The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | February 10,

American Libraries Online
ALA News
Booklist Online
Division News
Seen Online
Tech Talk
Actions & Answers

SirsiDynix ad

AL Buyers Guide

American Libraries Online

Artist Emile Ferris donated this Flowerbook artwork to to raise funds for the libraryEvanston branch backers won’t back down
“For too long the libraries have been an easy mark for the city at budget time,” declared Evanston, Illinois, resident Lori Keenan in a February 6 statement on behalf of, a grassroots group she cofounded. Keenan, along with other library backers in the Chicago suburb that is home to Northwestern University, is continuing a campaign to keep Evanston Public Library’s two branches open despite the city council’s February 1 vote to close them effective March 1....
American Libraries Online, Feb. 9

Justice Department objects to revised Google Books settlement
The Department of Justice filed a statement of interest February 4 saying that despite “substantial progress” it still had objections to the proposed settlement of lawsuits challenging Google’s Book Search project, noting that the agreement continued to raise copyright, antitrust, and class certification issues. While the filing said the amended settlement “is more circumscribed in its sweep” than the earlier proposal, it “suffers from the same core problem as the original agreement.” Karen Coyle offers a succinct analysis....
American Libraries Online, Feb. 5; Coyle’s InFormation, Feb. 5

SuffragettesHow to celebrate women’s history @ your library
Kay Ann Cassell and Kathleen Weibel write: “National Women’s History Month in March offers libraries a familiar framework for programming and for updating your website, displays, and exhibits. You can take an approach similar to National Library Week, Black History Month, and other heritage-themed celebrations relevant to your community. Many types of libraries join in the celebration, even if only at the most basic level of a book display. However, focusing on women’s history and women as a library market segment offers so many more creative opportunities for reaching out to your community.”...
American Libraries, Mar.

In Practice: Your virtual brand
Meredith Farkas writes: “In the absence of a significant work history, an online presence can help distinguish a job candidate from the sea of new librarian résumés that come across most search committee members’ desks. Imagine looking at the résumés of two librarians with identical skill sets and experiences where the only difference is that one has an online portfolio and blog. You’d probably take a look at those online supplemental materials and would get a better sense of whether this person would be a good fit for your institution.”...
American Libraries, Mar.

ALA News

ALA Library Snapshot Day 2010 logoALA Library Snapshot Day
ALA Library Snapshot Day is an opportunity to tell the story of how many books are checked out, how many people receive help finding a job, how libraries offer homework help, and the whole range of daily services that go on in a well-supported and professionally staffed library. To help spread the concept across the land during the month of April, visit the Snapshot Day primer and look at some fine examples of how it has been done in New Jersey, Illinois, Maine, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin....

Cathy and Scott Leiber with Judith's Reading Room book cart and collectionMobile pediatric library named for Judith Krug
Cathy and Scott Leiber (right) presented a mobile library with 317 books February 5 to the staff and patients of the Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital Pediatric Unit in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The custom-designed mobile book cart, valued at $300, is named “Judith’s Reading Room” for Scott’s first cousin, the late Judith F. Krug, director of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom from 1967 to 2009. Shortly after Krug’s death in April, Cathy walked into a Barnes & Noble and asked how the family could honor her. The couple ended up organizing a national book fair that took place in December and spanned 10 states....
Good Shepherd Rehabilitation, Feb. 5; Allentown (Pa.) Morning Call, Feb. 6

Intellectual freedom webinar for trustees
The Office for Intellectual Freedom is partnering with ALTAFF to present a one-hour webinar in February for library trustees on the topic of controversial materials in library collections. The webinar, entitled “Controversial Materials in the Library: Supporting Intellectual Freedom in Your Community,” is intended to help trustees understand the basics of intellectual freedom in libraries. It will be presented February 17, 23, and 26....

Programming Librarian logoProgramming Librarian offers new features
The ALA Public Programs Office recently launched new features and a monthly e-newsletter for its website,  Designed for librarians who plan and present cultural programs and events, the site is both a resource center and a community of librarians committed to bringing increased access to literature, music, contemporary issues, art, history, poetry, scholars, writers, and musicians to their communities....

Cover of Urban Teens in the LibraryUrban teens in the library
ALA Editions has released Urban Teens in the Library: Research and Practice, edited by Denise E. Agosto and Sandra Hughes-Hassell, experts in the information habits and preferences of urban teens with proven records of building better and more effective school and public library programs. The book offers solutions for any concerns and uncertainty librarians may face when supporting this group of patrons and students....

Booklist Online logo

Cover of The Story of StuffFeatured review: Social sciences
Leonard, Annie, and Ariane Conrad. The Story of Stuff: How Our Obsession with Stuff Is Trashing the Planet, Our Communities, and Our Health—and a Vision for Change. Mar. 2010. 272p. Free Press, hardcover (978-1-4391-2566-3).
Why is there so much garbage, and where does it go? A Time magazine Hero of the Environment, Leonard has traveled the world tracking trash and its wake of destruction. Her investigations convinced her that the impossible dream of perpetual economic growth and the rampant consumer culture it engenders are the root causes of today’s environmental crises. A rigorous thinker in command of a phenomenal amount of information, Leonard believes that we must calculate the full ecological and social cost of our “stuff.” So she takes us through the extraction of natural resources and the production, distribution, consumption, and disposal of various products, documenting ecohazards and the exploitation of workers along the way. Drawing on her extensive research, gutsy fieldwork, and efforts to live “green,” Leonard condemns the endless barrage of advertisements, the plague of toxic synthetic chemicals, and such covertly deleterious inventions as the aluminum can....

Top 10 books on the environment graphicTop 10 books on the environment
Donna Seaman writes: “The best environmental books reviewed over the past 12 months—works of extraordinary research, thought, passion, and artistry—evince a rising intensity of purpose in sync with the increasingly obvious impacts of climate change and the public’s growing awareness of the need for environmentally sound manufacturing, agriculture, and energy.” Included are Eating Animals, A Paradise Built in Hell, Slow Death by Rubber Duck, and Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America....

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

Division News

Carla Killough McClaffertyCarla McClafferty to speak at AASL awards luncheon
Carla Killough McClafferty, author of Forgiving God, the story of her journey through grief after the death of her youngest son, Corey, will be the guest speaker at the June 28 AASL awards luncheon at the ALA 2010 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C....

Cover of Librarians Serving Diverse PopulationsAcademic multicultural librarians
ACRL has released Librarians Serving Diverse Populations, written by Lori Mestre, associate professor of library administration at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This groundbreaking study of diversity librarianship in academic libraries offers recommendations for libraries seeking to fill diversity librarian positions, provide follow-up training and support after hiring new librarians, and strengthen diversity efforts....
ACRL Insider, Feb. 9

Proposals for 2011 ACRL preconferences
ACRL invites proposal submissions for half- or full-day preconferences to be held prior to the 2011 ALA Annual Conference on June 24, 2011, in New Orleans. Proposals must be submitted online by April 9. Notifications will be issued by June 2010....

ASCLA seeks project director
ASCLA has issued an RFP for a project director to oversee a revision of its 2005 Revised Standards and Guidelines of Service for the Library of Congress Network of Libraries for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. The project director will facilitate and coordinate all phases of the standards development process, including managing a working team and advisory committee of consumers and librarians....


Maggie Bush2010 ALSC Distinguished Service Award
Maggie Bush, retired Simmons College GSLIS children’s literature professor, is the 2010 recipient of the ALSC Distinguished Service Award that honors an individual who has made significant contributions to library service to children and ALSC. Beginning as a children’s librarian at the New York Public Library, Bush has devoted almost 50 years to the provision of high-quality library services to young people....

Abbeville County Library2010 ALSC Maureen Hayes Award
ALSC has awarded its 2010 Maureen Hayes Award to the Abbeville County (S.C.) Library System. The award, sponsored by Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, is designed to provide up to $4,000 to an ALSC member library to fund a visit from an author/illustrator who will speak to children who have not had the opportunity to hear a nationally known author/illustrator....

Penny Beile2010 ACRL/EBSS Award
Penny Minton Beile, interim department head for reference services and department head of the Curriculum Materials Center at the University of Central Florida Libraries, has received the 2010 ACRL Distinguished Education and Behavioral Sciences Librarian Award. This award honors an academic librarian who has made an outstanding contribution as an education or behavioral sciences librarian through accomplishments and service to the profession....

Bruce Pencek2010 Marta Lange/CQ Press Award
Bruce Pencek, college librarian for the social sciences at Virginia Tech, has received the ACRL Law and Political Science Section’s Marta Lange/CQ Press Award. The award honors an academic or law librarian who has made distinguished contributions to bibliography and information service in law or political science....

Christina H. Dorr2010 ALSC Bechtel Fellowship
ALSC has awarded the 2010 Louise Seaman Bechtel Fellowship to library media specialist Christina H. Dorr, from Columbus, Ohio. The fellowship is designed to allow a qualified children’s librarian to spend a month or more reading and studying at the Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature, part of the George A. Smathers Libraries at the University of Florida, Gainesville. Dorr will pursue her study, “Searching for Heroes.”...

Deadline extended for Patterson Copyright Award
In 2002, ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy established the L. Ray Patterson Copyright Award to honor particular individuals or groups who “embody the spirit of the U.S. Copyright law as voiced by the framers of our Constitution.” Nominations for the 2010 award will be accepted through March 1....
District Dispatch, Feb. 9

2010 Penguin Young Readers Group Award
ALSC has awarded the 2010 Penguin Young Readers Group Award to four children’s librarians. The award consists of a $600 grant, sponsored by Penguin Young Readers Group, for winners to attend their first ALA Annual Conference....

Five EBSCO scholarship winners
In cosponsorship with ALA, EBSCO awarded five visionary librarians $1,500 scholarships to attend the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston, January 15–19. As part of the application process, EBSCO posed the question: “What do you believe to be the biggest challenge in managing electronic resources in libraries today and what solutions do you envision?”...

Three libraries selected for Bookapalooza
ALSC has announced the winners of its fourth annual Bookapalooza program. The three libraries selected to receive a collection of children’s materials are the Foundation Schools in Rockville, Maryland; Monterey County (Calif.) Free Libraries; and the Richmond (Calif.) Public Library. Intended to help transform each library’s collection, the Bookapalooza award provides an opportunity for communities to use these new materials in creative and innovative ways....

