American Libraries

Articles from Vol. 41, No. 6-7, June-July

10 Tips for Tracking Trends: Libraries Can Stay Relevant to Their Users by Strategically Riding the Wave of Societal Trends
As a public library director I spend a great deal of time searching out ways to keep my library relevant in today's fast-changing environment. I've found that one method is to keep myself current about societal trends and to strategize regularly about...
Advocates to Rally in D.C.: Library Advocacy Day Rally; Appearances by Authors Toni Morrison; Sarah, Duchess of York; and John Grisham Highlight Conference Agenda
A LA's Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., June 24-29, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center (WWCC) and surrounding hotels offers a full program agenda and an array of guest speakers culminating with members converging on Capitol Hill to...
Aggregating Digital Data: Interoperability Changes How We Build Collections
The Open Archives Initiative Object Reuse and Exchange specification defines a set of new standards for the description and exchange of aggregations of web resources. This presents an exciting opportunity to revisit how digital libraries are provisioned....
A Library in Your Pocket: Building a Web Presence for Mobile Users
In Vermont, it was easy to ignore the mobile computing craze until 2009. Before that, AT&T didn't have a presence here, so we couldn't purchase iPhones in the state. That all changed last year, and now, barely a day goes by that I don't see someone...
A Passion for Copyright: One Librarian's Love-Hate Relationship
Copyright is a subject with which I believe most librarians have a love-hate relationship. I am mostly in the love-it camp, but not necessarily in the love-all-the-regulations-and-guidelines one. I enjoy immensely the detective-work aspect of finding...
Dining in the District: A Guide to Great Restaurants to Try at Annual
The last several years have seen a boom in Washington restaurants. D.C. is attracting both top talent and celebrity chefs. Couple that with some legendary institutions and you can get yourself some good eats. The city is broken up into four quadrants:...
Drupal: The Change We Need
The change we need," according to Tim O'Reilly, keynote speaker at the 2010 DrupalCon San Francisco, "is DIY on a civic scale." We've come to rely on what O'Reilly called "vending machine government," where we put tax dollars in and expect services...
Economic Impact: ALA Treasurer Sees Challenges Ahead
Over the last three years, I have tried to share information with ALA members about the Association's finances, and about how their membership supports the Association's programs and strategic objectives. This will be my last message as ALA treasurer,...
Frontline Advocacy Is Everybody's Job: ALA President Camila Alire's Presidential Initiative Offers a Systematic Approach to Staff Participation
What makes this initiative different from previous advocacy initiatives is that it engages and empowers frontline library staff to work on advocacy at a different level than how library administrators, trustees, friends, and grassroots users operate,"...
Global Reach
UNITED STATES (1) Ash clouds from Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano wreaked havoc on airline traffic worldwide in April, but the Martin Luther King Jr. central branch of the District of Columbia Public Library turned distress into an international...
HAPLR Scores Rank Input, Output
The 2010 version of Hennen's American Public Library Ratings, using the latest federal data reported by 7,930 public libraries in the United States, was released April 15. Published since 1999, the HAPLR Index identifies the public libraries in America...
How the World Sees Us
"I've never read The Chocolate War, but complaining about nudity in a novel that contains no pictures is like complaining about there being too much sound in a sandwich." Writer AMELIE GILLETTE, writing about ALA's Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged...
Instructional Literacy: As Librarians, We Can Shape Ourselves into Educators by Devising Our Teacher Identities
Face it: Teaching is hard. It's hard from any angle, using any technology, to any learner. Even for those enviable (and few) "natural teachers," being an educator is as at least as challenging as it is rewarding. Not only does teaching take skills,...
Library of Congress to Archive Twitter
The microblogging service Twitter has gifted its entire archive of tweets, totaling billions of 140-character posts dating back to March 2006, to the Library of Congress. "The Twitter digital archive has extraordinary potential for research into...
Listing the Top 10 Lists in the Librarian's Book of Lists
At some point in my life, I realized that making lists belongs on my list of top 10 favorite things to do," says American Libraries Senior Editor George M. Eberhart, "and that's how I came up with the idea for The Librarian's Book of Lists." To be...
Mastering Moderation: Running a Successful Program Is More Than Just Naming the Names; It Means Being an Integral Part of the Proceedings. A Veteran Moderator Presents Advice on How to Make Sure Your Session Is a Great Experience for Everyone Involved
You just found out you're going to moderate a conference program or webcast. Congratulations. Now what? What exactly are you going to do? If what you do is emulate what you've seen most moderators do at library conferences, both physical and virtual,...
Maybe the Play's the Thing
For millions of American schoolchildren, National Library Week wasn't quite the celebration that librarians wanted it to be. That's because the viability of properly staffed school libraries, whose direct impact on increased academic success has been...
My Artful Diversion: A Picture Is Still Worth a Thousand Words
One rainy day in May, I gathered my umbrella and ventured into the Massachusetts countryside. My destination was not the charming farms nor the region's myriad historic towns; instead, I went to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, which resides...
Planning and Budgeting: Executive Board Grapples with Financial Challenges
At the ALA Executive Board's spring meeting, held April 23--25 at the Association's headquarters in Chicago, the board spent a significant amount of time discussing the draft ALA 2015 Strategic Plan and the latest revisions made to the plan based on...
Raphael Wins Presidency; Neal Elected Treasurer
Molly Raphael, former director of libraries at Multnomah County (Ore) Library, has been elected ALA president. "I am honored to be elected president of the American Library Association for the year 2011-2012," Raphael said. "Libraries are truly...
Rolling with the Punches
I don't know anybody who hasn't been hurt by this economic debacle that seems to be turning the entire country on its head--any number of countries, in fact. At the American Library Association, we've been hit just like everybody else. It is tempting...
Rousing Reads: Hidden Treasures
When I listen in on one of our Booklist webinars, it's hard for me to concentrate on what's being said--not because there isn't always something interesting to hear but because, as a Booklister, I'm mainly just hoping that nothing goes wrong (sound...
Seeing with Social Eyes: How a Motivated Staff Transformed a Little Used College Library into a Center for Campus Activity
Library fines got you down? Help build our Facebook page to 500 people & I'll waive fines of two students." This message streamed across the Luria Library's Twitter feed. In less than 140 characters, it perfectly portrays the playful and forgiving...
Sustaining Advocacy: A Presidential Journey Ends, but the Push Continues
My presidential year was all about a journey--literally and virtually. Part of reviving the old Route 66 from Chicago to LA (in this case, Library Advocacy), my presidential initiatives focused on frontline library advocacy and advocacy for literacy....
The Myth of Browsing: Academic Library Space in the Age of Facebook
A headline in the November 12, 2009, issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education tells what is becoming a familiar story: "In Face of Professors' 'Fury,' Syracuse U. Library Will Keep Books on Shelves." Pressed by economic realities, hurting for space,...
The Public Book: The Access/ownership Dilemma Persists
You know those days where, totally by happenstance, all your meetings and conversations wind up being about the same thing? (Excepting the "Why did she wear that to the Oscars?" sort of thing, I mean.) I had one of those the other day, courtesy...
Why Librarians Should Care about the National Broadband Plan
In addition to a record snowfall, something else fell upon the inside-the-beltway community in the winter of 2010: The National Broadband Plan. For technology policy wonks, even the name of the plan makes your mouth water. And, yes, here in Washington...
Winning the Budget Wars: Let a Smile Be Your Secret Weapon
Library publications and blogs are filled with two types of articles these days: horror stories and fantasies. First, the horror stories. These are the news reports of budget cuts, most of which are in fact quite horrible. Academic Library X is...
Wisconsin Says "Cheese!" Snapshot Day Ups Awareness
Wisconsin Libraries Say Cheese! A Day in Pictures" is part of the ongoing Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries, a statewide effort to create a collective voice for Wisconsin academic, public, school, and special libraries. The campaign focuses on developing...