February 22, 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
New Orleans Update
Division News
Seen Online
Actions & Answers

AL Direct FAQ

U.S. & World News

Security officers overstep
in Maryland library incident

Two county security officers, who wore hats identifying them as Homeland Security guards, have been reassigned after they intervened in a patron’s internet session at the Little Falls branch of the Montgomery County Public Library in Bethesda, Maryland....

EPA library funds cut 80% under Bush budget
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s network of libraries stands to lose $2 million of its $2.5 million in funding under President Bush’s proposed 2007 budget, which threatens to close the headquarters library and many regional facilities as well as shut down the libraries’ electronic catalog....

Proposed midyear budget cut
would mean service reductions in NYC

In the face of midyear budget cuts proposed by the city administration, New York City’s three public library systems are gearing up for service reductions should the cuts be approved....

Oklahoma City trustees identify
12 sensitive kids’ topics

Oklahoma City’s Metropolitan Library Commission has identified 12 social issues that it deems sensitive enough when treated in a children’s book to warrant the title being restricted to the parenting collection established by commissioners last fall....

Fort Vancouver filters all access 24/7
The board of the Fort Vancouver (Wash.) Regional Library District voted 4–3 at its February 13 meeting to require filters on all library computers. The rule also prohibits any patron, regardless of age, from viewing pornography online, library officials announced in a February 14 press release....

Library speed-dating concept
catches on in Belgium

Two Belgian librarians are hoping to draw more young people into public libraries by promoting what they call “bib-dating,” or meeting other book lovers in a small group in order to find similarly inclined singles....

Sponsor: Sirsi Dynix

Sirsi Dynix ad

Annual Conference logo
Annual Conference in New Orleans,
June 22–28—
Frequently Asked Questions

Lawyers for Libraries
Lawyers for Libraries, an ongoing project of ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, is designed to build a nationwide network of attorneys committed to the defense of the freedom to read and the application of constitutional law to library policies, principles, and problems. The next institute is in Houston on April 25 before the Texas Library Association Annual Conference.

What do YOU think?

Should public libraries continue to serve as a distribution point for IRS forms?

Click here
to VOTE!

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

Results of the
February 15 poll:

Should librarians support the right of newspapers to publish commentary or images offensive to Muslims or other religions?


(339 responses)

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


New York (N.Y.). Isabella Geriatric Center, a long-term care facility of 1,200 staff members in Manhattan, is able to provide its staff with a special library, focusing on geriatrics and health care. Book recommendations, ordering, and processing are an integral component of this position....

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

Paper ballots for ALA’s 2006 election must be requested by March 6. Find out more about the paper ballots and online voting here.

ALA Store
Browse through new products from ALA Editions and ALA Graphics

National Library Week,
April 2–8, 2006:
Get your NLW celebration started with products from ALA Graphics and materials from the Campaign for America’s Libraries.



March 2006
AL cover

Stories inside include:

Next Generation professionals

Alternative revenue streams

Substance abuse librarians

Mar. 21–25: Public Library Association, 11th National Conference, Boston. Contact: Melissa Faubel, 800-545-2433, ext. 5022.

Apr. 19–22:
Washington Library Association
, Annual Conference, Tacoma. “Grow, Connect, Learn, Aspire.” Contact: Gail Willis, 206-545-1529.

Apr. 24–26:
New Jersey Library Association
, Annual Conference, Long Branch. “Advocacy, Alliances, Action.” Contact: Patricia Tumulty, 609-394-8032.

Apr. 25–28: Alabama Library Association, Annual Conference, Florence. “Jazzing it Up! Alabama Libraries Tell Their Story.” Contact: Steve Chew, 334-263-1272.

More Datebook items...


“I have a philosophy that parks are to be enjoyed by the public and not by the fussy librarian [who] does not want to take the book off the shelf.”

—Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), urging national parks managers to make public access a priority, Miami Herald, Jan. 12.

ALA TechSource
is a unit of the publishing department of the American Library Association. ALA TechSource publishes Library Technology Reports and Smart Libraries Newsletter. The ALA TechSource blog has been rated one of the best infoblogs.



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ALA survey shows library use on the increase
A new national study finds that Americans overwhelmingly are very satisfied with their public libraries, agree more public library funding is needed, and believe public libraries will be needed in the future. Two-thirds of adult Americans (roughly 135 million people) visited their public libraries last year....

ALA responds to Wall Street Journal editorial
ALA President Michael Gorman and the Public Information Office have sent a response to the February 10 Wall Street Journal editorial “Madame Librarian.”...

Peggy Barber makes planned gift
to Cultural Communities Fund

Peggy Barber, a charter member of the ALA Legacy Society, has recently named the Cultural Communities Fund in her estate plans. The CCF is an endowment created to help all types of libraries across the country bring communities together through cultural programming....

