American Libraries

Articles from Vol. 35, No. 5, May

$10-Million Gift Ensures New "Knowledge Center" for University of Nevada at Reno
The University of Nevada at Reno will begin work on a new 285,000-square-foot central library in spring 2005, thanks to a $10-million donation from a manufacturer of high-tech gambling machines and the company's chairman emeritus. University officials...
ALTA Works to Expand Community Reach
If the many goals of our profession--equity of funding, unfettered access to information, service to diverse communities, intellectual freedom, and literacy--are to be realized, they must be translated into policy and supported by members of the community....
California School District to Close Libraries; Hopes Pinned on New Tax
The board of the West Contra Costa Unified School District in Richmond, California, voted 5-1 March 8 to close all of its libraries as part of a draconian budget overhaul to save $16.5 million and avoid bankruptcy next fall. Nineteen library assistants...
Citgo Pulls Gas Ads That Fueled Librarians' Anger
Admitting it was "a mistake that we do regret and will not make again," Citgo Petroleum has pulled a yearlong advertising campaign that claimed its credit card was "more useful than a library card"--but only after a South Carolina librarian took offense...
Clinton Presidential Library Prepares for Grand Opening
Billed as the largest presidential archive in American history, the William J. Clinton Presidential Center is gearing up for a gala opening November 14-18 that promoters are hoping will draw thousands of visitors to Little Rock, Arkansas. As the building...
Currents: Professionals on the Move
Duane W. Arenales retired April 2 after 19 years as chief of the technical services division at the National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, Maryland. * Kathleen M. Balcom has retired as executive librarian of the Arlington Heights (Ill.) Memorial...
Florida Library Reverses Ban on Petitions
On the advice of the county attorney, the Citrus County (Fla.) Library System has reversed its policy banning the gathering of petition signatures. The prohibition came to light when Citizens for Home Rule Charter, an organization attempting to change...
Global Reach
UNITED KINGDOM The British Library has embarked on a program to save endangered archives worldwide. In conjunction with the Lisbet Rausing Charitable Fund, the library will authorize grants to identify endangered records and relocate them in institutional...
Grassroots Report: One of the "World's Most Beautiful Libraries"
When you read this, spring is likely to at least be flirting with you, wherever you are. Perhaps, if you live in one of the warmer zones, you've even given up the preseason of lingering over seed catalogs inside and have ventured outdoors to watch...
Horse Challenge Lassoed
Helena (Mont.) Public Schools Superintendent Bruce Messinger has backed the recommendations of a materials-review committee that the book Horse by Juliet Clutton-Brock remain on the shelves of the Smith Elementary School. The reconsideration was the...
Internet Librarian: Librarians Are Not Search Engines
I don't remember exactly where I saw it; but a while ago, on a T-shirt or a coffee mug or an online discussion list or somewhere, I ran across a catchy little slogan: "Librarians: The Best Search Engines"--or words to that effect. At first I thought...
King and King Gets Banished
A challenge by two Wilmington, North Carolina, families of the picture book King and King in their children's elementary school library resulted March 26 in the book's circulation being limited to parents and teachers. The 8-3 vote to restrict the...
Lawyer David Sobel Receives Madison Award
At the annual Freedom of Information Day ceremony at the Freedom Forum in Arlington, Virginia, March 16, David Sobel, general counsel for the Electronic Privacy Information Center, received the American Library Association's 15th annual James Madison...
Let Recruitment Begin with Me: Southern University and Louisiana State University Create a Personalized Model That Focuses on Mentoring and Support
By 2010, some 80,000 librarians will reach the age of 65 and are expected to leave the profession. In Louisiana, as in other states, the shortage of library professionals is becoming more critical each year. If new recruits are not trained and educated,...
Library Groups Back Open Access to Science
A coalition of 10 library associations and public-interest advocacy groups is backing "Washington, D.C., Principles for Free Access to Science"--a declaration by 48 scholarly organizations and not-for-profit publishers affirming their commitment to...
