The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | November 11,

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

SirsiDynix ad

AL Buyers Guide

U.S. & World News

Samoan archives being freeze-dried. Photo by Sandy IlaoaHawaiian librarians aid in tsunami recovery in Samoa
A pair of librarians traveled from Hawaii to Pago Pago to help in recovery efforts following the devastating tsunami that struck September 29. Lynn Davis, head of preservation at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and Jane Barnwell, director of Pacific Resources for Education and Learning in Honolulu, were in American Samoa October 14–29 as a recovery task force. Davis found that the bottom layer of the files in the high court and the registrar’s offices were soaked, but officials in Samoa acted quickly enough to avoid what could have led to much worse damage....
American Libraries Online, Nov. 11; Honolulu Weekly, Nov. 4

Cover of Integrated Library Platforms on Open SourceOpen source advocates reject SirsiDynix warning
In the ongoing discussion about open source library systems, one wouldn’t expect a big ILS vendor selling closed, proprietary products to have anything nice to say. Nonetheless, when SyrsiDynix Vice President of Innovation Stephen Abram did weigh in on the issue, his harsh criticism created quite a dust-up on Twitter and the blogosphere. But Abram’s white paper (PDF file), originally believed to be a leak and published in Wikileaks October 29, may have done more to legitimize the role of open source software in libraries than challenge it. If nothing else, Abram’s marketing piece revealed that open source ILSs are a threat to the vendor-based market....
American Libraries Online, Nov. 11

ALA News

Electronic petition form now available
Want to run for an ALA office by petition? Try the electronic petition form. Select the type of petition you wish to create and then get the required number of signatures electronically. The form was designed to make the petition process easier, eliminating the need to physically carry paper petitions from person to person. Paper petitions will still be available from Lois Ann Gregory-Wood in the Council room at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center during the 2010 Midwinter Meeting. The petition deadline is January 29....

National Gaming Day logoGames bring families together in U.S. libraries
On November 14, libraries will showcase family-friendly gaming events that demonstrate the recreational and educational value of board and video games. Studies on gaming show that adult patrons who attend library gaming events are more open to using other library services. Libraries report that young users who have visited the library to play games return to use other free resources, such as homework-help programs. To find gaming events in your community, or for more information on National Gaming Day @ your library see the toolkit....

Hasbro gamesHasbro games have shipped
The Hasbro games (Monopoly Deal, Pictureka! the card game, and Scrabble Slam) destined for public libraries participating in National Gaming Day, November 14, shipped on November 5. In case you’re counting, that’s 50,100 games going to 16,700 libraries, so it will take a few days for them to arrive across the entire country. ALA is grateful to Hasbro for this amazing donation. AlphaBound and North Star Games have also shipped....
National Gaming Day blog, Nov. 9

Volunteer for an ALA committee
ALA President-elect Roberta Stevens is seeking ALA members with diverse backgrounds to serve on ALA and Council committees. One of her most important responsibilities is to make appointments to the ALA and Council committees in collaboration with the Committee on Appointments and the Committee on Committees. If you are interested in serving on a committee, submit the committee volunteer form by December 4....

Get legislators in your library
One of the best ways to get legislators to listen is to show them what your library does to benefit the community. Believe it or not, members of Congress still think of libraries as “those places with all the books.” Whether it’s a meeting with your trustees, a visit to your library, or a guest appearance at a holiday event, this November 18 webinar will offer practical tips for making these encounters as worthwhile as possible. Register here....
District Dispatch, Nov. 10

What does virtual Annual look like to you?
ALA Internet Development Specialist Jenny Levine writes: “For the first time in 2009, ‘big ALA’ experimented with offering a virtual conference component of its Annual Conference. The Conference Planning Committee has already started talking about how to improve virtual Annual in 2010. We have a three-year contract with Learning Times, so that will be the platform, but many of the other pieces are up in the air at this point. What’s on your wish list?”...
ALA Marginalia, Nov. 6

Cover of Hiring, Training, and Supervising Library ShelversThe last word on library shelvers
ALA Editions has released Hiring, Training, and Supervising Library Shelvers by Patricia Tunstall. Shelvers are crucial to the day-to-day operations of a library, but how does one find good library shelvers and keep them for more than a few months? Tunstall gives practical advice to help administrators, supervisors, and human resource personnel do just that with a complete overview on how to hire, test, train, and retain shelvers....

Cover of Building a BuzzBarber and Wallace share word-of-mouth marketing expertise
ALA Editions has released Building a Buzz: Libraries and Word-of-Mouth Marketing by Peggy Barber and Linda Wallace, both well-known in the ALA and library communities. The only marketing task more important than getting the word out about libraries is doing it in the most cost-effective way possible, and this book offers numerous effective word-of-mouth marketing strategies. Known for their marketing creativity, Barber and Wallace lay out a wide range of sound marketing principles to spread the word about libraries within the community....

Booklist Online logo

Box from Newes from the Dead audiobookFeatured review: Media
Hooper, Mary. Newes from the Dead. Read by Rosalyn Landor. July 2009. 7 hrs. Grades 9–12. Brilliance, CD (978-1-4233-9230-9).
In 1650 England, Anne Green, a servant girl at Sir Thomas Reade’s manor house, is wrongly accused of infanticide and hung for her alleged crime. Miraculously, she survives, but this isn’t discovered until she is on the dissecting table, surrounded by Oxford professors and medical students awaiting the start of her autopsy. Told in flashbacks, Anne shares how she became impregnated by a young lord and other events that led to the hangman’s noose. The story alternates points of view between Anne and Robert, a stuttering, painfully shy medical student, who discovers Anne is still breathing right before dissection is about to begin....

Top 10 Religion and Spirituality graphicTop 10 religion videos for 2009
Sue-Ellen Beauregard writes: “Reviewed over the past two years, these films cover a spectrum of religious topics and issues, from offering advice on how to face death with a Christian outlook (Confronting Death) to profiling a troubled Catholic parish in Massachusetts (Scenes from a Parish) and dramatizing a mock trial that debates God’s role in the Holocaust (God on Trial). Choose among these superb titles according to patron demand, interest, and use.”...

