May 24, 2006
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U.S. & World News
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New Orleans Update
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U.S. & World News

Mary Jane AndersonLongtime librarian
Mary Jane Anderson dies

Mary Jane Anderson, former library director and longtime ALA Council member, died May 23 in Coralville, Iowa, following a battle with cancer. She was 71. From 1974 to 1982 she was executive director of the ALA Association for Library Service to Children. Before that, she served as editor of the division’s journal, Top of the News from 1971–1974....

Ginnie Cooper named to head D.C. Public Library
Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library Executive Director Ginnie Cooper has been selected to head District of Columbia Public Library, which is about to embark on a major refurbishing, including construction of a new central library and renovation of branches....

Medway may shut library to balance budget
In the wake of residents’ failure to override Massachusetts’ Proposition 2 1/2 tax-limitation law, the town of Medway may shut its library to balance its budget. The town’s Finance Committee recommended May 10 that the library be closed July 1, for a savings of $280,000, to offset Medway’s expected $868,600 FY 2007 deficit....

Joy of Gay Sex coverIdaho trustees asked to revisit Joy of Gay Sex
A group of concerned citizens urged the Nampa, Idaho, city council May 14 to press the city library board to revisit for a third time its decision to retain the Joy of Gay Sex in the library collection. “We have a lot of kids in there,” Mayor Tom Dale said, according to a May 17 Associated Press report. “We need to have a safe place for them.”...

ProQuest ponders divestment in face of financial woes
ProQuest, the parent company of ProQuest Information and Learning, is considering selling off its most profitable unit, the Business Solutions division, in the face of financial difficulties, according to a report in the May 7 Ann Arbor News. The news comes in the midst of an internal investigation into accounting mistakes that led the database firm to overstate its earnings by more than $80 million over five years....

Indictment in Gould theft from Canadian National Library
A Texas woman has been indicted for allegedly stealing items from Library and Archives Canada’s Glenn Gould collection in Ottawa and selling them in New York City....

ALA News

Hurricane relief fund reaches $350,000
Recent donations from Elsevier ($10,000), Friends of Libraries USA ($4,000), and the Friends of Cedar Falls (Iowa) Public Library ($5,000) pushed fundraising to a new high....

ALA opposes “National English Amendment” to immigration reform bill
ALA has voiced strong opposition to the Inhofe Amendment to S. 2611, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006....

Annual Conference forum to discuss role of the public in democracy
The ALA Fostering Civic Engagement Membership Initiative Group will sponsor a forum on “Democracy’s Challenge: Reclaiming the Public's Role,” Saturday, June 24, at 1:30 p.m. “It is critical to the success of a democracy that citizens learn how to deal with complex issues in company with people of diverse opinions,” said co-convener and past ALA President Nancy Kranich....

Tipsheet for conferenceNew advocacy tools for rural, native, and tribal libraries to be unveiled at Annual Conference
The Committee on Rural, Native, and Tribal Libraries of All Kinds will be introducing new tools and resources to help small libraries (primarily with populations under 10,000) conduct advocacy and outreach efforts in their communities. The “Rural Advocacy @ your library Progress Update” will take place on Saturday, June 24, from 4:00 to 5:15 p.m., immediately following the committee’s Town Hall Meeting....



After School ChineseFeatured review:

After School Chinese: Level I. Eight DVDs, two audio CDs, and instruction book. Asia for Kids (1-888194-73-9). Sampled from this multipart Mandarin instructional set, jocular American host Donald Holder introduces live-action clips of Chinese children starting a new school year, meeting in a supermarket, and partaking of other activities....

New Orleans Update

The man who knew too much
What haunts Louisiana State University scientist Ivor van Heerden most is that a disaster in New Orleans was inevitable. He and his colleagues at the LSU Hurricane Center predicted it....
New Orleans Times-Picayune, May 23

NOAA predicts very active 2006 North Atlantic hurricane season
Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center, National Hurricane Center, and Hurricane Research Division have issued the 2006 Atlantic hurricane season outlook, which indicates an 80% chance of an above-normal hurricane season....
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, May 22

Hospitals set forth plans for hurricane evacuations
Heading into hurricane season, hospitals in the New Orleans area have beefed up emergency supplies and communication abilities after applying lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina....
New Orleans City Business, May 22

Katrina report blames human errors
Hurricane Katrina wouldn’t have breached the region’s hurricane protection system had it been properly financed, designed, built, and maintained, say a group of forensic scientists who are calling for strict new federal levee safety standards and an end to “dysfunctional” local government interference they say also hampers flood protection....
New Orleans Times-Picayune, May 22

