The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | June 10,

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

SirsiDynix ad

AL Buyers Guide

U.S. & World News

Fulton High School student Bryanna Shelton speaks out against web censorship at her schoolTennessee schools unblock LGBT websites
Just two weeks after the ACLU of Tennessee filed suit against the Knox County and Metro Nashville school districts for filtering access to digital information about gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered issues, the schools have stopped blocking the websites of such gay-friendly advocacy groups as the Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network and Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. Because the two school systems share the filter with 80% of the other districts in Tennessee, the action has resulted in providing access to gay-interest information for more than 100 school systems throughout the state....
American Libraries Online, June 9; YouTube, May 18

ALA News

Steve LopezSteve Lopez will be closing speaker
Steve Lopez, Los Angeles Times columnist and author of The Soloist, will highlight the 2009 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago as the Closing Session speaker July 14. The Soloist is the true story of Lopez’s extraordinary encounters with a homeless violinist named Nathaniel Anthony Ayers. Lopez first came across Ayers, dressed in rags and playing Beethoven on a battered two-string violin, on a busy street corner in Los Angeles....

Impressionist painting in the Art Institute of ChicagoScholarship Bash at the Art Institute
Show your support for future librarians during a fun, interactive evening of art, music, and food. The 10th annual Scholarship Bash, sponsored by ALA and ProQuest, will be held at the Art Institute of Chicago July 11. The building will only be open for ticketed Bash attendees, so you can discover new works of art and visit favorites without fighting the crowds. The Art Institute of Chicago houses several astounding exhibits, including the most acclaimed French Impressionist collection in the United States....

Jackie Robinson’s #42 Brooklyn Dodger jersey from the final year of his career, 1956. In 1997, Jackie Robinson’s #42 was retired throughout all levels of professional baseball, an honor never before bestowed on any player. Photo by Milo Stewart, Jr./National Baseball Hall of Fame and MuseumLearn about the African-American baseball experience
At this year’s ALA Annual Conference, the spotlight will shine on the contributions of African Americans to the national pastime. Librarians interested in learning more about their achievements can attend “Pride and Passion: The African-American Baseball Experience,” hosted by the ALA Campaign for America’s Libraries and Public Programs Office on the morning of July 11....

Illustration of a sea monster in The Workes of Ambrose Parey, translated out of Latine, 163412 libraries to host “Harry Potter’s World”
Twelve libraries will host “Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine,” a new small-format traveling exhibition. The ALA Public Programs Office, in cooperation with the National Library of Medicine, announced that the selected libraries will host the exhibit for a four-week period between September 2009 and November 2010 and present at least two public programs on the exhibition themes....

Cover of Quick and Popular Reads for TeensReach reluctant teen readers
ALA Editions has released Quick and Popular Reads for Teens by Pam Spencer Holley. For more than 10 years, YALSA has produced two annual lists, “Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults” and “Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers,” recommending reading targeted at young adults who are not avid readers. Compiling bibliographic information about the books on these two selected lists, this resource also includes essays and annotations....

Cover of Children's Literature GemsGems of children’s literature
ALA Editions has published Children’s Literature Gems: Choosing and Using Them in Your Library Career by Elizabeth Bird. With her strong passion for children’s books and the profession, Bird will help readers build and manage their children’s collection; strike a balance between award winners and classics; arrange the children’s section to best showcase and display books; and review the basics of storytime, storytelling, and booktalking....

ALA files comments on national broadband plan
On June 8, ALA filed comments (PDF file) before the FCC in response to a Notice of Inquiry on the development of a national broadband plan (as required by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009). In its comments, ALA argued that America’s libraries are uniquely situated to deliver on the commission’s goals for the plan....
District Dispatch, June 8

Library toolkits from OLOS
The Office for Literacy and Outreach Services has created a number of useful toolkits, which are accessible from its OLOS Toolkit Directory. They address a wide range of topics, from how to assist non-English speakers and older adults, to how to support and advocate for rural and small libraries and tribal libraries, to gaming in libraries....

ALA Student Member Blog, June 4

New TechSource website
ALA TechSource has launched a new electronic archive and delivery platform for Library Technology Reports and Smart Libraries Newsletter using MetaPress, the world’s largest scholarly content host. In addition to the MetaPress archive, ALA TechSource has rebuilt its core website using Drupal, an open-source content management system popular with other library websites....

Booklist Online logo

Cover of Pull Up a ChairFeatured review: Adult books
Smith, Curt. Pull Up a Chair: The Vin Scully Story. June 2009. 272p. Potomac, hardcover (978-1-59797-424-0).
With apologies and respect to Harry Caray, Red Barber, Mel Allen, Bob Prince, and Ernie Harwell, Vin Scully is generally regarded as the king of baseball announcers—and certainly the most literate. He’s been announcing Dodger games—first in Brooklyn, later in Los Angeles—since 1950, with various network jobs thrown into the mix. When he does the Dodger games, he works without an analyst, preferring to present the game in his own inimitable style, replete with literary references, cultural touchstones, and spur-of-the-moment metaphors; “he pitches like he’s double-parked” to indicate a pitcher’s rapid pace. Smith, author of 12 books—at least three on baseball announcers—makes the perfect Scully biographer....