Margo Lanagan accepting the 2009 Printz AwardMargo Lanagan’s 2009 Printz speech
Ian Chipman writes: “Given some of the more intense scenes and themes in Margo Lanagan’s dark, boundary-pushing, and extravagantly written Tender Morsels, it wasn’t outrageous to expect something a little scandalous in her acceptance speech (13:37) at the 2009 Michael L. Printz Awards (administered by YALSA and sponsored by Booklist) at Annual Conference in Chicago. Instead, Lanagan went for the reverse shocker and offered a more personal, and rather disarming account of how the book came to be.”...

Likely Stories, Nov. 9

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

Boston Update

Boston Chowda CompanyThe best of Boston
mk Eagle writes: “Midwinter is rapidly approaching. Those of us who already live in Boston don’t have much to do besides feel smug about how much we’re saving on airfare, but for folks coming in from out of town—particularly if it’s your first time in our fair city—no doubt the questions have already started. Is there anything to do on the waterfront? What’s the best way to get around the city? Where have all the R’s gone, and what is this ‘chowda’ you speak of?”...
YALSA Blog, Nov. 10

Hyatt Regency BostonThe Boston Hyatt boycott: Here’s what we know
American Libraries Editor in Chief Leonard Kniffel writes: “ALA President Camila Alire posted information to the ALA Council discussion list October 23 regarding a boycott of the Hyatt in Boston, one of the Midwinter Meeting hotels. Members who are concerned about this issue need to understand that while ALA as an organization cannot participate in organizing a boycott of this nature, individuals are free to vote with their feet.”...
AL Inside Scoop, Nov. 10

Traveling early?
Enjoy free Wi-Fi at 47 participating airports (including Boston), courtesy of Google, through Friday, January 15—assuming you don’t mind a little soft advertising. You will likely get a few prompts to change your home page to Google or try out Google Chrome. There will also be chances to donate to Engineers Without Borders, the One Economy Corporation, or the Climate Savers Computing Initiative. Other than that, it’s free Wi-Fi for laptops and mobile devices (but not on the way back). However, you might want to take a few extra security precautions....
Lifehacker, Nov. 10; PC World, Nov. 10

Division News

danah boyd at AASL. Photo by Pamela GoodesAASL conference draws record attendance
A record-breaking 3,950 school librarians, educators, exhibitors, and guests attended AASL’s 14th National Conference in Charlotte, November 5–8, to discuss key issues that impact our nation’s school libraries. The conference featured two full-day and five half-day preconference workshops, several school and educational tours, more than 100 top-quality continuing education programs, author events, and more than 200 exhibiting companies. Social media expert and researcher danah boyd (above) served as the keynote speaker for the conference’s Opening General Session....
AL Inside Scoop, Nov. 5

Cover of the MILE Guide21st-century skills MILE Guide released
The Partnership for 21st-Century Skills released the Milestones for Improving Learning and Education (MILE) Guide, a hands-on tool designed to help districts and schools evaluate their integration of 21st-century skills into current and future practice, November 6 during the AASL conference. The guide includes a self-assessment tool that provides three benchmarks—early stage, transitional stage, and 21st century—for how far along schools and districts are in terms of student knowledge and skills....
AL Inside Scoop, Nov. 7; eSchool News, Nov. 9

Laurie Halse-Anderson. Photo by Pamela GoodesCharles Smith Jr. Photo by Pamela GoodesAASL Author Banquet entertains and enlightens
American Libraries Associate Editor Pamela Goodes writes: “Authors Charles R. Smith Jr. and Laurie Halse-Anderson generated laughs and cheers from the capacity crowd attending the Author Banquet November 6 during the AASL conference. Smith talked about his experiences in writing, photography, and sports in his work of creating children’s books by mixing presentations of his poetry. Anderson began her presentation by discussing how she grew up as a shy child who escaped in her school library.”...
AL Inside Scoop, Nov. 7

James Patterson. Photo by Pamela GoodesPatterson: Librarians need to make noise
American Libraries Associate Editor Pamela Goodes writes: “Best-selling author James Patterson addressed a special general session, ‘Turbocharge Your Day with James Patterson,’ November 6 during the AASL conference. ‘It’s time for librarians to start making a lot more noise,’ Patterson told the packed crowd. ‘School libraries are not a luxury, they are a necessity.’ Patterson has launched a new website,, designed to help parents, teachers, and librarians find books that will appeal to kids at all reading and interest levels....
AL Inside Scoop, Nov. 6

Barbara MacikasBarbara A. Macikas named PLA executive director
Barbara A. Macikas has been named executive director of PLA. Macikas, who was chosen from a nationwide pool of candidates, will assume her responsibilities on November 23. She brings extensive association management experience to the position, having served as executive director of ASCLA and RUSA from May 2007 to May 2009. In that position, she worked with the boards of directors of two divisions, managed two budgets, directed all day-to-day operations, and facilitated the work of volunteers in both divisions....

Teen Tech Week logoRegistration opens for YALSA’s Teen Tech Week
YALSA launched its Teen Tech Week 2010 website, opening registration and offering resources, including activity ideas, presentations, and publicity tools, for the annual celebration of nonprint resources. Teen Tech Week is March 7–13, with a theme of Learn Create Share @ your library, encouraging teens to take advantage of the many technologies available to them, free of charge, at their libraries....

ACRL 2011 logoACRL invites proposals for 2011 National Conference
ACRL invites proposal submissions for the ACRL 2011 National Conference to be held March 30–April 2, 2011, in Philadelphia. Contributed paper, panel session, preconference, and workshop proposals are due May 10, 2010. Cyber Zed Shed presentation, poster session, roundtable discussion, and Virtual Conference Webcast proposals are due November 1, 2010. Submit proposals via the online form....

Cover of Framing Library InstructionNew ACRL publication: Framing Library Instruction
ACRL has released Framing Library Instruction: A View from Within and Without, number 61 in the ACRL Publications in Librarianship monographic series. In Framing Library Instruction, John M. Budd of the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Information Science and Learning Technologies addresses the philosophical and practical implications of cognition and information and the practice of library instruction in the light of those implications....

