American Libraries

Articles from Vol. 33, No. 5, May

Americans Want Free Access, Says Gates Foundation Study. (News Fronts USA)
The majority of Americans believe free access to computers and the Internet is vital, and they are willing to pay higher taxes to support it in public libraries. These findings are among those revealed in a study of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's...
And Then There Were Nuns. (Wills World)
You know that the library profession is in big trouble when the issue of the day is not censorship. What could be bigger than censorship? How about survival? That's what is on everybody's mind. Where are the young librarians? Where are the young library...
Are We Sabotaging Ourselves with Our "Professional" Image? (on My Mind)
Not too long ago a friend of mine revealed to me his librarian fantasy. You know, the one with the dowdy-looking woman, hair pinned up, glasses on a chain, long plaid skirt, cardigan sweater, and cotton blouse with Peter Pan collar. A portrait not...
Aussie Librarians Win Landmark Case. (News Fronts International)
Librarians, library technicians, and archivists in the Australian state of New South Wales will receive pay increases of up to 26%, thanks to a March 28 ruling by the N.S.W. Industrial Relations Commission. The commission found that the work of library...
Canadian Library Assn. Fires Executive Director Whitmell. (News Fronts International)
In a surprise move, the Canadian Library Association's executive council dismissed CLA Executive Director Vicki Whitmell, effective March 20. "They terminated my contract without an explanation," Whitmell told American Libraries, adding that she had...
Datebook
ALA EVENTS June 13-14: ALA Office for Literacy and Outreach Services Preconference, Marriott Marquis Hotel, Atlanta. Theme: "Different Voices, Common Quest: Adult Literacy and Outreach in Libraries." Contact: 800-545-2433 ext. 4294; olos@ala.org;...
How Many Times Can They Say "Children and Pornography"? (Editorial)
Leonard Kniffel As the challenge to the Children's Internet Protection Act was unfolding in court last month (see p. 18-19), news reports about the case were fast and plentiful. Many followed a particular pattern: They started out by using the words...
Internet Librarian: I Sing the Body Electronic. (Information Technology)
Bummed out by CIPA, e-rate, busted budgets, or patrons fighting over computers? Refresh your appreciation for the amazing electronic world with these stories in response to my online request for "favorite things about the Internet." The Internet...
Judges' Remarks Give Optimism to Opponents in CIPA Trial. (News Fronts Washington)
Opponents of the Children's Internet Protection Act expressed optimism at the close of the trial to determine the law's constitutionality. The three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court hearing the case openly voiced its skepticism over the law,...
Keith Fiels Named ALA's 22nd Executive Director. (News Fronts ALA)
Keith Fiels, director of the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners in Boston since 1992, will become the American Library Association's 22nd executive director, replacing retiring ED William Gordon. The ALA Executive Board announced April 22...
LAMA Seeks Entries for Consultant Directory. (News Fronts ALA)
LAMA is seeking entries for the 2002 edition of its Library Consultants Directory, a special insert to be published in the Fall 2002 issue of Library Administration and Management (LA&M) magazine. Listing information and payment must be received...
Letters from Home: Love and Friendship in Times of War; with Books and Moral Support, a Children's Librarian Helped Young Japanese Americans Endure Internment during World War II. (Library History)
Librarians celebrate the power of the written word and its ability to change lives. Whether rallying against censorship or finding the perfect book for a reluctant or burgeoning reader, library professionals have a rich history of helping people through...
Once and Future Libraries: Virtual and Real. (Grassroots Report)
In last month's column, the example of an Ohio library serving as a site for free or reduced-price lunch programs as part of summer reading activities was cited as the kind of thinking that libraries need to engage in to secure their place in the future...
On-the-Fly Reference: The Art of Answering Burning Questions in the Nevada Desert. (Reference)
As librarians, we can see them coming a mile away. People with questions. They see something in our eyes and know we have the answer, or know where to find it. We're mistaken for clerks in stores, hosts at parties, and librarians in other libraries....
Outstanding Reference Sources 2002: The Annual Recommendations of Distinguished Reference Works Selected by Reference Librarians from Public and Academic Libraries. (Reference)
A mid the hubbub and excitement in New Orleans as the city geared up to host the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras festivities, a group of 11 librarians convened in a conference room during ALA's Midwinter Meeting to complete the annual task of compiling a...
Pilfered-Books Case Dismissed. (News Fronts International)
An Ontario Superior Court judge ruled February 21 that the grandson of a Canadian publisher had failed to prove that some 4,500 books in the possession of the Memorial University of Newfoundland library in St. John's rightfully belonged to his grandfather,...
