The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | September 2,

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

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AL Buyers Guide

U.S. & World News

IFLA-goers view sketches by Leonardo da Vinci in Milan's Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Photo by Leonard KniffelIFLA closing sessions focus on global financial crisis
The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions closed its 75th World Library and Information Congress August 27 with Italian Library Association President Mauro Guerrini announcing that the five-day conference in Milan was a “great success” and a sign of the vitality of libraries, “especially during this global financial crisis.” It also represents fiscal stability for the federation, which attracted 4,496 attendees for more than 220 sessions, library tours, and cultural events. See all the IFLA photos....
AL Inside Scoop, Aug. 23–28

ALA News

ALA calls for public option in health-care reform
Washington Office Executive Director Emily Sheketoff sent a letter (PDF file) August 19 to all members of Congress, voicing ALA’s support for including a “public option” in health-care reform legislation. ALA also supports a single-payer option and believes removing public options, including potential cooperative arrangements, from the final legislation would not accomplish the strong reform needed....

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on "Race To the Top" at the Department of Education with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, left, in Washington, D.C.  Friday,  July 24, 2009. Official White House photo by Lawrence JacksonSchool librarians and the Race to the Top
ALA filed comments (PDF file) with the Department of Education August 28 regarding the Race to the Top Fund, a competitive one-time grant program funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that aims to encourage and reward states that are leading education innovation and reform. ALA stressed the need for the Secretary of Education to acknowledge the important role that school libraries play in a student’s education....
District Dispatch, Aug. 31; White House blog, July 24

Portrait of an alchemist by David TeniersNo need for lead testing in children’s books
On August 26, the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s final rule on children’s products containing lead was released. In the rule, CPSC confirmed that libraries have no independent obligation to test library books for lead under the law. CPSC also said it would release a Statement of Policy within the next few weeks that will provide specific guidance for libraries with regard to the treatment of older children’s books that could potentially contain lead....
District Dispatch, Aug. 27

Cover of Aug/Sept Library Technology ReportsWebinar: Building the digital branch for the 21st century
Tune in on September 15 for “Building the Digital Branch: Guidelines to Transform Your Website for the 21st Century,” a free webinar brought to you in special collaboration with WebJunction-Kansas and ALA TechSource. David Lee King, author of the most recent Library Technology Reports on this topic (right), will talk about the process his web team used at Topeka and Shawnee County (Kans.) Public Library to transform their outdated website into a 21st-century digital branch. Registration is required....
BlogJunction, Aug. 28

Great Stories CLUB logoConnect troubled teens with the power of reading
The ALA Public Programs Office and YALSA are now accepting applications for the next round of Great Stories CLUB grants. Electronic applications for the reading and discussion series will be accepted through November 2. The Great Stories CLUB (Connecting Libraries, Underserved teens and Books) is a book club program designed to reach underserved, troubled teen populations through books that are relevant to their lives....

See what student chapters are all about
Each ALA student chapter has its own character and purpose and enhances students’ membership experience by providing leadership and programming opportunities on the campuses. Visit the student chapters page and find out how to form a student group, how to contact other chapters, and where to find chapter resources....
ALA Student Member Blog, Aug. 27

Booklist Online logo

Cover of GoogledFeatured review: Adult books
Auletta, Ken. Googled: The End of the World As We Know It. Nov. 2009. 375p. Penguin, hardcover (978-1-59420-235-3).
Google as verb has come to generically refer to a search for information on the internet, but with the astonishing growth of the company, the verb has come to refer as much to steamrolling over “old media” businesses from advertising to publishing and news gathering. Veteran reporter Auletta spent two and a half years researching the phenomenon of Google; its intensely private founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin; and the quirky staff of engineers whose obsession with efficiency led to a powerhouse search engine aimed at helping users find the answer to any question. In the process, Google learned that as it found answers, it also found opportunities for expansion, eventually stepping on the toes of its partners and competitors and provoking government investigation of some planned acquisitions. The company has gone from its messianic philosophy of “Don’t be evil” to being viewed by some as evil (equivalent to Microsoft in villainous potential) because of its size and dominance....

Audiobooks: That all may read
Mary Burkey writes: “I’d like to offer a review of long-established programs that exist to serve students with disabilities—at no cost to the child’s school or parents. Audiobooks are proven to increase student literacy, especially for the estimated 10% of our student population on Individualized Education Plans. Add the resources from the organizations here to your educational tool kit, and you will increase your students’ access to audiobooks at no charge.”...

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

Division News

New AASL 21st-century standards bookmarkNew poster and bookmark showcase AASL standards
ALA Graphics has included a 21st-Century Learner poster and bookmark in its new fall 2009 catalog. Graphics produced the set in collaboration with AASL to reinforce to students, teachers, administrators, elected officials, parents, and the community the importance of school library media programs in facilitating teaching and learning. As part of the Learning4Life initiative, the items emphasize the vital roles of critical thinking, decision making, ethical participation in society, and personal growth....

