Category Archives: ALA News & Such

From Infomancy: “AASL Restricts (Eliminates?) Use of Standards”

Christopher Harris writes:

In the Standards in Action book, there is a great 2-page spread on the self-assessment strand that speaks directly to the student. One librarian asked if she could make copies of the pages to share with students. That led me, as an ethical user of information, to check on the copyright and permissions for the book.

What I found was quite chilling. Though these two pages present a letter to students, there is no permission given in the book to allow copying of those pages to share with students. I thought maybe there would be something online, so I checked the standards website to see if there was a PDF or other permissions statements there. Indeed there is a new Permissions for Use page for the standards, but what I found there actually made things even worse.

Under the new permissions for use, I actually had to tell librarians that they can no longer quote the standards that they are using within their lesson plan documents! Given the push to spread the standards and the whole Learning4Life initiative, this is surely in unintended outcome of AASL’s attempts to secure the standards. And yet, an over zealous locking down of the standards is unfortunately preventing most use.

As stated on the permissions page: “Permission must be requested for publishing or posting a portion of the text or the original document in a print or online publication or on a Web site as well as linking to the PDF.” [AASL] A lesson plan is a print or electronic document, therefore permission must be requested for quoting the standards as is usually done in a standard lesson plan format. Additionally, a lesson plan could be considered a derivative work under the current wording: “The learning standards document is considered the core content if the publication cannot be written without the use of the content of the learning standards document. Such usage requires a license agreement and may include a fee.”[AASL]

A fee for including the standards in each lesson plan?

Most librarians in the workshop assumed that the permission for educational use granted in the standards document covered use in lesson plans. I did as well…until I read the new permissions page. The permissions page limits educational use to only the pdf document itself. “The PDF versions available on the AASL Web site are intended for personal and educational use. Printing or forwarding copies for your own private use or to share with others for purely informational or educational purposes is acceptable.”[AASL] Any quoting of the document (i.e. listing standards on a lesson plan) would fall under the “Publishing or Posting Excerpts” section and would therefore require permission (and maybe a fee) for each lesson plan.

I love the new standards. I think they represent a great new way of looking at how we need to change learning and teaching for the 21st century. And yet, as much as I love the standards, the current permissions for use make it nearly impossible for me to share them or use them.

AASL, won’t you please consider freeing the standards for a bit more use? Perhaps a Creative Commons non-commerical license? Or maybe members can be granted additional license to use the standards as part of their member benefits?

Twitter hash tag #FreeTheStandards

[UPDATE 11:46am] Allison Cline, Deputy Executive Director of AASL, noted in an e-mail response that this is indeed an unintended wording and that AASL does not wish to fetter non-commercial use in any way. While this is great news, the fact remains that the current permission page does restrict use…even non-commercial use. There is no educational exception made for quoting standards, creating derivative works using the standards, or even linking to the standards.

TTW Readers – what do you think?

Creating Zones with Heart @ ALA TechSource

Greetings from Northern Michigan! The days of summer are flying by and I’m splitting my time between trying to wear out our new Labrador Retriever Cooper and prepping for upcoming talks at ALA Annual. I’ll be presenting for LLAMA BES (that’s the Library Leadership & Management Association Buildings and Equipment Section if you’re spinning the wheel of ALA acronyms) in a program called  “Library 2.0 Buildings: Creating Zones with Heart.”

I’m excited about the topic because sometimes we get so caught up in talking about technology, the spaces and places of our libraries take a backseat. Libraries need to encourage the heart in the physical realm as well as the online.

I agree with folks like John Beck that the library can offer many spaces and opportunities to varied groups. We should constantly be looking for creative ways to create zones in the library for our different user groups. I also think it should be okay to have fun at the library – gaming, DDR, creation of stuff, etc – as well as make it comfortable and useful for others. I’m not just writing about public libraries but about academic libraries too.

For my part of the program, I’ve been batting around these “zones” in my head on long walks with Cooper at the “Quiet Area” pond nearby. I’d be very interested in feedback from our readers about these zones and any others they may have in their libraries….

Read the whole ALA TechSource Post here.

Emerging Leaders Group Collecting Stories

The American Library Association (ALA) Emerging Leaders, Group G is collecting real stories of how Human Resources Development and Recruitment (HRDR) has impacted job seekers—new graduates and transitioning career seekers alike—over the past 35 years.

Find the perfect job thorough the ALA Placement Center? Locate the perfect candidate at a conference? Successfully revamp your resume with NMRT? We’d love to hear about it. No story is too small, no story too large.

Visit the website ( for more information or to submit a story.

