American Libraries

Articles from Vol. 38, No. 7, August

A Celebration of Culture; August: The Blueberry Moon Month or Miinike-Giizis
A six-month campaign and 12 months as your president-elect has brought me to service as your new ALA president. I am working with members to continue many of the efforts of past presidents and to focus energies on three new task-force areas and several...
ALA Council: Legislation Looms Large on Agenda
Appropriately, matters concerning national legislation were at the forefront when ALA's governing Council met in Washington, D.C., June 24, 26, and 27 during the Association's Annual Conference. Council passed a slate of resolutions submitted by...
ALA Executive Board: Association Capitalizes on Conference Locale
As ALA met on her home turf, Washington Office Executive Director Emily Sheketoff informed the Executive Board about developments on Capital Hill--both in the months preceding the board's June 22, 25, and 27 sessions as well as on June 26 when librarians...
ALA Receives $1.6 Million in IMLS Grants
ALA will receive three grants totaling more than $1.6 million of the nearly $28 million in librarian recruitment and education awards announced June 19 by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the 2007 Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian...
A Manifesto for Our Times: Affirmations to Help Develop a Mindset to Respond to the Changing Information Culture
Affirmations can be a wonderful thing. They can give us confidence and inspire us to achieve our goals. They can push us past our doubts. They can be a group rallying cry. They can ensure us that we are on the right path and should carry on through...
A Plea for Respect: Fulminating over the Public's Ignorance of Our Job
I wouldn't mind washing feces from bathroom walls or spraying ant repellant beneath the 600s. I wouldn't mind being the quiet cop every afternoon, shhhing rowdy teenagers and loud cell-phone users. Nor would I mind the role of copy-center queen, squatting...
Bibliotheca Alexandrina at 5: A Study in Contrasts
The contrast is what strikes visitors first: the monumental new Bibliotheca Alexandrina versus street life, centuries of history organized and cataloged in an oasis that defies the chaos of traffic. Egypt's Library of Alexandria is performing a balancing...
Canadian Librarians Look to the East
The Canadian Library Association National Conference took place in a new calendar slot--May 23-26--and in a city that hasn't hosted CLA for many years--St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, off the northeast coast. The Atlantic Provinces Library Association...
Career Leads from ALA JobLIST: Your #1 Source for Job Openings in Library and Information Science and Technology
Place a Job Ad Visit JobLIST.ala.org to establish an institutional account in order to place Web-only ads, print ads in American Libraries and C & RL News, or any combination. Print ads in American Libraries cost $7.50 per line, $5.50 for ALA...
Free at Last: Taking Advantage of Open Source Software
Tim Spalding cocks his head a bit as he says it to emphasize the point: "LibraryThing.com is social software." However we categorize it, Spalding's baby has become a darling to librarians, and as we sat chatting over lunch in spring 2006, the web application...
Frieda Greene
Happy Birthday to Frieda Greene, on April 28, making her (we believe) the oldest gainfully employed library worker in America-a record she is hoping will qualify her for Guinness World Records. Born in 1917 in the Bronx, New York, Greene is a page...
Global Reach
FRANCE 1 UNESCO, headquartered in Paris, has added 38 exceptionally valuable items of documentary heritage to its Memory of the World Register, bringing the total number of inscriptions since 1997 to 158. The register lists maps, manuscripts, and...
How the World Sees Us
"I don't appreciate the kind of adventure game that has you put masking tape over a mouse hole so it picks up the hair off the mouse, allowing you to use the hair and some glue to make a fake mustache to sneak into the library. What kind of sense does...
Images Rock the Hall: Pictures Worth a Thousand Words
If you weren't among the librarians and teachers roaming The Stacks (a.k.a. the exhibit hall at the 2007 ALA Annual Conference), here's the news in short: It was all about books--except when it was about interactive technology designed to appeal to...
Jackson Rejects Levy to Reopen Libraries
Voters in Jackson County, Oregon, decisively rejected a property tax levy May 15 that would have reopened the county's library system, which shut down April 6. The proposal, which would have raised $8.3 million annually, lost by a vote of 58-42%. ...
