American Libraries Direct
The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | March 31, 2010

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American Libraries Online

Gov. Joe ManchinWest Virginia governor slashes library funding
West Virginia library advocates suffered a blow March 26 when Gov. Joe Manchin (right) used his line-item veto power to slash library funding in next year’s state budget by 5%. Library supporters had convinced the legislature to maintain funding at current levels despite the weak economy. West Virginia Library Association Legislative Chair Allen Johnson noted that Manchin also wielded his veto against libraries in 2008....
American Libraries news, Mar. 29

StoryCorps essay contest
American Libraries is offering librarians a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to conduct a personal StoryCorps interview during the 2010 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., June 24–29. For a chance to win an interview slot, simply explain in 500 words or less whom you would like to interview—a mentor, colleague, or someone who inspired you to join the profession—and why your relationship is important and special. Submit the essay by the April 15 deadline....
American Libraries, Mar. 30

A student at the Oak Grove Lutheran School in Fargo, North Dakota, takes a break from salvaging books and equipment from the school's library that was flooded in 2009 when the Red River overflowed its banks. Photo by Patsy LynchDisaster planning
Q. Our library doesn’t have a disaster plan. Where can I get help in writing one? A. There are a number of resources available to you. Start with the Disaster Recovery resources prepared by ALCTS members as background material for the first-ever Preservation Week, May 9–15. Be sure to work with your local government and your state library, as your plan needs to work in concert with those developed for larger areas. Got a question? Ask the ALA Librarian....
AL: Ask the ALA Librarian, Mar. 29

The Gerbera daisy (Gerbera jamesoni) is one of the top plants for cleaning up airborne chemicalsClean up your trichloroethylene
Laura Bruzas writes: “In the late 1980s, a NASA research study concluded that some houseplants can work double duty by making indoor spaces more beautiful and purifying air contaminated by common chemicals. This is a good thing for libraries as the chemicals studied are also trapped in many library buildings, especially those that are tightly sealed to be more energy efficient or have windows that do not open.”...
AL: Green Your Library, Mar. 26

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ALA News

Neil GaimanNeil Gaiman goes live for National Library Week
Libraries and their communities are invited to a live internet event, “An Evening with Neil Gaiman,” 6–8 p.m. on April 12. The event, which kicks off National Library Week (April 11–17), is coordinated by the ALA Campaign for America’s Libraries and the Jessamine County (Ky.) Public Library. Gaiman, at the University of Minnesota, will virtually join a live audience at JCPL using high-definition videoconferencing technology supported by Internet2. OARnet will provide the ability for up to 1,000 locations to access the high-definition stream. Register here....
Campaign for America’s Libraries, Mar. 25

Still from Digital Due Process videoALA supports Digital Due Process
On March 30 ALA joined the Digital Due Process coalition, which seeks to update the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. DDP includes a diverse group of privacy advocates, major companies, and think tanks, proposing principles to guide the updating of ECPA, the key federal law that defines the rules for government access to email and private files stored in the internet cloud. House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.) said he would lead efforts to consider reform. Watch this video (1:29) for a brief explanation....
District Dispatch, Mar. 30; Wall Street Journal: Digits, Mar. 30; YouTube, Mar. 29

Fix to health care bill includes community college funding
On March 30, President Obama signed the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 into law, which included $2 billion for a new Community College and Career Training Grant Program. This money will be spent at $500 million a year for FY2011–2014. While ALA welcomes this provision, we are also disappointed. Since last summer, community college librarians and ALA have worked on a different proposal that could have included community college libraries....
District Dispatch, Mar. 31

Taraji P. Henson READ posterCelebrated women endorse literacy
ALA Graphics has added three leading women—Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, Academy Award nominee Taraji P. Henson (right), and teen actress Dakota Fanning—to the Celebrity READ campaign. Each revered in her own realm, they promote reading all over the world. Find each iconic personality on her own Celebrity READ poster at the ALA Store....
ALA Graphics, Mar. 30

Booklist Online logo

Cover of Black JackFeatured review: Sports
Smith, Charles R. Black Jack: The Ballad of Jack Johnson. June 2010. 40p. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter, hardcover (978-1-59643-473-8).
The stylish, brash, and provocative boxer Jack Johnson is the subject of this picture-book verse biography. A quick tour of his childhood has the son of former slaves learning to fight by standing up to bullies at the behest of his mother. As a gifted professional boxer, he was consistently refused a shot at the heavyweight crown because of the prevailing racism of early 20th-century America. He repeatedly challenged reigning champ Jim Jeffries, who chose to hang up his gloves rather than fight a black man. Jeffries did finally come out of retirement, and Johnson’s win in the “Fight of the Century” punched a massive hole in the pre–civil rights color line....

Spring Travel Guides graphic2010 travel roundup
Brad Hooper writes: “Ice, snow, and gray skies got you down? Discretionary income not what it used to be? Oh, come on, you know you can come up with the cash to take a trip somewhere. People always do—and will continue to do so. And to that end, to help librarians in travel-guide collection development, we once again present our latest roundup of recommended titles that have appeared over the past six months.”...

Read-alikes: Treasures unburied graphicRead-alikes
Donna Seaman writes: “The hunt for buried treasure is an archetypal theme in literature the world over, whether it involves the hidden loot of pirates, an explorer’s quest for ancient objects, or an individual looking for family heirlooms. Not only does an arduous and risky search make for a delectable adventure story, the unearthing of a precious object or truth can also have unintended consequences that yield intriguing insights into both history and the human psyche. Each novel of excavated treasures cited below takes a highly imaginative approach to this flexible theme, with one nonfiction title illuminating a shared father-and-son (John and Thomas Steinbeck) passion for the mysteries of one particularly dramatic landscape.”...