YALSA extends deadline for blog manager
YALSA currently seeks a member manager for a new blog, to launch in 2010. This blog will focus solely on young adult literature and will provide teens with a definitive web connection to blog posts, images, booklists, videos, all related to teen reading. The member manager will lead an advisory board that prepares content for the blog and solicits content from the YALSA community. Full details, including qualifications, duties, honoraria, and how to apply, are available online. Applications are due November 30....

Cover of LL&M Fall 2009 issueLL&M seeks associate editor
LLAMA seeks an experienced writer or editor to assist in the production and eventually take over as editor of the division’s quarterly journal, Library Leadership and Management. Currently the journal is operating with a coeditorship model that is working quite well, and may be a model for a new approach to producing content for LL&M. Applications for a shared editorship role are encouraged. Apply by May 1 to Kerry Ward....
Leads from LLAMA, Nov. 10


Ray LaHoodASCLA award for library service to blind and physically handicapped
ASCLA seeks nominees for its annual Francis Joseph Campbell Award, which recognizes an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of library service for the blind and physically handicapped. The 2009 award, which consists of a citation and medal, was awarded to Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood (above) for his outstanding efforts as a champion and advocate for the funding and support of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped in its transition from analog to digital talking book technology....

atyourlibrary essay contest graphicTwo contests for the public
The public website for ALA’s Campaign for America’s Libraries,, is offering cash prizes and Apple iPod Nanos for the winners of two contests for the public. The At My Library Creative Essay Contest seeks original, creative essays about users’ unique experiences at libraries and why American libraries are important. The grand prize winner will receive $350, and a People’s Choice Award winner will receive $100. All entries must be emailed before December 7. The site is also raffling off two Apple iPod Nanos over the next two months for anyone who signs up for its newsletter using this form....

EBSCO offers five scholarships to attend 2010 Midwinter
ALA and EBSCO are partnering to offer five scholarships for librarians to attend the 2010 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston, January 15–19. Each EBSCO scholarship will be in the amount of $1,500, and one of the five scholarships will be awarded to a first-time conference attendee. The scholarship money is to be used for conference registration, travel, and expenses. The deadline to apply is November 23....

Business LIS student travel grant
The RUSA Business Reference and Services Section seeks applicants for the 2010 BRASS Gale Cengage Learning Student Travel Award, a grant to help a current library school student with an interest in business reference librarianship attend the 2010 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. All applications must be received by December 15....

Cover of Multiprofessional Communication2009 Nasen Awards
Nasen, the leading professional association in the UK embracing special educational needs and disabilities, announced its award winners October 19. The Nasen Awards represent excellence and best practice in books, games, and DVDs in the field for special educational needs. The winner in the category of Academic Book was Multiprofessional Communication: Making Systems Work for Children, by Georgina Glenny and Caroline Roaf (Open University, 2008)....
Nasen, Oct. 19

Seen Online

Google Books deadline extended
Ryan Singel writes: “Google and a coalition of authors and publishers now have until November 13 to submit a new plan on how to let Google build the digital library of the future. A federal judge granted the extension (PDF file) for the Google Books settlement November 9 after the parties told the court a new settlement was being worked out in consultation with Justice Department attorneys. The Justice department asked the federal district court judge Denny Chin to not approve the settlement unless significant changes were made.”...
Epicenter, Nov. 9

Hayward library borrows Netflix model
The Hayward (Calif.) Public Library will soon offer a new borrowing system based on Netflix. For a monthly fee, library users will be able to check out a limited number of materials for an unlimited amount of time. The optional system will eliminate due dates and overdue fees, asking for money upfront in return for no worries later. Pricing would begin at $2.99 a month for up to three items out at a time. Acting Library Director Sean Reinhart’s idea was approved by the city council in early November....
Oakland (Calif.) Tribune, Nov. 8

Cover of Stuck in the MiddleSioux Falls middle schools remove comic anthology
A cartoon anthology filled with teenage angst, four-letter words, and some drug and sexual references has been pulled from the library collections at two Sioux Falls, South Dakota, public middle schools. Rather than remove Ariel Schrag’s Stuck in the Middle: Seventeen Comics from an Unpleasant Age from the libraries at Edison and Patrick Henry middle schools, a review committee recommended placing the books in staff collections so that teachers can check them out and use them in class....
Sioux Falls (S.Dak.) Argus Leader, Nov. 11

Graphic-novel grants help New Jersey libraries
Graphic novels can be funny, childish, romantic, and scary. And as both publishers and librarians can testify, they’re amazing at promoting reading among kids, teens, and even adults. The Newfield (N.J.) Public Library is looking forward to adding more books to its shelves in coming months thanks to a recent grant. It is one of 14 small libraries in the state awarded $3,000 grants administered by the New Jersey State Library to either establish or grow their graphic novel collections....
Vineland (N.J.) Daily Journal, Nov. 10

Four of those indicted for book theft in Prince George's County, Maryland12 indicted in Prince George’s County book theft ring
Twelve people have been charged with checking out more than $140,000 in books from Maryland colleges and community libraries and selling them for quick cash. Prince George’s County prosecutors announced the indictment November 10. About $87,000 worth of books were taken from the Prince George’s County Public Library alone between November 2008 and July 2009. Officials said the thieves targeted high-priced science and medical textbooks....
WBAL-TV, Baltimore, Nov. 10

Boston rally protests statewide cuts
About 200 library staff and trustees from across Massachusetts gathered outside the Statehouse in Boston November 4. Holding signs and chanting, “Don’t close the books on our libraries,” the librarians hoped their demonstration will help stave off further budget cuts to the state library system next year. Last week, Gov. Deval Patrick cut nearly $800,000 from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners budget, and more cuts are planned. A simultaneous rally was held in Bridgewater....
Quincy (Mass.) Patriot Ledger, Nov. 5

