Internet Librarian 2009

November 1, 2009

Brenda Hough – Erika Rux at IL2009

Originally uploaded by NLLN.

Erika Rux (Librarian at Concordia College’s Ylvisaker Library) and I were able to attend the Internet Librarian 2009 Conference last week in balmy Monterey, California.

Pictured here are Brenda Hough and Erika having fabulous desserts after a long day of sessions!

One of the hallmarks of IL is networking between attendees — a way to catch up with old friends, and to meet new people face-to-face. Old Monterey, on the bay, is a small town, so the conference flows easily from the conference center to the restaurants, pubs, and outdoor plazas of the area.

For more information about the sessions — most of which were being streamed — go to the bloggers and presenters who captured the sessions and shared their slide-presentations. Bloggers to check include Sarah Houghton-Jan, Bobbi Newman, David Lee King, Matt Hamilton, Buffy Hamilton, Michael Porter, Jason Griffey, … and many more.

On  Twitter, check out the nearly 5000 tweets under #il2009.

It is an exciting Conference and one I look forward to attending in the future. Along with Computers in Libraries (east coast; spring conference), Internet Librarian is one of the most stimulating and energizing conferences available!


Patriot Act resolution approved at MLA Conf

October 22, 2009


Below is the resolution pertaining to the reauthorization of the USA Patriot Act that was approved by the MLA membership at the MLA Annual Conference, Oct 15, 2009:


Resolution on 2009 reauthorization of the USA Patriot Act

Approved by the Minnesota Library Association Board of Directors 10/13/2009

Approved by the Minnesota Library Association Membership 10/15/2009

Whereas, the Minnesota Library Association is committed to encouraging free and open inquiry by preserving the privacy rights of library users, library employees, and persons living in the United States;

Whereas, the Minnesota Library Association opposes governmental actions that suppress or chill free and open inquiry;

Whereas, Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act allows the FBI to secretly request and obtain library records for large numbers of individuals without reason to believe they are involved in illegal activity;

Whereas, Section 505 of the USA PATRIOT Act permits the FBI to obtain records from libraries by using National Security Letters (NSL) without prior judicial oversight;

Whereas, Section 215 automatically requires and Section 505 permits the FBI to impose a nondisclosure or “gag” order on the recipients, thereby prohibiting the reporting of abuse of government authority and abrogating the recipients’ First Amendment rights;

Whereas, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 25, 2009, that the FBI had used Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act 223 times between 2004 and 20071, and the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Justice reported in March 2008 that the FBI had made 192,499 National Security Letter requests from 2003 through 20062;

Whereas, the OIG reported in March 2008 that “the FISA Court twice refused to authorize Section 215 orders based on concerns that the investigation was premised on protected First Amendment activity, and the FBI subsequently issued NSLs to obtain information” without reviewing the underlying investigation to be sure it did not violate the statute’s First Amendment caveat3;

Whereas, members of Congress have introduced legislation to restore privacy rights and address the concerns of the Minnesota Library Association such as: The Freedom to Read Protection Act (H.R. 1157 in the 108th Congress) and the National Security Letters Reform Act (S. 2088 in the 110th Congress and H.R. 1800); now therefore be it

Resolved that the Minnesota Library Association:

1. Oppose initiatives on the part of the United States government to constrain the free expression of ideas or to inhibit the use of libraries; 

2. Urge Congress to repeal the USA PATRIOT Act’s expanded National Security Letter Section 505 and Section 215 authorities that allow the FBI to demand information about people who are not targets of an investigation and to reinstate standards limiting the use of these authorities to obtain information only about terrorism suspects and agents of foreign powers.

3. Urge Congress to allow nondisclosure or “gag” orders of limited scope and duration only when necessary to protect national security and only upon the authority of a court, and ensure that targets of such orders have a meaningful right to challenge them before a fair and neutral arbiter.

4. Urge Congress to intensify its oversight of the use of the USA PATRIOT Act as well as other government surveillance and investigations that limit the privacy rights of library users, library employees, and U.S. persons;

5. Communicate this resolution to Minnesota’s Congressional Delegation, the Minnesota  Legislative Assembly, the Governor of the State of Minnesota, and the Minnesota State Librarian;  

6.  Urge its members, Minnesota librarians, Minnesota library trustees, and all library advocates to ask Congress to restore crucial safeguards protecting civil liberties.



1.  Robert S. Mueller. (March 25, 2009).  “Oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” Hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee.  Accessed through LexisNexis Congressional database.

2.  Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Justice. (March 2008).  A Review of the FBI’s Use of National Security Letters: Assessment of Corrective Actions and Examination of NSL Usage in 2006, p. 110.  Available at


Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Justice. (March 2008).  A Review of the FBI’s Use of Section 215 Orders for Business Records in 2006, p. 73.  Available at

MN Library Foundation mini-grants available

October 22, 2009

Heads up!  MLA Foundation mini-grants are available to Minnesota libraries. Application deadline is Dec 31, 2009, for these $500 awards. Click here for the guidelines and application information.

This is a great opportunity to seek supplemental funding for that very special project or event!

“Things That Keep Us Up At Night”

October 20, 2009

Joyce Valenza and Doug Johnson have written a “can’t miss” article for School Library Journal entitled, “Things That Keep Us Up At Night”. Find it at 

These things that keep Joyce and Doug awake at night are likely to keep most of us awake, no matter what type of library we work in or use. Times are changing — are we? are our libraries? are we up to the challenges or will our profession be eclipsed?

There is an urgency to this article that should stimulate wide discussion in our ranks.

Peg Werner and Joan Larson

October 20, 2009

Peg and Joan

Originally uploaded by NLLN.

Peg Werner and Joan Larson were both honored at the recent MN Library Association Annual Conference in St Cloud.

Peg received the President’s Award from MLA President Ken Behringer for her work on library maintenance of effort across a whole field of players and interested partners. Peg is the Director fo the Viking Library System.

Joan Larson received the MN Library Association Distinquished Achievement Award for her years of service in the library community, her passion, enthusiasm, and endless innovation, and her continued voice in retirement. Joan is the former Executive Director of the Northern Lights Library Network , an active member of the Douglas County Friends of the Library in Alexandria, and a member of the Mn Assoc of Library Friends Board.

Also honored at the Conference was Senator Dan Skogen of Otter Tail Co for his hard work and successful championing of libraries in the Minnesota Legislature.  

Congratulations to all!

“Preserve America Stewards” – apply now

October 19, 2009

Organizations with volunteer programs that focus on preserving our heritage are encouraged to apply for designation as Preserve America Stewards. The next quarterly deadline for submitting applications to the Preserve America Stewards program is December 1, 2009.
Read more:

… from the IMLS e-Newsletter, Primary Source

A Library to Last Forever –

October 9, 2009

Op-Ed Contributor – A Library to Last Forever –

Read this Op-Ed piece by Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, about the Google Book project — and the disputed Google settlement. The piece is interesting — but even more interesting are the comments it is generating from all sides.

The Google Book setttlement is still being decided. And is still controversial.