May 10, 2006
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U.S. & World News
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New Orleans Update
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U.S. & World News

OCLC and RLG plan to combine operations
Following a series of discussions that took place over the past year, two of the largest membership-based, nonprofit, library cooperative groups in North America announced May 3 an agreement to merge....

Net neutrality fight heats up in Congress
Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) introduced a bill in the House May 2 that would prevent telecom operators and broadband service providers from selling favored access to some websites or video stream connections for an additional fee....

House subcommittee moves to block Smithsonian-Showtime deal
The House subcommittee that oversees the Smithsonian Institution’s budget has cut the museum’s funding by $5 million and added language to its appropriation aimed at derailing the controversial deal between the museum and the Showtime Networks cable channels to create television programming....

First Lady’s hurricane fund makes first school library grants
Hurricane-damaged Gulf Coast schools libraries will receive $500,000 in grants from the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries to help them rebuild, the First Lady announced May 3....

FBI director questioned on Patriot Act
During a May 2 oversight hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) asked FBI Director Robert Mueller for assurance that the recently reauthorized USA Patriot Act would exempt libraries from records requests by national security letter (NSL)....

Basement fire damages University of New Mexico collection
A late-night fire that broke out in the basement of the University of New Mexico’s Zimmerman Library April 30 damaged bound periodicals, collapsed bookshelves, burned ceiling tiles, and permeated the building with the odor of burnt charcoal....

Brandeis students protest removal of Palestinian art
Some 100 people, many of them students at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, marched May 4 to protest the removal a week earlier of “Voices from Palestine: Aida Refugee Camp Children Speak Out”—an artwork exhibit that had been on display at the campus’s Farber Library....

Salinas moves ahead with plan to restore library hours
Cheers filled the Salinas, California, city council chambers May 2 after lawmakers approved the appropriation of some $3.6 million to the city’s three libraries to restore their 117-hour service week in summer 2007, according to the May 3 Monterey Herald....

Protests save Indiana University library branch
After more than 70 students and staff staged a protest May 3 against the proposed closure of a branch library, officials at Indiana University at Bloomington have decided to keep the African American Cultural Center Library open at least through the 2006–2007 school year....

ALA News

Durbin and OwensNational Library Legislative Day, May 1
The Washington Office thanks the 525 participants from 47 states who came to Washington, D.C., to speak with their members of Congress about the needs of libraries in the areas of funding, telecommunications, copyright, and government information. Sen. Richard Durbin, left (D-Ill.), and Rep. Major Owens (D-N.Y.), were among the elected officials who greeted participants....

Conference programs include “Politics, Race, and Law,” jazz breakfast, state poet laureate
Music, literature, politics, and community-building are all on the menu at ALA Annual Conference June 22–28, but time is running out for discount rates to attend. Preregistration ends on May 19....

Wired editor Chris Anderson to speak at ALA Annual Conference
Chris AndersonThe editor-in-chief of Wired magazine will speak at Annual Conference, Monday, June 26, at 10:30 a.m. He also will sign copies of his forthcoming book The Long Tail at the Hyperion booth in the exhibits area immediately after the program ends at noon. The Long Tail chronicles the rise of niche products, thanks to such innovations as digital downloading as peer-to-peer markets, which break through the bottlenecks of broadcast and bricks-and-mortar....

Coretta Scott KingCoretta Scott King Awards breakfast set for New Orleans Hilton
Julius Lester (Day of Tears) and Bryan Collier (Rosa) are among the honorees at the 2006 Coretta Scott King Awards breakfast on Tuesday, June 27. The event will also feature a tribute to Mrs. King, who died in January....



Watchdogs of Democracy?Featured review: Adult books
Thomas, Helen. Watchdogs of Democracy? The Waning Washington Press Corps and How It Has Failed the Public. Scribner, June 2006 (0-7432-6781-8).
After covering nine presidents as the most recognized member of the Washington press corps, Thomas is eminently qualified to assess current coverage of the White House. Declaring that journalists are “the watchdogs of democracy,” and, further, that “without an informed people, there can be no democracy,” Thomas offers a cogent, bracing assessment of the deteriorating state of journalistic ethics....

The “Right” Opinion
I rarely read other reviews of books I’ve reviewed. (This is one of Keir Graff's Rules of Reviewing™, soon to be immortalized on a sticky note somewhere in my office.) Just as I’ve said that I never read the publicity material before I start reading the book—I don’t want some PR flack to frame how I see the work, or, worse, to have one of their cheerful phrases creep into my review—reading other reviews poses its own problems....
Keir Graff, Booklist Blog, May 9

New Orleans Update

Concert to benefit school music programs, displaced artists
The Starz documentary New Orleans Music in Exile premieres at 11:45 a.m. on May 13 at the Landmark Theatre in New Orleans’ Canal Place Center. Proceeds will go to the Tipitinas Foundation. The film debuts nationally on the Starz In Black channel at 7 p.m. Central Time, Friday, May 19, with an encore presentation on the Starz channel at noon Central Time on Saturday, May 20....
Starz, May 4

