American Libraries Direct
The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | April 21, 2010

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American Libraries Online

HAPLR index logo2010 HAPLR Index released
The 2010 version of Hennen’s American Public Library Ratings, using the latest federal data reported by 7,930 public libraries in the United States, was released April 15. Published since 1999, the HAPLR Index identifies the public libraries in America with the highest input and output measures. As index author, Thomas J. Hennen Jr. adds the scores for each library within nine population categories to develop a weighted score. A list of the top 10 libraries in each population category is also available....
American Libraries news, Apr. 21

Ithaka S+R logoFaculty survey tracks perceptions of the library
A new survey of U.S. colleges and universities has some troubling findings for libraries about their declining use by faculty, but also holds clues as to how they can maintain their relevance. The report, Faculty Survey 2009: Key Strategic Insights for Libraries, Publishers, and Societies (PDF file), is the fourth conducted by Ithaka S+R over the past decade on faculty attitudes and behaviors, and the trend shows that “the library’s physical edifice and catalog have declined steadily as starting points for research.”...
American Libraries news, Apr. 21

Reforma urges balance in Texas curriculum standards
John Sandstrom, a member of ALA Council, on April 20 circulated a “Resolution on Texas State Board of Education Curriculum Standards” developed by Reforma: The National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking. The public comment period on the standards began April 16....
AL: Inside Scoop, Apr. 20

Cover of The Romance of Risk: Why Teenagers Do the Things They Do, by Lynn E. PontonA literature of risk
Michael Cart writes: “Risky behaviors remain very real factors in the daily lives of 21st-century teens. Does it seem counterintuitive to now argue that we need more—not less—literature that addresses these same behaviors honestly and realistically? In the wake of the tsunami of violence inundating today’s YAs, do we really need books that embrace violence, too? Well, yes, I believe we do. After all, the great gift literature can give its readers that new—and old—media can’t is the experience of empathy and sympathy.”...
American Libraries feature

Save Libraries graphicWill social media activism rescue besieged libraries?
Cindi Trainor writes: “Library workers and supporters nationwide are turning to social media to spread the word about proposed funding cuts and recruit advocates. Despite what looks to be a very bleak FY2011, social media blitzes to stave off cuts for the current fiscal year may have laid some groundwork toward influencing budgetmakers.”...
American Libraries feature

Patricia McKissackInternet Librarian: The biggest front porch
Joseph Janes writes: “Author Patricia McKissack’s (right) love for storytelling started on a real front porch where, as a girl, she would sit with family and neighbors, building a sense of community and togetherness that’s easy to envy. Today’s front porch is now a whole lot bigger. We tell our stories, in all their myriad forms, using whatever tools are around, and sometimes we even invent a new tool when the story requires it. In the process, the medium shapes the message and vice versa.”...
American Libraries column, May

Youth Matters: Chalkboard heroine
Jennifer Burek Pierce writes: “Recent media attention to declining education funds prompt me to enthuse about my longtime friend Laura, now a 3rd-grade teacher in California, who reinforces my belief in the power of public education to support literacy and related learning. While the school has a library, it lacks a librarian to shape the collection or even a clerical aide to manage circulation functions.”...
American Libraries column, May

Michael SawyerNext Steps: Weeding grows the garden
Brian Mathews writes: “Michael Sawyer (right) takes pride in weeding books. As director of the Calcasieu Parish (La.) Public Library, Sawyer feels that weeding the collection is one of the most essential practices that a library can do. While there are many benefits, the main reason is that it helps to improve circulation.”...
American Libraries column, May

In Practice: Dipping into the stream
Meredith Farkas writes: “When you think of Twitter, you might think of Oprah. You might think of Ashton Kutcher. But do you think of Roy Tennant, Jessamyn West, and ACRL? Social networks are useful for keeping up with celebrities, friends, and family, and can also connect you to the brightest individuals in librarianship.”...
American Libraries column, May

Woman asks: "Another nasty post on your blog, Will?"Will’s World: Quirkiness “r” us
Will Manley writes: “A couple of months ago I started a daily blog entitled Will Unwound. At first, I had no idea what I was doing. All I knew was that as a retired librarian, I wanted to stay connected to librarians on a daily basis. Call me crazy, but I think librarians are the most interesting tribe of people on the planet. The characteristic that most differentiates librarians from all the other occupational groups I’ve worked with is a very weird and shockingly offbeat sense of humor.”...
American Libraries column, May

ALA News

Roberta Stevens discusses the state of America’s libraries
ALA President-Elect Roberta Stevens participated in a 90-minute webinar on April 13 that detailed key findings from the just-released ALA State of America’s Libraries report (PDF file). The webinar, developed by the SirsiDynix Institute, focused on the growing demand for library services and the shrinking resources to support them. The webinar can be replayed by registering with BrightTalk’s webcasting service....
Public Information Office, Apr. 20

Neil Gaiman during the online NLW teleconferenceAn evening with Neil Gaiman
Newbery-winning author Neil Gaiman spoke to more than 700 library lovers and fans as part of an online event during National Library Week. Watch the two-part video to learn more on Gaiman’s thoughts on libraries and librarians, from the time he was a child in England to coming to America and becoming involved in intellectual freedom issues....
@ your library, Apr. 16

ALA staffers Megan McFarlane (Campaign for America's Libraries), Tina Coleman (Member Relations), and Nanette Perez (Office for Intellectual Freedom) at the C2E2 ALA boothALA at the Chicago Comic Expo
ALA staffers were on hand at the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo held in McCormick Place April 16–18. In addition to selling banned books T-shirts and celebrity READ posters, ALA sponsored talks on graphic novel challenges, programming, and collection development. Appropriate costumes helped them resonate with comics fans....

