Supreme Court denies review of COPA
On January 21, 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court denied review of the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ decision to strike down the Child Online Protection Act, thus ending a decade-long court case.COPA, a congressional effort to overcome the constitutional deficiencies of the Communications Decency Act, would have criminalized the transmission of materials “for commercial purposes” considered to be “harmful to minors” via the Internet if those materials could be accessed by minors.The Freedom to Read Foundation filed amicus briefs at each stage of the litigation, arguing that COPA placed an unconstitutional burden on protected speech between adults.
National Security Letters statute found unconstitutional
In December 2008, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found the National Security Letters statute unconstitutional to the extent that it imposes a gag order on NSL recipients without placing on the government the burden of obtaining judicial review of the gag order.The appeals court also overturned the statutory requirement that courts treat as conclusive any claim by the government that a gag order is necessary.The Obama administration chose not to appeal that ruling, thus rendering the Second Circuit’s decision final. The case in question, John Doe and ACLU v. Mukasey, was returned to the district court with instructions that the government develop procedures to inform NSL recipients of their right to ask for judicial review. ALA and the Freedom to Read Foundation filed several amicus briefs in this case.
New Spectrum initiative launched; scholarships given to 48 students
ALA President Camila Alire, Past President Jim Rettig, and President-Elect Roberta Stevens launched the Spectrum Presidential Initiative, a special one-year effort to raise $1 million for the Spectrum Scholarship Program. The initiative will allow ALA to provide 90 to 100 more Spectrum Scholarships as well as increase the Spectrum Endowment to provide future scholars with much-needed support. Established in 1997, Spectrum is ALA’s national diversity and recruitment effort designed to address the underrepresentation of critically needed racial and ethnic librarians in the profession.
Forty-eight Spectrum scholarships were awarded in June 2009. This included many funded by the “Reach21: Preparing the Next Generation of Librarians for 21st Century Library Leadership” grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services; two by the Medical Library Association/National Library of Medicine; one from the Young Adult Library Services Association; and 10 by proceeds from the ALA/ProQuest Scholarship Bash. Scholarships were also awarded in honor of individuals Leo Albert, Louise Giles, William R. Gordon, Howard M. and Gladys B. Teeple, and Betty J. Turock.
Banned Books Week promotes knowledge as power
The 28th celebration of Banned Books Week, the Office for Intellectual Freedom’s long-running awareness campaign about challenges to library materials, promoted the campaign “Read. Speak. Know,” using quotes from regularly challenged books in hand-drawn posters to capture the central theme of the annual event: that knowledge is powerful and mustn’t be limited in any way. The 2009 campaign brought in more than $100,000.
Media coverage included PBS NOW, the Huffington Post, the Chicago Tribune, the New York Times, and more than 600 other mentions. The event did generate a few negative articles, including a Wall Street Journal opinion piece titled, “Finding Censorship Where There Is None,” which proposed that there no such thing as a "banned book" since most challenges are filed by parents seeking to protect their children from ideas and language deemed inappropriate by the parents; the WSJ published ALA President Camila Alire's response, which noted that such challenges were indeed censorship, since most parents sought to bar everyone's access to the challenged work, rather than simply preventing their own child from reading the book. Many conservative groups used the observance as an opportunity to encourage the public to donate anti-gay and anti-abortion materials to their libraries.
Also as part of the September 26–October 3, 2009, event the OIF hosted its fifth annual Read-Out! September 26. Some 300 enthusiastic audience members saw highly acclaimed authors read from their own or their favorite books that have been banned or challenged. Frequently challenged author Chris Crutcher emceed the event, which included readings and book-signings by some of the top 10 most challenged authors of the previous year: Justin Richardson, Peter Parnell, Lauren Myracle, Stephen Chbosky, Sarah Brannen, and Cecily von Ziegesar.
OIF continues Conversation on Privacy
The Office for Intellectual Freedom continued its work on the Conversation on Privacy, a program that will culminate in Choose Privacy Week May 2–8, 2010. This civic engagement campaign urges libraries and librarians to stand up as leaders and educators in communities all across the country, calling attention to the value of privacy as the foundation for civil liberties and highlighting growing threats to our privacy rights. New campaign resources included posters, bookmarks, and buttons, along with a redesigned, interactive website ( www.privacyrevolution.org) and an active Twitter feed ( www.twitter.com/privacyala).