He Reads graphicMagnificent bastards
David Wright writes: “I can think of only two really good reasons to read biographies. One is to learn interesting things about history and the world, which for many guys really means becoming the indisputable master of some narrow field of knowledge. (Did you know it is possible to construct a busy reading life without ever straying from books about Abraham Lincoln?) The other good reason is to get the dirt. Reading about heroes can only take you so far. I’d rather read about people who are at least as despicable as me, or worse than I will ever dare to be.”...

She Reads graphicThere is nothing like a dame
Kaite Stover writes: “All the women I admire share at least one quality—they’re what my grandfather would have called ‘dames.’ I’ve never thought of that moniker in a pejorative sense. He used it to mean that a woman had good sense, a sense of humor, a courageous heart, and, usually, a nice pair of ‘stems’ to round out the package.”...

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

Chicago Update

Curt Teich postcard proclaiming Chicago's Great Public Library as one of the city's attractionsChicago’s great public library: A digital exhibit
Larry Nix writes: “ALA will meet in Chicago July 9–15. This year will also mark the 100th anniversary of the location of ALA’s headquarters in Chicago. I have put together this digital tribute to Chicago’s great public library in honor of these occasions. Attendees of the conference will have the opportunity to visit the current and former central libraries of the Chicago Public Library. The former central library is now the Chicago Cultural Center, an appropriate repurposing of a historic architectural treasure.”...
Library History Buff, June 8

The Membership Pavilion
Plan to come by the ALA Membership Pavilion at Annual Conference, Booth #3034, to learn more about ways that membership can enhance your career, connect you with colleagues from around the world, and improve library services to your community. Volunteers from the New Members Round Table will be on hand throughout. The pavilion also includes offerings from each division, round table, and office of ALA. Check the schedule of events, July 11–14....

Chicago Firehouse Restaurant, 1401 S. Michigan Ave.Where do I eat?
If you can’t make a decision on which excellent Chicago restaurant to patronize, you can get some advice from Yelp, a popular website that offers reviews of eateries, bars, nightlife, and other amenities in the Windy City. You can select by neighborhood (Near Southside is near McCormick Place) or cuisine (such as Brazilian or hot dogs). Reviews include maps, transit info, price ranges, accessibility, and websites....

Division News

Cover of Born DigitalAASL chooses Born Digital
AASL has chosen Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives by John Palfrey and Urs Gasser as the One Book One Conference selection for its 14th National Conference and Exhibition. A discussion will be held November 6, in Charlotte, North Carolina. AASL’s One Book One Conference is an early-morning book-discussion session and a popular part of the conference....

Will WeaverWill Weaver to judge Wrestlemania Reading Challenge
Will Weaver, author of Saturday Night Dirt and Super Stock Rookie, will judge the 2010 WrestleMania Reading Challenge championship in Phoenix, Arizona. The WrestleMania Reading Challenge, sponsored by YALSA and World Wrestling Entertainment, encourages teens and tweens to read one item a week, beginning during Teen Read Week and ending in January. Registration for the 2010 challenge ends July 31....

Seats filling fast for RUSA preconferences
There is still time to snag a few of the remaining seats for preconferences and ticketed events addressing reference, library services to older adults, business reference, and literature hosted by RUSA at the upcoming ALA Annual Conference. The 2009 preconferences are half- or full-day workshops presenting skills and knowledge vital to success in the professions RUSA represents....

Round Table News

Privacy: Who Do You Trust? graphicIFRT preconference on privacy
Join the Intellectual Freedom Round Table and the Fostering Civic Engagement Member Initiative Group in Chicago on July 9 for an afternoon conversation on privacy titled “Privacy: Who Do You Trust?” The preconference will be structured with an issue map and will introduce the methods of deliberation so that participants will become more comfortable as they explore privacy values and concerns. Contact Jen Hammond with any questions or concerns....

Mentors needed
The New Members Round Table Mentoring Committee is accepting applications for their Conference Mentoring Program for the ALA Annual Conference. The program is open to all ALA members and is designed to connect a first-time conference attendee with a seasoned professional who can help them navigate theconference. The deadline for both mentors and mentees to apply is June 15....


Logo used for Target's School Library Makeover programTarget Brands to be honored with Crystal Apple
AASL President Ann M. Martin has selected Target Brands as the recipient of the 2009 Crystal Apple. The honor is given at the discretion of the AASL president to an individual or group that has had a significant impact on school library media programs and students. Martin cites Target Brands for its leadership in transforming elementary school libraries across the country with its School Library Makeovers program....

Michael HalperinMichael Halperin wins business reference award
Michael Halperin, director of the Lippincott Library at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, has been selected as the 2009 recipient of the Gale Cengage Learning Award for Excellence in Business Librarianship, an honor sponsored by Gale Cengage Learning and administered by RUSA. Halperin was selected for his more than three decades of work as an innovator, teacher, and mentor in the profession....

Great Ideas contest winner
YALSA has named Laurie Cavanaugh, assistant head of adult services at the Brockton (Mass.) Public Library, as the winner of its Great Ideas contest. Cavanaugh suggested that YALSA create a downloadable widget, with code for embedding, containing recommended books for teens that is updated regularly through an RSS or Atom feed. Librarians could add the widget to their library websites, offering book suggestions tested by librarians without needing to know complicated code....

