American Libraries

Articles from Vol. 31, No. 8, September

An Enduring Challenge, Gladly Accepted
When I was elected president of the American Library Association in 1979, I had recently read the festschrift prepared for Lester Asheim (As Much to Learn As to Teach, edited by Joel M. Lee and Beth A. Hamilton, Linnet Books, 1979), and I had been...
British Library Disposing of Newspapers
An American novelist's report that the British Library has disposed of almost 10% of its historic collection of newspapers has focused new attention on the issue in Britain. Nicholson Baker, whose novels include The Fermata (1994) and Vox (1992),...
Building Partnerships for 21st-Century Literacy
Our parents and grandparents had to be able to read in order to succeed. Now, in the 21st century, print literacy is no longer enough. If we are to keep afloat in a huge sea of information exponentially larger than the printed word that served our...
Child Protection Group Holds Final Hearing
The Commission on Online Child Protection held its third and final hearing August 3-4 in San Jose, California. The commission, which was established with the passage of the Child Online Protection Act (AL, Nov. 1998, p. 16), is charged with identifying...
Filter-Friendly Libraries
With concerns continuing unabated in some quarters about the digitized dangers lurking on the Internet, officials in two communities made headlines by tightening the filter policies of their public libraries. * The Greenville County (S.C.) Library...
Fire Closes Clearwater Branch; Teens Arrested
Three teenagers have been charged with breaking into the North Greenwood branch of the Clearwater (Fla.) Public Library System at 3 a.m. July 16 and setting a fire that caused some $150,000 in damage and is expected to keep the facility closed for...
First-Timers and Alliances Mark the Exhibits
"Have you seen it yet?" "No," I answered, "I missed that one." I silently made up all sorts of excuses why I had failed to notice that a new library management system was being marketed for the first time at ALA's Annual Conference, but I didn't say...
Former Student Sues to Get Thesis into Library
Chris Brown, who battled the University of California/Santa Barbara to receive his master's degree for nearly a year after completing his thesis, filed a lawsuit in June against members of the university faculty for refusing to place a copy of his...
Global Reach
UNITED STATES The Fulbright Scholar Program, sponsored by the Department of State, is offering more awards in library science for U.S. citizens to lecture and/or conduct research abroad during the 2001-2002 academic year. Awards are available for...
La. Obscenity Complaint Leads to 3-Hour Closing
The Harahan branch of the Jefferson Parish (La.) Library was closed for three hours July 19 as police executed a search warrant following a parent's obscenity complaint. Police obtained the warrant after library Director Joan Adams and parish attorney...
Libraries Team Up with Bill Moyers to Tackle Tough End-of-Life Issues
NEW PBS SERIES OFFERS FREE PROGRAMMING MATERIALS ONLINE Libraries in 12 states are playing a major role in an unprecedented national outreach effort supporting a new Bill Moyers television series, On Our Own Terms: Bill Moyers on Dying. A primary...
Managing Internet Access: Results of a National Survey
THERE'S NOTHING LAISSEZ-FAIRE ABOUT THE APPROACH PUBLIC LIBRARIANS ARE TAKING TOWARD REGULATING INTERNET ACCESS Sociology professors often ask their students to guess whether more people die in fires or by drowning each year. It is a trick question...
Milwaukee PL Auctions Patent Collection Online
The Milwaukee Public Library has begun auctioning part of its extensive collection of British patent volumes through the eBay Web site. The library, which hopes to regain a mile of shelf space for its bursting collections, decided to get rid of the...
Nine Models, One Name: Untangling the E-Book Muddle
THERE'S MORE TO E-BOOKS THAN THE LOCKED READING DEVICES WE'VE BEEN HEARING SO MUCH ABOUT What's the future of e-books? What should librarians do about them? The easy answer to the second question may be, "Don't lose too much sleep just yet." There's...
Obituaries
Sheila J. Malech, 66, former school librarian, circulation manager at the Worthington (Ohio) Public Library, and computer system librarian at the Westerville (Ohio) Public Library, died July 18. Rollin P. Marquis, 74, who as chief librarian of the...