YALSA’s monthly online chats
YALSA is now hosting online chats every month in our space in ALA Connect. It’s an easy, inexpensive way to be more engaged in YALSA and talk with other librarians about topics that matter in teen services. Chats take place the first Wednesday of each month from 8 to 9 p.m. Eastern, and each one has a specific theme. Our next chat is on September 2, with Carla Land, chair of the Teen Read Week committee, moderating a discussion on Teen Read Week....
YALSA Blog, Aug. 26

Go mobile at ACRL Midwinter workshops
ACRL is offering two professional development workshops focusing on mobile technology and libraries in conjunction with the 2010 ALA Midwinter Meeting, January 15–20, in Boston. Registration is now open, with an advance registration deadline of December 4. Full details are on the ACRL website....

Cover of 75 of the Best Books for Young Children poster kitBest books poster kits available through PLA
Two poster kits created by the West Bloomfield Township (Mich.) Public Library—75 of the Best Books for Young Children and 100 Best Books to Read in Kindergarten—are now available for purchase from PLA. Available in packs of 25, these kits are designed for libraries to distribute to their young readers....


Cover of A Strange Eventful HistoryJames Tait Black Memorial Awards
The James Tait Black Memorial Awards are given to one work of fiction and one work of biography each year by the University of Edinburgh. Awarded since 1919, they are the only major British literary prizes judged by both scholars and students. This year, Sebastian Barry’s The Secret Scripture won for fiction, and Michael Holroyd’s A Strange Eventful History won for biography. The £10,000 ($16,280 U.S.) prizes were presented by Scottish crime novelist Ian Rankin at a special awards ceremony at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on August 21....
BBC News, Aug. 21

Cover of Tales from Outer Suburbia2009 Australian children’s books of the year
The Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Awards for 2009 were announced August 21. These prizes are awarded in five age categories. The winner in the older readers’ category was Shaun Tan’s Tales from Outer Suburbia (Allen & Unwin); for younger readers, Glenda Millard’s Perry Angel’s Suitcase (ABC Books)....
Children’s Book Council of Australia, Aug. 21

Seen Online

Job seekers nationwide flock to libraries
A new national study by the American Library Association shows that libraries across the United States are filling up with people waiting to get online to fill out applications, write résumés, or look for job openings. “Libraries are really the first responder in this economic crisis, and particularly for job seekers,” said Larra Clark, who managed the study due for release September 15. In 2007, before the economy took a nosedive, 44% of public libraries said assisting job seekers was a “critical use” of their library; now it’s 67%. Eight out of 10 libraries nationally have someone on a computer waiting list at some point during the day....
USA Today, Sept. 2

Beth Hollis, aka MegaBethDon’t mess with MegaBeth
She’s petite, she’s 53, she’s a librarian, and if she gets a chance, she’ll knock you on your keister. By day, she’s Beth Hollis, reference librarian in the Popular Culture Division of the Akron–Summit County (Ohio) Public Library. By night, she’s MegaBeth, an ageless dynamo on the roller derby rink. Last winter she tried out for the Rubber City Rollergirls and made the team. The MegaBeth legend grew during a June bout with the Glass City Roller Girls, a Toledo team. Yes, her team number (796.21) is the Dewey class for roller-skating. Watch the video (3:38)....
CNN, Aug. 31

Huge demand exceeds broadband grants
The federal government on August 27 said it has received requests for nearly $28 billion from groups that want to expand high-speed internet service. The total requests have outstripped available funds seven to one. States, counties, Indian tribes, nonprofits, phone companies, libraries, colleges, universities, and others—2,200 requests in all—lined up in advance of the August 20 deadline. The bulk of the requests are to build out internet lines in rural and underserved areas....
eSchool News, Aug. 28

Toledo library to cut at least 30 positions
Between 30 and 35 workers—up to 10% of the work force in the Toledo-Lucas County (Ohio) Public Library system—will be jobless in October, library officials announced September 1. The layoffs will affect both union and exempt staff. Library officials blame state budget cuts and a reduction in local tax revenue, which is expected to be $7.4 million less than what the library received in 2008....
Toledo (Ohio) Blade, Sept. 2

Warren library loses one-third of its budget
The Warren–Trumbull County (Ohio) Public Library system will cut about 28% of its hours of service starting September 14. It also will cut $500,000 in personnel expenses, reduce book purchases, and reduce equipment costs to offset a $1.2-million (32.5%) budget reduction. Employees throughout the system will be taking a 3% pay cut effective January 1, and some layoffs are likely....
Youngstown (Ohio) Vindicator, Sept. 1

