American Libraries

Articles from Vol. 41, No. 10, October

Assistive Technologies: The 20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act Is a Time to Celebrate Its Passage and to Ponder the Staggering Amount of Work That Remains to Be Done to Achieve True Parity in the Workplace
On July 26, 2010, thousands of people applauded the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which mandates that disabled individuals be accorded the same rights as persons without disabilities. The celebration...
As the Web Fades Away: Users Are Gravitating toward Special-Purpose Utensils like Apps, Gadgets, and Widgets
Growing up, my athletic prowess was legendary. Strong, graceful, fleet of foot, gifted in multiple sporting endeavors, and a role model to friends and rivals alike. I was also, coincidentally, third in line for the throne of France. Seriously, I...
Banning and Burning
I have never been prouder to be a part of this profession than I was on September 11 this year, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Barbara Jones, director of ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom, at the entrance to ALA headquarters here in Chicago,...
Conservatives among Us: Healthy Dialogue Opens Minds-And Wallets
My experience is that the library profession is not just overwhelmingly liberal but vocally so in supporting various political issues. Despite our core value of intellectual freedom, librarians are not very tolerant of listening to points of view that...
Fit Libraries Are Future-Proof: It's Survival of the Fittest in Libraryland These Days. How Does Your Library Shape Up?
The year 2009 marked the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, as well as the 150th anniversary of the publication of his most famous book, The Origin of Species. Darwin's work is memorable for its theories about the survival of the fittest,...
Global Reach
CANADA [1] The director of University of Prince Edward Island library put his administrative foot down when an academic database proposed increasing the fee it charges the university by 120%. Mark Leggott responded by announcing in a campuswide...
GPO Must Go: The Government Printing Office Is an Obsolete Relic
There are two things that Congress and Library-land need to eliminate from their thinking before government information can truly move into the digital age. The first is the word "printing," as in Government Printing Office (GPO). The second is the...
Hearts and Minds in Play: Young People Are the Spoils of the Culture Wars
What makes younger library users, past or present, so interesting to researchers? At the Library History Seminar XII, September 10-12, many scholarly papers focused on youth services. The ideas in circulation at the Madison conference suggested...
Help from Our Friends: It's Time to Develop a New Mix of Knowledge
Following my return in August from the 76th International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions General Conference and Assembly in Gothenburg, Sweden, I was interviewed on two successive days about the state of America's libraries by...
How the World Sees Us
"Print is dead. Everybody says so. I checked it out and it's true. Print is dead. 1 saw that on the internet." "Native Son" columnist CARL NOLTE, on the irony of predictions about the death throes of print even as library circulation and brick-and-mortar...
Newsmaker: Ellen Tise
South African librarian Ellen Tise is president of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, 2009-2011. American Libraries caught up with her during the 76th IFLA World Library and Information Congress, August 10-15, in...
Nurturing Innovation: Tips for Managers and Administrators
I've spoken to library staff from libraries all over North America and have heard countless stories about innovative new services that failed. I always ask people why they think the initiative didn't work at their library and the answer has always...
One Man's Vision for the Future: Books for the Children of Ethiopia
The need in Ethiopia is great but the vision and perseverance of Yohannes Gebregeorgis is greater, which helps explain why a new library worthy of any developed country opened August 20 in Mekele, the first of its kind in this small and grindingly...
Our Authors, Our Advocates: Four Authors Help Kick off ALA President Roberta Stevens's "Our Authors, Our Advocates" Presidential Initiative
The American Library Association got a brand-new president in June, when Roberta Stevens of the Library of Congress entered the ballroom at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington, D.C., dancing to the tune of "Celebration," along with the incoming presidents...
Rethinking Library Linking: Making Open URL Better with Data, Data, and More Data
Open URL link resolvers have become a vital part of many libraries' offerings, especially in academic libraries. As resolvers have become more important, they have undergone the same iterative usability testing and interface improvements that are common...
Rousing Reads: Required Reading for Mad Men
Nobody reads in the Emmy-winning TV series Mad Men. They drink prodigiously, and they smoke incessantly, but with the exception of Don Draper taking a glance at a volume of Frank O'Hara's poems in an episode a couple of seasons ago, there's rarely...
September Project Evolves with Freedom Programming
Libraries around the country and the world hosted events last month as part of the September Project, a grassroots effort to encourage library programming about freedom during the month of September. The September Project was founded in 2004 (AL,...
Summon Summons 100th Customer
Serials Solutions announced September 13 that its web-scale discovery product Summon has reached the 100-customer mark. (The company has chosen not to name its 100th customer because "it's a three-way dead-on tie," according to media representative...
Swedes Drive Technology to New Levels during IFLA in Gothenburg
The recent IFLA conference in Gothenburg, Sweden, marked a sea change in the federation's use of technology and social networking, which could be seen on the new IFLA website, where photos and stories from the conference were posted daily on the "Follow...
Transforming a Hodgepodge: How One Community Transformed Donation-Based Collections Run by Volunteers into a Modern Library System
In Stevens County, Washington, public libraries are a fairly new concept. Residents voted to form a library district in 1996, transforming a hodgepodge of donation-based collections run by volunteers into a modern system. Over the past decade, library...