February 1, 2006
AL Direct is a weekly electronic newsletter sent by the American Library Association every Wednesday to personal members by e-mail as a perquisite of membership.


U.S. & World News
ALA News
Division News
Seen Online
Actions & Answers

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U.S. & World News

Library insists FBI provide a warrant
before seizing computers

Police and FBI officials rushed to the Newton (Mass.) Free Library January 18 after determining that an alleged threat against Brandeis University had been e-mailed from one of the library’s computers. But Library Director Kathy Glick-Weil and Newton Mayor David Cohen were adamant that law-enforcement officers comply with state privacy law and obtain a search warrant before they seized the equipment....

Dozens of British libraries may close
Approximately 50 British libraries—many in small or isolated communities—could close this year as local governments in at least six counties look for ways to cut costs or more effectively allocate funds they spend on libraries....

City tells Memphis PL to make drastic cuts
The Memphis Public Library needs to trim $700,000 from next year’s operating budget as part of the city’s efforts to reduce costs among all its departments....

Former Ocmulgee director gets
four years for theft

A U.S. District Court judge sentenced David C. Wilson, former director of the Ocmulgee Regional Library System in Eastman, Georgia, to four years in prison for theft and witness tampering....

Lolita challenge entangles Florida prosecutor
A challenge to the unrestricted status of the internationally acclaimed Vladimir Nabokov novel Lolita in the Marion County (Fla.) Public Library System has prompted the county commission to ask Marion County Attorney Gordon Johnston whether the book meets the state definition of “unsuitable for minors.”...

Launch sponsor: Sirsi Dynix

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It’s not too early to start planning for National Library Week, April 2–8!


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See American Libraries HOT JOBS OF THE WEEK for more career opportunities

Find out how comedian George Lopez can help promote your library services and library cards with print, TV, and radio public service announcements.

What do YOU think?

Should your library reclassify James Frey’s controversial book A Million Little Pieces as fiction?

Click here
to VOTE!

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

Results of the
January 25 poll:

Should ALA Council pass a resolution condemning the Cuban government for its imprisonment of dissident “independent librarians”?


(112 responses)


February 2006
AL cover

Stories inside include:

Pritzker Military Library in Chicago

Circumpolar librarians

ALA member demographics

Mar. 5–7:
London Book Fair
, ExCeL London, England. Members of CILIP can attend for free if they register by Feb. 20. North American Exhibitor Contact: John Denke, 203-840-9359.

Mar. 12–14:
Association of Information and Dissemination Centers
, Spring Meeting, Fort Myers, Fla. “Digitization: From Inception to Income.” Contact: ASIDIC, 215-654-9129.

Mar. 13–
Apr. 10 :
Business Reference 101, Offered by the ALA Reference and User Services Association. Contact: Eileen Hardy, 312-280-4398.

Mar. 21–25: PLA National Conference, Boston. Contact: Melissa Faubel, 800-545-2433, ext. 5022.

Mar. 29–31:
Oklahoma Library Association,
9th Annual Conference, Tulsa. “Just So You Know.” Contact: OLA, 405-348-0506.

More Datebook items...


“Anybody with the authorial urge ought to visit the underground stacks of a major public library and feel the chill of oblivion.”

—Syndicated columnist Garrison Keillor, in “Bonding through Books,” December 2.


American Libraries Direct

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Karen Sheets,
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ISSN 1559-369X.

ALA Council passes resolution
opposing Alito confirmation

At the 2006 Midwinter Meeting in San Antonio, Texas, January 20–25, ALA Council adopted a resolution opposing the confirmation of Judge Samuel Alito as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court....

ALA mourns loss of civil rights pioneer
Coretta Scott King

ALA expresses its deepest condolences to the family of civil rights activist Coretta Scott King. “For 36 years, she was an inspiration and positive influence on our committee,” said Fran Ware, chair of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee....

Division News

ACRL seeks applicants for joint Institute on Scholarly Communication
ACRL is calling for applicants for its first Scholarly Communication Institute, cosponsored with the Association for Research Libraries, to be held in Los Angeles, July 12–14. The deadline for applying is March 1....


First Lady presents IMLS national awards
to three libraries and three museums

Laura Bush presented the 2005 National Awards for Museum and Library Service to three museums and three libraries at a ceremony January 30 at the White House. It is the highest honor the nation confers on these institutions for their outstanding contribution to America’s communities....

School librarians win Immroth Award
Lucy Collins Nazro and Kathryn Runnells of St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Austin, Texas, have been named the recipients of the John Phillip Immroth Memorial Award for Intellectual Freedom for 2006, presented by ALA’s Intellectual Freedom Round Table....

BCALA announces 2006 literary award winners
The Black Caucus of the American Library Association announced the winners of its 2006 literary awards, which recognize excellence in adult fiction and nonfiction by African-American authors published in 2005, including the work of a first novelist, and a citation for Outstanding Contribution to Publishing....

YALSA selects 91 Quick Pick titles
YALSA has announced its 2006 annual recommended list of Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers....

