March 29, 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
Division News
Round Table News
Seen Online
Actions & Answers
AL Direct FAQ

U.S. & World News

D.C. mayor offers details
on library improvements

Mayor Anthony A. Williams offered details March 22 on his plan to refurbish the District of Columbia library system, calling for an $8-million boost to the operating budget to fund additional materials, computers, and furnishings and to restore Sunday hours at some branches....

Three Wishes controversy continues
in Ontario schools

School boards across Ontario continue to weigh in on Three Wishes, a controversial book that explores the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through interviews with children from both sides that had been recommended by the Ontario Library Association for 4th–6th graders as part of its Silver Birch reading program....

Conservative group sues libraries
for blocking its website

A nationwide conservative political group has sued four Missouri libraries for allegedly using internet filtering software to block patrons from viewing its website....

Love Libraries logoBritain launches campaign
to transform libraries’ image

British Minister for Culture David Lammy launched a “Love Libraries” campaign, designed to transform the image of public libraries by presenting “a new vision of a 21st century reading service,” with an announcement March 22 that three libraries would be turned into “models of a future library service with reading at its heart.”...

Michigan library board fires director
In an emergency meeting March 21, Bay County (Mich.) Library trustees voted 4–1 to confirm the firing of Director Frederick J. Paffhausen by board chair Ella Jane Martini a day earlier....

Brooklyn branch closes after fight
The Brownsville branch of the Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library closed for six days after a staff member was injured breaking up a fight....

Michigan teen gets detention,
therapy for library assault

Calling him a predator who is likely to commit sexual assault again, Livingston County Juvenile Court Referee Kathleen M. Oemke sentenced a 13-year-old boy, with “ongoing behavioral problems,” to 127 days detention, sex-offender therapy, and two years of court-monitored supervision March 20 in conjunction with the molestation of a 7-year-old girl at the Brighton (Mich.) District Library last December....

Sponsor: Sirsi Dynix

Sirsi Dynix ad

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 as a preconference to the Texas Library Association Annual Conference. The deadline to register is April 7.

Annual Conference logo
Annual Conference
in New Orleans,
June 22–28.
Try out the
ALA Conference Wiki.

Tell us your favorite book:

What one or two books have you read recently that had the most significant impact on you?

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
March 22 poll:

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?


(116 responses)

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

E-mail your support for EPA Libraries:
Oppose the FY2007 budget cuts and take further action.

Browse through new products from ALA Editions and ALA Graphics.


Ocean County (N.J.) Library, Toms River Branch. April 7 is the deadlne to apply for this job fair. The library has 10 teen and childrens’ librarians positions
to fill....

See American Libraries
for more career opportunities

Download print and audio PSAs (in English or Spanish) featuring George Lopez’s “Smartest Card” message for National Library Week, April 2–8.


April 2006
AL cover

Stories inside include:

New England’s Carnegie libraries

Construction funding 101

Libraries = cultural icons: The 2006 facilities showcase

Put it in writing:
Woman’s Day magazine is asking its women readers aged 18 and over to submit their stories, in 700 words or less, on how the library has changed their lives. Send stories to from now until
May 10

April 26–28:
Off-Campus Library Services Conference, Savannah, Georgia.

May 17-18:
Ohio Libraries Council, Small Libraries Conference, Columbus. “Small Libraries: Dynamic Community Resources.” Contact: OLC, 614-416-2258.

June 1–2:
Rhode Island Library Association (PDF file), Annual Conference, Bryant College, Smithfield. Contact: RILA.

June 7–8:
Ohio Library Council, Diversity Conference, Columbus. Contact: OLC, 614-416-2258.

June 8–10:
Loex of the West Conference, Fairmont Orchid, Kona Coast of Hawaii’s Big Island. “Information Literacy for a Lifetime.” Contact: Dave Brier, 808-956-2746.

June 18–21:
Association of Jewish Libraries, 41st Annual Convention, Cambridge, Mass. “Liberty, Learning, and Libraries.” Contact: AJL, 212-725-5359.

More Datebook items...

Request an ALA Editions catalog: ALA’s publishing imprint, ALA Editions, develops resources for the library and information services community.


“And when the eventual history of Chicago’s gay community is written, the collection here will be an indispensable resource.”

Chicago Tonight correspondent Rich Samuels on Chicago’s 25-year-old Gerber/Hart Library, a depository for the records of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered individuals and organizations, WTTW-TV, Jan. 12.


American Libraries Direct

George M. Eberhart,

Karen Sheets,
Graphics and Design:

Send feedback:

AL Direct FAQ:

To advertise in American Libraries Direct contact:
Leonard Kniffel, Editor-in-Chief,

All links outside the ALA website are provided for informational purposes only. Questions about the content of any external site should be addressed to the administrator of that site.