18,000 books given to Mississippi town
One of the quieter tragedies of Katrina occurred at libraries in small towns across the region. That’s what motivated the people of Prescott Valley, Arizona....
Phoenix Arizona Republic, May 4

Story of a StormStory of a Storm gives kids’ perspective on Katrina
“A simple truth. The birds knew. Hurricane Katrina was coming.” So begins a picture book by Reona Visser and the children of the Mississippi Gulf Coast about the hurricane and its effects on cities, families, and countless individual lives. Proceeds will go to the Hurricane Relief Fund of Coast Episcopal School of Long Beach, Mississippi....
Coast Episcopal School Hurricane Relief Fund

The media’s New Orleans burnout
Eight months after wind, rain, and floodwaters devastated this city, the media—and perhaps a good chunk of the country—are suffering from Katrina Fatigue....
Washington Post, May 7

New Orleans Jazz Fest ends on high note
Local musicians and others including Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Jimmy Buffett, and Paul Simon performed at the six-day event that spanned two weekends. Organizers declined to say how many people attended the event, which typically draws about 500,000 people, but as in past years the lawns and sidewalks were crammed every day....
Associated Press, May 8

Lesson from Katrina: A crippled health-care system
According to Susan D’Antoni, executive director of Orleans Parish Medical Society, Orleans and St. Bernard parishes, which were hardest hit, have gone from having nine hospitals to three. The metropolitan area has lost half its hospital beds and 40% of its physicians. ALA has researched medical services available to people attending Annual Conference, June 22–28....
Forbes, May 8

Division News

AASL issues statement on instructional classification
AASL has responded to concerns over the proposed “65% solution” legislation being considered in many states nationwide, which mandates that 65% of all funding for schools be spent on “direct classroom instruction,” and which often uses the current definition from the National Center for Education Statistics classifying school library media services as “noninstructional.”...

Kids! Campaign logoALSC Kids! Campaign puts @ your library to music
Grammy‑nominated singer/storyteller Bill Harley will be on hand Sunday, June 25, during the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans to perform “@ Your Library,” a song he created especially for the Kids! Campaign. The song will be available for download along with an outreach toolkit....

Todaro to become ACRL president
Julie Todaro, dean of library services at Austin (Tex.) Community College, has been elected president of ACRL for 2007–2008....

Jane B. Marino elected ALSC president for 2007
The 2007–2008 president of ALSC is Jane B. Marino, library director, Bronxville (N.Y.) Public Library...

Barbara T. MatesMates to become ASCLA president
Barbara T. Mates, head of the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped at Cleveland Public Library, has been elected 2007–2008 president of ASCLA. An active ALA member, Mates has served on ALA Council and currently serves as a member of the ALA Schneider Family Book Award Jury....

New LITA president elected
Mark Beatty, training and automation librarian for the 500-member Wisconsin Library Services consortium, is the 2007–2008 president of LITA....

Jan Sanders to become PLA president
The director of information services at Pasadena (Calif.) Public Library has been elected PLA president for 2007–2008....

David TyckosonRUSA members elect David Tyckoson president
The head of public services at California State University in Fresno has been elected 2007–2008 president of RUSA....

Brehm-Heeger elected YALSA president for 2007–2008
Paula Brehm-Heeger, teen services coordinator at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, has been elected 2007–2008 president of YALSA....


UOIT library2006 Library Interior Design awards announced
ALA and the International Interior Design Association are pleased to announce the winners of the inaugural Library Interior Design Competition. Ten winners (including the University of Ontario Institute of Technology library project, right), two projects of merit, and one honorable mention were selected from more than 100 projects submitted from throughout North America....

Diane Leja receives Mentoring Award from RUSA’s STARS
Diane E. Leja, access services manager for circulation and interlibrary loan at the University of South Dakota’s I. D. Weeks Library in Vermillion, is the recipient of the Mentoring Award, a one-time award offered by the RUSA Sharing and Transforming Access to Resources Section....

Avery Deane Olmstead wins ASCLA Century Scholarship
Avery Deane Olmstead IV is the 2006 recipient of the $2,500 Century Scholarship presented by ASCLA. Olmstead is a student at the University of South Carolina’’s College of Library Information Science in Columbia....

