American Libraries

Articles from Vol. 30, No. 3, March

A Commitment to Mentoring
Whatever success I have enjoyed to date in this profession is due, in part, to the development of strong and lasting mentoring relationships, which began even before I enrolled in library school. While still an undergraduate, I met E. J. Josey, who...
A Couple of Codicils about San Francisco
Walt Crawford says some very sensible things in his recent meditation, "The Card Catalog and Other Digital Controversies," (AL, Jan., p. 52-58). I was flattered to discover myself likened to a "shaggy beast from the forgotten past." At the risk of...
An African American Album: Preserving Local History on CD-ROM
A LIBRARY TURNS TO TECHNOLOGY TO MAKE A COMMUNITY'S HERITAGE AVAILABLE TO NEW GENERATIONS Does your library have collections of newspapers, photographs, manuscripts, and historical artifacts stored in a vault or locked away in glass-fronted cases?...
Attack of the Killer Mold Spores
A TRUE HORROR STORY THAT WON'T CURDLE YOUR BLOOD BUT MIGHT MAKE YOU SEE MOLD IN A WHOLE NEW LIGHT Monday, August 24, 1998, began like a normal day at the Ellis Library at Arkansas State University/Jonesboro. But by 8:30 a.m. Jeff Bailey, team leader...
Australian Preservation Effort Aims $5 Million at Local History
The Library and Information Service of Western Australia (LISWA) opened a new chapter in fundraising for preservation last December 2 with the establishment of the Save Our Century Fund. Undertaken for LISWA by the Custodians of Western Australia...
Better Fundraising through "Homemade" Collectibles
With the plethora of library-store merchandise to choose from, it may seem a wasted effort to create one's own commemorative goodies to entice muchneeded donations from hesitant library supporters. But a creative librarian in Idaho has found that the...
Can Librarians Play Basketball?
PARTICIPANTS IN ALA'S SPECTRUM INITIATIVE EMBODY THE DIVERSITY OF THE PROFESSION A ten-year-old-boy saw one of ALA's new recruiting posters at a community center. The poster shows a young man holding a basketball under his arm, and the caption reads,...
Chapter Report: More Legislative "Hot Topics" in 1999
It comes as no surprise that most states will be asking their legislatures for increased library technology funding in the current sessions, but that's not the only topic on the agenda. In addition to the roundup of core funding requests in last month's...
Death Is Never on the Agenda
What lingers most for me from ALA's Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia is the memory of Marvin Scilken. On Tuesday, we all saw him, looking pallid at age 72 and recovering, he said, from a painful onset of sciatica but nevertheless being his irascible...
Discussions Zero in on Fund, Endowment
The future of ALA's Fund for America's Libraries and the growth of the ALA Endowment were among several money matters the ALA Executive Board discussed during its three Midwinter Meeting sessions in Philadelphia, January 9 and February 1 and 3. ...
Educators Evince Confidence at ALISE Conference
The theme of this year's conference of the Association for Library and Information Science Education - "Beyond 2000: Designing Education for Library and Information Professionals" - reflected the association's goal to bring together educators, practitioners,...
Feting Freedoms in Philadelphia
THE DEATH OF A COLLEAGUE SOLEMNIFIES ALA'S MIDWINTER CELEBRATION OF ITS MOST ENDURING VALUES At their 1999 Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia January 29-February 2, ALA members celebrated one of the profession's most important principles. Appropriately,...
"From Rosie to Roosevelt" Sparks Lively World War II Debates
AN ALA DISUSSION SERIES LEADS TO THOUGHTFUL REFLECTION AND SOME TOUCHING MOMENTS The impact and complexities of World War II are being revisited on movie screens with the recent release of Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan and Terrence Malick's...
Midwinter Exhibits: Sifting through the Shifts
As usual, the ALA exhibit booths at ALA's Midwinter Meeting were a cornucopia of interesting products and services, some of which I will highlight below. But with regard to the library automation vendors, I decided to focus on the market shifts taking...
Outsourcing Debate Dominates, Boy Scouts Chided
Does outsourcing some library services constitute the privatization of a public institution? Not necessarily, according to a report of the ALA Outsourcing Task Force (CD#24, #24.1), which delineated the two concepts: Outsourcing is "the contracting...
Preservation in the Digital Age: What Is to Be Done?
TAKING STOCK OF WHAT LIBRARY PRESERVATION HAS BEEN AND WHAT IT MUST BECOME Lost: 80% of the films made in the United States before the Second World War; those that survive are often fragmentary and fragile. Lost: the images of Johnny Carson's early...
Rising to the Occasion - Again
"Not again! Thus began the Elba Clipper's March 12, 1998 coverage of a story that this small town (pop. 4,011) tucked away in southeast Alabama's Coffee County knows only too well. For the third time in almost seven decades, Elba's low-lying...
Statement by Jim Schmidt, Candidate for ALA President
As ALA enters the new millennium, its leaders will build on past successes as they face new challenges. Our profession shares a common vision and we manifest this vision in individual solutions tailored to where we are and whom we serve. During...
Statement by Nancy Kranich, Candidate for ALA President
When I first read to preschoolers as an intern on the Madison Public Library bookmobile, produced programs for young adults, and provided community information services to senior citizens, I recognized the unique value of libraries in people's lives....
Take Me out to the Library
THE NATIONAL BASEBALL HALL OF FAME LIBRARY AND MUSEUM PRESERVES THE RICH HERITAGE OF AMERICA'S PASTIME When Helen Derringer came to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York, in early 1998, she discovered that the institution...
The Best Beach Books Are Sandy
You wouldn't think that the paradise island of Kauai, the northernmost of the Hawaiian Islands, is a place you would visit to confirm the importance of books. I went there to celebrate my son's wedding. He and his fiancee had chosen the Princeville...
The Candidates Answer Questions about Filtering, Diversity, Youth
The candidates for the 2000-2001 ALA presidency, Nancy Kranich and C. James Schmidt, presented their platforms and took questions from Association members at a one-hour forum February 1 during ALA's Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. American Libraries...
The Exasperating, Empowering E-Rate
There is a direct relationship between how you feel about the federal "e-rate" subsidy program and whether you've seen a letter committing the funds to your library. I know this, because our library received a commitment letter for our 40% discount...
Unabashed Librarian Marvin Scilken Dies at ALA Midwinter
Indefatigible librarian and library advocate Marvin H. Scilken, who was serving his 20th year as an ALA Council member, died of an apparent heart attack early on the morning of February 3 in Philadelphia. At the time of his death, Scilken, 72, was...
What I Learned from the Flood of 1997 or, Why Archival Class Is Essential
REFUSING TO LEAVE HER FAMILY'S HISTORY HIGH AND DRY, A NORTH DAKOTA LIBRARIAN BAILS OUT HER FOLK'S MEMORIES When I reflect back on the flood of 1997 (AL, June/July 1997, p. 16-17), I realize that in some ways the pain is still there. It's not an...