April 19, 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
AL Direct FAQ

U.S. & World News

Government drops appeal
in Connecticut Patriot Act case

Federal prosecutors announced April 12 that they would drop their appeal in a case involving a Connecticut library system that received a demand for patron records under the USA Patriot Act....

NARA cooperated in
document reclassification

A March 2002 Memorandum of Understanding (PDF file) between the National Archives and Records Administration and the U.S. Air Force shows that archivists were concerned about an ongoing program to reclassify thousands of previously released documents but ultimately agreed to keep the operation secret....

Oklahoma Senate won’t defund
inclusive kids’ collections

Members of the Oklahoma Senate have allowed an April 6 deadline to expire without considering a bill that would have prohibited local funding authorities and library boards from funding their public libraries unless the libraries have “place[d] all children and young adult materials that contain homosexual or sexually explicit subject matter in a special area [and limited] distribution . . . to adults only.”...

NRR logoNational Recording Registry
adds 50 sound recordings

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington announced April 11 the latest group of 50 recordings for the National Recording Registry. Created by Congress through the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000, the registry is dedicated to preserving classic American recordings of music, speeches, and readings that are culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant....

Manga titleSan Bernardino removes explicit manga book
after challenge

Prompted by a request from a Victorville, California, parent to consider the appropriateness of Paul Gravett’s Manga: 60 Years of Japanese Comics, the San Bernardino County Library decided to remove 13 copies from all its branches April 12....

First U.S. Carnegie library
damaged by lightning

The Allegheny branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (CLP) has been closed indefinitely after lightning struck the building’s 115-year-old clock tower mid-evening on April 7. Miraculously, the building was empty at the time and no one was injured. There were no library materials damaged either....

Wild turkey @ your library
A male wild turkey’s nesting season took a painful turn when it flew through a double window at the Western branch of St. Joseph County (Ind.) Public Library in South Bend shortly before 9 a.m. April 7....

ALA News

Mary Chapin Carpenter to highlight Scholarship Event
in New Orleans

Singer-songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter has been selected as the featured artist of the ALA/ProQuest Scholarship event to benefit the Library Relief Fund and provide scholarships on Saturday, June 24, 8–11 p.m., at the Convention Center Auditorium during the New Orleans Annual Conference....

Two more associations sign up
for the Advocacy Institute

The Mississippi and Alabama Library Associations have signed on to participate in the ALA Advocacy Institute, Friday, June 23, at Annual Conference in New Orleans....

ORS wins World Book–
ALA Goal Grant Award

The Office for Research and Statistics is the winner of the 2006 World Book–ALA Goal Grant Award. ORS is honored for its proposal, “Public Library Service to the Nation’s Linguistically Isolated: An Analysis Using the Public Library Geographic Database and US Census Data 2000.”...



RX for survival boxFeatured review:

Lewis, Jerry. Dean & Me: A Love Story. Read by Stephen Hoye. 2005. 9hr. Books on Tape, CS/CD. It is a daunting task to narrate the memoir of a well-known celebrity whose voice is distinctive and immediately recognizable, but Hoye handles it with aplomb. This biography is Lewis’s take on his professional and personal relationship with Dean Martin and his career following their breakup....

New Orleans Update

ALA New Orleans site visit, April 3–4
ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels and ALA President-Elect Leslie Burger discuss the state of the media center at Benjamin Franklin High School with Principal Carol Christen and Librarian Idella Washington. The library is in a temporary space on the second floor and hopes to reopen by mid-August. For more pictures, visit here....

Life and libraries in New Orleans
My first trip back to New Orleans was in September when 40% of the city was still underwater. Since I’ve moved back, I’ve been able to see progress from a city where I couldn’t buy a cup of coffee anywhere, to a situation today where many of the restaurants, bars, and music venues are up and running in the areas that didn’t experience heavy flooding....
Keith Weldon Medley

Chris KreieVolunteering for
spring break

Over spring break, a group of educators from Minnesota had the trip of a lifetime. Seven of us from Oak Point Intermediate School in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, spent our break in New Orleans assisting in hurricane relief....
Chris Kreie

New Orleans CIO vows to keep
free city Wi-Fi at high speeds

New Orleans Chief Information Officer Greg Meffert said he plans to continue fighting to keep a free downtown wireless internet network functioning at high speeds....
Computerworld, Apr. 14

1 dead in attic coverThis Rose weathered
a great storm

New Orleans Times-Picayune columnist Chris Rose’s 1 Dead in Attic is a slim but remarkably engrossing volume that took its title from a spray-painted notation left by a rescue team on a house in the 8th Ward. The stories Rose tells are so moving that the book may one day be remembered as one of the most important books ever written about New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina....
LSU Daily Reveille, Mar. 31

Invisible city: New Orleans
rebuilds by writing

In a slew of books responding to Katrina, writers show that the Big Easy is not going to let 125-mph winds, FEMA, or Bush rain on its parade....
The Simon, Apr. 14

Division News

beyond words logoFund offers disaster relief for public school libraries
AASL is administering an $800,000 grant program that will make funds available to rebuild and expand public school library media programs affected by disasters. “Beyond Words: The Dollar General School Library Relief Program” is the largest relief effort in ALA history targeted specifically to school libraries....

