April 12, 2006
AL Direct is a free electronic newsletter e-mailed every Wednesday to personal members of the American Library Association.


U.S. & World News
ALA News
Booklist Online
New Orleans Update
Division News
Seen Online
Actions & Answers
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U.S. & World News

Maine seeks to opt out of
GATS library agreement

Maine Gov. John E. Baldacci has asked the Bush administration to exclude the state from General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) treaty obligations specifically related to libraries, archives, and museums. The World Trade Organization began renewed negotiations on specifics of the treaty in Geneva in late March....

Canadian study links school libraries
and student achievement

A study funded by the Ontario Library Association offers the first Canadian finding that shows a positive correlation between student achievement and library resources and staff. Released April 6, School Libraries and Student Achievement in Ontario includes assessment data from more than 50,000 students and over 800 of the province’s publicly funded elementary schools....

Vamos a Cuba coverMiami school reconsiders
A Visit to Cuba

In response to a parent’s objection to a book cover depicting Cuban children wearing the uniform of the island nation’s Communist youth group, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Elementary School in Miami has formed a materials review committee to reconsider Alta Schreier’s Vamos a Cuba (A Visit to Cuba) on April 19....

Filmmakers slam Smithsonian deal
with Showtime

Ken Burns and other prominent documentary filmmakers are blasting a deal between the Smithsonian Institution and the Showtime Networks cable channels to create television programming, saying it could cut off their access to the museum’s collections and curators....

Illinois TBBS staffIllinois cooperative recognized as outstanding
The Illinois State Library’s Talking Book and Braille Service (TBBS) in Springfield was named Network Library of the Year by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped at an April 4 ceremony at the Library of Congress....

Fired Michigan director will file lawsuit
An attorney retained by fired Bay County (Mich.) Library Director Frederick J. Paffhausen announced April 4 that he will file a breach of contract lawsuit against the system....

ALA News

Bookmobiles make permanent stops
along Gulf Coast

More than 300 libraries have signed up through the ALA Adopt a Library program to help make a difference in the hurricane-devastated region. Some have chosen to donate bookmobiles to libraries in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi, such as this one presented to the Hancock County (Miss.) Pearlington branch by the Allegany County (Md.) Library System....

El dia logoLibraries bridge cultures during El dia de los niños
April 30 marks the 10th anniversary of national El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day), and libraries across the country will host Día celebrations with family programs, including bilingual story hours, book giveaways, and other literacy events....

Library Advocacy Now! logoAdvocacy Institute welcomes
three new cosponsors

Three new cosponsors—the Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas Library Associations—have signed on to participate in the ALA Advocacy Institute, Friday, June 23, 12–5 p.m., at Annual Conference in New Orleans. The institute teaches participants legislative issues and skills for advocating library services....



Across the Blue Pacific coverFeatured review:
Books for youth

Borden, Louise. Across the Blue Pacific. Illustrated by Robert Andrew Parker. Houghton, Apr. 2006 (0-618-33922-11). Grades 3–5. In this fully illustrated, fictional memoir, a woman, Molly, recalls her childhood war years on the American home front. World War II seems far away to Molly, but her 4th-grade teacher brings it close by painting an enormous map on the wall....

New Orleans Update

Shelf life: Public libraries
and the recovery process

Local libraries face many challenges: While most of the remediation issues have been or eventually will be dealt with, many libraries are beyond repair. Instead of helping readers, librarians are dealing with Federal Emergency Management Agency paperwork, compiling damage estimates. Staff reductions have curtailed library services; librarians, like the rest of us, have been displaced....
New Orleans Times-Picayune, Apr. 2

More money urged for Louisiana libraries
Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu asked a House panel on April 10 to restore nearly $1 million that Gov. Kathleen Blanco proposed cutting from the State Library of Louisiana. Landrieu and others said public libraries have played an especially vital role to Louisiana residents since hurricanes Katrina and Rita....
Baton Rouge Advocate, Apr. 11

New Orleans’ black social networks hurting
Most people they know want to rebuild, eventually. But no one can quite imagine the day when their houses will be livable again, and now the glue of their lives is gone—their neighbors, local businesses, social clubs. Just about every black institution in town is struggling or has disappeared....
Associated Press, Apr. 8

Corps chief admits levee design failure
In the closest thing yet to a mea culpa, the commander of the Army Corps of Engineers acknowledged April 5 that a “design failure” led to the breach of the 17th Street Canal levee that flooded much of the city during Hurricane Katrina....
New Orleans Times-Picayune, Apr. 6

First Lady finds “feeling of hope” in city
On her tenth trip to the Gulf Coast since Hurricane Katrina, First Lady Laura Bush on Monday touted a federal program to help young people find work and said her foundation will help damaged schools get new books and rebuild their libraries....
Associated Press, Apr. 10

