The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | January 21,

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

Supreme Court nixes COPA
The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected a government attempt to resurrect the Child Online Protection Act of 1998, which had been repeatedly rebuffed by lower federal courts over a decade of judicial review. The justices let stand a unanimous ruling last July by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia declaring the law unconstitutional on First and Fifth Amendment grounds—which overturns COPA permanently....
American Libraries Online, Jan. 21

Former Vice President Dick CheneyWatchdog group loses vice-presidential disclosure case
A federal judge dismissed January 19 a lawsuit by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington that sought to force former Vice President Dick Cheney to give to the National Archives all his records pertaining to his executive branch duties. The decision of U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ended a five-month injunction mandating the preservation of Cheney’s records, and comes only two weeks after the House overwhelmingly passed a bill that voided Executive Order 13233, in which President George W. Bush bestowed some latitude in withholding the release of presidential papers indefinitely....
American Libraries Online, Jan. 21

Consumer Product Safety Commission sealFeds: Anti-lead law not intended for library books
Taken at face value, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s interpretation of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, which lowers the permissible level of lead in children’s products and imposes certification requirements, would require libraries to limit access to their children’s collections or have them tested for lead content. However, ALA Washington Office Executive Director Emily Sheketoff told American Libraries, “We have spoken with congressional offices and they have said that it was not congressional intent to include books” in the law. ALA is seeking a formal opinion exempting libraries....
American Libraries Online, Jan. 15

OCLC logoOCLC delays WorldCat policy
OCLC has announced that it will delay implementation of its controversial Policy for Use and Transfer of WorldCat Records until the third quarter of 2009. It will also convene a Review Board of Shared Data Creation and Stewardship—a joint board of the OCLC Members Council and the OCLC Board of Trustees—to discuss and review the policy. Librarians had commented unfavorably about clauses they viewed as imposing licenses, restricting their rights to use records, and a perceived lack of openness in the policy’s development process....
American Libraries Online, Jan. 16

ALA News

What’s happening at Midwinter
It’s that time of year again, when we’re all gathering in a cold place during the North American winter. If you’re heading to the Midwinter Meeting this week, you naturally want to know about everything that’s happening there. To make sure you don’t miss any of the big stuff, check out Senior Associate Executive Director Mary Ghikas’s “What’s Happening” list (PDF file)....
ALA Marginalia, Jan. 19

Mark your calendar for the Boston Midwinter Meeting in 2010Midwinter Meeting exhibitor coupons
Print out these PDF coupons and bring them to Denver to get a head start on drawings, gifts, discounts, previews, and hot tips from exhibitors at the Midwinter Meeting....
ALA and Library Journal

Add It Up logoAdd It Up focuses on children and teens
A new ALA web-based resource will help library advocates make the case for libraries in the lives of children and teens, Add It Up: Libraries Make the Difference in Youth Development and Education. Divided into three age groups, Add It Up contains top-level talking points, statistics, and links to the bodies of research. This resource is part of Advocacy University, ALA’s new initiative geared to providing tools, training, and resources to library advocates....

State funding for public libraries on decline
Almost half of all states report declining state funding for U.S. public libraries in fiscal year 2009, according to a survey of the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies conducted as part of ALA’s Public Library Funding and Technology Access Study. Of these, 20% anticipate an additional reduction in the current fiscal year. While reductions have been seen from coast to coast, the southeastern section of the country has been the hardest hit, with declines as large as 30% in South Carolina and 23.4% in Florida in FY09 compared with FY08....

Jamie Lee Curtis National Library Week PSA promotionJamie Lee Curtis featured on NLW promotion
Bestselling children’s author and actress Jamie Lee Curtis, the honorary chair of National Library Week (April 12–18), has lent her image to a print public service announcement featuring the 2009 National Library Week theme, “Worlds connect @ your library.” The PSA is available for libraries to use in their public relations efforts. Other tools include a proclamation, sample press release, and letter to the editor, as well as scripts for use in radio PSAs....

Free programming resource from PPO
ALA’s Public Programs Office is offering a new online resource to assist libraries of all types and sizes in creating cultural and community programs. The Programming Librarian website includes a resource library, live learning opportunities, and a blog to keep librarians informed of upcoming opportunities and provide inspiration for new library programs. As the site continues to develop, users will find more resources, ideas, and opportunities to network with peers and programming experts....

