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

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

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AL Buyers Guide

U.S. & World News

House introduces strong surveillance-reform bills
The USA Patriot Amendments Act of 2009 (H.R. 3845) (PDF file) and the FISA Amendments Act of 2009 (H.R. 3846) (PDF file), introduced into the House of Representatives October 20 by Reps. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), and Bobby Scott (D-Va.), would together systematically reform our national surveillance laws. The first would reform Section 215 of the Patriot Act, often referred to as the library provision, by allowing recipients to challenge the associated gag order and by prohibiting a request for library records that contain personally identifiable information concerning a patron....
District Dispatch, Oct. 21; Electronic Frontier Foundation; House Judiciary Committee, Oct. 20

Cover of In the Middle of the NightConnecticut residents protest book detailing local murders
Friends of William Petit, who was beaten and whose wife and two daughters were murdered when their Cheshire, Connecticut, home was robbed in July 2007, have asked Cheshire Public Library not to stock a book about the crime. The book by Brian McDonald, In the Middle of the Night: The Shocking True Story of a Family Killed in Cold Blood, is based on interviews with and letters from Joshua Komisarjevsky, one of two men awaiting trial for the crime....
American Libraries Online, Oct. 20

Castleton residents demand return of library director
The centennial of the Castleton (N.Y.) Public Library is being overshadowed by controversy, as area residents and local and state officials continue to demand the reinstatement of Darlene Miller as director of the library a month after the board summarily fired her. About 75 concerned citizens in the village of 1,600 gathered October 20 for a candlelight vigil as trustees met....
American Libraries Online, Oct. 21

ALA News

Al Gore Al Gore to deliver Arthur Curley Lecture
Former Vice President and Nobel Peace Prize corecipient Al Gore, whose bestselling books have shed light on key environmental issues, will deliver the Arthur Curley Memorial Lecture during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston. Widely considered one of the world’s foremost authorities on the climate crisis, Gore is the author of Our Choice: How We Can Solve the Climate Crisis, a follow-up to An Inconvenient Truth, which will be released in November 2009. Gore will speak January 16 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center....

ALA gears up for the 2010 election
ALA is preparing for its annual election. As with last year’s, the upcoming election will be held online, with one exception: Members who are homebound and have no internet access can obtain a paper ballot by contacting ALA customer service at (800) 545-2433, ext. 5. To be eligible to vote, you must be a member in good standing as of January 31, 2010. Polls will open March 16 and will close April 23. When the polls open, ALA will notify voters by email, providing them with their unique passcodes and information about how to vote online....

National Library Week 2010 graphicConnect with National Library Week
The Campaign for America’s Libraries is inviting ALA members and others to join the new National Library Week community in ALA Connect. Its mission is to create an open discussion space to communicate their ideas and develop new ways to celebrate and promote National Library Week in all types of libraries. Librarians are encouraged to post their own programming ideas and discussions....

Read Genres and Subjects CDREAD Design Studio adds Genres and Subjects
There are now nearly infinite ways to appear on a customized READ Poster, thanks to READ DVD Genres and Subjects from ALA Graphics. With input from more than 100 librarians, the product features artwork inspired by 23 popular genres and subjects—all on one DVD. Fantasy, mystery, cooking, sci-fi, and horror are just a few of the represented reading favorites. The READ Design Studio products have given license to users to create ALA’s trademarked celebrity READ posters featuring home-town celebrities, students, librarians, staff, and local leaders....

New Moon READ posterNew Moon actor debuts in Celebrity READ Poster
Taylor Lautner joins the Celebrity READ Poster campaign this month, appearing on the New Moon poster from ALA Graphics. Lautner, who holds Stephenie Meyer’s book New Moon, will star in the highly anticipated movie adaptation this November. Both the New Moon and Twilight posters are at the ALA Store, where purchases fund advocacy, awareness, and accreditation programs for library professionals worldwide....

Cover of Bite-Sized MarketingTasty marketing tidbits for busy librarians
ALA Editions has released Bite-Sized Marketing: Realistic Solutions for the Overworked Librarian, by Nancy Dowd, Mary Evangeliste, and Jonathan Silberman. This book shares simple and cost-effective approaches to effective library marketing in a format that reflects the way people read today. Filled with contemporary marketing ideas, the authors provide how-tos of guerrilla marketing, cutting-edge digital marketing practices, and benefits of traditional print media....

Early Literacy Kit imageA unique kit for early literacy
ALA Editions has released The Early Literacy Kit, by Betsy Diamant-Cohen and Saroj Nadkarni Ghoting. This practical kit, developed by two well-known specialists in the field of early literacy, contains everything storytime presenters need to spread the word about school-readiness skills. The kit includes an accessible handbook with a resource section, 105 reusable tip cards with coordinated activities, and a concise summary of important early literacy research....

Advocacy University logoNew resources from Advocacy University
Advocacy University is ALA’s initiative geared to providing tools, training, and resources to library advocates to achieve real advocacy goals in real situations at the local level. Learn about these wonderful resources to help you in your advocacy work: Frontline Advocacy, a Coalition Building web resource, Add it up!, and the Advocating in a Tough Economy toolkit....

