March 22, 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
New Orleans Update
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U.S. & World News

House subcommittee blasts
document reclassification

The National Archives and Records Administration declined March 14 to give a House of Representatives oversight subcommittee details on a seven-year-old program that resulted in the reclassification of thousands of previously public documents, because the Pentagon has ruled that the reasons for the program should remain secret....

Oklahoma bill ties library funds
to gay-free kids’ collections

On March 15 the Oklahoma House passed by a 60–33 vote a bill that prohibits 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.” The bill also specifies that the state library must withhold funds from noncompliant public libraries....

Boston Public Library defends reputation
in wake of scathing report

A report in the March 11 Boston Globe claims that a new study shows the Boston Public Library is underperforming when compared to other large public libraries in terms of circulation, visitors, and public relations. The problem with the Globe report, BPL President Bernard Margolis told American Libraries, is that it was based on an uncorrected draft intended for review....

Feds reduce data demands
on Google at hearing

At a March 14 hearing on the Department of Justice subpoena of randomly selected web records held in search-engine firm Google’s databases, attorneys for the government disclosed that they would only ask for 50,000 websites and 5,000 searches—instead of the 1 million sites and one week’s worth of searches originally requested....

Senate restores $7 billion
to education and health initiatives

The Senate passed 73–27 an amendment (S.Amdt. 3048) March 16 increasing appropriations to Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies by $7 billion, restoring funding for some of the programs threatened by President Bush’s proposed 2007 budget. The same day, senators narrowly passed the full budget resolution by 51–49....

Anne-Imelda RadiceSenate confirms Radice
as IMLS director

The United States Senate confirmed Anne-Imelda Radice March 13 as director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. An administrator, art historian, and museum professional, Radice was nominated in December by President Bush....

Provo schools phasing out K–8 librarians
The Provo, Utah, City School District is stepping up its plans to phase out most of its certified media specialists at the elementary- and middle-school levels. Instead of awaiting retirements and resignations to shift the positions to classified employees—nonteaching staff members who are trained to maintain existing media centers and circulate materials—officials will cut budgets by 50% for K–8 libraries districtwide as of the 2008 school year....

Google becomes a bookseller
Search-engine company Google announced March 10 that it was partnering with publishers in the United States and Britain to sell online access to full copies of their books....

Montana school book challenges
complicate policy review

Challenges to four books at Lockwood Middle School in Billings, Montana, may impact the school’s challenged-book review policy—itself already under scrutiny as part of the school’s scheduled assessment of the library curriculum....

NOVEL logoNew Yorkers can access State Library with
driver’s license

The New York State Library’s electronic library—which has offered access to subscription-based newspapers, magazines, and full-text scholarly articles through local libraries since 2001—is now available to state residents from their home computers using only their driver’s license or nondriver ID card number....

Sponsor: Sirsi Dynix

Sirsi Dynix ad

Reading for Relief:
Wed., Mar. 22, 8:30–11 p.m.,
Sheraton Boston. Authors Ellen Cooney, Valerie Hurley, Roger Rosenblatt, and others will read from their works. All proceeds from the $35 ticket sales will be donated to the ALA Hurricane Library Relief Fund.

PLA Conference logo
Get running commentary on the PLA Conference from the PLA Blog.

What do YOU think?

Do you agree with the Bush administration’s proposal to fold both the NCES state and public Library Statistics Program and the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science into the IMLS?

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Cast your ballot for your choice of ALA President and Council candidates. As of 3:05 p.m. on Mar. 21,
4,228 ALA members have voted. Final day is April 24.


University of Maryland, College Park. Manage such projects as the evaluation of methodologies, standards, and software used in the creation of digital collections and their long-term preservation....

See American Libraries
for more career opportunities

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Annual Conference
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June 22–28.
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March 2006
AL cover

Stories inside include:

Next Generation professionals

Alternative revenue streams

Substance abuse librarians

Hong Kong Book Fair
The Hong Kong Book Fair is pleased to offer a Free Pass Program for Librarians for the 17th Annual Fair, July 19–24. The fair will provide selected librarians from the U.S. and Canada who collect Chinese-language materials four nights of hotel and free registration. Apply by April 10.

April 26:
New Hampshire Library Trustees Association, Concord, Spring Conference. “It’s Not Your Grandmother’s Library Any More.” Contact: Ann Fabrizio, 603-846-5420.

May 11–12:
PALINET ILL Conference, Grantville, Pa. “Challenges and Solutions.”

May 11-12:
SOLINET, Annual Membership Meeting, Atlanta. “Will Libraries Matter in 2020?”

