American Libraries

Articles from Vol. 37, No. 5, May

2006 ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans
MORIAL CONVENTION CENTER JUNE 22-29, 2006 EVENTS WORTH GETTING JAZZED OVER! OPENING GENERAL SESSION FEATURING MADELEINE ALBRIGHT Saturday, June 24, 2006, 5:30-7:30 pm Morial Convention Center Hall F ALA is thrilled to welcome...
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ALTA Plays Active Role in Communities
If the many goals of our profession--equity of funding, unfettered access to information, service to diverse communities, intellectual freedom, and literacy--are to be realized, they must be translated into policy and supported by members of the community....
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Boston Gets All Booked Up: Public Library Association National Conference
Welcome to what promises to be the best PLA conference ever," enthused Public Library Association President Daniel Walters at the start of the ALA division's 11th national conference. As things turned out, it was indeed a crowd pleaser--with emphasis...
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Boston PL Defends Reputation in Wake of Scathing Report
A story in the March 11 Boston Globe claimed that a new study shows the Boston Public Library is underperforming when compared to other large public libraries in terms of circulation, visitors, and public relations. The newspaper reported that the...
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Britain Launches Campaign to Transform Libraries' Image
British Minister for Culture David Lammy launched a "Love Libraries" campaign, designed to transform the image of public libraries by presenting "a new vision of a 21st century reading service," with an announcement March 22 that three libraries would...
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Canadian School Libraries and Achievement Linked
A study funded by the Ontario Library Association offers the first Canadian finding that shows a positive correlation between student achievement and library resources and staff. Released April 6, School Libraries and Student Achievement in Ontario...
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Currents: Professionals on the Move
March 7 Ronald S. Brashear was named director of the Othmer Library of Chemical History at the Chemical Heritage Foundation in Philadelphia. * Ed Byers will retire as director of Oak Park (Ill.) Public Library June 30. * John J. Callahan III became...
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Datebook: Opportunities for Continuous Learning
ALA CHAPTER CONFERENCES May 16-17: Vermont Library Conference, Sheraton Burlington Hotel and Conference Center. Organized by the Vermont Educational Media Association and the Vermont Library Association. Linda Wheeler, 802-879-0334; lwheeler@virtualofc.com;...
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DOJ after Other Companies Besides Google
The Department of Justice has gone beyond Google in its quest for evidence to develop a case in preparation for an October trial in Philadelphia over the Child Online Protection Act (COPA). Responding to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by...
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Global Reach
NETHERLANDS The Spijkenisse city library won first place in IFLA's 2006 international marketing award for its campaign to attract nonusers by sending out a postcard with the message "We miss you." The library kept track of how many recipients became...
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Government Drops Appeal in Patriot Act Case
Federal prosecutors announced April 12 that they would drop their appeal in a case involving a Connecticut library that received a demand for patron records under the USA Patriot Act (AL, Dec. 2005, p. 11). The American Civil Liberties Union--which...
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Grassroots Report: The Next Great Download
This month finds us back in Maricopa County, Arizona, where I found another story too good to miss. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] * The Arizona Republic said it "has all the elements of a good mystery." * Eliza T. Dresang, Eliza Atkins Gleason professor...
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Internet Librarian: What Is Google?
Nobody's ever accused me of not being able to take a hint. Well, OK, in all honesty, lots of people have, including several likely reading this column (you know who you are). Anyway, a couple of years ago, I taught a course here at the University...
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Leaders as Readers: Books That Make Their Mark; Prominent Librarians Talk about Some of the Books They Love
Aren't people who read always wondering what other people are reading? Haven't we all craned our necks more than once to see what that person behind us on the bus is reading? Don't we all wish we knew what book that lady on the park bench has in hand?...
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Maine Seeks to Opt out of GATS Library Agreement
Maine Gov. John E. Baldacci has asked the Bush administration to exclude the state from General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) treaty obligations specifically related to libraries, archives, and museums. The World Trade Organization began renewed...
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Montana Challenges Complicate Policy Review
Challenges to four books at Lock-wood Middle School in Billings, Montana, may impact the school's challenged-book review policy--itself already under scrutiny as part of the school's scheduled assessment of the library curriculum. Three books--The...
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More on Library Education
I chose to make the education of librarians one of the major topics of my term as American Library Association president because of my concern that some ALA-accredited LIS programs do not provide the kind of library-centered education that enables...
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NARA Cooperated in Document Reclassification
A March 2002 Memorandum of Understanding between the National Archives and Records Administration and the U.S. Air Force shows that archivists were concerned about an ongoing program to reclassify thousands of previously released documents but ultimately...
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Obituaries
Former University of California at Los Angeles University Librarian Page Ackerman, 93, died February 28 of congestive heart failure. She held the position from 1973 to 1977, and is believed to be the first woman in the United States to lead a library...
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Okla. Senate Won't Defund Inclusive Kids' Collections
Members of the Oklahoma Senate have allowed the April 6 deadline to expire without considering a bill that would have prohibited local funding authorities and library boards from funding their public libraries unless the libraries have "place[d] all...
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On My Mind: Why Stop at One City?
American libraries have become accustomed (if uncomfortably so) to being situated between a rock of shrinking funding and a hard place consisting of the increasing demands and needs of our customers, many of whom are economically stressed themselves....
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Opening New Worlds for Latino Children: Librarians Can Play a Special Role in Serving the Literature Needs of a Growing Minority Group
If we truly wish to address the reading needs of Latino children, we cannot ignore numerous studies that highlight the difficult challenges that confront Latinos--especially those who reside in high-poverty urban neighborhoods across the United States....
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Partners in Your Backyard: A Library Proves That Local Artists Can Be Turned into Allies
The partnership between the Anderson (Ind.) Public Library and artist David Reddick began with a talking dog who loved libraries and was friends with a brainy dog called Max. He even appeared on the library's card ... but no one knew who he was. ...
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Provo Schools Phasing out K-8 Librarians
The Provo, Utah, City School District is stepping up its plans to phase out most of its certified media specialists at the elementary- and middle-school levels. Instead of awaiting retirements and resignations to shift the positions to classified employees--nonteaching...
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Read Any Good Books Lately?
As an employer, ALA believes in staff development, each year allotting 1.5% to 2% of the staffing budget for ongoing training and learning. This year's CE goal for American Libraries editors, however, is an uncharacteristically cheap and simple one:...
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Sacred Stacks: The Higher Purpose of Libraries and Librarianship; Though Secular Institutions, Libraries Can Be the Setting for a Spiritual Vocation
Hurrying to a meeting on the campus of a Catholic college where I worked, I nearly missed seeing the approaching student. "Hi, Sister," he said. "Thanks so much for helping me in the library. My paper came out great." [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Did...
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Straight Answers from Arthur Plotnik
He was the witty and wise editor of American Libraries for 15 years to 1989, then associate publisher in ALA Editions until 1997. While bringing the magazine and the Association into the modern age of publishing, Arthur Plotnik wrote The Elements of...
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Technically Speaking: Handhelds across America
I tend to follow so much of the library automation and software industry that it's easy to lose track of all the general-consumer gadgets and gizmos that are out there these days. I had the chance to catch up recently with two great presentations at...
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The Subtle Approach: A School Librarian Surreptitiously Tantalizes Teens with Book Displays
Samuel Butler wrote: "Books are like imprisoned souls till someone takes them down from a shelf and frees them." I relish the image of students at my school finding their way to the library shelves on their own and liberating the books they would...
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The Tiny Threat: Those Little Strips That Appear on Your Incoming Periodicals and Newspapers Are Dangerous to the Preservation of Serials
The official name is "Flats Identification Code Sort" or "FICS." If you still don't know what I'm talking about, reach for the mail in your inbox or check your trash can for discarded envelopes and you'll find these 4-3/8-inch strips with a bar code...
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Three Wishes Controversy Continues
School boards across Ontario continued to weigh in on Three Wishes, a controversial book that explores the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through interviews with children from both sides that had been recommended by the Ontario Library Association for...
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Thus Said ... How the World Sees Us
"Why then do a lot of boys get turned off from reading sometime in elementary or middle school? The blame partly lies with librarians. They are mostly women, they tend to love stories, and they also have a thing for books that teach moral lessons.......
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West Virginia District Eyes Savings from Librarian Layoffs
In response to a looming fiscal crisis, the superintendent of the Wetzel County (W.Va.) Schools has proposed eliminating as of FY 2006-07 all library staff at the system's four high schools. The $150,000 saved by laying off 1.5 certified media specialists...
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Will's World: Paying Our Dues at the Circulation Desk
Every so often I make a list of occupations that I would never want. At the very top is the position of telemarketer. Runners-up include used-car salesman, wastewater treatment inspector, asbestos remover, nuclear power plant operator, firefighter...
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Working Knowledge: Be Your Own Successor
Are you feeling bored and restless at work? Are you looking for new challenges in a job you still enjoy? Conversely, are your current job satisfaction and performance not what they could be? If one of these three scenarios describes you, then consider...
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You Have to See It for Yourself: AL Editor-in-Chief Assesses New Orleans' Readiness for ALA
In some strange way, the city of New Orleans is like a library. Culturally, it's part of the backbone of the nation. Economically, it's hurting, and some skeptics are questioning why we should invest in it when it's all below sea level (or in the case...
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