Librarianship and traditional cultural expressions
Over the last 10 months, a workgroup led by the ALA Office for Information Technology Policy has been collaborating with librarians, archivists, and members of various indigenous communities to draft a statement of guiding principles concerning the management and protection of traditional cultural expressions. The purpose of this October 19 draft document (PDF file) is to help librarians appreciate the unique nature of indigenous culture and to highlight ways that traditional cultural expressions can be managed in collections....
District Dispatch, Oct. 19

The globeGlobalization trends in library programming
The Public Programs Office wants to hear from programming librarians about the types of issues, activities, and themes that are currently engaging communities. We welcome input in the form of submissions to the Programming Librarian blog, tips about great programming resources, responses to opinion surveys (including this one, open through October 23), and ideas for national program offerings....
Programming Librarian, Oct. 20

Libraries, advocacy, and social media webinar
Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, and other Web 2.0 applications are becoming more and more effective tools for library advocacy efforts. Join Curtis Rogers (South Carolina State Library), Kristin Murphy (ALA Washington Office), and Stephanie Vance (Advocacy Guru) for this October 27 session on how libraries can use social media techniques to capture the attention of policymakers and the public they represent....
District Dispatch, Oct. 19

ALA-APA calls for volunteers
ALA President-Elect Roberta Stevens is seeking applications and nominations for appointments to 2010–2011 ALA–Allied Professional Association committees. Appointments take effect at the conclusion of the 2010 Annual Conference. All applicants must complete and submit an electronic Committee Volunteer Form by December 4....

Booklist Online logo

Cover of BloodrootFeatured review: First novel
Greene, Amy. Bloodroot. Jan. 2010. 304p. Knopf, hardcover (978-0-307-26986-7).
This stunning debut novel is a triumph of voice and setting. Following one impoverished family from the Depression up through the present, the story is told in six voices and set in a remote region called Bloodroot Mountain, so named for the rare flower that grows there, which can both poison and heal. The family’s struggles with poverty and human cruelty and their endless search for connection are set against the majestic Appalachian landscape, which is evoked in the simplest and most beautiful language. At the center of this dramatic story is Myra Lamb, raised by her loving grandmother and born with sky-blue eyes and a talent for connecting with animals and people. Allowed to run free on the family’s mountaintop, Myra is a charismatic figure who eventually draws the romantic interest of John Odom, the wealthy son of business owners in town....

E. Lockhart's Printz Awards acceptance speechE. Lockhart’s 2009 Printz Speech
Gillian Engberg writes: “Author E. Lockhart isn’t afraid of a good argument, as she made clear in her acceptance speech (right, 6:50) for The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks at the 2009 Michael L. Printz Awards (administered by YALSA and sponsored by Booklist). Readers have had wildly different responses to the book’s title character, a prep-school sophomore who uses her own secret guerrilla tactics to infiltrate an all-male secret society. Lockhart said, ‘Nothing has pleased me more than to receive mail denouncing Frankie as a borderline psychotic and other mail lauding her as a feminist heroine.’” You can also see Booklist videos of of M. T. Anderson’s (7:19) and Terry Pratchett’s (11:05) Printz Award acceptance speeches....

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

Boston Update

Old South Meeting House on an old postcardThe Old South Meeting House
Since the December 1773 mass protest meetings that led to the Boston Tea Party, Old South Meeting House has served as a gathering place for discussion and celebration and a haven for free speech. Today, the Old South Meeting House is open daily as a museum. Its Voices of Protest exhibit offers rare artifacts, lifelike figures, and interactive exhibits....
Old South Meeting House

Old North Church on an old postcardThe Old North Church
The Old North Church is officially known as Christ Church in the City of Boston. Built in 1723, it is the oldest standing church building in Boston. The Old North’s enduring fame began on the evening of April 18, 1775, when Church Sexton Robert Newman climbed the steeple and held high two lanterns as a signal from Paul Revere that the British were marching to Lexington and Concord by sea and not by land. The church is open daily and has a gift shop....
Christ Church in the City of Boston

Poster for Gone Baby GoneFilms set in Boston
Tax breaks in Massachusetts have been luring directors to Boston’s historic streets in recent years. It may seem like there has been more Hollywood into the Hub lately, but the region has served as the setting for many of Tinseltown’s most famous films. Based on the Dennis Lehane novel, the 2007 film Gone Baby Gone stars Casey Affleck and Morgan Freeman and is a story about two detectives in search of a 4-year-old girl kidnapped in Dorchester. See Wikipedia for more Boston films....
Boston Globe; Wikipedia

Hyatt boycott
The Progressive Librarians Guild opposes the actions of the Hyatt Company in firing their 98 staff housekeepers at three hotels in the Boston area on August 31 and replacing them with $8-an-hour employees of the Georgia-based Hospitality Staffing Solutions. Like-minded individuals may sign a petition....
Progressive Librarians Guild, Oct. 14; Boston Globe, Sept. 17

Division News

John Green on WWE video announcementPaper Towns tops YALSA’s 2009 Teens’ Top Ten
Teen readers across the country chose Paper Towns by John Green as their favorite book in the annual Teens’ Top Ten vote, sponsored by YALSA. Teens cast more than 11,000 votes online between August 24 and September 18. Watch the exciting video announcement (3:11), created by World Wrestling Entertainment, featuring the Bella Twins and author John Green....

WrestleMania Reading Challenge
World Wrestling Entertainment’s WrestleMania Reading Challenge, sponsored by YALSA, was launched during Teen Read Week, October 18–24. More than 1,800 librarians registered for the fifth annual reading challenge, in which teens and tweens in grades 5–12 participate. The challenge offers them the opportunity to extend reading from Teen Read Week into the rest of the academic year. Students who participate are encouraged to read one item a week and keep a reading log continuing through January 19....