May 16–20:
Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries, Annual Meeting, Los Angeles. “Why We Do the Things We Do.” Contact: Susan Eubank, 626-821-3213.

May 18–21: International GLBT Archives, Libraries, Museums, and Special Collections Conference, Minneapolis. Presented by the University of Minnesota Libraries, the Tretter Collection, and Quatrefoil Library. Contact: 612-625-5000.

May 19–24: Medical Library Association, Annual Meeting, Phoenix. “Transformations A–Z.”

June 7–9:
Society for Scholarly Publishing, 28th Annual Meeting. Crystal City, Virginia. “Beyond Borders and Bindings.” Contact: 303-422-3914.

June 11–14:
Special Libraries Association, Annual Conference, Baltimore. “Baltimore—Where Tradition and Transformation Converge.”

More Datebook items...

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Learn how to navigate the Office for Intellectual Freedom website!


“I miss Miss Bruscheud. I wish she was still there, standing guard under that magnificent domed roof. I’d go back to the library and thank her for keeping me in line until I could realize that books were more than something to open for a school report, and words were more than something to scrawl across notebook paper.”

—Writer Vicki Cox, “The Librarian vs. the Schoolkids,” Christian Science Monitor, Jan. 27.


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Why we are going to New Orleans
This year ALA will hold its annual conference in New Orleans. In past years, this conference has drawn tens of thousands of librarians, exhibitors, trustees, and library advocates. We hope and expect that this year will draw a similarly large crowd. A big turnout will benefit the region in terms of tourism revenue, but so will the presence of librarians and other library personnel who know first-hand how libraries shape communities....
Michael Gorman and Jackie Choate

Funding issues in U.S. public libraries, 2003–2006
Over the past three years, U.S. public libraries have managed to maintain, and in some cases increase, services despite flat or reduced budgets. A new study (PDF file) conducted by the ALA Office for Research and Statistics found that libraries serving more than 500,000 and fewer than 25,000 people saw the greatest midyear funding cuts. The study also found that libraries in the West and Midwest sustained greater cuts than their counterparts in the South and East....

Abraham Lincoln63 libraries host Forever Free: Abraham Lincoln’s Journey to Emancipation
Sixty-three libraries have been selected to host a new tour of “Forever Free: Abraham Lincoln’s Journey to Emancipation,” an exhibit that reexamines President Lincoln’s thoughts about slavery throughout his political career and the conditions which led to the Emancipation Proclamation....

New Orleans Update

Bourbon StreetA visit to New Orleans,
March 1–2

There were no traces of flooding (e.g., no freshly painted building exteriors, no mildew stains) in the Quarter or elsewhere in those areas that we usually go to. I detected no evidence of mold problems (and I am sensitive to mold) in any of the places I visited....
Lorraine Olley

The New Orleans City Archives
At the Louisiana Division/City Archives and Special Collections at the Main New Orleans Public Library we are seeing at least some of our pre-Katrina users back in action. Most of them are working on their own family history projects, though by no means have all the genealogists been in since we’ve reopened....
Wayne Everard

Michigan company donates books to
New Orleans Public Library
(PDF file)
Rebuilding efforts for the New Orleans Public Library have received support from Michigan-based Masco Corporation, a global manufacturer of home-improvement and building products as well as a leading provider of services that include the installation of insulation and other building products....
New Orleans Public Library, Mar. 15

New Orleans progress report
The NBA Hornets return to the Arena, the beat goes on in Faubourg Marigny, Jazz Fest adds more stars, and the New Orleans Museum of Art reopens....
New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau

U.S. Postal Service problems
continue to perplex

Last Wednesday, 34 newspapers were delivered to my office. The big number is not out of the ordinary. I subscribe to and read lots of different newspapers. The noteworthy fact was their issue dates: Four were printed in December, two in January, 17 in February, and just 11 were printed this month. To say we have ongoing issues with mail delivery is a huge understatement....
New Orleans City Business, Mar. 20

Nonprofits struggle, post-Katrina
More than half of health and human service nonprofits in southern Louisiana are still not fully operational after hurricanes Rita and Katrina....
New Orleans City Business, Mar. 20

RAND estimates city population will climb
to 272,000 in 2008

The population of New Orleans will likely reach about 272,000 in September 2008—amounting to 56% of the population of 485,000 before Hurricane Katrina struck in August, according to a study issued March 15 by the RAND Corporation....
RAND Corporation, Mar. 15

Restaurants get recertified
As of March 16, 57% of Jefferson Parish retail food establishments, 29% in Orleans Parish, and 39% total metropolitan New Orleans restaurants have been recertified to open. Commander’s Palace (reopening March 2006), Stella! (reopened March 17), the Pelican Club (reopened March 3)...
Louisiana Restaurant Association, Mar. 16

Division News

RUSA summer sessions available
for online learners

RUSA is starting summer sessions for two of its online courses: “Business Reference 101,” July 31–August 25 (taught by Celia Ross), and “Readers’ Advisory 101,” August 8–September 1 (taught by Neal Wyatt)....