Louisville Main Library reopens after flooding
Bent but not broken, and with signs posted on the doors proclaiming “We’re open!,” the downtown Louisville (Ky.) Free Public Library welcomed patrons back August 27, only 23 days after floodwaters destroyed tens of thousands of books and inflicted $5 million in damage. To be sure, conditions inside were not quite normal. Donors have contributed nearly $100,000 in support of the library’s reopening....
Louisville (Ky.) Courier Journal, Aug. 27

Keep the Doors Open poster from the Friends of the Library of HawaiiHawaii seeks donations to keep branches open
Faced with a $6-million budget cut, the Hawaii State Public Library System will be asking library users, corporations, and foundations to donate whatever they can to prevent major cutbacks at the state’s 51 libraries. The fundraising effort, “Keep the Doors Open,” was announced September 2. The library and its Friends group will conduct separate fundraising drives. The combined effort will attempt to ensure that no library will be closed permanently....
Honolulu Advertiser, Sept. 2

Donations save Omaha’s libraries
The bucks rolled in August 28 for Omaha (Nebr.) Public Library services, and it looks like the Florence branch will remain open. Library officials said they had raised more than enough to keep the library open and fund other library programs and initiatives. Donations ranging from a Millard patron’s $50 check to $75,000 from a pair of Florence natives were triggered by a $250,000 challenge grant by anonymous donors announced the day before. Operating hours, staff, and programming at OPL branches will not be sliced after all....
Omaha (Nebr.) World-Herald, Aug. 29

Fremont branch of the Seattle Public LibrarySeattle library staffers on furlough this week
Every branch of the Seattle Public Library system is closed the week of August 31–September 7. All library employees are on furlough for the week leading up to Labor Day. The doors of every branch are locked shut, and all library services—book drops, websites, Quick Information phone services—are inaccessible. SPL spokesperson Andra Addison explained, “Our budget deduction target was about $1 million for 2009. The library closure will allow us to save about $655,000.”...
Fremont Universe, Aug. 29

A new assignment: Pick books you like
For years Lorrie McNeill loved teaching To Kill a Mockingbird, the Harper Lee classic that many Americans regard as a literary rite of passage. But last fall, for the first time in 15 years, McNeill did not assign Mockingbird—or any other novel. Instead she turned over all the decisions about which books to read to the students in her 7th- and 8th-grade English classes at Jonesboro (Ga.) Middle School. Among their choices: James Patterson’s adrenaline-fueled “Maximum Ride” books, plenty of YA chick-lit novels, and even the “Captain Underpants” series...
New York Times, Aug. 30

No parking? Librarians will deliver
Staffers at some of the Houston (Tex.) Public Library’s most congested branches are happy to deliver orders right to patrons’ cars. The library’s new curbside service, HPL To Go, is being tested at the Looscan and McGovern-Stella Link branches. If trials go well, the service will be extended to other “parking challenged” branches....
Houston (Tex.) Chronicle, Aug. 31

Camden County parts with its Friends
For 14 years, Ken and Alice Skinner volunteered at least one day of the week at the Vogelson Regional branch of the Camden County (N.J.) Library System, sorting and shelving donated books and helping out at fundraising sales. Then on August 11 the library commission voted to sever ties with its Friends group because their “visions for the future differ and we have reached an impasse.” The mostly senior-citizen volunteers said they feel as if they were blindsided by the decision and are miffed that as a group of unpaid workers they’ve essentially been fired....
Cherry Hill (N.J.) Courier-Post, Aug. 30

UC Davis Physical Sciences and Engineering Library, 1971UC Davis science library to close
More than 400,000 items will be moved out of the University of California, Davis, Physical Sciences and Engineering Library over the next two years. Faced with a 3.5% budget cut, the UCD library followed a recommendation from the Office of Resource Management and Planning to downsize PSEL, move its collections to other libraries, and close the facility by 2011....
UC Davis California Aggie, Aug. 24

Washington University closes satellite libraries
In light of departmental budget cuts, Washington University in St. Louis closed its biology and math libraries this summer, reflecting a nationwide trend in universities to cut satellite libraries. The biology and math libraries were targeted because their diminishing traffic did not justify their continued existence, Dean of Libraries Shirley Baker said. Their collections are now housed in the main Olin Library....
Washington University Student Life, Sept. 2

Rockford library union gets new deadline
The union representing 86 Rockford (Ill.) Public Library employees is working against a new deadline to come up with an alternative to the library’s package of significant budget cuts. On August 31, speakers asked the Rockford City Council not to allow the cuts to go forward. Union members now have until September 14 to come up with something that can save jobs and prevent the loss of library services....
Rockford (Ill.) Register Star, Sept. 1