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

Division News

Sarah Vowell, backstage at the PLA ConferencePLA National Conference comes to a close in Portland
After five days of workshops, programs, and events devoted to enhancing public library service, best-selling author Sarah Vowell (right) brought PLA’s 13th National Conference to a close. Nearly 8,000 library staff, supporters, exhibitors, authors, and guests gathered at the Oregon Convention Center for various workshops and discussions that focused on such key issues as advocacy, technology, literacy, and serving adults and youth. The conference opened March 25 with a surprise appearance by singer Natalie Merchant, performing songs from a new CD of poems set to music and titled Leave Your Sleep. PLA President Sari Feldman fielded a few naïve questions and annoying shushings (5:51) from a KATU-TV A.M. Northwest host. For more coverage, see the PLA Blog....
PLA, Mar. 29; AL: Inside Scoop, Mar. 25, 27; KATU-TV (Portland), Mar. 24

Kadir NelsonChildren’s author luncheon with Kadir Nelson
Angie Manfredi writes: “Kadir Nelson, award-winning author and illustrator, had the crowd laughing at pictures he drew at 5 years old and learning from research he spent years on during his interesting and engaging talk at the PLA Children’s Author Luncheon on March 26. Visits with his mother to his childhood public library in Atlantic City helped Kadir find art books, which helped mold his style.”...
PLA Blog, Mar. 30

Tweeting at the PLA Conference
Gretchen Kolderup writes: “Everyone’s been doing such a lovely job of recapping sessions they attended, so I wanted to get a little meta and talk about how Twitter was used at PLA this year. For a little context, the way I was keeping up with PLA happenings on Twitter was partly though the people I already followed but mostly by monitoring tweets tagged with #pla10, so I missed what people I don’t follow said unless it was tagged.”...
PLA Blog, Mar. 29

The three Reading Challenge winners with their trophiesWrestleMania Reading Challenge champs named in Phoenix
The world championships for YALSA’s WrestleMania Reading Challenge were held March 27 at the Burton Barr Library in Phoenix. The winners are Gabe Murrell (Grades 5–6), who represented the Oshawa (Ont.) Public Library; Liam Jose (Grades 7–8), who also represented the Oshawa Public Library; and La’Quan Deen (Grades 9–12), who represented the Carnegie Library of Homestead, Pennsylvania....
YALSA Blog, Mar. 29; WrestleMania XXVI, Mar. 27

Ernest Hemingway's writing desk in the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, Key West, FloridaErnest Hemingway Home a new Literary Landmark
ALTAFF designated the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum in Key West, Florida, a Literary Landmark on March 14. The dedication of the Literary Landmark was the finale of “One Island, One Book,” a program created by the Monroe County Library’s Key West branch. The program focused on To Have and Have Not, the novel Hemingway wrote in Key West and set on the island—his only novel set in the United States....
ALTAFF, Mar. 23

Dan ChaonDan Chaon joins Literary Tastes Breakfast lineup
Award-winning author Dan Chaon, whose most recent novel Await Your Reply (Random House) was a 2010 Notable Books List selection, will speak at the upcoming Literary Tastes Breakfast at the 2010 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. The June 27 breakfast is a ticketed event....
RUSA, Mar. 30

Feedback needed on AASL/NCATE standards
AASL welcomes comments from school librarians, educators, and LIS students on the draft revised Standards for Initial Programs for School Librarian Preparation (PDF file). Review the draft revised standards and submit comments via survey by August 1. The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education has a seven-year review cycle for program standards. As part of the revision process, the AASL/NCATE Coordinating Committee seeks feedback from a wide range of constituents....
AASL, Mar. 30

School Libraries Count! online reports
Personalized online reports are now available to school librarians who submitted responses to the AASL 2009 “School Libraries Count!” survey, an annual survey that is part of AASL’s longitudinal study. To access the 2009 reports, participants should login on the report website, enter their school’s NCES number, and use the passcode of “sclpass.”...
AASL, Mar. 30

Register for RUSA online courses
RUSA is offering a full slate of online professional development opportunities this summer, from April through August. Courses include Genealogy 101, Business Reference 101, the Reference Interview, and Readers’ Advisory 101. Online registration is now open....
RUSA, Mar. 25

AASL seeks presenters for 2011
AASL is now seeking presenter proposals for the 2011 ALA Annual Conference, to be held in New Orleans. The deadline to submit a proposal (PDF file) is May 21. Proposal submissions will be accepted for 90-minute concurrent sessions or half- to full-day preconference professional development programs....
AASL, Mar. 30

Learning 4 Life logoGraduate credit for L4L
AASL is offering graduate credit from the University of Colorado Denver for the new Learning4Life webinar series focusing on “Empowering Learners: Guidelines for School Library Media Programs.” The webinars will be held at 4:30 p.m. Central Time on Wednesdays during the month of April. To earn 0.5 grad credits for AASL’s L4L webinar series, all four webinars must be attended....
AASL, Mar. 30

Cover of The Anywhere LibraryThe Anywhere Library
ACRL has published The Anywhere Library: A Primer for the Mobile Web by Courtney Greene, Missy Roser, and Elizabeth Ruane of DePaul University. Mobile computing is rapidly becoming an important part of everyday life. With a user-centered, practical emphasis geared to the nontechnical librarian, the book approaches the creation of a mobile-optimized library website as a process rather than simply as a product....
ACRL, Mar. 30


Ken HaycockKen Haycock wins 2010 Beta Phi Mu Award
Ken Haycock, professor and director of the School of Library and Information Science at San Jose State University, has received the ALA 2010 Beta Phi Mu Award. This annual award, donated by the Beta Phi Mu International Library Science Honorary Society, is presented to a library school faculty member or to an individual for distinguished service to education in librarianship....
Office of ALA Governance, Mar. 29

