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NEWSMAKER Patricia Martin

COLLECTIONS Music in Philly




Year in Review Top 10 Stories of



LAURA BUSH a look back at her 8 years in the White House

Plus: The Coming Obama Presidency & Other Election News

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A New frontier in search & discovery

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requires minimal new investments for costconscious libraries. Visit to learn more about how SirsiDynix Enterprise can support your “user experience” strategies for 2008 and beyond.

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Features 38





December 2008


American Libraries recaps the top 10 stories to make news for—and by—libraries in 2008

With its abundance of musical treasures, the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Fleisher Collection lays claim to the title “world’s greatest music library” BY DAVID R. POWELL



User tagging lets patrons set their own terms BY DINAH SANDERS

picture pastels farming industry 52 38 fishing horse oboe sexuality vascular theory theater art music novel color concept literature computer programming finance poetry pottery quilting knitting volunteer crafts dog training marketing home improvement energy gardening self-help politics power military plants acrylic coffee spices water travel solar epidemics dreams video enviarchitecture crafts economy calendar glass blowing glacier biology legumes puppets sugar tea





In her own words and those of colleagues, a look back at the First Lady’s ambitions, accomplishments, and challenges as the teacher-librarian wife of President George W. Bush Cover design by Jennifer Palmer; photo by Shealah Craighead.

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CONTENTS American Libraries


December 2008



Volume 39 #11


ISSN 0 0 0 2 - 9 7 6 9

Departments Information Technology

30 Tech News 33 Dispatches from the field

Embracing Virtual Worlds  by Tom peters


Internet Librarian


In Practice

Weapons, Not Secret By Joseph Janes

CMS the Wiki Way  by Meredith Farkas People

60 Currents Professional Development

62 Youth Matters


Growing Up Too Fast 

12 ALA 19 Teen Read week 20 U.S. and INTERNATIONAL 29 Newsmaker:  Patricia Martin

By Jennifer Burek Pierce

Special News Reports


Librarian’s Library


Rousing Reads


Solutions and Services

Long Hot Summer By Mary Ellen Quinn First Novels By Bill Ott

Opinion and Commentary

57 lita national forum 58 yalsa literature Symposium 59 gaming symposium

4 From the editor

Librarian in the White House By Leonard Kniffel

8 President’s Message

In Pursuit of Information By jIM rETTIG


Reader Forum

Letters and Comments

36 Public Perception 37 On My Mind

Mashups in the Stacks By emily walshe


29 36

72 Will’s World

A Child Shall Lead Them By Will Manley

quarterly report

56 ala executive board

Measure to expand investment portfolio approved Jobs

68 Career Leads from joblist

Your #1 Source for Job Openings


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10/07/2008 3:28:59 PM 9/18/08 2:32:34 PM

FROM THE EDITOR | Contributors

Librarian in the White House by Leonard Kniffel


Dinah Sanders (“Tag— You’re It,” p. 52–54) has been working the Web for the last decade. She is a member of the advisory boards for San Jose State University’s School of Library and Information Science (for technology in courses) and for the SXSW Interactive Conference. She is also the senior product manager for Encore at Innovative Interfaces, Inc., but being a huge metadata geek, she’d be just as excited about the integration of subject headings and community tags even if she wasn’t helping to build it.


american libraries 


december 2008

he “spent the majority of her time being the Invisible Woman instead of the First Lady,” said a reader who wrote to me after watching our videocast of an interview with Laura Bush in March, adding, “I’m sure you did your best, but the interview was as sterile, innocuous, and forgettable as the First Lady herself.” I had been pursuing an interview with Laura Bush ever since she became First Lady in 2001. How this teacher-librarian would conduct herself in the White House and what it would mean to our profession were unknown, but I was certain that no matter what she did as First Lady, it was American Libraries’ responsibility to document it, even though our ongoing coverage of her initiatives has driven some readers to cry, “Enough already!” I asked a lot of librarians to talk to me on the record about what they disliked about Laura Bush, and invariably it all came around to one off-the-record answer: her husband. Nobody had anything really awful to say about her. AdaMrs. Bush was managed and cautious, yes, but also mant that she is not an elected official, Mrs. Bush has distanced herself professionally warm and gracious. from Mr. Bush by being a thoughtful ameliorator. I mentioned during the interview that the president’s budget request has included an increase for libraries every year and asked her if she’d had any influence on this. “Well, no, I would say no, I probably really haven’t,” she answered, segueing into praise for the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services. But her answer made me think of what Eleanor Roosevelt reportedly said when asked why she did things that made her so controversial: “I have access to the president, and if I don’t use that access to do things that need to be done in this country, need to be done for people, I would be sorely remiss and irresponsible.” Probably the most negative comments I found were those related to her cancellation of a 2003 White House poetry symposium when some of the invited writers threatened to use the event as an opportunity to protest the American invasion of Iraq. The First Lady seriously misjudged how her announcement that it would be “inappropriate to turn a literary event into a political forum” would be interpreted, namely as an attempt to muzzle the invited writers and as a naive view of poetry and literature in history. Innocuous or not, Mrs. Bush “certainly hasn’t made any enemies that I’m aware of,” former IMLS director Robert Martin told me. Moreover, she has made a lot of friends, often by leading the public relations squad for some of her husband’s unpopular judgments. Ultimately, I found the First Lady easier to talk to than many library directors, largely because she is such a good listener. Managed and cautious, yes. But she was also warm and gracious, and I could sense in her that professionalism that meant any classroom of hers was a classroom under control. AL’s look back on Laura Bush’s eight years in the White House begins on page 42. Also in this issue, we take a look back at the top 10 news stories of 2008 (p. 38) and a look ahead to what the election of Barack Obama as president of the United States portends for libraries (p. 20).  z

David R. Powell (“Hearing It Again for the First Time,” p. 48–51) is the assistant librarian at the Methodist Theological School in Delaware, Ohio. In addition to an MLIS from Kent State University, he holds a BA in economics from Capital University and a Master of Theological Studies from Trinity Lutheran Seminary. He serves on the advisory board for the online journal Theological Librarianship, for which he recently reviewed the Dictionary of Major Biblical Interpreters, and on the board of directors of the Friends of the Delaware County District Library. Powell is an inveterate music fan, and his recent reads include Mozart’s Women by Jane Glover and Stradivari’s Genius by Toby Faber. His principal instrument is the radio.

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Keep up with



■ NEW AL Focus videos!

Gaming, Learning, Libraries: Scenes from the recent ALA TechSource “Gaming, Learning, and Libraries Symposium” in Oak Brook, Illinois, demonstrate the benefits of games as a learning tool for library users. Technology and Community: An overview of the 2008 LITA National Forum, “Technology and Community: Building the Techno Community Library,” held in Cincinnati, Ohio, including tips from featured speakers Michael Porter and Tim Spalding. ■ NEW! Inside Scoop: News

blog with commentary on what’s happening at ALA. ■ News stories posted as they

break. ■ Photos in the news. ■ Reader Forum online:

Comment on issues and controversies. ■ AL Direct: What to do if you’re

not receiving ALA’s weekly electronic newsletter. ■ American Libraries Buyers

Guide: A vital purchasing aid.

50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611 • • e-mail toll free 800-545-2433 x4216 • local 312-280-4216 • fax 312-440-0901 online career classified ads: editor in chief managing editor senior editors associate editors

Leonard Kniffel Gordon Flagg Beverly Goldberg, George M. Eberhart Pamela A. Goodes, Greg Landgraf

design and production production director production editors

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publishing department associate executive director marketing and sales director publishing technology director joblist classified advertising/ad traffic rights and permissions

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columnists Meredith Farkas, Joseph Janes, Will Manley, Bill Ott, Mary Pergander, Jennifer Burek Pierce, Mary Ellen Quinn advisory committee chair Laurel Minott, Joseph R. Diaz, Jill Grogg, Nancy Kalikow Maxwell, Melanie R. Metzger, Andrew K. Pace, Amber A. Prentiss; interns Bart Birdsall, Cynthia Bischoff

Editorial policy: ALA Policy Manual, section 10.2

advertising representatives advertising sales manager U.S. (except Eastern) and International Eastern U.S. (except Pennsylvania)

Brian Searles Dave Adrian, 818-888-5288, Doug Lewis, 770-333-1281,

Acceptance of advertising does not constitute endorsement. ALA reserves the right to refuse advertising.

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; contact Charisse Perkins, 800-545-2433 x4286. 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.

december 2008

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10/07/2008 2:52:47 PM

ALA | President’s Message

In Pursuit of Information Learning to recognize and evaluate the truth Elections come

learn to recogçaise de Lutte conand go; but nize the need tre le Dopage to find and (AFLD), the French issues abide, evaluate inforanti-doping agency, as do our roles mation and wants to retest to promote how to do so. Armstrong’s 1999 ALA’s AssociaTour de France information literacy and tion of College urine samples. Apcivic literacy. and Research parently AFLD Libraries and places more faith in science than in quick polls of CNN American Association of School viewers. Librarians have definitions and In China Road: A Journey into the standards for information literacy. Future of a Rising Power (Random School and academic librarians work House, 2007), Rob Gifford describes with faculty to teach these concepts how in Shanghai: “One shiny new and competencies to students. Puboffice tower . . . has become a huge lic librarians strive to do the same. TV screen, with advertisements and The first step is for people to recoggovernment propaganda alternately nize that they need information. lighting up the entire side of the Information literacy intersects with building, one message replaced five civic literacy. A Web search turns up seconds later by another: “‘Welcome myriad definitions. The Partnership to Shanghai. Tomorrow will be even for 21st Century Skills defines civic more beautiful’; ‘1,746 more days literacy, in part, as “participating efuntil the Shanghai World Expo’; fectively in civic life through knowing ‘Sexual equality is a basic policy of how to stay informed and understandour country’; and ‘Eat Dove chocoing governmental processes.” late.’” In preparation for the recent naEven discounting a sweet tooth, tional election, public and academic the citizens of Shanghai undoubtedly libraries posted information on place greater stock in ads for choco- election web pages, created book displays, and hosted public forums. late than in the ruling party’s nosElections come and go; but issues trums. They have learned through abide, as do our roles to promote inexperience how to judge the source of a bit of information, just as view- formation literacy and civic literacy. ers of the Colbert Report know how to These are just two of our many unheralded but essential civic and eduevaluate satire. cational contributions.  z

Promoting literacy

Libraries play many important roles in our communities, including helping members, such as K–12 students, citizens, and college students,

ALA President JIM RETTIG is university librarian at Boatwright Memorial Library, University of Richmond in Virginia. Visit jrettig .org


american libraries 


december 2008


he American Dialect Society (ADS) named “truthiness” the 2005 word of the year. Truthiness, the ADS explained, “refers to the quality of preferring concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true.” How quickly it has dropped from use. Perhaps truthiness has lost favor because it requires effort. To establish the truthiness of the “fact” that the population of African elephants had tripled, Steven Colbert of Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report urged his viewers to modify Wikipedia’s article on elephants. People recognized this as satire and placed no stock in the false statement about elephants’ sudden population boom. Contrast that to the ease with which millions accepted the falsehood that Barack Obama is a Muslim, or that many, including some librarians, accepted at face value the bogus claim that Sarah Palin, as mayor, tried to remove a long list of books from the Wasilla (Alaska) Public Library—even though some books on the list had not been published at the time. Has rumor displaced truthiness? Or perhaps opinion, undisturbed by fact, has replaced both truth and truthiness. On October 2, CNN announced that 85% of the respondents in a viewer poll said that Lance Armstrong has never been involved in doping. This was presented as if the numbers reported the truth the way the final vote total in an election identifies the winner. The point of the story was that the Agence Fran-

by Jim Rettig

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THANK YOU! You did it! The campaign for the Cultural Communities Fund (CCF) is a resounding success, with a total of $1.4 million raised. You responded to a Challenge Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and, with your generosity, the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office is building the nation’s first endowment to support libraries in establishing and expanding cultural programs. ALA thanks the Public and Cultural Programs Advisory Committee for their campaign leadership and the founding contributors of the Cultural Communities Fund for helping to meet this challenge and secure the benefits of the NEH Challenge Grant. By supporting the CCF through the beginning stages, these library leaders and visionaries have helped to secure the future of arts and humanities programs in our libraries and our communities. To contribute, visit

Benefactors ($50,000 or more) H.W. Wilson Foundation Sara Jaffarian National Endowment for the Humanities Public Library Association (PLA) The Wallace Foundation Lee A. Wheeler Patrons ($25,000 to $49,999) National Library of Medicine Nextbook Random House, Inc. Sponsors ($10,000 to $24,999) Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) Barnes & Noble FRONTLINE/World Logitech Reference & User Services Association (RUSA)—In recognition of 60+ years of the Notable Books Council Severn House Publishers Founders ($5,000 to $9,999) Rob Carlson and Paul Gehl HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. Deborah and Peter Robertson TNT—Turner Network Television Donors ($1,000 to $4,999) ALA Campaign for America’s Libraries Barbara Macikas and Howard Blumstein Cathleen J. Bourdon Susan Brandehoff Leslie Burger Daniel and Brooke Coleman Kathleen de la Peña McCook Nancy Davenport Enoch Pratt Free Library Mary Davis Fournier Friends of the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County GEICO Jane Gibson Gerald G. Hodges Deborah L. Jacobs Sarah Ann Long Lord & Taylor Mid-Continent Public Library Samuel F. Morrison Shirley and Richard Murray George M. Needham Newberry Library OCLC Online Computer Library Center Lucie P. Osborn Palinet Jennifer Paustenbaugh Penguin Group Thomas C. Phelps Susan Richards and Rex Myers Linda C. Smith Peggy Sullivan Thomson Reuters Christine Watkins . . . plus more than 400 contributors! To view the complete list, visit

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OPINION | Reader Forum

Letters and Comments While I appreciate Meredith Farkas’s conversations surrounding opensource software and the advancement of generally ill-designed and inaccessible library websites (“CMS for Next– Gen Websites,” Nov., p. 36), I fear that her evangelism of Drupal and, at a lesser level, WordPress, skims over the importance of recognizing sometimes steep learning curves involved with these content management systems. In her mentioning of five exemplary Drupal-built library sites, Ms. Farkas highlights two that were built by the highly skilled librarian John Blyberg and his teams at Ann Arbor and Darien public libraries. Much of what BlyTo my dismay, berg et al. have it seems that done took skill sets Farkas’s column that are surely beyond what is taught is used as a in most library showcase of graduate schools shiny toys only. and, I’d argue, sometimes beyond what can be learned by the typical librarian without substantial mentorship or training. Ms. Farkas only minimally addresses the learning curves involved, and when doing so, is quick to suggest outsourcing to consultants. As an LIS adjunct professor at San Jose State University and head of instructional initiatives at Norwich University, I would hope that Ms. Farkas would use her column in American Libraries to discuss not only some of the tools of the technology trade, but


also to create discourse about educating oneself on how to use them properly, skillfully, and appropriately. To my dismay, it seems that her column is used as a showcase of shiny toys only.

Share your Treasures

Kyle Jones Elmhurst (Ill.) College

A Thankful Member I want to thank ALA for making AL Direct accessible to all. I cannot afford to go to conferences, so this has been the extent of my ALA participation and continues to be a wonderful source of information. It wasn’t long ago that ALA membership fees were less than $50 (when I was a student, it was $25). Adjusting for inflation is understandable, but $65 is inflation and then some. I think when the returns can easily be seen, people are willing to spend a lot more. Obviously, rebuilding a library after a hurricane is something that can be seen, but it is more difficult to see the results of library or literacy advocacy. A rise in library usage can be caused by a number of factors. No one can deny that work can be done in the advocacy of libraries and literacy, but how do we know we are getting our money’s worth? As a cataloger, this is also my cross to bear. I think about my value to society almost every day. ALA should be as clear as possible about how our membership money gets spent, especially in the area of advocacy. I’m sure that some people won’t like the way the money is spent. This is where ALA can explain


merican Libraries’ April issue will feature our annual Library Design Showcase of new, expanded, and renovated library buildings. Projects that have been completed since October 1, 2007, are eligible for the 2009 issue. The submission form and detailed instructions are now available at alonline/submittingal/ facilitiesfeature.cfm. For more information, contact Greg Landgraf at The editors welcome letters about recent contents or matters of general interest. Letters should be limited to 300 words. Send to; fax 312440-0901; or American Libraries, Reader Forum, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611-2795.

why it was spent that way, which in turn educates members about the ins and outs of spending money on advocacy efforts. Librarians knowing how to spend money on advocacy sounds like something good. Jonathan Horrocks Locust Grove, Virginia Correction: The name of Ninfa Trejo was misspelled in “Border Location Offers Unique

Continue the conversation at

Opportunities for Reforma Attendees” (Nov., p. 30).


american libraries 


december 2008

CMS Learning Curve Woes

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Content you trust… more ways to use it Booklist Online is a sophisticated yet easy-to-use tool for librarians who are serious about collection development, readers’ advisory and general title research–whether they’re looking for fiction, nonfiction, or media.

Surround yourself with trusted content Booklist Online delivers a growing archive of more than 120,000 current and past Booklist reviews in an attractive and highly searchable database.

Your patrons will thank you Make Booklist Online accessible to patrons at branches and through remote login for the best self-service readers’ advisory available. Plus, they’ll enjoy features, like the Book Group Buzz Blog and Review of the Day.

NOW WITH ONE-CLICK ORDERING TO BAKER & TAYLOR TITLE SOURCE 3! Incredibly useful for collection development. Why go toone of those large compiled databases when Booklist Online has everything I need? —Shawna Thorup, Assistant Director, Fayetteville (AR) Public Library

See how Booklist Online can transform your workflow. Sign up now for a free 30-day trial*! Booklist Online is really helping our workflow and efficiency in the library. . . . We love it! —Jane Levine, Head of Technical Services, Winnetka-Northfield (IL) Public Library

* Contact Dan Kaplan at (312) 280-5284 or to set up a free institutional trial.

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Stevens, Oliver Seek 2010–11 ALA Presidency in English from the State University of New York at Binghamton. She also took MBA courses at George Mason University and was the first former graduate of the MLS program at Buffalo to be invited as commencement speaker. Since 2001, Oliver has overseen a library district with 11 locations serving 256,000 residents. In a career that spans more than 30 years, he has served as associate director for branch services at Johnson County (Kans.) Library, director of Olathe (Kans.) Public Library, and head of public services at Daniel Boone Regional Library in Columbia, Missouri. He recently completed his fourth year as chair of ALA’s Intellectual Freedom Committee. An elected member of the Freedom to Read Foundation board, Oliver is a former Kansas Chapter councilor to ALA’s governing Council as well as a past member of ALA’s Executive Board. Oliver has also served on many other Association committees, including the Committee on Organization; the Resolutions Committee, where he served as chair; and the Budget Analysis and Review Committee. He has also been a member of a number of ALA task forces, including the Legislation Committee’s Privacy Task Force, the External Accreditation Task Force, the Governance Task Force, and the Core Values Task Force II. He served as president of the Kansas and Missouri library associations and has also been a member of ALA’s Public Library Association and several PLA committees including the Intellectual Freedom Committee, the Library Video Award

Roberta Stevens

Kenton L. Oliver

Jury, the Gordon M. Conable Award Jury, the Nominating Committee, and the Membership Committee. Oliver has a bachelor’s degree in American History from Washburn University and an MLS from Emporia State University. ALA members current as of January 31, 2009, are eligible to vote on the spring ballot. Voting begins March 17. The candidate will be elected to serve as ALA presidentelect for 2009–10 and as president for the 2010–11 term. The 2009 election will be the first conducted completely online. Members who have not provided ALA with e-mail addresses by March 1, 2009, will receive a paper mailing containing information and instructions on how to vote online (AL, Nov., p. 15). Presidential candidates’ campaign statements are scheduled to appear in the March issue of American Libraries. The board has also selected a roster of 55 nominees for Council (see p. 17– 18). Petition candidates for president and Council have until 9 a.m. CST on January 30 to submit their names. Susan S. DiMattia of DiMattia Associates in Stamford, Connecticut, chaired the nine-member Nominating Committee.


american libraries 


december 2008


oberta Stevens, outreach projects and partnerships officer at the Library of Congress (LC) in Washington, D.C., and project manager for the National Book Festival, and Kenton L. Oliver, executive director of Stark County (Ohio) District Library, are candidates for the 2010–11 ALA presidency. Stevens previously served as the LC Bicentennial program manager, which included nationwide projects in partnership with ALA. Prior to joining LC, she was director of technical operations at Fairfax County (Va.) Public Library. Stevens has also worked as a school librarian and as head of media services for the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York. A member of the ALA Executive Board Finance and Audit Committee, Stevens was elected to the Association’s governing Council for two successive terms. She also served on ALA’s Committee on Legislation and chaired COL’s privacy and telecommunications subcommittees. Stevens is currently the Executive Board’s representative on the Seven Measures of Success Working Group. For nearly a decade, Stevens managed the LC exhibit booth during ALA’s Annual Conferences and Midwinter Meetings. She also organized the All-Conference Reception as well as tours, presentations, workshops, and seminars at LC for the 1998 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. Stevens received bachelor’s and master’s degrees and an MLS from the State University of New York at Buffalo as well as a master’s degree

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ALA has announced the librarians who will participate in the Emerging Leaders (EL) 2009 program. The EL program, now in its third year, will enable more than 100 librarians to participate in project-planning workgroups, network with peers, gain an inside look into ALA structure, and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity. The 2009 program kicks off during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Denver and will proceed in an online learning and networking environment for six months. It will culminate with a poster session

Sweet Indulgence Marina Green samples treats at the annual Friends of the Allen (Tex.) Public Library Chocolate Friendzy, celebrating the group’s 25th anniversary and held in conjunction with the third annual National Friends of Libraries Week October 19–25, sponsored by the ALA affiliate Friends of Libraries USA. A demonstration by Collin Gouldin, holder of the Guinness World Records title for strawberry-dipping in chocolate, was also held.


ALA asked Congress October 14 for $100 million in stimulus funding to help libraries aid the nation’s working families during the current economic crisis. Funds are being requested to allow libraries to expand employment activities and services such as résumé development, job bank web searches, and career planning workshops; reinstate or supplement evening and weekend hours of operation at libraries; promote financial literacy, housing counseling, and small-business development assistance; and acquire additional resources and mate-

In partnership with ALA’s Campaign for America’s Libraries, the Verizon Foundation has debuted Thinkfinity .org, a new web page specifically for librarians. The landing page, designed to serve as a starting place for librarians to explore content, features rotating library-specific content connected

Emerging Leader Participants Named

december 2008

ALA Seeks Stimulus Funds for Libraries

Thinkfinity Joins Libraries Campaign

to ALA and librarian initiatives. It also highlights content from partners who produce discipline-specific, standards-based educational resources on current subject areas. The free online portal to more than 55,000 resources is aimed at advancing student achievement in K–12 academic subjects and literacy across the lifespan. Its resources are provided in partnership with 11 educational and literacy organizations.


