Squaring off over Cuban libraries

The debate within ALA over Cuban libraries makes it to the New York Times:

In one of the last places you might expect a debate over free expression is the American Library Association, the world\'s oldest and largest organization of its kind and a longtime champion of open access to information. But when the subject is as politically charged as Cuba, anything is possible.

So during the association\'s annual conference in Toronto, which ended Wednesday, a little cultural cold war broke out among members over what are known as independent libraries in Cuba . . . to some members, the association has been ignoring the repression of their colleagues and the cause of intellectual freedom; to others, a small group has been trying to hijack the organization to pursue an anti-Castro agenda.

Complete article (registration required).


Special Libraries Association keeps its name

Robert Teeter noticed "Special Libraries Association announced today that it is retaining the organization's nearly 100-year-old name. President Cynthia Hill made the announcement at the association's 94th annual conference in New York City following a vote at the annual business meeting. A two-thirds majority vote was needed to change the name. The vote culminates three years of research, discussions and brand name debates.


ALA announces new Prez, Councilors

They've counted your ballots, folks, and you've elected Carol Brey-Casiano as your new ALA President. Exec Board results here. Councilor results here.


The role of the ALA Web Site Advisory Committee

The ALA Web Site Advisory Committee is composed of ALA
members representing the Divisions
and is charged with advising Council and ALA Staff about
web site issues. We've been partially involved in the
process of designing the new site (giving feedback on
iterations of the design based on partial information),
but not as involved as we would like to have been. I
wrote an article
our experience with ALA staff in the web site development
process. It should be interesting reading for people who
are concerned about the new website and about ALA.


Marylaine Block to ALA: 'Two words: "beta test"!'

In her latest issue of ExLibris, #174, Marylaine Block expresses her considerable concern about the newly designed ALA website. In her words:

"It's not that ALA didn't need to redesign its web site. And its goals were admirable: according to ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels, 'The new site will make it much easier for members and the general public to find the information they are looking for'.

"The site address for this news announcement about the redesign, however, is
ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=25861, which is a good clue to the basic problem. This is easier? Easier than what? Than if it was inscribed on the head of a pin? Than if it was written in Sanskrit? Than if it had to be assembled like the parchment pieces of the Dead Sea Scrolls?"


New ALA Website

John Hubbard writes "The American Library Association site has a new look. If you pay ALA dues, check out the code you've paid for. Also note some internal URLs have changed ( for example is now Veeery Looong - the wonders of Cold Fusion and Microsoft IIS/SQL...), many without redirects ( is dead for example).

If you have questions, just remember for their handy FAQ page. "


Mitch Freedman ALA on the radio today

Connie Ozinga writes "Sometimes good things happen when you go to the dentist. I heard the first and last 15 minutes of an excellent one hour interview on the Diane Rehm show on NPR. The show's web page has a link to listen to it."

Link To The Real Audio File.


ALA Presidential Candidates Interviewed in Juice

ALA Presidential Candidates Herman Totten and Carol Brey
give a long interview
in the current issue of Library Juice. Robert
Newlen never replied to my request for an interview. A
friend of his says he's been out of town and may get back
to me when he returns. For now, it's just the two
nominated candidates.


Interview The Announced Candidates for the ALA Presidency

As you may or may not know, Carol Brey, Robert Newlen and Herman Totten are seeking election for the ALA presidency.
Each year I conduct an email interview with interested candidates, and each year I ask for questions from the LISNews readers. So please email me [], use The Form or post your comments/questions below. I\'ll be emailing the candidates the best of the questions, and hope to have their answers back in a few weeks.

All three candidates will be participating.


ADL Urges ALA to Rescind Biased Anti-Israel Resolution

David Goldman writes \"The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called on delegates to the American Library Association (ALA) Mid-Winter Meeting, set for January 24-27 in Philadelphia, to rescind a biased, anti-Israel resolution passed at its annual meeting last year. The resolution harkens back to highly political anti-Israel resolutions passed by the ALA a decade ago.

\"As guardians of information and guarantors of free speech, librarians bear a responsibility for providing unbiased, factual information to the public,\" said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. \"This biased, inaccurate resolution undermines that role and is a stain on the profession. We call on the ALA leadership to rescind this resolution and to recognize that in taking sides with such highly politicized and biased statements, the organization undermines the very purpose of their profession, which is to ensure that the public has free and unfettered access to all points of view.\"

Full Story \"
David has been following this one closely, you can see it all at KFSource.



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