Fourth annual National Friends of Libraries Week
ALTAFF is coordinating its fourth annual National Friends of Libraries Week, October 18–24. Friends groups can use the time to creatively promote their group in the community, raise awareness, and promote membership. The celebration also offers an excellent opportunity for the library staff and trustees to recognize the Friends for their help and support of the library....

Cover of 2008 Academic Library Trends and Statistics2008 Academic Library Trends and Statistics
ACRL’s 2008 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 in all Carnegie classifications, is now available. The three-volume set includes associate of arts institutions, master’s colleges and universities/baccalaureate colleges, and research/doctoral granting institutions. Each individual volume is also available for purchase at the ALA Store. Summary data for all elements is available for free on the ACRL website....

AASL Conference preview videoThousands of school librarians prepare to “Rev Up Learning”
More than 3,000 school librarians, educators, publishers, and guests will gather November 5–8 for the AASL 14th National Conference and Exhibition in Charlotte, North Carolina. The conference is the only national conference dedicated entirely to the needs of school library media specialists. Attendees will discuss such key issues as information literacy, technology, 21st-century learning skills, and how to advocate for school library media centers. Check out this exciting video preview (4:16) made by Joyce Valenza....

ALCTS offers two Midwinter symposia
Join your colleagues for two exciting and timely symposia from ALCTS on January 14 and 15, just before the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston. Registration is now open. Thursday’s symposium will be “Living Digital: The Future of Information and the Role of the Library,” and Friday’s will be “And Now for Something Completely Different: Our Future from Outside the Box.” To register, visit the ALA Midwinter Registration page....

Register for ALCTS online courses and webinars
Registration is open for the ALCTS “Fundamentals of Collection Development and Management,” a four-week web course that addresses the basic components of these important areas of responsibility in libraries; and the webinar “Yours, Mine, Ours? Copyright Ownership and IRs,” which addresses principles of copyright ownership under U.S. copyright law. Visit the ALCTS website to register....

CE opportunities for LITA members
LITA and BCR have agreed to develop a reciprocal continuing education program to complement and expand the training opportunities for members of both organizations. BCR will provide the technical infrastructure to support both online and self-paced learning, while LITA’s membership base brings an array of expertise in library standards, emerging technologies, and best practices. To submit a proposal for a continuing education program, visit the LITA website....


ALA recognition awards and grants
Nominate yourself, colleagues, or your library for a 2010 ALA recognition award or grant, including the Beta Phi Mu Award, the Melvil Dewey Medal, and the Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change Award. The deadline for most awards is December 1....

3M/NMRT Professional Development Grant
Members of the New Members Round Table can apply for a grant, sponsored by 3M Library Systems, that will cover expenses to attend the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., June 24–30. The deadline to apply is December 15....

Rushdie receives Carl Sandberg Literary Award
British Indian novelist Salman Rushdie received the Chicago Public Library Foundation’s Carl Sandburg Literary Award at a banquet in the Harold Washington Library October 15. Rushdie took the stage in the library’s Pritzker Auditorium to discuss his work with Booklist Senior Editor Donna Seaman, creator of Open Books Radio....
Exploring Chicago Examiner, Oct. 16

Oklahoma Department of Libraries2009 Federal Depository Library of the Year (PDF file)
The U.S. Government Printing Office named the Oklahoma Department of Libraries as the 2009 Federal Depository Library of the Year. The announcement was made October 19 by Public Printer Bob Tapella at the Fall Federal Depository Library Conference and Depository Library Council Meeting in Arlington, Virginia. ODL was commended for conducting nearly 200 workshops that taught Oklahoma libraries how to provide patrons with access to U.S. government information resources....
Government Printing Office, Oct. 19

Noe Valley/Sally Bunn branchSan Francisco branch wins preservation award
The historic renovation of San Francisco Public Library’s Noe Valley/Sally Brunn branch was recognized with a Preservation Design Award from the California Preservation Foundation. The awards program honors exceptional historic preservation projects for excellence in design, construction, planning, and technology. The renovation was designed by Carey & Co. Architecture, which worked diligently to preserve and restore the historic features of the 1916 Carnegie library....
San Francisco Public Library, Oct. 16

Angeles Caso with Planeta Prize2009 Planeta Novel Prize
Spanish journalist-turned-writer Ángeles Caso won the Planeta Novel Prize for Contra el viento (Against the Wind), the tale of an African woman’s travails in the West. The award, accompanied by 601,000 euros ($895,000 U.S.), was presented October 15 at a gala in Barcelona, Spain, home of publishing giant Grupo Planeta....
Latin American Herald Tribune, Oct. 16

ProQuest logoProQuest: A top place to work in southeast Michigan
Workers voted information-resource company ProQuest one of the 15 best large companies in southeast Michigan to work for. More than 32,000 employees from 173 companies participated in the 2009 Detroit Free Press Top Workplaces survey to identify those that stand out as ethical, caring employers with good leadership and development opportunities for staff....
Detroit Free Press, Oct. 18; ProQuest, Oct. 18

Europeana logoEuropeana wins 2009 Erasmus Award
In Vienna on October 16, the Europeana digital library was presented with the Erasmus Award for Networking Europe. The award was given by the European Society for Education and Communication and selected by an international jury from the world of learning and research. Europeana was praised for its conviction that European countries can be connected through multiple languages that offer more access to the continent’s cultural heritage....
European Society for Education and Communication, Oct. 20

