American Libraries

Articles from Vol. 36, No. 10, November

A Full Plate-Times Two
I don't know about you, but it seems to me that in the last 10 years my workload has doubled. Granted, I've also aged 10 years, but weren't wisdom and savvy supposed to make up for the speed loss and inability to learn new skills? Yet, over the...
At the Edge of the Net: An Internet Veteran Unplugs and Sets off to See How the Nonwired Live
It's virtual suicide," my friend Mike Gurstein wrote to me. In the summer of 2003 I decided that life behind the screen was insulating me from what was going on with the vast majority of the world's population not using the internet. I had been online...
Beyond Public Exhibits to Partnerships: Louisville Library Gets More Bang for Its Public Relations Programming Buck through Collaboration
When we were in Washington, D.C., last week, we saw a remarkable exhibit that speaks with great power and persuasion for an issue we are working on," said Junior League of Louisville board member Holly Tompkins. "We must bring it to Louisville. Can...
Building Even Better Libraries, Post-Katrina
Garbage, damaged possessions, rotting carpet, downed trees, and refrigerators line the streets everywhere in suburban Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, and many stores still remain closed in mid-October. The French Quarter is only 20 minutes away, but it...
Cited
University of California at Los Angeles Graduate School of Education and Information Studies Professor Marcia J. Bates received the American Society for Information Science and Technology's 2005 Award of Merit for noteworthy contribution to the field...
Connecticut Librarian Must Keep Quiet in Patriot Act Case
In an opinion issued October 7, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg denied an emergency appeal filed by the American Civil Liberties Union that would have lifted the USA Patriot Act's gag provision in the case of Doe v. Gonzales, which involves...
Currents: Professionals on the Move
Nancy Alcorn retired as assistant head librarian at Newburyport (Mass.) Public Library September 10, after 20 years with the library. * In January 2006, Jean W. Ashton will become vice president and library director at the New York Historical Society...
Former Ocmulgee Director Found Guilty of Theft
Jurors returned a verdict of guilty October 7 in all six counts against David C. Wilson, former director of the Ocmulgee Regional Library System in Eastman, Georgia, who faced charges in federal district court of theft and witness tampering, the Savannah...
Gathering the Stories Behind Our Statistics: One Patron's Testimonial Is Worth a Thousand Gate Counts When It Comes to Making the Case for Libraries
In 1996, the annual report of the Vancouver (B.C.) Public Library stated that the central branch had answered 1,035,721 questions and that 2,240,756 people had entered the building. Like other libraries, it reported these numbers as an indication of...
Generating Goodwill: Turning No into Yes; There's More to Service with a Smile Than Meets the Eye
How many times do you say "no" in a day? And how many times could that "no" become a "yes" and transform your service to patrons, your interactions with colleagues, and your own attitude? One enterprising librarian created a simple, effective tool...
Global Reach
NORWAY The Norwegian Sound and Braille Library in the new annex of the National Library in Oslo (AL, Oct., p. 32-35) came under fire in October when reporters pointed out numerous architectural pitfalls for visually impaired users. The obstacles...
Grassroots Report: Maine Feeds the Minds of Gulf Evacuees
Hundreds of miles away from the Gulf Coast, Penny Brown of the Livermore (Maine) Public Library felt compelled to offer some sort of assistance to those who are confronting loss and displacement following Hurricane Katrina. What resulted was Project...
Have MLS, Will Travel: School Library Media Specialists Share Tips on Taking an Overseas Job
Here are four questions that could change your life: Do you like to travel and have a spirit of adventure? Are you interested in learning firsthand about other cultures? Do you enjoy being a librarian but want a change from your current position? Have...
Hurricane Rita Wreaks Havoc on Louisiana, Texas
Hurricane Rita struck the Gulf Coast less than four weeks after and only 270 miles away from Katrina's Louisiana landfall in August. The fourth most intense storm ever recorded in the North Atlantic, Rita had weakened to a Category 3 hurricane by the...
IMLS Awards Leadership Grants
The Institute of Museum and Library Services has awarded 41 grants totaling $17,349,361 for projects that "will help equip tomorrow's libraries and museums to better meet the needs of a nation of learners." Announced September 20, the 2005 National...
IMLS, Public Broadcasting Announce $1.4 Million in Grants
The Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting announced September 27 that the Partnership for a Nation of Learners, an IMLS-CPB joint effort to encourage collaboration between cultural organizations, has awarded...
Internet Librarian: From the Other Side of the Rubicon
As I write this, several weeks have passed since Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast. Long enough for the stories of shock and compassion and befuddlement and disappointment and hope to come out in their dozens and hundreds. Long enough perhaps to...
Massachusetts Judge Voids Library Governance Deal
A Massachusetts Superior Court judge ruled September 23 that a two-year-old contract transferring governance of the 10-branch Springfield City Library system from a private nonprofit association to the city is "void and unenforceable." Judge Constance...
