American Libraries

Articles from Vol. 32, No. 3, March

Alabama Cuts Taken to Court
The Alabama Association of School Boards filed suit February 8 to block $179 million in statewide cuts to K-12 public schools. The lawsuit, joined by Mobile and Pike County school boards and the Alabama Coalition for Equity, seeks to protect public...
ALA Makes Capital Gains at Midwinter in D.C
MEETING IN WASHINGTON, THE ASSOCIATION UNVEILS ITS AMBITIOUS PR CAMPAIGN AND INITIATES A LEGAL CHALLENGE TO FILTERING MANDATES. Public relations and intellectual freedom intersected at the American Library Association's Midwinter Meeting, held January...
An Open Letter to Laura Bush
Dear Mrs. Bush, I am one of the few librarians who voted for your husband, and my urgent message to you is this: First Ladies matter! Eleanor Roosevelt and Hillary Clinton provided us with proof that marriage does not have to ring the death knell...
Armageddon for the Apostles of Access
As devastating as the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) would be on the local level, the legislation, which requires libraries and schools that receive federal funding for Internet access to install filtering software, proposes an even greater...
Association Leaders Prepare to Fight Censorious Internet Legislation
"I didn't think there would be anything worse than the Communications Decency Act; I was wrong," Freedom to Read Foundation President Candace Morgan told the ALA Executive Board at the Association's MidwinterMeeting in Washington, D.C., as the board...
Budget Cuts Loom for Ohio Libraries
Ohio public libraries are expected to take the biggest hit in a two-year, $45-million state-government spending plan announced January 29 by Governor Bob Taft that would freeze the Library and Local Government Support Fund at current levels. This means...
Celebrate Freedom of Information Day, March 16
A popular government without popular information or means of acquiring it is but a prologue to a farce or tragedy or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the...
Censorship Watch
Challenge of Biblical Proportions. A Marion County, Florida, man has asked the county library to remove the Bible. Tearing in half the spine of a paperback copy of his own, Charles Schrader contended at a February 6 county commission meeting that the...
Chapter Report: Offshore Librarians Are Growing Stronger
IMAGINE LIVING IN A PARALLEL world--a world where the average winter day is sunny and 81 degrees, where you can sway in a hammock on a soft sandy beach with a book in hand as the waves roll in. Or, image joining an ALA state chapter where you learn...
Earthquake Strikes El Salvador Libraries
At 11:35 am. On January 13 an earthquake registering 7.6-7.9 on the Richter scale struck the small Central American country of El Salvador, sending tremors all the way to Mexico City and Panama. More than 700 people were killed, 4,420 injured, and...
Educators Consider Their Future at ALISE Conference
Reflecting the sweeping changes in librarianship, the theme of this year's conference of the Association for Library and Information Science Education--"Reconsidering Library and Information Science Education"--focused on ways library schools must...
Holocaust Commission Tracks Recovered Books
Thousands of scarce Judaic materials looted from Holocaust victims by the Nazis and salvaged in Europe by Allied forces after World War II have been identified in American special collections, according to a report released January 16 by the Presidential...
Inspection Scorches Fire Safety at LC
Following a yearlong inspection at the Library of Congress, the congressional Office of Compliance has cited dangerous fire conditions posing threats to visitors, employees, and some of the most valuable items in the collection. Its January 25 report...
Legislation, Litigation Decisions Lead to Swift Agenda Wrap-Up
Mounting a legal challenge to the Children's Internet Protection Act was one of several legislative issues that kept ALA Council united and on track for three sessions January 15, 16, and 17 during the Association's Midwinter Meeting in Washington,...
Magazine Pays Big for Lost Twain Tale
An unpublished Mark Twain mystery story has been sold by the Buffalo and Erie County (N.Y.) Public Library to the magazine it was intended for 125 years ago. After securing print and digital publication rights in December, the library accepted an offer...
Obituaries
Virgil S. Crisafulli, 61, chief cataloger for the Byzantine Library at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, D.C., died of cancer December 11. * Linda Culbertson, former supervisor of library services for the Chicago Transit Authority, died September 27...
On My Mind
Libraries Offer the World--Not Just Smut I'm not much of an Internet user. I email some friends and do a little research online, but mostly I find it a major distraction from actually living my life. Just a lot of noise. I find watching an evening...
Pay-per-Prophecy: Our Saving Grace?