ALSC/BWI Summer Reading Grant 2006
Ouachita Parish Public Library of Monroe, Louisiana, is the 2006 recipient of the ALSC/BWI Summer Reading Program Grant, which provides financial assistance for public libraries to develop outstanding summer reading programs for children....

Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults 2006
YALSA’s selection committee produced four lists of popular paperbacks recommended for young adults: “Books That Don't Make You Blush: No Dirty Laundry Here,” “Criminal Elements,” “What Ails You?,” and “GLBTQ”....

Best Books for Young Adults 2006
YALSA has announced its 2006 recommended list of Best Books for Young Adults. The books, recommended for ages 12–18, meet the criteria of both good-quality literature and reading appeal for teens....

Notable Videos for Adults 2006
The Video Round Table Notable Videos Committee has compiled its 2006 list of Notable Videos for Adults, a list of 12 outstanding programs released on video within the past two years and suitable for all libraries serving adults....

Selected Videos and DVDs
for Young Adults 2006

YALSA has announced its 2006 selected list of best DVDs and videos for young adults. The annual list recognizes productions for technical merit, content, and use with, and interest to, young adults ages 12–18....

Dartmouth Medal winner chosen
Encyclopedia of the Documentary Film, edited by Ian Aitken and published by Routledge/Taylor & Francis (2006) is the winner of the 2006 Dartmouth Medal. Donated by Dartmouth College and presented by RUSA, the award honors the creation of a reference work of outstanding quality and significance....

Seen Online

Pennsylvania library puts naming rights
up for auction on eBay

Did you ever want to name a library? Here’s your chance. All you have to do is log on to eBay and pay at least $375,000....
Associated Press, Jan. 30

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library
paves the road to reading

Dolly Parton often wonders what her father, a tobacco farmer who eked out a living for 12 children in the Smoky Mountains, could have accomplished had he known how to read and write....
Associated Press, Jan. 21

Porn “tidal wave” puts parents to the test
More than a decade after the American public started cruising the Web, it is clear that children can find everything from nudity to sites featuring sexual violence and other extremes. For parents, this creates challenges that never existed before....
USA Today, Jan. 29

Iowa lawmakers want filters
on public library computers

Iowa libraries would be required to block computer access to pornographic Web sites and to restrict children from checking out R-rated movies under legislation proposed by three Republican state senators....
Des Moines (Iowa) Register, Jan. 31

Congress caught making
false entries in Wikipedia

Aides to Rep. Marty Meehan, a Massachusetts Democrat, deleted references on Wikipedia to his broken term-limits pledge and massive campaign war chest. Then the trusty editors at Wikipedia got together and compiled a list of over 1,000 edits made by internet addresses allocated to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.
CNet, Jan. 30

Galveston County Reads—
only to discover profanity

People are discussing Mark Haddon’s novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Friendswood, Texas, Mayor Kim Brizendine issued a proclamation declaring January 31 Galveston County Reads Day. Before too long, the Friendswood city council members were discussing what they described as the novel’s shortcomings—particularly the profanity....
Galveston County (Tex.) Daily News, Jan. 31

Actions and Answers

Federal and state government podcasts
Podcasting is a way to deliver audio content to portable players. Despite the “Pod” in the name, you do not need an iPod to listen to the downloaded files.
An increasing number of governments and elected officials are finding podcasting a useful channel to inform their citizens....
Free Government Information

Open letter to Congress on Patriot Act
Organizations representing booksellers, librarians, publishers, and writers delivered a letter to members of the House and Senate January 25 urging them not to reauthorize the sections of the USA Patriot Act that are due to expire on February 3 without adding additional safeguards for the privacy of bookstore and library records....
Campaign for Reader Privacy

High school students are
reading more for fun
(PDF file)
Findings from a survey administered in late 2005 to over 600 students across participating high schools suggest that students in Revitalizing High School Libraries sites are reading more for fun as well as for class. They also suggest that students are talking more about books and reading with family and friends....
Public Education Network

Today’s college freshmen are
more committed to social responsibility
This year’s entering college freshmen show a distinctive and widespread rise in commitment to social and civic responsibility, a new survey finds, and researchers suggest that the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean and Hurricane Katrina played key roles in shaping those attitudes....
USA Today, Jan. 25

First-year college students
and the library
(requires subscription)
The campus library may historically be the centerpiece of institutional life on college and university campuses, but many first-year students think it is largely irrelevant to their lives. The most effective way to ensure that first-year students become information literate is by making library instruction an integral part of courses across the curriculum....
Chronicle of Higher Education, Jan. 20

Jazz CD supports Hurricane Katrina relief
The Traditional Jazz Library at the University of New Hampshire is taking orders for its new jazz CD entitled Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans? The recording focuses on music related to New Orleans. The UNH Library is underwriting all production costs so that all proceeds directly support hurricane relief through two charities: the ALA Katrina Relief Fund and Music Cares—Hurricane Relief 2005....
University of New Hampshire Library

Report on The State of Libraries at Historically
Black Colleges and Universities
(PDF file)
SOLINET and the HBCU Library Alliance have copublished an assessment of libraries at historically black institutions, using data collected by the National Center for Education Statistics. The report offers a baseline for future comparison among HBCUs and of HBCUs with non-HBCUs....