Associations

Endless shame of the spineless American Library Association

Nat Hentoff is really not happy with the ALA. I don't know enough about the situation to have an opinion and certainly not one as curiously strong as his.

Read more about it here.

An Almost Streamed Meeting Causes a Ruckus At AlA

A couple interesting posts on a meeting at ALA. Briefly: Someone set up a Ustream if the LITA Board meeting. The board voted to suspend the live stream during a part of the meeting.
Read all about it at:
An Almost Streamed Meeting Causes a Ruckus
and
Collaborative tech, virtual participation, and what is an “open meeting” anyways?

ALA Wikileaks Data Hub

It appears that the Office of Intellectual Freedom and the Washington Office of the American Library Association have created a new "emerging issues" site to provide rapid response on breaking stories that erupt outside the regular cycle of ALA meetings. Their first topic covered by the site is Wikileaks.

New Stonewall Award for Childrens Books

The American Library Association on Monday announced it has added another prize to its Stonewall Book Awards.

The Stonewall Children's and Young Adult Literature Award will recognize an English-language children's book “of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered experience.”

“Children's books regarding the LGBT experience are critical tools in teaching tolerance, acceptance and the importance of diversity,” Roberta Stevens, president of ALA, said in a statement.

“Our nation is one of diverse cultures and lifestyles and it is important for parents, educators and librarians to have access to quality children's books that represent a spectrum of cultures,” she added.

In making its announcement, the group cited figures by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that show 14 million children are being raised by a gay or lesbian parent and the latest Census data which estimates that more than 56 percent of gay households have at least one child under the age of 18.

Additional coverage in the NYTimes.

Nominate A Library Educator for the LJ Teaching Award

The LJ Teaching Award, sponsored by ProQuest, recognizes excellence in educating the next generation of librarians. This annual award, now in its fourth year, honors the winning LIS teacher with an article in LJ in the November 15 issue, a $5000 prize, and a reception at the 2011 ALA Midwinter Meeting in San Diego.

NOMINATION POSTMARK DATE SEPTEMBER 27, 2010

Please send nominations to:
The LJ Teaching Award
Library Journal
160 Varick St., 11th Floor
New York, NY 10013

or via email to rmiller@mediasourceinc.com

If They're Burning Qur'ans, ALA Says 'We'll Read Qur'ans'

From American Libraries: Book burning is the most insidious form of book banning, and just as the American Library Association is preparing to celebrate the freedom to read during Banned Books Week, along comes one Rev. Terry Jones of the 50-member Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida. The reverend’s idea of world outreach is to commemorate the 9/11 terrorist attacks of 2001 with a public burning of the Qur’an, the Muslim holy book. Gen. David Petraeus had personally pleaded with the reverend to restrain himself because of the potential for retaliatory violence.

Meanwhile, the American Library Association and librarians across the country will move the Qur’an to the top of the Banned Books Week agenda. (Leading the way by modeling tolerance, an Oklahoma public library has been hosting an exhibit of artwork inspired by Muslim tradition.)

“Free people read freely,” says Barbara Jones, director of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom. “That is a fundamental principle of the American Constitution and a basic mission of public libraries. We don’t burn books, we read them.”

Thanks to Jenny Levine for the lead.

September 8 is International Literacy Day

International Literacy Day, traditionally observed annually on September 8, focuses attention on worldwide literacy needs. More than 780 million of the world’s adults (nearly two-thirds of whom are women) do not know how to read or write, and between 94 and 115 million children lack access to education.

Celebrate International Literacy Day by joining IRA on either September 7 or September 8 for webinars on Building Support for Effective Reading Instruction featuring IRA President Patricia Edwards, Richard Carson (Rotary Representative to the OAS) and Instructor Judy Backlund (IRA member and Rotary Club President). The webinar will be held twice, so choose the time that works best for you!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010 from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. EST
This is a virtual event. Go to this URL to join the Tuesday webinar...or

Wednesday, September 8, 2010 from 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. EST
This is a virtual event. Go to this URL to join the Wednesday webinar.

Other live events, fact sheets, celebration ideas and award certificates can be found at the IRA Website.

Raphael New ALA President-Elect

LJ reports: The latest American Library Association (ALA) election, a low-turnout affair, turned out Molly Raphael to be not so close at all, with public librarian Molly Raphael besting school library media specialist Sara Kelly Johns by 5,857 to 4,399 votes, according to ALA.

Of 55,330 eligible voters, 11,069 (20.01%) voted, compared to 23.41% last year.

Raphael, former director of the Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR, and the District of Columbia Public Library, will become president-elect in June 2010, and will serve a year as president in June 2011, following the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. Johns, a stalwart among school libraries, serves grades 6-12 at Lake Placid Middle/High School, NY.

Question for ALA members: Why does such a significant majority of members abstain from voting??

ALA's Citywide Meeting Q&A Tool Enlightens Attendees

A Report From meetingnews.com on the ALA. The association's use of new technology is part of a closer integration between its membership services and meetings teams, designed to bring the most value of an event to both members and non-member attendees.

Oregon Library Association versus Pacific Northwest Library Association

Recently the dispute between the Oregon Library Association and the Pacific Northwest Library Association had some new life breathed into it through at least one posting I caught over on LISWire. I've read through what Samantha Hines, PNLA President, has written as well as the statement of reasons by OLA relative to withdrawal as well as the PNLA response to OLA. A quite valid question that could be asked is if said situation will be discussed on LISTen: An LISNews.org Podcast.

Nope.

Separatism within regional structures is a painful thing without a doubt. Just as divorce happens within human couples, this is essentially a divorce between two legal entities. Just as every single divorce is not given more than perhaps just passing mention in a newspaper's "legal news" section, this has not seemed to have risen to the level of frankly an interesting story. That it has dragged on since October 2009 with only occasional statements being issued infrequently by either side casts it either in the light of not being too worrisome of a concern or otherwise too far outside the usual weekly production cycle of the podcast.

I hope that both sides reconcile and come to a suitable peace either between them or through reintegration.

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