8th IFLA International Marketing Award
Nominations are open for the 2010 IFLA International Marketing Award, administered by the IFLA Section on Management and Marketing in collaboration with Emerald. The award honors library organizations that have implemented creative, results-oriented marketing projects or campaigns. The winner will receive $1,000 and registration and travel to the 2010 IFLA meeting in Gothenburg, Sweden. Apply (PDF file) by January 31....
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, Oct. 19

Seen Online

An unbalanced new Patriot Act
ALA President Camila Alire wrote a letter to the Washington Post that took exception to its characterization of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s October 8 revision of the Patriot Act as “a reasonable balance.” She writes: “While modest tweaks were made, the committee rejected substantive and systematic reform to prevent the unwarranted surveillance, collection, and retention of the personal information of millions of innocent Americans.” See also the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression’s take in the Huffington Post.
Washington Post, Oct. 18; Huffington Post, Oct. 19

Web giants back FCC on net neutrality
Internet giants Google, Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, and a slew of other high-profile tech companies weighed in on new rules that are currently being written to keep the internet open. The CEOs of those companies, along with some telecommunications and media firms, such as EchoStar and XO Communications, sent a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski October 19 supporting his efforts to create official regulation that protects net neutrality....
Signal Strength, Oct. 19; Open Internet Coalition

Osher Map LibrarySouthern Maine’s Osher Map Library reopens
Fifteen years after their founding, the Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education reopened October 18 in their expanded, prominent space on the University of Southern Maine campus in Portland. The map library welcomed the public to its new home after being closed for nearly two years. The $12.3-million project provides the map library with four times the space it previously occupied....
Portland (Maine) Press Herald, Oct. 19

Barbara MistickCarnegie Library defends Mistick’s salary
The money the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh pays for Director Barbara Mistick’s (right) salary, her membership at the Duquesne Club, her vehicle, and part of a trip she took to India last year are reasonable compensation for the job she does, the nonprofit’s chair said October 14. At least one journalist understands the need for a Duquesne Club membership, because that’s where you find big donors. Meanwhile, Mistick met October 20 with state and local officials to discuss ways to reverse the library’s decision to close four branches and merge two others next year.
But she has declined an invitation from Mayor Luke Ravensthal to a public meeting October 24 on the closings, saying the library needs more time to gather information....
Pittsburgh (Pa.) Tribune-Review, Oct. 14, 20; Pittsburgh (Pa.) Post-Gazette, Oct. 18, 20, 21

Pennsylvania school libraries feel the pinch too
In recent months, school librarians in Pennsylvania joined their counterparts in public libraries in trying to lobby legislators to restore proposed cuts to library funding. While the hit to the general state subsidy for libraries was reduced from 50% to the final reduction of 20.1%, librarians were not able to protect the Pennsylvania Online World of Electronic Resources (POWER), a service that allowers users to view materials in other libraries, from severe cuts....
Pittsburgh (Pa.) Post-Gazette, Oct. 15

Image from archives showing sign "Water delivered, 5 cents per ton"Destroying our libraries: A water story
Peter Glieck writes: “One of the most remarkable library treasures of the University of California system is the Water Resources Center Archives, a unique and irreplaceable collection of materials at UC Berkeley on California, western U.S., and global water history, science, and policy. In a stunningly shortsighted move, the state Agricultural and Natural Resources Division announced that the archives would shut down next June, unless they can find some other university home for it willing to cover the costs. The archives is one of the only places where real data on water—most of which is not on the internet—can be found.”...
San Francisco Chronicle City Brights blog, Oct. 16

Cover of I Know Why the Caged Bird SingsFormer trustee: Ban Maya Angelou from school libraries
An autobiography by renowned author Maya Angelou has become the latest book in Orange County, California, to be challenged as unfit for school libraries. Judy Ahrens, a former Westminster School District trustee, took to the podium October 19 at the Huntington Beach city council meeting to read a scene from Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings that details the rape of an 8-year-old girl. The reading was a demonstration on why the book should be banned....
Orange County (Calif.) Register, Oct. 20

Cover of Dragon Ball, vol. 2 (VIZBIG ed.)Dragon Ball manga to stay off Wicomico school shelves
Wicomico County (Md.) Superintendent of Schools John Fredericksen announced October 15 that a controversial series of Japanese graphic novels has been removed from all school media centers. A school review committee determined that the Dragon Ball manga books were inappropriate. Fredericksen said that as a result of this incident, public schools in the county are instituting more focused and ongoing professional development training on the selection of media materials....
WBOC-TV, Salisbury, Md., Oct. 15

Iliff Square branch is one of the four slated to close if ballot measure failsFour Aurora branches to close if ballot fails
The question is simple: Either close four of the seven branches of the Aurora (Colo.) Public Library, or approve a property tax hike November 3 that will keep the libraries open and add new services. Ballot Measure 4A would use a property tax increase to generate about $12.5 million annually, restore library hours that already have been cut, and add new programs. But opponents say now is not the time to ask for a tax increase....
Denver Post, Oct. 17

Denver mayor restores library funds
Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, bending to pressure from city council members, restored about $910,000 in cuts October 14 from the Denver Public Library in the proposed 2010 budget. The additional library funding will allow the Byers branch to remain open for another year. He also plans to restore hours to the Central Library and five branches....
Denver Post, Oct. 15