New Library Champion: Neal-Schuman Foundation
The Neal-Schuman Foundation has joined ALA’s Library Champions program. The foundation was established in 2000 by Patricia Glass Schuman and John Vincent Neal, founders of Neal-Schuman Publishers, to aid, assist, and promote research and educational activities for the improvement of library and information services....

Last chance to be a Councilor (PDF file)
Anyone planning to run as a petition candidate for ALA Council has until the close of business on January 30 to file a petition form with the ALA Executive Director, in hard copy, with the signatures of no fewer than 25 ALA current personal members (membership numbers must be included). Information must be entered onto an online biographical information form by the same deadline....

Scott TurowScott Turow to headline Freedom to Read gala in Chicago
Award-winning author Scott Turow will be the featured speaker at the Freedom to Read Foundation’s 40th anniversary gala celebration, Sunday, July 12, at the new Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago. The event, which will honor FTRF’s visionary founder and executive director Judith Krug and the educational work of Chicago’s McCormick Freedom Museum, will feature a dinner and gala celebration that includes a gallery viewing of the Renzo Piano–designed museum space. The event, held in conjunction with ALA Annual Conference, will also feature a special address by author Judy Blume....

Booklist Online logo

Cover of Child Care TodayFeatured review: Adult books
Leach, Penelope. Child Care Today: Getting It Right for Everyone. Jan. 2009. 352p. Knopf, hardcover (978-1-4000-4256-2).
Leach, author of the wildly popular Your Baby and Child, which has sold more than 2 million copies since first being published in 1978 (revised in 1997), delivers another parenting tome that will likely become the standard by which all other child-care books are measured. This thoroughly researched, heavily footnoted compendium evaluates the state of child care in the Western world in the context of caring for children (as opposed to rearing children). The rapidly changing makeup of the postindustrial world means the needs of families are changing rapidly, too, and Leach covers the topic in four parts: “Child Care Today,” which defines the term and puts it into a cultural context; “Types of Child Care,” which breaks down into two general types: “Family Care” (parents, grandparents, or live-in help) and “Formal Care” (day cares, before and after school, etc.); “Quality of Care,” which looks at the issue from various viewpoints and helps outline how to choose child care; and “Moving On,” which examines the politics and future of child care....

Graphic for Another Look at Edgar Allan Poe, by Ray OlsonCelebrate Poe’s 200th
Ray Olson writes: “In his own time, Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1849) was a failure, a victim of the cash-poor early American publishing industry, to be sure, but primarily a victim of his own spectacularly erratic behavior (see Peter Ackroyd’s Poe, 2009). Maybe he was mentally ill. He was a habitual liar or, if that seems harsh, a hoaxer who could gull himself. That gift (if that’s what it was) stood him in good stead in his writing. He knew very well how to write—to use an ironic contemporary term—truthily. He adopted the tones and narrative structures of newsmen and researchers, filled descriptions with physical and technical detail, cited real people, and in the piece later called ‘The Balloon Hoax’ (1844), for example, convinced readers of the New York Sun that a famous hot-air balloonist had crossed the Atlantic in 75 hours.”...

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

Denver Update

Paramount Theatre, DenverArts Guide to Denver (PDF file)
The ACRL Arts Section has compiled a list of arts-related venues and events in and around the Mile-High City. The nine-page guide is divided into sections on architecture and design, and the visual arts. One of the places it recommends is the Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Place, whose original 1930 interior featured frosted terracotta tiles and Art Deco decorations....
ACRL Arts Section

Google Maps mashup of Midwinter
Cindi Trainor prepared this Google Maps mashup of the Denver Convention Center area for LITA. It identifies the Convention Center, ALA hotels, restaurants, shops, and drug stores....
LITA Blog, Jan. 19

Note telling hotel staff, "Please do not change my towels."Green activities in Denver
Beth Filar-Williams lists a few “green-ish” sessions to attend and suggests: “Bring your own supplies and don’t use those small, wasteful plastic bottles. Reuse your towels and sheets instead of asking for clean ones daily. Make sure your lights are turned off in the room. Drink your morning coffee, tea, or water from your personal mug or bottle you brought with you. Thank publishers who are greening their practices using chlorine-free, soy-based inks or recycled materials.”...
Going Green @ your library, Jan. 19

