June 21, 2006
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U.S. & World News
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New Orleans Update
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U.S. & World News

Gwinnett board names interim director; Pinder asks for apology
Gwinnett County (Ga.) Public Library trustees named an interim executive director in a closed session June 15 to replace Jo Ann Pinder, whom the board fired without explanation three days earlier. Pinder’s attorney, Judith O’Brien, sent a letter to trustees June 15 asking for a public apology and claiming the board violated Georgia open-meeting and library laws by “executing a game plan that obviously had been scripted ahead of time by four of its members and their behind-the-scenes legal adviser.”...

Miami-Dade bans A Visit to Cuba in all its schools
The Miami–Dade County school board voted 6–3 June 14 to remove Alta Schreier’s Vamos a Cuba (A Visit to Cuba) from its libraries in response to a parent’s complaint that it portrays a deceptively idealistic view of life in Cuba....

Jose-Marie GriffithsGriffiths nominated to National Science Board
José-Marie Griffiths, dean of the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has been chosen by President Bush to serve on the National Science Board, the 24-member policymaking group that oversees and guides the activities of the National Science Foundation....

Vandal sets fire to gay collection in Chicago branch
Gay rights activists in Chicago say a June 13 arson fire at the John Merlo branch of the Chicago Public Library may have been a hate crime. About 100 books were destroyed after someone set a fire on the library’s second floor, where a 1,000+ collection of gay-lesbian-bisexual-transgender books is located....

Boycott threatened over library gay pride program
A town councilor in Southbridge, Massachusetts, has called for a boycott of the Jacob Edwards Library if it proceeds with a fundraiser featuring a gay author and two displays marking June as national Gay Pride Month. James J. Marino Sr. made his comments at a recent forum of the town council, according to the June 15 Worcester Telegram and Gazette, which noted that he did not ask the body to take any action....

Insurance adjuster hints UNM fire was intentional
Although the state fire marshal is still conducting an investigation of the April 30 blaze that damaged the University of New Mexico’s Zimmerman Library, an adjuster for insurance broker Keenan and Associates told university officials the fire apparently was set intentionally....

Medway Library to stay open part-time; certification loss seen
At a June 12 town meeting, residents of Medway, Massachusetts, approved a plan to keep the library open 20 hours a week. After voters failed to override the state’s Proposition 2 1/2 tax-limitation law, the town’s Finance Committee had recommended in May that the library be closed July 1....

ALA News

Cokie RobertsCokie Roberts to keynote closing session
Journalist and author Cokie Roberts will keynote the closing session at the ALA Annual Conference, June 27, 8–9 a.m. Roberts currently is the chief congressional analyst for ABC News and is a news analyst for National Public Radio. She is also the author of We Are Our Mothers’ Daughters, which tells stories of the fascinating women of the American Revolution....

Laura BushLaura Bush invited to AASL town hall meeting
First Lady Laura Bush has been invited as keynote speaker to School Libraries Work: Rebuilding for Learning, a national town hall meeting sponsored by AASL and Scholastic to be held on Monday, June 26, from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the New Orleans Convention Center. Lester Holt, NBC News Weekend Today anchor, will moderate. Doors will open at noon; no one will be able to enter after 12:30 p.m....

Rebuilding cultural communities in New Orleans
ALA’s Public Programs Office and the H. W. Wilson Foundation have partnered to provide support to the New Orleans Public Library. As a major corporate donor to ALA’s Cultural Communities Fund, H. W. Wilson decided to offer support for the New Orleans community with $100,000 to its Main Library, while working with ALA to promote cultural programming through a programming grant....

Andrew PaceAmerican Libraries columnist blogs at Hectic Pace
Andrew K. Pace, who writes the popular “Technically Speaking” column in each issue of American Libraries magazine, is launching the Hectic Pace technology blog in conjunction with the Annual Conference in New Orleans. Head of information technology at North Carolina State University Libraries, Pace has been AL’s go-to guru for cutting-edge technology news and views since 2004....

