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

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

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AL Buyers Guide

U.S. & World News

Librarians at the Nebraska State Library test new gaming equipmentNebraska auditor cries foul on gaming
A 10-minute YouTube video posted by the Nebraska Library Commission on January 18, 2008, to announce the Commission’s purchase of Rock Band and Dance Dance Revolution has resulted—roughly a year later—in an audit (PDF file) issued February 24. In it, Nebraska Auditor of Public Accounts Mike Foley concluded that “the purchase of gaming equipment is a questionable use of public funds,” and that “using social websites and gaming equipment on State time and with State computers . . . appears to be an inappropriate use of public funds.”...
American Libraries Online, Feb. 27

ALA News

Beth Gallaway announces gaming toolkitALA releases gaming toolkit
In recognition of the increasing value of gaming to literacy improvement, ALA—with assistance from a $1 million grant from the Verizon Foundation—has developed the Librarian’s Guide to Gaming: An Online Toolkit for Building Gaming @ your library. The toolkit includes a wide range of resources, contributed by expert gaming librarians across the country, to help librarians create, fund, and evaluate gaming experiences in the library. Beth Gallaway (above) offers an introduction....

National Library Workers' Day posterCelebrate National Library Workers Day
The ALA–Allied Professional Association encourages all library staff and patrons nationwide to participate in National Library Workers Day on April 14 during National Library Week. This day is a time to honor the contributions of all library workers, including librarians, support staff, and others who make library services possible. To participate, libraries can purchase NLWD products and make use of the celebration ideas and promotional materials on the NLWD website, such as inviting the public, funders, and officials in to see what really happens in the library. Library patrons and staff can also nominate their favorite library worker for a Star or a Student Star....

Coalition building in your community
Would you like an extra set of hands to help get the word out about your library? When managed correctly, coalitions can bring needed expertise, credibility, and resources to bear on your efforts to advocate for your library. ALA Washington Office staff and other library experts will share criteria for getting involved in coalitions, secrets for selecting partners, and ideas for coordinating effective action in a webinar on March 18, 4–5 p.m. Eastern time, featuring Stephanie Vance....
District Dispatch, Mar. 3

E-government in your library
The ALA Office of Government Relations is interested in learning more about what types of e-government and employment services are being provided in libraries. Your answers on this survey will help them in their work with legislators in Washington, D.C., as they advocate for library funding and other library interests. Please answer the survey questions by March 20....
District Dispatch, Mar. 3

Twitter on ALA, and some advice
Jenny Levine writes: “Going into the ALA Midwinter Meeting last month, I knew Twitter was going to play a much more prominent role than it had in the past. And wow, did Twitter play a big part. If you had asked me, I wouldn’t have predicted that four councilors would tweet from the floor during council sessions, thereby providing an effective, real-time transcript of what was happening. Even beyond that, I got to participate in meetings I wasn’t physically at (from within other meetings), as did people who weren’t even in Denver. And good things came from all of it.”...
The Shifted Librarian, Feb. 27;, Jan. 27; Library Garden, Feb. 3

Charles Fletcher Lummis in 1897Charles Fletcher Lummis and The Bibliosmiles
Although he was only a librarian for five years (as director of the Los Angeles Public Library, 1905–1910), Charles Fletcher Lummis was one of the most colorful librarians in California history. Lummis created The Bibliosmiles, a tongue-in-cheek organization that was a “Rally of Librarians Who Are Nevertheless Human” at the 1906 ALA Annual Conference in Narragansett, Rhode Island, and convened during four later conferences. Their password was “Cheer up, ALA,” and at their annual dinner they joyously sang “My Dewey, ’Tis of Thee, Sweet Ex- of Albany,” and other songs by Lummis....
Library History Buff Blog, Mar. 1

Booklist Online logo

Box for Maltese Falcon audiobookFeatured review: Media
Hammett, Dashiell. The Maltese Falcon. Dramatized by Michael Madsen and others. Dec. 2008. 3 hr. Blackstone, CD (978-1-4332-5248-8).
Wow! Whether or not you’ve read Hammett’s classic noir detective novel or seen the 1941 movie, you will be entranced by this magnificent adaptation, which is a solid reminder of the power of audio. Hammett’s novel, set in San Francisco in the 1920s, introduces cynical detective Sam Spade, who becomes involved in the search for the legendary falcon created for Emperor Charles V. Caught up in a deadly conspiracy involving the beautiful but treacherous Brigid O’Shaughnessy, the formidable Kasper Gutman, and the slippery Joel Cairo, Spade must see beyond their lies and betrayals to uncover the truth, if not the prize. In this mystery rich in characters, the actors show an impeccable understanding of their roles. Madsen’s gravelly voice gives Spade a hard edge, a tough-guy image to match the slang of the mean streets. As the affably sinister Gutman, Edward Herrmann excels, playing the part to the hilt. And Sandra Oh, as the heartless O’Shaughnessy, alternates between scheming enchantress and helpless beauty....

Another Look at Watchmen graphicAnother look at: Watchmen
Gordon Flagg writes: “The imminent big-screen adaptation of Watchmen has brought renewed attention to that groundbreaking graphic novel, which has reappeared on best-seller lists in anticipation of the movie. Watchmen, one of Time’s 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century, posits the existence of costumed crime-fighters, only one of whom possesses actual superpowers, in a world recognizably our own. The one genuinely super-powered figure, omnipotent Doctor Manhattan, has altered nearly every aspect of society, from far-reaching technological advances made possible by his ability to manipulate atoms, to world politics—having a godlike being on its side gives the U.S. dominance in the Cold War and enables Richard Nixon’s fifth term, though ultimately it leads to the brink of nuclear war.”...