Participants at Loussac town hall meeting. From KTUU-TV news reportAnchorage library faces deep cuts
If the Anchorage, Alaska, city council approves the $7.4-million budget for next year that Mayor Dan Sullivan has proposed, the libraries will have lost 13% of their city funding in just two years. Loussac Public Library Director Karen Keller said she’ll likely be cutting the hours of the smaller branches to reduce costs. A group of about 80 people gathered at the Loussac Library November 10 for a town hall meeting to offer up ideas on how to change that....
Anchorage (Alaska) Daily News, Nov. 7; KTUU-TV, Anchorage, Nov. 10

Plan to keep Reading branches open
A new plan is being hatched to keep open the Reading (Pa.) Public Library’s three neighborhood branches. According to Mayor Tom McMahon, the idea was conceived at a November 9 meeting. The city would kick in $100,000 to pay for utilities. The United Way would provide federal stimulus money to help pay for the resource center work of the main library, freeing up those funds for branch operations. The community foundation and the library board would supply some money, and volunteer help would be needed....
Reading (Pa.) Eagle, Nov. 10

Aurora Public Library's Mission Viejo branchAurora voters reject library funding
Voters in Aurora, Colorado, rejected a ballot initiative November 3 that would have increased local property taxes in order to help fund the city’s cash-strapped library system, putting four local branches at risk of closure. Under the budget approved by the city council, the Chambers Plaza, Iliff Square, Mission Viejo (above), and Hoffman Heights branches will now be tagged for closure in 2010. The budget will also see the elimination of more than 100 staff positions from the Library and Cultural Services Department....
Aurora (Colo.) Sentinel, Nov. 5

Library flood damage surpasses $7 million
The cost to repair the Louisville (Ky.) Free Public Library from August’s flash flooding has surpassed $7 million, with full use of the building not expected until late spring, Director Craig Buthod said. The amount is $2 million more than previously estimated. Three of five new boilers on order were installed last week, and on November 9 a large crane set a new chiller in place. The boilers are providing “the first heat we have been able to generate” since the flood, Buthod said....
Louisville (Ky.) Courier-Journal, Nov. 9

Sonoma County system to shut down for 10 days
Declining property tax revenue has prompted the Sonoma County (Calif.) Library to schedule a 10-day shutdown over the holidays to help achieve a $1.7 million budget cut. All 13 libraries will be closed from December 24 to January 4, with more than 200 library workers and managers furloughed for that period, Library Director Sandy Cooper said. The website and online services will shut down as well....
Santa Rosa (Calif.) Press Democrat, Nov. 4

Protect kids or free speech?
Controlling what children see on TV, online, and in other electronic media requires a delicate balancing act between the First Amendment rights of content providers and the desire to protect kids from inappropriate material, said panelists during a November 2 discussion at the Georgetown Law Center in Washington, D.C. Digital media creates many opportunities for children but also presents potential dangers, panelists noted, including a greater chance of exposing children to inappropriate content....
eSchool News, Nov. 6

New NYPL lion logoA new look for NYPL’s lion logo
For the first time in at least a quarter century, the New York Public Library has unveiled a new logo, this one designed to work both online and in print. Consisting of a profile of a lion inside a circle, it sheds the fussy detail of the old one. Instead, it uses bold, simple lines that evoke the style of stained-glass windows, woodcuts, or old printers’ marks. The new logo has already been introduced on the library website and will be adopted on library signs, library cards, and printed materials. Watch the video (1:21)....
New York Times City Room Blog, Nov. 9; YouTube, Nov. 6

Secrets of the New York Public Library stacks
The New York Public Library, with its landmark headquarters at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, is a marvel of big numbers. It is undergoing a $1.2-billion makeover in preparation for its 100th birthday. Built from 1899 to 1911, it cost $9 million, contains 530,000 cubic feet of white Vermont marble and 125 miles of shelving, and opened with an inventory of one million items. Here are some little-known highlights of this fabled institution. (A pair of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s slippers, anyone?)...
New York Times, Nov. 6

Jersey City librarians appear on The Wendy Williams ShowJersey City library staff greet Wendy Williams
After convincing her staff to send in a tape imitating the Wendy Williams greeting, “How you doin’?” Jersey City (N.J.) Free Public Library Director Priscilla Gardner and the rest of her staff (right) appeared on the November 9 Wendy Williams Show. Gardner—who regularly greets her staff members with “How you doin’?”—was shocked when a letter arrived with an invitation to come to the studio and introduce Williams and her first guest....
Jersey Journal, Nov. 6

Konrad Dannenberg at the Marshall Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AlabamaRocket scientist’s papers go to Huntsville
Konrad Dannenberg had two careers in his long, illustrious life. He was a brilliant rocket scientist and, in his later years, an energetic teacher and space ambassador, determined to pass his passion to future generations. Dannenberg died in February at 96, but his second career continues with the donation of his papers and memorabilia to the M. Louis Salmon Library at the University of Alabama in Huntsville....
Huntsville (Ala.) Times, Nov. 5

Bill LowenburgStroudsburg’s boxing librarian
Bill Lowenburg, librarian at Stroudsburg (Pa.) High School, gave a presentation on “Hooking Off the Jab: Norman Mailer and Boxing” at the annual conference of the Norman Mailer Society held October 23–24 at the Library of Congress. Lowenburg is uniquely qualified to grasp the subtle interplay between boxing and writing in Mailer’s work: He fought in amateur bouts when he was younger and recently started training young fighters at a local gym. In addition, he is an accomplished photographer....
Stroudsburg (Pa.) Pocono Record, Nov. 4

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Tech Talk

Wavz soooo boring...can haz gadgets? Cat art from Flickr user d'n'c10 gadgets to make Google Wave more fun
Sebastian Anthony writes: “It’s still early days for Google Wave but already there are a large number of gadgets. Gadgets are local, client-side (as in they run on your computer), Javascript and HTML. Bear in mind that these are all beta gadgets. Many of them work just fine, but you might hit some bugs along the way.” Includes VoIP conferencing and video/audio conferencing....
Download Squad, Nov. 6