Gordon M. Conable Conference Scholarship
Amanda Sharpe, a graduate student in the University of California at Los Angeles’s Department of Information Studies, has been named the second recipient of the Freedom to Read Foundation’s Gordon M. Conable Scholarship. The scholarship will provide for the conference registration, transportation, and accommodations for Sharpe to attend the 2009 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago....

Kentucky hybrid library wins innovation award
The Gateway Community and Technical College in Covington, Kentucky, has been recognized by the League for Innovation as a 2009 Innovation of the Year Award winner for its pioneering “hybrid library” that provides students with print and electronic resources through onsite, virtual, and regional partner libraries. The award recognizes faculty and staff at member colleges who have developed significant innovations reflecting the spirit of experimentation at the nation’s community colleges....
Gateway Community and Technical College, June 3

Cover of Nation, by Terry Pratchett, winner in the fiction and poetry category2009 Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards
A best-selling British novelist, an innovative American biographer, and New Zealand’s most prodigious storyteller took the top prizes when the 2009 Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards were announced June 2. Presented annually since 1967, the awards reward excellence in children’s and young adult literature and are given in three categories: fiction and poetry, nonfiction, and picture book....
Horn Book, June 2

Cover of Home, by Marilynne RobinsonMarilynne Robinson wins Orange Prize for fiction
American writer Marilynne Robinson has won the 2009 Orange Prize for Fiction for her third novel Home. Robinson, a previous nominee for the Pulitzer prize, was presented with the annual Orange award at a June 3 ceremony at London’s Royal Festival Hall. The £30,000 ($48,190 U.S.) Orange Prize recognizes fiction written by women around the world....
Financial Times, June 4

Cover of Blood TiesRed House Children’s Book Awards
The winners of the UK Red House Children’s Book Awards for 2009 were announced June 6. The awards, sponsored by the Federation of Children’s Book Groups across the country, have been running for 29 years and are regarded as the most significant awards for children’s literature in Britain, as the voting is entirely by children. The winner in the category for older readers was Sophie McKenzie’s Blood Ties....
Red House Children’s Book Award, June 6

Winners in ABC-CLIO’s 2009 history research competition
Eight teams of secondary students and their teacher or librarian coaches from around the country are the grand-prize winners of ABC-CLIO’s 2009 research competition, “History Uncovered.” The five high-school and three middle-grade teams were honored from among hundreds of entries for exemplary research defending their choice of the top 10 people, events, and places that shaped history. Each team and its school will receive more than $60,000 in cash and prizes....
ABC-CLIO, June 9

2009 Access to Learning Awards
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Access to Learning Award honors innovative organizations that are opening a world of online information to people in need. The foundation’s Global Libraries initiative invites applications from libraries and similar organizations outside the United States that have created new ways to offer these key services: free public access to computers, technology training for staff and the public, and outreach to underserved communities. The deadline to apply is October 31....
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

2009 SLA Diversity Leadership Development Program awards
Five up-and-coming information professionals have been named recipients of the Special Libraries Association Diversity Leadership Development Program Award. The award, sponsored by EBSCO, includes a $1,000 cash prize and complimentary registration to attend the 2009 SLA Annual Conference, June 14–17, in Washington, D.C....
Special Libraries Association, June 5

Seen Online

Connecticut budget cuts could be severe
In a move that would conclusively close the door on the Information Age in Connecticut, Gov. M. Jodi Rell proposed cuts May 28 that would shut off access to the internet through the Connecticut Education Network—a fiber-optic network designed to serve public schools and libraries in Connecticut—and drastically reduce the availability of information resources in other agencies. Defunding would eliminate all internet circuits in kindergarten through 12th-grade schools and all libraries and deprive the state of $1 million or more in federal e-rate support....
Hartford (Conn.) Courant, May 31

Burials uncovered at Peoria branch
Excavation began June 9 at the site of the new Lincoln branch of the Peoria (Ill.) Public Library as a team of archaeologists looked for signs of burial vaults and human remains in what was the city cemetery in the mid-1800s. They almost immediately found what they were looking for; an hour later, archaeologists had outlined the top of 13 distinct burial spots. State law requires the removal of all human remains discovered in a construction zone and that there be a subsequent attempt at identifying them. Meanwhile, the old Lincoln branch was declared a historic landmark....
Peoria (Ill.) Journal Star, June 9–10

Children watch the Huntington's corpse flower“Son of Stinky” prepares to bloom at the Huntington
Already dubbed “Son of Stinky,” an offspring of the giant flower whose rotting-flesh odor drew more than 76,000 people to the Huntington Library in San Marino, California, a decade ago, is getting ready to bloom June 10–15. Growing at the rate of 3–4 inches a day, the giant Corpse flower (Amorphophallus titanum) has reached about 4 feet and the watch is on. In 1999, the rare bloom of the world’s largest, smelliest flower drew international attention to the Huntington. It was one of only 10 blooms recorded in the United States in the 20th century....
Pasadena (Calif.) Star-News, June 7; Huntington Library

California schools skeptical of digital-textbook push
California is reviewing digital versions of textbooks that could be used in high-school math and science classes next year. When Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger addressed the state legislature June 2, he said going digital could save schools hundreds of millions of dollars a year. School administrators realize this could be the future of instruction, but they say it won’t save them money anytime soon....
Sacramento (Calif.) Bee, June 5; San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News, June 6

New Jersey boy gives $10,000 prize to library
A New Jersey high school student who won $10,000 in a national essay contest is giving it to a library where his late mother used to volunteer. Joshua Tiprigan is a junior at Northern Valley Regional High School in Old Tappan. His essay on Rudyard Kipling in the Library of Congress Center for the Book’s Letters About Literature contest won him the right to pick a library to receive a $10,000 award. He picked the Northvale Public Library in memory of his mother, who died of cancer a year ago....
Associated Press, June 9

Paul WassermanPaul Wasserman, a man of many words
For more than four decades, Paul Wasserman was a major figure in library studies and education. In 1965, the year he established the University of Maryland’s School of Library and Information Services, he published an influential book, The Librarian and the Machine, that foretold the growing importance of computers and automation in libraries. Yet he never learned how to use a computer. Wasserman was 85 when he died May 8 of pneumonia and an infection....
Washington Post, June 7

LC agents want their guns back
Investigators with the Library of Congress Office of the Inspector General have raised objections after Congress stripped them of their ability to carry firearms. Though its agents have worn firearms for the past 15 years and IG agents elsewhere do the same, lawmakers inserted language into the FY2009 omnibus spending bill that prohibited the officers from using federal funds to “purchase, maintain, or carry” firearms. Library officials supported the move, stating that the library OIG did not need armed agents and could instead rely on LC Police or Capitol Police....
Fox News, June 9; Washington Post, June 4

Cover of a recent issue of VibeThe wrong Vibe for Randolph High
A magazine may be pulled from the Randolph (Wis.) High School library for its “sexual content, explicit language, and gang symbols.” Principal Tom Erdmann brought a complaint against Vibe magazine after a school board member raised concerns. The school district’s library materials review committee met June 3 to discuss the complaint. Erdmann offered teen magazine Gumbo as an alternative to Vibe....
Beaver Dam (Wis.) Daily Citizen, June 4

Be a Librarian graphic from Montana State LibraryMontana wants librarians
Librarians with master’s degrees are an important asset for libraries, but can be hard to come by in Montana. The Montana State Library in Helena is running a media campaign promoting librarianship as a career. In past years, the library has also offered scholarships for Montanans pursuing library graduate degrees. Part of the shortage stems from the lack of an MLS degree program in the state....
Great Falls (Mont.) Tribune, June 8

Add social work to your résumé
Harsh reality has turned librarians into real, if largely unsung, heroes of the recession. Take mild-mannered David Stoner. Trained to help adults discover the trial of Socrates and 6th-graders track the Oregon Trail, he now spends half his time in the trenches of a battered economy. As director of adult services for the Clearwater (Fla.) Public Library System, his job is far more urgent—helping people who need jobs, food stamps, or Medicaid....
St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, June 8

Cover of June 15 TimeHow Twitter will change the way we live
Robin Twomey writes: “As millions of devotees have discovered, Twitter turns out to have unsuspected depth. In part this is because hearing about what your friends had for breakfast is actually more interesting than it sounds. The technology writer Clive Thompson calls this ‘ambient awareness.’ But the most fascinating thing about Twitter is not what it’s doing to us. It’s what we’re doing to it.”...
Time, June 5

The combined coverage of Google trackers in March 2009 was 88.4%. A total of 348,059 out of 393,829 unique domains were reportedGoogle’s eyes are everywhere
A June 1 University of California, Berkeley, report (PDF file) shows that most internet users don’t understand website privacy policies and that major online businesses like Google freely gather data and share it with affiliated businesses via loopholes in those policies. Sites with the most web bugs were for blogging—Blogspot and Typepad were numbers 1 and 2 on the list in March, and Blogger was number 4. Google itself was number 3....
San Francisco Business Times, June 2

Rush Miller. Photo by Ric EvansPitt director helps to shape academic libraries’ future
Rush Miller (right), director of the University of Pittsburgh library system, has transformed not only his school’s library but also the future of research libraries. Miller and his colleagues have digitized tens of thousands of images, forged relationships with about 25 libraries in Asia and Africa that include document and staff exchanges, and worked to develop similar programs with six Latin American countries by partnering with the University of Texas Libraries....
Pittsburgh (Pa.) Tribune-Review, June 8

Hospital library booksRapid City hospital library closes
Medical librarian Pat Hamilton is out of a job as Rapid City (S.D.) Regional Hospital transitions to a self-help electronic medical library for internal use only. For the past 24 years, Hamilton and her staff of volunteers offered medical library resources to doctors, hospital employees, and medical students. The library’s consumer health section also was available to the general public to do research on their medical conditions. Those materials have been donated to the Rapid City Public Library....
Rapid City (S.D.) Journal, June 9

Front page of the final issue of the Rocky Mountain News, Feb. 27, 2009Rocky Mountain News archives to go to Denver Public Library
Less than four months after the Rocky Mountain News published its final edition, its parent company is negotiating agreements to ensure responsible stewardship of the newspaper’s archives and artifacts. The E.W. Scripps Company is finalizing an arrangement with the Denver Public Library, which would assume ownership of the newspaper’s clipping files, microfilm reels, and archives. A similar agreement is underway with the Colorado Historical Society, which would acquire other artifacts and artwork....
Denver Post, June 9

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Tech Talk

Palm PreThe Palm Pre is here
Sascha Segan writes: “Palm is back—and with the coolest handheld device we’ve seen in a long time. The Palm Pre has the same exhilarating sense of possibility as the iPhone —and it’s even worth switching to Sprint for. The Pre is the start of something genuinely new: Palm’s webOS, an innovative operating system that has benefited by what the company has learned from Apple’s smartphone successes. More webOS phones are coming this year, so if the Pre doesn’t quite do it for you, hang in there.” Watch David Pogue’s video review (3:08)....
PC Magazine, June 4; New York Times, June 4

Timebridge selection for multiple times to meetOnline alternatives to Google Calendar
Don Reisinger writes: “I’m a Google Calendar user. It’s easy to use. And for the most part, it helps keep the schedules of individual users organized. But one of its shortcomings is in scheduling meetings. In my experience, it just isn’t nearly as advanced as it should be when it comes to things like arranging meetings among a group of people in various time slots. So I’ve decided to venture out in search of online applications for scheduling. Some are better than others, but many are worth trying out.”...
Webware, June 4

BigHugeLabs' Wallpaper tool embedded calendarTop 10 wallpaper tools and tweaks
Kevin Purdy writes: “A good wallpaper provides a pleasant backdrop to productivity. A great wallpaper changes your whole computer experience. See some of the best image sources, software, and usability tweaks we’ve come across and rolled up for your downloading pleasure.”...
Lifehacker, June 6

The destination web is morphing
David Lee King writes: “Blogs, YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, SlideShare—those sites are created so you don’t have to visit the actual destination page. Instead, through RSS and embedding tools, it’s really pretty easy to subscribe to the content you’re interested in. Your destination isn’t the organization’s website—your destination is your feed reader.”...
David Lee King, June 6

Ten ways to provoke a geek argument
Matt Blum writes: “Geeks, as a general rule, are pretty easy-going. We like to think things through, so passionate confrontations aren’t commonplace for us. When we get well and properly provoked, though, watch out! We won’t stop talking until every last point that we can think of has been made at least twice. So, what do you say to provoke a geek? Glad you asked!”...
GeekDad, June 9

E Ink color screen prototypeWhy there are no color e-books yet
Almost every e-book reader on the market has a black-and-white display. Most can’t display more than a handful of different shades of gray. The hitch is that color e-ink technologies aren’t anywhere near ready for prime time. Amazon chief Jeff Bezos recently told shareholders that a Kindle with a color screen is “multiple years” away. At a recent DisplayWeek conference in San Antonio, Texas, electronic-display manufacturer E Ink showed off prototypes of its color screen (above)....
Gadget Lab, June 9

Blu-ray playerHow to buy a Blu-ray player
Robert Heron writes: “Video from traditional DVDs is made up of fewer than 350,000 pixels, while 1080p HD video is composed of over two million. So if you want sublime, high-resolution detail from your disc-based movies and TV shows, you have to go Blu-ray. The latest crop of players offer much faster disc-handling speeds and more robust multimedia features than previous models, and the players cost only about $300. But there are still a lot of choices out there. Here’s what you need to consider when shopping for a Blu-ray player.”...
PC Magazine, May 7


Joanna Bourne's My Lord and Spymaster is a finalist for a Romance Writers of America awardRomance novels thrive in tough times
With an out-of-work husband and two children to support, Christine Mead needs a cheap—and uplifting—break from life. So lately she’s been escaping into sweet and heartening stories of love and passion, where heroines overcome insurmountable obstacles to find their happiness. Romance novels, she said, are “a distraction from not knowing what’s going to happen next.”...
Associated Press, June 5

18 reasons why modern literature is struggling
Author Bruce Sterling lists 18 challenges to contemporary literature’s survival, from the failure of intellectual-property systems and the destabilization of book distribution to the rise of algorithms and social media....
Beyond the Beyond, May 30

The newspaper suicide pact
Dan Conover writes: “I think I’ll remember last week as the moment when I finally knew, with a certainty approaching fatigue, that the newspaper industry—the business and passion that both shaped and warped me over the past 20 years—had chosen ritual suicide. The choice appears grimly reached and irrevocable. The issue is ‘paid content.’ That’s the generic term. I consider it a euphemism for an entire suite of frustrations and furies that have been boiling out of my former profession since its once-invincible business model began its final slide to the deep in 2008.”...
Xark, June 3

Cover of Sironia, Texas, by Madison Cooper (1952)Top 10 longest novels in the English language
msulli22 writes: “Compiling this list ended up being much more complex than one would think a list of longest books ever should be. Here are the various parameters I decided on: I included only published, not self-published, works; I used word count, not number of pages, as the measure of length; and I included only books originally written in English, since it is easier to achieve a higher word count in some languages than others.”...
List Universe, June 6

