ALA Direct Newsletter

April 8, 2009.

ALA Direct is the eNewsletter of the American Library Association.


Included in this issue is a link which our Senior Law Librarian and ALA member Philip Blue recommends for job seekers:

ALA Connect debuts
“ALA is now providing its members a common virtual space to engage in ALA business and network with other members around issues and interests relevant to the profession. In the first phase of ALA Connect, every ALA group will have the ability to utilize posts, online docs, a group calendar, surveys, polls, chat rooms, and discussion forums. Members can log in using their regular ALA website username and password. Their records are automatically synchronized with the ALA membership database, so affiliations with committees, divisions, events, round tables, and sections are displayed. Project Manager Jenny Levine offers an overview of the site and writes: ‘I feel a little like Doctor Frankenstein-it’s aliiiiiive-but so far the patient is doing quite well.’ ”

A letter to President Obama “On March 18, ALA President Jim Rettig submitted a letter to President Obama (PDF file) to address the issues ALA members chose to share with the administration during a January 24 Town Hall Meeting during the Midwinter Meeting in Denver: ‘Libraries are perfectly positioned to disseminate information relevant to the issues and challenges that face us as a nation, the same key issues which your administration is seeking to address.’.”..

Downturn puts new stresses on libraries “As the national economic crisis deepens and social services become casualties of budget cuts, libraries have come to fill a void for more people, particularly job-seekers and those who have fallen on hard times. Libraries across the country are seeing double-digit increases in patronage, often from 10% to 30% over previous years. Many librarians say they feel ill-equipped for the newfound demands of the job, the result of working with anxious and often depressed patrons who say they have nowhere else to go….
New York Times, Apr. 1”

Google’s plan for orphan works “Millions of orphan books may get a new legal guardian. Google has been scanning the pages of those books and others as part of its plan to bring a digital library and bookstore, unprecedented in scope, to computer screens across the United States. But a growing chorus, including ALA, is expressing concern that a far-reaching settlement of a suit brought against Google by publishers and authors is about to grant the company too much power over orphan works….”
New York Times, Apr. 3–4
National Library of Sweden accused of distributing child porn “Two child-welfare organizations filed a report to Stockholm police April 6 accusing the Swedish National Library of possessing and distributing child pornography. The large collection at the library was built up in the years between 1971-when the possession, distribution, and display of child pornography was legalized in Sweden-and 1980, when the law was repealed. Hand in Hand and the Association of Relatives of Sexually Abused Children claim that the collection should be restricted to legitimate researchers..”..
The Local (Stockholm), Apr. 6
Combine your Google and Twitter searches “Ann Smarty writes: ‘No one says Twitter search is better than Google; instead, it is different. You can’t compare them, but you can combine them. This post looks into ways to check relevant Twitter updates while you are searching Google.’ “…
Search Engine Journal, Apr. 6

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