Poster for Up in the AirScripter Award to Up in the Air writers
Up in the Air author Walter Kirn and screenwriters Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner took top honors at the 2010 University of Southern California Libraries Scripter Award ceremony February 6. The Scripters recognize the author and scribes of a produced literary work-to-film adaptation. Eric Roth won the 2010 Scripter Literary Achievement Award for his sustained contributions to the art of film adaptation, including The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Insider, Forrest Gump, and Munich....
USC Libraries Scripter Award, Feb. 7

Cover of ChronicKingsley Tufts poetry prize goes to D. A. Powell
Claremont Graduate University has announced the winners of its highly lucrative Kingsley and Kate Tufts poetry awards. The Kingsley Tufts Award, which comes with a prize of $100,000, will go to D. A. Powell for his collection Chronic (Graywolf Press). The Kate Tufts Discovery Award, a $10,000 prize that is given to a first book by a poet, was won by Beth Bachmann for her collection Temper (University of Pittsburgh)....
New York Times, Feb. 3

Cover of Dark PlacesThird Annual Black Quill Awards
Dark Scribe magazine has announced the winners of the Third Annual Black Quill Awards, celebrating the best work in dark horror, suspense, and thrillers. The editors’ choice for Dark Genre Novel of the Year award went to Dark Places by Gillian Flynn, and the readers’ choice went to Drood by by Dan Simmons. Editors
choice for Best Small Press Chill went to Kelland by Paul G. Bens Jr. and the readers choice went to As Fate Would Have It by Michael Louis Calvillo....
Dark Scribe, Feb. 9

Seen Online

FBI wants records kept of websites visited
The FBI is pressing internet service providers to record which websites customers visit and retain those logs for two years, a requirement that law enforcement believes could help it in investigations of child pornography and other serious crimes. FBI Director Robert Mueller supports storing internet users’ “origin and destination information,” a bureau attorney said at a February 4 meeting of the Online Safety and Technology Working Group. However, recording what websites are visited is likely to draw both practical and privacy objections....
CNET: Politics and Law, Feb. 5

Jobs Bill contains Patriot Act extension
The Hill posted a draft (PDF file) of the Jobs Bill that could get a vote in the Senate this week if the weather cooperates. It also includes an extension of provisions for the Patriot Act on page 125. The draft indicates a 10-month extension, although that will likely change to 12 months. The provisions set to expire on February 28 give the government the ability to use roving wiretaps to monitor the communications of suspects, get special court orders forcing businesses to turn over evidence, and conduct surveillance on a so-called “lone wolf”—someone who is not knowingly associated with terrorists....
FDL News Desk, Feb. 9; Government Executive, Feb. 8

Glennor ShirleyFor Maryland prisoners, the library is a lifeline
Maryland’s Prison Librarian Glennor Shirley (right) is certainly on the job, with admirable commitment and belief in the value of her work, even in the midst of recession and budget crunch. The state’s prison libraries have lost all funding for new books. There’s an Inmate Welfare Fund, but most of it has been used to provide inmates with access to court records and law libraries. So Shirley recently organized a successful collection of materials from the public libraries throughout Maryland, asking for their discards and leftovers....
Baltimore Sun, Feb. 7

Broadband grants awarded to Rhode Island, South Carolina
The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration announced a $1.2-million Recovery Act grant February 5 that will expand broadband internet access at Rhode Island’s 71 public libraries. The same day, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced a $5.9-million Recovery Act grant that will expand broadband internet access at the South Carolina Technical College System’s 16 member colleges....
National Telecommunications and Information Administration, Feb. 5

St. Agnes branch of the New York Public LibraryIn tough times, a library branch reopens
In the midst of a budget cut that is forcing it to cut back hours at two-thirds of its locations, the New York Public Library has found something to celebrate: the reopening of the St. Agnes branch on Amsterdam Avenue and 81st Street. The long-languishing three-story stone building with the arched windows has been restored to its former glory, thanks to a $9.8-million makeover. The staff is preparing for a community welcome February 11, when a day-long celebration will include magic tricks, face painting, and a percussion session....
New York Times, Feb. 8

Profane, offensive, and great
Jonathan Zimmerman writes: “All great literature offends someone. I can easily understand why Huck Finn makes African Americans uncomfortable (and I would hope it would make whites a bit nervous, too). But I can’t understand why we need to shield our kids from these bad feelings. Why, oh why, must everybody feel good? Literature should make us squirm and sweat, because that’s when we really start to learn about the world, which is a messy and disquieting place. So go ahead, get angry at these books. Just don’t deny kids the same experience.”...
Philadelphia Inquirer, Feb. 9

Faculty group to advise on Harvard library reorganization
History of Art and Architecture Professor Jeffrey F. Hamburger, a vocal advocate for the primacy of the libraries during a time of financial constraints, will chair a committee to represent faculty interests in the ongoing process to reform the Harvard University Library system. The Faculty Advisory Committee will not create policy, but will instead ensure that the changes proposed by an eight-member Library Implementation Group align with the priorities of faculty members....
Harvard Crimson, Feb. 9

Capt. Thomas Espy GAR Post 153 in its heydayCivil War veterans post reopens in Carnegie library
For some 30 years, Civil War veterans met in a room at the library in Carnegie, Pennsylvania, to share memories of victory and defeat and comrades past. But some time before the last member of the Capt. Thomas Espy Post group died in 1937, the room was locked and all but forgotten. Beset by funding problems, the Andrew Carnegie Free Library did not have the means to deal with the collection of swords, rifles, and other wartime mementos inside. But now the post—one of about a half-dozen that remain largely intact—reopens February 12 as part of the library’s celebration of the 201st anniversary of President Lincoln’s birth. Watch the video (2:00)....
Associated Press, Feb. 7; Andrew Carnegie Free Library; KDKA-TV, Pittsburgh, Jan. 21

Sinan Isik holds a Turkish national ID cardTurkish librarian wins case over national ID card
A 47-year-old public library worker from western Turkey may go down in history as the man who forced his country to rethink the relationship between the state and its citizens. On February 2, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg ruled that Turkey violated Sinan Işik’s rights by forcing him to decide whether or not to disclose his religious conviction on the official Turkish identity card. As a member of the Council of Europe, Turkey has to abide by the court’s verdict....
The National (Abu Dhabi), Feb. 5