John GrishamAuditorium Speaker series welcomes John Grisham
Best-selling author John Grisham will make a rare appearance at the ALA Auditorium Speaker Series on June 28 during the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. Grisham will be publishing his first-ever children’s book in May for Penguin Young Readers Group, with Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer. The two novels in this new series will be aimed at readers ages 8–12....
ALA Conference Services, Apr. 20

JobLIST buttonJobLIST career counseling at Annual Conference
The JobLIST Placement Center will provide free career counseling sessions on June 26–27 during the ALA 2010 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. As part of its effort to help job seekers retool their skills and prepare for job searches, the center will host Caitlin Williams, a career-development consultant and coach from San Jose, California....
Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment, Apr. 20

National Women's History Museum graphicNational Women’s History Museum: A progress report
The Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship will cosponsor an Annual Conference program discussing the progress of the National Women’s History Museum project in developing grassroots support and legislative action towards creating a permanent site for a national museum dedicated to the accomplishments of women in America. The program will be held on June 27 and will have opening remarks by former COSWL Chair Kathleen de la Peña McCook....
Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment, Apr. 20

A tribute to YAAN
Cindy Welch writes: “In this article you’ll meet the Young Adult Alternative Newsletter (YAAN), published from 1973 to 1979. YAAN was born at a conference when a group of young adult librarians at the 1973 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Washington, D.C., sat late into the night discussing their work. This conversation was priceless since many of them were isolated in their home libraries by the unique (and mostly unappreciated) nature of their clients (teens). A few short weeks later, Carol Starr mailed the first issue to approximately 300 teen librarians.”...
In the Library with the Lead Pipe, Apr. 14

War Service Library bookplateWar Service Library books
Q. Today I was going through some books donated to our book sale and ran across one with a bookplate stating “War Service Library” with a picture of a World War I soldier carrying a stack of books. This plate was found in a 1918 book. What is the story behind this bookplate? A. The bookplate—sometimes a label or a stamp with the words “American Library Association, Soldiers and Sailors Camp Library”—is one of several versions affixed to books furnished to sailors and soldiers by ALA during World War I....
AL: Ask the ALA Librarian, Apr. 19

Cover of Public Libraries Going GreenTurning the public library green
ALA Editions has released Public Libraries Going Green by Kathryn Miller. This highly practical guide serves as an ideal reference source for public libraries wishing to become more environmentally friendly. Going green is now a national issue, and patrons expect their library to respond in the same way many corporations have. This is the first book to focus strictly on the library’s role in going green....
ALA Editions, Apr. 20

Cover of Building Science 101Revamping your building on a budget
ALA Editions has released Building Science 101: A Primer for Librarians by Lynn M. Piotrowicz and Scott Osgood. This handy guide provides a tour of the library building from foundation to roof, offering managers and administrators expert advice on possible changes at their own libraries. This book is designed for libraries where construction of a completely new building is not feasible....
ALA Editions, Apr. 20

Booklist Online logo

Cover of The Bridge of San Luis Rey, by Thornton WilderAnother look at Thornton Wilder
Brad Hooper writes: “Few novels identify their basic plotline as succinctly and forthrightly as the opening line of Thornton Wilder’s 1927 novel, The Bridge of San Luis Rey: ‘On Friday noon, July the twentieth, 1714, the finest bridge in all Peru broke and precipitated five travellers into the gulf below.’ The collapse of the bridge, as the reader learns, startled colonial Peruvians because the structure ‘seemed to be among the things that last forever; it was unthinkable that it should break.’ So, why did the bridge fail? An accident or an act of God? Wilder later summarized his story’s theme as: ‘Is there a direction and meaning in lives beyond the individual’s own will?’”...

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

Division News

Preservation Week graphicCelebrate Preservation Week, May 9–15
Recognizing the critical role libraries play in preservation, ALCTS, in partnership with the Library of Congress and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, launched the first national Preservation Week, May 9–15. It is the first national campaign targeting collections preservation awareness for the general public by strengthening community partnerships for preservation. Explore techniques with two free live preservation webinars....
ALCTS, Apr. 20

Books With Beat flyerTeen Read Week registration, mini-grant applications
YALSA launched its Teen Read Week 2010 website on April 15 (Support Teen Literature Day). In addition to free registration, visitors to the site can find activity ideas relating to this year’s theme, planning resources, publicity tools, and applications for Teen Read Week mini-grants. Teen Read Week will be celebrated October 17–23, with the theme “Books with Beat @ your library,” which encourages teens to read poetry, audiobooks, and books about music for the fun of it....
YALSA, Apr. 15

New products support Teen Read Week
In anticipation of Teen Read Week, ALA Graphics has released a poster, bookmark, and several digital art files that represent “Books with Beat @ your library,” this year’s theme. Designed with visuals that resemble a band gig poster, the Teen Read Week products suggest many interpretations of the theme. YALSA launched the 2010 Teen Read Week website on April 15....
ALA Graphics, Apr. 15

2010 Teens’ Top Ten nominations
Nominations for YALSA’s annual Teens’ Top Ten (PDF file) are now available. YALSA encourages teens to read the 26 nominees before the national Teens’ Top Ten vote, which will take place in August and September. The winners will be announced during Teen Read Week, October 17–23. The Teens’ Top Ten is a teen choice list, in which teens nominate and choose their favorite books of the previous year....
YALSA, Apr. 15

WrestleMania XXVII logo2010 WrestleMania Reading Challenge
The WrestleMania Reading Challenge has been revamped as it enters its fifth year. The challenge now will take place during Teen Read Week. Librarians and educators can register to participate through July 31. As part of the challenge activities, students will pledge to read five books or graphic novels between Teen Read Week and WrestleMania XXVII on April 3, 2011. The winners will represent their libraries at the WrestleMania Reading Challenge World Finals in Atlanta on April 2, 2011, and win their libraries $2,000 in grants and other prizes....
YALSA Blog, Apr. 16

Paula PoundstoneThe laugh’s on ALTAFF
Comedian and ALTAFF spokesperson Paula Poundstone (right) will headline “The Laugh’s on Us!” an ALA Annual Conference event June 27 that will feature top comedians and authors. Wine and cheese will be served, and a book signing will follow. Some books will be given away free, and others will be available for purchase at a generous discount. Purchase tickets early, because this event is always a sell-out....

