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

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

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U.S. & World News

The binding is nearly all that is left of this vandalized volume. From Lawrence (Kans.) Journal-World videoPages stolen from rare books at University of Kansas
Six rare books have been vandalized in recent weeks at the University of Kansas Watson Library in Lawrence; the library estimates the cost of the loss at $5,000. Plates, maps, and other artwork were removed from the volumes, which date back as far as the early 1800s. An 1887 book on Julius Caesar and a volume from the East Asian collection were found in a third-floor rest room May 28 with pages missing....
American Libraries Online, June 17; Lawrence (Kans.) Journal-World, June 12

Peoria expansion complicated by 19th-century cemetery
Discovery of human remains at the site of an 18,000-square-foot expansion at Peoria (Ill.) Public Library’s Lincoln branch may add as much as $500,000 to the $5.5-million construction cost. The branch was built on the site of a city cemetery that closed in 1875. Midwest Archaeological Research Services has uncovered 93 suspected human burial sites, and estimates that as many as 120 graves could be within the construction zone....
American Libraries Online, June 17

ALA News

President Obama announces the United We Serve initiativeALA to partner in White House volunteer effort
ALA, along with a host of other nonprofit organizations, will participate in United We Serve, a national effort launched by President Obama to engage more Americans in serving their communities this summer. Libraries will play a major role in this initiative, which was announced (3:04) by the President June 17. ALA and the White House are encouraging libraries to post volunteer opportunities on the United We Serve website. As the initiative develops, ALA will make available resources to assist libraries in conducting volunteer efforts. United We Serve kicks off on June 22 and runs through September 11. The initiative focuses on four key areas: education, health, energy and the environment, and community renewal....

Christie HefnerChristie Hefner will be the Opening Speaker
A passionate advocate of freedom of expression, social justice, and equal rights and opportunities for women, Christie Hefner will speak at the ALA Annual Conference’s Opening General Session, July 11. Hefner is a director of the Center for American Progress, a policy research and advocacy organization. Until earlier this year, she served as chairman and CEO of Playboy Enterprises. As an advocate for First Amendment rights, she created the Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Awards in 1979 to honor individuals who have contributed to free speech in America....

The Delaware Diamonds team performs at the 2007 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.Library Book Cart Drill Team championships
The fifth annual Library Book Cart Drill Team championship, showcasing library workers performing inspired dance routines with costumes and creatively decorated book carts, will be held July 12 at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. Sponsored by Demco, this year’s event features teams from Oak Park (Ill.) Public Library, the entire state of Delaware (above), Baraboo (Wis.) Public Library, University of Pittsburgh, and Des Plaines (Ill.) Public Library....

Bookmobile: Libraries on the Move logoA parade of bookmobiles in Chicago
The Office for Literacy and Outreach Services will hold its third annual “Bookmobile Sunday” on July 12 during the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. The event will feature programs, book signings by author Sara Paretsky and others, and a parade of 12 bookmobiles. Authors Peter Laufer and Tom Corwin will launch “Behind the Wheel of a Bookmobile,” their three-month-long journey across the United States in a bookmobile filled with donated materials....

Dave BaumMedia training at Annual Conference
Veteran Chicago broadcaster and media trainer Dave Baum will be hosting a media relations training session during the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago on July 12. Baum will provide tips on how librarians can effectively deliver their key messages and garner favorable media coverage....

Still from Scott Nicholson's Gaming in Libraries session no. 12, Strategy Game ExperiencesGaming in Libraries online course
ALA has partnered with the Syracuse University School of Information Studies in an experiment to teach a course that is open to both students and the public via YouTube. Throughout June, iSchool Professor Scott Nicholson will teach the IST 600 Gaming in Libraries course in three online spaces: the Syracuse University website, ALA Connect, and the iSchool’s online learning management system. Nicholson decided to offer the course to reach public librarians who are interested in incorporating gaming into their libraries....

Schools, Health, and Libraries Broadband Coalition
ALA joined with representatives of schools, libraries, health care providers, and others June 11 in announcing the launch of the Schools, Health, and Libraries Broadband Coalition, an alliance to promote the deployment of high-capacity broadband facilities to these anchor institutions. The coalition was formed to highlight (PDF file) the urgent need these organizations have for affordable broadband connections for the 21st century....

Joseph JanesJoseph Janes to discuss future connections
The final installment in ALA President Jim Rettig’s ALA Connections Salons series will be an online discussion with Joseph Janes, associate professor at the information school of the University of Washington and American Libraries “Internet Librarian” columnist. Janes will be joined by his students to discuss the future of ALA, libraries, and librarianship. The discussion will take place from 1–2 p.m. Eastern Time, June 19. A tip sheet for OPAL is online....

Cover of Magic SearchHow to get the best results from a library catalog
ALA Editions has just released Magic Search: Getting the Best Results from Your Catalog and Beyond by Rebecca S. Kornegay, Heidi E. Buchanan, and Hildegard B. Morgan. Presenting the 467 best-performing Library of Congress Subject Heading subdivisions, this reference answers many of the research questions librarians handle every day. In addition, it provides chapters on discipline-specific subdivisions to hone effective search terms....