Cover of Watchmen graphic novelWho discusses Watchmen?
Kaite Stover writes: “A teacher friend of mine told me he is having his senior English class read Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons for a class assignment. Mark has always been a fan of Watchmen and he showed me his dog-eared bedraggled copy of days ago and said he was on his tenth reading. Any book that makes someone read it 10 times has got to be good, so I picked up Watchmen and started reading. I was immediately absorbed by these flawed and tragic superheroes and found them all so much more easily identifiable than Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. I started thinking about how this graphic novel could be discussed in a group setting and what topics I’d want to cover.”...
Book Group Buzz, Mar. 3

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

Division News

ACRL 2009 logoACRL to discuss social networking
More than 3,000 librarians and staff from college and university libraries nationwide will meet in Seattle March 12–15 for ACRL’s 14th National Conference to discuss a host of pressing issues affecting higher education. Among those issues is how college students in the age of Google, Facebook, and Twitter are using their libraries differently than students did a decade ago. The conference will also focus on interactive gaming and social networking technology in libraries, the future of reference and online searching, open access to research, distance learning, and e-cruitment....

Press Play @ your library logoGaming, music, movies, and more at Teen Tech Week
At a time when disposable income is shrinking dramatically, teens from coast to coast are thinking twice before shopping in malls, buying movie tickets, or spending money on video games—why buy when you can borrow? During Teen Tech Week, March 8–14, teens will take advantage of the many free technology resources available at their school and public libraries. This event, sponsored by YALSA, is an opportunity for libraries to showcase the many free technology resources for teens. This year’s theme is Press Play @ your library, which encourages teens to literally “press play” on digital devices at the library....

AASL preconference workshops
AASL’s 14th National Conference and Exhibition promises to “Rev Up Learning @ your library” with preconference workshops geared toward school library media specialists and their programs. Preconference sessions, held November 4–5, will include “Standards for the 21st-Century Learner in Action,” “AASL School Library Advocacy Institute,” “Beyond Simple Web Searching—Guerrilla Tactics to Get the Information You Want and Know What You’re Getting,” and “Eating Elephant 2.0 One Bite at a Time: Using the Read-Write Web in Classrooms and Libraries.” The Early Bird registration deadline is July 14....

Scholarly Communication 101 road show
ACRL is taking scholarly communication on the road in 2009 with a workshop, Scholarly Communication 101: Starting with the Basics. This interactive overview of scholarly communication highlights individual or institutional strategic planning and action. Four modules focus on new methods of scholarly publishing and communication, copyright and intellectual property, economics, and open access. Institutions interested in hosting should apply by April 13....

Cover of 2007 Academic Library Trends and Statistics2007 Academic Library Trends and Statistics
ACRL has released its 2007 Academic Library Trends and Statistics, the latest in a series of annual publications that describe the collections, staffing, expenditures, and service activities of academic libraries. The publication includes survey data from 1,311 academic libraries and covers five major categories of expenditures. The print edition is available for purchase and will be sold at the 2009 ACRL National Conference in Seattle. An online edition is also available....

ASCLA LSSPS annual dinner
The Libraries Serving Special Populations Section of ASCLA invites all current and potential members to its annual dinner, held during the ALA Annual Conference, on July 12, 6:30–8:30 p.m., at Emilio’s Tapas Sol y Nieve, 215 East Ohio St., Chicago. The dinner is an opportunity to visit old colleagues and meet new ones employed in library services for special populations. Register online or call (800) 974-3084....

ASCLA programs in Chicago
ASCLA invites all attendees of ALA Annual Conference in Chicago to its programs, which address such topics as services to special populations, collaboration, and resource sharing. By sharing the expertise of its members with conference attendees, ASCLA provides opportunities for all library staff to improve service delivery at their libraries and learn about tools that will help them solve challenges they are facing....

Second City Theatre logoLLAMA sponsors fundraiser at Second City Theatre
Tickets are available for “A Night of Laughs at Chicago’s Second City,” presented by LLAMA at 7 p.m. on July 10, during the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. Come for a night of improvisational comedy at the theatre that launched the careers of such comic greats as Tina Fey, John Belushi, Mike Myers, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, and countless others. A portion of the ticket price will help support future LLAMA programming. Purchase tickets on the ALA Annual Conference website....

PLA to offer Serving Diverse Populations workshop
To help public librarians learn how to effectively serve diverse populations, PLA is offering an intensive two-day workshop designed to teach these practical skills in Spokane, Washington, April 14–15, as a preconference during the Washington Library Association annual conference. The workshop will be held at the Spokane Public Library....

YALSA activities in Chicago
YALSA events at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago begin on July 9 with two preconferences: “Genre Galaxy: Explore the Universe of Teen Reading,” a full-day preconference including lunch; and “Moving Up the YA Career Ladder,” a half-day preconference. Other activities include a happy hour and fashion show, YALSA 101, and awards events....

YALSA names new blog manager
YALSA has named Heidi Dolamore, community library manager at the Contra Costa County Community Resource Center in San Pablo, California, the manager of the YALSA Blog, effective in July. Dolamore will work with YALSA to oversee the content and look of the blog and recruit and oversee bloggers for the site....