AL Buyers Guide ad

Actions & Answers

Should libraries charge for services?
Karen Klapperstuck writes: “Who doesn’t like to get something for free? Whether we are talking about giveaways at a restaurant opening or free information on the internet, everyone loves the idea of getting something for free. A marketing strategy and business model that relates to this idea is the concept of ‘freemium.’ How does the freemium model apply to libraries?”...
Library Garden, June 2

LIS Publications WikiResources for librarians who write
Looking for the best place to publish your next paper? Wondering where you can find a community of writers to chat with? Self-help is online, and so are the communities. Online resources from a “Publishing for the Profession” class that lecturer Laurie Putnam has taught at the San Jose State University SLIS since 2004 are now available to all. Resources include a wiki of potential places to publish and a set of internet bookmarks on writing, editing, and publishing topics....
SJSU SLIS Alumni Association Newsletter, Spring

Boys Read logoSeattle group transforms boys into lifelong readers
Boys is an organization of parents, educators, librarians, mentors, authors, and booksellers dedicated to making boys lifelong readers. Periodically, they feature an extraordinary author on their home page. Currently, they have selected Watt Key’s Alabama Moon and Fran Cannon Slayton’s When the Whistle Blows as summer reading picks....

25 ways for libraries to support book groups
Neil Hollands writes: “Libraries need to recognize book group readers as one of their core audiences, a population that deserves ‘extra-mile’ service. Here’s my list of 25 ways that a library can support book groups. If you’re a librarian, consider adding one or two of the practices from this list to your repertoire.”...
Book Group Buzz, June 5

Ten university-press directors back free access
In a move that puts them at odds with the official stance of the Association of American University Presses, a group of university-press directors issued a position statement June 4 that endorses “the free access to scientific, technical, and medical journal articles no later than 12 months after publication.” Public access has come under threat from a bill, the Fair Use in Research Works Act, sponsored by Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.)....
Chronicle of Higher Education, June 5

DTV Transition day graphicDTV Transition Day on Friday
The national switch from analog to digital broadcast will take place Friday, June 12. You may get questions from people wondering how to prepare or whether they are ready. For questions and assistance, individuals may call 1-888-225-5322....
District Dispatch, June 9

An office-chair workout100 tips for office-friendly workouts
The benefits of exercise go beyond maintaining a trim physique. A fit lifestyle that also incorporates healthy eating clears your focus, boosts energy, and helps you deal with stress in a more balanced, positive way. And if you can sneak in extra exercises while you’re at work, you’ll be much better equipped to deal with all the negativity and chaos that’s thrown your way. Here are 100 tips and tricks to stay fit at work....
Masters of Healthcare, June 8

ARL: Don’t sign nondisclosure clauses
The Association of Research Libraries board of directors voted May 22 in support of a resolution that strongly encourages its member libraries to refrain from signing agreements with publishers or vendors, either individually or through consortia, that include nondisclosure or confidentiality clauses. In addition, the board encourages its members to share, upon request from other libraries, information contained in these agreements for licensing content, licensing software, or other tools, and for digitization contracts with third-party vendors....
Association of Research Libraries, June 5

OCLC policy: What is the question?
Karen Coyle writes: “I have a difficult time understanding the discussion around the OCLC WorldCat Record Use Policy. At least one reason for my confusion is that I have yet to see an explanation of the problem that the policy is attempting to address. The recent talk by Jennifer Younger, on the initial recommendations of the WorldCat record-use policy review board, left me with the same uncertainty: If this is the answer, then what is the question?”...
Coyle’s InFormation, June 9

Logos logoTranslation resources on the web
Rebecca A. Martin and Sarah McHone-Chase write: “Both professional translators and competent amateurs need first-rate resources to select the exact word or phrase in context. There are many free websites that allow educated nonprofessionals to produce quality translations, if they are willing to dig into the wealth of the internet and create their own set of tools. The following sites, listed here in English, serve as gateways to precise multilingual dictionaries and glossaries, as well as directories with access to professional tools.”...
College and Research Libraries News 70, no. 6 (June)

Marian Anderson sings at the Lincoln Memorial, April 9, 1939Seventh annual National Recording Registry additions
Librarian of Congress James H. Billington named June 9 the 25 new additions to the National Recording Registry as part of LC’s efforts to ensure that the nation’s aural history is not lost or forgotten. Among the selections are Marian Anderson’s recital at the Lincoln Memorial in 1939 (right); the sounds of the ivory-billed woodpecker in a Louisiana swamp forest; Winston Churchill’s “Sinews of Peace” speech at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri; and the original cast recording of West Side Story....
Library of Congress, June 9

U.S. Copyright Office adjusts fees
The U.S. Copyright Office in the Library of Congress is amending its fees for copyright services. Thanks to cost-savings achieved through increased office automation, some fees will remain the same or decrease. Other fees—mostly for services requiring manual labor—will rise. The proposed fee for filing a copyright application online remains $35, but the new fee for paper applications will be $65, an increase of $20, effective August 1....
Library of Congress, June 3