The library sign in Siyathemba is all that's left of its burned library. Photo from The Times of South AfricaLibrary burned in South African protest
The library in Siyathemba, Mpumalanga province, southeast of Johannesburg, South Africa, went up in flames February 9 during a protest that appears to have shifted from labor recruitment demands to an insistence that the local mayor resign. During the previous two days of unrest, shops owned by refugees and immigrants were looted and a municipal office set on fire....
The Citizen (South Africa), Feb. 9

Go back to the Top

Tech Talk

James Kelly, Google product managerGoogle to experiment with high-speed broadband
Google is planning to build and test ultra high-speed broadband networks in a small number of trial locations across the United States. It will deliver internet speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have access to today with 1 gigabit-per-second, fiber-to-the-home connections. The plan is to offer service at a competitive price to at least 50,000 and potentially up to 500,000 people with next-generation apps, new deployment techniques, and open access. Google wants to hear by March 26 from state and local government officials who may be interested. Watch the video (1:25) or go to the fiber-optic trial site for more information....
Official Google Blog, Feb. 10

Google Buzz logoHands on with Google Buzz
Michael Muchmore writes: “Google lobbed a salvo at Facebook February 9, adding Google Buzz, a new social networking capability, to its popular Gmail service. Though Google Buzz is somewhat integrated with Twitter and a few other services—Flickr and Picasa, most notably—there’s no integration with the social network of record, Facebook. And that’s a hole Google will have to fill.” See other reviews at Search Engine Land, PC World, and ReadWriteWeb. Sarah Perez has four hacks for users, developers, and haters....
PC Magazine, Feb. 9; Search Engine Land, Feb. 9; PC World, Feb. 9; ReadWriteWeb, Feb. 9–10

Mobile site generator
Jason Griffey writes: “Chad Haefele, reference librarian for emerging technologies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has released a great tool for mobilizing your website: the Mobile Site Generator. Chad’s responsible for the UNC-CH library’s awesome mobile site, so he knows a thing or two about creating one. If you’ve been considering finding a way to mobilize your site, you could do a lot worse than take a half-hour and give this a try.”...
AL: Perpetual Beta, Feb. 9

Pogoplug deviceShare USB drives anywhere
Eric Griffith writes: “If you’re into computers, you’ve probably got a few unused USB-based storage devices around. Whether big external hard drives or pocketable USB Flash-based drives, give them new life with a USB-to-NAS (network attached storage) device. Pogoplug set the bar here with its debut last year; the latest version has 4 USB ports. Attach it to your network and you get instant sharing of all data on those USB drives among your local computers.”...
PC Magazine, Feb. 10

Turn your netbook into an e-book reader
Jason Fitzpatrick writes: “E-book readers are popular for reading digital books, but they’ve got their limitations. If you have a netbook, you already have a powerful and virtually unrestricted portable e-book reader on your hands. You just need to know how to set it up. Dedicated e-book readers do have certain things going for them, but you can’t tweak them, modify them, or use them as you see fit. Netbooks suffer from no such shortcomings.”...
Lifehacker, Feb. 10

Still from Twitter Reactions videoSee what Twitter is saying about any website
Frederic Lardinois writes: “Last September, Google launched Sidewiki, a web-annotation service that makes it easy to annotate any page on the internet. Sidewiki, however, hasn’t attracted a lot of users yet and the public discussion about online content continues to happen in comments and on Twitter. While it’s easy to browse comments, finding Twitter mentions of a specific article can be difficult. With the Twitter Reactions Chrome extension, however, you can see quickly see what Twitter is saying about a given page without ever having to leave the site.”...
ReadWriteWeb, Feb. 8

How Millennials use tech at work
Jolie O’Dell writes: “We all know that young folks use the social web for personal purposes, from keeping tabs on family members to sharing party pics with friends. And yes, they even use the social web—gasp!—while at their places of employment. But they’re also using more tech for work-related tasks, including interacting with customers and vendors and forming or strengthening new and existing partnerships.”...
ReadWriteWeb, Feb. 9

Mouseless Browse main menuAlternate ways to click through links in Firefox
Ann Smarty writes: “Productivity is not only about improving your working habits and skills. It is also about tiny things that help you do your work faster. This post aims at helping you to browse the web faster using two tools that will make clicking through various links in Firefox quicker and more fun—Mouseless Browsing and Snap Links.”...
MakeUseOf, Feb. 9


Cover of The Indian in the Cupboard, by Lynne Reid BanksTop 100 children’s novels
Betsy Bird begins her massively annotated countdown, 10 at a time, of the best children’s novels ever, based on suggestions from readers of her blog. She writes: “There will be many emotional humps and surprises along the way. There are heroes and villains here. I guarantee that in the course of the countdown you will see one book that makes you boo, and another that makes you cheer, perhaps in the same post. This is a passionate list.”...
School Library Journal: A Fuse #8 Production, Feb. 8

Oliver Twist on a KindleBritish Library offers free Kindle downloads
More than 65,000 19th-century works of fiction from the British Library’s collection are to be made available for free downloads by the public this spring. Owners of the Amazon Kindle will be able to view well-known works by writers such as Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, and Thomas Hardy. Users of the British Library service, funded by Microsoft, will be able to read from pages in the original books in the library’s collection....
The Times (U.K.), Feb. 7

Why are you for killing libraries?
Tim Spalding writes: “Under the First Sale doctrine—the idea that you own the things you own—libraries can pay once and lend a book out multiple times. E-books change this. As e-books advance, libraries are going to lose their First Sale advantage. Publishers will never allow a library to own an e-book absolutely, just as consumers don’t really own their e-books. As the logic takes hold, libraries will be transformed into simple book-subsidy machines.”...
Thingology Blog, Feb. 5