ALA’s Public Programs Office has received more than $290,000 in gifts and pledges for the Cultural Communities Fund (CCF) in a campaign to raise the matching dollars required for a National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant. The money raised brings the fund total to just under $1.4 million as of October 20. According to PPO, the success of the campaign is due in large part to the leadership of ALA’s Public and Cultural Programs Advisory Committee. The group, composed of library leaders who serve as CCF advocates, assisted PPO in reaching yearly fundraising targets and reaching out to potential donors. Started in 2003 with a NEH challenge grant, CCF now has more than 450 individual and corporate donors. CCF funding supports the creation of annual professional development opportunities for librarians and turnkey national model programs as well as other programs designed to build and enhance programming at the local level. For more information, visit

rials to help keep up with increased demand for economic services nationwide. “America’s free public libraries provide a lifeline for citizens in need across the country,” said ALA President Jim Rettig. “This is no time to cut much-needed support, reduce hours, or close library doors.” Rettig pointed to a recent ALA study showing that 73% of all libraries nationwide provide the only free internet access in their communities; in rural areas the rate rises to 83%. Many libraries are also reporting double-digit growth in computer use this year, he said.

american libraries 

Cultural Fund Reaches Matching Goal

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11/18/2008 12:08:30 PM


a moving honor

presentation showcasing the results of project-planning work at Annual Conference in Chicago. More than one third of this year’s participants have received sponsorships from ALA divisions and roundtables, state chapters, affiliate groups, and other organizations to defray costs of attending the conferences. The complete list of the selected participants and sponsoring organizations is available at wikis.

Librarian Salary Decline Unveiled

Results of the 2008 ALA-APA Salary Survey: Librarian—Public and Aca-

Learning 4 Life Initiative Launched

ALA’s American Association of School Librarians has launched Learning 4 Life (L4L), a national initiative to support states, school systems, and individual schools in implementing the Standards for the 21st-Century Learner. The goal is to increase awareness and understanding of the learning standards and to create a committed group of stakeholders with a shared voice. L4L incorporates the belief that it is essential to offer the necessary tools for educators to transform

the learning standards and their school library media programs into meaningful and effective practice. L4L is available online at www.ala .org/aasl/learning4life. Standards for the 21st-Century Learner is available at

Teens Select Favorite Books

More than 8,000 teen readers across the country choose Eclipse (Little, Brown) by Stephenie Meyer—the third entry in the popular vampire romance series—as their favorite book in the annual ALA Young Adult Library Services Association’s Teens’ Top Ten. The online voting took place during Teen Read Week 2008 October 12–18 The remaining TTT titles are: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Scholastic) by J. K. Rowling; Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Abrams) by Jeff Kinney; Vampire Academy (Razorbill) by Richelle Mead; Maximum Ride: Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports (Little, Brown) by James Patterson; City of Bones (Margaret K. McElderry) by Cassandra Clare; The Sweet Far Thing (Delacorte) by Libba Bray; Extras (Simon Pulse) by Scott Westerfeld; Before I Die (Random House) by Jenny Downham, and Twisted (Viking) by Laurie Halse Anderson. Teens’ Top Ten is a teen-choice booklist put together as part of YALSA’s Young Adult Galley Project, in which publishers of young adult books provide copies of recent titles to teen book discussion groups in libraries. Read more at www.ala .org/teenstopten.

Abdul-Jabbar PSA Viewed by 30 Million

Throughout September’s observance of Library Card Sign-up Month, National Basketball Association legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar could be seen and heard speaking


american libraries 


december 2008

Barbara Adrianopoli, winner of the 2008 John Philip Award, joins the award’s namesake during the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services (ABOS) Annual Conference October 10 in Columbus, Ohio. The award, recognizing outstanding contributions and leadership, honors Philip’s dedication and tireless work. More than 200 people representing 36 states attended the conference. ABOS is an ALA affiliate.

demic indicate that real librarian salary gains of recent years might be endangered by rising inflation. According to the survey, administered by the ALA–Allied Professional Association, the mean salary of librarians did not outpace inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) . The mean librarian salary rose to $58,960, an increase of $1,151 from 2007; that 2% increase represents half that of the 4% CPI rise for the same time period. The survey included 16,258 individuals with salaries ranging from $22,000 to $331,200. The 2008 mean was $58,960 compared with $57,809 for 2007. The average salary increase of public librarians (2.7%) was outpaced by inflation. Only one of the six surveyed positions saw a salary increase that exceeded the rise of inflation—director/dean/chief officer (11.9%). Academic librarians, however, fared worse: Salaries of academic librarians were largely stagnant. The 2008 survey was mailed to 3,484 recipients and 1,010 responded, a 29% response rate as opposed to 24% in 2007. For additional information, visit

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11/18/2008 12:08:43 PM

Los Angeles Site of Next Lawyers Training

Registration is open for ALA’s Association of College and Research Libraries’ 14th national conference, “Pushing the Edge: Explore, Extend, Engage,” to be held March 12–15, 2009, in Seattle. Registration materials are available online at Those who register by January 16, 2009, will save more than 20%. Special group registration prices, reduced airfares, hotel discounts, and scholarships are also available. The conference will feature more than 250 peer-reviewed sessions and a lineup of celebrated keynote speakers, including author and journalist Naomi Klein, author Sherman Alexie, and public radio host Ira Glass. ACRL is also providing registrants complimentary one-year access to every presentation in the ACRL 2009 Virtual Conference

Jan. 23–28, 2009: ALA Midwinter Meeting, Denver. midwinter. Mar. 8–14: Teen Tech Week. Mar. 12–15: Association of College and Research Libraries National Conference, Seattle. Apr. 2–4: Public Library Association Spring Symposium, Nashville, Tennessee. pla. Apr. 12–18: National Library Week. Apr. 30: El Día de los Niños/ El Día de los Libros. www May 11–12 : National Library Legislative Day. July 9–15: ALA Annual Conference, Chicago. Nov. 5–8: American Association of School Librarians National Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina. www.ala .org/aasl. Visit alonline/calendar/calendar .cfm for American Libraries’ full calendar of library events.


ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom will present its next “Lawyers for Libraries” Training Institute February 20, 2009, in Los Angeles— the 13th in a series of regional institutes following two national institutes in 1997 and 1998.

Registration Open for ACRL Conference

ALA Events

december 2008

ALA’s Public Programs Office, in collaboration with the Fetzer Institute’s Campaign for Love and Forgiveness, announced that 50 libraries will receive $2,500 grants to support the “Let’s Talk About It: Love and Forgiveness” reading and discussion program. Although program funding was originally intended to support 30 libraries, due to an abundance of exceptional applications the Fetzer Institute has funded a total of 50 libraries. The grant money will be used to support program costs and scholar honoraria. Selected libraries will also receive program materials and training for the library project director at a national workshop. For a complete listing of selected libraries, visit



“Love & Forgiveness” Recipients Named

The institute is primarily intended to equip attorneys with tools they need to effectively defend the First Amendment in libraries. Participants will be instructed by practicing attorneys specializing in First Amendment law and will be eligible for continuing legal education credits for their participation. In addition, a panel of librarians will discuss their real-world experiences creating and enforcing library policies. The workshops are open to licensed practicing attorneys retained to represent or advise libraries on legal issues. Library trustees or board members who are responsible for establishing library policy may also attend. Librarians may attend if they are accompanied by a library attorney. The cost to attend is $395 for one person and $745 for two persons. Online registration is available at

american libraries 

out about the value of owning a library card. As honorary chair, Abdul-Jabbar donated his time and image to the creation of print and radio public services announcements. Print PSAs were placed by ALA in such publications as Entertainment Weekly; O, The Oprah Magazine; and USA Today, generating $900,000 in donated advertising space on behalf of libraries. Radio PSAs were heard on the Westwood One and Fox Sports radio networks, as well as other stations across the country Abdul-Jabbar is also featured in an ALA Graphics READ poster available through the ALA store at www

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11/18/2008 12:09:05 PM


Community. Presentation slides will be synched with program audio so attendees can download missed sessions on their own time. Attendees can help reduce the meeting’s ecological footprint by committing to the Green Pledge when registering for the conference. The use of digital copies of handouts and presentation materials will be encouraged whenever possible. The conference program will also include information on which vendors provide sustainable services and practices. Green speaker Robin Chase, cofounder of Zipcar, the largest carsharing company in the world, and CEO of GoLoco, an online ridesharing community, will speak. In addition, participants will receive an interactive conference map highlighting local green restaurants and businesses to patronize.

Riverside, County (Calif.) Library System and the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County in North Carolina are the recipients of the 2008 Estela and Raúl Mora Awards for their efforts in promoting the April 30 observance of El Día de los Niños/El Día de los Libros (Children’s Day/Book Day) in their states. The $1,000 award for each recipient is presented by the ALA affiliate Reforma, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking. It was established by author and poet Pat Mora and her family in honor of their parents. Día is administered by ALA’s Association for Library Service to Children, Riverside’s events were part of the library’s Leer Es Triunfar (Reading is Succeeding) project, which offered a series of special events that included

GROWING STRONG The mission of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is to advocate, promote, and strengthen service to young adults as part of the continuum of total library service, and to support those who provide service to this population

TEEN TECH AND READ WEEKS YALSA will celebrate its third Teen Tech Week March 8–14, 2009, with a theme of “Press Play @ your library.” Registration is open through February 8 at, where you’ll also find activity ideas, publicity tools, and other resources for celebrating the many technologies available in your library and encouraging teens and parents to get connected. Teen Read Week (TRW) will be October 18–24, 2009, with a theme of “Read Beyond Reality @ your library,” chosen by nearly 1,000 teens in a nationwide poll. In 2008, 4,925 librarians and educators across the U.S. participated, encouraging teens to read for the fun of it. Learn more at www More than 8,000 votes were cast by teens for their favorite books during TRW 2008; Eclipse (Little, Brown) by Stephenie Meyer was chosen as the apex of the Teens’ Top Ten.

SPECIAL EVENTS, OTHER ACTIVITIES YALSA hosted its first Young Adult Literature Symposium in Nashville in November, with a theme of “How We Read Now.” Nearly 570 librarians and educators attended. New for next year will be the YALSA Road Trip, an effort to have a presence at library conferences in all 50 states. Member volunteers will host social events, implement one of four YALSA programs, or staff exhibit booths. It is an outgrowth of President Sarah Cornish Debraski’s yearlong theme “Engaging the YALSA Community.” For more information, visit Through funding from ALA Ahead to 2010, YALSA launched a diversity initiative in 2008 to provide travel funds for two members of diverse backgrounds to attend ALA’s Annual Conference. The division also sponsored its first Spectrum Scholar and presented a program at the Reforma National Conference in El Paso, Texas, in September. Stephanie Kuenn communications specialist

Each month the Association’s Associations spotlights the activities and agenda of one of ALA’s divisions. Next month: American Association of School Librarians Association of College and Research Libraries

appearances by Mora, author Lucia González, and folksinger and storyteller Suni Paz throughout the month of April. In North Carolina, 10 years of statewide celebrations were noted,

with libraries hosting monthlong programs that included an appearance by author Yuyi Morales. For more information, visit www ❚


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december 2008

2008 Mora Award Recipients Announced


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11/18/2008 12:09:18 PM

2009 ALA Nominating Committee Council Nominees

Damon Austin Agricultural Sciences Librarian University of Maryland, College Park College Park, Maryland Dreanna Belden Coordinator of Grants and Development University of North Texas Libraries Denton, Texas

Karl F. Bridges Associate Professor/ Information and Instruction Services University of Vermont Bailey Howe Library Burlington, Vermont

Vicki Morris Emery Media Coordinator Lake Braddock Secondary School Burke, Virginia

Irene L. Briggs Associate Director for Public Services Prince George’s County Memorial Library Hyattsville, Maryland John M. Budd Professor University of Missouri Columbia, Missouri Angela Carstensen Director of Libraries Convent of the Sacred Heart New York, New York

Dana M. Eure Assistant Director Union County Public Library Monroe, North Carolina Miguel Figueroa Network Services Coordinator New York University Langone Medical Center New York, New York Rosario Garza Executive Director Metropolitan Cooperative Library System Pasadena, California

Annalisa R. Crews Library Media Specialist Homewood High School Homewood, Alabama

Judith A. Gibbons Director Field Services Division Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives Frankfort, Kentucky

Bart Birdsall Media Specialist School District of Hillsborough County Tampa, Florida

Amy De Groff Director of Information Technology Howard County Library Columbia, Maryland

Charles L. Gilreath Executive Associate Dean Texas A&M University Libraries College Station, Texas

Brett Bonfield Director Collingswood Public Library Collingswood, New Jersey

Linda Dobb University Librarian California State University, East Bay Hayward, California

Patricia L. Gregory Assistant University Librarian for Research and Assessment Saint Louis University

Tracie D. Hall Principal Consultant The GoodSeed Group Chicago, Illinois Alan Harkness Regional Director Piedmont Regional Library System Winder, Georgia Christopher G. Harris Director School Library System Genesee Valley BOCES Le Roy, New York Stephen M. Hayes Business Services Librarian Hesburgh Libraries University of Notre Dame College of Business Notre Dame, Indiana Jody K. Howard Professor University of Denver Denver, Colorado Sara Kelly Johns Library Media Specialist Lake Placid Middle/High School Lake Placid, New York Alys Jordan Distance and Instructional Services Librarian Nova Southeastern University Fort Lauderdale–Davie, Florida


Valerie P. Bell Assistant Director, Public Services Ocean County Library, Toms River, New Jersey

Pius XII Memorial Library St. Louis, Missouri

december 2008

Mario Ascencio Visual Arts Liaison Librarian George Mason University Libraries Fairfax, Virginia

Nanette Donohue Technical Services Manager Champaign Public Library Champaign, Illinois


J. Douglas (Doug) Archer Reference and Peace Studies Librarian University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, Indiana

Kay I. Bowes Youth Services Librarian Brandywine Hundred Library Wilmington, Delaware

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José Aponte Director San Diego County Library San Diego, California

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11/18/2008 12:09:30 PM

NEWS | ALA Alice S. Knapp Director of Public Services Ferguson Library Stamford, Connecticut Johan H. Koren Coordinator Library Media Program Murray State University Murray, Kentucky Donna McDonald Chair Arkansas State Library Board Little Rock, Arkansas Susan G. Miller Reference Librarian Community College of Rhode Island Lincoln, Rhode Island Leslie Monsalve-Jones Library Director Southwestern College Santa Fe, New Mexico

Jennifer Pickle Senior Childrens’ Librarian Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Eva Poole Director of Libraries Denton Public Library Denton, Texas Vicky Schmarr Library Media Specialist Olentangy High School Lewis Center, Ohio Thomas Schneiter Assistant Director for the Depository Harvard University Library Cambridge, Massachusetts Jackie Siminitus Library Advocate AT&T San Francisco, California Tracy Sumler Children’s Librarian District of Columbia Public Library Washington, D.C.

Patrick Newell Electronic Resources Librarian California State University, Fresno Fresno, California

Gail Tobin Branch Coordinator Hanover Park Branch Schaumburg Township District Library Hanover Park, Illinois

Maren Ostergard Early Literacy/ Outreach Librarian King County Library System Issaquah, Washington

William “Bill” L. Turner Adult Services Librarian District of Columbia Public Library Washington, D.C.

Suzy Szasz Palmer Director of Research and Information Services

Stephen Van Buren University Archivist Head of Special Collections

South Dakota State University Brookings, South Dakota Kelvin Watson Director New Product Development The Library Corporation Inwood, West Virginia Larry Nash White Assistant Professor East Carolina University Greenville, North Carolina Glenda Willnerd Coordinator Library Media Services

Lincoln Public Schools Lincoln, Nebraska Diana Yuhfen Wu Librarian Coordinator for International Students San Jose State University Library San Jose, California Diane Zabel Louis and Virginia Benzak Business Librarian Pennsylvania State University Schreyer Business Library University Park, Pennsylvania  z

2009 Election Schedule January 23–28, 2009 ALA Midwinter Meeting, Denver. Nominating Committee chair presents slate of ALA and Council candidates for the 2009 election to Council. January 30 Last day nominating petitions may be accepted for ALA officers and Council. March 17 Ballot mailing begins; election polls are open. April 24 Polls close at 11:59 p.m. CST. May 1 Certification of election results by Election Committee May 1 Candidates notified and election results report distributed. The list includes Executive Board–approved ALA Council nominees from names submitted by the Nominating Committee. Petition candidates for ALA president and Council have until January 30 to enter the race and will be noted in subsequent issues of American Libraries as their names become available.


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december 2008

Nadia Nasr University Archivist and Digital Collections Librarian Albert S. Cook Library Towson University Towson, Maryland

Library of Virginia Richmond, Virginia

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11/18/2008 2:26:45 PM

Teen Read Week | ALA

Teens Take A Bite Out of Books Nationwide More than 5,000 teens in school and public libraries throughout the country joined ALA’s Young Adult Library Services Association in celebrating Teen Read Week 2008 October 12–18. The theme, “Books with Bite @ your library,” encouraged an array of events and programs that urged teens to read for the fun of it.

Anita Jennings (far left), manager of Newport News (Va.) Public Library System’s Pearl Bailey branch, along with Mercedes Willis, Chris Smith, Library Director Izabela M. Cieszynski, and Chris Palmer, cut the ribbon October 9 for the Chill Spot, an after-school area in the library for teens from 12 to 18 years old.


Sarah Greene (left) and MacKenzie Bostrom decorate edible haunted houses October 18 at Garden City (N.Y.) Public Library, where the Young Adult Department also held Yak and Snack sessions for grades 6 though 12, where students shared books while having a bite to eat.

american libraries 


december 2008

Participants in the Cosplay Fashion Show pose during part of a day-long manga art event October 18 at Davenport (Iowa) Public Library that included a comic swap station, graphic novel workshop, and anime movie screening.

Ashley Barcelo of Miami–Dade Public Library System’s Miami Lakes branch shows off her winnings, including a football autographed by Miami Dolphins running back Ronnie Brown, in a T-shirt design contest with the theme “My Door, My World.”

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11/18/2008 12:09:54 PM

NEWS | U.S. & International

Election Impact for Libraries Unclear


american libraries 


december 2008


n his keynote address at the 2005 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, President-Elect Barack Obama, then a U.S. senator from Illinois, recognized libraries as an “enormous force for good,” stating, “The moment we persuade a child, any child, to cross that threshold into a library, we’ve changed their lives forever, and for the better.” (AL, Aug. 2005, p. 48–52) In the same speech, he earned rousing cheers referencing his address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, where he declared “We don’t like federal agents poking around in our libraries in the Red States, or the blue states for that matter.” Many librarians who supported Obama’s candidacy view that speech as a signal that they will have an ally in the White House when he takes office next year. Detractors, meanwhile, see reasons for concern, viewing statements such as the Plan for Universal Voluntary Services on the Obama campaign website—which promises that he and Vice President-elect Joseph Biden “will ensure that at least 25% of College WorkStudy funds are used to support public service opportunities instead of jobs in dining halls and libraries”—as a sign that the president-elect does not really understanding of the important role libraries play. Emily Sheketoff, executive director of ALA’s Washington Office, told American Libraries that the fiscal concerns of libraries will likely dwarf the effect of the change in administration. “The election is not going to have as great an impact as the faltering economy,” Sheketoff said. “Resources are going to be incredibly tight. But PresidentElect Obama has great vision for how technology can help, and that should help librarians who are struggling to address their bandwidth issues.” She noted that “both the president-elect

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and Congress believe they need to do something to put America back to work,” and that a good early test of their support for libraries will be “if libraries are included in the resolution to this important problem.” “The two things I’m excited to see addressed are cyber infrastructure and taking a close look at things like data privacy,” OCLC’s Andrew Pace, president of ALA’s Library and Information Technology Association, told AL. The Wall Street Journal reported November 11 that Obama had listed education as his fifth priority, after the economy, energy independence, health care, and middle-class tax cuts. The Education section of his campaign website makes no explicit mention of libraries. However, Sheketoff said, “In the Congress, we believe that there will be the potential to improve No Child Left Behind, and hopefully school library media specialists will be successful in getting their legislators to understand the crucial part they play in real student achievement, both for traditional literacy and information literacy. And a good indication of our ability to get legislators to understand the contributions of school library media specialists will be including the SKILLS [Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries] Act in any education bill.” The National Center for Summer Learning at Johns Hopkins University sees in Obama a friend of summer learning programs, many of which could be hosted by libraries. The center recognized Obama as a 2008 “Champion of Summer Learning” for his introduction of a bill to specifically target summer learning as a method to improve student achievement. Sheketoff said that for the new administration overall, “I’m optimistic because of the discussions we’ve had with the people who are surrounding President-Elect Obama, but I’m very concerned about the economic situation in this country.” —G.L.

Then-Senator Barack Obama praises libraries at the 2005 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.

11/18/2008 12:10:38 PM

Record High Early Voter Turnout Swells Lines at Library Polling Places

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cause of difficulty parking and then the long lines to get into the building,” Herzog said. Davis said library staff took the opportunity to promote the system and distributing library card applications. Also, branches with auditoriums played movies or music, and Friends groups offered water and refreshments, which she said “makes the library system a very attractive place to be.” Charlotte library staffers took similar actions, Herzog said—chatting with voters, offering library brochures, literature, and card applications and bringing children’s books to the main branch to entertain voters’ children. (Children’s services are centered in the ImaginOn facility several blocks from the main library.) Television crews from CBS, as well as local stations, also visited the library to get news footage. “I’m glad we’re a part of it,” Herzog said. “I hope it will bring people in.” Long lines hit library polling places on November 4 as well. The Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel website reported twohour waits to vote at Orange County Library shortly after 10 a.m. that day. And at Richmond (Va.) Public Library’s Ginter Park branch, hundreds of voters were at the library for its scheduled 6 a.m. opening, but the librarian who had the key overslept, the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot reported. —G.L.

december 2008

The voting line at the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County’s South County branch stretched for two hours at lunchtime October 31.


Photos: Tim Ribar, Cognotes; Associated Press


ecord early-voting turnout for the 2008 election boded well for civic involvement, and libraries across the country that serve as early voting sites faced unexpected pressures—and opportunities—to provide service to the throngs of early voters coming through their doors. Broward County (Fla.) Libraries may have taken the most extreme step: closing the Davie/Cooper City, Tamarac, and Pompano Beach branches to everyone except early voters from October 30 through November 2. Libraries Manager Peggy Davis told American Libraries that two of the closed libraries are smaller branches with relatively small parking lots and little available street parking. “Because of the high number of voters, it was very difficult for all of them to be served.” The Tamarac branch, she added, is a larger library, but the “huge turnout” there made it equally difficult for everyone to gain access to the building. Twelve of the county’s 17 early-voting locations were in libraries. “All of the library “At least one branch locations have been very busy,” Davis said, with people often has lost almost all standing in line between one daily use because and three hours. Wait times of difficulty parking shortened after Florida Gov. Charlie Crist extended early votand then the long lines to get into the ing hours by four hours a day October 29, and that required libuilding.” brary staff to provide building —Susan Herzog, Main access to election staff well outLibrary senior manager, side the library’s normal 10 a.m. Public Library of Charlotte to 6 p.m. hours. and Mecklenburg County Susan Herzog, senior manager of the Main Library of the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, told AL that early voting at the system’s libraries was steady but generally free of long lines until about October 28. After that, the library was “bananas,” with waits often reaching two hours. “We’ve never had anything like this before,” she said. “It’s been kind of fun for us having so many people through the door,” she added, although she noted that the burden is easiest at the main branch, which has the space to accommodate the crowds. Among the smaller branches, “at least one branch has lost almost all daily use be-

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11/18/2008 2:29:19 PM

NEWS | U.S. & International

Branch Closings and Budget Cuts Threaten Libraries Nationwide


Pink slips will be issued to as many as 70 library employees in early December, Reardon said, although she hoped to reduce that number by not filling even more than the 41 open positions already slated for attrition. “My hope is that as dollars return to the system, we will be able to add staff to the remaining branches and expand our outreach efforts, which are more tied to the community than library buildings.” Amy Dougherty, executive director of the Friends of the Free Library, told AL that library advocates were planning 11 rallies before Thanksgiving to protest the closings, as well as the 20% reduction in the library budget over the next two years. “We’re not going to take this quietly,” she said. “We will be reaching out to federal, state, and local lawmakers to discuss options.”

Library distress elsewhere

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders has proposed temporarily shuttering seven library branches—including Ocean Beach, one of the city’s oldest—to close a $43-million budget deficit, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported November 6. The San Diego board of library commissioners unanimously voted to oppose the move November 5, and quoted statistics showing that circulation had risen by 8% in the past three months. The city council was scheduled to discuss the closures November 12 and 19. The Hawaii Board of Education recommended a 10% cut in the budget of the state’s only public library system October 24. The reduction is less than what Gov. Linda Lingle asked for, according to the October 27 Honolulu Star-Bulletin, but even with $3 million less to work with, all 51 libraries will be able to stay open. Lingle’s requested 15% cut would have forced up to six branches to close. New acquisitions and program budgets will suffer and a hiring freeze will leave 57 vacancies unfilled, CBS affiliate KGMB-TV reported October 24. A plan approved by the Trenton (N.J.) Public Library board November 12 will keep the city’s four branches open on a reduced schedule through mid-2010, averting the shuttering of all but the Main Library (AL, Nov., p. 26). State Librarian Norma E. Blake waived Trenton’s compliance with a state law requiring that cities of its size maintain 60-hour-a-week service in at least one library; instead, TPL will stagger 40-hour-a-week scheduling at its five locations to total 60 hours systemwide. —G.M.E.


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december 2008

ity governments across the United States prepared in early November to slash public library budgets in the wake of revenue shortfalls and dire economic news. Even if the lame-duck Congress passes an additional economic stimulus package when it returns from recess the week leading up to Thanksgiving—an increasingly unlikely outcome, according to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.)—funding is unlikely to find its way to local coffers in time to make a difference. In a grim November 6 speech in which he called for sweeping job cuts and service re“We’re not going to ductions in many city departments, Philadelphia Mayor take this quietly.” Michael Nutter announced the —Amy Dougherty, Friends of permanent closing of 11 out of 54 the Free Library library branches and the elimination of Sunday hours at the three regional branches. “Make no mistake,” Nutter said as he unveiled his plan to bridge a five-year, $1-billion budget gap. “This will be a mid-year revision of epic proportions, and because this recession may linger beyond next year, we can’t look for brief, one-time changes.” The library cuts took many residents by surprise, because Nutter, as a city councilman in 2005, played a decisive role in blocking the Free Library of Philadelphia from reducing branch hours and laying off staff during a similar budget crunch (AL, May 2005, p. 13). But Nutter told the Philadelphia Metro newspaper that closing libraries is something he never dreamed he’d have to do. “I grew up in the Cobbs Creek branch,” he said. “ One of the happiest days in my daughter Olivia’s life [was] when I took her to the Central branch to get her library card. She still talks about it.” FLP President and Director Siobhan Reardon told American Libraries that the branches would close no later than January 16. “The buildings that are city owned will be turned back to the city’s department of public property,” she said. “All of the library’s assets—staff, technology, materials, and equipment—will be redeployed to nearby libraries that are large enough to handle the additional resources.” She indicated that the library senior staff had chosen which branches to close, based on circulation, building condition, and proximity to other facilities, and the board of trustees approved the plan.

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11/18/2008 12:11:10 PM

Voters Buck Gloomy Economic Outlook to Fund Libraries nine years that will ensure that all 13 [the library] is essential,” marveled branches stay open. Karin Morey of the Ore“There is no reason gon City Friends group in “Wait a minute— I can’t pay an extra the November 6 Lake Osthe economy has $20 a year to help wego Review. keep the library open The victory was espetanked, people’s for our kids,” Jackson cially sweet since it came homes are being resident Krista Diviein the wake of a one-time foreclosed, and tri said in the Noveminfusion of timber-payber 5 Jackson Citizen ment funds from the people realized Patriot of the initiafederal government to [the library] is tive, which will add an tide beleaguered comestimated $1.76 milmunities over while they essential.” Karin Morey lion annually to the develop alternate revelibrary budget. Had nue sources. Librarythe levy failed, officials would have district proponents had feared that had to plug a $900,000 deficit by area residents might mistakenly curtailing hours and possibly closing conclude that the payments had ala branch. ready stabilized library funding (AL, The increase is the first since the Nov., p. 21–22). district’s 1-mill rate was established 30 years ago, and follows the defeat Staying alive last year of a 20-year, 0.8-mill levy The economically battered Jackson that would have enabled the library (Mich.) District Library saw passage district to expand. —B.G. of a 0.4-mill property-tax hike for


Jodie Hawkins of the Stark County (Ohio) District Library displays a round-robin scarf made for the “Pretty in Pink” contest held in October. Hawkins, who is adult programmer at the Lake Community branch, along with members of the library’s Knitty Gritters knitting club, encouraged area residents to knit or crochet scarves as a sign of comfort and support for women with cancer. The effort yielded 44 scarves that were donated to three breast-health medical centers for distribution to patients. Hawkins praised the caring and creativity of the contributors.

december 2008

proactive in pink


ears of an impending recession did not deter voters in many parts of the country from approving ballot initiatives to expand, renovate, or restore library services in their communities. Among the impressive victories was the passage of a $275-million bond issue to update the 33-branch Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System and build a new $170-million central library, with 50% of the funding to be raised from private donations. The pragmatic proposal, which garnered a 65% yes vote after two years of planning and 38 public meetings, contains a plan B: If the private sector fails to donate $85 million for a new central facility within five years, officials will instead refurbish the present downtown-Atlanta library building at a cost of $25 million. “This is a tremendous day for the children of Fulton County, particularly those served by severely inadequate facilities or no facilities at all,” library Director John Szabo said in the November 8 Roswell Beacon, characterizing the yes vote as proof of “the value people place on their public libraries and their understanding of what libraries provide, especially in challenging economic times.” Across the country, survival itself was at stake for Oregon’s Clackamas County Library District, which won approval by 61% of a permanent property tax of 39 cents per $1,000 of assessed value to fund services. “When I saw those first returns, I was like, wait a minute—the economy has tanked, people’s homes are being foreclosed, and people realized

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11/18/2008 12:11:23 PM

NEWS | U.S. & International Voters Refuse to Axe Libraries

until earlier this year, she said, noting that there is nothing to prevent the borough council from revisiting The voters of Jamesburg, New Jersey, the proposal in 2009. decisively defeated by a vote of 959– 564 a ballot measure November 4 What defeated the 2008 measure asking their approval for the town to was a concerted campaign by trust“discontinue the supees and library Friends. In port, maintenance, and “I’m a taxpayer. addition to using yard control of the Jamesburg I know money signs, banners, and media Public Library.” contacts, volunteers canis tight, but this vassed the one-squareThe citizens of Waterford, New Jersey, mile community of 6,500. is senseless.” nixed a similar ballot Carole Hetzell “One of the big planks in our platform was that the question by a margin library is centrally located, it’s withof almost 1,000 votes, the Cherry Hill in walking distance of everybody, Courier Post reported November 5. it’s a safe place for the kids to be,” Jamesburg library board PresiHetzell recounted. The strategy tied dent Carole Hetzell told American neatly into the theme of an unrelatLibraries that the cash-strapped ed Revitalization Committee of town council came up with the proJamesburg campaign theme, “It’s a posal in the hopes of reallocating Walking Town.” the one-third-of-a-mill mandated “When we’ve done surveys in the by the state for more than 120 years for support of voter-approved lipast, people always say they love the intimacy of our library,” Hetzell braries to other municipal needs. noted, adding, “Here we are in an She explained that the ballot meaeconomic crisis and you want to take sure came a year after town officials proposed closing the library in 2007 out a place where people come to do resumes, to look on joblines, where (AL, Mar., p. 21–22). “There was they don’t have to travel to by car. such a hue and cry, with people storming the borough council meet- I’m a taxpayer. I know money’s tight, but this is senseless.” ings, that the council backed off”

A similar proposal to dissolve the Boise Basin Library District in Idaho City was crushed by 81% of voters, the Boise Idaho Statesman reported November 5. The issue was placed on the ballot after the grassroots group Citizens for Reasonable Taxation (CRT) had gathered the requisite 50 signatures on a petition to bring the measure before voters, believing that the county’s dedicated library taxes are unconstitutional because, CRT spokesperson Ann Heltsley told NBC-TV affiliate KTVB October 19, “People are being taxed on their property, on something they never had the opportunity to vote on.

Bunny Suicides Book Under Review

When her 13-year-old son checked out a dark-humor cartoon collection, The Book of Bunny Suicides, from the Central Linn High School Library in Halsey, Oregon, Taffey Anderson decided that British artist Andy Riley’s drawings of selfdestructive rab- “They’re not getting bits were neither this book back.” funny nor approHalsey, Oregon, parent priate reading Taffey Anderson

Photo: Kim Sperling

Holly A. Senn, virtual reference librarian at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington, poses with a sculpture she made from discarded library books. Senn’s artwork was displayed at the University of Puget Sound’s Collins Memorial Library, also in Tacoma, throughout October. “While surrounded by books, I interact with patrons who prefer digital resources,” Senn says. “As I cut, rip, soak, align, realign, and glue, I reflect on each new generation’s collective erasure of some element of the past and its casting of new ideas into the future.”


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From Book to Art

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More than 150 people participated in the Wake Forest University Z. Smith Reynolds Library’s first annual Wake the Library 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run October 11. The race started and finished in front of the library and followed a scenic route through the campus in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The library organized the run as a way to engage the community and raise funds for library programs.

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december 2008

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for younger children. She filed a written request with the school district October 20 to have the book reviewed, but neglected to return it to the library. An initial report in the October 19 Albany (Oreg.) DemocratHerald quoted Anderson as saying, “They’re not getting this book back,” and threatening to burn it. However, Anderson told American Libraries that the book was returned October 24 to the library, which serves both junior high and high school students. After the story was picked up by wire services and prompted unfavorable editorials and blog posts, Anderson softened her stance. “I was talking completely out of anger,” she said. “I did apologize in the newspaper and should never have said that, but I don’t think it’s a book for school-age children.” She also indicated she would be satisfied if the book was kept behind the circulation desk and restricted to high school students. High school Principal Julie Knoedler told AL that the school superintendent had put together a review committee to consider the book, but a meeting date had not yet been set. The group is supposed to “return a written report of its findings” six weeks after being appointed, according to the school district’s guidelines. “We’ve only had one other challenge recently, and that was last year,” Knoedler said. “It was a graphic novel and the decision was to place it on restricted checkout where students would have to ask for it.” Jon Mathis, a Portland real estate agent, was one of several bibliophiles who donated a replacement copy of Riley’s book to the high school. He also gave Central Linn copies of Huckleberry Finn, Catcher in the Rye, and To Kill a Mockingbird, all books that have turned up on the American Library Association’s most frequently challenged list. The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom

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NEWS | U.S. & International told AL it knew of no previous challenges of the Bunny Suicides book.

Margolis Appointed N.Y. State Librarian

The Board of Regents of the New York State Education Department announced October 21 that Bernard A. Margolis has been appointed New York state librarian. The embattled former president of Boston Public Library will assume his new responsibilities in January 2009 in the prestigious post once held by Melvil Dewey, father of modern American librarianship. A longtime member of the American Library Association’s governing Council, Margolis instantly received a flood of praise and congratulations on the Council’s electronic discussion list. “We welcome you with open arms,” said Barbara Stripling, director of library services for the New York City Department of Education. “As a school librarian, I am so pleased that we will have a state librarian who understands how all types of libraries work together to provide seamless and complementary services,” she added. “We look forward to your leadership!”

Underlying almost all of the messages was the undertone that the appointment constitutes vindication of Margolis in his struggle with Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, who ousted Margolis last year after an 11year run, complaining that he paid too much attention to the main library at the expense of neighborhood branches. A public battle ensued, and Margolis departed without fanfare this June 30. “The library community has been behind me 110%,” Margolis told American Libraries. “I think everyone understands the situation is unusual, not by any means the norm for anyone, but I think we all realize that when we give leadership to institutions that are part of the political environment, that sometimes crazy things can happen. But it has been amazing, the cards, the e-mail, the flowers, the candy. It’s very heartwarming and endearing, colleagues new and old giving me their best wishes.” Asked how he planned to handle his new post in the midst of the nation’s financial meltdown, Margolis said, “I have been around long enough to have seen lots of financial challenges for institutions that I

have led, and it seems to me that is an amazing opportunity to stress how important libraries are, particularly in these tough times.”

Hispanic Janitors Arrested at the Library

The Mesa (Ariz.) Public Library found itself briefly touched by the nationwide conversation about immigration reform when the Maricopa County sheriff and a heavily armed group of some 60 deputies and volunteers, accompanied by police dogs, raided the main library at about 2 a.m. on the morning of October 16. The action resulted in the arrest of three allegedly undocumented janitorial workers of Hispanic descent, two inside the library and one in the library parking lot. Emphasizing that the contract of Management Cleaning Controls was with the city and not MPL, Library Director Heather Wolf told American Libraries that she found out about the incident when her supervisor called her at home later that morning. “If I hadn’t had that phone call and it hadn’t been a news item, I never would have known the sheriff’s office had been here,” she said, noting that security tapes showed the deputies spending no more than three minutes inside the building once a janiCollege of William and Mary tor let them in at the end of alumna Elizabeth “Bee” McLeod the crew’s shift. and her husband, J. Goodenow Despite the library being “Goody” Tyler III, have committed located very close to a neigh$1.5 million to the school’s Swem borhood in which many HisLibrary—the largest gift in the panics live, Wolf said that library’s history—and $1 million there was no public reaction to the library at the Mason addressed to staff. She, howSchool of Business, whose underever, did hear from two longconstruction new facility is shown. time patrons, one a retired “William and Mary is doing librarian and the other a fortremendous things in the digital mer board member. “They area, but traditional books and just wanted us to know that materials are irreplaceable,” said they supported the library McLeod, who retired in 2007 as and they understood that, dedirector of network operations at spite what the headlines say, Cox Communications. the library does not employ


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“Here in Arizona, illegal immigration is a very heated, very emotional issue.”

illegal residents.” Wolf went on to say, —Heather Wolf “We do have Spanish-speaking staff and do try to reach out to that community.” Crediting the city’s public information office for quickly disassociating MPL from any legal culpability, she explained that Arizona has what may be the toughest employer-sanctions law in the country: It stipulates that employers proven to have knowingly retained undocumented workers will lose their business license. “Certainly here in Arizona, illegal immigration is a very heated, very emotional issue,” Wolf said, adding that the arrests “brought the issue much, much closer to home than I would ever have expected to come.” The detained janitors are believed to have committed identity


Cornell University library celebrated its acquisition of a collection documenting the early days of hip hop with a two-day conference that drew hundreds of p ­ erformers and scholars to the Ithaca, New York, campus. Hip hop pioneers, including Afrika Bambaataa and Roxanne Shanté, were joined by new artists like Cornell’s premier breakdance crew, Absolute Zero, shown performing October 31.

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december 2008

Available Individually or in Special Collectors’ Set.

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NEWS | U.S. & International theft, which would have enabled them to provide a Social Security number that would pass muster with the federal government’s voluntary E-Verify screening system. It’s not yet known whether employer sanctions would apply in such cases. Wolf advises colleagues to be proactive and “make sure you have the documentation that shows that you did your due diligence” by working with human re-

sources and community-relations departments. The Mesa incident came about 10 weeks after the Alamance County, North Carolina, sheriff’s office came to Griffin Public Library to arrest paraprofessional Marxavi Angel Martinez, 23, while she was at work. Martinez, who came to the attention of law enforcement officials through her medical records, is charged with four felonies related to identity theft and,

if found guilty, could be deported after serving a prison sentence. The American Library Association affiliate Reforma (the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking) posted an open letter to its Facebook presence August 13 characterizing her arrest at the library as “deplorable” and announcing that it had established a PayPal account for donations to help her family.  z





A New York playwright has 7 2 3 promised his collection of rare Shakespeariana to London’s Globe Theatre upon his death. 5 John Wolfson named the theatre the sole beneficiary of more than 450 works, which include a copy of the First Folio of 1623, as well as the subsequent three editions of Shakespeare’s collected works. The theatre plans to build a new library to house the books.—The Guardian, Nov. 7.





Records indicate that Berlin’s Central and Regional Library purchased more than 40,000 volumes from the private libraries of evacuated Jews through the City Pawn Office in the 1940s. Librarians maintained meticulous record books to keep track of their purchases, signed each volume, and gave it an accession number beginning with the letter J (for Jewish). No one knows how many stolen books are still on the shelves in German libraries today, although experts estimate that there are at least one million. Some libraries, including the University of Marburg, are making an effort to return these books to the heirs of the former owners, if they can be located.—Der Spiegel, Oct. 24. 3

One of the oldest and most valuable collections of handwritten medieval books in the world, housed in the magnificent baroque halls of the Abbey Library of St. Gall in Switzerland, is going online with the help of a $1 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The collection includes material as varied as curses against book thieves, early love ballads, hearty drinking songs, and a hand-drawn ground plan for a medieval monastery, drafted around A.D. 820, the only such document of its kind.—New York Times, Oct. 18.



Peter Thuvander and Martin Hedenström of the design group Muungano have won the Library Bus of the Year award for creating a bookmobile for the town of Kiruna, a city in the far north. The


Born in a rural area to an illiterate cattle merchant who insisted upon his son’s education, children’s librarian Yohannes Gebregeorgis established Ethiopia Reads in 1988 to open reading centers and donkey-pulled mobile libraries. A blue-ribbon panel chose him as one of CNN’s Top 10 Heroes for 2008.—CNN, Oct. 9.



A digital library where the visually impaired can listen to electronic books, music, or online lectures for free has opened in Beijing. Situated in the National Library, the facility was jointly set up by the Information Center of the China Disabled Persons’ Federation, the National Library, and China Braille Publishing House. It opened October 14, on the eve of the International Day of the Blind.—Xinhua, Oct. 15.



According to a recent survey, some 284,000 books worth more than ¥400 million ($4.2 million U.S.) are missing from some 74 city public libraries. Library officials believe that most of the books have been stolen, since in many cases thieves left the book’s dust jacket on the shelf. Many cities are not funded sufficiently to set up adequate security measures.—Daily Yomiuri, Nov. 11.



Inside the newly renovated Dufferin/St. Clair branch of the Toronto Public Library are a series of vibrant, multicolored wall paintings. For decades they were hidden gems, buried under coats of wall paint. But a recent $2.5-million renovation uncovered the murals, which were painted by noted Canadian artist George Agnew Reid (1860–1947) and two of his students between 1925 and 1932. —Toronto Star, Nov. 11.


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award is sponsored by the Swedish Library Association. Because of the lack of sunlight during most of the year in the area it serves, the bus is welllit after dark to attract users. It offers books, multimedia, computer games, and internet access.—Dezeen, Nov. 1.

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Interview | News

NEWSMAKER: Patricia Martin


patricia martin:  The RenGen is

the renaissance generation that will usher in a time when we’ll see the ending of one civilization and the beginning of another. The idea is based on historical patterns; when you have a civilization as rich as ours, what tends to happen in that transformation is an elevation that follows a deep decline. In fact, much of the disruption in the marketplace right now is what it looks like just before a renaissance. Why this occurs is not for reasons most people think.

does it occur?  Most people believe that this happens just because there’s been military overreaching, mismanagement of resources, corruption in government. Those kinds of things all contribute. But what’s at the heart of this transformation is a rapid period of change and is so in-

Is the RenGen coming to work in library and information science and technology?  The library profession

has gotten to be very sexy in terms of aspirations. Why wouldn’t it be? It’s a perfect fusion role. If the 20th century was defined by fission–that is, the separating, segmenting, and ranking of things, including class distinctions–then the 21st century is going to be defined by fusion. The role of librarian is so appealing because it fuses the traditional academic search for knowledge with information science, which is the future.

If the social agenda of the RenGen is to connect, collaborate, and create, how do librarians foster that?   Libraries are going to play a

much bigger role as the community centers for the knowledge age. They will become more idea-driven, and that will look like this: There will be more events, more gatherings, more group encounters, even experimenting with dating events, helping people find each other through the library. We’re entering a time of collective creativity. We’ve got some really serious social issues to solve and we’re gearing up to do that, and so whenever you can offer the library as a place for the users to put forth ideas or to make their mark within your library in a positive way, that will keep you highly relevant.  z


Photo: Johnny Knight

What are those reasons, and why

tense that many of the values and morays and institutions that gave life meaning are no longer as relevant. Libraries need to pay attention, because what happens in a renaissance generation is that the society begins to shed the things that are less relevant and fuse together the things that are still relevant with what’s new.

coming into the workplace on fire, wanting to make a difference, wanting to make their mark. They want to connect, create, and collaborate, and they have a lot of can-do spirit; however, they don’t have a lot of understanding of the way things work, the social dynamic of the workplace or how power works, or even the political ramifications of a poorly written memo. There are RenGen thinkers in the Boomer generation as well. In fact, the Boomers and this young generation have a lot of shared values, but it’s time now for the Boomers to really get over themselves and reach across to that young generation and teach them the ropes so they can succeed—not get in their way, but facilitate their energy.

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tile of your book, RenGen, means.

flourish?  The younger RenGen are


American Libraries: Explain what the

What needs to happen for them to

american libraries 

uthor, consultant, and expert in cultural marketing Patricia Martin is president of Chicago-based LitLamp Communications Group, the firm she founded in 1995. LitLamp has worked with a variety of organizations including the Discovery Channel, the Art Institute of Chicago, Bank North, Brooklyn (N.Y) Public Library, the National PTA, the New York Philharmonic, Target, Unisys, and Sun Microsystems. Her book RenGen: The Rise of the Cultural Consumer and What It Means to Your Business draws on her 20-plus years of experience in working with artists and corporate executives alike who want to understand the cultural consumer. Martin’s thinking goes beyond standard demographics to paint a new picture of the American consumer as a thinking, expressive individual. She served as director of ALA’s Development Office in 1992–95 and continues to advise on a variety of ALA outreach projects.