23 elements of sharable blog posts
Chris Brogan writes: “What makes a blog post something worthy of links? What makes a blog post something that people will send around to their friends? If you’re looking to find some kind of value and impact in your blog as a communication tool, it might be useful to know what makes a post shareable, versus those posts that people read and forget. Here are my ideas on what might work.”...
Chris Brogan, June 8

Hurricane Alberto NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA-GSFC) 11.7.02 GL-2002-002155FSU aids public libraries with hurricane preparedness
With the arrival of hurricane season on June 1, Florida’s public libraries have a vital role to play in helping their communities prepare for and recover from hurricanes and other severe storms. Florida State University’s Information Use Management and Policy Institute at the College of Information has unveiled a new website that will help libraries meet the challenge. The project brings together emergency response agencies, the Florida State Library and Archives, the Lyrasis library network, and Florida’s libraries to share resources and hard-won wisdom....
Florida State University, May 29

ABC closes its News Research Center
ABC News is shuttering its News Research Center and converting it into a digital research center. The move will mean the loss of eight jobs. In a June 4 email to staff, news president David Westin wrote, “Today, many of the research tools we use are available online. Our extensive, hard-copy library filled with periodicals and other materials is no longer necessary in the digital age.” ABC has hired the consulting firm Library Associates to develop a digital research center....
WebNewser, June 4

Ben & Jerry's ice cream graphicA library-themed Ben & Jerry’s flavor?
Andy Woodworth, a librarian at the Bordentown branch of the Burlington County (N.J.) Library System, set up a Facebook page June 7 advocating the creation of a library-themed Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor. The logic? Libraries are awesome. Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is tasty. Therefore, a library-flavored Ben & Jerry’s would be tasty awesome. Suggested flavors include Gooey Decimal System, Sh-sh-sh-Sherbet, and Cookie Bookie. Some 333 people have joined so far....
People for a library-themed Ben & Jerry’s flavor!

A page of the Tyldesley Diary before (left) and after (right) damageMore on the Tyldesley Diary damage
Peter Tyldesley writes: “It’s now June 2009 and more information is available than when The Times first reported in 2007 that the manuscript of the Tyldesley Diary had been extensively damaged while in the custody of the British Library. At some point between 2005 and 2007 an employee of the British Library, whom I shall refer to as P, seriously damaged the Tyldesley Diary, a Jacobite manuscript belonging to me but lodged for safekeeping with the library.”...
Tyldesley Family History

British Library raises restrictive copyright fears
The British Library has launched a campaign to ensure copyright issues in research and education are reflected in any legislation or rules resulting from recent government initiatives. Chief Executive Lynne Brindley said that just as technology was giving greater access to books and other creative works, new restrictions threatened to lock away digital content in a way that would never be countenanced for printed material....
Information World Review, June 9

First 979 ISBNs assigned to France
The first 979-prefixed ISBN registration group element, 979-10, has been assigned to the Paris-based French National ISBN Agency, AFNIL, according to the International ISBN Agency. The global book industry is encouraged to pay attention to this news: It will lead to the appearance of the first 979-prefix ISBNs in the international book supply chain....
Book Industry Study Group, June 2

Jeff Daniels speaks out for NYPLCelebrities step up for New York Public Library
Facing funding cutbacks that would drastically reduce its services, the New York Public Library is in the midst of a fierce campaign to articulate its value to the community. That effort now gets a serious shot in the arm from video testimonials by celebs including Amy Tan, Barbara Walters, Malcolm Gladwell, Bette Midler, Nora Ephron, Bill Irwin, Mike Nichols, Ellen Burstyn, Colson Whitehead, Tim Gunn, and Jeff Daniels. It’s unlikely that many other libraries could round up a similar roster....
Critical Difference, June 3; YouTube, June 3

Still from LGA videoLibraries: An integral part of the community
Nancy Dowd writes: “This fantastic video (2:50) from Minnesota talks about the impact of cutting LGA (local community funding) and places libraries right there with firefighters. This is what OCLC’s report meant when they said we needed to demonstrate how libraries are an integral part of the community infrastructure and a tough but essential tax cost.”...
The M Word: Marketing for Libraries, June 9; Thank LGA, Apr. 9

Protestors at Saddleback Valley Unified School DistrictSaddleback Valley protest
Library staff, kids, and supporters protest the job cuts (3:20) outside a June 9 board of directors meeting at Saddleback Valley Unified School District in southern Orange County, California. After statewide voters rejected ballot measures in May that would have restored funding for schools, the district board met to consider shuttering its libraries and computer labs, laying off 100 teachers, and eliminating nearly half its high-school guidance counselors....
YouTube, June 10

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Drexel ad

Rittenhouse ad

2009 ALA Annual Conference logo

ALA Annual Conference, Chicago, July 9–15. Closing Session speaker: Steve Lopez, Los Angeles Times columnist and author of The Soloist, will speak July 14, 8–9 a.m.

Jonas Brothers READ poster

New Jersey-born siblings Kevin, Joe, and Nick Jonas are stars of both stage and screen. The Grammy-nominated Jonas Brothers have released four albums and won an American Music Award for Breakthrough Artist. Now they are featured on this new ALA celebrity READ poster. NEW! From ALA Graphics.

