American Libraries

Articles from Vol. 38, No. 2, February

A Library and an Art Center: How Stacks and Easels Can Live Together Happily Ever After
Imagine a cash-strapped public library and an innovative museum joining forces to challenge the way patrons and politicians view library services. Imagine the staffs of these two institutions sharing their special talents, ideas, and resources to produce...
Alison Bechdel
Alison Bechdel's lesbian-themed comic strip "Dykes to Watch Out For" has been appearing in alternative newspapers and small-press compilations since 1987, but last year the cartoonist published her first original graphic novel, Fun Home, to unexpected...
A Passion for ALA: Association Involvement Has Personal, Professional Benefits
By the time you read this, ALA's Midwinter Meeting in Seattle will be history. Once again we will have gathered in our small community to discuss issues of importance to the profession; deliberate about the work of the Association; advance our mission;...
A Roadmap to Learning 2.0: Discovering New Avenues through Play
Sometimes the most difficult part about learning new technologies is knowing how to get started. Some people can just dive headlong into learning about things such as blogs, wikis, and podcasting on their own, but most need a little guidance. Many...
Beam Me Up, Enterprise: It's Not Your Dad's Search Engine
I don't know why, but I am still somewhat amazed at the not-so-sudden but widespread discussion of "Enterprise Search." The terminology makes me wonder: If libraries had called it that sooner, might we be farther along than we are with it? (Similarly,...
Been There, Heard That: Keynoters Change, but Paradigms Remain the Same
The July 1907 Bulletin of the American Library Association was devoted to reporting what happened at the ALA Annual Conference in Asheville, North Carolina. Much of what was published did not vary a great deal from the basic proceedings of today's...
Congressman Takes Oath on Thomas Jefferson's Koran
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) became the first Muslim member of Congress January 4 and memorialized the event by taking a ceremonial oath on a Koran once owned by President Thomas Jefferson. Ellison had asked the Library of Congress in December to use...
Each One Teach One: Historically Black Colleges and Universities Participate in Staff Exchanges
What are some innovative ways to stretch dollars? How can libraries cope with never-ending changes in technology and their effects on service? What issues can arise when an academic library merges with the campus IT operation? How can librarians foster...
How the World Sees Us
"A book gives you a sense of accomplishment, a sense of belonging to the world you just inhabited, a sense of possibility. Endless possibility. No wonder they frighten the hell out of some people. Books are powerful things. Within their ideas hide...
Maplewood Stays Open, Will Offer More Programming
Trustees of the Maplewood (N.J.) Memorial Library met with Mayor Fred Profeta in an emergency meeting January 14 to reexamine their December decision to close the library weekday afternoons because of disruptive middle-school students--a policy that...
New Congress Brings Hope for Library Legislation
The 110th Congress convened on January 4, marking the first time in 12 years that Democrats controlled a majority in both the House and Senate. Many information professionals are optimistic that the new leadership will result in progress on legislation...
Oprah Opens $40-Million South African School with State-of-the-Art Library
Celebrities lined up January 2 in the small town of Henley-on-Klip, in the Gauteng province of South Africa, to back Oprah Winfrey as she opened her new $40-million Leadership Academy for Girls. Designed to raise girls from poverty to positions of...
Planning Group Maps Website Improvements
A select group of ALA members and staff came together December 18 at the Association's headquarters in Chicago to discuss a recent usability assessment of the ALA website and to set priorities for the implementation of the resulting recommendations....
Race & Place: A Personal Account of Unequal Access
My family is from the Deep South, a small town the size of a speck on a Louisiana map. By the early 1950s, my grandmother and grandfather and more than half of the 16 siblings they shared between them had relocated to the West Coast. It was a move...
Reducing the Digital Divide: A Basic Library Research Course Can Help Close the Gap
The college library serves as a research center for both students and faculty. Students first entering college are exposed to an overwhelming array of resources, from databases to print materials. A basic library research course, required as part of...
Some Nifty 50s: In Commemoration of Half-a-Hundred Columns
Surpassing all understanding, this is my 50th column for American Libraries. I thought this was deserving of something special in commemoration, so while I'm not tapped out for ideas--yet--I figured I'd just let the Web decide what this column should...
Spectrum Turns 10: ALA's Diversity Recruitment Program Marks Its First Decade
From such comments as "Spectrum jump-started my career" to "The scholarship changed my life," recipients of the American Library Association's 10-year-old initiative to diversify the national library workforce consistently identify their scholarship...
Still Unequal after All These Years
During my blessedly brief career as a substitute teacher, I remember being sent one morning to a public elementary school in the middle of Detroit. Arriving at the front door, I had the sense that I was entering a sort of prison, an impression reinforced...
Who's on Second? Do You Know Where Your Avatar Is?
First, a confession: My Second Life avatar, or virtual persona, is a clueless male clad in the default ensemble of white T-shirt and blue jeans. "He" walks into trees and drops clumsily to the ground after aerial tours of the virtual terrain. On...
Working at Finding Work: Finding a Job Can Be a Full-Time Job
I recently had coffee with a fantastic new librarian, Anne Chernaik, who is also one of ALA's newly anointed Emerging Leaders (AL, Nov. 2006, p. 3). Her academic credentials are terrific. During her MLS program on the East Coast, she also worked part-time...