ALCTS announces preconference lineup
for New Orleans Conference

Continuing its preconference format established at the 2005 Annual Conference in Chicago, ALCTS will offer three to four stand-alone sessions in the morning and afternoon on each day....

LAMA seeks entries for PR Makeover event
The LAMA Public Relations and Marketing Section’s Swap and Shop will hold its second annual PR Makeover. Libraries of all types are invited to submit library brochures for consideration by May 1. With the assistance of professional marketing and graphic designers, the PR Makeover will demonstrate how library brochures might be improved....

Division News

Capturing digital government information
Learn more about the exciting array of electronic state government archiving projects underway in the Pacific Northwest at a conference sponsored by GODORT, April 3, in Seattle. Speakers include Daniel Cornwall, Alaska State Library; Lily Wai, University of Idaho; Arlene Weible, Oregon State Library; and Marlys Rudeen, Washington State Library....

ALA Conference within a Conference in New Orleans cosponsored by LSSIRT
“Empowerment 2006: Taking Charge in a Sea of Change” is the theme of this conference, held June 24–25 in conjunction with the ALA Annual Conference. The event offers library support staff a choice of four program tracks that address issues in professional development, personal development, skills development, and work/life balance....


John ByrumJohn Byrum receives the
2006 Melvil Dewey Medal

John D. Byrum Jr., recently retired chief of the regional and cooperative cataloging division of the Library of Congress, is the 2006 recipient of ALA’s Melvil Dewey Medal, which recognizes distinguished service to the profession of librarianship....

Axel SchmetzkeAxel Schmetzke receives Francis Joseph Campbell award
Axel Schmetzke, head of the Instructional Materials Center at the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point, has won ASCLA’s 2006 Francis Joseph Campbell Award for an outstanding contribution to the advancement of library service for the blind and physically handicapped....

RUSA selects Doris Ann Sweet
for My Favorite Martian Award

Doris Ann Sweet, associate director for public services at Simmons College libraries in Boston, is the 2006 recipient of the Machine-Assisted Reference Section (MARS) recognition certificate, also known as the “My Favorite Martian Award.”...

Allan KleimanMargaret E. Monroe Library Adult Services Award winner
Allan M. Kleiman, head of reference at the Westfield (N.J.) Memorial Library, is the 2006 recipient of RUSA’s Margaret E. Monroe Award for significant contribution to library service to adults....

LAMA seeks “Best of Show” award entries
The LAMA Public Relations and Marketing Section’s Swap and Shop “Best of Show” awards competition seeks outstanding library public relations materials. The annual Best of Show Awards recognize the very best in PR materials produced by libraries in the previous calendar year....

Barbara HoffertBarbara Hoffert receives Louis Shores-Greenwood Publishing Group Award
Barbara Hoffert, book review editor for Library Journal, is the recipient of RUSA’s 2006 Louis Shores–Greenwood Publishing Group Award. The cash award of $3,000, donated by Greenwood Publishing Group, is given to an individual, team, or organization to recognize excellence in the reviewing of books and other materials for libraries....

Winner of 2006 Loleta D. Fyan Grant announced
The Kent District Library in Comstock Park, Michigan, has been awarded the 2006 Loleta D. Fyan Grant for a proposal entitled “Early Literacy Center.” The library will explore how public libraries can foster early literacy by creating playful, interactive, and educational library environments for young children and their families....

Arlene CohenArlene Cohen is RUSA
Distinguished ILL Librarian

Arlene Cohen, circulation and interlibrary loan librarian at the University of Guam in Mangilao, won RUSA’s 2006 Virginia Boucher–OCLC Distinguished Interlibrary Loan Librarian Award for outstanding professional achievement, leadership, and contributions to document delivery....