In this issue
June/July 2009

Cover of June/July 2009 issue

Summertime in Chicago

Prescription for Financial Recovery

Librarians As Writers

Licenses and Legalities

Career Leads from
ALA Joblist logo

Executive Director, Fayetteville (Ark.) Public Library. This single-facility library system is located in the stunningly beautiful and LEED–Silver certified Blair Library, a 90,000-square-foot facility that opened in 2004. The Board of Trustees seeks applicants who have a passion for leading a truly customer-centered public organization; a commitment to maintaining a desired and supportive work environment that values the input and expertise of the library’s very talented staff; and experience with policy development, planning, accounting and budgeting, fundraising, facilities management, library advocacy, media relations, marketing, supervision, quality improvement, and public relations....

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Digital Library of the Week

Glass negative of a photograph by Charles Belden. Photo is of a man crouching next to a white horse with Hope Williams standing next to him, Pitchfork Ranch, Wyoming. Charles J. Belden Photographs, Accession Number 00598, University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center

The Wyoming Memory Portal brings the histories of Wyoming to life through a virtual gateway to the state’s rich collections of manuscripts, books, photographs, documents, newspapers, maps, audio, video, and other resources. These sources document Wyoming’s past from prehistory through the present. Collections and exhibits are provided by archives, libraries, historical societies, museums, governments, organizations, and individuals from throughout Wyoming. the site is hosted by the University of Wyoming Libraries. One collection includes images from the 1920s and 1930s of Charles J. Belden’s Pitchfork Ranch near Meeteetse, Wyoming. Photographs include depictions of everyday life on the ranch, raising antelopes, dude ranching, and Belden’s family members.

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 thought that leads me to contemplate with dread the erasure of other voices, of unwritten novels, poems whispered or swallowed for fear of being overheard by the wrong people, outlawed languages flourishing underground, essayists’ questions challenging authority never being posed, unstaged plays, cancelled films—that thought is a nightmare. As though a whole universe is being described in invisible ink.”

—Author Toni Morrison, speaking at an event in New York to launch the National Coalition Against Censorship’s new initiative, the Free Speech Leadership Council. The Guardian (U.K.), June 5.

American Libraries on Twitter

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Ask the ALA Librarian

John Newbery Medal

Q. Is the Newbery Medal really the oldest award that ALA gives? What about selected lists of books for different ages?

A. The Newbery Medal was first awarded in 1922, making it the oldest continuously given award of ALA. The second-oldest award is the Oberly Award, first presented in 1924 as the “Oberly Memorial Prize.” The Best Books for Young Adults list has been published nearly regularly on an annual basis since July 1931. The list of Notable Children’s Books has been around since 1940; and RUSA’s list of Notable Books for Adults has been going strong since 1944. From the ALA Professional Tips wiki.

@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.

Cover of June 2009 College & Research Libraries News

North Carolina State University Head of Access and Delivery Service Mary Carmen Chimato explains how an economic crisis can improve your management skills in the June 2009 issue of College and Research Libraries News.


July 10:
Google Analytics Workshop, Hyatt Regency, Chicago. Sponsored by the Association of Research Libraries.

July 20–24:
Educause Institute Learning Technology Leadership Program, Hilton Burlington, Vermont.

July 31–
Aug. 2:

PulpFest 2009,
Ramada Plaza Hotel and Convention Center, Columbus, Ohio.

Aug. 4–7:
The Annual Conference on Distance Learning and Teaching,
Monona Terrace Convention Center, Madison, Wisconsin.

Aug. 6:
Granite State Book and Ephemera Fair,
Event Center at C.R. Sparks, Bedford, New Hampshire.

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

Aug. 8–9:
Arkansas Book and Paper Show,

Aug. 23–25:
Salford Data Mining Conference, Hard Rock Hotel, San Diego.

Sept. 8–11:
International Conference for Digital Libraries and the Semantic Web, University of Trento, Italy.

Sept. 9:
Annual National Conference on Citizenship,
Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. “Sustainable Impact: A Civic Return on Investment.”

Sept. 11–13:
Association for Rural and Small Libraries,
Annual Conference, Park Vista Hotel, Gatlinburg, Tennessee. “Keeping Your Head While Serving the Community.”

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

Sept. 20:
Maine Book and Paper Show,
Wyndham Portland Airport Hotel, Portland.

Sept. 21–26:
West Texas Book and Music Festival,

Oct. 2–3:
Santa Fe Antiquarian Book Show,
El Museo Cultural, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Oct. 7–10:
Internet Research 10.0, Hilton Milwaukee City Center, Wisconsin. “Internet: Critical.”

Oct. 10–11:
Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair and Book Arts Show,
Seattle Center Exhibition Hall.

Oct. 19–20:
Marketing, Cleveland, Ohio. Certified Public Library Administrator course sponsored by PLA.

Oct. 19–22:
National Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums Conference, Portland, Oregon.

Oct. 27–28:
Fundraising, Kansas City, Missouri. Certified Public Library Administrator course sponsored by PLA.

Nov. 6–11:
American Society for Information Science and Technology, Annual Meeting, Vancouver, British Columbia.

Nov. 12–13: Management of Technology, Mountlake Terrace, Washington. Certified Public Library Administrator course sponsored by PLA.

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