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WORK FLOW Integrated Technology

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APRIL 2008


Indianapolis– Marion County Public Library



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Beautiful Spotlight on Design & Construction

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Going Green: Environmentally Friendly Design Restoration and Transformation: Cases in Point

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April 2008

Features 40


Three environmentally friendly libraries illustrate a county’s commitment to sustainable design BY DOROTHY WATERFILL TROTTER



A private library in a historic house presents special restoration challenges BY LINDSAY E. SHANNON



At the Jenna Welch and Laura Bush Community Library, college students share library space with teens, babies, and grandparents BY YOUNG C. JACKSON AND HELEN BELL





Local community celebrities breathe new life into ALA’s quarter-century-old tradition BY SUSAN DIMATTIA


68 44



A glass-and-steel enclosure leads the way inside the upgraded 1914 Beaux Arts Central Library of the Indianapolis–Marion County Public Library. Renovation and addition by Woollen, Molzan and Partners. American Libraries’ Library Design Showcase features 27 new and refurbished facilities serving academe, the public, and schoolchildren.

Cover photo by Woollen, Molzan and Partners Design by Jennifer Palmer

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APRIL 2008



VOLUME 39 #4


ISSN 0002-9769


27 30






Go, Team!


Isn’t It Keeping Up







76 78


79 80

News 12 18 38


WORKING KNOWLEDGE Failure to Perform


LIBRARIAN’S LIBRARY To Share or Not to Share




The Mystery of the Green Cover










The Sharin’ of the Green BY LEONARD KNIFFEL Circle of Knowledge






34 35



Letters and Comments

Global Warming and Us



Unproductive at Last





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CAREER LEADS FROM JOBLIST Your #1 Source for Job Openings

3/17/2008 9:11:23 AM

From the Editor | CONTRIBUTORS

Lindsay E. Shannon (“Makeover at the Mansion,” p. 64) is curator and registrar at the Blanden Art Museum in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Just after graduating from Richmond, the American University in London, England, with a master’s in art history in May 2006, she served as a library preservation intern for the Salisbury House Foundation in the summer of 2006. She wrote about her preservation work in Archival Products News (vol. 13, no. 4), and is the editor of Kate Javens: American Beasts (Blanden Art Museum, 2008), an art book showcasing Javens’s paintings and photography. Young C. Jackson (“Learning Side By Side,” p. 68) is head librarian at the School-age Parent Center of the El Paso Independent School District and part-time librarian at El Paso Community College. She was a 2006 Fulbright Scholar in Japan and the recipient of a Saudi Arabia Grant in 2005. She received her MLS from Texas Woman’s University in 1986. Coauthor Helen Bell (right) is a retired EL Paso ISD librarian working part-time at El Paso Community College. She worked as head of reference at the University of Texas at El Paso and was a 1994 Fulbright Scholar in Moscow. She received her MLS from George Peabody College at Vanderbilt University in 1971.


Susan S. DiMattia (“Homegrown Superstars Say READ to Succeed,” p. 70) is a consultant, writer, and educator living in Connecticut. From 1988 to 2004, she was editor of Library Hotline, published by Reed Business Information. She was also a founding editor of Corporate Library Update. She served as president of the Special Libraries Association in 1999–2000.

april 2008


hroughout the past year, beautiful photographs and florid descriptions of dozens of library building projects have flowed into the American Libraries editorial offices. The sheer number of submissions (more than 70) has been gratifying, despite the ongoing funding dilemmas that await many of the 27 fabulous facilities featured in the showcase, especially school libraries and our cover choice, the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library (AL, Mar., p. 23). One important trend has been the move toward environmentally friendly construction, or the greening of libraries, a phenomenon examined in this month’s lead feature by Dorothy Waterfill Trotter (p. 40), who documents how Durham County (N.C.) Library’s efforts to move away from the traditional main library/small branch model to a regional system has provided an opportunity to incorporate One important green building principles. This year’s showcase (p. 44) includes a number of building trend has libraries that have gone notably green. Built on a been the move brownfield site, Hastings (Mich.) Public Library is toward environtargeted to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification. Conmentalism. tributing to the library’s high rating are low-VOC (volatile organic compound) furnishings and finishes, linoleum tabletops, condensing gas boilers, an underfloor air distribution system, vegetative roofs in the turrets, and toilet partitions made of recycled milk jugs. Ramsey County (Minn.) Public Library architects were able to preserve more than half of the existing trees on the site through careful construction staging and building orientation. The landscaping features rain gardens and native grasses to filter runoff and reduce irrigation requirements. And the 40-foot windmill in front of San Antonio Public Library’s John Igo branch functions as a gathering area and helps to power the building’s water circulation pump. Also in this issue, Lindsay E. Shannon looks at the restoration of the magnificent Salisbury House and Gardens in Des Moines, Iowa (p. 64). By the time it was completed in 1928, the home of cosmetics tycoon Carl Weeks had cost $3 million to build, exceeding the amount spent to complete Yankee Stadium just five years earlier. Modeled after King’s House in Salisbury, England, in 1998 the house became the property of the Salisbury House Foundation, which operates the site as a historic mansion museum, providing public access to its many treasures, including Weeks’s private library, which contains more than 3,000 rare books and manuscripts. Highlighting a college library’s transformation into a joint-use community resource (p. 68), Young C. Jackson and Helen Bell explain how the library at El Paso (Tex.) Community College has created a joint-use facility where college students share space with teens, babies, and grandparents.  z


by Leonard Kniffel

Dorothy Waterfill Trotter (“Going for the Green,” p. 40) is an independent public relations practitioner and freelance writer in Charlotte, North Carolina. Her articles have appeared in a variety of area publications. She received the Public Relations Society of America/ Charlotte Chapter’s Infinity Award for lifetime achievement in 2002. Her work with developers and architectural firms, including the Freelon Group, has encouraged her interest in environmentally friendly design.

american libraries 

The Sharin’ of the Green

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Masthead | Ad Index What’s new on

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indexed 1996–2007 index at Available full text from ProQuest, EBSCO Publishing, H. W. Wilson, LexisNexis, and Information Access. Full-text searchable database of 2003–2007 issues available online free to ALA personal members. reprints Glen Holliday, Reprint Department, 2137 Embassy Dr., Suite 202, Lancaster, PA 17603, 800-259-0470, subscribe Libraries and other institutions: $70/year, 10 issues, U.S., Canada, and Mexico; foreign: $80. Subscription price for individuals included in ALA membership dues. 800-545-2433 x5108, e-mail, or visit Claim missing issues: ALA Member and Customer Service. Allow six weeks. Single issues $7.50, with 40% discount for five or more. published American Libraries (ISSN 0002-9769) is published 10 times yearly by the American Library Association (ALA). Printed in U.S.A. Periodicals postage paid at Chicago, Illinois, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Personal members: Send address changes to American Libraries, c/o Membership Records, ALA, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611. ©2008 American Library Association. Materials in this journal may be reproduced for noncommercial educational purposes.


Library of Congress | 39 MaintainIT Project | 67 Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle | 60 ProQuest Information and Learning | 7 Shepley Bulfinch | 63 SenSource | 29 SirsiDynix | Cover 2 Tech Logic | 66 The Library Corporation | Cover 4 Vitetta Architects & Engineers | 63 Wallace Roberts & Todd | 63 American Library Association: Conference Services | 31, 36–37 Graphics | 82 Public Information Office | 9, 15, 16


american libraries 


april 2008

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3/17/2008 3:09:16 PM

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03/10/2008 1:24:18 PM

ALA | President’s Message

Circle of Knowledge Sap Boiling Moon Month or Iskigamizige-Giizis

p. 12). The deadline is April 21. Winhelp cancer survivors learn about the ners will be selected by a panel of physical and emotional effects of library and gaming experts and will be cancer, its treatment, and day-to-day featured on ALA’s website. A special management. Additional Notebooks, recognition program will take place at complete with worksheets to record the open gaming night event during cancer experiences and life stories of Annual Conference in Anaheim. cancer survivors, can be ordered at The fifth ALA–Allied Professional Association National Library WorkWhile every day is a day to celeers Day (NLWD), celebrated annually brate children and reading, over 400 on the Tuesday of NLW, will take libraries around the country will obplace April 15. Last year the ALA-APA serve El día de los niños/El día de los received nearly 600 submissions that libros on or around April 30. ALA’s recognized library staff We are acknowledging the members as local 50th anniversary of NLW. Visit stars in providing for ideas on how exemplary service. I encourage to mark this anniversary with you to acknowlcustomized products. edge your colleagues in this easy and meaningful way. For more Association for Library Service to information, visit for Children is the national home for ideas on how libraries across the Día. The event, the brainchild of aucountry are celebrating. thor Pat Mora, is cosponsored by the A free downloadable NLWD ALA affiliate Reforma. Visit www.ala poster is also available. A new for more information. ture for 2008 asks libraries to share This month will find me at the how they support worker health ini- National Center for Family Literacy tiatives, a topic in line with my conference in Louisville, Kentucky, presidential wellness initiative. as well as at state library conferencContinue your support of library es in Texas, Oklahoma, and New workers each day, especially on ­Jersey. I will also travel to Calgary, Equal Pay Day, April 22, when we Alberta, for the Canadian Library acknowledge the salary differential Association’s 60th Annual Conferbetween women and men. ence and Trade Show. I look forward I am proud to announce a recent to seeing you and hearing from you collaboration with the Lance Armalong the way.  z strong Foundation. Public libraries ALA President Loriene Roy is professor will receive two free copies of the at the University of Texas at Austin’s School Livestrong Survivorship Notebooks with of Information. She is enrolled on the White Earth Reservation, a member of the Minnesota reference information designed to Chippewa Tribe.


american libraries 


april 2008


pril is School Library Media Month and is also a time of new and continuing celebrations. Support Teen Literature Day will be recognized April 17. It is designed as an opportunity to support literature written for teen readers, including the Young Adult Library Services Association’s Michael L. Printz Award winners as well as titles recognized as the ALA division’s Best Books for Young Adults, Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, and Great Graphic Novels for Teens. The 50th anniversary of National Library Week (NLW), April 13–19, celebrates the contributions of libraries, librarians, and library workers in schools, campuses, and communities nationwide. This year’s annual event carries the theme “Join the circle of knowledge @ your library” reflecting my interest in developing a yearlong celebration of community, collabora­tion, and culture. Stage, screen, and television star Julie Andrews is serving as 2008 NLW honorary chair. Visit for ideas on how to mark this anniversary with customized products. On April 18, the NLW focus will be on gaming. Libraries are invited to celebrate by hosting a variety of gaming events, including board game competitions, Guitar Hero and Dance Dance Revolution tournaments, as well as intergenerational Wii programs. Consider entering your gaming activities for a 2008 ALA Presidential Citation for Gaming, Learning, and Libraries (AL, Mar.,

by Loriene Roy

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02/05/2008 4:54:32 PM

ALA | National Library Week

Seven Special Days Library workers of the world, my hat’s off to you!

The world is full Please don’t misYoung of magical places, understand. I love readers and the library has the world of filmed need the always been one of entertainment and them for me. A storytelling, and the human library can be that internet is an touch, the special place for extraordinary guidance and caring of resource. But those our children. But along with an things cannot and trained professionals, inviting and safe should not replace if they are to enjoy a environment, the joy of reading. young readers need lifetime of learning. And a library takes the human touch, the gift of reading the guidance and caring of trained one step further by offering personprofessionals, if they are to enjoy the alized learning opportunities second lifetime of learning and literacy we all to none, a powerful antidote to the wish for. isolation of the Web. Thanks to you, library use is up As part of my role as National nationwide, continuing a decadeLibrary Week chair, I have helped long trend. American libraries are a create a series of public service vital community resource, filling an announcements for radio, television, educational role that is unique in the and print. These ads are available for world, delivering everything from your use on the American Library homework help to literacy tutoring. Association website. It’s my sincere I also understand that many hope that you will download them and libraries, especially in schools, are use them to promote National Library struggling in the face of funding Week in your community (see p. 12). shortages. I want to do my part to I have been enormously fortunate help the public understand what a in my professional career to receive mistake it is to cut support for the kind of media attention that has libraries and education. given me the opportunity to become In today’s electronic media–driven an advocate for literacy, a privilege I world, children run the risk of do not take lightly. I am deeply becoming very isolated. I worry that honored to help champion this cause. we are spoon-feeding our young I applaud the work you do and the people such a steady diet of manufac- difference you are making in the lives tured slices of life that all they have to of children, a difference that will do is receive, rather than participate sustain them for a lifetime.  z in any way. The strength of reading is that it Legendary entertainer Julie Andrews is also the author or coauthor of 20 books asks us to engage, to use our imaginachildren of all ages. Her autobiography, tions, and to play an active role in our for Home: A Memoir of My Early Years, will be published this month by Hyperion. environment.


american libraries 


april 2008


appy National Library Week, everybody. As honorary chair of this year’s celebration, part of my responsibility is to thank you, the library workers of the world, for all that you do throughout the year. As a mother and grandmother, one of my greatest pleasures in life has been watching the children learn and grow. It has never been clearer than now, at a time when our young people are bombarded with so many distractions, that reading and literacy, open inquiry and creativity, are essential to that core American value: the pursuit of happiness. Now more than ever children need the skills necessary to make good judgments about the sometimes overwhelming amount of information and entertainment that is available in their lives today. Your profession represents and promotes the kind of independent learning and thinking that equips children to take their places in the world as productive and fulfilled adults. As the author of children’s books for over 30 years, I am infinitely grateful for the way that libraries help connect me to readers everywhere. This has also enabled me and my daughter and frequent coauthor, Emma Walton Hamilton, to expand the Julie Andrews Collection publishing program by bringing back into print some lovely classic stories such as The Little Grey Men by Denys Watkins-Pitchford, which is as timeless today as it was when it enchanted me as a little girl in England many more years ago than I can believe!

by Julie Andrews

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@ your library


Celebrate the 50 anniversary of National Library Week, April 13-19, 2008 th

Julie Andrews 2008 Honorary Chair

Developed by The Campaign for America’s Libraries. Download this and other Julie Andrews PSAs from the National Library Week Web page at

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03/17/2008 11:09:10 AM

OPINION | Reader Forum

Letters and Comments Overvaluing the Virtual I can appreciate Lisa Forrest’s skepticism about Second Life (Mar., p. 11). I, too, am a forward-thinking librarian but am reluctant to give up teaching users to find and use information in the real world—there’s far too much to be lost. The constant argument for a virtual library world is that we must charm a generation of kids raised on PlayStation and X-box. At what point in the past 30 years did kids get to dictate what they will and will not learn? They were born digital, so they can’t learn to use books? Well, they were born unable to walk but we don’t cart them around in strollers for the rest of their lives, do we? They learn to walk and are able to discover the world on their own. And like walking, which babies learn to do instinctively, I believe that students have an inherent desire to learn—it just needs to be fostered by parents and educators. In an overzealous and shortsighted attempt to appease students, I hate to think that we’re neglecting to teach them to use resources that will offer them a larger view of the information that is available in the real world (much of it digital!). So they fall down a few times. We know—and believe they will discover—that it’s well worth it.

This year our library budget is just over $200,000. We cannot afford the membership fee for joining ALA. My colleagues tell me that because of membership prices, they have not joined in years. Rather, they just join in the director’s name. The price of the combined packet of children’s/young adult book award winner stickers is ridiculous. When I was in a larger library, I purchased some of your stickers. I cannot do this in a small library. Next year I may have no money for books and may have to lay off personnel to the point of only having one employee at a time in each building. Also, I would like to purchase many of your publications, but they are much too expensive. I have worked with the publishing world and know there are cheap and inexpensive ways to produce publications. Isn’t there some way that ALA can better meet the needs of libraries? Are you only concerned with having highly inflated salaries for all of your employees? I just cannot remember when I have heard anyone say anything positive about ALA. I thought your job was to be responsive to the membership. Sherry Inabinet Middlesex County (Va.) Public Library

Kathleen Collins John Jay College of Criminal Justice

ALA Prices Not Inclusive I am very frustrated with ALA. Are you becoming a total for-profit organization with little thought for the average public library? Do you really understand the needs of all types of libraries or are you just concerned about large city libraries and academic libraries?

Utah Puts Students First After reading your “Putting Students First” article (Jan./Feb., p. 56–59), I realized that we have used all the steps mentioned in our successful bid to procure funds for school library books from the Utah state legislature.

Rebecca Simmons Granite School District Salt Lake City

At the Reference Desk Kudos to Joseph Janes for exposing one of our sleeping giants, the National Union Catalog Pre-1956 Imprints (Jan./Feb., p. 34). Fifty years later, as I hoisted those volumes for assignments from my reference course, I learned the lessons listed by Mr. Janes, but I also learned more. Lessons learned include a greater appreciation for the reference tools available to us today. This is similar to the appreciation of the word processor by those of us who pecked out our

The editors welcome letters about recent contents or matters of general interest. Letters should be limited to 300 words. Send to; fax 312-440-0901; or American Libraries, Reader Forum, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611-2795.


american libraries 


april 2008

New York City

Last year we were apportioned $2 million in one-time funding, and this year we received $1.5 million in ongoing funding for books. We are going back this year with a request for $1.7 million to pay for professional librarians in elementary schools who apply and come up with matching funds. We used the Scholastic study and we talked about test scores and collaboration. As we met with people, we had to consistently have them discard the childhood memories of librarians and talk about today’s librarians. We met with members of the school board, the district superintendents, and the PTA. Our efforts were very grassroots, as I began just by calling my local representative. If you would like more information on how we did this, feel free to contact me at rebecca

0408_Letters.indd 10

3/17/2008 9:21:00 AM

I think we should try to improve reference service at local libraries. Most refer­ence librarians are nice people, but they are not very proficient in computer skills. I once asked for a phone number for the New Jersey public advocate and rather than simply Googling that title, the librarian spent a long time searching some database. He finally gave me the wrong number. I also asked another librarian for a phone number for an out-of-state library, and she looked up the American Library Directory rather than Googling the name of the town. She had this amateurish attitude. A second informational request was met with “You live nearby. Why don’t you come in and look it up?” I know that some people worry that the computer is too impersonal, but the job of reference librarian depends on speed and accuracy. David K. So Caldwell, New Jersey

The Worth of Old Stuff Looking back on my life as a librarian, in light of a recent list of obsolete

Compass Read Changes View Your article on the Golden Compass controversy focuses on the film adaptation and not the entire trilogy (Jan./Feb., p. 20). As a middle school librarian, I recently read the entire trilogy and changed my views on the matter. Also, the news stories focus on Canada, but here in Austin, Texas, the diocese removed the book from all 18 Catholic

Continue the conversation at

Austin, Texas

Teen Reading Views Disputed Michael Cart’s October 2007 cover story, “Teens and the Future of Reading” (p. 52–54) needs a heavy dose of better and more relevant data to deflate its optimism about teen reading. Perhaps Cart could have delayed publishing his article until he had an opportunity to review the document referenced as the National Endowment for the Arts study, which we now know as “To Read or Not to Read: A Question of National Consequence.” Yes, teens do read wikis, blogs, text messages, and, when pressed hard, the instructions for video games. Cart might have added that they also read stop signs, fast-food menu boards, and maybe, subtitles on non-English-language DVDs and nutrition labels on food packages—although the last two might be a stretch. But, so what? Without sustained reading for ideas the ability to discriminate among ideas, and to read communication, not just messaging, a heretofore vigorously literate culture, such as ours, will necessarily decline into a post-literate illiteracy dependent on a thinking, reading oligarchy to tell us what to do. Perhaps the Young Adult Library Services Association needs to do less happy fiddling and concentrate more on fireproofing their adolescent colleagues. Joseph McDonald Bethel College Library McKenzie, Tennessee. Correction: American Libraries apologizes for the misspelling of Mahatma Gandhi’s name in the March issue (p. 61). The error resulted from a change made in haste during the final proofreading stage, and the editors regret any embarrassment this caused our readers.



J. B. Post Paoli, Pennsylvania

Sara Stevenson O. Henry Middle School

april 2008

University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa

schools with no review process. It didn’t even make the news. I wonder how many Catholic schools around the United States made similar moves?


Muriel K. Wells School of Library and Information Studies

skills in the field published on ACRLog, I was thinking that even the goals have often changed. The new wave of electronic information is a good thing, but when it is at the expense of older collections, it may not be as good as it seems at first. Weeding collections, in light of new demands and reevaluations of the purpose of an institution, is necessary as what was once central becomes outof-scope. Selling collection materials at auction, rather than finding an institu­ tion that could use the material, may be an immediate solution but not one of long-term social value. Old stuff still has informational value even if the way to access it seems quaint and tedious. Collection-building used to be a highly prized activity, but with easy access to at least superficial data on just about everything available online, that skill is no longer seen as necessary. Ditto for the organizing of the collections. I consider it a decline and a back-step in the field when instead of two units in a library system arguing over which should have certain materials with each claiming such materials as their bailiwick, the units argue that certain material is not on their table and someone else should acquire it. Others may see this as realism and accepting the current conditions. I don’t. Luckily, I am officially retired and what I think has no standing.

american libraries 

undergraduate papers on electric or even manual typewriters. I learned that each great thing to come down the pike is but a stepping stone to the next. Ever try to cross a creek and miss one of the stepping stones? I learned the lesson intended by my professor Margaret Dalton: Not everything is in WorldCat. Furthermore, not everything will be in whatever replaces WorldCat. And, one more thing, lift a Pre-1956 Imprints volume several times and you just may be able to give up your gym membership.

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3/17/2008 9:21:12 AM


New Study Reaffirms School Library, Academic Link


LA President Loriene Roy said preliminary results from recent Syracuse University School of Information Studies research proves, yet again, how important school libraries and certified school library media specialists are in the education process, The report indicates that language test scores in New York State schools with certified librarians are higher than in those schools without librarians, The research was conducted on schools that administered the English Language Arts test to 4th-graders statewide covering several language skills, including reading, writing, and listening. Preliminary findings indicated a

10-point increase of test scores in America. The legislation would be schools with library media specialincluded in the reauthorization of ists. the No Child Left Behind Act now Roy said these under consideration results are “why by Congress. legislation, like the The New York “Legislation, like SKILLs Act, is so Library Association the SKILLs Act, is important for the reports that certified so important for school library media future of our naspecialists are only tion’s children and the future of our mandated for grades would solve the crination’s children.” 7–12, not at the elesis facing school – Loriene Roy mentary level. NYLA libraries.” reports that there are Library advocates currently 568,924 across the nation K–12 students who do not have acare supporting the Strengthening cess to a certified school library meKids’ Interest in Learning and Lidia specialist. braries (SKILLs) Act, which would For more information, visit www place a state-certified school library media specialist in every school in

Legendary entertainer and children’s author Julie Andrews (see p. 8) is serving as honorary chair of the 50th observance of National Library Week, “Join the circle of knowledge @ your library,” April 13–19. Andrews stars in a series of free downloadable online public service announcements available at www Broadcast-quality tapes are also available for purchase. She is also the author or coauthor of 20 books. Her latest, Home: A Memoir of My Early Years, will be released by Hyperion this month.

