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Synchronized Shelving: Battle of the Librarians


Book cart drill teams let loose at last year's library conference.

On the show today, Julius C. Jefferson of the Library of Congress talked about the need for more African-American male librarians. He's in Anaheim, Calif., for the 2008 American Library Association Conference, where he'll convene a panel called "An Endangered Species: The Black Male Librarian." Other sessions will look at reaching out to teens, creating new uses for library spaces and evaluating cataloging systems ("Dewey or Don't We"). But one conference highlight mentioned by numerous librarians, including our own Kee Malesky, is the Book Cart Drill Team.

Jefferson has never participated in the event, but this year a colleague signed him up as a joke. He says the floor show is a hoot, but not necessarily a way to lure young black men to the profession.