May 17, 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
Booklist Online
New Orleans Update
Division News
Seen Online
Actions & Answers
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U.S. & World News

House bill would force libraries to block social websites
Legislation introduced May 9 by Reps. Michael G. Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) seeks to prohibit minors from accessing chat rooms and such popular social-networking websites as MySpace and Facebook on school or library computers. The Deleting Online Predators Act (PDF file), H.R. 5319, would require schools and libraries to block access to a broad selection of web content....

House Appropriations Committee challenges Smithsonian-Showtime deal
The House Appropriations Committee cut the Smithsonian Institution’s budget by an additional $15 million May 10 and demanded further information on the controversial deal between the museum and the Showtime Networks cable channels to create television programming, the New York Times reported May 11....

Harry Potter defeats another detractor
In a unanimous decision May 11, the board of the Gwinnett County (Ga.) Public Schools voted that the Harry Potter series remain on the media-center shelves throughout the system. Their action constituted the final appeal for complainant Laura Mallory at the district level....

Naperville cites incompatibility with fingerprint ID system
The Naperville (Ill.) Public Library has discontinued its project to install fingerprint scanners as a way for patrons to login on its public internet computers. The library had signed a $40,646 contract in May 2005 with the Naperville-based U.S. Biometrics firm to add the technology during the summer, but the company encountered difficulties interfacing its AccessQ system with NPL’s Dynix patron-authentication database....

ALA News

School Libraries Work forum set for New Orleans; First Lady invited to keynote
AASL and the Scholastic Foundation will host “School Libraries Work: Rebuilding for Learning,” a forum scheduled for June 26 during the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. First Lady Laura Bush has been invited to keynote, and Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries grant recipients Hannah Rucker and Jennifer Koehl of St. Tammany Parish Junior High School in Slidell, Louisiana, will speak on a panel....

ALA opposes DOPA act
ALA President Michael Gorman issued a statement May 15 on the Deleting Online Predators Act: “As libraries are already required to block content that is ‘harmful to minors’ under the Children’s Internet Protection Act, DOPA is redundant and unnecessary legislation. Further, the proposed law would block access to some of the internet’s most powerful emerging technologies and learning applications, essentially stifling library users’ ability to participate fully in the educational opportunities the internet offers.”...

ALA urges more deliberation in LC cataloging changes
The ALA Executive Board adopted a statement May 12 concerning series authority control at the Library of Congress, reading in part: “ALA urges the Library of Congress to delay further implementation of its decision regarding providing series authority control for bibliographic records for sufficient time to enable informed response from the library community, including from organizations central to bibliographic control.”...

Leslie BurgerBurger to discuss “libraries on steroids” at Book Expo
Leslie Burger, ALA president-elect and Princeton (N.J.) Public Library director, will speak on “Your Library on Steroids: How Public Libraries are Transforming their Communities,” Saturday, May 20, at Book Expo. The event will be held at the Washington (D.C.) Convention Center, Room 202B, 1–2 p.m....

ALA issues statement on proposed merger of NCLIS and IMLS
The ALA Executive Board adopted a statement May 12 on the proposed merger of the U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, reading in part: “In the event that the proposed merger of NCLIS and IMLS is approved by Congress, it is critical that the essential activities that NCLIS performs are protected and preserved.”...

Wired magazine editor Chris Anderson to speak at ALA Annual Conference
Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of Wired magazine, will speak at the ALA Annual Conference program 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 conference exhibits area immediately after the program ends at noon....

Annual Conference offers tastes of New Orleans culture, history
The ALA Annual Conference will offer attendees a veritable stew of local culture and history through a broad range of programs in New Orleans. Music, literature, politics and community-building are all on the menu



Featured review:
Books for youth

Lipsyte, Robert. Raiders Night. July 2006. 240p. HarperTempest, hardcover (0-06-059946-4). Grades 10–12. This grim, disturbing story about high-school football centers on Matt, who is a co-captain of the Nearmont Raiders. With Division One schools aggressively recruiting him, Matt’s future looks assured. His present, however, is a nightmare....

New Orleans Update

Geraldine Harris

ALA revitalizes New Orleans
See for yourself what the ALA Annual Conference means to the city. Grab a cup of coffee and watch the ALA Revitalizes New Orleans video featuring featuring local librarians, local authors, and ALA President Michael Gorman and President-elect Leslie Burger. You can view the video in RealPlayer, or view the video in QuickTime. (You may need to download RealPlayer or QuickTime.) This video may take several minutes to download, so please be patient. The video is seven minutes long.

