American Libraries

Articles from Vol. 28, No. 5, May

Chapter Report: The State Literacy Scene
What role can a state library association play in literacy efforts? The answers may not be as many and varied as the number of state chapters, but they range from little or no involvement to publicizing member efforts, promoting member programs, and...
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Community Stories for the 21st Century
Almost everyone I've met as executive director of ALA has a library story - from celebrities, such as actress-choreographer Debbie Allen, Microsoft's Bill Gates, writer Sandra Cisneros, father of the Internet Vinton Cerf, and President Clinton, to children...
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Computers, Technology, Books - Yes, but Literacy Must Come First
ALA'S COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR OFFERS FIVE GOOD REASONS WHY LIBRARIANS SHOULD CLAIM LITERACY AS OUR TOP PROFESSIONAL MISSION Literacy is the ability to read. Computer screen, printed page, or simple road sign. Before home pages or reference sources,...
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Creating a Community of Readers to Fight Functional Literacy
A PROGRAM WITH HEART IN NORTH CAROLINA EXEMPLIFIES THE FINE WORK MADE POSSIBLE BY THE LILA WALLACE-READER'S DIGEST FUND Every morning when I was a child, my grandparents would get up an hour early so they would have time to read the morning paper and...
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DCPL Audit Proceeds despite Board Refusal
Acceding to the request of two city council members, District of Columbia Public Library officials opened up their financial books April 8 for what was expected to be a 60-day government audit of the library's accounting practices. Council members Kathy...
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Increased Funding Is Only Way to More Staff
"Kids who aren't logged on and literate will be lost in the 21st century." "Kids need libraries that are wired, well-stocked, staffed, and open when they need them." These are phrases I have used repeatedly this year as your president. I have also...
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Learning, Literacy, and Libraries: AASL's Portland Adventure
Although balancing their dual roles as educators and information providers is often demanding and sometimes even thrilling, school media specialists may not think of their jobs as an adventure. However, when the American Association of School Librarians...
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Librarians and Sex - Round 2
Historical records are not entirely clear on this subject, but strong evidence suggests that librarians were engaging in sexual activities as far back as the 21st century B. C. in ancient Babylonia. Like other vocations in that stratified society, librarianship...
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Libraries and Literacy: A Tradition Greets a New Century
MEETING THE LITERACY NEEDS OF ADULTS REMAINS CENTRAL DESPITE NEW MEDIA AND ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY What factors are linked to successful library literacy programs? Literature, case studies, and research suggest a number of important ingredients. These success...
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Outstanding Reference Sources: The 1997 Selection of Recent Titles
ANNUAL RECOMMENDATIONS OF DISTINGUISHED REFERENCE WORKS SELECTED BY ALA/RUSA'S REFERENCE SOURCES COMMITTEE An icon calls to mind the essential characteristics of the object being depicted. For reference services and sources I have seen libraries use...
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Parting Shots from a Man of Library Letters
ALA'S PUBLISHING GURU LOOKS BACK ON 30 YEARS AS EDITOR-WRITER-LIBRARIAN As editor of American Libraries from 1975 to 1989, Arthur Plotnik brought a new vitality and pizzazz to the magazine. As editorial director for ALA Editions, he has done the same...
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Philly Friends Group No Friends to Weeding
Librarians discard books all the time, but to the public the idea can seem oxymoronic. Witness the huge flap that weeding has raised in Philadelphia, where the practice has prompted some library Friends to sic the city controller on Free Library of Philadelphia...
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Selecting Internet Filtering Software: Buyer Beware
There's been plenty of hullabaloo lately surrounding Internet filtering software packages. These programs, designed to block access to specific Web sites, have been touted as plug 'n' play panaceas for your Internet woes. What they lack, however, is...
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Supreme Court Hears ALA's CDA Challenge
In its first opportunity to rule on how the First Amendment applies in cyberspace, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments March 19 on the constitutionality of the Communications Decency Act, Congress's attempt to regulate sexual material on the Internet....
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The 15% Solution: Literacy and Learning Disabilities
SPECIAL TECHNIQUES FOR PEOPLE WITH LD CAN BREAK DOWN FORMIDABLE BARRIERS TO READING When we walk into a room and turn on the switch, the light goes on. When Andy flicks the same switch, the furnace goes on. Somehow his wiring works differently. Andy...
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The Old Point-and-Click Routine
I can remember being on the reference desk with two phones ringing, three patrons in line in front of me, and three call-backs waiting. Believe me, the patron who asked for the Adult Basic Education collection (what we called books purchased with grant...
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The Outsourcing Dilemma
POLAR OPPOSITES BART KANE AND PATRICIA WALLACE DEBATE THE MERITS OF THE HAWAII MODEL The recent decision of the Hawaii State Public Library System to outsource collection development with Baker & Taylor for the next five years has generated a considerable...
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Unleashing Patron Power at Libraries for the Future
ACCENTUATING THE PUBLIC IN PUBLIC LIBRARIES, A NATIONAL ADVOCACY GROUP MOVES INTO THE DRIVER'S SEAT It's a librarian's dream come true: Like an overprotective home-security system, a critical mass of self-actualized library lovers sound a raucous alarm...
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U.S., Mideastern Librarians Share Experiences in Cairo
At all hours of the day and night in Cairo, Egypt, it's impossible to avoid the constant sound of quick-beeping car horns, as drivers warn pedestrians, donkey carts, and fellow motorists to get out of the way. Throughout the day, and especially in the...
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U.S. Periodical Price Index for 1997
PERIODICAL PRICES DROP BELOW DOUBLE-DIGIT PERCENTAGE INCREASES Publication of the 1997 U.S. Periodical Price Index represents the 37th annual study of this type sponsored by the Library Materials Price Index Committee (LMPIC) of the Association of Library...
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U.S. Serial Services Price Index for 1997
THIS YEAR'S SURVEY REVEALS INCREASES, BUT THEY ARE LESS DRAMATIC THAN IN YEARS PAST This is the 34th annual survey of U.S. Serial Services, a product of the Library Materials Price Index Committee of ALA's Association for Library Collections and Technical...
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Web Is the Subtext at Computers in Libraries '97
Held just outside Washington, D.C., on March 10-12 - only three weeks after ALA had its Midwinter Meeting in that same city - Computers in Libraries '97 presented conference-goers a welcome contrast. First was the weather: An early spring greeted us,...
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