ALCTS preconferences at Annual Conference
ALCTS is offering four exciting and highly informative preconferences at the ALA 2010 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. You can register by going to the ALA Annual Conference website. The topics are linked data, licensing, XSLT, and cartographic cataloging....
ALCTS, Apr. 15

ALCTS web courses
Register now for the popular ALCTS “Fundamentals” web courses beginning in May: Fundamentals of Acquisitions, Fundamentals of Collection Development and Management, and the new Fundamentals of Preservation. To register, complete the online registration form for the session you would like to attend on the ALCTS website....
ALCTS, Apr. 15

Upcoming ALCTS webinars
ALCTS is offering four webinars over the next two months—two on institutional repositories and two on disaster preparedness. For registration information visit the ALCTS website....
ALCTS, Apr. 15

ACRL 2011 Conference logoACRL 2011 National Conference keynote speakers
ACRL will present a celebrated lineup of keynote speakers for its 2011 National Conference, “A Declaration of Interdependence,” March 30–April 2, 2011, in Philadelphia. Be challenged and entertained by ACRL’s three distinguished speakers: Tiffany Shlain, award-winning filmmaker and artist; Raj Patel, economic activist; and Clinton Kelly, television co-host and author....
ACRL, Apr. 20

Cover of Conversations That WorkACRL conversations that work
ACRL has published Conversations that Work: Conducting Performance Assessments by Phillipa Brown and M. Sue Baughman. The third entry in the ACRL Active Guide series, the book is a practical guide for addressing the real-life experiences of conducting performance evaluations in the workplace. Tools and techniques for all stages are provided, including exercises that offer the opportunity to practice and develop your assessment and evaluation skills....
ACRL, Apr. 20

New RUSA standards and guidelines
New standards and guidelines were recently approved by the RUSA board: Guidelines for Implementing and Maintaining Virtual Reference Services (PDF file), Guidelines for Liaison Work in Managing Collections and Services (PDF file), and Guidelines for the Preparation of a Bibliography (PDF file). Feel free to use and distribute them....
RUSA Blog, Apr. 19


The American Dream Starts @ your library grants
Seventy public libraries in 21 states have been selected by ALA to receive $5,000 grants as part of the “American Dream Starts @ your library” literacy initiative, funded by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. The grant funds will be used by the libraries to build innovative literacy services for adult English-language learners living and working in their communities....
Office for Literacy and Outreach Services, Apr. 19

Ed RossmanRUSA Public Librarian Support Award
Ed Rossman, adult services librarian at the Shaker Heights (Ohio) Public Library, is the 2010 winner of the Public Librarian Support Award, a conference travel grant administered by RUSA for public librarians who provide business reference services. Rossman will receive $1,000 in travel funds for the ALA 2010 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C....
RUSA, Apr. 15

PLA Leadership Fellows scholarships
PLA has awarded Leadership Fellows scholarships for programs at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. The recipients are Chang Liu, of the District of Columbia Public Library, and Jennifer Wright, of the Free Library of Philadelphia....
PLA, Apr. 16

Cover of Children's Literature2010 Truman Capote Award
Seth Lerer has won the 2010 Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism for his Children’s Literature: A Reader’s History from Aesop to Harry Potter (University of Chicago, 2008). The $30,000 award—the largest annual cash prize in English-language literary criticism—is administered for the Capote estate by the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. The book, which previously won the 2009 National Book Critics Circle Award, touches upon Lerer’s youthful passion for reading and his experience as a parent....
University of Iowa, Apr. 14

Cover of Books under Suspicion2010 Haskins Gold Medal
Kathryn Kerby-Fulton, professor of English at the University of Notre Dame, has received the 2010 Haskins Gold Medal from the Medieval Academy of America for her work, Books Under Suspicion: Censorship and Tolerance of Revelatory Writing in Late Medieval England. The award is given annually to a book, published in the previous six years, that is judged to be distinguished in the field of Medieval studies....
University of Notre Dame, Apr. 16

Seen Online

FCC will expand broadband
The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission told a Congressional panel April 14 that a recent court ruling that the agency lacked authority to regulate the internet should not prevent it from carrying out its plan to broadly expand the country’s high-speed internet service. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said in testimony before the Senate Commerce Committee that the agency’s lawyers were still considering the effect of Comcast v. FCC on the National Broadband Plan....
New York Times, Apr. 14

Animal cruelty video ban overturned
The Supreme Court struck down a 1999 federal law aimed at banning videos depicting graphic violence against animals April 20, saying that it violates the constitutional right to free speech. In the ruling on United States v. Stevens, Chief Justice John J. Roberts Jr. said the law was overly broad and not allowed by the First Amendment. He rejected the government’s argument that whether certain categories of speech deserve constitutional protection depends on balancing the value of the speech against its societal costs....
Washington Post, Apr. 20

Richard L. McCormickRutgers asked to absorb New Jersey State Library
New Jersey Lieutenant-Governor Kim Guadagno told the state Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee April 20 that the administration favors merging Thomas Edison State College, which houses the state library, with Rutgers University. She cited “a hostile budget climate” as the major reason. In a March 17 statement, Rutgers University President Richard L. McCormick (right) promised to vet Gov. Chris Christie’s “unsolicited proposal” in light of “Rutgers’ enormous budget challenges,” including cuts to higher education...., Apr. 20; Rutgers University Office of the President, Mar. 17