Meg CabotCollaborate on an audiobook with Meg Cabot
BBC Audiobooks America is kicking off round two of the Twitter Audio project, with a first line penned by #1 New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot February 16. Cabot will tweet the first line of the story and fans can jump in and continue it with their 140-characters-or-less contributions. The finalized short story will be recorded by a professional narrator and posted online as a free iTunes podcast....
BBC Audiobooks America, Feb. 2

Publish an open access scholarly journal
CoAction Publishing and Lund University Libraries in Sweden have released an Online Guide to Open Access Journals Publishing. The guide provides practical information on planning, setting up, launching, publishing, and managing an online scholarly journal. The guide seeks to be interactive, allowing users to share their own best practices and suggestions. Although the guide contains some information that is specific to Scandinavia, most of its content can be applied internationally....
CoAction Publishing, Feb. 5

Cover of Empress of Mars, by the late Kage BakerLocus recommended SF reading list
This recommended reading list, published in Locus magazine’s February issue, is a consensus by Locus editors and reviewers on the best science fiction and fantasy published in 2009. Essays by many of these contributors, highlighting their particular favorite books and stories, also appear in the issue. The categories include SF novels, fantasy novels, YA books, first novels, collections, original anthologies, reprint anthologies, best-of-year anthologies, nonfiction, art books, novellas, novelettes, and short stories....
Locus, Feb. 1

AL Buyers Guide ad

Actions & Answers

Four things every student should learn
An awareness of the views of those in other countries, an understanding of how Google ranks the results of a web search, a knowledge of the permanence of information posted online: These are some of the lessons that every student should be learning in today’s schools, says education technology consultant Alan November—but not every middle or high school is teaching these lessons....
eSchool News, Feb. 8

Copyright tips on public performance rights
Carrie Russell writes: “Many librarians like to include film or DVD screenings in their library programs. Can you do this without first obtaining permission from the copyright holder? It depends. In general, public performance rights are necessary for any screening that does not take place in the face-to-face classroom or is not a key element necessary to meet a teaching objective in an online or digital course offered by a nonprofit educational institution. Because the performance of a motion picture is a primary way that motion picture companies generate revenue, the rules around PPR tend to be strict.”...
Programming Librarian, Feb. 5

NASA CoLab's Second Life reference deskNASA CoLab in Second Life (PDF file)
Shannon Bohle writes: “NASA CoLab holds weekly meetings bringing together NASA employees, volunteers, and the public to discuss current NASA events relating to Second Life and First Life activities. There have been many interesting guest lecturers streamed into SL, such as Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin and others who have taken the plunge using an avatar. The archives is a digital repository which provides real reference service to patrons and describes the history of spaceflight via tours and item-level descriptions of over 200 archival items.”...
Metropolitan Archivist 16, no. 1 (Winter): 7–8, 12

The Giant Dome, largest stalagmite thus far discovered. It is 16 feet in diameter and estimated to be 60 million years old. Hall of Giants, Big Room, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico. Photo by Ansel AdamsNational Archives joins the Flickr Commons
The National Archives and Records Administration is now a member of the Flickr Commons, a website for cultural institutions to share their photograph collections with the public. To mark the February 4 opening of its photostream in the Commons, NARA posted a photo set containing more than 200 photographs of the American West by renowned American photographer Ansel Adams. The photographs, taken in 1941–1942 as part of a Department of the Interior mural project, feature four national parks and three national monuments....
National Archives and Records Administration, Feb. 4

Are Google and Microsoft squaring off over public domain works?
Alix Vance writes: “When my company added 6 million Google Book Search and Google News Archive links to two of its databases in January, I learned a few things about some puzzling disparities in Google’s treatment of scanned public-domain works. The two databases—19th Century Masterfile and Public Documents Masterfile—are discovery aids that link to many millions of documents, nearly all of which are in the public domain. By adding links to the locations of several million of these on Google sites, we were able to discern clear differences in Google’s treatment of 19th-century historical and literary materials versus scanned government documents.”...
The Scholarly Kitchen, Feb. 9

Open Government Idea Forum
The National Archives and Records Administration is developing an Open Government Plan, in accordance with the December 8, 2009, Open Government Directive (PDF file). The agency is looking for ideas on how it can conduct its work more openly, improve public participation, and improve collaboration. Submit ideas, comment, and vote by March 19....
Open Government Idea Forum

Bibliothèque haïtienne des Pères du Saint-Esprit (also known as San Martial). Courtesy of Dominique Franck Simon, director of the Alumni Association for San Martial CollegeDigital Library of the Caribbean seeks help for Haiti
The Digital Library of the Caribbean, an international collaboration of institutions that provides access to electronic collections about the Caribbean, is seeking donations and technical assistance for the recovery and protection of Haiti’s libraries and their resources. The Protecting Haitian Patrimony Initiative seeks to help the country’s three largest heritage libraries and the National Archives, all of which were damaged in the January 12 earthquake. Significant resources are needed to protect the already brittle and rare books and documents, left in piles and covered with debris....
Florida International University, Feb. 8

10 ways to recover a corrupted Word document
Brian Posey writes: “If you’ve ever had an important document get corrupted, you know the despair that sets in. You’ve lost critical information and/or countless hours of work—or so it appears. But hang on: You may not have to accept data loss. Here are some things you can try when you’re dealing with a corrupted Word document.”...
TechRepublic, Aug. 17

