American Libraries Direct
The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | March 24, 2010

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American Libraries Online

Community rally for the Hickory Grove branchCharlotte branches saved
In an emergency meeting on the morning of March 24, the board of the Charlotte Mecklenburg (N.C.) Library rescinded its controversial week-old order to close half the system branches and lay off 148 staff members. Instead, trustees unanimously approved an alternative plan that will keep all 24 branches in operation at a reduced schedule; lay off up to 84 employees; cut salaries of retained staff members between 5% and 20%; and drastically reduce services such as storytimes, classes on job searching and technology, and book clubs....
American Libraries news, Mar. 24; Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Mar. 24

From left, Vista Health System Head of Pediatrics R. N. Kelli, D. J. Leonhardt, Vista Director of Volunteers Deanna Stitch, and Waukegan (Ill.) Public Library Executive Director Richard LeeLibraries, hospitals join to promote wellness
Ellyn Ruhlmann writes: “Waiting is never easy for a child. For a child in a hospital, though, it’s really a tough go. The looming surgery, the unfamiliar setting, even just the break in routine all pile on anxiety and make minutes seem like hours. Now many libraries are partnering with hospitals to help ease that anxiety as well as to hook these young captives on reading. The strategy sometimes offers a way to reach new patrons in literacy-challenged communities.”...
American Libraries feature

Newburg branch of the Louisville (Ky.) Free Public LibraryA library grows in Newburg
Susan McNeese Lynch writes: “In August 2009, a decades-old dream came true for the people of Louisville, Kentucky’s Newburg neighborhood. It came in the form of a new library, a branch of the Louisville Free Public Library system. Not surprising to many of the more than 20,000 residents in this traditionally underserved area, the Newburg branch has become an instant success and an immediate center for the community.”...
American Libraries feature

American Libraries’ spring green
American Libraries is springing forward with a batch of green content. The 2010 American Libraries’ Library Design Showcase extensively covers environmentally sensitive new and renovated library buildings both online and in the April print issue. The online section on green buildings highlights a host of approaches to reducing waste, energy and water consumption, and pollution....
American Libraries news, Mar. 23

Invest in yourself
Catherine Hakala-Ausperk writes: “As you plow through the chaos each morning, do you give much thought to your own career? Remember the concept of a career? It’s what happens in the 30 years between graduation and retirement, and in the end it’s supposed to resemble something that you intended to happen.”...
American Libraries feature

Enthusiastic fans watch the Olympic Winter Games in Richmond (B.C.) Public Library's TV loungeCanadian library serves community as Olympics host
Shelley Civkin writes: “The 2010 Olympic Winter Games are over and the celebration site here in British Columbia is being dismantled, but Richmond Public Library staff are still reflecting on what it means to host the world. We started out being a library, thinking that guests from around the world would rush to the International Living Room we set up. Next thing you know, we’ve turned into a TV lounge, tattoo parlor, popcorn-serving cinema, face-painting salon, and Ralphy the Rhino photo op.”...
American Libraries feature

Nature Explorium logoMiddle Country’s Nature Explorium
Laura Bruzas writes: “The Middle Country Public Library in Centereach, New York, will be the first library in the country to offer an outdoor learning environment, in the form of a 5,000-square-foot community classroom. Targeted to preschool- and elementary-school age children and their families, the Nature Explorium will provide a direct experience with nature for children through hands-on outdoor activities.”...
AL: Green Your Library, Mar. 24

On My Mind: Our conservative ideals
Andy Spackman writes: “I sometimes worry that librarians’ language only addresses the left side of the political aisle, leaving the right’s opinions to be shaped by people like the regional talk-radio host who refers to libraries as ‘welfare bookstores’ and calls our users ‘freeloaders.’ This attitude fails to account for how well libraries align with basic conservative principles—a message we must better communicate.”...
American Libraries column, Mar. 17

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ALA News

ALA’s green election
For the second year in a row, ALA is holding its election exclusively online. “The decision to hold an exclusively online election is good for the Association and the environment, especially when every organization is looking at ways to reduce consumption of energy and adopt greener approaches,” said ALA President Camila Alire....
Public Information Office, Mar. 23

Many Voices, One Nation logo from 2005Gale to sponsor Many Voices, One Nation
Gale, part of Cengage Learning, will be a sponsor of Many Voices, One Nation at the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., June 24–29. Through Gale’s sponsorship, the event will be free to conference attendees, although registration is required. Many Voices, One Nation will take place on June 25 and will highlight ALA President Camila Alire’s Family Literacy Focus....
Office for Diversity, Mar. 23

2010 Diversity and Outreach Fair
The Office for Literacy and Outreach Services invites members from all types of libraries to participate in the 13th annual Diversity and Outreach Fair on June 26 during ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. The theme will be accessible library services, in recognition of the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Selected applicants will have the opportunity to present posters and converse with conference attendees about their diversity initiatives. Apply by April 16....
Office for Literacy and Outreach Services, Mar. 18

How the economy affects library recruiting (PDF file)
ALA–Allied Professional Association Director Jenifer Grady shows how the economic downturn has affected recruitment and professional development spending by libraries, based on responses to the 2009 ALA-APA Salary Survey. Surprisingly, 20% of public libraries and 15% of academic libraries have increased their recruitment spending by 1%–10%....
Library Worklife 7, no. 2 (Feb.)