In addition to the Andrews’ PSAs, the NLW website offers promotional tools, including a sample proclamation, press release, radio PSA scripts, and letter-tothe-editor. All documents are available in both English and Spanish and can be customized for local use. National Library Workers Day, sponsored by the ALA–Allied Professional Association, is April 15. Nominees for special NLWD Stars are being accepted as well as input on library programming, equipment, and benefits that are helping to improve staff health. Visit www for more information.

The 2008 National Library Week poster, bookmarks, and digital art files illustrate how knowledge comes full circle at the library. To purchase, visit


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april 2008

National Library Week Celebrates 50 Years

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Ethnic Caucuses Plan for JCLC II Members of the Joint Conference of Libraries of Color II Steering Committee gather during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia to plan for a second event. The first conference, in Fort Worth, Texas, in 2006, drew more than 1,100 (AL, Sept., p. 34–35). The committee comprises representatives from all of ALA’s ethnic caucuses. Conference dates and location are still to be determined.

World Book award for info literacy World Book and ALA announce the creation of the new World Book/ALA Information Literacy Goal Award, which will provide $5,000 each annually to a public library and a school library literacy program. The award is designed to encourage innovative and effective information literacy programs in schools as well as public libraries, particularly programs focused on users who are likely to need the most help to obtain access to information, in print or digital form. The new award replaces the former World Book–ALA Goal Grant Award, which was established in 1960. The award will be presented during the 2009 ALA Annual Con-

ference in Chicago. Nominations will be taken from June 1 through December 1. Visit and click on “Awards and Scholarships” for more information.

Coutts Award in electronic resources ALA’s Association for Library Collections and Technical Services will present the first Coutts Award for Innovation in Electronic Resources Management, sponsored by Coutts Information Services. The $2,000 award recognizes significant and innovative contributions to electronic collections management and development practice. The first award will be presented during the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim. For more information, visit


ALA’s Reference and User Services Association is working with WGBH Boston on a national outreach campaign for The Truth about Cancer, which will air April 16 on PBS. The 90-minute documentary, followed by a 30-minute expert panel hosted by journalist and cancer survivor Linda Ellerbee, is the launching pad for events and projects across the country focused on creating community conversations around cancer survivorship. Libraries are encouraged to reach out to their local PBS stations for collaboration on events surrounding the film. WGBH is also asking libraries to work with its national

new ALA Awards

april 2008

Free Cancer Film Toolkit Available

available at A limited number of free outreach toolkits, including two event posters and a DVD screener with 30 minutes of the film and the full expert panel, are available to libraries that request them. Libraries are asked to not hold public screenings using the DVD screener until one week prior to the premiere broadcast. Materials


ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy in Washington, D.C., has received a $385,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to fund major digital copyright programs and initiatives to strengthen public access to information, especially in libraries. The grant, covering calendar years 2008 and 2009, will fund such OITP activities as the International Copyright Advocates, the Copyright Advisory Network, and strategic assessment of technological and societal trends to enable proactive action by the library community. For more information, visit washoff/.

outreach partners on this project, including the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the John Wayne Cancer Foundation, the Lance Armstrong Foundation, the YMCA of the USA, and the Coalition of Cancer Cooperative Groups. WGBH is offering online resources, including downloadable handouts,

american libraries 

MacArthur Funds OITP Projects

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NEWS | ALA are limited and available on a firstcome, first-serve basis via online requests.

Calendar ALA Events Apr. 13–19: National Library Week. “Join the circle of knowledge @ your library.” nlw. Includes National Library Workers Day, Apr. 15, National Gaming in Libraries Day, Apr. 18, and School Library Media Month, throughout April. May 13–14: Legislative Day, Washington, D.C. www .ala .org/washoff. June 26–July 2: ALA Annual Conference, Anaheim. Sept. 18–20: Association for Library Service to Children Institute, Salt Lake City. Sept. 27–Oct. 4: Banned Books Week. www.ala .org/bbooks.

Jan. 23–28: ALA Midwinter Meeting, Denver. www Visit alonline/calendar/calendar .cfm for American Libraries’ full calendar of library events.

Libraries across the country will join Dora the Explorer, ALA’s Association for Library Service to Children, and the ALA affiliate Reforma in celebrating El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day), also known as Día, on April 30. Día celebrates the importance of advocating literacy for every child, regardless of linguistic and cultural background. Dora the Explorer, the children’s television character who invites children to share her adventures in learning, is featured in the 2008 Día brochure, poster, and bookmark.­ For a brochure featuring multicultural book lists and tips on how to encourage children to read, visit dia. Libraries that register their Día events through the website will receive copies of the complimentary brochure, while supplies last. In addition, posters and bookmarks can be purchased from ALA Graphics at

Booklist, Book Links Launch E-Newsletters

Booklist Publications is now offering two new free e-newsletters. Booklist Online’s REaD Alert, sent on the same day that the latest issue of the magazine is published online, features quick links to a handpicked selection of book reviews, features, and special Web-only content from Booklist Online. Sign up for REaD Alert at www Book Links Quick Tips highlights one theme in each monthly issue, from poetry to mysteries to picture books, as well as recommended book

lists, author features, techniques to help connect children and books, and links to recommended websites. Sign up for Quick Tips at www.ala .org/booklinks.

School Library Month Spokesperson Named

Carmen Agra Deedy, award-winning author of Martina the Beautiful Cockroach: A Cuban Folktale, is national spokesperson for April’s observance of School Library Media Month, sponsored by ALA’s American Association of School Librarians. Deedy has been writing and telling stories for almost 20 years. Her latest book was named a 2008 ALA Association for Library Service to Children Pura Belpré honor book and has been recognized as a notable book by the National Council for the Social Studies and the Children’s Book Council. School Library Media Month, begun in 1985, and is celebrated in conjunction with National Library Week , April 13-19. For more information, visit

TRW Author Contest Winner Announced

Elizabeth Kahn, librarian at Patrick F. Taylor Science and Technology Academy in Jefferson, Louisiana, is the winner of the ALA Young Adult Library Services Association’s Teen Read Week Win a Visit with Tiffany Trent Contest, courtesy of Mirrorstone Books, a subsidiary of Wizards of the Coast, Inc. Trent, the creator of the Hallowmere series for teens, visited the school March 7, during Teen Tech Week.


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april 2008

Nov. 7–9: Young Adult Library Services Association Young Adult Literature Symposium. www

Dora to Help Libraries Celebrate Día

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roy receives warm aloha Kahn’s winning application detailed how her library hosted “LOL @ PFTSTA” during TRW. Each student received a daily e-mail with information on TRW and students submitted jokes to the library for a daily prize. In addition to other contests, each student received a copy of Zipped and The Boyfriend List. Visit for more information.

New “Step Up to the Plate” Season Begins

ALA President Loriene Roy (left) shares a copy of American Libraries with Keikilani Meyer, director of Alu Like’s Native Hawaiian Library. Roy was part of the February 19 “Welcome to a Gathering of Readers” program—one of several island visits—at Ka Waihona O Ka Naauao Public Charter School in Wahiawa, Hawaii.

american libraries 


Photo: Analu Josephides


april 2008

ALA and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum are teaming up to promote season three of “Step Up to the Plate @ your library,” celebrating the 100th anniversary of the song Take Me Out to the Ball Game. Librarians are invited to visit to register for free promotional tools to help promote the program locally. Tools in-

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NEWS | ALA clude program logos in both English and Spanish and a toolkit that includes sample press materials and programming ideas. Librarians who bring in the most entries can also win incentives for participation in the program. People of all ages are encouraged to visit their library and answer a series of trivia questions inspired by the song. One grand-prize winner will receive a trip to the Hall of Fame in October.

2008 Amelia Bloomer Book List Available

ALA’s Social Responsibilities Round Table Feminist Task Force has released its 2008 Amelia Bloomer list of books for beginning, middle, and young adult readers. The annual fiction and nonfiction compilation is named for the American women’s rights and temperance

advocate who created the loose “bloomer” for women’s wearing comfort. It is designed to provide titles that will challenge today’s young women to take a new look feminism. For a complete list of the 32 titles, visit

Authors Slated for Annual Speaker Series

ALA’s Annual Conference Auditorium Speaker Series will feature eight speakers—Stephen Cannell, Vernon Jordan, Greg Mortenson, Don Borchert, T. Berry Brazelton, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sally Ride, and Tam O’Shaughnessy. Cannell, an Emmy award–winning writer/producer and chairman of Cannell Studios, will kick off the series June 28 followed by Vernon Jordan, author of Make it Plain, a history and an embodiment of black speech. Jordan is a senior managing

director of Lazard Frères and Co. in New York City. Later in the day, Mortenson, coauthor of the New York Times bestseller Three Cups of Tea, will speak. He is cofounder of the Pennies for Peace project, and the nonprofit Central Asia Institute. On June 29, author and librarian Don Borchert (Free for All: Oddballs, Geeks, and Gangstas in the Public Library), will be the first speaker of the day, followed by Sally Ride and Tam O’Shaughnessy, coauthors of You Go, Girl! Girls (and Boys) Can Make a Difference for Our Planet. The June 30 series will open with the Association for Library Service to Children’s President’s Program featuring Dr. T. Berry Brazelton. He will discuss Touchpoints, a method of understanding and participating in family development.

Register Today! Join ALA and libraries across the country as they Step Up to the Plate @ your library . ®

This year, Step Up to the Plate is a whole new “ball game,” commemorating the 100th anniversary of the classic song “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”

One lucky winner will receive a trip for two to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. Prizes are also available for librarians who participate. For more information and free downloadable promotional materials, register today at


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april 2008

Two American classics - libraries and baseball - team up to promote information literacy by encouraging fans of all ages to test their knowledge of baseball trivia. Questions are built around themes in the famous tune, including ballparks, baseball in popular culture, fan experience and baseball pioneers.

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YALSA Symposium Registration Underway

Celebrate Reading and Diversity This month libraries across the country will celebrate El día de los niños/ El día de los libros. Held annually on April 30, Día promotes the importance of advocating literacy for every child, regardless of linguistic and cultural background. Through celebrations, libraries showcase their multicultural programs and services. While supplies last, ALSC is providing complimentary bilingual brochures featuring Dora the Explorer that include recommended book lists and tips on how to encourage children to read (see p. 14). The brochures are available to libraries that register their Día events, searchable by state, at

Kids! Campaign ALSC’s “Kids! @ your library” public awareness campaign will host “Kids & Ever-Cool: Find Them Together @ your library” June 28 from 10:30 a.m. to noon, during ALA’s Annual Conference in Anaheim. Keynoter Gene Del Vecchio, author of Creating Ever-Cool: A Marketer’s Guide to a Kid’s Heart, will share insights on the emotional needs of children and timely trends in their world, to help librarians develop better products, services, and marketing. To learn more, visit

Youth Service Focus The ALSC National Institute will take place September 18–20 in Salt Lake City. Educational tracks will focus on technology and children’s services, programming in the new millennium, and inspiring lifelong reading with the best of the best in children’s books. The first “Breakfast for Bill,” remembering Bill Morris, longtime ALSC member and advocate for children’s librarians and literature, will feature a panel of children’s book creators. Registration opens in May. Visit and click on Events and Conferences. —Laura Schulte-Cooper, program officer

Each month the Association’s Associations spotlights the activities and agenda of one of ALA’s divisions. Next month: Association for Library Trustees and Advocates

members; $245 for ALA personal members; $300 for nonmembers; and $50 for full-time library school students. Registration for a November 7 preconference on illustrated

material for teens is an additional $75. Advance registration opens September 2 until October 3. For more information, visit www  z


Registration is underway for the inaugural Young Adult Literature Symposium, “How We Read Now,” to take place November 7-9 in Nashville, Tennessee, sponsored by ALA’s Young Adult Library Services Association. Partly funded by the William C. Morris Endowment, the symposium will take place biennially. Earlybird registration pricing continues until September 1 at the following rates: $195 for YALSA, Tennessee Library Association, and Tennessee Association of School Librarians

The Association for Library Service to Children is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. The ALA division’s award programs, advocacy initiatives, and educational events support their core purpose of creating a better future for all children through libraries. Visit

april 2008

ALA’s Public Programs Office, in collaboration with the Fetzer Institute’s Campaign for Love and Forgiveness, is accepting applications for “Let’s Talk About It: Love and Forgiveness,” a theme-based reading and discussion program. Complete application information, including program guidelines and reading lists, is available at www.ala .org/letstalk. The deadline is July 15. Project themes and books were chosen by national project scholar Betty Sue Flowers, director of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum and former Kelleher professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin. Thirty public libraries will be selected to receive $2,500 each to support program costs and scholar honoraria, program materials, and training for the library project director at a national workshop.

Advocacy and Education


Love and Forgiveness Grants Available

The Association’s Associations: ALSC

american libraries 

Later in the day, actress and author Jamie Lee Curtis will present the keynote address during the Public Library Association President’s Program and Awards Presentation For more information, visit www

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NEWS | U.S. & International

Arbitrator Rules Against EPA in Library Closures Challenge


ublic Employees for Environmental ReAmerican Libraries, “The EPA remains committed to ensponsibility—a national alliance of local, suring the availability of a full range of library services for state, and federal resource professionals— EPA staff and the public and to maintaining a collaboraannounced February 28 that a federal arbitive relationship with our employee unions.” trator has ruled that the Environmental Protection One eager patron is environmentalist Verena Owen, Agency engaged in unfair labor practices and acted who used the Region 5 EPA library in Chicago in 2002 to in bad faith when it abruptly ordered the closing of help make her case against the establishment of a sludge seven of the agency’s 10 regional libraries over the incinerator in Waukegan, Illinois. She told the January 24 past two years. The decision is the latest in a series Northwestern University publication Medill Reports that of repudiations from Congress (AL, Aug. 2007, p. 16) she found the library website unworkable due to broken and the library, scientific, and environmental comlinks and lamented the relocation of most print items to a munities of the closures and storage area in Cincinnati. “If you need some informa“The very real limitation of overall access to tion, can you wait two weeks or four weeks for the book to problem now is to decades of data that culminated come in? In the world I work in, which is air quality, no, in an FY2008 appropriation of you can’t,” Owen contended. —B.G. fashion a remedy $2 million earmarked . . . as it would be for the reinstatement impossible for the of the brick-andmortar EPA libraries. agency to comply In a February 15 deciwith reopening the sion, arbitrator George libraries.” Edward Larney stated George Edward Larney that EPA management must “engage the union in impact and implementation bargaining in a timely manner” regarding any issues related to “the reorganization of the agency’s library network that directly affect and may potentially have an adverse impact on the working conditions of bargaining unit employees.” Larney stated that the cutbacks were unilaterally decided upon by management “with virtually no input by other constituencies such as general public users of the EPA library network, other San Francisco Supervisor Ross Merkarimi federal and public library systems, and, in par(left), State Assemblyman Mark Leno, State ticular and most importantly, the several unions Senator Carole Migden, Friends of the San representing the agency’s bargaining unit emFrancisco Public Library Executive Director ployees.” The opinion goes on to say that “the very real problem now is to fashion a remedy . . . Donna Bero, City Librarian Luis Herrera, and as it would be impossible for the agency to comMayor Gavin Newsom cut ribbons to reopen the ply with reopening the libraries that were physirenovated Western Addition branch February cally dismantled and closed.” 2. The $4.3-million facelift is part of a Noting that the agency was still reviewing the $106-million program to renovate or replace 23 ruling, which it received February 27, Timothy library buildings and add one branch by 2011. Lyons of the EPA’s Office of Public Affairs told


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april 2008

Snip, Snip, Enter

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U.S. & International | NEWS

Southern Methodist University Chosen as Site for Bush Library

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|  american libraries 



Photo: APhoto/Tim Sharp


he board of trustees of Southern Methodist University unanimously approved an agreement with the George W. Bush Library Foundation February 22 to locate the presidential library and policy institute on the campus. The agreement, which followed more than a year of negotiations, states that SMU was chosen over seven other competitors for its “excellent academic reputation; the university’s presence in Dallas; the strong support of the university’s leaders, alumni, and friends for the Library Center facilities being located at the university,” and SMU’s willingness to lease the land for the project. The three-part presidential center will comprise the presidential library, a museum with permanent and traveling exhibits, and an independent public policy institute. The first two components will be operated by the National Archives and Records Administration. “It’s a great honor for SMU to be chosen as the site of this tremendous resource for historical research, dialogue, Southern Methodist University President R. Gerald Turner (left) shakes hands February 22 with Donald L. Evans, chair of the George and public programs,” said SMU President R. Gerald W. Bush Presidential Library Foundation, after signing the agreement Turner. “At SMU, these resources will benefit from proxthat will place the library at SMU. Carl Sewell (standing, left), chair of imity to our strong academic programs, a tradition of open the SMU trustees, and foundation President Mark Langdale applaud. dialogue, experience hosting world leaders, and a central location in a global American city. We thank President Bush for entrusting this important long-term resource to Methodist clergy and members opposed to President our community, and for the opportunity for SMU to serve Bush’s policies had attempted to block the library by the nation in this special way.” claiming that the agreement must be submitted to the The extent of access to the library’s resources reelected delegates of the church’s South Central Jurisdicmained unclear on the day of the announcement: An tion, which owns the university. But SMU officials said October 2007 judicial ruling invalidated part of Presithey had already obtained the church’s approval through dent Bush’s 2001 Executive Order 13233, which had giv- the jurisdiction’s Mission Council and College of Bishops, en former presidents, their heirs, and the New York Times reported January 30. former vice presidents the right to At an estimated cost of more than Methodist clergy and review executive records indefinitely $200 million, the Bush library will be members opposed to before they are made public. The the most expensive presidential library Presidential Records Act of 2007, ever built. By contrast, the William J. the president’s policies which would rescind Executive Order had attempted to block Clinton Presidential Library opened in 13233 altogether, is being blocked 2004 at a cost of $165 million raised the library by claiming from full Senate consideration by from more that 100,000 donors (AL, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.). PropoDec. 2004, p. 14–15). Presidential the agreement must be nents, however, maintain that overlibraries (unlike state-run libraries submitted to the elected turning EO 13233 is imperative such as the Lincoln Library in Illinois), because it is contrary to the letter and delegates of the South although built with private funds, are spirit of laws that have governed maintained “for all time” with federal Central Jurisdiction, presidential libraries in the past. government support. —G.F. which owns the

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NEWS | U.S. & International

Wiretap Suit Rejected as Eavesdropping Law Sunsets


he U.S. Supreme Court declined Februties Union filed suit shortly after the New York Times reary 18 to consider whether plaintiffs who vealed in December 2005 the existence of the National believed they had been spied Security Agency’s post–September 11 TerWhether immunity rorist Surveillance Program. Plaintiffs inon without a court order could challenge the legality of such surveilcluded prominent attorneys, academic is granted will lance without tangible proof—even if scholars, and national nonprofit organizadirectly impact the proof is classified as a state secret. tions. several dozen The rejection of the ACLU v. NSA appeal ACLU Legal Director Steven R. Shapiro stated that the justices’ “unwillingness to came two days after the expiration of the Pro- ongoing lawsuits act makes it even more important that tect America Act, which from August 2007 against telecom Congress insist on legislative safeguards until February 16 legalized warrantless eavesthat will protect civil liberties without dropping on phone and internet communica- firms and the jeopardizing national security.” tions to U.S. homes, workplaces, libraries, government. Congress began tackling the issues of and elsewhere from foreign locations if the government suspects that the discussion involves support those safeguards when legislators returned from break February 25 and considered how to reconcile the House of terrorism. and Senate versions of a bill revamping the Foreign InACLU v. NSA was the July 2007 ruling by the U.S. Court telligence Surveillance Act of 1978. In answer to the of Appeals for the 6th Circuit. The American Civil LiberHouse-passed RESTORE Act, which denied retroactive immunity sought by telecommunications companies for initiating extensive wiretaps at the behest of the Executive Branch, the Senate approved a version containing an immunity provision. Whether immunity is granted will directly impact several dozen ongoing lawsuits against telecommunications firms and the government, all of which are before U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker in San Francisco, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Negotiations between House Democrats and Republicans over retroactive immunity quickly stalled, and a vote was not expected until mid-March. “There’s no compromise on whether these phone companies get liability protection,” President Bush said in a February Virginia Tech University Libraries continue to work with the 21 Reuters wire service story. “The American university community and Library of Congress consultants to people understand we need to be listening to build an archive of artifacts related to the April 16, 2007, school the enemy.” shootings that left 32 dead. Informally dubbed the “Prevail The American Library Association joined 42 Archives,” the collection, already consisting of over 87,000 items signatories in a March 5 letter to the House urgexpressing condolence, will serve as a primary source on how ing representatives not to legalize “mass, untarpeople grieve following tragic events. Once processed, the geted surveillance, unconnected to suspected collection will be housed in the university’s Newman Library, and terrorists, with no limit on how American indigital images will be available online. formation can be used.” —B.G.


