2009 ProQuest/SIRS State and Regional Intellectual Freedom Award – Call for Nominations

Nominate a defender of intellectual freedom for a prestigious award!

The ProQuest/SIRS State and Regional Intellectual Freedom Achievement Award is given to the most innovative and effective intellectual freedom project covering a state or region.

The award is sponsored by ALA’s Intellectual Freedom Roundtable and ProQuest and consists of a citation and $1,000.

Programs may be one-time, one-year or ongoing/multi-year efforts.

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ALA Great Stories Club, provided by Oprah's Angel Network

Great Stories CLUB logo
(Connecting Libraries, Underserved teens and Books)
Now accepting applications for Round II!
The Great Stories CLUB is organized by the American Library Association Public Programs Office (PPO), in cooperation with the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). Major funding for the Great Stories CLUB has been provided by Oprah’s Angel Network.
The Great Stories CLUB is a reading and discussion program that targets underserved, troubled teen populations. The program reaches teens through books that are relevant to their lives, inviting them to read and keep the books, and encourages them to consider and discuss each title with a group of their peers. It seeks to show that reading can be a source of pleasure, a tool for self-exploration, and a meaningful way to connect to the wider world. Its ultimate goal is to inspire young adults who face difficult situations to take control of their lives by embracing the power of reading.
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ALA President To discuss Creating Connections Online

Join ALA President Jim Rettig at the ALA Connections Salon, an online event scheduled for 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. EST Friday, Sept. 26.

Online Programming for All Libraries (OPAL) Coordinator Tom Peters will begin the hour with an interview with Rettig, whose presidential focus is “Creating Connections.” Rettig’s initiatives foster connections among libraries, library workers, the communities libraries serve and those who make library funding and policy decisions. Rettig is particularly interested in fostering connections among ALA members and exploring new ways for members to benefit from and contribute to our association. The ALA Connections Salon is one such exploration.

Like its 17th and 18th Century European counterparts, the ALA Connections Salon offers a place for ALA members to gather and discuss professional topics of interest. Following the interview, participants will be free to ask questions and engage with Rettig and one another about ways to make the most of their ALA experience.

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2008 Presidential Debates and Libraries

(From the ALA Listserv)

On Tuesday, October 7, one of the three 2008 Presidential debates between Senators Barack Obama and John McCain will be held at Belmont University in Nashville, TN. This debate will be a town hall format moderated by Tom Brokaw. The moderator will call on members of the audience as well as select questions submitted online.

During this election year, we are looking for librarians and library supporters from across the country to call attention to the value of today’s libraries in our communities, as well as the issues the library community is facing. We encourage all ALA members to submit questions. The Commission on Presidential Debates has partnered with MySpace to create a new Web site, www.MyDebates.org. This site will become available in the days leading up to the first Presidential debate on September 26.  The more questions submitted, the more likely a library question will be asked. This is an opportunity for the library voice to become an important part of the 2008 Presidential election.


James Rettig
ALA President

To be clear, this is a message to ALA members, but it is not exclusive to ALA members. The materials and methods are freely available on the open web and any librarian can participate.

Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times I Love My Librarian Award Announced

Nominations for public librarians open August 15

Carnegie Corporation of New York has awarded the American Library Association $489,000 to support the new Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times I Love My Librarian Award.

Administered by the ALA’s Public Information Office and Campaign for America’s Libraries, the award will launch this year and will continue annually through 2013.  The award encourages library users to recognize the accomplishments of librarians in public, school, college, community college and university libraries for their efforts to improve the lives of people in their community.

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ALA–Day Four, the home stretch

Our second Council meeting began the day on Tuesday. Judith Platt, Freedom to Read Foundation President reported litigation activity underway to defend the rights of readers and bookstores to resist challenges to their right to have access to books and information. Membership in the FTRF has fallen off in recent years. ALA Members are encouraged to join: http://www.ftrf.org/joinftrf.html

“Resolution on Support for Funding for Cataloging and Bibliographic Control at the Library of Congress” by Councilors Diane Dates Casey and Janet Swan Hill was passed unanimously. Also passed overwhelmingly were “Resolution Supporting the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA)” and “Resolution Concerning ALA Policy Opposing Sweatshop Labor” (ALA and its affiliates will not purchase products for distribution to Membership that have been created by sweatshop labor).

In the afternoon on Tuesday I attended a Chapter Councilors’ forum where state councilors get together to discuss concerns about chapter issues. There is apparently an issue with the PLA running trainings in states without the knowledge of the state associations. There was also talk of holding a chapter councilors’ reception in Denver at the Midwinter meeting. (As you may have gleaned, receptions are good—the more you get invited to the less you have to think about how to fit in eating between meetings and, of course, the more money you save on food! The ultimate score is a reception with an open bar!)

Nancy Wilson

ALA–Day Three

Monday began with an ALA/APA meeting. Despite the commonly accepted concerns about the fiscal viability of ALA-APA, the good news produced at this session reflected very heavy attendance at ALA-APA programs — such as those involving “negotiating for better salaries” and “the union advantage”. One action item passed overwhelmingly at this session was the recommended minimum salary for a professional librarian at $41,680 and “a minimum wage for all library workers of at least $13.00 per hour….” I voted against this resolution, not because I don’t believe in a livable wage, but because the recommendation did not take into account the employment of student workers and other special cases.