Online learning survey
The Public Programs Office invites you to participate in a short survey about online learning, offered by Responses are requested by April 9....
Public Programs Office, Mar. 23

Baseball @ your library logoBaseball @ your library
Baseball @ your library is the Campaign for America’s Libraries’ newest community in ALA Connect. It is a public forum for librarians who are interested in baseball and want to share their ideas about how the sport can be used to promote literacy and library services. The community currently features a discussion on the fifth season of ALA’s and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s Step Up to the Plate @ your library program....
Campaign for America’s Libraries, Mar. 23

Archived chats in ALA Connect
ALA Strategy Guide Jenny Levine writes: “We’ve been getting reports from users having trouble using ALA Connect’s chat feature. We will try to fix this by upgrading the chat module we’re currently using. Unfortunately, the new version breaks all links to past chats, including those that are archived. If you have a transcript from a past chat that you want to keep, you’ll need to go to it, copy the text, and paste it into an online doc or discussion topic in order to manually archive it before April 21.”...
ITTS News, Mar. 24

Cover of The Readers' Advisory HandbookThe best advice for readers’ advisers
ALA Editions has released The Readers’ Advisory Handbook, edited by Jessica E. Moyer and Kaite Mediatore Stover. Covering everything from getting to know a library’s materials to marketing and promoting RA, this practical handbook will help librarians and administrators expand services immediately without adding costs or training time. Readers’ advisory now encompasses many different formats and means of communication—working with patrons of all types and ages, in and outside the library....
ALA Editions, Mar. 23

Cover of Succession PlanningPlanning for tomorrow’s vacancies
ALA Editions has released Succession Planning in the Library: Developing Leaders, Managing Change, by Paula M. Singer with Gail Griffith. Drawing on their years of expertise as human resource consultants and library administrators, Singer and Griffth address the issue of planning for change—not just at the top but at all levels of an organization. With the help of this book, administrators will be able to evaluate the readiness of their current administrative structure....
ALA Editions, Mar. 23

Copyright and New Media Law NewsletterAn essential newsletter for copyright and media law
ALA Editions is partnering with copyright and licensing expert Lesley Ellen Harris to offer The Copyright and New Media Law Newsletter, available both digitally and in print. This quarterly, 12-page newsletter has kept readers informed since 1997 by providing practical solutions for everyday copyright-related activities. Harris is a copyright, licensing, and digital property lawyer who consults on legal, business, policy, and strategic issues...
ALA Editions, Mar. 23

Terrence RobertsRegister for BCALA 7th National Conference
Registration is underway for the 7th National Conference of African American Librarians, hosted by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, to be held August 4–8, at the Sheraton Conference Center in Birmingham, Alabama. The theme is “Bridging the Divide with Information Access, Activism, and Advocacy.” Terrence Roberts (right), a member of the Little Rock Nine who desegregated Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957, will serve as opening session speaker....
Office for Diversity, Mar. 4

Booklist Online logo

Cover of Blue-Eyed DevilFeatured review: Western
Parker, Robert B. Blue-Eyed Devil. May 2010. 288p. Putnam, hardcover (978-0-399-15648-9).
Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch, the late Parker’s other duo of terse-talking man-buddies, make their way back to the town they cleaned up in their first western, Appaloosa (2005), and find a particularly odorous piece of trash now stinking up the place—the new chief of police, Amos Callico. The chief has his sights set on the governor’s seat and from there the Senate and even the White House, so the last thing in the world he wants is someone firm standing in his way. Virgil and Everett know one thing, though, and it’s standing firm. They set themselves up protecting local businesses that aren’t so keen on bending to the official extortion racket and staring down Callico and his swarm of deputies every dozen or so pages. In addition to a typical Parker cast of cleanly defined good guys, bad guys, and meek, no-account guys, two new heavies enter the fray....

Top 10 Series Nonfiction graphicTop 10 series nonfiction for 2010
Daniel Kraus writes: “Aside from a slight predilection toward science, it’s hard to read the tea leaves of the top crop of new series launched in the past year. From challenging, hard-hitting biographies for high-school students to simple concepts for the youngest, this wide-ranging list helps account for the perennial popularity of series nonfiction.”...

@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....

Division News

Apply for YALSA’s Library Advocacy Day stipends
YALSA is offering travel stipends of up to $1,000 each to five YALSA members to participate in ALA’s Library Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C., on June 29, in conjunction with ALA Annual Conference. Applications (PDF file or Word doc) must be emailed by April 30....
YALSA Blog, Mar. 24

Learning4Life initiative logoDistrict pricing on new L4L webinar series
AASL is now offering district pricing options for the new series of Learning4Life webinars offered during School Library Month. In addition, those who missed the 2009 series can now take advantage of district rates for archived L4L webinars. In April, the division will offer a new series of webinars supporting the L4L initiative to nationally implement the AASL learning standards and program guidelines....
AASL, Mar. 23

Laney Salisbury. Photo by Linda DubilierLaney Salisbury added to Literary Tastes lineup
Laney Salisbury, coauthor of Provenance: How a Con Man and a Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art, will speak at the RUSA Literary Tastes Breakfast at the 2010 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. The event features authors from among the 2010 selections for RUSA’s book and media awards. Held June 27, the breakfast is a ticketed event....
RUSA, Mar. 23


Nancy Pearl holds one of her Librarian Action FiguresNancy Pearl wins 2010 Margaret E. Monroe Award
Well-known librarian, educator, and tireless reading advocate Nancy Pearl has been selected the winner of RUSA’s 2010 Margaret E. Monroe Library Adult Services Award. The Monroe Award honors an individual who has made a significant contribution to library adult services. Pearl has produced thousands of book reviews and bibliographies and has shared her readers’ advisory skills with other librarians through staff education, lectures, and presentations across the country....
RUSA, Mar. 18