Percentage of domains in data set with at least one Google web bugLearn the facts before you install analytics tools
Elliot Harmon writes: “Using various web statistics and analytics tools, you can learn how people are finding your website, where visitors are located geographically, and what parts of your site they’re visiting. But is your visitors’ information being used by others? What responsibility do you have to explain to your users what information they are giving away and to whom? In this article, we’ll explore some privacy issues surrounding web analytics (especially Google Analytics) and other website tools.”...
TechSoup, Oct. 26

10 ways to use Twitter lists
Sarah Evans writes: “Twitter’s new Lists feature is all the rage right now. There are probably already millions of lists, and that number is growing by the minute (or second). So what are people using all these lists for? Are people creating lists just for the sake of creating lists? Savvy individuals are looking for ways to use lists to further their personal/professional agendas, and while we are all still learning how to harness the power of this new feature, here are a few ideas to get the creative juices flowing.” Suggestion #8: Event attendees and live-tweeters lists....
Mashable, Nov. 4

Visualization ad example at Flowingdata.comNot just another pretty picture
Hilary Davis writes: “When I started having conversations with my library colleagues about data visualization tools and techniques, I was humbled by what I didn’t know and embarrassed that I hadn’t heard about, much less tested, some of the data visualization tools that are surfacing. So, I decided to start exploring what I’ve been missing while hiding behind the ubiquity of Microsoft Excel graphs and charts. In this post, I present some examples using a few popular data visualization tools and give an overview of some inspirational guides for creating compelling data graphics that may help you better express your own library metrics.”...
In the Library with the Lead Pipe, Nov. 11

Motorola Droid smartphoneDroid wars
Sascha Segan writes: “The Motorola Droid (right) is the hottest smartphone in America right now, but how does it measure up against the competition? We put the Droid in the ring against three levels of opponents: first, all the other Android phones available; then, the other top smartphones on Verizon, and finally, the reigning champ, the Apple iPhone 3GS. Who will come out on top?”...
PC Magazine, Nov. 6

Code M running shoes from Dada12 coolest MP3 players
Gracie Murano collects a set of the cleverest-looking MP3 players for your enjoyment. Among them are a Rubik’s Cube, an audiocassette, a toilet, a Lego, a Swiss Army knife, and a belt buckle. The Code M set of running shoes by Dada has a set of built-in players. Murano writes: “Of course, it wouldn’t be practical to have an extra-long headphone cord running from your feet up to your head, so they have decided to integrate a wireless music system in these shoes, so that you can receive the tunes on your wireless headset.”...
Oddee, Nov. 4

Example of Gopher siteWeb archaeology: Gopherspace tunnels on
Nate Anderson writes: “Remember Gopher? The protocol predated the web, and a hardy band of enthusiasts has kept Gopherspace alive. Gopher was designed in 1991 as a client-server protocol running over TCP/IP. Much lighter than HTTP and HTML, Gopher provided essentially two options: menus and documents, both of which were accessed through port 70. The system was initially text-based, though basic image-serving ability came later. Gopher hasn’t died completely, however.”...
Ars Technica, Nov. 4


Cover of Imperfect PastRetired New Jersey librarian’s novel has local roots
Alice DiNizo’s résumé may include decades spent as a children’s librarian, but the recent retiree’s rookie effort as a novelist treads over childhood abuse, racial tension, and serial murder. The former Plainfield (N.J.) Public Library staffer is the author of Imperfect Past (Eloquent Books, 2009) under the pen name “J. B.” The novel chronicles the life of Annie Phillips Murray, a white woman who falls in love with a black police officer during World War II in a town called North Hadley—which DiNizo says residents should instantly recognize as Plainfield....
Bridgewater (N.J.) Courier News, Nov. 6

Cover of Luv Ya BunchesGay characters give Scholastic problems
Will a book with a pair of gay characters appear at Scholastic’s book fairs? If no, there was angry talk of a boycott. And if yes, well, there is also angry talk of a boycott. The book in question is a novel called Luv Ya Bunches by Lauren Myracle. The book is aimed at readers ages 9–12, and it tells the story of four girls with nothing in common except that they are all named for flowers. And one has a pair of same-sex parents. Now Scholastic says the book will appear—with gay characters intact—at middle school fairs in spring 2010....
Christian Science Monitor, Nov. 5

Cover of MoonshotBest illustrated children’s books of 2009
Every year since 1952, the New York Times Book Review has asked a panel of judges to select 10 books from among the several thousand children’s books published that year. The judges this time around were author Adam Gopnik; teacher and illustrator Jillian Tamaki; and Lisa Von Drasek, children’s librarian of the Bank Street College of Education. One of their picks is Brian Floca’s Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 (Atheneum)....
New York Times Book Review, Nov. 8

Cover of City I Love, by Lee Bennett Hopkins, designed by Chad BeckermanInterview with cover designer Chad W. Beckerman
Travis Jonker writes: “If cover designers are superhero alter-egos, then Chad W. Beckerman (art director and cover designer for Abrams Books for Young Readers and Amulet Books, as well as Mishaps and Adventures blogger) would have to be Clark Kent. Friendly and hard-working by day, yet designing covers that have been known to burst onto shelves, leaping tall buildings (or at least generating lots of interest) in a single bound. Beckerman kindly sat down recently to discuss his work, the future of book covers, and his confusion over pirates with clean socks.”...
100 Scope Notes, Nov. 10

ASP iPhone app showing Ella FitzgeraldAlexander Street’s streaming music and video to go mobile
Electronic publisher Alexander Street Press will release a free iPhone application in early 2010 that will make its complete line of online music collections—including Classical Music Library, Jazz Music Library, and Smithsonian Global Sound for Libraries—fully accessible on iPhone and iPod Touch handheld devices. With subsequent releases, patrons of subscribing libraries will also be able to access all Alexander Street video collections, such as American History in Video, Theatre in Video, and Ethnographic Video Online....
Alexander Street Press, Nov. 9