A different place without the displaced
It does not matter how many photos you’ve seen, how riveting the videotapes have been as they splashed across the television screens, with desperate voices crying out in the background, or listening to the emotional Congressional testimony of displaced residents of New Orleans. None of those experiences—or even all of them combined—can prepare you for the experience of entering the city’s lower Ninth Ward....
Louisiana Weekly, Apr. 10; Minneapolis City Pages, Apr. 3–7

Survey: Most employers stood up to Katrina
A “Survey of Compensation Practices in Areas Affected by Hurricanes Dennis, Katrina, Rita and Wilma” found that more than 90% of employers maintained staff and benefits and 33% provided living assistance in the wake of Hurricane Katrina....
New Orleans City Business, Apr. 10

StoryCorps mobile booth to visit in May
One of the two StoryCorps oral-history project Mobile Booths touring the country (see American Libraries, Dec. 2005, p. 42–45) will stop in New Orleans, May 4–28. Reservations to record an oral history can be placed beginning April 18 at 10 a.m. local time....

Division News

CCF logoACRL pledges its support
to the ALA Cultural Communities Fund

ACRL has pledged to support the ALA Cultural Communities Fund with a gift of $20,000. The Cultural Communities Fund is an endowment created to help libraries across the country bring communities together through cultural programming....

Gossip Girl coverBooks for young adults who enjoy the Gossip Girls series
YALSA has announced a list of books to recommend to teens, both avid and reluctant readers, who are looking for books similar to those in the Gossip Girls series. “The books on this list are perfect for when your readers have finished with every Gossip Girls title in your library and are clamoring for another book like the Gossip Girls,” said YALSA President Pam Spencer Holley....


Dun&Bradstreet winnersOrange County Public Library gets D&B minority business award from RUSA
The 2006 Dun and Bradstreet Award for outstanding service to minority business communities goes to the Orange County (Calif.) Public Library. is the 2006 recipient of the 2006 Dun and Bradstreet Award for Outstanding Service to Minority Business Communities. The award is presented by RUSA's Business Reference and Services Section....  

Seen Online

Zines in the library catalog? Of course
Jenna Freedman at Barnard College has started one of the country’s few scholarly online catalogs of zines. The collection of 500 zines includes primary sources documenting activism during the 2004 Republican National Convention and Critical Mass protests in New York. Titles include Brooklyn Diary, Junk/Food, Race Riot, and Satan’s Panties....
New York Times, Apr. 11

Museum puts freedom first
The McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum, which opened to the public April 11 on North Michigan Avenue in Chicago, is designed to make visitors confront some uncomfortable topics. It employs an array of audiovisual and interactive technology to examine incidents in which First Amendment freedoms have been challenged....
Chicago Tribune, Apr. 5

Librarians included in
proposed Texas 65% rule
(PDF file)
School librarians will be included when calculating instructional costs under proposed revisions to the state’s school financial rating system, which is designed to provide the public with a clear look at the spending practices of each school district....
Texas Education Agency, Apr. 6

Mississippi girl rides
for storm-damaged libraries

11-year-old Kelsie Buckley raised more than $9,000 in pledges for Gulfport’s library by riding her horse halfway across the state of Mississippi. Kelsie’s goal is to raise $10,000 for every Mississippi library destroyed by Katrina. There were seven....
CBS News, Mar. 31; WLOX-TV, Biloxi, Mar. 12

Collection agencies and overdue books
Claire Leavy, director of the Lee County (Ga.) Public Library, recently turned to Unique Management Services of Jeffersonville, Mo., a collection agency that serves 750 public library systems across the United States and Canada. Unique tries to persuade patrons to return overdue items and pay their late fees....
Los Angeles Times, Apr. 7

Actions and Answers

Fats Domino albumLC chooses 50 items for
National Recording Registry

Calvin Coolidge’s 1925 inaugural address, Fats Domino singing “Blueberry Hill” in 1956, Don Azpiazu’s 1930 rumba hit “El Manisero (The Peanut Vendor),” and Sonic Youth’s 1988 album Daydream Nation were among the recordings the Library of Congress selected for preservation in its National Recording Registry April 11....
Library of Congress, Apr. 11

International appeal for the preservation of the world’s audiovisual heritage
200 million hours of audio and video records are endangered, particularly in developing countries. This call (originally launched in 2004, but still active) is intended to draw attention to the perilous situation of these archives, to get the support of the United Nations, and to demonstrate the solidarity of archivists and users all around the globe....
International Federation of Television Archives

How OPACs suck, part 2:
The checklist of shame

Karen Schneider reviews key features common to most search engines (even the least expensive) but that are often missing in online catalogs....
ALA Tech Source blog, Apr. 3

The future of the library catalog:
Two perspectives

A February 21 report, written by Cornell University Technical Services Librarian Karen Calhoun and commissioned by the Library of Congress, offers some suggestions on revitalizing OPACs in the face of declining use, as well as a 10-step blueprint for implementing changes. Reference Librarian Thomas Mann offers a critical review of aspects of the Calhoun report....
DSpace Open Access; and AFSCME 2910