Copenhagen Living Library participants sit and wait to be "borrowed" for discussion. Photo from Berlingske TidendeCopenhagen’s Living Library has a global impact
The Living Library, a Danish antiprejudice initiative, allows “readers” to borrow “human books.” Among the titles at the biggest such library to date in Copenhagen: an ex-stripper, a refugee who lived in a shipping container, and a policeman working the city’s roughest beat. The idea for the Living Library came about in 2000 when the organizer of the Roskilde Festival, one of Europe’s largest summer pop and rock concerts, asked activist Ronni Abergel’s group Stop the Violence to come up with an activity that could be held during his event. The idea has spread around the world and is a popular event at some more traditional libraries....
Der Spiegel, Sept. 1; Copenhagen Berlingske Tidende, Aug. 29; Living Library

Queens librarians help kids meet reading goals
Motivating youngsters to read in the summer months when the beach beckons can be a challenge, but several Queens librarians are up to the task. Susan Scatena, librarian at the Whitestone branch of the Queens (N.Y.) Library, has found that subjecting herself to a bit of good-humored public humiliation can spur interest in reading....
New York Daily News, Sept. 1

Ex-librarian refiles suit over reading list dispute
A former librarian at the Ohio State University’s Mansfield campus has refiled a lawsuit that alleges three faculty members defamed him during a 2006 dispute over a required reading list for freshmen. Scott A. Savage, who characterizes himself as a devout Christian and member of the Religious Society of Friends, sought to have several conservative book titles included on the reading list. He claims faculty members maliciously attacked his character with emails and statements during spring 2006 faculty meetings....
Mansfield (Ohio) News Journal, Aug. 28

Architect's rendering of interior of planned Kazakh National LibrarySustainable Kazakh National Library planned
A Danish architectural firm, Bjarke Ingels Group, is drawing up plans for a new national library and multicultural center in Astara, Kazakhstan. The four elements of the external design (a circle, rotunda, arch, and yurt) will coalesce into a huge Möbius strip. The architects are employing advanced computer modeling to create a structure that will regulate thermal exposure throughout the year....
Inhabitat, Aug. 27

Main Reading Hall of the Bibliotheca AlexandrinaIs consumerism creeping into the Alexandria Library?
It was meant to be the library that recaptured the ancient glories of Alexandria, providing a new home for the world’s knowledge almost 2,000 years after its predecessor was burnt to the ground. But a row has erupted over the decision to build a food court at the heart of Egypt’s showcase Bibliotheca Alexandrina, with campaigners accusing the library’s trustees of selling out its venerable legacy for short-term profit....
The Guardian (U.K.), Aug. 26

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Tech Talk

A bundle of favorite feeds created by Mark O'NeillHow to create an RSS feed bundle
Mark O’Neill writes: “One of Google Reader’s useful features is the ability to make an RSS feed bundle for others to subscribe to. Like me, I’m sure you have a certain list of RSS feeds that you are absolutely loyal to and which you read every day. Perhaps you would like to put those RSS feeds into a clickable package so others can subscribe to them all with the click of a mouse? That’s where the feed bundle comes in.”..., Aug. 19

TypoLight logoTop 10 most usable content management systems
Glen Stansberry writes: “There are plenty of options when it comes to picking a CMS for a development project. Depending on how advanced you need the CMS to be, what language it’s built in, and who is going to be using it, it can be a nightmare trying to find the perfect system. However, some have a slight edge over the rest of the competition because of usability. Some are just easier to install, use, and extend, thanks to some thoughtful planning by the lead developers. Here are 10 of the most usable CMSs.”...
Nettuts+, Aug. 27

APIs and libraries
Stephen Abrams writes: “I’ve been keeping a small list of links for library APIs—those little bits of code that let you do so much to customize your library’s web and OPAC experiences. SirsiDynix trains for API use in all of our ILSs and many of our clients take advantage of the openness of our ILS to add and enhance the user experience. Here is a list of useful links.”...
Stephen’s Lighthouse, Sept. 1

TabNavigator screenshotAlt+Tab-style navigation for Firefox
Jason Fitzpatrick writes: “Looking for a visual way to quickly navigate between tabs in Firefox? TabNavigator brings Windows-style Alt+Tab switching to Firefox. After the default installation, TabNavigator enables Alt+R and Alt+W for forward and backward navigation through your tabs. You can modify the navigation keys to be any combination of Ctrl, Alt, or Shift + another key.”...
Lifehacker, Aug. 31

Inline web-form validator user test screenshotSix inline web-form validators tested
Luke Wroblewski writes: “Real-time inline validation can help people complete web forms more quickly and with less effort, fewer errors, and (surprise) more satisfaction. Inline validation gives people several types of real-time feedback: It can confirm an appropriate answer, suggest valid answers, and provide regular updates to help people stay within necessary limits. These bits of feedback can be presented before, during, and after users provide answers. To better understand the design considerations behind inline validation, I tested 22 average users on six variations of a typical web registration form.”...
A List Apart, Sept. 1

Install Linux on a netbook with no CD-ROM drive
UNetbootin allows you to create bootable Live USB drives for a variety of Linux distributions from Windows or Linux, without requiring you to burn a CD. You can either let it download one of the many distributions supported out-of-the-box for you, or supply your own Linux .iso file if you’ve already downloaded one or your preferred distribution isn’t on the list. You can also use UNetbootin to make a “frugal install” directly on your local hard disk if you don’t have a USB drive....