On My Mind
It Isn't Rocket Science; It Isn't Even Library Science Like Rodney Dangerfield, librarians sometimes get no respect. Even in the year 2000, we are still victims of hopelessly out-of-date negative stereotypes. Images of rigidly controlling, rulebound...
Peggy Barber: Reminiscences and Hopes for the Future
After more than 30 years at ALA, Peggy Barber has decided to move on. She leaves behind a distinguished legacy: She was associate executive director of communications since 1984 and executive director of the Fund for America's Libraries. She created...
People
Currents Ruta Abolins has been named director of the Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia/Athens libraries. At Benicia (Calif.) Public Library, Allison Angell has been appointed a public services librarian....
Reader Forum
Seven Habits of ALA Council What an impressive lineup of Annual Conference keynote speakers this year in Chicago (Aug., p. 10-12): Studs Terkel, Jonathan Kozol, Stephen Covey. ALA's ability to attract such high-powered and well-known talent speaks...
Reforma Taps into the Power of Language
For most library practitioners, it was their love affair with the written word, especially as they recall it nestled on the library shelves they gravitated to as children, that brought them to the profession. From that perspective, the title of the...
Report: LC Must Develop Better Digital Strategy
The Library of Congress needs to act quickly to "address strategy, management, funding, and staffing issues that threaten to render the institution second-rate among today's digital libraries," according to a report issued July 26 by the National Academies'...
Round Up the Usual Suspects: Filters, COPA, and All That
In late July I hauled myself to Richmond, Virginia, in a rainstorm so heavy it was like driving through a huge car wash, to talk once again about the problems with Internet filters--this time before the Commission on the Child Online Protection Act....
Stark County Strikes; Two Branches Closed
Professional librarians, paraprofessionals, clerks, maintenance workers, and drivers hoisted picket signs at 12:01 a.m. July 31 at the Stark County District Library in Canton, Ohio, after a meeting with a federal mediator failed to reach a settlement...
The Key to Intellectual Freedom Is Universal Access to Information
BARRIERS TO KNOWLEDGE EXIST, AND IT IS UP TO ALL OF US TO HELP REMOVE THEM There is, in the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, a mural called The Key, by Billy Morrow Jackson. The main subject of the mural is Jane Addams (1860-1935), longtime...
The Library of Congress Gets an F
On January 26, 1802, President Thomas Jefferson signed into law a bill defining the role and functions of the recently created Library of Congress. The terms were simple: It established the post of Librarian and authorized Congress to set the library's...
The Manley Art of Forgiveness
It was a scary moment. A woman I had known for 15 years passed me in the hallway. She said, "Hi, Will!" in her normally bright and cheery way. I looked up, smiled, and then panicked. I could not remember her name. Good Lord, I knew her face. I knew...
The Public Library as Great Equalizer
PUBLIC LIBRARIES ARE ONE OF THE FEW TRULY PUBLIC COMMUNITY VENUES LEFT IN THE U.S. I was recently researching an article about Baltimore's Enoch Pratt Free Library for a local magazine, a piece I had chosen to write not because of any association...
This Month, 95 Years Ago
..THE NEW YORK TIMES reported September 21, 1905, that New York Public Library Circulation Department Chief Arthur Bostwick bad decided to pull George Bernard Shaw's Man and Superman (1903) from the library's open shelves. Books "calculated to make...
Who Says It's Always Greener on the Other Side?
UNSEEN BENEFITS MAY BE USEFUL IN LIBRARIES' RECRUITING EFFORTS The Wall Street Journal headlined it: "Libraries compete for staff with dot-coms seeking information managers" (May 4, 2000). Many library and information science graduates are now going...
Windy City Wrap-Up
THE PICK OF THE PROGRAMS FROM ALA'S ANNUAL CONFERENCE IN CHICAGO Last month American Libraries recapped some of the high points of ALA's 119th Annual Conference, held July 6-12 in Chicago. That brief overview (Aug., p. 10-12), however, omitted the...