Cover of Inside, Outside, and OnlineBuilding your library community
ALA Editions has published Inside, Outside, and Online: Building Your Library Community by Chrystie Hill. Based on a scan of the community and technology environments within which libraries operate, related literature, and the practical experiences of hundreds of library staff actively building communities through their work, this book provides insights into the essential elements of community building....

Emerging Leaders Group GEmerging Leaders solicit career success stories
ALA Emerging Leaders Project G (right) is soliciting real stories of how the Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment has impacted job seekers—new graduates and transitioning career seekers alike—over the past 35 years. If you found the perfect job thorough the ALA Placement Center, located the perfect candidate at a conference, or successfully revamped your résumé with the review service in the Placement Center, email the group or submit a YouTube video tagged “jumpstartlibrarian.”...

ALA Connect update and schedule
Jenny Levine writes: “If you’re an ALA member, you should have received an email about ALA Connect on June 16. This is the first time we’ve contacted members directly about this. Initial responses have been positive, and according to Google Analytics, we had more than 2,200 people visit the site that day alone.” Here are some statistics for the first 10 weeks after the official launch and some plans for the next big phase....
ALA Marginalia, June 17

Crossroads Juvenile CenterVisiting the NYC Great Stories CLUB
Author Paul Griffin writes: “On June 8, the ALA’s Great Stories CLUB sent me to Crossroads Juvenile Center (right) in Brownsville, Brooklyn. The boys, ranging in age from 11 to 16, are poets, R&B singers, rap artists, memoirists. They dream big. To maintain that kind of hope in confinement is no easy trick. Librarians Anne Lotito and Jessica Fenster-Sparber go all out to introduce the kids to books and authors.”...
Programming Librarian, June 16

Booklist Online logo

Cover of The Great and Only BarnumFeatured review: Books for youth
Fleming, Candace. The Great and Only Barnum: The Tremendous, Stupendous Life of Showman P. T. Barnum. Sept. 2009. 160p. Random/Schwartz & Wade, hardcover (978-0-375-84197-2).
In this sweeping yet cohesive biography, Fleming so finely tunes Barnum’s legendary ballyhoo that you can practically hear the hucksterism and smell the sawdust. It’s a quintessentially American tale: born poor in 1810, Phineas Taylor Barnum stormed through the 19th century as a small-time pitchman, museum founder, traveling exhibitionist, and finally, circus owner. Along the way he improvised (kick-starting his career with the impulsive purchase of a “161-year-old” slave), misled (a “mermaid” that was no more than creative taxidermy), and persevered through the kind of fiery calamities that would’ve squashed most men....

Cover of The Monster VariationsBooklist author Daniel Kraus
Gillian Engberg writes: “Books for Youth Associate Editor Daniel Kraus must need to take a deep breath before answering that ubiquitous icebreaker, ‘So, what do you do?’ A former librarian and freelance writer, Kraus is also a filmmaker whose six features include several award winners, and AL Direct readers will recognize his talents in the web-based author videos and AL Focus videos he has produced. And now, with Delacorte’s August release of his debut novel, The Monster Variations, Kraus will add ‘young adult author’ to his long list of professional roles.”...

Cover of The Fabulous ClipjointLiterary Chicago quiz
Bill Ott writes: “Here, at long last, is a quiz—not just any quiz, but one that celebrates literary Chicago, a topic that should be of interest to many of the 20,000 librarians who will be here next month to attend ALA’s Annual Conference. Chicagoans, of course, enjoy a long and illustrious literary tradition, one that reaches from Theodore Dreiser and Frank Norris through Richard Wright and Ernest Hemingway and on to Saul Bellow and Nelson Algren and on still further to Sandra Cisneros, Sara Paretsky, and many, many others. It’s hardly a challenge to match these authors with their titles set in Chicago, but it may prove just a bit harder to combine those pairings with a neighborhood, a landmark, or an event in Chicago history that plays a significant role in each book.”...
Booklist, June 1

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

Chicago Update

Five tips for a better ALA conference experience
Steven Bell writes: “It’s now mid-June and the ALA Annual Conference will be upon us in no time at all. I’d like to share five ideas for having a better conference experience. I’m certainly not the first blogger to offer their tips for having a better ALA conference experience, but these tips are based on an experience I had for the first time at the 2008 ALA in Anaheim (no, it didn’t involve any Disney characters).”...
ACRLog, June 16

The Grant Park OrchestraArts activities in Chicago (PDF file)
ACRL’s Art Section has compiled a guide to arts activities taking place during the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. Some of the venues and hosting organizations are well‐known, while others are more off the beaten path. The guide includes sections on visual arts and museums, gallery districts, architecture and design, music, film, theatre, dance, and arts centers around town....
ACRL Art Section

The Julian Lage Quartet will be at the Jazz Showcase July 9-12The Jazz Showcase
The Jazz Showcase is a famous Chicago jazz club that retains an influential following. Founded in 1947 by Joe Segal, who still owns and runs the venue, it is probably the city’s most prestigious jazz club. Now located in Dearborn Station at 806 S. Plymouth Court, the Jazz Showcase will be featuring the Julian Lage Quartet, Typhanie Monique, Zvonimir Tot, and the Mulgrew Miller Trio during Annual Conference....
Jazz Showcase

The Bookworks second-hand bookstore in Chicago. Photo by Jennifer HendersonUsed and specialty books in Chicago
Chicago offers some wonderful places for book lovers who want to fill some gaps in their collection. A few of the best are The Bookworks (3444 N. Clark St.), Powell’s Bookstores (three locations at 1501 E. 57th St., 828 S. Wabash Ave., and 2850 N. Lincoln Ave.), O’Gara and Wilson (1448 E. 57th St.), Myopic Books (1564 N. Milwaukee Ave.), the Abraham Lincoln Book Shop (357 W. Chicago Ave.), Unabridged Bookstore (3251 N. Broadway), and India Book House (2541 W. Devon)....