Open source: More than just a cheap date
Matt Asay writes: “Perhaps it’s a sign of an upward shift in the economy, or perhaps it was simply an inevitable conclusion, but open source adoption is increasingly a matter of flexibility and innovation, not price. Proprietary software vendors derive an ever-growing chunk of their revenue from software maintenance. Open source offers an exit to this charade, resetting pricing to more manageable levels, and refocusing on the software’s value proposition.”...
The Open Road, Aug. 27


Cover of volume 1 of Apocalypse Zero by Takayuki YamaguchiSeven odd manga books
Jow McCulloch writes: “Manga inevitably seems a bit strange to American readers, even if they’ve read a lot of comics. Those colorful paperbacks stacked at your favorite big-box bookstore are the beneficiaries of more than half a century of evolution in Japan, where comics flourish as a popular medium. As such, manga reflects not only the mores and attitudes of a culture very different from ours but also a manner of publication unfamiliar in English-speaking environs. Some manga books highlight these differences better than others; here are seven points of departure.”...
Bookforum, Aug. 31

Merriam, Moore, & Co. Dissected Maps game, 1853Puzzle and game maps
The materials pictured here share the common characteristics of being a jigsaw puzzle or board game incorporating a map, and being produced before 1900. For example, in 1853 Merriam, Moore, & Co. produced a series of dissected maps (right) of the United States including the Eastern, Middle, Southern, and Western states, and one of New York. The puzzle sits in a wooden case designed to look like a book with a metal clasp to keep it shut. The inside cover includes reviews of the puzzles and a list of other available dissected maps....
BibliOdyssey, Aug. 24

Cover of John Brown: His Fight for FreedomAn illustrator to watch
Julie Danielson writes: “It’s galvanic illustrations like this that make John Hendrix’s career one I like to watch these days. He obviously does not shy from drama. Hendrix’s biography of John Brown, one of the most controversial figures in American history, is a force of nature. In John Brown: His Fight for Freedom (Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2009), Hendrix gives us the adult life of white abolitionist John Brown, looking larger than life. Yet things did not go as planned.”...
Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, Aug. 31

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Actions & Answers

UK students use props and backdrops in the Hubbub photo boothStarting the school year right at UK
Stacey Greenwell writes: “The University of Kentucky Libraries hosted a huge party in the Information Commons last week for the incoming freshman class. During our two-hour fun fair, the Hubbub, we welcomed around 800 students to campus. This year we were able to move the time slot to 5–7 p.m., which gave us an hour for the party games and socializing to wind down naturally before the building closed.” Hubbub 2009 featured board and video games, a photo booth (right), coloring with crayons, palm and Tarot readings, and a balloon artist....
The Uncommon Commons, Aug. 28

Reading Rainbow logoReading Rainbow comes to an end
The children’s TV series Reading Rainbow ended its 26-year run August 28; it had won 26 Emmys, and was the third longest-running children’s show in PBS history. The show, which started in 1983, was hosted by actor LeVar Burton. At the end of every show, kids gave their own book reviews, always prefaced by Burton’s trademark line: “But you don’t have to take my word for it.” The show’s absence will leave many open questions about today’s literacy challenges, and what television’s role should be in addressing them....
NPR Morning Edition, Aug. 28

The new literacy
Clive Thompson writes: “As the school year begins, be ready to hear pundits fretting once again about how kids today can’t write—and technology is to blame. But Andrea Lunsford isn’t so sure. Lunsford is a professor of writing and rhetoric at Stanford University, where she has organized a mammoth project called the Stanford Study of Writing to scrutinize college students’ prose. From 2001 to 2006, she collected 14,672 student writing samples—everything from in-class assignments, formal essays, and journal entries to emails, blog posts, and chat sessions. Her conclusions are stirring.”...
Wired, Aug. 24

National Reading Group Month logoOctober is National Reading Group Month (PDF file)
To celebrate the joy of shared reading and encourage more people to get involved in reading groups, the Women’s National Book Association has designated October as National Reading Group Month. This year will be the third annual celebration. WNBA will host the month’s signature event at the Nashville Public Library Downtown on October 10, featuring best-selling authors Marie Brenner, Holly Goddard Jones, Perri Klass, Inman Majors, and Kathryn Stockett....
Women’s National Book Association, Aug. 23

