking questions, self-promotion. I could go on, but hopefully I’ve made my point—on a personal level this has quickly become a tool that is extraordinarily useful. Now, let’s briefly look at how libraries can use this tool.”...
Phil Bradley’s weblog, Jan. 29

CLIR helps fund the California Ephemera Project
The Council on Library and Information Resources has awarded four San Francisco institutions a Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives grant of $247,738 to support the California Ephemera Project. The California Historical Society will lead the project, collaborating with the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society; the San Francisco Public Library; and the Society of California Pioneers. The California Ephemera Project will result in a searchable, online catalog linking the ephemera collections of all four institutions....
San Francisco Public Library, Jan. 20

A portion of the Maxon BookmarkThe Maxon library bookmark
Larry Nix writes: “Henry E. Legler, former Secretary of the Wisconsin Free Library Commission, wrote the following about the Maxon bookmark in his 1918 book Library Ideals: ‘What is known far and wide as the Maxon bookmark originated in Wisconsin, and was the conception of the Rev. Mr. Maxon, then resident in Dunn County. It has been reprinted on little slips in hundreds of forms, has circulated in every state and territory in the country, and doubtless a full million copies of it have been slipped between the leaves of children’s books.’”...
Wisconsin Library Heritage Center, Feb. 3

Portion of Russian Romanization table from LCNeed a Romanization table?
Links (with a handful of exceptions) to the scanned text of the 1997 edition of the ALA-LC Romanization Tables: Transliteration Schemes for Non-Roman Scripts, approved by the Library of Congress and the American Library Association, are available on the LC website. They also come in handy when you don’t have access to, for example, a Cyrillic font and need to transliterate a Russian title....
Library of Congress Cataloging and Acquisitions

Still from ACLU video featuring Chris HansenACLU on internet filtering
Chris Hansen, attorney for the ACLU First Amendment Group, discusses the difference between voluntary use of filters as an alternative to a criminal statute and governmentally imposed filters in this video (2:20): “We shouldn’t be in the business of having the government make the decision that it’s worth it to censor 20% of the internet for all of us, just in the name of protecting children.”...
YouTube, Jan. 26

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American Libraries on Twitter

AL on Twitter? Follow American Libraries news stories, videos, and blog posts on Twitter.

2009 ALA Annual Conference logo

ALA Annual Conference, Chicago, July 9–15. Registration is now open.

2009 Teen Tech Week poster

Teen Tech Week is YALSA’s national initiative for teens, their parents, educators, and other concerned adults, whose pupose is to encourage teens to use the libraries’ nonprint resources for education and recreation. This year’s theme is “Press Play.” NEW! From ALA Graphics.

In this issue
January/February 2009

Cover of January/February 2009 issue

Gaming @ your library

The Minneapolis-Hennepin merger

Testing the Web 2.0 waters

I Love My Librarian awards

Career Leads from
ALA Joblist logo

Genealogy Librarian II, Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, Indiana. Assist department manager and other staff members with public service work, explaining research principles and procedures to patrons. Participate in collection development. Help in planning and implementing departmental programming, particularly educational outreach. Preferred: Previous genealogical research experience strongly desired....

@ More jobs...

Digital Library of the Week

Pachtuwa-Chta, An Arikara Warrior (1839), Hand-colored aquatint drawn by Karl Bodmer (1809-1893). J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah. uu_vig27

The Mountain West Digital Library is an aggregation of digital collections from universities, colleges, public libraries, museums, and historical societies in Utah, Nevada, and Idaho. Hosting institutions each run servers supporting their own digital collections and support partner institutions by providing scanning and hosting services. The Mountain West defines the region of contributors, but the content extends beyond the Mountain West and into different fields.

Do you know of a digital library collection that we can mention in this AL Direct feature? Tell us about it. Browse previous Digital Libraries of the Week at the I Love Libraries site.

Public Perception
How the World
Sees Us

“The cold has brought them in again. It happens every year. Like swallows to Capistrano, in reverse, they come not to escape the heat but to find it. Bedraggled and grim-faced, weighed down by tattered duffels and beat-up thermoses, they trickle in as temperatures drop.”

—News columnist Charity Vogel on winter visitors to the city’s central library, Buffalo (N.Y.) News, Jan. 12.

Teen Tech Week 2009 logo

February 9 is the last day to register for YALSA’s Teen Tech Week, March 8–14. The theme is Press Play @ your library, encouraging teens to take advantage of the many technologies available to them, free of charge, at their libraries.

Ask the ALA Librarian

A filing nightmare

Q. I have just been hired as a librarian at a local company. The library of this organization was headed for many years by someone who was not a trained librarian. The current filing system needs total revamping and I’m looking for some ideas and help to guide me through the process. Can you help?

A. There are two main versions of filing rules: letter-by-letter and word-by-word. These are mostly for more traditional library catalog filing, but there are some more general resources available on the wiki page. If you are interested in having a consultant assist you, you might want to check with your local Special Libraries Association chapter. From the ALA Professional Tips wiki.

@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.

School Library Media Journal logo

Rutgers researchers Carol Gordon and Ya-Ling Lu interviewed 70 low-achieving students who had a low participation rate in a web-based high school summer reading program that replaced traditional reading lists. In “I Hate to Read—Or Do I?” published in volume 11 (2008) of AASL’s online-only School Library Media Journal, they reveal that low achievers have a strong preference for alternative reading materials.


Feb. 16–
Mar. 13:

Business Reference 101. Online course sponsored by RUSA.

Feb. 16–
Mar. 21:

Genealogy 101. Online course sponsored by RUSA.

Feb. 24:
Information Commons 101. Webcast sponsored by ACRL.

Feb. 27:
Lawyers for Libraries Training Institute, Los Angeles. Sponsored by the Office for Intellectual Freedom.

Mar. 2:
Teens and Technology, Wyoming Seminary College Preparatory School, Kingston, Pennsylvania. Sponsored by YALSA.

Mar. 2–28:
Web Design and Construction for Libraries, Part 1: XHTML and CSS. Online course sponsored by ACRL.

Mar. 12–13:
Organization and Personnel Management, Decatur, Georgia. Certified Public Library Administrator course sponsored by PLA.

Mar. 23–
Apr. 10:

Introduction to Website Usability. Online course sponsored by ACRL.

Apr. 2–4:
Current Issues,
Nashville, Tennessee. Certified Public Library Administrator course sponsored by PLA.

Apr. 2–30:
Marketing Basics for Libraries. Online course sponsored by RUSA.

Apr. 14–15:
Serving Diverse Populations, Spokane, Washington. Certified Public Library Administrator course sponsored by PLA.

Apr. 21–22:
Marketing, Kansas City, Missouri. Certified Public Library Administrator course sponsored by PLA.

Apr. 29–30:
Organization and Personnel Management, Saratoga Springs, New York. Certified Public Library Administrator course sponsored by PLA.

May 4–29:
Business Reference 101. Online course sponsored by RUSA.

May 4–
June 19:

The Reference Interview. Online course sponsored by RUSA.

May 13–14:
Budget and Finance, Columbus, Ohio. Certified Public Library Administrator course sponsored by PLA.

June 4–5:
Politics and Networking, Decatur, Georgia. Certified Public Library Administrator course sponsored by PLA.

Aug. 6–7:
Serving Diverse Populations, Houston, Texas. Certified Public Library Administrator course sponsored by PLA.

Sept. 16–17:
Planning and Management of Buildings, Saratoga Springs, New York. Certified Public Library Administrator course sponsored by PLA.

@ More...

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American Libraries Direct

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