The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | February 18,

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

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AL Buyers Guide

U.S. & World News

Stimulus package will fund libraries
The $787-billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (PDF file) signed by President Obama February 17 includes several economic-stimulus provisions that could directly benefit libraries. ALA Washington Office Executive Director Emily Sheketoff cited librarians’ role in shaping the legislation: After an amendment was introduced in the Senate that would have stripped the broadband funding for libraries, an alert from ALA generated over 1,200 phone calls in three hours, helping convince legislators to retain the provision....
American Libraries Online, Feb. 18

Wall Street Journal front pageWall Street Journal to close its research library
The Wall Street Journal has announced that it will close its news research library on March 23. Leslie A. Norman, who heads the library, said in a February 5 posting on the NewsLib online discussion group that she and News Assistant Ed Ramos had received their termination notices that day. The library closure is part of a 14-person newsroom job reduction announced by the Journal....
American Libraries Online, Feb. 13

ALA News

Help shape ALA’s strategic plan
Members can help strengthen and improve the programs and services that ALA provides by participating in a survey from February 23 through March 15. Log in using your seven-digit ALA member number found on your membership card and on the American Libraries mailing label. The survey takes approximately 15 minutes to complete. It will help ALA conduct a five-year evaluation of its programs and services as it creates a strategic plan for the future....

Hogan, Matthews, and Young elected to Executive Board
Patricia M. Hogan, Stephen L. Matthews, and Courtney L. Young have been elected to serve on the ALA Executive Board. The new board members were elected by the ALA Council in a vote taken at the 2009 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Denver. They will each serve three-year terms beginning in July 2009 and concluding in June 2012....

Search extended for endowment trustee
In an effort to increase the pool of candidates, the ALA Executive Board has extended the search for the position of trustee for the ALA Endowment Fund. The candidate will be selected at the board’s spring meeting, April 24–26. The deadline for applications is April 10....

A new round of Virtual Poster Sessions
Following the success of his Virtual Poster Sessions last fall, ALA President Jim Rettig has called for a second session this spring.  The focus will be “Inquire Within.” Submitters are asked to communicate practical research aimed at addressing challenges that face your library. Email a proposal in the form of a summary of your library’s efforts by May 1 to John M. Budd....

Staff to discuss ALA connections
The next installment in the series of ALA President Jim Rettig’s ALA Connections Salons will be an online discussion with John Chrastka, director of membership development, and Kristin Murphy, government relations specialist at the ALA Washington Office. Chrastka and Murphy will discuss how ALA is connecting with members, affiliated and unaffiliated organizations nationally and abroad, government agencies, and the general public. The discussion will take place 2–3 p.m. Eastern time, February 20, in OPAL....

Google Book Search settlement discussed
Members of the library community discussed the implications of the Google Book Search settlement in a February 9 meeting hosted in Washington, D.C., by the ALA Washington Office, ACRL, and the Association of Research Libraries. Under the settlement, Google and the American Association of Publishers and Authors Guild resolved their legal dispute over the scanning of millions of books provided by research libraries. The settlement has very real implications for public policy and the way libraries of all types will operate....
Association of Research Libraries, Feb. 12

Cover of Zero over Berlin, by Sasaki Joh (2007)Japanese books for U.S. public libraries
Thanks to a generous grant from Toyota, the International Relations Office is offering a set of 50 translated works of Japanese modern fiction and nonfiction as a benefit to 200 public libraries that are ALA organizational members. The books provide a sampling of popular works from Japan in many genres, among them fiction, fantasy, mystery, horror, history, and manga. ALA will provide the sets to libraries on a first come, first served basis, with a final deadline of February 25. Contact Carmen Mare....

AL Focus

The Big Blue Bear looks into the Denver convention center2009 Midwinter Meeting overview
From Denver comes coverage (2:43) of ALA’s 2009 Midwinter Meeting. Included are the announcement of this year’s Newbery Medal–winning book, sights from the exhibit hall, the annual “View from the Top” discussion panel, conversations with former ALA President Carol Brey-Casiano and former Colorado State Senator Ken Gordon, and ALA Immediate Past President Loriene Roy discussing the forthcoming PBS series We Shall Remain....

Booklist Online logo

Cover of The GambleFeatured review: Adult books
Ricks, Thomas E. The Gamble: General David Petraeus and the American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2006–2008. Feb. 2009. 394p. Penguin, hardcover (978-1-59420-197-4).
Fiasco (2006), Ricks’s best-selling book about the Iraq War, dissected what went wrong. Now he explains how things began to go right. Beginning in late 2005, when the war seemed lost, he offers a compelling overview of the situation as it went forward; thanks to extensive interviews with the military principals, State Department officials, and others, there is copious detail on the rationales behind new strategies. Combining a nonfiction writer’s ability to synthesize masses of facts with a storyteller’s gift for narrative, Ricks shows that it was three men—retired general Jack Keene, Lieutenant General Ray Odierno, and General David Petraeus—who, in essence, went around the chain of command to put the pieces for the “surge” in place....