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Technology | News

Google Settles Scanning Suit with Authors, Publishers


access to Google’s digitized collection at a single designated computer. Google will keep 37% of revenue from online book sales and advertisements next to previews of book pages; the remainder, minus an administrative fee, will go to copyright holders through the Book Rights Registry. Google partners Stanford University, the University of California, and University of Michigan announced their support for the settlement agreement in a joint news release. “It will now be possible, even easy, for anyone to access these great collections from anywhere in the United States,” said Michigan University Librarian Paul N. Courant. He added that the ability to search and preview millions of books online “is a service that libraries, because of copyright restrictions, could not offer on their own and goes well beyond what would have been possible, even if Google had prevailed in defending the lawsuits.” The schools’ statement cited such benefits to higher education as a first-ever database of both in-copyright and public domain works on which scholars can conduct advanced research; working copies of partner libraries’ contributed works for searching and web services complementary to Google’s; and digital copies of works digitized by Google provided to the partner libraries for long-term preservation purposes. Some doubts were heard among the widespread praise for the agreement. “On the one hand, one admires all of Google’s inventions,” Rick Prelinger, board president of the Internet Archive, an online digital library of one

million public domain books, said in the October 29 New York Times. “But when you start to see a single point of access developing for world culture, by default, it is disturbing.” “I will tell you, frankly, that I kind of wish this case had gone to litigation. I think Google had a great fair use defense,” agreed Corynne McSherry, staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, in the October 29 San Francisco Chronicle. “A ruling from the court would have been good for everyone. It potentially could have fostered other offerings, based on that legal certainty” that would have stemmed from a Google win. Another detractor was Harvard University Library, which announced it would not take part in the program’s scanning of copyright-protected works. One of the original library partners in the project, Harvard plans to continue its policy of only allowing Google to scan books whose copyrights have expired, the Harvard Crimson reported October 30. In a letter to library staff, Director Robert C. Darnton cited uncertainties that prevented Harvard’s participation. “As we understand it, the settlement contains too many potential limitations on access to and use of the books by members of the higher education community and by patrons of public libraries,” Darnton wrote, adding, “The settlement provides no assurance that the prices charged for access will be reasonable, especially since the subscription services will have no real competitors [and] the scope of access to the digitized books is in various ways both limited and uncertain.” —G.F.


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fter two years of negotiations, a settlement has been reached in lawsuits over Google’s scanning of copyrighted books. Under the settlement, announced October 28 and subject to approval by a New York federal court, the search-engine company would pay $125 million to resolve a class-action lawsuit brought in 2005 by book authors and the Authors Guild, as well as a separate suit filed by five publishers representing the membership of the AssociaLibraries will be tion of Amerioffered free, fullcan Publishers (AL, Nov. 2005, text access to Google’s digitized p. 22–23). The payment collection at a would go tosingle designated ward creation of a Book Rights computer. Registry where authors and publishers can register works and receive compensation from institutional subscriptions and book sales. In return, Google will now show up to 20% of a book’s text to users at no charge, rather than just snippets; the entire book will be available online for a fee. Libraries, universities, and other institutions will be offered subscriptions for online access to large collections of those books. Google’s Library Project will continue to scan in-print books from publishers not among the 20,000 members of its Partner Program; they will be searchable, but none of the text will be available. Public and academic libraries in the United States will be offered free, full-text

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Broadband Data Improvement Act Requires Schools to Teach Web Safety S

required schools and libraries to block access to social networking sites and chat rooms. Many education groups, including ALA, op- The law requires posed that bill, arguing that teaching the FTC to establish children about safe and appropriate online behavior was a better ap- a public awareness proach (AL, Sept. 2006, p. 9). program focused on However, Lynne Bradley, director educating children of ALA’s Office of Government Relations, told American Libraries that the about appropriate Association is reacting cautiously to online behavior. the Broadband Data Improvement Act because the e-rate provision was attached hastily and no funding has been appropriated for the education program. Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), sponsor of the bill, which also calls for tracking the penetration of broadband service, said it is the first step to nationwide broadband access.


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igned into law October 10 by President Bush, the Broadband Data Improvement Act (Public Law 110-385) requires schools receiving federal e-rate discounts on telecommunications services and internet access to educate their students “about appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking sites and in chat rooms and cyberbullying awareness and response.” The legislation establishes an Online Safety and Technology Working Group to evaluate safety education efforts, parental control technologies, and filtering and blocking software. The Federal Trade Commission is charged with carrying out “a nationwide program to increase public awareness and provide education regarding strategies to promote the safe use of the internet by children.” The legislation effectively supplants the Deleting Online Predators Act, introduced in 2006, which would have

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Technology | News Tech News in Brief

WorldCat’s World Grows  OCLC and the Bibliothèque National de France have signed letter of intent to work cooperatively to add records from the French national library to WorldCat. Once the agreement is finalized, the library’s 13.2 million bibliographic records will be added and made accessible to Web users worldwide. WorldCat has already been gaining global resources, with records from the national libraries of Sweden, Switzerland, Australia, and New Zealand added in 2007 and 2008. This year, for the first time, a slight majority of WorldCat records represent non-English materials.

Telecom Immunity Not ­Immune?  The Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a constitutional challenge in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco October 16 against the 2008 Amendments Act of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which provided retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies that cooperated with the National Security Agency’s warrantless wiretapping program. The EFF argues that surveillance without a warrant denies customers rights without due process of law, and claims to have supplied to the court a summary of thousands of pages of documents indicating that the domestic spying program oversteps

E-books on their way  J. Gerry Purdy, chief analyst with Frost and Sullivan, predicted in eWeek October 13 that 15 features will lead to the eventual success of e-books and ebook readers. Among the musthaves: Instant turn-on and turn-off, easy annotation, built-in dictionary and thesaurus, and new book-pricing and reader-pricing models. Office Online  Microsoft announced October 28 at its Professional Developers Conference that the next release of Microsoft Office will include browser-based versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, ReadWriteWeb reported. The day before, the company had announced Windows Azure, its new cloud services operating system. Lawrence digitized  The Wayne State University Library System has received a grant from the Detroit Area Library Network to create a display featuring digitzed images of artist Jacob Lawrence’s “The Legend of John Brown” series of 22 silkscreen prints. The display will travel to libraries and other nonprofit organizations over a three-year period. “This display will allow us to bring culturally significant art to libraries that are not equipped to display original works of art,” said Grant Coordinator Diane ­Sybeldon.

Verizon has contributed $12,500 for an e-learning tutorial at Rio Hondo College Library in Whittier, California. Designed to improve freshman retention rates, the tutorial will complement classes by providing 24/7 access to information about how to conduct research and complete reports and essays. Accepting the big check are (from left) librarians Robin Babou and Adele Enright; Paul Parnell, vice president for academic affairs; librarian Monique Delatte; with Mike Murray, Verizon government and external affairs director; and Loretta Canett-Bailes, dean for student learning support and articulation.

Asian Scripts Supported  Stanford (Calif.) University and SirsiDynix have completed a project that allows searching and display of the library’s Chinese, Japanese, and Korean holdings in their native scripts. The year-long project entailed a software upgrade and a switch to a Unicode platform.  z


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freshman retention rate

the law. The American Civil Liberties Union previously filed a similar suit in the U.S. Southern District Court of New York in July (AL, Sept. p. 18).

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Dispatches from the Field | TECHNOLOGY

Embracing Virtual Worlds


Tom Peters, CEO of TAP Information Ser­ vices, is an expert in virtual worlds and their role in libraries. This report was adapted from the October 2008 Library Technology Reports.

december 2008

virtual world endeavors due to the malleability and portability of these environments. Librarians should also be cautioned against overinvesting in buildings and grounds; early experiences have shown that events and exhibits are the investment areas that attract patronavatars to virtual-world libraries. They should also consider the use of virtual world metrics—the tools and methods for studying the attitudes and behaviors of avatars. The potential benefits of virtual worlds for librarianship and end-users’ experience of information are not just incremental, but revolutionary. Immersive information experiences in virtual environments can combine the immediacy and impact of learning from the real-world school of hard knocks with a breadth and depth of experiences heretofore unattainable by an individual human consciousness. Virtual worlds have the capacity and promise to put the ecstatic knowledge experience that we all know and love through books back into a three-dimensional virtual environment. Just as all libraries in the past eventually had to take a stance toward upstart services and technologies (e.g., reference service, online catalogs, and the Web), all libraries will eventually need to pay attention to, take a position regarding, and develop a presence in virtual worlds.  z



irtual worlds are here ship? I tentatively propose 10 conto stay. People from ditions: around the planet n  The size and nature of the resalready are using ident population of avatars; dozens of virtual worlds such n  The communication infraas Second Life to work, learn, structure; and play and to find, experin  The transportation infrastrucence, and create information. ture, which often includes teleporIn the real world, libraries are tation; trying to create a presence in one or n  The presentation infrastrucmore virtual worlds. However, the ture, whereby information created development of virtual world librar- in the virtual world, as well as inforianship may be dominated by cremation from the real world, can be ative freelance librarians acting presented and experienced; alone or in n  Portals to loose collaboraother virtual The potential benefits tive groups, worlds as well of virtual worlds for rather than by as to the inforlibrarianship are not existing organimation-rich zations and Web; just incremental, but consortia. Adn  Some ditionally, real- revolutionary. sort of econoworld library my, perhaps a organizations may face stiff compemix of a currency-based economy tition from emerging virtual organi- and a strong-barter economy; zations. n  Property rights and enforceAlthough the development of vir- ment, both for “real” property in tual worlds is still in a chaotic “Wild virtual worlds and for intellectual West” phase, the lesson from the property; rapid development of the Web n  Zoning and enforcement; seems to be that libraries should n  The ability to record and ardive into virtual worlds now, rather chive both in-world events and built than adopt a wait-and-see attitude. objects; and Firms that predict technology n  The ability to create and delivtrends indicate that within a few er information experiences. years hundreds of millions of people There are other key issues for worldwide will be active in at least librarians to consider, particularly one virtual world. the cost of developing and sustainWhat are the fundamental quesing a library presence in a virtual tions concerning the necessary and world. The budgetary relationships sufficient conditions that make a between start-up and ongoing costs virtual world “ripe” for librarianmay be fundamentally different for

by Tom Peters

american libraries 

Why libraries should dive into these online environments now

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TECHNOLOGY | Internet Librarian

Weapons, Not Secret Ways to develop a Bond with our patrons


confess—Roger Moore is my favorite James Bond, although Daniel Craig shows great potential. (For the record, Tom Baker is my favorite Doctor Who, closely followed by Jon Pertwee and David Tennant. Discuss.) Bonds may come and Bonds may go, but indispensible Q goes on, providing 007 with those wonderful toys, presciently the exact ones that will be necessary on any given mission. Who can forget the briefcase with the handy throwing knife, the watch with the cutting saw, the wrist-mounted dart gun, and, of course, the jet pack? It must be reassuring to have an arsenal like that, not to mention supercool—not that I’m eager for a supervillain to try to shoot me into space anytime soon. As it happens, though, we librarians have a couple of secret weapons that we can draw on, particularly in the dark economic times that seem inevitably to be upon us for a while. As Q would say, “Pay attention, 007.”

First, I offer you a handy device that lots of people want, we have in huge quantities, and in many minds defines libraries. As I’ve said before (AL, Apr. 2007. p. 30), we are living in an increasingly digital world. The vast majority of information objects are created in digital form, so any analog version is secondary, and each passing day sees a new digitization project. Even the Smithso-

nian is now saying it wants to stuck in a phone tree (“Your call is digitize all of its 135 million objects very important to us . . . . Please (can you imagine the myriad metadrop dead”) you can use Gethuman data and standards issues that is go- to find out how to, well, get a huing to present?). man. (Also have a look at GethuIn such a world, print and other man’s standards for phone and analog materials are likely to be of customer service. Does your continuing interest. Print reference phone—or reference—service meamaterials (almanacs, subject encysure up?) clopedias, etc.) have yet to find satThe mere fact this site exists isfactory digital equivalents; and for speaks not only to alienation but many, finding a digital version of a also to the yearning for personal book or artifact will lead to greater help. And here we are. Obviously, interest in obtaining its analog verlibraries have been helping people sion. for a long time, In the short but the hard Libraries have been run, then, truth is, again, helping people for print becomes that lots of peoa long time, but the a strategic adple don’t know vantage, somethat. Positionhard truth is that lots thing few other ing ourselves as of people don’t know that. institutions or means of getvenues will ting help in the have or represent—even if the public often-confusing information world, may lack broad awareness of the digital and otherwise, is another big depth and reach of what we have, win. especially the treasured deeper colHappily, we have these in spades. lections that are often hidden away. We know that as the economy goes Overall, though, in an eversouth, people turn to us in greater more-digital world, print becomes numbers. This might give us a powever less valuable and important. So erful chance to demonstrate to our the very-long-term strategy for us is clientele that both the stuff we proto be sure to have eggs in multiple vide and how we facilitate its use baskets. make us a great choice for many years to come, in any environment— The human touchstone provided we don’t keep these secrets Second, a stealth weapon. Let me . . . but that’s another story.  z turn your attention to gethuman .com. This site fills a very important information need: The next time Joseph Janes is associate professor in the Information School of the University of you call a bank or credit card comWashington in Seattle. Send ideas to pany or other call center, only to be


american libraries 


december 2008

Print abides

by Joseph Janes

1208_Tech_Inter_Lib.indd 34

11/18/2008 12:17:35 PM

In Practice | TECHNOLOGY

CMS the Wiki Way have WYSIWYG editors installed so that editing a page is much like editing a Word document. Wikis can also be styled to look just like any other website through editing the Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). Florida State University Libraries use MediaWiki software for their research guides (www, but have styled the wiki to look consistent with the rest of their website. In this way, users never need to know that they’re on a wiki. While the libraries described here used MediaWiki (, PmWiki (, and Tikiwiki (, there are well over 100 wiki software options out there. MediaWiki runs Wikipedia and is familiar to most people, but it may not be the best software for your project, so it’s a good idea to do your homework. WikiMatrix (wikimatrix .org) is a fantastic website that can help you choose the wiki software that’s right for your project. The possibilities for wikis in libraries are almost limitless. Whether they’re used behind the scenes or on a patron-facing website, are open to editing by patrons or just staff, run the entire website or just one small piece, wikis can be an incredible tool for collaborative web development.  z


MEREDITH FARKAS is head of instructional initiatives and liaison to the social sciences at Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont. She blogs at Information Wants to Be Free and created Library Success: A Best Practices Wiki. Contact her at

december 2008

Limitless wiki options



hen most librarsite doesn’t have a blog or elements ians think of wikis, that allow patrons to participate, it they probably think is built using one the most particiof sites like Wikipatory types of software. At the botpedia—websites that are open to tom of each page, you’ll see a link contributions from people around that says “Powered by Tikiwiki.” the world. Perhaps they also think Wikis were designed to allow a about library wikis, which are group of people to quickly and easily commonly used as subject guides develop web content together. As a and intranets. These are usucontent management system (CMS), ally only open to editing by staff a wiki allows the responsibility for and—in the maintaining web case of subcontent to be disWhen content ject guides— tributed to multiple needs changing, perhaps also people on staff. patrons. What That means that the library staff they probably interlibrary loan members can don’t think staff doesn’t need simply fix it themselves. of are the the help of the library web“webmaster” when sites of the University of South ILL content needs changing; they Carolina in Aiken and the Douglas can simply fix it themselves. County (Oreg.) Library System. The University of South Carolina Why wiki? library’s website ( Why would someone want to use a looks pretty much like a normal aca- wiki as a content management sysdemic-library website. It has a page tem over something specifically dethat lists available databases, resigned to be a CMS? Tools like search guides, and other basic inDrupal, which I discussed last formation about the library. month (AL, Nov., p. 36), offer a treHowe­ver, if you look at the lowermendous amount of flexibility. left-hand corner of each page, you’ll While that may be attractive to see the statement “powered by Pmlibraries that want features like Wiki.” Behind the scenes, this webmultiple blogs, polls, wiki content, site was built using free and open and more, a CMS may be more comsource wiki software. plex than what a library needs to Similarly, the Douglas County maintain its website. If the library Library System has a pretty stanjust wants to allow multiple people dard-looking website (www to maintain what are essentially that links to branches, static web pages, a wiki might be a the catalog, and information for dif- good option. ferent patron groups. Although the As with a CMS, a wiki can usually

by Meredith Farkas

american libraries 

Maintaining library web content with a wiki

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11/18/2008 12:18:23 PM

OPINION | Public Perception

How the World Sees Us “Wesley was always outraged when he woke himself up with a screech in his sleep, and he blamed me. He would whip around to face me with an intense librarian’s stare as if I had broken a cardinal rule.” From the book Wesley the Owl: The Remark-

sips on the party line. If I talk too loud, she says, ‘Quiet!’”

even magnified me.”

An immigrant boy’s recollections of a Wis-

MON CANTU, friend of librarian and instruc-

Northeast Lakeview College student RA-

consin public library in 1952, in the ANTHO-

tor Devin Zimmerman, who was gunned

NY BUKOSKI short story “A Guide to

down October 13 by a coworker in the

American Trees,” from North of the Port,

school’s library, San Antonio Express–News,

Southern Methodist University Press, 2008.

October 15.

able Love Story of an Owl and His Girl by STACEY O’BRIEN, Free Press, 2008.

“In the library, Mrs. Pederson has the windows open. . . . She smells like the floor wax the janitor uses. Every day she wears a white blouse. The rest of her clothes are gray—the skirt, the jacket she buttons in the heat. Her gray hair is pulled back, pinned. In the heat, no one visits her. During working hours, she gos-

“When Miss Goose announces that the library is going to close forever, Racoon and his friends spring into action. Where will they get the help they need to save their beloved library? In books, of course!”

“The value of this country is that we still have free libraries” Poet and publisher HAKI MADHUBUTI, Chicago Publishers Gallery panel, October 10, Chicago Cultural Center.

Publisher’s synopsis of Our Library, a children’s book by Eve Bunting, Clarion Books, 2008.

“Study after study has demonstrated that excellent school libraries are a determining characteristic for excellent student achievement. It’s not a coincidence.” GREGG W. DOWNEY, editor, eSchoolNews, October 7.

“Supporting a library is like being rewarded for doing a good deed.” JAY CRONLEY, staff writer, Tulsa World, October 7.

“Our libraries have become places where adult men watch X-rated video pornography with our kids nearby. We need to put an end to this.” Robocall to voters from Pima County, Arizona, where board of supervisors candidate Barney

december 2008

“We humbly donned name tags and listened as a librarian established rules about silence and sitting still—a challenge, given my son’s age and energy level. Unsatisfied with the whole arrangement, I whispered to another mom, ‘You know, I could do this at my house and it would be a lot more fun.’”

ering magazine, May-June 2008.

A costume party suggestion from the October issue “Every view I had, he broadened of Complex magazine: “Librarian. Bonus Accessory: it. He could go from a microGlasses chain—never lose your specs again!” A boost to the professional image? You be the judge. scope to a magnifying glass. He

screens on the county’s public library computers rather than filtering all internet use.

“This means you’ve got plenty of opportunities to meet cute, from winking across the room during toddler story time to banging heads as you go for the microfilm of that 1982 issue of Commonweal to competing for the same episodes of Six Feet Under. And nothing could sound more wholesome to moms and dads than, ‘We met at the library.’” Eugene (Oreg.) Weekly, October 10, naming Eugene Public Library as “Best Place to Meet Someone You’d Take Home to Mom.”  z


american libraries 


California writer ARIANA AMINI, “Stories, Songs, and Snacks,” Moth-

Brenner is trying to unseat Sharon Bronson, who two years ago voted to install privacy

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11/18/2008 12:18:55 PM

On My Mind | OPINION

Mashups in the Stacks


EMILY WALSHE is a librarian and professor at Long Island University in Brookville, New York.

december 2008

that mash up and map out ideas on their behalf. We offer myriad variations on the Frankensteinian theme of blended identities and then wonder why our students can’t effectively develop and situate their ideas in an academic context. We look for trace hints of humanity in their papers and yet fail to provide the conceptual foundation for research and information literacy that they so desperately need. Like Frankenstein’s monster, these newly formed units (of, let’s say, Information Services) might have proportional limbs and brilliant features; but they are, in essence, just unhallowed progenies of the cut-and-paste aesthetic. The library is the original place where information and presentation come together to allow for novel forms of reuse. If it must merge with information technology, then let’s avoid the mistake of Victor Frankenstein, whose arrogant endeavor instead of contributing to human knowledge and broadening man’s experience led to capitulation and limitation. Let’s teach our millennial learners to honor the sovereignty of original thought (especially their own) by resisting the popular, Turduckenist impulse to pare down and stuff, pare down and stuff, and pare down and stuff. Because we’re not in the business of stealing fire. We are in the business of sparking it.  z



ast Thanksgiving, my source onto another (à la Mapsister-in-law served Quest). In an artistic sense, it’s a rea Turducken for dinmix of efficiencies (think Lewis ner. Have you heard Carroll’s portmanteau or Frank Zapof it? It’s a partially deboned pa’s Xenochrony). In a cultural turkey, stuffed with a partially sense, it blends and blurs identity deboned duck that has been so much so that the part can no lonstuffed with a partially deboned ger be extricated from its whole chicken. I’m sitting behind the (Brangelina or the Turducken). reference desk at our university In academe, we call our mashups library and I’m thinking about things like synergistic learning or that Turducken: its presentasymbiotic content. For these, we tion, taste, and consumption. imagine the epitomes of authority, A student is researching technotaxonomy, and perpetuity somehow logical progress in coalescing The library is the the Romantic age. with off-theShe mentions original place where grid ideas of Mary Shelley’s autocracy, information and Frankenstein and proximity, and presentation come hands me her sylexpediency. labus. I find the I can’t help together to allow for novel assignment nesbut feel that forms of reuse. tled within a nexus the push to of digital colloquia and superimamalgamate the library is driven by posed content. The e-textbook con- the hope that information technolotains a companion website with gy would somehow be the living aniembedded links to template projects mal that animates the lifeless clay of and tin-can pedagogy. the library. From a bastardized text, she asks We’ve witnessed how dusty, defor abstracts. From an “intuitive” caying books can be enlivened by database, she clicks on MLA and way of digitization and relegation. dumps an inestimable number of Students, who no longer have the citations to her Works Cited page. time (or the trained brain) for long The buzz in higher education monographic forms, have instantaabout merging information technol- neous access to abbreviated surroogy departments with the library has gates that basically do the trick. me contemplating an ever-narrowAs students—highly acculturated ing gap between form and substance to wikis, blogs, and RSS feeds— that is dubbed the mashup. The opstruggle to comprehend the notions timal mix of commodity, a mashup of intellectual property and attribuis, in a technical sense, hybrid soft- tion, database vendors race to marware that overlays content from one ket postmodern Promethean portals

by Emily Walshe

american libraries 

What’s lost in the rush to adopt information technology

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11/18/2008 2:41:43 PM

Year in Review Top 10 Library Stories of 2008


american american libraries libraries  


december october 2007 2008

The financial crisis of 2008 hit late in the year, and its ramifications have yet to be understood. As President Bush prepares to leave office and Barack Obama readies to become the first African-American president, speculation grows over how the bailout of failing financial institutions at taxpayer expense will take its toll on libraries and education. During the year’s brighter beginnings, New York Public Library announced a five-year, $1-billion expansion March 11 with the goal of doubling its number of users. It was a savvy move, since circulation statistics have soared nationwide in direct proportion to the falling economy. In August, the mayor of Washington, D.C., quickly found $2 million to reverse a shortfall that would have forced cuts in library hours. But threats to library funding also regularly reared their ugly heads, as they do every year. In January New Jersey librarians fought tax-cap legislation that threatened to limit property tax increases to 4%. By March, the mayor of Memphis, Tennessee, was announcing that the city would close five branches (a decision that was eventually overturned). By April, Mesa,

1208_Feature_YearinReview.indd 38

Arizona, was on the verge of eliminating all 87 of its school library media specialists (it’s underway), and in Bridgeport, Connecticut, the mayor threatened to permanently shutter the city’s branches (they got a reprieve in August). But it wasn’t until September that economic instability hit hard, and American Libraries reported that the quest for library funding was likely to be cluttered and frenzied for the foreseeable future. Finances became the top library story of the year, just as it became the top story for the rest of the nation. Funding aside, the headlines that hit hardest in these editorial offices were related to many of the profession’s perennial themes: censorship, privacy, advocacy and public awareness, and access to information in good times and in bad.


seeking shelter from the gathering storm

Fiscal times continued to be tough for libraries in 2008, just as they had the year before, and the economic forecast for the next 18 months is overcast at best, in light of depressed sales-tax and property-tax receipts—the bread and butter of most library budgets. What made matters worse was the financial tsunami that hit Wall Street in September, which swept away many a prospect for private support and planned giving for the time being, and cut deep into institutional endowments. “Municipalities always make cuts across the board in order to be even-handed and in my opinion that’s wrong because library budgets are so small relative to others,” Carnegie Corporation President and CEO Vartan Gregorian told American Libraries. Such miscalculations were also being made at the state level: Learning little from the fiscal struggles of tax-capped California and Massachusetts, Florida voters amended the state constitution in January to allow for property-tax rollbacks and exemptions of $9.3 billion over the next five years, triggering library retrenchment. “This is no time to cut much-needed support, reduce hours, or close library doors,” declared American Library Association President Jim Rettig as the Association issued a call to congressional leaders for $100 million in stimulus funding to libraries. People need to hear that “the public gets what it puts in,” Gregorian asserted, and that it is common sense to “give something back to the library so it can serve you.”