Summon and EBSCOhost are going there too
Gary Price writes: “Both EBSCOhost Mobile and Summon Mobile from Serials Solutions have officially been released. We’ve had only a short time to use both and for the most part were very impressed. I am more sure than ever that mobile devices (from an e-book reader to a Palm Pre to a Droid to an iPhone) can be powerful research tools in their own right. Perhaps the most important issue is how much promotion and marketing will EBSCO and the libraries that use EBSCO give to the new mobile interface?”...
Resource Shelf, Nov. 10

McCulture: The lost translations
Aviya Kushner writes: “Americans have developed an admirable fondness for books, food, and music that preprocess other cultures. But for all our enthusiasm, have we lost our taste for the truly foreign? Translations are rarely bestsellers; it can be hard to find a newly translated book at a megabookstore, even if that book was hugely important in its home country. Solid numbers on translated books published in the United States are difficult to come by, but in a 2007 New York Times report on the international book market, writer Jascha Hoffman determined that less than 3% of all books published in the United States in 2004 were translated.”...
Wilson Quarterly, Winter issue

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Actions & Answers

Not economics but justice
Wayne Bivens-Tatum writes: “I am all for librarians participating in popular political discourse, but I think this post, by Purdue University Government Information and Political Science Librarian Bert Chapman, who tries to make “An Economic Case Against Homosexuality,” has some rhetorical and logical problems. The only economic issue specifically regarding homosexuality in the entire post is the claim that businesses expanding coverage makes it difficult for them. That’s the case for any benefits at all, though.”...
Academic Librarian, Nov. 10; Conservative Librarian, Oct. 27

Netherlands beach branch, sponsored by ProBiblioExtending the library’s reach
Tom Storey writes: “For 10 years, Brian Mathews has focused his passion for librarianship on students—specifically, how to mesh the student lifestyle with library services. Mathews, assistant university librarian for outreach and academic services at the University of California, Santa Barbara, is one of a growing number in the profession who are taking library services to users, rather than expecting users to come to the library. These professionals want the library to be anywhere and everywhere—particularly in places where it is not expected (such as at the beach).”...
NextSpace, no. 13 (Sept.)

Scheduled to open in fall 2010, the University of Calgary's Taylor Family Digital Library is touted as the most technologically advanced student library in CanadaA space to collaborate
David Raths writes: “If you could rebuild your campus library from the ground up, how would it be different? Would the impact of digital technology significantly alter the features and design? For many administrators, these questions are hypothetical, offering them a chance to sketch out new commons areas or draw up a features wish list. But others have had to reconsider the role of a library on a 21st-century campus as they design buildings they hope will still be relevant decades from now.”...
Campus Technology, Nov. 1

Exterior of Des Moines (Iowa) Public Library fron the library website. Photo by Farshid AssassiPhotography of and in public libraries
Peter Hirtle writes: “Jessamyn West started a fascinating exchange when she reported on her attempts to photograph the Des Moines, Iowa, Public Library. In addition to the extensive comments on her post, it also led to an interesting exchange on a list for architects. Because I know that Carolyn Wright, the Photo Attorney, is interested in efforts to restrict photography in public places, I shared the exchange with her and she weighed in on the legal issues. Anyone interested in policies regarding photographs in library buildings should read all the exchanges, but here is what I have taken away.”...
LibraryLaw Blog, Nov. 9;, Oct. 23; Archinect, Oct. 23; Photo Attorney, Nov. 1

Experts: Copyright law hinders scholarship
Day two of the annual Educause higher-education technology conference in Denver, November 3–6, saw at least two presenters speak out about the unfair application of strict copyright protections to scholarly journals—a practice, they said, that hinders academic endeavors. Stanford law professor and activist Lawrence Lessig said that restrictive copyright laws are “destructive of science and education” because academia has adopted a copyright model that largely mimics that of the entertainment industry....
eSchool News, Nov. 6

Screen shot of Cataloger's DesktopCataloger’s Desktop 3.0
The Library of Congress has launched Cataloger’s Desktop 3.0, a major modernization of its popular web-based subscription service of important cataloging and metadata resources. Desktop, available from the Cataloging Distribution Service, provides catalogers access to more than 280 electronic manuals, cataloging and classification standards, procedures and resources. The new 3.0 version adds operational enhancements, greatly expanding its search and information-discovery features....
Library of Congress, Nov. 4

Cover of Broadband and the Digital DivideLibraries: A bridge over the Digital Divide
The Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Public Library consistently ranks as one of the nation’s busiest library systems. In 2008, it ranked 7th in the nation in the volume of materials circulated—with 17.8 million items, mostly print books, checked out by patrons. This September report (PDF file) on “Broadband and the Digital Divide: The New Role of Public Libraries” by the Knight Center of Digital Excellence offers a case study in the library’s pursuit of broadband connectivity, the impact of these efforts in Northeast Ohio, and the potential role CCPL exemplifies for public libraries in bridging the digital divide....
Knight Center of Digital Excellence, June 16

101 ways to promote a new blog
David Turnbull writes: “Promoting a new blog can be quite daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. As you might expect, breaking down blog promotion into small, actionable tasks eliminates the mental roadblock you’ve probably experienced when trying to wrap your head around how to get people’s attention. You don’t have to do everything in this list, and some items will have a greater effect then others, but every tactic will at least drive some traffic, and any traffic is better than no traffic.”...
Daily Blog Tips, Nov. 4

BioMed Central logoOpen access memberships: Are libraries paying too much?
Philip Davis writes: “Do open access membership fees save institutions money? In the case of Columbia University, the answer is clearly no. Susan Klimley, serials and electronic resources librarian at the Columbia University Health Sciences Library, presented a talk titled ‘Cost/Benefit Analysis of BioMed Central Membership at a Large Medical Institution’ at the Charleston Conference on November 6. What motivated her to undertake the study was seeing her membership fees rise each year by 8%, and then by 10% in 2009.”...
The Scholarly Kitchen, Nov. 9

Does entertainment want to be free?
New York magazine interviewed 100 pedestrians in Soho to find out where they get their information and entertainment and how much they would pay for it. Some of the questions were: “Where do you get most of your news? How much do you spend buying music online? How much do you spend a year on books? Do you like any commercials so much that you sit and watch them?”...
New York, Nov. 8

