American Libraries

Articles from Vol. 29, No. 5, May

Best of Times; Worst of Times
You don't read that much about the homeless these days. It's not that the homeless no longer exist, it's just that people have very little sympathy for them anymore. When the unemployment rate sinks beneath 4% and the annual economic growth rate climbs...
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Betting on Community Support
Budget battles are nothing new to libraries, but the one just endured by the El Dorado County Library's South Lake Tahoe (Calif.) Library branch left it teetering on the edge of extinction. A betting person at one of the nearby casinos in Nevada might...
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Boston's Arthur Curley Dies at 60
Arthur Curley, who directed the Boston Public Library through a period of funding cuts and oversaw plans for the renovation of the main library in Copley square, died March 31 after a prolonged bout with cancer. He was 60. Prior to his BPL tenure in...
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Employee Rights versus the First Amendment
IS IT CENSORSHIP FOR A LIBRARY TO REMOVE AN ART EXHIBIT CONTAINING A DEAD KITTEN? A student art exhibit in the Dacus Library at Winthrop University in South Carolina recently forced the library and the staff to consider the dilemma of the right of freedom...
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Home-Front Horror Tales for Would-Be Public Internet Access Providers
There's no question that there is a wealth of material on the Internet that can supplement a library's collection immensely. In some libraries, Internet access has, in effect, doubled or even tripled the size of the reference collection. The vast amounts...
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Mexican, American Librarians Advance Transborder Cooperation
Riverside, California, was the site March 5-7 of the eighth annual Transborder Library Forum, or Foro Transfronterizo de Bibliotecas, commonly referred to simply as "Foro." The University of California/Riverside and the historic Mission Inn hosted keynote...
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Notes from a Forty-Percenter
According to the 1997 Survey of Public Libraries and the Internet, the good news is that over 70% of public libraries in the United States were connected to the Internet one way or another. (Understand that "connectivity" is an all-encompassing phrase...
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Outstanding Reference Sources: The 1997 Selection of New Titles
ANNUAL RECOMMENDATIONS OF DISTINGUISHED REFERENCE WORKS SELECTED BY EXPERIENCED LIBRARIANS Forty years ago, as Pan American launched its first jet service to Europe and American Express began a commercial revolution by introducing credit cards, a small...
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Public Librarians Tackle Practical Issues in Kansas City
"Writers have a special obligation and responsibility for libraries," said author and humorist Calvin Trillin, keynoting the March 10 opening session of the seventh national conference of ALA's Public Library Association, in Kansas City, Missouri. The...
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Purveyors or Prescribers: What Should Librarians Be?
LONGTIME FRIENDS AND SOMETIME FOES JOEY RODGER AND CHARLIE ROBINSON DEBATE WANTS VERSUS NEEDS, AND OTHER VALUE JUDGMENTS The question of whether to give library patrons what they want or what they need is not a new one. A trend toward the former has...
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Reference Etiquette: A Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior
A GENTLE REMINDER ABOUT PROPER PUBLIC-SERVICE PRINCIPLES Reference librarians are flexing their muscles, stretching them well beyond the conventional walls of the library and far beyond the border of the usual reference desk. Library journals remind...
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Taking Libraries to the Street: Infoshops & Alternative Reading Rooms
THESE STOREFRONT CENTERS OFFER UNIQUE RESOURCES FOR THEIR COMMUNITIES AND A VALUES LESSON FOR LIBRARIANS Imagine a collectively run library that archives alternative-press publications. Envision a politically radical bookshop where customers can use...
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Tornadoes Sock Libraries in Southern Minnesota
Tornadoes packing winds up to 206 miles per hour ripped through southern Minnesota March 29, damaging school and public libraries in the rural communities of St. Peter and Comfrey, about 12 miles north and 60 miles west of Mankato, respectively. Although...
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Two Hundred and Twenty Thousand Platitudes
From time immemorial, or so it seems, utterances about the importance and value of libraries have been with us. Recent efforts by ALA to encourage celebrities of one kind or another to issue such utterances are only a new wrinkle on the old game. If...
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U.S. Periodical Prices - 1998
PERIODICAL PRICES CONTINUE TO RISE AT NEAR DOUBLE-DIGIT LEVELS Publication of the 1998 U.S. Periodical Price Index (USPPI) represents the 38th annual study of this type sponsored by the Library Materials Price Index Committee (LMPIC) of the Association...
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U.S. Serial Services Price Index for 1998
THE INTERNET CONTINUES TO MAKE INROADS AS AVERAGE PRICES GO UP BY 4.5% This is the 35th annual survey of U.S. Serial Services, a product of the ALA/ALCTS Library Materials Price Index Committee, working in conjunction with the Faxon Company. The selection...
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When Trust Isn't Enough
TO OUR CHAGRIN, THERE'S LAWLESSNESS EVEN ON STAFF - AND LESSONS TO BE LEARNED Threats to the safety of library staff, buildings, and collections are not limited to those committed by outside perpetrators (AL, Aug. 1996, p. 32-41). Just as invidious,...
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When Values Conflict
OUR VALUES ARE THE FOUNDATION OF OUR PROFESSION - BUT HOW SHOULD WE RESPOND WHEN THEY CALL FOR CONTRADICTORY ACTIONS? For libraries, as well as the rest of society, these are revolutionary times. Change is so rapid that it is impossible to keep up....
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