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april 2008

archiving a tragedy

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U.S. & International | NEWS

Mideast Lectures Go On in Connecticut Despite Complaints over Content Greenwich (Conn.) Library officials decided February 14 to allow a speaker to proceed with two scheduled lectures on Israeli-Palestinian relations at the library’s Cole Auditorium. The permission was a reversal of a previous action to cancel the lectures after the library received a number of complaints from community members. The speaker, Alison Weir, is the founder of If Americans Knew, a watchdog organization critical of U.S. news coverage of the Middle East. After privately placed advertisements for Weir’s speech “Israel-Palestine: Beyond the Headlines” ran in local papers February 8, the library began receiving negative feedback. One of the issues, Executive Director Mario González said in the February 13 Greenwich Time, was that some community members believed that the library itself booked the program. Library officials then opted to cancel the talks because they were “offensive to public sensitivity,” as outlined in the library’s meeting-room policy. “The library does not normally receive complaints on programs that have been held on its grounds, so when

numerous complaints came in on this particular program, the library needed to do due diligence and determine what was in the best interest of the “The library does public,” González said in a February 13 press release. The library typi- not normally cally holds around 1,100 programs receive complaints every year and none have ever on programs that before been challenged, González have been held on told American Libraries. However, following the initial its grounds.” cancellation, Weir insisted that it was —Executive Director her constitutional right to deliver her Mario González program. After fielding complaints from supporters of Weir’s assertion, most of them from out-of-state, library trustees sought legal counsel and affirmed that, although the library is a private nonprofit organization, because the town of Greenwich supplies some of the operating budget the facility is technically a public institution that cannot discriminate over which groups can hold events there.


not even allow scholars to use and distribute their own work. And the cost of journals has risen to such astronomical levels that many institutions and individuals have cancelled subscriptions, further reducing the circulation of scholars’ works.” “Today’s vote in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences addresses an issue that is of great concern to all of the faculties of the university,” said Harvard Librarian Robert Darnton. “All of us face the same problems and all of us can envision the public benefits of open access. Harvard Medical School, for example, is already working with its faculty to comply with a congressional mandate that articles based on funding from the National Institutes of Health be openly accessible through PubMed Central.” Although he commended the option for faculty to request waivers, Association of American Publisher Vice President for Legal and Governmental Affairs Allan Adler voiced concern that the plan could harm the peer review process. “This is a vendor-customer dispute over price,” he said in the February 13 Boston Globe. “It doesn’t surprise us that all libraries feel their budgets are far less than desirable, but that’s a reality the educational community faces.”


arvard University’s arts and sciences faculty voted unanimously February 12 to publish their scholarly articles online, making them available to the public at no charge. Under the plan, the university’s library will oversee a newly created Office of Scholarly Communication that will serve as a repository for the material. Faculty members will retain the copyright “The scholarly to their articles, subject to the publishing system university’s license, and can rehas become far quest a waiver of the license for particular articles in special cases. more restrictive Harvard’s move is seen as giving than it need be.” a significant boost to the open ac—Professor Stuart M. Shieber cess movement, which champions free, permanent online access to peer-reviewed scientific and scholarly material. “There is no question that scholarly journals have historically allowed scholars to distribute their research to audiences around the world,” said computer science professor Stuart M. Shieber, who proposed the motion. “But the scholarly publishing system has become far more restrictive than it need be. Many publishers will

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april 2008

Harvard Faculty Approves Open Access Policy

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NEWS | U.S. & International Atlanta Branch Saved from Developer

Trustees of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library voted 8–0 February 27 to keep the system’s distinctive Buckhead branch and reject a developer’s offer of $24 million to raze the building to make way for an eightblock commercial redevelopment. The branch, built in 1989 by avantgarde architects Mark Scogin and Merrill Elam, does not fit into the

Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and the French National Library in Paris will soon offer scholars online access to more than half the known versions of Le Roman de la Rose, a popular medieval French poem that instructs readers on the art of love. Two grants totaling $779,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will enable the digitizing of 130 manuscripts held by French libraries.

collections Historical TREASURE TROVE AT TEMPLE The Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection at Temple University in Philadelphia contains more than 30,000 historical items, some dating to the 16th century. It includes Paul Robeson’s sheet music, African Bibles, rare letters and manuscripts, slave narratives, correspondence of Haitian revolutionaries, and a firstedition book by W. E. B. DuBois. The collection has grown so much since Temple acquired it 25 years ago that it moved into a larger space on campus this month. Blockson, a historian, lecturer,

and author, began amassing his collection as a boy living in the Philadelphia suburb of Norristown after a substitute teacher told him that there were no famous black people in history. His first purchases included Booker T. Washington’s Up from Slavery, James Weldon Johnsons’s God’s Trombones, and a biography of George Washington Carver. He has also donated items to the Penn State library for the Charles L. Blockson Room.


american libraries 


april 2008

positively Medieval

upscale Streets of Buckhead shopsee it as an eyesore. “That library, ping and residential project envito my way of thinking, was an aborsioned by developer Ben Carter, who tion the day it was dedicated,” Fulton County Commissioner Tom proposed relocating the library to a mixed-use tower Lowe said in the Feb“The Buckhead where users would ruary 11 Journal-Conreach it by elevator. stitution. library represents “The Buckhead Atlanta architect Daa piece of what library, for better or vid M. Hamilton wrote Atlanta was as the an opinion piece in the worse, represents a piece of what Atlanta February 18 Journal20th century drew was as the 20th century to a close.” Constitution, remarking that the “destruction of drew to a close,” board this landmark piece of architecture Chairman John Thomas said in the February 28 Atlanta Journal-Constitu- would make it harder for us to attract the kind of national talent that we tion. “We have a chance to begin a need to remain competitive.” trend of saving similar structures.” AFPL Director John Szabo said that Victoria Locks Out buying land and constructing a new building would take most, if not all, Public Library Staff of the money Carter had offered. The Greater Victoria (B.C.) Public The Buckhead branch has drawn Library board locked out unionized both praise and criticism for its employees at all nine branches at 5 unusual slate-colored exterior and p.m. February 17. The workers had airiness. In 1991 it received a been in legal strike position over a Library Building Award from the pay equity dispute since September American Institute of Architects 4, 2007. and the American Library AssociaThe lockout is in reaction to strike tion’s Library Administration and actions by the Canadian Union of Management Association. Others Public Employees Local 410, which

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medalist VISITS MIAMI has closed the library for a total of 10 nonconsecutive days, shut down computer terminals, reduced programming, and stopped fine collection (AL, Mar., p. 25–26). “They’re not providing the programs they’re paid to provide to the public and we’re still paying them full wages,” said Ron Brunsden, chief negotiator for the library, in the February 13 Victoria Times Colonist. “They’re working at 75% efficiency. No business can carry on like that for very long.” “I think the Greater Victoria Labour Relations Association is making a big mistake if they think we are not resolved and that we’re not determined,” said CUPE Local 410 President Ed Seedhouse.

And Tango Makes Three, an awardwinning but controversial children’s book by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson (AL, Apr. 2006, p. 15) about two male penguins hatching and parenting a baby chick, made more headlines in February when Loudoun County (Va.) Public Schools Superintendent Edgar B. Hatrick III decided to move the book from the public shelves of 16 elementary schools to areas accessible only to parents and teachers—a move that Hatrick rescinded March 3 after realizing that the person challenging the

april 2008

Tango Ruffles Feathers in Virginia

book was not a parent with a student attending the school, and therefore not allowed to file such a complaint. The initial removal reversed the decision of a Sugarland Elementary principal and advisory committee who chose to maintain students’ access to the book despite the objection several months ago to the book’s gaypositive themes. But Hatrick admitted February 26 that he overstepped his authority and that the book, according to the school’s policy, should have been removed from shelves only at Sugarland Elementary. The removal, which had been criticized nationally, is now considered null and void, said Hatrick, who claims to have put in measures to manage challenges more carefully in the future. “At every point in carrying


the collection should be open to everyone,” she said in the February 28 Nampa Idaho Press-Tribune.


After a third challenge by resident Randy Jackson, the Nampa (Idaho) Public Library board relocated The New Joy of Sex and The Joy of Gay Sex to the director’s office so the titles can only be accessed by patrons who specifically request them. The board voted voted 3–2 to move the books at its March 10 meeting, the Boise Idaho Statesman reported March 11. Trustees had voted 4–1 in 2006 to retain the books but move them to upper shelves where they would be difficult for children to see (AL, Aug. 2006, p. 14), also in response to a challenge by Jackson. Since then, two new members have joined the board, both of whom supported relocating the books to the director’s office. While the board declined Jackson’s request to remove the books entirely, he declared himself “very pleased” and called the decision “a huge victory for our community.” Board Chairwoman Rosie Delgadillo Reilly, who was on the board in 2006, voted both times to retain the books in general circulation. “These books are widely circulated in the Treasure Valley. . . . We feel strongly we live in a diverse community and

Students from Southside Elementary School in Miami show off some of the books by award-winning illustrator Jerry Pinkney, who discussed his work February 21 at Miami-Dade Public Library System’s California Club branch and Main Library. Pinkney, a three-time ALA Coretta Scott King winner, has illustrated more than 100 children’s picture books, some of which were also named honor books by ALA’s Randolph Caldecott awards committee.

american libraries 

Third Idaho Joy of Sex Challenge Successful

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NEWS | U.S. & International out this policy at least two administrators will be doublechecking the process,” he told Leesburg Today March 3. The American Library Association listed Tango as one of the most challenged books of 2006, as well as a Notable Children’s Book of 2006.

Security Revisited after Child Is Assaulted A convicted sex offender pleaded not guilty March 4 to the rape of a

The plaque that was mounted on the original Peterborough (N.H.) Town Library in 1892 notes the establishment of the world’s oldest tax-supported library April 9, 1833. The library was founded through the efforts of Unitarian minister Abiel Abbot, who encouraged the creation of a tax-supported, town-governed library free to all residents. The original collection 0f 100 books was housed in Smith and Thompson’s General Store, along with the town post office, moved to the Town Hall, then was given its own building in 1893, specially built by local resident John Hopkins Morison. At age 175, the current library building has grown to a 50,000-plus collection of book and non-book materials.


american libraries 


april 2008

175 years and counting

6-year-old boy January 31 in a refdren whom they are not accompanyerence-room magazine aisle at New ing. He added that a concerned Bedford (Mass.) Pubpro-filter activist lic Library’s Main Li- The assault prompted from safelibraries brary. During the .org sent an e-mail the mayor to introduce assault, the child’s intimating that the inlegislation restricting mother was working cident wouldn’t have at a computer some occurred if the library sex offenders from 10 feet away in an adhad filtering software. visiting libraries, jacent hallway, NBPL Fulchino told AL that schools, playgrounds, NBPL has blocked Director Stephen Fulchino told Amerimaterial deemed oband other public can Libraries, and had scene or child porplaces where children given the child craynography for some ons and paper to keep congregate. time; however, staff him occupied. discovered that SaunThe assault prompted New Bedders bypassed the settings. ford Mayor Scott W. Lang to introduce legislation restricting Level 2 or Toronto Worker Pleads 3 sex offenders (considered the most Guilty to 1969 Shooting prone to recidivism) from visiting A former research assistant at the libraries, schools, playgrounds, and Toronto Public Library’s central refother public places where children erence library, who had fled to Canacongregate. The bill is expected to da following the shooting of a pass, according to a February 28 reChicago police officer in 1969, pled port in the Boston University publiguilty to a charge of aggravated batcation the Daily Free Press. tery February 22. “I can’t say enough about the refIn an unusual plea agreement, Joerence staff and how they reacted,” seph Pannell, 58, will serve only 30 Fulchino asserted regarding the Jan- days in jail and two years’ probation uary 31 attack, explaining that a refand will pay $250,000 to the Chicago erence librarian found a photo of Police Memorial Foundation, which Corey Deen Saunders, 26, in a regisaids children of police officers tered offender database after seeing wounded in the line of duty, the Chithe suspect emerging from the aisle cago Tribune reported February 23. several times with the boy and Pannell gave up fighting extradispeaking with him. Staff alerted the tion and voluntarily returned to Chichild’s mother, and Saunders fled. cago in early February. He was The librarian called police after the arrested in Canada in 2004 after livchild—who, Fulchino explained, was ing there for over three decades and too afraid to make a noise during the raising a family under the name of attack—revealed what had happened. Douglas Gary Freeman. The Chicago police cold-case unit, with the assisSaunders was arrested a short time tance of the FBI, located Pannell later outside a homeless shelter. through fingerprint records. Fulchino said staff has reconfigAt age 19, Pannell shot Officer Terured the two reference rooms to imrence Knox when the officer stopped prove the sightlines; one room him to ask why he wasn’t inside a contains visitor tables and the other nearby high school. Knox’s family shelving arranged parallel to the walls. Also, trustees have established came up with the idea of the $250,000 donation, much of which came from a patron behavior policy authorizing Canadian supporters and Chicago-­ staff to call police if they see adults area criminal-defense lawyers. engaging in conversation with chil-

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U.S. & International | NEWS

Terrorists Strike Libraries in Gaza and Jerusalem

blogging from iraq


Army Captain Adrian Massey is blogging from Iraq for the Public Library of Westland, Michigan. Director Cheryl Napsha wanted her patrons to better understand what U.S. military personnel are undergoing overseas, so she persuaded Massey, a Westland high school grad, to write a blog about his experiences. Visit to read more.

wreckage before the rains come.” According to the Jerusalem Post, sources in Gaza claimed that the incident was in retaliation for the reprinting of cartoons ridiculing the Prophet Muhammad in a number of Danish newspapers. A lone gunman armed with an AK-47 assault rifle and pistol entered the library of the Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva in Jerusalem March 6 and sprayed bullets around the crowded room, killing eight students and wounding 10. Identified as an Arab resident of East Jerusalem named Ala’ Abu Dhaim (or Dhein), the attacker was shot twice 10 minutes later at the library entrance by student Yitzhak Dadon, immobilizing him until an Israeli Defense Forces soldier arrived and killed him, Haaretz reported March 7. Police said he had entered the school with the guns hidden in a cardboard box. Survivors described the scene in the library as terrifying, with students jumping out of the windows to escape. “The whole building looked like a


February 17 Jerusalem Post that the assailants also stole computers and other equipment from the YMCA office. The other guard, Rizek Ajrami, told the Associated Press that the explosion left a crater in the library and tore holes in the walls and ceiling. ”The explosion blew up the whole library,” Gaza YMCA director Issa Saba told the IRIN News Service February 20. “We have been working for two days to salvage what we can from the

april 2008

Palestinians examine the damage to the YMCA library in Gaza City.

american libraries 

Photo: AP Photo/Hatem Moussa


errorists recently visited Middle Eastern libraries in two separate incidents within a month. A lone gunman killed eight students in an attack on a library in a religious school in Jerusalem March 6, while the Palestinian Authority arrested two suspects in a February 15 bombing of a YMCA library in Gaza City. More than a dozen men overpowered and tied up two security guards at the YMCA library, which housed about 10,000 books and was a popular cultural center for both Christian and Muslim students. The intruders took the guards to another part of the city and set off a bomb in the library, causing severe damage to the building and destroying most of the collection. According to the February 22 Palestinian newspaper Al-Ayyam, the Gaza bombing suspects were members of the militant Army of Islam, which has claimed responsibility for the 2007 kidnapping of BBC reporter Alan Johnston. One of the guards, Abdel Mu’ti Abu Khoussa, said in the

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NEWS | U.S. & International slaughterhouse,” said Yehuda Meshi Zahav, head of the Zaka Rescue Service. “The floors are littered with holy books covered in blood.” Three of the victims were rabbinical students, while the other five attended the yeshiva high school.

Knesset member Effi Eitam, who had been a student at Mercaz HaRav 30 years earlier, said that whoever chose the yeshiva as a terrorist target “knew it was the heart of national Zionism.” Arutz Sheva News noted that virtually every religious-Zionist

yeshiva in the country was founded or staffed by former Mercaz HaRav students. The attack drew international condemnation from President Bush, Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and other leaders. —G.M.E.




Patrons of the National Library in Gaborone have kept nearly $41,000 worth of its books overdue, some for as long as two years. Ministry of Youth, Sports, and Culture spokesman Boniface Mabeo said that some of the borrowers had died, while others were expatriates who had returned to their home countries. The agency has launched a campaign to sensitize people about returning the books.—Botswana Press Agency, Mar. 6.

The Global Village Foundation, an American charity, will donate $15,000 to help set up 10 school libraries in the central province of Quang Nam. The fund will be used to provide 8 textbooks and equipment to 50 schools and train Que Son District librarians in management techniques. The project began in March and will run until June 2010.—Thanh Nien News (Ho Chi Minh City), Mar. 1. 7

A 600-book library in the slums of North Jakarta is inspiring school dropouts to read and learn. Founded by social worker Yetty Theresia in 2006, the Ceria Library is open daily for 13 hours and welcomes the 600 children living in the district. Every day the library plays host to 20–50 children, many of whose parents think that education is a waste of time. “Some parents even threatened to cut their allowance if they ever went near the library,” Theresia said. The library collection includes comics, folklore stories, magazines, and school textbooks.—Jakarta Post, Mar. 5.



A library in the Adelaide suburb of Tea Tree Gully called in a spiritual adviser late in 2006 to rid its building of a troublesome ghost that was making staff “uncomfortable.” However, some suspect more mundane troubles, as some employees in February were threatening a strike or slowdown amid bullying allegations. —Adelaide Leader Messenger, Mar. 4.


South Africa celebrated its Library Week March 17–22 with the theme “From local to global @ your library.” The promotion was inspired by the story of Neal Petersen, the South African yachtsman who was the first black man to sail solo around the world. Growing up on the Cape Flats, he discovered sailing and the art of navigation through books in his local public library and from there truly went from local to global.—Library and Information Association of South Africa.





The National Library of China in Beijing, the largest library in Asia, will add its bibliographic records to the OCLC WorldCat database. Following development and format conversion of the records, the library anticipates that some 1.5 million records will be sent to OCLC in 2008. These records, when added to WorldCat, will display Chinese characters.—OCLC, Feb. 28.


Elementary school pupils in Ontario were given a boost February 14 with new funds earmarked for school libraries. The provincial government announced it will provide $40 million ($40.4 million U.S.) in additional funds during the next four years to hire new staff across the province. But some school boards say the money is not enough to pay for more than new library technicians.—London Free Press, Feb. 15; Sarnia Observer, Feb. 16. 10

Santo Domingo Savio sits atop a mountain in the Medellín area, where architect Giancarlo Mazzanti has built three unique rockshaped, slate-covered buildings that house a library, community center, learning center, and viewing platforms, all accessible by cable car. The library includes reading rooms and computer rooms with free internet access.—Platiforma Arquitectura, Feb. 19.


american libraries 


april 2008






Vincent Van Gogh’s down-at-heel boots were the first thing to appear on the test website of the European Digital Library February 11. Branded Europeana (, the website will break new ground by bringing together millions of digitized resources from Europe’s archives, museums, libraries, and audiovisual collections through a single portal. The full site is scheduled to launch in November.—European Digital Library Network, Feb. 11.




1 Julian Blackwell, president 5 2 of the Blackwell’s chain of 6 bookstores, has given Oxford University’s Bodleian Library 7 £5 million ($10.1 million U.S.) 3 to renovate the New Bodleian 4 building on Broad Street and enable the library to open its collections to the public. The gift is the largest single donation ever made to an academic library in the U.K.—Oxford Mail, Mar. 7.

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News | Technology

|  27

Photo: Noah Berger

and all of our servers and helped make this idea a reality.” Asked how his project relates to Brewster Kahle’s Open Libraries digitization project, Swartz said, “Our goal is to get metadata about every book to explain why a book is interesting and then provide as many ways of getting it as possible: buying it from a bookstore or a used bookseller, borAt the ripe old age of 14, Aaron Swartz helped write the RSS rowing it from a library, feed format. Now he’s looking at new ways to create a public catalog that includes every book in the world. or reading a digitized copy. So we’re linking to all the books not just their books, but their electhat the Archive has digitized from tronic and digital collections, and we our site.” are excited about the opportunities to Swartz plays down any competiwork together with libraries and other tiveness with OCLC, saying “OCLC partners to make this happen.” has done a great job making library What evidence does Swartz have records available to other libraries; we that libraries will contribute catalogsee our job as opening this up to the ing data? “We’ve already got over a wider world of people who are interdozen libraries who have contributed ested in books.” their records,” he explains, “and we’re “We applaud programs and projworking out deals with several more. ects that increase libraries’ visibility But, of course, we need all the help we on the Web,” says Cathy De Rosa of can get.” OCLC marketing, emphasizing partSet to have gone live in March, the nership over competition. “OCLC has database is expected to be eventually been working since 2003 to connect integrated with Wikipedia so a book information seekers on the internet to citation there would link to the page the collections of libraries, through about the book in Open Library. Other partnerships with major search enpossibilities include integrating Open gines and information providers, and Library with LibraryThing, a popular through the creation of site where people can catalog and in 2006. To date, there have been 348 share their personal book collections. million visits to WorldCat from the Open Library may also eventually inopen web and the volume is accelerat- clude journal articles. ing. We know that there is more to do Swartz has an inspiring track reto achieve the goal of connecting peo- cord, having, at the age of 14, helped ple to libraries and their collections; write the RSS feed format. —L.K.

american libraries 


n partnership with the Internet Archive and the Open Content Alliance, 21-year-old entrepreneur Aaron Swartz is discreetly challenging OCLC’s subscription-based WorldCat with a free online book catalog called Open Library, designed to be maintained by the public. Why is he doing it? “Wandering through the stacks of my local library, I noticed I kept coming across all sorts of fantastic books I’d never “Libraries had heard of,” Swartz their catalogs told American hidden behind Libraries, “and Google-unfriendly when I got back to my computer, I OPACs.” found out why: —Aaron Swartz There was nothing about them on the internet. They were out-of-print, so publishers weren’t promoting them, Amazon wasn’t selling them, and libraries had their catalogs hidden behind Google-unfriendly OPACs. So I thought there ought to be a website with a page for every book, collecting everything we can find out about it from libraries, publishers, reviewers, and, of course, book lovers.” Swartz is partnering with the Internet Archive and the Open Content Alliance on the project. The former “had been thinking of something similar,” he says. “They’ve scanned hundreds of thousands of books for libraries, but unfortunately they’re very hard for people to find at the moment. They wanted to build a site that collected information and let people search through books, to help put the books they scanned in front of people. So they’ve provided much of our funding

april 2008

Backed by Internet Archive, Entrepreneur Takes on OCLC

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3/17/2008 9:27:21 AM

Technology | News

ProQuest Acquires WebFeat, Will Merge with Serials Solutions P

roQuest, a Cambridge Information Group company, announced February 14 that it has acquired WebFeat, pioneer of federated search, a technology that enables simultaneous search of all an organization’s databases, dramatically increasing research productivity. ProQuest plans to merge WebFeat with Serials Solutions, its Seattlebased business unit and developer of e-resource access and management tools for libraries. “WebFeat is an exceptional fit with Serials Solutions and within ProQuest as a whole,” said Marty Kahn, ProQuest CEO. “It brings significant technological expertise that will be further enhanced when combined with Serials Solutions’ technology. Just as important is WebFeat’s commitment to delivery of superior service to libraries. It’s a perfect match with our organization.” WebFeat will be under the leadership of Serials Solutions’ general manager Jane Burke, the company said in a statement, and “the strengths of WebFeat’s and Serials Solutions’ federated search

platforms will be combined to create a single, market-leading solution. The new platform will debut in early 2009, providing libraries with more power and efficiency in accessing their data pools. The current search platforms from both Serials Solutions and WebFeat will continue to be supported as this development proceeds.” “With more and more e-resources in collections, librarians are looking hard at the tools that will deliver the greatest level of ‘discovery,’ and federated search is one of the most important,” said Burke. “Merging Serials Solutions and WebFeat will combine the best of this technology and create a superior tool for access.” Founded by information industry veteran Todd Miller, WebFeat introduced the first federated search technology in 1998 and has continued as a market leader, serving more than 16,500 libraries that conduct more than 172 million database searches annually. Miller, who holds four patents in the field of federated search, will remain with WebFeat briefly as a consultant.

