The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | February 17,

American Libraries Online
ALA News
Booklist Online
Division News
Round Table News
Seen Online
Tech Talk
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AL Buyers Guide

American Libraries Online

Christian Family Coalition logoFlorida man sues two libraries for discrimination
A Florida man has filed a religious-discrimination lawsuit against Volusia County and Library Director Lucinda Colee, claiming that VCPL’s New Smyrna Beach branch declined his request to conduct a seminar called “Is Religion Alive in America?” there because library policy bans use of the meeting room for sectarian programming. Plaintiff Anthony Verdugo, who is executive director of the Christian Family Coalition, submitted an identically worded meeting-room request to both libraries....
American Libraries news, Feb. 17

Apple iPadiPad introduction met with excitement, derision
Apple’s announcement of the iPad tablet computer January 27 drew ample attention from the technology world. Apple CEO Steve Jobs pinned the iPad’s potential for success to whether it could occupy a niche between smartphone and laptop, claiming that netbooks fail to meet that niche’s needs. The iPad will run all iPhone apps without modification, but developers will also be encouraged to create iPad-specific apps. And while video and gaming are clearly focuses for the tablet, e-books are also getting their due....
American Libraries news, Feb. 12

Computer connecting devices10 technology ideas your library can implement next week
Ellyssa Kroski writes: “Librarians who are still becoming comfortable with the web are often reticent to begin using new technologies in their day-to-day work because the learning curve often takes more time than they have at hand. When I begin teaching people about Web 2.0, mobile, and emerging technologies, I try to answer three questions: What is it? Why is it important? How can it help me better serve my users tomorrow? Here are 10 ideas you can use to start creating, collaborating, connecting, and communicating.”...
American Libraries feature

Kirkus Reviews logoKirkus Reviews gets new owner
Leonard Kniffel writes: “In a move that surprised those who had already mourned the passing of Kirkus Reviews, the venerable source of prepublication reviews of new books has been bought by Herb Simon, owner of the Indiana Pacers, of the National Basketball Association. The magazine’s previous owner, Nielsen Business Media, announced in December that it would shut Kirkus down. Unlikely as it may seem that someone who owns a basketball team would see book reviewing as a good investment, Simon also co-owns Tecolote Books, an independent bookstore in Montecito, California.”...
AL: Inside Scoop, Feb. 12

Internet Librarian: Whither Wikipedia?
Joseph Janes writes: “You’ve got to feel a bit for Wikipedia cofounder Jimmy Wales. Here’s a guy with a fairly simple but incredibly powerful idea: Create a way for people to share what they know with the wider world and in the process build a resource that can be of great benefit to everyone. I can’t help wondering, though, whether it has all turned out quite the way he had in mind. The wild success and popular embrace of Wikipedia has given way of late to reports of difficulties.”...
American Libraries column, Feb. 12

S. R. RanganathanOn My Mind: The case for textbooks
Krista McDonald and John Burke write: “Our reaction to the oft-repeated axiom that ‘libraries don’t purchase course textbooks’ was to ask, ‘Why not?’ After all, isn’t part of our mission as academic libraries to make materials for learning as widely available as possible? We decided to apply applied a standard test of library service, S. R. Ranganathan’s (right) ‘Five Laws of Library Science,’ to the concept of textbooks in the library.”...
American Libraries column, Feb. 17

Dispatches from the Field: Cataloging horizons
Karen Coyle writes: “Library catalogs have evolved over time as technology has changed. The last 150 years have seen a progression from book catalogs to cards, and eventually, to online catalogs. Each of these changes has provided new capabilities that can be adopted for improved user services. The next step in this evolution is on the horizon, and it will make possible some new and powerful capabilities for information seekers.”...
American Libraries column, Feb. 12

Green booklist graphic11 ways to promote a great top 10 book list
Laura Bruzas writes: “Recently, author and Booklist Associate Editor Donna Seaman composed a list of the best environmental books reviewed over the past 12 months—works of extraordinary research, thought, passion, and artistry. Here are some suggested ways to capture the wisdom and efforts of Donna’s best-of list to drive your library’s green efforts.”...
AL: Green Your Library, Feb. 12

Still from Marilyn Johnson videoMarilyn Johnson on librarians and cybrarians
Marilyn Johnson, author of This Book is Overdue: How Librarians and Cybrarians can Save Us All (Harper, 2010), talks to AL Focus (3:04) about how she came to write the book and why the work of librarians is more important than ever....
AL Focus, Feb. 15

ALA News

Cover of March Woman's DayWoman’s Day shows how the library can save you money
Woman’s Day magazine’s March issue profiles four women who used the resources at their public libraries to save money and accessed library resources to cope with economic tough times. The article marks the beginning of the ninth year Woman’s Day and the ALA Campaign for America’s Libraries have partnered to highlight the value of libraries. Featured in the magazine is the story of Karen Schmidt of Camano Island, Washington, who uses the resources and programs at her library to help homeschool her son....
Campaign for America’s Libraries, Feb. 10; Woman’s Day, Mar.

Recovery logoSuccessful library broadband stimulus applications
The Office for Information Technology Policy has prepared four summaries of successful library applications from the first round of broadband stimulus funding to provide second-round applicants with a snapshot of what went into these successful applications. Highlights include a brief project description, the projected budget and federal award, a project development discussion, and lessons learned....
District Dispatch, Feb. 17

Portion of the ALA ILL formALA interlibrary loan form
Q. Can I order a copy of the ALA form for interlibrary loan from the ALA Store? A. The interlibrary loan form is not available for purchase. ALA, through its committees, only standardized the interlibrary loan form; we do not sell it at all. However, a copy of the form is on our website in PDF format or Word format. The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions....
AL: Ask the ALA Librarian, Feb. 17

National Library Workers Day logoStart planning for National Library Workers Day
National Library Workers Day, April 13, is the day for staff, users, administrators, and Friends groups to recognize the valuable contributions made by all library workers. The ALA–Allied Professional Association has posters, T-shirts, and buttons to assist you in your celebration....
ALA–Allied Professional Association

ALA-APA logoEight things to know about ALA–APA
ALA–Allied Professional Association Director Jenifer Grady writes: “Let me introduce you to an organization that gives you intriguing ways to get involved, upgrade your salaries and/or status, and showcase the importance of the work you do. The ALA-APA is a service organization to ALA members. It manages certification programs and advocates for higher salaries for library employees.”...
NMRT Footnotes 39, no. 3 (Feb.)