Marie L. RadfordRadford wins 2010 Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award
Marie L. Radford, associate professor at the Rutgers School of Communication and Information, has been selected as the 2010 winner of RUSA’s Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award. In addition to her many publications, Radford brings high energy, deep passion, and an interdisciplinary approach to the study of face-to-face and virtual reference....
RUSA, Mar. 18

Weible named Distinguished ILL Librarian for 2010
Cherié Weible, head of interlibrary loan and document delivery at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been selected  the winner of RUSA’s 2010 Virginia Boucher/OCLC Distinguished ILL Librarian Award. Weible’s noteworthy accomplishments include her ongoing mentoring activities of interlibrary loan professionals, as well as her presentation and publication activities....
RUSA, Mar. 18

2010 Library of the Future Award winner
ALA has named the University of Michigan’s Enriching Scholarship program the 2010 winner of the ALA/Information Today Library of the Future Award. This award is presented annually to a library that demonstrates innovative planning and development of patron training programs about information technology in a library setting. The scholarship is a collaborative program between the university library, campus information technology divisions, and campus-wide academic support units that offers dozens of workshops in a week-long curriculum each May....
Office for ALA Governance, Mar. 23

The Jones Library's Digital Amherst provides digital historical and cultural materials—photographs and other images, articles, lectures, and multimedia presentations—to Amherst locals, scholars, and touristsOITP lauds three libraries for technology use
The ALA Office for Information Technology Policy has recognized Contra Costa County (Calif.) Library, North Carolina State University Libraries in Raleigh, and Jones Library in Amherst, Massachusetts, for their use of cutting-edge technologies in library services. After selecting the winners, OITP produced descriptions of the programs (PDF file) to provide the library community with some successful models for delivering quality library service in new ways....
District Dispatch, Mar. 23

Lois Lowry's Number the Stars Number the Stars sports an illustrated re-creation of the real thing, or a mock Newbery sealThe Newbery seal lineup
Travis Jonker writes: “It’s book fair time at two of the elementary schools where I work. While perusing the Summer Reading table (Related aside: When did summer reading become synonymous with Newbery winner?), something caught my eye. There were five paperback Newbery winners on the table, and every one of them displayed their medal in a different way. Let’s take a look.”...
100 Scope Notes, Mar. 19

New ALSC Spectrum Scholarship created
ALSC has expanded its commitment to the Spectrum Scholarship Program. Beginning with the announcement of the 2010 class of Spectrum Scholars, ALSC will sponsor one Spectrum Scholar each year through funding from the Frederic G. Melcher Endowment. The ALSC Spectrum Scholar will be awarded to a Spectrum applicant who expresses an interest in library service to children....
ALSC, Mar. 23

ALTAFF supports Spectrum
ALTAFF has expressed its commitment to diversity in the library profession through a gift of $500 to the ALA Spectrum Scholarship Program. During this year’s special Spectrum Presidential Initiative, four ALTAFF Board Members—Sally Gardner Reed, Peggy J. Danhof, Peggy Barber, and Joan Ress Reeves—have combined efforts to match ALTAFF’s gift....
ALTAFF, Mar. 23

UCLA student wins YALSA student stipend
Jessica Levy, a student in the Department of Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, has won YALSA’s 2010 Young Adult Literature Symposium student stipend. Levy applied for the scholarship to gain practical knowledge in young adult librarianship. The Symposium will be held at the Albuquerque Marriott, November 5–7....
YALSA, Mar. 23

Oralia Garza de Cortés2010 Arnulfo D. Trejo Librarian of the Year winners
Reforma, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking, has named Oralia Garza de Cortés (right) and Susana Hinojosa as the 2010 Arnulfo D. Trejo Librarians of the Year. The award is named in honor of Dr. Arnulfo D. Trejo, the founder and first president of Reforma. This year, these two distinguished librarians will share the award, which is normally given to only one recipient....
Reforma, Mar. 18

Still from Lexington Library Card videoLexington Public Library wins Gold Addy
The Lexington (Ky.) Public Library received the Ralph Gabbard Television Excellence Award and a Gold Addy from the Lexington Ad Club for a commercial promoting library cards (0:30). The ad was written and directed by LPL Media Specialist Thai Emmerich and was produced for about $150. This is the second time the library has received the Gabbard Award....
Lexington Public Library, Mar. 18

Julie SloupSchool librarian wins grand prize in classroom contest
Julie Sloup, media coordinator at the Virginia Williamson Elementary School in Bolivia, North Carolina, was chosen grand prize winner in SchoolCenter’s second annual Imaginative Classroom Contest. In August 2009, she designed an interactive website for the media center that “engages students, promotes classroom interaction, and improves communication.” Sloup will receive a Dell laptop computer and a trip to the company’s headquarters in Carbondale, Illinois....
Wilmington (N.C.) Star-News, Mar. 23

David AlmondDavid Almond wins Hans Christian Andersen medal
An international jury of children’s literature experts March 23 has awarded the Hans Christian Andersen Award to British author David Almond. Given biennially since 1956 by the International Board on Books for Young People for an author’s complete works, the award comes with no prize money but much honor. Almond is the author of Kit’s Wilderness and Skellig. Jutta Bauer from Germany was announced as the winner of a parallel medal for illustrators....
The Guardian (U.K.), Mar. 23

Cover of War Dances2010 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction
Sherman Alexie’s War Dances (Grove Press) has been selected as the winner of the 2010 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. The PEN/Faulkner Award is America’s largest peer-juried prize for fiction in the United States. As winner, Alexie wins $15,000. War Dances is a collection of structurally inventive pieces on the themes of love, betrayal, familial relationships, race, and class....
PEN/Faulkner Foundation, Mar. 23