Bookmakers series graphicBookmakers
We review books. We talk to authors. Now Booklist is going behind the scenes with “Bookmakers,” a new series profiling the most prominent editors, publishers, art directors, and designers in the field, who will discuss how they take raw manuscripts and illustrations and turn them into published works. To inaugurate this ongoing feature, Children’s Books Editor Ilene Cooper spoke with Anne Schwartz and Lee Wade about their eponymous Random House imprint, Schwartz and Wade Books....

Free webinar: An introduction to Booklist Online
If you haven’t yet visited Booklist Online, don’t miss your chance for a guided tour, February 25, 3–4 p.m. Central time. This free orientation, led by Senior Editor Keir Graff, demonstrates Booklist Online’s value as a selection, collection development, and readers’ advisory tool—for both library staff and library patrons....

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

Division News

New logo for ALTAFFNew ALTAFF division blends two strong voices for advocacy
On February 1, ALTA and Friends of Libraries U.S.A. joined forces to form a new ALA division, the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends, and Foundations. This new division brings together trustees and Friends into a partnership that promises to extend the Association’s advocacy efforts, boost membership, and grow revenues....

AASL National Conference logoAASL’s Exploratorium to explore best practices
Attendees at the AASL National Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina, will once again benefit from one of the conference’s most popular events, the Exploratorium, on November 5. The Exploratorium features more than 50 small simultaneous programs that provide a taste of the current research, projects, and best practices in the school library media field....

Sea-Tac Airport's avian radar system. From the CNN videoSeattle airport uses cutting-edge bird deterrence
Librarians flying to Seattle’s Sea-Tac Airport for the ACRL National Conference in March will be landing at a facility that uses technology to detect and deter birds that would otherwise get in the way of airplanes. The airport has a wildlife biologist on staff and spends $250,000 annually on bird-removal operations, including three avian radar terminals (above) that track the birds within six miles and up to 3,000 feet. Watch the video (1:51)....
CNN, Feb. 11

ALSC preconference to shine light on intellectual freedom
ALSC will host a preconference, “Meeting the Challenge: Practical Tips and Inspiring Tales on Intellectual Freedom,” on July 10 during the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. The preconference will emphasize the right to read as an essential foundation of library service to youth and will feature librarians and intellectual freedom advocates, including author Judy Blume....

Family histories uncovered at RUSA preconference
The RUSA History Section invites librarians, library staff, and personal family history researchers to attend a July 10 preconference on “From Lincoln Logs to Linkin’ Families” held in conjunction with the 2009 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. The one-day event highlights newly available Illinois-specific genealogy resources as well as resources for African-American family history research....

RUSA preconference on older adults
The current economic downturn is prompting more older adults to turn to the library for assistance with job searching and other resource needs. Librarians looking to better serve this growing population segment can plan to attend the July 10 preconference, “A Dialogue with the Aging Network and the Library Community: The New Guidelines on Library and Information Services to Older Adults,” at the 2009 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago....


PLA award winners represent excellence in public libraries
PLA has announced the winners of eight awards, honoring the best in public library service and innovation. Among the winners are Barbara Clubb of the Ottawa (Ont.) Public Library; Donna Nicely of the Nashville (Tenn.) Public Library; the Scottsdale (Ariz.) Public Library; and the Gail Borden Public Library in Elgin, Illinois....

East Iberville School2009 Coretta Scott King Review book donation grants
The Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee has awarded 2009 Coretta Scott King Review book donation grants to East Iberville School (right) in St. Gabriel, Louisiana; the Huntsville-Madison County (Ala.) Public Library; and the Legal Aid Society Juvenile Rights Practice of New York. The grants help to bring books into the lives of children in latchkey programs, preschool programs, faith-based reading projects, homeless shelters, charter schools, and underfunded libraries....

Linda KrikosACRL Women’s Studies Career Achievement Award
Linda Krikos, faculty emerita at the Ohio State University Libraries in Columbus, has been selected as the 2009 winner of the ACRL Women’s Studies Section Career Achievement Award. The award, sponsored by Greenwood Publishing Group, honors significant long-standing contributions to women’s studies in the field of librarianship over the course of a career....

