American Libraries

Articles from Vol. 40, No. 4, April

2009 Library Design Showcase
Projects submitted to this year's Library Design Showcase balanced many types of sensitivities: to history, to technology, to the immediate surroundings, and to accessibility. In this issue, American Libraries highlights 23 new and renovated library...
A Greener Library a Greener You: Librarians Can Make a Difference Every Day in Many Ways, as Libraries Move toward Environmental Friendliness
When I moved from Los Angeles to rural Appalachia in 1986, I was a freelance journalist and first-time author, anxious about what kind of library I'd find in my new hometown in North Carolina. After pulling up to the Mount Airy Public Library, I had...
AIA/ALA Library Building Awards
The following libraries are winners of the 2009 Library Building Awards, sponsored by the American Institute of Architects and ALA's Library Leadership and Management Association. The biennial award recognizes distinguished accomplishment in library...
Alternative System Rates Public Libraries
Created for Reed Business Information's Library Journal by Keith Curry Lance and Ray Lyons, the LJ Index of Public Library Service is a new rating system sponsored by Baker and Taylor's Bibliostat, web-based statistical analysis software for public...
Amazon Lets Publishers Silence Kindle Audio
Amazon released version 2 of its Kindle e-book reader February 24 to fanfare over improvements over the previous incarnation and controversy over a feature that converts text to spoken words. Protest of the text-to-speech feature came from the 9,000-member...
At the Last Minute: There's a Method to Students' Procrastination
My deadline for these columns is the 20th of each month, two months before they appear, so I'm writing this April missive in mid-February (the 16th, for the record). I know that the crack American Libraries staff will back me up when I say that I'm...
Building Science 101: Save Money, Energy, and Resources by Getting a Better Understanding of How Your Building Works
As you enter your building on a snowy morning, do you marvel at the beautiful icicles that drip down from the roof? As you look out your office window, do you express childish glee over the work of Jack Frost on your panes? Do staff members suddenly...
Buildings You Can Count On
Welcome to the annual facilities issue of American Libraries, featuring a showcase of new and renovated libraries from around the country. While the current economic environment might make you stop and wonder how these projects managed their way through...
Celebrate Library Workers: Advocate for Better Salaries and Support ALA-APA
National Library Week will be celebrated April 12-18 this year. Tuesday of that week, April 14, is National Library Workers Day (tinyurl.com/akmrfu). This isn't a Hallmark holiday with commercially generated greeting cards from grateful library...
Chattanooga Report Urges Major Reforms
The Chattanooga--Hamilton County (Tenn.) Bicentennial Library was slammed in a consultants' report that said the library "lacks a clear vision for the future," is underfunded in both its operating and capital budgets, has a problematic governance structure,...
Do You Come Here Often? Frequenting the Library Is Frequently Comforting
Last year I found myself living alone for the first time in my life. I was an early victim of the real estate collapse. Had I put my Arizona home of 25 years on the market two weeks earlier, it would have sold right away. But a month went by, and another...
From Desktop to Cloud Top: Cloud Computing Comes of Age
In a world where we seem to be dealing with a baffling assortment of technology buzzwords, one you will probably hear thrown around a lot in 2009 is cloud computing. While the name may sound a little funny, it refers to a very important change in how...
Global Reach
SCOTLAND 1 Some 200 books were seriously damaged in the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh after a 20-year-old sprinkler pipe on the top story failed, causing 5,000 liters of water to run through all 12 floors. The potentially catastrophic...
How the World Sees Us
"The amputation of a treasured local library system's branches has been called an 'unintended consequence' of the state property tax caps. If so, then legislators failed to properly study the law they passed. They've let down a steady stream of people,...
It's Not All Fun and Games: Academic Libraries Apply Scholarship to Virtual Play
Some tidbit about 21st century pop culture routinely penetrates my historically oriented consciousness, thanks in part to Brian Visser, University of Iowa SLIS student and adult services assistant at Iowa City Public Library. Brian's good-natured enthusiasm...
It's Pink-Slip Season for California School Librarians
In what seems to have become an annual spring rite in the Golden State, school boards throughout California have been issuing layoff notices to school library media specialists, as well as other educators and support staff, to ensure that the districts...
Meeting Students' Need States: From Solitary Refuge to Social Hub, Understanding the Different Ways Students Utilize the Library Is the Key to Boosting Usage
When I lived in the Washington, D.C., metro area I frequently ate lunch at the gourmet-sandwich bistro Cosi. One evening I went there for dinner, and to my surprise it was a completely different experience. Instead of several clusters of small tables,...
Newsmaker: Yohannes Gebregeorgis
Growing up in rural Ethiopia with very little access to books, Yohannes Gebregeorgis was 19 years old the first time he picked up a book for pleasure. This experience helped him become a literacy advocate, a children's book author, and founder of the...
Separate Means Unequal: Decrying the Marginalization of Technical Services
Catalog workers are running for cover. In large research libraries, technical services staff is being carted away from the central library campus to satellite locations. This recent trend is misguided and will harm both the end user and the library...
Stimulus Package Could Benefit Libraries
The $787-billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act signed by President Obama February 17 includes several economic-stimulus provisions that could directly benefit libraries, notes the American Library Association's Washington Office: * $7.2...
The Association's Associations: ALSC
CREATING A BETTER FUTURE FOR CHILDREN Through nationwide initiatives, strategic partnerships, prestigious awards, and educational opportunities, the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) advocates for the best possible library service...
Topeka Board Restricts Sex-Themed Titles
The Topeka and Shawnee County (Kans.) Public Library board voted 5-3 February 19 to restrict minors' access to four books about sex, although the trustees failed to specify just what that restriction would entail. The titles challenged by complainant...