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American Libraries

Articles from Vol. 36, No. 3, March

10 Ways to Improve Data Quality: With a Coordinated Effort, Your Library Can Make Significant Progress in Cleaning Up Its Online Catalog
Have you ever found a book listed in your online catalog but couldn't find it on the shelf, even though it wasn't checked out and you looked for it over a period of weeks? Or have you had the experience of finding a book in the stacks that contains...
ALA Council: Back in Boston, Council Covers Diverse Agenda
Boston Public Library President and ALA Councilor Bernie Margolis opened the first of ALA Council's three Midwinter Meeting sessions, held January 16, 18, and 19, by welcoming the body back to the city after an absence of 64 years. "This is the place...
ALA Executive Board @ Your Library for Another Five Years
In the first action at its Midwinter Meeting sessions, held January 14, 17, and 19 in Boston, the ALA Executive Board voted to renew the Campaign for America's Libraries. The public-education effort showcasing the value of libraries and librarians,...
ALCTS Plans Ahead to 2011
The ALA Ahead to 2010 planning efforthas identified six draft goal areas, which will greatly influence the direction of the Association over the next five years. In light of this effort, the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services...
Are You the Librarian? the Face of Quality Library Service Depends on Drawing a Wider Circle in Our Profession
So just what do support staff say when asked, "Are you the librarian"? "I do answer 'yes' to that question because the general public does not know the difference between a librarian and an information services assistant," related Padma Polepeddi of...
Arrests Made in Kentucky Rare-Book Theft
Four 20-year-old college students were arraigned February 10 on the charge of felony transportation of stolen goods in the theft of rare holdings from the special collections of Transylvania University Library in Lexington, Kentucky. According to...
Boston Conference Brings out the Best in ALA: The Association Draws High Numbers to Business Meetings, Exhibits, and Cultural Events
It would be difficult to accuse the American Library Association of tackling inappropriate social issues at the Midwinter Meeting in Boston, January 14-17. Not that social issues weren't on the agenda; they were, and they coincided nicely, in fact,...
Candidates for ALA Presidency Spar at Midwinter Forum: Questions Center on Advancing the Status of Librarians and Their Workplaces
Candidates for 2005-2006 ALA president shared their views and took questions from the audience during a January 15 forum at the Midwinter Meeting in Boston. To supplement the official and unedited candidates' statements on the preceding pages, American...
Confederate Elvis Flag Leaves a Colorado Building
A Denver Post columnist has mischaracterized as racist a school media center display of a Confederate flag with an image of Elvis Presley superimposed on it, according to Monarch High School librarian Lanene Dente and Principal Chris Rugg. The January...
Currents: Professionals on the Move
Joann Block retired February 2 as Broward County (Fla.) Library access services coordinator and talking-book librarian. * February 1 Alan Bobowski became director of the Passaic (N.J.) Public Library. * Ellen Boates Clark has been promoted to director...
Diversity: The Heart of the Profession
In my day job, I serve as the director of the El Paso (Tex.) Public Library--in a unique community of approximately 750,000 people living on the U.S.-Mexico border. El Paso represents everything that I celebrate as a person and as a librarian. I love...
Fundraisers R Us: One Small Library's Victory over Inadequate Municipal Funding
I read Steve Coffman's article "Saving Ourselves: Plural Funding for Public Libraries" (AL, Feb. 2004, p. 37-39) with great interest. Four years ago, when I became director of the Osterville (Mass.) Free Library on Cape Cod, I joined the staff of a...
Global Reach
NORTHERN IRELAND Seven libraries in Belfast won a last-minute reprieve February I when the Belfast Education and Library Board reversed its decision to close them because of underfunding and overspending. The board said it decided to hold off because...
Google at the Gate: A Quartet of Experts Assesses the Company's Ambitious Digitization Plan and Predicts What It May Mean for Libraries
Now that the dust has settled around Google's much-ballyhooed December announcement that it would begin digitally scanning books from the collections of the world's major research libraries and make them available online (AL, Jan., p. 26-27), are the...
Grassroots Report: Another Use for Pulp Fiction
In the early years of the profession, librarians were concerned with the permanence of their collections. Books should last, and their users should work with materials in ways that would help preserve the items on the shelves. Librarians railed against...
Internet Librarian: The Ghost in the Machine
So." That's the first word I heard--the one Seamus Heaney chose for the Old English opening word hwaet in his luminous translation of Beowulf--while sitting in the Midwinter Meeting exhibit hall in the very crowded (and peculiarly configured) convention...