Neel ParikhParikh wins 2010 Sullivan Award
Neel Parikh, executive director of the Pierce County (Wash.) Library System, is the 2010 winner of the Sullivan Award for the Public Library Administrators Supporting Services to Children Award. Under her direction, the library has become a leader in providing early-learning training and support for families, child care providers, and library staff, both locally and across the state....
Office of ALA Governance, Mar. 29

Fred von Lohmann2010 L. Ray Patterson Copyright Award
The Office for Information Technology Policy and its Copyright Advisory Subcommittee have named Fred von Lohmann, a senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation specializing in intellectual property matters, this year’s winner of the L. Ray Patterson Copyright Award. In his role at EFF, von Lohmann has represented programmers, technology innovators, and individuals in a variety of copyright and trademark litigation, including MGM v. Grokster, decided by the Supreme Court in 2005....
ALA Washington Office, Mar. 30

Princeton (N.J.) Public Library Friends bookstoreGale Cengage Learning Financial Development Award
The Princeton (N.J.) Public Library is the winner of the prestigious Gale Cengage Learning Financial Development Award. The award is presented annually to a library organization for exhibiting meritorious achievement in carrying out a project to secure new funding resources. The award, which includes $2,500 donated by Gale Cengage, acknowledges the efforts of the Friends group in transforming a small gift shop into a successful bookstore....
Office of ALA Governance, Mar. 29

Cover of Viewing Library Metrics from Different Perspectives2010 Greenwood Publishing Group Award
ALA has selected Viewing Library Metrics from Different Perspectives: Inputs, Outputs, and Outcomes as the winner of the 2010 Greenwood Publishing Group Award for the Best Book in Library Literature. The book was written by Robert E. Dugan, Peter Hernon, and Danuta A. Nitecki and published by Libraries Unlimited. The book assists library professionals in the area of assessment by helping them to explore and identify methods of measuring effectiveness and improving performance related to the needs of a variety of constituents....
Office of ALA Governance, Mar. 30

2010 EBSCO/ALA Conference Sponsorship winners
ALA and EBSCO Information Services have announced seven winners of the 2010 EBSCO/ALA Conference Sponsorship awards. The awards, each in the amount of $1,000, will enable seven ALA members to attend the ALA Annual Conference, June 24–30, in Washington, D.C. Each applicant had to write an essay on how conference attendance would promote their professional development....
Office of ALA Governance, Mar. 30

YALSA symposium stipend winner
Emily Dezurick-Badran, an enquiry assistant at the Southend Central Library in Southend-on-Sea, England, won the 2010 Young Adult Literature Symposium worker stipend from YALSA. The stipend provides Dezurick-Badran with up to $1,000 to attend the 2010 symposium, to be held November 5–7 at the Albuquerque Marriott....
YALSA, Mar. 30

2010 RUSA/STARS ILL travel grant
Naomi I. Chow, interlibrary loan and external services program librarian at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, is the 2010 recipient of the RUSA/STARS Atlas Systems Mentoring Award, an ALA conference travel grant designated for those who are new to the field of interlibrary loan. The grant offers $1,000 to fund travel expenses associated with attending the ALA Annual Conference....
RUSA, Mar. 30

APALA, Arkansas Library Association support Spectrum
The Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association and the Arkansas Library Association have both announced their support of the Spectrum Presidential Initiative, APALA with a contribution of $2,500, and ArLA with $500. Arkansas is the first ALA chapter to provide support....
ALA Office for Diversity, Mar. 30

Books for Babies logoMatching Books for Babies grants
In partnership with Nordstrom, ALTAFF will award 20 grants for $500 each to match $1,075 raised by selected Friends of the Library groups, women’s groups, libraries, and other nonprofits for purchasing Books for Babies kits from ALTAFF. Twenty matching grants will be awarded. The deadline for applications (PDF file) is September 15....
ALTAFF, Mar. 23

Patty Wong. Photo by Michael GolrickPatty Wong honored by state senator as Woman of the Year
California State Senator Lois Wolk honored Yolo County Librarian Patty Wong as one of the 5th Senate District’s 2009 Women of the Year March 23 at a private ceremony at Wolk’s office in Vacaville. Wong, who also serves as cochair of the ALA Presidential Initiative Planning Committee, was instrumental in renovating two new branches....
Woodland (Calif.) Daily Democrat, Mar. 24

Lisa HebertCollege librarian receives Patriotic Employer Award
Grayson County (Tex.) College Librarian Lisa Hebert received a Patriotic Employer Award recently from the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a U.S. Department of Defense organization. The award recognizes Hebert for supporting employee participation in the U.S. National Guard and Reserve Force. She organized care packages and correspondence for student workers who were called to active duty....
North Texas e-News, Mar. 28

Internet Archive2009 Free Software Awards
The Free Software Foundation announced the winners of its annual Free Software Awards at a March 20 ceremony at the Harvard Science Center. The Internet Archive won the award for Project of Social Benefit. Brewster Kahle, Internet Archive cofounder and chairman, was at the ceremony to collect the award and spoke about the work of his organization....
Free Software Foundation, Mar. 23

Cover of Audrey's Door2010 Bram Stoker Awards
The Horror Writers Association announced the 2010 winners of the Bram Stoker Awards March 27 at the World Horror Convention in Brighton, U.K. Audrey’s Door by Sarah Langan won for Best Novel, Damnable by Hank Schwaeble won for Best First Novel, The Lucid Dreaming by Lisa Morton won for Best Long Fiction, and Writers Workshop of Horror by Michael Knost won for Best Nonfiction....
Science Fiction Awards Watch, Mar. 27