New Orleans Deals with Layoffs, Damage
Nearly 200 New Orleans Public Library staff have been let go as part of Mayor Ray Nagin's October 5 directive laying off 3,000 city employees in the wake of "financial constraints in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina." City Archivist Wayne Everard...
New Orleans It Is!
New Orleans it was and New Orleans it remains--the site of ALA's Annual Conference, scheduled for June 22-28. Although the decision to remain in the Big Easy was anything but, the ALA Executive Board concluded in an October 12 conference call that...
On My Mind: The Need to Weed
This is one of those touchyfeely pieces. Bleeding hearts read on; efficiency specialists turn the page. One of the effects of online access, as I am sure we all know, is a reduction in use of print reference collections. The dusty old tomes grow...
Pittsburgh Gathering Closes on High Note: American Association of School Librarians National Conference
Motivation, inspiration, and education topped the agenda for the registered 3,883 librarians, educators, and guests--representing an 11% increase from the 2003 national conference--who convened in Pittsburgh October 6-9 for the AASL 12th national conference,...
Private Funds Rescue Sonoma Valley
It should not be newsworthy that the Sonoma Valley (Calif.) Unified School District has a fully functioning high-school library for FY 2006--but it is. A grassroots effort by the newly formed parents' group Love Our Libraries! (LOL) has motivated the...
Psychic's Program Sparks Controversy in Ripon
Following a wave of negative publicity that led to the cancellation of a September lecture by Livermore psychic Irma Slage, the Stockton-San Joaquin County (Calif.) Public Library has rescheduled the program at its Ripon branch for November 10. Library...
Public Library Circulation Decreases, Expenditures Rise: 2004 Figures Show 3% Circulation Drop; Expenditures Up 2%
The Index of American Public Library Circulation declined by 3% from 115 in 2003 to 112 in 2004, while the index of expenditures grew by 2% from 116 in 2003 to 118 in 2004. Additionally, the index of expenditures in constant-year 2000 dollars decreased...
Quick Vids: Bad Eats
Ah, Berkeley. Forget for a moment that we boast the highest concentration of Nobel laureates, Birkenstock-wearers, and hoary political revolutionaries in the world. What really distinguishes my town is the foodstuff. The astounding variety of pristine...
RUSA Members Make Connections
The Reference and user Services Association (RUSA) is all about making connections. At the membership-recruitment booth during ALA's Midwinter and Annual conferences, a new image was unveiled to convey that being a RUSA member helps connect you to...
Showing the Way in San Jose: Library and Information Technology Association National Forum
Welcome to Silicon Valley, where half of your money goes to secure housing, and the other half goes to Starbucks." That's how opening-session speaker Roy Tennant greeted attendees who traveled to San Jose, California, for LITA's eighth national forum....
Straight Answers from Susan Wojcicki
Almost the moment Google announced in 2004 its ambitious project to digitally scan books from the collections of five major research libraries, the controversy began. Resistance came not so much from librarians as from publishers and authors concerned...
Technically Speaking: Even When Disaster Strikes
It's hard to even think about libraries when disasters on the scale of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita hit. Like a lot of people. I simply call my loved ones and give thanks for being out of harm's way. This is not to say that I don't plan for...
Terry Belanger Wins MacArthur "Genius" Award
Terry Belanger, professor and director of the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, has been awarded one of 25 fellowships from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Popularly called "genius awards," the fellowships...
Texas Vets Mulch Books in Porn Protest
Some 15 protesters from the Houston-based group American Veterans in Defense of Democracy shredded several books October 8 belonging to spokesperson Jim Cabaniss as part of an antipornography demonstration held outside six branches of the Montgomery...
Thus Said ... How the World Sees Us
"Get to the library." One of Money magazine's eight tips on how to get back on your feet financially after disaster strikes, September 15. "My son sometimes thinks I'm a librarian too, which is great; that's my favorite fake job." Actress JODIE...
What's It All about? beyond Equity of Access
It is a truism that a group or agency formulating a plan should define a single essential goal or purpose toward which the plan is directed. Such a goal is sometimes referred to, wince-makingly, as a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal). The essential purpose...
Why "Business as Usual" Just Won't Do
Most ALA members are probably aware by now that the Association has a new strategic plan (AL, Aug., p. 73). [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] ALA Ahead to 2010 is the culmination of two years of work and an unprecedented effort to find out what ALA members...
Will's World: There's No Such Thing as a Dream Job
No one, not even the most up-to-date sleep researcher, has ever nailed it better than Shakespeare. In Macbeth he wrote: "Sleep that knits up the ravell'd sleave of care, the death of each day's life, sore labor's bath, balm of hurt minds, great nature's...
Working Knowledge: Brushing Up on Patron-Service Skills
Q I am the circulation manager for a rural library and have recently noticed that staff could use some training in the area of customer service, especially in dealing with patron complaints. We do not have a training coordinator on staff, as we are...
Yahoo, European Union Announce Digital Library Projects
In the wake of Google's plan to digitize books from libraries and provide access to their contents through its search engine, Yahoo has announced that it will join with the University of California, the University of Toronto, and others to digitize...