New Orleans Update

What’s it like on the Xavier University campus?
At Xavier, I have to give a lot of credit to the construction contractors and the recovery companies, who have been working round the clock. Many campus buildings, including the library, are operational and most of the signs of the flood are gone....
Robert Skinner, Xavier University

The view from the schools
ALA will be the first really big convention to return to the city. And how will this help school libraries? What helps the city helps the schools. Also, I think many local school librarians will attend the conference that would not normally have the chance to attend a national convention due to lack of funds....
Terri J. Rousey, Mount Carmel Academy

New Orleans progress report video
The Convention and Visitors Bureau offers digital video reports on the city’s recovery. Watch the Krewe de Vieux Mardi Gras parade, the Mardi Gras Marathon, the reopening of Canal Place, Tim Zagat’s take on the New Orleans restaurant scene, and more....
New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau, Feb. 17

Doctors plan for Mardi Gras health problems;
clinic at Convention Center to double in size

New Orleans’ population may surge in the waning days of Carnival to its pre-Katrina level of nearly a half-million people. Medical officials said February 16 that LSU has agreed to double the capacity of the medical facility it operates at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center with state-supplied equipment....
New Orleans Times-Picayune, Feb. 17

New Orleans readies for return of conventions
Almost a decade ago, the American Library Association planned its annual convention for June 2006 in New Orleans. Then along came Hurricane Katrina last September bringing widespread devastation to the Crescent City. And suddenly, the ALA had a big decision to make quickly: Should it move the convention of some 20,000 librarians to another city?...
B to B, Feb. 13

New Orleans waits for
post-Katrina retail revival

Retailers are attempting to revive consumer spending in Orleans Parish but with just an estimated 105,000 of nearly 445,000 pre-Katrina residents back in the city and few tourists, sales tax revenues reflect a big drop in consumer spending....
New Orleans City Business, Feb. 20

ReJazz New Orleans begins grant process
ReJazz New Orleans has released its grant application guidelines designed to allow New Orleans–area schools, libraries, cultural venues, and other organizations to apply for monetary aid to be used toward program enhancements and revitalization, repairs, restoration, and other storm-related damage....
Business Wire, Feb. 15

Fodor’s offers 32-page online guide (PDF file)
Published just in time for Mardi Gras, travel publisher Fodor’s has put together a free, full-color, downloadable travel guide to New Orleans as part of the company’s commitment to covering the post-Katrina city....
Fodor’s, Feb. 15

Division News

ACRL’s first completely online conference
“Innovate and Motivate: Next Generation Libraries” is the first-ever virtual Conference offered jointly by ACRL, the Coalition for Networked Information, and Educause. The Joint Virtual Conference will offer a forum for an energizing exchange of ideas focusing on technology and academic librarianship. April 6 is the registration deadline....

RUSA to hold genealogical
“Tribute to New Orleans” preconference

RUSA’s History Section is offering a preconference, “Behind the Genealogy Reference Desk: A Tribute to New Orleans,” on Friday, June 23. Attendees will explore the rich genealogical resources of New Orleans with expert genealogists and learn how to preserve and protect institutional and family genealogy records and local history treasures....

Libraries Unlimited will sponsor General Session at AASL Fall Forum
The 2006 AASL Fall Forum, “Assessing Student Learning in the School Library Media Center,” will be held at the Crowne Plaza at the Crossings in Warwick, Rhode Island, on October 13–15, and feature a panel of nationally recognized speakers on the subject of school library media professional’s role in student assessment....

YALSA offers More Outstanding Books
for the College Bound

Designed for school library media specialists, YA librarians, and adults working with children and young adults as they prepare for their next educational adventure, More Outstanding Books for THe College Bound covers 45 years of recommended titles—from 1959–2004....

RUSA preconference on
“Reinvented Reference”

The Machine-Assisted Reference Section and Reference Services Section of RUSA will host a preconference, “Reinvented Reference: The Integration of Digital and Traditional Reference Services,” on Friday, June 23, in New Orleans....

RUSA to host Literary Tastes Breakfast
Authors Elizabeth Alexander, Mary Gaitskill, and Jeannette Walls will be among the guests at a June 25 breakfast hosted by RUSA’s Notable Books Council at ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans....

AASL President’s Program on
“The Flattening of the Web”

The AASL President’s Program at ALA Annual Conference will be “The Flattening of the Web,” featuring David Warlick, a former classroom teacher and district administrator, who will discuss why the internet has been dubbed “the great equalizer” and how it contributes to the flattening of the world....

AASL Awards Luncheon will feature
prominent YA authors

Authors Ann Bausum and Sue Macy will speak at the Awards Luncheon and President’s Reception at the 2006 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans....


