American Libraries

Articles from Vol. 36, No. 9, October

Best (and Worst) Averages in the Library Majors: Which Large Systems Have the Best Rookie Librarian Salaries? It's Time to Name Names
New library-school graduates know that a good rating in Hennen's American Public Library Ratings (see p. 47-48) may be nice in the library they are going to work for, but it will not put food on their own dinner tables. These newly minted MLSes, who...
Connecticut Library Takes on Patriot Act
A federal judge lifted a gag order September 9 that prevented an unnamed Connecticut library from identifying itself as the recipient of a national security letter under the USA Patriot Act. However, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals granted the...
Currents: Professionals on the Move
August 15 Kathleen Armstrong became director of the Cahokia (Ill.) Public Library District. * Viki Ash-Geisler recently became children's services coordinator at San Antonio Public Library. * Maria Bach has been appointed manager of the Harrison branch...
Datebook: Opportunities for Continuous Learning
CONFERENCES Oct. 24-26: Internet Librarian 2005, Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California. "Shifting Worlds." Contact: 800-300-9868; custserv@infotoday.com; www.infotoday.com. Oct. 28-30: 6th IBBY Regional Conference, Callaway Gardens,...
Fate Uncertain for Annual in New Orleans
ALA is one of many groups that may be searching for a new convention site in light of the devastating flood resulting from Hurricane Katrina that has crippled New Orleans--the fifth-ranked city for large trade shows--leaving hundreds dead and much...
Fayetteville Rethinks Restricted Reads
The Fayetteville (Ark.) School Board voted 4-3 September 15 to reverse a May decision that had moved It's Perfectly Normal, It's So Amazing, and A Teenage Guy's Guide to Survival to the parenting collections in the schools' media centers. The three...
Grassroots Report: Checking out Art in the Heartland
When I decided to move to Iowa City, I wondered what would prove distinctive about the public library there. The answer, or at least one part of it, appeared last spring in the local Sunday paper during breakfast. Piquing my interest was a headline...
Great American Public Libraries: The 2005 HAPLR Rankings; the Seventh Annual Assessment of the Nation's Public Libraries, by the Numbers
Although I appreciate the beauty and power of numbers, I know that they cannot alone define greatness in American public libraries. Still, numbers matter, and I continue to advocate their use. Hennen's American Public Library Ratings (HAPLR), listing...
International Conference Draws 3,200: IFLA Convenes in Oslo as New National Library Opens
Against the backdrop of the inauguration of the newly expanded and renovated National Library of Norway, the 71st World Library and Information Congress of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions convened in Oslo August...
Internet Librarian: Pedias, Familiar and Otherwise
Matilda, empress and claimant to the English throne, died on September 10, 1167, near Rouen. I know this peculiar little factoid because the Encyclopaedia Britannica told me so. And who are we to question them? For the record, Wikipedia (en.wikipedia.org)...
Is There a Library Consolidation in Your Future? Mergers Aren't Just for Corporations Anymore, and Librarians Must Be Ready for That Inevitable Call for Consolidation
As Bob Dylan sang, "The times, they are a-changin'." Very soon, many librarians and other library staff could be working in entirely new organizational structures. The reason can be found in David Osborne and Peter Hutchinson's The Price of Governance:...
Katrina's Terrible Toll: Librarians Rally to Provide Information for a Devastated Gulf Coast Population
Some are calling it the biggest humanitarian crisis in the United States since the Great Depression, with more than one million people displaced, the death toll 1,037 and rising, as many as 400,000 jobs lost, and economic damage in the range of $200...
Library Salaries: Have They Kept Pace with Inflation? Data Shows Salaries Suppressed to Pay for Materials, Services
The American Library Association has collected information about salaries of professional staff in public and academic libraries since 1982. Between 1999 and 2004, the average salary for librarians increased each year by 2.3% to 4.7%. The net average...
New Ideas-A PLA Tradition
For over 60 years, the Public Library Association has offered innovative ideas and programming that have helped public library employees to excel in their careers and to provide the best possible library service. PLA works to keep the tradition of...