Newly named LLAMA focuses on leadership
The Library Administration and Management Association began the 2008–09 year with the approval of a name change to the Library Leadership and Management Association. The change was made so that the association’s name would more closely reflect its goals and strategic direction, but it also presents a challenge: to move leadership to the forefront of its activities. Key focus areas are continuing education, by providing online webinars and classes, and outreach efforts to bring in new members.
AASL launches initiative to support learning standards
The American Association of School Librarians launched Learning4Life (L4L), a national plan to support states, school systems, and individual schools preparing to implement its Standards for the 21st-Century Learner and Empowering Learners: Guidelines for School Library Media Programs. By targeting specific audiences—decision-makers, educators, parents, students, and the public—over the next three to five years, the AASL hopes to introduce the standards and guidelines to internal and external audiences, build awareness of the importance of school library programs, and create an understanding of and commitment to the standards and guidelines. Find out more about L4L on the AASL website.
AASL names best Web sites for teaching and learning
In its inaugural year, the American Association of School Librarians’ “Top 25 Web Sites for Teaching and Learning” honored websites that foster innovation, creativity, active participation, and collaboration. The list, which will be updated annually, recognizes free, user-friendly sites that offer tools and resources in organizing and managing, content collaboration, curriculum sharing, media sharing, virtual environments, and social networking and communication. The AASL also honored an additional 21 landmark websites known for their exemplary histories of authoritative, dynamic content and curricular relevance.
“School Libraries Count!” survey includes data on 2.0 tools
Highlights from the 2008 “School Libraries Count!” survey included findings about the use of Web 2.0 tools in elementary, middle, and high schools, which showed that schools encourage collaborative tools to support and enhance classroom teaching. Instructional platforms and technologies such as wikis, blogs, and intranet are popular at all grade levels; collaborative editing, virtual instruction, and social bookmarking are also popular, but not as widely used. Conducted annually, the longitudinal study by the AASL will provide data that can be used to advocate for school library media programs at the local, state, and national levels.
AASL notes: SLM, “webinars,” and travel grants
Author James Patterson served as spokesperson for School Library Month (SLM) in April 2009. . . . Also during SLM, the AASL offered a Learning4Life (L4L) “webinar” series focused on four strands of the division’s learning standards: Skills, Disposition in Action, Responsibilities, and Self-Assessment. . . . Thirty AASL members received $750 travel grants, sponsored by Bound To Stay Bound Books, to attend their first AASL National Conference.
ACRL goes green
The Association for College and Research Libraries strove to integrate sustainability into all aspects of ACRL life. The 2009 National Conference was the most environmentally friendly event ever held by the ACRL, with more than 2,300 individuals signing a “Green Pledge” that committed them to put sustainable ideas into practice while at the conference. More than 240,000 pieces of paper were saved through such green initiatives as digital handouts posted to the Virtual Conference website, bags and badge holders made of recycled materials, program books printed on recycled paper using soy-based ink, electronic press kits for the media, a green-themed opening reception, and donations of surplus food and promotional items to local charities.
In February, Choice moved into its new 7,635–square footoffice in Middletown, Connecticut, occupying the third floor of a new green building that features a prefabricated exterior wall system that provides excellent insulation, a high-efficiency heating and cooling system, insulating windows, and a recycled steel building frame.The Choice office is equipped with energy-efficient lighting and switches, low-volatility paint, and green window treatments and furniture.
ACRL promotes scholarly communication
The ACRL continued its efforts to enhance and promote scholarly communication, releasing an updated version of the division’s popular Scholarly Communication Toolkit in October 2008 in a new format. The ACRL and the Association for Research Libraries continued to cosponsor the Institute for Scholarly Communication, and the two groups issued the guide “Developing a Scholarly Communication Program in Your Library,” which outlines steps for libraries interested in developing scholarly communication programs. The groups also organized a workshop in conjunction with the ACRL National Conference: “Scholarly Communication Outreach: Crafting Messages That Grab Faculty Attention” drew 70 attendees to Seattle March 11–12, 2009, where Jon Wergin, professor of educational studies at Antioch University, facilitated the first program session and focused on researcher communication practices and skills for interviewing and listening. The ACRL Scholarly Communication Committee selected five sites from 46 applications to host the “Scholarly Communication 101: Starting with the Basics” workshop during the summer of 2009.