If weather grounds you, be creative
Just what are your rights when your flight is canceled or delayed? The answer, regrettably, is “very few.” With a major disruption, the airlines owe you only what is specified in the “contract of carriage,” the actual legal agreement you are presumed to sign with an airline when you buy a ticket. In the event of flight disruptions due to weather, those give you limited choices: Wait for your airline’s next available seat, reticket your trip, or ask for a refund of the unused part of your ticket....
Chicago Tribune, Jan. 11

Division News

Top Tech in Denver: Let the trends come to you
LITA’s semiannual gathering of trendsters to converse about the leading technologies and tech topics of the day will take place at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Denver. Drop into the LITA Blog for live blogging of the event, complete with real-time commentary on what’s being said in the room, relevant links to more information on what’s being discussed, multimedia content, and the opportunity to post comments and ask questions.”...
LITA Blog, Jan. 17

ACRL Information Literacy Immersion Program logoACRL to honor information literacy innovators
In honor of the 10th anniversary of its popular Information Literacy Immersion Program, ACRL will present a Special Presidential Recognition Award to the founding members of the Institute for Information Literacy Steering Committee and Immersion faculty March 13 at its 14th National Conference in Seattle. The program provides instruction librarians the opportunity to work intensively for four-and-a-half days on all aspects of information literacy....

AASL 2009 conference logoRegistration opens for AASL National Conference
Registration opened January 21 for the AASL 14th National Conference and Exhibition, November 5–8, in Charlotte, North Carolina. School library media specialists, administrators, and supporters of school library media programs will gather for workshops on key issues and concepts taught by leading professionals. This year, conference-goers must register before they are able to secure housing. Registrations received by January 31 will receive an additional $15 off the already reduced early bird registration. Knowledge Quest will feature a preliminary program....

PLA Spring Symposium logoDeadline approaching for PLA Spring Symposium
The registration deadline for the 2009 PLA Spring Symposium is rapidly approaching. This popular education event will be held April 2–4 in Nashville at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel and Nashville Convention Center. Registration closes February 13. The Spring Symposium will feature six intensive day-and-a-half long workshops focused on subjects pertinent to public libraries and public librarians....

Kids! Campaign phase two to launch
ALSC will launch phase two of its Kids! @ your library public awareness campaign at the ALA Annual Conference in July. Phase one of the campaign, launched in 2006, provides a free, online toolkit of resources to help local libraries reach out to children in grades K–4, their parents, and caregivers. Phase two will provide additional resources for marketing the library to kids in grades 5–8....

Register for LITACamp
Registration is now open for the first-ever LITACamp, “The Everywhere Library: Creating, Communicating, Integrating,” May 7–8, at the OCLC Conference Center in Dublin, Ohio. LITACamp is a library technology unconference for anyone interested in using technology to improve services and access for patrons. Keynote speakers include Joan Frye Williams and John Blyberg....

Cover of Core Technology Competencies for LibrariesNew LITA guide to core technology competencies
Ideal for public and academic libraries, Core Technology Competencies for Libraries provides an excellent starting point to define and evaluate the right inventory of technical skills and management attributes for library staff. LITA guide number 15, published by Neal-Schuman, addresses the core skills and requirements to look for when hiring and training staff....

YALSA Great Ideas Contest
YALSA seeks members’ best ideas for its new Great Ideas contest. The contest is open to all individual members as well as YALSA committees, juries, task forces, discussion groups, interest groups, and advisory boards. Entrants are asked to brainstorm and submit activities that will allow the division to achieve a specific goal in its new strategic plan (PDF file). The deadline for submitting a form (PDF file) is May 1....

YALSA discussion and interest groups
Members looking to deepen their involvement with YALSA can join one of the division’s many discussion or interest groups. The groups allow members to discuss important topics in young adult services—gaming, anime, and attending library school, among others—both in person and virtually. Check out the Discussion and Interest Group Open House, 4–5:30 p.m., January 25, in Room 203 of the Colorado Convention Center in Denver....