Round Table News

Join a round table
Joining one of ALA’s 17 round tables is a great way to become involved in ALA. Most have publications and present programs during ALA Annual Conferences, so round tables are effective vehicles through which to express yourself. They also are a means for you to affect ALA policy, not only by helping to write policy, but also by having a voice on ALA Council. Moreover, each group elects its own officers, allowing you to become involved as an elected leader....


Karen DowningEquality Award
Karen Downing has received the 2009 ALA Equality Award, which honors an outstanding individual or group promoting equality in the library profession. Downing, foundation/grants and executive research service librarian with the University of Michigan Library, was selected for her accomplishments in promoting diversity and equality in the library profession. These efforts include her pursuit of a doctoral degree regarding “The Relationship between Social Identity and Role Performance.” The award will be presented at the Award Ceremony and Reception July 14 during the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago....

Paul Howard Award for Courage
Judith Flint, Amy Grasmick, and Christine Lesinski of the Kimball Public Library, in Randolph, Vermont, are the recipients of the ALA Paul Howard Award for Courage. The $1,000 biannual award and citation honors an individual or group exhibiting unusual courage for the benefit of library programs or services. Flint is youth librarian, Grasmick is the director, and Lesinski is chair of the board of trustees. The three were recognized for their firm response to a request by a Vermont state police detective investigating the reported disappearance of 12-year-old Brooke Bennett in 2008....

Brian GreenUlrich’s Serials Librarianship Award
Brian Green is the 2009 recipient of the ALCTS Ulrich’s Serials Librarianship Award. This award for distinguished contributions to serials consists of a citation and $1,500 donated by ProQuest. Green is founder and manager of the international group EDItEUR and has contributed and led the development of various standards that facilitate the expedient and accurate handling of serials processes and transactions. He serves as executive director of the International ISBN Agency....

Blackwell’s Scholarship Award
The 2009 ALCTS Blackwell’s Scholarship Award goes to Karen Schmidt, Wendy Allen Shelburne, and David Steven Vess for their article “Approaches to Selection, Access, and Collection Development in the Web World: A Case Study with Fugitive Literature,” published in Library Resources & Technical Services 52, no. 3 (July 2008): 184–191. This award honors the author of the year’s outstanding monograph or article in the field of resources development in libraries....

Coutts Award
Judy Luther, president of Informed Strategies, and Selden Lamoureux, electronic resources librarian at North Carolina State University libraries, have won the 2009 Coutts Award for Innovation in Electronic Resources Management, presented by the Collection Management and Development Section of ALCTS. The award recognizes significant and innovative contributions to electronic collections management and development practice. Luther and Lamoureux were instrumental in developing SERU: A Shared Electronic Resource Understanding, currently a recommended practice of the National Information Standards Organization....

Francis MiksaMargaret Mann Citation
Francis L. Miksa, emeritus professor at the University of Texas at Austin School of Information, is the recipient of the 2009 Margaret Mann Citation presented by the ALCTS Cataloging and Classification Section. The Mann Citation recognizes outstanding professional achievement in cataloging or classification, and includes a $2,000 scholarship donated in the recipient’s honor to the library school of the winner’s choice. Miksa has chosen the UT School of Information as the recipient....

Laurel TarulliEsther J. Piercy Award
ALCTS has named Laurel Tarulli, collection access librarian at Halifax (Nova Scotia) Public Libraries, the winner of the 2009 Esther J. Piercy Award. In addition to taking on leadership roles within the libraries and involving herself in a variety of local, national, and international professional organizations, Tarulli is actively publishing within the profession and maintains a blog for catalogers, The Cataloguing Librarian....

Nancy HulingNancy Huling honored with 2009 Mudge Award
Nancy Huling, head of reference at the University of Washington Libraries, has been selected as the winner of RUSA’s 2009 Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award. The award recognizes distinguished contributions to reference librarianship. Huling’s innovative approach to reference services, her scholarship, and her teaching and mentoring activities were cited as reasons for her selection....

Photo of boy being paid, from the Wirtz Labor Library child labor archiveWirtz Labor Library receives 2009 Sessions Award
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wirtz Labor Library in Washington, D.C., is the recipient of RUSA’s 2009 John Sessions Memorial Award. This annual award recognizes a library that has made a significant effort to work with the labor community. The Wirtz Labor Library was selected for its efforts in supporting the history and contribution of the labor movement in the United States....

Louis Shores Award logoLouis Shores/Greenwood Publishing Group Award
Blogging for a Good Book, a book-reviewing tool created and managed by the Williamsburg (Va.) Regional Library, has been selected as the winner of the 2009 Louis Shores/Greenwood Publishing Group Award. The award, administered by RUSA’s Collection Development and Evaluation Section, recognizes excellence in book and media reviewing. The library’s blog uses such 2.0 technology as subject tagging, online catalog integration, RSS feeds, and a commenting feature to encourage conversations between readers and reviewers....

Frans Albarillo2009 BRASS Student Travel Award winner
Frans Jozef Velasco Albarillo, a student of the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Library and Information Science program, has been selected as the 2009 winner of the RUSA Business Reference and Services Section Gale Cengage Learning Student Travel Award. Albarillo was selected for his assistantship with the Shider College of Business and his internship with the Hawaii Business Research Library....

Brian A. BannonWharton School Fellowship winner
PLA has awarded Brian A. Bannon, chief of branches for San Francisco Public Library, a PLA Leadership Fellows scholarship for the Leading Organizational Change program at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. The Leadership Fellows program offers PLA members who are public library managers a chance to attend executive leadership training at some of the best universities in the United States....

