American Libraries

Articles from Vol. 32, No. 4, April

10 Reasons Why the Internet Is No Substitute for a Library
Reading, said the great English essayist Matthew Arnold, "is culture." Given the condition of reading test scores among school children nationwide, it isn't surprising to find both our nation and our culture in trouble. Further, the rush to Internetize...
A Price Tag for the Information Age
Leonard Kniffel Why should librarians care what Patricia Schroeder and the Association of American Publishers think of encryption and circumvention? Why care about New York Times Company vs. Tasini? Or the Uniform Computer Information Transaction...
Buckle Up for Safety: Two Essential E-Tools
The business of protecting your computers and network against public intrusions--accidental or intended--absorbs countless hours of IT time, and explains why your computer-support people disappear for long periods while you crawl around on the floor...
Censorship Watch
Mom Loses Livermore Appeal. The California Court of Appeal agreed March 6 with a lower-court decision that the Livermore (Calif.) Public Library is not constitutionally obligated to offer blocking software on its public-access Internet terminals....
Clinton Library Shares Donor List, Wins Case
In a last-minute compromise, lawyers for the William J. Clinton Foundation March 5 handed over to House investigators a list of the names of about 120 donors who gave more than $5,000 to support the Clinton Presidential Library. Lawyers for the...
Columbus Schools Get $4.6 Million for Books
Columbus (Ohio) Public Schools will purchase nearly a quarter of a million new books for school libraries this spring under a $4.6-million plan announced February 20 by Superintendent Rosa Smith. A 1999 curriculum-management audit of the school...
Consumer Reports Finds Filters Ineffective
A study by Consumer Reports magazine found that Internet filters have shown little improvement since the magazine last tested them in 1997. The report, which appeared in the March issue, tested six of the most popular filters, as well as AOL's parental...
Elmore Leonard's Legman
A FULL-TIME RESEARCHER HELPS THE RENOWNED MYSTERY WRITER KEEP IT REAL What kind of beer do Rwandans drink? How does a person disappear and create a new identity? Do Chicago police use hollow-point bullets or full metal jackets? Oh, and one last...
Executive Director Agrees to at Least One More Year
ALA Executive Director William Gordon has agreed to an extension of his three year contract, which expired at the end of February, for at least one more year and is negotiating with the Executive Board for a possible extension of his employment to...
Intellectual Freedom in Cuban Libraries: Does It Exist?
ANN SPARANESE AND ROBERT KENT DEBATE ACCESS, THE INDEPENDENT LIBRARIES, AND THE U.S. EMBARGO Cuban society seems to be opening up, compared to 40 years ago. The country has experienced a growth in international trade and an explosion in tourism...
Lessons from an Internet Sage
AN ONLINE PIONEER REMEMBERS WHEN GOPHERS WERE CUTTING EDGE AND YAHOO WAS A LITERARY REFERENCE I recently rejoined the staff of a publishing company that I had worked for 10 years ago. A decade ago, a Yahoo was an inhabitant of a fictional island...
Man's Best Morsel
One Monday morning, I was in my office working on the budget and a neighbor named Ralph called me up out of the blue. "Hey, Will," he says, "You work in a library, right? Could you possibly get me a book on how to prepare dog meat?" "Interesting...
Nicholson Baker Returns in Prose and Prank
Author and activist Nicholson Baker has again taken aim at library preservation practices--twice. Once for real, in a new book, and once as the butt of a hoax perpetrated by someone he calls "a misguided supporter." Baker's new book, Double Fold,...
Obituaries
Frederick B. Adams Jr., director of the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York City from 1948 to 1969, died at his home in Chisseaux, France. He was 90. * Beryl I. Bean, retired school librarian at Timothy Christian Schools in Elmhurst, Illinois, died...
Opposing UCITA: Libraries Can't Do It Alone
NO MATTER HOW CLOSELY librarians follow politics in their states, they're often surprised when they learn that UCITA is on the verge of introduction there. UCITA (Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act) is the proposed state contract law that...
People
Currents Sharon Anderson began her new duties as children's librarian at the Cape Girardeau (Mo.) Public Library January 8. * W. Reid Austin has joined the staff of the University of North Carolina/ Pembroke's Sampson-Livermore Library as reference/instructional...
Solutions in Hand, Planners Earn High Marks from Their Peers
AIA/ALA BUILDING AWARDS GO TO EIGHT LIBRARY PROJECTS Ahectic city strip, where apartments and commercial buildings clamor for attention. ... A cherished institution housed in a 1912 colonial-revival building seeking to provide access for all patrons....
Technically Speaking
Heads Up for a New Format In late February NISO published a draft standard titled "File Specification for the Digital Talking Book" and asked for comments through March 20 (www.niso.org/Z3986.html). The standard, ANSI/NISO Z39.86, is expected to...
The Information Commons: Librarians vs. Libertarians
Whenever librarians hear about how the new "information economy" is making our jobs obsolete, we should keep one thing in mind: There is a deep political divide between the egalitarian values of librarianship and the politics endorsed by many information...
The Wisdom of Hindsight: New Library One Year Later
MISTAKES MAKE BETTER TEACHERS THAN DO SUCCESSES, AND HINDSIGHT IS SHARPER THAN FORESIGHT Over the last 10 years, I've helped to design three new library buildings, each about twice the size of the one before. These libraries differed in scale, interior...
This Month, 656 Years Ago
IN APRIL 1345, THE FEW students of library management who lived on the European continent were just beginning to hear about a new book by Richard de Bury (1287-1345) titled Philobiblon (1345), one of the first textbooks for the education of librarians....
Thus Said
"Lincoln would never have dreamt of letting some political strategist tell him whether or not to oppose slavery.... The Gettysburg Address was not market-tested by focus groups with electrodes on their chests." --Historian MICHAEL BESCHLOSS at the...
Washington Earthquake Topples Books, Skews Shelving
Six counties in western Washington State were declared disaster areas following a magnitude-6.8 earthquake February 28 that caused an estimated $2 billion in damage to roads, buildings, and bridges in Seattle, Tacoma, and Olympia. Although only one...
Why Libraries Are More Popular Than Ever
Message from ALA President Nancy Kranich Why do we still need libraries? Reporters constantly ask me this question. School superintendents ask why books are needed when the Internet offers children everything necessary to complete school assignments....