AFSCME Local 1526 and James Fish are
SirsiDynix/ALA-APA Award Winners

AFSCME Local 1526 of the Boston Public Library and James Fish, director of the Baltimore County (Md.) Public Library, are the winners of the second annual SirsiDynix/ALA-APA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Promoting Salaries and Status for Library Workers....

FLICC announces federal library awards
The Federal Library and Information Center Committee has announced the winners of its national awards for federal librarianship to recognize the many innovative ways that federal libraries, librarians and library technicians fulfill the information demands of government, business and scholarly communities and the American public.
Library of Congress, Feb. 17

Seen Online

Birth and death certificate access threatened
Buried within the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 is a regulation that bars most public access to birth and death certificates for 70 to 100 years. In much of the country, these records have long been invaluable tools for activists, lawyers, and reporters to uncover patterns of illness and pollution that officials miss or ignore....
In These Times, Feb. 14

U.S. reclassifies many documents
in a secret review

In a seven-year-old secret program at the National Archives, intelligence agencies have been removing from public access thousands of historical documents that were available for years, including some already published by the State Department and others photocopied years ago by private historians. The National Security Archive report on this program is here....
New York Times, Feb. 21

Appeals court mulls allowing worship services
in public libraries

Prohibiting a Christian group from using a library meeting room for prayer services violates free speech rights and is discriminatory, an attorney for the group argued February 17 in federal court....
Monterey County (Calif.) Herald, Feb. 17

Montana State Library cancels ACLU film
The Montana State Library has cancelled its presentation of The ACLU Freedom Files that was to be held on Friday, February 24. “...we felt that showing this video without providing opportunity for all aspects of the issue to be presented was not in the best interest of our users,” said Darlene Staffeldt, Montana State Librarian....
Montana State Library, Feb. 21

Denver Public Library offers video downloads
The Denver Public Library, already offering audio books as downloads, will be the first major system in the nation to offer free movies, concerts, and videos to any cardholder with a fast Internet connection....
Denver Post, Feb. 16

Actions and Answers

Ten blogs to read in 2006
This list came from Blake Carver’s “quest to find the people doing the most interesting and original writing on the web. Here is a group of librarians working hard to increase understanding our profession and its place in the rapidly evolving online world.” These are 10 writers who cover very different aspects of our profession, 10 sites that inform, educate, and amuse. At the top is the ALA TechSource blog....
LISNews, Feb. 21

LC offers junior fellow summer internships
The Library of Congress is offering special 10-week summer internships to college students who will work full-time from June 5 to August 11 in LC’s Copyright Office....
Library of Congress, Feb. 17

Chicago joins with Moscow in online discussions of “One Book, One Chicago”
Chicago and Moscow will create an internet book club to discuss the 10th “One Book, One Chicago” selection, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. Chicago Public Library, in partnership with the All-Russia State Library for Foreign Literature in Moscow, will moderate the online postings....
Chicago Public Library, Feb. 15

IDPF releases
2006 eBook survey results
(PDF file)
This report represents efforts by the International Digital Publishing Forum’s standards working groups to identify consumer satisfaction with electronic books and areas of improvement for the industry. The report details the responses of regular purchasers and users of eBooks. Those identified in the report are often referred to as “early adopters” whose opinions on available eBook products will help publishers, retailers, and technology companies produce better products in the future....
International Digital Publishing Forum, Feb. 22

Typographical errors in library databases
Terry Ballard and Tina Gunther have released a new version of their master list of common and uncommon errors found in OPACs or other online documents (think “goverment” and “photograpy”). Some 1,266 new entries were added in 2006....
Terry Ballard, Feb. 2

Metadata and data quality problems
in the digital library

Jeffrey Beall describes the main types of data quality errors that occur in digital libraries, both in full-text objects and in metadata....
Journal of Digital Information, vol. 6, no. 3

Magazines and databases
in school libraries
(PDF file)
Colorado’s Library Research Service has posted the findings of a libnet inquiry regarding magazines and databases in school libraries....
Library Research Service, Feb. 21

Public roundtables on March 8 and 16 on copyright exceptions for libraries and archives
The Library of Congress Section 108 Study Group is reaching out to the library, archives, rights-holder, and creative communities for input on recommendations for revising the current library and archives exceptions. As part of that process, the Study Group will host two days of roundtables for interested parties to offer suggestions and comments on how best to revise these exceptions for the digital era....
Library of Congress, Feb. 14

Libraries Australia inaugurates
free search service to the public

The National Library of Australia is offering a free end-user search interface to its national bibliographic database, Libraries Australia, beginning February 27. The database contains information about more than 40 million books, journals, newspapers, images, maps, and online documents located in 800 libraries across the continent....
The Australian, Feb. 22