American Libraries

Articles from Vol. 40, No. 6-7, June-July

ALA Executive Board: Reserve Tapped in Anticipation of FY2009 Shortfall
To prepare for a projected FY 2009 overall net revenue loss of $2.9 million, the ALA Executive Board approved a $441,500 transfer from the general fund net asset reserve as the anticipated final measure in a series of moves taken to prepare for the...
Cuts, Freezes Widespread in Academic Libraries
Many academic libraries are facing major planned or potential budget cuts as the nation's economic meltdown plays itself out. Online reports and announcements from major U.S. universities show that significant budget cuts may be widespread among members...
DOJ Examines Google Scanning Settlement
The Department of Justice is looking into whether Google's proposed settlement of lawsuits challenging its Book Search project violates antitrust laws. The department's lawyers have been in contact with the Internet Archive, Consumer Watchdog, and...
Florida Boosters Save State Library Aid
"You did it! The people of Florida roared--and the state's leaders listened!" proclaimed a May 3 message on the Florida Library Association website from Immediate Past President Charlie Parker. On April 30, lawmakers had approved the elimination...
Global Reach
IRELAND 1 Public libraries in County Monaghan are unable to purchase any new books this year because their acquisitions budget of 165,000 euros ($224,400 U.S.) has been suspended due to a shortage of funds available to the county council. County...
How the World Sees Us
"[Makers rooms] belong in a public library. ... Ask Thomas Edison, Wilbur Wright, Grace Hopper, Steve Wozniak, Esther Dyson, Bre Pettis, or Phillip Torrone. ... Inventiveness belongs in a public library because libraries are houses of ideas." PCWorld...
Indianapolis PL Loses Construction Suit
A jury rejected claims by the Indianapolis--Marion County Public Library that an engineering firm was responsible for $24.5 million in damages caused by defects in the concrete beams of an underground parking garage in its renovated central library....
Librarians as Writers: Published Practitioners Share Their Experiences and Advice
Librarians tend to be creative people, and what other profession than librarianship could be more encouraging for writers? We are surrounded by books, technology, and people, providing the opportunity not only to write for the profession but also to...
Library Legislative Day Brings 400 Advocates to D.C
A weak economy did not discourage the 400+ participants in this year's National Library Legislative Day from traveling from across the country to the nation's capital to speak up for libraries. In fact, the poor economy seemed to ignite a passion...
LSU Library School Faces Loss of Autonomy
At an April 14 faculty forum, Louisiana State University Chancellor Michael V. Martin announced major changes in the school's organization that would affect the School of Library and Information Science. Effective July 1, he explained, the school is...
OCLC Web-Based Service Challenges ILS Vendors
In what clearly represents a challenge to the integrated library system (ILS) industry, OCLC has created what it calls "the first web - scale cooperative library management service," inviting member libraries to "take the first step to realizing this...
Once in a Lifetime: ALA Leader Bids Farewell as Term Ends
If you find the no-frills Billy Goat Tavern on a list of restaurants for the America Library Association's Annual Conference in Chicago, the likely reason is that it inspired and remains true to the 1970s Saturday Night Live "Cheezborger! Cheezborger!...
Open Discovery Interfaces: These Open Source OPAC Discovery Layers Allow Libraries to Experiment Freely with Their User Interface
Discovery interfaces allow libraries to offer more modern tools to their users for searching library collections. While the ILS serves as the automation environment for library staff, the discovery interface extracts data from the ILS and other repositories...
Pilfered in Civil War, Rare Book Returned
Nearly 145 years after it was taken by a Union soldier during a raid on Lexington, Virginia, a book on the Napoleonic Wars has found its way back to the special collections department of Washington and Lee University. Charles S. Gates, of the 54th...
Politics Heats Up Materials Challenges
This spring, citizens in West Bend, Wisconsin, and Topeka, Kansas, began playing political hardball with local officials in their efforts to get library titles restricted that treat sexuality in a positive light. The firestorm over West Bend Public...
Prescription for Financial Recovery: The Current Economic Crisis Holds Opportunities as Well as Challenges for Libraries
A tsunami of bad news for all types of libraries has swept the country, and very few libraries have been spared. In Philadelphia, the mayor briefly sought closures of 11 public library` branches and reductions in hours at others (AL, May, p. 18). In...
Report: Library Funding Lags, Services Reduced
The value of libraries in communities across the country continued to grow in 2008--and has accelerated as the national economy sank and people looked for cost-effective resources, according to ALA's annual State of America's Libraries report, released...
Roberta Stevens Wins 2010-2011 ALA Presidency
Roberta Stevens, outreach projects and partnerships officer at the Library of Congress (LC) and project manager for the National Book Festival, has been elected 2010-11 ALA president. Stevens received 6,796 of the total 12,212 votes cast for president...
Rousing Reads: In the On-Deck Circle
I 'm changing the terms of my column a bit this month: rather than reporting on reads that have roused me recently, I'm going to speculate on what might be doing the rousing over the next few months. Spring has barely sprung in Chicago as I write this,...
Summertime in Chicago: The 2016 Summer Olympics U.S. Contender City and Site of the Association's Headquarters Welcomes Conference-Goers
From a visit to such hot spots as Navy Pier, Millennium Park, and Buckingham Fountain to dining on deep-dish pizza or a Chicago - style hot dog, a variety of activities and cuisines awaits the thousands of librarians, vendors, authors, and other special...
Sweet Home Chicago
Hardly anyone I know in Chicago is actually from Chicago, born and raised here that is. Most of my friends and colleagues are from someplace else, a lot of us from Michigan. I always tell people back home in Detroit that if the Midwest were a country,...
Teaching How to Teach: User Instruction Remains a Professional Priority
Change in the information environment keeps coming at a terrific pace. Traditional reference statistics are down, electronic resources proliferate, and Google's Book Project is on the march. Despite all this flux, the public service aspect of librarianship...
What's Old Is New Again: It's about Time Library Gaming Made a Comeback
Is there a librarian alive who hasn't heard the argument that games now belong in libraries? Blogs, podcasts, and even books tout the idea that games are a new means of encouraging younger users to feel welcome and engaged. Except they're not. That...
Why We'll Survive: Librarians Make Their MARC through Adaptability
It was a magical moment. 1 was on Kodiak Island to give the keynote address to the Alaska Library Association, and fell asleep the night before reading Susan Cooper's award-winning The. Dark Is Rising. In the book, a 12-year-old boy awakes to a heavy...
Words, Words, Words: Within Books or without, They Maintain Their Power
I recently had the chance to spend a few days in London and wandered into the National Portrait Gallery on a fine spring morning. While there, my eye fell on two intriguing details. The first image acquired as the museum was taking shape in the 1850s...
Worlds Connect @ Your Library
For 51 years, National Library Week (NLW) has been celebrated by libraries of all types across the country and internationally. This year's annual observance, April 12-18, carried the theme "Worlds Connect @ your library" to demonstrate the difference...
Your Stuff, Their Rules: What to Expect with Hosted Web Services
The gulf between what the technological have and have-not libraries could do on the web used to be so much larger. Years ago, if a library didn't have access to its own server, it didn't have a website, or at least not one that could be easily and...