American Libraries

Articles from Vol. 30, No. 8, September

ALA Black Caucus Hits the Jackpot in Las Vegas
Holding the fourth National Conference of African American Librarians in Las Vegas was, fittingly, something of a gamble, Gregory Reese implied. Reese, president of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, the ALA affiliate that sponsored...
Ala News
The work of the American Library Association GetNetWise Initiative Makes Surfing Safer Nearly three dozen of the world's leading Internet companies and associations have launched GetNetWise (www.GetNetWise.org), an online guide to making Web...
Ala President's Message
The Spectrum Initiative Needs You Try this test. Get up from your desk and go outside of your library. Walk around and look at the faces of the people who inhabit the community your library serves. (This test works for academic, public, school,...
ALA's Carol Henderson Moves beyond the Beltway
Carol C. Henderson, who joined ALA in 1975 and became executive director of the Washington Office in 1994, retired August 13 (AL, May, p. 14). Washington Office Communications Specialist Deirdre Herman asked Henderson to take a look back before she...
A Million Pennies for Your Library
Late in the fall of 1997, I became a trustee for the Delos F. Diggins Library in Harvard, Illinois, knowing full well that our small community just south of the Wisconsin border would be attempting to pass a referendum before the millennium for a new...
Atlanta Library Trustees' Hiring Process Questioned
Controversy has already erupted over the appointment of Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System Director Mary Kaye Donohue-Hooker, who was scheduled to start on August 18. A five-year-old watchdog organization, the Atlanta-based Georgia First Amendment...
Bibliographic Good vs. Evil in Buffy the Vampire Slayer
KNOWLEDGE PREVAILS OVER THE FORCES OF DARKNESS, THANKS TO RUPERT GILES, SCHOOL LIBRARIAN I am not alone in the belief that the appearance of school librarian Rupert Giles on television's Buffy the Vampire Slayer has done more for the image of the...
Blind Protestors Call for Librarian's Reinstatement
Some 80 to 100 blind people picketed the office of Missouri Secretary of State Bekki Cook July 22 in Jefferson City to protest the firing of Beth Eckles, director of the Wolfner Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, a division of the state...
Censorship Watch
Christopher Pike Spiked. Escondido (Calif.) Union School District trustees voted unanimously July 15 to pull 25 novels by Christopher Pike from the shelves of the district's elementary and middle school libraries, the Associated Press reported July...
Chapter Report: Across the Spectrum
Two impressive groups gathered at the Radisson Hotel in New Orleans just prior to the ALA Annual Conference in June. They both augur well for the future of librarianship. One was made up of the first year of Spectrum scholarship winners (AL, June/July...
Compared to What? or, Where to Find the Stats
STATISTICS CAN BE USED TO TOOT THE LIBRARY HORN OR MAKE THE CASE FOR MORE FUNDING A well known comic routine features two old friends meeting in a bar. One says, "How's your wife?" The other replies, "Compared to what?" The article by Thomas Hennen...
Currents
At Ashland (Ohio) University, new appointments include Edward Adams Jr. as public services librarian and Judith Albert as reference librarian. Sheila B. Anderson was recently named manager of young adult services at Allen County (Ind.) Public Library....
Datebook
ALA EVENTS Information about events sponsored by ALA and its divisions is also available on the ALA Web page. Visit www.ala.org/events/for additional events and more information, or call 800-545-2433. September: Library Card Sign Up Month. For...
Everything Old Is New Again
ONCE THOUGHT TO BE ELITIST, THE PUBLIC LIBRARY INQUIRY IS AS RELEVANT TODAY AS IT WAS 50 YEARS AGO At the brink of a new millennium, the American public library totters on the edge of change, and the view is more than a little frightening. The accelerated...
Excellence in Action: 1999 ALA Award Winners
"When I was watching the Academy Awards, I was envious of Roberto. Wish I could run and whoop like he did. That's what I feel. I'm just a little more understated." Peggy Barber's sentiments (if not Roberto Benigni's antics) were shared by other recipients...
Federal Court Upholds E-Rate
In what Federal Communications Commission Chair William Kennard called "a victory for America's children," a federal appeals court has upheld the e-rate program of telecommunications discounts for libraries and schools. The U.S. Court of Appeals...
FirstSearch in Your Nighty
With many database vendors offering good pricing schemes for off-site use, our patrons can access FirstSearch in their underwear, retrieve full-text magazine articles in the wee hours before a class paper is due, and spend all day logged in to a session...
Great American Public Libraries: HAPLR Ratings, Round Two
A TABULATION OF NEW FEDERAL DATA SUPPLIES MORE EVIDENCE OF EXCELLENCE Was the weather better before climatologists invented the wind-chill index or does it just seem that way? Does a library-rating index change the value or quality of the service...
Keeping Up with the Times
If I were standing next to you in the registration line at an ALA conference and asked you to "tell me about your library," my guess is that you would first identify your library by type - academic, public, school, or special. Then you would probably...
Librarian's Library
Literacy Leadership Take a leadership role and make your library the community's primary family literacy provider, urges author Carole Talan in Founding and Funding Family Literacy Programs: A How-To-Do-It Manual. Talan provides step-by-step instructions...