The Hotel Affinia's rooftop deck. Photo by E. Jason WambsgansRooftop dining
There are at least a half-dozen upper-floor dining perches in Chicago that did not exist a year ago. What makes an ideal outdoor rooftop? A great view is very important, but the space should be attractive in its own right. There must be serious food options; it’s not alfresco dining if you can’t dine. And it needs to be available. What’s not important is whether it’s an actual rooftop....
Chicago Tribune, June 11

Mike Harvey as Marcus in the Griffin Theatre Company production of Little BrotherLittle Brother: The play
Cory Doctorow’s best-selling YA novel of techno-geek rebellion, Little Brother, has been adapted for the theater by William Massolia and is playing through July 19 at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 North Southport Ave., in Chicago. The Griffin Theatre Company is performing. Doctorow himself will be in the audience for the July 9 performance....
Griffin Theatre Company; Boing Boing, June 17

The Lindbergh perfusion pump, which enabled doctors to keep organs functioning outside the body, invented by the renowned aviator Charles Lindbergh and Nobel Prize-winning surgeon Alexis Carrel in 1935, on view at the International Museum of Surgical ScienceInternational Museum of Surgical Science
The mission of this museum, a division of the International College of Surgeons located at 1524 N. Lake Shore Drive, is to enrich people’s lives by enhancing their appreciation and understanding of the history, development, and advances of surgery and related subjects in health and medicine. The museum’s four floors are filled with more than 7,000 extraordinary artifacts, as well as paintings and sculptures that interpret primitive and modern healing practices throughout the world....
International Museum of Surgical Science

Windy City Root Beer, made in ChicagoThe truth about “The Windy City”
Theresa Carter writes: “The Windy City is one of Chicago’s most popular and enduring nicknames. But where does the moniker actually come from? Locals and guidebooks are quick to say it’s not from the actual wind. Instead, they claim it’s from New York complaining about our blustering efforts to bring the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition to Chicago (which we did); more detailed reports specifically reference an editorial by Charles Dana in the New York Sun around 1890. Truth is, it’s a bit more complex than that.” See also Barry Popik’s research on the topic....
The Local Tourist, June 8; The Big Apple, Oct. 11, 2004

Division News

Susan HornungSusan Hornung named ASCLA/RUSA executive director
Susan Hornung will take over as the new executive director of the ASCLA and RUSA divisions. She will attend the Annual Conference in Chicago then officially join ALA on July 27. Hornung is currently the director of knowledge management and the Severson Center at the Alliance for Children and Families in Milwaukee, a position she has held since 1986....

RUSA preconference on older adults
RUSA has released the speaker roster for its upcoming preconference, “A Dialogue With the Aging Network and the Library Community: The New Guidelines on Library and Information Services to Older Adults,” at ALA Annual Conference July 10. This one-day event will highlight how libraries are collaborating with national and local organizations that serve older adults and the division’s recently revised Guidelines on Library and Information Services to Older Adults....

Two ASCLA preconferences
Anyone looking to improve customer service delivery or find sustainable funding options for collaborative digitization projects should act now and register for the fast-filling preconferences offered by ASCLA on July 10 at ALA Annual Conference. The preconferences are half- or full-day workshops presenting skills and knowledge relevant to success in various areas of librarianship....

Cover of Influencing Without AuthorityACRL shows how to be influential
ACRL has published a new title, Influencing Without Authority by Melanie Hawks. The second entry in the ACRL Active Guides series, this book provides guidance for those seeking to gain support for their ideas, developing collaborative relationships, and becoming recognized leaders—regardless of their positions or titles. The ability to influence others is a required workplace skill, yet it is one in which very few people receive education....

Scholarly Communication 101
ACRL is extending the reach of its “Scholarly Communication 101: Starting with the Basics” workshop by adding related materials to its popular toolkit. The materials—including short videos, presentation templates, and handouts—were developed for the half-day workshop offered at the ACRL National Conference in Seattle and traveling to five locations around the country this summer....

Second phase of Kids! @ your library
The Kids! @ your library campaign officially kicks off its second phase July 12 during a program showcasing children’s authors at the 2009 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. Authors Avi, Brian Selznick, Pam Muñoz Ryan, and Sarah Weeks will demonstrate how librarians can successfully present readers’ theater in their libraries. New tools are available on ALSC’s Kids! @ your library website....