ACRL offers opportunities for professional development
More than 1,500 participants took part in the ACRL’s e-Learning activities during the year, which included 16 Moodle-based online seminars and 17 webcasts. To help academic and research librarians maximize their professional-development dollars, the association also launched a new e-Learning Frequent Learner Program, which gives individuals or groups who register for three courses or webcasts a complimentary registration to one additional session. . . . The second annual ACRL Springboard Event—a free live, interactive webcast for ACRL members—was held June 3 with about 300 people tuning in to hear Clifford Lynch, director of the Coalition for Networked Information, discuss issues such as cultural memory in the age of economic instability and the implications of the migration of vast amounts of personal history and activity to the digital environment. . . . The ACRL OnPoint chat series continued with offerings on such topics as student learning outcomes, the culture of assessment, legislative advocacy, connecting with funding sources, and the future of reference desks. . . . To help librarians and institutions develop and implement information literacy programs on their campuses, the national Immersion Program was offered in St. Petersburg, Florida, July 26–31. A teacher track focused on enhancing or extending individual instruction skills, while a program track focused on developing, integrating, or managing campuswide and programmatic information literacy programs. In addition to the popular Immersion Program, “ Immersion Assessment Program—Assessment in Practice,” was held in Nashville December 4–7, 2008.
Website helps library-job seekers in a tough economy
The new website Get a Job! is a virtual toolkit for those seeking library jobs in the current economy; it offers resources, links, best practices, and real-life examples from a range of ALA divisions and units. The site also features advice from members as well as career-search professionals.
ALA and ALA-APA help highlight professional integrity
ALA and the ALA-APA joined Professionals for the Public Interest (PftPI), a coalition of19 national and global organizations that seeks to help professionals in both government and private positions maintain integrity in their work. PftPI engages professionals, the public, and policymakers in discussions on ways to defend professional integrity against external pressures and challenges.
ALCTS to develop Preservation Week
In March 2009 the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services received $15,000 in 2010 funding to develop Preservation Week. Modeled after Teen Read Week and National Library Week, Preservation Week, scheduled to launch in May 2010, will help U.S. libraries provide tools—including a variety of toolkits, programs, and a speakers bureau—for users to preserve their own cultural heritage. Developed in collaboration with the Library of Congress, Preservation Week seeks to bring together a number of preservation and conservation organizations to make preserving and conserving our personal cultural heritage a priority. The Institute of Museum and Library Services, ALA Graphics, ALA’s Public Information Office, and ALA’s @ your library campaign are also contributing to the program.
ALCTS continues popular Web courses
Three Web courses offered by the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services—Fundamentals of Electronic Resources Acquisitions, Fundamentals of Acquisitions, and Fundamentals of Collection Development and Management— were very successful, and the division began developing three new courses: Fundamentals of Cataloging, Fundamentals of Preservation, and Fundamentals of Classification. The ALCTS also debuted four “webinars” on institutional repositories and offered, free of charge, two webinars on . . . how to conduct a webinar.
International librarians get scholarships for ALCTS Web courses
The ALCTS initiated a program to provide scholarships for each of its Web courses to librarians in less developed countries. More than 30 scholarships were granted to participants from Pakistan, India, the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia, and other areas.
RDA programs draw large numbers
With the coming of the new cataloging schema RDA: Resource Description and Access, the ALCTS continued offering programs, preconferences, and forums on RDA. More than 200 people attended each of the RDA updates at Midwinter and Annual Conference, and an RDA pre-conference offered by the ALCTS drew a sellout crowd of 150 participants.
ALSC establishes new leadership fund
A generous donation from Carole D. Fiore, a past president of the Association for Library Service to Children, established a leadership fund to enhance leadership development within the ALSC by sponsoring activities to develop members who show an interest in the ALSC and are committed to it as future leaders. Proceeds from the fund may be used to enhance programming at the ALSC’s Division Leadership Meetings or to provide other opportunities for leadership development.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar lends image to Library Card Sign-up Month
NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar served as 2008 honorary chair of Library Card Sign-up Month in September, donating his time and image to the creation of print and radio PSAs that generated $900,000 in donated ads on behalf of libraries. Print ads ran in national publications such as Entertainment Weekly; O, The Oprah Magazine; and USA Today; while radio PSAs were heard on Westwood One, Fox Sports Radio Networks, and other stations across the country.