Three libraries selected for Bookapalooza
ALSC has announced the winners of its third annual Bookapalooza program. The three libraries selected to receive a collection of children’s materials are Fletcher (Okla.) Public School Library, Laguna (N.Mex.) Public Library, and Henry Whittemore Elementary School Library in Waltham, Massachusetts....

Two schools win Alibris collection grant
Online bookseller Alibris has named the Wapello (Iowa) Junior/Senior High School and the Mark Twain Elementary School and Academy in Detroit, Michigan, as cowinners of the 2009 Alibris Collection Award. The Wapello school will receive $1,500 for historical fiction books to replace those damaged in the 2008 flood, and the Mark Twain school will receive the same amount for story books to prepare students for an increasingly global economy....
Literacy News, Feb. 15

Cover of Tried by War, by James M. McPhersonTwo authors share Lincoln Prize
Two books will share the 2009 Lincoln Prize, bestowed by Gettysburg College for scholarship on the 16th president. The winning works are Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief by James M. McPherson, and Lincoln and His Admirals: Abraham Lincoln, the U.S. Navy, and the Civil War by Craig L. Symonds. Each author will receive $25,000 and a bronze cast of Lincoln at a ceremony on April 7....
New York Times, Feb. 11

Miriam Braverman Prize: Call for papers
Are you an LIS student interested in activism and the struggle for social justice? Do you stay awake at night thinking about how your politics might inform your professional practice? The Miriam Braverman Memorial Prize, sponsored by the Progressive Librarians Guild, is awarded each year for the best paper about some aspect of the social responsibilities of librarians, libraries, or librarianship. The deadline is May 1....
Progressive Librarians Guild

Seen Online

Stephanie Rosalia teaches critical thinking to 5th-graders (from the video)The 21st-century school librarian
A group of 5th-graders huddled around laptop computers in the school library overseen by Stephanie Rosalia and looked at a website about explorers that was intentionally peppered with misinformation. Rosalia, school librarian at P.S. 225, a combined elementary and middle school in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, urged caution. Most of the students ignored her, as she knew they would. But Nozimakon Omonullaeva, 11, noticed something odd on a page about Christopher Columbus. Watch the video (5:32)....
New York Times, Feb. 15

Diane Kresh interviewed on CNNRecession has many running for the library
CNN’s Jessica Doyle reports that “many Americans are turning to an ‘old friend’ to aid in their job search . . . the public library.” The news segment (1:16) featured interviews with ALA President Jim Rettig and Arlington (Va.) Public Library Director Diane Kresh (right)....
CNN / KCAL-TV, Los Angeles, Feb. 11

A. Lincoln at 200Libraries and Lincoln are natural partners
It’s all Lincoln, all the time, in libraries in Illinois and across the United States. One of the biggest programs is at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois, which is headquartering the 2008–10 Lincoln Bicentennial celebration. The Library of Congress is exhibiting the Bible used both by Lincoln and Barack Obama in taking their oaths of office, a letter suggesting Lincoln grow a beard to improve his sullen appearance, and the items found in Lincoln’s pockets the night of his murder. The University of Rochester is posting online digital facsimiles of Fanny Seward’s diary describing the failed attempt on the life of her father (Secretary of State William Seward) the same night as the Lincoln assassination....
Philadelphia Inquirer, Feb. 15; Rock Island (Ill.) Argus, Feb. 6; Newberry Library; University of Iowa; St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Feb. 13; University of Rochester, Feb. 9

Page one of Lincoln's November 10, 1864, reelection victory speechLibrary sells Lincoln notes for record price
The Southworth Library in Dryden, New York, had been holding on to Abraham Lincoln’s original notes for his 1864 reelection victory speech for more than 80 years. But on February 12 the library sold the manuscript to an anonymous buyer at an auction at Christie’s New York for $3.44 million—the highest amount paid at auction for a historical American manuscript. The notes were presented to the library in 1926 by the widow of Rep. John Wilbur Dwight, a Dryden native, who had received them from Lincoln’s son in appreciation for his work in support of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C....
Ithaca (N.Y.) Journal, Feb. 13; Southworth Library

Facebook backtracks on terms-of-use update
After outcry from just about every corner of the web over Facebook’s controversial change to its terms of use, the company has hit the rewind button. Facebook has reverted to the previous version of the terms—one that doesn’t include the disputed clause that granted the company permission to maintain user data indefinitely, founder Mark Zuckerberg announced on a post to the company blog February 17. The change came just a day after Zuckerberg’s unsatisfying response to privacy concerns....
Los Angeles Times, Feb. 16, 18; Facebook blog, Feb. 16–17

UCLA Library receives its largest donation ever
This July, the University of California, Los Angeles, library system will receive a check for $1 million, the first installment of a $5-million donation. The donation is the largest gift ever for library collections, and comes from the Arcadia trust, a London-based funding group whose mission is the preservation of cultural knowledge and materials. University Librarian Gary E. Strong said the money could be used to build new collections or expand digitization efforts into new areas of concentration....
UCLA Daily Bruin, Feb. 13; UCLA, Feb. 10

Diane TrapAnother librarian on Jeopardy
University of Georgia reference librarian, graphic designer, and cake artist Diane Trap dethroned a Jeopardy champion on national television February 13. Sixty of Trap’s library colleagues and friends crammed into the Blind Pig Tavern in Athens to watch her appearance. Trap had to keep her victory a secret until then, since the episode was taped in Los Angeles in December. After winning $21,400, Trap competed again on February 16, but came in third place defending her title....
Athens (Ga.) Banner-Herald, Feb. 13, 17

Branch closures in Terre Haute
The Vigo County (Ind.) Public Library plans to close three of its Terre Haute branches in a budget-cutting move. The library board approved the closures with a 6–1 vote on February 16, with administrators saying the action will save about $900,000 and result in the layoff of as many as 14 workers. The Meadows branch is under a temporary lease and could close at the end of February, while the North and South branches could close in March....
Terra Haute Tribune Star, Feb. 16

Light trustee duty doubled former senator’s pension
John A. Brennan Jr. won praise when he resigned after 19 years of service as a member of the Malden (Mass.) Public Library board of trustees, a volunteer seat he held despite a busy career as a lobbyist. Brennan, a 63-year-old former state senator who departed the Legislature in 1990, barely attended monthly library board meetings during the last four years. Yet instead of receiving $19,097 a year in retirement based on 16 years as a full-time legislator in the 1970s and 1980s, he will receive a $41,088 annual pension for the combination of his legislative and library service....
Boston Globe, Feb. 11

Sherry WaschevskiStorm blows roof off Tennessee library
Residents cleaned up after a scary storm February 11 left a librarian at the Deer Lodge (Tenn.) Library wondering if she’d be alive to see another day. Librarian Sherry Waschevski (right) was temporarily trapped inside when part of the roof blew off the Abner Ross Community Center where the library is located. Waschevski said there was no damage to the library interior, but the flat roof leaks so they will need to get it covered soon....
WVLT-TV, Knoxville, Feb. 12

Jessica Brewer talks about the Mint Hill branch coupon clubLibrary hosts coupon-cutting club
Advertising coupons are more popular than ever as many shoppers look for ways to save money. The Mint Hill branch of the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, hosts a coupon-cutting club to help their patrons save money. “I think some people are intimidated to use coupons. They think it’s too complicated or it’s going to be too much work,” said Mint Hill staffer Jessica Brewer (above)....
News 14 Carolina, Raleigh, Feb. 15

Hussein Rama helps children read books at Nicofeli Youth Club in Kibera. Photo: Maxwell Agwanda/StandardA library is transforming Kenya’s largest slum
A remarkable library, run by the Nicofeli Youth Club, is promoting reading culture and bringing communities together in Kibera, Nairobi’s worst neighborhood. The library is the brainchild of Ron Reason, a worldwide expert in design and publishing, who discovered that Kibera residents were readers and returned to Chicago to set the wheels in motion to create a library for this distressed neighborhood....
Nairobi Standard, Feb. 14

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Tech Talk

Who Can See This? custom privacy setting10 privacy settings every Facebook user should know
Nick O’Neill writes: “Every day I receive an email from somebody about how their account was hacked, how a friend tagged them in the photo and they want a way to avoid it, as well as a number of other complications related to their privacy on Facebook. Here is a step-by-step process for protecting your privacy.”...
AllFacebook, Feb. 2

Do we need a new internet?
Security on the internet is bad. Bad enough that there is a growing belief among engineers and security experts that internet security and privacy have become so maddeningly elusive that the only way to fix the problem is to start over. What a new internet might look like is still widely debated, but one alternative would, in effect, create a “gated community” where users would give up their anonymity and certain freedoms in return for safety....
New York Times, Feb. 14

Sniffing out illicit BitTorrent files
Duncan Graham-Rowe writes: “A new technique has been developed for detecting and tracking illegal content transferred using the BitTorrent file-trading protocol. According to its creators, the approach can monitor networks without interrupting the flow of data and provides investigators with hard evidence of illicit file transfers. When the tool detects such a file, it keeps a record of the network addresses involved for later analysis.”...
Technology Review, Feb. 12

Movie Collector displayThe five best tools for a personal movie collection
Jason Fitzpatrick writes: “It’s easy to lose track of DVDs and downloaded videos in a big collection. To keep better tabs on your visual stuff, check out our top five finalists for best movie cataloging tools. Several of our favorites in this list are paid commercial releases. The price and supported operating system are noted beside each entry.”...
Lifehacker, Feb. 15

20 WordPress tricks to improve your blog
Steven Snell writes: “One of the reasons WordPress is so popular is because of its flexibility. Designers, developers, and bloggers have plenty of options. In this post we’ll look at a combination of tutorials for improving a WordPress-based site, and plugins that can provide added functionality that will bring new possibilities.”..., Feb. 11

Kindle and rare book with magnifying glassWhy there isn’t a perfect e-book reader
Matt Buchanan writes: “Amazon’s Kindle 2, announced February 9, is probably the best e-book reader you can buy. But neither it, nor any other reader out there, will be converting the masses anytime soon. Here’s why: display technology. Readers are, after all, designed for the singular purpose of displaying content that’s easy on the eyes. As of now, there are two display camps—electronic paper and LCD—and both have far too many compromises at the moment to be adequate for a reading revolution.”...
Gizmodo, Feb. 9, 12

Top 9 dirty tricks online scammers use
Joan Goodchild writes: “What the average guy might call a con is known in the security world as social engineering. Social engineering is the criminal art of scamming a person into doing something or divulging sensitive information. These days, there are thousands of ways for con artists to pull off their tricks (See Social Engineering: Eight Common Tactics). Here we look at some of the most common lines these people are using to fool their victims.”...
PC World, Feb. 17; CSO, Nov. 6, 2008


Cover of Teaching Dickens: A Masterpiece GuideFree online resources for The Tales of Charles Dickens
The Tales of Charles Dickens began February 15 on the PBS Masterpiece Classic series with a new adaptation of Oliver Twist, and will be followed by David Copperfield, Little Dorrit, and The Old Curiosity Shop. For librarians, The Masterpiece Guide to Teaching Charles Dickens (PDF file), featuring provocative discussion questions and interactive activities, can be downloaded from the Masterpiece website....
Public Broadcasting Service

Women's History Month bookmark from GaleMarch is Women’s History Month
In recognition of Women’s History Month in March, Gale is offering free resources and activities on its Women’s History Month website. The site offers such free resources as suggested activities, weekly quizzes, biographies, a timeline, and links to complement classroom topics. New downloadable bookmarks, a calendar, and screensavers are also available....
Gale Cengage Learning, Feb. 17

Image from Jewish Women encyclopediaJewish women’s history online
A free, comprehensive, online resource on the history of Jewish women will debut March 1 on the Jewish Women’s Archive website. Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia, edited by Paula Hyman of Yale University and Dalia Ofer of Hebrew University of Jerusalem, includes more than 1,700 biographies, 300 thematic essays, and 1,400 photographs and illustrations. The 2006 encyclopedia was previously available only on CD-ROM, but the online version will have an improved interface and enhanced features....
Jewish Women’s Archive, Feb. 2

Books about universities
Lorcan Dempsey writes: “Many of the pages in WorldCat Identities are for corporate authors. It is interesting in these cases to see what the most widely held items about the institution in question are. The list of most widely held items about Ohio State University has a strong football flavor. Thinking along these lines, I tried Notre Dame, only to discover that the list is dominated by mystery novels written by Ralph McInerny.”...
Lorcan Dempsey’s Weblog, Feb. 16

A new Read Meme
Kaite Stover writes: “I am always looking for a fun activity to do with any number of book groups. They make great ice breakers for the attendees and also give me an idea of who my readers are. Here is a book meme that could be a great opening activity for a new book group or a refresher for a longstanding one. Once you’ve answered all the questions, tag 150,000 of your closest friends, relatives, librarians, and various and sundry other book pushers.”...
Book Group Buzz, Feb. 16

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Actions & Answers

Special Illinois Barack Obama license plateObama license plates help fund Illinois libraries
The Illinois Library Association is offering official Barack Obama special-event Illinois license plates for $50 a pair to help fund the group’s activities. The plates are available for purchase for $50 a pair. The proceeds will support the association’s summer reading program. The plates can be displayed on Illinois vehicles until April 17, after which they can be purchased nationwide as a collectible. ILA hopes to have them on sale at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago....
Illinois Library Association

