American Libraries

Articles from Vol. 39, No. 11, December

2009 ALA Nominating Committee Council Nominees
Jose Aponte Director San Diego County Library San Diego, California J. Douglas (Doug) Archer Reference and Peace Studies Librarian University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, Indiana Mario Ascencio Visual Arts Liaison Librarian...
8 Years Later Laura Bush Librarian in the White House: In Her Own Words and Those of Colleagues, a Look Back at the First Lady's Ambitions, Accomplishments, and Challenges as the Teacher-Librarian Wife of President George W. Bush
On the campaign trail in 1999, then--Texas Governor George W. Bush was asked by a South Carolina elementary-schooler to name his favorite book as a child. The president-to-be famously responded, "I can't remember any specific books." So began the...
A Child Shall Lead Them: Spoil the Rich Kids, Spare the Budget Cuts
If you want adults to flock to your library, take money from the adult services budget and put it into children's programming. If you want to serve people who are underprivileged and disenfranchised, focus your attention on the affluent and influential....
ALA Executive Board: Measure to Expand Investment Portfolio Approved
ALA's Executive Board gave the Endowment Trustees the green light during the board's fall meeting October 24-26 at the Association's Chicago headquarters to use alternative investments, such as hedge funds, convertible bonds, and emerging markets,...
Branch Closings and Budget Cuts Threaten Libraries Nationwide
City governments across the United States prepared in early November to slash public library budgets in the wale of revenue shortfalls and dire economic news. Even if the lame-duck Congress passes an additional economic stimulus package when it returns...
Bunny Suicides Book under Review
When her 13-year-old son checked out a dark-humor cartoon collection, The Book of Bunny Suicides, from the Central Linn High School Library in Halsey, Oregon, Taffey Anderson decided that British artist Andy Riley's drawings of self-destructive rabbits...
Civil Rights Digitized
The Thurgood Marshall Law Library of the University of Maryland's Baltimore campus contains over 400,000 volumes of Anglo-American legal materials as well as outstanding international and foreign law collections. Extensive collections of both primary...
CMS the Wiki Way; Maintaining Library Web Content with a Wiki
When most librarians think of wikis, they probably think of sites like Wikipedia--websites that are open to contributions from people around the world. Perhaps they also think about library wikis, which are commonly used as subject guides and intranets....
Election Impact for Libraries Unclear
In his keynote address at the 2005 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, President-Elect Barack Obama, then a U.S. senator from Illinois, recognized libraries as an "enormous force for good," stating, "The moment we persuade a child, any child, to cross...
Embracing Virtual Worlds: Why Libraries Should Dive into These Online Environments Now
Virtual worlds are here to stay. People from around the planet already are using dozens of virtual worlds such as Second Life to Work, learn, and play and to find, experience, and create information. In the real world, libraries are trying to create...
First Novels
This is the time of year when a Booklist editor's mind turns to first novels--probably because every year our November 15 issue show-cases the season's debuts. I've always thought that reviewing first novels is the purest form of publishing one's opinion...
Games for Learning: Symposium Links Sophisticated Gaming to Sophisticated Thinking
Modern games aren't trivial, and librarians who dismiss them as such do their patrons a disservice, presenters told some 215 attendees of the second annual ALA TechSource Gaming, Learning, and Libraries Symposium. Held November 2-4 in Oak Brook,...
Global Reach
UNITED KINGDOM 1 A New York playwright has promised his collection of rare Shakespeariana to London's Globe Theatre upon his death. John Wolfson named the theatre the sole beneficiary of more than 450 works, which include a copy of the First Folio...
Google Settles Scanning Suit with Authors, Publishers
After two years of negotiations, a settlement has been reached in lawsuits over Google's scanning of copyrighted books. Under the settlement, announced October 28 and subject to approval by a New York federal court, the search-engine company would...
Growing Up Too Fast: Life-Saving Research about Teens Is Ours to Disseminate
Sandra Steingraber spends a lot of time thinking about children. As you might expect of someone whom the Sierra Club has called "the new Rachel Carson," Steingraber's ideas about young people's processes of maturation are serious, compelling, and...
Hearing It Again for the First Time: With Its Abundance of Buried Musical Treasures, the Free Library of Philadelphia's Fleisher Collection Lays Claim to the Title "World's Greatest Music Library"
What would Polish Independence Day be without Polish music? Sheldon Blair, the music director of the Susquehanna Symphony Orchestra, wouldn't have wanted to think about the answer to that question, as he had been asked to perform all-polish concerts...
Hispanic Janitors Arrested at the Library
The mesa (Ariz.) Public Library found itself briefly touched by the nationwide conversation about immigration reform when the Maricopa County sheriff and a heavily armed group of some 60 deputies and volunteers, accompanied by police dogs, raided the...
