American Libraries Direct. January 7, 2009.

The e-newsletter of the American Library Association – January 7, 2009
Selected highlights*

Judge overrules Philadelphia branch closings A Philadelphia judge has ordered Mayor Michael Nutter to halt his planned closing of 11 branches of the Free Library of Philadelphia. Court of Common Pleas Judge Idee C. Fox (right) issued the ruling December 30 in response to an emergency motion filed by three city council members who argued that the closures would violate a 1988 city ordinance requiring the mayor to obtain council approval before shutting any city-owned facility….
American Libraries Online, Jan. 5
Protect patrons’ privacy ALA Editions has released a new title, Privacy and Confidentiality Issues: A Guide for Libraries and their Lawyers, by Theresa Chmara. In this clear and concise guide, set up in an FAQ format, First Amendment attorney and litigation expert Chmara shares her decades of experience in easy-to-understand, jargon-free language. Interspersed within the questions and answers, actual court case studies lend a sense of urgency to the explanations….

Date change for Los Angeles Lawyers for Libraries ALA will present a Lawyers for Libraries training institute February 27 in Los Angeles. The previously announced date was February 20. The Lawyers for Libraries Institute is primarily intended to equip attorneys with tools they need to effectively defend the First Amendment in libraries….

Internet use grows at meetings Until recently, travelers attending conferences had simple internet needs. They would check email messages and look up information on the Web or connect to the home office. Now, meetings are likely to include streaming video and online interaction. Back in their rooms, travelers are downloading movies and logging onto peer-to-peer networks. Event organizers and hotels and conference centers are struggling to keep up and prevent internet gridlock….
New York Times, Dec. 29
ACRL on web design ACRL has released a new publication, Design Talk: Understanding the Roles of Usability Practitioners, Web Designers, and Web Developers in User-Centered Web Design, by Brenda Reeb, coordinator of the web usability program at the University of Rochester Libraries. Design Talk focuses on the interactions between the various roles in website development and delineates the scope of responsibilities and activities of usability practitioners, designers, and developers….

Markets down, libraries up In the profession, it’s called the “Librarian’s Axiom,” and it goes like this: “Public libraries prosper when the country is experiencing economic stringency.” In an article published in the Fall/Winter 1986 Public Library Quarterly, Atlanta University SLIS Professor Stephen E. James noted that the relationship between library usage and economic conditions has been discussed within the industry for more than 100 years. The effect was observed as early as 1880 in the Annual Report of the Chicago Public Library and later during the Great Depression that followed the stock market crash of 1929. Fast forward 80 years, and the effect is manifesting itself again….
Jacksonville (Fla.) Financial News and Daily Record, Jan. 7
New York libraries could lose state aid Libraries in New York are bracing for a proposed 18% cut in state aid. If the budget passes, library aid levels will be at a 15-year low. “All of our libraries are seeing a big boom in business,” said Fayetteville (N.Y.) Free Library Director Sue Considine, which means as usage goes up, so does the cost for doing business. Due to the increased need for library services, the New York Board of Regents approved 55 library charters this year. Four new public library districts were formed, and 318,588 formerly unserved New Yorkers now have a local public library….
Fayetteville (N.Y.) Eagle Bulletin, Dec. 31
New Jersey libraries face budget crunch, cuts New Jersey’s worsening economic picture is affecting many community libraries. The state has libraries in about 245 communities, according to New Jersey Library Association Executive Director Patricia Tumulty, who said municipalities are mandated to fund them according to a state formula that works out to about $33 in taxpayer funds for every $100,000 of a home’s value. Shortfalls are now causing many libraries to cut back hours, days of operation, book budgets, or staff positions, but the Newark Public Library board decided January 2 to keep its Roseville branch (above) open, pending further review of the city’s 2009 budget….
Associated Press, Jan. 2
FCC drops filtering from free broadband plan FCC Chairman Kevin Martin has revised his proposal to roll out a free (and smut-free) wireless broadband service. In an effort to corral more votes, Martin has already circulated a new version of the plan, one that removes the controversial porn-filtering requirement. The agency has scheduled another Open Commission meeting for January 15 to discuss the revision….
Ars Technica, Dec. 29
Law librarian accused of burglary The longtime law librarian at the Santa Maria (Calif.) Law Library is facing felony charges for allegedly burglarizing the residence of an attorney in Solvang, California, and stealing firearms and jewelry. The Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office filed charges of first-degree residential burglary and grand theft firearm December 23 against Stephen Zaharias, who is due in court January 13 to be formally charged….
Lompoc (Calif.) Record, Jan. 3 ________________________________ *To see entire issue in html format click here.

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