Aquarium restocks 6,000 animals in time for reopening
After nearly nine months and $3.5 million in repairs, the Aquarium of the Americas and the Entergy Imax Theater reopens at noon May 26. Four days earlier, a chartered Federal Express plane arriving from Monterey, Calif., landed in New Orleans at 2 p.m. The passengers were the aquarium’s guests of honor and returning heroes—the 19 penguins and two sea otters that survived Hurricane Katrina....
New Orleans City Business, May 22

Slow tourism stifles Orleans sales taxes
First-quarter sales tax revenues show shoppers continue to spend more money in Jefferson and St. Tammany parishes than last year but Orleans Parish numbers paint a much different picture....
New Orleans City Business, May 22

Bouncing back
Even though most national retail chains have had experience rebounding from disasters in other states, few have ever faced a situation like the one they’re dealing with in New Orleans. More than 75% of the local stores run by the nation’s largest retail chains have reopened, and though none will release specific sales figures, experts and retail industry officials say business is strong....
New Orleans Times-Picayune, May 21

Division News

Conference logoAASL seeks proposals for its 13th national conference
AASL announces its 2007 requests for program and exploratorium proposals for its 13th national conference and exhibition, whose theme is “The Future Begins @ your library.” The conference will be held October 25–28, 2007, in Reno, Nevada....

Sara Kelly JohnsSara Kelly Johns elected 2007–2008 AASL president
Sara Kelly Johns, school library media specialist at Lake Placid (N.Y.) Middle/High School, has been elected AASL president for 2007–2008. She also serves as associate editor of AASL’s Knowledge Quest journal....

ALCTS supports “Urgent Action” statement to preserve scholarly electronic journals
Joining with other library organizations working to preserve journals, ALCTS board has endorsed the statement “Urgent Action Needed to Preserve Scholarly Electronic Journals....

Forum on series authority records slated for Annual Conference
ALCTS has added to its Annual Conference roster a forum regarding the Library of Congress Series Authority Record decision to cease creating series authority records....

RUSA announces new business reference award
RUSA’s Business Reference and Services Section has announced a new award, the Emerald Research Grant Award, to support business reference research. Two $5,000 cash awards, donated by Emerald Group Publishing Limited, will be given to ALA members seeking support to conduct research in business librarianship....

TTW logoYALSA hosts Teen Tech Week logo contest
YALSA is launching Teen Tech Week, a new celebration to be held for the first time in March 2007, aimed at getting teens to use their libraries for the different technologies that are offered there, such as DVDs, databases, audiobooks, and video games. To kick off Teen Tech Week, YALSA members are encouraged to have their teens enter the Teen Tech Week logo contest....


Elva Garza named 2006 Trejo Librarian of the Year
The managing librarian of the Austin (Tex.) Public Library’s St. John branch has been selected as the recipient of 2006 Trejo Librarian of the Year Award by the Trejo Foster Foundation for Hispanic Library Education. Elva Garza is being recognized for “strongly advocating for the Latino and immigrant community, significant library work and community outreach, and active nationwide contributions to Reforma.”

Library of Congress announces “Letters about Literature” winners
The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress has announced the state winners in its 2005–2006 “Letters About Literature” reading and writing program, in which students in grades 4–12 share a personal letter they have written to an author, living or dead, from any genre, explaining how that author’s work changed the student’s way of thinking about the world or themselves....

Seen Online

Proposition 81: A new chapter for California’s libraries?
On June 6, California voters will finally decide whether to invest $600 million to modernize aging public libraries around the state. Still, Proposition 81 won’t come close to meeting the massive needs of library systems statewide, which a 2003 survey by the California State Library put at $4.4 billion....
Los Angeles Times, May 23

Wellesley’s library branches will close
Despite a lengthy and spirited grassroots campaign to preserve two Wellesley, Mass., branch libraries, the Fells and Hills buildings will close July 1. It’s not clear if the buildings will ever reopen, said Marla Robinson, chairwoman of the town’s board of library trustees....
Boston Globe, May 21

Web inventor warns of “dark” net
Recent attempts in the U.S. to try to charge for different levels of online web access were not “part of the internet model,” Sir Tim Berners-Lee said at the WWW2006 conference in Edinburgh, Scotland. He warned that if the U.S. decided to go ahead with a two-tier internet, the network would enter “a dark period.”...
BBC News, May 23

Bold new chapter that’s long overdue
From the outside it looks like an internet cafe. A laptop bar faces into the street, and if you peer beyond the row of busily typing figures, there are clusters of PCs and a giant plasma screen high on one wall. Made of glass, with floor-to-ceiling windows, and filled with bright modern sofas and tables, it is possibly the most enticing building in Glasgow, Scotland....
Glasgow Herald, May 23