Library Scofflaws Face Arrest and Jail
In what is perceived - at least by the media - as a get-tough policy on the part of libraries, a number of overdue borrowers have been arrested recently after failing to respond to legal notices. A Wichita woman, who was arrested and briefly jailed...
Library's Decision to Sell Painting Protested
A painting that generations of patrons had grown accustomed to seeing at Evanston (Ill.) Public Library has been removed pending its sale, despite pleas by library staff and residents to keep the treasure on display. The oil-on-canvas painting is...
Michigan Library Charges $100 for Unfiltered Internet Access
For three days in August, anyone seeking unfiltered Internet access at the Georgetown Township Library in suburban Grand Rapids, Michigan, would have paid $100 per hour. The pay-per-view policy was established by the township administration in anticipation...
Mouths Wide Open
When I was a kid, my mother would now and then take me to a drive-in theater. I got to pick the movie. One time, I chose Two Women, so I could decide if Sophia Loren really deserved the Oscar more than Audrey Hepburn. At 14, that's what I cared about....
News Fronts USA
Group Urges Parental Access A 40-member citizens' community task force, formed after the April shooting at Columbine High School (AL, June/July, p. 26-28), recommended to the Jefferson County (Colo.) School Board August 10 that a state law be enacted...
Nothing but Blue Sky(ways): Fyan Grant Yields High Returns
After the hard work of submitting an award nomination or a grant application, after the jury's deliberation between worthy candidates, after the flurry of the awards reception at ALA Annual Conference, what happens to all the award winners and grant...
Opportunities & Honors
Each year, the American Library Association and its member units sponsor over 100 awards. These awards consists of Grants, Recognition Awards, Scholarships and Conference Sponsorships. See Index for award categories and general information. AASL...
Part of the Solution: Librarians Work to Stop Gun Violence
A LIBRARIAN-ACTIVIST SEES AN EMERGING ROLE FOR INFORMATION PROFESSIONALS AS SOCIAL ADVOCATES Librarians and information specialists are professionally trained to not take a political position regarding information. In public, academic, and most...
Public Library Circulation Dips as Spending Continues to Climb
JUVENILE CIRCULATION UP 7% WHILE ADULT CIRCULATION DROPS 2% In 1998, the Index of American Public Library Circulation was 115, a 1% decrease from the 1997 circulation index of 116, but a 5% increase from the 1996 index of 110. The index of expenditures...
Quantifying Library Quality: A Homework Center Report Card
LIBRARIES CAN PRY OPEN THE DOOR TO MORE SUPPORT BY CLOSING THE STATISTICS GAP BETWEEN PROGRAMMING INPUT AND OUTCOMES Most adults who are lucky enough to function effectively in the Information Age tend to take that ability for granted. They fail...
Reader Forum
A Poor Excuse On June 29, at ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, Council refused to approve a resolution (Aug., p. 93) on subject-heading revisions related to ALA's Poor People's Policy. The resolution, among other things, called for establishing...
Research 101
When I used to ask students what they thought the best source of information on a particular topic might be, they used to reply hesitantly "videos?" or "newspapers?" Nowadays, they tend to answer, "the computer?" For all they know, words spring onto...
Technically Speaking
Marking Progress, Part Two The first installment of the "Marking Progress" series (AL, June, p. 134) summarized the pre-PC stage of computing as being an era in which textual data, both structured and unstructured, was stored in proprietary database...
The Association's Associations: LITA for Regeneration and Vitality
The rate of change within ALA's Library and Information Technology Association this year has rivaled the progress of technology itself. Last year the membership was invited to develop new strategic initiatives and to identify the most important...
The Kennedys
The wall-to-wall coverage following the tragic death of John F. Kennedy Jr. provided ample opportunity for television's talking heads to get their facts wrong. How many times, for instance, did you hear the 38-year-old Kennedy called John-John?...
The Tyranny of Professionalism
Back in the monochromatic days of the 1950s and '60s, library work wasn't vexed with the mania of professionalism. Likewise, all the waste and woes created by the professional mentality had yet to foul the libraries. Some of us who became college...
This Month, 81 Years Ago
The Chicago Public Library Board of Trustees voted unanimously and publicly to ban all German books from the shelves; without comment Library Journal told its readers about a report from the National Security League urging that public libraries remove...
To Fine or Not to Fine
PUBLIC LIBRARIANS DUSTY GRES (RIGHT) AND KAREN HICKLIN DEBATE THE FINER POINTS OF OVERDUES MANAGEMENT Library fines in this automated age seem oddly antiquated. Are they really an effective deterrent to delinquency? Public librarians who assertively...
Universities Sign Unusual Library-Sharing Agreement
New Jersey City University in Jersey City signed what it considers to be a forward-looking agreement July 28 to share its campus library with the University of Phoenix, a controversial for-profit college that wants to open a campus in New Jersey, a...
Up to Speed on DVD
IT COULD - AND SHOULD - BE YOUR LIBRARY'S NEXT MEDIUM Who needs a new medium? Books form the basis, you have CDs under control, and VHS videos work well enough. Anyway, won't everything arrive on the Internet any day now? If you're a true believer...
Zimbabwe Book Fair Gives Unique View of Africa
The Zimbabwe International Book Fair (ZIBF) offers a window into Africa, both physically and intellectually, through the writers represented. It is a journey of discovery undertaken this year by 11 U.S. librarians who attended the fair in Harare August...