Kitty CrowtherKitty Crowther wins 2010 Astrid Lindgren Award
Belgian illustrator and author Kitty Crowther has won the 2010 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, which honors the best in children’s writing. The award, named after the Swedish creator of Pippi Longstocking, brings with it prize money of 5 million kronor ($695,000 U.S.). Crowther has written and contributed to more than 35 children’s books and writes in French, most recently Annie du lac and Alors?....
BBC News, Mar. 24

Cover of Blood TiesWarwickshire Secondary Book Award
The Warwickshire Secondary Book Award 2010, organized by Warwickshire County Council’s Schools Library Service, has been won by Sophie McKenzie for her novel Blood Ties. Twenty secondary schools participated across this Midlands county for this year’s award. McKenzie was presented with the award at a special celebratory event in Warwick March 24....
Coventry (U.K.) Telegraph, Mar. 30

Cover of Crocheting Adventures with Hyperbolic PlanesCrochet book knits up oddest title prize
This year’s Diagram Prize for oddest book title has gone to Crocheting Adventures with Hyperbolic Planes by mathematician Daina Taimina. The 32nd annual prize, which carries no monetary reward, was announced March 26 by The Bookseller, a U.K. trade magazine. The second and third-place finishers were: What Kind of Bean Is This Chihuahua? and Collectible Spoons of the Third Reich....
CBC News, Mar. 27

Seen Online

Protesters with signs outside main Boston Public Library. Photo from Universal HubDisquiet outside Boston Public Library
On March 28, just before the Boston Public Library opened, nearly 100 protesters gathered outside the Copley Square building with petition sheets and statistical charts to go along with their “Don’t Close the Book on Us!” placards and their chants of “Save our branches!” Advocates have set up a website, People of Boston Branches, showing how the BPL trustees, Mayor Menino, city council, and state officials each play a role in the potential decision to shutter as many as 10 of the city’s 26 branches. Library spokeswoman Gina Perille said a final vote will take place April 9....
Boston Globe, Mar. 29; Universal Hub, Mar. 28

Audit supports Carnegie Library branch closings
An independent audit released March 30 upheld the process the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh used to plan branch closings, but it reduced the system’s projected, long-range deficit by nearly $3.2 million. The library board’s October 2009 proposal to close four neighborhood branches has outraged many residents who want them to remain open. The accounting firm found the board’s decision-making reasonable, but said the library could reduce its projected deficit of $4.39 million in 2014 to $300,074....
Pittsburgh (Pa.) Tribune-Review, Mar. 31

University of Colorado Denver's Auraria LibraryArchitecture students to offer plans for Auraria library rehab
A new master plan for University of Colorado Denver’s Auraria campus calls for the 184,000-square-foot library to be demolished and replaced even as the state faces severe budget cuts. So Library Director Mary Somerville, wondering where the money for such a project might come from, is calling on architecture students to figure out if a modern library can be salvaged from the aging glass-and-anodized-aluminum building....
Denver Post, Mar. 29

Massapequa (N.Y.) Public Library bookmobileAlec Baldwin buys a bookmobile
Early this year, the Massapequa (N.Y.) Library bookmobile, which had been taken off the road last summer after 48 years of service, was towed away to actor Alec Baldwin’s property in Amagansett. Baldwin, who grew up in Massapequa and whose father taught at the local high school, paid $1,000 for the forsaken vehicle. Library Director Patricia Page said, “I don’t know how he heard about it, but he used it when he was younger and he seems to have a feel for this community.”...
New York Observer, Feb. 24

Sean Shepherd, still from KOB-TV newscastNew Mexico librarian wants to clean up outer space
Sean Shepherd, Eastern New Mexico University Instructional Research Center coordinator, is developing devices to clean up small manmade space debris in the lower earth orbit—and NASA is taking notice. Last fall, after reading an article about satellite collisions that create even more space debris, an idea popped into his head for Adhesive Synthetic Trash Recovery Orbital Spheres. The lightweight ASTROS would be launched into space to collide with the trash, which would stick to them and return to burn up in the atmosphere. Watch the newscast (1:57)....
Portales (N.Mex.) News-Tribune, Mar. 31; KOB-TV, Albuquerque, Mar. 23

Tennessee State Library in search of Civil War artifacts
More than two decades after a statewide effort to copy and catalog photographs of historical significance, staffers at the Tennessee State Library and Archives are hitting the state’s highways and byways again in search of Civil War memorabilia. The materials they find during their travels will be copied, archived, and used to create a digital exhibit commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War...., Mar. 29

Cover of I Know Why the Caged Bird SingsSchool board member rebuffed over Maya Angelou stance
Huntington Beach, California, School Board member John Briscoe was reprimanded by Superintendent Alan Rasmussen March 19 after he wrote a letter to a local newspaper saying that “there is no need or place” for children to read Maya Angelou’s bestseller I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Rasmussen said he resented Briscoe misstating the facts and that parents must now provide consent for students to check out the book after a committee reviewed it in October....
Orange County (Calif.) Register, Mar. 25

Cover of Paint Me Like I AmPoetry book stays in North Fond du Lac school
A book of poems containing mature subject matter will remain in the combined middle and high school library in the North Fond du Lac (Wis.) School District. A compromise was reached during a March 24 materials reconsideration meeting that would allow the poetry book Paint Me Like I Am: Teen Poems from WritersCorps (HarperTeen, 2003) to remain on the shelf, provided it has a label designating it as appropriate for high school students. Younger students could also access the book with prior parental permission....
Fond du Lac (Wis.) Reporter, Mar. 25