Top portion of Teens' Top Ten bookmarkTeens’ Top Ten downloadable bookmarks
YALSA now offers downloadable bookmarks (PDF file) featuring the 2009 Teens’ Top Ten nominees for librarians to distribute to teens at their libraries. The bookmarks feature the 25 titles nominated for this year’s list of favorite books. Teen readers are encouraged to read the nominees throughout the summer, then vote for their favorite titles starting August 24. The online poll closes on September 18, and winners will be announced in a webcast during Teen Read Week, October 18–24....

Meet YALSA President Debraski and author Holley
YALSA will host two special events at its booth in the Membership Pavilion at ALA Annual Conference: a meet and greet with President Sarah Cornish Debraski and a book signing with Pam Spencer Holley, editor of the new Quick and Popular Reads for Teens. Holley, a YALSA past president and former chair of the Printz Award, will sign copies of her book on July 11....

Submit your school/public library partnership story
The AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee on School/Public Library Cooperation is updating its clearinghouse of information about school/public library cooperative activities. Submit a story using this form, and it will be added to the clearinghouse and possibly shared at upcoming ALA conferences....
ALSC Blog, June 15

Round Table News

Local-government information preconference
The Government Documents and Maps and Geography round tables are offering a panel discussion about the history and future of local government information resources and services in libraries prior to the ALA Annual Conference. Urban studies experts will suggest ways to cooperate with local governments to disseminate public information and set up engaged citizen forums. The preconference will be held July 10 at the Elizabeth F. Cheney Mansion, followed by an exclusive walking tour of Oak Park sponsored by the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio....


Our Lady of Guadalupe Ballet Folklórico performs Mexican traditional dance in ChicagoPura Belpré Celebración at Annual Conference
Hundreds will gather this summer for an event celebrating the most influential Latino authors and illustrators of children’s literature. The Pura Belpré Celebración will serve as a national backdrop for the presentation of the coveted Pura Belpré Medal, an award that recognizes Latino authors and illustrators of children’s literature. The event, to be held at ALA Annual Conference July 12, will include a musical performance by students from Our Lady of Guadalupe Ballet Folklórico (above)....

Cover of Man Gone DownFirst-time novelist wins IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
A debut novelist who says he’s never really had a proper job has won the world’s richest literary award. American writer Michael Thomas beat authors Philip Roth, Doris Lessing, and Joyce Carol Oates to take the €100,000 ($138,415 U.S.) IMPAC Dublin prize with his debut novel, Man Gone Down. Described by the judging panel as an “extraordinary novel . . . from a writer of enthralling voice and startling insight,” Thomas said he’d written it at a time when he was “feeling a little desperate” himself....
The Guardian (U.K.), June 11

Cover of Grace, Tamar, and Laszlo the Beautiful2009 Wales Book of the Year
Deborah Kay Davies won the Wales Book of the Year 2009 award with her debut collection of short stories, Grace, Tamar, and Laszlo the Beautiful, beating poet Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch and writer Gee Williams to the £10,000 ($16,430 U.S.) prize. Wiliam Owen Roberts won the Welsh-language prize for his novel Petrograd. The winners were announced at a ceremony at St. David’s Hotel and Spa in Cardiff Bay on June 15....
BBC Wales, June 15

Bournemouth University Library Techno BoothBournemouth University has the most outstanding library team
Bournemouth University won the inaugural Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Award for Outstanding Library Team during a June 9 award ceremony in London. The prestigious award recognizes the team’s dedication and achievement in providing high-quality service in support of all areas of university activity, including the popular Techno Booths (above). Sarah Bartlett interviewed the team prior to their win....
Bournemouth University, June 10; Panlibus, June 4

Seen Online

Still from "Beyond Books" Today Show segment on librariesLibraries lend a hand in the recession
In this Today Show segment (4:26), NBC News Correspondent Peter Alexander examines the dichotomy between public libraries’ increasing role as a lifeline in economic hard times and decreased funding for libraries. Featured are Nancy Savas, manager of the Germantown branch of the Montgomery County (Md.) Public Libraries, and President Paul LeClerc of the New York Public Library. The ALA Public Information Office suggests several ways that libraries can help extend the reach of this positive story....
Today Show, June 11; Visibility @ your library, June 12

Pratt Library Career Center graphicAttendance up 92% in library career classes
As Baltimore’s unemployment rate rose, many people headed to the library. Since the onset of the recession, attendance at the Enoch Pratt Free Library’s career center classes has jumped 92%. The rise in attendance is nearly in sync with the city’s rise in unemployment, which came close to doubling between April 2008 and March 2009....
Baltimore Sun, June 14

Librarians fighting Google’s book deal
Critics of Google’s book-searching agreement with publishers and authors were cheered last week when antitrust regulators in the Justice Department set their sights on the search giant’s publishing deal, demanding more information. “The increased scrutiny on the part of the DOJ tells us that our concerns are resonating far beyond the library community,” said Corey Williams, associate director of the ALA Office of Government Relations....
Time, June 16

New York retains six-day library service
New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and the city council reached a deal June 15 on a $59.4-billion budget that would increase the sales tax by half a percentage point while reducing the city’s work force by roughly 2,000 jobs. But the agreement preserves essential core services, including maintaining city-wide, six-day library service—a long-standing council priority. The $46.5-million restoration of library funding will avoid layoffs, ensure that New Yorkers have access to critically important job-training services, and preserve access to literacy programs and computers....
New York City Council, June 15; New York Times, June 15

