American Libraries

Articles from Vol. 30, No. 5, May

113 Years Ago
. . . Ala members were preparing for a summer conference in Milwaukee at which the Association took its first significant step toward becoming a publisher. There, a "Cooperation Committee" recommended that ALA establish a "Publishing Section," and...
ACRL Gets Fired Up in Motor City
"We wanted to give you a warm welcome," quipped Wayne State University's Patricia Senn Breivik, as conference attendees rushed to the windows of Detroit's Cobo Convention Center to watch a spectacular blaze across the river in Windsor, Ontario. "But...
Art Librarians Choose Vancouver as Their Canvas
Some 480 art librarians, visual resources professionals, and curators came to British Columbia March 25-31 to meet, to mentor, and to marvel at the treasures of the Vancouver Art Gallery and the city's art deco and modernist architecture. The occasion...
Bits Is Bits: Pitfalls in Digital Reformatting
THE NOTION THAT DIGITAL COPYING IS THE SOLUTION TO PRESERVATION PROBLEMS AN D CHANGING FORMATS IS A MISTAKEN PRESUMPTION We know by now that digital data isn't forever. No digital medium offers the life expectancy of ink or toner on permanent paper,...
Booking It in Zimbabwe
Miriam Bamhare is determined to get more people reading in Zimbabwe. This year, she enlisted President Robert Mugabe to help by reading to school children and signing books for them in a nationally televised video to kick off Zimbabwe Book Week, March...
Bucking the Monoliths: Publishing with a Mission
A PUBLISHING VETERAN TELLS HOW HE RESISTS THE MAJOR-MARKET SCENE AND WHY WE ALL SHOULD On the face of it, American publishing seems to be stronger than ever. Some 70,000 books were published last year, chain bookstores have established branches...
Chapter Report: Calling All Library Educators
The relationship between state library associations and library and information science (LIS) schools is not always easy to quantify. It's very much a product of individual interests, roles, and personalities, as well as the shifting trends and issues...
Countdown 2000: Y2K and Its Impact
WILL THE COMING OF THE MILLENNIUM BE DISASTROUS OR NONEVENTFUL FOR LIBRARIES AND THEIR SYSTEMS? Scenario 1: The Year 2000 has finally arrived, but the library world, like many other sectors of society, has little to celebrate. The doom and gloom...
Don't Power Up That E-Book Just Yet
THE E-BOOK IS FAR FROM READY FOR LIBRARY PRIME TIME, WARNS A LEERY LIBRARIAN WHO TAKES ISSUE WITH AL'S TECHNOLOGY COLUMNIST American Libraries columnist David Dorman offers a good presentation of some of the infrastructure problems with electronic...
Ex-Senator Simon Says Literacy Needs Librarians
Former U.S. Senator Paul Simon from Illinois and former First Lady Barbara Bush joined some 20 literacy experts March 26-27 at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, where they unveiled an 18-point action plan to combat illiteracy in the United...
Full Circle, Back to Selecting and Organizing
We librarians have in the last 20 years made a necessary and long-overdue shift in our professional concerns from the selection, retention, and organization of information, to user recruitment and instruction. We had learned the hard way that the best...
Internet Reference: Boon or Bane?
THE INTERNET MAY BE REVOLUTIONIZING REFERENCE WORK, AS MARY ROSS ARGUES, BUT TRADITIONAL SOURCES STILL PREVAIL, SAYS JOHN LAWRENCE. Reference librarians may not be ready to abandon books, but the Internet has transformed the way reference work is...
Internet Watchdogs Blast Overreach of SmartFilter
Internet activists at the Censorware Project (CWP) have released a report that blasts the overreach of SmartFilter blocking software on a statewide proxy server. According to Censored Internet Access in Utah Public Schools and Libraries, SmartFilter...
Let Your Fingers Do the Collection Development - Online
With respect to collection development, many of us are straddling two worlds. We still park in front of the television, highlighter in hand, to mark up the latest review magazine; later we laboriously key this data into online catalog acquisition modules,...
Librarians Share Image Issues with the Popular Culture Association
A discussion that occurred in the first session of the Popular Culture Association's 29th annual conference revealed that scholars specializing in popular culture have one thing in common with many librarians: an unhappiness about the stereotyped way...
Libraries for the People, by the People
"It's so American to expect and demand that there be excellent libraries in the community," Theresa Kump Leghorn says of the six-year effort she and 19 other fervent Bibliophiles put into rehabilitating a shuttered, vandalized New Rochelle (N.Y.) Public...
Mexicali Hosts Foro Conference
The sunny Sonoran desert city of Mexicali, Mexico, welcomed 200 librarians from Canada, the United States, and Mexico to the ninth Transborder Library Forum, or Foro Transfronterizo de Bibliotecas, March 4-6, sponsored by CETYS Universidad/Mexicali...
NYPL, Columbia, Princeton Cooperate on Storage Site
New York Public Library, Columbia University, and Princeton University - the three libraries with the largest collections in the greater New York metropolitan and surrounding area - have agreed to build and share a climate-controlled, automated book...
Outstanding Reference Sources: The 1999 Selection of New Titles
ANNUAL RECOMMENDATIONS OF DISTINGUISHED REFERENCE WORKS SELECTED BY EXPERIENCED REFERENCE LIBRARIANS Question: How many librarians does it take to examine a reference title? Answer: Nine. One to measure the margins, one to fuss over the footnotes,...
Reference as Others Do It
CUSTOMER CALL CENTERS OFFER MODELS OF BUSINESS EFFICIENCY THAT LIBRARIES WOULD BE WISE TO EMULATE Mary reaches over and punches a button to take the next call. There's a cheerful man on the other end of the line who says he needs some information...
Survey Says Librarians Rank Low in Stress. Hel-Lo?
Librarians may have poor job prospects but their duties are not very stressful, according to a new book that rates jobs by six criteria: environment, income, outlook, physical demands, security, and stress. Les Krantz, author of the Jobs Rated Almanac...
U.S. Periodical Prices - 1999
OVERALL INCREASES REMAIN AT DOUBLE-DIGIT LEVELS Publication of the 1999 U.S. Periodical Price Index represents the 39th annual study of this type sponsored by the Library Materials Price Index Committee (LMPIC) of ALA's Association of Library Collections...
U.S. Serial Services Price Index for 1999
PRICES ARE UP BY 5.6% OVER THOSE IN 1998, DOUBLE THE 1984 FIGURES This is the 36th annual survey of U.S. Serial Services, a product of the ALA's Association for Library Collections and Technical Services' Library Materials Price Index Committee,...
What's Right with Reference
THE FAILURES AND SUCCESSES OF REFERENCE REFORM The reference-reform movement began in these pages exactly 15 years ago. The publication of a single article in American Libraries (May 1984, p. 303-306, 321-22) changed the nature of the debate...
Who Has the Best Secretary in Libraryland?
Next month, thousands of you will be heading south to New Orleans to attend the last ALA Annual Conference of the 1900s. Some of you will be going to test new products and learn about new technologies, others of you will be going to have a good time...
Will Marvin's Legacy Be Placed in Jeopardy?
The 108th consecutive, and perhaps last, issue of the U*N*A*B*A*S*H*E*D Librarian: The "how I run my library good" letter was published just prior to the sudden death of its editor, Marvin Scilken, during ALA Midwinter in Philadelphia on February 2...