Libraries rock! crossword puzzle (PDF file)
In order to keep up spirits in Ohio, librarian Edmund A. Rossman has created a fun library-related crossword puzzle for his website. He provides the answers, but most ALA members should be able to complete this one with ease (except maybe for 16 Across)....
Castles Against Ignorance

John ChenaultMedical librarian writes opera about Joe Louis
Not everyone would see a connection between opera and boxing, but University of Louisville Medical Librarian John Chenault (right) does. The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center and the University of Maryland School of Music commissioned Chenault and his long-time collaborator Frank Proto to write an opera on the life of legendary boxer Joe Louis. Shadowboxer will premier April 17, 2010, at the Maryland Opera Studio....
University of Louisville, Aug. 27

Cover of Museums, Libraries, and 21st Century Skills reportLibraries and museums meet 21st-century learning needs
As part of its mission to engage libraries and museums, community stakeholders, and policy makers at the national, state, and local levels, the Institute of Museum and Library Services has launched Museums, Libraries, and 21st Century Skills. The website provides a quick online assessment for libraries and museums to evaluate their readiness to engage the public and to deliver 21st-century skills, a downloadable report (PDF file), and an in-depth assessment matrix for library and museum practitioners and policy makers....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Aug. 28

The humble index
Dorothea Salo writes: “Go find a book with an index and flip through it. Seriously, go ahead. I’ll wait. Just bask in the lovely indentedness and order of it all. Now answer me a question: Should Google be calling that huge mass of crawled web data it computes upon an index? Arguably, it shouldn’t, though this is absolutely a lost battle. What Google has is more along the lines of a concordance of the web. An index has three things that Google doesn’t: human intervention, terminological insularity, and intentional grouping.”...
The Book of Trogool, Aug. 25

Cover of Children and Books (Scott, Foresman, 1957)Happy birthday, May Hill Arbuthnot
Larry Nix writes: “August 27 was the 125th anniversary of the birth of May Hill Arbuthnot (1884–1969). Arbuthnot is best known in the library community for her contributions to the field of children’s literature. Her legacy is remembered annually by ALSC through its May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Award. Students in children’s literature courses are well-acquainted with her book Children and Books, which has been published in several editions.”...
Library History Buff, Aug. 27

On this page from the 1282 Libro de los Juegos (Book of Games), or Libro de acedrex, dados e tablas (Book of Chess, Dice, and Boards), Alfonso X (1221­1284), king of Castile, Léon, and Galicia, discusses a chess problem with two turbaned players. Photo: Biblioteca Monasterio del Escorial / Index / Bridgeman Art LibraryChess: The Asian game of kings
Stewart Gordon writes: “Chess is warfare, as much psychology as strategy. To win, one must understand the mentality of the opponent, hinted at in each new move. It is a game of information, false and true, derived from what the opponent ‘should’ do, based on his own past play or that of others, and on what the opponent actually does. The earliest literary reference to chess is in a 7th-century Persian romance, Deeds of Ardashir, Son of Papag. The John G. White Collection at the Cleveland Public Library is the largest library in the world dedicated to chess.”...
Saudi Aramco World 60, no. 4 (July/August): 18–23

Lies my vendor told me
Barbara Fister writes: “The legal publisher West recently kicked up a small dust storm of controversy with a marketing campaign that suggested knowing a librarian was admissible evidence that you were a helpless victim of your own ignorance and crippling dependence. ‘Are you on a first name basis with the librarian?’ the advertisement asks. ‘If so, chances are, you’re spending too much time at the library.’”...
Library Journal, Aug. 27; Law Librarian Blog, Aug. 26

ACLU of Northern California logoWhat Facebook quizzes know about you
Sarah Perez writes: “The Northern California chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has put together a campaign to raise awareness of privacy issues surrounding Facebook applications, in particular quizzes. According to this group, the millions of Facebook users taking quizzes are revealing far more personal information to application developers than they are aware of. This is mostly due to the fact that Facebook’s default privacy settings allow access to all your profile information. Want to see how bad the problem is? Just take the ACLU’s Facebook Quiz (Facebook login required) and prepare to be shocked.”...
ReadWriteWeb, Aug. 27

Page of LICAC exhibit for the works of Judy BlumeLibrary censorship exhibit for Banned Books Week
When planning your programming for Banned Books Week, you may wish to consider the new edition of the exhibit “Censorship in Schools and Libraries,” created by the Long Island Coalition Against Censorship. The exhibit presents 32 illustrations with accompanying text, each approximately 11 by 14 inches. The exhibit highlights incidents of censorship in the United States over the past century....
Long Island Coalition Against Censorship