Mind the Gap: The Vast Divide Separating Those Who Design Computer Systems from Those Who Use Them Is a Serious Threat to Our Professional Future
I believe the intellectual life of the whole of western society is increasingly being split into two polar groups.... Literary intellectuals at one pole--at the other scientists.... Between the two a gulf of mutual incomprehension--sometimes (particularly...
New Jersey Town Reacts to Library Internet Fees
Bloomfield (N.J.) Public Library patrons are voicing their displeasure over a $1 per hour charge to use public Internet workstations. "To someone who makes a lot, [a dollar] may not be much," patron Gus Rodulfo said in the April 1 Newark Star-Ledger....
On My Mind: Remembering Who's Boss in Human/computer Interactions
Recently, a colleague asked a group of students how they felt about the series of bibliographic instruction sessions they had just completed. The main complaint? That she spent too much time discussing search strategies. The students contended they...
President's Message: Leading the Way to Justice
There are many ways to be a leader--not all of them from the front line or in what would be termed traditional leadership roles. We too often think that leadership is the responsibility of the person who has been designated or who has assumed the mantle...
Regina PL Board Approves Closures; Friends Vow to Continue Fight
The Regina (Saskatchewan) Public Library board voted 6-2 March 30 not to request a mill-rate tax increase for its 2004 budget, thus forcing three branches, its Dunlop Art Gallery, and the Prairie History Room to close by May 1 as scheduled, the Regina...
Technically Speaking: The Business of Search Engines
As Google continues its march toward ubiquity (and an eventual IPO), many libraries continue to grapple with access to, competition with, and description of "the free Web" for their patrons. While Google has dominated international attention with its...
The Crawford Files; Journals Revisited: A Survivable Future
Just 18 months ago in this column (Nov. 2002, p. 65), I discussed the serials crisis in academic libraries and what might be happening to change an unsupportable situation. The "kaleidoscope of partial answers" suggested then haven't helped much so...
The Top 20 Reference Titles of the Year: The 2004 List from ALA's Reference and User Services Association Features Must-Have Encyclopedias Selected by Public and Academic Librarians
What do you get when you put nine librarians and about 75 reference titles in hundreds of volumes together in a room for three days? If the librarians are members of the Reference and User Services Association's (RUSA) Reference Sources Committee,...
Thus Said: How the World Sees Us
"The ultimate goal is to have a computer that has the kind of semantic knowledge that a reference librarian has." CRAIG SILVERSTEIN, Google's director of technology, in the article "All Eyes on Google," Newsweek, March 29. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]...
What Should ALA Do about Cuba? ALA Leader John W. Berry and Civil Libertarian Nat Hentoff Face off on the Association's Response to Castro's Crackdown
Despite ALA Council's adoption of a statement on freedom of access to information in Cuba in January (AL, Mar., p. 62), the question of what action the Association should take regarding that country's crackdown on dissidents, particularly the self-styled...
What Turns You into a Librarian
"I love the environment, I'm a book fiend." That was one of the answers I got when I asked a class of library school students at Dominican University what had made them choose to become librarians. I was surprised to find that what attracted them...
What Will Gen Next Need to Lead? the Directors of Today Itemize the Strengths That Their Successors Must Bring to the Head Office
It's no wonder that a Google search on the terms "aging" or "graying" of the library profession returns hundreds of hits from the professional literature, conference presentations, and various discussion forums. Of course, as baby boomers begin retiring...
Will's World: Living a Cell-Phone-Free Life
Can a person survive in today's world without a cell phone? I have long railed against mobile phones with the quixotic notion that by doing so I could somehow make them disappear. I dislike them for many of the same reasons everyone else does. Their...
Working Knowledge: Rekindling Your Passion for Work
Q I have worked at the same public library for over 10 years and find that the excitement I had for my job when I first started is gone. More demands and fewer rewards--coupled with the bureaucratic hoops I find myself having to jump through--leave...