11/18/2008 12:21:23 PM

1208_Feature_YearinReview.indd 39

december 2008

Librarians continued to wage what often felt like a rear-guard fight to defend privacy as the battle continued against the use of National Security Letters to obtain information about individuals’ reading habits under the USA Patriot Act and Congress passed the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 in July, expanding legal authority for wiretaps by spy agencies. In hopeful signs, a statute went into effect in Vermont July 1 declaring patron registration and transaction records confidential in all types of libraries, and ALA launched a new initiative, “Privacy for All: Rallying Americans to Defend Our Freedoms,” intended to inspire patrons to stand with librarians as they fight to usher in privacy standards in the digital age.


From Fairfax County, Virginia, to Nampa, Idaho, nervous moralists protested library acquisition policies that they believe promote homosexuality. The controversy even spilled over into the U.S. presidential race when reporters resurrected a 1996 incident in which Alaska governor and Republican vicepresidential nominee Sarah Palin seemed bent on learning, as mayor of Wasilla, how to go about removing Pastor, I Am Gay from the town library. For a second consecutive year, Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell’s award-winning And Tango Makes Three, a children’s book about two male penguins caring for an orphaned egg, topped ALA’s annual Most Challenged Books list as the title most often targeted for removal from U.S. libraries.


national conversation on privacy

american libraries 

In a stand for open access, Harvard University’s arts and sciences faculty voted unanimously in February to publish their scholarly articles online, making them available to the public for free. But in August, a different access issue came to the fore when conservative political writer Stanley Kurtz accused the University of Illinois at Chicago of blocking him from documents that might have portrayed presidential candidate Barack Obama in a bad light. A brief melee ensued, with Kurtz crying cover-up and UIC dutifully determining its authority to grant public access to the donated material related to former radical activist William Ayers. But access was granted in due course, and the controversy over the papers fizzled.


making gayness go away

In a year of relentless natural disasters, many libraries suffered damage, while others rose to the occasion by assisting people dealing with the ensuing trauma and uncertainty. Iowa libraries bore the brunt of floods that hit the Midwest in June. While the University of Iowa moved materials to higher levels, Keck Memorial Library in Wapello became “the Red Cross of libraries,” helping evacuees with essential communications. Some 70 miles to the north, the open-butleaking Ely Public Library served a similar function. When Hurricane Ike made landfall on the Texas Gulf Coast September 13, causing heavy damage to Galveston’s Rosenberg Library and Museum and other facilities and displacing thousands, Houston Public Library was among the agencies that played a central role in community recovery.



politics, access, & the presidency



library as lifeline

11/18/2008 12:21:41 PM



>> 7



In September the Environmental Protection Agency reopened five libraries it had shuttered in 2006 as part of a cost-cutting measure by President Bush. The closures elicited a storm of controversy that led Congress to direct the EPA to reopen the facilities. The agency also launched a “National Dialogue on Access to Environmental Information” to seek input on developing a strategy to ensure greater access to environmental information. Environmental progress continued elsewhere on the library front, as more projects adopted sustainable building design principles; among the facilities to receive LEED gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council in 2008 were San Mateo (Calif.) Main Library and Hastings (Mich.) Public Library.


american american libraries libraries




december octOBER 2007 2008

Communities across the country became painfully aware how much their local libraries meant to them as closings were announced by desperate officials. In Trenton, New Jersey, the threatened shutdown of all four branches led to the intervention of State Librarian Norma Blake to negotiate shorter service hours instead. Library lovers in Long Beach, California, worked out a similar compromise for their branches so that their beloved main facility could stay open, while constituents in Hartford, Connecticut, and Memphis, Tennessee, fought off the shuttering of several branches in poorer neighborhoods. “Our mantra is: You have to ask,” declared Spokane, Washington, mom Lisa Layera Brunkan, who, with Susan McBurney and Dennette Hill, secured $4 million in one-time state funding for depleted school libraries and inspired school-library advocacy groups in Arizona, California, and Oregon.

Gaming of all types continued to gain acceptance in libraries, and librarians are asking increasingly sophisticated questions about the ways they can use games. ALA TechSource’s second Gaming, Learning, and Libraries Symposium, held November 2–4 in Oak Brook, Illinois, explored gaming as a tool to achieve myriad goals, including improving literacy, inspiring academic interest, building bridges across generations, and raising money. Statistics helped to back up gaming’s advocates, with research from the Pew Internet and American Life project indicating a link between gaming and civic engagement among teens. ALA, meanwhile, launched National Gaming Day @ your library November 15, with free copies of Hasbro’s board game Pictureka sent to every public library in the country, and ALA’s Annual Conference featured “California Dreaming,” a “big game” that participants played by interacting with their physical surroundings.

1208_Feature_YearinReview.indd 40

11/18/2008 12:22:01 PM

According to ALA’s 2008 State of America’s Libraries report, Americans visited their libraries nearly 1.3 billion times and checked out more than 2 billion items in the past year, an increase of more than 10% in both circulation and gate count compared to data from the last economic downturn in 2001. Library systems threatened with branch closings and service reductions in the economic downturn in late 2008 cited increased public usage: San Diego Public Library noted circulation had risen by 8% in the previous three months, while in some Hawaii branches it was up by as much as 48% from the previous year. The number of circulation transactions for children’s materials in Colorado libraries rose 41% between 1998 and 2007. Many libraries report that more patrons are turning to library computers to prepare resumes and apply for jobs during the recession.


american libraries 


december 2008


With a national treasure serving as honorary chair and a series of popular videos released online, the American Library Association sponsored one of the most successful and visible National Library Week celebrations in recent memory. Entertainment icon Julie Andrews not only chaired the promotion but appeared in public service announcements and wrote op-ed pieces, one of which appeared in the Los Angeles Times. Produced by American Libraries, the NLW videos approached 100,000 views early in the week, and reports came in from all over the country of librarians and patrons alike using the videos on their monitors, computer screens, campus TV stations, and other outlets. Andrews urged L.A. leaders to provide more money for library books. “I can assure you that such an outcome would truly be music to my ears and a blessing for the millions who use and rely on our libraries each day,” she said.


usage spirals upward



national library week

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11/18/2008 12:22:31 PM

Laura Bush 8 Years Later

Librarian in the White House In her own words and those of colleagues, a look back at the First Lady’s ambitions, accomplishments, and challenges as the teacher-librarian wife of President George W. Bush


by Leonard Kniffel

with American Libraries at the White House in March (AL, May, p. 19). “And it’s dedicated to all little boys like that and to the teachers who just persistently keep reading those stories and sharing those books with them until children find out they do love those stories and they do love to read.” In many ways, Laura Bush’s eight years as First Lady of the United States have been the persistent counterbalance to her husband’s presidency. Enormously popular, even while President Bush’s approval ratings sank to new depths, she has managed to keep a safe distance from her husband’s path. Author Katha Pollitt has called her “the biggest contrast-gainer in the history of marriage.” In 2006, People magazine asked Laura Bush how she felt when her husband was being ridiculed. She used it as an opportunity to plug libraries: “I don’t like that,” she said, “but we’ve been involved [in politics] for years. When you go to the Lincoln Library in Springfield, Illinois, and see what political cartoons and pamphlets said about President Lincoln, you see that it’s not worse. People are the same no matter what generation.” It was the combination of reading and children that made a librarian out of Laura Bush to begin with, she says. “I loved kids; I loved being with them. But what I loved best was sharing literature with them—reading stories with them and

n the campaign trail in 1999, then–Texas Governor George W. Bush was asked by a South Carolina elementary-schooler to name his favorite book as a child. The president-tobe famously responded, ‘’I can’t remember any specific books.’’ So began the task of his wife, librarian and teacher Laura Bush, of remaining true to her profession for eight years in the White House, as First Lady to a president who, rightly or wrongly, became known as a leader who just wasn’t a reader. The First Lady is likely to be remembered for her love of books and for what that love inspired, including her own children’s book, Read All About It! published this year by HarperCollins and coauthored by her daughter Jenna Bush Hager. And it’s not difficult to read between the lines and connect the story to the presidency. “It’s about a little boy who loves everything, he rules the school, but he doesn’t particularly like to read,” Mrs. Bush explained during an interview

1208_Feature_LBush.indd 42

11/18/2008 12:23:08 PM

over, and storytelling, were really excellent training for giving speeches.” She also pointed out the connections between literacy and economic power. “All the advantages that a good reader has over a nonreader end up being very important issues in our country.” The rights of women, especially the right to go to school and to be educated, have become increasingly central to the First Lady’s professional agenda as she has visited countries “where people are denied an education.” “I was born to love to read, I think, partly because my mother read to me, as she says, from when my eyes opened,” Mrs. Bush said during the AL interview, “and that made a huge difference in my life, an unbelievable difference. My favorite thing to do is to read.” The National Book Festival was an idea that originated with Laura Bush, emanating from the Texas Book Festival, which she created when her husband was governor of Texas. Asked why, she said, “Books are so important to me, and I think they’re so important to a democracy and so important to our society that it just seems natural that we would try to promote books in any way we could.” Since its inception in 2001, the annual festival has been embraced by the public and ensconced as a program of the Library of Congress. More than 120,000 people came to the National Book Festival this year on the National Mall (AL, Nov., p. 28), “and that’s more people than are in the town where I grew up,” said Mrs. Bush. Asked if the festival will continue once the Bushes leave Washington, Librarian of Congress James Billington told AL, “We hope the National Book Festival will continue and we will be looking at all possible ways to perpetuate this unique and popular celebration of American creativity here in our capital.”

december 2008

National Book Festival


Established in 2002 in the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian education program is aimed at the recruitment of new library and information science professionals. We know from the numbers, she told AL, that “as the Boomers age, we’re going to lose a lot of librarians, and it’s very important for us to reach out to young people, to let them know what working in the library is really like. We know that we suffer from the very worst stereotype,” she added. Mrs. Bush said there are two primary ways to make a persuasive case for libraries today. One, libraries are “very high-tech, and if you are a high-tech young kid and want to think about a job where you could use that to a big advantage,” and two “if you’re a people person, libraries are a great place to be.” Mary L. Chute, IMLS deputy director for libraries, told AL that Mrs. Bush’s “dedication to and belief in the value of librarianship have served us all well.” Chute said that with the administration’s commitment and the bipartisan support of Congress the first $10 million investment proposed for the 21st Century Librarian program in January 2002 has grown to over $120 million over the past six years. “This program has developed new curriculum, supported important research, and touched the lives of tens of thousands of library workers in the U.S. through career development, MLS, and doctorate support,” she noted. During the White House interview, I asked Mrs. Bush if her training and experience as a librarian and teacher prepared her in any way for the White House. “It really did,” she said, “and I would have never really thought of it before, but both the experience I had of First Lady Laura Bush inscribes a reading to children book at the Westbank Community Library in Austin, Texas, August 2007. over and over and

School libraries In June 2002, Laura Bush organized the first White House Conference on School Libraries (AL, Aug. 2002, p. 20–21). “I think especially school librarians have a role to play in getting the message out,” she said, “But I think librarians


Photos: White House photos by Shealah Craighead

On becoming a librarian

The First Lady announces a Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries grant to Our Lady of Perpetual Help School in Washington, D.C., in June 2006, and applauds a student reader, along with Principal Charlene Hursey and Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.

american libraries

teaching them to read.” So she decided after three years of teaching to go back to graduate school for a degree in library science, then worked for a year for Houston Public Library, and then moved to Austin and went back to a school library, “just really wanting to be in a school with kids all the time.” That same love of children and reading is at the heart of the initiatives and programs she has supported throughout her years in the White House, from “Ready to Read, Ready to Learn” in 2001 to this year’s White House Symposium on Advancing Global Literacy.

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Influence President Bush’s budget requests have included an increase for libraries every year, but asked if she had any influence on this, the First Lady said, “Well, no, I would say no. I probably really haven’t.” She points instead to her close relationship with IMLS directors. “And then of course, it’s always very important to have people on the Hill, because that’s where the money is actually appropriated. And both the President and I have friends on the Hill who take libraries very seriously and believe that they should have more money,” she added. “She isn’t an elected official,” IMLS Director Anne-Imelda Radice says. “That’s sort of the long and short of it.” Radice noted that Mrs. Bush often responds to off-base questions from the media by gently saying, “You know, I don’t have authority; I’m not an elected official.” Radice added, “I just think the way Laura Bush reacts is as Laura Bush the person. She’s an honest broker. I don’t think there’s any forethought of, ‘Gosh, how am I going to do this question or avoid that question?’ It’s just here’s a question and I answer it.” Robert Martin noted that the First Lady was also instrumental in getting more funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Unflagging in her support for No Child The First Lady, joined by Secretary Left Behind, the sub- of Education Margaret Spellings, reads to kids at the Driggs School in ject was the only one Waterbury, Connecticut, July 2007.

Photos:  Alexandrina Bibliotheca (top); White House photo by Shealah Craighead

really need to do a lot more outreach. They need to let people know both how important libraries are, and how important reading is.” The conference followed the First Lady’s public statements after the terrorist attacks of 9/11 (just three days after the first National Book Festival), in which she urged frightened parents to turn off the television and read to their children. “After September 11 everything changed,” recalls Robert Martin, IMLS director from 2001 to 2005. He said that he received a call from a staff member in Mrs. Bush’s office saying, “Mrs. Bush thinks that we ought to do a conference that underscores how important school libraries are; would you like to help us with that? So the idea was Mrs. Bush’s idea, it was not mine, it was not her staff. Of course it took me about three nanoseconds to say ‘You bet I’ll help!’” While Mrs. Bush has never advocated censorship, she also does not confront the topic head on. Asked what librarians should say to parents who want to shield their children from what they think is inappropriate material, she indicated during our interview that the reply needs to be respectful of the parents’ role in selecting what their children read. What about parents who think certain books are inappropriate for their children, even though they’ve been selected for inclusion in the library? Mrs. Bush says concerned parents need to engage in dialogue, “in private, with the librarian or with the teacher.” Parents, librarians, and teachers can all have a profound effect on what their children choose to read, she said, “by offering a wide variety of interesting books that really make a difference, that have made a difference in their own lives.” “Chatting with Mrs. Bush about school libraries, books, and reading is not markedly different than conversing with the most dedicated among the school library media specialists I know,” says Julie Walker, executive director of ALA’s American Association of School Librarians. “On one occasion, she looked to me to confirm, with a group of state superintendents of education, that indeed purchasing library bound books is a wise decision. On another occasion, she asked her foundation advisory


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Touring the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in May 2005 with Egypt’s First Lady Suzanne Mubarak, the USA’s First Lady also talked with Director Ismail Serageldin (left) and Chief Librarian Sohair Wastawy.

committee their opinion of her choices for a booklist that she had been asked to develop for a major teen magazine. It was obvious that she was as knowledgeable as any practitioner about the choices she was considering.” In 2003, however, the issue of censorship did rear its head when Mrs. Bush abruptly cancelled “Poetry and the American Voice,” an invitational conference she had organized, when it became clear to her that many of the invitees planned to use the conference as an occasion to protest the Iraq war. The fact that the conference was to have focused on American poets Emily Dickinson, Langston Hughes, and Walt Whitman did not prevent the First Lady from stating somewhat naively that “there is nothing political about American literature.” The cancellation prompted over 3,500 poets to send poems and statements against the war to a special website created just for the occasion.

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First Librarian 8 years in review

April 2001 Speaks out for National Library Week and ALA at Northeast Neighborhood Library in Washington, D.C. July 2001 Announces the creation of the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries to offer grants for school libraries. September 2001 With the Library of Congress, holds the first National Book Festival in Washington, D.C. November 2001 Hosts the the first in the “White House Salute to America’s Authors” literary series.

June 2002 Holds White House Conference on School Libraries; announces that more than $5 million has been pledged for the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries.

September 2003 Dedicates National First Ladies’ Library Education and Research Center.

October 2002 Hosts the White House Colloquium on Libraries, Museums, and Lifelong Learning. January 2003 Announces $20 million to help offset national shortage of librarians as part of president’s 2004 budget. February 2003 As Honorary Ambassador, launches the United Nations Decade of Literacy March 2003 Announces “Preserve America” White House initiative, serves as honorary chair. April 2003 Opens White House virtual library.

that made Mrs. Bush bristle a little during the AL interview in March. She said she was disappointed that legislation had not been reauthorized and hoped it would be some time in the future. She said, “It’s really important for the accountability piece to stay there. I know that there are some parts of No Child Left Behind that have been hugely successful.... Scores are up. They’re higher than they’ve ever been in reading and math among 4th-graders.” Asked how she responded to critics who say No Child fosters teaching to the test, she said, “If what you want your children to know is to read and to do math, then that’s what you should test them over, and I think that is what the cur-

October 2003 Celebrates U.S. return to UNESCO after 19-year boycott. April 2005 Receives a certificate of appreciation from ALA President Carla Hayden during National Library Week. October 2005 With President Bush, convenes White House Conference on Helping America’s Youth; leads “Helping America’s Youth” initiative. May 2006 Creates Gulf Coast School Library Recovery Initiative to help school libraries affected by the 2005 hurricanes. June 2006 Keynotes a town-hall meeting on the importance of school libraries during ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans.

The First Lady speaks at The Big Read event in 2007, an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts.

July 2006 As honorary chair, speaks at the NEA’s Big Read event September 2006 Convenes leaders from around the world for White House Conference on Global Literacy; inspires six subsequent regional conferences in Qatar, Mali, India, China, Azerbaijan, and Mexico. April 2008 Publishes children’s book Read All About It! with daughter Jenna Bush. September 2008 Announces $2-million grant to promote literacy around the world at the White House Symposium on Advancing Global Literacy.

riculum should be. And in fact—and I don’t know that everyone knows this—each state writes their own curriculum. And that’s what they want their children in the state to know. And if your curriculum is what you want your children to know, and that’s what you teach, then your children should do well on the accountability test. “Another criticism I’ve heard is that all the teachers are doing is teaching reading,” she went on to say. “Well, what are you having children read? If you have a really rich curriculum with a lot of really good subjects in it and books in it, and you’re teaching children to read them, then that is a good basic education, and that’s what we want.”


Photo:  White House photos by Shealah Craighead

January 2002 Unveils the “21st Century

May 2003 Awards nearly $640,000 in inaugural grants to school libraries.

december 2008

February 2001 Launches “Ready to Read, Ready to Learn” educational initiative.

Librarian Program” to recruit new library and information science professionals.


s the first librarian ever to be First Lady of the United States, Laura Bush has used her eight years in the White House to shine a spotlight on libraries, librarianship, education, and literacy. A look back at some of the highlights:

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No Child Left Behind is up for reauthorization in the next Congress, and much will depend on the new president and the makeup of Congress, said Emily Sheketoff, director of ALA’s Washington Office, adding that education legislation will pass, but it might not be called No Child Left Behind.

A foundation for reading Following the federal government’s disastrous handling of Hurricane Katrina, the First Lady again seemed to be doing damage control for her husband. The Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries, soon after the disaster, awarded millions for hurricane-stricken schools and the rebuilding of libraries in those schools. When Hurricane Katrina struck, the whole focus of the foundation shifted to the libraries that had been destroyed in the Gulf region. “We’ve now given over $3 million [to some] 52 schools across the Gulf Coast. And these are big amounts of money, from $50,000 to $150,000 for whole collections, because people don’t realize how expensive a whole library collection is. And a basic elementary collection probably costs about $50,000, a start-up collection. And, of course, a high school library could cost $150,000 or more.” “Mrs. Bush has made so many trips to New Orleans and to that region it’s hard to count how many times, but one I remember in particular,” says Radice. The purpose of that visit was to meet IMLS recipients, some of the smaller

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institutions that almost disappeared. “But they didn’t disappear, because she kept track of them.” There were some 30 institutions that were represented there and she did the photo-ops with all of them, Radice says. “And it wasn’t just hello, hi, who are you. She knew the content of each grant and she asked questions. And it made a big impact.” “The only difference between Mrs. Bush and any one of the passionate professionals I know is that she was able to scale her passion for books and reading through the work of the Laura Bush Foundation,” says Julie Walker, who serves on the foundation board. “Her primary goal for the foundation—to put books in the hands of kids—though simple, is based in a profound belief in the power of reading.” During the AL interview, Laura Bush revealed that she planned to play a role in the establishment of her husband’s presidential library at Southern Methodist University in Dallas and even to work there (AL, May, p. 18–19). “I think there will be a very good opportunity for me to continue all the things I’ve already done around libraries and literacy, working out of that library, and continuing to work in the U.S. and then on the international issues that I think are also very important— the ideas of international global literacy and especially the gender differences that have kept many women from being educated.” International relations is an area that has become increasingly interesting to the First Lady and again put her

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december 2008

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in a clean-up role. On October 16, she announced a Bush administration plan to help save Iraq’s archaeological treasures by bringing Iraqi scholars to Chicago for training at the Field Museum of Natural History and the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. At the launch of this “Iraq Cultural Heritage Project” in Washington, she observed that many Americans “may not realize that the people of today’s Iraq are the guardians of 10,000 years of history—tablets etched with the earliest samples of human writing, musical instruments from the kingdom of Sumer, statues from the time of King Nebuchadnezzar. All of these ancient objects belong to the Cradle of Civilization—a land we now call Iraq.” There was no mention of the role the U.S. military played in the destruction of the National Museum and Library. “Iraq’s cultural heritage organizations were once the best in the Middle East,” she said, explaining that “travel restrictions, diminished resources, and violence under Saddam Hussein’s regime made it impossible for them to sustain this excellence.”

