American Libraries

Articles from Vol. 34, No. 5, May

A Children's Room with No Children's Librarian. (Editorial)
It's difficult to estimate how many library workers have actually been laid off this year. Many libraries have been able to keep layoffs to a minimum, while scrambling for other ways to cope with shriveling state and local funding. Children's librarian...
ALA Executive Board: Budget Management Dominates Spring Meeting. (Quarterly Report)
Maintaining support for ALA's numerous ongoing initiatives was the top priority at the spring meeting of the American Library Association's Executive Board, April 5-6 in Chicago, with ALA President Maurice Freedman presiding. Executive Director...
ALTA Advocates for Communities. (the Association's Associations)
If the many goals of our profession--equity of funding, unfettered access to information, service to diverse communities, intellectual freedom, literacy--are to be realized, they must be translated into policy and supported by members of the community;...
Calif. Governor Cuts $11.6 Million from School Libraries. (News Fronts)
Among the program reductions signed into law by California Gov. Gray Davis March 18 was an $ 11.6-million cut in funding for school library media materials. The bill package was passed by lawmakers to address the state's $35-billion budget shortfall...
Don't Mess with Texas Library. (Censorship Watch)
The newly expanded materials-review committee of the Montgomery County (Tex.) Library System decided in March not to pull Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block and Desire Lines by jack Gantos, both of which had been challenged over what was deemed the...
Faith at the Front Desk: Spirituality and Patron Service; of Course There's a Place for Religion at the Reference Desk
Looking into those earnest 10-year-old eyes, I sensed the immense importance of the question. I knew the answer from my other vocation as pastor of an evangelical Christian church; in that capacity, I can hardly wait for someone to ask the question....
Florida House Derails State Library Move. (News Fronts)
The Florida House voted April 4 to reject Gov. Jeb Bush's plan to transfer the state library's circulating collection from Tallahassee to Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale and eliminate 55 of the library's 120 positions. Since the Senate's...
Fred Rogers and Libraries: A Partnership in Caring; Pittsburgh Library Educators Carry on the Legacy of Their Good Neighbor Fred. (in Memoriam)
With the death of children's television icon Fred Rogers, we have all lost a good friend and neighbor. Fortunately, generations of children to come will benefit from Mister Rogers' Neighborhood as it continues on PBS. Like so many others, however,...
Getting into the Spirit: Boston's New Mary Baker Eddy Library Is Dedicated to the Betterment of Humanity, the Quest for Meaning, and the Achievements of One Remarkable Woman
"The time for thinkers has come; the place for thinkers is now open," said Virginia Harris last September at the dedication of the Mary Baker Eddy Library for the Betterment of Humanity in Boston (AL, Nov. 2002, p. 26). As the chair of the library...
Grassroots Report: A Head Start for Everybody. (Literacy)
Head Start--the federal program designed to help preschool children overcome obstacles to learning, reading, and development presented by poverty--is about to turn 40. The blueprint, developed by a federal task force in 1964, became an eight-week summer...
Guns and Butter. (President's Message)
A young friend asked me if Gulf War 11 is worse than the Vietnam War. The simple answer, and the one that's especially germane to the train wreck that is occurring with the nation's libraries today, is that libraries in the '60s and '70s were not among...
Internet Librarian: Counting What Counts. (Information Technology)
My first library job taught me so much, and I continue to marvel at the ways in which that experience comes back to me, even now. It's been more than 20 years since I first stood behind the desk of the Oneida (N.Y.) Library, learning everything from...
In Time of War: When the Nation Is in Crisis, America's Libraries Respond. (Library History)
Libraries are directly and immediately involved in the conflict which divides our world, and for two reasons: first, because they are essential to the functioning of a democratic society; second, because the contemporary conflict touches the integrity...
Iraq National Library Looted, Burned. (News Fronts International)
Reports from Baghdad indicate that the National Library of Iraq and its irreplaceable holdings were destroyed in the rampant looting and arson that followed the arrival of American troops. "It's a really distressing situation to see," said National...
Legislative Day Events Set. (ALA News)
National Library Legislative Day events to be held May 11-13 in Washington, D.C., will offer an opportunity for librarians, trustees, library friends, library-school faculty and students, and other library advocates to speak to congressional members...
Librarian's Library: Resources for Continuing Education. (Professional Literature)
Tame Your Reading Tiger For those struggling to keep up with the professional literature, The Informed Librarian Online could be the answer. Offered by Infosources Publishing, this free, monthly, online newsletter provides the tables of contents...