How the World Sees Us
"Wesley was always outraged when he woke himself up with a screech in his sleep, and he blamed me. He would whip around to face me with an intense librarian's stare as if I had broken a cardinal rule." From the book Wesley the Owl: The Remarkable...
In Pursuit of Information; Learning to Recognize and Evaluate the Truth
The American Dialect Society (ADS) named "truthiness" the 2005 word of the year. Truthiness, the ADS explained, "refers to the quality of preferring concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true." How quickly...
Librarian in the White House
She "spent the majority of he time being the Invisible Woman instead of the First Lady," said a reader who wrote to me after watching our videocast of an interview with Laura Bush in March, adding, "I'm sure you did your best, but the interview was...
Librarian's Library: Long Hot Summer
During the summer of 1939, Gretchen Knief, chief librarian for Kern County, California, and a devotee of John Steinbeck, went on vacation. When she returned, she discovered that the Kern County Board of Supervisors had passed a resolution banning The...
Margolis Appointed N.Y. State Librarian
The Board of Regents of the New York State Education Department announced October 21 that Bernard A. Margolis has been appointed New York state librarian. The embattled former president of Boston Public Library will assume his new responsibilities...
Mashups in the Stacks: What's Lost in the Rush to Adopt Information Technology
Last Thanksgiving, my sister-in-law served a Turducken for dinner. Have you heard of it? It's a partially deboned turkey, stuffed with a partially deboned duck that has been stuffed with a partially deboned chicken. I'm sitting behind the reference...
Newsmaker: Patricia Martin
Author, consultant, and expert in cultural marketing Patricia Martin is president of Chicago-based LitLamp Communications Group, the firm she founded in 1995. LitLamp has worked with a variety of organizations including the Discovery Channel, the Art...
Record High Early Voter Turnout Swells Lines at Library Polling Places
Record early-voting turnout for the 2008 election boded well for civic involvement, and libraries across the country that serve as early voting sites faced unexpected pressures--and opportunities--to provide service to the throngs of early voters coming...
Stevens, Oliver Seek 2010-11 ALA Presidency
Roberta Stevens, outreach projects and partnerships officer at the Library of Congress (LG) in Washington, D.C., and project manager for the National Book Festival, and Kenton L. Oliver, executive director of Stark County (Ohio) District Library, are...
Tag-You're It! User Tagging Lets Patrons Set Their Own Terms
As patrons change, libraries also need to change. The Pew Internet and American Life Project Studies tell us that by 2006 the Web was used by the majority of adult Americans every day; and this has radically changed patron expectations of library interfaces....
Tech Gets Human Touch: LITA Forum Focuses on Community, Collaboration, and People
Science fiction met technology fact at the Library and Information Technology Association National Forum, but it was the human factor--community and collaboration--that reigned supreme. "Technology and Community: Building the Techno Community Library"...
The Association's Associations: YALSA
GROWING STRONG The mission of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is to advocate, promote, and strengthen service to young adults as part of the continuum of total library service, and to support those who provide service to this...
Top 10 Library Stories of 2008: The Financial Crisis of 2008 Hit Late in the Year, and Its Ramifications Have Yet to Be Understood. as President Bush Prepares to Leave Office and Barack Obama Readies to Become the First African-American President, Speculation Grows over How the Bailout of Failing Financial Institutions at Taxpayer Expenses Will Take Its Toll on Libraries and Education
During the year's brighter beginnings, New York Public Library announced a five-year, $1-billion expansion March 11 with the goal of doubling its number of users. It was a savvy move, since circulation statistics have soared nationwide in direct proportion...
Voters Buck Gloomy Economic Outlook to Fund Libraries
Fears of an impending recession did not deter voters in many parts of the country form approving ballot initiatives to expand, renovate, or restore library services in their communities. Among the impressive victories was the passage of a $275-million...
Voters Refuse to Axe Libraries
The voters of Jamesburg, New Jersey, decisively defeated by a vote of 959-564 a ballot measure November 4 asking their approval for the town to "discontinue the support, maintenance, and control of the Jamesburg Public Library." The citizens of...
Weapons, Not Secret: Ways to Develop a Bond with Our Patrons
Iconfess--Roger Moore is my favorite James Bond, although Daniel Craig shows great potential. (For the record, Tom Baker is my favorite Doctor Who, closely followed by Jon Pertwee and David Tennant. Discuss.) Bonds may come and Bonds may go, but indispensible...
YA Literature Symposium Draws Impressive Crowd
Despite shrinking library budgets and a bleak outlook in the publishing industry, young adult literature remains a strong draw, based on the enthusiasm of participants at the inaugural Young Adult Literature Symposium, sponsored by ALA's Young Adult...