TECH BRIEFS The Educational iPod With the iPod’s status as the world’s best-selling digital audio player, it’s probably not surprising that some would like to tap it for educational purposes. The Online Education Database ( has gathered 100 iPod resources to do just that, including audiobooks, tutorials and study guides, installable reference works, and courses and lectures from major universities.

Cheaters Welcome Jessica Hupp has published the Cheat Sheet Cheat Sheet, a list of 100 cheat sheets for web development, at the Virtual Hosting blog (www.virtualhost Her list covers programming languages such as HTML, Java, and Perl, as well as more general topics like ASCII codes and internet slang. Plus, commenters have contributed a number of additional resources. has found 14 ways to use RSS feeds beyond simply tracking blogs and websites. Applications include FeedJournal, which converts multiple RSS feeds into a printable newspaper; AideRSS, which filters out less-popular stories to help people who are overwhelmed by content; and SpokenText, which converts RSS feeds into spoken text that can be subscribed to as podcasts.


american libraries 


april 2008

Real Simple Solutions

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News | Technology

MIT’s Technology Review Spotlights Top 10 Emerging Technologies


april 2008

or data gathering by cell phones to learn more about human social interactions, and wireless electrical sources that would allow any low-power device such as an iPod or laptop to recharge automatically simply by coming within range of a wireless power source, eliminating the need for multiple cables and, perhaps, eventually batteries. —L.K.


fessor Walter de Heer, the graphene transistor’s “initial applications will be in ultrahigh-speed communication chips, with computer processors to follow.” Many of the remaining eight emerging technologies also have huge implications for library and information science. They include: “reality mining,”

american libraries 


omputing applications will become more powerful when they take advantage of both the browser and the desktop, says Kevin Lynch, chief software architect at Adobe Systems, in the March/April issue of Technology Review, published by the MassaDiscover more chusetts Institute MIT predictions at of Technology. technologyreview These offline web applications are .com, where you one of 10 emergcan read about ing technologies “amazing feats that the magazine’s editors of engineering believe “will be that have created particularly imsomething entirely portant over the next few years. “ new.” “Cloud computing,” so called because it involves software that resides in the “clouds” of the internet, has caused a “tidal shift in how people are actually creating software,” says Lynch. But while many companies were jumping on that bandwagon, the Adobe team developed Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR), which will enable programmers to build desktop applications that can run online or off. “Developers can quickly and cheaply build desktop applications that are usable in a broad range of devices and operating systems,” according to TR. The graphene transistor, which made its modest public debut last December, was also identified as a hardware breakthrough that could become the runaway alternative to silicon. Graphene—a newly discovered form of carbon found in ordinary pencil lead—could pave the way for speedier compact-computer processors. Developed by Georgia Tech physics pro-

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3/17/2008 9:27:46 AM

TECHNOLOGY | Dispatches from the Field

Go, Team! Integrating technology into group work

tried Breeze and Skype before settling into a routine with Campfire, a group-chat client from 37 Signals. The use of these tools has made their work on LibraryFind possible while creating an archive of their conversations.

Free samples

There are many free or cheap tools that make instant messaging, group chatting, group collaboration, project management, and even web conferencing available to working groups of all sizes. Even the tools that do have some cost associated with them usually have a free trial period that allows you to test the software against your group’s requirements. It is important to remember the needs of your team when choosing your tools. The choice should be governed by need, not trends. If you try a tool and it doesn’t work, try something else. Using free tools makes these testing periods easier to swallow than if you go with an expensive version from the beginning. Different groups will also have different learning curves, so you should choose tools that suit the technology level of your members. You may find that moving more of your work online can increase your team’s productivity, flexibility, and even happiness.  z MICHELLE BOULE is an educator, speaker, writer, and “geek librarian” living in Houston. This article was adapted from the January 2008 issue of ALA’s Library Technology Reports.


american libraries 


april 2008


he internet has changed face to face (or “f2f”), as well as the way we live. There providing an archive of the comis no escaping its influpleted work. ence. As librarians, we talk a lot about the Web and how Flexibility vs. f2f it has altered the way information In addition to saving time, technology is accessed, used, and distributed, use allows greater flexibility within but it is also altering the way we the team for membership and particiwork. The internet has increased pation. Working groups who conduct our opportunities to interact their work online can include memwith people bers who are not geographibound in the same If you try a tool cally sepabuilding or geoand it doesn’t rated from graphic location. work, try ourselves and This means that if changed the the group does something else. way we comnot rely on f2f municate with meetings as a way people sitting in the ofto conduct work, the team could benfice across the hall. efit from the diversity that comes from a larger work pool. Members would also be free to Web work conduct their work at a time that is Here are a few of the many benefits convenient for the individual, inof integrating technology use into a stead of waiting for scheduled meetteam or committee’s work flow: Exings. More productive time between changing a document the group is editing as an e-mail attachment can meetings means more productive time in f2f meetings. be a lesson in confusion—but using a wiki or some other online document collaboration space keeps all Forget geography the versions separate, ensuring that There are some large, well-known there is never any question of who projects that have benefited from changed what or which version is using online collaboration. Librarycurrent. Find, an open-source federated Conducting discussions online, search tool created at Oregon State over IM, or on a message board cre- University, was developed by a ates an instant discussion archive. group that was and is geographically Simple reporting or updates can dispersed. According to Jeremy easily be made over e-mail or in an Frumkin, who leads the project, online workspace, replacing unnec- LibraryFind uses a combination of essary meetings—and saving time different tools to capture online for when the committee does meet conversations and meetings. They

by Michelle Boule

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)*(!'#(!(#!". Friday, June 27


Hilton Anaheim



Have fun, learn new skills, compete with your colleagues, and enjoy refreshments.

Discover the excitement, entertainment, and learning that gaming brings to your library. Be on hand as ALA President Loriene Roy presents three Presidential Citations on gaming.

Untitled-1 1

03/10/2008 1:03:55 PM

TECHNOLOGY | In Practice

Isn’t It Social bookmarking your way to web guides


or library webmasters, keeping lists of online resources fresh can be a Sisyphean task. Web­ sites disappear, new ones ap­ pear, and URLs change all the time. Most webmasters would love to let their colleagues up­ date the web links themselves, but that isn’t possible in many libraries. Fortunately, with del., if you can click a button and type, you can maintain links. is a social bookmark­ ing site. Unlike browser bookmarks, where you assign websites to fold­ ers, enables you to assign multiple descriptive terms, or tags, to each website so they are more findable the next time you seek them. Instead of storing your book­ marks on your computer, they are accessible from the Web. Book­ marks in are public by default (but can be made private), meaning that you can browse other people’s favorites. It’s easy to create bookmarks and organize them with You simply click on a bookmarklet (a button installed on your browser toolbar), and assign tags and an op­ tional description of the web page. You can browse through your own bookmarks chronologically or by tag. You can also organize individual tags into topical bundles. The Dublin City Public Library in Ireland (del.icio .us/DublinCityPublicLibraries) has corralled its dozens of tags under

What’s best about

physbib.htm) topical headings is that it looks just like to make it easier the rest of the for people to find facilitates greater guide. However, resources in their participation. the titles, URLs, areas of interest. Many libraries use in­ and annota­­tions are pulled directly ternally to share links, but some are from The same is true of the web resources in the Italian also starting to bookmark content useful to patrons. Some libraries are Studies guide at the College of New even replacing their traditional web Jersey (tcnj.du/~library/moulaison/ ItalianStudies.html), and its guides with, or are inte­ grating content into their links are visually con­ sistent with the rest of the site. existing subject guides. Menasha (Wis.) Public Library ( has a link to And cleanup’s a snap its bookmarks on its Why stop with bookmarking web­ front page under the title Recom­ sites? You can also put more tradi­ mended Websites. Patrons can then tional subject-guide content into click on tags—organized in topical Databases can be book­ bundles—to find useful bookmarked marked in with tags as­ resources. The University of Michi­ signed based on the guides in which gan Health Sciences Library linked each database should appear. That to specific tags in its ac­ way, if the URL of the database count to create a guide to Avian In­ changes, you only have to edit the fluenza Resources ( entry. If you can create hsl/guides/avianflu.html). permalinks to individual item re­ has a tool called a link cords in your catalog, you could also roll that allows you to display book­ bookmark cataloged items. marked content on your website, What’s best about is and to customize the bookmarks’ that it facilitates greater participa­ organization and appearance. The tion in subject-guide creation. link roll lets you insert Thanks to its low technology barri­ web links and annotations into ex­ ers and the fact that people at multi­ isting subject guides without anyone ple computers can bookmark items knowing where they came from. to the same account, every library Anytime new items are bookmarked staff member can contribute to cre­ in, they automatically ating a useful guide for patrons.  z show up in the appropriate guide. MEREDITH FARKAS is distance learning The list of internet sites found librarian at Norwich University in Northfield, in the Physics Subject Guide at Vermont. She blogs at Information Wants Be Free and created Library Success: A Best Southern Connecticut State Univer­ to Practices Wiki. Contact her at librarysuccess@ sity (


american libraries 


april 2008

Let’s play tag

by Meredith Farkas

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Internet Librarian | TECHNOLOGY

Keeping Up


Joseph Janes is associate professor at the Information School of the University of Washington in Seattle. Send ideas to

april 2008

legislatures and courts will be able to work out the vagaries of internet protocols soon enough. And us? Can we really expect to keep up with everything that’s new and interesting? Once upon a time, we probably could, but the pace and breadth of innovation and development are now dauntingly swift, and there are good reasons to be judicious (no pun intended) in what we choose to follow since these are not trivial matters and we don’t play fast and loose with the human record in our care. But neither can we afford to let important ideas pass us by. To explore and embrace what’s going on, we could either be selective, move faster (in all that spare time), or divide and conquer. If we all spent, say, an hour a month trying something new and sharing the results, we’d cover a lot of ground pretty quick, not to mention the benefits we get from just playing around. We may have to run faster and harder to keep up, but the alternative doesn’t bear thinking about. Of course, the real reason I was happy the strike settled? It meant the Oscars would go on. True devotees know that Margaret Herrick, the academy’s first librarian and later its executive director (and an alumna of the University of Washington’s LIS program), may well have named the Oscar statue . . . but that’s another story. z



ow happy was I when accident, I heard about a California the Hollywood writjudge who issued an order to disable ers’ strike ended? a site called Wikileaks (wikileaks Plenty. By the time .org), which allows whistleblowers you read this, we may already and other assorted rabble-rousers to be getting new episodes of Ugly post classified or confidential items Betty and CSI. Thank goodness— to discourage “unethical behavior” Even I was getting tired of reality by companies and governments. A stuff (though not, I assure you, look at the site reveals some pretty my beloved Project Runway). interesting stuff (the Guantanamo It got so bad Bay operating last week that my manual made for Institutions simply channel-surfing compelling readcan’t keep abreast landed on TVW, ing). the C-SPAN for Predictably, of all the new stuff the Evergreen the judge’s order, going on in the State set, watchin a case brought information world. ing the proceedby a bank in the ings on the floor Cayman Islands of the Washington State House of (insert eye roll here), totally missed Representatives—fascinating in a its mark. Not only did it produce the watching-paint-dry sort of way. As it requisite blowback, making the site happens, they were considering a bill far more popular, but it also closed to require every state university to only the most obvious method of acprovide venues for distribution of cess. Yes, produces a voter-registration materials, includ- “site not found” message; but any ing “an active prompt on its course librarian worthy of the name could registration Web site” linking to the track down the site within about 15 state voter-registration site. seconds. That’s a dumb idea for a couple of The judge, bless his antediluvian different reasons: First of all, if col- heart, only ordered the registrar to lege students can’t make their way to disable the domain name, but the IP voter-registration information, we address still works, as do a number have bigger things to worry about; of offshore mirror sites in exotic and second, what will happen when, places like Belgium and Germany. someday, there’s no longer a “Web” Hardly worth the trouble. to have websites on? How many laws There’s an “information wants to and regulations are being written be free” fable here, but my story is that name this specific technology, somewhat different. Institutions and how do they all get fixed when simply can’t keep abreast of all the the plug finally gets pulled? new stuff going on in the informaThen in late February, by happy tion world. We’ll find out if and how

by Joseph Janes

american libraries 

Can we cope with the pace and breadth of innovation?

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OPINION | Public Perception

How the World Sees Us “When I was 13, I kissed Ann Podzervinsky on the lips in a Catholic library. Just kissing a girl was scary enough, but kissing in the same room with a nun was almost more than I could handle. Sister Mary Daniels did not see me, Ann decided she didn’t want a boyfriend, and I ended up with a book on early Christianity.” Retired air traffic controller PAUL LAWSON reminisces about a formative experience, in honor of

GUIN, on the 2004 National Endowment for the Arts report on the decline of reading fiction, “Staying Awake: Notes on the Alleged Decline of Reading,” Harpers, February.

MOORE’s reaction to being told by the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles

“Ah yes, the libraries of Erie County. Like aging beauty queens, they trudge forward, bedraggled and vulnerable, years of glory behind them—and badly in need of reinvention.” Columnist

National Love Your Library month, in an

CHARITY VOGEL looks forward to the revi-

article by McMinnville librarians Jenny

talization of the Buffalo and Erie County

Berg and Hillary Garrett, “Loving Our

(N.Y.) Public Library, Buffalo News, Jan. 21.

Library,” McMinnville (Oreg.) News-Register, Feb. 2.

“Self-satisfaction with the inability to remain conscious when faced with printed matter seems questionable. But I also want to question the assumption—whether gloomy or faintly gloating—that books are on the way out. I think they’re here to stay. It’s just that not all that many people ever did read them. Why should we think everybody ought to now?” Author URSULA K. LE

“Don’t get carried away with the university tag. We didn’t hang out at the library or anything. A lot has been said of our university background, but that’s just where we all met. We still went to parties and had fun.” EZRA KOENIG, frontman to the indie rock group Vampire Weekend, on the band’s origins, The Sun (U.K.), Jan. 24.

“Librarians these days must be hightech information sleuths, helping researchers plumb the oceans of information available in books and digital records. It’s an underrated career.” Author MARTY

that she must return her 20-year-old vanity plate that reads “XSTACY,” due to a state ban on license plate references to narcotics, USA Today, Jan. 22.

“Public libraries.” Senior Editor PAUL BOUTIN, in his list of 34 “Things That Don’t Suck,” Wired, February, along with Guitar Hero, the set design on Mad Men, and salt-and-vinegar potato chips.

“It is unacceptable to display any book in a public space of your home if you have not read it. Therefore, to be placed on Matt Selman’s living room bookshelves, a book must have been read cover to cover, every word, by Matt Selman. If you are in the home of Matt Selman and see a book on the living room shelves, you know FOR SURE it has been read by Matt Selman.” The Simpsons Executive Producer MATT SELMAN’s “Rule #1” in his home-library guidelines, “The Unabridged Rules of Library Management,” Nerd World blog, Feb. 6.

the 31 best careers of 2008, a list that


includes investment banker, urban

Up to six bibliophiles can play Bookchase, a game in which players, armed with library cards, attempt to fill their tiny book shelves with even tinier books by answering questions or visiting the board game’s library or book store. Just watch out for potential game-losing blunders like dropping your brandnew book in the imaginary bathtub.

planner, ghostwriter, locksmith, hairstylist, and editor,

“But people who ignore laws against driving drunk also tend to ignore laws requiring them to have a valid license. For some, taking away their license had all the impact of confiscating their library card.” Columnist STEVE CHAPMAN on the difficulty of

U.S. News & World

keeping DWI offenders from driving

Report, Dec. 29.

drunk, Chicago Tribune, Feb. 14.  z

Photo: © Bookchase 2008

april 2008

NEMKO writing on


american libraries 

“It’s ridiculous. Being a librarian, I come into contact with censorship all the time and this is [it] . . . . I want my plate.” Librarian STACY

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3/17/2008 9:30:29 AM

On My Mind | OPINION

Global Warming and Us


Elaine Harger is librarian at Mount Si High School in Snoqualmie, Washington, and a member of ALA Council.

april 2008

personal 34 lbs. would have to include my air travel to professional conferences, which are usually the only flights I ever take. n  Third, I am only a third-generation CO2 producer. Most of my ancestors lived just fine producing much less than 9 lbs. of CO2 per day. n  Fourth, the task of turning our lives from Earth-destroying ones to Earth-sustaining ones is as full of adventure and promise as any task ever to face humanity; all we need is to reactivate some of that good old human can-do spirit, and librarianship can help enormously. For starters, host a showing of the 2006 documentary film Who Killed the Electric Car? at your library and ask the audience to imagine every gas station stocked with solarcharged exchangeable batteries instead of gasoline. Sponsor and participate in Northwest Earth Institute discussion groups so that your community can explore the possibilities for creating sustainable relationships with your bioregion. Travel the world through books instead of as a CO2-spewing tourist. And, finally, let’s rethink ALA conferences. “Greening” ALA Midwinter and Annual meetings is not just a matter of whether or not convention centers recycle paper. We need to rethink the need for national gatherings, because they are not sustainable given current conditions.  z



hile driving over under the direct control of each inthe Continental dividual, while the other 57 lbs. is Divide in Montana each person’s share of emissions last summer, I was produced by the businesses, indusheartsick to see many rust-coltries, electrical generators, and ored trees scattered throughout transportation systems that make up forests of usually solid green, part of the infrastructure of our soIn places it looked as though ciety. By way of comparison, the av20–30% of the trees were dead, erage daily CO2 emissions per and indeed they are—killed by person in the rest of the world is 24 a beetle whose only predator is lbs. And, as it turns out, Earth’s ecothe extreme colds of Montana systems can fully process only 9 lbs. winters, themselves seemingly of CO2 per day per person. headed for extinction due to globTo calculate your personal carbon al warming. footprint, you gathI’ve come What does the er up gas receipts to realize death of pine for your vehicles trees have to do and your utility that global with librarianbills, and count the warming goes ship? Is global number of airplane to the heart of our warming a trips taken yearly. “library issue”? My CO2 production professional concerns. Many librarians amounted to 34 lbs. argue that provision of books, proper day—lower than the U.S. avergramming, and other information age, primarily because I walk to concerning environmental matters work and use my car as little as posis sufficient to fulfill librarianship’s sible. obligations. Some argue that we This bit of information posed a need to balance any information ac- profound question and prompted a knowledging the environmental cri- period of complete demoralization sis with sources that deny human brought on by contemplating its imresponsibility for it. However, I’ve plications: How do I reduce my percome to realize that global warming sonal production of CO2 from 34 + goes to the heart of our professional 57 = 91 lbs. per day to 9? What permitted me to emerge from my feelconcerns in a number of ways. ings of complete defeat were four Recently, as part of a Northwest realizations: Earth Institute discussion group n  First, I personally am not recalled Global Warming: Changing sponsible for reducing 57 of those CO2urse, I calculated my carbon footprint. The average daily produc- pounds; this is a task for our entire tion of CO2 emissions per person in society, including librarianship. the U.S. is 122 lbs. About 65 lbs. is n  Second, any reductions to my

by Elaine Harger

american libraries 

Assessing our environmental and professional responsibility

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3/17/2008 9:31:03 AM










SUNDAY, JUNE 29, 2008 4:00P M-5: 30PM




























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Untitled-4 2

California Screamin’ ride at at Disney’s California AdventureŽ Park, Anaheim, CA

03/10/2008 1:11:04 PM

News | Interview

NEWSMAKER: charles simic was born in a now extinct country (Yugoslavia) speaking a language (Serbo-Croatian) which is no longer called that and left in 1953 with my mother and brother to join my father in America,” Charles Simic told American Libraries. From those immigrant experiences arose one of the finest poets in the English language and the author of two dozen books and chapbooks. Last year he was named the 15th poet laureate of the United States, an honor that he says “surprised the hell out of me.” He is professor emeritus of American literature and creative writing at the University of New Hampshire. His latest collection of poems, That Little Something, is due this month from Harcourt.

American Libraries: English is not your

How did you find out that you were

first language. How did it become the

being asked to be poet laureate of

language in which you write?

the United States?  One morning

Charles simic:  I was 15 years old when I came to the United States, spoke barely any English, and when I did start to write poems in my last year in high school in Oak Park, Illinois, I wrote in English because that was the only language my friends understood.

early last August, my wife and I came home from shopping and the phone rang. It was the Library of Congress. It surprised the hell out of me.

What part did libraries play in your becoming an American? A

Oak Park had an incredibly fine public library which I visited two to three times per week. I took hundreds of books out, everything from literature to art. Later on in New York City, I spent many days and evenings in the New York Public Library reading room on 42nd and 5th. I also borrowed books from New York University library and the Donnell branch of the city library. If you love books as I do, the library is the place where I have always been the happiest.

laureate?  I never gave it a thought,

but, inevitably, once it was announced, and now after many interviews and appearances, it became clear to me what that role is. I’m the public defender of poetry. I try to explain to whoever asks me why poetry is worth reading and inform them about all the many books, anthologies, magazines being published and poetry readings given all over the country. That always comes as a huge surprise to the media. Most of them know nothing about American literature. They barely know it exists. Do you have any special projects you are working on at the Library of Congress?   No, I have nothing planned.

What are your views on the importance of poetry?  My views are of no importance. Poetry has been around for at least four thousand years. Obviously, it has meant a great deal to individuals and various cultures over the ages. It told stories of their gods, their heroes, and it also conveyed what it was like to be alive on a certain day in a certain year hundreds of years ago. The reason we still read that poem today is that we find in it something we find nowhere else: the record of the impact of some feeling or sensation on a single life. There are plenty of other things that go into poetry, but that ability to draw on our most basic experience of the world is what makes it important. What can librarians do to help people understand its value?   Have good poetry collections on the library’s shelves. What writers have been most influen-

I never made a list but I suspect it would include at least 50 names. Everyone from ancient Chinese poets to Emily Dickinson, and many of my contemporaries have influenced me. I read everything when I was young and I still do. Every time I walk past a library, I think, I ought to go inside and take a peek at what they’ve got new.  z

tial on your life and work? 


american libraries 


april 2008

poet?   Libraries were my university.

What do you see as your role as poet

American poetry is in good shape. It’s written and read by thousands of people already. There are many good programs on the state and national level already in existence, and we don’t need another one.

Photo: Richard Drew/AP


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3/17/2008 9:32:05 AM

The Library of Congress invites you to be a part of a national celebration of the creativity inspired by local libraries. Tell us how your library has helped Americans explore their creative potential. By sharing personal examples of inspiration, you and your patrons can join the great minds which have made an impression on history. Select entries will be chosen to be part of the Library’s permanent collection, joining the likes of Thomas Jefferson and other American legends.


To learn more, visit

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By Dorothy Waterfill Trotter


he philosophy behind environmentally friendly design sounds like common sense—use resources wisely, recycle, and utilize native materials as much as possible. The complexity is in the implementation. How do you document the process, set priorities, and balance environmental concerns with the needs of patrons, staff, and taxpayers?

In Durham County, North Carolina, the North Regional branch boasts the ultimate in window seating, with a western view that invites the sun in while providing some shade.


american libraries


octOBER 2007

Three environmentally friendly libraries illustrate a county’s commitment to sustainable design

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When elected officials and management staff in Durham County, North Carolina, made the commitment to go green, they chose to follow the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification process. Three 25,000-square-foot regional libraries illustrate how the county has approached sustainable building design. “It’s all about building the best buildings for our customers and staff while meeting the criteria for certification,” explains Priscilla Lewis, manager of library facilities.

LEEDing the way Established by the U.S. Green Building Council, the LEED Green Building Rating System provides standards for environmentally sustainable construction, evaluating projects within six categories: site development, water efficiency, energy efficiency, materials selection, indoor environmental quality, and innovation in design. LEED certification is available in four levels—certified, silver, gold, and platinum. The Durham County Library—which serves more than 1.1 million customers annually with a budget of over $8 million—is moving away from the traditional main library/ small branch model to a regional library system. This transition has provided an opportunity to incorporate green building. Durham County’s East Regional Library, which opened in June 2006, received LEED certification at the certified

level. The North Regional Library opened in January 2007 and received silver certification. And the South Library, scheduled to open in late 2009, is being built with the goal of attaining gold certification. “Durham is an environmentally sensitive community,” notes County Manager Michael Ruffin. “With our proximity to the Research Triangle Park, there’s a focus on using technology that benefits the environment.” Why follow the LEED approach? At the beginning of this decade, local architect Today’s Gail Lindsey, who authored many of the environmentally LEED standards, helped to make those friendly guidelines applicable to the Triangle region. Durham County Commission Chair Ellen buildings seek Reckhow, a commissioner for 20 years, was to use natural a delegate to the Triangle J Regional Council resources of Governments at that time, and learned wisely. about high-performance building design. “I brought that information to the board,” she recalls. “We adopted a policy guideline that we should follow this approach for all new construction.” “Our county is currently undertaking a $1.2-billion, 10-year building plan for schools and county facilities,” Ruffin notes. “We’re committed to pursuing LEED certification for every project on the drawing board.”

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|  american libraries 


Earthtones and vibrant hues complement the interior of Durham County Library’s East Regional branch, whose unassuming exterior and clean, energy-efficient lines beckons passersby (above).

In the 1970s, conservation often meant deprivation and battling nature. As Americans waited in gas lines and set winter thermostats at 65 degrees, energy-saving buildings were built with thick concrete walls and very small windows. Today’s environmentally friendly buildings seek to use natural resources wisely, and to create appealing spaces that enhance the health and comfort of the users by working with the natural environment. Visitors and staff at Durham County’s regional libraries enjoy the use of natural light (daylight brightens 75% of the buildings); views of the attractive, drought-resistant landscaping (important during the state’s current drought); and healthier air (buildings are smoke-free, have carpet made of low-emitting, recycled fibers, and are maintained with green cleaning products).

april 2008

A new shade of green

3/17/2008 9:34:47 AM

A welcoming nook at Durham County Library’s North Regional Library boasts an enticing view of the outdoors. By basking the interior with natural light, the large window raises spirits even as it lowers the library’s electric bills. Below, the west wall overhang hugs a patio whose afternoon shade it ensures.

Saving green by going green What is the financial impact of following LEED guidelines? “The LEED-certified approach provides many options,” Freelon says. “Some may cost more and some may cost less than conventional building approaches. As architects, we have to fully understand our end users’ goals. Some aspects may cost more initially, but the life-cycle cost may be lower.” For DCL, the investment required to meet the LEED guidelines is expected to yield savings over the life of these buildings. “We’re looking at the 20-to-30-year life cycle of the building,” Whisler notes. “Reducing the consumption of energy and water will make the buildings less expensive to operate than conventional buildings.”

Educate, cooperate, anticipate Implementing Durham County’s goal of LEED certification has required a combination of education and teamwork throughout the community. “We met with a stakeholders group for each of these libraries,” says Ruffin. “It’s important for the neighbor-

Setting sustainable goals Once county officials chose the LEED guidelines as their metric for sustainable


american american libraries libraries  


april october 20082007

“Our users tell me that their families enjoy visiting these new libraries,” notes Library Director Skip Auld. “The natural light pouring in from all around creates the sense of a special place.” Recycling is required for everything from building materials to the paper, Using materials bottles, and cans used by visitors and from a close staff. Even the remains of a building proximity to demolished to make way for the South Regional library were separated, the project site tracked, and recycled. Some of the brick saves energy that from that building is being used in the might have been new library. Sustainable building design with consumed during regard to materials encompasses four transport and categories, explains Philip G. Freelon, reduces emissions. founder and president of the Freelon Philip G. Freelon Group, the Durham-based architect for these three libraries. “First, we consider whether we can use recycled materials for the new construction,” Freelon says. “We also try to specify construction materials and components that can be recycled after the building’s useful life. A third aspect that comes into play is the origination or source of materials and construction assemblies. Using materials from a close proximity to the project site saves energy that might have been consumed during transport and reduces emissions. Finally, we give serious consideration to building materials that are rapidly renewable and thereby put less strain on the natural environment, like bamboo.” “Brick is a great regional product for Durham County,” notes County Engineer Glen Whisler. “We use a lot of brick.”

design, they set specific goals for each project. Decisions had to be made about which and how many guidelines could be met. “Determine what level of certification you want to pursue,” advises Zena Howard, senior associate and project manager for the Freelon Group. “If you decide to go after one of the higher levels of certification, the team needs to have very serious conversations about what that will mean to be certain everyone is committed to meeting those stringent guidelines.” “We began modestly, seeking the certified level for the East Regional library,” explains Whisler. “We are shooting for the gold level on the South Regional.” DCL’s project team includes a sustainability consultant who helps them stay focused on the LEED guidelines throughout the process and ensures that the paperwork is completed and collected.

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Whisler offers this advice for library systems interested in pursuing sustainable design: n Start small—pick a manageable project so you’re not overwhelmed. n Start early—make the commitment before any planning for the building begins. n Work as a team—discuss sustainability at every design review meeting. n Hold sustainability workshops—get the library staff acquainted with the plans and the things that will make the library different. Have your team members attend to answer questions about their areas of expertise. n Be prepared to document everything. n Don’t overthink the process—just do it. It will be a learning experience, like anything else.  z

costs of green building with long-term savings. Anyone planning a more sustainable library might want to check out, a library planning information system created by the Cerritos (Calif.) Public Library. Among the site’s resources are Sustainable Library Design (www, an excellent 26-page report from Libris and the California State Library, as well as a list of documents (www .html) covering green library issues from furniture to signage. The American Library Association gives us official links via its Task Force on the Environment—part of the Social Responsibilities Round Table— at taskforceenvironment.cfm. Although it does not exclusively address green library concerns, a recent book by Michael Dewe, Planning Public Library Buildings: Concepts and Issues for the Librarian (Ashgate, 2006), highlights many ideas that librarians should consider. And there are many other books for general green tips. Once your green, LEEDcertified library begins welcoming visitors through its doors, a librarian’s fondest dream is realized: education. As in many other areas of life, libraries can be central partners in this green effort, providing a wealth of information and leading by example. —Catrina Coyle, library assistant at Monterey (Calif.) Public Library and an MLIS candidate at San Jose State University, where she plans to graduate in May.


Photos: James West/

Getting started

As readily acknowledged information centers, libraries should put themselves at the forefront of environmental awareness by designing sustainable buildings, using green practices, and encouraging patrons to “reduce, reuse, and recycle.” Existing libraries can begin by introducing small changes, suggested by the print and online resources below. A good place to start is Green Libraries (www, which lists books and websites for green ideas and highlights libraries that have already been built with green sensibilities. The U.S. Green Building Council ( has taken charge of regulating standards for architects and builders, creating several levels of “greenness” depending on indoor and outdoor plans. The environmental movement is often a grassroots effort, and many librarians and green advocates provide valuable advice and links through their blogs. Visit greeningyourlibrary, www, or prairielibrarian.wordpress .com/green-libraries/ for good ideas on how to im-prove green awareness in your own library. Of course, you may question why a public library should bother with conservation when most budgets are stretched to the last dollar for materials, staffing, and technology. Cost calculators at sites such as the California Integrated Waste Management Board ( greenbuilding/toolkit.htm) can help you compare the initial

american libraries 

hoods to welcome these facilities. We shared plans and solicited feedback. Their input influenced the site orientation and how we access the properties.” Having the right team of professionals at the table is essential to ensure that careful thought and planning occur at each step of the building process. “It’s important that the team begin meeting early,” stresses Howard. Everyone involved with the buildings has to be informed and committed to the LEED process, including the general services team that maintains them. For example, the custodian needs to know how to clean the different types of building materials, and what environmentally friendly cleaning products are appropriate to use. DCL staff found that some aspects of sustainable design require adjustment. The waterless urinals work well, but were met with some initial concerns from staff and patrons. The photo-integrated light sensors needed some modification to prevent the auditorium lights from turning on during video presentations when someone in the audience moved. And the lighter shades of paint used to assist daylighting strategies are more likely to show scuffs, so walls require more frequent painting than with darker colors.

How to Make Your Library Green

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3/17/2008 9:36:16 AM



nvironmentalism is in—whether it carries

the tag “sustainable,” “ecofriendly,” or simply “green.” This theme is evident in library construction in the continued growth of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. But even

The G

buildings that eschew formal LEED certification can be and are designed to minimize their environmental impact by preserving the existing landscape, using locally produced building materials, installing energy-efficient lighting, and a host of other methods. This year, American Libraries’ Library Design Showcase highlights 27 new and renovated library facilities, many of which (including Hercules Public Library, above and

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3/17/2008 9:37:12 AM


e Green Scene p. 46) demonstrate a commitment to making a beautiful


space that serves both the community and the planet. Other notable systems opening buildings in 2007 include Indianapolis–Marion County (cover), San Antonio (p. 51), and Yale University (p. 57).

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3/17/2008 9:37:34 AM

Photos: Frisco Public Library: Tom Kessler Photography



New Construction Holzman Moss Architecture Size: 51,000 sq. ft. Cost: $30.5 million


american libraries


april 2008

The 51,000-square-foot library shares Frisco’s new George A. Purefoy Municipal Center with the 89,000square-foot city hall. The façade is made of granite and Texas limestone and features a central clock tower. Interior features include mesquite wood floors and custom fabrics showing symbols significant to the city’s history.

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3/17/2008 9:37:58 AM



Renovation and Addition Van Dyke Architects www.vandykearchitects .com Size: 1,500 sq. ft. expansion, 39,594 sq. ft. total Cost: $3.3 million

Contra Costa County (Calif.) Library


Photos: Hercules Public Library: Bill Timmerman Photography; Rocky River Public Library: Larry Bennett

Restoring the main floor reading and browsing room was one focus of the renovation of Rocky River Public Library. The library also expanded the second-floor children’s room, added space to the public computer area and computer training center, provided more display space for art and pottery collections, and incorporated custom furniture and cabinetry.

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New Construction HGA Architects and Engineers/Will Bruder and Partners Size: 20,500 sq. ft. Cost: $10.4 million

american libraries 

The Hercules Public Library building incorporates sophisticated solar glazing, a “cool” roof, recyclable carpet tile, and bioswales for site drainage. Notable design elements include an Asian-influenced courtyard that helps provide natural light throughout the building, a reading area with fireside seating, and separate areas for children and teens.

april 2008

Hercules Public Library


Photos: Frisco Public Library: Tom Kessler Photography

Rocky River (Ohio) Public Library

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Ramsey County (Minn.) Library System

april 2008

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american libraries 

New Construction HGA Architects and Engineers Size: 31,000 sq. ft. Cost: $6.8 million

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Calvert County (Md.) Public Libraries Prince Frederick Library The new Prince Frederick Library building reflects the characteristics of Calvert County in a lighthouselike stair tower connecting the two floors of the library with a café and a cast-stone fireplace, which includes fossils embedded in its face. Numerous study and tutoring rooms are featured as well as a meeting room that can be divided as needed.


The Maplewood Library is adjacent to a community park and wetlands. Architects were able to preserve more than half of the existing trees on the site through careful construction staging and building orientation. The landscaping features rain gardens and native grasses to filter runoff and reduce irrigation requirements.

New Construction Grimm + Parker Architects Size: 27,927 sq. ft. Cost: $8 million

Photos: Ramsey County Library: Albert Vecerka/Esto; Prince Frederick Library: Kenneth M. Wyner Photography

Maplewood branch

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april 2008


Renovation Nagle Hartray Danker Kagan McKay Penney Architects and architectureisfun Size: 17,000 sq. ft. renovation, 115,000 sq. ft. total Cost: $1.9 million


american libraries

The juvenile population in Evanston has grown 15% since the library building was built 13 years ago—with the expectation that the youth population would shrink. This renovation doubled the size of the children’s room, incorporated age-specific zones with interactive, museumlike exhibits, and created the Loft space for teens on the previously underused third floor. All new products are made of recycled materials, and about four-fifths of the material removed from the library was recycled.

New Construction FTC&H/Riemenschneider Design Associates .com Size: 18,000 sq. ft. Cost: $5.35 million



Photos: Evanston Public Library: Doug Snower Photography; Hastings Public Library: Riemenschneider Design Associates

Photos: Ramsey County Library: Albert Vecerka/Esto; Prince Frederick Library: Kenneth M. Wyner Photography



Built on a brownfield site, Hastings Public Library is targeted to receive LEED Gold certification. Contributing to the library’s rating are low-VOC (volatile organic compound) furnishings and finishes, linoleum tabletops, condensing gas boilers, an underfloor air distribution system, vegetative roofs in the turrets, and toilet partitions made of recycled milk jugs.

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SOUTHSIDE LIBRARY Santa Fe’s Southside branch was designed to meet LEED Silver criteria, although it was not certified due to budgetary reasons. The building uses daylighting and passive solar gain to reduce heating, cooling, and lighting costs. Construction materials include Forest Stewardship Council–certified woods, formaldehydefree composite woods, and locally produced and largely recycled materials. New Construction Integrated Design & Architecture Size: 25,792 sq. ft. Cost: $6.1 million

Photos: Harvard Public Library: Richard Mandelkorn; Santa Fe Public Library: Robert Reck Photography

april 2008


Renovation and Addition CBT Architects Size: 11,351 sq. ft. expansion, 19,483 sq. ft. total Cost: $6.39 million



american libraries

When Harvard’s public library needed to expand but had no room to grow on its site, the town opted to renovate Old Broomfield, a school that closed in 2003 but that remained a beloved civic building in the town center. The architect restored the wood trusses in the community room, which had been hidden by a dropped acoustic ceiling; reclaimed the previously unused basement, which now houses a stateof-the-art mechanical room; replicated original lighting fixtures; and preserved the existing trees, which include chestnuts, elms, and a 200-year-old black oak.




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San Antonio (Tex.) Public Library

John Igo Branch One of three new or renovated branches in the San Antonio system last year, the Igo branch serves one of the city’s fastestgrowing neighborhoods. A 40-foot windmill in front of the building functions as a gathering area and helps to power the building’s water circulation pump. Inside, the main circulation desk divides the building into two column-free spaces, one for children and one for teens and adults.

>> New Construction PSA Dewberry Size: 26,000 sq. ft. Cost: $3.5 million

american libraries 


Built adjacent to a canal, the Valley Ranch library was designed to offer views of the water and to make use of light from the north. The building includes 5,000 square feet of unfinished space for future expansion.

april 2008

Valley Ranch Library


Photos: San Antonio Public Library: Rehler Vaughn & Koone; Irving Public Library: Mark Trew Photography

Irving (Tex.) Public Library


Photos: Harvard Public Library: Richard Mandelkorn; Santa Fe Public Library: Robert Reck Photography

New Construction Rehler Vaughn & Koone Size: 16,564 sq. ft. Cost: $5 million

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As part of a broader renovation of the school, the Grosse Pointe Academy library was relocated to a long-unused upper-level auditorium. The library retained the auditorium’s ornamental wood arches, historic pendant and sconce lighting, windows, and wainscoting, while adding supplemental and task lighting and converting the stage into a young children’s reading area. Renovation Fanning/Howey Associates Size: 2,800 sq. ft. Cost: $7.8 million (total for school)

When Our Lady of Good Counsel, a private, Catholic high school, built a new school on a new site, it made the media center an integral part. Located on the third floor, the library features high slanted ceilings, comfortable seating, and a computer lab.


New Construction Duane, Cahill, Mullineaux, and Mullineaux Size: 5,200 sq. ft. Cost: $1 million


american libraries 


april 2008

Our Lady of Good Counsel High School Library, Olney, Maryland

Land O’ Lakes branch

Creative Arts Unlimited developed a Florida wildlife theme, including wood birds soaring through the atrium, for the Land O’ Lakes Library, as well as a marine theme for Pasco County’s Regency Park branch, which opened at the same time. New Construction Harvard Jolly Architects/Creative Arts Unlimited Size: 18,000 sq. ft. Cost: N/A

Photos: Grosse Pointe Academy: John T. Greilick; Pasco County Public Libraries: Brian Chan, Creative Arts Unlimited; Our Lady of Good Counsel: Joe Cabigas

Grosse Pointe Academy Library, Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan

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Pasco County (Fla.) Public Libraries

3/17/2008 9:40:21 AM


>> Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore

Baltimore’s first new public library in more than 30 years, the Southeast Anchor branch features a brick wing as a backdrop for a glass-enclosed section, displaying the library’s reading areas. Building features include a café with WiFi, three group-study rooms, a technology training center, and a separate young adult area.

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april 2008


Renovation and Addition J. Stewart Roberts Associates Size: 11,500 sq. ft. expansion, 24,000 sq. ft. total Cost: $7.1 million

american libraries 

charlton (mass.) public library

Housed in the nearly 100-year-old Dexter Memorial Hall, the expansion of Charlton Public Library took advantage of the sloping site to add a new accessible entrance, restored the third-floor meeting hall and stage, and created a children’s area more than six times its original size. The adult services area has also grown, with the reference area now filling the original library room.


Photos: Enoch Pratt Free Library: Jeff Tryan; Charlton Public Library: Peter Vanderwarker

New Construction RMJM Hillier Architecture Size: 30,000 sq. ft. Cost: $10.1 million


Photos: Grosse Pointe Academy: John T. Greilick; Pasco County Public Libraries: Brian Chan, Creative Arts Unlimited; Our Lady of Good Counsel: Joe Cabigas

Southeast Anchor Branch

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The Health Sciences Library makes extensive use of large windows, wood, stone, native colors, and terraces and balconies that allow users to step outside. The building has 30 group-study rooms and three informatics teaching labs for collaborative learning. New Construction Davis Partnership Size: 113,000 sq. ft. Cost: $35 million


american libraries


april 2008

CUESTA COLLEGE, SAN LUIS OBISPO, CALIFORNIA The renovated library and student services building reflects Cuesta College’s Mission-style architecture in clay tile roofs, arched façades, and textured plaster walls. The library fills the second floor with study rooms, computer stations, and double the book-storage capacity of the original library.


Renovation and Addition NTD Architects Size: 22,000 sq. ft. expansion, 45,000 sq. ft. total Cost: $14 million

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Photos: University of Colorado, Denver: Lou Messing; Cuesta College: Cuesta College Advancement


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Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina

Carol Grotnes Belk Library

Replacing a 1970s building two-thirds its size, the new Belk Library has a fourstory atrium entrance and is topped by a prominent cupola. The building has seats for 1,700, three library instruction classrooms, 27 group-study rooms, a lecture hall, more than 300 public computers, and the university’s first special collections area. New Construction Pease Associates/ Shepley Bulfinch Richardson and Abbott Size: 221,000 sq. ft. Cost: $37.5 million

Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies, Chicago

>> |  american libraries 

New Construction Krueck and Sexton Architects Size: 155,000 sq. ft. facility Cost: $55 million

april 2008

Built on one of the last empty lots on Chicago’s South Michigan Avenue, the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies includes a 23,300-square-foot library on the seventh and eighth floors housing more than 110,000 items. Floor-toceiling windows, specially treated to reduce ultraviolet rays, provide the reading room with natural light and views of Lake Michigan.