YALSA launches 2006
Teen Read Week website

The YALSA Teen Read Week website, “Get Active @ your library,” the theme for Teen Read Week 2006, encourages teens to read for the fun of it and use resources at their libraries to help them lead active lives and find books on sports, fitness, volunteerism, activism, college preparation, and career direction. This year’s celebration will be held October 15–21....

Teen Read WeekNominations open for
YALSA Teen’s Top Ten

Teens across the country are encouraged to read the 22 nominated titles to prepare themselves for the Teens’ Top Ten vote, to take place during Teen Read Week,
October 15–21. The votes will determine the 2006 Teens’ Top Ten booklist of the best new books for young adults....

LITA celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2006
Read Stephen R. Salmon’s brief history of the division’s early years, from its beginning as a small, pioneering discussion group in 1964....
Information Technology and Libraries, Mar. 1993


Ching-chih Chen wins LITA’s Kilgour Award
Simmons College Professor Ching-chih Chen is the winner of the 2006 Frederick G. Kilgour Award for Research in Library and Information Technology sponsored by LITA and OCLC. Chen has advocated the concept of the world digital library since 1993, most recently the Global Memory Net, which will be launched for universal access at the end of June....

Carole Medal, director2006 Marshall Cavendish Excellence in Library Programming Award
The Gail Borden Public Library District of Elgin, Illinois, is the winner of the Marshall Cavendish Excellence in Library Programming Award for its project, “Giants: African Dinosaurs,” created by Project Exploration. The library attracted visitors by showcasing six life-size skeletons of dinosaurs, displays of original fossil material, and interactive exhibits....

Seen Online

FBI rebuffed on viewing Jack Anderson’s papers before they go to GWU
The family of the late newspaper columnist Jack Anderson has rejected a request by the FBI to turn over 50 years of files to agents who want to look for evidence in the prosecution of two pro-Israel lobbyists, as well as any classified documents Anderson had collected, before the papers are donated to George Washington University....
Washington Post, Apr. 19

Filmmakers and others petition
against Smithsonian’s Showtime deal

As the recent coupling between the Smithsonian Institution and Showtime Networks continues to roil the documentary film world, more than 215 filmmakers, television executives, and academics have signed a letter demanding that the Smithsonian, a publicly financed museum, not only reveal financial details of the joint venture but also abandon it....
New York Times, Apr. 18

A Visit to Cuba to remain
on Miami-Dade school library shelves

School officials have ruled that a children’s book about traveling to Cuba should remain in Miami-Dade County schools, despite a parent’s complaint that the book does not depict an accurate life in Cuba....
Miami Herald, Apr. 19

100 years later, quake’s dead
are still being counted

Former San Francisco city archivist Gladys Hansen has made it her goal in life to account fully for the number of people killed by the devastating 1906 earthquake and ensuing firestorm. To accomplish this, Hansen goes to work several days a week—at her own office in a Mission district warehouse—to research, catalog, and respond to questions....
MSNBC, Apr. 14

Louisiana library reopens

Seven months after floodwaters soaked and destroyed 20% of its books and other materials, the Chauvin branch of the Terrebonne Parish Public Library has reopened....
Thibodaux Daily Comet, Apr. 12

Book fair to assist Katrina-hit school
Fort Wayne, Indiana, school media specialist Linda Wunderlin coordinated an effort to raise funds to rebuild the South Plaquemines High School library in Port Sulphur, Louisiana....
Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, Apr. 18

Actions and Answers

New Madrid clipFree newspaper archive
of earthquake coverage, an online database of historic newspapers, offers a free archive on the history of earthquakes. The archive includes stories of earthquakes dating as far back as 1759 and as recent as the Kashmiri earthquake of 2005. It also contains articles about the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, the devastating earthquake at Tangshan, China, in 1976, and other major earthquakes throughout history....

The silencer
Scott McLemee notes the latest trend in the decline of Western civilization: People now use cell phones in research libraries....
Inside Higher Ed, Apr. 12

Jazz Appreciation MonthApril is Jazz
Appreciation Month

Throughout April, the National Museum of American History is celebrating its fifth annual Jazz Appreciation Month with concerts, a poetry workshop, lectures, performances, a day of swing dancing, two new displays, and audio podcasts about jazz....

Windows Live Academic Search: The details
Barbara Quint writes it will be months before we can expect a useful comparative review of Windows Live Academic Search and Google Scholar. Technically both products are in beta. Microsoft’s Academic Search is a true beta—it still adds significant content, and plans are already in place for a second beta phase....
Information Today, Apr. 17

Library success: A best-practices wiki
Meredith Farkas created this wiki to be a one-stop shop for great ideas and information for all types of librarians. If you’ve done something at your library that you consider a success, you can write about it in the wiki or provide a link to outside coverage....