Presidential Libraries: Presidential, Yes; Libraries, Not Really; These Monuments Serve More as Museums and Archival Repositories. (Special Collections)
Presidential libraries often make newspaper headlines, especially when sites for new libraries are under consideration or when new libraries are dedicated. The libraries are often the targets of media exposes. For decades, columnists for such publications...
Public Library Community Gathers in Phoenix: PLA's 9th National Conference, March 12-16. (Special Report)
The communities they serve and the community they embody brought 7,891 librarians and library supporters to Phoenix March 12-16 for the ninth biennial national conference of the Public Library Association, ALA's second-largest division. "This has got...
Reference around the Clock: Is It in Your Future? the Availability of 24/7 Reference Is Less Crucial Than the Capability to Offer It. (Reference)
The Internet is invigorating reference and information services as no other development in this generation. Librarians now have the opportunity, using real-time virtual reference systems software, to demonstrate their professional expertise in new...
Steven Garfinkel Receives 2002 Madison Award. (News Fronts Washington)
Steven Garfinkel, the leading architect of the current governmentwide security-classification system, received the American Library Association's 13th annual James Madison Award, which recognizes efforts to promote government openness. While director...
Studies Reveal Library Usage Increase. (News Fronts ALA)
The results of two ALA-commissioned studies, released April 15 during National Library Week, reveal that Americans are using libraries more than ever, and that 91% of adults believe public libraries will play an important role in the future despite...
Surveys Show Periodical, Serials Prices Remaining Steady: 2002 Numbers Reveal Cost Increases Largely Unchanged from Previous Years. (Price Indexes)
Serials and periodical prices are continuing the steady price increase trend begun in the 1990s, according to two annual surveys. The surveys, the 2002 U.S. Periodical Price Index, prepared by Barbara Albee of Divine/Faxon Library Services and Brenda...
Technically Speaking: OCLC Taps VTLS to Help Migrate WorldCat. (Information Technology)
In its effort to migrate WorldCat from proprietary database technology to Oracle's 9i database-management software, OCLC will be using portions of VTLS's Virtua software technology. As part of a March agreement, OCLC will license source code from specific...
The Association's Associations: ALTA Supports the Library Community. (News Fronts ALA)
If the many goals of our profession--equity of funding, unfettered access to information, service to diverse communities, intellectual freedom, and literacy--are to be realized, they must be translated into policy and supported by the community. That...
The Care and Feeding of Speakers and the Spoken-To: Danelle Hall and Janet Swan Hill Reflect on the Life Lessons They've Learned from Opposite Sides of the Podium. (Staff Development)
The following articles, which were written independently of each other, offer practical tips on what makes for meaningful conference programming--and, by extension, a successful conference experience for speakers and listeners alike. A View from...
The Crawford Files: Slowing Down the Speed-Up; Library Standards. (Standards)
Why do library standards take so long to adopt and implement? With the torrid pace of technological development, how can academic (and other) libraries stand for such ridiculous delays? Once something's feasible, why don't we have it now? Volunteers,...
The War on Terror: Darkest Days; from Exile in Paris, Afghan Librarian Latif Pedram Relives the Nightmare. (International)
On August 12, 1998, Afghan library director Latif Pedram lived what he refers to as "the darkest day of my life," a librarian's worst nightmare. Pedram was powerless to stop groups of soldiers from setting fire to and destroying the library in which...
This Month, 126 Years Ago
IN MAY 1876, WORCESTER (MASS.) Public Library Director Samuel Swett Green was putting the final touches on an article (American Library Journal, Nov. 30, p. 74-81) that suggested a revolutionary idea. Librarians, he argued, needed to begin providing...
Thus Said. (Opinion)
"[Librarians] don't mind doing a little community policing, but they do mind that the government has decided to get involved." National Public Radio's Larry Abramson, Morning Edition, March 25, the day the American Library Association and other groups...
Water-Damaged Texas Library Condemned, Closed. (News Fronts USA)
The Alvarado (Tex.) Public Library was condemned and the electricity and gas shut off March 19 after the city fire marshal declared the building unsafe. Although library staff knew the building--a former grocery store constructed before current...
Wisconsin Eyes Repeal of Ban on Library Fees. (News Fronts USA)
The two houses of the Wisconsin legislature were at odds in early April over whether to repeal a 130-year-old statute guaranteeing no-fee public-library services for service-area patrons. The Assembly passed March 15 a budget-adjustment bill that does...
WTO and GATS: The Challenge to Libraries. (President's Message)
The World Trade Organization (WTO) was created in 1995 as a result of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations that was launched in 1986 by ministers of member countries of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Headquartered...