Obituaries
Pilar R. Balisi, 78, a retired librarian who served at Luther Burbank Middle School in Burbank, California, for 30 years, died August 19. * Courtney Harris Funn, 63, died of lung cancer August 4. Funn was director of the Bowie (Md.) State University...
On My Mind: The Importance of Workplace Speech
In June, a display for Gay and Lesbian Pride Month at the Tampa-Hillsborough County (Fla.) Public Library's West Gate branch was ordered removed (AL, Aug., p. 14-15). Shortly afterwards, the Hillsborough County commissioners banned the promotion of...
Providence Public Library Staff Votes to Unionize
Workers at Providence (R.I.) Public Library voted 53-39 September 8 to unionize. The move followed more than a year of staff layoffs, cuts in operating hours, and public dissatisfaction with the library board (AL, Aug., p. 28). The professional librarians...
Reagan-Era Roberts Documents Released
The National Archives August 18 released some 38,000 pages of material stored at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum covering Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr.'s term as associate counsel to President Reagan from 1982 to 1986,...
Salary Survey Reflects Changes
The 2005 ALA Survey of Librarian Salaries is now available with three significant changes designed to help managers and librarians in academic and public libraries. The new report, now published by the ALA-APA and ALA's ORS, includes survey data...
Submit or Resist: Librarianship in the Age of Google; We Must Put User Education at the Forefront of Our Efforts to Avoid Marginalization
An old adage states, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em." That sentiment is driving a growing and, for some librarians, disturbing trend that is creating a rift over how our profession will avoid becoming the 21st-century equivalents of buggy-whip makers....
Technically Speaking: The Relevance of "Relevant Relevance"
Though I've written about it before, and I enjoy a good dose of navel-gazing as much as the next librarian, I have to admit that I grow tired of endless (often fruitless?) discussions regarding the relevance of our profession. When Jonathan Livingston...
The Coming Crisis in Education for Librarianship: While We Focus on Filling LIS Classrooms, Who's Ensuring There Will Be Professors Behind the Podiums?
There is always an air of crisis around education for librarianship. Somewhere, somebody is always up in arms about what the ALA-accredited programs are doing, or not doing. ALA President Michael Gorman is so concerned that he has made education for...
The Indispensability of School Libraries (and School Librarians)
The American Library Association has formed--and not a moment too soon--a Task Force on School Libraries that will assess the state of school libraries, identify the most important trends, and propose actions to improve the lot of school libraries...
Thus Said ... How the World Sees Us
"Somewhere along the line, and it can't have been long after the liberating sixties, the authorities lost the plot as far as libraries were concerned. A resource that had always been aspirational was converted for political reasons to recreational...
Welcome to the ALA 2006 Midwinter Meeting
WHAT'S INCLUDED WITH YOUR FULL REGISTRATION? ALA PRESIDENT'S PROGRAM [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The Future Of Our Profession: Educating Tomorrow's Librarians Sunday, January 22, 2006, 3:30-5:30 pm Are ALA-accredited LIS programs providing...
What It Would Mean to Miss New Orleans
With every passing day, news reports coming in to ALA make it seem unlikely that the 2006 Annual Conference will be held in New Orleans as scheduled (see p. 14). As of mid-September, however, no decision had been made. ALA President Michael Gorman...
Why Your MLS and LTA Matter: Don't Believe the Naysayers; Advanced Librarianship Degrees Mean Dedication to the Profession
I've refrained from publicly writing or debating this issue for a long time--not because it's controversial, but because I truly did not have a resolute opinion on it. I have many friends and co-workers on both sides of the library-degree spectrum...
Will's World: If the Cardigan and Sensible Shoes Fit
At first the quote was a little jarring to my professional pride. I was casually reading a local morning story in the August 4 Phoenix Arizona Republic that was not particularly interesting. In fact it was downright boring: "Federated Department Stores...
Working Knowledge: Designing Dress Codes
Q I am a department head in a medium-sized public library. Recently, several staff members have commented negatively about one of their coworkers who has a very large tattoo extending down the length of her arm that is visible when she wears a sleeveless...