ECU student volunteers at Building Hope Community Life CenterStudent members share the gift of literacy
In the few, busy weeks leading up to Christmas 2009, students in East Carolina University’s Department of Library Science gathered more than 12,000 books and materials to donate to homeless shelters, children’s homes, after-school programs, women’s shelters, and a nursing home in eight North Carolina communities. This was students’ fourth year participating in the ECU-ALA Student Chapter Holiday Book Drive....
ALA Student Member Blog, Feb. 17

ALA supports online reseller in infringement lawsuit
On February 11, ACRL joined ALA, the Association of Research Libraries, and a coalition of public-interest and consumer groups in urging a federal appeals court to preserve consumers’ rights and the first-sale doctrine in a battle over an internet auction of used computer software. Timothy Vernor is an online software reseller who tried to auction four authentic packages of Autodesk’s AutoCAD software on eBay. Autodesk sent takedown notices to block his auctions and threatened to sue him for copyright infringement....
District Dispatch, Feb. 16

Vitali reappointed endowment trustee
John E. Vitali has been reappointed to a second term as an endowment trustee by the ALA Executive Board at the Midwinter Meeting in Boston. Initially selected in 2007, Vitali begins a new three-year term at the conclusion of the 2010 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., in June. He is currently the deputy director for business administration and chief financial officer of the Brooklyn Public Library....
ALA Finance Office, Feb. 17

ALA contributes two Drupal modules
ALA Strategy Guide Jenny Levine writes: “Two of the modules we had Urban Insight develop for ALA Connect—the ‘cite’ feature and the statistics reporting package—were both released to the Drupal community in 2009. Given how many modules we’ve used to build our site, it feels like a badge of honor that we’ve contributed something back. Nine other sites are currently running the cite feature and 85 sites are running the statistics module.”....
ITTS News, Feb. 12

Booklist Online logo

Cover of The Secret of SustainabilityFeatured review: Reference
Jenkins, Willis, and Whitney Bauman, eds. Berkshire Encyclopedia of Sustainability: The Spirit of Sustainability. 2v. Berkshire, hardcover (978-1-933782-15-7).
With The Spirit of Sustainability, Berkshire has launched Berkshire Encyclopedia of Sustainability, which will comprise 10 volumes when it is completed. Future volumes will cover business, law, natural resources, and geographic regions, among other topics. As stated in the “Publisher’s Note,” although there is other good reference material on the environment, much of it is focused on the problems. Berkshire Encyclopedia of Sustainability, on the other hand, is “a project about solutions.” Developed under the auspices of the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale University, The Spirit of Sustainability examines sustainability as a “moral challenge.” More than 110 international and primarily academic contributors wrote the 147 A–Z entries, which range from 1 to 5 pages in length. A number of entries are those one would expect to see in an encyclopedia on environmental concerns, such as Agriculture, Climate change, and Water. However, with the goal of “introducing the question of sustainability in multiple moral perspectives,” there are also entries for concepts such as Community, Justice, and Sin and evil as well as various spiritual and theological frameworks, from Christianity—Mainline Protestant and Hinduism to indigenous traditions in Africa, Asia, and elsewhere. Each entry includes a brief introductory summary and a further-reading list, and many entries also include sidebars containing primary source material....

Reference on the web: Environmental websites graphicE-waste
Mary Ellen Quinn writes: “E-waste—electronic waste—makes up 5% of municipal solid waste worldwide, and developing countries are expected to triple their production of toxic e-waste over the next five years. Here is a selection of free websites for people who want more information about this growing problem....

Booklist readers recommend
Next Book: When You Reach Me, by Rebecca Stead. Due: Friday, February 19. For each upcoming Booklist spotlight, we choose a noteworthy title—you send us a short list of read-alikes. Be creative! Both fiction and nonfiction are fair game, and include books, audiobooks, videos, and even Internet databases as you wish. Just be prepared to defend your choices. Using one or two sentences per title, explain how each one complements the selected work. Email your list to Keir Graff, Booklist Online senior editor, including your full name and professional title. Attach a photograph of yourself if you have one. If your list is selected, it will be published in the next issue of REaD ALERT and you will receive a free six-month subscription (single-user only) to Booklist Online.

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

Division News

Tom Kenny at Comic-Con 2008. Photo by Ewen RobertsDownloadable Teen Tech Week PSAs with Tom Kenny
Tom Kenny (right), best known as the voice of SpongeBob SquarePants, appears in downloadable public service announcements promoting Teen Tech Week, March 7–13. Teen Tech Week is an annual initiative sponsored by YALSA. Aimed at librarians, educators, parents and other concerned adults, to Teen Tech Week encourages teens to take advantage of libraries' nonprint resources....