2008 Youth Media Awards festivitiesFollow the Youth Media Awards at home
The ALA Youth Media Awards, which honor the best of the best in children’s and young adult literature and media, will be announced during the ALA Midwinter Meeting on Monday, January 26, at the Colorado Convention Center. You can obtain those results in a number of ways besides attending the ceremony: via webcast, Twitter, Facebook, and Second Life. PIO Media Relations Manager Macey Morales discusses the media outreach for the event in a podcast....
Visibility @ your library, Jan. 20

Picturing America awards
The National Endowment for the Humanities, in cooperation with the ALA Public Programs Office, will provide Picturing America resources to 29,086 schools and public libraries. Picturing America is a free educational resource that brings significant works of American art directly to classrooms and libraries. A complete list of the recipients of this round of awards is available online....

Seen Online

RAND study: Pittsburgh libraries should look at merger, closings
The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh should consider closing branches and merging with the Allegheny County (Pa.) Library Association to overcome serious funding challenges, according to a RAND Corporation report released January 15. With 19 locations, the Carnegie had asked RAND to examine factors that limit its ability to obtain stable, adequate funding after the state cut $200,000 of its support....
Pittsburgh (Pa.) Tribune-Review, Jan. 16

Alan C. LoweLowe named director of George W. Bush Presidential Library
Acting Archivist of the United States Adrienne C. Thomas announced January 19 the selection of Alan C. Lowe as the first director of the George W. Bush Presidential Library at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. The appointment is effective April 12. Lowe is currently executive director of the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville....
National Archives, Jan. 19

George W. Bush Presidential Center logoRaleigh man finds gold mine in Bush Library
In 2007, George Huger found a scrap of treasure in an internet bargain bin—a lucky turn that just won him $35,000 from President Bush’s sheepish advisers. A Raleigh, North Carolina, web developer, Huger was flipping through a list of expiring domain names when he noticed that was about to expire. He picked up the rights for five bucks and sat on them for two years, waiting to cash in....
Raleigh (N.C.) News and Observer, Jan. 20

Gen. Ulysses S. GrantGrant marches south again
For more than 40 years, Southern Illinois University held the world’s largest collection of Ulysses S. Grant papers. But that honor came to an unceremonious end in December, when the Carbondale campus was forced to relinquish them. Following a nearly yearlong conflict with the school, the Ulysses S. Grant Association, which owns the material, recently relocated nearly 100 file cabinets crammed with documents and memorabilia to Mississippi State University....
Chicago Tribune, Jan. 18

Cover of Midnight in the Garden of Good and EvilBeulah board bans Midnight for four days
One of the most popular nonfiction books in publishing history was banned from the Beulah (N.Dak.) High School library—but only for four days. The board split 4–3 January 15 on a decision to remove the book, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt, a Southern gothic novel. Keith and Kathy Bohn made the request after their son brought it home as part of an accelerated reading program. But on January 19, the board reversed its decision at the encouragement of board President Phil Eastgate, who said it could unleash a possible court case the board would never win. He said there might be more palatable alternatives....
Bismarck (N.Dak.) Tribune, Jan. 18, 20

Kansas City facing severe cuts
An expected decline in property tax revenues could force the Kansas City (Mo.) Public Library to start making major cuts this summer. Board members received preliminary numbers January 20 and began figuring out where to cut to match the potential shortfall. They want to allow time to review priorities and gather patron input. The library receives roughly 90% of its revenue from property taxes....
Kansas City (Mo.) Star, Jan. 20

Revere director resigns amid accusations
A financial auditor specializing in fraud investigations will join a city probe into misspending by Robert E. Rice Jr., director of the Revere (Mass.) Public Library. Rice resigned his job January 13 hours before Mayor Thomas Ambrosino met with city council members to brief them on a city probe into what he described as library money spent by Rice on “things with no relevance to the function of the library.” Rice has not yet been criminally charged in the probe....
Lynn (Mass.) Daily Item, Jan. 16

Brownsburg tries roving reference
Wanda Pearson, executive director of the Brownsburg (Ind.) Public Library, often wondered how many people left her library discouraged after not finding what they needed or a person to answer their question. A new initiative begun January 12, called the roving reference approach, puts a reference librarian near the front door to be more readily available to visitors. Every 15 minutes or so, that librarian takes a laptop or electronic notepad and walks through the library looking for those who may need help....
Indianapolis Star, Jan. 16

British Library vandal jailed for two years
A wealthy businessman, publisher, and antiquarian book collector was jailed for two years January 16 after admitting he had stolen pages from about 150 rare 16th-17th century books at the Bodleian and British libraries. Iranian-born Farhad Hakimzadeh cut leaves out of the books at the libraries and inserted the pages into his own copies of the same books. British Library staff believe he smuggled a scalpel into the building and positioned himself out of the sight of security cameras to remove the pages....
The Guardian (U.K.), Jan. 16