Cover of Gathering at the WatersJCLC 2006 Conference Proceedings
Gathering at the Waters: Embracing Our Spirits, Telling Our Stories, the Proceedings of the First National Joint Conference of Librarians of Color, October 11–15, 2006, Dallas, Texas, has been published online using Nxtbook Media’s page-turning technology. Edited by Gladys Smiley Bell, the proceedings includes keynote speakers, hot topics, and contributed papers....
Joint Conference of Librarians of Color

The LJ Index of Public Library Service 2009
Library Journal’s new national rating of public libraries, the LJ Index of Public Library Service, identifies the star libraries in the United States. The index, by Ray Lyons and Keith Curry Lance and sponsored by Baker and Taylor’s Bibliostat, rates 7,115 public libraries according to four output measures that indicate public service—circulation per capita, visits per capita, program attendance per capita, and public internet usage per capita—based on 2006 data collected by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and published in late 2008....
Library Journal, Feb. 15, pp. 26–33

Freedom to Read Week 2009 posterFreedom to Read Week in Canada
Freedom to Read Week, February 22–28, encourages Canadians to think about and reaffirm their commitment to intellectual freedom, guaranteed under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The event, now in its 25th year, is sponsored by the Canada Council for the Arts and receives support from readers, writers, publishers, librarians, educators, booksellers, and other organizations....
Freedom to Read Week

FDsys search boxFDsys goes live
Miriam A. Drake writes: “The U.S. Government Printing Office hit the switch in early February and brought up its new digital system, FDsys, that will ultimately replace GPO Access. FDsys is an information management system that enables GPO to gather, process, preserve, archive, and make U.S. government information available to the public. It currently provides access to more than 154,000 documents. Document migration from GPO Access is expected to be completed by mid-2009 when the system will provide access to more than 300,000 documents.”...
Information Today, Feb. 17

Show us the data and the Center for Democracy and Technology recently launched a website that allows the public to decide what government information should be available on the internet. Show Us the Data gives the public the opportunity to share what documents they think should be made available and vote on the documents that others have submitted. The deadline to participate is March 9....
District Dispatch, Feb. 17

Title page of progress reportProject Information Literacy progress report
Project Information Literacy is a national study about early adults and their information-seeking behaviors, competencies, and the challenges they face when conducting research in the digital age. Based in the University of Washington’s iSchool, the progress report (PDF file) investigates how students on seven college campuses conduct research for coursework and how they conduct everyday research for use in their daily lives....
Project Information Literacy, Feb. 4

Open access at risk again
On February 3, Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) reintroduced a bill that would reverse the NIH Public Access Policy and make it impossible for other federal agencies to put similar policies into place. The legislation is the Fair Copyright in Research Works Act (H.R. 801)(PDF file). In effect, the bill would severely limit the ability of federal agencies to use works that they have funded to support and fulfill agency missions and to communicate with and educate the public....
Alliance for Taxpayer Access, Feb. 11

Collections waiting to be processed. NCSU Special Collections Research Center. Photo by Lisa CarterIt’s the collections that are special
Lisa Carter writes: “I’m beginning to think that what’s wrong with special collections and archives today is that they are considered special. They are set aside, revered, and left as the last great mystery the library holds. The collections themselves are special in that they are rare, unique, fantastic, and archaic and they do need special handling and care. However, our regard for these materials has enabled us to treat them so differently that they are not accessible.”...
In the Library with the Lead Pipe, Feb. 11

The library website of the future
Steven Bell writes: “The urge to plunge into the cornucopia of electronic riches that lies waiting in the library’s highly organized portal should be irresistible. It should be a scholar’s dream, but there’s trouble in paradise. The August 2008 Ithaka Report, Studies of Key Stakeholders in the Digital Transformation of Higher Education (PDF file), shows there is a significant disconnect when it comes to faculty use of the library’s website as a gateway, or portal, to access that wealth of electronic content. This needs to change.”...
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 17

Pennsylvania State Senator Jeffery E. Piccola (R-15) visits students at Foose Elementary School in the Harrisburg School District, during Constitution Week. Photo by Leann CoxPennsylvania’s Legislator @ your library campaign
The Pennsylvania School Librarians Association has launched a new effort to educate a whole new student body. The Legislator @ your library campaign is a way for PSLA members to invite local state legislators to visit school libraries. Visits are designed to showcase the importance of school libraries in student academic achievement, to promote the library as a place of learning, to demonstrate the role of school library media specialists, and to create new partners in library advocacy....
Pennsylvania School Librarians Association

10 Gmail Labs features you should enable
Adam Pash writes: “Gmail has been slowly but surely rolling out cool new features ever since they started Gmail Labs. If you haven’t taken advantage of the fruits of Labs, here’s a look at 10 Labs features you should enable, including offline Gmail, multiple inboxes, and tasks.”...
Lifehacker, Feb. 6

