ALCTS > ANO v. 19 no. 2 > Features

Special April 1 Message from the ALCTS Office

In what has become a tradition, the following message was issued to the ALCTS Leaders discussion list by ALCTS Executive Director Charles Wilt on April 1, 2008. It is reproduced here so all members can enjoy it! —Ed.

WARNING! WARNING! Due to several reports of intentional misrepresentation, this message was re-directed to agents of FEPA (Federal E-mail Protection Agency), a department of the FCC, for investigation. Applying community based standards for suitable e-mail content, FEPA found no evidence of significant violations. Distribution was approved.

S.P. Ammer
Regional Director
8:33 PM CDT
April 1, 2008


Dear Leaders,

I have a rather lengthy list of items for this month. Seems the past few weeks have been quite busy.

The ALCTS Office is undergoing a re-structuring. Beginning today, Julie Reese, current ALCTS events manager, will become Associate Executive Director for Education and will oversee that department. Christine Taylor, currently publications and membership, will become Associate Executive Director for Publishing and Member Services and will oversee both departments. Congratulations to Julie and Christine on their new titles.

As you might have seen before, ALCTS is joining the "going green" movement within ALA. Significant progress has already been made in our conversion, but much work is left to do. As of today, the carpet has been replaced, the walls and file cabinets painted, and the ceiling done. The green chosen was easily matched to all surfaces and retained it hue and luster beautifully.

ALA has decided not to pursue its quest for naming rights to the hallowed Wrigley Field here in Chicago.

Difficulty in incorporating the "@ your library" branding in the name proved to be the downfall. Wrigley Field at "@ your library" Park just did not elicit much enthusiasm or support.

In more ALA news, ALA Graphics has just announced a multi-year deal to place "boutique-style" ALA stores in all Macys stores across the country. Heralded as a breakthrough agreement, Macy's has adopted ALA as its preferred association partner. ALA Graphics is developing a line of products that will be a Macy's exclusive. The agreement has already drawn protests from rabid Marshall Field’s loyalists here in Chicago.

As a special treat for conference goers this June, ALA is adding a new event to its already crowded line-up. Following the overwhelming success of the library book cart race, ALA will conduct the first Disney character race. Librarians from around the country will dress as their favorite Disney character and race one lap around the exhibit floor. The winner receives an all-expense paid trip to the next Annual Conference in Orlando. BTW: there is no truth to the rumor that ALA is outsourcing its conference management to the Disney Company.

As you may have read, ALA Council created a Task Force on E (electronic)-member participation chaired by our very own Janet Swan Hill. Although a very small percentage of total ALA members, E-members have every expectation of being able to participate in ALA. Resident primarily in Second Life, these members can offer ALA a different perspective. The E-member caucus has pushed for this recognition ever since ALA assumed a presence in Second Life. In addition to Second Lifers, there is a movement to incorporate current E-members in other such environments like SimCity. The SimCity library community has grown rapidly in recent years and along with the Second Lifers could provide the needed membership boost that ALA will need in the future. The Task Force report is greatly anticipated by all E-members.

This news from our colleagues in Europe: Marc Format of the European Union, in his state of the EU address to a satellite IFLA meeting in Brussels, announced a more aggressive implementation schedule for the EUROI. If you remember a couple years ago, Format revealed plans for a European version of cataloging rules, called EUROI (European Union Rules for the Organization of Information). In his address, Format remarked that “Although the RDA is still very strong in England and Canada, the EUROI Steering Committee feels it necessary to move forward at a faster pace than we had thought previously. With the de-valuation of the RDA in America due to America’s continuing subprime BIBCON crisis, the timing is right for this more aggressive schedule. The EU with backing from interested parties in the Middle East and Asia wish to capitalize on the outstanding work done by various IFLA groups.” Queries to the American RDA establishment have gone unanswered at this writing.

Watch for the launch of the new literary magazine: Z671. This new magazine will emphasize stories, poetry, and expressions telling the librarian experience in twenty-first century postmodern deconstructionist pre-Warp America.

Now that the writers strike for the TV shows is over, you might look for these new shows to begin production:

  • Desperate Catalogers
  • CSI: The Back Room
  • Are You Smarter than a Digital Information Strategist?

From the group that brought you “Second Life,” experience “Afterlife,” the new environment that captures your avatar in perpetuity. In Afterlife, avatars will take on a more ghostly appearance. An apparition appearing in your Second Life world is one option now available. Other options on the horizon include séance management.

OCLC has recently denied making a bid to acquire the cataloging operations of the Library of Congress. Spokespersons for each group have been unavailable for comment. This recent development follows last year's failed attempt by LC to outsource its cataloging. That initiative headed by elements in Google soon fell victim to widespread outrage in the library community.

On a quick note, the new book from Brian E.C.M.A. Madison, The FRBR Dilemma, has reached book stores across the country this week. The much anticipated sequel to the The AACR Chronicles, Dilemma is a tightly woven and highly entertaining story of how one elusive and misunderstood concept forged by a dedicated group of followers changed the entire scope of information organization worldwide. Watch for the book tour which launches this summer at Geisel and Company, the ever popular Anaheim, California book store.

In anticipation of National Library Week, Hollywood has announced a number of new movies to debut between now and the summer. Here is a partial list:

  • No Library for Old Books, a Google Digital Arts production, co-produced by MS VISTA
  • Atonement, the story of a collector who left Post-it notes in his rare books
  • PARS Wars join Luke, Leia, Han and the Reformatting Alliance as they battle the evil Lord Dust Vapor and the Brit-El Empire
  • The Death of a Marc, a movie based on the newly discovered Hercules Poirot mystery from Agatha Christie
  • The Serialist, based on the recent riveting biography of master serialist, Susan Davis “National Library,” features Nicholas Cage’s search of the depths of LC for secret treasures linked to suspicious Congressional activities in this, the third installment of his highly successful series.

Reading this far is much appreciated,

Charles Wilt
Executive Director
The Back Room Society