American Libraries

Articles from Vol. 33, No. 7, August

ALA Council; Two Heads Spin Better Than One: Governance Tackles Dual Role. (Biannual Report)
In the 1947 movie Copacdbana, Carmen Miranda plays a singer whom Groucho Marx books at the famous nightclub under two different names: the Brazilian Bombshell Carmen and Mademoiselle Fifi. She spends much of the movie switching between characters,...
ALA Executive Board: Association Leaders Wobble through a Pas De Deux for One. (Quarterly Report)
"It's a little bit like creating a parallel universe," said President John W. Berry as he struggled to bring order to the ALA Executive Board's awkward attempts at hammering out its new concurrent role as the board of ALA's just-launched Allied Professional...
Arkansas Library Aid Gets 11th-Hour Reprieve. (News Fronts: USA)
At its June 10 meeting, the Arkansas Board of Education backed away from an earlier proposal by Department of Education Director Ray Simon to eliminate the State Aid to Public Libraries program in FY 2003-04. Ultimately, the board allotted $500,000...
Books Are Back at BookExpo America in New York. (Special Report)
In stark contrast to previous years, books--old-fashioned books, the kind printed on paper--were the main topic at this year's Book Expo America, held in New York City May 3-5. If booksellers weren't exactly dancing on the grave of the e-book, they...
Canadian Library Association Faces Its Future in Halifax. (Special Report)
After a period of recent turmoil that saw a move to smaller headquarters, declining revenues, and the loss of several senior staff members, the Canadian Library Association continued to wrangle over its future at its 57th annual conference, held in...
Chicago Claims Demotions Will Save Library Jobs. (News Fronts: USA)
Chicago Public Library officials gave 30 days' notice to an unspecified number of unionized library workers July 1 that they must either accept a lower-paid position or be laid off effective August 1. Setting off a domino effect, the process began...
Colorado Governor Guts Aid to State's Libraries. (News Fronts: USA)
State-funded support and cooperative programming were scrapped July 1 when Colorado libraries lost $4.6 million in library aid that Gov. Bill Owens eliminated by line-item veto. The cuts were part of some $228 million that Owens slashed from the FY...
Court Overturns CIPA; Government Will Appeal. (News Fronts: Washington)
A three-judge panel in Philadelphia imposed a permanent injunction May 31 against enforcement of the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA), a law signed by President Clinton in 2000 to go into effect July 1 that would have forced libraries to equip...
Crowds, Critics, and Camaraderie: ALA Attracts 21,000 to Atlanta; Librarians Gather to Tackle Salaries, Censorship, and Other Tough Issues at ALA's 120th Annual Conference. (Annual Conference)
This year's ALA Annual Conference was supposed to have seen a smooth transition into the Allied Professional Association, a new arm of ALA designed to offer postgraduate professional certification, to advocate for pay equity, and to address other issues...
Economic Hard Times and Public Library Use Revisited: New Study Supports Connection between Recession and Increased Circulation. (Statistics)
On November 27, 2001, the New York Times carried a story headlined "Economists Make It Official: U.S. Is in Recession." The first paragraph noted that "The group of economists that tracks business cycles made official today what has been apparent to...
Expanded FBI Powers Threaten Library Privacy. (News Fronts: Washington)
U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft has given the FBI expanded authority for its agents to monitor Internet chat rooms, Web sites, and commercial databases in search of clues to suspected terrorist activities and to initiate inquiries at libraries...
First Lady Promotes School Libraries at White House Conference. (Special Report)
"Laura Bush had the basis for being a good librarian: She was a good teacher first," said Steve Wisely at the White House Conference on School Libraries June 4. The Medford, Oregon, school superintendent was one of eight speakers selected by the White...
Four Years of Progress: The Spectrum Initiative Leads on. (Special Report)
The sun was hot in Atlanta on the eve of June 11, but the spirit of new leaders dawned brightly at the beginning of the fourth annual Spectrum Leadership Institute. As Spectrum Initiative scholars converged from all over the nation for an intense three-and-a-half-day...
Free Libraries, Free Society: In an AL Exclusive, Robert Hughes, One of the World's Most Highly Regarded Cultural Critics, Warns of the Threat of "Patriotic Correctness". (Cover Story)
I once wrote a book attacking two ways of lying. We used to call the one on the left political correctness; the one on the right, patriotic correctness. That was in 1993, I think. Then, as one does, I went on to other books. But two weeks ago something...
French Library Thefts Solved. (Global Briefs)
After a two-year investigation, police finally caught a man who had been stealing valuable materials from a locked abbey library in France. The suspect, a teacher from the Strasbourg area who was not named by police, was caught May 19 taking books...
Hayden Presidency to Center on Diversity and Equity of Access. (News Fronts: ALA)
Equity of access and diversity--two of ALA's five key action areas--will get a boost during the presidential term of Carla Hayden, the Association's new vice-president/president-elect, who takes on her duties in July 2003 (AL, June/July, p. 10). ...
Houston Gets "Sweetheart Deal". (Updates)
The Houston City Council approved by one vote June 5 a $9.5-million contract with locally based Internet Access Technologies to provide online access and e-mail to every Houstonian with a library card, as well as spreadsheet and word-processing software...
Librarians in Sin City. (Will's World)
At first blush, there doesn't seem to be very much of a connection between gambling and libraries, but casinos are quickly becoming a bigger and bigger source of the local, county, and state revenues that fund school and public libraries. The proliferation...
Minnesota Eliminates Its State Library Agency. (News Fronts: USA)
The Minnesota Department of Children, Families, and Learning (CFL) announced June 4 that it was laying off six of the nine Roseville-based staff members of its Office of Library Development and Services (LDS), including Director Joyce Swonger, effectively...
Mission Possible: Two U.S. Libraries Reach out to Muslims in Asia; Programs by the Library of Congress and Cornell University Help Preserve a Cultural Legacy. (International)
When librarian William Tuchrello came to Indonesia in 1979 as a Fulbright scholar, he was impressed with the Islamic manuscript collections he saw at the Keraton Yogyakarta (called Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat Palace), which is the palace compound of...
Mold Found in EPA Library. (Briefs)
Scientists are probing whether toxic mold, found under a ceiling tile in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) library at the University of Nevada/Las Vegas (UNLV), has anything to do with the mysterious illnesses reported by 15 EPA laboratory...
North Carolina Cuts Library Funds. (News Fronts: USA)
North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley's office decided in mid-May to withhold the May and June aid payments for public safety and welfare, including $2.1 million earmarked for public libraries, because the state failed to meet its budgeted revenue targets...
Obituaries
Zena Sutherland Dies at 86 Zena Sutherland--the noted children's book reviewer, author, editor, and professor emerita of the Graduate Library School at the University of Chicago--died June 12 in Chicago at the age of 86. Sutherland served as editor...
Ohio Goes Recruiting for Minority Librarians: $100,000 in LSTA Grants Help Boost Librarianship through Videos. (Diversity)
Diversity, library and information science, and recruitment--what do they have in common? If you ask Ohio librarians, the answer may well be videotapes. Since 1998, the Ohio Library Council (OLC) has produced two minority-recruitment videos aimed at...
On My Mind: Exhibiting Censorship in the City of Lights and Flowers. (Opinion)
Picture a vibrant American city of nearly 275,000 people with a beautiful central library building, several branches, and more than 170,000 library card holders. Now picture the mayor issuing by decree a library exhibits policy prohibiting exhibits...
Qualifications Required for a Library Career Center: Your Library Already Has What It Takes to Empower Job Hunters. (Service)
Contrary to popular opinion, you don't need to have separate room, dedicated equipment, or a designated librarian to create a career center at your library. Most libraries already have the necessary components--books, videos, Internet access, word...