Jamie Lee Curtis chairs National Library Week
Author and actress Jamie Lee Curtis served as the 2009 honorary chair of National Library Week April 12–18, 2009. Curtis lent her image to the production of a print PSA that ran in such publications as Good Housekeeping, Harper’s, and TV Guide and garnered more than $500,000 in donated ad space.
With the theme “Worlds connect @ your library,” NLW provided a national platform to discuss key issues, such as how the economy affects U.S. libraries and the critical role libraries and library workers play during an economic downturn. Interview messages focused on libraries as sources for personal finance information, tax tools, job search resources, and unemployment forms; the surge in library usage; and the release of the “2009 State of America’s Libraries Report.”
To kick off National Library Week, Jesse L. Jackson, president and founder of the RainbowPUSH Coalition, and ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels participated in the Coalition’s Saturday Morning Forum, a televised community affairs program that reaches more than one million viewers. During the Forum, Rev. Jackson and Fiels discussed how libraries are an important community hub for literacy and learning, and a valued resource people turn to during difficult economic times.
ALA Library notes: website work and social networking
Several years ago, the ALA Library set goals to support the work of other ALA staff as they serve the ALA membership and to provide the core information that people—librarians and the general public alike—seek from ALA through its website. In 2008-2009, library staff helped develop site architecture for the redesigned website and provided customer service for site visitors needing assistance during its rollout . . . . The library continues to use social media tools to respond to inquiries and to get information out, from its Professional Tips Wiki to a Facebook page with more than 1,800 fans, from chat inquiries via Meebo to a Twitter feed with some 4,500 followers. Questions received through these new channels are a small but growing portion of the more than 6,000 inquiries fielded each year. . . . Library staff member Valerie Hawkins organized several activities on ALA Island in Second Life, including booktalks and activities during National Library Week. . . . The ALA Fall 2008 Second Life Symposium November 8 attracted nearly 80 attendees, a mix of library professionals and library school students. . . . ALA Librarian Karen Muller, an alumna of the University of Michigan, coordinated weeklong internships by four students from UM’s Michigan School of Information.
ASCLA promotes online toolkits
The Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies promoted two new online toolkits designed to help library staff understand, plan for, and manage a wide range of customers’ special-access needs: “Think Accessible Before You Buy: Questions to Ask to Ensure that the Electronic Resources Your Library Plans to Purchase are Accessible” and the “Toolkit for Serving Patrons with Special Needs.”
ORS continues public access study, introduces issue briefs
The Office for Research and Statistics continued its work to assess public access to computers, Internet-related services in U.S. public libraries, and the impact of library funding changes on connectivity, technology deployment, and sustainability. In addition to publishing Libraries Connect Communities: Public Library Funding and Technology Access Study 2008–2009 and collecting information for the 2009–2010 study, the ORS issued a number of topical briefs that share key findings from the largest and longest-running study of Internet connectivity in libraries. Issue briefs included “U.S. Public Libraries and E-Government Services,” “Supporting Learners in U.S. Public Libraries,” and “Job-Seeking in U.S. Public Libraries.” More information on the project can be found on the Public Library Funding and Technology Access Study website.
PLA offers CPLA courses, online learning
The Public Library Association, along with co-partner local library organizations, hosted several Certified Public Library Administrator (CPLA) courses at public libraries around the country, including Budget and Finance, Technology, Organization and Personnel, Current Issues, Serving Diverse Populations, Marketing, Politics and Networking, and Planning and Management of Buildings. The PLA also offered a number of online courses based on management concepts delineated in its bestselling Results publications.
Public Programs Office launches ProgrammingLibrarian.org
The Public Programs Office debuted created online resource to help libraries of all types and sizes create cultural and community programs. The website, ProgrammingLibrarian.org, includes a resource library, live learning opportunities, and a blog to keep librarians informed of opportunities and inspiration for new library programs. As the site continues to develop, users will find more resources, ideas, and opportunities to network with peers and programming experts. Development of the site is funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Service (IMLS) to the PPO.