YALSA, Feb. 16

School Library Month: Communities Thrive graphicSchool Library Month video contest
AASL is hosting a video contest in conjunction with School Library Month in April for members and their students to share how their school library programs help their communities thrive. Entries may include an interview with members of a school community, a typical day in the life of a school librarian, or a short skit on why school librarians are essential to a school community. Submissions will be accepted through March 1....
AASL, Feb. 16

ACRL/LLAMA Spring Virtual Institute
Registration is now open for the ACRL and LLAMA Spring Virtual Institute, “Doing Well by Doing Good: Entrepreneurial Leadership for Librarians,” April 21–22. The institute will explore different models and aspects of leadership and management and their impact on academic librarianship in today’s challenged and flat economic environments. Registration is open through April 19....
ACRL, Feb. 16

Round Table News

GLBTRT T-shirt back: Out of the closet and into the stacks, first GLBT professional organization in U.S.GLBTRT anniversary T-shirt
The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Round Table is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year at the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., June 24–30. To help support its anniversary events, GLBTRT is offering celebratory lavender T-shirts with its name and logo....
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Round Table


Brian SchottlaenderSchottlaender named 2010 Melvil Dewey winner
Brian E. C. Schottlaender, Audrey Geisel university librarian at the University of California, San Diego, has received the 2010 Melvil Dewey Medal Award, sponsored by OCLC. This prestigious professional honor, given in recognition of creative leadership of high order, is named after Melvil Dewey, who was actively interested in library management, library training, cataloging and classification, and the tools and techniques of librarianship....

ALA Awards Program, Feb. 10

Heidi JacobsACRL Ilene F. Rockman Publication of the Year
Heidi L. M. Jacobs, information literacy librarian at the University of Windsor, Ontario, has been chosen as the winner of the ACRL Instruction Section’s Ilene F. Rockman Publication of the Year Award for her article “Information Literacy and Reflective Pedagogical Praxis,” published in the May 2008 issue of the Journal of Academic Librarianship. The award recognizes an outstanding publication related to library instruction published in the past two years....
ACRL, Feb. 16

Northwest Vista College LibraryACRL Community College Library Program Achievement award
The Northwest Vista College Library in San Antonio, Texas, has been chosen to receive the 2010 EBSCO Community College Learning Resources Program Achievement Award, administered by the ACRL Community and Junior College Libraries Section. The library has created a diverse approach to library instruction for both on-campus and distance students, including innovative uses of technological resources....
ACRL, Feb. 16

2010 ALSC “Light the Way” grant winner named
ALSC has awarded the Fayetteville (Ark.) Public Library its 2010 “Light the Way: Library Outreach to the Underserved” grant. As winner of the grant, the library will receive $3,000 to expand and develop its Books for Borrowing program, which is designed to put books into the hands of underserved children and their families. Books for Borrowing currently operates in four Head Start centers and plans to expand to two additional locations....

ALSC, Feb. 10

Advocates may apply for the WHCLIST Award
The White House Conference on Library and Information Services Taskforce and the ALA Washington Office are accepting entries for the 2010 WHCLIST Award, which will provide a stipend of $300 for a nonlibrarian participant to attend Library Advocacy Day on June 29 in Washington, D.C. The winner will attend the rally and Congressional meetings with elected officials or their staffs. The winner will be introduced at the rally and participate in advocacy meetings in Congressional offices. Entries are due March 1....
District Dispatch, Feb. 16

ACRL Library Advocacy Day travel grants
Are you interested in federal legislation and policy affecting libraries, connected in your campus community, and willing to work with your members of Congress for change? ACRL is offering up to $250 each for 10 individuals to attend Library Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C., June 29. Individuals applying for the travel grants must be ACRL Legislative Advocates and must apply by April 16....
ACRL Insider, Feb. 16

ALA Scholarship program logoALA scholarships
ALA and its units provide more than $300,000 annually for study towards a master’s degree in library and information studies from an ALA-accredited program, or towards a master’s degree in school library media that meets the ALA curriculum guidelines for an NCATE-accredited unit. You can apply for a variety of scholarships through the single online application. Applications, references, and transcripts are due by March 1....
ALA Scholarship Program

Has your student chapter had an outstanding year?
Apply for the ALA New Members Round Table Student Chapter of the Year Award. The award is presented in recognition of an accredited ALA chapter’s outstanding contributions to ALA, its library school, and the profession. The winner will receive $1,000 to help defray travel expenses to ALA Annual Conference. The deadline to apply is February 26....
ALA New Members Round Table

Barbara SemoncheDonna ScheederScheeder, Semonche honored with SLA Hall of Fame Award
The Special Libraries Association named Donna Scheeder (left) and Barbara Semonche as the 2009 recipients of the SLA Hall of Fame award in honor of their pioneering work in the field of news librarianship and their prolonged and distinguished histories of service and leadership to SLA. Hall of Fame recognition is reserved for SLA members at or near the end of their active professional careers to recognize service and contributions to the association....
SLA Blog, Feb. 16

NCFL logoBetter World Books/NCFL Libraries and Families Award
Applications for the new Better World Books / National Center for Family Literacy’s Libraries and Families Award are now available through March 3. One winner of a $10,000 grant will be chosen from each of the three following categories: local Friends of the Library programs, public or academic libraries, and urban libraries....
National Center for Family Literacy

E. B. McNaughton Civil Liberties Award
Retired librarian Candace Morgan will receive the ACLU Foundation of Oregon’s E. B. McNaughton Civil Liberties Award at a Liberty Dinner celebration in Portland on March 6. In addition to her intellectual freedom work as a librarian, Morgan has revived the ACLU of Oregon’s participation in Banned Books Week, creating the only statewide effort in the nation that brings together libraries, bookstores, and nonprofits to educate people on the freedom to read....
ACLU Foundation of Oregon, Jan. 27

Cover of the Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook, by Eleanor Davis, which won in the Children's and Middle Grade Graphic Novel category2009 Cybils Awards
The winners of the 2009 Cybils Awards, or Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards, have been announced. Cofounded by Kelly Herold and Anne Boles Levy in 2006, the awards were created to address an apparent gap between children’s book awards perceived as too elitist and other awards that did not seem selective enough. This year’s 12 awards are in various format or genre categories....
The Cybils, Feb. 14