Press 'o' to collapse or expand a message in the threadBecome a Gmail master
Adam Pash writes: “Gmail is easily the most popular email application among power users, and with good reason: It’s an excellent app. But if you haven’t gotten to know its best shortcuts, tricks, Labs features, and add-ons, it’s time you made Gmail sing. I’ve broken things down into sections, starting with keyboard shortcuts, then moving down into the best Labs add-ons, third-party add-ons, and search techniques.”...
Lifehacker, Feb. 4

Best library groups on Twitter
Erin Logsdon writes: “For this semi-scientific analysis I looked at 18 library membership organizations, including state and national organizations. I utilized seven elements to compare them. You can use this method for a quick check of your organization’s Twitter presence.” ALA feeds with the highest scores included ALA_TechSource and AtYourLibrary....
Beyond Sliced Bread, Jan. 26

Children & Libraries en Español logoChildren and Libraries en Español
If you are a children’s librarian looking for help in better serving your Spanish-speaking patrons, but you don’t speak Spanish yourself, visit Children and Libraries en Español. The site provides resources to help you communicate, learn more about Latino and Hispanic cultures, find children’s books in Spanish, and network with other librarians who serve Spanish-speaking children....
Children and Libraries en Español

MySecureCyberspace logoCarnegie Mellon to offer internet safety resources
Carnegie Mellon University will use a $20,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation to create and distribute internet safety advice to faculty, teachers, and students in K–12 schools and on college campuses. The university’s internet safety lessons can be found on a new website from its Information Networking Institute, called MySecureCyberspace, which also includes such tools as an encyclopedia of hundreds of web terms....
eSchool News, Feb. 9

Shifting age patterns in internet and social media use
While blogging among adults as a whole has remained steady, the prevalence of blogging within specific age groups has changed dramatically in recent years. Specifically, a sharp decline in blogging by young adults has been tempered by a corresponding increase in blogging among older adults. Both teen and adult use of social networking sites has risen significantly, yet the specific sites on which young adults maintain their profiles are different from those used by older adults....
Pew Research Center, Feb. 3

Goth lab assistant from the NCIS television seriesMaking genealogy hip
Thomas MacEntee writes: “Merely hoping that genealogy becomes hip isn’t going to make it so; nor will the demographics of the field morph overnight into one dominated by the 20- and 30-something set. What do we need? One only has to look to the fields of criminology and forensic science to see how the media depiction of crime-scene investigators and other personnel has helped to bring new and younger people into those fields.”...
Kick-Ass Genealogy, Jan. 30

Illustrated here is the 1915 Redraft of the 1660 Castello Plan documenting early lower Manhattan, “warped” using the Map Warper and rendered in Google EarthNYPL launches Map Rectifier tool
The New York Public Library recently launched a new Map Rectifier website that works in conjunction with maps in its Digital Gallery. The site allows zooming, panning, and georectification—a process that allows digital images to be stretched, placing the maps themselves into their geographic context. Once a historical map has been digitally warped, users can virtually “trace” features, such as cities, farm boundaries, rivers, ponds, and even buildings, converting them into digital geospatial data....
NYPL Blogs, Feb. 3

New report on scholarly communication (PDF file)
Since 2005, the Center for Studies in Higher Education at the University of California, Berkeley, has been conducting research on faculty scholarly communication for in-progress research and archival publication. Its final report, Assessing the Future Landscape of Scholarly Communication: An Exploration of Faculty Values and Needs in Seven Disciplines, brings together the responses of 160 interviewees from 45 research institutions in seven academic fields: archaeology, astrophysics, biology, economics, history, music, and political science....
Center for Studies in Higher Education, Jan. 28

Batman: The Killing Joke, by Alan MooreHow the Columbia graphic novels exhibit was put together
Karen Green writes: “It all started June 11, 2009, when Janet Gertz, our head of preservation and the gatekeeper for library exhibitions in our eight 3rd-floor display cases, emailed me to ask if I’d be interested in doing an exhibition on graphic novels for Spring 2010. Because I had never in my life planned an exhibition, and therefore had no idea how unbelievably difficult it was, I of course said ‘Yes!’ The following week, Janet told me that her announcement of the news at Management Committee—a weekly meeting of all the highest poohbahs in the libraries—had been met with ‘oooohs.’ Good sign, right?”...
ComiXology: Comic Adventures in Academia, Feb. 5

Winter Olympics @ your library
You don’t have to travel to Vancouver February 12–28 to participate in the 2010 Winter Olympics. There are several ways to enjoy the Olympics @ your library. Hosting your own Olympic Games @ your library can be a fun way to promote your library’s existing gaming program. Another easy way to celebrate the games and their host country is with Canada’s @ your library logo....

Google's Street View Snowmobile at the Olympics siteThe Winter Olympics on Google Maps
In anticipation of the 2010 Winter Olympics Games, Google has added some stunning new street views taken by the Street View Snowmobile (right, watch the video, 1:41). The new Street View includes images from the Dave Murray Downhill (site of the men’s alpine skiing event), from the top of the 7th Heaven Chairlift on Blackcomb, and from the peak of Whistler. Google has also released an embeddable gadget with real-time info and Street View/3D/map of venues....
Google Maps Mania, Feb. 9

Do library staff know what users want?
Steven Bell writes: “Perhaps the most basic premise for delivering a great library user experience is knowing what members of the user community want from the library and being able to articulate their service expectations from the library. Then the librarian’s responsibility is to design an experience that delivers on those expectations and exceeds them when possible. If successful, we should be able to create a loyal base of community members who will support the library and use it repeatedly—and recommend that their friends do so as well.”...
Designing Better Libraries, Feb. 4

Box of Arm & Hammer baking sodaPlanning an Earth Day event this year?
Laura Bruzas writes: “How are you planning to celebrate Earth Day, April 22, at your library? There are so many ways to celebrate this monumental day—ways that don’t require a big budget but instead a bit of lead time and some creative thinking. Last year, I reached out to the Arm & Hammer company and my local Whole Foods market. If your plan includes reaching out to a green business, why not start today?”...
AL: Green Your Library, Feb. 6

Mural by Frederick C. Martin showing classical Greek baseball playersLC’s naked baseballers
Brett Smiley writes: “There’s a mural on the ceiling of the Great Hall in the Library of Congress that very nearly blends in with the many others found in the room. But when you look closer, you’ll notice something peculiar: It depicts a bunch of naked guys holding baseball equipment. According to Susan Reyburn, a staff writer-editor at the library and coauthor of Baseball Americana, the mural has been around since the Library of Congress opened in 1897: ‘It’s one of about five images depicting ancient games, showing the Olympic ideal.’”...
Asylum, Feb. 9

Dresden Codex, tables for the planet MarsThe oldest book from the Americas
The Dresden Codex (named for the city where it is housed) is a fig-bark paper manuscript in concertina style, produced around the beginning of the 13th century (a contentious point). The 74 pages are sewn together, producing an 11-foot-long document that was originally folded up between protective wooden covers bearing engraved jaguars. As the most complete of the few remaining Maya manuscripts, it is a comprehensive source for Maya calendar and astronomy systems and an aid to glyph interpretation in the wider iconography of the Maya culture....
BibliOdyssey, Feb. 4

Wolfram von Eschenbach from the Codex Manesse, ca. 1304-1340Early Book Lecture Series at the University of Arizona
The University of Arizona Libraries Special Collections is home to important art and historical works. Albrecht Classen, professor of German studies, is using these materials to make history come to life in the seventh annual Early Book Lecture Series, open to the public February 9–March 2. Faculty from the university’s German studies, classics, and English departments give their audiences new insights into historic texts from Germany, France, and England. Associate Librarian Bonnie Travers has helped put together the materials for the lecture series each year....
University of Arizona, Feb. 4

1882 device for indicating life in buried personsPremature burial device patents
Meg Holle writes: “This morning I ran across a list of suspected premature burials with some interesting contemporaneous newspaper clips. It got me thinking: I love all those turn-of-the-20th-century inventions designed to save you in the event of your premature burial. I figured there must be patents on these, and sure enough, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office provides them online. Unfortunately, the interface is exceptionally ugly, so I turned to Google Patents.”...
Death Reference Desk, Feb. 2

James Dean in Times Square, 1955. Photo by Dennis Stock, Magnum ArchiveRansom Center obtains historic photo archive
The Magnum Archive Collection, a photo collection of nearly 200,000 original press prints of images taken by world-renowned photographers, will be preserved, cataloged, and made accessible by the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin. The vintage prints in the collection include images of major world events, celebrities, family life, poverty, religion, and social affairs by such photographers as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, Elliott Erwitt, Leonard Freed, Bruce Davidson, Rene Burri, Dennis Stock, and Eve Arnold....
Harry Ransom Center, Feb. 2

David Adjaye in a Lyons libraryFunky libraries of Lyons and London
The BBC’s David Adjaye explores (3:24) the architecture of two beautiful, modern libraries in Lyons, France. Back in the U.K., he talks to architect Will Alsop about his design for a library in Peckham, London, and the importance of architecture and community....
YouTube, Jan. 29

Jemima Hall, from the videoA Newberry Library Minute: Letters to Jemima Hall
Alison Hinderliter, manuscripts and archives librarian at the Newberry Library in Chicago, discovered some letters sent in the 1830s from a slave to a freed slave, who happened to be husband and wife (2:27). Jemima Hall, born around 1810, lived with the Rodgers family in southern Illinois and was freed sometime between 1822 and 1836. In the letters, Jemima’s husband, Washington, and her husband’s master, L. F. Hall, implore her to return to Missouri to live with them....
YouTube, Jan. 8

Go back to the Top

Shaping Outcomes ad

Oakland Community College ad

APA Books ad

2010 Annual Conference logo

ALA Annual Conference, Washington, D.C., June 24–29. Special events this year include appearances by Toni Morrison, Nancy Pearl, Dave Isay, and Sarah, Duchess of York.

Cover of Writing Reviews for Readers' Advisory

Reviews are an important resource for readers’ advisory and collection development. They are also a helpful promotional tool, introducing patrons to new books on the shelf. In Writing Reviews for Readers’ Advisory, Brad Hooper, adult books editor at Booklist, offers tips for writing strong, relevant reviews, and different ways reviews can be used to promote your library. NEW! From ALA Editions.

In this issue
Jan./Feb. 2010

Cover of Jan./Feb. 2010 issue

How to Thrive by Design

ABLE in Afghanistan

It’s the Content, Stupid

Upcoming ALA conferences

2010 Annual Conference, Washington, D.C.: June 24–29, 2010

2011 Midwinter Meeting, San Diego:
January 7–11, 2011

2011 Annual Conference, New Orleans:
June 23–28, 2011

2012 Midwinter Meeting, Dallas: January 20–24, 2012

2012 Annual Conference, Anaheim:
June 21–26, 2012

2013 Midwinter Meeting, Seattle: January 25–29, 2013

2013 Annual Conference, Chicago: June 27–July 2, 2013

2014 Midwinter Meeting, Philadelphia: January 24–28, 2014

2014 Annual Conference, Las Vegas:
June 26–July 1, 2014

2015 Midwinter Meeting, Chicago: January 23–27, 2015

2015 Annual Conference, San Francisco:
June 25–30, 2015

2016 Midwinter Meeting, Boston: January 22–26, 2016

2016 Annual Conference, Orlando: June 23–28, 2016

2017 Midwinter Meeting, Atlanta: January 20–24, 2017

2017 Annual Conference, Chicago: June 22–27, 2017

Career Leads from
ALA Joblist logo

Director of Research and Instructional Materials, Luther College, Decorah, Iowa. Coordinates library, research, and instruction services in support of the mission of Luther College. This includes leading a team to set and implement a vision for innovative academic information service across traditional bounds of libraries and technology organizations in a rapidly changing environment. The successful candidate will join the leadership team of Library and Information Services and report to the Executive Director of Library and Information Services. We seek creative, innovative, and forward-thinking individuals who show a history of challenging themselves and others through their work and service....