Jan KaplickýFoundation promotes Czech National Library after architect’s death
Czech-born architect Jan Kaplický, 71, designer of a controversial new facility for the Czech National Library, died January 13 after collapsing from heart failure in a Prague street. His design, popularly known as the Blob or the Octopus, failed to win approval last year from Prague Mayor Pavel Bém and Czech President Václav Klaus and was dropped. A foundation, established in December and led by archivist Olga Sommerová, intends to raise money for a study to show that Kaplický’s plans are feasible....
CzechNews, Jan. 15, 19

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Tech Talk

Satellite view of the inauguration. Can you see yourself? Photo from GeoEye-1The inauguration from space
Stephen Shankland writes: “GeoEye-1, the satellite that will be supplying Google with high-res imagery of the Earth, took a high-resolution photograph of the inauguration of President Barack Obama. The satellite is expected to start producing data for Google in coming weeks, but in the meantime, this shot shows a bit more tantalizing detail about what will show in Google Earth and Google Maps. It was taken from 423 miles up as the 4,300-pound satellite traveled 17,000 miles per hour. GeoEye launched GeoEye-1 in September, and Google has exclusive rights to imagery for online use.”...
Underexposed, Jan. 20; Digital Media, Aug. 29, Sept. 6

Day #1 of a new technological era
Jill Hurst-Wahl writes: “Yesterday I watched the inauguration of Barack Hussein Obama with a roomful of people on the Syracuse University campus. Thousands—if not millions—of digital photos were taken, but how many of those should be preserved and in what way? It is the digital records of yesterday that really capture what it meant to us. The raw emotions were Twittered, Facebooked, and Flickred, and we don’t really know how to deal with them. This is a new era and there are things we need to learn.”...
Digitization 101, Jan. 21

WorldCat display on mobile phoneWorldCat on your mobile phone
Now you can use your mobile phone to find materials in libraries near you—and help OCLC test a new pilot service. Available in the United States and Canada, this six-month pilot lets you try out mobile search of WorldCat libraries and suggest improvements or additional features. WorldCat has partnered with mobile-technology leader Boopsie and joined its growing array of search channels. When you download the Boopsie application to your phone, you get library search plus these additional channels. Start by typing this URL into your phone’s web browser:
WorldCat Mobile

Still from Boxee video on their websiteBoxee generates buzz
Piping internet video into a television seems as if it should be simple. But consumer electronics and media companies have been moving toward that combination with painstaking caution. Now, with an internet start-up’s hubris and whimsical name, an 11-employee New York company called Boxee is barging into the fray. The software is free and works on Mac and Linux computers, and on Apple’s set-top box, Apple TV. A version of Boxee for Windows PCs is being tested....
New York Times, Jan. 16

International survey of library automation
Marshall Breeding writes: “This report describes the results of a survey that I conducted to gather data regarding the perceptions of libraries toward their automation systems, the organizations that provide support, and the quality of support they receive. It also aims to gauge interest in open source library automation systems. The survey attracted the most responses from libraries using Millennium, Unicorn/Symphony, and Horizon.”...
Library Technology Guides, Jan. 18

The Value of the Commons, one 2009 trend10 trends and technologies for 2009
Michael Stephens writes: “Welcome to the 2009 version of my annual look at the trends and technologies that I believe will impact what we do in libraries and information centers. My biggest concern is how libraries can respond in turbulent economic times. Make sure you are telling your story well in various marketing and communication channels. It’s no excuse to say ‘we don’t have any money to do that’ when these examples highlight ways to reach out and engage your users and funders with simple, open tools.”...
Tame the Web, Jan. 12

Google Calendar gadgetGoogle Calendar desktop gadget
Kevin Purdy writes: “Google Desktop’s gadgets are looking more helpful these days, with the addition of an official Google Calendar gadget that puts your appointments at your fingertips. Google’s own Calendar gadget offers quick access to straight-up GCal or Google Apps calendars, and allows for multiple instances if you’re on lots of different schedules. Pull it up with the Shift-Shift tap for Desktop gadgets, and you can view your appointments in day-by-day, monthly calendar/agenda, or agenda-only view.”...
Lifehacker, Jan. 21