Budget woes loom as new library draws oohs and aahs
The new Minneapolis Central Library is gorgeous, state-of-the-art, efficient and accessible to everyone—when the doors aren’t locked. After the May 20 grand-opening celebrations, the inadequacy of the operating budget for the city’s 15-library system will loom like the 30-foot Beverly Pepper sculpture on the building’s Nicollet Mall side....
Minneapolis Star Tribune, May 19

Parent loses fight to ban book
An 11-member advisory committee of parents, teachers and librarians voted unanimously May 18 to keep Abduction! despite Shiuvan Harris’s testimony that it was too violent. Harris had filed papers to have the book pulled from the shelves of two middle- and eight elementary school libraries....
St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press, May 19

Actions and Answers

Internet filters: A public policy report
“Although some may say that the debate is over and that filters are now a fact of life, it is never too late to rethink bad policy choices,” according to a new edition of a blocking-software study (PDF file) from the Free Expression Policy Project of New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice, completely revised from the first edition issued in fall 2001....
Brennan Center for Justice, May 17

Colorado Assciation of Libraries logoPatriot Act brochure available for library patrons
The Colorado Association of Libraries’ Intellectual Freedom Committee has updated its award-winning brochure (PDF file) on the Patriot Act to reflect the changes made in 2006, and encourages librarians to share the information with their patrons by reproducing the flyer for distribution in your library....
Colorado Association of Libraries, May 15

D.C. dress auction on Ebay to benefit Gulf Coast school libraries (PDF format)
Former first ladies, female U.S. senators, and Senate spouses have donated a total of 100 dresses to an auction that will benefit the Laura Bush Foundation’s Gulf Coast School Libraries Initiative. The online auction ends May 26....
Laura Bush Foundation, May 16

University of Michigan study finds patients need librarians
For 65% of visitors to the Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Patient Education Resource Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan, a professional search returned information they had not obtained from other sources. An additional 30% said the librarian provided some new information....
University of Michigan Health System, May 23

The central problem of Library 2.0: Privacy
Transforming library services by making them more personalized, more interactive, and more web-based along Web 2.0 lines has a logic to it that is ineluctable and exciting, according to Rory Litwin. The difficulty we have to grapple with is that libraries and Web 2.0 services are based on serving two very different essential activities, and those activities have an opposite relationship to privacy....
Library Juice, May 22

The book is dead, long live the book
Books are outmoded means of communicating information, writes Jeff Jarvis. They limit how knowledge can be found because they have to sit on a shelf under one address....
Buzz Machine, May 19

Sponsor: Sirsi Dynix

Sirsi Dynix ad

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

Reaching Out to Serve Older Adults, an OLOS preconference in New Orleans, June 22–23. Registration for ALA members is $225.

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

Confronting the Crisis in Library Education:

A national teleconference hosted by ALA President Michael Gorman,
Friday, June 9, 11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m., Central time.

What do YOU think?

Do you support legislation making English the official language of the United States?

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 17 poll:

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?


(356 responses)

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

Belpre Awards
Celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Belpré Awards with ALSC and Reforma during ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans.


Milwaukee Public Library. Lead the highly respected Milwaukee Public Library system into the future as chief administrative and executive officer. This rewarding and challenging position is part of the mayor’s cabinet and a city department head.....

See American Libraries
for more career opportunities.

Joint Conference of Librarians of Color logo
Preconferences on health and early literacy have been added to the October 11–15 Joint Conference of Librarians of Color, the first-ever national conference of the five caucus library associations of color, to be held in Dallas. Early Bird Registration is open through June 9.


May 2006
AL cover
Stories inside include:

Leaders As Readers

Opening New Worlds for Latino Children

The Higher Purpose of Libraries and Librarianship

By June 15:
The Fourth International Conference on the Book is calling for papers on themes relating to the book—including the past, present, and future of publishing; and libraries, literacy, and learning in the information society.

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

July 30–
August 5:

Children’s Literature New England, 20th Institute, Saint Michael’s College, Colchester, Vermont. “The Heroic Ideal Revisited.” Contact: Martha M. Walke, 802-765-4935.

Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science offers an ongoing series of online workshops. Current workshops include: “Working with Students with Special Needs in School Libraries,” “Manga, MP3s, and MMORPGs: New Mediums and Young Adults,” “Search Engines: Newest, Best, and Latest Tips,” and “Training Paraprofessionals for Expanding Instructional Programs.” Contact: Jody Walker, 617-521-2803.

Online Programming for All Libraries offers a variety of interactive online programs for library staff and library users. Johnson County (Kans.) Library has announced a monthly series of professional development opportunities for librarians that will be offered through the OPAL collaborative on the third Friday of each month at 11:00 a.m. Eastern time.

More Datebook items...


“Action heroes are always saying stuff like 'Follow that car!' but I believe The Da Vinci Code is the first movie where the hero says, instead, 'I have to get to a library. Fast!'”

—Chris Hewitt, St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press, May 18.


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