Diane Alexander, from a 2002 publicity photo for Opera ProvidenceSinging soprano sorts and shelves
The high, bright notes of an operatic aria echo down the travertine-tiled halls of the cavernous Coronado (Calif.) Public Library, bounding off the concrete columns and filtering out through the glass doors in front. In the hour before the library’s opening, professional opera singer and part-time library page Diane Alexander belts out the classics as she shelves books. After spending nearly 20 years performing with opera houses and symphonies across the U.S., Alexander decided to get more involved with her adopted home town and landed the library job in 2009....
San Diego (Calif.) Union-Tribune, Mar. 29

Blanding Free Public Library, Rehoboth, MassachusettsRehoboth library may be forced to close
The Blanding Free Public Library, an institution in Rehoboth, Massachusetts, for 144 years, may be on the verge of closing. Facing a $1-million deficit in the town’s 2011 budget, officials said they cannot fund the library, which would force it to close at the end of June. The library’s operating expenses, which include salaries and materials, cannot be paid without the funding....
Taunton (Mass.) Daily Gazette, Mar. 25

Librarian claims she was fired for reporting child abuse
A former librarian from Community Academy Charter School in Philadelphia has sued the school, its founder, and a related nonprofit on the ground that she was improperly fired a year ago for reporting a case of suspected child abuse, as is required by law. Georganne Hardin-Fong filed the suit in Common Pleas Court March 19. She said she was fired abruptly in March 2009 after reporting to a social worker that one of the school’s students might be a victim of abuse at home....
Philadelphia Inquirer, Mar. 25

Maple Lake library refused to be shelved
A few years back, budget cuts loomed in Maple Lake, Minnesota (pop. 2,100), and instead of opening a library, city leaders suggested that residents drive seven miles east to Buffalo or seven miles west to Annandale for their book fix. Residents responded with one big not-on-your-life. Thirty-thousand donated books later, the volunteer-run library in the town’s quaint business district just celebrated its first anniversary....
Minneapolis Star Tribune, Mar. 27

Gian HasijaFired director wants his job back
A public library director who was fired March 24 for poor performance argues that the decision was fueled by politics and said he will fight to get his job back. Gian Hasija (right), who has worked as the Bloomfield (N.J.) Public Library’s director for more than five years, was dismissed by the library board after a week-long unpaid suspension. His attorney contends the dismissal was retaliation by the mayor and library board because Hasija would not promote an employee with an alleged criminal background....
Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger, Mar. 26; Bloomfield (N.J.) Life, Mar. 25

What to do with the idle assets in closed branches
The closure of four Aurora (Colo.) Public Library branches—shuttered in early 2010 amid shrinking budgets and after voters rejected a tax hike to keep them open—has left library officials with a daunting task. What will become of the slew of books, movies, CDs, and computers that once stocked the shelves? And in the case of two branches, what should the library do with the buildings, which the city owns and which aren’t being used?...
Aurora (Colo.) Sentinel, Mar. 26

Baltimore school to get a Target School Library Makeover
Baltimore’s Brehms Lane Elementary School, which has a high percentage of low-income students, has struggled to update its library with books and equipment. But now it has been picked for a Target School Library Makeover, which will bring thousands of dollars’ worth of new books, furniture, and equipment into the school’s media center. The makeover is being awarded to 32 schools nationwide....
Baltimore Sun, Mar. 26

St. Francis of Assisi painting from the St. Bonaventure collectionSt. Bonaventure’s Rare Book Wing
The Rare Book Wing inside St. Bonaventure University’s Friedsam Memorial Library in Olean, New York, houses the largest rare book collection in the state outside New York City. It consists of approximately 10,000 items published between 1500 and 1700, some 100 late medieval manuscripts, about 100 more modern manuscripts, and 300 incunabula. The story of how these rare books came to campus is nearly as interesting as the books themselves....
The Bona Venture, Mar. 26

Haiti’s libraries: History at risk
Madison Smartt Bell writes: “The earthquake in Haiti, aside from killing a couple of hundred thousand people in the space of a heartbeat, has put so many survivors’ lives in danger that even now, two months after the cataclysm, it is difficult to think about any thing else. It’s hard to imagine worrying much about artifacts and archives when so many human lives have yet to be saved. Still, the artifacts and archives mean something to the future of the people still struggling to survive.”...
Huffington Post, Mar. 30

Toronto trying to fund gaming collection, programs
The Toronto Public Library is searching for close to $300,000 to start a circulating video game collection and set up gaming programs at eight branches across the city. The library has been auditioning gaming programs at two branches for some time, said Chief Librarian Jane Pyper. Younger staffers at the S. Walter Stewart and Bloor/Gladstone branches pitched the idea as a way to draw new people through the doors....
Toronto Star, Mar. 23

National Library of New Zealand. Photo by Lanma726New Zealand to restructure its National Library
New Zealand State Services Minister Tony Ryall confirmed March 25 that the government plans to merge Archives New Zealand and the National Library into the Department of Internal Affairs. Other government agencies will also be merged, resulting in a savings of $20 million ($14.2 million U.S.) and a loss of 55 jobs. The Public Service Association trade union, the Professional Historians’ Association of New Zealand, and the Library and Information Association of New Zealand say the move would result in less accountability, reduced access to unique historical resources, and service reductions....
Otago Daily Times (Dunedin), Mar. 26; LIANZA, Mar. 12

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Tech Talk

Maxthon is one of the 8 free browsers listed in this roundupThe best free software of 2010
Eric Griffith writes: “There’s no lack of free software to be found online. Some of it is as powerful, if not more so, than the name-brand packages found on shelves at Best Buy for big bucks. By free, we mean you don’t pay a dime except for what it costs to download and install the software. There are even times when you don’t have to install anything, since there are a lot of great web-based applications available these days. Every year PC Magazine puts together a fresh look at the Best Free Software.” Setting up a new system? Bulk-install 82 free open source apps all at once with ZeuAPP, or non-open source aps with Ninite....
PC Magazine, Mar. 30