LLAMA seeks Best of Show entries
Exhibit your library public relations masterpieces by entering LLAMA’s annual Best of Show awards competition. Sponsored by the Swap and Shop Committee of the LLAMA Public Relations and Marketing Section, the competition recognizes the very best in public relations materials produced by libraries in the 2008 calendar year. Entries (PDF file) must be postmarked no later than April 17....

Cover of The Shock DoctrineNaomi Klein wins first Warwick Prize
The first £50,000 Warwick Prize for Writing went to Canadian journalist Naomi Klein on February 24 for her book The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. The new prize, awarded by the University of Warwick, stands out as an international crossdisciplinary biennial award open to any genre or form of writing. This year’s prize theme of “complexity” was interpreted differently by each writer and ranged from music criticism and scientific theory to Spanish fiction....
Warwick Prize

Cover of Netherland2009 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction
Joseph O’Neill’s novel Netherland was named the winner February 25 of the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction by the PEN/Faulkner Foundation. The novel is about a Dutch-born equities analyst, his British wife, and their son, who live in New York during the September 11 terrorist attacks and their aftermath. The award comes with a prize of $15,000 and will be given to O’Neill at a ceremony on May 9....
New York Times, Feb. 26

Seen Online

View of collapsed Koln city archives, from KSTA-TVCity archives in Köln collapses
Eyewitnesses drew comparisons with an earthquake and the September 11 terrorist attacks after the city archives building in Köln, Germany, suddenly fell apart in about 30 seconds around 2 p.m. on March 3. City officials say two persons are still missing and presumed dead. Eberhard Illner, a former city archivist, said the collapse was a “catastrophe, not just for the city of Köln but for the history of Europe.” Volunteers have already pulled close to 9,000 documents out of the basement and offices of employees, but many of the repository’s 65,000 invaluable holdings, some dating as far back as the 10th century, may be lost forever. Officials believe the collapse may be related to the construction of an adjacent subway line....
Deutsche Welle, Mar. 3–4; Der Spiegel, Mar. 4; Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, Mar. 4; KSTA-TV, Mar. 4

Hard economic times a boon for libraries
Rebecca Hodges, who has been unemployed for a year, sat down at a computer in a public library in New York. Hodges is not an avid reader, but she said going to the library is a way to look up job openings and use the internet for free. In times of recession, people take advantage of free services, and going to the library is among the most popular. In the past year, libraries across the country have seen dramatic increases in the use of their services....
CNN, Feb. 28

Financial books at the Newton (Mass.) Public LibraryThe library as financial center
A number of libraries around the country are getting grants to train librarians and set up programs to teach people about investing through a collaboration between FINRA and ALA. John Gannon, president of the FINRA investor education foundation, said his organization turned to libraries because libraries have the ability to reach large numbers of people who may need help with their money....
NPR Weekend Edition, Feb. 28

Big challenges for new Seattle librarian
Seattle’s new city librarian, Susan Hildreth, has been on the job only a few days, but she is clearly in her element among the book stacks, computer screens, and people who make up the Seattle Public Library. She will be challenged to keep programs, staff, and library hours stable just as the city is hit with deep budget cuts. The city general fund is expected to be down $30 million when revised revenue projections are reported later this month....
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Mar. 4

21st-century skills under fire (subscription required)
The phrase “21st-century skills” is everywhere in education policy discussions these days, from faculty lounges to the highest echelons of the U.S. education system. Broadly speaking, it refers to a push for schools to teach critical-thinking, analytical, and technology skills in addition to the “soft skills” of creativity, collaboration, and communication. But now a group of researchers, historians, and policymakers from across the political spectrum are raising a red flag about the agenda as embodied by the Tucson, Arizona–based Partnership for 21st Century Skills, its leading advocacy group....
Education Week, Mar. 2

Harvard College Library to consolidate
In an attempt to reduce its budget for next year by $12 million, Harvard College Library—which manages the circulation of over 11 million items—will shuffle personnel to streamline its services and will likely be unable to avoid layoffs this spring. For now, the move will require the displacement of 17 workers in the Widener serial services division to a facility currently occupied by HCL’s technical services unit....
Harvard Crimson, Feb. 24

UNC's Wilson LibraryUNC’s Wilson Library in major need of a retrofitting
The University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill’s Wilson Library, home to some of the state’s oldest records, is stuck in state-mandated paralysis. Until a sprinkler system is installed and two new exterior stairwells are added, at least 60% of the 300,000-square-foot library’s usable space is essentially off-limits for any use other than storage. That means no offices, no staff work spaces, and no people allowed until the university can find $10–$12 million to start the retrofitting. But the state is slashing funding to universities and the project isn’t at the top of the campus construction priority list....
Raleigh (N.C.) News and Observer, Mar. 4

Closure sign on Godeke branch, from KLBK news videoRampant mold reported at Lubbock branch
A hodgepodge of molds that flourished in Lubbock (Tex.) Public Library’s busiest branch may leave the building beyond repair. Mold greeted investigators everywhere they looked in the Godeke branch in mid-February, and signs of further infestation peeked out from where they couldn’t, according to a report released February 24. City officials closed the branch January 28 to remove materials and prepare for an extensive mold inspection, which found that cracks in the building’s exterior walls and roof had allowed water to seep in....
Lubbock (Tex.) Avalanche-Journal, Feb. 19, 25; KLBK-TV, Lubbock, Feb. 6

