American Libraries

Articles from Vol. 40, No. 8-9, August-September

Advocacy: Part I: Route 66: From Chicago to L.A
As your 2009-2010 ALA president, I invite all ALA members to join me on a journey along a symbolic Route 66. The real Route 66 passed through many states, including New Mexico, where my family is from. Since my recent inauguration occurred during...
ALA Council: Association Finances, Gay Marriage Rights, Electronic Participation, the Patriot Act, and the Google Book Search Settlement Top Busy Agenda
The Association's overall financial health and its effect on member services was a part of much of the governing Council's business at its three sessions held July 12, 14, and 15 during Annual Conference in Chicago. Although membership is down 2.6%,...
ALA Executive Board: FY2009 Division, Round Table Endowment Contribution Delayed
The ALA Executive Board approved a recommendation from the Finance and Audit (F&A) and Budget Analysis and Review (BARC) committees that will delay the FY2009 and FY2010 division and round table ALA endowment transfers (Executive Board Document...
AL Interview: Stevens to Continue Advocacy Focus
Roberta Stevens, outreach projects and partnerships officer at the Library of Congress and project manager for the National Book Festival, was elected ALA vice-president/president-elect this spring (AL, June/July, p. 12). She will take office at the...
A Record Crowd in Chicago: This Year's Annual Gathering of Library Professionals Examines Privacy, Intellectual Freedom, and the Economy's Impact on Libraries
Nearly 29,000 librarians and library supporters attended the American Library Association's Annual Conference July 9--15, held at the McCormick Place convention center in downtown Chicago. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The total of 28,941--the largest...
A Tribute to E.J. Josey
There was no librarian as devoted to the profession as E. J. Josey; nor was anyone more caring of all his friends. We have lost a giant, and I, a beloved compatriot." These words by friend and colleague Dorothy S. Puryear epitomize the many tributes...
Austerity and Opportunity
The great irony of this year's ALA Annual Conference in Chicago is that while attendees from across the country were collectively commiserating about the sad state of library budgets, they were simultaneously breaking attendance records. But soaring...
Back to the Future: For the Job Market, Forget the Predictions
Let's suppose you're a library school graduate. You take a year to land your first librarian job, only to promptly lose it in a round of layoffs. Of course, you're luckier than many other new graduates, who often settle for part-time work or end up...
Best of ALA 2009: American Libraries Magazine Presents
There is no prouder moment for those who have dedicated their lives to a career in librarianship than being recognized by colleagues and friends for achievement above and beyond the ordinary. From the top award of Honorary Membership to the late Judith...
Diamonds in the Rough: Playing the Numbers Game Shows the Evolution of the Web
Rabid "Internet Librarian" fans may remember that for my 50th column (AL, Feb. 2007, p. 27), I Googled the number 50 to see what came up and what Deeper Implications might emerge. This, by my count, is number 75, so I figured, "What the heck." I briefly...
Exhibits Cast Their Spell: There Was Many to Tome to Lure Youth Services Librarians
A princess and pastel balloons were among the first things I found in the exhibit hall at the 2009 American Library Association Annual Conference. They became my guiding influence as I wandered the aisles, prompting me to seek out fairy tales and fantasy,...
From Gatekeepers to Gate-Openers: Our Future Lies in Designing Meaningful Library User Experiences
As gatekeepers we can aspire to only a limited professional role: making information accessible. But in today's crowded information-provider landscape, that role fails to distinguish the many great assets libraries bring to their communities. Our future...
From Slides to Eternity: For Every PowerPoint, There Is a Season
I thought I'd seen all the possible applications of PowerPoint--that is, until the memorial service for a man I barely knew. He was a prominent member of the community, too prominent to have spent time with the likes of someone as ordinary as me, but...
Gaming, All Grown Up: Library Gaming Programs Offer Transformational Experiences for Youth and Adult Users Alike
We may remember 2008 as the year in which gaming became just like any other service in libraries, with librarians implementing gaming initiatives that look very much like those we already offer for books, movies, music, and computers for as varied...
