>> Selected news and announcements from the ALA Council list, Chapter Relations Office or Washington Office that might be of interest to Hawaii Library Association members

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

District Dispatch has posted a new item, 'House passes resolution honoring National Library Week'

Last night, the House of Representatives passed H.RES.1222 , a resolution tosupport the goals and ideals of National Library Week. Sponsored by U.S. Rep.Vernon Ehlers (MI-3-R), the resolution outlines the many ways libraries of all kinds serve our country.

The opening text of the resolution states, “Whereas the Nation's school, academic, public, and special libraries make a difference in the lives of millions of people in the United States, today, more than ever; Whereas librarians are trained professionals, helping people of all ages and backgrounds find and interpret the information they need to live, learn, and work in a challenging economy; Whereas libraries are part of the American Dream, places for opportunity, education, self-help, and lifelong learning.”

Click here(http://bit.ly/aZBc8S)to read the Congressional Record account of the proceedings, including the full text of the resolution and floor speeches.

Best regards,
Jacob Roberts

[Editor's Note: Thank you Congress Member Hirono for voting YEA!]

“TTYL” series tops ALA's 2009 Top Ten list of most frequently challenged books

CHICAGO –Lauren Myracle’s best-selling young adult novel series "TTYL," the first-ever novels written entirely in the style of instant messaging, tops the American Library Association’s (ALA) Top Ten list of the Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2009.
Two books are new to the list: Twilight (series) by Stephanie Meyer and “My Sister’s Keeper” by Jodi Picoult.
Both Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple” and Robert Cormier’s “The Chocolate War” return after being dropped from the list in 2008.
“Even though not every book will be right for every reader, the ability to read, speak, think and express ourselves freely are core American values,” said Barbara Jones, director of the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. “Protecting one of our most fundamental rights – the freedom to read – means respecting each other’s differences and the right of all people to choose for themselves what they and their families read.”
For nearly 20 years, the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) has collected reports on book challenges. A challenge is defined as a formal, written complaint, filed with a library or school, requesting that materials be removed or restricted because of content or appropriateness. In 2009, OIF received 460 reports on efforts to remove or restrict materials from school curricula and library bookshelves.
Though OIF receives reports of challenges in public libraries, schools, and school libraries from a variety of sources, a majority of challenges go unreported. OIF estimates that its statistics reflect only 20-25% of the challenges that actually occur.
The ALA’s Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2009 reflect a range of themes, and consist of the following titles:
1. “TTYL; TTFN; L8R, G8R (series), by Lauren Myracle
Reasons: Nudity, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs
2. “And Tango Makes Three” by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
Reasons: Homosexuality
3. “The Perks of Being A Wallflower,” by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Anti-Family, Offensive Language, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs, Suicide
4. “To Kill A Mockingbird,” by Harper Lee
Reasons: Racism, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
5. Twilight (series) by Stephenie Meyer
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group
6. “Catcher in the Rye,” by J.D. Salinger
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
7. “My Sister’s Keeper,” by Jodi Picoult
Reasons: Sexism, Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs, Suicide, Violence
8. “The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things,” by Carolyn Mackler
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
9. “The Color Purple,” Alice Walker
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
10. “The Chocolate War,” by Robert Cormier
Reasons: Nudity, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
Seven titles were dropped from the list, including: His Dark Materials Trilogy (Series) by Philip Pullman (Political Viewpoint, Religious Viewpoint, Violence); Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz (Occult/Satanism, Religious Viewpoint, Violence); "Bless Me, Ultima" by Rudolfo Anaya (Occult/Satanism, Offensive Language, Religious Viewpoint, Sexually Explicit, Violence); Gossip Girl (Series) by Cecily von Ziegesar (Offensive Language, Sexually Explicit, Unsuited to Age Group); "Uncle Bobby’s Wedding" by Sarah S. Brannen (Homosexuality, Unsuited to Age Group); "The Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini (Offensive Language, Sexually Explicit, Unsuited to Age Group); and "Flashcards of My Life" by Charise Mericle Harper (Sexually Explicit, Unsuited to Age Group).
Also new this year is an updated list of the top 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of the Decade (2000 – 2009). Topping the list is the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, frequently challenged for various issues including occult/Satanism and anti-family themes. A complete listing can be found at http://tinyurl.com/top100fcb.
For more information on book challenges and censorship, please visit the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom’s Banned Books Week Web site at www.ala.org/bbooks.
The Office for Intellectual Freedom is charged with implementing ALA policies concerning the concept of intellectual freedom as embodied in the Library Bill of Rights, the Association’s basic policy on free access to libraries and library materials. The goal of the office is to educate librarians and the general public about the nature and importance of intellectual freedom in libraries.

Planning and design of libraries for higher education.