Cover of Chattanooga task force reportTask force finds multiple problems in Chattanooga
Officials say revitalizing the Chattanooga–Hamilton County (Tenn.) Bicentennial Library is a long-term and desperately needed goal, but there’s one snag—no money. The February 16 report (PDF file) of a task force commissioned by Mayor Ron Littlefield said that funding has not kept pace with the library’s needs and that a lack of clear governance, a cloudy set of goals, and fuzzy relationships with the public and business sector have led to a deterioration in the system’s quality....
Chattanooga (Tenn.) Times Free Press, Feb. 22

Cover of The Geography Club, by Brent Hartinger, one of the titles in dispute at West BendOversized crowd postpones West Bend complaint hearing
An overflow crowd forced the West Bend (Wis.) Community Memorial Library board to cancel its March 3 meeting called to discuss a complaint filed by Ginny and Jim Maziarka about the appropriateness of gay materials in the library. Teens and adults had hoped to offer their opinions on the subject, but the numbers exceeded the 265-seat fire-code capacity of the City Hall council chambers. The Maziarkas consider two books in particular, The Perks of Being A Wallflower and The Geography Club, inappropriate for the YA literature section....
Greater Milwaukee Today, Mar. 4

Cover of My Brother Sam Is DeadMuscogee County allows My Brother Sam in schools
The Muscogee County (Ga.) School District’s media committee met February 25 and decided that My Brother Sam Is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier could remain on school library shelves. Although complainant Shirley Waller was in the audience, she didn’t realize she was allowed to speak. Now, after hearing the opinions of other parents, she is pushing for parental approval of certain titles rather than a ban....
Columbus (Ga.) Ledger-Enquirer, Mar. 1

Suspended professor allowed to use college library
A visiting French professor at Goucher College in Towson, Maryland, who was barred from campus in December after officials learned of his genocide indictment in Rwanda will be allowed to use the school’s library. Goucher President Sanford J. Ungar made the decision after receiving a petition signed by members of the campus community seeking to let Leopold Munyakazi use the library. Munyakazi denies allegations that he revealed hiding spots of ethnic Tutsis who were targeted by machete-wielding Hutu militias in the 1994 genocide....
Baltimore Sun, Feb. 3, 26

St. Paul Public Library's Hamline Midway branchPatrons oppose closing St. Paul branch
St. Paul (Minn.) Public Library’s Hamline Midway branch, the third-least-visited of the city’s 13 libraries, is potentially on the chopping block. Library Director Melanie Huggins recommended shuttering Hamline, reducing library hours everywhere, and slashing the system’s materials budget after Mayor Chris Coleman requested that all city departments come up with ways to cut their 2009 budgets by 14%. Red pants, pullovers, shirts, scarves, and bright-red “Save Our Library” buttons speckled the crowd of at least 270 that showed up February 24 for the second of Coleman’s public meetings. Watch the video (7:16)....
St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press, Feb. 24

Historical libraries cutting hours, staffing
Budget constraints have forced at least three historical libraries to close temporarily or otherwise limit hours open to the public. The New Jersey Historical Society in Newark closed its library indefinitely February 17, furloughing staff for an undetermined period; the research library will now be open only by appointment. On March 4, the Arizona State Library’s Polly Rosenbaum Archives and History Building reading and meeting rooms closed temporarily due to budget reductions. And the Oregon Historical Library in Portland closed temporarily from February 28 to March 13, with limited access thereafter....
Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger, Feb. 14; Arizona State Library; Phoenix Arizona Republic, Mar. 4; Oregon Historical Society

Historical society recovers after flood damage
The California Historical Society in San Francisco reopened in February after a car hit a fire hydrant December 19, causing a flood that damaged the building and more than 1,500 historic books. The library called on Belfor Property Restoration in Fort Worth, Texas, to conserve some 670 soggy books dating back to the 1920s. Repair to the building has been completed, but some of the books won’t be reshelved until the end of March....
San Francisco Chronicle, Mar. 2

Minor damage after National Library of Scotland flood
Some 200 books were seriously damaged in the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh after the failure of a sprinkler pipe on the top story caused 5,000 liters of water to run through all 12 floors. The potentially catastrophic incident late on the evening of February 26 forced 30 library staff to work through the night to clear standing water and spend the day beginning the task of drying out the affected volumes. An additional 4,000 bound volumes and 500–600 manuscript volumes and boxes were affected and were moved for drying....
The Times (U.K.), Feb. 28; National Library of Scotland, Mar. 2

Court dismisses hostage lawsuit against Libya
A federal court has dismissed a lawsuit against Libya brought by the estate of American librarian Peter Kilburn, who was kidnapped, held hostage, and killed in retaliation for a U.S. raid on the country in 1986. Kilburn’s relatives and the United States asked the court to dismiss the case so the family can seek compensation from a $1.8-billion fund to compensate victims of Libyan-linked terror attacks. Kilburn was a librarian at the American University in Beirut when he was abducted from his apartment in December 1984....
Associated Press, Feb. 26

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Tech Talk

Scriblio 2.7 announcement, image by Casey BissonScriblio 2.7 released
It’s been a long time coming, but it’s finally time to call Scriblio 2.7 stable. It’s available at the WordPress plugins repository. The new version features an internal data model that supports original cataloging of books and archive items, has some resemblance to MARC and other formats, and supports the automatic merging of records from multiple sources. The new version also has a refactored SQL query architecture, internal support for representing the collection in a variety of forms, and better support for automating the relationship between Scriblio and external ILSs or other systems....
Scriblio Social Library System, Feb. 25