Jenny LevineJenny Levine joins ALA as internet development specialist
ALA Publishing and ALA’s Information Technology and Telecommunications Unit have hired Jenny Levine as internet development specialist and strategy guide, effective August 1. Levine comes to ALA with extensive experience in emerging technologies, service development, and integration of services into library environments. Her achievements with other organizations include creating and teaching continuing education events. She also maintains her own blog and has done several speaking engagements with the Special Libraries Association and the ALA divisions.

FTRF logoFreedom to Read Foundation announces election results
Five trustees were elected to two-year terms in the April election to the FTRF Board of Trustees: Francis J. Buckley, Chris Finan, Deborah L. Jacobs, Burton Joseph, and Candace Morgan. Of these trustees, Morgan, Finan, Buckley, and Jacobs were reelected; Joseph previously served as a trustee....

Register on-site for 2006 Advocacy Institute
On-site registration will be available for the Advocacy Institute, held in conjunction with the ALA 2006 Annual Conference in New Orleans....

ALA Guide to Best ReadingGuide to Best Reading goes digital
The ALA Guide to Best Reading in 2006, a coproduction of ALSC, Booklist, RUSA, and YALSA, is available for the first time as a digital download from the ALA Store. The guide is filled with annotated recommended and notable booklists such as “Notable Children’s Books,” “Notable Books,” “Editor’s Choice,” and “Best Books for Young Adults.”...

Springer to sponsor conference registration bags
Full conference registrants at ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans will receive registration bags, thanks to a generous donation by Springer. The blue-and-black canvas tote-style bags will be handed out beginning on Thursday, June 22, when registration opens....

Let's Talk About It logoNew grants for Let’s Talk about It: Jewish Literature series available
ALA’s Public Programs Office and Nextbook, a gateway to Jewish literature, culture, and ideas, have announced two new rounds of grants for Let’s Talk About It: Jewish Literature—Identity and Imagination, a theme-based reading and discussion series. The application deadline for the first round of grants is December 1....



Shakespeare coverFeatured review: Media
Ackroyd, Peter. Shakespeare: The Biography. Read by Simon Vance. 19 hrs. Books on Tape CD (1-4159-2480-5), 2005. Ackroyd’s biography offers unique insight into the life, times, and circumstances that surrounded and molded the Bard’s literary works. The author casts a unique and historical perspective on Shakespeare and includes information about his family and the world in which he lived....

Booklist events in New Orleans
I want to take a moment to mention what my colleagues are up to. Several of them will be putting their expertise on display with programs in New Orleans. If you happen to be headed there yourself, I’m sure you’ll find these well worth the while....
Likely Stories, Keir Graff, June 19

New Orleans Update

Statement on National Guard troops
Many are confused about the recent news of the Louisiana National Guard’s deployment to New Orleans. They are being brought in to the city to provide assistance to the New Orleans Police Department in desolated areas of the city badly damaged by the hurricane. This will allow more police officers to patrol the tourism and historic core of the city, enhancing the already very good safety record these areas enjoy....
New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, June 20

Getting the most out of your conference experience
The buzzword in the city is “The librarians are coming!” Taxi drivers are excited and ready for the first big convention since Katrina. Here are some tips from Stephen Abram, Karen Schneider, Walt Crawford, and Terry Young....
Stephen’s Lighthouse, May 30; Free-Range Librarian, June 19; Walt at Random, June 15; YALSA Blog, June 19

Children’s Museum will reopen June 24
The Louisiana Children’s Museum, at 420 Julia Street in the historic Warehouse District, will reopen to the public June 24 after completing extensive roof and water damage throughout the building. A team of first responders and their families will cut the ribbon to welcome the general public at 9:30 a.m....
New Orleans City Business, June 19

Harry Shearer’s New Orleans diary, part 1
After the human suffering and the loss of historic buildings by the mile, what hurt the most in contemplating the disaster to this city last year was the potential loss of the canopy—the glorious green umbrella of trees that offers necessary shade in these most intensely sunny summers. The human suffering and building loss continue, but it’s summertime, and the canopy has rebuilt itself to a surprising degree. This greenest of cities is once again abloom....
Huffington Post, June 19