Find JobLIST on Facebook

Follow JobLIST on Twitter

@ More jobs...

Digital Library of the Week

The Disquieting Muses, by Giorgio de Chirico, 1947. University of Iowa Museum of Art collection

The permanent collections of the University of Iowa Museum of Art contain more than 12,000 objects, from masterworks of European and American Art of the 20th century to a world-renowned collection of traditional African Art. During the 1940s and 1950s, the University’s School of Art and Art History presented exhibitions of contemporary art and acquired works from these exhibitions. Many of the museum’s most important paintings were acquired during these years, including Max Beckmann’s Karneval and Joan Miró’s 1939 A Drop of Dew Falling from the Wing of a Bird Awakens Rosalie Asleep in the Shade of a Cobweb. Areas represented in the UIMA collections include African arts, art of the Americas, ceramics, drawings, paintings, photography, prints, sculpture, and other arts. Currently, the UIMA Digital Collection features over 5,100 of the museum’s 12,000 objects; the rest of the holdings will be added in the near future.

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

“You’re pretty cocky for someone whose job is obsolete because of the internet.”

Parks and Recreation Deputy Director Leslie Knope (played by Amy Poehler), responding to a Pawnee (Indiana) Public Library staffer’s wisecrack in the “Sweetums” episode, which aired on NBC Feb. 4.

TweetWatch bird



WebJunction Technology Essentials 2010, Feb. 9–10, at:

VALA 2010, Libraries, Technology, and the Future, Melbourne, Australia, Feb. 9–11, at:

Capricon 30, science fiction convention, Chicago, Feb. 11–14, at:

Free Culture X Conference, George Washington University, Feb. 13–14, at:

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

AskALA graphic showing mobile phone and sample question

Get professional tips from the ALA Library, or ask Member Services for assistance with your membership record or webinar registration—we’ll answer. Text us at 66746—and be sure to begin your question with “askALA.”

Ask the ALA Librarian

Cover of forthcoming No Shelf Required by Sue Polanka

Q. I am looking for a collection development policy for the reference collection but haven’t really found anything. I would like to find a policy that addresses the shift from print to electronic materials, the selection criteria for such materials, and what kind of reference materials should preferably be purchased in electronic format compared to the ones we should keep in print format.

A. ALA does not have a collection development policy for the reference collection. However, we do have various guidelines to help you create your own policy. The ALA Library has gathered some resources on electronic collection development and more general collection policies. From the ALA Professional Tips wiki.

@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.

Emerging leaders of ALA

Membership in ALA starts to pay you back the moment you join. With discounts on products and services, and members-only access to information through our website and journals, you will benefit right away. Included in many of these benefits are resources to advance your career, your library, and the whole profession. Explore the many benefits offered to personal, organizational, and corporate members.


Feb. 20–21:
Bookmark Collectors Virtual Convention.

Mar. 3–5:
WebWise Conference on Libraries and Museums in the Digital World,
Hyatt Regency at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. “Imagining the Digital Future.”

Mar. 30:
Resource Description and Access Executive Briefing,
CILIP, London, U.K.

Mar. 31:
Document Freedom Day,
a day of grassroots effort to educate the public about the importance of Free Document Formats and Open Standards in general.

Apr. 12–14:
25th Annual Computers in Libraries 2010,
Hyatt Regency Crystal City, Arlington, Virginia. “Information Fluency: Literacy for Life.”

Apr. 23–24:
Third Annual Celebration of Latino Children’s Literature,
University of Alabama School of Library and Information Studies, Tuscaloosa. “Connecting Cultures and Celebrating Cuentos.”

May 21–26:
Medical Library Association,
Annual Meeting, Hilton Washington, D.C.

May 25–27:
BookExpo America,
Jacob J. Javits Center, New York City.

May 28:
Book Blogger Convention,
Jacob J. Javits Center, New York City.

June 7–10:
23rd International Conference on the First-Year Experience,
Wailea Beach Marriott Resort and Spa, Maui, Hawaii.

@ More...

Contact Us
American Libraries Direct

ALA logo

AL Direct is a free electronic newsletter emailed every Wednesday to personal members of the American Library Association and subscribers.

George M. Eberhart
George M. Eberhart,

Sean Fitzpatrick
Sean Fitzpatrick,
Associate Editor:

Greg Landgraf
Greg Landgraf,
Associate Editor:

Leonard Kniffel
Leonard Kniffel,
Editor and Publisher,
American Libraries:

To advertise in American Libraries Direct, contact:

Brian Searles
Brian Searles,

Katie Bane
Katie Bane

Send feedback:

AL Direct FAQ:

All links outside the ALA website are provided for informational purposes only. Questions about the content of any external site should be addressed to the administrator of that site.

American Libraries
50 E. Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611
ext. 4216

ISSN 1559-369X.