In 2007, the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) and the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA) joined forces to provide a basic framework for architects, planners, and librarians embarking on the planning and design of libraries for higher education. The Guide provides information about the design of new and renovated library space, and points toward additional resources that can support, inform and enhance the academic library design process.

The ACRL/LLAMA Interdivisional Committee on Building Resources is pleased to announce that the wiki has been updated and is available at:>http://wikis.ala.org/acrl/index.php/ACRL/LLAMA_Guide_for_Architects_and_Librarians

The Committee welcomes your ideas. Please direct any comments or suggestions about the wiki to Susan Campbell scampbel@ycp.edu.

Monday, April 12, 2010

History contest for libraries

In honor of National Library Week (April 11-17), the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), together with HISTORYTM and the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, encourages libraries to enter a contest!

For Libraries of All Sizes: Create a special exhibit or media project about American history that will spark interest in your community’s history.
  • Hurry up and register today at history.com/classroom!
  • The Grand Prize Winner receives $15,000; two First Prize Winners receive $5,000 each; and 10 Second Prize Winners receive $1,000.
  • HISTORYTM’s America: The Story of Us contest is an opportunity to get excited about American history and explore our nation’s diverse heritage.
  • See the flyer (pdf) about the contest and refer to HISTORYTM’s website for more information.

Building coalitions is key in advocating for broadband, other library needs

Having spent two days last week with members of the Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband Coalition (SHLB), I’ve taken a minute to reflect on the importance of building coalitions in raising the voice of libraries.

ALA became a member of SHLB shortly after its founding in June of 2009. The coalition formed in response to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), or the stimulus program, to support the provisions in the Act related to improving broadband access for community anchor institutions. Like other members of SHLB, ALA has long known that access to robust and scalable broadband is critical for these institutions to be able to provide the services they currently offer. Even more important is thinking about the broadband needs of the not-too-distant future as bandwidth-heavy applications become more and more commonplace. Advocating for the broadband needs of libraries often follows a similar path to that of other anchor institutions.

ALA advocates for big broadband for libraries on its own, but being part of a coalition allows ALA to participate in another level of advocacy. Aggregating the voice of many shows there are widespread concerns affecting a variety of stakeholders. In the case of adequate broadband for anchor institutions, pooling resources broadens the scope of what any one organization could achieve if acting singly. Coordinated effort successfully brought attention to the unique broadband issues facing multi-user institutions in critical arenas –the FCC, NTIA, RUS, and on Capitol Hill – as is evidenced previously by changes made between round one and round two of the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) and the Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP) and currently by the National Broadband Plan’s specific focus on anchor institutions in a number of their recommendations.

Building coalitions is not an easy process. Though there might be enough commonalities between the member organizations to advocate at a high level, once you move further away from the big picture, organizational differences become more apparent. In the end, ALA is responsible for the interests of its members and the library community. And, in the end, ALA has its own interests that may not coincide 100 percent with those of other coalition members. Coming to the coalition table understanding that each of us represents our own communities but that our communities have like interests is important to the success of the coalition. Equally important is for each coalition member to be open to hearing the views of the other members. We need to be supportive of one another, appreciate the expertise we each bring with us, and leverage the strength of the group to reach a common goal from which we all can benefit.

At the same time that we can come together on some issues, it is important to identify the issues where we have to step away and either defer to the expertise of another organization, or decide not to “sign on” to that particular issue. Coalitions are as strong as their members but in order to build on that strength, they need to be flexible enough to accommodate our differences. Hopefully, we can find common ground on which to focus.

Local coalition building is really no different than coalition building at the national level and is no less important to the success of advocating for the needs of local libraries – whatever they may be. Bringing together a variety of organizations with similar goals and missions can be a successful means to garner critical support for your common issues. Building partnerships around a common goal also opens up the possibility of future collaborations between members on new issues and in front of different audiences. At times, acting as a group provides individual members with a stronger voice. Coalition building requires commitment, but the payoffs can be well worth the effort.

The State of America's Libraries, 2010, is available

The report shows the value of libraries in helping Americans combat the recession. It includes data from a January 2010 Harris Interactive poll that provides compelling evidence that a decade-long trend of increasing library use is continuing—and even accelerating during economic hard times. This national survey indicates that some 219 million Americans feel the public library improves the quality of life in their community. More than 223 million Americans feel that because it provides free access to materials and resources, the public library plays an important role in giving everyone a chance to succeed. --- Don Wood

Purpose of this Blog

As the ALA Council member for Hawaii, I thought it would be best to set up a blog as a news source for information on activities of the American Library Association that directly impact us here in Hawaii. ALA sends out a lot of information each day, so rather than flood your e-mail, I am posting them here. Please subscribe to the RSS feed if you are interested in the news.

I will not post candidate information here or some of the debate on issues unless you tell me that you want it. Mahalo.