Original copy of The Reign of King Edward IIIDid Shakespeare write Edward III?
Plagiarism-detection software was created with lazy, sneaky college students in mind—not the likes of William Shakespeare. Yet the software may have settled a centuries-old mystery over the authorship of an unattributed play from 1596 called The Reign of King Edward III. With a program called Pl@giarism, Sir Brian Vickers, a literature professor at the University of London, detected 200 strings of three or more words in Edward III that matched phrases in Shakespeare’s other works....
Time, Oct. 20

Oregon sends books to China
Nearly 1,000 boxes of books at the Oregon State Library were loaded into an ocean-transport container October 15 to be shipped to China. The boxes of surplus books were donated by libraries, churches, stores, and individuals who wanted to help libraries in Oregon’s sister province of Fujian, China, serve English-language learners. The largest donor was the Portland State University Library with 324 boxes....
Salem (Oreg.) Statesman Journal, Oct. 19

Toronto Reference Library. Photo by Michael StephensToronto Reference Library gets renovation funding
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper joined Mayor David Miller at the Toronto Reference Library to announce that $3 million ($2.9 million U.S.) in federal infrastructure money would go to renovating the building. The money represents one-third of the budget for a renovation to the library. When it is finished in March 2011, the library will have an expanded public gallery, a new entranceway, and new computer workstations....
Inside Toronto, Oct. 16

Liz Osman on the plinthLibrarian gets an hour on the plinth
University of Reading Henley Business School Librarian Liz Osman played a concertina on top of the Trafalgar Square fourth plinth in London October 9 as her fellow Morris dancers performed below. She was one of the last of the 2,400 people each given an hour on the empty plinth to do whatever they wanted as part of sculptor Antony Gormley’s “One & Other” art project, which ended October 14....
Henley (U.K.) Standard, Oct. 19; One & Other

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Tech Talk

Google Editions embraces universal e-book format
Google will launch an e-book store next year called Google Editions with a “do no evil” twist. Unlike the Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble’s new Nook (available November 30), which rely heavily on restrictive DRM, Google’s store will not be device-specific—allowing for e-books purchased through Google Editions to be read on a far greater number of e-book readers that will flood the market in 2010. Google’s e-books will be accessible through any web-enabled computer, e-reader, or mobile phone instead of a dedicated device....
PC World, Oct. 16; New York Times, Oct. 19

BookServer graphicBookServer: An open web of books
The Internet Archive has just unveiled an ambitious project called BookServer, which will allow users to find, buy, or borrow digital books from sources all across the web. The system, built on an open architecture and using open book formats, promises that the books housed there will work on any device—a laptop, PC, smartphone, game console, or one of the myriad of e-readers like Amazon’s Kindle....
ReadWriteWeb, Oct. 20

Apple iPod Touch, 3rd generation, reviewBest MP3 players for audiobooks
Donald Bell writes: “MP3 players have quickly become the medium of choice for listening to audiobooks. Compared with CD and cassette players, an average MP3 player is much smaller and has the capacity to hold many hours worth of audio. When shopping for an audiobook-friendly MP3 player, there are four main features to consider: file compatibility, battery life, storage capacity, and bookmarking.”...
CNET Reviews, Oct. 16

Cover of Complete Guide to TwitterThe complete guide to Twitter
MakeUseOf Editor Mark O’Neill has tackled every Twitter feature, tip, and trick you can think of in this 53-page Complete Guide to Twitter (PDF file). Learn to work the interface, to Tweet from your desktop, use cool Twitter bots, and find the funniest people to follow. With this free manual, O’Neill will make sure you get your black belt in Twitter....
MakeUseOf, Oct. 15

Backupify logoBackupify your accounts
Sarah Houghton-Jan writes: “Have you ever thought about how much data is in your Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Google Docs, and accounts? Have you ever considered that you are purely at the mercy of one company, and their server farms, to back up and preserve your data? The answer: Backupify, which offers both free and for-pay accounts. I’d recommend their Max account for any library wanting to get started backing up its files.”...
Librarian in Black, Oct. 20


Cover of TriQuarterly issue no. 134Northwestern’s TriQuarterly journal to go online only
The literary magazine TriQuarterly, published since 1958 by Northwestern University Press, will cease print publication in 2010 and move into the university’s graduate creative-writing program, where it will be turned over to student editors. The press reports to University Librarian Sarah M. Pritchard, who played down the idea that TriQuarterly as we have known it would cease to exist, although its editor and associate editor will not make the jump online with the publication....
Chronicle of Higher Education, Sept. 24

Dealing with the Pusher Man
Wayne Bivens-Tatum writes: “Those who work in collection development for the past couple of decades are aware of the impact serial price increases have had on library budgets. This has been the most pressing issue in academic libraries for a long time. Libraries and universities are under enormous financial strain, and this is the perfect time to stop paying for packages containing a lot of titles we don’t want, don’t need, and don’t use, and to take back what control we can. The only way to deal with the Pusher Man is to push back.”...
Academic Librarian, Oct. 16

MLA Style Manual, 3rd ed., 2008Manual labor
Barbara Fister writes: “Having to cope with new editions of two major style manuals (MLA and APA, neither of which actually keeps up with new information formats because they keep changing) is one of those ‘in the cosmic scale of things it’s really incredibly trivial but arrrgggghhhhh!!!!!’ events. I recommend that librarians stop teaching citation styles, and that professors stop spending hours trying to correct student work using new style manuals as unfamiliar to them as to their students and go play with the baby or take a walk instead.”...
ACRLog, Oct. 18