Twittering tips for beginners
David Pogue writes: “I'll admit that, for the longest time, I was exasperated by the Twitter hype. Like the world needs another ego-massaging, social-networking time drain? Then my eyes were opened. A few months ago, I was one of 12 judges for a MacArthur grant program in Chicago. A fellow judge posed a critical question to his followers. Within 30 seconds, two people provided the answer, via Twitter, with links.”...
New York Times, Jan. 15

Make a web page's images dance around in formation with JavaScript10 really cool Google Chrome hacks
Google’s Chrome browser is fast becoming the geeks’ choice, as users all over the world tinker with it and explore its deeper capabilities. Chrome is now proving that it can do everything, from starting in Incognito mode by default for better browsing safety to reverting to using a single process for all its tabs to conserve resources. Here are 10 handy hacks to whip Chrome into shape....
TechRadar, Jan. 18


Cover of The Post-American World by Fareed Zakaria, one of Obama's favorite booksBarack Obama’s favorite books
Barack Obama is clearly an avid reader and literature has massively influenced his politics. He talks about books at the drop of a hat, is frequently seen with a book in his hand and, of course, has penned two worldwide bestsellers himself. Books by him, about him, or read by him sell. What is Barack Obama’s favorite book? is a common question posed on the internet search engines every day....

Traitors in Circle 9 of Hell, from a painting by Suloni RobertsonAn interactive take on Dante
Guy P. Raffa, associate professor of Italian at the University of Texas at Austin, has created an online readers’ guide to Dante’s Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. Called Danteworlds, it’s an interactive accompaniment to his book on The Divine Comedy from the University of Chicago Press. The online Danteworlds maps out Dante’s physical progress to Hell and beyond, combining classic images by Botticelli with new illustrations by Suloni Robertson (above). There are also audio snippets of Dante’s work being read in Italian....
Los Angeles Times, Jan. 14

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Actions & Answers

TRAILS logoAssessing student information literacy
While we all work diligently to improve students’ information literacy, it’s not always easy to assess students’ knowledge and retention. TRAILS (Tool for Real-Time Assessment of Information Literacy Skills) provides one possible solution. Created by Kent State University with funding from the Institute for Library and Information Literacy Education, this free online tool uses multiple choice questions based on both Information Power and Ohio’s 6th- and 9th-grade standards....
AASL Blog, Jan. 20

Rundel Memorial Library, Rochester, N.Y.Libraries and economic renewal
Jesse Montero writes: “Spurring economic recovery and long-term competitiveness through libraries is not a new concept. During the Great Depression, FDR’s Works Progress Administration helped libraries in countless ways. New libraries were constructed in 48 states—Rochester, New York’s Rundel Memorial Library (right) is just one example. The program also employed some 38,000 library support staff, which more than doubled the number of library workers at the time.”...
PLA Blog, Jan. 15

African-American childrenAfrican-American history programs
Chris Watkins writes: “With America’s first African-American president in the White House, 2009 seems a banner year for library programs celebrating this popular annual theme. February will soon be upon us, and if you already have a strong lineup of related programs planned at your library, congratulations! But if it snuck up on you and you’re looking for some quick ideas or are resolved to be better prepared next year, here’s what some of your colleagues are up to.”...
Programming Librarian, Jan.

Closeup of Psalm I, from Bay Psalm Book, 1640Bay Psalm Book digitized
Ian Christie-Miller, inventor of the Earlybook Imaging System, has placed online a digitized version of the 1640 Bay Psalm Book, the first book printed in British North America. The original copy is owned by the Old South Church in Boston, but is held at the Boston Public Library. Earlybook (PDF file) allows high-quality images to be obtained by back lighting as well as conventional front lighting, an essential requirement for research into watermarks. The system can also scan a book open only 45 degrees....

