ALA: American Libraries Direct

An e-Newsletter of the American Library Association.

December 10, 2008
Libraries nix dissed Christmas displays
In separate incidents, the holiday-spirit sensibilities of library patrons have trumped tradition at the Oberlin (Ohio) Public Library and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: The first library heeded public comment by removing an edgy Santa art exhibit and the second by axing its years-long practice of displaying a Christmas tree in the lobby….
American Libraries Online, Dec. 10
Is the economy affecting your technology needs?

ALA TechSource wants to know how the economic crisis is affecting your technology needs. Have you been unable to purchase up-to-date equipment? Are you unable to afford the bandwidth that you need? Have you found a way to stretch your budget that you think others should know about? If you have anything you’d like to share, email ALA TechSource….
ALA TechSource blog, Dec. 5
Privacy Revolution on Twitter
ALA’s Privacy Revolution initiative kicked off at the 2008 Annual Conference with one of the most blogged-about programs in Anaheim: the privacy panel featuring Cory Doctorow, Dan Roth, and Beth Givens. Now, the Privacy Revolution is getting ready to launch some exciting new steps. The best way for you to follow all of the action is via the Privacy Revolution Twitter feed. Answer the survey question: What is the biggest threat to privacy today? You do not need to join Twitter in order to vote….
OIF Blog, Dec. 8
Eliminating print won’t solve the problem
American Libraries Editor Leonard Kniffel writes: “‘I have this idea that I thought I would tell you,’ said the email message. ‘I am sure it’s not original, but with the economy and the whole environmental crisis, carbon footprint things going on, maybe ALA can finally have an option on their membership to not receive the magazine?’ Namely American Libraries. So began a December 3 posting to the ALA Council’s electronic list from Councilor Trevor A. Dawes.”…
AL Inside Scoop, Dec. 4
PLA offers budget and finance workshop
PLA is offering public librarians an opportunity to learn practical skills and knowledge that will help them better manage their libraries’ budgeting process. The Budget and Finance workshop, taught by Sandra Nelson, is scheduled for January 14–15 in Decatur, Georgia, and features an intensive, small-group environment. For the full course description, instructor biographies and registration information, visit the PLA website….

I Love My Librarian Award winners announced
Librarians in our nation’s 123,000 libraries make a difference in the lives of millions of Americans every day. On December 9, ten librarians were recognized for service to their communities, schools, and campuses as winners of the Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times I Love My Librarian Award at a ceremony and reception in New York City hosted by the New York Times. American Libraries Editor Leonard Kniffel writes: “AL Inside Scoop went backstage before the show to watch the winners prep for their speeches. They chatted nervously, words like ‘star treatment’ being bandied about.” More than 3,200 library users nationwide nominated a beloved librarian….
I Love Libraries; AL Inside Scoop, Dec. 9
Marshall Breeding awarded a Fulbright grant
Marshall Breeding, director for innovative technologies and research at Vanderbilt University, is spending three weeks in Córdoba, Argentina, in December as a Fulbright senior specialist. He is working with the Acuerdo de Bibliotecas Universitarias de Córdoba, a consortium of academic libraries, to assess their current state of automation and help them with service improvement and resource sharing….
Boletín Acuerdo de Bibliotecas Universitarias de Córdoba, no. 17 (Oct.)

Resolution could spell disaster for New Jersey libraries
Advocates for the Bayonne (N.J.) Public Library predict disaster if the legislature enacts a November 21 resolution by the New Jersey State League of Municipalities to slash funding for city libraries in half during fiscal year 2009. State law (enacted in 1944) requires municipalities with libraries set up by public referendum to dedicate one-third of a mill of each property-tax dollar to the library. The league wants that fixed amount cut in half, arguing that it “far exceeds the reasonable needs and requirements of the free public libraries.”…
Jersey City Jersey Journal, Dec. 8
U.S. Archivist Allen Weinstein resigns
On December 7, historian Allen Weinstein, Archivist of the United States, submitted his resignation to President Bush, effective December 19. Weinstein, who has Parkinson’s disease, cited health reasons for his decision. Deputy Archivist of the United States Adrienne Thomas will serve as acting Archivist until a new Archivist is appointed….
PRNewswire, Dec. 9
Top 10 consumer web apps of 2008
Sometimes it’s important to take a step back and realize that the apps to which we’ve grown incredibly accustomed are just barely beginning to register with the general public. This was a year in which two major events had worldwide impact on the Web. These events focused the world’s attention, had more consumers creating more online content, and had more people searching online for information than ever before: the Beijing Olympics and the U.S. Presidential elections. Many of these apps have those events to thank for their exposure and adoption….
ReadWriteWeb, Dec. 9
The best business books of 2008
To look back at the books produced in the beginning of 2008 is to glimpse a more innocent world, an Eden seemingly free of financial crisis and the impending gloom of 2009. But by spring the first of the bad-news reads had appeared. Regardless of the season, numerous valuable works were published in 2008, including a few that understood the sad shape of things to come. One of the best is former banker Charles R. Morris’s The Trillion Dollar Meltdown (PublicAffairs), which explains what happened and why in under 200 pages. It is being revised and retitled for paperback release as The Two Trillion Dollar Meltdown in February….
Business Week, Dec. 4
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