Dangerously irrelevant libraries
Doug Johnson writes: “My friend Scott McLeod at the Dangerously Irrelevant blog posts a list of hard questions about books, libraries, and librarians in ‘10 questions about books, librarians, and schools.’ He has been using these questions as the foundation of some (very good) keynotes given at library conferences. Two things: First, it’s incredibly important we have people like Scott from outside our profession giving us attention and asking us to think. Second, how we respond to folks like Scott says a lot about us.”...
Blue Skunk Blog, Nov. 5; Dangerously Irrelevant, Nov. 3

Reid Hoffman and Biz Stone discuss partnershipTwitter joins up with LinkedIn
Allen Blue writes: “LinkedIn is announcing a partnership with Twitter—and some new features. The idea is simple: When you set your status on LinkedIn you can now tweet it as well, amplifying it to your followers and real-time search services like Twitter Search and Bing. And when you tweet, you can send that message to your LinkedIn connections as well, from any Twitter service or tool.” Watch LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman (left) and Twitter cofounder Biz Stone discuss (2:29) the great potential of the integration between their companies....
LinkedIn Blog, Nov. 9; YouTube, Nov. 9

Gloves for a Space Shuttle EVA suitApply for free Space Shuttle artifacts
Libraries are invited to apply for free NASA space shuttle artifacts, including small items such as astronaut helmets, gloves, and boots, and large items such as shuttle Motion Based Simulators and Crew Compartment Trainers. NASA will retire the Space Shuttle Program at the end of 2010 and is eager for the public to learn about space exploration through exhibitions. Artifacts, which will be released as they are no longer needed, may be viewed by eligible institutions that have been given a logon and password at the General Services Administration website....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Nov. 6

Plate from The Works of Publius Virgilius Maro. Translated, adorn'd with Sculpture, and illustrated with Annotations, by John Ogilby. London: Thomas Warren for the Author, 1654. The armorial device and dedication have been cropped from this imageLearned book illustrations
Stephen J. Gertz writes: “Michael Suarez, the new director of the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia, presented the fifth annual Kenneth Karmiole Lecture on the History of the Book Trade at the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library in Los Angeles on November 7 to an enraptured audience. His subject, ‘Learned Book Illustrations, Their Patrons, and the Vagaries of the Trade in 17th- and 18th-century England,’ might, in the wrong hands, have held the potential to desiccate cortexes. But Suarez is no ordinary lecturer.”...
Book Patrol, Nov. 9

Postcard showing the library of the Working Men's Institute, New Harmony, Indiana, sent in 1907Working men’s libraries
Larry Nix writes: “Forerunners and early competitors to America’s free public libraries came in many varieties. The Working Men’s Institute libraries were one type. The first Working Men’s Institute was founded in 1838 in New Harmony, Indiana, with a mission to disseminate useful knowledge to those who work with their hands. It was the first of 144 such institutions in Indiana and 16 in Illinois and is the only one remaining. Its library is Indiana’s oldest and still functions as a public library.”...
Library History Buff Blog, Nov. 10

Alabama School Libraries Week logoIt’s Alabama School Libraries Week
The Alabama Instructional Media Association launched its first Alabama School Libraries Week, November 9–13, recognizing the work of hundreds of library media specialists teaching in the state’s K–12 public schools. At North Highland Elementary School, Michelle Wilson has brought in guest readers, including administration from the central office who often don’t get to see school libraries in action. Her students are capping the week with a character dress-up day November 13....
Alabama Instructional Media Association, Oct. 26; AASL Blog, Nov. 10

Information Literacy Week in Second Life signSecond Life Information Literacy Week
Sheila Webber writes: “I have been organizing Information Literacy Week in Second Life, which runs November 9–15. You will be able to participate if you have a SL avatar and have the SL browser installed on your computer. The full schedule is posted on the event website.” ACRL has an ongoing event on its site at ALA Island, and there are many other exhibits and discussions planned....
Information Literacy Weblog, Nov. 9

Promotional image for The LibrarianA new Librarian movie in 2010, @ your theater
Clarissa writes: “The first Librarian TV movie with Noah Wyle appeared in 2004 and was called Quest for the Spear. The second was in 2006 and was called Return to King Solomon’s Mines, and the final one (or so we thought) aired in 2008 and was called The Curse of the Judas Chalice. Producer Dean Devlin recently announced that a fourth Librarian movie will be released in theaters. No word yet on the date, but since shooting will occur this year, chances are it will be released sometime in 2010.”...
TV Overmind, Nov. 8

SydneyDewey look-alike contest
Jill Rosen writes: “Legions of cat lovers have fallen for Dewey, the famous Iowa library cat immortalized last year in Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World. The children’s book (Dewey: There’s a Cat in the Library!) is out and I’m offering a copy to the owner of the kitty that most resembles the adorable, orange, furball that was the Dew.” Some submissions (such as Sydney, above) are already on display....
Baltimore Sun Unleashed blog, Nov. 8

Still from Tom McNamee videoHow to get your op-eds into print
Tom McNamee, editorial page editor of the Chicago Sun-Times, delivers some valuable advice on how to write op-eds in this excerpt (2:03) from the 2009 PR Forum at ALA’s Annual Conference in Chicago. McNamee in particular emphasizes the importance of telling stories. An op-ed written by then-ALA President Jim Rettig and Chicago Public Library Commissioner Mary Dempsey appeared in the Sun-Times prior to the conference....
Visibility @ your library, Nov. 10

Still from the Biblioburro videoBiblioburro, the Colombian donkey library
For the past 10 years, Luis Soriano, a teacher in the small town of La Gloria, Colombia, has been following the same ritual (5:20). Every weekend, he gathers his donkey in front of his house, straps on the “Biblioburro” pouches to its back, and loads them with a selection of books from the eclectic collection he has acquired over the years. Off on his mobile library, he travels into the hills and through the fields to the villages beyond where children await his visits impatiently....
Ayoka, Aug. 24