Full title of de Vattel's Law of NationsGeorge Washington’s missing library books
More than 200 years ago, the nation’s first president borrowed two volumes from the New York Society Library and never returned them. On October 5, 1789, George Washington checked out Emer de Vattel’s The Law of Nations and volume 12 of the British House of Commons Debates. Washington spent his first year as President in New York City at a mansion that was located near Pearl and Dover Streets (now under the Brooklyn Bridge), only a short carriage ride from the library, which was then in Federal Hall at 23 Wall Street. He moved to Philadelphia in 1790, perhaps taking the books with him....
New York Daily News, Apr. 17

Artist's rendering of proposed George Washington libraryA George Washington Presidential Library
Kathleen Parker writes: “The Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association is working on setting up a repository of George Washington’s books and papers that will also serve as a center for educational outreach and scholarly research. Officially named the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington (PDF file), the 41,000-square-foot building is expected to be completed in 2012—assuming that the association, now in its 151st year of running the estate exclusively with private funds, can raise $20 million this year.”...
Washington Post, Apr. 21

New York City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer (left) and Queens Library CEO Thomas W. Galante (right) look on as Mayor Bloomberg signs the Library Card Act April 14. Photo by William AlatristeNew York’s Library Card Act makes it easier for students
City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, a longtime advocate for public libraries, had vast support from the New York Public Library, the Queens Library, and the Brooklyn Public Library when he introduced the Library Card Act, which was signed into law (right) by Mayor Michael Bloomberg April 14. The legislation requires the New York City Department of Education to supply library card applications to students entering kindergarten, 6th grade, 9th grade, and when transferring to a new school....
Queens (N.Y.) Courier, Apr. 16

British teen stranded at the DC Public Library. Screen shot from WUSA broadcastIceland volcano propels British teens into DCPL
The Martin Luther King Jr. central branch of the District of Columbia Public Library is enabling a group of 20 British teens to access their school’s virtual classwork despite being grounded in the nation’s capital by ash clouds from Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano. Seventeen-year-old Christopher Burke says he doesn’t mind. Watch the video (5:55)....
WUSA-TV, Washington, D.C., Apr. 20

Charlotte closures still likely
No matter how it’s handled, a targeted 50% cut in money from Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, will close library branches starting next fiscal year. The big question the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library trustees are trying to answer is just how many. Library staff presented three scenarios to the trustees April 15, the toughest of which calls for closing all 16 community branches....
Charlotte (N.C.) Observer, Apr. 16

Superman painting. Courtesy of David SaundersThe Superman of Lehman College Library
A portrait of Superman hangs in the Lehman College Library in the Bronx, just past the card catalog, but how it got there was long forgotten until recently. David Saunders, an artist and art historian from Westhampton Beach, New York, says the painting is the first official full-length portrait of Superman, commissioned to promote The Adventures of Superman radio series that went on the air in 1940. Its provenance came as a surprise to college officials....
New York Times: City Room, Apr. 18

Strong women shaped Dallas Public Library history
As librarian Cleora Clanton frequently pointed out in the 1930s, “Probably no institution in the city touches the lives of the citizens at more points than the public library.” Clanton, who headed the Dallas library system from 1922 to 1954, defending it from budget cuts during the Great Depression and from right-wing political attacks early in the McCarthy era, is one of the library’s many unsung heroines. Women, ranging from prominent civic leaders to underpaid librarians, have sustained the library for more than 100 years....
Dallas Morning News, Apr. 16

California’s university system: What went wrong?
Fifty years ago this month, California promised a low-cost, high-quality university education for every qualified high school graduate in the state. But that promise—inflated by growing populations and academic aspirations—expanded beyond the state’s willingness to pay for it. How did the university system that was long the envy of the world suddenly become the focus of angry street protests?...
San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News, Apr. 18

Library fire at UC Santa Cruz
An overheated extension cord being used to charge power tools caused a two-alarm fire April 15 in a part of UC Santa Cruz’s McHenry Library that is under renovation. The fire was extinguished within an hour of breaking out on the second floor of the older portion of the library. However, smoke traveled to an adjacent section where the library’s general collections are housed, leaving a layer of soot on half of the 1.4 million volumes inside, University Librarian Ginny Steel said. Cleanup will take until April 23 or longer....
Santa Cruz (Calif.) Sentinel, Apr. 17, 19

Hamilton Library Facilities Manager Steve PickeringFlood repair nearly complete at Manoa library
Construction crews will complete repair work in May on the University of Hawaii’s Hamilton Library, which was damaged in a devastating flood in October 2004. The library took the brunt of the flash flood that hit on a weekend night. The university has been able to replace about 80% of its collection. Library Facilities Manager Steve Pickering (right) said the building is now more flood-resistant....
KITV-TV, Honolulu, Apr. 17

Cover of The DragonslayerBone of contention
After Ramona DeLay’s son Hardy brought home a copy of the fourth book in Jeff Smith’s Bone graphic novel series, the Apple Valley, Minnesota, resident and Southview Elementary parent filed a request March 15 for the school district to reconsider having the materials available in the library. She objected to the book’s portrayal of gambling, alcohol and tobacco use, and “sexual situations between characters.” A school reconsideration committee met April 20....
Sun Newspapers (Eden Prairie, Minn.), Apr. 15; St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press, Apr. 20

Salinas gains a toy library
The John Steinbeck branch of the Salinas (Calif.) Public Library has gained a 4,000-piece toy library, inherited from the Salinas Adult School’s Parent Center. The collection’s myriad puzzles, games, dinosaurs, plastic pigs, and Tinker Toys opened for lending on April 17. The toys are not only to play with. Each has been selected because playing with it will contribute to a child’s development and early literacy....
Salinas Californian, Apr. 16