American Libraries
50 E. Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611
ext. 4216

ISSN 1559-369X.

Demographic survey progress report (PDF file)
As of March 22, the Office for Research and Statistics has received 6,581 eligible responses to its voluntary online survey to collect member demographics, about 10% of all ALA members. Some partial results: 57% of membership was born between 1940 and 1959, while 36.5% was born between 1960 and 1979; and 78% have an MLS from an ALA-accredited program....

LLA Conference logoALA to present $100,000
to Louisiana Library Association

ALA will present the first donation from its ALA Hurricane Katrina Library Relief Fund to the Louisiana Library Association during its state conference March 28–30. The check presentation of $100,000 will take place at 4 p.m. March 29 at the Lafayette Cajundome Convention Center....

Investor Education logoInvestor education @ your library program kicks off
The first in a nationwide series of investment seminars took place March 28 at the District of Columbia Public Library—officially launching the Investor Education @ your library® program sponsored by ALA and the Investor Protection Trust....

Consultant for Library Corps
feasibility study wanted

ALA has issued a request for proposal (Word document) for a consultant to conduct a feasibility study on a proposal to establish a “Library Corps.” The Library Corps would recruit retired librarians to provide assistance to libraries that need help....

Joint Conference logoRegistration now open for
Joint Conference of
Librarians of Color

Registration is now open for the first-ever Joint Conference of Librarians of Color to be held October 11–15 at the Adams Mark Hotel in Dallas. More than 3,000 librarians, exhibitors, publishers, and authors are expected to attend to discuss issues affecting library services for diverse populations....

ALA to visit hurricane-ravaged libraries
for National Library Week

ALA President Michael Gorman and other library leaders will begin National Library Week (April 2–8) by touring hurricane-ravaged libraries in New Orleans and Mississippi and meeting with local library staff....

New Orleans Update

Report from Tulane
At Tulane University, students came back in unexpectedly high numbers, over 80%. Our campus looks close to normal now, after a great deal of effort to create that impression....
Susanna S. Powers

Missing “Life As We Knew It”
I am a high school teacher. I am very fortunate that my school—Benjamin Franklin High School—was able to reopen as a charter school. The Wall Street Journal did a long story about the heroic efforts of our principal to reopen the school after the first floor was flooded....
Gail Gill

Experts: Fragile economy hampers Big Easy
Most of Big Oil has returned to New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina, Mardi Gras got the city back in the tourism business, and the skilled construction trades can’t get enough workers. But there is a common theme: New Orleans will be a much smaller city with an economic growth that will be fragile for years to come....
Associated Press, Mar. 28

City fiscal crisis eases
New Orleans’ financial situation remains dire, but its economy is doing better than expected and city government won’t run out of money for at least another two months—and well beyond that if it is able to obtain more federal money or more loans from private sources, according to city officials and consultants....
New Orleans Times-Picayune, Mar. 25

African Americans surveyed on
post-storm Louisiana

Louisiana is going to the internet for input from African Americans on whether hurricanes Katrina and Rita are affecting their decision to visit the state. Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu announced a new partnership today between the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation, and Tourism and, a website backed by nationally syndicated radio host Tom Joyner....
New Orleans City Business, Mar. 28

Housing is key to New Orleans recovery
A national association of mortgage holders March 27 asked Congress to dedicate $4.2 billion in federal housing grants to Louisiana after releasing a study by a retired LSU professor calling housing critical to jobs returning to New Orleans....
Baton Rouge Advocate, Mar. 28

New Orleans airport traffic is at 52%
Seven months after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans’ international airport is at more than 50% of its pre-storm passenger levels, airport officials say....
USA Today, Mar. 29

Division News

PLA conference logoPLA National Conference
draws record-breaking

More than 11,000 library staff, exhibitors, authors, and guests packed the Hynes Convention Center in Boston for the largest-ever PLA National Conference. Library funding, recruitment, privacy, serving diverse populations, and literacy were just a few of the issues that generated conversation and interest among attendees....

ALSC preconference to focus
on leadership and management

ALSC will offer a preconference, “Spinning Straw into Gold: Leadership Potential to Management Results,” on Thursday and Friday, June 22–23, at ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. This hands-on workshop will encourage youth services librarians to examine their leadership styles and strengthen their management skills....

ACRL’s Intentional Teacher program
The ACRL Institute for Information Literacy seeks applicants for the most recent addition to its Immersion program, The Intentional Teacher: Renewal through Informed Reflection. The deadline for applications is May 5....

Division News

world mapMentor an
international librarian

The IRRT Orientation/Mentoring Committee is seeking mentors to meet and interact with international visitors to the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans....


Nancy HulingNancy Huling wins RUSA
Genealogical Publishing
Company Award

Nancy Huling, head of the Reference and Research Services Division at the University of Washington Libraries, is the 2006 recipient of RUSA’s Genealogical Publishing Company Award....