Cover of Dorothea Lange: A Life Beyond Limits, by Linda Gordon2010 Bancroft Prize winners
The authors of three acclaimed books—a biography of Depression-era photographer Dorothea Lange, a biography of First Lady Abigail Adams, and a study of the indigenous child-removal policies of the United States and Australian governments from 1880 to 1940—will be awarded the Bancroft Prize for 2010. The Bancroft is awarded annually by the trustees of Columbia University to the authors of books of exceptional merit in the fields of American history, biography, and diplomacy....
Columbia University Libraries, Mar. 17

Cover of vol. 1 of Ooku: The Inner Chambers2009 Tiptree Award winners
The James Tiptree Jr. Literary Award Council has awarded the 2009 Tiptree Awards to Greer Gilman, Cloud and Ashes: Three Winter’s Tales (Small Beer Press, 2009), and Fumi Yoshinaga, Ooku: The Inner Chambers, volumes 1 and 2 (VIZ Media, 2009). The award, to be presented in May at Wiscon, the feminist-oriented science fiction convention, is awarded for science fiction or fantasy that expands or explores our understanding of gender....
James Tiptree Jr. Literary Award Council, Mar. 20

Seen Online

Saving the Google students
Sara Scribner writes: “The current generation of kindergartners to 12th graders has no memory of a time before Google. These students are far more tech savvy than their parents and are perpetually connected to the iInternet, but they know a lot less than they think. Worse, they don’t know what they don’t know. Closing libraries is always a bad idea, but for the Google generation, it could be disastrous. Not teaching kids how to search for information is like sending them out into the world without knowing how to read.”...
Los Angeles Times, Mar. 21

Young learners need librarians
Mark Moran writes: “As a former executive officer at a company that had 1,200 employees in 29 countries worldwide, I know that without adequate media literacy training, kids will not succeed in a 21st-century workplace. And as the founder of a company whose mission is to teach the effective use of the internet, I have pored through dozens of studies that all came to the same conclusion: Students do not know how to find or evaluate the information they need on the internet. Before parents accept the wisdom of a school board to cut school librarians, they should ask: Will my child graduate with a 21st-century résumé, or a 19th-century transcript?”...
Forbes, Mar. 22

Florida Electronic Library bannerBudget battle over Florida Electronic Library
Florida lawmakers want more students to have greater access to online databases and journals obtained through the Florida Electronic Library, so House and Senate education committees are instructing school and public libraries to coordinate more closely with the state’s online gateway. That may prove difficult, because two other budget committees have proposed the elimination of state aid to libraries. Dropping the assistance would disqualify Florida from receiving federal grant dollars on which the electronic library depends....
Tampa (Fla.) Tribune, Mar. 23

Pennsylvania establishes statewide Digital Learning Library
In an effort to give educators and students free access to standards-aligned digital media content, Pennsylvania has launched a Digital Learning Library that aims to bring learning into the 21st century though interactive and customizable digital content. The content will be offered exclusively through local public TV stations and will include video, audio, images, games, and interactive content....
eSchool News, Mar. 24

Google Hong Kong logoGoogle’s China move: What does it mean?
Google finally abandoned its Chinese domain ( March 22 over cyberattacks and web censorship from the Chinese government. The company is redirecting users to its uncensored Hong Kong domain (, after failing to reach an agreement with government officials. What will this battle for internet freedom mean for other companies like Twitter who want a presence in undemocratic countries? Three media experts discuss (54:08) the ramifications....
Search Engine Land, Mar. 22; Minnesota Public Radio, Mar. 22

Hawaii pushes for Obama Presidential Library
President Barack Obama should put his future presidential library in Hawaii, where he was born and raised, according to state lawmakers. The House Tourism, Culture, and International Affairs Committee unanimously passed a resolution March 22 that urges Obama to choose Hawaii as the location for the library, which will be the repository for the documents, records, and artifacts of his presidency....
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Mar. 23

Finger Lakes receives $2-million bequest
Bernard Rosen, a leading sociologist, author, and professor emeritus at Cornell University who passed away in November 2009, has bequeathed $2 million to support youth materials and programming within the 33 libraries of the Finger Lakes Library System in Ithaca, New York. The gift will also generate annual grants in five counties across central New York. The announcement was made March 18 by George Ferrari, executive director of the Community Foundation of Tompkins County, who said it is the largest gift in the nonprofit public charity’s 10-year history....
Ithaca (N.Y.) Journal, Mar. 18

The Brooklyn Museum Libraries and Archives comprise one of the largest and oldest art museum libraries in the countryPartnership of museum libraries unites decades of research
Many of New York City’s most prestigious museums have extensive collections of books and papers. Four of them—the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Frick Collection—have combined forces to share resources, save money, and make their library holdings more accessible to the public. Together these institutions make up the New York Art Resources Consortium, an integrated library system formed in 2007....
New York Times, Mar. 14

Promotional graphic for Virtual Supermarket ProjectBaltimore libraries help fill city nutrition gaps
A new Virtual Supermarket Project is letting Baltimore residents order groceries online at the Orleans Street or Washington Village library branches of the Enoch Pratt Free Library and pick them up the next day at the same location. The libraries are in East and West Baltimore’s biggest “food deserts,” areas targeted by the Health Department for their scarcity of grocery stores and nutritious food options....
Baltimore Sun, Mar. 18

Rosa Oyanedel, director of the Curacavi Public LibraryPublic libraries in the wake of the Chile earthquake
BiblioRedes TV describes the damage to public libraries caused by the February 27 earthquake in Chile, which affected the regions of Valparaíso in the north to Araucanía in the south. Libraries in the districts of San Pedro and Curacaví to the west of Santiago sustained serious damage. In these communities, the library was the only place that offered free internet service to students and the public....
YouTube, Mar. 18

Entrance to San Diego State's Love Library. Photo by Allan FergusonSDSU’s Love Library: Earthquake hazard
Malcolm A. Love Library, the main library at San Diego State University, could collapse in the event of a major earthquake and threaten lives, according to an assessment by California Watch, an initiative of the Center for Investigative Reporting. University officials have known about the seismic concerns at Love Library since at least 2006. The library is one of nearly 180 public university buildings in California that are in use even though they have been judged dangerous to occupy during a major earthquake....
Voice of San Diego, Mar. 21

Justice David H. Souter bobbleheadYale Law Library collects SCOTUS bobbleheads
Yale’s Lillian Goldman Law Library, which probably has the best collection of rare law books in the world after Harvard and the Library of Congress, is now the official repository of bobbling likenesses of a dozen Supreme Court justices. Associate Librarian Fred R. Shapiro explained the acquisition: “A hundred years from now, if someone wants to study the bobbleheads, where will they go? There needs to be an archive.”...
New York Times, Mar. 17

Email evidence in theft of historic letters
Federal prosecutors in Newark, New Jersey, charged Drew University student William John Scott on March 15 with abusing his part-time position in the library to steal objects of cultural heritage from public institutions, a felony that carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison. The New York Times has obtained 11 emails from Scott to a Maryland rare book dealer, which allege the historic letters were inherited from his grandfather....
New York Times: City Room, Mar. 19

Still from video showing waters pouring into the EDFAA LibraryMajor storm damage at University of Western Australia
A severe thunderstorm that generated widespread, golfball-sized hailstones passed through Perth, Australia, late March 22, causing extensive damage to schools, hospitals, and homes. The University of Western Australia was badly hit, with many buildings suffering flood and structural damage. The Education, Fine Arts, and Architecture Library (right) sustained major flood damage and has been closed until further notice. This video (0:31) by Daniel Budd shows water flowing into broken windows on the lower level....
Perth West Australian, Mar. 23; University of Western Australia; EDFAA: After the Flood, Mar. 23

Graffito: "Let your passions incinerate themselves and in their ashes you might find silence."She chronicles University of Chicago library graffiti
For the past two years, University of Chicago graduate student Quinn Dombrowski has made a quiet project of studying graffiti at the Regenstein Library. Many of the 1,700 graffiti examples that she has found (some of them in dead languages like Egyptian) are documented on her Flickr photostream. She recently self-published Crescat Graffiti, Vita Excolatur: Confessions of the University of Chicago, a book of her favorite pieces of Regenstein graffiti, and most of the 200 copies have sold....
Chicago Tribune, Mar. 24

Canadian statute books in Lederman Law LibraryFuture uncertain for Queen’s University law library
Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, may lose its Lederman Law Library if cuts to the university’s library system continue, Head Law Librarian Nancy McCormack said. Sixteen library staff positions have been cut since 2004, and McCormack foresees more cuts on the way. One option under discussion is to centralize the functions of staff in the university’s six libraries....
Queen’s University Journal, Mar. 19

Title page of The Modernisation Review of Public Libraries: A Policy StatementFree internet and coffee to boost U.K. library use
Free internet access and coffee shops could help reverse a decline in the number of people using libraries in England, according to a 58-page government report released March 22. The Modernisation Review of Public Libraries: A Policy Statement (PDF file) stated that opening on Sundays and offering e-books might also boost library use. CILIP, the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, called on the government to show leadership by supporting the recommendations with appropriate funding....
BBC News, Mar. 22; CILIP, Mar. 22

Cover of original Penguin edition of Quatermass and the PitQuatermass returns to Yorkshire
Whoever took a copy of science-fiction classic Quatermass and the Pit from a Yorkshire library left staff stunned when it was finally returned nearly 45 years late. The first-edition copy was taken out of the library in Dinnington, South Yorkshire, U.K., on September 24, 1965. Library Assistant Alison Lawrie recognized the original Penguin edition when it was returned in mid-March and noticed that it had original circulation paperwork and rules for borrowing inside....
Yorkshire Post, Mar. 19

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Tech Talk

How we’ll pay for national broadband
Nate Anderson writes: “One key recommendation in the National Broadband Plan was that the U.S. government support a scheme to wire hundreds of thousands of anchor institutions with 1Gbps fiber. The move would mean that schools, libraries, colleges, and community centers in every town in the country could eventually have a fat pipe and a future-proof fiber connection. Both the FCC and the plan’s backers envision the system being used to push faster broadband out into the surrounding community. The only question is how to pay for it all.”...
Ars Technica, Mar. 23

Sennheiser HD 650 headphonesHow to buy the right headphones
Tim Gideon writes: “Headphones, earbuds, and earphones are generally viewed as the least essential link in the musical chain—the part you can skimp on. In reality, your headphones are the most important link in that chain: A quality pair can have an even larger impact than the player itself on how your tunes will sound. If well-cared for, they will long outlive your planned-to-be-obsolete digital audio player. And you don’t have to break the bank. For $400 or less, you can get both a good player and a high-quality pair of earphones.”...
PC Magazine, Mar. 17

10 downloads to power up your printer
Preston Gralla writes: “What’s the most underused productivity tool in your home or office? Your printer. Confined within that unassuming box, however, is a lot of power—far more than you might imagine. We’ve assembled 10 printer downloads that can reduce paper and ink consumption, print out CD and DVD labels, create posters, and generate business cards—and that’s just a start. Check out these free and affordably priced utilities. They’re the best way to unlock your printer’s potential.”...
PC World, Mar. 23