New website supports Picturing America programs in public libraries
The PPO created a new online community to support the development of local programs that incorporate the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Picturing America collection of art reproductions.Besides providing programming ideas for youth, family, and adult audiences, Picturing America for Public Libraries offers registered grantees the opportunity to download digital versions of selected Picturing America images and create print-ready, professionally designed posters, flyers, and bookmarks customized for their libraries. The IMLS provided major support for the site.
By the numbers: ALA website, HRDR, PIO
The ALA website recorded 6,326,374 visits from October 1, 2008, to September 30, 2009. Visitors came from 228 countries, and 147,393 pages were viewed a total of 17,862,342 times during the year. The most popular pages included the site’s home page, with more than 2.5 million page views. . . . The Public Information Office achieved more than 5,000 media clips, the equivalent of a circulation of more than 151 billion and more than $28.3 million in free publicity for ALA. . . . The Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment reported a total of 812 applicants to the Scholarship Clearinghouse, which awarded about $413,000 to 69 scholarship recipients. . . . At the Association of College and Research Libraries 14th National Conference in March 2009, the onsite Placement Center drew 286 employers and job-seekers over the course of two days, and nearly 100 conference attendees came to the Placement Center to take advantage of its resume review service. . . . The Emerging Leaders program included 106 participants working on more than 25 projects.
Smart investing @ your library wins ASAE Award of Excellence
Smart investing @ your library, a grant program offered by the FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) Investor Education Foundation and the Reference and User Services Association, was one of 17 programs recognized with an Award of Excellence from the 2009 Associations Advance America Awards program, sponsored by the American Society of Association Executives and the Center for Association Leadership. Begun in 2007, Smart investing @ your library is an ongoing national program that helps public libraries provide effective, unbiased financial and investor education resources and services through grant funding ranging from $5,000 to $100,000, as well as with assistance in the areas of marketing, communications, evaluation, and project management.
Pilot project encourages summer reading for teens
In June 2009, YALSA and World Wrestling Entertainment launched the SummerSlam Reading Jam, a pilot project to boost summer reading for teens. Some 500 libraries encouraged teens and tweens to check out two books between June 24 and July 16; each patron who did was entered into a contest to win a trip to the SummerSlam Pay-per-View event in Los Angeles in August 2009. YALSA and World Wrestling Entertainment plan to expand the project in 2010.
YALSA develops the Ultimate Teen Bookshelf
YALSA created a new document highlighting must-have teen materials. The Ultimate Teen Bookshelf, available online and as a downloadable PDF, can be found at www.ala.org/teenbookshelf. Librarians can use this collection to ensure they have quality materials to attract teens, while parents and teens can use it to find interesting books to keep reading skills sharp between school years.
Rebecca Gerber joined the ALA Library as half-time reference librarian. w Aimee Strittmatter, the ALSC’s deputy executive director since March 2005, was promoted to executive director effective April 6, following the resignation of Diane Foote. w At American Libraries, Sean Fitzpatrick began as associate editor; Brian Searles, formerly national advertising sales manager, became associate publisher; and Katie Bane took on ad traffic, JobLIST, and other marketing-related duties. w The Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies welcomed a new executive director, Susan Hornung. w After 12 years of service to ALA, Satia Marshall Orange retired as director of the Office for Literacy and Outreach Services in August 2009. w Greta K. Southardresigned as executive director of the Public Library Association to become executive director of the Boone County (Ky.) Public Library. Barbara Macikas, former PLA deputy executive director, re-joined the PLA as executive director on November 23, 2009. The Reference and User Services Association welcomed Susan Hornung as its new executive director. w The Washington Office gained three new staffers: Jenni Terry became press officer and Jacob Roberts began as communications specialist for the Washington Office, and Marijke Visserjoined the Office for Information Technology Policy to supportthe Program on Networks.
Kate McClelland, vice president of the Association for Library Service to Children, and Kathy Krasniewicz, Notable Children’s Videos Committee chair, died January 28, 2008, in a car accident on their way home from ALA Midwinter in Denver. Thom Barthelmess was selected as the new ALSC vice president and assumed the presidency in July.