Cover of The Great Hamster MassacreHamster tale wins Waterstone’s prize
Debut author Katie Davies has won the 2010 Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize for her tale The Great Hamster Massacre, about a girl’s relentless quest for a pet hamster. Davies, who lives in London, based the book on her own childhood, when her pet hamsters killed their two litters. The award carries a prize of £5,000 ($7,833 U.S.)....
BBC News, Feb. 10

Seen Online

Justice Dept. defends warrantless cell phone tracking
The FBI and other police agencies don’t need to obtain a search warrant to learn the locations of Americans’ cell phones, the U.S. Department of Justice told a federal appeals court February 12 in Philadelphia. There “is no constitutional bar” to acquiring “routine business records held by a communications service provider,” said Mark Eckenwiler, a senior attorney in the criminal division of the Justice Department. This is the first federal appeals court to address warrantless location tracking, which raises novel issues of government surveillance and privacy. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has called for strengthening the Electronic Communications Privacy Act....
CNET: Politics and Law, Feb. 13; The Hill, Feb. 12

Still from Buffalo News video showing policeman guarding Lockwood LibraryUniversity at Buffalo library back to normal after alarm
Lockwood Memorial Library on the University at Buffalo North Campus in Amherst, New York, was evacuated February 16 after campus police received a tip that a male was outside the library and it looked like he had a rifle. UB police conducted a four-hour room-by-room search of the library but found nothing suspicious....
Buffalo (N.Y.) News, Feb. 16

Boston ponders closing branches, cutting staff
As many as 10 neighborhood branches could close as part of a drastic overhaul of the Boston Public Library proposed February 17 in an effort to bridge a $3.6-million budget gap, due in large part to a steep drop in state funding. The plan (PDF file) unveiled at a special board of trustees meeting would seek to strengthen the remaining 16–18 branches by adding staff, computers, books, CDs, DVDs, and other resources. The move would eliminate up to 35 staff positions and increase travel for residents between libraries....
Boston Globe, Feb. 17

Google Buzz logoGoogle Buzz now a complaint magnet
The Electronic Privacy Information Center filed a complaint February 16 with the Federal Trade Commission charging that Google’s recently launched Buzz service “is a significant breach of consumers’ expectations of privacy.” The EPIC complaint (PDF file) urges the FTC to require Google to make the Buzz service fully opt–in, to stop using Gmail users’ private address book contacts to compile social networking lists, and to give Google users meaningful control over their personal data. Google was also hit with an NIS 5.5-billion ($1.5 billion U.S.) class-action motion in an Israeli court on the grounds of invasion of privacy. Amal Jaraisy’s lawsuit is on behalf of Gmail users, who “woke up one morning and found that the details of the people with whom they have open or covert contact are exposed to the entire world,” without their consent, she wrote. The Canadian Privacy Commissioner is also investigating....
Palo Alto (Calif.) Daily News, Feb. 16; Electronic Privacy Information Center, Feb. 16; Haaretz (Tel Aviv), Feb. 15; CBC News, Feb. 16

Illinois funding shortage may doom some library systems
Libraries across Illinois may again be victims of the state’s ongoing financial woes, industry leaders fear. Regional cooperative library organizations, such as the North Suburban Library System in Wheeling, already have slashed budgets and cut staffs because millions of dollars in promised state funds haven’t been delivered. If the money doesn’t come soon, representatives say, more cuts would be needed and the organizations could even shut down....
Arlington Heights (Ill.) Daily Herald, Feb. 14

Lillian Moore BradshawLillian Moore Bradshaw dies
Lillian Moore Bradshaw, director of the Dallas Public Library from 1962 to 1984 and ALA President in 1970–1971, passed away February 9 at the age of 95. Under her direction, Dallas built 18 of the city’s 25 branch libraries, which she said should be tailored to serve individual neighborhoods. Among her many achievements was leading the $40-million financial campaign to construct the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library....
Dallas Morning News, Feb. 12; Dallas Observer, Feb. 10

More library use, less library funding
The community reaction to the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s financial problems was one of last year’s big stories in the city. Drowned out by the local din, however, was the fact that the same story about libraries was repeated across the country. Preliminary figures from a new ALA survey of how libraries fared in 2009 show that nearly 75% of them were handed significant government budget cuts, forcing libraries to reduce services. Pennsylvania registered a 27% reduction in state library aid....
Pittsburgh (Pa.) Post-Gazette, Feb. 15

Mad Men logoNo rest for the query
Whether it’s the writers of Mad Men calling to ensure the hit show’s portrayal of the city in 1963 is accurate, or a 4th-grader stumped on her science project, the research librarians at the New York Public Library are the question authorities. Created in the 1960s as the telephone reference desk, the team of six senior librarians in the catalog area of the stunning Rose Reading Room now take hundreds of questions each day by phone, email, online chat—and, as of a few weeks ago—by text message. Some of the questions are beyond the reach of Google, said ASK NYPL Manager Samantha Thompson....
New York Post, Feb. 15

Dickinson State library funding error creates turmoil
The North Dakota Democratic Party said Gov. John Hoeven still has more explaining to do about why the funding for library renovations at Dickinson State University cannot be completed as promised. The last legislature voted to give DSU the $8.8 million needed for Stoxen Library as long as the state was running $25 million ahead of projected revenues for the year. But because of what has been deemed a coding error, the money is no longer there....
Bismarck (N.Dak.) Tribune, Feb. 16

Wellfleet Library receives unexpected $200K gift
The Wellfleet (Mass.) Library trustees were pinching themselves February 8 at the news that Martin Nerber, a frequent patron of the library, recently bequeathed to them a record-shattering gift of $200,000, with no strings attached. Library Director Elaine McIlroy announced that Nerber—a voracious reader and frequent patron of the library—had made the gift in a will he revised on October 30, six days before he died....
Provincetown (Mass.) Banner, Feb. 11