Six ways to look for emails in Outlook 2007
Saikat Basu writes: “Although most of us have our folders and rules to arrange all incoming emails and some of us are pretty disciplined about email organization, none of us can escape the use of the search feature for emails once in a while. Mastering any search how-to has almost become the thing for surviving in the digital jungle. So I guess it wouldn’t do anyone any harm if we took a more searching look at how to get to a lost email in the clutter of our inbox.”...
MakeUseOf, Mar. 23

textPlus service on an Android phoneFree texting service from textPlus
Sarah Houghton-Jan writes: “You can get 100% free text messaging with textPlus, an application available on the web, iPhone, and Android. It’s ad-supported, but the ads aren’t that intrusive. It also does group-texting (think of it like a texting version of an email distribution list). I think this could be so, so useful for libraries trying to do more with text but fearful of fees or costs.”...
Librarian in Black, Mar. 19


Virtual Wired magazineBirth of the digital magazine
Jason Griffey writes: “I thought it would be good to show a few examples of the sorts of ways that publishers are approaching the digital magazine these days. With the iPad launching in just two weeks, many major publications are planning digital versions. Here’s what a few might look like.”...
AL: Perpetual Beta, Mar. 18

The value of old books
Q. One of our regular library visitors is clearing the attic of the family home now that her parents are deceased. Where can I direct her to learn more about the value of these books? A. This has been a frequently asked question over the years, prompting the development of a pamphlet, now a webpage, titled Your Old Books. If it is likely that these books would be donated to your library, remember that the donor is responsible for determining the value of the gift. Got a question? Ask the ALA Librarian....
AL: Ask the ALA Librarian, Mar. 22

ABC-CLIO joins Gale Virtual Reference Library
ABC-CLIO, along with its imprints Greenwood, Libraries Unlimited, and Praeger, have submitted 250 titles to the Gale e-book platform. These additions expand Gale’s existing collection of e-books from Greenwood and Linworth Publishing. This brings the number of titles on the Gale Virtual Reference Library to around 5,000 and the publishers to 50....
No Shelf Required, Mar. 19

Cover of Out Stealing Horses, by Per PettersonTop 10 books written by librarians
AbeBooks writes: “AbeBooks loves librarians. Librarians love AbeBooks. (And everyone else loves librarians too, aside from the bean counters who keep cutting their budgets.) This list salutes those great lovers of books, literacy, and reading—the world’s librarian community—and we’re highlighting some wonderful books written by librarians themselves.”...

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Actions & Answers

Real spending on statewide database licensing by source, FY 1999–2008 (constant 2008 dollars, in millions), from State Library Agency Service TrendsState library agencies invest in technology
Despite the lack of real growth in their budgets in recent years, state library agencies are working strategically to assist local libraries in meeting patrons’ needs, according to State Library Agency Service Trends: 1999–2008 (PDF file), a new research brief by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Over the past 10 years, for example, real-dollar expenditures on statewide database licensing more than doubled (right), reaching a total of $65.8 million in 2008....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Mar. 18

A Los Angeles teacher librarian in the UTLA videoWhat does a teacher librarian really do?
Cynthia Bianchi writes: “This video (6:40) is a great example of just some of the many hats that teacher librarians wear during the course of a day’s work in the Los Angeles Unified School District. It is just a shame that so many highly skilled and double-credentialed teacher librarians have received a pink slip. For those teacher librarians, the library doors will close on June 30, 2010. I am one of these teacher librarians.” The video was produced by the United Teachers Los Angeles Library Professionals Committee....
YouTube, Mar. 20

Cover of Running with ScissorsHow to ban books in Hillsborough County schools
Catherine Robinson writes: “Some parents go to great lengths to keep controversial books out of school libraries so that no one can read them. This is the story of one small group of parents who sought to ban Augusten Burroughs’s Running with Scissors, and how that determination, combined with knowing the right people, affected nine high schools, and perhaps all of us, throughout Hillsborough County, Florida.”...
The Daily Loaf, Mar. 23

Creating an academic library for the whole student
Sarah Long talks with Brian Mathews, assistant university librarian at the University of California, Santa Barbara, about making academic libraries more user-sensitive in this podcast (17:29). Mathews’s work explores the way academic libraries can adapt services to serve the whole student, instead of just their current projects, and discusses the seven categories that describe the spectrum of student needs....
Longshots, Mar. 17

How does your garden programming grow?
Angela Hanshaw writes: “This year I decided I was going to get serious about my garden. A quick check on my public library’s programs didn’t turn up anything on gardening. I started to wonder what other libraries were doing. It turns out that a few libraries are indeed focusing on gardening programming. Here is a roundup.”...
Programming Librarian, Mar. 23

Where do K–12 learners get their books?
Stephen Abram writes: “I subscribe to a discussion list and newsletter from Stephen Krashen, one of the most eloquent defenders of reading and school libraries and evidence-based decisions with respect to K–12 learning. He points out that buried in an appendix of the March Scholastic report, Primary Sources: America’s Teachers on America’s Schools (PDF file), is this statistic: 83% of teachers in the survey reported that their K–12 students got books for independent learning from the school library.”...
Stephen’s Lighthouse, Mar. 18

New Open Library website designThe Open Library redesign
The Internet Archive’s Open Library has redesigned its site, which aspires to be a comprehensive online bibliographic database. The site has been soft-launched at a special URL for testing until it is stable enough to replace the current site, which began in 2007. The new features include reduced duplicate editions, subject pages, a revamped search engine, and an improved user interface....
Open Library Blog, Mar. 17