Reader Forum
Recruitment Redux The thrust of Will Manley's most recent commentary on the "recruitment crisis" in our field (AL, May, p. 108) missed one key point: namely, that the library school degree itself is insufficient as a qualification for entry-level...
Saudi Terrorist Suspect Arrested for Overdue Videos. (News Fronts: USA)
A Saudi Arabian man, who pleaded guilty May 7 to seven counts of willfully failing to return seven videotapes from the Boston Public Library, is now under investigation for possession of materials "possibly related to planned acts of terrorism." Saleh...
Soccer Lit. (Quick Bibs)
Without his distinctive haircut, I wouldn't know Brazilian soccer star Ronaldo if I ran into him in Walgreens, and, no, I didn't get up at zero-dark-thirty to watch the World Cup final. I consider it a character flaw--a streak of ugly Americanism--but,...
Special Librarians Put Knowledge to Work in L.A. (Special Report)
Los Angeles played host June 8-13 to some 4,650 corporate, sci-tech, law, museum, and other information professionals at the 93rd annual conference of the Special Libraries Association. Attendance was down by about 15% from last year, reflecting a...
Technically Speaking: "Furber" Debuts at ALA Exhibits. (Technology)
If I had any doubt that cataloging theory could make a real difference for the library patron, it was dispelled at this year's ALA Annual Conference. Seymour Lubetsky-retired Library of Congress cataloger, one of the guiding lights of the second edition...
That's "Mr. Gordon" to You: An Interview with the Retiring Executive Director of ALA. (William R. Gordon Speaks)
Soon after William R. Gordon became executive director of ALA in 1998, he made it known that he preferred being called not "Bill" but "Mr. Gordon." Many staff members wondered what Victorian time warp he was living in, They soon learned, however, that...
The Association's Associations: LAMA Creates Hot Passions for Cool Leadership. (News Fronts: ALA)
The Library Administration and Management Association's 2002 presidential theme is "Hot Passions, Cool Leadership" encapsulating the ALA division's vision to promote leadership and management practices, and to identify, encourage, and nurture future...
The Campaign for America's Librarians. (President's Message)
We all know that librarianship is a graying, underpaid profession and that as a predominantly female work force we are paid worse than people in male-dominated occupations. I ran for ALA president on a platform that promised to focus national attention...
The Crawford Files; OpenURL: Standards Can Be Fun! (Databases)
Recently, I've been testing OpenURL in Eureka, the Research Libraries Group's Web-based search interface. I've seen how much OpenURL can benefit libraries, their users, and database suppliers--and I've had more fun testing OpenURL than I've had at...
This Month, 10 Years Ago
On its July/August 1992 cover, American Libraries published a picture of several ALA members who had marched in the July 4 annual Gay Pride Parade in San Francisco. The "Reader Forum" section of subsequent issues carried many reactions, some arguing...
This Month IFLA Goes to Glasgow. (Special Report)
Last year's IFLA conference in Boston closed to a background of Scottish bagpipes and delegates munching on shortbread. That's because the next stop for the globe-circling international Federation of Library Associations and Institutions is Glasgow,...
Thus Said. (Opinion)
"The presidential libraries must be very quiet--most get only two or three visitors per day." John Stossel, ABC TV's 20/20, May 3, decrying the museums as a waste of taxpayer money. "If the school fires its librarian, has the classroom been affected?...
Wells Fargo Partnership Lays Path to Homeownership. (News Fronts: ALA)
Calling libraries "the most logical place" to learn about making financial decisions, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage's Pete Wissinger helped kick off a new $1.95-million partnership with ALA that the company president and CEO hopes will help "overcome the...
Who Wants to Be the First to Go to Jail? (Editorial)
The FBI is under a lot of pressure to follow every lead that might uncover terrorist activity in the making, even in libraries. And my sense is that a majority of Americans support the agency and couldn't care less if library records--even their own--get...