Banner for Writing Career.com85 tools for freelancers and web workers
Sean P. Aune writes: “Deciding to become a freelance worker can be a scary proposition. Luckily there are numerous resources out there that not only help you find more work, but also loads of tools to help you do your job more efficiently with a professional edge. We’ve gathered over 85 tools and job sites for a variety of freelancers and web workers. While a lot of these items are focused on web design elements such as photography, programming, and writing, we made sure to include something for everyone.”...
Mashable, Mar. 3

Microsoft introduces browser-based OS
Lidija Davis writes: “On February 19, Microsoft Research released an interesting paper (PDF file) about a web browser it calls Gazelle, which is constructed in such a way to act like an operating system. The idea behind Gazelle is to create a browser that is more secure for the now typical dynamic pages we find on the web. According to Microsoft, Gazelle is different from existing browsers, as no existing browsers, including new architectures, have a multiprincipal operating system constructed in such a way that provides the browser-based OS exclusive control to manage the protection of all system resources.”...
ReadWriteWeb, Feb. 22

Windows Live WriterTop 10 tools for your own domain
Kevin Purdy writes: “Having your own hosted web domain has never been cheaper, or easier, with the vast array of free resources out there. Here are our 10 favorite tools to help anyone launch and maintain their internet presence.”...

Lifehacker, Feb. 28

Still from computer hardware videoComputer hardware in plain English
Sachi and Lee Lefever of Commoncraft have put together a video explanation (3:13) of the basic parts of computers and what they do to make computers work. The focus is on the hard drive, RAM, and processor, and how computer parts are like rooms in your house....
Computercraft, Feb. 25


Amazon backpedals on Kindle 2 text-to-speech feature
Following the debut of the Kindle 2, the 9,000-member Authors Guild claimed the gadget’s text-to-speech feature created a derivative work and violated copyright—despite endorsements by authors Wil Wheaton, Neil Gaiman, and John Scalzi. Guild Executive Director Paul Aiken said many publishers were also angered over the speech function, adding that Amazon never consulted beforehand with either of those groups. Amazon responded February 27 by handing publishers the ability to disable the feature on any title they choose....
Cnet News, Mar. 1; New York Times, Feb. 24; WWdN: In Exile, Feb. 27; Neil Gaiman’s Journal, Feb. 11; Whatever, Feb. 27

Fear the Kindle
Farhad Manjoo writes: “If the Kindle succeeds on its current terms, and all signs suggest it’ll be a blockbuster, Amazon will make a bundle. But everyone else with a stake in a vibrant book industry—authors, publishers, libraries, chain bookstores, indie bookstores, and readers—stands to lose out. In exchange for its convenience, the Kindle locks you down with more rules than the Army Field Manual.”...
Slate, Feb. 26

Cover of Bonechiller, by Graham McNameeIt’s still winter!
Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan write: “Despite the fact that we are yearning for spring, it is still winter here in Michigan. It is only 10 degrees and we still have piles of snow on the ground. The only thing that really helps is to grab a cup of hot coffee, pile on the blankets, and nestle in with a really good shivery book. We each have one to suggest.”...
Bookends, Mar. 1

The scan-on-demand movement
Barbara Fister writes: “Penn is the latest university to offer scan-on-demand with quality print output. Emory uses the same Kirtas machine to offer a curated collection of books. Michigan has an Espresso machine standing by to instantly print copies. Cornell sells thousands of scanned books printed on demand through Amazon’s POD company. Basically, this effort is an interlibrary loan of nonreturnables that happen to be book-sized and often go direct to the patron. It’s a terrific development. But . . . you knew there’d be a but, didn’t you?”...
ACRLog, Feb. 25; Library Journal, Feb. 25

AL Buyers Guide ad

Actions & Answers

The LJ Index: Too much, too late
American Libraries Editor in Chief Leonard Kniffel writes: “Back in January 1999, AL published the first installment of Tom Hennen’s HAPLR Index, ranking America’s public libraries using statistics collected by the Federal-State Cooperative System. Now, 10 years later, here comes Library Journal with the ‘LJ Index of Public Library Service,’ a new ranking system touted as ‘Better Than Hennen.’ This morning I talked with Hennen, who said he was ‘perplexed’ by many of the claims that Keith Lance and Ray Lyons make for the superiority of their system.”...
AL Inside Scoop, Mar. 3

How to give a talk while people are twittering
Olivia Mitchell writes: “People used to whisper to each other or pass hand-scribbled notes during presentations. Now these notes are going digital on Twitter or via conference-provided chat rooms. As a presenter, the idea of presenting while people are talking about you is disconcerting. But to balance that, there are huge benefits to the individual members of the audience and to the overall output of a conference or meeting.”...
Pistachio, Feb. 23

Johannes Gutenberg tweets about the printing press: Finally finished invention. Disappointed to learn no one can read.If Gutenberg could tweet
Most people think Twitter was created in 2006. These are same people who think Richard Gere created Buddhism in the 1990s, just before Madonna created yoga. Folks, like the sun, and the moon, and the stars, Twitter has always been. This site proves it beyond a shadow of a doubt. Now, with Historical Tweets, history’s most amazing men and women can be fully understood, a mere 140 characters at a time....
Historical Tweets

To MLIS or not to MLIS?
Genevieve Williams writes: “What’s an MLIS worth? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about $24,000—when you compare the salaries of a master’s degreed librarian and a paraprofessional. When considering whether to earn an MLIS, pay is just one variable. You also need to consider the transferability of the skillset, the value of professional training versus learning on the job, what librarians and other info pros are asked to do that the MLIS doesn’t cover, other options for professional training beyond the MLIS, and the value of the MLIS as a professional credential.”...
Info Career Trends, Mar. 2