Savings Book bank, from MOMAPut your money into books
Cleverly conceal your savings or anything important with this bank disguised as a book, a 2003 design by Jörg Gätjens sold by the Museum of Modern Art. The top features a slot for bills or coins, and slides open for easy access to savings. Made of maple wood with a cloth binding....
Museum of Modern Art

How to build the ultimate social media résumé
Dan Schawbel writes: “With a social media résumé, you’re able to paint a completely different portrait of yourself for hiring managers and customize it to reflect your personal brand. With the inclusion of various multimedia elements, sharing options, integrated social networking feeds, and the same elements you’d find in a traditional résumé, you are better equipped for success. Instead of merely submitting your resume, it becomes a billboard that can be shared, distributed to hiring managers, and searched.”...
Mashable, Jan. 13

StoryTubes logoEnter the 2009 StoryTubes video contest
The 2009 video contest features new partner libraries, new categories that provide opportunities for kindergartners through high school seniors, groups, and people of all ages, new contest dates, and the addition of TeacherTube as a video host to assist organizations that do not enable access to YouTube. Visit to watch videos from last year, identify the partner libraries, read the contest rules, and find contact information. Three energetic and creative 4th-grade boys from Downers Grove (Ill.) Public Library submitted the very first entry, “The Toilet Paper Tigers.” The deadline is February 15....
StoryTubes, Oct. 27 logoCalling all catalogers
Nicole Engard writes: “I have been spending time these last few months working on a new web-based cataloging tool. It’s finally time! I’d like to invite you to sign up for free and try out ‡, a community cataloging tool from LibLime. It is a web-based, original and copy cataloging tool with built-in federated search of any Z39.50 target and a large (30 million strong) shared database of catalog records. You can edit and contribute to the database without any restrictions.”...
What I Learned Today, Jan. 20

Envelope mailed in 1893 promoting "Readers in Every Home and a Library in Every School"Library Day, 1915
Larry Nix writes: “I was recently made aware of a post to the AASL listserv concerning a newspaper article in the Cookeville Putnam County (Tenn.) Herald for September 16, 1915, about ‘Library Day.’ The article concerned the declaration of October 1, 1915, by State Superintendent of Public Instruction S. W. Sherrill as Library Day. According to the article, ‘On that day every public school in the State is expected to raise funds to establish or supplement the school library.’ The concept of a library day dates back at least to the 1890s and was part of a movement to put a library in every public school.”...
Library History Buff Blog, Jan. 20

125th Street branch of the New York Public LibraryTwo NYPL branches declared city landmarks (PDF file)
The New York Landmarks Preservation Commission approved two New York Public Library branches as city landmarks, bringing to 1,222 the total number of individual buildings with landmark status in all five boroughs. The George Bruce branch (completed 1915) and the 125th Street branch (right, constructed in 1904) were chosen unanimously January 13. The commission is planning hearings on the status of two additional branches, Woodstock and Hunt’s Point....
Landmarks Preservation Commission, Jan. 13

Still from New York Public Library's video on the Harlem RenaissanceTreasures of the New York Public Library: The Harlem Renaissance
The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture is a national research library devoted to collecting, preserving, and providing access to resources documenting the history and experiences of peoples of African descent throughout the world. In this New York Public Library video (3:38), Schomburg Director Howard Dodson describes some of the artistic and literary treasures dating from the Harlem Renaissance period of the 1920s and 1930s in the center’s collections....

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ALA 2009 Midwinter Meeting logo, Denver

ALA Midwinter Meeting, Denver, January 23–28. As of January 16, advance registration was 5,840, compared to 5,833 at the same point for the 2008 Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. This includes 671 first-time Midwinter Meeting attendees, compared to 371 in Philadelphia.

Cover of Jan. 1 & 15 Booklist

The January 1 & 15 issue of Booklist has the “Top of the List: The Best of Editor’s Choice” list for 2008. Pick up a copy at the Midwinter Meeting in Denver! NEW! From Booklist.

Lauren Myracle

Hear young adult author Lauren Myracle (author of ttyl) at the Freedom to Read Author Event, Tattered Cover Book Store, 1628 16th Street, Denver. Proceeds will benefit the Freedom to Read Foundation’s efforts to support and defend the First Amendment in libraries and elsewhere. Purchase tickets here.

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

Library Director, City of Woodstock, Illinois. Charming, historic community of 24,000, one hour northwest of Chicago, seeks dynamic leader for beautiful Woodstock Public Library. Minimum qualifications: MLS and five years of experience....

@ More jobs...

Visit the ACRL booth (#2507) at Midwinter and register to win a complimentary registration to the ACRL 14th National Conference, March 12–15, in Seattle. The winner will be announced on the ACRL Insider blog by January 31.