Omaha Public Library logoOmaha shows off its new library logo
For the first time in more than 30 years, the Omaha (Nebr.) Public Library has a new look. The logo was unveiled February 11 at the W. Dale Clark Library in downtown Omaha. The new tag line is “Open Your World.” The logo consists of smaller, digital-type pieces forming the letter "O," an easily identifiable image in the Omaha community but also symbolic of the world, said OPL Executive Director Gary Wasdin....
KETV-TV, Omaha, Feb. 11

In defense of school librarians
Cathy Collins writes: “I have worked in public schools for 14 years now, just ‘hanging out in the library,’ as one Santa Rosa trustee recently summed it up, with students in grades pre-K through 12. Unfortunately, the role of a school librarian is frequently misunderstood. Though school librarians have master’s level training in best educational practices, we are not assigned official classes, nor do we test or grade students. What I can’t live with, and will continue to fight, is the mistaken idea that school library programs do not matter to the success of students. Too much research has pointed to the contrary.”...
Santa Rosa (Calif.) Press-Democrat, Feb. 11

An 1856 page from Francis Terry Leak’s diary records a slave sale. Courtesy UNC-CH Library Southern Historical CollectionImportant Faulkner link to historic diary discovered
What appears to be the source for myriad names, incidents, and details that populate William Faulkner’s fictionalized Yoknapatawpha County has been identified as a mid-19th-century diary written by Francis Terry Leak, a wealthy plantation owner in Mississippi whose great-grandson Edgar Wiggin Francisco Jr. was a friend of Faulkner’s since childhood. The original diary had been donated to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1946....
New York Times, Feb. 10

Las Vegas library employees offered buyouts
The Las Vegas–Clark County (Nev.) Library District is facing an $11-million deficit, and that’s not allowed by law. At a February 11 board meeting at the Clark County Library, Executive Director Jeanne Goodrich won the board’s approval to offer buyouts to eligible workers. Ninety-four of the more than 700 district employees are eligible for voluntary separations, which would pay them one week’s salary for each year of full-time service, along with some benefits and accrued sick pay....
Las Vegas (Nev.) Review-Journal, Feb. 11–12

Hawaiian libraries cope with staff cuts, closures
A hiring freeze and a 20% budget cut are the chief challenges facing the Hawaii State Public Library, and now the system is so lean that often there’s not enough staff to keep a library open. Almost weekly the library system sends out announcements of libraries cutting back hours because of staffing reductions. This comes at a time when the library is experiencing 10-year record-high circulation as residents cut back their own spending on new books and internet access at home, State Librarian Richard Burns said....
Honolulu Advertiser, Feb. 16

Councilmen want people to pay to use the library
Up for discussion at the Prescott, Arizona, city council’s goal-setting retreat held at the downtown library February 12 were new fees for public library use. Councilman Steve Blair suggested that fees for the library could generate several hundred thousand dollars per year, which he said could help the city to hire more police officers. Councilman John Hanna agreed, pointing out that as many as 2,000 people are using the library each day, and “they’re not paying a thing.”...
Prescott (Ariz.) Daily Courier, Feb. 12

The Forest Hills branch of the San Antonio (Tex.) Public Library put up this Anti-Valentine's Day display. Courtesy MySAPLAnti-Valentine’s Day parties a hit with teens
A free Anti-Valentine’s Day party was held at the Zion-Benton (Ill.) Public Library February 12, grabbing the attention of teens. They came to play games, make crafts, nibble on snacks, and generally enjoy the fun of a different kind of celebration for two hours. Sara Torrez, coordinator of the event, said sometimes the best way to grab the attention of young people is to do what they least expect. In the Creston branch of the Wayne County (Ohio) Public Library, teens hung black balloons and munched on broken-heart cookies. But misunderstood publicity about a similar event at the Kenosha County (Wis.) Community Library caused the event to get cancelled....
Lake County (Ill.) News-Sun, Feb. 14; Wooster (Ohio) Daily Record, Feb. 14; Kenosha (Wis.) News, Feb. 8

Cover of Federal Writers' Project book on Fairhaven, Massachusetts, returned to the Millicent LibraryStolen library book sparked a 64-year love affair
Back in 1940, when high school student Woodland Drake sneaked a reference book out of the Millicent Library in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, he could not have foreseen the chain of events he set in motion. He could not have known that his well-intentioned theft would lead to a happy, six-decade marriage and four beautiful children. And he most certainly couldn’t have predicted that 70 years in the future, the book would be returned to its home by the couple’s librarian son, Paul Drake....
New Bedford (Mass.) Standard-Times, Feb. 14

Porthole portrait of George Washington, by Rembrandt PealeWashington portrait comes to Lynden Public Library
A portrait of the first U.S. president is coming to the Lynden (Wash.) Public Library, making the library the first in the nation to participate in the George Washington Portrait Program (PDF file), sponsored by the George Washington Masonic National Memorial. The program’s goal is to return Washington’s portrait to a place of prominence in public schools, but a special request by the Lynden Masonic Lodge won approval for the library. The portrait is a reproduction on canvas of Rembrandt Peale’s “Porthole Portrait” of George Washington....
Tacoma (Wash.) News-Tribune, Feb. 15

Arlington Heights seniors group still growing
After more than 20 years, the seniors who make up the Arlington Heights (Ill.) Memorial Library’s current-events discussion group still have plenty to say. No subject is too sensitive for this spry group of retired teachers, engineers, doctors, insurance executives, and businessmen and women. Early on, when they numbered only eight or nine, everyone talked at once; now, with 45–50 participants attending each week, people raise their hands to speak....
Arlington Heights (Ill.) Daily Herald, Feb. 11