OCLC logoOCLC Expert Community Experiment
In response to requests from the cataloging community, OCLC has introduced the Expert Community Experiment, which enables OCLC members to make more changes to WorldCat records. During the experiment, OCLC libraries with full-level cataloging authorizations will have the ability to improve and upgrade WorldCat master bibliographic records. The additional capabilities provided by the experiment are an expansion of those that have been available through various database enrichment programs since 1991....
OCLC, Feb. 26

Advancing global internet freedom
Leslie Harris writes: “In the wake of troubling reports as recently as last year that Western companies were assisting China with internet censorship, governments around the world seemed poised to regulate the conduct of internet companies. Lawmakers appear to have stepped back, but the challenges of advancing global internet freedom remain. The Global Online Freedom Act of 2007 would have made it a crime for internet companies to turn over personal information to governments in cases where that information could be used to punish dissent. The bill produced a firestorm of controversy.”...
The Great Debate, Mar. 3

Share a Story buttonShare a story, shape a future
“Share a story—shape a future” is an ensemble effort by bloggers to celebrate reading and encourage each other to reach beyond ourselves and do it in a way that we are neither judging nor instructing others. The event begins March 9 and lasts one week. Each day a group of bloggers will share ideas around a specific theme. There are a number of book giveaways and free downloads that will be announced by the various hosts. Mary Burkey of Audiobooker is taking part....
Share a Story—Shape a Future, Feb. 24; Audiobooker, Feb. 28

How to talk about books
Neil Hollands writes: “First attempts at book group discussion can be awkward. When I was first getting started, I’d make comments that I thought were insightful, but the group would react as if I’d made armpit noises at the Mozart society or talked about my last bout with Montezuma’s revenge at high tea with the Queen. My posts for the next few weeks will provide a few hints to help you show grace under book group pressure.”...
Book Group Buzz, Feb. 27

MayDay 2009 logoPrepare for MayDay
Libraries, museums, archives, and arts and historic-preservation organizations across the nation are setting aside May 1 to participate in MayDay, a national effort to prepare for disasters. Sponsored by Heritage Preservation and other members of the Heritage Emergency National Task Force, MayDay encourages organizations to take one simple step to protect the art, artifacts, records, and historic sites they hold in trust....
Heritage Perservation

Chess-related cigarette card from the John G. White Chess CollectionSurprising special collections
Kristin Ohlson writes: “I walk through an arched marble doorway and into one of the loveliest rooms I've seen anywhere. Designed to look like a Renaissance Library, the Cleveland Public Library’s John Griswold White Reading Room offers sweeping views of Lake Erie and downtown Cleveland, as well as a dazzling abundance of venerable books and objects. A lawyer and scholar who died in 1928, White was one of the library’s greatest benefactors and his prodigious collections fill this room.”...
Smithsonian, Mar. 1

Surveillance Self-Defense graphicSurveillance self-defense
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has created a Surveillance Self-Defense website to educate the American public about the law and technology of government surveillance in the United States, providing the information and tools necessary to evaluate the threat of surveillance and take appropriate steps to defend against it. What can the government legally do to spy on your computer data and communications? And what can you legally do to protect yourself against such spying?...
Electronic Frontier Foundation

NISO open teleconferences
Join the National Information Standards Organization on free conference calls throughout the year to learn about new projects and to provide the organization with feedback on areas where NISO ought to be engaged. Teleconferences are held 3–4 p.m. Eastern time on the second Monday of each month (except July and September). To join, simply dial (877) 375-2160 and enter the code 17800743....
National Information Standards Organization

British library users increasingly go online
More people than ever in the United Kingdom are accessing library services online, with a 20% rise recorded, according to figures published March 3 by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy. However, with book borrowing and library visitors slightly down over last year, the Museums, Libraries, and Archives Council said there was no room for complacency and urged libraries to deliver a high-quality core service that provides a wide range of books for loan, comprehensive reference sources, and advice from staff....
Museums, Libraries, and Archives Council, Mar. 3

Joyce Law explains her love for libraries in the South Carolina State Library videoWhy South Carolinians love the library
Visitors to the 13th Annual South Carolina Book Festival stopped by the State Library’s exhibit booth and gave reasons why they love their libraries in this video (2:42). South Carolina State Library Communications Director Curtis R. Rogers set up a videocamera at the festival, held February 27 through March 1 at the Columbia Convention Center....
YouTube, Mar. 1

Go back to the Top

2009 ALA Annual Conference logo

ALA Annual Conference, Chicago, July 9–15. The Early Bird registration deadline is March 6.

Bookends blog graphic

Booklist Online’s newest blog is Bookends. Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan, middle-school librarians and longtime Booklist reviewers, prove that two heads are better than one when it comes to discussing YA and children’s books. NEW! From Booklist Online.

In this issue
March 2009

Cover of March 2009 issue

Libraries and civic engagement

The return of Salinas Public Library

Amalgamating for advocacy

Midwinter Meeting conversations

National Library Legislative Day button

The 2009 National Library Legislative Day will be held May 11 and 12 at the Liaison Hotel in Washington, D.C. A new administration and political climate in the House and Senate mean a critical and exciting time for librarians to get their message out to Congress. ALA has reserved a block of rooms, but the reservations always go quickly; be sure to register with your state coordinator by April 15.