Martin GomezMartín Gomez appointed Los Angeles city librarian
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa appointed Martín Gomez to the top post of city librarian of the Los Angeles Public Library June 11. Gomez will oversee the department’s $129-million budget, 1,100 employees, and the administration of the city’s library system. Most recently, Gomez was director of the San Mateo County (Calif.) Library and has served on the ALA Executive Board....
Los Angeles Public Library, June 11

Miriam NisbetNARA names Miriam Nisbet as FOIA overseer
Advocates for open government welcomed the appointment June 10 of the first director of a new office at the National Archives and Records Administration that will provide policy guidance to agencies for handling of Freedom of Information Act requests and mediate disagreements about decisions not to grant requests. Miriam Nisbet, who currently works for UNESCO in Paris and served as legislative counsel for the ALA Washington Office from 1999 to 2007, will head the new Office of Government Information Services....
Federal Computer Week, June 11; OMB Watch, June 10

More school librarians return to Jefferson Parish
The Jefferson Parish (La.) School Board has restored librarians to seven elementary schools, following through on a promise it made two years ago. In the past 20 years, librarians and arts programs in Jefferson public schools have come and gone, depending on the state of school system finances. But in 2007, Superintendent Diane Roussel and the board began the process of restoring librarians to elementary schools, saying the position was a vital component in student achievement....
New Orleans Times-Picayune, June 11

Henry Pippitt's second diary, covering much of 1864Tennessee library digitizes Civil War diary
The University of Tennessee’s Special Collections Department has recently completed scanning, digitizing, and posting online the handwritten Civil War diary of Henry Pippitt, a Union soldier who fought in the 104th Ohio Infantry. The three journals comprise about 320 pages and cover Pippitt’s thoughts and activities from September 1862 to June 1865. The entries read like 19th-century Twitter messages, as the comments are usually brief and to the point—and also contain quite a few misspellings....
Knoxville (Tenn.) News, June 10

Main reading room of the Church History Library. Photo courtesy of the LDS ChurchChurch History Library opens in Salt Lake City
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints unveiled its state-of-the-art Church History Library in downtown Salt Lake City June 11, showing off its climate-controlled storage units, computerized conservation techniques, and priceless artifacts. Church Historian Marlin Jensen showcased some historic items that included an 1835 hymnal, Church President Ezra Taft Benson’s post-World War II humanitarian efforts in Europe, and a one-of-a-kind 1852 Book of Mormon translated into French on one side of the page and German on the other....
Salt Lake Tribune, June 12

NESPI's John Antunes checks his recording equipment in the old children's room at Taunton Public LibraryTantalizing traces at Taunton
Representatives from the New England Society of Paranormal Investigators say that while they did pick up some interesting sights and sounds with their equipment after their investigation (2:33) at the Taunton (Mass.) Public Library on March 17, there was not enough scientific evidence to say for sure that the building has paranormal activity. The building has housed the library since 1904. The NESPI team of almost a dozen people set up recording devices around the front desk, stairways, and the former children’s area....
Taunton (Mass.) Daily Gazette, June 13; YouTube, May 14

An artist’s impression of what the new Bodleian Library storage facility will look likeBodleian Library storage plan approved
A proposal to build a storage facility in South Marston, Wiltshire, for more than 4 million books from Oxford University’s world-famous Bodleian Library was warmly welcomed by councilors at a June 9 planning committee meeting. The new proposal arose after a previous plan to store the books on floodplains surrounding Oxford came under fire for potentially endangering the books and ruining the city’s cherished view. Work on the facility will begin in the fall....
Swindon (U.K.) Advertiser, June 10

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Tech Talk

Networking with business cards, the old wayEight ways to create paperless business cards
Josh Catone writes: “Are you still printing your business card on paper? That is so last year. These days, business cards are going all virtual and that’s a good thing. Not only are paperless business cards good for the environment and easier to carry, they’re also unlimited—you’ll never run out when you’re networking at an event or conference. Here are eight ways to build a virtual business card that you can use to send your information.”...
Mashable, June 11

Backbars screenshotTurn headlines into bar charts
Backbars is a freely downloadable GreaseMonkey script for your browser that turns the headlines and comments of social network sites into unobtrusive bar charts. For instance, Backbars is able to visually illustrate the votes, diggs, views, or users on online services like Reddit, Delicious, Digg, and MetaFilter on their respective webpages. The idea is to provide subtle visual clues to improve the perception of quantitative data....
Information Aesthetics, June 15

Produle screenshotCreate highly customized widgets
Ben Parr writes: “Produle is a flash-based widget-building tool for creating customized embeddable content. Widgets can spread information virally and are easy to add. Though services like Widgetbox exist to build them yourself, few allow for as much freedom and customization. The editor is meant for complex and customized use; if you’re looking just to stick an RSS feed in a blog, this tool isn’t for you. But if you’re seeking to create the grand idea in your head, Produle can probably support it.”...
Mashable, June 15