Photos: Appalachian State University: Mike Rominger; Spertus Institute: William Zbaren

Photos: University of Colorado, Denver: Lou Messing; Cuesta College: Cuesta College Advancement

Asher Library

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Colgate University Hamilton, New York Case Library

Located on a steeply graded site, the Case Library bridges Colgate’s upper and lower campuses. The expansion added floor space on three sides of the 1950 building and a new fifth floor, which houses a café, 24-hour study areas, and videoconferencing and multimedia production facilities. Renovation and Addition Shepley Bulfinch Richardson & Abbott Size: 51,000 sq. ft. expansion, 152,000 sq. ft. total Cost: $57.5 million


The Canizaro Library shares a three-story building, built in a style reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright, with the engineering department, and temporarily with the music department and administrative offices. Among other amenities, the library has a 24-hour reading room that seats 35, three quiet-study rooms, eight groupstudy rooms, and a graduate-student study lounge. New Construction Cannon Design Size: 95,000 sq. ft. Cost: $17.6 million


american libraries 


april 2008

Canizaro Library

Photos: Colgate University: Kevin Triplett; Ave Maria University: Louis Granato

Ave Maria (Fla.) University

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Linderman Library

Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Linderman Library was originally built in 1878, and expanded in 1929. The renovation addresses three issues: incorporating technical systems such as ventilation, air conditioning, and smoke exhaust systems in a building not originally designed to house them; spatial integration of the 1929 lobby with the original rotunda and stack floors; and adding program facilities such as seminar and group-study rooms, computer labs, and a café. Renovation and Restoration MGA Partners Size: 76,000 sq. ft. Cost: $13.1 million

>> Renovation Hammond Beeby Rupert Ainge Size: 59,800 sq. ft. Cost: $47.5 million

american libraries 


Located underground beneath the campus’s Sterling Memorial main library, Bass Library houses 150,000 highuse items. The renovated facility includes individualstudy rooms, two electronic classrooms, a café, and a new entrance pavilion in Collegiate Gothic style.

april 2008

Bass Library


Photos: Lehigh University: Barry Halkin; Yale University: Michael Marsland

Photos: Colgate University: Kevin Triplett; Ave Maria University: Louis Granato

Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut

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North Carolina State University, Raleigh D. H. Hill Library

The renovation of Hill Library reclaimed 20,000 square feet of former staff workspace to create a 14,000-squarefoot Learning Commons and a new Special Collections Research Center. The Commons focuses on group work, with computers arranged in clusters, two group-study rooms with wall-mounted LCD screens, and a presentation practice room.

Baltimore City Public Schools

South East Middle School Library

A single, continuous piece of furniture—conceived as a “Mobius strip of learning”—winds through the renovated library, holding shelving, desk areas, computer terminals, and specialty lighting and defining an amphitheater. The design is a pilot project for bringing innovative thinking to the design and renovation of the district’s libraries.


american libraries 


april 2008

American Academy in Rome

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Renovation Alexander Design Studio Size: 3,086 sq. ft. Cost: $151,800

Arthur and Janet C. Ross Library The renovation combined restoration of the original 1914 reading rooms, which included restoring historic woodwork and furniture, along with new compact shelving, an upgraded fire-suppression system, and redesigned stack areas. Special features include custom carrels and preservation-friendly folio shelving for large art and archaeology books. Renovation and Conservation A&V Architetti Size: 23,000 sq. ft. Cost: $4.5 million

Photos: North Carolina State University: Gil Stose; Baltimore City Public Schools: Alexander Design Studio; American Academy in Rome: Mimmo Capone


Renovation Meyer, Scherer, and Rockcastle Size: 98,000 sq. ft. renovated, 250,000 sq. ft. total Cost: $11.2 million

3/17/2008 9:42:37 AM


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A private library in a historic 42-room house presents special restoration challenges By Lindsay E. Shannon

Makeover at the Mansion


n increasing number of historic sites—along with

their collections and archives—are being rediscovered and preserved today. While many of the preservation and collection management challenges found in these homes and museums are no different from those libraries face every day, a close study of institution reveals unique restoration needs.

Like many other historic buildings across the country, Salisbury House and Gardens in Des Moines, Iowa, is embarking on a major renovation project to preserve its period library and art treasures. Constructed during the 1920s, the 42-room historic mansion sits on a 10-acre wooded estate complete with formal English gardens. Originally the home of Armand Cosmetics creator Carl

Protecting a world-class collection Weeks’s passion for books began at an early age. As a young pharmacy student, he often used his lunch allowance to purchase books instead. Over the course of his lifetime, Weeks accumulated a wide variety of volumes, from first editions by D. H. Lawrence, Walt Whitman, and Ernest Hemingway to incunabula, antiquities, and letters from


american american libraries libraries


april octOBER 20082007

the situation faced by one such

Weeks and his family, Salisbury House was modeled after King’s House in Salisbury, England—a vision that began with a trip to Europe in 1904. Carl and his wife, Edith, returned to Salisbury many times to acquire authentic furnishings and fixtures for their own Tudor-style mansion on the prairie. Weeks even salvaged the 16th-century roof timbers from the old White Hart Inn at Salisbury, under which Shakespeare once reputedly performed. By its completion in 1928, Salisbury House cost $3 million to build and furnish—exceeding the amount spent on construction of Yankee Stadium just five years earlier. The house served as the Weeks family residence for nearly three decades; it was then sold to the Iowa State Education Association, which located its offices there for 45 years. Since acquiring the mansion and its collections intact in 1998, Salisbury House Foundation has worked to restore and operate the site as a historic mansion museum, providing public access to its many treasures. In addition to the architecture, the mansion is distinguished by an extensive collection of art and artifacts, including paintings by such notable artists as Joseph Stella and Anthony van Dyck. But one of the most prized collections in the house is Weeks’s private library, which contains more than 3,000 rare books and manuscripts.

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royal and historic figures. The collection is also notable for bibles and other religious books, including a 15thcentury illuminated book of hours. The library at Salisbury House is one of the most complete originally installed rooms in the mansion. As a collection, the library is important because it not only illustrates the personality and interests of the owner, but also stands as a record of book-collecting practices in early 20th-century Sixteenth-century English oak encases the private library at Salisbury House, kept in America. Individually, the rare books the same pristine condition as when collector Carl Weeks was selecting items for it. and manuscripts provide unique research opportunities that are generally found only in HVAC systems with those specifically designed for a hisworld-class institutions. toric house. Aging wiring, insulation, and pipes had conCurrent preservation issues facing the library collection tributed to a constant threat of fire or water damage and are now at the forefront of the foundation’s efforts to needed to be addressed as a whole to protect the collections. restore the house, with the goal of achieving National The mansion was also outfitted with the state’s first Sapphire Historic Landmark status. While renovations to the build- fire suppression system—which would prevent water daming’s physical structure are more visible, work to preserve age in the event of a fire—as well as a high-tech wireless the collections has been integrated into the overall plan. security system. Work in the library included conservation In 2005, major renovation projects were begun through- of the 16th-century English oak floors and paneling as well out the house, including updating of electrical wiring and as replacement of the outdated soffit work with UV-proAMER MAR 08:ALA AMER LIB 01-08


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Although historic homes and museums have often been overlooked, it is important that the library community protect and tected lamps. These renova- support these small private collections. tions have been critical to maintaining an optimal environment for the artifacts. Nearly all libraries face funding woes, and many have to balance the diverse needs of a period collection with public accessibility. But the foundation also has to contend with factors unique to a historic house. Because Salisbury House primarily functions as a museum and cultural education center, the library is required to be maintained as close to the original owner’s intentions as possible.

Preservation takes shape With the combined efforts of staff, interns, and guidance from University of Iowa conservator Gary Frost, a comprehensive preservation program is taking shape. During the summer of 2006, an overall preservation regimen for the library was initiated, providing a platform on which to build more specific preservation projects. Creating a treatment menu for the volumes ensures that the collection can be assessed and treated on a basic level. The task of preserving a private library with so much variety while simultaneously maintaining a period display environment has been a challenge. In addition to bound volumes, the library contains a large number of pamphlets

and paper-bound materials that need to be protected without obstructing the historic character of the library. The foundation’s primary goal is to improve accessibility to the collection for scholarly research and public viewing of important holdings. Part of this mission has already included lending materials for exhibition at other institutions. This objective presents its own special challenges, and will be central to the ongoing evolution of the ­collection-care policy. Collections like those at Salisbury House serve functions that differ from those of larger institutions and therefore have special needs to consider. Many of the specialist collections in these repositories are important resources for scholars and can also educate the public about library treasures in a venue that is accessible to a broader demographic than major academic libraries. Although historic homes and museums have often been overlooked, it is important that the library community protect and support these small private collections. Sharing resources and expertise is essential, and with improved cooperation, these institutions can receive better access to resources for preserving and managing their collections for future research.  z

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PRINT MANAGEMENT “We found out how to add a new printer to the computer from our Internet Services Department. And one library printed up this information sheet for patrons on how to add and connect to a printer wirelessly.” (Instructions inside!) Eliza Wingate Mendocino County Library, CA

“All the systems are security engraved in numerous places, and all serial numbers are kept in our database. To stop them from walking out of the door, I have placed visible and not so visible security tags on them that will trigger the alarm system when they are taken out of the building. We do not allow patrons to take them outside. The laptop bags also have two or three security tags in them, so if someone does try to steal one, they would have to find at least six or seven tags to get over all the security!” Terry Caudle Madisonville Public Library, TN

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Learning At the Jenna Welch and Laura Bush Community Library, college students share library space with teens, babies, and grandparents By Young C. Jackson and Helen Bell



american american libraries libraries  


april october 20082007

The library partnership wo El Paso (Tex.) was created by EPCC PresiCommunity Coldent Richard Rhodes and El lege students pore Paso Public Library Director over research texts Carol Brey-Casiano. “With next to a high school student passion, perseverance, and Googling an online source trust, joint-use partnership not far from 14 teen mothers can be a resounding success,” learning to delight their baRhodes emphasized while bies with nursery rhymes and El Paso Community College library is named for First Lady serving as a panelist in a rhythms. Such is the scene at The Laura Bush and her mother, Jenna Welch, above. Below, a program on joint-use partthe library on EPCC’s north- panorama of intergenerational activity at the joint-use facility. nerships at the American west campus, as described by Library Association’s 2005 Annual Conference. Phyllis Price, a member of the library’s Friends group. Both EPCC and EPPL are driven by a common goal— “Hear a pin drop in this academic library? No way!” Price wrote to her colleagues. “The Jenna Welch and serving the underserved community in the northwest Laura Bush Community Library is one lively, community- section of the city. This dynamic partnership has been strengthened by efforts from such local organizations as building place where people are learning side by side.” Babies learning and teens participating in fun activities the Canutillo Independent School District, the El Paso in the middle of an academic library are all part of the way Independent School District, and the YWCA. Named in honor of Jenna Welch, who grew up in the librarians at this joint-use facility are redefining what a community, and her daughter, Laura Bush—the current library can be.

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Side by Side First Lady and a great promoter of literacy and libraries— the library has been energized by two visionary librarians, Monica Wong, the library’s head librarian, and Anna Hernandez, EPPL’s youth librarian. “Those entering into partnerships should be prepared for great opportunities to come with a great deal of work,” says Wong, adding that she would like the library to become the “in” place to be for people in the community. Over the last four years, the number of programs offered has more than quadrupled, as has attendance, growing from 119 programs and 3,752 attendees to 546 programs and 17,289 attendees. Wong and Hernandez recognized the greatest need for programs during the summer months, and they have filled this void, developing a wide variety of programs with much-needed activities for young members of the community. Programs have included creative and practical writing, sign language, science fair workshops, an anime club, guitar basics, belly dancing, martial arts, and a weekly children’s reading program—activities that tap into our young people’s interests and use them as motivation for developing reading and lifelong learning skills. One of the library’s featured programs, Babies @ the Library, is modeled after ALA’s “Born to Read” and EPPL’s “I’m Learning! Estoy Aprendiendo!” programs. “It is de-

signed to meet the needs of parents and their babies,” explains Hernandez. Over the years, the community has applauded it with features in the local media. College students and community members take advantage of the teen and children’s programs by bringing their families along while they do their academic work in the library. Many have expressed their appreciation for the benefits of this unique arrangement. The library leads successful and innovative academic programs as well, including ESL Family Literacy—which brings family members together to write their stories using publishing software, digital cameras, and scanning equipment—and Borderlands, an annual publication of local history led by faculty advisor Ruth Vise and researched by her students. Through collaborative efforts with the library, Borderlands is digitized and made available online at borderlands/. The Jenna Welch and Laura Bush Community Library serves as a social environment for all age levels—a place where college students share space with teens, babies, and grandparents. According to Brey-Casiano, “The most important characteristic of the library of the future is its role as place—a destination for many who seek a social environment in which to learn and grow.”  z


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Babies learning and teens participating in fun activities in the middle of an academic library are all part of the way librarians at this joint-use facility are redefining what a library can be.

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ALA | Advocacy

Homegrown Superstars Say READ to Succeed Local community celebrities breathe new life into ALA’s quarter-century-old public relations tool


There is only one condition for subjects of READ posters at the Natchez (Miss.) Adams Wilkins Library Service: Everyone must have a library card. When Casey Hughes went to the county board of supervisors to ask permission to photograph the

group, she knew in advance that one supervisor didn’t have a library card. She told the group that privacy concerns prevented her from disclosing who it was. The group gave her permission to reveal his name, he signed up for a library card on the spot, and the photo was a success. “All the elected officials love their posters—they hang them prominently in their office,” Hughes explains. In fact, two courthouse officials use their READ posters on the doors of their offices, in place of nameplates. Hughes laminates the posters and hangs them permanently throughout the library. The posters also are on the library’s website. One of the first posters the library proDr. Earl Watkins imparts the value of reading to duced features a local po- Above, youngsters at the Jackson/Hinds library in Mississippi. Below, members of the Utica (N.Y.) Jewels Book Club lice officer reading a “Reading is fun with friends!” Right, José Aponte, children’s book to a part- say, San Diego County (Calif.) Library director and nationally ranked duathelete, inspires readers in his racing gear. ner of the K-9 variety. Hughes didn’t indicate whether the dog has a library card. pictures with a digital camera, in Pam May, marketing supervisor front of an appropriate background. at the Kanawha County (W. Va.) She then creates 11x17 posters, Public Library System, says featurprints them on the library’s color ing staff members on READ posters laser printer, then laminates them. is a great morale booster. She takes In time for National Library Week


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he trademarked ALA READ posters, featuring celebrities holding a favorite book, have been a fixture in reading and literacy promotions for 25 years. Whether produced by ALA or by individual libraries, the posters continue to play the role of advocate and ambassador for libraries and literacy. Examples of READing success abound, from libraries that used the do-it-yourself READ CDs introduced in 2003 and updated in 2007. Alan Bern, community relations librarian at the Berkeley (Calif.) Public Library, features city council members along with local musicians and writers, teen patrons, and staff. Posters are hung around the library on an irregular rotating basis. Bern gives them away to businesses, local agencies, and some individuals, such as teachers. The posters are created in cooperation with a friend who is a professional photographer and “Photoshop ace.” During the time he has been using the READ poster concept and the CD Box Set, Bern has produced 50 originals and 750 duplicates.

by Susan S. DiMattia

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LA Graphics has partnered since 2006 with Polaris Library Systems to give attendees at selected library conferences a personalized mini-READ poster. Polaris provides studio space, a photographer, and finished photos on the conference exhibit floor, where the lines of people waiting to be photographed with their chosen book are becoming legendary. The partnership was extended in June 2007 to Capitol Hill, where Polaris took pictures of members of Congress holding their favorite books, which ALA then made into READ posters to help promote libraries and literacy back in the members’ districts. Using the trademarked Celebrity READ art files to create personalized posters of local “celebrities” as varied as successful gradeschool students, government officials, favorite teachers, and beloved librarians has become a recognizable and effective way to promote literacy. “We were very excited to partner with ALA on the READ program at Capitol Hill,” said Bill Schickling, president and CEO of Polaris Library Systems. “Our mission at Polaris is to help libraries better serve their communities. The event at Capitol Hill provided an opportunity for members of Congress to demonstrate their commitment to libraries and the communities they serve.”

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“Our goal is to feature Oklahomans who cross socioeconomic boundaries, ages, and interests, but who obviously value the importance of reading,” Smith-Edwards explained. The posters are designed by Gary Kramer, public information officer of the Pioneer Library System. Most of them are printed by the University of Oklahoma, where printing costs vary, but the Oklahoma Library Association generally asks for donations of $2,000 to cover the cost for 5,000 posters. “You can always find subjects willing to be part of a READ poster, especially if you give them a copy for their own,” explained Keyth Sokol, technical services librarian of the Jessamine County (Ky.) Public Library. He cautions, “Do not try to create READ posters simply for READ poster sake. Think of the READ poster as one form of advertising—always available.” The Somerset County (N.J.) Library System produced its first READ posters in celebration of the library system’s 75th anniversary. They allowed anyone in three age categories (child, teen, adult) to enter a contest every time they checked out materials. Three names were picked from each category to pose for a poster. The laminated posters hung in the library and a copy was given to each winner. The library had a local print shop print a calendar featuring all of the READ poster winners. The calendar was



You’re doin’ fine Oklahoma

Polaris Partnership

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state. Among the familiar faces featured on campaign READ posters are Governor Brad Henry and First Lady Kim Henry, Milwaukee Bucks star Desmond Mason and NFL player Garrett Mills, actor James Garner, American Idol singer Carrie Underwood, and several Oklahoma authors. Some of the poster subjects were photographed professionally, through donation of services. Others provided their own images for the posters.


each April, she updates the collection of posters. Each branch or department gets a copy of the posters of their staff members. The complete collection hangs in a hallway at the Main Library. If politicians agree to be on a READ poster, is it safe to assume that they will defend the library’s budget at the appropriate time? Several libraries believe it is worth a try. Jackie Lichtman, web/marketing librarian for the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library in Charlottesville, Virginia, makes posters of city council members, the board of supervisors, and friendly media contacts, hoping the gift of a personal poster will create goodwill and good PR at budget time. Buffy Smith-Edwards, library information specialist at the Leland Wolf Library in the public schools of Norman, Oklahoma, chairs the Oklahoma Library Association’s “Read Y’all” literacy campaign (www The primary goal of the campaign is to highlight the need for literacy tutors and other resources to combat illiteracy in the

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ALA | Advocacy

given away in the community and residents were thrilled to see their neighbors featured. One branch conducted a mystery contest, providing clues to the identity of READ poster subjects. The featured businesspeople hung up their READ posters in their businesses, providing promotion and goodwill in one contest, according to Manuela MiraSCLS SOME cle of the library’s RSET COUN LIBRA RY S T YSTE Y public relations office. M The Waynesboro– Wayne County (Miss.) Library applied for a $5,000 LSTA grant. DirecMAKIN tor Patsy Brewer created GA DIFFE REN CE I a series of 12 posters N PE OPLE 'S LIV ES over the space of two months. Individual posters ran as color ads in the local newspaper, one each month. Two copies of each poster were produced—one to hang in the library’s computer lab and one to hang in an appropriate location around the region. For example, one poster features four generations of readers from a family that has owned and operated a local drug store for four generations. One copy of their poster hangs in their store. Reproducing the posters at Kinkos cost $40 each. The frames were $80. A friend of the library who is a proArlington Heights (Ill.) Memorial Library creates posters fessional photographer featuring kids from the community wearing a favorite provided photographic costume (top). Somerset County (N.J.) Library System promotes reading with a READ calendar (center) as well services. In spite of that, as posters featuring children, such as these two little girls Brewer said she had no with their favorite books.


The licensing agreement that is included in the CD Box Set specifies the conditions under which the READ trademark can be used. The license is a personal, nontransferable, nonexclusive right to transfer the images to one computer at a time and to use the images on that computer with one user. The conditions of the rights include using the images and layouts in nonprofit settings to “enhance reading programs and to promote them. The images may not be incorporated in products offered for sale. An image(s) may not be incorporated in a product for the purpose of redistributing the images(s), and the images themselves may not be sold or rented,


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april 2008


idea Photoshop would be so timeconsuming. Using $1,200 of the LSTA grant, Brewer rented a local billboard with the theme “READ @ Waynesboro.” The billboard included a picture of the library with its address and hours. The billboard company did the design and printing work free. The library paid for the billboard for two months, but it remained up for at least two additional months. Although the CD set offers ideas for using the READ theme on a variety of products, posters continue to be the display of choice. Suggestions: Make a poster featuring a donor of books or funds and present it as a thank-you gift; make T-shirt transfers by putting iron-on paper in your printer; produce stickers just as simply; use the READ graphics to create note cards, stationary, and business cards; trading cards, with locally created READ posters on the front and statistics about reading, libraries, books, and related topics on the back, can be collected and swapped; the posters can be screen savers and signs in the library, and can be added to the library’s website. The CD set fits many needs and offers a wide range of backgrounds, colors, and typefaces.

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54% of 9-year-olds read every day for fun, with the result that reading scores for that age group have soared. On the other hand, the number of 17-year-olds who “never or hardly ever” read for pleasure has doubled.

Order the ALA READ CD at

posters by using the CD set’s lettering, but not many of the backgrounds, which she characterizes as “a little ‘elementary schoolish’ for my clientele.” Librarians, local book clubs, and others who have expressed an interest in reading are featured on her posters. Practically everyone with little or no graphic design or Photoshop experience had a story to tell about the learning curve and the need to go back frequently and redo a photo when you haven’t done the “cut and paste” process successfully. Of course the easy answer is to get a local professional photographer to volunteer to take the photos, although there may not always be a willing volunteer in your community and hiring one may be out of the question, cost-wise. To circumvent the commitment required to master Photoshop, some libraries have shot their photos directly on natural backgrounds such as outdoors, against bookshelves, in offices, and then selected an appropriate typeface from the CD to place the word READ somewhere on the poster. Experiment, play, and use what works!