Books trump internet in Canadian librarians’ debate
Don Mills, director of library services for the Mississauga (Ont.) Library System, stood up in front of 30 people in the Texaco Room of the Port Credit branch February 5 and told his stunned audience that with the advance of the internet, their books were no better than door jams. Cambridge (Ont.) Public Library Director Greg Hayton countered that “the internet encourages distractions.” After the public debate (sponsored by the local Rotary Club) was over, the audience voted 21 to 10 in favor of books....
Green Lights, Feb. 7

ULC expands search for new CEO
The Urban Libraries Council is continuing its search for a new president and chief executive officer. The ULC launched its search in late 2008 and will continue it through the first quarter of 2009, expanding to a broader audience of potential candidates....
Urban Libraries Council, Feb. 12

Markham, Illinois, Mayor David Webb with Trustee Sue Klaus at the opening of the new public library in MarkhamHow Markham built its new library
Trustee Treasurer Sue Klaus (right) tells the story (7:18) of how Markham, Illinois, built its new Bradford Anderson Oglesby Public Library, from passing a referendum in 2002, through various stages of construction, to the grand opening in March 2008....
YouTube, Mar. 9, 2008

Two library diners at the McCracken County (Ky.) Public LibraryTasty choices @ your library
The McCracken County Public Library in Paducah, Kentucky, produced this PSA (0:32) in 2006 to highlight the “scrumptious selection of choices to feed your mind at a price everyone can afford.” The library serves these diners an exquisite menu of bibliothecal delights....
YouTube, Aug. 9, 2006

New Jersey library user looks for a job. From the NJSL PSANew Jersey’s new library commercial
This is a 30-second commercial the New Jersey State Library produced for the state Public Television Network that highlights how libraries are helping patrons get jobs in tough economic times. “Nearly 200,000 people use New Jersey library computers every week.”...
YouTube, Feb. 12

Andrew Abranovic, Ryan A. Leonard, and Will Xhong sing about their Information CommonsThe Weigle Information Commons music video
Students are singing about the wonders of the David B. Weigle Information Commons, located in the University of Pennsylvania’s Van Pelt Library, in this video (3:03) directed by Ryan A. Leonard. Sung to the tune of Petula Clark’s “Downtown”: “We can forget all our troubles, forget all our cares, and go Weigle.”...
University of Pennsylvania

Ruby slippers in the Salt Lake County Library Oz videoThe Wizard of Oz: A tale of library circulation
The Draper branch of the Salt Lake County (Utah) Library portrayed itself as an Oz-like fantasyland in this short video (2:10), first presented at the 2007 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. Library Director Jim Cooper was the executive producer. Directed by Ernest Q. Bourne, with actors Telesa Rountree (Dorothy), Beverly Dusserre (librarian), Darlene Dineen (witch), Alexis Alires (Lion), and Karl Gilchrist (Tin Woodman and Scarecrow)....
YouTube, June 25, 2007

Mindy Kaling gets caught trying to retrieve her keys from the library lost and foundErik the Librarian: Is this a dream, Lucifer?
In episode 4 (2:36) of this original 60Frames series, Matt Besser accuses Matt Braunger of book theft, while Mindy Kaling (right, star of the NBC-TV sitcom The Office) attempts to retrieve her keys out of the library’s lost and found without Erik the Librarian noticing her presence. Created by Brent Forrester (consulting producer for The Office), the Erik the Librarian Mysteries are a series of shorts about a reclusive librarian, played by Erik Charles Nielsen, who falls in love with Mindy....
Retrovision Internet TV; 60Frames, Feb. 28, 2008

Go back to the Top

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2009 ALA Annual Conference logo

ALA Annual Conference, Chicago, July 9–15. Information on Chicago and things to do in the city is available through the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau.

Cover of Checklist of Library Building Design Considerations, 5th ed.

Planning construction of a new library facility or renovation of an existing one can be a daunting task. With the new fifth edition of his Checklist of Library Building Design Considerations, veteran library administrator and construction consultant William Sannwald guides librarians and other members of a building design team through the stages of the design process. NEW! From ALA Editions.

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


A face for radio. Booklist Online Editor Keir Graff will appear on internet radio’s Book World News at 7:30–7:45 p.m. Central time, February 18. He writes: “Even though this is the internets, and you can download it after the fact (or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes), I am told that they will actually take live questions at (646) 200-4071.”

Career Leads from
ALA Joblist logo

Curator of American Culinary History, William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Responsibilities include: managing operations of the culinary history archive, including the supervision of one or more full-time and student employees as well as volunteers; selecting materials for acquisition and collection development, as part of a curatorial team; setting priorities for cataloging printed materials; cataloging the full range of materials in the culinary history archive, and performing catalog maintenance of online bibliographic records....