Libraries Cope Creatively with the Patriot Act. (News Fronts)
In the wake of continuing controversy about the library provisions of the USA Patriot Act--bath the efforts to overturn it through legislation as well as suggestions by congressional Republicans in early April that it be made permanent--librarians...
Mickey Mouse, Miss Piggy, and the Birth of ALA Graphics: Read Posters Become the Basis for National Library Promotion. (ALA History)
It began with one poster, but surprisingly not at ALA. One of the great mysteries of librarianship is why our profession has been so reluctant to promote. It was actually publishers, not librarians, who launched the first national program to promote...
NYC Directors Warn of Dire Service Reductions. (News Fronts)
At a March 24 city council hearing, the heads of New York City's three public library systems warned that planned budget cuts (AL, Apr., p. 25-26) may force them to sharply curtail services, raising the possibility of reducing hours to four days a...
Obituaries
A. K. M. Shamsul Alam, 73, former chairman of the library and information science department at the University of Dhaka in Bangladesh, died of heart failure February 14. * Louis Coburn, 87, professor of library and information studies at Queens...
Ohio Avoids Massive Cuts; Other States Still in Doubt. (News Fronts)
An April 2 rally outside the Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio, by some 350 library staff and supporters who chanted 'Ohio loves libraries" beneath the office windows of state legislators apparently had the desired effect. House leaders had announced earlier...
On My Mind: Universal Design and Public Libraries. (Opinion)
Universal design is the process of creating products (devices, environments, systems, and processes) which are usable by people with the widest possible range of abilities. --Gregg C. Vanderheiden, Trace Research and Development Center In 1931,...
On the Cutting Edge of the News: The Library Behind USA Today, America's Most Widely Read Newspaper. (Special Report)
In September 2002, one of the most successful publishing ventures in history celebrated its special anniversary. It's taken just two decades for USA Today to sign up more than 2.3 million subscribers and become the largest circulating newspaper in...
Public Library Staff: How Many Is Enough?. (Statistics)
When public library directors make major changes in the number and type of personnel on the library staff, questions are raised about how many staff are needed, how many should have a professional credential, and what the balance should be between...
St. Paul City Council Sides with Library over Mayor in Budget Battle. (News Fronts)
On April 2, the St. Paul, Minnesota, city council approved an ordinance reorganizing the public library into an entity whose revenues are raised through a dedicated property tax instead of being supported through the city's general fund. "This is a...
Technically Speaking: Using Information: The New Frontier. (Information Technology)
The other day I happened to land on the home page of the Cleveland Public Library (www.cpl.org) and discovered that not only could a CPL patron ask a nurse any health question online, but could also, if a local student, get online homework assistance...
The Best of the Best Reference Sources: The 2003 Reference and User Services Association Recommendations of Distinguished Reference Works Selected by Public and Academic Librarians. (Reference)
During a frigid winter weekend in Philadelphia, 10 librarians met during the 2003 ALA Midwinter Meeting to identify newly released reference works of distinction that would comprise this year's Outstanding Reference Sources. These dedicated and knowledgeable...
The Crawford Files: Shunned and Attacked-ALA and Free Speech. (Filtering)
Last year in this column (Oct. 2002, p. 83), I summarized the legal issues involved with the Children's Internet Protection Act and ended with a friendly challenge: "If you have been treated badly by an official unit of ALA (or made to feel officially...
The Great Reference Debate Continued-With a Manifesto: Real Reference Librarians Aren't Ready to Roll over Meekly and Disappear. (Reference)
These are certainly trying days for many librarians, especially in reference. It seems to be both the best of times and the worst. We are still in the midst of absorbing and making sense of the information revolution. New technologies are seen to...
Thus Said: How the World Sees Us. (Opinion)
"Libraries and I go way back. I've been a library volunteer since my first elementary school, and I worked at the Pomona Public Library in California during my college years. In all that time, I've seen librarians work valiantly to keep kids reading...
Will's World: Baseball, Boomer, and Censorship. (Commentary)
It happens every spring. The guys at the office are always one man short for the rotisserie baseball league so they come knocking on my door. They seek me out reluctantly because come October I always win the league championship and the prize money...
Working Knowledge: Judging Books by Their Covers. (Professional Development)
Q As a paraprofessional just finishing up my MLS, I am faced with a job search process that will require me to go out on interviews and attend the next ALA Annual Conference. Since my day job for the past several years allowed me to wear casual clothes,...