Katrina fattens up Crescent City cuisine
The whole New Orleans food scene rebounded with astonishing speed and strength after the hurricane. It shot up like a super ball. Restaurants and chefs showed an inspiring commitment to their mission. Customers responded with deep satisfaction and more dollars than anybody projected....
New Orleans City Business, June 12

Song for My Fathers coverSo many fathers
In his newly published memoir, A Song for My Fathers: A New Orleans Story in Black and White, musician Tom Sancton does take the measure of his father, New Orleans writer Thomas Sancton, as well the spiritual fathers he found in the older black jazz men of Preservation Hall who taught him how to play the clarinet. The result is a loving portrait of complex people living in a time of change in New Orleans during the 1950s and ’60s....
New Orleans Times-Picayune, June 18

Walk for higher education
The Katrina Higher Education Assistance Fund is sponsoring a 5K run/walk on Saturday, June 24, starting at 8:30 a.m. at Audubon Park Shelter #10, to benefit nine educational institutions—among them Dillard, Xavier, and Loyola universities—to rebuild in the New Orleans area. The registration fee is $25....
Katrina Higher Education Assistance Fund

City says it’s ready for hurricane evacuation
Joseph Matthews, director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness, says the city has developed a sound evacuation plan coordinated with the Federal Department of Homeland Security, FEMA, and the State of Louisiana for the 2006 hurricane season....
Bayou Buzz, June 16

Greetings from New Orleans: Postcards as art
In the months before Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, amateur photographer Justin Lundgren set in motion an art experiment he hoped would reveal something about the morality of pedestrians—at least when it comes to lost mail. The project also became an unintended time-capsule portrait of a city that may never return....
National Public Radio, Day to Day, June 19

Severe drought puts pressure on region
In a ironic twist after most of New Orleans sat submerged in water for weeks, the eight months since October 1 have been the driest south Louisiana has seen in the 111 years that the state has kept rainfall records, said state climatologist Barry Keim....
New Orleans Times-Picayune, June 15

Scientists are breeding fish to control Gulf Coast mosquitos
The abundance of standing water and hot summer temperatures can create a mosquito-breeding haven. And with as many as 6,000 abandoned pools in New Orleans alone, mosquito experts say the tiny mosquito fish (Gambusia affinis) is their biggest ally in protecting the Gulf Coast from a nasty mosquito infestation....
Associated Press, June 16

Division News

Silent auction benefits Katrina Relief Fund
ALSC is holding a silent auction during ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans benefit the ALA Hurricane Katrina Library Relief Fund. Two pieces of original artwork created and donated by Lynne Rae Perkins, the 2006 Newbery Medal winner, and Chris Raschka, the 2006 Caldecott Medal winner, will be auctioned....

Orca and Scholastic to give away books to new YALSA members
Orca Book Publishers and Scholastic will give away new teen titles to anyone who joins the YALSA division between now and September 15....

Investigating classroom response systems
(PDF file)

An alternative to eliciting feedback verbally, classroom response systems—also known as electronic, audience, student, or interactive response systems—allow individuals to instantaneously communicate their responses via remote control-like transmitters (often referred to as clickers) or computer stations....
LIRT News, June, p. 3


Carolyn CaywoodCarolyn Caywood named 2006 FTRF Roll of Honor Award recipient
Carolyn Caywood, manager of the Virginia Beach Public Library’s Bayside Area Library and Special Services Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, is the recipient of the 2006 Freedom to Read Foundation Roll of Honor Award. Caywood is a past FTRF trustee and currently is the Intellectual Freedom Round Table’s representative to ALA Council. She also has served as chair of the Virginia Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Committee....

Spectrum Scholarship winners announced
The ALA Office for Diversity has announced the ninth cohort of Spectrum Scholarships. The Spectrum Scholarship program’s major drive is to recruit applicants and award scholarships to American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students for graduate programs in library and information studies....