Cligs logoPopular URL shortener hacked
URL-shortening services are ubiquitous these days, so we tend to forget how these systems can be exploited if not properly secured., the fourth most popular URL-shortening service on Twitter, was hacked. Sometime late June 14 or early June 15, a hacker exploited a security hole that allowed the attacker to redirect around 2.2-million URLs to a single domain name,
TheNextWeb, June 16

Adobe Buzzword challenges Google Docs
Chris Foresman writes: “Adobe has finally (well, sort of) taken the beta tag off of, shedding more light on Adobe’s software as a service strategy first revealed with Photoshop Express. Along with online PDF creation tools, file sharing, online meeting, and collaboration, also includes Adobe’s Buzzword word processor for online and collaborative document creation. Adobe is also giving a first peek at the less-cleverly-named Tables spreadsheet and Presentation apps. The move seems like a shot across Google’s bow.”...
Ars Technica, June 15


Amazon founder Jeff Bezos hold sthe new Kindle DXIs Amazon taking over the book business?
Lev Grossman and Andrea Sachs write: “Amazon has diversified itself so comprehensively over the past five years that it’s hard to say exactly what it is anymore. Amazon has a presence in almost every niche of the book industry. It runs a print-on-demand service (BookSurge) and a self-publishing service (CreateSpace). It sells e-books and an e-device to read them on (the Kindle). And now there’s Amazon Encore, which makes Amazon a print publisher too.”...
Time, June 22

Six lessons one campus learned about e-books
Jeffrey R. Young writes: “Northwest Missouri State University nearly became the first public university last year to deliver all of its textbooks electronically. Then the university ran a pilot study with the Sony Reader, a device much like the Kindle, and officials learned some sobering lessons about electronic books. Based on my talks with professors, students, and administrators at Northwest Missouri, here are six lessons for any university considering assigning digital textbooks.”...
Chronicle of Higher Education, June 12

Seth Godin’s textbook rant
Seth Godin writes: “I’ve spent the last few months looking at marketing textbooks. I’m assuming that they are fairly representative of textbooks in general, and since this is a topic I’m interested in, it seemed like a good area to focus on. As far as I can tell, assigning a textbook to your college class is academic malpractice. This industry deserves to die. It has extracted too much time and too much money and wasted too much potential. We can do better. A lot better.”...
Seth Godin’s Blog, June 14

Newsreel available through American History in Video databaseAlexander Street’s 50-state history giveaway
Alexander Street Press is giving away 50 subscriptions to its American History in Video database—one in every state. In return, they are asking for thoughtful and specific feedback three times during the year from the 50 libraries as an advisory board, in order to find out how libraries and publishers can best collaborate to build patron awareness of American history and other topics. Forms submitted by librarians and library staff through the July 4 will be considered....
Alexander Street Press

Cover of The Werewolf of Paris by Guy EndoreWhat people were reading in the Great Depression
Various incarnations of the publishing industry trade magazine Publishers Weekly have been around since 1852, and old issues are a marvel to skim through because they preserve the reading worlds of yesterday in amber. The July 1933 issue declares that “the reading of books has increased throughout the Depression as shown by library circulation records.” At a quick glance, the popular books Americans were reading in the early 1930s look a lot like the mass market offerings of 2009....
Fresh Air, NPR, June 15

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Actions & Answers

Chetham's Library in Manchester, England, the UK’s Oldest Free Public Reference LibraryThe seven most impressive libraries of all time
The library has played a key role in the dissemination of information and knowledge throughout history. Long before the days of Google Book Search and the Amazon Kindle was the library, a place of learning and advancement. Here are seven of the most impressive libraries in history, places of intrigue and inspiration....
The News in Print, June 4

Portion of library services calculatorCalculator for valuing health library resources
How much would it cost to replace your library services on the retail market? Calculate what it would cost to buy library services—at a bookstore, through pay-per-view for articles, from an information broker—if you and your library weren’t there. The National Network of Libraries of Medicine MidContinental Region has put together a calculator that allows health libraries to establish their value. The site also has a cost-benefit and return-on-investment calculator....
National Network of Libraries of Medicine MidContinental Region

A guide to the Google Book Search amended agreement
ALA, ACRL, and the Association of Research Libraries have released “A Guide for the Perplexed Part II: The Amended Google-Michigan Agreement” (PDF file). The University of Michigan, one of the original participating libraries, recently entered into an amended agreement to govern its relationship with Google if the proposed settlement is approved by the judge. This guide provides an overview to help librarians better understand the revised terms....
District Dispatch, June 17

The Librarian: A Twitter story
This is Scott Douglas’s 32nd “Dispatch from a Public Librarian,” published in McSweeney’s. It is composed in Tweets, from eight hours ago to one minute ago, like this one: “When people ask what I do at work, I can tell them I help mentally challenged people stalk celebrities. How can I not like this job?”...
McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, June 12

The Day in the Clouds Challenge logoA day in the cloud
On June 24, Google Apps and Virgin America invite the brave and the willing, the airborne and the earthbound, to embark on a “Day in the Cloud Challenge,” the first online scavenger hunt played simultaneously in the air and everywhere else. Wherever you are, simply sign up, arm yourself with a powerful array of Google Apps, and you can point and click your way towards glory—and an enticing prize pack. A tutorial and practice game are available....
The Day in the Cloud Challenge