Top 30 library iPhone apps, part 1
Ellyssa Kroski writes: “This is the first installment in a three-part series listing library-oriented iPhone applications—all links go to iTunes where you can download the apps. This first article features libraries that have created iPhone apps for their patrons, part two will cover databases and library vendors with iPhone apps, and part three will feature book-related apps.”...
iLibrarian, Mar. 30

Watching Battlestar Galactica via Netflix’s streaming service through the Xbox on the HDTVLiving in my cloud
Jenny Levine writes: “This weekend, I did something really cool (for me). I got to watch a March Madness game on my TV that CBS wasn’t showing in my local market, without paying the cable company. Life is full of short victories, and this is one of mine. More importantly, I realized I’m living in the heavenly jukebox I used to talk about in my presentations years ago. It started last August when I decided it was time to investigate a centralized backup solution.”...
The Shifted Librarian, Mar. 30; Atlantic, Sept. 2000

Google Buzz logoLawmakers ask for FTC investigation of Google Buzz
Eleven U.S. lawmakers have asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Google’s launch of its Buzz social-networking product for breaches of consumer privacy. The representatives—six Democrats and five Republicans from the House Energy and Commerce Committee—noted in their March 25 letter that Google’s roll-out of Buzz exposed private information of users to Google’s Gmail service to outsiders....
PC World, Mar. 29

Google and your social circle
Bobbi L. Newman writes: “Yesterday I noticed something new in my Google search. When I clicked on the link, ‘Results from people in your social circle for Google Social Search,’ it took me to a page that was just content from my Social Circle, whatever that means. There were a lot of names on that list, and there doesn’t seem to be a way to simply add or remove a person either. Frankly, I’m creeped out. I do not remember giving Gmail permission to go through my contacts and correlate them to other sites.”...
Librarian by Day, Mar. 30

21 tech secrets they don’t want you to know
Dan Tynan writes: “Who’s ‘they’? It could be Google or product manufacturers, your boss or your wireless carrier, Hollywood or Uncle Sam. Don’t despair. What don’t they want you to know? That your cell phone may be spying on you. That you’re probably paying too much for printer ink. That your PC may be coated with toxic flame retardants. For every dirty little secret revealed herein, we describe a fix or a way to work around it (if any exists). You don’t have to be a victim, if you know what to do.”...
PC World, Mar. 29

Panopticlick logoBrowser fingerprints: A big privacy threat
Erik Larkin writes: “A new type of tracking may identify you far more accurately than any cookie—and you may never know it was there. The method pulls together innocuous data about your browser, such as plug-ins, system fonts, and your operating system. Alone, they don’t identify you. Together, they’re a digital fingerprint. Test your browser for unique identifiers without the risk: The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy advocacy group, has set up an interesting online experiment at”...
PC World, Mar. 26; Electronic Frontier Foundation

Mirasol technology. A MEMS device moves a membrane to and from a stack of optical films, changing the wavelength of the light reflected. Illustration by Emily CooperThe electronic display of the future
Jason Heikenfeld writes: “No fewer than half a dozen different technologies are emerging from laboratories to compete to be the e-reader screen of the future—electrophoretic pixels, 3QI multimode, cholesteric LCD, mirasol, electrofluidic pixels, and photonic ink. The stakes are high: Research firm DisplaySearch estimates that the market will near $10 billion by 2018, powered by a compound annual growth rate of 41%.”...
IEEE Spectrum, Mar.

Laptop survey
Jeff Trzeciak writes: “McMaster University Library recently completed a brief and informal survey of users who borrow laptops from our libraries. Laptop circulation now accounts for around 33% of our total circulation, with reserves equaling one-third and traditional monograph circulation making up the other third. While it is quite clear that the service is popular, the library is having some difficulty sustaining the program. Circulating the laptops takes more time for our circulation staff than traditional circulation or reserves.”...
McMaster University Library, Mar. 27


A book from Apple iBookstore, as viewed on the iPadE-book sellers battle to win iPad customers
Nick Bilton writes: “When it comes to buying and selling books on the iPad, we’re about to witness a strange dance between those who make or sell electronic books and those who read them. On April 3, when customers pick up their fancy new Apple iPads and want to purchase an e-book, they will have to decide which online bookstore they want to give their money to. No matter which bookstore application iPad owners choose, they will have to download it first.”...
New York Times: Bits, Mar. 24

The next e-book device is already here
Joseph Esposito writes: “It was with great interest that I learned that the Kindle and Stanza are either ready (Kindle) or being readied (Stanza) for reading on a computer. The next big e-book device is the laptop. A laptop with Stanza running on it is no longer merely a laptop: It is now an e-book device and bookstore. What laptops have mostly lacked thus far are good software for the viewing of books, a large selection of titles to choose from, and a means to sell books efficiently to laptop users.”...
The Scholarly Kitchen, Mar. 29

Cover of The Earliest Diary of John Adams (Harvard University Press, 1966)The oldest work protected by U.S. copyright?
Mary Minow writes: “What is the oldest work still protected by copyright in the United States? And in what work will copyright endure the longest? These turn out to be much harder questions to answer than I thought. After some research, I suspect that the 1753 diary of John Adams is both the oldest work in the U.S. still protected by copyright and also the work whose federal copyright protection will expire the longest after creation; in this case, more than three centuries.”...
LibraryLaw Blog, Mar. 28