If I could do library school over again
Karen Glover writes: “I would take cataloging. What was I thinking? I’ll tell you. I was thinking that I was never going to need cataloging, that’s what. Boy was I wrong. The cataloging of film is a tricky, tricky thing. In this library, it is inconsistant and often unexplainable. Current cataloging standards are too restrictive and unwilling to bend. At least I think they are. I wouldn’t really know.”...
Poplibrarian, Aug. 21

Katie Clark's League of Librarians cardLeague of Librarian cards
Librarians at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, dreamed up the idea of librarian trading cards in 2005; now they have produced another classic. Marc Bollman came up with the concept of the League of Librarian cards, took the photographs, and made magic happen. Billed as “true stories from the reference desk,” the cards provide the title and specialty for each staffer. The cards are available both on Flickr and Associate Dean of Public Services and Collection Development Katie Clark’s (right) Facebook page (Facebook login required)....
Flickr, Aug. 24

Library card in seven different languages, from the videoAn international welcome to the public library
This introduction (8:37) to the American public library is designed for an international community and specifically for adult learners of English. Produced for the Greenville County (S.C.) Public Library System, it shows key library words in seven different languages and demonstrates the basic features of a public library for an audience that might be unfamiliar with them....
YouTube, May 20

Still from video review of What Color Is Your Underwear?Books We Love: What Color Is Your Underwear?
“Books We Love” is a series of short, personal, book recommendations from Multnomah County librarians and their friends in the Portland, Oregon, area. Anne Tran, youth librarian at Multnomah’s Midland branch, offers a video review (1:04) of What Color Is Your Underwear? by Sam Lloyd. Other short reviews in this series include Sleepy Little Yoga, Dear Zoo, Is This My Nose?, and Tip Tip Dig Dig....

YouTube, Aug. 24

The Shhh move from "The Librarian" danceDance “The Librarian”
Children’s book author Tammi Sauer writes: “In celebration of my latest book Chicken Dance, illustrator Dan Santat and I have been coming up with mini-dance lessons for our website. I’ve just completed the video for my dance lesson debut; it’s a move I call ‘The Librarian.’”...
YouTube, Aug. 31

Still from Haunted Love's "Librarian" videoLibrarian stereotypes in music videos
Rachel Heimerdinger writes: “In terms of the music, my favorite librarian music video is Cascada’s Everytime We Touch (3:28). The love interest is a geeky uptight librarian who becomes cool when he takes off his glasses and puts some gel in his hair. But Haunted Love’s Librarian (4:11, above) is better for content. Type A female librarians being annoyed by a careless patron? Check and check. Shushing? Check. Happy ending? Big check. One video confirms the stereotypes, the other revels in and mocks them.”...
Lexington (Ky.) Examiner, Aug. 29

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Indiana University-Purdue ad

ALA 2009 Midwinter Meeting logo

ALA Midwinter Meeting, Boston, January 15–19. Airline reservations for Boston opened September 1. Special meeting fares have been arranged for travel to the 2010 ALA Midwinter Meeting. Custom itineraries may be booked through the ALA Travel Desk by phone—(800) 644-7313—or email only. The Travel Desk offers the lowest applicable airfares and best journey times to the meeting.

Cover of Sequels

Sequels, by Janet G. and Jonathan F. Husband, the most popular and long-lasting guide to novels in series, has returned with greatly expanded series listings. Mysteries continue to be a mainstay, with fantasy, science fiction, and romance listings, plus non-genre fiction selections from authors such as Edward Abbey and Lawrence Durrell. The authors have carefully sifted through a growing group of series to select those most likely to be available in a medium-sized public library, weeding out esoteric, obscure, and less popular series. NEW! From ALA Editions.

Poster for International Literacy Day, September 8

UNESCO’s International Literacy Day is September 8. This year, International Literacy Day will put the spotlight on the empowering role of literacy and its importance for participation, citizenship, and social development. “Literacy and Empowerment” is the theme for the 2009–2010 biennium of the United Nations Literacy Decade.

In this issue
Aug./Sept. 2009

Cover of June/July 2009 issue

Public Libraries: Necessities or Amenities?

Designing User Experiences

Sound Recording Collections

Learning with Blogs

Career Leads from
ALA Joblist logo

Knowledge Administration Manager, United Service Organizations, Arlington, Virginia, will ensure the USO Knowledge Management System is running smoothly and efficiently. Duties include collecting, synthesizing, and managing information; acting as a change agent, by coordinating, collaborating, and communicating with USO regions and centers around the world; facilitating measurement of successes or failures through documentation of the quality and quantity of knowledge artifacts....

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Digital Library of the Week

Postcard showing actors Tom Foreman and Herman Forbes seated at a table in the dream night club, in a still from the 1948 movie Pitch a Boogie Woogie. The film was the only commercial production by North Carolina's first movie company, Lord-Warner Productions and was produced with an all-black cast of primarily local performers. "A commemorative card from 'Boogie in Black and White: Images from a Dream,' photos, posters, and stills from the original 35mm nitrate film, first exhibited at the Greenville Museum of Art, February 4-28, 1986."