Libraries and place
Jeffrey Scherer writes: “After a generation of intensive work in building the virtual library, librarians have reawakened to the place-making role of the library building. Libraries are reasserting their role as serious, welcoming, attractive, and fun physical destinations for their patrons by working with architects to design buildings that are both beautiful physical embodiments of, and functional physical spaces for, creating a sense of a community of learners. I call this esprit de place or spirit of place.”...
Open Salon, Mar. 17

How to manage anger on social media sites
Heather Mansfield writes: “I have recently gained a new respect for social media staff that work with nonprofits who tackle controversial issues. In this political climate, they have to develop a very thick skin and just accept that their cause will be attacked by people from all sides of the spectrum. I have been trying to find that thin line between freedom of speech and when it’s appropriate to report and permanently block people from your social networking communities. Here are some lessons learned.”...
Nonprofit Tech 2.0, Mar. 21

FOIA: The world’s worst search engine
Ed Vielmetti writes: “Think of the FOIA process as the worst possible search engine in the world. Every governmental organization and agency can be asked for information, but the process is different for each one of them. Your search has to be precisely worded, and it has to specify who has the information you are searching for and if possible what form it’s in, even if you don’t know that ahead of time. Response times are measured in weeks, not seconds. Here are some reasons not to file FOIA requests.”... FOIA Friday, Mar. 19

The Petworth ChaucerCanterbury Tales manuscript to be digitized
Experts from the University of Manchester’s John Rylands Library are spending March 22–25 at a beautiful 17th-century mansion to capture its world-famous Canterbury Tales manuscript on camera. The manuscript, housed at the Petworth House in Sussex, was handwritten between 1420 and 1450, just a few years after the tales were first conceived by Geoffrey Chaucer. The 18-month p
roject is funded by JISC....
University of Manchester, Mar. 22

In the main reading room of the London LibraryLondon Library to get makeover
Nancy Mattoon writes: “The London Library at St. James Square is the largest independent lending library in the world. A monument to its mid-19th-century founders—with iron grille and opaque glass floors, leather armchairs and leather-bound books, and a unique cataloging system devised in the late 1800s, the library is about to move into the 21st century. For the first time, an architect with a complete plan for the entire property is in the process of giving this great Victorian lady a makeover.”...
Book Patrol, Mar. 24

Entertainment on a budget
The unemployed Elizabeth writes: “I’m young and single, so spending time with my friends is a huge priority for me. The problem is, spending time with friends often means spending money. Ive come up with a list of activities that are meant to take the place of regular entertainment activities (dinner, movies, nights out at bars). Im not good at sticking to this list, but I am trying, so that has to count for something. (Right?)”...
Adventures of an Unemployed Librarian, Mar. 20

I had a great title for this, but I can’t remember it
Will Manley writes: “We’ve all heard those mossy library jokes about the patron with the short-term memory problem. I used to have an incredibly sharp memory. I could have given you a detailed plot summary of Crime and Punishment, but now all I can tell you is that it is about Russia. Just like that, my mind has all the retention of a vegetable strainer. What happened? Two theories: 1) I retired, and 2) I turned 60. Take your pick. I pick both.”...
Will Unwound, Mar. 22

Carnegie window from Spencer (Iowa) Public LibraryThe Carnegie window at Spencer, Iowa
Larry Nix writes: “The Spencer (Iowa) Public Library become famous because of a cat named Dewey. But long before that, there was a Carnegie library building in Spencer. Like Dewey, the Carnegie is no longer around to please or inspire. It met the wrecking ball in 1970, but its leaded glass window survives.”...
Library History Buff, Mar. 22

Duke moves forward on open access policy
In a unanimous vote, the Duke University Academic Council approved a resolution March 18 supporting a new open access repository for faculty scholarly writings, but asked that organizers return for more discussion when they have details in place about how the repository would be serviced. The policy would place the final draft manuscript of future scholarly articles in a repository that would be available for use by the public....
Duke University, Mar. 21

Paws and Pals program in action at USAG Kaiserslautern. Still from AFN Europe ReportArmy Europe’s Paws and Pals program
The U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern’s main library in Landstuhl, Germany, has gone to the dogs, but only on the third Tuesday afternoon of every month. Man’s best friend is the star attraction of the garrison’s new Paws and Pals reading program. A first for Army Europe libraries, the program pairs young readers with volunteer dogs to build children’s confidence in reading, said Shawn Friend-Begin, the garrison’s supervisory librarian....
USAG Kaiserslautern, Feb. 4

Erik interviews OCLC CEO Jay Jordan in Leiden for the first This Week in LibrariesThis Week in Libraries
Erik Boekesteijn and Jaap van de Geer, both of the DOK Library Concept Center in Delft, Netherlands, have launched an internet TV series called This Week in Libraries. The series is in English and features global library news and interviews with individuals involved in library innovation. The first show featured Berenschot Managing Director Bart Drenth, and the second showcased the work of Dutch library architect Aat Vos (and an appearance by Amy Jean Kearns, of the Central Jersey Regional Library Cooperative, on fiscally challenged libraries in New Jersey)....
This Week in Libraries, Mar. 20

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2010 Annual Conference logo

ALA Annual Conference, Washington, D.C., June 24–29. New Auditorium Speakers are being added all the time. Mystic River author Dennis Lehane will appear on Monday morning.

JobLIST Placement Center logo

As part of its continuing efforts to help job seekers retool their skills and prepare for job searches, the ALA JobLIST Placement Center will host a free Open House on June 27.

Cover of Bite-Sized Marketing

Written and designed to reflect the way people read today, Bite-Sized Marketing by Nancy Dowd, Mary Evangeliste, and Jonathan Silberman is structured to quickly impart simple and cost-effective ideas on marketing your library. NEW! From ALA Editions.