Cover of Railroad Detective on the Streamliner, by Chuck MalloyThe joys of train literature
L. D. Mitchell writes: “One of the most popular and collectible types of travel narrative revolves around trains. Books and train travel have, in many respects, grown up together. The long travel times that early train trips required gave passengers leisure to indulge in quite a bit of reading, a fact that was recognized early on by the development of cheap books like the yellowback and Routledge’s Railway Library series that were designed specifically for sale at railway bookstalls.” The Private Library continues with six more installments on train literature....
The Private Library, Mar. 21–27

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Actions & Answers

Cover of Opportunity for AllNational study: One-third of Americans use library computers
Nearly one-third of Americans age 14 or older—roughly 77 million people—used a public library computer or wireless network to access the internet in the past year, according to a new national report released March 25. The report, Opportunity for All: How the American Public Benefits from Internet Access at U.S. Libraries (PDF file), is the first large-scale study of who uses public computers and internet access in public libraries. It was conducted by the University of Washington Information School and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services....
University of Washington Information School, Mar. 25

Wikipedia's new link insertion dialog boxWikipedia redesign coming soon
In April, the Wikimedia Foundation will roll out the first of several significant changes to the Wikipedia user experience. The default look will change to a new theme called “Vector,” which will make essential functions easier to find. A new editing toolbar will make it easier to insert links and tables. Site navigation has also been simplified, and the search box has been relocated. Changes will roll out on Wikimedia Commons the week of April 5 and on the English Wikipedia later in the month....
Wikimedia Blog, Mar. 25

Wikipedia in LCSH
Jonathan Rochkind writes: “I’m probably noticing this later than everyone else, but I just did and found it amusing. Apparently Wikipedia is now an acceptable citation for source of information in an LCSH authority record. Who said librarians don’t like Wikipedia or find it an acceptable citation source?”...
Bibliographic Wilderness, Mar. 30

The teacher librarian enthusiast
Natasha Wanchek writes: “This is an exciting time to be a K–12 school librarian. Five years have passed since the Library 2.0 concept was coined in a blog, but only in the last couple years have school libraries fully started to embrace social networking and other 2.0 tools. For the advocates—many of whom are connected by learning networks—the enthusiasm for incorporating new technologies is palpable.”...
THE Journal, Mar. 25

Technicolor three-strip cameraTechnicolor donates archive to Eastman House
The George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester, New York, has acquired the historic archive of Technicolor dating from 1915 to 1974. The donation includes rare cameras, documents and drawings, photographs, printers and processing machines, corporate records, and other important materials that represent the history of Technicolor’s groundbreaking contributions to motion pictures. Technicolor, a trademark for a series of color film processes, was established with the goal of bringing natural color to motion pictures....
George Eastman House, Mar. 25

Women studying at the Diversity Research CenterNew Rutgers University Diversity Research Center
Rutgers University has opened a new Diversity Research Center in the John Cotton Dana Library on its Newark campus. The center will conduct research into the relationship between diversity and organizational performance, offer support for cross-disciplinary diversity research, create a special collection of diversity materials, and conduct its own LIS diversity research. Mark Winston will serve as Director of the Center....
Rutgers University, Mar. 29

Transforming Life after 50 logoTraining fellowships in serving older adults
Justine Shaffner writes: “Here is a free training opportunity that will teach you how to best serve your over-50 patrons, made available through a grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services and the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program. Although the 100 fellowship slots are primarily for librarians in leadership track positions at libraries in California, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, a limited number of fellowships are available to applicants from other states. The deadline for submissions for applicants from California and the Northwest is April 2, and for applicants elsewhere it’s May 3.”...
The Librarian is IN, Mar. 28; IMLS Western Regional Fellowship

Planning great library training sessions (PDF file)
Carol J. Schmitt writes: “Library training is a blessing and curse. While it gives librarians a chance to showcase their knowledge about services, products, and how the library can assist in meeting the organization’s needs, training also requires taking time out of everyone’s days and routines. It is the first thing everyone asks for and often the first thing that everyone tries to get out of.”...
AALL Spectrum 14, no. 6 (Apr.): 6–8

Cover of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle11 most surprising banned books
Jessie Kunhardt and Amy Hertz write: “Even though it’s not Banned Books Week, the issue of censorship is ever-present. While preparing this list, we found many that didn’t surprise us (Howard Stern’s Private Parts, The New Joy of Gay Sex, Judy Blume’s Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, and the one that’s been banned from the beginning, D. H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterleys Lover). But we found many that did, including the dictionary.”...
Huffington Post, Mar. 29

"Storms" "Under the Sea" "The Whales" "Fall" "On Their Side"Book spine poems for National Poetry Month
Travis Jonker writes: “April is National Poetry Month and at 100 Scope Notes, we’re celebrating in an appropriately bookish way. If you try book spine poetry with your students, send me the results and I will post them here for all to see and enjoy.”...
100 Scope Notes, Mar. 30

James Montgomery Flagg is best known for creating the iconic enlistment posters of Uncle Sam. This poster was created for the New York City Mayor's Committee, formed to assist with the war effort“Winds and Words of War” stir U.S. libraries
Nancy Mattoon writes: “A traveling library exhibit, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, spotlights a group of graphic artists and illustrators who used their talents to persuade citizens to stand with the soldiers during World War I and make sacrifices for the cause. The exhibit, ‘The Winds and Words of War,’ showcases images created by the Division of Pictorial Publicity, part of the Committee on Public Information of the U.S. government. More than 300 of America’s most famous illustrators, cartoonists, designers, and fine artists donated their services in 1917–1918.”...
Book Patrol, Mar. 31