Gift to Virginia Tech Is Boon to Tech Services
An avid knitter, Jean Quible was pleased to see the latest issue of Workbasket magazine arrive in her mailbox. As she flipped through the pages, she noticed a frequency change in the publication schedule--a habit she picked up from her time as a...
Global Reach
SCOTLAND (1) Louise Brown, 91, has read several books a week since 1946 without incurring a fine. She mostly borrows large-print books, but has read almost every book in her local library's collection. The staff of the Stranraer Library in Dumfries...
HAPLR Library Rankings Mark 10th Anniversary with Ohio on Top
The 10th-anniversary edition of Hennen's American Public Library Ratings (HAPLR), the annual ranking of over 9,000 libraries nationwide, was published online June 30 at www.haplr-index.com. Compiled by Thomas J. Hennen Jr., director of the Waukesha...
How the World Sees Us
"Libraries raised me. I don't believe in colleges and universities. I believe in libraries because most students don't have any money. ... I couldn't go to college, so I went to the library three days a week for 10 years." Science fiction author...
Learning with Blogs: Selected Blogs That Will Enlighten and Inform Every Library Professional
Like other professions, librarianship shares its knowledge through journals and books. Blogging is the brash new kid on the block, getting louder all the time and demanding more of our attention. Blogs bring immediately, interactivity, and informality...
Lexington Firing Takes Personal Toll
When the board of the Lexington (Ky.) Public Library fired Director Kathleen Imhoff July 15, it sent a shiver up the spines of public library directors nationwide. Terminating her contract even though it was set to run until June 2011, the board action...
Newsmaker: Arne Duncan
It's not about being selfish or self-serving; it's about demonstrating the difference that you're making in our students' learning." That's how Arne Duncan advises librarians to advocate for library services in tough economic times. In a June 22 telephone...
NYPL Integrates Fiction and Research Catalogs
The New York Public Library has rolled out a new catalog and OPAC, integrating its fiction and research collections into one interface. The interface and back-end database, which the library calls the Catalog, is powered by Innovative's Encore software...
Prioritizing the Patron: Vendors and Librarians Reaffirm Their Shared Goals at ALA Exhibits
As a library technologist, I've always tried to achieve harmony between the practicalities of our profession and the application of technology. So when I look at specific solutions, it's always through a critical lens: "Is this something that will...
Public Libraries: Necessities or Amenities?
These are hard times for publicly funded libraries. Local governments have less money for all the services they traditionally fund, not just for us. It seems fair, if not desirable, that public libraries take our share of reductions. It's not that...
Solutions and Services
www.auto-graphics.com Auto-Graphics has introduced AGent Iluminar, a next-generation web services application for the company's library automation platform. AGent lluminar facilitates social networking, improved navigation, and drag-and-drop customization...
State Budgets Hammer Public Libraries Nationwide
The financial woes that are constricting state budgets coast to coast--and beyond--loom large over local library systems as they fact the threat of devastating reductions in services. While in most cases the cuts, which would include closures and mass...
The Association's Associations: LITA
SALT LAKE CITY SITE OF FORUM The Library and Information Technology Association (LITA) will host its 12th annual National Forum October 1-4 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The forum will feature more than 30 concurrent sessions, preconferences, and...
The Association's Associations: LLAMA
A HOME FOR LEADERS The Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA) serves more than 5,000 members from all types of libraries who value the many opportunities for learning that come from associating with professional peers. In 2009, the...
The Download Dilemma: The Demise of the Compact Disc Signals an Uncertain Future for Library Sound Recording Collections
A little over a year ago, I received an e-mail from Cantaloupe Music announcing the release of a new live recording of Brian Eno's Music for Airports, available solely as a download-only digital file through iTunes and the label's website (Cantaloupe...
Wisconsin Board, Staffers Cope with Would-Be Book Burners
In a censorship battle involving book-burning and board dismissals, West Bend (Wis.) Community Memorial Library, located some 40 miles northwest of Milwaukee, has become an unlikely national testing ground for the freedom to read. The recent ALA...