@ More jobs...

Digital Library of the Week

Sgt. Weiss entertains Chinese lad with Y-Force in China long time. Clipping from March 29, 1945

The Nazareth (Pa.) Veteran’s Digital Project. The Memorial Library of Nazareth and Vicinity has added the contents of a scrapbook kept during World War II to the Access Pennsylvania Digital Repository. The scrapbook contains more than 1,000 pictures of area servicemen and women who served during the war. In 2005, a photocopy of the scrapbook was given to the library. Because of its fragile nature, the library decided to digitize the collection and make it accessible on its website. A grant sponsored by state Rep. Richard T. Grucela made it possible for the library to have the scrapbook digitized by the OCLC Preservation Service Center in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Director Lynn Snodgrass-Pilla applied to the Office of Commonwealth Libraries to have the digital scrapbook included in the Access Pennsylvania Digital Repository, which encourages a collaborative partnership among the state’s libraries, historical societies, museums, and other institutions.

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

“Public libraries should be sacredly respected by all belligerents, and I am sure General Sherman will, someday, regret that he permitted this library to be destroyed and plundered.”

—Attributed to an angry Union officer after federal troops looted and destroyed books in the library of the Georgia State Capitol building in Milledgeville during Sherman’s March to the Sea, Nov. 23, 1864, quoted in Noah Andre Trudeau, Southern Storm: Sherman’s March to the Sea (Harper, 2008), p. 222.

American Libraries on Twitter

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

Ask the ALA Librarian

Atomic symbol, number, and mass for Lead

Q. I was at a meeting yesterday where others were talking about having to remove all older books from their libraries because of some new law. Is this true?

A. Yes, it is true there is a new law, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, that mandates testing for lead in any product marketed for children. Some provisions of the law became effective February 10. However, on January 30 the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a stay of implementation (PDF file) of the act until February 10, 2010. So, emphatically no, you do not have to pull books off your shelves because of the law. So what should you do? You should continue to monitor activity on this law, by subscribing to District Dispatch, checking the issue summary from the Washington Office, or watching our wiki page. However, regular collection review and weeding is always in order. But, please, don’t throw books on the basis of hearsay! From the ALA Professional Tips wiki.

@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.

Customer service, the Trump way. “Be My Guest: Customer Service from the Best,” a preconference offered July 10 by ASCLA, will address what libraries can do to ensure patrons a welcoming and positive library experience. The content is based on a successful program previously hosted by the New Jersey State Library in partnership with Trump Entertainment Resorts in Atlantic City, New Jersey.


Mar. 9–12:
Association for Computing Machinery, Symposium on Applied Computing, Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort and Spa Waikiki Beach, Honolulu.

Mar. 8–14:
Teen Tech Week. “Press Play @ your library.”

Mar. 12–14:
Louisiana Library Association, Annual Conference, Hilton Capitol Center, Baton Rouge.

Mar. 13–16:
Alaska Library Association, Annual Conference, Kodiak High School. “Libraries: Going the Distance.”

Mar. 20–22:
Information Architecture Summit 2009: Expanding Our Horizons, The Peabody Memphis Hotel, Tennesee.

Mar. 23–25:
The Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, Spring 2009 Symposium Series, Stanford University, California.

Mar. 30–
Apr. 1:
Computers in Libraries, Hyatt Regency Crystal City, Arlington, Virginia.

Mar. 31–
Apr. 3:

Texas Library Association, Annual Conference, George R. Brown Convention Center, Houston. “Libraries: Creating Communities of Ideals and Innovation.”

Apr. 2–4:
PLA Spring Symposium, Nashville, Tennessee.

Apr. 8–10:
Tennessee Library Association, Annual Conference, Nashville Airport Marriott.

Apr. 1518:
Museums and the Web, Indianapolis.

Apr. 27–29:
New Jersey Library Association, Annual Conference, Long Branch. “New Jersey Libraries Rock.”

May 11–12:
National Library Legislative Day,
Liaison Hotel, Washington, D.C.

May 22–23:
Ethics of Information Organization,
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

May 26–29:
International Conference on Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Libraries,
Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania Conference Centre, Chania, Crete, Greece.

May 28:
Human-Computer Interaction Lab,
Annual Symposium, University of Maryland, College Park.

May 28–30:
Canadian Association for Information Science, Annual Conference, Carleton University, Ottawa. “Mapping the 21st Century Information Landscape: Borders, Bridges, and Byways.”

@ More...

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