American Libraries

Articles from Vol. 31, No. 11, December

ALA Backs Bookstore in Privacy Case
ALA and the Freedom to Read Foundation have filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of Denver's Tattered Cover bookstore, which is appealing a court order to tell police who purchased two books on drugmaking. Owner Joyce Meskis said November 2 that...
As School Libraries Race Forward, It's Time to Dispel Some Myths
"MEDIA SPECIALISTS" ARE STILL LIBRARIANS, AND READING IS STILL THE KEY TO SUCCESS Myths abound concerning nearly every aspect of library services, and school libraries are no exception. The first of several misconceptions I want to address is the...
Association to Embark on Ambitious Business, Technology Plans
At its fall meeting, held October 20-22 in Chicago, the ALA Executive Board took the first steps toward developing a five-year strategic business plan for the Association. In the course of an all-day financial planning session with ALA's endowment...
Buffalo Scraps Plan to Close 21 Branches
After nearly two years of public input on a consultant's report, the Buffalo and Erie County (N.Y.) Public Library unveiled an alternate plan October 19 that would not close any of the system's 52 branches, but stipulates that communities must use...
Building Information-Smart Communities
During the past decade our nation has focused on maximizing the availability of new information technologies. But, if we are to cross the digital divide and prosper as a society, we must expand that vision. We librarians know that simply having a computer...
Celebrate @ Your Library [TM]
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday & African American History Month * Schedule films and videos of Dr. King's activities throughout the day. * Sponsor a "young adult table talk" around events and issues addressed by Dr. King. Encourage YA...
Chapter Report: Good News from Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Ohio
The Pennsylvania Library Association's five-year agenda, "Platform for 21st Century Libraries," is already having a significant impact on services and resources in only the second year of an initiative that has markedly increased state funding for...
Editorial
Gordon Flagg Sacred Cows? Bring 'Em On! In this, the last of our guest-edited issues of American Libraries, Contributing Editor Virginia H. Mathews assembles four articles tackling some of librarianship's "sacred cows." As the authors show, librarians'...
Global Reach
CANADA Admitting that "the English-speaking community does not perceive Montreal's libraries as theirs," Jacques Panneton, the city's head librarian, says he is looking for ways to acquire more English-language books and to attract more Anglophone...
Growing PINES in Georgia
HOW A MIGHTY MODEL OF PUBLIC LIBRARY COOPERATION FROM A TINY ACORN GREW Public librarians can be such profound hypocrites. We may talk the talk but often do not walk the walk. We evangelically spread the gospel of "information to the people," but...
Head 'Em Up, Move 'Em Out: Four Blessed Bossies in Our Way
MYTHS AND MISCONCEPTIONS CAN KEEP US FROM FULFILLING OUR MISSION Library users are like the blind man examining the elephant: They think of libraries in terms of the part they can feel, the part that touches them. When I ask them how they last used...
JSTOR and Electronic Archiving
WORKING TO MEET THE SPACE AND BUDGET NEEDS OF LIBRARIES In 1995, David M. Pilachowski, then a librarian at Denison University in Granville, Ohio, got involved with a new project called JSTOR (Journal Storage), which offered to help his library reduce...
La. Parish Criminalizes Cybersmut in Libraries
Making good on its pledge to tighten up penalties for viewing cybersmut on library computers (AL, Nov., p. 32), the Jefferson Parish (La.) Council approved an ordinance October 18 that also requires Jefferson Parish Library staffers to call the police...
LC's Digital Copyright Ruling Limits Fair Use
Librarian of Congress James Billington released his ruling on the anticircumvention provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (AL, Nov. 1998, p. 16), allowing only two exceptions to the measure. The provision, Section 1201(a) of the act, makes...
Libraries Celebrate Teen Read Week
Hundreds of libraries across the country celebrated the third annual Teen Read Week October 15-21 with a variety of programs and activities; and it will come as no surprise that the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling won the "Best Book Read This...