Cultural ambassador Says Radice, “To me, Mrs. Bush has elevated the entire discourse on culture, and her interest in literacy is even deeper than just reading literacy; literacy involving knowledge about art, science.” Radice called Laura Bush a “renaissance person” who “reopened our consciousness to

what UNESCO can accomplish by leading the first delegation to UNESCO since the U.S. rejoined in October 2003 after a 19-year dispute rooted in Cold War politics.” “She was very instrumental in getting us back to UNESCO,” Martin agrees. “If education was the number-one domestic policy issue for the Bush administration, which at least in theory it was supposed to be, there was no reason why we shouldn’t be at the international organization that is focusing on education. And after we came back to UNESCO she was appointed by the director-general to be the honorary chair of UNESCO’s Decade of Literacy, 2003 to 2012.” Calling Laura Bush “a cool First Lady,” Garrison Keillor said in his syndicated column November 6, “People like Laura a lot, a Texas Democrat who married a Republican and stuck with him through thin and thinner. She’s smart, and we know that because she never tried to show how smart she is.” Will Mrs. Bush be remembered as a crusader for reading or simply as the antidote for her husband? History will judge. Asked in May 2004 by TV talk-show-host David Letterman about her husband’s reputation for not reading newspapers, Mrs. Bush replied, “ He does read the newspaper, of course. Just not the reporters that follow him.” ❚


Watch a videocast of AL’s interview with Laura Bush at

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Hearing It Again for the

First Time With its abundance of buried musical treasures, the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Fleisher Collection lays claim to the title “world’s greatest music library” by David R. Powell


hat would Polish Independence Day be without Polish music? Sheldon Blair, the music director of the Susquehanna Symphony Orchestra, wouldn’t have wanted to think about the answer to that question, as he had been asked to perform all-Polish concerts in Maryland and New York to celebrate the November 11 holiday.

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“World’s greatest music library”


The collection’s founder, Edwin Fleisher, was always interested in music, and in 1909 he established the Symphony Club while still working for the yarn manufactury founded by his father. The club provided free musical instruction to young people—initially to boys, but eventually without regard to race, gender, or religion. Fleisher collected the scores and parts for use by the club, where half of the rehearsals involved new or unfamiliar compositions. What might be called Fleisher’s collection development policy would soon establish his accumulation


Fortunately, Blair, who actively seeks out musical buried treasures for his community orchestra in Bel Air, Maryland, knew of a unique music library that could likely help him out. He asked Kile Smith, curator of the Edwin A. Fleisher Collection of Orchestral Performance Music at the Free Library of Philadelphia, whether he knew of any appropriate compositions for the occasion. As a matter of fact, he did: Smith gave him “To My Children: Five Miniatures” by Jerzy Gablenz (1888–1937), which Gablenz’s son had donated to the Fleisher Collection. The Susquehanna Symphony’s performance of the piece turned out to be not only the U.S. premiere of the work, but the first time it had been performed since Gablenz himself conducted it, in 1926.

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An undated photo of a young Edwin Fleisher, founder of the collection bearing his name.

as the world’s largest lending library of orchestral performance materials. Fleisher continued collecting music after he retired from the yarn business in 1929. That same year, Fleisher donated his collection to the Free Library upon—as the story goes—being informed by the fire marshal that the collection was too large to be safely stored in the house where the Symphony Club met. He traveled to Russia, to Britain, and through Europe, collecting copies of more than 1,000 manuscript and printed compositions, many of which were unpublished. Back home, acquisition efforts turned toward contemporary American works. Beginning in 1934, more than 1,000 pieces by selected American composers were copied using labor funded by the federal government’s Works Progress Administration and supervised by composer Arthur Cohn, then director of the Fleisher Collection. Around 1940, Fleisher sent musicologist Nicolas Slonimsky to Latin America on another collecting trip, which added 650 works to the increasingly diverse library. By 1948, Japanese music was added to the mix, and Cohn and Fleisher were making return trips to Europe. Such active collecting and concern for diversity meant that as early as 1946, American Mercury was calling the Fleisher Collection “the world’s greatest music library” and “the largest collection of orchestral music in the world” at 11,000 volumes. In 1980, Wilson Library Bulletin noted that the collection’s print catalog contained about 13,000 volumes. Today it boasts more than 21,000—and it’s running out of room. Fortunately, new space for the collection will eventually be provided as part of a larger expansion project at FLP. “We’ll accept new orchestral works that have been played or are about to be played,” Smith explains of the collection’s current status. “We wish we could take more in, but we simply don’t have the room. We do like to have contemporary American music, but anything contemporary as long as we can get the score and parts.” The collection’s focus on diversity and specialized services is described in a recent article in its newsletter about the collection’s holdings of American composer

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Fleisher donated his collection to the Free Library upon—as the story goes—being informed by the fire marshal that the collection was too large to be safely stored in the house where the Symphony Club met.

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A 1930s view (left) of the room that originally housed the Fleisher Collection; it now houses FLP’s Automobile Reference Collection. Depression-era Works Progress Administration workers copy musical works (right).

Amy Beach: “You wouldn’t think that the most-played works of the standard repertoire would have errors in the music, but it’s true,� the newsletter points out. “Conductors and players know this, and while the most famous works have either been corrected or have longestablished errata lists, lesser-known works may still have that burden to carry. Such has been the case with the Gaelic Symphony of Amy Beach, until now. Fleisher

has just completed correcting the score and parts, and a couple of sets of this lovely work are available.� As unique and invaluable as the more obscure holdings are, the standard repertoire is also well-represented— sometimes uniquely so. Arthur Bronson pointed out in American Mercury that “a great many scores of Mozart, Beethoven, and Rimsky-Korsakov can be found only in these files.� And Blair mentions specifically that the ­collection is the only place where one can find the Second Symphony of Rachmaninoff with particular cuts (places where the piece can be shortened) authorized by

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The collection also provides reference assistance to music scholars and others, thus rounding out its status as an invaluable music library.

Rachmaninoff himself. (The full version is also available for those who want to perform the piece in its entirety.) The collection has been drawing worldwide attention almost from the point when Fleisher presented his ­treasures to the Free Library of Philadelphia. According to the introduction to the last print catalog, music has been made available on loan to orchestras throughout the world since 1937. The collection has become a prime source for major symphony orchestras, conservatories, music schools, universities, community orchestras, and summer music festivals. It also provides reference assistance to music scholars and others, thus rounding out its status as an invaluable music library.

Spreading the word As well-known as the collection is, however, efforts to get the word out continue. In addition to its catalog (which is, with the exception of a few thousand partially cataloged and new titles still undergoing conversion, completely searchable through the Free Library online catalog), the aforementioned quarterly e-mail newsletter

announces the latest happenings, works that have been lent out for performance, reviews of performances, recordings of works from the collection, and so on. And because this is music we are talking about, the “word” is also getting out on the radio. On the first Saturday of each month at 5 p.m., Smith (who is also a composer) joins Jack Moore on Philadelphia radio station WRTI to host Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection. During the hour, Smith and Moore share recordings and, as the newsletter puts it, “uncover the unknown, rediscover the little-known, and take a fresh look at some of the remarkable treasures housed in the Fleisher Collection.” Those who don’t live nearby can catch the show online at After almost a century of growth for the collection, Blair, Smith, and their colleagues around the world have a valuable source they can tap to find deserving compositions that have lain silent for too long. Thanks to staff dedication and to the treasure trove that is the Fleisher Collection, voices like that of Jerzy Gablenz can sing again, reaching new generations of listeners.  z

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User tagging lets patrons set their own terms by Dinah Sanders


s patrons change, libraries also need to change. The Pew Internet and American Life Project Studies tell us that by 2006 the Web was used by the majority of adult Americans every day; and this has radically changed patron expectations of library interfaces. Users now start with the assumption that an online solution to their information problem is within their grasp— and to a large degree they’re right.

These changes in expectations are accompanied by valuable skills ready to be applied to information-seeking tasks. Library patrons have used search engines from which they’ve learned that a good system should be able to interpret their search and give useful, relevance-ranked results. They’ve shopped online, read news sites, and shared photos, in the process becoming familiar with faceted search and tagging. They’ve participated in the social life of the Web and been exposed to its culture of participation and mentorship. Patrons are not only ready for new possibilities in library interfaces; they have begun to demand them.

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You’re It!

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often echo these physical limits. A multiplicity of potential successful pathways to materials is not only achievable in the online world; it is essential to the competitive success of libraries in the discovery landscape. What is more, with better use of the principles of good design to improve the user experience, advances in interface technology, and growing user skills at iterative techniques such as faceted search, this approach, which appears more complex, turns out to be more user-friendly. Faced with this new landscape, librarians and software vendors began experimenting with new approaches to public search, bringing new technologies and Search strategies Users iterate toward their selection of materials. The user-interface techniques to the library world. Along idea that this is a natural method of discovery is not with tools like faceted search, one of the greatest actually a new one. In the late 1980s, Marcia Bates, a innovations changing the library discovery experience professor at the University of California at Los Angeles is the addition of user participation in findability Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, through the use of user-contributed keywords or was writing about iterative information-seeking “tags” associated with particular materials. The earliest forms of this were parallel, unintegrated behavior and “berry picking,” concepts that are now vindicated by how people use other Web applications, tools where tag management took place outside the particularly e-commerce and news sites. Libraries are catalog and users were not using their patron accounts. In the next phase of development, the taking notice. The challenge for libraries is to bridge the divide results of tag collection could be displayed within the between this standard modus operandi and the tradi- OPAC, although participation continued to take place in tional OPAC interface, with its bias toward a heavily other interfaces. While they forged new ground, these precoordinated search performed by a user with some experiments did not generate large amounts of patron collection familiarity and knowledge of the classification tagging activity. The lack of integration seen in these early efforts system used. Another roadblock to patron success has been the raises a number of concerns. The first is a hurdle disconnect between some of the terminology used to participation: Patrons must be convinced to create and use accounts separate to describe library materials and from their existing patron the terms used by the community Without local user accounts. Without local user attempting to access them. Traditional library subject headings participation, one of the key participation, one of b e n e f i t s of t a g g i n g — t h e have been criticized for their creation of additional finding rigidity in the face of change the key benefits of pathways using the and their lack of support for tagging—the creation community’s own terms— differing views of a work. can be lost. The second issue A key factor in this situation of additional finding is that when users can have an is habit. We are no longer conanonymous “handle” separate strained to a 3-by-5 catalog pathways using the from their identity as a patron card or to a single physical shelf community’s own order, yet online interfaces of the library, there is no inherIn the face of these changes, libraries are taking a good hard look at the traditional OPAC and the integrated library system behind it. Many such systems were designed in the earliest days of the Web—or even before—and have not kept pace with the changing times. However, an asset libraries have that very few other Web resources possess offsets this shortcoming: richly described data in a consistent format. Library systems have great “findability” for trained searchers; the challenge now is how to make them work equally well for untrained ones.




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terms—can be lost.

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cookbookWhen years of descriptivesugar

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pastels work in controlled vocabularies is presented farming industry fishing farming industry fishing ent incentive against abuse. in a format patrons can sland in Australia, tags are To avoid these problems, used to identify materials of horse oboe sexuality recognize, rather than horse oboe sexuality patron login and interest to a class. Philosopersonalization features phy students will discover a vascularshould be contiguous with struggle to recall, the true vascular Jean Cocteau film tagged power of this interface the tagging space. “phil2310” alongside the Overlooked in the first atreader. At Scottsdale theater tempts art to bring tagging to pattern novel theater novel comes into its course (Ariz.) Public Library, tags






library collections was the identify reading groups concept literature concept literature realization that subject headings, while not easily color like the library’s “Literate Lizards” and also honor leveraged by patrons in traditional interfaces, still represent a huge body of existing terms, many of which do actually correspond to the terminology used by patrons. This oversight led many to fixate on the erroneous problem of needing to achieve a “critical mass” of tags.

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patron gifts and memorials. Librarians there build bridges to finding by adding the tag “cookbook” to applicable books that lack the term in their MARC record.

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poetry pottery quilting poetry pottery quilting volunteer

knittingCatalogers’ contributions

Early library tagging at tempts excluded the

crafts dog training marketing contribution of hundreds of knowledgeable users who

have been doing a great job of describing materials for decades: catalogers. Debates have raged over controlled vs. uncontrolled vocabulary within the catalog, neglecting the simple realization that it isn’t a situation where we have to choose one or the other. The answer is to leverage subject headings used by librarians in combination with emerging, specialized, and informal terminology used by patrons. Taxonomy vs. folksonomy is a false dichotomy. With an integrated approach where both pools of terms are drawn on to provide tools for refinement and description of materials, patron success at locating and using materials can be dramatically increased. When the display of tags is dynamically tied to the current result set, as in Innovative’s next-generation discovery product Encore, each pool of descriptive terms is showcased appropriately, with community-contributed picture tags filling in where library cataloging is minimal. To borrow a term from Web guru Peter Morville, the “ambient findability” aspect of Encore’s tag cloud of subject headings and community tags helps support the principles of a reference interview in the absence of a librarian. User-generated tags alone are not enough to reflect the power of libraries to connect people to information. When years of descriptive work in controlled vocabularies is presented in a format patrons can recognize, rather than struggle to recall, the true power of this interface pattern comes into its own. We see participation patterns emerging as the first libraries go live with integrated community tagging for Encore implementations. At the University of Queen-

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Tag testimonials



So, do tags belong in the library? Based on what we’ve seen so far with Encore, and the feedback from development partners using this new functionality, the answer is a resounding yes. Scottsdale Public Library reports not having had to remove any abusive tags in the months since launching the functionality to all patron types. Soon after Michigan State University’s Encore launch, Reference Librarian Kate Corby reported, “I worked the open house and students were saying they found things with Encore they wouldn’t have found otherwise.” Even more exciting has been the feedback from Mark Denham, head of library information systems at Glasgow University Library in Scotland, about usage by experienced researchers and faculty familiar with the library’s collection: “In recent trials here, a number of academics found items that they were sure that the library did not have.” The library has also noted overall changes in user behavior: Prior to their use of Encore, librarians saw only 4% of searches using the subject index. Now the majority of users leverage this valuable information on any search, providing the library a return on their great investment in describing materials. Interface change can transform patron success. Iterative search is finally coming into its own in the online library environment. Add to this the ability for community members—patrons, librarians, faculty— to rate materials or, better still, review them, and you begin to allow the collection to reach its potential as part of the living institution, with the interactions between the two being captured for later benefit to other community members. Preserving the conversation, which is so much a part of academic and corporate life in particular, becomes an aspect of the collection and of the service the library provides. ❚

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Public Libraries and Internet Service Roles Measuring and Maximizing Internet Services Public Libraries and Internet Service Roles Measuring and Maximizing Internet Services Public Libraries and R. McClure Internet Charles Service Roles and Paul T. Jaeger Measuring and Maximizing Internet Services

Charles R. McClure and Paul T. Jaeger Public Libraries and Internet Service Roles Charles R. McClure Charles R. McClure and Paul T. Jaeger and Paul T. Jaeger Price: $65.00 | ALAand Members: $58.50 Public Libraries Internet Service Roles 120 pages | 6” x 9” |and Softcover Charles R. McClure Paul T. Jaeger ISBN: $65.00 978-0-8389-3576-7 Price: | ALAand Members: $58.50 Public Libraries Internet Service Roles 120 pages | 6” x 9” | Softcover Charles R. McClure and Paul T. Jaeger ISBN: Price: 978-0-8389-3576-7 $65.00 | ALA Members: $58.50 120 pages | 6” x 9” | Softcover Rob Reid ISBN: 978-0-8389-3576-7

More Family Storytimes Rob Reid More Family Storytimes More Family Storytimes Rob Reid

Twenty-four Creative Programs for All Ages

Twenty-four Creative Programs for All Ages

Twenty-four Creative Programs for All Ages

Second Edition

Peggy Johnson

JEANNETTE WOODWARD JEANNETTE WOODWARD Creating the Customer-Driven Academic Library Jeannette Woodward WOODWARD Price:JEANNETTE $58.00 ALA Members: $52.20 Creating the| Customer-Driven Academic Library 208 pagesWoodward | 6” x 9” | Softcover Jeannette ISBN: $58.00 978-0-8389-0976-8 Price: ALA Members: $52.20 Creating the| Customer-Driven Academic Library 208 pages | 6” x 9” | Softcover Jeannette Woodward ISBN: Price: 978-0-8389-0976-8 $58.00 | ALA Members: $52.20 208 pages | 6” x 9” | Softcover ISBN: 978-0-8389-0976-8

Teen Teen Spaces Teen Spaces Spaces

The Step-by-Step Library Makeover

The Step-by-Step Library Makeover Second Edition The Step-by-Step Library MakeoverSecond Edition Second Edition

Fundamentals of Collection Development and Management, Second Edition Peggy Johnson of Collection Development Fundamentals Price:Management, $70.00 | ALA Members: $63.00 and Second Edition 432 pages | 6” x 9” | Softcover Peggy Johnson Fundamentals of Collection Development ISBN: $70.00 978-0-8389-0972-0 Price: | ALA Members: $63.00 and Management, Second Edition 432 pages | 6” x 9” | Softcover Peggy Johnson ISBN: Price: 978-0-8389-0972-0 $70.00 | ALA Members: $63.00 Thepages Hipster 432 | 6” x Librarian’s 9” | SoftcoverGuide to ISBN: 978-0-8389-0972-0 The Hipster Librarian’s Guide to

Teen Craft Projects Teen Craft Projects Teen

The Hipster Librarian’s Guide to

Craft Projects Tina Coleman and Peggie Llanes

Kimberly Bolan

Coleman Foreword by Tina Heather Booth and Peggie Llanes

More Family Storytimes Rob Reid Price: $45.00 ALA Members: $41.50 More Family| Storytimes 200 pages Rob Reid | 6” x 9” | Softcover ISBN: $45.00 978-0-8389-0973-7 Price: Members: $41.50 More Family| ALA Storytimes 200 pages Rob Reid | 6” x 9” | Softcover ISBN: Price: 978-0-8389-0973-7 $45.00 | ALA Members: $41.50 200 pages | 6” x 9” | Softcover ISBN: 978-0-8389-0973-7

Kimberly Bolan

Teen Spaces, Second Edition Kimberly Bolan Price: Spaces, $40.00 | ALA Members: $36.00Kimberly Bolan Teen Second Edition 176 pages | 8.5” x 11” | Softcover Kimberly Bolan ISBN: $40.00 978-0-8389-0969-0 Price: | ALA Members: $36.00 Teen Spaces, Second Edition 176 pages | 8.5” x 11” | Softcover Kimberly Bolan ISBN: Price: 978-0-8389-0969-0 $40.00 | ALA Members: $36.00 176 pages | 8.5” x 11” | Softcover ISBN: 978-0-8389-0969-0

Coleman Foreword by Tina Heather Booth The Hipster Librarian’s Guide and Peggie Llanes to Teen Craft Projects Tina Hipster Coleman Librarian’s and Peggie Llanes Foreword The Guideby Heather Booth $40.00 to Teen| ALA CraftMembers: Projects$36.00 168 pages | 8.5” 11” | Softcover Tina Coleman andx Peggie Llanes The Librarian’s Guide ISBN:Hipster 978-0-8389-0971-3 $40.00 | ALA Members: to Teen Craft Projects$36.00 168 | 8.5” 11” | Softcover Tina pages Coleman andx Peggie Llanes ISBN: $40.00978-0-8389-0971-3 | ALA Members: $36.00 168 pages | 8.5” x 11” | Softcover ISBN: 978-0-8389-0971-3 + toll free 866-746-7252 + fax 770-280-4155 + toll free 866-746-7252 + fax 770-280-4155 + toll free 866-746-7252 + fax 770-280-4155 Untitled-3 1

09/09/2008 12:36:24 PM

ALA | Quarterly Report

ALA Executive Board Measure to expand investment portfolio approved


american libraries 


december 2008


LA’s Executive Board gave the Endowment Trustees the green light during the board’s fall meeting October 24–26 at the Association’s Chicago headquarters to use alternative investments, such as hedge funds, convertible bonds, and emerging markets, as a way to improve the endowment fund’s overall performance while minimizing its exposure to risk (Executive Board Document #13.0). The measure amends and includes language related to the inclusion of alternative investments in the ALA investment policy as an additional tool for improving total portfolio returns. “Relatively, our investment portfolio is doing much better than some of the broader market measures,” said ALA Treasurer Rodney Hersberger. “We’re down only a third compared to some of them.” The board also approved a final FY2009 budgetary ceiling totaling $69.4 million total; a $100,000 employee organizational incentive, if general fund third-close results are over $250,000 in revenue over expenditures; the resolution, loan agreement, promissory note, and mortgage assignment of rents for the Association of College and Research Libraries’ $2-million Choice property in Connecticut and the establishment of the Robert L. Oakley


Endowment with $42,559 (EBD #3.2, 3.3, 3.5, 13.1). In other actions, the board forwarded to Council the Statement of ALA’s Core Competencies of Librarianship from the Presidential Task Force on Library Education (EBD #12.13); approved the 2010 Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference skeleton schedules that reduce both conferences by one day (EBD#12.8), and accepted, as amended, the revised Guidelines for Campaigning by Candidates for ALA Office from the ALA Election Task Force (EBD #12.15). A measure supporting the use of electronic signatures wherever the ALA Constitution, Bylaws, and Policy Manual require members to petition for candidacy or other action (EBD #12.19) also received board approval, as did ALA’s Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship’s request to become a member of the National Women’s History Museum National Coalition (EBD #12.14) and the FY2010 programmatic priorities (EBD #12.10). President Jim Rettig presided. Other board members present were: President-Elect Camila Alire, Immediate Past President Loriene Roy, Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels, Diane R. Chen, Joseph M. Eagan, Mario M. Gonzalez, Terri G. Kirk, Em Claire Knowles, Charles E. Kratz Jr., Larry Romans, and Roberta A. Stevens. —P.A.G.

Read more about it at Click on About ALA, then Officers & Executive Board.

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ALA-APA Loan Fee Deferred


he Executive Board also convened as the ALA– Allied Professional Association board and approved deferral of the ALA loan principal and interest payments for one year and a preliminary FY2009 budgetary ceiling of $205,756, down from the original budget of $277,377 (APABD # 3.3,3.5). Decreased expenses are expected with the ALA Office for Research and Statistics agreement for preparation of the salary survey by ALA-APA and because a portion of Director Jenifer Grady’s salary is now being paid by ALA as part of an Institute of Museum and Library Services grant to develop ALA support staff educational standards. The budget also includes a new toolkit designed to demonstrate how to use the salary survey information. The board also endorsed a statement on Strengthening Professional Integrity in the Public Interest issued by the Department of Professional Employees, AFL-CIO Professional Associations and Unions (APABD #12.3).