Chato and the Party AnimalsALA volunteers to aid 22 libraries, schools, colleges, and community organizations
Starting June 23, more than 900 people will assist with community projects and library rebuilding efforts while attending ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. The largest volunteer group—more than 200 people—will participate in an extreme makeover of the Children’s Resource Center, an historic Carnegie branch of the New Orleans Public Library. Award-winning children’s book illustrator Susan Guevara also will paint a mural based on her book Chato and the Party Animals....

Morial Center hails the return of conventions
Portions of the convention center officially reopened February 17 for the Helen Brett Gift and Jewelry Show, and two weeks later it played host to the Carnival krewes of Endymion, Orpheus, and Bacchus. ALA’s Annual Conference in June will be the first major gathering to return to New Orleans with more than 20,000 visitors....
New Orleans City Business, May 15

How New Orleans flooded
Generations of New Orleanians worked for 300 years to raise a great city in the often inhospitable terrain along the banks of the Mississippi River. It took Hurricane Katrina less than six hours to put that labor of love under water, damaging 200,000 homes and killing more than 1,200 people. View an interactive graphic that illustrates the levee breaches and the timeline of the city’s flooding after Katrina....
New Orleans Times-Picayune, May 13

Hurricane help from Highsmith
Highsmith specializes in the design of library interiors. Known for its expertise and quality work, the Fort Atkinson company was selected by ALA to assist in the renovation of the Children’s Resource Center, one of several public libraries in New Orleans damaged last year by Hurricane Katrina....
Madison Wisconsin State Journal, May 10

Louisiana promoters’ message: New Orleans open for tourists
Selling a vacation spot that the world thinks is under water is not easy, no matter how many famous people lend their faces to your new ad campaign or how many free Cajun and Zydeco CDs you hand out, say Louisiana’s top tourism officials. The promoters’ driving theme: New Orleans and the surrounding areas are back in business, with the famous historical French Quarter virtually unscathed by the storm....
Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel, May 16

Division News

ACRL seeks editor for Information Literacy website
ACRL is seeking a member volunteer with extensive knowledge of, and experience related to, information literacy for a three-year appointment as editor for the ACRL Information Literacy website. The deadline for applications is June 12....

ACRL announces 2007 Best Practices in Marketing academic libraries award
Sponsored by the ACRL Marketing Academic and Research Libraries Committee and funded by Springer, the Best Practices in Marketing Academic and Research Libraries @ your library award will be made to the academic/research library in each category (community college, college, and university) that demonstrates an outstanding best practices marketing program. Portfolios must be postmarked by December 4....

Bluh elected ALCTS president for 2007–2008
Pamela Bluh, associate director for technical services and administration at the University of Maryland’s Thurgood Marshall Law Library, has been elected president of ALCTS for the 2007–2008 term....


Freedom of Expression bookKembrew McLeod receives Eli M. Oboler Memorial Award
The Intellectual Freedom Round Table has awarded the Eli M. Oboler Memorial Award to Kembrew McLeod for his book Freedom of Expression®: Overzealous Copyright Bozos and Other Enemies of Creativity (Doubleday, 2005). The committee also recognized the author’s own commitment by making his text available as an Open Source publication....

CAL IFC receives 2006 ProQuest-SIRS award
The Intellectual Freedom Round Table has awarded the ProQuest-SIRS State and Regional Achievement Award to the Colorado Association of Libraries Intellectual Freedom Committee. The award recognizes successful and effective intellectual freedom committees or coalitions that have made a contribution to the freedom to read in libraries or to the intellectual freedom environment in which libraries function....

AASL selects its 2006 award winners
AASL has announced the recipients of its 2006 annual awards, among them the Frances Henne award (to Gladys Fox), the Distinguished Service award (to Michael Eisenberg), and the Intellectual Freedom award (to Catherine Crain)....

LITA announces scholarship winners for 2006
Eric Whitfield, Van Bich Thi Tran, and Marco Rodriguez are the winners of three master’s level scholarships sponsored by LITA jointly with, LSSI, and OCLC....

2006 Library Interior Design awards announced
ALA and the International Interior Design Association have selected 13 projects for recognition in the inaugural Library Interior Design Competition....