Career Leads from
ALA Joblist logo

Copyright and Scholarly Communication Librarian, University of Texas–Pan American,
Edinburg. Primary responsibilities include serving as the university library’s advisor for copyright and intellectual property issues, working as a liasion with faculty members and the Copyright Clearance Center, assisting with the formation of the UTPA scholarly communication database, creating and maintaining the UTPA library website for copyright issues, assisting faculty in obtaining copyrights for materials stored in online classes or in the library, and providing updated copyright information as needed....

@ More jobs...

Digital Library of the Week

Engraved portrait of Field Marshal von Blücher, Prince of Wahlstadt, on his horse at the Battle of Waterloo; from papers relating to the 'History of the captivity of Napoleon at St Helena' by William Forsyth. Held by the British Library.

The European Library offers free access to the resources of the 48 national libraries of Europe in 20 languages. Currently, the European Library gives access to 150 million items across Europe. The amount of referenced digital collections is constantly increasing. The library provides a vast virtual collection of material from all disciplines and offers visitors simple access to European cultural resources. The European Library is a noncommercial organization available to anyone around the world seeking books, maps, photographs, music, videos, and other materials. Participating institutions are all members of the Conference of European National Librarians (CENL), a foundation aiming at increasing and reinforcing the role of national libraries in Europe.

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

“Maybe I’m a boring guy, but I love libraries. . . .  I can spend 12 hours in the library if I’m looking for something in particular. It’s kind of like hunting a fugitive through the pages of history. I really enjoy it. Luckily in the case of the [1900 Galveston hurricane], there was a lot of stuff to mine. In Galveston, there is the Rosenberg Library which has a terrific storm archive:  full of personal accounts, full of little bits and details, full of photographs—all of which kind of helped me piece together the saga of the storm.”

—Erik Larson, author of Isaac’s Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History (Crown, 1999), an account of the 1900 Galveston hurricane, in an interview on the Books on Tape audiobook version.

American Libraries on Twitter

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

Ask the ALA Librarian

Image from the Clifton Park-Halfmoon (N.Y.) Public Library flyer on their green building

Q. What exactly is the green library movement? I hear the term “green” being used a lot, but how does it apply to libraries?

A. The green library movement is a growing group of libraries, librarians, institutions, and municipalities that are committed to reducing their environmental impact. Most of the focus of going green has been on building construction and renovation, but it is also important to consider the materials that are used inside these buildings, such as photocopiers, computers, and printed materials. ALA has two groups that address how libraries can become more environmentally friendly: the International Round Table’s International Sustainable Library Development Interest Group which serves as a clearinghouse of sustainable community-based library projects in developing areas of the world; and the Social Responsibilities Round Table’s Task Force on the Environment, which was created in 1989 to promote awareness for environmental issues. From the ALA Professional Tips wiki.

@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.

Cover of Library Technology Reports on Second Life

In Implementing Second Life: Ideas, Challenges, and Innovations, the February issue of ALA’s Library Technology Reports, virtual worlds virtuoso Joe Sanchez looks at the history of virtual worlds and how educators have used them as tools for learning in the 21st century. Sanchez extensively and objectively explores the pros and cons of using Second Life for both educators and librarians, and a chapter guest-authored by LIS student Jane Stimpson examines several examples of public libraries that have established a Second Life presence.


Mar. 6:

Federal and Armed Forces Round Table,
Seminar on Libraries in Tough Economic Times, Masur Auditorium, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.

Mar. 8:
International Women’s Day.

Mar. 18:
Data Movement and Management.
Webinar offered by the National Information Standards Organization.

Mar. 2224:
Association of Information and Dissemination Centers, Spring Meeting, Tampa Bay Grand Hyatt, Tampa, Florida. “Innovation in a Time of Great Change.”

Apr. 6 –9:
European Conference on Information Retrieval, Centre de congrès Pierre Baudis, Toulouse, France.

Apr. 14–15:
Records Administration Conference West and E-Records Forum, Omni Hotel, Austin, Texas.

Apr. 15:
Women’s National Book Association, New York City Chapter,
panel discussion on “Food Books for Every Booklover’s Palate,” New York Public Library Jefferson Market Branch.

Apr. 19–25:
Week of the Young Child.

Apr. 24–25:
Second Annual Celebration of Latino Children’s Literature,
Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina, Columbia.

Apr. 2629:
Academic Library Advancement and Development Network, Annual Conference, The Williamsburg Lodge at Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. “Revolutionary Ideas in Library Advancement.”

Apr. 27–29:
International Conference on Information Technology, The Orleans Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada. “New Generations.”

May 1:
Art of Storytelling Workshop, Miami-Dade Public Library System Main Library, Miami, Florida.

May 18–22: Summer Institute for Humanities Data Curation, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Apply by March 7.

May 27–30:
Global Green International Trade Show, Ontario (Calif.) Convention Center. Programs, workshops, and seminars on green topics.

June 1417:
Special Libraries Association, Annual Conference, Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C.

June 20–25:
Association of Seventh-Day Adventist Librarians, Annual Conference, Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan.

Oct. 4–8:
31st National Media Market,
Embassy Suites and Griffin Gate Marriott Resort, Lexington, Kentucky. For four days, 55 of the nation’s top-quality educational media producers and distributors offer on-demand previews of new releases, products, and services.

Oct. 1922:
Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums,
Annual Conference, Red Lion on the River, Portland, Oregon. “Streams of Language, Memories, and Lifeways.”

Nov. 6:
Brick and Click Libraries, Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville.

@ More...

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