American Libraries

Articles from Vol. 31, No. 6, June

107 Years Ago
MANY ALA MEMBERS were en route to the Association's first conference in the Windy City. They had reason to be excited. The conference itself had been deliberately scheduled for Chicago so that Association members could visit the highly profiled 1893...
30 Years of Statistics Provide Presidential Profile
Are you in your mid-50s? A library-science educator, or perhaps someone with public or academic library experience? Are you a library director or otherwise a top administrator? Employed in one of the more-populated states? Is your library degree from...
49 States Represented at 26th Library Legislative Day
More than 500 library advocates from every state except Hawaii, as well as representatives from the District of Columbia, Canada, and Slovakia, attended the 26th annual National Library Legislative Day May 2. The event was sponsored by ALA and the...
A Librarian's Right to Comfort
Forty-seven employees of the Minneapolis Public Library wrote to their local paper, the Star Tribune, earlier this year, echoing sentiments expressed by many parents and library users (AL, April, p. 19-20). "Every day we, too, are subjected to pornography,"...
Ambitious Public-Awareness Campaign Takes Shape
At its spring meeting, held April 29-30 in Washington, D.C., the ALA Executive Board got its first look at plans for a five-year campaign intended to educate the public about the value of libraries. Jennifer Sosin of the Washington office of public-relations...
A Writer's View: "Journey to a Sacred Place"
WRITERS FIND LIBRARIES AT THE HEART OF COMMUNITIES THEY REMEMBER... AND WANT TO REBUILD During the '50s, when I was growing up in the South Bronx, I thought a trip to the library was a journey to a sacred place. I fell in love with books even before...
Berry Elected ALA President, Bishoff to Be Treasurer
John W. Berry, executive director of NILRC: A Consortium of Community Colleges, Colleges, and Universities in River Forest, Illinois, has been elected ALA president for the 2001-2002 term. Berry, who won 5,197 (52%) of the votes cast, will succeed...
Census Rolls and Other Paper
George W. Bush should know better. His wife is a librarian, for goodness' sake. Any librarian knows the value of the United States census. When it comes to usefulness, it's hard to find a more valuable reference book than the Statistical Abstract of...
Chapter Report: Do You Want to Be a Millionaire?
The Ohio Library Council (OLC) hasn't quite reached millionaire status . . . yet. But thanks to comedian Drew Carey, star of ABC's The Drew Carey Show, it is much closer to the goal. Carey, one of several celebrities who competed for their favorite...
Chicago Is Loaded with the Blues
THE CHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARY'S BLUES ARCHIVES PRESERVES THE SOUND OF THE CITY The Chicago Blues Archives is a unique collection dedicated to preserving the city's outstanding contribution to musical history. Located on the eighth floor of the Chicago...
Conference Programs I'd like to See
Glaring at Patrons A panel of public librarians will discuss this practical alternative to filtering and the terribly uncomfortable "tap-on-the-shoulder" method. Toner Shaking For Good Health Start hanging clothes on that tread-mill and put...
Detroit PL Boosts Services; Staff Problems Continue
The Detroit Public Library will expand hours at its main library, restore bookmobile service, and make repairs necessary to reopen three closed branches in the next fiscal year, Director Maurice Wheeler announced at the city council's first hearing...
Editorial
Putting the Ad in Advocacy To those of us convinced that libraries are woefully undervalued, the news that ALA has commissioned a public-relations firm to help develop a campaign to increase the public's awareness of libraries (Executive Board report,...
Fargo PL Director Returns to Turmoil
Controversial Fargo (N. Dak.) Public Library Director Dave Davis returned to work May 12 after a 30-day medical leave of absence and months of tense relations with staff. Davis had requested the leave in mid-April after city officials reprimanded him...
Five Views of the Library's Role in a Rapidly, Changing World
WHEN IT COMES T0 COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT, LIBRARIANS MOSTLY LEARN BY DOING Most librarians get their training in community development on the job. Maybe they have a chance to talk with colleagues about it at a conference or professional development...
Global Reach
ICELAND Reykjavik City Library started the "Week of the Book" (April 11-17) with author Steinunn Siguroard[acute{o}]ttir writing the opening chapter of a thriller on its Web site (www.borgarbokasafn.is); visitors competed to provide the best denouement....
Kalamazoo May Cut School Librarians
About 12 school librarians and 400 teachers picketed the Kalamazoo (Mich.) Board of Education meeting April 27 over whether the board will eliminate librarian positions in order to give teachers a 2% pay increase. Carrying signs and wearing buttons...
LC Celebrates Bicentennial with Concert and Legends Lunch
The Library of Congress celebrated its 200th birthday April 24 with a day-long party that included a concert on the Capitol lawn, a luncheon for American "living legends" hosted by Cokie Roberts, and a dinner for donors. Thirty-four of the 84 legends...