Their reading comprehension scores have fallen and employers in the study say 72% of high school graduates are deficient in writing in English. The NEA Big Read campaign is just one effort to reverse current trends by encouraging reading by all age groups on a local level. READ posters featuring local library supporters are a perfect companion in that effort .  z



teve Rachel, assistant director for human resources at the Jackson/Hinds Library System in Mississippi, takes the digital photos for the library’s READ posters. He admits that the process has taken longer than he expected. He would do one or two photos and then time would pass and he had to go back and relearn the process all over again. “It’s definitely not software you could play with for a few minutes and have it look good,” he said. “Photoshop takes some figuring out.” Jackie Lichtman, of JeffersonMadison Regional Library in Charlottesville, Virginia, took a Photoshop class at her local community college, primarily to be able to use the READ CD. “It isn’t easy,” she says. “There are so many things to do to get a professional looking poster.” Lichtman has been amazed at how many libraries have a graphics designer or graphics department. “What a wonderful luxury,” she exclaimed. “Solid knowledge of Adobe Photoshop is a must! I cannot stress that enough,” says Jean Greene, librarian of Hinds Community College’s Utica, New York, campus. She customizes her

april 2008

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), following up on Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America, a study released in 2004, issued its latest report on reading in November 2007. The 99-page study, To Read or Not to Read, gathered data from government, academic, and foundation sources to conclude that



For all ages

Production Tips

american libraries 

or downloaded or transferred electronically such as on an electronic network or bulletin board.” Despite all of that legalese, there is flexibility. People tend to believe they are not able to sell the posters in order to recoup the price of the project, for example, but they want to use the images on websites for promotional purposes. Tina Coleman, former marketing coordinator for ALA Graphics and ALA Editions, explains that the language is there “so the local dry cleaner can’t create posters to use as a promotion, for example.” ALA doesn’t mind if a school or library uses posters as a fundraiser or a “gift in exchange for a donation,” according to Coleman. Interpreting the website question, she notes that libraries can post a finished product on their websites, but should not post the actual files from the CDs. Coleman says plans to build an online READ CD community are moving forward and should be launched sometime soon. CD users will be able to swap ideas and get their questions answered. She acknowledges that there are aspects of using the CDs that require a learning curve. “I explain that to everyone in advance of a purchase,” she says, in an attempt to minimize the surprise factor once the CDs are in hand. The Photoshop tutorial appears to be the most troublesome, but not insurmountable, element.

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People | Announcements

Currents n  Gerald Beasley will become university librarian at Concordia University in Montreal July 1. n  Josephine Bryant will retire as chief librarian

at Toronto (Canada) Public Library in early July. n  Nicolas Buron has been promoted to assistant director of communi-

n  Catherine W. Bishir, curator of architecture special collections at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, will be named honorary member of the American Institute of Architects May 15. n  Andrew “Sekou” Jackson, executive director of Queens (N.Y.) Library’s Langston Hughes branch, received the Comptroller of the City of New York’s Community Empowerment Award February 28. n  Dorothy In-Lan Wang Li, co-executive director of the Asian Alliance Program at the John Marshall Law School in Chicago, received the People’s Republic of China’s Friendship Award in September 2007. n  The Los Angeles City Historical Society awarded ts David G. Cameron Preservation Award to California State University at Northridge Head Archivist Robert Marshall. n  Emma Bradford Perry, professor and dean of libraries at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, recently became the first librarian elected to the Commission on Colleges for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. n  Booklist Assistant Editor Donna Seaman received the “Literacy Hero” award from Literacy Chicago February 9. n  Kirkwood (Mo.) Public Library board President Liz Walker was named Citizen of the Year by the Kirkwood– Des Peres Area Chamber of Commerce in January. n  The Arlington Heights (Ill.) Chamber of Commerce named Arlington Heights Memorial Library Public Information Director Debora Whisler as its 2007 Business Leader of the Year. n  Wayne A. Wiegand, professor of library and information studies at Florida State University in Tallahassee, has received a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship to write a book on the history of public libraries in the United States.

Barbara S. Ponce

ty library service at Queens (N.Y.) Library. n  Emory University in Atlanta has appointed Laura L. Carroll manuscript archivist. n  March 18 Laura B. Cohen retired as web support librarian at the University at Albany, New York. n  Matthew Conner is the new instruction/reference librarian at the University of California at Davis. n  Colleen Cuddy has been appointed deputy director of New York University’s Health Sciences Libraries. n  January 1 Linda Drake became director of library personnel at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. n  Heidi Nickisch Duggan was appointed associate director of Northwestern University’s Galter Library in Chicago January 14. n  Manuel Figueroa and Thomas Fortin have joined Queens (N.Y.) Library as assistant directors of community library service. n  February 4 William Garrison was named dean of libraries at the University of South Florida in Tampa.

Scott Seaman

Kim Tobler

n  May 21 Heather Ball Gendron begins as art librarian at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill n  Princeton (N.J.) University has appointed Todd Hines as assistant economics, finance, and data librarian. n  Bill Knott has announced his retirement as Jefferson County (Colo.) librarian. n  Kuang-Hwei “Janet” Lee-Smeltzer has been appointed head of cataloging and metadata services at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. n  April 7 David Magier joins Princeton (N.J.) University as associate university librarian for collection development. n  Barbara S. Ponce retired as director of Pinellas Park (Fla.) Public Library March 31. n  April 1 Scott Seaman became dean of libraries at Ohio University in Athens. n  Jefferson County (Colo.) Public Library has hired Kim Tobler as manager of the Golden branch. n  Alan Unsworth joined the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as general reference librarian January 14.


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april 2008


Colleen Cuddy

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Office for Government Relations. n  February 7 Marci Merola was named director of the Office for Library Advocacy. n  Jon Stahler became web developer for the Association of College and Research Libraries January 28. n  Angela Thullen joined the Public Programs Office as program officer for communications December 18, 2007.

n  January 22 Isaac Tufvesson joined the Office for Literacy and Outreach Services as communications specialist. n  Donavan Vicha became web developer for Information Technology and Telecommunication Services January 22. n  Karee Williams joined Conference Services as marketing specialist January 28.  z

Send notices and color photographs for Currents to Greg Landgraf,

april 2008

torial director for ALA Editions. n  Melissa Jones became communication specialist for the American Association of School Libraries February 19. n  January 22 Elliot Mandel became program coordinator in the Office for Literacy and Outreach Services. n  January 2 Jessica McGilvrary was appointed assistant director of the

n  Helen Lee, manager of the Madison Branch of Huntsville-Madison (Ala.) Public Library, died January 16 of cancer. She had been with the library since 2003. n  Don Riggs, university librarian at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida until his 2007 retirement, died February 19. Riggs was president of ALA’s Library Administration and Management Association from 1994 to 1995. n  Nancy Ward, 81, librarian at Beach and Wildwood Elementary Schools in Piedmont, California, until her retirement, died January 14. In the 1970s, she spearheaded the effort in California to require school textbooks to include the contributions and problems of women and minorities. n  Ruth White, 93, who worked as a librarian at ALA as well as libraries in Ohio, Wisconsin, California, and Japan, died January 30 of complications from surgery for a broken hip. She was also a captain in the U.S. Coast Guard and served in the Pacific during World War II.


n  Kathy Agarwal, communications specialist for the American Association of School Librarians, left ALA November 30, 2007. n  Jon Barkley joined the Association of College and Research Libraries as program coordinator February 6. n  Lainie Castle was promoted to project director in the Public Programs Office December 18, 2007. n  Tina Coleman has been appointed membership specialist in the Membership Development Office. n  December 11, 2007, Tom Ferren joined the Member and Customer Service Center as senior registration coordinator. n  Angela Hanshaw became web editor and program officer in the Public Programs Office December 10, 2007. n  Stephanie Hoerner, marketing specialist in Conference Services, left ALA March 7. n  Patrick Hogan was named director of online resources for ALA Editions January 7. n  January 7 J. Michael Jeffers was appointed edi-

n  Marie M. Dailey, 96, a librarian for Boston Public Library and the Hale and Dorr Law Firm for many years, died December 14, 2007. n  Mary L. Dyar, 93, who retired as associate director of Minneapolis Public Library in 1976, died February 8. n  Sandra Fuhr, university librarian at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, died January 29 of complications from a brain tumor. Prior to joining the school, she was a librarian at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota, from 1994 to 2001. n  Jeanne Layton, 77, director of Davis County (Utah) Library until her 1991 retirement, died January 19. Layton gained national attention in 1979 for refusing to remove a book from the library after the Davis County Commission declared it obscene, for which she was fired and later reinstated. For her stand, she received several intellectual freedom honors, including ALA’s Freedom to Read Foundation Roll of Honor and the Robert B. Downs Award for Intellectual Freedom.




american libraries 

n  Clifford Wulfman has been appointed library digital initiatives coordinator at Princeton (N.J.) University. n  February 1 Markus Wust became digital collections and preservation librarian at North Carolina State University in Raleigh.

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SHOWCASE | New Products

Solutions and Services <<< WT Cox is a full-service subscription agency that provides more than 260,000 magazine titles. The company has partnered with the Librarian’s Yellow Pages to provide a link to services developed for K–12 libraries and school districts.



The BiblioMobile RFID Conversion Station from Bibliotheca prints and initializes radio frequency identification labels in a single step. Using the system, two people can install 2,000 RFID tags in shelved items in a day.

| TDNet has introduced eBook Manager, a tool to help libraries access, resolve, and manage e-books. It features a customizable interface that allows users to search and access e-book holdings by a number of different criteria and can integrate with the company’s Journal Manager to search journals as well.

To have a new product considered for this section, contact Brian Searles at


american libraries


april 2008

TMC Furniture offers the EnShell stacking chair. Constructed of wood with a Forbo linoleum surface, the chair is durable and easy to clean. It is available in the full range of Forbo colors with three back shapes and an optional handle cut-out.

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<<< SirsiDynix StaffWeb for K–12 Libraries allows school librarians to perform circulation, cataloging, reporting, and administrative tasks in a standard web browser. It is currently available for sites running Unicorn GL3.1, and is anticipated to be available for sites running Symphony 3.2 in the second quarter of 2008.


The 3M Detection System Select Series electromagnetic detection panels are available in a range of colors and design patterns, and in open- or solid-panel configurations. They can be installed within 18 inches of metal, and photocell activation reduces false alarms.


| american libraries


Hearing-impaired patrons of Jacksonville (Fla.) Public descriptive videos,” says Jerry Reynolds, JPL’s Talking Library can now use any of the library’s locations to Books Library manager. “We are working towards promake telephone calls free viding more services for our of charge. deaf customers. Sorensen The library has installed VRS brings us one step closvideo relay service (VRS) er to that goal.” equipment from Sorenson Sorenson provided the Communications, which equipment and the service allows any user to conduct free of charge to the library. video relay calls with famReynolds made initial contact ily, friends, or business aswith the company at the ALA sociates through a certified Annual Conference last year, American Sign Language and contacted Sorenson interpreter. The service opdirectly to pitch the idea erates over a high-speed of installing the system at internet connection: The all library locations. Stacie hearing-impaired user sees Bucher, JPL marketing coman interpreter on a communications coordinator, A Jacksonville patron makes a call using the library’s new video relay system from Sorenson Communications. puter screen and signs to told American Libraries that that person, who contacts many libraries offer the relay the hearing user via a standard phone line. Hearing systems in their main branches, but that Jacksonville is patrons can also place video calls to a deaf or hard-ofamong the first to offer the service systemwide. hearing person by calling a toll-free number. The library finished installing the video relay systems “The Talking Books Library has many services for our in January. It estimates that more than 400 patrons use blind library customers, such as recorded books and the service per week.

april 2008


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Professional Development | Youth Matters

Finding Reason for Rhyme Well-versed adolescents are rocking libraries

JENNIFER BUREK PIERCE is assistant professor of library and information science at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. Contact her at

(Oreg.) Library, where five youth services staff and more than 60,000 participants in summer reading programs were affected last year by a six-month closure resulting from a tax shortfall (AL, Nov. 2007, p. 23–24). Janis MohrTipton of the Central Point and Ruch branches says that in 2008 one of the first fundraisers in the works to boost service hours is selling a book of verse written by area youth. “It’s the very beginning of an idea I hope will come to fruition,” MohrTipton explained. “It’s kind of a homespun thing.” Submissions have begun to trickle in, and the project will unfold over the next several months. “I’m going to be going to schools to promote summer reading programs, and I’ll promote it there,” she said. Poetry may ultimately allow JCL to meet its own needs as well as foster young people’s artistic strivings. Verse has also provided an enduring outlet at Skokie (Ill.) Public Library, where the annual teen poetry contest is now in its ninth year. “It worked pretty well from the beginning, and we were pleased,” Teen Coordinator Maryann Mondrus said. On average, the competition sees about 60 entries; once there were more than 100. Winners’ words are posted on SPL’s website year-round, then on a display wall in the library come National Poetry Month. “There’s always someone standing there reading,” Mondrus said. “All ages, really.” The verses that describe the smiles, tears, and all of teen life have been highlighted in other venues, too—ranging from national contests to the Illinois poet laureate’s

site. Mondrus also spoke of the reaction from teachers whose students stood out in the competition: “They were so thrilled and proud that their students had won. The students were pretty pleased, too.” Although it has become popular to lament the decline of literary reading, these programs evince hope that teens will continue to love poetry—and libraries—ever after.  z

waxing poetic online n  Sylvia M. Vardell of Texas Woman’s University SLIS on 2008 poetry awards at poetryforchildren and on reading poetry aloud to children at yppw/articles/vardell.html. n  The National Endowment for the Arts recitation competition, Poetry Out Loud, at www n  Author Robert Oliphant’s commentary on Poetry Out Loud at No-Aspiring-Poet-Left-Behind-andPoetry-Out-Loud-Our-StackedDeck-National-Recitation-Contest/ Page1.html. n  Peter Davison of The Atlantic on teen poetry competitions at doc/200203/davison.


american libraries 


april 2008


ow do youth services departments celebrate National Poetry Month? One could count the ways that librarians encourage young patrons to understand and delight in verse. Libraries have helped sponsor Poetry Out Loud competitions, drawing, organizers say, on teens’ enthusiasm for the spoken culture of slam poetry and the rhymes of hip-hop, to develop familiarity with the words and cadences of writers ranging from Sherman Alexie to Edna St. Vincent Millay and Alfred Librarians Lord Tennyson. draw on They have teens’ love hosted poetry of slam readings and visits from poetry and hipstate poets hop to lure them laureate. They to the cadences of have promotwriters from Alexie ed ideas about writing via to Tennyson. library websites and authors who appeal to young readers in their programming. Something of the depth and breadth of librarians’ work this month is revealed by a glimpse at distinctive local projects that suggest different things about the value of poetry in libraries. An endeavor that caught my attention is underway at Jackson County

by Jennifer Burek Pierce

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Working Knowledge | Professional Development

Failure to Perform What to do when a director isn’t directing

boards or other managers to deal with the failure of leaders to perform within the job description and standards for which they are paid. I welcome the opportunity to hear from those who believe otherwise. I will include representative examples in a future column. Contact me at  z

Addressing failure

Ending someone’s employment is often devastating. At the same time, patrons (students, the public, teachers, and corporate users) have the right to expect excellent service within the available funding. Library leadership must address poor skills, lack of knowledge, or apathy even when exhibited by the director or other manager. It is wrong to allow the discomfort of dealing with these impediments to be of higher value than the needs of those we serve. To let the problems remain unchallenged until the employee decides to leave is negligent of our responsibilities to our patrons, our library, and our community. Please note I am not referring to

WORKING WISDOM The Courageous Follower by Ira Chaleff provides some rudimentary and often gutsy steps for employees bringing issues into the open. In the public library arena, many of us know employees-turned-board members, or service-oriented patrons encouraged to serve on the library board. What tactics have you tried?


Mary Pergander is director of Deerfield (Ill.) Public Library. Send comments or questions to

It is insufficient to only have written standards, policies, or statistical reports.

april 2008

My friend Wayne often said, “What gets measured gets done.” However, it is insufficient to only have written standards, policies, or statistical reports, even if mandated at the state level. Performance quality goes beyond these. In the East Coast library referenced above, librarians know

age as the criteria for incompetence. Nor do I rule out changing a director’s job title or parameters so that they are more suited to his or her current interests or abilities. What I am addressing is the need for


More than measurement

that a long-range plan exists; however, they have never seen it! Clearly, the documents have no relevance to the daily operations of that library. Consultant Miriam Pollack’s forthcoming AL article “Cruel to Be Kind: Why Do We Keep Unproductive Employees?” tackles the propensity of libraries to let incompetence run unchecked for years. While her focus is on managers who fail to correct these conditions, it must be even more frustrating for employees, who have no authority to address leadership problems. In attempting to intervene regarding performance issues at upper levels of the organization, employees often put themselves at risk.

american libraries 


received an e-mail from a library user on the East Coast who expressed concern about an incompetent public library director. The librarian had not implemented the most basic professional standards over a career spanning several decades. Although the library trustees were aware of the issues, they turned a blind eye for reasons of their own. The resident wondered how to bring about change. In another message, a former librarian in Chicago recalled the difficulties he experienced having a supervisor who was clearly working solely for personal reasons, unrelated to public service. How can we affect positive change? Although there are many resources available for managers regarding employee performance, I know of very few for staff or community members who perceive incompetence at the top levels of the library.

by Mary Pergander

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Professional DEVELOPMENT | Books

Librarian’s Library To share or not to share

by Mary Ellen Quinn


hough social networking these are just a few of the privacy the participants were U.S. library has exploded threats librarians have to worry directors, whose in the years about, not only for ourselves, but on responses can be The idea since it first compared to those behalf of our pathat it’s found its way onto the trons. In What Evof library users. Web (Classmates, creery Librarian The report, which part of our Should Know about ated in 1995, is conprovides a snapmission sidered the first social shot of current at- Electronic Privacy, to save people Jeannette Woodnetworking site), it titudes and ward outlines the still hasn’t made much perceptions, can from all the lions, chief threats and headway in the library be downloaded at tigers, and bears explains why it’s world. That’s one of lurking online is the library’s rethe conclusions you /reports. PBK., $19 from OCLC sponsibility to can find in OCLC’s overwhelming. (978-1-55653-370-9). protect its users. latest “landscape She also provides a step-by-step apreport,” Sharing, PriIdentity theft, vacy, and Trust in Our Networked proach to formulating a policy and data mining, online predators, RFID World, which is based on a survey making computers more secure. technology, the USA Patriot Act— conducted by Harris Interactive between December 7, 2006 and February 7, 2007. More Dazed and Confused than 6,000 To help clarify Functional Requirements for Bibliorespondents graphic Records, Robert L. Maxwell takes us deep were asked into entity-relationship territory, on which FRBR about their principles are based. His concern is that, though FRBR has been around since 1998, few librarians internet acunderstand it. FRBR: A Guide for the Perplexed is tivity, their favorite commercial meant to remedy this by explaining and illustrating and social sites (MySpace tops the model and showing why it’s important for the the list), their privacy concerns, way information is organized in the future. The ultiand if they see a role for libraries mate goal—“to help users easily navigate catalogs in the social networked sphere. and find the material they want in the form they Also here are excerpts from inwant it”—is something all of us can get behind, and books like this might terviews with 14 “thought leaders help move it closer to implementation. and industry experts.” Respondents Indexed, 160 p., PBK., $50, $45 for ALA members (978-0-8389-0950-8). from Canada, France, Germany, Japan, and the UK—as well as the Order from ALA Order Fulfillment, Toll-free: 866-746-7252, U.S.—ensure that the results provide Fax: 770-280-4155, a global picture. And almost 400 of


american libraries  |  april 2008

New From ALA

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Finally, she discusses “protecting library users from themselves” through workshops, lists of dos and don’ts, and other means. The idea that it’s part of our mission to save people from all the lions, tigers, and bears lurking online is overwhelming, but this book helps put the job in the realm of the possible.

up somewhere you had no intention of going. I had that

INDEXED, 222 p., PBK., $40 from Libraries Unlimited (978-1-59158-489-6).

ian crime novels starring good-hearted detectives (Andrea Camilleri’s Salvo

Art Appreciation

and bureaucrats are as formidable as crooks, but I was struggling with one of

Indexed, 143 p., $24.99 from Chronicle Books (978-0-8118-4971-5).  z

’m hardly the first person to observe that the best part of doing electronic readers’ advisory is that you often wind

experience the other day when I was in the process of using Booklist Online to link Donna Leon’s wonderful new Guido Brunetti novel, The Girl of His Dreams, to similar titles. I had already connected the Leon book to other ItalMontalbano, for example) who work in systems where corruption is rampant the novel’s plot elements. Leon’s story involves the mistreatment of gypsies in contemporary Venice, but it also looks with unflinching realism at the way gypsy fathers often groom their very young children for lives of petty crime. I had a dim memory (most of my memories are dim these days) of a novel with a similar plot but couldn’t come up with a title or author (I did remember a green cover, but even Booklist Online won’t let you search by cover color). So I nosed around a little, doing “keyword in review” searches for “gypsy” and filtering by “crime fiction,” and while I came up with some interesting, linkable titles, I didn’t find the elusive book with the green cover. One review I was scanning contained a reference to Fork in the Road by Denis Hamill, about an Irish filmmaker from Brooklyn who travels to Dublin and falls in love with an Irish gypsy. Mysteriously, the Booklist archive didn’t contain a review of Fork. Still, there was something about the Hamill title that rang a bell, so I left the computer and started browsing my shelves. The books in my home office are anything but well organized, but I do have a shelf or two devoted to titles I supposedly plan to read soon. I scanned those shelves looking for green, and guess what? There it was: Denis Hamill’s Fork in the Road, complete with greenish-gray cover. Naturally, I picked the book off the shelf and started reading. What a find! It’s an utterly compelling mix of coming-of-age story and crime novel, and the gypsy heroine, Gina Furey, turns out to be one of those multifaceted characters who virtually leap off the pages and into your imagination. It was as if Gina was the adult version of Leon’s 11-year-old murdered gypsy girl, grown up and transplanted to Ireland. So here we have a perfect example of the readers’ advisory experience. A simple task—finding read-alikes for one book—had led to the rediscovery of a novel I’d meant to read but hadn’t, and to the melancholy realization that Booklist had somehow missed a book we had no business missing. (God, I hate that!) Nearly 500 pages later, I had my links to Leon, and I also had written a new review of Fork in the Road, added (albeit belatedly) to Booklist Online and now primed to be linked to any similar titles that might appear next week or next year. Yes, the rewards of electronic searching are many, but in this case, none of it would have happened without that green cover. I guess failing memories still have their uses. Bill Ott is the editor and publisher of ALA’s Booklist.