11/18/2008 12:27:49 PM

Tech Gets Human Touch

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this year.) Using pop culture examexample. Master artists considered ples, Porter discussed how science their work to be the pinnacle of art’s fiction relates to the future, and parevolution, so the education that a ticularly the future of libraries. The new artist received was geared to creators “are making entertainment, replicating what had already been but they’re thinking about what things done rather than on innovation. “It might look like in the future,” he said. killed Florentine art,” Lankes said. Tim Spalding, creator of Rather than declaring library serLibraryThing, spoke at the forum’s vice the best it can be, he exhorted opening session on “What is Social the audience to create knowledge Cataloging and Where Is It Going?” through conversation. This is “not He invoked Dr. Horrible, the villain- waiting for [patrons] to come in and protagonist of the online musical Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, as he promised not to define “social cataloging.” However, Spalding did share a number of applications, ranging from collaboratively cataloging Dr. Horrible’s bookshelf (seen in the film, out-of-focus, for only a few seconds); to adding to metadata information such as locations, first and Tim Spalding and Dr. Horrible address the LITA Forum last words, or places Opening General Session. the author has lived; to tying together equivalent or nearhope that they ask the right quesequivalent terms. Spalding said tions so we can find them the right LibraryThing users make about 1,000 book, but proactively going out and of these combinations each day. saying, ‘This is what the community “They’re doing it to help other peoneeds to know.’” ple; they’re doing it because it helps Forum attendance was 321, down them. It’s really kind of remarkable.” slightly from a typical attendance of R. David Lankes of the Syracuse 350–375, but LITA Executive Direc(N.Y.) University School of Informa- tor Mary Taylor characterized the tion Studies closed the forum with a turnout as “still healthy.” For daily passionate speech on “The Obligawrap-ups, see American Libraries’ tion of Leadership.” Lankes offered Inside Scoop blog at Florentine sculpture as a cautionary insidescoop. —G.L.

american libraries 


cience fiction met technology fact at the Library and Information Technology Association National Forum, but it was the human factor—community and collaboration—that reigned supreme. “Technology and Community: Building the Techno Community Library” was the theme for the forum, held October 17–19 in Cincinnati, and forum sessions were heavy on the human touch. Nicholas Schiller of Washington State University and Carole Svensson of the University of Washington proposed adapting game design principles—including collaborative missions and an emphasis on “knowledge” over “authority”— into traditional instruction. Jason Battles of the University of Alabama and Jody Combs of Vanderbilt University spoke about building Web laboratories for their libraries, where patrons can see projects in progress and help shape their development. Dinah Sanders of Innovative Interfaces and Kelly Vickery of the University of Kentucky presented their project combining community tagging with existing metadata at the UK libraries. (See Sanders’ article on page 52–54 for more details.) Even science fiction’s presence had a human focus. At Saturday’s general session, Michael Porter of WebJunction presented “Hi-Fi-Sci-Fi Library: Technology, Convergence, Content, Community, Ubiquity, and Library Futures.” (The title may be familiar from the “Hi-Fi-Sci-Fi Library” music video that Porter and David Lee King of Topeka and Shawnee County (Kans.) Public Library made earlier

december 2008

LITA Forum focuses on community, collaboration, and people

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11/18/2008 12:28:13 PM

ALA | Special Report

YA Literature Symposium Draws Impressive Crowd

of a free online course. Other prizes included YALSA gift bags, journals, and books. More than 25 popular YA authors participated in the sold-out genre luncheon, with each table enjoying lunch with an author. Each author also participated in book signings for luncheon attendees. The closing general session featured authors Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta, who discussed their experiences as writers and the importance of librarians in connecting teens and books. Following their remarks, attendees gathered for a tribute to the late William C. Morris, HarperCollins Children’s Books vice president and director of library promotion, whose endowment helped fund the symposium. “In all its incarnations, delivery

methods, and wide range of interests, YA literature touches readers in very real ways,” said Stephanie Squicciarini, chair of the symposium’s planning task force. YALSA also showcased its reputation as one of ALA’s most plugged-in divisions with commentary via Twitter at; bloggers discussing events live and posting video; and roving reporters filing podcasts on the YALSA blog, which featured interviews, session discussions, and reflections. For more information about the 2008 event, visit The next Young Adult Literature Symposium will take place November 5–7, 2010, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. —Stephanie Kuenn, communications specialist, Young Adult Library Services Association

Photo: Stephanie Kuenn

Attendees wait in line at the Author’s Happy Hour Book Bar during the Young Adult Library Services Association’s first Young Adult Literature Symposium.


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december 2008


espite shrinking library budgets and a bleak outlook in the publishing industry, young adult literature remains a strong draw, based on the enthusiasm of participants at the inaugural Young Adult Literature Symposium, sponsored by ALA’s Young Adult Library Services Association. More than 600 librarians, educators, authors, and young adult literature supporters gathered in Nashville, Tennessee, November 7–9 to celebrate teen reading in all its forms, to discuss the future of teens in libraries, and to attend presentations featuring colleagues and young adult (YA) authors. YALSA President Sarah Cornish Debraski acknowledged the strong turnout. “We know that many of you have paid your own way or negotiated your way here through difficult travel budgets,” she said. The symposium was preceded by a sold-out day-long preconference on manga and graphic novels that included 2007 Printz Award–winner Gene Luen Yang and Dramacon author Svetlana Chmakova. In addition to five breakout sessions, attendees relaxed during a kickoff reception and a happy hour. Kim Patton, co-convenor of YALSA’s Student Interest Group, led a fundraising effort to support a Spectrum scholar that raked in more than $710. Patton and co-convenor Jennifer Balaco also organized a scavenger hunt for student members. Lisa Chapmanof the University of South Carolina won the grand prize

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Games for Learning Symposium links sophisticated gaming to sophisticated thinking


december 2008

tion, use that information to accomplish a goal, and reflect on successes and failures. Other notable sessions included a keynote by Lawrence Kutner of the Center for Health and Media at Massachusetts General Hospital presenting results of a survey of 1,250 children from 12–14 years old that found no link between violence in video games and real-world violence; Allan M. Kleiman, former director of Old Bridge (N.J.) Public Library, sharing his experience introducing gaming programs to senior citizens; and Amanda Lenhart, research specialist at the Pew Internet and American Life Project, presenting results from Pew’s new “Teens, Video Games, and Civics” survey. For more details in the form of daily wrap-ups, see American Libraries’ Inside Scoop blog at .org/insidescoop. —G.L.


Seann M. Dikkers of the University of Wisconsin at Madison’s Games, Learning, and Society Group presented a session on how he used the Total War series of strategy games in afterschool game clubs to engage students with history. In the game, players must fight battles, but they also must protect, build, and manage their armies and cities. He relayed one anecdote about a student who was playing on the side of Native Americans trying to fight off Columbus. That student went so far as to smuggle a history textbook into the gaming session to refer to as he tried to develop a win-

ning strategy. “If you’re interested, then you pursue literacy,” Dikkers observed. “Once the interest is there, the academics follow.” Christopher Harris and Brian Mayer of the Genessee Valley (N.Y.) Board of Cooperative Educational System shared their work in identifying the ways in which 50 games meet specific performance indicators in New York State education standards and in the Standards for the 21st Century Learner of ALA’s American Association of School Librarians. At the same session, Paul Waelchli of the University of Dubuque in Iowa focused on how games can meet the Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education of ALA’s Association of College and Research Libraries by requiring players to evaluate information, identify gaps in the information they retrieve, create a system for organizing informa-


Photo: Greg Landgraf

Engaging students

Symposium attendees learn the Boggle-like game “Spell Go Round” at the “Connecting with Beginning Readers” session.

american libraries 

odern games aren’t trivial, and librarians who dismiss them as such do their patrons a disservice, presenters told some 215 attendees of the second annual ALA TechSource Gaming, Learning, and Libraries Symposium. Held November 2–4 in Oak Brook, Illinois, the event showcased examples of how the complexity of modern games prepares young people for their futures. The oftmocked Pokémon series, for example, requires players to track more than 500 characters, each falling into one of 17 types that may be particularly strong or weak against other types. “There are far more Pokémon than elements in the periodic table, and players track more information about each Pokémon than scientists track about their elements,” observed Eli Neiburger of Ann Arbor (Mich.) District Library, in his “Pokémon Primer” session.

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11/18/2008 12:29:16 PM

People | Announcements

Currents n  Jessie Affelder has been hired as director of Beecher (Ill.) Community Library. n  Melody Lloyd Allen has retired as children’s services librarian at the Rhode Island Office of Library and Information Services in Providence. n  In October Cynthia Bledsoe was named acting director at Charleston County (S.C.) Public Library. n  Laurie Brooks has been promoted to associ

ate deputy director for state programs at the Institute of Museum and Library Services in Washington,D.C. n  Jacksonville (Fla.) Public Library has promoted Kathleen Brunner to children’s librarian for the Highlands branch. n  Mary S. Buchanan is now information literacy and reference librarian at Clarion (Pa.) University. n  The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa has promoted Clark Center to

n  Barbara Adrianopoli, director of extension services for Schaumburg Township (Ill.) District Library, was awarded the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services John Philip award for outstanding contribution and prominent leadership October 10. n  Demi Fair, director of York County (Pa.) Library’s Paul Smith Library, was named to Central Penn Business Journal’s Forty under 40 list of young business leaders. n  Judith Gibbons, field services director at the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives, has received the Kentucky Library Assocation’s James A. Nelson Advocacy Award. n  Connie J. Manson received the Geoscience Information Society’s Mary B. Ansari Distinguished Service Award October 7. n  The Special Libraries Association has named Toby Pearlstein, retired director of information services for Bain and Company; Dana Lincoln Roth, chemistry librarian at California Institute of Technology; and the late Sue O’Neill Johnson, World Bank Librarian, to its Hall of Fame.

David Farnan

head of the Department of Archives and Southern History and Life. n  SOLINET in Atlanta has appointed Timothy Cherubini director of information resources, collections, and scholarly communications. n  Alison Cody is now public relations and instruction librarian at Loyola/Notre Dame Library in Baltimore. n  Tim Daniels has been named assistant state librarian for support services and strategic initiatives for Georgia Public Library Service in Atlanta. n  Betty H. Day retired recently as coordinator of electronic resources at the University of Maryland in College Park. n  Margaret Dekovich has been promoted to manager of Clinton-Macomb (Mich.) Public Library’s South branch. n  David Farnan joined Douglas County (Colo.) Libraries as associate director of community services November 3. n  Kimberly Forster has been promoted to manager of Jacksonville (Fla.) Public Library’s Dallas Graham branch. n  In December Jeremy

Lesley Pease

Brandi Porter

Frumkin joins the University of Arizona in Tucson as chief technology strategist. n  August 15 Neil Fulghum retired as keeper of the North Carolina Collection Gallery at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library. n  Joanne Hélouvry has been promoted to head of research and instruction services at the Loyola/ Notre Dame Library in Baltimore. n  December 31 Marilyn Hinshaw retires as executive director of the Eastern Oklahoma District Library in Muskogee. n  The University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire has appointed Eric Jennings and Hans Kishel as reference and instruction librarians. n  February 28, 2009, Cynthia Klinck will retire as director of Washington-Centerville (Ohio) Public Library. n  Jessica Lacher-Feldman has been promoted to curator of rare books and special collections at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. n  Hongyu Li became reference librarian at the University of Arkansas at


american libraries 


december 2008


Cynthia Bledsoe

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Patricia Winter

ington, D.C., as senior program officer for discre­ tionary library programs. n  December 1 Ilona Tsutsui became law collections and electronic resources librarian at the University of Oregon Law Library in Eugene. n  Bryan Vogh has been appointed head of systems at the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire. n  Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh has promoted Karlyn Voss to director of external and government relations. n  Valyrie Walter has retired as adult services librarian at Las Vegas– Clark County Library District. n  September 19 Kerri Willette joined Columbia College in Chicago as web services coordinator and reference and instruction librarian. n  Christina Wilson is now director of the Lois Hole Campus Alberta (Canada) Digital Library.

n  Patricia Quinn Winter has been appointed director of development at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. n  November 3 Peter R. Young became chief of the Library of Congress’s Asian Division. n  Lixia Zhao became cataloging and electronic resources librarian at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock December 1.


n  Katie Coombes became Association of College and Research Libraries program officer for governance September 8. n  Louise Gruenberg was promoted to senior usability officer for Information Technology and Telecommunications September 8. n  October 6 Jennifer Habley was promoted to manager of programs and affiliate relations for the American Association of School Librarians.  z

Send notices and color photographs for Currents to Greg Landgraf,

december 2008

sity Library’s Learning Commons has named Lesley Pease director and Brandi Porter associate director. n  August 1 Frieda Rosenberg retired as head of serials cataloging at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. n  December 31 Eleanore Schmidt will retire as director of Long Beach (Calif.) Public Library. n  Mark Shelton has joined Harvard Graduate School of Education in Cambridge, Massachusetts, as head of collection development. n  Eric C. Shoaf has been appointed assistant dean of libraries for administrative services at the University of Texas in San Antonio. n  Linda Thibodeau has been named Alaska state librarian. n  Charles Franklin Thomas has joined the Institute of Museum and Library Services in Wash-

October 19. She guided the institute’s $8-million library expansion, and had previously worked at several Massachusetts public libraries, n  Thomas A. Raines Jr., 66, executive director of Charleston County (S.C.) Public Library, died October 12. He had been with the system for 27 years, helping to lead construction of a new Main Library and five regional libraries.


n  William Brace, 79, professor emeritus at Dominican University’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science in River Forest, Illinois, died October 1 of an apparent heart attack. He taught for 37 years at Dominican and at Florida State University in Tallahassee. n  Paula Polk, director of the Morse Institute Library in Natick, Massachusetts since 1993, died of cancer


Karlyn Voss


american libraries 

Little Rock December 1. n  October 8 Dorothy Liegl retired as South Dakota state librarian. n  James Lonergan has become senior program officer in the state grant program at the Institute of Museum and Library Services in Washington, D.C. n  Susan Malbin has been named director of library and archives at the American Jewish Historical Society in New York City. n  Joseph McGovern has retired as media services librarian at the Rhode Island Office of Library and Information Services in Providence. n  August 1 Charles McNamara retired as curator of rare books at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. n  Julie Nanavati has joined the Loyola/Notre Dame Library in Baltimore as research and instruction librarian and disability access coordinator. n  Susan E. Negreen resigned as executive director of the California Library Association effective January 2, 2009. n  Lara Otis has joined the University of Maryland Architecture Library in College Park as planning and preservation librarian. n  Syracuse (N.Y.) Univer-

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11/18/2008 12:31:40 PM

Professional Development | Youth Matters

Growing Up Too Fast Life-saving research about teens is ours to disseminate

dence that certain environmental toxicants contribute to the story.” Family dynamics can likewise create significant stress through abuse or dysfunction. But the presence of an affectionate, involved father has been associated with later puberty in girls, Steingraber noted. She also introduced findings from a recent study that showed melatonin, which plays a role in regulating puberty, is affected by television viewing and computer use. Melatonin levels fell with prolonged screen time, yet rose again when time spent playing noncomputer games with family members increased. What is evident from this research, Steingraber commented, is that what matters is screen time itself, rather than media content. “Girls who mature early have a host of negative consequences,” she said, including lower educational attainment, higher suicide rates, and negative self-perception. “The data for boys are just the opposite,” she noted. “Early-maturing boys are treated as leaders by their peers. We project very different things on girls than on boys, and it is very detrimental for one and beneficial to the other.” Originally seeking to reduce cases of breast cancer, Steingraber has widened her focus. Through social and environmental change, she said, “We could save lives now.”  z JENNIFER BUREK PIERCE is assistant professor of library and information science at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. Contact her at


american libraries 


december 2008


andra Steingraber spends ing age of puberty in U.S. girls, and a lot of time thinkit has been shared in congressional ing about children. testimony and as a monograph pubAs you might expect of lished by the Breast Cancer Fund. someone whom the Sierra Club has called “the new Rachel Carson,” SteA whole new brain ingraber’s ideas about young people’s “Puberty is a parade of events that processes of maturation are serious, continue over a number of years,” compelling, and based in intensive Steingraber said, explaining that research. Her orientation to the enthis biological change begins with a vironment, its contamination, and growth spurt and culminates in ferits role in young people’s health and tility, although maturation is not well-being might seem, at first limited to the reproductive system. glance, outside librarians’ traditional “The brain is also transformed considerations, but it need not be. during puberty,” Steingraber noted. Steingraber is committed equally to “Essentially, we grow a whole new analyzing interactions between the brain.” This cognitive change makes environment and human developnew, more abstract thinking possiment and to promoting access to the ble, while simultaneously reducing resulting information in support of the ease of plasticity and healing choices that associated Melatonin, which plays contribute to with younger healthful livages. Attaina role in puberty, falls ing. Libraring puberty as screen time increases ians should earlier has and rises again as consider the consequences potential for noncomputer game-time does. for girls’ the perspeclearning and socialization, she stated, arguing, tive created by her research to “If we’re shortening the childhood broaden the framework of resources of girls, we need to have a public and programming for tweens, teens, conversation about that.” and their communities. Numerous factors including diet, Steingraber is much in demand as a speaker, and I was able to hear her environmental toxins, and living conditions contribute to the younger at the University of Iowa’s “Writing ages at which U.S. girls experience Science at the Writing University” menstruation and breast developsymposium in October. She shared ment. What stands out is that these some of her personal history—as a biological changes increase breastdaughter, a mother, and a cancer cancer risk. “A shorter puberty is survivor—and how her story enprotective; a longer window is a twines with her research interests. risk,” she said. “We have a lot of eviHer current work concerns the fall-

by Jennifer Burek Pierce

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1208_ad_ala_PPO_Picturing_AmericaREV.indd 1

11/14/2008 1:26:48 PM

Professional DEVELOPMENT | Books

Librarian’s Library Long Hot Summer


INDEXED. 308 p. $26.95 FROM AFFAIRS BOOKS (978-1-58648-331-9).

The Doctor Is In

Providing medical information poses special challenges for librarians. From the Medical Library Association comes this trio of titles designed to make the job easier. In Answering Consumer Health Questions: The Medical Library Associ-

A dramatic account of a key incident addressed in in the history of Terry Ann Jankowski’s The censorship.

ation Guide for Reference Librarians, Michele Spatz provides a short course not on the resources to use, but on the different issues that crop up—from the typical concerns (and sometimes the emotional states) of people who ask for health information to various ethical and legal questions. The chapter on difficult patrons would be useful in any reference situation.

INDEXED. 141 P., PBK $65 FROM NEAL-SCHUMAN (978-1-55570-632-6).

A different set of challenges is

Medical Library Association Essential Guide to Becoming an Expert Searcher: Proven Techniques, Strategies, and Tips for Finding Health Information. The focus here is on the database search process, and the book delves deep into topics like search construction and database structure and interface. There are also chapters on database evaluation and selection, and

New From ALA OUT-OF-THE-BOX BOOKTALKS Lots of good ideas founder because we’re too busy for the necessary planning and preparation, so professional reading titles that do the groundwork for us have particular appeal. A case in point is Booktalking Bonanza: Ten Ready-to-Use Multimedia Sessions for the Busy Librarian. Betsy DiamantCohen and Selma K. Levi provide complete scripts for 10 booktalk presentations, incorporating not just books but also music, websites, film clips, and more. Each booktalk includes suggestions for adapting the presentation to different audiences, from young children to adults. Also included is a detailed description of the authors’ “Booktalking with Pizazz” workshop, presented at the 2004 ALA Annual Conference. INDEXED. 240 P., PBK. ALA EDITIONS, $40, $36 FOR ALA MEMBERS (978-0-8389-0965-2). Order from ALA Order Fulfillment, Toll-free: 866-746-7252, Fax: 770-280-4155,


american libraries  |  december 2008

uring the summer of 1939, Gretchen Knief, chief librarian for Kern County, California, and a devotee of John Steinbeck, went on vacation. When she returned, she discovered that the Kern County Board of Supervisors had passed a resolution banning The Grapes of Wrath from libraries and schools. Rick Wartzman’s Obscene in the Extreme: The Burning and Banning of John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath marches through the events of the week following the ban, taking detours to explore county politics, local growers and migrant workers, the red-baiting Sacramento Conspiracy Trial of 1934, the making of the movie version of the novel, and other topics that provide backstory and context and reveal the temper of the times. A dramatic account of a key incident in the history of censorship.

by Mary Ellen Quinn

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11/18/2008 12:34:10 PM


on key bioscience resources.

Finally, The Medical Library Association Guide to Health Literacy offers a collection of articles intended to provide an overview of health-literacy issues. Written by practitioners and researchers with a variety of perspectives, chapters cover topics such as the needs of various groups (the teens and disabled people, for example); and health-literacy services and programs in public and hospital libraries. INDEXED. 314 P., PBK. $75 FROM NEAL-SCHUMAN (978-1-55570-625-8)

Soup to Nuts

Anyone looking for a thorough guide to school library media center management will find it in Blanche Woolls’s The School Library Media Manager, now in its fourth edition. Woolls covers the topic comprehensively, from choosing an education program and then a job to running a facility and playing a leadership role in one’s school. Reflecting the expanding role of the media specialist in information literacy, this edition places more emphasis on teaching reading and assessing student achievement. Inevitably, there is also updated information on new technologies, as well as on innovations like teleconferencing. New American Association of School Librarians guidelines have been incorporated as well. INDEXED. 279 P., PBK. $45 (978-1-59158-643-2); CLOTH $55 (978-1-59158-648-7) FROM LIBRARIES UNLIMITED  z

his is the time of year when a Booklist editor’s mind turns to first novels—probably because every year our November 15 issue showcases the season’s debuts. I’ve always thought that reviewing first novels is the purest form of publishing one’s opinion on a new book: First novelists usually have no track record, so their reviewers are free of the temptation to either join the chorus or stand against the grain. This year I found myself looking back at some of the first novels I’ve championed over the years. Yes, sometimes I’ve raved about a first novel that met with widespread commercial success as well as critical acclaim, and whose author went on to an A-list career—Walter Mosley’s 1990 Devil in a Blue Dress comes to mind—but it doesn’t usually work like that. Remembering first novels from seasons past drives home the point that there are many fine books published every year that never find the audience they deserve and that there are many fine authors who go silent. Debra Magpie Earling’s Perma Red (Blue Hen), from 2002, doesn’t really fall into either of those categories—the book was published to wide acclaim and won several awards, and its author continues to publish stories—but there has yet to be a second book. Perma Red is a coming-ofage tale set after World War II on the Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana. I called it a “love story of uncommon depth and power, as painful as it is transcendent,” and I wasn’t alone in my reaction to the book. A full-time professor at the University of Montana, Earling may well still deliver the great fiction promised by her outstanding debut, and when she does, those of us who have been waiting seven years will heave a collective sigh of relief. Christopher Cook, author of Robbers (Perseus), is another outstanding first novelist who has disappeared from view. Cook’s novel, about two “runnin’ buddies” on a crime spree through Texas, was compared to James Lee Burke when it was published in 2000. I thought Daniel Woodrell was the more apt comparison because I saw in this high-octane noir chase novel that rare ability to turn white-trash lives into poetry. But what happened to Cook? A short story collection was published in 2001, but there have been no more novels (Amazon currently has only one copy of Robbers in stock.) This is just not right. Robbers remains one of my favorite first novels of the last decade. More, please, sir. And what about this year? Keep your eyes on a first novel (or, at least, a U.S. debut) from a pseudonymous New Zealander called Torsten Krol. The book is Callisto (Atlantic), and it’s an outrageous satire about terrorist paranoia. It’s narrated by one Odell Deefus, a Wyoming boy with dreams of enlisting in the army (he has a crush on Condi Rice), but along the way he almost single-handedly sends the terrorist alert gauge zooming from orange to red. Think The Good Soldier Schweik with a touch of Confederacy of Dunces and, what the hell, maybe a little Catcher in the Rye, too.

