Downloading the ALA Annual Meeting Planner to Your Mac iCal

First, kudos to the vendor that runs the ALA Meeting Planner website. They listened to suggestions and now include a way to download your event planner information to your desktop/handheld device using the iCalendar standard. It is available from the “Downloads and Printing” page of your meeting planner homepage. (You’ll need to sign in using the e-mail address listed on your ALA Annual Registration form plus the password “ala”.) Jump down to the end and select the “iCAL” button next to “Personal Itinerary” to download the iCalendar file.

Google Map of ALA Midwinter Hotels

Here is a map of official conference hotels and a link to download the KML file into Google Earth.
ALA Midwinter 2008 Hotel KML Location file

I’m somewhat disappointed by the display of the KML file through the Google Maps API. The KML file contains <address> tags, which in the Google Earth desktop application appears to enable the “Directions From” and “Directions To” options. It is entirely possible that I’m missing something in the KML file — it was created by exporting a folder of placemarks from the Google Earth application. The raw KML file, suitable for importing into Google Earth, can be downloaded from the link under the map.

Advocates of the Balance Between the Rights of Intellectual Property Owners and the Rights of Information Users

The American Library Association Committee on Professional Ethics is proposing changes to the Code of Ethics.1 Other than two minor changes (adding commas where there were none previously — see the proposed changes page for details), the big change is in article 4, which now reads:

We recognize and respect intellectual property rights.

The recommended version reads:

We recognize and advocate balance between the rights of intellectual property owners and the rights of information users.

This is a good change. It puts the librarian profession at the crux of publisher’s rights and user’s rights — a position that is increasingly non-existent in what seems like an increasingly polarized world.

Survey on Library Professional Perceptions

Jenny Emanuel, Electronic Services Librarian at University of Central Missouri, posted an invitation to complete a survey on how library professionals think of themselves to several mailing lists. As part of the ALA Emerging Leaders 2007 program, she is part of a team look for options on rebranding the librarian profession in the digital world. This looks like it will have interesting results; if you consider yourself a “library professional” take the survey yourself:

Out of all of the questions, number 10 struck me as the heart of the matter:

10. How strongly do you agree with the following statements?

“Draft Principles for Digitized Content” from the Digitization Policy Task Force of ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy

A note on the LITA-L mailing list from M. Claire Stewart (a member of the American Library Association Office of Information Technology Policy Task Force on Digitization Policy) announces the availability of the Draft Principles for Digitized Content in the form of a series of blog postings on the ALA website. Stewart’s message notes: