January 25, 2006
AL Direct is a weekly electronic newsletter sent by
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U.S. & World News

Google defies DOJ demand for search records
The Department of Justice sought a court order January 18 from the U.S. District Court of Northern California demanding that Google comply with its August 2005 subpoena for millions of randomly selected online search records held by the Silicon Valley–based search-engine firm....

Clinton Library begins accepting
document requests

On January 20, the fifth anniversary of President Clinton’s departure from office, the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas, began accepting Freedom of Information Act document requests from researchers interested in the history of the administration....

Task force recommends D.C. library overhaul
The District of Columbia Public Library needs more than $450 million in improvements—including a new $280-million headquarters library, 400 new computers, and replacement of half its collection over the next three years—according to a draft report released January 17 by a task force organized in 2004 by Mayor Anthony A. Williams....

New Bronx library center opens
The New York Public Library held a dedication ceremony January 17 for a new, state-of-the-art, five-story central branch in the Bronx—a facility three times the size of the Fordham Library Center that had served the borough for 82 years....

Thieves can profit from book-heist story
A federal judge ruled in mid-January that the four men who were sentenced in December for book theft and assault at Transylvania University library in Lexington, Kentucky, can keep any profits from selling the story of their crime to the media....

Salinas library hours to double
The Salinas, California, city council approved a plan January 17 that will increase hours at the city’s three libraries by this spring. The plan will use $250,000 in money from the Rally Salinas campaign to expand weekly library hours from 33 to 69, the Salinas Californian reported January 18....

France to put history professor on trial
for stolen documents

A Paris court intends to bring a retired Marquette University history professor and an accomplice to trial for stealing valuable documents from the French National Archives in the 1980s....

Launch sponsor: Sirsi Dynix

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ALA Graphics catalog

Check out the new spring catalog from ALA Graphics!


University of Maryland Libraries. The head of EPSL plans, organizes, and manages programs and services to meet the requirements of the technologically sophisticated clientele of the branch....

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

Be a Champion! The ALA Library Champions program gives business members the best means to promote the work of libraries and to demonstrate their leadership in the library field.


What do YOU think?

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

Click here
to VOTE!

Results of the
January 18 poll:

Should ALA increase its membership dues by $10 for each of the next three years?




AL cover

Planned Giving

Everything You Need to Know about Libraries

Volunteer Librarians

Feb. 1–4: Ontario Library Association Super Conference, Toronto. Contact: OLA, 416-363-3388.

Mar. 10–11:
“Scholarship and Libraries in Transition: A Dialogue about the Impacts of Mass Digitization Projects,” University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Contact: UM Symposium, 734-764-9358.

Mar. 12–18:
Sunshine Week 2006: Are We Safer in the Dark?
A National Dialogue on Open Government and Secrecy
. Locally hosted discussions. Register on the OMB Watch website.

Apr. 25–28:
Texas Library Association,
Houston. “Libraries: Igniting the Passion.” Contact: TLA, 512-328-1518.

More Datebook items...


“First, full disclosure. I am a big fan of librarians. In 40-plus years of using public and university libraries, I have found them to be, as a class of people, smart, generous with their time and help, sometimes a little quirky, but invariably, kind.”

—Editor Regina McGee, saluting ALA for keeping the 2006 Annual Conference in New Orleans, in “Hats Off to the ALA,” Association Meetings, December 2005.


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Codrescu and GormanSan Antonio meeting spotlights
education for librarianship

ALA President Michael Gorman (far right) kicked off the Midwinter Meeting in San Antonio, Texas, January 20–25, with a half-day forum on education for librarianship. Extending that theme into his President’s Program, Gorman welcomed author and National Public Radio commentator Andrei Codrescu, ostensibly to engage in a dialogue about the future of the profession....

60 libraries will receive
Jewish literature discussion program grants

ALA’s Public Programs Office and Nextbook—a gateway to Jewish literature, culture and ideasselected 60 public and academic libraries to receive grants for Lets Talk About It: Jewish Literature programs. During the course of the three-year initiative, a total of 159 libraries have been selected to participate....

Division News

Preconference on library programming
will lead off PLA meeting

Poet Mark Doty, film studies professor Thomas Doherty, and Middle Eastern specialist Barbara E. Petzen have been added to the roster of speakers for “Cultural Programming for Libraries: Linking Libraries, Communities and Culture,” to be held March 21–22 in Boston....

The three C’s of teens
Community, Collaboration, Creation. A summary of author Linda Braun’s presentation at the YALSA Teens and Technology Institute, held at the ALA Midwinter Meeting....
PLA Blog

Top technology trends
A summary of the LITA discussion on tech trends at the ALA Midwinter Meeting....