Mary Ellen Quinn is editor of ALA Booklist’s Reference Books Bulletin.

american libraries  |  april 2008

Since 1980, the Original Art exhibition has been showcasing children’s book illustration. Dilys Evans, founder of the exhibition, writes in her introduction that “we suffer from an embarrassment of riches” when it comes to picture books, and she has selected 12 of the best illustrators for Show and Tell: Exploring the Fine Art of Children’s Book Illustration. Among them are Hilary Knight of Eloise fame, Trina Schart Hyman, David Wiesner, and Brian Selznick, whose The Invention of Hugo Cabret won the 2008 Caldecott Medal. Each illustrator’s work is lovingly examined in text that focuses on artistic processes and techniques, and is partnered with a profusion of fullcolor images. Librarians, reviewers, and others who know and love children’s literature will have their own ideas about which artists might have been included here, but even if you don’t agree with Evans’s choices, you will learn much from her book about how to look at and appreciate children’s book illustration as art.


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Career Leads from Your #1 source for job openings in Library and Information Science and Technology

April 5 for the May issue, which mails about May 1. Ads received after the 5th will be published as space permits through about April 15.

Contact E-mail or call 800-5452433, Jon Kartman, ext. 4211. C ­ areer Leads, American Libraries, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago,


“Librarians’ Classifieds” and “ConsultantBase” are convenient and economical ad sections that put your products and services in front of more than 100,000 readers. See print ad rates above. No ALA institutional member discount. Discounts for multiple insertions: 2–5 months, 5%; 6 months or more, 10%. ConsultantBase appears in the January, April, June, and October issues.

Advertising Policies A salary range is requested for all job recruitment ads per ALA guidelines. The ALA Allied Professional Association endorses a minimum salary for professional librarians of not less than $40,000 per year. Job applicants are advised to explore “faculty rank” and “status” carefully. ALA opposes residency requirements and loyalty tests or oaths as conditions

Billing Payment Terms: Visa, MasterCard, or American Express. If pre-approved, net 30 from invoice date. Invoice and tearsheet mailed to the advertiser following publication. Cost of ad furnished upon request.

Director of Hoover Library McDaniel College

McDaniel College seeks applications for the position of Director of Hoover Library. Responsibilities include all aspects of library operation including budgeting, strategic planning, collection development, and personnel management. The Director reports to the Provost and Dean of the Faculty and holds faculty status. The College will seek to make an appointment for this twelve-month position beginning July 1, 2008. Salary commensurate with qualifications and experience. Candidates for the position must possess the MLS from an ALA-accredited program and 5 years of experience in academic libraries. An additional advanced degree in an academic discipline is desirable. Candidates will have a vision of the library as the intellectual center within the academic community, a current knowledge of issues facing higher education and academic libraries (including technology and information literacy), and a commitment to supporting scholarship and teaching including the integration of electronic resources and services into academic programs. Outstanding oral and written communication skills and a demonstrated ability to lead and motivate personnel are essential. McDaniel College is a selective liberal arts college located in central Maryland, an hour’s drive from Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Its primary commitment is to outstanding teaching and to fostering critical and creative thinking and humane and responsible action. For further information, see Application materials should include a letter of application, curriculum vitae, and contact information for 3 professional references. Review of applications will begin April 1 and continue until the position is filled. Apply electronically at director.htm or to: Thomas Steback, Director of Human Resources, McDaniel College, 2 College Hill, Westminster, MD 21157. McDaniel College, an AA/EEO and award-winning ADA employer, welcomes applications from women and men of diverse racial/ethnic backgrounds.


Coordinator of Collection Development and Management. The Volpe Library of Tennessee Tech University is seeking a coordinator of the collection development and management division, one of 4 coordinators reporting to library director. Division staff, in addition to coordinator, consists of one library faculty and 4 classified positions. Materials budget for 2007/08 is $1.222 million. Position responsible for acquisition functions of all library material in all formats except government publications. A major emphasis will be the aggressive migration to electronic resources. Required Qualifications: MLS from ALA-accredited program; 5 years of experience in collections in an academic library; collegial management; supervisory experience; work cooperatively with division, library, TTU Purchasing, and TTU Information Technology Services. Knowledge to perform/supervise functions, experience with library automated system, flexibility and

Consultants or Classifieds

of employment. Job titles should reflect responsibilities as defined in ALA personnel guidelines. ALA requires that organizations recruiting through the Association’s publications or place­ment services comply with ALA anti­dis­ crimi­na­tion policies. Policy 54.3 states that the Association “is committed to equality of op­por­ tunity for all library employees or ap­pli­cants for employment, regardless of race, color, creed, sex, age, physical or mental handicap, individual ­life-style or national origin.” By ad­­ver­tising through ALA services, the orga­nization agrees to com­ply with the policy. Ads are edited only to conform to standard style. Acceptance of an advertisement does not constitute endorsement. ALA reserves the right to refuse advertising.

april 2008

Print Deadline

IL 60611; fax 312-440-0901.


Visit J­ to establish an institutional account in order to place Webonly ads, print ads in American Libraries and C&RL News, or any combination. Print ads in American Libraries cost $7.50 per line, $5.50 for ALA institutional members. Display ads range from $125 to $2,340. Print ads may be posted on JobLIST for 60 days for an additional $75, $65 for ALA institutional members. Complete rate and size information at

american libraries 

Place a Job Ad

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CAREER LEADS | Academic Library Prairie View A&M University

Librarian I

(Reference & Instruction Librarian)

Science Librarian Delmar T. Oviatt Library The salary for this 12-month, tenure-track faculty position is dependent upon qualifications and experience. There is also an excellent benefits package. The complete position description, qualification requirements, and application information may be found at Library/libjobs.html. Information about the library may be found at CSU Northridge seeks energetic, service-oriented and creative applicants for the position of science librarian, to provide user education and consultation with a subject focus on biology, chemistry, engineering, and geology. The incumbent serves as a member of the sciences team and works collaboratively with colleagues in an innovative, creative and learner-centered library that takes great pride in working with students and faculty in the areas of reference, information literacy, instructional programming, and collection development. Application deadline: Position is open until filled, but first consideration will be given to applications received by May 1. The university is an equal-opportunity, affirmative-action employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, marital status, age, disability, disabled veteran or Vietnam-era veteran status.

Instructional Technology Development Librarian

Requirements include an ALA-accredited Master’s degree or a Master’s degree in instructional design or related field and a minimum of three years of related professional work experience. For the complete position profile (APP 179) and instructions on how to apply, please visit For general information about the Libraries and the University, please visit our website at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, is an equal opportunity, affirmative-action employer. The Libraries are strongly and actively committed to diversity, and seek candidates who will contribute creatively to the University s multicultural environment.

Prairie View A&M University is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer.

initiative, Microsoft Office literate, ability to meet tenure requirements of library faculty. Preferred Qualifications: Experience in comparable library, with migration from paper to electronic serials, with Innovative Interfaces Millenium. Additional graduate degree. To apply: For complete position summary, application procedure, and application requirements, see hr/employment.html. Incomplete applications cannot be considered. Send materials to: Coordinator Search, Angelo and Jennette Volpe Library and Media Center, Box 5066, Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, TN 38505. Position is open and will remain open until filled. Screening will begin May 1. Salary and benefits: Rank and salary determined by qualifications and experience. Salary from $50,000-$60,000. 12-month contract. Leave: Accumulation of 2 vacation and one sick day per month and 13 university holidays. Health insurance–80% paid by university. Retirement options include Tennessee State plan, and others paid by university at about 10% of salary. Other tax shelters are optional. Good funding and support for professional development. AA/EEO. REFERENCE LIBRARIAN. West Texas A&M University invites applications for the challenging, rewarding, and multifaceted position of reference librarian. Reporting to the head of reference services, the reference librarian will assist and instruct students in the identification and


american libraries 


april 2008

The Rutgers University Libraries seek an energetic, inventive, and service-oriented professional to serve as Instructional Technology Development Librarian. Reporting to the associate university librarian responsible for the instruction and research services program, the successful candidate will provide leadership for planning, designing, and implementing standard and innovative applications of technology to support the instructional programs of the Libraries. The librarian will work closely and collaboratively with students, faculty, librarians, and library staff to participate and/or lead the design, development, maintenance, and evaluation of web-deliverable interactive, self-paced lessons, tutorials, and learning objects that will enhance learning for students and other users.

Prairie View A&M University is seeking a suitable candidate for the position of Librarian I (Reference & Instruction Librarian) at the John B. Coleman Library. Founded in 1876, Prairie View A&M University is the second oldest public institution of higher learning in the state of Texas. The Librarian I position is responsible for: Assisting patrons at the reference desk, providing assistance with information literacy program, providing supplementary research assistance to faculty and students, preparing library instruction materials, performing collection development duties in at least one subject area and performing other duties as assigned. MINIMUM EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS: MLS from an ALAaccredited program. To view the job posting in its entirety and to apply online, please visit us at:

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library education

Graduate Faculty Position Indiana University, School of Library and Information Science–Indianapolis ( The position may be appointed at the tenure-track rank of Assistant or Associate Professor, depending on the candidate’s credentials. The successful candidate will provide evidence of excellence in teaching and research potential in school library media and one or more of the following areas pertaining to graduate studies in library and information science: • Information technologies in library environments, digital libraries. • Youth services and literature. • Information sources for humanities, business, health sciences, or sciences. BASIC QUALIFICATIONS INCLUDE: PhD or EdD in library and information management or equivalent doctorate and successful professional practice. MLS preferred. Candidates should be willing and able to adapt to new instructional delivery systems through interactive television and online learning environments. The Indianapolis campus provides faculty support for innovations in instructional delivery with advanced networking capabilities. A proven record in use of instructional telecommunications is preferred. Candidates will also be expected to demonstrate a cogent library and information science research and service agenda that would lead to successful promotion and tenure. The position is a ten-month, tenure-track appointment with the option to teach up to two summer courses at 20% of base salary. The successful candidates should be prepared to join the current full-time faculty by August 1, 2008. Review of applications began Feb. 15 and will continue until the position is filled. Applicants should send a letter


The American Library Association is an equal-opportunity employer. Applications are invited from women, minorities, veterans, and people with disabilities.

|  american libraries 

The American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) is responsible for designing, developing, implementing, and directing a complete intellectual freedom program for the American Library Association (ALA) and is seeking a dynamic, dedicated individual for the role of Assistant Director. Reporting to the Director of OIF, the Assistant Director provides guidance and support to librarians, teachers, and others on the application of ALA’s intellectual freedom policies and the First Amendment in specific situations involving materials challenges and confidentiality in the library. He or she also engages in public advocacy on behalf of ALA’s intellectual freedom programs and will be expected to undertake both short and long-term projects to educate librarians and the general public about intellectual freedom, utilizing all available resources, including new technologies. Responsibilities will include staff support for ALA’s Intellectual Freedom Committee, the Committee on Professional Ethics, and divisional intellectual freedom committees. The position will require occasional travel, public speaking, and attendance at ALA’s meetings and conferences. REQUIREMENTS: Master’s degree in library science from an ALA-accredited library school with 2-4 years of progressively responsible library experience; demonstrated competence in public advocacy and project management; excellent verbal and written communication skills; excellent computer skills; and an ability to work in a complex, changing organization. Consideration will be given to candidates who possess a thorough understanding of intellectual freedom, professional ethics, and the First Amendment. Two writing samples should accompany your letter of interest and resume. Full-time, 35 hours/week; starting salary from the low-$50s, negotiable based on experience. Interested candidates should forward their resume, cover letter, and writing samples to: American Library Association, Human Resources Dept. Ref. AssistDir/OIF, 50 E. Huron St, Chicago, IL 60611; fax 312-280-5270; email

april 2008

Assistant Director Office for Intellectual Freedom American Library Association


assessment of information supportive of their academic endeavors. The successful candidate will also be prepared to contribute to the formulation of progressive policies and techniques in reference service. Among the librarian’s other duties will be the development and maintenance of reference web pages, including the creation of pathfinders and tutorials; service as a liaison to one or more academic departments; service on library and university committees; possible teaching of a one credit-hour course in research fundamentals; and basic maintenance of computers in the reference department. REQUIRED: An ALA-accredited master’s degree in library science is required, as is experience or coursework in academic reference services. The candidate must be familiar with reference service theory, online and print reference tools, and the processes of research and information retrieval. Experience in creating web pages is required. PREFERRED: Familiarity with web applications fostering collaboration and sharing, popularly termed “Web 2.0,” is a plus. Experience in providing instruction in information retrieval and assessment is also preferred. West Texas A&M University is a public institution on the Texas high plains, near Amarillo. It attracts more than 7,000 students to its 61 baccalaureate and 43 master’s programs, and one doctoral program. The

of interest in which they describe teaching experience as well as other qualifications. A complete curriculum vita, names and addresses for three references, and writing samples should be included. Questions and applications should be addressed to: Dr. Marilyn Irwin, Associate Dean, Indiana University School of Library and Information Science-Indianapolis, 755 W. Michigan, Indianapolis, IN 46202; irwinm@iupui. edu; 317-278-2376. The master’s of library science program at Indiana University is accredited by the American Library Association. A full curriculum of courses leading to the MLS is provided at Indianapolis as well as Bloomington. Students may take courses on either campus. SLIS has been nationally ranked among the top schools in library science, information systems, youth services, school library media, and law librarianship. Committed to the principle of diversity, Indiana University is an equal-opportunity employer. The Indianapolis Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis is a leading urban research campus with over 27,000 students. As a part of the recently renovated central convention and business areas of the capital city, the campus is adjacent to new structures housing government, museum, athletic and cultural institutions. The expanding metropolitan Indianapolis campus offers the largest range of academic programs in the state combining the best from Indiana University and Purdue University. In addition to library science, IUPUI is a center for professional schools in medicine, law, nursing, education, philanthropic studies, and informatics.

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CAREER LEADS | Public Library university is a member of the Texas A&M University System, and provides ample insurance and retirement coverage. The annual salary for the position is $35,355. To apply for this position, please visit the West Texas A&M University Employment Opportunities website at jobs., and search the postings for NOV number 060211. Please fill out the electronic application and attach a substantive cover letter addressing qualifications and interest in the position, a current resume, and 3 references. Review of applications will begin April 21. In compliance with Texas law, West Texas A&M University requires male U.S. citizens and nationals aged 18 through 25 to provide proof of registration with the Selective Service System, or exemption from registration, prior to employment. The university is an equal-opportunity, affirmative-action employer.

PUBLIC LIBRARY ASSISTANT DIRECTOR/SUPERVISOR OF BRANCHES, Lorain Public Library System, Lorain, Ohio. REQUIREMENTS: ALA-accredited MLS with 5 years of related experience as a branch librarian manager. $63,000-$67,000. Hard worker, dependable, loyal, and residency in the Lorain Public Library System service area is preferred. Visit, call 440-244-1192, ext. 221, or email for a complete application packet which includes a supplemental questionnaire, informa-

LIBRARY DIRECTOR. Progressive, fast growing White County, Arkansas, is seeking energetic, experienced public library system director. Director will oversee and assist with planning all phases of library services for 7 branches with 15 FTEs; will work with a 13-member regional board and 5-member county board; will be responsible for budget preparation and represent the library to the public and governmental agencies. APPLICANTS MUST HAVE an MLS from an ALA-accredited school, at least 5 years of administrative experience, excellent verbal and written skills, cooperative spirit, political experience, technological knowledge, and a public library background. Experience with construction projects a plus. Beginning salary range between $50,000 to $56,000 based on experience. Retirement and health care provided. Letters of application, resumes and references should be sent to: Susie Boyett, White County Regional Library System, 113 E. Pleasure Ave., Searcy, AR 72143. For complete information please visit LIBRARY DIRECTOR, Columbus, Nebraska. Progressive municipal library. MLS degree required. Five+ years of librarian experience preferred. Starting salary: $44,472. Go to to learn more. Email resumes/ questions to Deadline for applications: April 15.


Basalt Regional Library District Library leaders are invited to build a world-class library in one of the most wonderful areas of the world!! As director you will be expected to oversee the construction, furnishing and equipping of a brand new 20,000-sq.-ft., $10 million building; have the opportunity to manage a $1 million budget; and plan the services and develop the staff in a community that supports and expects excellence in library service. Live 20 miles from the slopes of Aspen in an area of unparalleled beauty and outdoor adventure opportunities. Compensation: $80,000-$100,000plus. Qualification: MLS or equivalent. To learn more, please visit Candidate may submit a cover letter and resume via e-mail to Lawrence J. Corbus, Corbus Library Consultants,, 440-796-1230. Apply by April 18, 2008 for full consideration. Available for more information at the PLA National Conference in Minneapolis.

Librarian I Permanent and temporary part-time librarian positions available with the County of Los Angeles Public Library. People with bilingual skills and/or interest in children’s services especially needed. Monthly salary: $4,006-$5,114. Go to for job announcement and standard application. Contact human resources at 562-940-8434 for interview appointment. MLS required.

Director Warwick Public Library, Warwick, Rhode Island Due to the retirement of the current director, the Board of Trustees of the Warwick Public Library is seeking an individual with proven public library management skills to take an outstanding library to the next level of service. The successful candidate will have a strong commitment to public service and the energy and enthusiasm to continue a tradition of excellence. The library serves a city of over 85,000 with a main library facility (renovated in 1998) and 3 branch libraries; a budget of $3 million and a staff of 57 (17 with the MLIS degree). Warwick offers an excellent standard of living, including affordable housing, a strong public school system, and scores of recreational opportunities, including 39 miles of coastline. Warwick is located just minutes from Providence and an hour’s drive from Boston. The position requires an ALA-accredited MLIS; at least 8 years of progressively responsible professional public library experience in a supervisory or administrative capacity; extensive public library knowledge; excellent communication skills; proven fiscal management experience; a commitment to serve as the library’s advocate within city government and in the community; and excellent human relations skills. The ideal candidate will have a team approach to management, have a thorough understanding of library technology, and be a visionary regarding library services. Salary: $92,000. Excellent benefits package. Additional information about the Warwick Public Library and community can be found by visiting the library’s web site at: Qualified applicants should forward a resume (include email contact information) with a cover letter that addresses the position requirements, and the names and contact information of three references to:

Warwick Public Library Director Search c/o Hartzell-Mika Consulting PO Box 4396 East Lansing, MI 48823 Applications received by May 15 will receive first consideration. Electronic submissions will be accepted. Inquiries regarding the position and electronic submissions should be sent to


american libraries 


april 2008

state library

tion sheet, and application. Deadline: May 2. EOE.

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COMMENTARY | Will’s World

Unproductive at Last Why must retirees do something with themselves?


Deep down inside,

my argucept of retirement the role I really ment with without coming off as their own wanted to play was an aging slacker? reference to “Well,” I stammered, that of patron. research “I do plan on continustudies: “But you have to do someing to write about libraries and librarthing with yourself. Retirement reians, and I’m also eager to get back search also shows that your brain onto the library speaking circuit.” fades if you are not actively involved “But if you are not working in in the pursuit of some substantive libraries or for libraries,” they goals and objectives. You still have a pointed out, “you really won’t have lot to offer the library profession.” anything particularly useful to say to The term, “substantive goals and librarians. You will have lost touch objectives,” made me shudder. A with your profession, and will quickmajor reason I’m fleeing the worka- ly become an irrelevant relic.” day world is to get off the hamster wheel of pursuing someone else’s Bon appetit goals and objectives, which have They had a good point. Over the past ruled my life for 35 years. 35 years I’ve written about libraries as I had long-term strategic goals a graduate student, reference librarand objectives, annual goals and ob- ian, children’s storyteller, library adjectives, and quarterly goals and ministrator, and finally city manager. objectives—each set with a dreaded At one time or another I’ve done just “assessment component.” Every boss about every task you could do in a I ever had insisted that all legitimate public library. Each role had its regoals and objectives were quantitawards and frustrations, but deep tively measurable. down inside the role I really wanted But I am not a to play was that of the patron. quantitative perThat’s where the real fun is. I used son. That’s why I to envy all the retired patrons who don’t keep score had the time to explore the library’s when I play golf many resources in a leisurely and (also convenient creative way. Instinctively I always when you constant- knew that when I could finally retire, ly shoot in the triI would become a full-time patron. ple digits). From now on, I’ll be writing from How could I tell that perspective. My days as a cook are my highly structured over. Now I want to enjoy the feast. z librarian colleagues that having goals WILL MANLEY has furnished provocative commentary on the library profession for over and objectives con25 years. He is the author of nine books on the tradicted my conlighter side of library science.


american libraries 


april 2008

ou might have noticed the American Libraries blurb about my retirement (AL, Sept. 2007, p. 75). Several readers immediately asked me what I was planning to do with all my free time. At first, I was at a loss for words and mumbled something a bit vague and evasive: “I plan to enjoy my freedom with my free time.” This didn’t sit well with my librarian friends, especially the ones with Midwestern roots. “You have to do something!” they advised. “You are far too young to retire.” Was this simply a case of an inbred work ethic or did it have more to do with personal jealousy? I would respond, “I thought that the key to a successful retirement was starting it while you still have your wits about you. I have no desire to go from the office to the nursing home to the graveyard. All the studies show that people who retire early live longer.” Leave it to librarians to counter

by Will Manley

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• American Big Businesses Directory Includes America’s largest companies, more than 210,000 companies that employ 100 or more people. Also includes 720,000 top executives and directors.

• State Business Directories

Most libraries subscribe to several commercial databases. One such database is ReferenceUSA. This powerful market-research tool contains data on millions of consumers and businesses, combined with lifestyle records and census information. Business owners and sales executives can obtain information on all pet stores that are in Brooklyn, NY including address, sales volume, surrounding residents’ that own dogs and their income levels. One entrepreneur used the manufacturer database to locate motorcycle dealers because he wanted to market his motorcycle-detailing kit. Using ReferenceUSA, he researched their credit rating scores and created a targeted mailing list of dealers with top credit ratings. “Putting that kind of information together can help people make more knowledgeable decisions,” states Susan Phillis, director of the Brooklyn Public Library’s Business Library.

Contain virtually every business within each state. Available in all 50 states plus Washington D.C.

Omaha: 5711 S. 86th Circle P.O. Box 27347 Omaha, NE 68127

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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Call Steve Laird For a FREE 7-day Trial: (866) 313-4037 or Email: Check out our website at: Phone: (866) 313-4037 • Fax: (402) 596-7688

Washington D.C.: 1717 Pennsylvania Ave NW Suite 150 Washington, DC 20006 23LJO

10/12/2007 2:54:16 PM

INDIGO Introducing

Beautiful software. How will you Indigo? Invent. Design. Go.

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03/05/2008 2:38:32 PM

April 2008  

AL Magazine April 2008

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