Libraries Can Help Build Sustainable Communities
Read Ishmael by Daniel Quinn (Bantam, 1995). It's a compelling book about an aging hippie suffering from ennui who answers an ad in the paper for a student concerned about the future of the world. Our hippie is accepted by the sage and learns some...
Libraries Get Big Gifts of Mostly Useless Books
The Maricopa County (Ariz.) Southeast Regional Library in Gilbert received 15,000 nearly useless books in late April from the Lebanon, Tennessee-based Cracker Barrel chain of restaurants. The gift was the result of Cracker Barrel's Neighborhood Book...
Lies, Damn Lies, and Indexes
TWO LIBRARY RESEARCHERS OFFER A METHODOLOGICAL CRITIQUE OF THOMAS HENNEN'S AMERICAN PUBLIC LIBRARY RATING INDEX Who would have guessed that someone daring to rate America's public libraries using their own statistics would provoke such a ruckus?...
Live! at the Library 2000: Building Cultural Communities
Live! at the Library 2000, an initiative of the American Library Association's Public Programs Office, kicked off in April with model programs at libraries in communities from Baltimore to Seattle. The project, which receives major support from the...
Mama Told Me Not to Come
In April I got a chance to be Alice in Digital Wonderland when I was invited to the 10th Annual Computers, Freedom, and Privacy Conference, held this year in Toronto, to accept an award from the Electronic Frontier Foundation on behalf of "librarians...
Measure by Measure
* Michigan legislators sent the governor a bill May 4 that amends the library privacy law by requiring that minors conduct their publicly funded surfing on either a filtered machine or, in the presence of a guardian (AL, Mar., p. 17). Only machines...
Minneapolis Drafts Porn Policy
Prompted by a grievance filed a week earlier with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission by seven Minneapolis Public Library staff members, library trustees drafted a policy May 10 intended to deal more strictly with the apparently widespread...
Obituaries
Dorothy L. Baxter, 81, a librarian at Helen Plum Library in Lombard, Illinois, for 10 years, died April 26. * Mary Lilla Browne, who served as librarian with the Army Special Services in Germany and Korea, worked as a law librarian and later earned...
Overruns Stall Start of Black History Library
Eight months after the October 1999 groundbreaking for a new African-American Research Library and Cultural Center, Broward County (Fla.) Library administrators were still waiting in early May for the county commission to okay the architectural plans....
People
Currents Joe J. Accardi, formerly associate librarian for systems and access services at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, has been appointed acting director of academic computing. * Rosie L. Albritton has been appointed library director...
Preserving History on Film at the Newsfilm Library
RESEARCHERS OF RARE FOOTAGE FIND THIS HISTORIC COLLECTION TO BE THE REEL THING Ask Andrew Murdoch to identify his favorite reel of film from the Newsfilm Library at the University of South Carolina/Columbia and his face lights up. Murdoch, the library's...
Real World to Classroom and Back: Confessions of a Reluctant Instructor
LITERACY EDUCATION COMES TO CAMPUS, AND CAMPUS GOES TO THE COMMUNITY When I was asked to teach a library literacy seminar in the master's of library sciences program at San Jose (Calif.) State University, my first thought was that I had received...
Re: Union of Libraries and Communities
Just about a year ago, Vice-President Al Gore and his wife, Tipper, hosted their eighth annual Family Re-Union conference in Nashville, Tennessee, with the theme of Family and Community. It wasn't until I was looking at the conference materials in...
Technically Speaking
What's Up, Docster? What if someone developed a Napster-like program for periodical articles? Napster, in case you haven't been paying attention to the latest in the "Internet music wars," is software that enables anyone connected to the Internet...
The Association's Associations: ASCLA: Small but Special!
The Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) has the distinction of being ALA's smallest division and yet has the most diverse membership. ASCLA represents state library agency employees, staff members in multitype library...
The Best Job I Ever Had
During my 1995-96 term as president of the American Library Association I was often asked, "What's it like?" It was a question I enjoyed answering because my enthusiastic response was always the same: "It's the best job I ever had." I'd never end my...
The Librarian's Understudy
THE DOCENT PLAYS AN INVALUABLE ROLE IN CUSTOMER SERVICE In 1995, when Denver's Central Library building tripled in size, the library staff was overwhelmed with the public response. Circulation increased by 40%. More than 10,000 visitors requested...
The Power of School Libraries: Tales from Two Cities
SCHOOL LIBRARY MEDIA CENTERS FLEX THEIR COMMUNITY-BUILDING MUSCLES The decline in school libraries noted by Jonathan Kozol (see p. 66) led to a national initiative that began in the late 1980s called Library Power. The DeWitt Wallace-Readers Digest...