Please update your browser

You're using a version of Internet Explorer that isn't supported by Questia.
To get a better experience, go to one of these sites and get the latest
version of your preferred browser:

American Libraries

Articles from Vol. 28, No. 7, August

After the FCC Victory: How to Get Telecom Discounts
On May 7 the Federal Communications Commission unanimously voted to give libraries and schools up to $2.25 billion annually in discounts on telecommunications services (AL, June/July, p. 12). The discounts should be available beginning January 1, 1998....
By Any Other Name, They're Still Our Customers
IS IT TIME TO STOP PATRONIZING THE PUBLIC AND START WAITING ON CUSTOMERS? What do libraries, restaurants, and theaters have in common? Customers. Webster's Third New International Dictionary defines the term customer as "one that patronizes or uses...
CDA, Gates, Minority Scholarships and Finding an Executive Director
The spirit of joy over the CDA victory (see p. 11-12) and the Gates Library Foundation (p. 14-15) that greeted conference-goers in San Francisco could not be broken during three sessions of ALA Council, June 29 and July 1-2, despite the skeptical views...
Censorship Watch
Muffling The Tin Drum. An ongoing battle between the Metropolitan Library System in Oklahoma City and Oklahomans for Children and Families over MLS's age-neutral access policies (AL, June/July, p. 21) has widened to include six video-rental stores and...
Chapter Report: What Does "Free" Mean Anyway?
Fee-versus-free issues regarding library services seem to get muddier in direct proportion to how close you are to the mud. In other words, the clarity of policies set at the national level sometimes gets a bit murky in state-level property-tax debates...
Colombian Book Fair Spotlights U.S. as Political Tension Rises
Latin America's largest publishers' convention, Feria Internacional del Libro, took place April 23-May 5 in Bogota, Colombia. The International Book Fair, which attracts publishers and writers from all over the world, had a record 600 exhibitors, including...
Exhibits Reveal San Francisco's High-Tech "underground."(American Library Association Annual Conference)
While most librarians at ALA's Annual Conference were enjoying the glorious San Francisco weather, the festive atmosphere, and all the other diversions by the Bay, Technically Speaking spent three days below ground wandering the exhibit aisles. Such...
Fees Fight
PUBLIC LIBRARIANS STEVE COFFMAN (LEFT) AND MAURICE FREEDMAN DUKE IT OUT OVER THE WISDOM OF CHARGING FEES FOR PUBLIC SERVICE Libraries are a public good, supported by tax dollars because they are essential to democracy, not because they turn a profit....
Gates Foundation to Invest $400 Million in Libraries
Plans are under way for the disbursement of $200 million in cash and $200 million in computer equipment and software to public libraries following the June 23 announcement by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda French Gates that they have...
Getting a Grip on Change
ONLY BY CONFRONTING THE CHALLENGES AND INEVITABILITY OF CHANGE CAN LIBRARIES RETAIN THEIR RELEVANCY IN THE INFORMATION AGE Technology. Finances. Organizational change. These are the interrelated themes that currently dominate the programs at ALA conferences....
Hawaii Terminates Outsourcing Contract
Hawaii State Librarian Bart Kane delivered a termination notice to book wholesaler Baker & Taylor on July 11 that effectively ends the controversial agreement to outsource technical services in the Hawaii State Public Library System (HSPLS). The...
How Your Grassroots Garden Grows
Like gardening, library advocacy is not an occasional activity that one can indulge as time permits. And when done with dedication, both can produce a gratifying yield. First, let me set the stage. Since I began directing Prince George's County (Md.)...
In Defense of Filtering
RESPONSES TO 10 ARGUMENTS AGAINST THE USE OF INTERNET FILTERS IN LIBRARIES We have all heard about the dangers of Internet filtering software packages from the antifiltering activists. But even in a unanimous Supreme Court decision calling the Communications...
L.A.-Area Library Systems Get Good Budget News
More accustomed to prolonged fiscal crises, Los Angeles-area librarians and library users can finally rejoice in the wake of funding news that demonstrates strong political support for the region's libraries. In a June 3 special election, Los Angeles...
Leaders Stick to Their Diversity Guns
Tempers flared during the Annual Conference meetings (June 27, 30, and July 2) of the ALA Executive Board in San Francisco when the Association's endowment trustees questioned the use of endowment funds to pay for the Spectrum Initiative (EBD#12.12,...
Librarian Suspended after Vexing White-Rights Group
A Jacksonville (Fla.) Public Library branch manager has been suspended without pay for 10 days after strenuously objecting to a February 25 apology letter that then-acting director of libraries Sylvia Cornell sent to the local chapter of the National...
Libraries Aren't Bookstores, and Patrons Aren't Customers
I live in a Chicago neighborhood that offers a new Barnes & Noble "superstore" and a new branch of the public library both within walking distance of my house, both done in the oak-rich, Arts-and-Crafts style that characterizes so much design today....
Renamed BookExpo America Still a Hit with Librarians
Librarians who visited BookExpo America at McCormick Place in Chicago May 31-June 2 were treated to a mouth-watering sight - hundreds of exhibits filled with publisher's catalogs, previews of fall releases, give-aways, sign-ups, and send-offs. This annual...
Scouting for Net Sites
Internet Scout, a project staffed by librarians and dedicated to electronic reader's advisory services (located at http://scout.cs.wisc.edu/scout/), recently received a $3-million grant from the National Science Foundation. What are we taxpayers getting...
Suit Threatens Library Telecom Discounts
Alleging that federally mandated discounted telecommunications services for libraries and schools are a new tax, SBC Communications filed suit in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis June 18 to overturn parts of the FCC's order on universal...
Supreme Court Strikes Down Communications Decency Act
Librarians, computer users, and civil libertarians scored a decisive victory June 26 when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled - unanimously in most respects - that the Communications Decency Act was an unconstitutional violation of free-speech rights. By a...
Videoconference Screens "Motion Media & Library of the Future"
The name "library" has lost its etymologic meaning and means not a collection of books, but the central agency for disseminating information, innocent recreation, or best of all, inspiration among the people. Whenever this can be done better, more quickly...