Index card from the Linnaean collection at the Linnaean Society of LondonLinnaeus invented the index card
The Swedish naturalist and physician Carl Linnaeus (1707–1778)—the father of modern taxonomy—has been described as a “pioneer of information retrieval.” But only recently did Staffan Mueller-Wille from the Centre for Medical History at the University of Exeter discover that Linnaeus was responsible for inventing index cards to keep his data organized....
Science Daily, June 16; University of Exeter Centre for Medical History

The DMCA is endangering American security
Angela Gunn writes: “Since the rise of the Information Age, America has convinced itself that safety is a better choice than knowledge, and that anyone who doesn’t make safety a priority over knowledge is Dangerous And Up To No Good. The 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which is entering its 12th year of chilling security research, acts in direct opposition to the government’s alleged goal of improving American cybersecurity by criminalizing the research and inquiry that make security products, and thus security, stronger. Putting it simply: We made ourselves stupid and now we must pay.”...
Betanews, June 11

Letter from Grant offering Lee terms of surrender. Copy made April 10, 1865Lee surrender letter donated to Auburn University
Auburn (Ala.) University Library recently acquired a letter documenting one of the more dramatic moments in American history—Robert E. Lee’s surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865. The following day, Gen. Ulysses S. Grant made a copy (PDF file) of the letter giving Lee his terms of surrender. The copy was donated to Auburn by 1971 graduate James L. Starr....
Auburn University, June 12

Stanford University Library lays off 32 employees
Stanford University Libraries announced June 10 that it has laid off 32 employees. It also offered nine other staff members the option of being laid off and receiving severance benefits instead of staying in revamped positions at reduced pay or reduced hours. The libraries have also eliminated 26 vacant positions and announced plans to permanently close the Physics Library in the summer of 2010 and transfer its holdings to other locations....
Stanford University, June 10

A reader in the Folger Shakespeare LibraryBeing a reader in rare book libraries
Sarah Werner writes: “I've been thinking recently about what it means to be a reader in a rare books library, a place like the Folger, or the British Library, or the Beinecke, for instance. I think about this topic often while I am teaching my undergraduate course on book history. Because it is a wonderful thing that the Folger lets my students have full access to the collections, I am especially careful to train them on how to be good library citizens.”...
Wynken de Worde, June 11

French National Library to add WorldCat records
OCLC and the Bibliothèque nationale de France signed an agreement June 12 to work cooperatively to add records from the French national library to WorldCat. The agreement sets in motion plans for OCLC to process an estimated 13.2-million bibliographic records from the library. Overall, 34 national libraries have begun adding digital images, national files, and bibliographies to WorldCat....
OCLC, June 12

The new home of the Virgin Islands Center for the Book. John Y. Cole, director of the LC Center for the Book, is at the top of the stairs of the St. Croix library, joined by Ingrid Bough, territorial director of libraries, archives, and museums for the Virgin Islands; Anne Boni, program specialist for the LC Center for the Book; and Donald Cole, deputy territorial directorNew Center for the Book in the Virgin Islands
The Library of Congress and the government of the U.S. Virgin Islands have announced the creation of the Virgin Islands Center for the Book, the first center affiliate in the U.S. territories. Gov. John P. deJongh Jr. and Center for the Book Director John Y. Cole (far left) made the announcement during a National Library Week reception. The principal organizer of the new center, which will be located at the main public library in St. Croix, is Ingrid Bough (second from left), territorial director of libraries, archives, and museums....
Library of Congress, June 11

Hoovy the Robot at SLASLA conference is the largest in six years
The Special Libraries Association met in Washington, D.C., for its Annual Conference, June 14–17. The number of attendees was 5,856 (up 16% from last year’s conference in Seattle), making this the largest SLA Annual in six years. One attendee was Hoovy the Robot (right), who danced and flirted with SLAers on behalf of business information provider Hoover’s....
SLA Blog

Still from video letter to Gov. CorzineNew Jersey school librarians push for strengthened law
The New Jersey Association of School Librarians is advocating for action to strengthen a state requirement for all school library media programs to be staffed by certified media specialists. Bosiljka Mijaljevic, an elementary school librarian at School #17 in Paterson, put together this open video letter (6:26) to Gov. Jon Corzine that explains how library professionals make all the difference in creating 21st-century learners....
YouTube, June 14; New Jersey Association of School Librarians

Olivia Vacca, one of the MSU Billings Library singersMSU Billings welcomes you to the library
It’s 1986 all over again as Montana State University Billings welcomes students and faculty to its campus library collections and services. See, research can be fun, especially when there are chair races and a disco beat. Starring Olivia Vacca (right), Tyler Harris, and others....
YouTube, May 27

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2009 ALA Annual Conference logo

ALA Annual Conference, Chicago, July 9–15. It’s not too late to register online! New this year is a Cooking Pavilion that will feature author-chefs performing cooking demonstrations and signing books on the exhibit floor.

Cover of June 1-15 Booklist

Booklist Books for Youth Forum: Celebrating Lincoln. Celebrate 200 years of Lincoln's legacy at the Booklist Books for Youth Forum at Annual Conference, July 10, 8-10 p.m., at the Westin River North, Grand Ballroom. Candace Fleming, Deborah Hopkinson, Jean Feiwel, and Russell Freedman will discuss the stories behind their Lincoln titles, as well as the challenges of creating captivating biographies for children and young adults. Booklist YA Editor Gillian Engberg will moderate. NEW! From Booklist.

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

Head of Reference and Instruction, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York. The West Point Library, serving an exceptional undergraduate institution recently rated #14 in U.S. News and World Report’s list of national liberal arts colleges, seeks a creative, resourceful, and imaginative leader to strengthen the library’s reference services and develop a systematic program of research instruction. Applicants should radiate passion for students and the liberal arts, understand and appreciate the scholarship conducted by our diverse students and faculty, and frame all their work within the goal of cultivating lifelong learners and critical thinkers. As such, we welcome applications from those with a record of inspired teaching, a command of academic reference tools and literature, a solid record of scholarship, and dynamic leadership characterized by the ability to embolden, teach, and empower colleagues....

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Digital Library of the Week

A confrontation between an unidentified African American man and an Ohio National Guard soldier on Wooster Avenue during the July 18, 1968, riot in Akron, Ohio. From the Akron Beacon Journal photo files

Summit Memory is an online scrapbook capturing the history of Summit County, Ohio. Administered by the Akron–Summit County Public Library, the site is a county-wide collaborative project with gateways to such collections as Akron Remembers 1968 (above), the Trucking History Collection, the Summit County Civil War Collection, the Akron Banknotes Collection, the Firestone and B. F. Goodrich Tire and Rubber Collections, the Doodlebug Train Disaster Collection, and the David P. Campbell Postcard Collection. The project is funded by a grant from the Robert W. Little Foundation. Little (1917–2000) served as a librarian at the Akron-Summit County Public Library for nearly 30 years.

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 library is a focal gathering place for those of us who love books, as well as a point of entry for those who want to get better acquainted with them. It is hard to imagine how scattered computer users can even approximate the library’s celebration and promotion of the world of print—it would be akin to tearing down the cathedral and holding the service online.”

—Freelance journalist Tim Holt, in an editorial, “Browsing Virtual Libraries? Thanks But No Thanks,” Redding (Calif.) Record Searchlight, June 14.

“Congratulations to the Maumee (Ohio) school system. As a denizen of the 21st century, I was most pleased to learn that it is doing away with school librarians. These antiquated creatures have no place in the modern world. . . .
Another advantage to losing the librarians is that these remnants of a less enlightened age sometimes tempt students to spend valuable time with recreational reading. This is insane when any book worth its salt has been made into a movie.
The problem is you have not gone far enough. If the libraries remain, some recalcitrant troublemakers may be tempted to use the books without the aid of librarians.

—Sarcastic letter to the editor by Ann Kisin, “Who Needs Librarians Anyway?” Toledo (Ohio) Blade, May 16.

American Libraries on Twitter

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

Ask the ALA Librarian

Books for Africa program

Q. Several patrons have come in wanting to donate books and magazines to our library. We cannot accept all of these donations, and they are not all appropriate for our Friends group to sell. Do you have any other resources we can direct them to?

A. The ALA Library has compiled a list of resources for finding the various groups and organizations that accept book donations for distribution in the United States as well as in countries overseas. For National Geographic or other magazines, see these resources: Donation Programs For Books, Journals and Media, a list compiled by the University at Buffalo Health Sciences Library; United States Book Exchange, which, despite its name, accepts and distributes periodicals; and the Darien Book Aid Plan, for the last five years only of National Geographic. From the ALA Professional Tips wiki.

@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.


July 19–24:
International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, Town and Country Resort and Convention Center, San Diego.

July 22:
RSS for Libraries, live online course sponsored by Lyrasis.

July 25–28:
American Association of Law Libraries, Annual Meeting, Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C.

Aug. 5–7:
Pacific Northwest Library Association,
Annual Conference, Missoula, Montana. “A Century of Cooperation, a Legacy of Leadership.”

Aug. 7:
Indiana Library Federation,
Reference Unconference, Bracken Library, Ball State University.

Aug. 9–11:
Joint Annual Meeting of the Society of American Archivists and the Council of State Archivists, Hilton Austin, Texas. “Sustainable Archives.”

Sept. 2–9:
International Conference on Knowledge Management and Knowledge Technologies, Graz, Austria.

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

Sept. 16–17:
OCLC Digital Forum West, Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles. “Convergence: Where Metadata and Access Meet for Digital Discovery and Delivery.”

Sept. 23–26:
North Dakota Library Association, Annual Conference, Days Hotel–Grand Dakota Lodge and Conference Center, Dickinson. “Evolution of the Library.”

Oct. 6–9:
Illinois Library Association, Annual Conference, Peoria.

Oct. 20–22:
Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums, Red Lion Hotel on the River, Portland, Oregon. “Streams of Language, Memory, and Lifeways.”

Oct. 26–28:
Internet Librarian, Monterey Convention Center, California. “Net Initiatives for Tough Times: Digital Publishing, Preservation, and Practice.”

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