Hello, Goodbye WindowCriss Cross coverPerkins, Raschka win 2006 Newbery, Caldecott medals
The writer of a novel about a group of teens who over the course of a summer search for the meaning of life and the illustrator of a story about a girl’s magical visit to her multiracial grandparents’ home were named respective winners of ALA’s Newbery and Caldecott medals honoring children’s literature....

More ALA children’s/YA literary award winners
See a list of all the awards for books and videos for children and young adults presented at the ALA Midwinter Meeting....

Nominations sought for 2006
JCLC awards, scholarships

The Joint Conference of Librarians of Color 2006 invites nominations for its awards and scholarships, which will be presented during its conference, “Gathering at the Waters: Embracing Our Spirits; Telling Our Stories,” to be held in Dallas, October 11–15, 2006....

GLBTRT Stonewall Award winners
ALAs Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Round Table named Abha Dawesar, author of Babyji (Anchor Books) and Joshua Gamson, author of The Fabulous Sylvester: the Legend, the Music, the 70s in San Francisco, the winners of its two Stonewall Awards....

LAMA announces John Cotton Dana
PR award winners

Six libraries are winners of the John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award, which recognizes and honors outstanding achievement in library public relations....

RUSA’s Notable Books Council
reveals 2006 top picks

The Notable Books Council has compiled its 2006 list of outstanding books for the general reader. These titles have been selected for their significant contribution to the expansion of knowledge and for the pleasure they can provide to adult readers....

First Sophie Brody Medal for outstanding achievement in Jewish literature
Avner Mandelman won the RUSA award for his book Talking to the Enemy, published by Seven Stories Press....

YALSA collection development grant winners
Two public librarians, Karin Thogersen of Huntley Area Public Library (Ill.) and Rachel Orozco of the Rita and Truett Smith Public Library (Texas), have been named winners....

YALSA selected audiobooks for young adults
Titles were selected for their appeal to a teen audience, the quality of their recording, and their enhancement of an audience’s appreciation of any written work on which they may be based....

YALSA Sagebrush Award winner
Vaunda Nelson, teen librarian at the Rio Rancho (N. Mex.) Public Library, won the award for her Lights! Camera! Books! 2005 Teen Summer Reading Program....

YALSA Baker & Taylor Scholarship winner
Library Media Specialist Felice Piggott has won a YALSA Baker & Taylor Scholarship Grant for 2006. Piggott will receive $1,000 to attend ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans....

Seen Online

New Des Moines library
will feature a bakery

La Mie Bakery & Restaurant will open a cafe in downtown Des Moines’ new public library this spring....
Des Moines (Iowa) Register, Jan. 20

UNC, Virginia Tech get NSF grant
for digital library curriculum

The National Science Foundation has awarded a three-year grant of over half a million dollars to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University to develop “Collaborative Research: Curriculum Development: Digital Libraries.”...
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Jan. 19

Librarian wants more librarians
on postage stamps

Retired librarian Vladimir Wertsman is mounting a drive to see more of the world’s librarians honored with commemorative postage stamps....
New York Daily News, Jan. 23

Former Ocmulgee director to be
sentenced this week

David C. Wilson will be sentenced January 26 on seven federal felony counts stemming from a middle Georgia library corruption case....
Savannah (Ga.) Morning News, Jan. 12

50 British public libraries face closure
as local councils balance their books

Around 50 libraries in at least six different counties are facing possible closure in the coming months. Most are in small and sometimes isolated communities. David Lammy, the culture minister, is writing to every council urging it not to close libraries as part of its budget measures....
The Telegraph (London), Jan. 23

Actions and Answers

Internet searches and privacy protection:
A guide for the perplexed

Internet consultant Danny Sullivan discusses the pitfalls of retaining your privacy while googling....
Search Engine Watch, January 23

The academic library as
a virtual destination

USC Library Dean Jerry Campbell weighs in on the changing mission of university libraries and the evolving role of librarians as digital technologies gradually take over many of their traditional functions....
Educause Review, January/February 2006

A librarian’s guide to finding
websites you can trust

Librarians Internet Index Director Karen Schneider gives five characteristics of authoritative online resources, with some tips on how to evaluate them....
Google Librarian’s Newsletter, January 2006

Congressional sponsors needed
for Katrina library relief bill

Washington Office Action alert: ALA has drafted a bill that would authorize an appropriation of $100 million for FY 2006 to provide targeted grants to Gulf-state libraries serving communities impacted by Hurricane Katrina. Library supporters in targeted states are asked to contact their representatives and ask them to sponsor it....
ALA Washington Office

The “Are you a librarian?” test
Test your professional knowledge with this challenging 29-question test, which includes many ALA-related questions. You don’t need to join the sponsoring site (a dating service) to take the test....