The budgetary ceiling for ALA-APA was passed at about $265,000. Although I voted for this, the fiscal future of ALA-APA remains cloudy. Unlike, ALA-APA, the fiscal future of ALA appears to be very solid and well documented. The budgetary ceiling for ALA was approved at $67,984,278.

In the afternoon I attended the Human Resource Development and Recruitment (HRDR) committee meeting. I am a member of the advisory committee to this ALA office. This office runs the Emerging Leaders program and coordinates the job center at conference. The Director Lorelle Swader gave an exhausting report of all of the activities her office does each year. I enjoy being on the committee because of my human resource background and because it is purely advisory and does not require lots of time, which I don’t have with council obligations. In Chicago, June 2009 Annual, HRDR staff and committee members plan a reception to celebrate 30 years of HRDR being an office at ALA. Let me know if you will be in Chicago and I can probably get you an invitation!

I attended the PLA president’s program with Jamie Lee Curtis after the HRDR meeting and attended the reception following it.

In the evening I attended a lively discussion at council forum of several issues included a lengthy debate involving a new resolution calling for “Expanding Council Transparency”.

Nancy Wilson


ALA Annual–Day Two

Ala Council report–Chapter 2

Sunday morning I was up bright and early for the ALA Council/Executive Board/Membership Information Session. The Budget and Analysis Committee (BARC) report by Marilyn Hinshaw was detailed and informative.  The challenges facing ALA in this year of serious inflation have been considerable.  The Endowment Fund Report by Chair Robert Newlen was also informative and encouraging.  Despite a highly volatile market, the endowment fund only declined by 1.7% during the past year. 

Immediately following this meeting was the ALA/APA Council meeting.:  Revenue results for ALA-APA we said to have fallen short by about $11,000. There seems to be a feeling that the viability of ALA/APA, the lobbying arm of ALA, is tenuous.

The rest of the morning was taken up with the first regular Council Meeting.  Resolutions Committee Chair, Peter McDonald, presented a significant revision to the guidelines for developing Council Resolutions. The new, redesigned ALA web site is expected to be launched in September 2008.  Preview site:  http://staging.ala.org/home.cfm  Efforts are underway to reduce the length of Mid Winter and Annual Meetings for Council as early as 2010 so that Council sessions could end on Tuesday rather than Wednesday. During the afternoon I went through a small section of the exhibits and in the evening attended the ALA President’s reception. Later I attended a private screening of WALL-E the new Pixar movie at Disneyland, courtesy of MovieLicensing USA.

Nancy Wilson


Report from ALA annual

I am delighted to continue to serve as your representative on the ALA Council. Here is a report on my first day at this year’s conference in Anaheim, California.


After the councilor’s orientation on Saturday morning my first business meeting was the Chapter Relations meeting Saturday afternoon. This is a meeting of the Chapter Relations Committee and the staff of the chapter office in Chicago. The office is in charge of all dealings with chapters. This is the office you might call if you needed some advice from ALA about library issues. During this meeting I listened to reports from various divisions of ALA and caught up with chapter news. Some important highlights were the extension of the Capwiz advocacy website to all states and reports from officers of various ALA divisions.

 Immediately following the chapter relations meeting was our first membership meeting.  The primary agenda item was the report of Janet Swan Hill of the Task Force on Electronic Member Participation.  It was not only received well, but seconded by practically every remark uttered.  The urging was for full fledged electronic member participation to begin ASAP. The Membership Meeting also approved unanimously a “Resolution on Improving the Federal Depository Library Program and Public Access to Government Information”.

I’ll post more shortly.

Nancy Wilson


Proposals for ACRL 14th National Conference

Contributed papers, panel sessions, preconferences, and workshops are due May 12, 2008. The ACRL 14th National Conference, to be held in Seattle, March 12-15, 2009, will offer a forum for an exciting and energizing exchange of ideas on research, practices, developments, and visions in the field of academic and research librarianship. The conference theme, “Pushing the Edge: Explore, Engage, Extend,” reflects the promise and the challenge of the Northwest. The ACRL National Conference Executive Committee invites submitters to send their edgiest, most “out-there” proposals, to help make ACRL 2009 a truly groundbreaking conference.

Proposals are sought for a variety of formats including contributed papers, panel sessions, preconferences, workshops, poster sessions, and roundtable discussions. Deadlines for proposal submissions are as follows:

May 12, 2008 – Contributed papers, panel sessions, preconferences, and workshops

  • October 20, 2008 – Poster sessions
  • November 23, 2008 – Roundtable discussions

Full text of the Call for Participation is available online at http://www.acrl.org/seattle (Click “Proposals”). Proposals must be submitted via the online proposal form, available at http://www.eshow2000.com/acrl/2009/program_proposal_submission.cfm. Complete details about the conference are online at http://www.acrl.org/seattle. Questions about the call for presentation and the 14th ACRL National Conference should be directed to Margot Conahan at mconahan@ala.org, or by phone at 312-280-2522.