Seen Online

Budget cut would shutter EPA libraries
Proposed budget cuts could cripple a nationwide system of Environmental Protection Agency libraries that government researchers and others depend on for hard-to-find technical information, library advocates say. The $2-million cut sought by the White House would reduce the 35-year-old EPA Library Network’s budget by 80% and force many of its 10 regional libraries to close....
Washington Post, May 15

Protecting the nation’s memory (subscription required)
History Professor Linda K. Kerber reminds us that, taken together, the National Archives reclassification project, the Smithsonian-Showtime deal, and the FBI’s interest in the Jack Anderson papers all involve the excessively generous definition by a federal agency of what the public has no right to see. If allowed to continue, the trend threatens our understanding both of the past and the present....
Chronicle of Higher Education, May 19

Former Poet Laureate Stanley Kunitz dies
Stanley Kunitz, 100, a former U.S. poet laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner whose expressive verse, social commitment, and generosity to young writers spanned three-quarters of a century, has died. He worked for the H. W. Wilson Company from 1928 to 1942, editing biographical reference works and serving as editor of the Wilson Library Bulletin....
Washington Post, May 15

Scan this book!
Scanning technology has been around for decades, but digitized books didn’t make much sense until recently, when search engines like Google, Yahoo, Ask, and MSN came along. When millions of books have been scanned and their texts are made available in a single database, search technology will enable us to grab and read any book ever written. Ideally, in such a complete library we should also be able to read any article ever written in any newspaper, magazine, or journal....
New York Times Magazine, May 14

Student reading falls 12%
Library use at Montgomery, Alabama, public schools is down by more than 195,000 books from last year, when the district changed the way it grades reading. Circulation this school year, through April 30, was 1,341,981 books, compared with 1,535,267 for the same period last year, according to district numbers. The decrease is more than 12%....
Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser, May 7

Why D.C. can’t read
When Coolidge High School librarian Lynn Kauffman received notice that her position was being eliminated, she was dumbfounded. Under pressure from parents and residents who support Kauffman’s efforts, Coolidge Principal L. Nelson Burton agreed to let her return half-time next year. But his initial decision to install a “computer lab coordinator” in the library stands—one more example of the D.C. public schools’ misplaced priorities and shortsightedness....
Washington Post, May 15

Rowling and Rushdie speak out for British libraries
J. K. Rowling, Salman Rushdie, Irvine Welsh, and Jacqueline Wilson are among 150 authors who have pledged to help galvanize support for public libraries and combat their growing image problem. Rowling compared libraries to the World-Between-the-Worlds from C. S. Lewis’s Narnia books, “where visitors could enter a thousand different worlds by jumping into different pools.”...
The Guardian, May 15

Weimar library recovers, one rare book at a time
The town of Weimar in the former East Germany is recovering slowly from the extensive damage caused by a fire a year and a half ago that damaged or destroyed 72,000 volumes in the Duchess Anna Amalia Library, which was one of the greatest collections of old books and manuscripts in the world....
New York Times, May 17

Smashing image of a librarian
Carla Hayden, early 50-ish, defies the stereotype of librarian. Stylish and sophisticated, with a strong interest in fashion, she has spent her career in libraries: in Pittsburgh, Chicago, andfor the last 12 yearsas executive director of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore....
Baltimore Sun, May 14

Join the battle for literacy: read a book
Two years ago, the National Endowment for the Arts conducted a reading survey that found that there has been a dramatic decline in literary reading among all Americans. The NEA leadership wants to do something about this decline in reading, so the NEA is sponsoring the Big Read, a program to get communities to read one book....
The Baton Rouge Advocate, May 14

Woman’s love of books opens door to libraries
Lucia Bliss’ traveling collection of the 1930s laid the foundation for today’s county system....
The Portland Oregonian, May 11

Actions and Answers

Copyright and the role of institutions in a peer-to-peer world (PDF file)
Georgetown University Law Professor Rebecca Tushnet explores how recent technological and legal trends are affecting public and school-affiliated libraries, which have special concerns that are not necessarily captured by an end-consumer-oriented analysis. Despite the promise that technology will empower individuals, we must recognize the crucial structural role of intermediaries that select and distribute copyrighted works....
UCLA Law Review, vol. 53, no. 4 (Apr.)

Libraries in social networking software
Meredith Farkas surveys the place of libraries within social networks: “Before MySpace and Facebook, there was no one site that was so huge and pervasive and captured the attention of so many teens. It’s hard to point a finger at the Web and say it’s bad for kids and they shouldn’t use it; it’s easy to point a finger at a specific site or a few sites and blame them for everything that’s wrong with young people today.” She includes a list of useful resources on social networking software....
Information Wants to Be Free, May 10

Social networking safety tips for tweens and teens
The Federal Trade Commission is urging kids to add one more lesson to the list of safety and privacy lessons they should learn: Don’t post information about yourself online that you don’t want the whole world to know....
Federal Trade Commission, May

NILRC logoInformation literacy for the 21st-century learner
NILRC will host a national teleconference on reaching at-risk high school and community college students, Friday, June 2, 12 noon–1:30 p.m. Eastern Time. Panelists will discuss the disconnect between high schools and colleges in the teaching of information literacy skills....
Network of Illinois Learning Resources in Community Colleges

International academy adopts resolutions on ethics and openness
International leaders met at the crossroads of culture and tradition in Granada, Spain, on April 27 and 28 to discuss the future of library and information science education, which are facing a crossroads of their own. The Louis Round Wilson Academy approved its first general statements on ethics and openness—two topics of special concern for those responsible for the future stewardship of recorded knowledge....
University of North Carolina SILS, May 12

Yahoo launches website makeover
Yahoo’s website unveiled a new look May 16 as the internet powerhouse strives to remain the world’s most popular online destination. The redesigned page includes more interactive features that reduce the need to click through to other pages to review the weather, check e-mail, listen to music, or monitor local traffic conditions....
Associated Press, May 16

Sponsor: Sirsi Dynix

Sirsi Dynix ad

Take Action logo
Use the Washington Office’s Legislative Action Center to tell your member of Congress your opinion on DOPA (H.R. 5319, Deleting Online Predators Act).

Annual Conference logo
Annual Conference
in New Orleans,
June 22–28. Consult the Daily Schedule and use the Event Planner.

What do YOU think?

Should minors be prohibited from accessing chat rooms and social-networking websites such as MySpace and Facebook on school or library computers, as the pending Deleting Online Predators Act, H.R. 5319, would require?

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 10 poll:

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


(101 responses)

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

New Library Champions logo
As the highest level of Corporate Membership, 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. Library Champions are among ALA’s greatest corporate supporters, with over 90% of their dues going to support library advocacy.

Knowledge Seekers logo
The Knowledge Seekers web portal lists opportunities for prospective master’s and doctoral level library (LIS) and school media (NCATE) students from diverse backgrounds as well as recruitment resources for institutions.


UCLA. Reporting to the head of the Digital Library Program team, the librarian provides leadership and coordination of librarians, faculty, staff, and other partners participating in the creation of digital collections of text, images, audio, and video.....

See American Libraries
for more career opportunities.

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

OLOS 35th anniversary logo
OLOS supports, serves, and promotes adult literacy and equity of information access initiatives for traditionally underserved populations through training, information resources, and technical assistance.


May 2006
AL cover
Stories inside include:

Leaders As Readers

Opening New Worlds for Latino Children

The Higher Purpose of Libraries and Librarianship

Sept. 14–16:
ALSC National Institute, Hilton Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. “Children’s Services Today and Tomorrow.” Contact: Angela Smith, 800-545-2433, ext. 2167.

Sept. 25–27:
Association of Research Libraries, Library Assessment Conference, Charlottesville, Virginia. “Building Effective, Sustainable, Practical Assessment.” Contact: ARL.

Oct. 13–15:
AASL Fall Forum, Warwick, Rhode Island. “Assessing Student Learning in the School Library Media Center.” Contact: Andrea Parker, 800-545-2433, ext. 1396.

Oct. 26–29:
LITA National Forum, Nashville, Tennessee. “NetVille in Nashville: Web Services As Library Services.” Contact: LITA, 800-545-2433, ext. 4270.

Oct. 26–29:
Online Audiovisual Catalogers
, 12th Biennial Conference, Mesa, Arizona. “Preparing for a Brave New World: Media Cataloging on the Threshold of RDA.” Contact: Timothy Diel.

More Datebook items...


“As presidents go, he really is an ordinary Joe. And let’s face it, ordinary Joes—and Georges—don’t spend a lot of time hanging around libraries.”

—Columnist Steve Blow musing about the George W. Bush Presidential Library, Dallas Morning News,
Mar. 26.


American Libraries Direct

George M. Eberhart,

Karen Sheets,
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