Five steps to including a Google Map
on your website

Chris Deweese of the Lewis and Clark Library System offered this practical guide to putting a map on your library website at the HigherEd BlogCon last week....
HigherEd BlogCon 2006, Apr. 14

Google Earth: From space to your face
Mark Aubin discusses the origins and operations of Google Earth, and why parts of it are still blurry....
Google Librarian Newsletter, issue 3

Unintended consequences:
Seven years under the DMCA

Since they were enacted in 1998, the “anti-circumvention” provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act have not been used as Congress envisioned. In practice, they have been used to stifle a wide array of legitimate activities, rather than to stop copyright infringement. As a result, the DMCA has developed into a serious threat to several important public-policy priorities....
Electronic Frontier Foundation, Apr.

CALEA and libraries (PDF file)
This FAQ has been prepared to explain the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) and how it relates to our nation’s libraries. This is an important issue because it may affect library budgets in the very near future, require certain technology expenditures, and impose administrative burdens on library personnel to administer certain security requirements under the law....
ALA Office for Information Technology Policy

GPO looks to private publishers
for sales boost
(PDF file)
The U.S. Government Printing Office is seeking to reinvent its sales program by making government publications available in a commercial mainstream setting, expanding distribution channels and using the latest technology, while achieving significant cost reductions for taxpayers through private-sector vendors....
Government Printing Office, Apr. 12

On not revising the ALA Code of Ethics:
An alternate proposal

Rider University Librarian John Buschman offers three reasons why ALA’s existing Code of Ethics might be weakened if it were revised. A revision of a paper given at the ALA Annual Conference, Chicago, June 26, 2005....
Library Philosophy and Practice, vol. 8, no. 2 (Spring 2006)

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.

ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy offers the Copyright Advisory Network website as a resource for librarians to learn about copyright and to get help when they have copyright troubles.

US Capitol building
National Library Legislative Day,
May 1–2, Washington, D.C. This year marks the 60th Anniversary of the ALA Washington Office and the 32nd National Library Legislative Day. If you can’t visit in person, try organizing a Virtual Legislative Day.

What do YOU think?

Would you willingly forego a salary increase or sacrifice benefits to help your library through a financial crisis?

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 12 poll:

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


(392 responses)

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

Dollars for Diversity wristbands
The ALA Office for Diversity offers a selection of wristbands and t-shirts as part of its Dollars for Diversity campaign.

Capitol building

NEW! The ALA Washington Office has launched a redesigned Legislative Action Center to simplify sending e-mails to lawmakers on specific library-related issues. It does require a login, because Congressional offices have started requiring legitimate e-mail addresses from users to avoid being overwhelmed by spam.


LIBRARY SERVICES ADMINISTRATOR, Phoenix Public Library, to direct the operations of the award-winning Burton Barr Central Library. Experience in a large urban public library serving a diverse population is preferred....

See American Libraries
for more career opportunities.

Library employment resources is a list of links to information on jobs, salaries, employment practices, and surveys offered by ALA’s Human Resource Development and Recruitment Office.


April 2006
AL cover

Stories inside include:

New England’s Carnegie libraries

Construction funding 101

Libraries = cultural icons: The 2006 facilities showcase

ALA’s Public Programs Office has compiled this 44-page booklet, One Book One Community (PDF file), to help you plan for your community-wide reading event.

Things to apply for:

By May 1:
Native American Library Services Enhancement Grant, Institute of Museum and Library Services. Contact: Alison Freese, 202-653-4665.

By May 5:
ACRL Institute for Information Literacy, National 4-H Youth Conference Center, Chevy Chase, Maryland. Contact: Margot Sutton Conahan, 800-545-2433, ext. 2522.

By June 10:
Connecticut Book Awards, for the authors, illustrators, and designers of the best books about Connecticut or by state residents. Contact: Kat Lyons, 860-695-6320.

By June 30:
Joint Conference of Librarians of Color seeks submissions for 15 awards and scholarships that will be presented at its Oct. 11–15 conference. Contact: Liana Zhou, 812-855-3060.

By July 1:
Nebraska Library Commission 21st Century Librarian Scholarships offer financial support to eligible Nebraskans seeking masters, bachelors, or associate degrees in library science or school library media. Contact: Pam Scott, 800-307-2665.

By Sept. 15:
Ezra Jack Keats Foundation offers $350 minigrants to support programs designed by public school teachers and librarians.

By Nov. 1:
Women’s National Book Association/ Ann Heidbreder Eastman Grant offers up to $750 for a librarian to take a course or participate in an institute devoted to aspects of publishing as a profession. Contact: Ray Toler, 312-280-5416

More Datebook items...


“If I were the thief, I’d return it. Librarians have been known to import rare books on voodoo.”

—Staff writer in a report about how someone had broken into the Mono County (Calif.) Free Library in Mammoth Lakes and stolen the donation jar for the new facility’s construction fund, The Sheet, Feb. 11.


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