Bugs takes a wrong turn at AlbuquerqueThe anatomy of library fail
Leigh Anne Vrabel writes: “Failure, in the context of library work, is an amusing intellectual concept because, even on our worst days nobody dies (usually) and nothing gets set on fire (normally). Those of us who work in urban public libraries frequently have more harrowing stories to tell; these, however, have less to do with personal failures or mistakes than they do with gaping holes in the larger social fabric. For the moment, we will concentrate on those individual moments of epic fail that stop us in our tracks and make us wonder if we took a wrong turn at Albuquerque (1:05).”...
Library Alchemy, Mar. 29; YouTube, June 21, 2008

My parallel universe
Will Manley writes: “Will, are you freaking nuts? That was the reaction of a number of people (librarians and non) when they learned from my Day in the Life of a Retired Librarian post that I was spending precious retirement time cataloging my own personal books. Will, are you double freaking nuts? That was the reaction when I explained to them that I had already cataloged my personal books, but that now I was doing a retrospective conversion of my catalog records from Dewey to Library of Congress.”...
Will Unwound, Mar. 26

Portion of the Periodic TablePeriodic table of science blogs
Science writer David Bradley has created a colorful Periodic Table of Science Blogs, matching each of 118 chemical elements with a particular blog. Each element is color-coded by topic—green for biology, gray for physics, purple for math, blue for medical, red for chemical, black for astronomy, and bronze for general science....
Sciencebase, Mar. 22

Whitney at JSTOR thanks the Facebook fansJSTOR thanks its Facebook fans
JSTOR, an online system for archiving academic journals, now has more than 50,000 fans of its Facebook page. This video (2:13) shows JSTOR staffers thanking its fans (in multiple languages) and telling a bit about the history of the organization....
JSTOR Facebook video, Mar. 29

The Tacoma Public Library BookaneersThe Tacoma Public Library Bookaneers
The book cart drill team from the Tacoma (Wash.) Public Library, the Bookaneers, put in a proud debut performance (2:05) at the Junior Daffodil Parade on March 27. “Hours and hours of practice paid off as the elite team dazzled the crowd with their precision and inventiveness,” as the TPL Facebook page put it....
YouTube, Mar. 30

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ALA Annual Conference, Washington, D.C., June 24–29. Participate in Libraries Build Communities on June 25, a day-long service effort to help local libraries and the community. All participants will be notified in advance of the various projects and be able to select one. Your registration fee will be contributed to local library funds. Lunch, transportation, and a participation T-shirt are included.

Choose Privacy Week Resource Guide

Choose Privacy Week, May 2–8, is a project of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom. Get ready for the event with posters, buttons, bookmarks, and a resource guide that offers suggestions for educating and engaging library users on privacy issues. NEW! From ALA Graphics.

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Youth Services Librarian, Ames (Iowa) Public Library. Will assist Children and Family Specialist develop collections, literacy-centered programs, and services for children and families in a customer-focused environment. This is a public-service position requiring a range of professional skills in reference, readers’ advisory, and library programming. Experience with teens and with digital resources, electronic communications, and Web 2.0 preferred. Full time; some evenings and weekends required....

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Digital Library of the Week

Lunar chart in Johannes Hevleius's Johannis Hevelii Selenographia sive lunae descriptio (1647)

The Swiss Electronic Library ( is a collaborative project of several Swiss research libraries to digitize rare historical and scientific works in their collections, especially Swiss imprints. It opened to the public in March 2010, and aims to make more than 10,000 works available by the end of 2011. Major partners are the Bibliothèque de Genève, ETH-Bibliothek Zürich, University of Basel Library, University of Bern Library, and the Zürich Central Library. Other participating libraries are the University of Neuchâtel, Bibliothèque des Pasteurs, and the university libraries of Lausanne and Fribourg. Three collections are currently online: Swiss imprints of the 16th century, which includes important works in the history of the Reformation; the astronomical collection of the ETH-Bibliothek Zürich; and the architecture and urban planning collection of the ETH-Bibliothek Zürich.

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.

Public Perception
How the World
Sees Us

With fewer visitors, less books being checked out, and inflation of printing prices, libraries today cannot compete with our ‘desktop libraries’; It is a grim realization for those still attached to that industry. Libraries, like Eureeka’s Castle, are another piece of the Generation Y childhood that is disappearing. Library cards are going to end up on Ebay and Pawn Stars 50 years from now, and our grandchildren will probably question us about their very existence. It is not a ‘story book’ ending for such a traditional information outlet.”

—College graduate and sports enthusiast Mike Danielczyk, in a guest blog post, “My Library Card Expired, Why I Am Okay with It,” A New Generation, Mar. 26. Read the numerous responses.

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Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association, Joint Conference, St. Louis, Mar. 31–Apr. 3, at:

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


Apr. 9–10:
Empire State Book Festival,
Crowne Plaza, Albany, New York.

Apr. 21:
Louisiana Library Legislative Day,
Louisiana Library Association, Baton Rouge.

Apr. 21–25:
Society of Architectural Historians,
Annual Meeting, Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza, Chicago.

May 1:
Heritage Preservation.

May 2–8:
Choose Privacy Week.

May 9–15:
ALA Preservation Week.

May 11–14:
American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works,
Annual Meeting, Hyatt Regency Milwaukee.

May 15:
BookCamp Toronto,
University of Toronto iSchool.

May 16–19:
Care and Identification of Photographs workshop,
Iowa State University Library, Ames.

May 25–26:
Tectonics of Digital Curation,
Ray and Maria Stata Center, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge. Presented by the Northeast Document Conservation Center.

May 25–27:
conference on professional information resources, Prague, Czech Republic.

June 13–16:
Special Libraries Association,
Annual Conference, Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans. Husband-and-wife political commentators James Carville and Mary Matalin will deliver the opening keynote address June 13.

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