New this week
in American Libraries

Community rally for Charlotte Mecklenburg Library branches

Promoting Wellness

A Library in Newburg

Invest in Yourself

Library as Olympic Host

On My Mind

Perpetual Beta

Inside Scoop

Green Your Library

Ask the ALA Librarian

AL Focus

IFLA World Congress 2010 logo

ALA members can register for the IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Gothenburg, Sweden, August 10–15, at a discounted member rate using the ALA IFLA member code of US-0002.

Career Leads from
ALA Joblist logo

Educator/Librarian, Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst, Massachusetts. The candidate must have a strong knowledge and passion for picture books to provide high-quality services to the Museum’s library patrons and to educators seeking book-related professional development. Administrative duties and direct work with the public will support the smooth operation of both the Reading Library and the Barbara Elleman Research Library. Position responsibilities include maintaining library space and collections; leading storytimes; helping to coordinate guest storytime programs; processing new book acquisitions; providing both in-house and off-site professional development programs; coordinating library volunteers; and welcoming and assisting visitors to the libraries....

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Digital Library of the Week

Provisional Government Chairman Michael Collins lying in state, City Hall, Dublin, August 28, 1922. Independent Collection

The National Library of Ireland holds the world’s largest collection of photographs relating to Ireland. Since 2007, the library has been engaged in a major digitization project to increase online access to its extensive collection of rare and remarkable glass plate negatives. Nearly 34,000 photographs, all relating to the period from 1860 to 1954, have been digitized from core collections, including the Lawrence, Independent, Poole, and Eason collections. These images are displayed at low resolution and accompanied by basic information such as title, date, and location (where available). Copies of high-resolution versions of these images can be ordered from the library, and further work is planned to maximize the full potential of the digital images.

Do you know of a digital library collection that we can mention in this AL Direct feature? Tell us about it. Browse previous Digital Libraries of the Week at the I Love Libraries site.

@ your library website

The @ your library website this week has just posted an article by Wanda Urbanska, host of PBS’ Simple Living, who offers her thoughts on how to achieve financial independence; new reviews from Booklist; an article on tax resources that are available @ your library; and a library story from Sharon Robinson, noted author and daughter of baseball great Jackie Robinson.

Public Perception
How the World
Sees Us

“In the face of ongoing recession, Boston, formerly the most literate and literary of cities, is proposing to cut back on its library system. After all, the city reasons, in this age of telecommuting, who needs walls when pixels will do?
    “. . . But whatever happens, it’s heartening to know that our city officials are brimming with helpful ideas.”

Boston city official looks out over the town and says, "Let them read Kindles!"

—Sage Stossel, children’s author and articles editor of The Atlantic, in an illustrated lament over the city’s branch closings, Boston Globe, Mar. 23. Read the full strip.

Tweeter bird designed by Monkeyworks



Public Library Association, National Conference, Portland, Oregon, Mar. 23–27, at:

2010 ILLiad International Conference, Atlas Systems and OCLC, Virginia Beach, Mar. 24–26, at:

American Libraries news stories, videos, tweets, and blog posts at:


Mar. 27:
Rainbow Book Fair,
Center for Gay and Lesbian Studies, CUNY, New York City.

Apr. 7–9:
Florida Library Association,
Annual Conference, Rosen Plaza Hotel, Orlando.

Apr. 7–9:
Kansas Library Association,
Annual Conference, Century II Convention Center and the Hyatt Regency, Wichita.

Apr. 7–9:
New Mexico Library Association,
Annual Conference, Ruidoso Convention Center.

Apr. 7–10:
Montana Library Association,
Annual Conference, Holiday Inn and Best Western GranTree Inn, Bozeman.

Apr. 9–11:
New York Antiquarian Book Fair,
Park Avenue Armory at 67th Street, New York City.

Apr. 12–14:
Computers in Libraries,
Hyatt Regency Crystal City, Arlington, Virginia.

Apr. 13–14:
REFolution Reference Service in a Constantly Changing World,
Lyrasis, Tulane University, New Orleans.

Apr. 13–16:
Alabama Library Association,
Annual Convention, Embassy Suites Hotel and Von Braun Center, Huntsville.

Apr. 14–17:
Texas Library Association,
Annual Conference, Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, San Antonio.

Apr. 19–20:
Connecticut Library Association,
Annual Conference, Mohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville.

Apr. 19–21:
Oklahoma Library Association / Mountain Plains Library Association,
Joint Conference, Oklahoma City Renaissance Hotel and Cox Convention Center.

Apr. 21–23:
Maryland Library Association,
Annual Conference, Clarion Resort, Ocean City.

Apr. 26–28:
New Jersey Library Association,
Annual Conference, Ocean Place, Long Branch.

Apr. 28–30:
Massachusetts Library Association,
Annual Conference, Hyannis Resort and Conference Center.

May 7:
Oregon Virtual Reference Summit,
McMenamin’s Edgefield, Troutdale.

May 12–14:
Utah Library Association,
Annual Conference, Hilton Garden Inn, St. George.

May 13–14:
New Hampshire Library Association,
Spring Conference, Attitash Grand Summit Hotel and Conference Center.

May 25:
Vermont Library Association,
Annual Conference, St. Michael’s College, Colchester.

May 25–27:
BookExpo America,
Jacob K. Javits Center, New York City.

May 27–28:
Rhode Island Library Association,
Annual Conference, Bryant Center, Bryant University, Smithfield.

June 13–16:
Special Libraries Association,
Annual Conference, Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans.

Nov. 13:
National Gaming Day
@ your library.

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