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  |  december 2008

INDEXED. 150 P., PBK. $65 FROM NEAL-SCHUMAN (978-1-55570-622-7)

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SHOWCASE | New Products

Solutions and Services



Exent Technologies offers the Family Play Pack game service, which gives libraries access to more than 250 computer games on demand via a broadband connection. Most games are rated E for Everyone by the Entertainment Software Rating Board, and each game is either educational or casual. The Content Pro digital asset management system from Innovative Interfaces offers keyword searching and thumbnail browsing at the record or collection level. Publishing is a one-stop, Webbased process using Dublin Core data fields. Materials can be crawled by search engines to give digital collections a wider audience.


american librariesâ&#x20AC;&#x192; |â&#x20AC;&#x192; december 2008


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InterfaceFLOR offers a selection of modular carpet made from post-consumer recycled yarn. The carpet has achieved third-party Cool Carpet certification, making it eligible for a LEED Innovation Credit. Installation requires no glue; the TacTiles system joins carpet tiles to each other rather than the floor, making replacement easier and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

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

11/18/2008 12:34:50 PM

<<< The Student Success book series from LifeBound Books is designed to meet developmental needs of students as they progress from 6th through 12th grades. The eight books in the series cover topics such as interpersonal relationships, study skills, and career preparation, and one title helps parents coach their children toward stronger thinking and problem-solving.


Libramation’s new Media Bank MINI DVD/CD selfservice kiosk holds 400 discs while taking up 5 square feet. The unit makes selfcheck-out and self-check-in possible, allowing for 24-hour patron access.

BiblioBanners offers custom signage printed on paper, vinyl, or fabric featuring a selection of library-themed digital graphics. Applications include posters and wall tiles, endcap labels, 10-inch acrylic cubes for shelf- or countertops, and banners up to 40 inches wide.

CASE STUDY Civil Rights Digitized

|  american libraries 


he Thurgood Marshall Law removed the bindings from the Library of the University of documents and scanned them at Maryland’s Baltimore campus 400 dpi (bi-tonal, dithered) using contains over 400,000 volumes a sheet-fed scanner. The resulting of Anglo-American legal mauncompressed TIFF images were terials as well as outstanding then processed by an OCR engine international and foreign law and converted to text. Linking the collections. Extensive collections text and page images in Adobe Acof both primary sources and secrobat format allows the benefits of ondary materials such as treafull-text searching while providing “People Who Follow the Crops,” a photo tises are available. The library the reader with a digital view of the essay of 1930s migrant workers, from the has been a selective depository original page. USCCR collection. for United States government In addition to the text, BLW documents since 1971, receiving many of the nation’s created bookmarks to match the tables of contents and law-related documents. thumbnail images to aid navigation. Finally, a color scan A particular area of emphasis at the library is civil of each document’s cover was provided and Dublin rights law. The library collection contains a near-comCore metadata was created for later use by the library. plete set of documents from the United States ComOCR accuracy for the project, which included level-one mission on Civil Rights. These materials are used by editing, was measured at 99.97% (character level). students, faculty, and others, but to date they have not The project continues today; the library plans to been available in electronic format. digitize everything in the collection, although it will The library commissioned Backstage Library Work likely take several years to achieve that goal. Assistant to digitize these documents. An initial project, which Director for Technical Services Bill Sleeman adds, “We began in 2001, involved the conversion of a small sample are in the process of assessing another batch of historiof these documents to Adobe Acrobat format. BLW cal documents for possible conversion.”

december 2008


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

Place a Job Ad

Consultants or Classifieds

Visit ­ 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

“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.

Print Deadline December 5 for the January issue, which mails about January 1. Ads received after December 5 will be published as space permits through about December 15.

Contact E-mail or call 800-5452433, Jon Kartman, ext. 4211. C ­ areer Leads, American Libraries, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611; fax 312-440-0901.

LIBRARY DIRECTOR, Erikson Institute. The Edward Neisser Library at Erikson Institute in Chicago, Illinois, is seeking a professional librarian with a master’s degree in library science from an ALAaccredited program and 7-10 years of administrative experience including hands-on working knowledge of library routines. Experience or education in child development, early education, psychology, teacher education, or a related field is highly desirable. For complete details, please visit www.

library EDUCATION DIRECTOR, Post-Baccalaureate Program in School Librarianship. ISU’s

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 of employment. Job titles should reflect responsibilities as defined in ALA

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.

Library Director   Minot State University is built upon a core commitment to students, learning, service, and cooperation, and  upon respect for people and place. To join Minot State University in support of our core commitment as stated  above, please consider applying for the position described below.   QUALIFICATIONS: Minot State University seeks a Library Director who is a proven leader with excellent oral  and written communication skills, and a strong background in technology. In addition, the Director should demonstrate a commitment to students and their educational needs, particularly the central role the library and academic research play in student success.  Essential skills include budgeting and planning experience and the ability  to work collegially and collaboratively with students, staff, faculty, administration and colleagues across the state.   MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: Master’s of Library Science from an ALA-accredited program. Five years of  increasingly responsible library experience; two years directing a college library preferred.   APPLICATION PROCEDURES: Applicants must submit a letter of application, a current curriculum vitae, a  one-page statement describing administrative philosophy, copy of transcripts, and the names, addresses, e-mail  addresses, and telephone numbers of at least five professional references.  To claim North Dakota veteran’s preference also complete the MSU staff employment application form at   MAIL APPLICATION MATERIALS TO: Wes Matthews, Director, Human Resources, Minot State University, 500 University Avenue West, Minot, ND 58707. Review of applications will begin January 12, 2009. Position will remain open until filled. Additional information about the institution and the position may be found at The minimum salary for this position is $60,000.

Milner Library seeks a proactive, innovative librarian to serve as director for its new Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program in School Librarianship. RE-

SPONSIBILITIES INCLUDE managing all aspects of the program; teaching courses in the program; participating in collection development, reference


american libraries 


december 2008

Academic library

Advertising Policies

personnel guidelines. ALA requires that organizations recruiting through the Association’s publications or place­ment services comply with ALA anti­dis­crimi­na­ tion policies. Policy 54.3 states that the Association “is committed to equality of op­por­tunity for all library employees or ap­pli­cants for employment, regardless of race, color, creed, sex, age, disabilities, individual ­life-style or national origin.” By ad­­ver­tising through ALA services, the orga­ nization 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.

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Position Description: Reporting to the Associate Dean for Collections and Services, the Head of Digital Services and Scholarly Communication will be responsible for the efforts of a small team that collaborates with Digital Initiatives staff to: promote the effective use of scholarly services and the repository; develop repository policies, procedures, workflows, and metadata standards; enhance awareness of the changing landscape of scholarly communication and intellectual property rights; and, evaluate and maintain quality control of the processes, collections and services provided by the unit. As a manager of a new team, will develop standards, goals, and expectations for evaluation of the team and carry out that evaluation. Required Qualifications: • American Library Association (ALA)-accredited Masters degree (or equivalent). • At least two years of professional experience, with a record of active participation in scholarly/professional forums. • Solid understanding of digital repository software (DSpace, Fedora, EPrints) . • Working knowledge of several metadata standards (DC, METS, MODS, EAD, PREMIS). • Excellent oral and written communication skills. • A commitment to strong customer service within and outside the libraries. • Excellent interpersonal and teamwork skills complemented by the ability to take initiative. • Demonstrated ability to perform detailed work accurately and quickly. • Demonstrated ability to design, plan, and implement complex projects. • Capability to work independently and collaboratively in a very dynamic environment. • Demonstrated experience working with persons from culturally diverse backgrounds. Desired Qualifications: • Significant experience in designing, planning, and implementing digital collections. • Demonstrated knowledge of scripting languages (PHP, Python). • Demonstrated knowledge of XML. • Thorough understanding of standards and best practices for digital collections. • Knowledge of academic library environment. • Demonstrated record of leadership or management experience. • Thorough understanding of the current issues in scholarly communication. • Record of publication in digital library, repository, or scholarly communication venues. Environment: Founded in 1876, Texas A&M University, the seventh largest university in the nation, has an enrollment of over 45,000 students. Texas A&M University Libraries is a member of Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and is the University’s principal research and information center, providing 3.9 million volumes, 5.6 million microforms, 52,000 print and electronic serial titles, more than 400,000 electronic books, and over 600 databases. The University Libraries ranks 18th among ARL libraries in materials expenditures, with an acquisition budget of $15.5 million. There is a total budgeted staff of 268, including 85 librarians with faculty status. Librarians work in a sophisticated online environment utilizing Voyager, SFX, Metalib, Verde and a full range of automated information retrieval services. Salary/Benefits/Rank: Faculty rank and salary are commensurate with qualifications and experience; salary is not less than $65,000. Excellent benefits include choice of health plan options and paid life insurance; several retirement plans including TIAA-CREF; paid holidays and vacation; no state or local income tax.. Application: Review of applications will begin on December 5, 2008. The letter of application should address the responsibilities, qualifications, and experiences listed for the position. Your letter, vita, and the names, e-mail addresses and telephone numbers of three professional references* may be sent 1) via email to (preferred method of receipt) or 2) faxed to Joyce K. Thornton, 979-862-5161, or 3) mailed to: Joyce K. Thornton, Associate Dean for Faculty Services, Texas A&M University Libraries, 5000 TAMU, College Station, TX 778435000. An equal-opportunity employer, TAMU Libraries is committed to employing quality faculty who will enhance the rich diversity of our academic community. In that regard, we are particularly interested in receiving applications from a broad spectrum of qualified people who are representative of the state’s diversity. For more information about the library, see, about the university,, and about the communities,

CHILDREN’S LIBRARIAN. Pottsville (Pa.) Free Public Library seeks an energetic, service-oriented, creative and enthusiastic librarian to plan, promote, provide, and supervise the programs and activities of the children’s department. RESPONSIBILITIES INCLUDE programming, collection development, and reference and readers’ advisory services. REQUIRED: MLS from ALA-accredited program or Pennsylvania professional certification. Knowledgeable in all areas of children’s service and current practices. Pottsville Free Public Library, a district center and headquarters for the Schuylkill County Library System, is located in eastern Pennsylvania. Salary: $32,000 plus good benefits. To apply, send cover letter, resume, 3 references to: Nancy J. Smink, Library Director, Pottsville Free Public Library, 215 W.


* The Search Committee will not contact references without contacting the candidate first and verifying permission.

PUBLIC library ASSISTANT DIRECTOR FOR SUPPORT SERVICES. If you are looking to live life to its fullest in a warm climate with miles of beaches and a wide variety of neighborhoods including a growing high-rise metropolitan community and you are looking for an outstanding professional opportunity in a growing library system the Jacksonville Public Library is the place for you! This senior position is responsible for all support services including Information Technology, management of the library’s Integrated Library System, Collection Management including selection, acquisitions and processing, and cataloguing. Requires a Master’s Degree in Library Science from an American Library Association accredited program. Candidates should have a minimum of 5 years experience in library management with experience working in or managing one or more of the functions commonly found in Support/Technical/IT services including cataloguing, collection management and IT. Monthly salary range is negotiable. Apply at for consideration.

december 2008

Texas A&M University Libraries invites applications for the Head of Digital Services and Scholarly Communication. Digital Services and Scholarly Communication serves the research and scholarly support needs of faculty, graduate students, and other campus scholars through the provision of modern, web-based publishing and repository services. Texas A&M is looking for someone who is creative, energetic, and service-oriented with a record of publication and leadership. This is an academic appointment carrying full faculty status and responsibilities including research, publication and service to meet both the Libraries’ and the University’s requirements for tenure and promotion.


Head of Digital Services and Scholarly Communication

and instruction; shares in library and university governance; and pursues scholarship and service to fulfill tenure requirements. QUALIFICATIONS: ALAaccredited master’s; second advanced degree required for tenure; experience in a school library setting; and excellent interpersonal, written, and oral communication skills. Also preferred: Knowledge of instructional design; ability to teach in an online environment. Salary: $60,000. Starts: July 1, 2009. To assure full consideration, apply by January 5, 2009. Submit letter of application, resume, and names of three references to: Library Science Director Search Committee, Illinois State University, Milner Library, Campus Box 8900, Normal, IL 61790-8900 or email to skwetze@ilstu. edu. For more on Milner Library and complete job description see www. Illinois State is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity university encouraging diversity.

american libraries 

Texas A&M University Libraries

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CAREER LEADS | Public Library Director

Brooklyn College of The City University of New York Chief Librarian and Executive Director/Academic Information Technology (AIT) Position available July 1, 2009

Basalt Regional Library Basalt, Colorado

Brooklyn College of the City University of New York (CUNY) seeks a creative and experienced Chief Librarian and Executive Director of Academic Information Technology (AIT) to direct the Brooklyn College Library. The Chief Librarian will lead a faculty and staff of more than 100 persons serving approximately 16,000 graduate and undergraduate students and 500 full-time faculty, in a technologically sophisticated building which houses substantial physical and digital collections, the college archives, a new media center and academic computing services, including five computer classrooms and over 600 public use workstations. Reporting to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Chief Librarian will provide strategic direction and vision for the Library and AIT, encompassing both library services and services that promote effective teaching and learning with technology. In collaboration with the Assistant Vice President for Information Technology, the Chief Librarian shares responsibility for the planning and implementation of IT services on campus. In collaboration with the University Librarian and other CUNY library leaders, the Chief Librarian participates in the development of cooperative library services within CUNY and beyond. The Chief Librarian serves as advocate and spokesperson for the Brooklyn College Library on campus, locally, statewide and nationwide. The successful candidate will qualify for appointment to the rank of Professor, i.e., will have an ALA-accredited MLS or MLIS and a master’s degree in a discipline; a doctorate is preferred. The candidate will have a record of scholarly and professional achievement and ten or more years of progressively responsible library management experience, with five or more years in an academic or research library; will possess excellent interpersonal and oral and written communication skills; and will provide evidence of effective resource management and demonstrated knowledge of traditional library functions, emerging technologies, and trends in higher education and their impact on library services. The successful candidate will have a proven ability to manage academic information technology services; five or more years of experience in such a capacity is highly desirable. Also required are a commitment to service-oriented collaboration and outreach with multiple campus constituencies, experience with assessment and strategic planning in academe, and a strong record as a leader and a manager of professional staff, with a demonstrated commitment to diversity and building a diverse faculty and staff. Please send letter of application, curriculum vitae and a list of three references to: Assistant Vice President Michael T. Hewitt, Brooklyn College/CUNY,2900 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11210. Review of applications will begin on December 15, 2008.

American Libraries Ad

Brooklyn College is an AA/EO/ADA/IRCA Employer.

AssistAnt Professor The iSchool at Maryland (http://ischool. invites highly qualified individuals to apply for a nine-month, tenure-track faculty position in School Library Media, Youth Services, Public Libraries, Children’s/YA Literature, Instructional Design, or Information Literacy. Qualifications. Ph.D. or equivalent degree in information studies, library/information science, education, or related field; demonstrated potential for research excellence; potential for attracting/managing outside funding; evidence of exemplary teaching. Experience working in a school or public library is preferred. Application Submission. Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until position is filled. Send application materials, including CV, letter of interest describing primary area(s) of expertise, and statement outlining research and teaching interests, by e-mail to Applications also may be mailed to Faculty Search, College of Information Studies, 4105 Hornbake Library, South Wing, College Park, MD 20742-4345. For more information, see the College’s Web site at The University of Maryland is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. Minorities and women are encouraged to apply.

  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.,  $10million  building.  Have  the  opportunity  to  manage a $1 million budget. 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-$100,000 plus.  Housing assistance negotiable.   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 November 28, 2008, for full consideration; position will remain open until filled. Contact: Corbus Library Consultants, 241 Burwick Road, Highland Heights, OH 44143; 440-796-1230;;



The Las Vegas-Clark County Library District is seeking an Executive Director to begin employment on or about June 1, 2009. This once-in-a-10-year opportunity will follow the very successful tenure of DanielInitials: L. Walters.__________________________ The Board of Trustees will select a candidate whose career has prepared a Print Name: ______________________ gifted leader and manager for this pinnacle of opportunity.

Phonecandidates Number:should ___________________ Prospective submit a letter of interest that expresses knowledge of the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District, its current features, circumstances and challenges. This letter, and a resume, will demonstrate the skills and experience necessary for this rare career CREATIVEMEDIAAGENCY, LLC opportunity. A D V E R T I S I N G




All initial contact must be in writing and transmitted by mail, fax or email to: Cameron Stuart, CMC c/o CLARITY Advisors to Management 3065 S. Jones Blvd., Suite 100 Las Vegas, NV 89146 Fax: 702-870-7342 Email: All submissions will be received in confidence until the final candidate pool has been selected. The candidates in the final pool will be notified and if candidates accept final pool candidacy, each will grant CLARITY a release from confidentiality. All submissions will receive quick, personal, written acknowledgement. E.O.E.


american libraries 


december 2008

College of InformatIon StudIeS unIverSIty of maryland/College Park

Position Re-Opened Housing Assistance Negotiable

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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 services especially needed. Monthly salary: $4,006-$5,255. Go to for job announcement and standard application. Contact Human Resources at (562) 940-8434 for interview appointment. M.L.S. required.

Market St., Pottsville, PA 17901 or via email at EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, Richland County Public Library, Columbia, South Carolina ( The Richland County Public Library Board of Trustees seeks qualified applicants for executive director. A well-supported, award-winning system with 11 locations, including a 242,000-sq.-ft. Main Library in downtown Columbia, RCPL has a budget of $20.7 million, and serves a county population of 348,000 (metro area 588,000). More than 70% of Richland County residents hold library cards. MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: ALA-accredited MLS degree; 10 years of progressively responsible professional library experience (5 years in an administrative capacity). Salary: Negotiable from $120,000+ per year, depending upon qualifications. Excellent benefits. To apply: Send resume, cover letter, completed RCPL application, and statement of professional philosophy/ purpose, to: Personnel Office, RCPL, 1431 Assembly St., Columbia, SC 29201. Download RCPL application from Fully completed applications (all required materials) received by January 14, 2009, will have first consideration. EOE. 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 YOUTH SERVICES MANAGER-Librarian IV. Salary: $59,114-$88,275 annualized. Appointment can be made above the minimum depending upon qualifications. Phoenix Public Library is seeking an experienced, innovative, and community-oriented leader to manage the youth services section at the Burton Barr Central Library. This position manages Children’s Place, Teen Central, and oversees the development of the library’s new 21st century learning center. For full details and to apply, visit our website at

SALES LIBRARY AUTOMATION SALESPERSON. The Integrated Technology Group (ITG) is seeking outside salespersons located throughout North America to meet the demands of its quickly growing RFID, self-checkout, materials handling, PC reservation, and print control systems. Position requires experience within the library industry, either selling high end software applica-


tions to public and academic libraries or working for at least three years in library IT. Applicant must be conversant with library automated circulation and materials management systems and be prepared to travel. Compensation is commensurate with experience and includes base of $50,000+, attractive commission package, profit sharing and full benefits. Submit your resume to

Librarians’ Classifieds FOR SALE CUT-CORNER MAGAZINE/PAMPHLET STORAGE FILE HOLDERS. Tan, plastic, sturdy, open-back. 12” X 4” X 9”; $9.99 per carton of 12 (regularly $4.95 each). Contact OUTDOOR BOOK AND AV RETURN. $1,150. Go to USED STEEL LIBRARY SHELVING. 90 inches, double-faced cantilever, excellent condition. $135 per section. Jim Stitzinger, 800-321-5596; e-mail jstitz@pacbell. net;

PERIODICALS AND SERIALS JOURNALS AND BOOK COLLECTIONS WANTED. Ten years of service, work worldwide. Managed numerous projects of 100,000+ vols. Archival Resource Company, PO Box 488, Collingswood, NJ 08108;; 800-390-1027; 215-701-1853 (e-fax).

WANTED UNNEEDED LIBRARY MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT WANTED. Books for Libraries, Inc., Jim Stitzinger, 23800 Via Irana, Valencia, CA 91355; 800-3215596; e-mail

in Bookbinding — Book structures, repair and conservation. Accredited member ACCSCT. Non-accredited short workshops also offered. Call 617-227-0155 or visit




Craft your own career

american libraries 


december 2008

WANT TO BUY CHEMICAL OR BIOLOGICAL AB STR AC TS AND OTHER SCIENCE JOURNALS. Contact: e-mail eva@; 713-779-2999; fax 713779-2992.

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COMMENTARY | Will’s World

A Child Shall Lead Them Spoil the rich kids, spare the budget cuts If you want to serve



december 2008

f you want adults to flock to your library, take money from the adult services budget and put it into children’s programming. If you want to serve people who are underprivileged and disenfranchised, focus your attention on the affluent and influential. Smart administrators and trustees understand that while this advice might seem rather counterintuitive, it is also quite powerful. Consider the yuppie couple that lives down the street. Eighteen months ago they had a baby. In that time, their Mini Cooper convertible and the BMW Z have been replaced with a Prius (got to save the planet for Baby) and a Saab SUV (the highest-safety-rated vehicle). The slicers and dicers in their gourmet kitchen have been pushed aside for bottle warmers, nursery sterilizers,

“Don’t you have any picture books by Picasso or Monet?”

and the latest in “Baby Barack” adults, put money portable high chair will be the into children’s technology. The Next Big programming. surround-sound Thing.) music system that Libraries permeates the house has been suthat do not emphasize innovative perseded by microphones and mon- services for all those gifted little itors connecting Baby’s bedroom constituents are missing a megaand nursery with the rest of the trend. Do you have an infant sleepy house. The living room, which had time story hour? A sign language been a showcase of postmodern class for 6-month-olds? An explosleekness, now resembles a highration center for 12–18-monthtech romper room. The family room olds? Creative activity stations for has been transformed into a parking 2–4-year-olds? What about a nanny lot for state-of-the-art trams, database and a nursery school netstrollers, and carriers. working program? Baby has become the couple’s You say you can’t afford it? You newest and most important project. can’t afford not to—not when The consensus of the proud parents, libraries’ relevance has been as well as nanny, grandparents, unshrinking over the past decade, decles, and aunts,is that Baby is defispite the recent circulation boost. nitely gifted. In fact, with the right Allocating funds is a lot like growing educational resources and the prop- your 401(k): Put the funds where er cultural experiences, Baby could you’ll get the most return. If the cirreach a genius-level I.Q. The culation of your adult nonfiction key is to not waste a second: collection is down, be bold. Transfer Research shows that a child’s some resources to those economiintellectual ability is develcally privileged children. Their oped before he or she begins folks will become your most influkindergarten. Baby needs ential advocates when your bosses stimulation now. divvy up the annual budget pie. Savvy entrepreneurs unIf you lack the courage to take derstand the potential gold from the old and the poor to give to mine in marketing to yuppie the young and the rich, then at least parents because they regard try projecting a new image. Wouldn’t their babies as highly intelli“Preschool Story Hour” sound a gent and fear that they’ve whole lot hipper rebranded as “Baby failed Baby if the playpen is Plato Playtime”?  z devoid of “Baby Einstein,” “Baby DaVinci,” “Baby MoWILL MANLEY has furnished provocative commentary on librarianship for over 25 years zart,” “Baby Shakespeare,” or and nine books on the lighter side of library “Baby Galileo.” (I predict that science. Write him at


american libraries 

by Will Manley

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December 2008  

AL Magazine December 2008

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