The Joyner Library Digital Collections at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, support the research and teaching mission of the university and preserve the cultural heritage of the eastern North Carolina community. The library was launched in February 2009 and now contains nearly 11,000 digital objects including image, text, audio, and video. The largest collection of materials within the library is a set of 7,000 images digitized from the photo collection of the local newspaper The Daily Reflector. Focusing on the mid-1950s to the late 1960s, the collection covers a period of dramatic social, technological, and economic change in the South as well as in the world in general. Other significant concentrations of material focus on the history of the university, naval and maritime studies, the history of agriculture in the south (particularly tobacco), and the paintings of watercolorist and poet A. R. Ammons.

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

“Today’s new breed of librarians have broken free from those dank and dusty school libraries, the century-old stereotypes, and have evolved into dynamic, progressive, and most-sought after career people employed by large corporations, IT companies, hospitals, and law firms. Yes, a librarian can now be anyone—from your cute neighbor or cool classmate, to that sophisticated babe or handsome hunk. Or better yet, he can be a multitalented computer expert who is into flip spin, poi, fire breathing, and photography.”

—Rachel C. Barawid, in her article “It’s Hip to Be a Librarian,Manila Bulletin (Philippines), Aug. 27.

American Libraries on Twitter

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

Ask the ALA Librarian

Many bills

Q. We need help! Our library branch was nearly closed for good last month, before our local representatives intervened. We’ll be able to stay in operation for the immediate future, but we will clearly need more funding down the road. Any ideas? Resources?

A. At the beginning of the year, we addressed how a slow economy affects libraries and we pointed you to various advocacy and assessment tools and resources. Now here at the beginning of the school year, please see our newly updated ALA Library Fact Sheet 24, Library Fund Raising: A Selected Annotated Bibliography, with new, specific sections such as Library Friends and Foundations with resources from ALTAFF; Grants and Grantwriting with answers on where to look and how to efficiently apply; and Online Fundraising Tools, with books and articles on using the internet to raise funds, along with the accompanying new Online Fundraising Tools page, which links over to information on using such well-known web entities as Amazon, eBay, and Facebook to improve your library’s financial standing. From the ALA Professional Tips wiki.

@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.

Cover of July LTR on gaming

Many libraries are using videogames to provide transformational experiences for traditional nonusers in order to connect with them on a personal level. When this happens, these connections become just as powerful as the ones today’s adults experienced in their youth, and they give these teens that same sense of engagement with their libraries. Read about these connections in the July issue of Library Technology Reports, Gaming and Libraries: Learning Lessons from the Intersections, by Jenny Levine.

Candace Parker for Library Card Sign-Up Month

September is Library Card Sign-up Month. A new PSA featuring WNBA star and Honorary Chair of Library Card Sign-up Month Candace Parker reminds parents and children that a library card is the “smartest card” you can have. The PSA highlights all the resources libraries offer, delivering the message that they are available for free with a library card.


Oct. 3–6:

Midwest Chapter, Medical Library Association, Annual Conference, Hyatt on Capitol Square, Columbus, Ohio.

Oct. 7:
Going Green @ your library. Online conference hosted by Amigos Library Services. “Lean, Green, and Clean Ideas.”

Oct. 10:
Missouri Association of School Librarians,
Fall Seminar, Holiday Inn Select, Columbia.

Oct. 11–16:
Digital Preservation Management: Implementing Short-Term Strategies for Long-Term Problems. Workshop hosted by the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Oct. 13:
Introduction to Web 2.0 in Archives...or What You Need to Know in a Nutshell. Online course hosted by the Society of American Archivists.

Oct. 15–18:
Association of Records Managers and Administrators, Annual Conference, Orlando, Florida.

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

Nov. 1–4
International Conference on Digital Information Management, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Nov. 11–13:
Access Services Conference, Georgia Tech Global Learning Center, Atlanta. “Unlocking the 21st-Century Library.”

Nov. 14–16:
Chicago Colloquium on Digital Humanities and Computer Science, Illinois
Institute of Technology.

Nov. 19–21:
Colorado Association of Libraries, Annual Conference, Marriott Denver Tech Center. “Power On: Avenues for the Future.”

Nov. 19–22:
California School Library Association, Annual Conference, Ontario.

Dec. 5–6:
Ubiquitous Learning Conference, Northeastern University, Boston.

Dec. 7–9:
Arizona Library Association, Annual Conference, Glendale.

Mar. 23–27:
Public Library Association, National Conference, Portland, Oregon. Submit proposals for concurrent sessions by Nov. 30.

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