You can also submit stories via email to: [email protected] or upload a video to YouTube with the tag “jumpstartlibrarian”

Thanks from Emerging Leaders 2009 Team G: Alex Tyle-Annen, Cynthia Dudenhoffer, Miranda Rodriguez, and Tracy Stout.

New LTR: Collaboration 2.0 by Robin Hastings


I’m reading through Robin Hastings’ new Library Technology Report called “Collaboration 2.0.” This is one LTR not to miss! And don’t miss Dan Freeman’s interview with Robin at TechSource:

Dan Freeman: So your topic for this issue is Collaboration 2.0. Can you define this concept for us?
Robin Hastings: Collaboration 2.0 is the use of free, easy-to-use web 2.0 tools (think Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, Google Docs, etc.) to make teams who may not be in the same city, state or country work together seamlessly. Since the philosophy behind the 2.0 tools is one of user-created content, almost all of the 2.0 tools have ways to create and share content with other people – that makes collaboration on library projects, presentations, training programs or anything else that creative librarians can come up with really easy. Everything I profiled in the report, by the way, is freely available and easy enough to use that millions of people have already been using these tools without being forced to by their jobs!

Informing Innovation: Tracking Student Interest in Emerging Library Technologies

Run don’t walk to check out this very important, very insightful report from Char Booth. I’ve been luck enough to share a few meals with Char and her take on the academic library student technology experience is well-grounded, innovative and, frankly, brilliant.

I’m lousy with anticipation, so I am extremely relieved to write that a giant piece of my workload/ brain energy has been officially lifted as of today. ACRL just released Informing Innovation: Tracking Student Interest in Emerging Library Technologies at Ohio University, a book-length research report I’ve been working on for quite some time.

The report is a detailed case study of the student environmental scanning project I spearheaded at OU in 2008 with the help of many colleagues (see my Acknowledgements for the long list of names). In addition to reporting our findings, I discuss the importance of gaining research-based insight into local user cultures in order to inform service development and mitigate the temptation to make potentially off-the-mark generational assumptions about who students are and how they use technology and libraries, complete with a chapter on the practical trials and travails of homegrown research. You can think of it as a quantitative corollary to the University of Rochester Studying Students project – quite different methods of investigation, similar depth of insight. It’s one part presentation of survey results, one part analysis of the academic library emerging technology and assessment cultures that have developed over the last few years, and one part bon voyage/ homage (bon vomage?) to my former employer. The OU Libraries manage to do incredibly innovative and effective work not only on a shoestring, but with an ever-important a sense of humor. It shows in many, many ways, and for this they deserve to be recognized and emulated.

Informing Innovation is available in several forms. Free downloads: the full documentin PDF, another version packaged by separate chapters, and an updated and revised template library/technology survey instrument based on the one used in the original Ohio University study. For an introduction to and explanation of the scanning project itself, there is also a streaming dynamic webcast of my and Chris Guder’s 2009 ACRL presentation (no virtual conference login necessary) that summarizes survey findings and explores its practical applications at OU, voice and slides-style. You can also buy a hard copy of the report in book form from the ALA Store.

ALA Connect Update & LIS EDU Community

From the ALA Marginalia Blog, Jenny Levine writes:

Just a quick note to say how happy we are about the response to ALA Connect. We’ve received many positive emails, tweets, and more about the site, but even better – folks are checking it out and using it. This can be difficult to see, as many working groups are not posting their content publicly, but we’re only a couple of weeks into this new endeavor, so we expect content in the working groups and communities will continue to grow, especially going into Annual Conference.

Here are some early numbers from the site’s first two weeks:

  • 1588 people have logged in (1395 ALA members + 193 non-ALA members)
  • # of new communities created by ALA members and staff: 22
  • # of posts: 124 total
  • # of online documents: 124 total
  • # of calendar events: 125 total
  • # of polls/votes: 14 total
  • # of discussions: 32 total
  • # of images: 24 total

So stuff is happening on the site – what’s happening in your groups?

Yesterday I took some time and explored the site, joined a group or two and created a community for LIS Educators and people interested in library schools:  This will also be my way of learning how things work within this blossoming online community. I posted a couple of discussion type things to see how it goes. Take a look. :-)

Here’s my profile:

“Creating Zones with Heart” at ALA Annual

I am very happy to be speaking as part of this program:


Saturday, July 11, 2009; 1:30 – 3:30 PM

2009 Annual ALA Conference, Chicago, IL

LLAMA – Buildings for College and University Libraries Committee

Case Study 1:  Darien Library, Darien, Connecticut

Alan Kirk Gray 

Assistant Director – Operations, Darien Library

Alan Kirk Gray is Assistant Director – Operations for Darien Library, Darien, CT, where he is responsible for the program, planning and construction of Darien Library’s new 54,000 square feet building, which has been cited for its anticipation of trends in the innovative use of library facilities. The library utilizes many Library 2.0 principles supported by library service and technology innovation to create an environment that focuses on customer-centered services. The facility’s entry zone welcomes users into its “Main Street”, an innovative reinterpretation of circulation, gathering and high-touch collection service delivery. Darien Library’s organization, including a broad range of integrated technology, was predicated on enhancing the user experience, by reducing the need for staff involvement in repetitive tasks and augmenting opportunities for quality interaction between staff and patrons.