Articles of WarW.Y. Boyd Literary Award recipient named
Nick Arvin’s book Articles of War (Doubleday, 2005) is the winner of the W. Y. Boyd Literary Award for Excellence in Military Fiction for 2005. The award honors the best fiction set in a period when the United States was at war....

LAMA announces Best of Show winners
The LAMA Public Relations and Marketing Section’s Best of Show competition recognizes excellence in 11 categories, including library reading club materials, annual reports, newsletters and—new this year—library websites and home pages....

Seen Online

Library phone answerers survive the internet
For years, a small band of researchers at the New York Public Library has been tackling questions from young and old, the clueless and the haughty, the vexed and the unvexed, reducing life’s infinite jumble to an answer, more or less. Today, despite the internet, the eight women and two men of what is known as the telephone reference service are still at it....
New York Times, June 19

Mission Bay buzz
For the San Francisco Public Library system, the new Mission Bay branch will be the first completely new branch to open in 40 years. For residents and workers in Mission Bay, it will be not only a place to borrow books but also a place to gather—the kind of public center that established neighborhoods take for granted....
San Francisco Chronicle, June 20

Biologist discovers a new way to date books
A Penn State biology professor with a passion for old prints and maps says he has found a new way to date centuries-old books by using a technique similar to what scientists use to study mutations. Professor Blair Hedges says much of his analysis on 16th and 17th century books and prints was conducted by simply counting the number of discrepancies such as “line breaks” on the same pages in the different editions of a book....
Associated Press, June 20

Newberry Library finds a treasure in maps
One by one, Newberry Library curator Robert Karrow pulled old maps from oversized file folders, each recovered from a treasure trove that had been packed away and forgotten for nearly a quarter-century. The maps show the range of 388 items the Newberry bought for $120,000, getting the cream of an archive of 1,371 maps and atlases that the Chicago History Museum had packed up for disposal in 1982, then left in a storage room....
Chicago Tribune, June 19

Actions and Answers
Mellon Foundation grant will assist Gulf Coast academic libraries
On June 16, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded SOLINET an $896,000 grant to assist academic libraries in recovering from damage sustained during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and improve region-wide preparedness for future disasters. The grant will support several initiatives to aid affected libraries over the next 18 months....
SOLINET, June 20

IMLS awards Native American grants
The Institute of Museum and Library Services awarded Native American tribes across the country $1.3 million in grants to improve library services June 19. In all, 224 grants will strengthen library service for 232 Native American tribal communities and Alaska Native villages....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, June 19

The Library Services Act turns 50
Kathleen de la Peña McCook notes that President Eisenhower signed the Library Services Act on June 19, 1956, and offers some background on the people who made the legislation happen....
Librarian, Jan. 1

Kristin Partlo trading cardCarleton College library trading cards
Librarians at the Laurence McKinley Gould Library at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, have created sets of trading cards since 2002/2003 to publicize their services. You can visit their poster session, “Penguins, Frisbees, and Trading Cards: Catching the Student Eye,” Monday, June 26, 11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m., in the Exhibit Hall at Table V-15, at Annual Conference in New Orleans....
Carleton College

OCLC, Lexis/Nexis among top 100 best places to work in info technology
For the 13th year in a row, Computerworld conducted a survey to identify the 100 Best Places to Work for IT professionals. In January 2006, contacts at the nominated companies received a 100-question survey asking questions about their organizations’ benefits and opportunities....
Computerworld, June 20

Newspaper archive offers free library access
Heritage Microfilm is offering public libraries and K–12 schools free access to its online newspaper database archive. Access NewspaperARCHIVE allows students and patrons to search tens of millions of historical newspaper pages from anywhere in their school or library....
NewspaperARCHIVE, June 19

WLA adopts resolution on regional EPA Library (PDF file)
At its June 9 meeting, the Washington Library Association board called on state legislators to use their influence to restore the EPA Region 10 Library’s budget to at least the FY 2006 level, adjusted for inflation....
Washington Library Association, June 9

Do I still use reference books?
Rick Roche began wondering how often he still used reference books. “There seem to be days that I use none and days that I use many. Not knowing exactly what portion of my reference work involves books I decided to keep a log of resources used.”...
Ricklibrarian, June 12

Cultural tourism: A growing segment of the travel market
An increasing number of tourists are special-interest travelers who rank the arts, heritage, or other cultural activities as one of the top five reasons for traveling....
National Endowment for the Arts

Sponsor: Sirsi Dynix

Sirsi Dynix ad

Annual Conference logo
Annual Conference
in New Orleans,
June 22–28.