RAISE A WORLD CAT SHRINE AND THE CREDULOUS WILL FLOCK TO FILL OUR COFFERS Our painful quest over the decades for a truly lucrative professional paradigm has shown repeatedly that our salaries will always be modest and our materials budgets chronically...
People
Currents Rachael K. Anderson, director of the Arizona Health Sciences Library at the University of Arizona/Tucson since 1991, retired January 19. * Louella B. Bickford was named head librarian at the Lawrence Library in Fairfield, Maine. *...
Presidential Candidates Concur at Midwinter Forum
SALARIES, RECRUITMENT, CHILDREN'S SERVICES ARE CRUCIAL ISSUES The three candidates for the 2002-2003 ALA presidency presented their views and took questions from the audience at a one-hour forum January 15 during ALA's Midwinter Meeting in Washington,...
Quick Bibs: Books on a Timeless Topic
Not Just Rocks for Jocks This column is about neither rocks nor jocks. It's about a special kind of nonfiction--books on stuff that sounds boring but turns out to be fascinating, almost entirely because of the skill of the writer. What does that...
Should Sect Meet State in the Stacks?
PUBLIC LIBRARIANS MATT KUBIAK AND ANDREW DANCER TEST EACH OTHER'S FAITH IN INTELLECTUAL FREEDOM Maintaining the balance between church and state in public libraries has been an issue for librarians for as long as there have been publicly funded...
Statement by Ken Haycock, Candidate for ALA President
Libraries change lives. I know, because they changed mine. With no school or public library in our community, as a 10-year-old I hitch-hiked to the closest city library every Saturday. The world has changed over the past four decades but there are...
Statement by Maurice J. Freedman, Candidate for ALA President
From my teen days as a page at the Newark (N.J.) Public Library through the years at U.C. Berkeley's School of Librarianship and the Free Speech Movement, the Library of Congress, Hennepin County Library, NYPL, and the Westchester Library System, I...
Statement by William W. Sannwald, Candidate for ALA President
When I think about my library career, I remember people who helped shape me as a person and as a librarian; people like Arthur Curley, a library director near my hometown, who encouraged me to go to library school, and Keith Doms, the ALA president...
Technically Speaking
Games Vendors Play The exhibits at this year's ALA Midwinter Meeting were a veritable toy store of new games. The most basic and still the most popular game is, of course, the Information Retrieval Game (also known as the Find It Game). But playing...
Tex. Librarian Murdered; Suspect Arrested
Lubbock police have arrested a 29-year-old man in the double homicide of the associate dean of libraries at Texas Tech University and a woman, whose bodies were found in an East Lubbock park. Douglas Birdsall, 53, who had worked at the library since...
The Association's Associations: ALCTS, Making an Impact
ALA's Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS) provides leadership to the library and information communities in developing principles, standards, and best practices for creating, collecting, organizing, delivering, and preserving...
The Unwanted Gift: When Saying "No Thanks" Isn't Enough
RELIGION AND MORALITY OFTEN FUEL FURIOUS GENEROSITY AND ETHICAL QUANDARIES Adolescent sorcerers, mice and men, caged birds, fallen angels, and terrorists--all have inspired somebody to want to ban a book. More troubling and perhaps more of a dilemma...
This Month, 116 Years Ago
IN MARCH 1885, LIBRARIAN E. C. Richardson of the Theological Seminary of Hartford, Connecticut, was busy accumulating data on religious materials in libraries for a report he was scheduled to present at the forthcoming ALA conference. Although he discovered...
Union Urges Marriott Boycott
The Service Employees International Union Local 790 Librarians' Caucus, representing librarians at the San Francisco Public Library, is urging those attending this summer's ALA Annual Conference not to stay at Marriott hotel properties in light of...
Watchdogs Blast N2H2 for Selling Schools' Logs
The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), a public-interest group in Washington, D.C., filed a Freedom of Information Act request January 26 to find out why the U.S. Department of Defense has purchased a nine-month, $15,000 subscription to...
You Can't Have Sex in the Library
I once worked in a public library where every now and then a patron tried to have sex, usually with himself. It was standard practice to approach the man (always at arm's length), look him straight in the eye, and announce, "I'm sorry but what you...
"You Mean You Don't Have Books in Print?" Adventures of a Librarian in Nepal
USING A GOAT PATH TO CARRY STONES AND MUD DOWN A MOUNTAIN, WE WERE BUILDING A LIBRARY. "Just keep putting them in," I said in Nepali, adjusting the conical wicker basket on my back and the strap around my forehead. "I'll tell you when to quit."...