Case Study 2:  The Commons, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA

Robert E. Fox, Jr. 

Associate Director, Libraries, Georgia Institute of Technology

Bob Fox is the Associate Director for Public and Administrative Services at the Georgia Tech Libraries.  Bob provides leadership for a robust Public Services agenda that seeks to transform the physical and programmatic aspects of the Library by actively seeking user engagement and employing continuous assessment.  He is also responsible for all administrative areas of the Library including budgeting, HR, facilities and security.  He has been at Tech since 2005.  Prior to that, he was the Director of Library Services at Clayton State University in metropolitan Atlanta.  He holds a master’s degree in library science from Clark Atlanta University and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in finance from the University of Georgia. The Commons at Georgia Institute of Technology broke new ground when it was first built in 2002 and continues to serve as a model as it evolves and expands. Bob will speak about how it has worked and served as a model for other Library 2.0 environments.

American Library Association launches ALA Connect

From an ALA Press Release:

CHICAGO – The American Library Association (ALA) is now providing members a common virtual space to engage in ALA business and network with other members around issues and interests relevant to the profession.

ALA Connect ( has launched its first phase of operation, in which every ALA group will have the ability to utilize the following tools:

• Posts (which are like blog posts)
• Online docs (which are like collaborative, wiki-like pages or Google Docs)
• Group calendar (for listing meetings, deadlines, etc.)
• Surveys (for asking multiple questions at once)
• Polls (for asking a single question)
• Chat room (text-based, including the ability to save a transcript of the discussion)
• Discussion forums (also known as “bulletin boards”)

“Phase one offers new features that are unavailable via other ALA Web-based services,” said ALA President Jim Rettig. “Members can view all of their current ALA affiliations in one place.  They can search for other members and add them to their online network. And they can work together on a document online, rather than passing it around from one e-mail address to another. I look forward to seeing the new communities members create and the issues and interests they address.”

ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels said, “ALA Connect has a unique value for members. It enables members to collaborate within a vibrant and dynamic online community, facilitating their professional growth and extending their contacts within the Association. Members can now easily form new groups around shared interests, respond to emerging issues or create and manage shared projects.”

“Why I Love ALA Connect” – ALA Launches Virtual Community Space

I am very excited for the launch of ALAConnect on Monday. The ALA Web Advisory Committee (WAC) has been playing in the virtual community for sometime. I’ve tweaked my profile a bit and need to a bit more before the big launch, but I am so knocked out by all the hard wotk the folks at ALA have put into this clearinghouse/community. Recently, Lauren Pressley took a good look and had this to say:

Here are a few things worth noting:

  • When you first log in, use the same information you use to log into the ALA site. You can change this to another login and password once you’re in. (I didn’t realize this at first, so I created an account. After realizing the benefits of the original one, I had to get help deleting the one I created. Thanks, Jenny!)
  • Your account will already know some things about you: the sections, committees, etc, you’re involved with through ALA, your email address, job title, etc. Pretty much, if ALA knows it, it can populate your profile with the information.
  • You can friend people, just like on Facebook.
  • You can pull in your blog posts, delicious bookmarks, and flickr photos. They show up in the left hand sidebar.
  • Your committees, etc, have space where they can work. You can pull in similar information there, too. For example, I was able to pull in the DILG blog to their page.
  • If you are familiar with social networks or wyswyg wiki editors, you’re ready to go.

I think this movement represents a very positive shift within the association. It’s honestly the first time I felt I could point at something and say, “there, that’s a benefit I’m getting from ALA.” (I feel I get value from my ALA colleagues and from participating in committees, but this is something that’s ALA specific rather than something that could happen on its own or in other venues.) If all goes well, this could be a case of our association showing other organizations how to make use of online communication/information technologies to support the work of their organization. Way to go Jenny (and all the Connect team members)!

I echo Lauren’s shout out to Jenny Levine and everyone at ALA! I’ll see you all next week – at ALA Connect!

Disclaimer: I am chair of WAC. :-)