Jackson Pearce imitating some parentsThe f-bomb
Jackson Pearce, author of As You Wish (HarperTeen, 2009), writes: “There’s been a lot of talk about why authors should or shouldn’t use mature language, themes, or concepts in YA literature. So I did a video!” In this direct talk to parents (3:00), Pearce advocates for “books that allow teens to speak in a realistic manner.” Parents can use this as an opportunity to talk to their teens about appropriate speech, or they can opt to go “la-la-la-la-la” (above)....
YouTube, Nov. 4

Still from Mills Learning Commons zombie invasion videoLibraries on YouTube: This week’s top five
Charlie Thomason writes: “What do superheroes, rock climbing, and zombies all have in common? Well, not much except that they’re all the subject of this week’s Best of Libraries on YouTube. Every two weeks we take a look at some of the highly creative videos that libraries and library lovers have uploaded to the web.” This week includes a zombie invasion (1:00) in the McMaster University’s Mills Learning Commons in Hamilton, Ontario (above)....
@ your library, Nov. 5

Go back to the Top

ALA 2009 Midwinter Meeting logo

ALA Midwinter Meeting, Boston, January 15–19. The Midwinter Meeting is convened for the primary purpose of expediting the business of the Association through sessions of its governing and administrative delegates serving on board, committees, and Council.

REaD Alert

Catch this week’s REaD Alert, the free e-newsletter. REaD Alerts herald the delivery of new issues of Booklist magazine.  This issue features a Spotlight on Religion and Spirituality. NEW! From ALA Publishing.

In this issue
Nov. 2009

Cover of Nov. 2009 issue

Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Libel Tourism

Multivendor RFID Rollouts

How to Work a Crisis

Cover of November 2009 C&RL News

Kean University Librarian Craig Anderson offers tips and tricks for virtual reference in “How to Be a Person” in the November issue of College & Research Libraries News.

Career Leads from
ALA Joblist logo

Poster for New-York Historical Society benefit reception for October exhibition of Grateful Dead materials from UCSC archive

Grateful Dead Archivist, Special Collections and Archives, University of California, Santa Cruz. The archivist will be part of a dynamic, collegial, and highly motivated department dedicated to building, preserving, promoting, and providing maximum access both physically and virtually to one of the library’s most exciting and unique collections, the Grateful Dead Archive. The UCSC University Library utilizes innovative approaches to allow the discovery, use, management, and sharing of information in support of research, teaching, and learning....

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Digital Library of the Week

Portion of logbook entry from the HMS Bounty, April 1789, at the onset of the famous mutiny

CORRAL (UK Colonial Registers and Royal Navy Logbooks) is an imaging and digitizing project funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee. The project began October 1, 2008, and was funded through September 2009, during which time its principal objective was to image ship’s logbooks of particular historic and scientific value, and to digitize the meteorological observations in those logbooks. The logs of Captains Robert Fitzroy (captain of HMS Beagle during Charles Darwin’s epic voyage around the world), James Cook, and William Bligh of HMS Bounty offer good examples. The logbooks of ships on voyages of scientific discovery and exploration are held in the UK National Archives and are stored under catalog heading ADM55. Such documents record the daily activities and weather that these intrepid explorers encountered on their voyages. As such they stand not only as records of national and historical importance, they are also a unique source of climate information from those distant years and at a time when the scientific community needs to know as much as possible concerning future and past climatic change. CORRAL has now imaged nearly 300 logbooks producing some 40,000 cataloged images, giving access to every page of these remarkable documents. The research group has three principal partners: The University of Sunderland, the UK Meteorological Office at Hadley Centre, and the British Atmospheric Data Centre.

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

“Libraries give a town a moral center. I don’t know how we would get along without them.”

—Pulitzer Prize–winning author Tracy Kidder, interviewed in the Cohasset (Mass.) Mariner, Oct. 26.

TweetWatch bird



Digital Library Federation, Fall Forum, Long Beach, California, Nov. 11–12, at: #dlforum09.

Hawaii Library Association, Annual Conference, Kaneohe, Oahu, Nov. 12, at: #hla09.

Text Encoding Initiative Consortium, Conference, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Nov. 9–15, at: #tei_09.

American Libraries news stories, videos, and blog posts at amlibraries.

Ask the ALA Librarian

Advocacy image

Q. Our library is going to go for a bond issue next spring. What can we be doing now to build support?

A. A lot, actually. Now is the time to build awareness of the services your library offers, the value of your library to the community, and the benefits (return) your visitors get for their tax dollars (investment). Use word of mouth and other marketing techniques to position your library as a positive force in your community. It’s good that you have a few months, as you may need to develop social networking tools or refocus your website as a vehicle for community outreach. You also have time to attend the upcoming advocacy workshop at the 2010 ALA Midwinter Meeting or learn about advocacy at ALA’s Advocacy University. From the ALA Professional Tips wiki.

@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.


Dec. 7–11:
SLA Military Libraries Workshop,
Nashville Downtown Hilton.

Jan. 15:
OCLC Americas Regional Council,
first meeting, ALA Midwinter Meeting, Boston. “New Ways to Communicate: Engaging the Membership.”

Mar. 4–7:
Alaska Library Association,
Annual Conference, Hotel Captain Cook, Anchorage.

Mar. 10–12:
Louisiana Library Association,
Annual Conference, Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center, Baton Rouge. “Louisiana Libraries: The Heart of Our Communities.”

Mar. 17–19:
Wisconsin Educational Media and Technology Association,
Spring Conference, Kalahari Conference Center, Wisconsin Dells. “Into the Wild.”

Apr. 28–30:
Off-Campus Library Services Conference,
Cleveland Marriott Downtown, Cleveland, Ohio.

Apr. 29–
May 1:

LOEX Conference,
Hyatt Regency Hotel, Dearborn, Michigan.

May 2–8:
Choose Privacy Week.

May 6–7:
Michigan Library Association,
Spring Event, Hotel Baronette, Novi. “Academic Libraries 2010: Explore, Discover, Connect.”

June 16–18:
5th Annual Learning Commons Conference,
Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario.

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