Belpre medalBelpré Award celebrates
10th anniversary

ALSC and Reforma are marking 10 successful years of the Pura Belpré Award with a celebration at ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans on Sunday,
June 25....

LITA/Brett Butler Entrepreneurship
Award winner announced

Chris Zagar, systems librarian at Estrella Mountain Community College in Avondale, Arizona, has won LITA’s Brett Butler Entrepreneurship Award for authoring EZproxy, a software program that dynamically alters the URLs within the web pages provided by a database vendor....

Seen Online

Books to chew on
April 1 is the one time of year when readers get to eat books. They won’t eat just any book—only those prepared especially for the occasion at the Edible Books Festival, celebrated in libraries, bookstores, galleries, and private homes around the world....
New York Times, Mar. 26

Vermont academic librarian
fights USA Patriot Act

In fall 2001, before the ink had dried on the nation’s new anti-terrorism law known as the USA Patriot Act, University of Vermont librarian Trina Magi was analyzing how the federal measure would affect the civil liberties of library patrons. The news, Magi concluded, was not good....
Burlington (Vt.) Free Press, Mar. 26

High school censorship lesson goes awry
Officials said a librarian at Roseville Area (Minn.) High School tried to show students what censorship looks and feels like. Among the books he tossed into a trash can made to look like a bonfire was the Qur’an, the holy book of Islam....
Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Mar. 22

One day in a Beirut library
The Fadlallah Library, a two-story underground refuge in a part of Beirut that was once one of the Lebanese civil war’s most dangerous, is on the front line in a struggle between East and West in which the front lines aren’t always well defined....
Washington Post, Mar. 28

Sacramento lays off school librarians
Pink slips went out to about 150 Sacramento City Unified teachers, librarians, and counselors before the state-mandated March 15 deadline for school layoff notification, officials said. The notices are in anticipation of a $9 million to $10 million deficit for the 2006–2007 school year....
Sacramento (Calif.) Bee, Mar. 17

65% school initiative dies in Washington
A statewide initiative that would have required school districts to spend 65% of their budgets in the classroom is dead. Backers of Initiative 924 had faced a number of opponents, including state Superintendent of Public Instruction Terry Bergeson, the state teachers union, and the League of Education Voters....
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Mar. 23

Actions and Answers

Report calls for new, relevant
assessment measures for high schools

High schools need a relentless focus on results that matter for student success in the 21st century, according to a report (PDF file) by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. High schools must focus on improving student learning, achievement, and competencies based on the needs of today’s work environments....
Partnership for 21st Century Skills, Mar. 24

IMLS awards $163 million
in state library grants

The Institute of Museum and Library Services awarded the grants under the Library Services and Technology Act. U.S. states and territories provide at least one dollar for every two dollars of federal support, and they invest the money on programs to expand learning resources and access to information....
IMLS, Mar. 23

USA Patriot Act reauthorization—an analysis
The ALA Washington Office details what sections changed and what sections stayed the same with the act’s renewal March 9....
ALA Washington Office

Foster children need libraries
According to Casey Family Programs—the nation’s largest foundation dedicated to providing, improving, and, ultimately, preventing the need for foster care—about 518,000 young people are in the foster care system on any given day....
ALSConnect, Mar.

Lexington Public Library staffers
win state trivia contest

The 11th annual Torch Run Trivia Contest in Louisville included more than 800 people on 95 teams. The library’s winning team correctly answered 84 of 100 questions....
Lexington (Ky.) Public Library, Mar. 20

American Theological Library Association
moves to new headquarters

ATLA is moving into a new headquarters office, effective April 3, one block south of its old location in Chicago....
American Theological Library Association, Mar. 23

The Credibility Commons (requires subscription)
R. David Lankes (Syracuse University) and Michael Eisenberg (University of Washington) have received a grant to establish a website called the Credibility Commons, which will offer computer programs that they and others have written to help internet users find credible online information. They also plan to gather feedback on the ease and reliability of various methods for finding information on the Web, such as using search engines and posting questions on blogs....
Chronicle of Higher Education, Mar. 29

Computers in Libraries conference
The LITA Blog has summarized some of the presentations at the 21st Annual CIL in Washington, D.C., March 22–24, including sessions on the Future of Catalogs, Dead and Emerging Technologies, and Structured Data....
LITA Blog, Mar. 23–28

Finding and using public records
Stephanie Maatta and Diane Ashoff (University of South Florida) review the types of records used to find information about businesses and how to go about locating them....
RUSA/BRASS Public Libraries Briefcase, no. 14, Mar.

A few bits of PLA swag
The Laughing Librarian surveys the vendor giveaways in the PLA Conference exhibit hall...
Laughing Librarian, Mar. 23