1906 postcard written several months after the earthquake. The photo shows damaged buildings at Sacramento and Montgomery StreetsWhat you don’t know about the 1906 earthquake
Former San Francisco City Archivist Gladys Hansen has made it her goal in life to account fully for the number of people killed by the devastating earthquake of April 18, 1906, and the ensuing firestorm. The official death toll is less than 500—but after more than 30 years of research, Hansen has collected nearly 3,000 names or stories of the dead or missing. She believes the total number of victims may be three times that number. For an interesting photo gallery of the quake, see the items from Bob Bragman’s private collection....
KNTV-TV, San Jose, Calif., Apr. 18; Virtual Museum of San Francisco; San Francisco Chronicle, Apr. 18

The future of art bibliography
On April 20, an international conclave of art scholars, librarians, and art-history devotees gathered at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to discuss a pressing scholarly crisis—the future of art bibliography. The urgency of the meeting, convened by the Getty Research Institute, stems from the institute’s recent withdrawal of financial support for one of its programs, the Bibliography of the History of Art. It is the most trusted and second-most-used (slightly behind JSTOR) resource of its kind....
Wall Street Journal, Apr. 20

An era ends for blind listeners in Utah
After 34 years, the Utah State Library for the Blind and Disabled’s radio reading service is going off the air April 21, a victim of budget reductions. About 100 volunteers contributed, many reading Utah’s daily newspapers from cartoons to obituaries, as part of a menu of programs that included Cooking in the Dark and old-time radio shows. The library provided blind listeners with a special radio that allowed them to hear the broadcast, which was not accessible by the general public....
Salt Lake Tribune, Apr. 14

Rosalie E. Wahl branch of the Washington County (Minn.) LibraryLake Elmo library supporters consider mutiny
It’s easy to argue that the Rosalie E. Wahl branch (right) of the Washington County (Minn.) Library should be closed. It’s open only four hours a day and closed on weekends. Most residents of Lake Elmo don’t even use it. Library Director Patricia Conley, wrestling with a 4% budget cut, is considering replacing it with a stand-alone kiosk. To make sure that doesn’t happen, Lake Elmo officials are talking about withdrawing from the county system to start their own city-run library....
St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press, Apr. 19

Flanner House students use the library branch attached to the schoolIndianapolis residents protest library cuts
A budget-cutting proposal to close six Indianapolis–Marion County Public Library branches is meeting heavy opposition. Library CEO Laura Bramble has received at least 30 letters, including one from U.S. Rep. André Carson (D-Indianapolis). The Flanner House branch is one that could close. Though it’s the city’s smallest branch, plans to shelve it are creating a big uproar: Besides serving an economically challenged area, the branch is attached to a K-6 charter school....
WTHR-TV, Indianapolis, Apr. 16

Layoffs coming to Stanislaus County
Stanislaus County, California, is preparing to shut its 13 branches every Friday and lay off 25 library employees as part of a cost-cutting strategy intended to shore up the library budget. County officials must slash $23 million in spending by the July 1 start of the next fiscal year. Laying off 25 librarians and administrative clerks means losing nearly 16% of the system’s staff of 159....
Modesto (Calif.) Bee, Apr. 17

Mark Twain Library in Redding, ConnecticutMarginalia in the Mark Twain Library
Proof of Mark Twain’s talent as a literary critic has resided, mostly unnoticed, in the Mark Twain Library in Redding, Connecticut, where hundreds of his personal books have been housed since his death 100 years ago. They are filled with notes in his own cramped, scratchy handwriting. Irrepressible when he spotted something he did not like, but also impatient with good books that he thought could be better, he was often savage in his commentary....
New York Times, Apr. 18

Newberry acquires 14th-century codex by Peter Olivi
Denounced by the Vatican as heretical seven centuries ago, the writings of Franciscan dissident Peter John Olivi (1248–1298) have found their way to Chicago’s Newberry Library. The handwritten texts, bought in March jointly with the University of Notre Dame, could shed light on theological disputes during the early Inquisition. The collection, purchased for $45,000 at an auction at Christie’s, is considered a triumph for the library, especially because Olivi has in recent years come to be regarded as a figure of major importance in church history....
Chicago News Cooperative, Apr. 16

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ALA Annual Conference, Washington, D.C., June 24–29. This year, you can attend ALA’s Virtual Conference online. ALA is offering interactive web sessions July 7–8. The conference will begin each day at 11 a.m. Eastern Time and end at 5 p.m. Eastern Time. Interact with speakers and other attendees during each of these hour long sessions on a variety of exciting topics. Registration is only available online.

Eclipse READ poster

In Eclipse, the third book of the Twilight saga, Bella is forced to choose between her love for vampire Edward Cullen and werewolf Jacob Black. The movie adaptation of Eclipse will hit theaters in June, featuring Dakota Fanning as Jane, an elite member of the Volturi, an Italian vampire coven. Be prepared with this ALA Celebrity READ poster. NEW! From ALA Graphics.

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Youth Matters

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Perpetual Beta

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Green Your Library

Ask the ALA Librarian

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Digital Collections Coordinator, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin. Develop and oversee maintenance of a digital assets management system as an integral part of the research, teaching, and learning mission of the center; advise on acquisitions of archival collections including born-digital materials in all formats; work with archivists to develop best practices to access, preserve, describe, and interpret digital materials; participate in the development of online exhibitions and digital collections; work with counterparts worldwide in developing best practices for the preservation and management of digital collections....

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Digital Library of the Week

Letter from Mark Twain to Olivia Clemens, April 26, 1877, from Baltimore

The Mark Twain Project Online applies innovative technology to more than four decades’ worth of archival research by expert editors. Its ultimate purpose is to produce a digital critical edition, fully annotated, of everything Mark Twain wrote. MTPO is a collaboration between the Mark Twain Papers and Project of the Bancroft Library, the California Digital Library, and the University of California Press. The site currently offers more than 2,300 of Twain’s letters (both facsimile and text) and critical editions of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer among the Indians.

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

“If government is to serve the people instead of serving itself, then those who govern should listen to the people. ‘We want our libraries!’ is a rallying cry of fairness, not a selfish mandate. It is a cry from people that this core service is critical to the community, especially when we see our social safety net slipping away. San Diego County continues to keep the doors of its libraries open even though the county has suffered the same economic crisis our city has. The city of San Diego should drape the doors of our libraries in black as a sign of mourning of yet another step backwards in this latest dumbing down of our city.

—Writer Sandy Lippe, on San Diego’s decision to close the city’s Central Library on Saturdays and branch libraries on Mondays for 18 months, La Jolla (Calif.) Village News, Apr. 15.

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DrupalCon San Francisco, Apr. 19–21, at:

Evergreen International Conference, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Apr. 21–23, at:

Society of Architectural Historians, Annual Meeting, Chicago, Apr. 21–25, at:

Maryland Library Association, Annual Conference, Ocean City, Apr. 21–23:

Art Libraries Society of North America, Annual conference, Boston, Apr. 23–26, at:

World Wide Web 2010, Raleigh, North Carolina, Apr. 26–30, at:

American Libraries news stories, videos, tweets, and blog posts at:


Apr. 27–30:
Substance Abuse Librarians and Information Specialists,
Annual Conference, Zena and Michael A. Wiener Conference Center, Columbia University, New York City. “ATOD Policy and Information Technology in an Era of Change.”

May 14:
Bobst Library, New York University, New York City. A free conference on the impact of publicly accessible scientific tools and resources, open access publishing in the sciences, and open data/notebook efforts.

June 2–4:
Society for Scholarly Publishing,
Annual Meeting, Hilton San Francisco. “A Golden Opportunity: A Shared Vision for Publishers, Librarians and Users.”

June 3–6:
North American Serials Interest Group,
Annual Conference, Rancho Las Palmas Resort, Palm Springs, California.

June 6–9:
National Institute for Early Childhood Professional Development,
Phoenix. “Emotional Intelligence: A 21st Century Skill for Children and Adults.”

June 13–16:
Special Libraries Association,
Annual Conference, Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans.

June 25–26:
Urban Libraries Council,
Annual Conference, Cosmos Club and Mandarin Hotel, Washington, D.C.

July 23–27:
Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials,
Providence Biltmore Hotel, Rhode Island. “The Future of Latin American Library Collections and Research: Contributing and Adapting to New Trends in Research Libraries.”

July 25–27:
Ohio Library Support Staff Institute,
Baldwin-Wallace College, Berea.

July 26–30:
SIBMAS: International Association of Libraries and Museums of the Performing Arts,
Conference, Munich, Germany. “Connecting points: Performing Arts Collections Uniting Past and Future.”

July 28–
Aug. 1:

Southampton Children’s Literature Conference, Stony Brook Southampton, New York.

July 29–
Aug. 1:

National Storytelling Conference
, Warner Center Marriott–Los Angeles (Woodland Hills), California.

Aug. 8–10:
Reference Renaissance 2010: Inventing the Future,
Denver Marriott Tech Center.

Aug. 10–15:
Archives*Records / DC 2010,
joint meeting of CoSA, NAGARA, and SAA, Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Washington, D.C.

Sept. 3–5:
Miniature Book Society,
Grand Conclave, Hyatt Regency Hotel, Lexington, Kentucky.

Sept. 23–25:
ALSC National Institute,
Emory Conference Center Hotel, Atlanta.

@ More...

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Tech Talk

iPad on Campus: Screenshot from WSJ videoiPad struggles at some colleges
Melissa Korn writes: “The iPad isn’t having an easy time during college admissions season. The tablet, lauded by many as the next wave in education technology, is having difficulty being accepted at George Washington University and Princeton University because of network stability issues. Cornell University also says it is seeing connectivity problems with the device and is concerned about bandwidth overload.”...
Wall Street Journal, Apr. 19

Demo model of the HP SlateHP Slate v. Apple iPad: Which is better?
Tony Bradley writes: “The Apple iPad has only been physically available to the general public for a few weeks, and the HP Slate (right) is still a prototype waiting for a launch date, but that hasn’t stopped the two from being compared head-to-head as the defining epic battle for tablet supremacy. An early review of the HP Slate suggests that the iPad has the crown locked up, but ‘better’ depends on the intended use and is in the proverbial ‘eye of the beholder.’”...
PC World: Tech Audit, Apr. 21

Top 10 ways to access blocked stuff on the web
Kevin Purdy writes: “The web is a generally free place, but some sites and services want to make it annoying to navigate and enjoy. Stream any video you’d like, see the sites you need, and get at services you thought were down with these tips.”...
Lifehacker, Apr. 17

A portion of Raffi Krikorian's tweet diagramThis is what a tweet looks like
Sarah Perez writes: “Think a tweet is just 140 characters of text? Think again. To developers building tools on top of the Twitter platform, they know tweets contain far more information than just whatever brief, passing thought you felt the urge to share with your friends via the microblogging network. A tweet is filled with metadata—information about when it was sent, by who, and using what Twitter application. Now, thanks to Raffi Krikorian, a developer on Twitter’s API/Platform team, you can see what a tweet looks like, in all its data-rich detail.”...
ReadWriteWeb, Apr. 19

Post to LibGuides browser buttonTop 10 reasons to use LibGuides
Buffy J. Hamilton writes: “Over the last few months, I have received quite a few inquiries as to why I love LibGuides so much, so I thought it might be helpful to share a brief post highlighting my 10 favorite features. It empowers me to integrate a diverse range of information sources and instructional support materials in an organized manner that works for my students and makes it easy for them to navigate the broad range of resources I can provide for a collaboratively designed research project.”...
The Unquiet Librarian, Apr. 16

50+ ways to search Twitter
Josh Peters writes: “Hashtags, people, conversations, topics, etc. Sometimes it can be a bit daunting to look for what you need on Twitter. However, having the right tools helps a lot. I’ve put together this list of 50+ sites that you can use to help you find who or what you’re looking for.”...
Social Media Today, Apr. 15


Cover of Pasta BibleCookbook in hot water over typo
Penguin Group Australia was forced to pulp and reprint 7,000 copies of Pasta Bible in early April after a recipe called for “salt and freshly ground black people”—instead of pepper—to be added to the spelt tagliatelle with sardines and prosciutto. The exercise will cost the company $20,000. Head of Publishing Bob Sessions said Penguin would replace books that have already been purchased at the customer’s request....
Melbourne Age (Australia), Apr. 17

Screen shot from Betsy Bird video interviewTop 100 children’s novels poll
Betsy Bird writes: “We’ve had a lot of fun here, haven’t we? I’ve had fun putting these posts from the poll together. You’ve had fun predicting them and making crazy stats left and right. Good times. Here is the list of every book that has appeared on the countdown with links to the posts giving background information.” But wait, there’s more: odd books that didn’t make the list, books that came close, everything else parts one and two, and a video interview that explains it all....
School Library Journal: A Fuse #8 Production, Apr. 13–16; YouTube, Apr. 14

The Kindle can motivate reluctant readers
Lotta Larson, a Kansas State University assistant professor of elementary education, is finding that electronic readers allow children to interact with texts in ways they don’t interact with the printed word. Since fall 2009, Larson has been using the Amazon Kindle in her work with a pair of 2nd graders. The e-reader has features that make the text audible, increase or decrease font size, and let readers make notes about the book....
Science Daily, Apr. 17

AL Buyers Guide ad

Actions & Answers

School librarian to testify in ESEA hearing
Jamie Greene, librarian at Hugh Cole Elementary School in Warren, Rhode Island, and president of the Rhode Island Educational Media Association, will testify before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions April 22 in a hearing titled “ESEA Reauthorization: Meeting the Needs of the Whole Student.” C-SPAN will provide a live online video stream of the hearing; check the schedule on the C-SPAN Video Library website for updates....
District Dispatch, Apr. 21

USDA funding will help some rural libraries
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced April 15 that rural communities in 32 states will receive loans and grants provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to address local needs including library renovations, construction, and equipment upgrades. ALA President Camila Alire said the investments in rural libraries will ensure that populations will have the resources they need. A complete list of grant recipients is here....
District Dispatch, Apr. 20; U.S. Department of Agriculture, Apr. 16

Cover of Circulate This CDCirculate this: Stories from the school library
The California School Library Association had released an audio journal, “Circulate This: Stories from the School Library,” which is packed with powerful stories about school libraries. CSLA Past President Connie Williams and storyteller Joe McHugh collaborated on an audio journal project to capture stories from teachers, school administrators, children's authors, legislators, parents, and students about how school libraries and librarians make a difference in the lives of children. It is available as an MP3 audio file, an iTunes podcast, and a CD....
California School Library Association, Apr. 6

Earth Day 2010 logoLibraries contribute to Earth Day celebration
Laura Bruzas writes: “Every year on April 22 a nationwide grassroots demonstration on behalf of the environment is celebrated. Aptly named Earth Day, it was founded by Sen. Gaylord Nelson (D-Wis.) in 1970 to give the environment a place on our country’s political agenda. Not sitting on the sidelines, libraries across the country are planning entertaining and informative programs to honor Earth Day.”...
AL: Green Your Library, Apr. 16

What we might learn from tweets
U.S. National Archivist David Ferriero writes: “On April 14, the Library of Congress announced that they are acquiring the digital archive of public tweets. In the world of electronic records, this is a historic announcement. The donation of billions of tweets to the Library of Congress is a profound example of the changing fabric of our records. This summer, I will issue a NARA Bulletin that will give federal agencies guidance about their use of Twitter and other Web 2.0 services.” Martha Anderson, director of the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program, offers her insight on the American Prospect website, while Fred Stutzman examines the implications....
AOTUS: Collector in Chief, Apr. 16; American Prospect, Apr. 16; Fred Stutzman, Apr. 16

Screenshot from Indiana Free Library videoHelp Indiana Free Library win a Pepsi grant
The Indiana (Pa.) Free Library needs your votes each day in April for the library to win a Pepsi Refresh Project grant to fund its “EverOpen Library” initiative. Pepsi will award $50,000 grants in May to 10 candidates who garner the most votes online in April. Voters need not be local residents or library members to cast ballots in support of the library. The initiative’s goal is to teach patrons how to fearlessly integrate technology into their lives. Watch the video (1:08)....
Indiana (Pa.) Free Library

A formerly top secret documentDisarray in the government’s secrecy system
Jay Stanley writes: “The U.S. Information Security Oversight Office released important new information about government secrecy April 16. In particular, the report reveals that most government classification decisions are made by people with little training and no accountability. For 50 years the problem has been growing, and study after study have come to the same conclusions: The government classifies way too much information, and that hurts government accountability, democracy, and national security.”...
Blog of Rights, Apr. 16

Google's tracker shows that it received 123 requests from the U.S. government to remove material in the second half of 2009Google and governments
David Drummond writes: “It’s no surprise that Google regularly receives demands from government agencies to remove content from our services. The vast majority of these requests are valid, and the information needed is for legitimate criminal investigations. We are launching a new Government Requests tool to give people information about the requests for user data or content removal we receive from government agencies around the world. For this launch, we are using data from July–December 2009, and we plan to update the data in six-month increments.”...
Official Google Blog, Apr. 20

Teens, cell phones, and texting
Cell-phone texting has become the preferred channel of basic communication between teens and their friends, with cell calling a close second, according to a new study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project. Fully 72% of all teens—or 88% of teen cell-phone users—are text-messagers. That is a sharp rise from the 51% of teens who were texters in 2006. More than half of teens (54%) are daily texters. Garrison Keillor thinks this makes them awkward and inarticulate....
Pew Internet and American Life Project, Apr. 20; Chicago Tribune, Apr. 21

Choose Privacy Week is May 2-8Choose Privacy Week and libraries
Martin Garnar writes: “Many privacy concerns revolve around the online world. As mobile computing moves from the exception to the rule, those concerns start applying to more parts of our lives. Even those people who go out of their way to avoid sharing information online are still subject to having private information collected, stored, and marketed by others, whether it’s the doctor’s office, the government, or online directories like Spokeo or Switchboard. It’s not until they use one of those directories that some people realize just how much of their personal information is freely available.”...
I Love Libraries

Queens Library suit settled out of court
The lawsuit brought in July 2009 against SirsiDynix by the Queens (N.Y.) Library has been settled out of court, resulting in the case’s dismissal. The original complaint accused the company of misconduct during the library’s ILS procurement process in 2005. No terms of the settlement were disclosed, according to terse court documents that state that each party will bear its own costs and fees....
Library Journal, Apr. 16

Give the tobacco money to libraries
Shonda Brisco writes: “In April, Oklahoma received a $58-million tobacco settlement that stipulates ‘the earnings from the trust can be spent on programs to improve the health and well-being of Oklahomans.’ It seems obvious that the best placement for these funds should be directed at Oklahoma’s public schools—and particularly toward the school librarians who teach students the information and media literacy skills necessary to become informed consumers and healthy citizens.”...
Curriculum Materials Librarian, Apr. 17

Liability and the health librarian
Dean Giustini writes: “The chances of health librarians being held liable for providing unprofessional information services (or, negligent misinformation) is a topic of some interest in the library literature and at conferences. Health librarians do not seem to be especially susceptible to malpractice, but it is nonetheless important to be aware of some dangers. Strictly speaking, information malpractice means the occurence of any professional conduct that shows a blatant disregard or negligence and a lack of duty of care.”...
The Search Principle Blog, Apr. 19

Haiti broadside with "Night and Day" poemAlabama students raise funds for Haiti
Students at the University of Alabama’s School of Library and Information Studies are raising funds for the recovery and reconstruction of libraries in Haiti that were ruined by the recent earthquake. Book arts and library science students and faculty worked together to create the Haiti Broadside, which features “Night and Day” by Haitian poet Paul Laraque and an original design by UA artist Sarah Marshall printed on handmade paper. Fifty of the limited edition of 75 numbered copies are still available for $55....
University of Alabama SLIS

Ava IulianoSouth Florida SLIS students make a big splash at aquarium
Students from the University of South Florida library school collaborated with mass communication and business students to assess and recommend designs for a new website that would meet the needs of the Florida Aquarium in Tampa. Four teams participated in the competition to design and present website prototypes to judges from the aquarium and faculty from USF on April 15. The team led by SLIS student Ava Iuliano (right) won the prize....
University of South Florida SLIS, Apr. 16

Islamic law, philosophy, medicine, astronomy, and mathematics: Mali's valuable manuscripts cover a range of topics. "Africa has had a share of Islamic knowledge for almost a thousand years," according to the German Islamic scholar Albrecht HofheinzFrom holes in the sand to a digital library
Charlotte Wiedemann writes: “Abdelkader Haidara inherited 9,000 manuscripts from his father, the largest private collection in Timbuktu. He opened them up to the public, starting a new trend: private owners preserving their treasures themselves rather than placing them in the care of the Malian government. For some years now, the families have been opening the chests where they keep their yellowing, gilded calligraphies. The manuscripts are evidence that Africa has had a share in Islamic knowledge for nearly a thousand years.”..., Apr. 21

Making a book carrier for the iPadHow to make a book-like carrying case for your iPad
Ben Lang writes: “There is definitely more than one way to make an iPad case, and if you have more appropriate tools, feel free to improvise. The methods I selected were based on low cost and simplicity and will at least give you a good idea of the process. Project cost: approximately $10. Project time: can be completed in a single day.”...
Carrypad, Apr. 15

ProQuest logoProQuest staffers reminisce
As part of their National Library Week festivities, ProQuest employees recalled their fondest library memory, experience, or book and are sharing them online. One writes: “I was driving home last week with two of my kids, and my son pointed to a big hole in the ground and said (correctly), ‘That’s where our library used to be.’ I found it poignant.”...

Hilary Caws-ElwittAnother librarian on Jeopardy
Hilary Caws-Elwitt, systems librarian at the Susquehanna County (Pa.) Historical Society and Free Library Association, will appear on the game show Jeopardy! April 22. Caws-Elwitt taped the appearance in early February, and while she isn’t allowed to reveal the game’s outcome, “It was quite dramatic, and almost everything I wanted to happen did happen,” she said....
Susquehanna County Library, Apr. 15

Stupid reference questions
Will Manley writes: “When I was a working librarian, one of my favorite activities was writing down stupid reference questions. Remember David Letterman’s Stupid Pet Tricks routine? Well, I developed a stupid reference question routine. Here are some of my favorites.”...
Will Unwound, Apr. 21

Screenshot from Lord of the LibrariesA Kansas filmmaker’s library epics
A young filmmaker who got his start producing and directing promotional videos for the University of Kansas Libraries won an Emmy in September 2009 as part of the team that produced the special effects on the TV series Heroes. But Christopher D. Martin’s library videos are entertaining as well. A Matrix parody, Library Revolutions (11:14), follows a tired, confused student, Leo, who chooses the red book over the blue book and discovers the secrets of the KU library system. In Lord of the Libraries (above, 18:09), the heroes fight bookwraiths with CGI-animated arrows and fireballs, and Sam and Frodo meet up with “Lady Librarowen” in the Watson Library stacks while trying to return The Book of Power, which is 30 years overdue....
Bibliophile, Fall 2009; YouTube

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