Library Postal-Rate Cap Is Law; GPO Bill Vetoed
In the waning days of its 106th session, Congress passed legislation establishing postal-rate provisions for certain subclasses, including library and educational mail. President Clinton signed the measure October 27. ALA's Washington Office said...
Massachusetts Flunks School-Library Test
One-eighth of the Massachusetts public schools that responded to a survey do not have a library, according to a study sponsored by Simmons College in Boston, and in many schools the libraries are in such poor shape that they could affect students'...
Md. Schools Request More Aid for Libraries
Maryland Superintendent of Schools Nancy S. Grasmick announced October 24 that she is asking the state school board for nearly three times the amount of funding currently spent on school libraries. The proposal, which seeks a total of $8.7 million,...
Northwestern's Art of the Story: Public Relations on a Grand Scale
AN ACADEMIC LIBRARY TRANSFORMS ITSELF INTO A CULTURAL MEETING PLACE FOR STUDENTS, STAFF, AND THE GENERAL PUBLIC Unless libraries undertake special efforts to present themselves as cultural and intellectual leaders in their communities--and to be...
People
Currents Teal Anderson has been appointed Web/usability specialist at the Milton S. Eisenhower Library at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Sharilynn Aucoin has retired as coordinator of special services at the State Library of Louisiana,...
Referenda Roundup: Close Calls, Tax Revolts
The Presidential election wasn't the only balloting watched closely by librarians on November 7. Some library measures passed handily, but tax hikes this year were a particularly tough sell. Minneapolis residents approved a $ 140-million referendum...
The Association's Associations: YALSA Moves on Fast Forward
A growing membership and an increased interest in library service to teens will keep the Young Adult Library Services Association moving at a fast pace this next year. Exciting developments in the areas of membership benefits, professional development,...
The Committee Wore Pajamas: ALA Debuts Online Chat
By next January, if all goes well, ALA committees will have a new tool for meeting between conferences: a chat room hosted by ALA. Exactly how this will be rolled out is still in the works, but I've seen it--so I believe it! ALA has made great strides...
The Doghouse
What can librarians do to help the environment? For one thing, we can stop buying books on management. Each year, entire forests are decimated for the purpose of producing a parade of new books that promise once and for all to unveil the hidden...
This Month, 42 Years Ago
CHARLEMAE HILL ROLLINS was reviewing a children's book authored by Harold Keith titled Rifles for Watie (Thomas Y. Crowell, 1957), which had been submitted into competition for the Newbery and Caldecott Awards. At the time she was children's librarian...
To Go or Not to Go? Library as Place
WILL WE OUTGROW OUR NEED FOR REAL LIBRARIES AND REAL BOOKS? NOT SOON Call it a sacred calf, the relatively recent assumption, based on the hype that swirls around wondrous technological advances, that we will soon not need books or libraries. Part...
Traveling Low-Tech
At the ALA Midwinter exhibits in San Antonio last January, I passed by an exhibitor displaying what looked like a toy computer--a light but rugged-looking plastic keyboard with a 1-by-5.5-inch LED screen. "Have you heard of the AlphaSmart?" she asked....
"Use It Up, Wear It out, Make It Do, or Do Without"
New Englanders are familiar with the above adage, as are descendants of many who carried it with them westward across rivers, plains, and mountains to build new communities. Favorite books went along in their wagons, and soon a longing for the libraries...
Who Is Most Qualified to Serve Our Ethnic-Minority Communities?
MYTHS AND MISCONCEPTIONS CAN GET IN THE WAY OF ACHIEVING CULTURAL COMPETENCY One of my first public-library assignments was to weed the Polish, Czech, and Bohemian collections in the foreign-language room to make space for a newly purchased Spanish...
Worn Tomes Set the Wrong Tone
For the past two years I have been writing a series of editorials hoping to convince our local school district administrators to invest in a quality school library program. I've urged them to weed old books because of racism, sexism, inaccuracies,...