Packy, the first elephant born in this country in 44 years, was born at the Oregon Zoo April 14, 1962Oregon Zoo gains a trunkful of history
When Larry Clark discovered a box loaded with Oregon Zoo memorabilia at an estate sale, he knew his neighbor Carli Davidson, a zoo volunteer, would love it. Inside were bits of history that had been lost during an era when the zoo was less conscientious about its record keeping. She lugged the box along on her next volunteer day and gave it to Michael Durham, manager of the zoo’s image library. “When we find something like this,” Durham said, “we see it as very valuable. It fills in bits of the record that we didn’t have. Back in the ’60s and ’70s, we didn’t really document that much.”...
Portland Oregonian, Jan. 24

Artist's rendering of the north side atrium of the St. Louis Central LibrarySt. Louis gets $4 million toward Central Library renovation
The St. Louis Public Library announced February 11 a $4-million gift from the Emerson Electric Company that will allow the north side of its Central Library to be transformed into an atrium. The gift boosts to $8 million a drive to raise $20 million in private donations for the two-year, $74-million renovation of the library, built in 1912. The atrium and a 244-seat auditorium will be the most visible changes. Marble, stained glass, ceilings, and other features will be cleaned and restored....
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Feb. 12

Cathy MatyasPetitions seek Waterloo librarian’s reinstatement
A month after her firing, two petitions are circulating in the community calling for the reinstatement of Cathy Matyas (right) as chief librarian in Waterloo, Ontario. “What happened to her is wrong,” said Raymond Litschgy, a former library employee who is circulating an online petition asking that the January 13 firing of Matyas be reversed. Another petition, organized by Wendy Hicks, a librarian in Stratford, asks the library board to publicly say why they fired Matyas, something it has steadfastly refused to do, citing personnel reasons. Yet those reasons may never be revealed....
Waterloo (Ont.) Record, Feb. 13, 17

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Tech Talk

Still from Google Liquid Galaxy videoGoogle’s Liquid Galaxy
Jason Griffey writes: “Google has been assailing us with new products in the last six months, but nothing I’ve seen has had the same OMG effect this video (5:21) did. Google is calling this Liquid Galaxy, and it’s something between a Star Trek Holodeck and something out of Harry Potter. Eight separate computers are running this, and it’s being flown by a PS3 SixAxis controller.”...
AL: Perpetual Beta, Feb. 12; YouTube, Feb. 11

FairPlay logo for iTunesApple to protect its iBooks in FairPlay DRM software
When Apple launches its iBook store to sell titles for its new iPad device in March, many of its titles are expected to come with a set of handsome digital locks designed to deter piracy. Veteran iTunes customers will recognize the locks as FairPlay, a digital rights management software that once limited how many times digital songs can be copied onto different computers....
Los Angeles Times: Technology, Feb. 15

Cornell students develop library iPhone app
Students from a software engineering class released a new application February 16 that enables iPhone users to access the Cornell University Library’s online website. According to Ellen Marsh, director of library communications, the application is part of the “Library Outside the Library” initiative that has attempted to provide the campus with opportunities to take advantage of library resources using technology....
Cornell Daily Sun, Feb. 16

Hype Machine logo10 free ways to find new music online
Nancy Messieh writes: “Bored with your music and want to discover some new bands or singers? There are two main ways you can do that online. You can use services that create music maps, allowing you to explore artists similar in genre to the artists you already listen to. Or you can use music blogs and websites that showcase independent or up-and-coming artists, whether the music is being reviewed or posted by the musicians themselves.”...
MakeUseOf, Feb. 16

What smartphones should libraries support?
Stephen Abram writes: “Libraries are challenged with figuring our which of the many smartphone platforms and standards out there to align with their strategies. It seems to change daily, but I think it depends on what your user market is. Right now I think that this is what is predictable, barring any big changes.”...
Stephen’s Lighthouse, Feb. 16

Weather data for Topeka, KansasWeather Underground goes full-screen
Thanks to the Weather Underground, the weather just started to look a lot nicer. The popular weather-tracking site just launched, which does exactly what the name implies. The new site gives you a full screen Google Maps display and overlays it with current weather reports from the over 16,000 personal weather stations that report data to the service. The map can also display a precipitation layer or cloud layer and you can see local forecasts and severe weather alerts....
ReadWriteWeb, Feb. 12


Cover of False MermaidRousing Reads: Discoveries
Bill Ott writes: “After nearly 30 years at Booklist, the greatest pleasure of my job continues to be discovering a new writer before the rest of the world and watching a career develop over time. One of my most satisfying discoveries has been Erin Hart, a Minneapolis writer whose third novel, False Mermaid, is published this month. Like her previous books, the novel stars Nora Gavin, a Minneapolis pathologist living in Dublin, where she becomes involved in criminal investigations drenched in Irish history.”...
American Libraries column, Feb. 12

Cover of Digital Books and Your RightsDigital books and your rights: A checklist
Croynne McSherry and Cindy Cohn write: “Are digital books as good or better than physical books at protecting you and your rights as a reader? The Electronic Frontier Foundation offers this checklist that can help guide your inquiry, as well as an extended explanation of why the answers to these questions matter. It lists the questions that readers should ask of each new digital book product or service to evaluate whether it adequately protects their interests. That sort of rigorous inquiry will help decide which digital book future we want—and how to vote with our feet until we get it.”...
Electronic Frontier Foundation, Feb.

Cover of  Cecilia Tan's The Siren and the SwordWhat is paranormal romance?
Annalee Newitz writes: “One of the biggest-selling subgenres in the science fiction and fantasy worlds is something called ‘paranormal romance.’ This catchall term gets applied to everything from vampy erotica to space opera, so we asked popular paranormal romance authors to define it. Author Marjorie M. Liu says it is ‘a cross blending of urban fantasies and romances: basically, the best of both worlds. Wild crazy magic, creatures out of legend, rich mythologies—plus hot sex, romance, and a happy ending. What’s not to love?’”...
io9, Feb. 11

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Actions & Answers

Ralphy the Rhino, the main character of a children's book series written and illustrated by Trevor Lai, helps kids enjoy the Winter Olympics at the Richmond (B.C.) Public Library's International Living RoomLibrary rebrands itself for Winter Olympics
To welcome visitors to the Winter Olympics in Vancouver February 12–28, the suburban Richmond (B.C.) Public Library has rebranded itself as an International Living Room where sports fans can catch up on world events through electronic newspapers, email their families, or interact with a science exhibit on Olympic athletes and their coaches. The library also set up TV lounges where visitors could watch the games and a cinema room that showcases Canadian films and cartoons. Libraries throughout Canada are putting up Olympic exhibits....
Richmond (B.C.) Public Library, Feb. 3; Book Patrol, Feb. 15

Public Knowledge proposes Copyright Reform Act
The Washington-based public interest group Public Knowledge announced a new five-part Copyright Reform Act intended to “update copyright law for the digital age and in doing so tip the balance back in favor of the constitutional mandate that copyright protection ‘promote the progress of science and the useful arts.’” The changes would strengthen fair use (PDF file), permit DMCA circumvention, update copyright exceptions, provide recourse for persons recklessly accused of infringement, and streamline arcane music licensing laws....
Public Knowledge, Feb. 15

Broadband access gap remains large
Roughly 40% of Americans do not have high-speed internet access at home, according to new Commerce Department figures that reinforce what some educators believe is causing some students to fall behind. The number of households without high-speed internet access underscores the challenges facing policy makers who are trying to bring affordable broadband connections to everyone. The Obama administration and Congress have identified universal broadband as a key to driving economic development, producing jobs, and bringing educational opportunities and cutting-edge medicine to all corners of the country....
eSchool News, Feb. 17

ALIA logoALIA calls for alternative to Australian filtering plan
The Australian Library and Information Association joined with Google, Yahoo, and the Inspire Foundation to oppose the Australian government’s plans for mandatory internet filtering of all RC (Refused Classification, or overtly sexual or socially and politically controversial) materials. They argue that the subjects covered are too wide-ranging for a blanket ban and that the filters will not protect children. The ALIA statement adds that a report on government trials of the software acknowledged the strain of filtering sites with very high traffic....
BBC News, Feb. 16; Australian Library and Information Association, Feb. 15

LIASA condemns library burnings
The Library and Information Association of South Africa released a statement condemning the burning down of libraries. On February 9, the Siyathemba library became the fifth library in Mpumalanga province to be burned down during protests against the government. Four others were targeted in 2009. LIASA President Rachel More stated: “To burn down libraries is to blow out the light that could lead many communities out of the tunnel of ignorance.”...
SA Libraries in the News, Feb. 15; LIASA Online, Feb. 11

Secretary Arne DuncanNational Financial Capability Challenge
The National Financial Capability Challenge is an awards program designed to increase the financial knowledge and capability of high-school-age youth so they can take control over their financial futures. Designed by the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy, it challenges educators to teach the basics of personal finance to students and rewards participants for their success. Watch the video message (1:30) from Secretary of Education Arne Duncan (above) and sign up by March 14 to receive a free Educators Toolkit....
National Financial Capability Challenge

The Jewish Immigrant. Vol. 2, no. 1. (January 1909). New York: Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, 1909, from a 2005 Library of Congress online exhibitDigital sources of inspiration
Angela Hanshaw writes: “The Smithsonian’s Library and Archival Exhibitions on the Web allows you to explore the ‘rich variety of topics, images, and materials featured in online exhibitions from libraries, archives, historical societies, and museums around the world.’ With the searchable site’s more than 3,000 links, you’re bound to find something that can serve as a source for inspiration when planning your programs. For example, planning ahead to Jewish American Heritage Month? Then check out these online exhibitions.”...
Programming Librarian, Feb. 16

New Carnegie Corporation logoCarnegie Corporation centennial
Larry Nix writes: “The Carnegie Corporation of New York was created by Andrew Carnegie in 1911. It will be celebrating its centennial next year, and has already begun the celebration process by creating the Carnegie Blog and a new logo (above). Coincidentally, the 175th anniversary of Andrew Carnegie’s birth is this year. Carnegie’s legacy to the American library community is impressive. The hundreds of grants to communities and colleges for library buildings are only the most visible and tangible legacy.”...
Library History Buff, Feb. 11

From the campus to the future
Diana G. Oblinger writes: “The purpose of higher education is to equip students for success in life. Although this purpose has remained constant for centuries, colleges and universities themselves are undergoing major change. The campus, the library, the refereed journal article, the classroom, and the traditional-age student—common features of higher education today—may be inadequate in describing higher education tomorrow. Consider a few changes already evident.”...
Educause Review 45, no. 1 (Jan./Feb.): 42–52

The lesson of library history
Wayne Bivens-Tatum writes: “Some librarians seem obsessed with technology and its relation to their own obsolescence, maybe because they falsely believe that librarians are slow to adapt to technological change. In the counterfactual world of luddite librarians, perhaps libraries would become obsolete. But we’re not living in that world. I just don’t understand this fear of obsolescence. What is this fear based on? Would anyone these days claim that a library is going to become obsolete because it’s not represented in Second Life?”...
Academic Librarian, Feb. 15

Student responding to a Poll Everywhere poll via textEngage learners with Poll Everywhere
Buffy Hamilton writes: “One of the coolest tools I have discovered for engaging teen learners in my school library as well as adult participants in my presentations is the service Poll Everywhere. The app allows you to pose a question to your audience via an embedded widget on your website or blog; you can also embed a poll directly into a PowerPoint. Your audience members can then respond to your poll via SMS text, Twitter, or the web.”...
ALA Learning, Feb. 11

Search committee etiquette
Mikita Brottman writes: “The ordeal of the search committee is certainly an easier one than that of the job seeker, but it is not to be taken lightly. This year’s search committees in particular will bear huge responsibilities, including the monumental task of reading through hundreds of application packets in search of the perfect candidate (and even then, budget lines may well be cut before the hire is made). As a seven-year veteran of the job market and—since then—a member of four search committees, I have six tips for those hosting campus interviews in the humanities this year.”...
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 12

MailboxMap results for Devon Avenue in Lincolnwood, ILFind a mailbox, post office, or UPS station with MailboxMap
Charles Hamilton writes: “It’s getting harder to find pickup locations when I’m on the road, since USPS has removed over half of its boxes in the past 20 years. So I’m pleased that I’ve discovered MailboxMap. Just enter an address or ZIP code, and it will display a map showing the locations of mailboxes in the neighborhood. Click on a mailbox icon, and it will display pickup times.”...
WebWorkerDaily, Feb. 16

Western Illinois community health initiative
Western Illinois University Libraries and the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs in Macomb, along with healthcare institutions, public libraries, and community colleges in western Illinois, are promoting an effort to help citizens learn about the free health-information website Medline Plus. WIU Libraries and its partners were recently awarded a consumer health subcontract worth almost $39,000 from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Greater Midwest Region. The program will run through April 30, 2011....
Western Illinois University Libraries, Jan. 7

Still from the Stumpf Family's library doo-wop songWhatcom County wants your stories
The Whatcom County (Wash.) Library System staff thinks the library is full of humorous happenings. So they’ve decided that what happens in the library ... gets published. They want to hear your cute, your silly, your downright darling stories for their Funny Stories blog. Then, for National Library Week, the library will choose the best and the brightest to publish in a pocket-sized booklet. For example, the Stumpf Family Singers contributed this doo-wop tribute (1:56) to WCLS....
Whatcom County Library System; YouTube, Sept. 22

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ALA Annual Conference, Washington, D.C., June 24–29. Visit the Stacks, with more than 1,500 exhibit booths with products and services designed to help you manage the library of the millennium.

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Women's history

How to Celebrate Women’s History

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The Case for Textbooks


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Career Leads from
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Adult Services Supervisor, Topeka and Shawnee County (Kans.) Public Library. Do you have a vision for 21st-century customer service? Do you dream about transforming reference services to meet people where they are in the library, the community, or on the digital branch? We are looking for a vibrant, imaginative person to supervise a staff of 10 professional and 16 paraprofessional librarians. The adult services supervisor works closely with his/her staff to develop fun and informative services, programs, and experiences in order to best meet our customers’ needs. If you are a solution person who thrives in a dynamic and fast-paced environment and loves finding new and innovative ways to provide customer-focused exceptional service this is the career move for you....

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Digital Library of the Week

Kurt Schmoke fundraising cabaret, 1987

Crafting Victories: Campaign Materials from the Larry Gibson Collection is a project of the Thurgood Marshall Law Library at the University of Maryland. The site is part of the library’s larger “African Americans in the Law Collection,” which is focused on telling the story and experiences of African-American lawyers. This particular collection explores the role that African-American legal practitioners played in creating political opportunities for black voters in Maryland. Professor Larry S. Gibson has played a leadership role in the campaigns of many Maryland and national politicians beginning with his first effort organizing the campaign of Joseph Howard for Judge on the Supreme Bench of Baltimore City in 1968. Success in the Howard campaign was followed by work on the local campaigns of Milton Allen, William H. Murphy, Paul Chester, Wayne Curry, and Kurt Schmoke. At the national level he has worked on the presidential campaigns of George McGovern, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton. Internationally, Gibson’s organizational talents have been employed by candidates as far away as Liberia and Madagascar.

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

“For all the talk about what would happen if print dies, the saddest and most horrible thing I can imagine is the disappearance of libraries. Things like borrowing a book, taking care of it, and returning it in time are lessons you just can’t learn online.”

—Brian Ashcraft, on the occasion of his 14-month-old son getting his first library card, in Kotaku, Feb. 10.

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Handheld Librarian II, online conference, Alliance Library System, Feb. 17–18, at:

Educause Southwest Regional Conference, Austin, Texas, Feb. 17–19, at:

O’Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing Conference, New York City, Feb. 22–24, at:

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


Mar. 4–7:
Association of Architecture School Librarians,
Annual Conference, New Orleans.

Mar. 15:
12th National Freedom of Information Day Conference,
Newseum, Washington, D.C.

Mar. 18:
LIS Career Fair, Grande Bibliothèque, Montreal, Quebec. Jointly sponsored by the Université de Montréal’s École de bibliothéconomie et des sciences de l’information and McGill University’s School of Information Studies.

Mar. 21–24:
Music Library Association, Southern California Chapter,
Annual Conference, Paradise Point Resort and Spa, San Diego.

Mar. 22–27:
South African Library Week.
Theme: “Reading Changes Lives.”

Mar. 23–27:
Public Library Association,
National Conference, Oregon Convention Center, Portland.

Apr. 11–13:
National Conference on Family Literacy,
San Antonio (Tex.) Marriott Rivercenter.

Apr. 15:
New England Technical Services Librarians,
Annual Spring Conference, Hogan Campus Center, College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Massachusetts. “Crosswalks to the Future.”

May 22–29:
Cuba Now Learning and Research Tour,
a one-time program designed by Cubans and geared to teachers, librarians, historians, writers, and others keen on exploring island society and culture. The tour is licensable for U.S. citizens. Tour stops include schools, libraries, historical sites, and museums.

June 22–24:
University of Maryland, Center for Intellectual Property Symposium,
Washington, D.C., Convention Center. “Sustaining Culture in Copyright.”

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

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