American Libraries

Articles from Vol. 38, No. 8, September

AALL in New Orleans: Law Librarians Rise to the Challenge
Drenched with sweat after working on a new Habitat for Humanity house for six hours in the July heat and humidity of New Orleans, Ron Wheeler of the Georgia State University College of Law Library exclaimed, "We're very excited to be here and that...
African-American Librarians Meet in Fort Worth: Black Caucus of the American Library Association
We've got to be more civically engaged. We have got to demand that we be respected as professionals," Harry Robinson Jr., president and CEO of the African American Museum in Dallas, told those attending the 6th National Conference of African American...
Burning with Frustration: The Custodians of the Book Resort to Desperate Measures
A May 28 Associated Press story reported on a Kansas City, Missouri, bookstore owner who began burning his books because he "wanted to thin out his collection." "This is the funeral pyre for thought in America today," Tom Wayne told the crowd as...
Director Leaves; Aids Efforts to Reopen
"I did everything I could here," Ted Stark, interim director of the shuttered Jackson County (Ore.) Libraries, told American Libraries about his resigning effective August 17 to head the Menomonie (Wis.) Public Library. Stark succeeded Ronnie Budge,...
Free and Freedom: They're Not the Same Thing
You might think from this month's title that I was going to go on again about open source software. Sorry to disappoint if that is what you wanted; happy to oblige if you feel like you've had your fill of the growing reach of open source library applications...
Garrison Keillor
The library "is where like-minded people go to encourage each other and do it silently," says Garrison Keillor. "To me this is almost miraculous." The author of more than a dozen books and the creator, host, and writer of A Prairie Home Companion on...
Global Reach
1 UNITED KINGDOM A swift fundraising effort by the John Rylands Library at the University of Manchester stopped a valuable collection of letters that once belonged to Mary Hamilton, a prominent member of King George III's court, from being sold...
Go Peddle Your Papers
One of the most disturbing things I've heard all year came out of Garrison Keillor's mouth during an interview (see p. 38) I taped while chasing him down the street in Washington, D.C., during the ALA Annual Conference in June. He said, "I'm pretty...
Harry's Last Hurrah: Muggle Libraries Partied Past the Witching Hour
What were you doing at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, July 21st? I'll admit to being curled up in bed with a book that wasn't by J. K. Rowling. (Please forgive me.) Louisville (Ky.) Free Public Library staff, however, were at their posts, in the final...
Hippies and Geeks: Which Group Did More to Change the World?
Of all the decades of the 20th century, the decade of the '60s is the most famous. The lasting image of the '60s for me is the famous photograph of the hippie putting a flower into the barrel of a soldier's rifle at the Pentagon, the epicenter of our...
How the World Sees Us
"Paris Hilton leaves jail in a librarian-like ensemble." Photo caption accompanying DANICA LO's coverage of the "dowdy," "uncharacteristically conservative" outfit that "seemed to have been ripped from mom Kathy's closet" that celebrity troublemaker...
Libraries Connect Communities: Public Library Survey Shows Funding Tight, but Wireless Expands Access
Despite our best efforts, the question "do we need libraries now that we have the internet?" continues to plague the library community. The 2007 Public Library Funding and Technology Access Study, published this month, is part of the arsenal of tools...
Libraries Examine Policies as Counties Target Illegals
Following Congress's failure to pass the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act in June, two counties in Virginia have taken steps to limit illegal immigrants' access to public services. Resolutions passed in July by Prince William and Loudoun County...
Lita
FORUM CELEBRATES 10 YEARS The Library and Information Technology Association (LITA) National Forum--a three-day educational event--is celebrating its 10th anniversary. The annual event includes sessions that explore leading-edge technologies and...
Outdated and Irrelevant? Rethinking the Library Bill of Rights-Does It Work in the Real World?
Adopted in 1948, the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights represents an effort to codify a set of basic principles upon which all library services should ideally be founded. Since its inception, through a number of reassessments and...
Patron Abuse Prompts Trial of Social-Network Filter
One branch of the 18-facility Kent District Library system, which serves greater Grand Rapids, Michigan, began blocking access July 23 to the popular social-networking sites MySpace, Facebook, and Bebo on 34 of its 40 workstations. The six unfiltered...
Pixels Worth 1,000 Words: Using Flickr to Tell Your Library's Story
My husband has a fear of libraries. His experiences in them have led him to believe they are unfriendly and unwelcoming places that have little to offer him. Sadly, many other people share his view. While there are libraries that even I don't feel...
Positions of Transition: Why Do Some Librarians Switch Careers? (Part One of Two)
In one of my columns last year, I sought librarians who had successfully transitioned to other careers (AL, June/July 2006, p. 92). I received many thoughtful responses, including some that were incredulous. For example, a librarian from Texas told...
Start Global Connections; September: The Wild Ricing Moon Month or Manoominike-Giizis
I grew up in Carlton, Minnesota--population 810--the daughter of a high school janitor/school bus driver and a security guard who retired as a high school Indian-education aide. Our family traveled twice to Canada for memorable camping trips; travel...
Tax Reform Has Florida Bracing for Major Cuts
A property-tax rollback passed by the Florida legislature in June is sending libraries scrambling to prepare for significant cuts, but even worse consequences loom if voters approve a constitutional amendment on the January ballot. The measure,...
TechSource Symposium Draws Gamers to Chicago
Some 325 people convened in Chicago July 22-24 to attend ALA TechSource's first-ever Gaming, Learning, and Libraries Symposium. Most attendees were American librarians of all ages and from all types of libraries, but others flew in from such far-flung...
The First Amendment Needs New Clothes: In the Face of Weakened Freedoms, Librarians and Other Free-Speech Advocates Press On
A gag order is lifted on librarians who challenged a provision of the USA Patriot Act. [??] Congress proposes citizen-firendly reforms to the Freedom of Information Act. [??] Pentagon officials, attempting to block committee testimony of lower-ranking...
Two Years and Counting: New Orleans Libraries after Katrina
The spray-painted symbols on the front door of the Robert E. Smith library look like graffiti. Anywhere else, it would be evidence of vandalism, but because this is New Orleans the symbols are recognizable as one of the tens of thousands of Urban Search...
What's a Library Worth? Piecing Together the Structure of Value
Librarians plan and strategize about how to tell funders and customers about the value of the libraries we serve. We tell heartwarming stories about what happens in the library. We do cost-benefit analyses. We do cost-effectiveness analyses. We study...
Where Are You? Your Location Doesn't Matter as Much as Your Presence
I was breezing through the Oregon State Bar Bulletin the other day (my Entertainment Weekly hadn't come yet) and ran across an interesting article. In typically legalistic fashion, it discussed a hypothetical lawyer licensed in New York who moves to...
World-Class Achievement: Saluting the 2007 ALA Award Winners
The practice of bestowing awards for a job well done is what American business magnate, author, editor, and homemaking advocate Martha Stewart calls "a good thing," pure and simple. It is a measure of success in a world of mixed blessings and diminished...