Complete list of poster sessions, Saturday through Monday, with abstracts.
Vendor Product Spotlight descriptions, Sunday.

9th Annual Exhibits Round Table Silent Auction, New Orleans, June 24–26. Support ALA scholarships to deserving library school students by purchasing some of these great items (like this Russian translation of Bill Clinton’s My Life, donated by Russia Online) up for bid at this year’s ERT Silent Auction! See the full list of auction items at the ERT website.

Read Rebecca Hogue Wojahn’s recommendations on sports novels in the May issue of Book Links.

What do YOU think?

Are you pleased that First Lady Laura Bush has been invited to speak at AASL’s town hall meeting on school libraries in New Orleans?

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
June 14 poll:

Should the FBI be allowed access to the Jack Anderson papers to remove leaked classified documents?


(142 responses)

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

ALA and the Guadalajara International Book Fair are partnering for the ninth year to provide support for ALA members to attend the 20th Guadalajara International Book Fair November 25–29. Andalucia will be the Guest of Honor at FIL 2006. The deadline for application to the ALA/FIL Free Pass Program is August 21.


The Library Network, Southgate, Michigan. TLN seeks a director to manage a 5-county, diverse, multitype library cooperative serving 64 communities and 103 buildings, with a service population of 2.8 million in Southeast Michigan....

See American Libraries
for more career opportunities.


June-July 2006
AL cover
Stories inside include:

The Crux of the LIS Education Crisis

Building Stronger Bridges over the Continuing- Education Gap

Information Science: Not Just for Boys Anymore

Find many items from the ALA Graphics catalog at the ALA Store in New Orleans this weekend.

Classes and Workshops:

American Association of Law Libraries offers a series of professional development workshops.

Amigos Library Services offers a series of training classes to improve the technical skills of librarians. Contact: Chris Brown, 972-851-8000, ext. 2829; 800-843-8482.

Association of Research Libraries offers a series of institutes and programs aimed at improving skills of library management and staff. Contact: Julia Blixrud, 202-296-2296.

Barahona Center for the Study of Books in Spanish for Children and Adolescents, California State University/San Marcos, offers seminars and workshops of interest to librarians. Contact: Isabel Schon, 760-750-4070.

Central Florida Library Cooperative offers a series of ongoing workshops of interest to librarians at locations throughout central Florida. Contact: CFLC, 407-644-9050.

The Foundation Center offers a regular series of seminars and workshops on securing grants and proposal writing. Contact: 212-620-4230.

Illinois State Library has a series of institutes and continuing education programs of interest to librarians. Contact: 217-785-5600.

Michigan Library Consortium offers a series of ongoing workshops of interest to librarians. Contact: Heather Thomas, 800-530-9019, ext. 133; 517-394-2420.

National Council of Teachers of English sponsors conventions and other professional meetings concerning the teaching of English at all levels. Contact: 217-328-3870; 877-369-6283.

Palinet offers workshops concerning new library technologies. Contact: Diana Bitting, 800-233-3401, ext. 1203.

SOLINET offers numerous workshops of interest to librarians at locations through the southeastern U.S. Contact: Erica Waller, 800-999-8558, ext. 4896.

More Datebook items...


“This new library has become the cultural hub of the city, crucial to its downtown revitalization. A new bank and a satellite university campus have already been completed and a park with a water fountain is on its way.... ‘It all started with the library,’ Mayor Green said. ‘I can’t tell you how proud that makes our community.”

—Author Luis Alberto Urrea on the Kankakee Public Library’s role in transforming the city, “Kankakee Gets Its Groove Back,” New York Times, June 11.


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