Library Fines from Colorado, Maine, Go to Tsunami Relief
Public libraries in Colorado and Maine collected fines and other donations in January to raise money for victims of the South Asian tsunami (AL, Feb., p. 10-12). In Colorado, some 20 public and school libraries participated in a drive January 24-30...
LIS Educators Emphasize Opportunity over Angst; Celebrating 90 Years: ALISE Conference, Boston, January 11-14
"Let's just forget about the name stuff; it's not where the action is," said John King, dean of the School of Information at the University of Michigan, during a plenary session at the annual conference of the Association for Library and Information...
Obituaries
John Cushman Abbott, 83, founding director of the Lovejoy Library at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, died January 3. Abbott began his library career as an assistant at the Library of Congress from 1951 to 1954. At SIU, his first responsibilities...
Ohio Budget Cuts Library Support by 5%
The budget submitted by Ohio Gov. Bob Taft February 10 calls for cuts in the state's local government funds, including the Library and Local Government Support Fund. The LLGSF provides nearly all the funding for 78% of the state's 251 public library...
On My Mind: Live ... at Your Local Library
Have you used one yet? Those self-checkout lanes at the grocery store, I mean. I food-shop weekly, and I rarely see a person in one of those lanes. Maybe it's because they're just so convenient and quick that people using them are but a blur to most...
Petition Candidates Seek Council Posts
In addition to the candidates for ALA Council listed in the December American Libraries (p. 12-13), 26 individuals have petitioned to be included on the ballot. According to ALA's Governance Office, petition candidates are: * Monika J. Antonelli,...
Philadelphia Cuts Staff, Hours
The Free Library of Philadelphia rolled out a new cost-cutting plan January 24, shifting four branches to afternoon-only hours; by April, the library plans to turn 20 of its branches into express branches open four hours a day, six days a week, and...
Salinas Mayor Launches Campaign to Keep Libraries Open
Two months before all three Salinas (Calif.) Public Library branches were scheduled to close their doors (AL, Feb., p. 19), Mayor Anna Caballero has outlined a plan to keep them open on a limited basis, the Salinas Californian reported February 4....
Statement by Christine Lind Hage, Candidate for ALA President
The challenges to America's libraries have never been greater than in these times of shrinking civil liberties, limited budgets, emerging technologies, and expanding responsibilities for library professionals. It is imperative that ALA empower and...
Statement by Leslie Burger, Candidate for ALA President
I accepted the nomination for the ALA presidency because I believe that I can provide the dynamic leadership to transform libraries into the well-funded, highly valued resources that Americans deserve and desire. By working together and speaking with...
Straight Answers from Martha Choe
A tremendous leader, "is the way former Washington Governor Gary Locke described Martha Choe, former state coordinator for the Boeing 7E7 Project Management Office and director of the Washington State Department of Community, Trade, and Economic Development....
Technically Speaking; 2005: Confirming the Promise of 2004
This report from the Exhibit Hall of the ALA Midwinter Meeting will try to stick to themes, rather than verbose details about specific vendor offerings. It's affirming to see so many of the promises from last summer's Annual Conference in Orlando come...
The Pressure to Make No Judgments
Fifteen years ago, which is many generations in technology time, many of us were agog about the fact that the internet seemed to be making it possible for anyone to be a publisher. Underneath the delight of those who thought it was great news was a...
Thus Said ... How the World Sees Us
"What they ought to do is take 30 years of his monologues and have them in libraries all over the country. For somebody studying the '60s or the '70s or the '80s, the first two years of the '90s, go into the library and check out Johnny's monologues,...
WebCred: The Ethics of Blogging
The three library representatives who attended the invitation-only Blogging, Journalism, and Credibility Conference at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government January 21-22 "played an important role in reminding bloggers and journalists of...
Will's World: Reconciliations That Last a Lifetime
Due to American Libraries' publication schedule, I wrote this column at the turn of the new year. I'm like everyone else: When a new year rolls around, my thoughts turn instinctively to the topic of resolutions--a time-honored American tradition to...
Working Knowledge: Going Paraprofessional
Q I am a career-changer, albeit one who never really chose a career in the first place. My experience is mostly in clerical work, and for the past six months I've been temping in a library. My supervisor thinks I am a good fit here and has suggested...