Seen Online

Librarian is still John Doe,
despite Patriot Act revision

Lawmakers may be giving themselves credit for having improved safeguards on civil liberties when they reauthorized the nation’s antiterrorism law, otherwise known as the USA Patriot Act, earlier this month. But many librarians and civil liberties lawyers say the revisions did nothing to enable the 2005 Robert B. Downs Intellectual Freedom Award winner to discuss the Patriot Act without risk of prosecution....
New York Times, Mar. 21

Patriot Act game pokes fun at government
In this send-up of Monopoly, players don’t pass Go and they don’t go directly to jail, they go to Guantanamo Bay. Instead of losing cash for landing on certain squares, they lose civil liberties. And the Mr. Monopoly character at the center of the board is replaced by a scowling former Attorney General John Ashcroft....
Associated Press, Mar. 18

Bush recommends consolidation of NCES statistics programs with IMLS (PDF file)
The rationale for proposing the merger of the survey programs into IMLS is that consolidating grant making with data collection, along with the NCLIS role in policy advice, will strengthen federal library and information policy efforts and enhance our nation’s research capacity on domestic and international library trends. Further, the consolidation of NCLIS and the NCES programs for public and state library surveys into IMLS will create greater efficiency of operations....
National Commission on Libraries and Information Science, Mar. 20

Paleoconservative group charges
St. Louis libraries filtered out its website

The Council of Conservative Citizens, a nationwide group that has been portrayed as racist, is suing four libraries in the St. Louis area for allegedly blocking patrons from viewing its website....
St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Mar. 20

Mesa to shut its libraries on Sundays
Mesa will close its two library branches on Sundays, a move expected to stir the biggest public reaction yet to the city’s fiscal austerity decisions....
Phoenix Arizona Republic, Mar. 20

Antique recordings caress modern ears
The University of California at Santa Barbara library has created an online audio time machine by archiving some of the oldest sounds ever recorded. A few mouse clicks give way to the jubilant sounds of Billy Murray singing “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” or Ada Jones warbling “Whistle and I’ll Wait for You.” Some pieces, like “Negro Recollections,” serve as reminders of America’s deeply racist past....
Wired, Mar. 20

Actions and Answers

Denver PL launches eFlicks
The Denver Public Library launched a downloadable video service March 20 called eFlicks, available on the same site as downloadable eBooks and Audio eBooks. An eFlick is a digital video that can be viewed on a computer, laptop, or portable video device. All that’s needed is the free Overdrive Media Console, Windows Media Player, a DPL library card, and a high-speed connection....
Denver Public Library

Pseudo-secrets: A FOIA audit of government policies on sensitive information
The first-ever government-wide audit of the ways that federal agencies mark and protect information that is unclassified but sensitive for security reasons has found 28 different and uncoordinated policies, none of which include effective oversight or monitoring of how many records are marked and withheld, by whom, or for how long....
National Security Archive, Mar. 14

Archives May DayA call to action on May Day  
(PDF File)

Protecting collections is one of the fundamental responsibilities of archivists. But on May 1—this year and every year—you can do something that will make a difference when and if an emergency occurs. That’s the purpose of MayDay—a grassroots effort whose goal is to save our archives....
Society of American Archivists

Reaching out and serving
New Mexico American Indians

Given the high population of American Indians living in New Mexico and attending the University of New Mexico, the Senior Leadership Team at University Libraries created the Indigenous Nations Library Program (INLP) to serve the needs of American Indian students and communities....
Paulita L. Aguilar, College & Research Libraries News, Mar.

Time for apply for Native American
library services enhancement grants

IMLS is accepting applications for Native American Library Services Enhancement Grants. The postmark deadline for applications is May 1. Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages and corporations that have applied this year to the Institute’s Native American Library Services Basic Grants are eligible to apply for Enhancement grants....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Mar. 15

Music video set entirely in library (RealAudio required)
Crossover musical hit “Everytime We Touch,” released in February by the trance band/project Cascada (featuring Anglo-German singer Natalie Horler), was filmed entirely in a New York library (one with a nice collection of law reporters). And let’s not forget the library setting in the Tears for Fears video of “Head over Heels” (1985)....

Columbia University Libraries launches
Notable New Yorkers oral history site

The Notable New Yorkers Web site offers audio recordings and transcripts of interviews with ten influential New Yorkers, drawn from the collections of the Oral History Research Office of the Columbia University Libraries. These interviews, conducted by the Office between 1955 and 2001, open an imaginative portal into 20th-century New York City....
Columbia University Libraries, Mar. 17

Evidence Based Library and Information Practice journal launched
EBLIP is a peer-reviewed, open access journal published quarterly by the University of Alberta Learning Services, using the OJS Software. The purpose of the journal is to provide a forum for librarians and other information professionals to discover research that may contribute to decision making in professional practice....
University of Alberta Learning Services

Information literacy for all
IFLA has released the final report (PDF file) of the High-Level Colloquium on Information Literacy and Lifelong Learning, held at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Egypt, November 6–9, 2005. The report argues that the existence of information holds little to no value to people who do not even know what information they need, much less whether it exists or not, or how to locate, evaluate, and effectively use it....
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions