American Libraries

Articles from Vol. 31, No. 4, April

Can Library Service Survive in a Sea of Change?
DISCUSSING VALUES IS IMPORTANT ANYTIME, BUT IT'S ESPECIALLY SO IN THE CONTEXT OF CHANGE The preeminent value in librarianship is, of course, service. Regardless of their other purposes, libraries are service institutions that exist, by and large,...
Chapter Report: Children, the Internet, and Filtering
A friend who works for a public-relations firm recently reported that a corporate sponsor was concerned about supporting a state library association by carrying ads for a summer reading program on their products. The sponsor thought the words "library...
Dream in the Desert: Alexandria's Library Rises Again
EGYPT' S BIBLIOTHECA ALEXAN DRI NA FUSES AN ANCIENT LEGACY WITH A DIGITAL FUTURE In 1990, Rosalie Cuneo Amer heard about a new, ambitious, joint Egyptian/UNESCO cultural project that would evoke the memory and the glory of the famous ancient library...
Filter Flap Forces S.C. Director Out
The departure of Philip Ritter as director of the Greenville County (S.C.) Library February 28 was the denouement of a drama over access issues that began shortly after Ritter was appointed four years ago. The tension between Ritter and the library's...
Hip Hooray for Holland!
While the nation's attention in late February was focused on the presidential primaries, the eyes of Libraryland were on the town of Holland, Michigan, whose residents voted in the nation's first ballot measure on whether to require Internet filters...
Holland, Michigan, Trounces Filter Mandate
Voters in Holland, Michigan, soundly defeated by 55% to 45% a ballot measure February 22 that would have required the city to withhold funding from the Herrick District Library unless it installed filters on all its public Internet workstations (AL,...
Internet Librarian
1,001 Uses for a Dead Gopher Many of us yearn to reduce the number of formats we work with (though we all applauded when the Hudsonville, Michigan, library turned the Internet back on) (see News Fronts USA). However, according to a recent survey...
John Rocker, ALA Employee: You Make the Call
Several years ago I predicted that the problem of filtering out Internet pornography would be a difficult. and bedeviling issue that librarians will have to cope with for a long time under the red-hot glare of the media spotlight (AL, Nov. 1997, p....
Librarian's Library
Dana on Museums Many librarians associate John Cotton Dana with library public relations, in part because of the LAMA Public Relations Award that shares his name. A public librarian, ALA president, organizer of the Special Libraries Association,...
Library Workers Take Cybersmut Woes Public
Forty-seven Minneapolis Public Library workers went public in February about their frustrations in dealing with patrons who cruise sexually explicit Internet sites and passersby who are offended by the graphic displays. By the end of the month, library...
Making Reading a Riot
Faced with the denial of a grant to purchase a commercial reading incentive program for the Roberto Clemente Middle School library in urban Philadelphia, librarian Carol Heinsdorf realized she "had the elements for success at our fingertips" through...
Mich. Finance Director Linked to Huge Shortfall
City police are investigating the activities of the Ann Arbor (Mich.) District Library's ex-finance director Don Dely, board President Richard Dougherty announced March 7. Meanwhile, the library is looking for ways to cover an apparently related $1.25-million...
Mozart and Metadata Mix at the Music Library Association
More than 490 music librarians, archivists, musicologists, vendors, and others with responsibilities for managing music collections met February 23-26 to compare notes at the Music Library Association's 69th annual conference in Louisville, Kentucky....
N.J. City Fires Director, Considers Privatization
Following a pair of studies that called for a complete overhaul of the library system, the board of the Paterson (N.J.) Free Public Library voted in late February to fire Director Kwaku Amoabeng. The board is also considering hiring Library Systems...
Of the People, for the People: Public Libraries Serve Democracy
THE PUBLIC LIBRARY IS OFTEN THE SINGLE MOST DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTION IN THE COMMUNITY It's an election year, and it seems that despite all the political, economic, social, and military abuses that have been inflicted on our system for more than two...
On My Mind
Coming Soon to a Legislature Near You! The Commonwealth of Virginia and my former home state of Maryland have been in a race recently to become the first in the country to pass an arcane piece of legislation called UCITA. The governors and key legislators...
People
Currents Vince Anderson, director of the Mesa (Ariz.) Public Library for almost 20 years, has retired. * Laura-Ellen Ayres is now systems librarian at the Rapides Parish Library in Alexandria, Louisiana. * January 21 Ronald Beaudrie became...
Reader Forum
Postage Due Larry T. Nix's "Bibliophilately Revisited" (Feb., p. 56-58) demonstrates that although most countries profess pride in their libraries as pillars of culture, the picture is quite different when it comes to portraying libraries on postage...
Sex-and-Violence Ratings: What's in Them for Libraries?
A LOOK AT CURRENT RATING SYSTEMS OFFERS AN INDICATION OF WHAT LIES AHEAD An article in the October 18, 1999, New York Times described a new concept in computer games--"Christian Action" games. The article noted that the Entertainment Software Rating...
Technically Speaking
Heads Up--It's Cleanup Time! This month's Heads Up Alert concerns the new Web standard approved by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) in late January. XHTML 1.0 has replaced HTML 4.0 as the Web's most current hypertext markup language standard....
The Association's Associations: ALSC Works for Young Readers
The Association for Library Service to Children continues to work with various partners to improve and ensure the future of the nation through exemplary library service to children, their families, and others who work with children. ALSC partnered...
This Month, 373 Years Ago
LIBRARIANS IN WESTERN EUROPE were beginning to read Gabriel Naude's recently issued Avis pour dresser une bibliotheque (Advice on Establishing a Library). Although Advice did not constitute the earliest work attempting to outline librarianship's responsibilities...
Thus Said
"Technology without the power of discernment is a dangerous thing: That's why skepticism may greet President Clinton's plan to bring computer technology into high schools that lack it, so that students can study subjects that include basic keyboarding...
Values of Steel in 30 Days
Values are big in this time of change and prosperity. From the weary political arguments about "character" and "family values" (as if single, childless people have no claim to values) to an emphasis on ethics courses in law schools to our very own...
We Can Leave a Legacy during National Library Week
A study conducted last year shows that 66% of the ALA membership is over the age of 45 (AL, Feb., p. 8-9). Thinking about how we can recruit the librarians of the future, I reflected on what attracted me to the field. Mrs. Sole was the librarian at...
When Disaster Strikes: The Fall and Rise of a Library
RECONSTRUCTING AN EARTHQUAKE-DAMAGED LIBRARY HINGES ON RESHORING STAFF SPIRIT AS WELL AS BRICK AND MORTAR Shortly after 4:30 a.m. on Monday, January 17, 1994, a 6.8 earthquake struck the Los Angeles area. Indescribable jolting awakened me. A roar...
Who Gets to Use What (and How All That Is Changing)
NEW TECHNOLOGIES OPEN UP NEW POSSIBILIES BUT CREATE NEW PRESSURES, TOO Making the materials we collect available to all current and future users is one of the core values of librarianship. Librarians build and maintain collections to meet the research,...