Lama
CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF LEADERSHIP The Library Administration and Management Association (LAMA) is celebrating 50 years in 2007--a milestone that provides the perfect opportunity to reflect on the ALA division's past accomplishments as well as a...
Mass. Library Gets Partial Reprieve after Elimination of Budget
In the face of the proposed elimination of its entire budget, the Saugus (Mass.) Public Library shut its doors May 24. After voters rejected a $5.2-million tax override by a more than 2-1 margin April 24, Town Manager Andrew Bisignani announced he...
Mile-High Spirit: Special Librarians in Denver
More than 800 first-time attendees were among the 5,047 registrants for the 2007 Special Libraries Association Annual Conference, held June 3-6 in Denver, compared to 5,844 last year in Baltimore. Information professionals appeared to be in a positive...
Occult Concerns Jinx Teen Read Program
Pickens County (S.C.) Library System officials have withdrawn the library's participation in a nationwide teen reading program within days of its scheduled June 7 launch due to 11th-hour threats against the library, PCLS Director Marguerite Keenan...
Publishing Expo Takes Manhattan
As a friend of mine in the book industry says, BookExpo America is like spending three days in a row at Chicago's O'Hare Airport. Even if you have never attended BEA, the nation's largest trade show of the publishing industry (this year running from...
Report from D.C.: Transformation Underway
What was different about this year's ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., was not so much the programs or the stellar speaker lineup (topped, for me, by Julie Andrews celebrating American Libraries centennial and announcing that she will chair...
Rettig's Goal: More Inclusive Membership
Jim Rettig, university librarian at the University of Richmond, Virginia, will take over as the Association's head at the conclusion of the 2008 ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California. American Libraries: What will be your focus or theme as...
SKILLs Act Gives High Marks to School Librarians
As some 50 librarians attending the American Library Association Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., looked on, a bipartisan group of senators and representatives announced June 26 the introduction of the Strengthening Kids' Interest in Learning...
Speaking Volumes: Make Book on the Staying Power of Tomes
Our tour of 100 years of American Libraries brings us to the 1950s. Conventional historical wisdom portrays the '50s as a boring, uneventful era sandwiched between the triumphant '40s and the tumultuous '60s. Social historians have highlighted conformity...
Stamp Act: A Philatelist Recalls the ALA/Postal Service Effort That Symbolically Elevated Libraries Nationwide
the United States Postal Service (USPS) issued two library-related postage stamps in 1982--one to honor the Library of Congress, and a second to collectively commemorate all of the nation's libraries. Although library buildings had previously appeared...
Take It or Leave It: The Delicate Art of the Revolving Door
Following a recent hiring process of the nine excellent prospects invited to interview, only three sent thank-you notes afterward--and one of those was an e-mail! I had expected to hear from nearly everyone, but a colleague noted that, increasingly,...
The Hill Was Alive ... with the Sound of Librarians
My very first ALA was 11 years ago in New York City. I was both a newly minted librarian and a newlywed. My wife Sharon accompanied me to the Big Apple, not to see the organized chaos that is Annual Conference, but because Julie Andrews was performing...
The Library, Reinvented: If We Don't Do It, Who Will?
As I write this, I'm getting ready to head to D.C. for ALA's Annual Conference, which is, as always, an exciting prospect; but I'm even more excited about heading from there to teach a course on "Rethinking the Library" at the University of Toronto....
The Ventriloquist Who Changed the World: How America's French Connection Propelled the Modern Free Library Movement
While access to a free public library has practically been elevated to the level of a basic human right among Americans, few actually know how the idea gained traction. Although the nation's first tax-supported free public library opened in Peterborough,...
Washington Milestones-And There Were Many: Attendance Breaks All Records, as ALA Inaugurates Its First Native American President and American Libraries Celebrates 100 Years of Publication
It was the largest conference in the history of the American Library Association. Some 28,635 librarians, exhibitors, and library supporters attended the 128th ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D. C., June 21-27, generating more than $15.6 million...
Why Be Transparent? Enabling User Feedback with Blogs
How do patrons offer feedback at your library? Mine, like many others, provides an online "comments and suggestions" form. However, there's nothing telling the submitter who at the library reads it and whether to expect a response. If I had a comment...