LIS outlook for 2006
If 2005 data is any indication, 2006 should be a good year for most ALA-accredited programs. Data submitted for the 2005 ALISE Statistical Report and Database show that enrollment increased for a majority of ALA-accredited programs, additional full-time faculty members were added, and total income was up from 2004....
ALA Office for Accreditation, Prism, Spring issue

Mike EisenbergLIS instruction in the new century:
A podcast/Flash interview

University of Washington iSchool Dean Emeritus Mike Eisenberg speaks passionately on the future of library education in “Tradition vs. Technology: What’s all the fuss?”...
InfoSpeak, vol. 2, no. 2

Libraries tap into the video game culture
Take a digital game world, throw it in a blender, add some information and research skills, sift out the word “educational” and maybe, just maybe, we have a new and effective way to teach our students bibliographic instruction. Christy Branson, liaison librarian at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, assesses the learning value of games in the library....
ASIS&T Bulletin, Apr./May

NASA logoNASA Kid’s Club website
offers K-4 interactive games

The NASA Kid’s Club site serves a dual purpose. Children can play games at home for entertainment, and educators can use it as a fun way to reach students in the classroom, the library, during after-school programs, or anywhere children and computers are together....
National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Apr. 6

National Rock & Roll Library concert tour, featuring The High Strung
Last year the quirky, carefree, energetic music of Detroit’s The High Strung electrified Michigan’s teen patrons with their sunny three-part harmonies and witty, lyrical bravado. This year the furious guitars and squonking organ that accompany the band’s catchy sing-along choruses are roaming the country, headed for a library in your direction. Recommended by the Alternative Teen Services blog....
The High Strung

National Poetry Month
suggestions from RIF

April is National Poetry Month, and Reading Is Fundamental offers some tips on rhyming and reading in the library....
Reading Is Fundamental

Sponsor: Sirsi Dynix

Sirsi Dynix ad

Annual Conference logo
Annual Conference
in New Orleans,
June 22–28. Take advantage of advance registration rates by May 19.

Show us your best READ Poster! Send in READ posters you have created using the READ CD 2 and you could win a $100 gift certificate from ALA Graphics and be featured in American Libraries. Submissions are due by May 31.

the full-text, PDF version of the El día de los niños/El día de los libros brochure, in English or Spanish.

What do YOU think?

Should the Boy Scouts of America’s policy of excluding agnostics, atheists, and gays prohibit libraries from cooperating with the organization in joint programs?

Click here

This is an unscientific poll that reflects the opinions of only those AL Direct readers who have chosen to participate.

Results of the
April 5 poll:

Do your National Library Week activities bring significantly more patrons into the library?


(112 responses)

For cumulated results and selected responses to all AL Direct polls, visit the AL Online website.

As of 3:45 p.m. Central time, April 11:
11,136 members have cast their votes in the ALA election (9,515 electronic, 1,621 paper).

E.J. Josey mentor logo
Become an ACRL
Dr. E. J. Josey Spectrum Scholar mentor or mentee.
Application deadline is April 21.


ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF ENTERPRISE INFORMATION SCIENCE SERVICES, Genentech, South San Francisco. The candidate will lead a group of knowledge and information professionals who provide critical competitor, intellectual property, and scientific intelligence services to Genentech staff....

See American Libraries
for more career opportunities.

Browse through issues of Technology Electronic Reviews online to read reviews of print and electronic sources on information technology.


April 2006
AL cover

Stories inside include:

New England’s Carnegie libraries

Construction funding 101

Libraries = cultural icons: The 2006 facilities showcase

CPLA logo

FAQ on the Certified Public Library Administrator program.


British Library, London. “Philatelic Rarities.”

Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, Buffalo, New York. “The New York to Paris Race, 1908.”

Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. “Gravely Gorgeous: Gargoyles, Grotesques, and the 19th-century Imagination.”

Huntington Library, San Marino, California. “Land of Golden Dreams: California in the Gold Rush Decade, 1848–1858.”

Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. “Benjamin Franklin in His Own Words.”

Los Angeles Public Library. “Far and Wide: The Golden Age of Travel Posters.”

University of California at Los Angeles. “A Centenary Celebration of Ralph J. Bunche.”

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. “Modern Jewish Literatures.”


More Datebook items...


“Somewhere around the age of 13, being seen at the library—
let alone enjoying yourself—was as socially stunting as getting good grades
or having the wrong pair of shoes. The irony is, the library is brimming with the very tools—anarchy and rebellion, sex
and rock’n’roll—
necessary for quenching adolescent thirsts and winning popularity points.”

—Reporter Chad Dryden, “The Lawless Library!” Knight Ridder Newspapers, Feb. 28.


American Libraries Direct

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Karen Sheets,
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