Digital Library of the Week

A reconstruction of the scene in the death-pit at the Royal Cemetery at Ur. The persons and objects are drawn in the positions in which their remains were found. Illustrated London News illustration reproduced as Plate 30 in Joint Expedition of the British Museum and of the Museum of the University of Pennsylvania to Mesopotamia: Ur Excavations, Vol. II, Plates (1927)

ETANA (Electronic Tools and Ancient Near Eastern Archives) is a cooperative effort to include the permanent archiving, dissemination, and generation of archaeological excavation reports, editions of ancient and modern texts, core early monographs, dictionaries, journals, and reports on archaeology in the Ancient Near East. It offers the ABZU portal to Near Eastern web resources, an electronic commons where scholars in the field can share data and images, and eventually an electronic publishing depository for born digital publications. The Vanderbilt University Library serves as the host technical site and grant administrator. Other organizations supporting ETANA include the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute (which hosts the ABZU portal), the American Schools of Oriental Research, and Case Western Reserve University Library.

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 truth is that the decline of reading for pleasure has little to do with the things that teachers, librarians, and parents seem to think are causing it... Because reading is a private experience, it’s an anti-social experience—as opposed to television or movies, which are social experiences. It’s still considered taboo to read at the dinner table, but no such rule forbids families from keeping the TV on in the background or even eating while watching it. Reading is also considered a frivolous activity— much more frivolous, say, than browsing the internet. If you doubt this, try reading a book at work, even a book you’re reading for work, and see how fast you catch your boss’s attention— attention that your colleague who spends his days playing Minesweeper isn’t likely to attract.”

—Justyn Dillingham, opinions editor of the University of Arizona student newspaper, in “The Real Reason Americans Don’t Read,” an editorial on Reading on the Rise, the January 12 National Endowment for the Arts report, in the Arizona Daily Wildcat, Jan. 14.

Ask the ALA Librarian

Cover of Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education

Q. As a school librarian, I find that I am asked often about what information literacy is, and how to educate students in this area. Can you help me find some resources and guidelines?

A. Information literacy is vital in today’s society. AASL’s Information Literacy page offers resources for the development of dynamic, student-centered school library media programs. These programs help ensure that students master the information literacy skills needed to be discerning consumers and creative producers of information and ideas. ACRL’s Information Literacy page is a gateway to resources on information literacy. These resources will help you understand and apply the Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education to enhance teaching, learning, and research in the higher education community. The process begins in elementary school and continues through college . . . and beyond. From the ALA Professional Tips wiki.

@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.


Feb. 27:

Lawyers for Libraries Institute,
Westin Los Angeles Airport. The institute is primarily intended to equip attorneys with tools they need to effectively defend the First Amendment in libraries.

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

Mar. 8–14:
Read an E-Book Week.

Apr. 1–3:
Oregon Library Association, Annual Conference, Salem. “Oregon Reads: One State, Many Stories.”

Apr. 7–10:
Alabama Library Association,
Annual Convention, Auburn. “Alabama Libraries: Invite, Involve, Inform, Inspire.”

Apr. 8–10:
Tennessee Library Association,
Annual Conference, Salem. “Customer Service Is Our Heart.”

Apr. 12–18:
National Library Week.

Apr. 21–23:
Oklahoma Library Association, Annual Conference, Midwest City.

Apr. 22–24:
New Mexico Library Association,
Annual Conference, Albuquerque.

Apr. 22–24:
Utah Library Association,
Annual Conference, Sandy. “Utah Libraries: Turning Up The Volume.”

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

Apr. 29–
May 1:

Connecticut Library Association, Annual Conference, New Haven.

Apr. 30–
May 2:

New York Library Association,
Spring Conference, Saratoga Springs. “Educational Leaders @ your library.”

May 6–8:
Florida Library Association,
Annual Conference, Orlando. “Libraries . . . Connecting People, Information, and Knowledge.”

May 7:
Delaware Library Association,
Annual Conference, Dover.

May 13–15:
Maryland Library Association,
Annual Conference, Ocean City.

May 28–29:
Rhode Island Library Association,
Annual Conference, Bryant Center, Bryant University, Smithfield.

June 24–29:
Focus on Book Arts Conference,
Pacific University, Forest Grove, Oregon. Classes in the book arts— bookbinding, papermaking, printing, artists books, journals—at all skill levels from beginner to advanced.

@ More...

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