NCLIS names winner of health info award
(PDF file)

NCLIS judges South Carolina’s REACH 2010 America’s best library consumer health program....
National Commission for Libraries and Information Science, May 4

Seen Online

Library drops scan plan
A year after announcing its libraries would be among the first in the nation to require a fingerprint scan to use public computers, Naperville’s library system has canceled the controversial project. Library officials insisted May 5 the plan was scuttled because of software compatibility problems and not because of objections raised by civil libertarians over privacy rights....
Chicago Tribune, May 6

Net censorship spreads worldwide
Repressive regimes are taking full advantage of the net’s ability to censor and stifle reform and debate, reveals a report written by the Reporters Without Borders pressure group....
BBC News, May 4

The RFID hacking underground
David Molnar is a soft-spoken computer science graduate student who studies commercial uses for RFIDs at UC Berkeley. I met him in a quiet branch of the Oakland Public Library. About a year ago Molnar discovered he could destroy the data on the books’ passive-emitting RFID tags by wandering the aisles with an off-the-shelf RFID reader-writer and his laptop....
Wired, May

School filters vs. home proxies
A teenager at a Pennsylvania school gets caught handing out business cards with instructions on how to circumvent his school’s web filter. But instead of throwing the school discipline book at him, administrators offer a choice: They’ll give him a break if he lets the school’s tech people know how he beat the system...
CNet News, May 3

White Plains library back online after 11 days
The computer system that manages the White Plains (N.Y.) Public Library is back online after an 11-day blackout that threatened to wipe out four months worth of data about collections, memberships, checkouts, and returns....
White Plains Journal News, May 3

Actions and Answers

NCES updates “Compare Public Libraries” engine
New FY 2004 data from the Public Libraries Survey has just been added to the Compare Public Libraries and the State Education Data Profiles web tools....
National Center for Educational Statistics, May 5

Google, the art of library science—and you
Submit your story or anecdote about an interesting way you’ve used a Google service or tool to help library users locate the information they’re looking for, and there might be a bit part in a digital video movie in your future. Submissions will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on May 22.
Google Librarian Center, May

IMLS partners with National Endowment for the Arts to create largest book club ever
Beginning in 2007, the Big Read will give more than 100 communities in all 50 states the opportunity to read and discuss great books. Each city or town that participates will host a community-wide read that involves collaborations with libraries, schools, local government, and the private sector. Grants generally will range from $10,000 to $20,000 to conduct programs that encourage reading for pleasure and enlightenment....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, May 9

MySpace, Facebook, and other social networking sites: Hot today, gone tomorrow?
While MySpace and Facebook currently rule the popular crowd on the internet social scene, the forces that make a hot site are difficult to quantify; any site could become the next outcast....
Knowledge @ Wharton, May 3

State of the blogsphere is strong
The blogosphere continues to grow at a quickening pace. Technorati currently tracks 35.3 million weblogs, and the blogosphere we track continues to double about every 6 months. Technorati also reports that English, the language of the majority of early bloggers, had fallen to less than a third of all blog posts by April 2006....
Sifry’s Alerts, Apr. 17–May 1

Sponsor: Sirsi Dynix

Sirsi Dynix ad

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

Bookcart drill team
Don’t forget the 2nd Annual Bookcart Drill Team World Championship, Sunday, June 25, 1:00–3:00 p.m.

ALA Graphics Catalog
Check out the new ALA Graphics Summer 2006 catalog for new products and classic favorites.

What do YOU think?

Do you consider RFID and biometrics technology secure enough for use in your library?

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
May 3 poll:

Will the Library of Congress’ decision to cease creating series authority records affect your library’s technical or public service capability?


(589 responses)

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



John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York. Opportunity to shape and manage a dynamic information literacy program, which engages college faculty and meets accreditation standards and assessment requirements....

See American Libraries
for more career opportunities.


Show us your best READ Poster! Send in READ posters you have created using the READ CD 2 and you could win a $100 gift certificate from ALA Graphics and be featured in American Libraries. Submissions are due by May 31.


May 2006
AL cover
Stories inside include:

Leaders As Readers

Opening New Worlds for Latino Children

The Higher Purpose of Libraries and Librarianship

ALA TechSource

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.

July 8–12:
American Association of Law Libraries
, St. Louis, Missouri. “Pioneering Change.” Contact: 312-939-4764.

Aug. 9–12:
Pacific Northwest Library Association, Eugene, Oregon. “Common Spaces and Far Out Places: Libraries in the Pacific Northwest.” Contact: Jason Openo, 503-588-6183.

Aug. 15–19:
Nevada Library Association
, Las Vegas, Nevada. “Tools for the Future.” Contact: Leo Segura, 702-507-3658

Sept. 17–19:
Maine Libraries Conference
, Augusta Civic Center. Sponsored by the Maine Association of School Libraries and the Maine Library Association. Contact: Edna Comstock, 207-441-1410.

Sept. 27–30:
Kentucky Library Association/ Kentucky School Media Association Joint Conference and Exhibition
, Marriott Downtown, Louisville. “A Century of Change: From Carnegie to Gates.” Contact: John T. (Tom) Underwood, 502-223-5322.

Sept. 27–30:
Wyoming Library Association Annual Conference
, Gillette. “Re-energize @ WLA!” Contact: Laura Grott, 307-632-7622.

More Datebook items...


“Now you know why literary scholars often seem to be blushing and chuckling to themselves as they hunch over those ancient, dusty volumes in forgotten corners of obscure libraries.”

—Julia Keller, writing about Jonathan Swift's "boudoir poems," Chicago Tribune, March 8 .


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