Cover of Uglies by Scott WesterfeldWhere to start with YA science fiction
Sarah Hope Williams writes: “Where’s the best place to start your kids with reading science fiction? Here’s a booklist of some of the best sci-fi for the discerning young adult, because it’s never too early to teach them about the dangers of dystopian societies. I’ve picked out a list of books ranging from science fiction to futuristic fantasy, and various dystopian coming-of-age novels. Note: I have not included fantasy novels.”...
io9, Oct. 18

The book that contains all books
Stephen Marche writes: “On October 19, the Kindle 2 became the first e-reader available globally. The only other events as important to the history of the book are the birth of print and the shift from the scroll to bound pages. The e-reader, now widely available, will likely change our thinking and our being as profoundly as the two previous predigital manifestations of text. The question is how. And the answer can be found in the history of earlier book forms.”...
Wall Street Journal, Oct. 17

Libraries wade into e-books
About 5,400 public libraries now offer e-books, as well as digitally downloadable audiobooks. But circulation is expanding quickly. The number of checkouts has grown to more than 1 million so far this year from 607,275 in all of 2007, according to OverDrive. NetLibrary has seen circulation of e-books and digital audiobooks rise 21% over the past year. But some publishers, like Macmillan and Simon & Schuster, refrain from distributing their e-books to public libraries....
New York Times, Oct. 14

Cover of A History of Orgies, by Burgo Partridge, New York: Bonanza Books, 1960. 246pp., preface, bib. and index. Mr. Partridge evaluates the motives behind orgies and examines to what extent social environment and individual psychology overlap in producing these phenomena, from the Greeks to the 20th CenturyThe weird book room
Welcome to AbeBooks’ weird book room—a celebration of everything that’s bizarre, odd, and downright weird in books. Crazy cookbooks, unusual animal books, how-to books that will teach skills you never knew you needed, books about hilarious hobbies, and books about every strange aspect of life you could possibly imagine and a few things you can’t....

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Actions & Answers

SLA: Proposed name change to ASKPro
The Special Libraries Association, some six years into an effort to move away from the term “special libraries,” is moving to implement results from its multiyear Alignment Project research by proposing a name change to the Association for Strategic Knowledge Professionals, or ASKPro. The SLA Board of Directors notified members October 14 about the proposal, asking them to vote in a special online referendum lasting from November 16 to December 9. The result will be announced December 10. Bloggers have been weighing in on the name: here, here, here, here, and here....
Library Journal, Oct. 16; SLA Illinois Chapter, Oct. 15; Library Attack, Oct. 14; Christina’s LIS Rant, Oct. 19; Random Musings from the Desert, Oct. 15; iBrary Guy, Oct. 17

Online at the library
Ellen Perlman writes: “Governments boast about the many services they offer online so people can do business with them 24/7. That’s fine for people who have computers with speedy internet access at home and at work. But for some segments of society, the main access to the internet comes via a workstation at a public library, typically in half-hour to hour-long chunks of time.”...
Governing, Oct. 20

Cardboard sign reads "Need Job"How to find a job when you’ve been looking forever
Eileen Wolkstein says she has never seen it this bad. A career coach in New York for 25 years, Wolkstein says that staying focused and determined in the midst of an ever-worsening employment picture is one of the toughest career challenges out there. But there are ways you can keep your spirits up and increase your chances while sharpening your long-term hunt for work....
Forbes, Oct. 14

No humor in this dispatch
Scott Douglas writes: “Contrary to popular belief, the job of a librarian has absolutely nothing to do with books; the job of a librarian is to help people find information, and information comes in several different forms. It could be a student who is writing a term paper needing to know how to find information on the term Volkerwanderung, or who simply wants to find the name of the latest Grisham—but more than likely, at least in recent years, it’s the unemployed worker needing information on how to write a résumé or find a job.”...
Dispatches from a Public Librarian, Oct. 14

Learning to teach through video
Kim Leeder writes: “It’s a truth so many of us keep in the dark corners of our lives as instruction librarians: We were never taught to teach. I’ll be the first to admit that I have made students watch far too many dull, lengthy screencast videos in the effort to help them learn about research. Recently my colleagues and I have begun a project to train ourselves in the pedagogy and technology of how to make effective video tutorials. I’d like to share some of what we’ve learned so far.”...
In the Library with the Lead Pipe, Oct. 14

Douglas County (Colo.) Libraries Bark for Books logoA Bark for Books story
James LaRue writes: “Cagney was a greyhound—but not a very fast one. After Cagney failed to even place after four races in a row, his owner decided to let him go. The Colorado Greyhound Adoption people rescued him and placed him with an older and childless couple. This couple trained Cagney in the library’s Bark for Books program. They’d noticed that for some reason, Cagney just loved children. Then something wonderful happened.”...
Douglas County (Colo.) Libraries, Oct. 22

Cooperative Cataloging Rules: An alternative to RDA
James Weinheimer writes: “The Cooperative Cataloging Rules website is now available. We want to announce its existence and to put out a general request for professional metadata creators to participate. The site has two primary purposes: 1) to offer a serious alternative to RDA, and 2) to offer a place for sharing bibliographic concepts within the general metadata community.”...
Cooperative Cataloging Rules Blog, Oct. 15

Jennifer McLennan and Heather Joseph of SPARC offer an introduction to Open Access Week 2009Welcome to Open Access Week 2009
SPARC, a co-organizer of Open Access Week 2009, offers this welcome (6:32) to global celebrations, October 19–23. In addition to a welcome and thanks to organizers, partners, and participants, SPARC principals cast the week in the context of the international movement toward free, open, online, and immediate access to the results of scholarly research....
Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, Oct. 13

Image copyright and you
mk Eagle writes: “Failure to properly cite images has always been a pet peeve of mine. I cringe when I see students pulling photos and diagrams straight from a Google image search without bothering to find out the source of the image or credit its creator in any way. But here’s my sad little secret: Half the time I’m just as confused as my students when it comes to properly citing.”...
YALSA Blog, Oct. 20

VRDC mobile library in MaharashtraGroup raises funds for mobile library in India
Home of Hope, a volunteer fundraising group based in Hillsborough, California, partners with projects in India and the United States that nurture orphaned and destitute children. One of their recent efforts is supporting an organization called PaanPoee Vachanalay, which supplies books to rural areas of Maharashtra state, India, with the help of teachers from the Vanasthali Rural Development Center. The HOH funding has allowed them to hire vans to set up a mobile library that brings books to remote villages....
Home of Hope, Oct. 19

Special collections as laboratories
Don’t lock your special collections away in neglected corners of the library—use them to teach students about the possibilities and principles of research. Panelists at a session on “An Age of Discovery: Special Collections in the Digital Age”—part of the Coalition for Networked Information’s fall forum, cohosted by the Association of Research Libraries—laid out case studies of what can happen when you turn undergraduates loose in special collections. Apparently, students tend to live up to your high expectations....
The Wired Campus, Oct. 16

Nashville Public Library Director Donna Nicely talks about the importance of computers and technical training in public librariesGrant to expand digital access in selected libraries
A $3.3-million initiative by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation will expand digital access and training through local libraries in 12 U.S. communities. The grants will include funding for mobile computer labs, multilingual technology teachers, a job center, and wireless access nodes. The effort comes on the heels of sweeping recommendations (2:09) by the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy, a project of the Aspen Institute....
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Oct. 19; Vimeo, Oct. 19

Henrico County (Va.) Public Libraries Banned Books Reading Room, 2009Banned Books Week display in Henrico County
Twin Hickory Branch Teen Librarian Adrienne Minock writes: “Every year Henrico County (Va.) Public Libraries participate in Banned Books Week. The Banned Books Reading Room was open for three weeks (September 26–October 17), longer than BBW itself, because last year’s room was so popular.” The room features volunteer readers who sit in the display and silently read banned and challenged books....
Boing Boing, Oct. 16

Logo design from Guild of Radical Militant Librarians T-shirtWe know what you read, and we’re not saying
Instant Attitude has a T-shirt and tote bag for sale that bears the logo of the mythical, underground Guild of Radical Militant Librarians. The phrase came into prominence in 2005 with the release of documents obtained from the FBI by the Electronic Privacy Information Center in which FBI agents complained about “radical, militant librarians” while criticizing the reluctance of FBI management to use secret warrants authorized under Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act (now being reauthorized)....
Instant Attitude; ALA, Jan. 17, 2006

Carrying a bag given out at the recent ALA convention? Frowned upon. Carrying around a bag from that Hawaiian grocery store you visited last year? Just right.Things librarians fancy
Travis Jonker writes: “Ever wanted to delve into the unexplored world of librarian culture? If you just said ‘no,’ I can’t hear you. If you just said ‘yes,’ then today, my friend, is your lucky day. Cribbing heavily and blatantly from another website which shall remain nameless, I bring you Things Librarians Fancy. I am guilty of many, many (okay pretty much all) of the items listed here, like tote bags. (Fast Fact! The tote bag was created in 1895 by librarian Lucy Sue Pente to carry her valuable rubber stamps to and from work.)”...
100 Scope Notes, Oct. 15

Go back to the Top

Oakland Community College ad

ALA 2009 Midwinter Meeting logo

ALA Midwinter Meeting, Boston, January 15–19. Tweet the Meeting: The 2010 Midwinter Meeting Official Hashtag is #alamw10. The Boston Convention and Exhibition Center offers free Wi-Fi capability so you can stay in touch wherever you go. Open your wireless network connection and click on “BCEC wireless network,” and you are ready to go.

LTR Cover

In Digital Storytelling in Practice by Kelly Czarnecki, the latest issue of Library Technology Reports, learn how digital storytelling, a broad concept that encompasses the idea of using digital technology and multimedia interaction to share stories, is emerging as a useful tool for librarians and educators. NEW! From ALA TechSource.

In this issue
Oct. 2009

Cover of Oct. 2009 issue

Online LIS education

The Children We Serve

E-Readers in Action

Facebook à la Fulbright

Career Leads from
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Librarian, American College of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, Houston. Solo librarian for small academic library is responsible for all library services including collection development, acquisition, cataloging (original and copy cataloging of English and Chinese materials), serials, circulation, integrated library system (Surpass) support, reference services, website maintenance, interlibrary loan, and information literacy training....

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Digital Library of the Week

Edgar Allan Poe cigarette card, Edgar A. Poe; Great Americans series; W. Duke Sons & Co., undated, Container: Box 658, Folder C-3

The Edgar Allan Poe Digital Collection was launched to accompany the 2009 Poe Bicentennial exhibition, “From Out That Shadow: The Life and Legacy of Edgar Allan Poe,” a joint venture of the University of Texas Harry Ransom Center and the Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia. The digital collection incorporates images of all Poe manuscripts and letters at the Ransom Center with a selection of related archival materials, two books by Poe annotated by the author, sheet music based on his poems, and portraits from the Ransom Center collections. Poe’s manuscripts and letters are linked to transcriptions on the website of the Poe Society of Baltimore. Most of the items in the exhibition from the Harry Ransom Center collections once belonged to William H. Koester (1888–1964). Koester, a resident of Baltimore, began collecting first editions and manuscripts of Poe in the 1930s; his major acquisition was the collection of the Richmond Poe scholar and collector J. H. Whitty. In addition to the manuscripts of “The Domain of Arnheim,” “The Spectacles,” and some of Poe’s most famous poems, the Koester collection includes many letters written by and to Poe, books belonging to Poe (including the author’s annotated copies of the Tales and Poems and Eureka), and a large group of sheet music for songs based on Poe’s works.

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

“Then the sad day comes when you get the ‘R’ letter. The one saying, in essence: We’re sorry to inform you that sales stink and we have to remainder your book. . . . The horror of the ‘R’ letter is mitigated by only one thought: Your babies are safe at the library! Were it not for libraries, there would be no safe harbor for characters and stories, nowhere for them to wait out disasters and economic storms. And were it not for librarians, there would be no one to introduce your characters to new children as the older ones grow up and move on. And for this, I want to thank librarians, for the work they do and for the many, many lives they save.”

—YA author Amy Goldman Koss, in a guest editorial, “Hero Librarians Save My Babies,” Los Angeles Times, Oct. 11.

American Libraries on Twitter

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

Ask the ALA Librarian

A funding request for a slice of the pudding

Q. Like many libraries right now, we are facing a devastating cut in funding that would lead to some real changes to our level of service. How can we best present ourselves as a budget priority?

A. Start by doing some information gathering. Meet with the library director and trustees or library board to learn what is already going on and how you can help.  Work with the local leadership to assemble your facts and identify concerned library users. You want to be able to speak strongly and consistently, with confidence that your message is clear. Point out the library’s value by communicating its return on investment, or ROI, to the community. The ALA Office for Research and Statistics regularly updates its Articles and Studies Related to Library Value (Return on Investment) web page. Provide real numbers with the Library Value Calculator. See the sections in the Advocating in a Tough Economy Toolkit of the ALA Office for Library Advocacy that provide message and communications guidance and pointers, including Talking Points, Making the Case, Outreach to Patrons and the Public, Talking to the Media, and Working with Government Officials and Legislators. Focus on the Showing Library Value to Local Government and Answering Tough Questions pages. Decide which of the strategies and opportunities on the Library Checklist can be implemented by your library. See the Staging a Rally section, which would provide your patrons—and the government officials’ constituents—with the opportunity to get involved, and put in their own words how and why the library is necessary for the community to grow and thrive. Your best advocate by far is the library Friend, the citizen with no vested interest in the future of the library. From the ALA Professional Tips wiki.

@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.

Canadian Library Month 2009 poster

October is Canadian Library Month. The idea for a month dedicated to library and information services in Canada was developed by library partners from across the country to help raise public awareness of the valuable role that libraries play in the lives of Canadians.


Oct. 30–
Nov. 2:

California Library Association, Annual Conference, Pasadena.

Nov. 1–30:
Digital Copyright,
an online workshop hosted by Simmons GSLIS.

Nov. 6:
Achieving Email Account Preservation with XML,
Hotel VQ at Mile High, Denver. Course sponsored by the Society of American Archivists.

Nov. 9–10:
Digital Library Systems and Applications,
Amigos Library Services, Dallas. Course hosted by Amigos Library Services.

Nov. 9–15:
Text Encoding Initiative Consortium, conference and member’s meeting, Gallery of the Hatcher Graduate Library, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Nov. 10:
Management 101: Project Management,
live online course hosted by Lyrasis.

Nov. 11–14:
Museum Computer Network,
Annual Conference, Doubletree Hotel–Lloyd Center, Portland, Oregon. “Museum Information, Museum Efficiency: Doing More with Less!”

Nov. 12:
World Usability Day. Events held worldwide. “Designing for a Sustainable World.”

Nov. 17–19:
LearnTrends 2009,
the corporate learning trends and innovations conference, free and online. “Convergence in Workplace Learning.”

Dec. 14:
Library Management Institute, Fall Conference, Arcadia University, Glenside, Pennsylvania.

Jan. 8–9:
Science, Technology, and Engineering Library Leaders in Action,
unconference, Driscoll Center, University of Denver.

Jan. 15:
Assembling a Consulting Toolkit: What You Need to Know to Become a Successful Library Consultant, ASCLA Midwinter Institute, Boston.

Jan. 28–29:
Subject Repositories: European Collaboration in the International Context,
British Library Conference Centre, London.

Feb. 1–3:
Ohio Educational Technology Conference,
Greater Columbus Convention Center. “P-20 Conversations: Shaping a Path for the 21st-Century Student.”

Feb. 23–26:
International Conference on Digital Libraries,
New Delhi, India. “Digital Libraries: Shaping the Information Paradigm.”

Apr. 21–25:
Society of Architectural Historians,
Annual Meeting, Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza, Chicago.

Apr. 29–
May 1:

Library Orientation Exchange, Annual Conference, Hyatt Regency Hotel, Dearborn, Michigan. “Bridging and Beyond: Developing Librarian Infrastructure.”

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