American Libraries

Articles from Vol. 38, No. 5, May

Alta
A RESTRUCTURING PROPOSAL Like many associations, the Association for Library Trustees and Advocates (ALTA) began a planning process to better understand and respond to changing member needs. As part of that process, and in conjunction with the 2007...
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Bookstore Tourism Takes Off: Grassroots Effort Benefits Independent Bookstores, Libraries, and Bibliophiles
Whenever I lead one of my "bookstore road trips," I always offer a presentation at the front of the bus on the way to our destination, whether it's New York City, Washington, D.C., or the Brandywine region of southeastern Pennsylvania. And the first...
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Canadians Defend Legislative Library
The fate of the 90-year-old space housing British Columbia's Legislative Library in Victoria has shaken its 29-member staff, who were told March 16 to box up the collection in preparation for a seismic upgrade that would close the library indefinitely...
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CRS Director Tightens Access to Reports
The director of the Congressional Research Service issued a memo March 20 requiring prior approval from high-level staff before the agency's reports can be given to members of the public. Daniel P. Mulhollan stated, "To avoid inconsistencies and to...
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Exciting Wallpaper: The Challenge of Staying Current Yet Keeping What Works
I don't know about you all, but I get a lot of e-mail. A lot. Really. Much of it can be immediately deleted; some warrants at least a cursory answer; a few require serious time and focus and thoughtful reply; even fewer are fun and make me smile; and...
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Extraordinary Heroes: A Tribute to Librarians and Library Workers
Wake up and read" was the theme of the first National Library Week in 1958. We recently celebrated the 49th NLW that carried the theme "Come Together @ your library." Through the years, this annual event has given us an opportunity to send a consistent...
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Forthcoming Final Installment Fuels Harry Potter Mania
Libraries across the country are happily gearing up for another round of Harry Potter mania, as young readers eagerly await the July 21 release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the seventh and final installment in J. K. Rowling's blockbuster...
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For the Love of Books: From Book Thief to Collector, a Distinguished Journalist Tells Why His He's Donating His Beloved Tomes of Southern Authors to His College Library
I have tried my best to figure out exactly when and why I fell in love with books and this is about as close as I could get: When I was 7 years old in 1935, I stole Honk, the Moose by Phil Stong, about two young boys--first-generation Finnish immigrants...
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Funds Extension Could Save Jackson County Libraries
The Jackson County, Oregon, library system shut down as scheduled April 6 (AL, Mar., p. 14), but could be rescued by emergency funding approved by the U.S. Senate 75-22 March 28. The proposed five-year, $5-billion program would assist the over 700...
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Gamers ... in the Library? Videogaming Is a Growing Library Draw for All Ages
Videogames are a big deal these days. In 2005, 228 million new videogames were purchased in the United States for a total cost of $10 billion. To put that in perspective, 710 million new books were purchased in the United States during the same period...
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Global Reach
SOUTH AFRICA 1 Patrons of Durban's 85 municipal libraries now have considerably greater access to the internet. Jacquie Subban of the eThekwini Council announced in March that free wireless connectivity is now available in all the facilities.--Durban...
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How the World Sees Us
"I got a bag of dimes, and $9.80 later, I had written the first version of Fahrenheit 451.... It was so exciting to write in a library, in a place where the spirits of great authors impinged my soul." Author RAY BRADBURY on UCLA library's policy in...
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Mattering in the School Blogosphere: How Media Specialists Are Mashing Up the New Medium
Look at the vanguard of the biblioblogosphere and you'll see school library media specialists at their keyboards-philosophizing with educator colleagues, serving up resources and tech support to faculty, and teaching by example about the brave new...
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Military Libraries Face Closures
In what could prefigure a trend among military libraries, Fort Huachuca Library, located on an Army installation in southeastern Arizona, closed recently after officials determined that the library did not meet community and Army standards. Under the...
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National Library Copes as Iraq War Presses On
The issue of the withdrawal of U.S. and British troops is not quite as simple as some people may think in Europe and America," says Saad Eskander, director of the Iraqi National Library and Archives in Baghdad. "We must realize that the awful mistakes...
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Our Great Depression: Librarians' Raw Deals during the New Deal
Want to get depressed? Read through the editions of this magazine from the 1930s--the decade of the Great Depression. Unemployment topped 30%, wages declined, tax bases eroded, and until the New Deal moved into gear, there was no social safety net...
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Print & Online: A Winning Formula; Increased E-Book Presence a Plus for the 2007 List of Outstanding Reference Sources
At each American Library Association Midwinter Meeting, the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) Outstanding Reference Sources Committee meets to select and honor the best new reference materials suitable for small and medium-sized academic...
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Regaining a Lost Love: Tips for Disheartened New Librarians
Since childhood, libraries have always held a special place in my heart. Becoming a librarian seemed a natural choice and in 2003, fresh from five years of English literature, I entered library school. I was flush with romantic ideas about libraries--scenes...
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Salt Lake Rescinds "One Book" Selection
Two weeks after he was notified in January that his 2004 novel An Unfinished Life had been selected by Salt Lake County (Utah) Library Services for its "One County, One Book" reading program, author Mark Spragg received an e-mail from the library informing...
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Setting Your Own Standards: 19 Questions for You to Ask Yourself
A librarian friend and I recently had a good-natured debate about wearing nametags. That episode got me thinking about workplace behavior standards. I often see their merits debated on the Publib discussion list and websites: Is a certain form of dress...
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Smooth Sailing in Baltimore: Thirteenth Conference Is a Lucky One for Academic Librarians
The Baltimore Convention Center played host to a record number of academic librarians who came March 29-April 1 to navigate new technologies and cruise the exhibits at "Sailing into the Future--Charting Our Destiny," the Association of College and...
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Subject Guide 2.0: Reinventing Resource Lists with Wikis
Libraries of all kinds develop subject guides to point patrons to the best resources on specific topics. While these can be quite useful, they often suffer from several flaws, the largest being the frequency with which they are updated. Updating web...
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Susan Patron
There's a delicious irony that someone named Patron would become a librarian whose sixth children's book, The Higher Power of Lucky, would win her the 2007 ALA Newbery Medal. Senior children's librarian for collection development at Los Angeles Public...
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The Angels of Storytime: Children in Crisis Get Relief @ Their Libraries
Wanted: An energetic library supporter to donate thousands of dollars of new books to the collection and provide rousing storytimes that boost circulation and young readers' enthusiasm for the written word. The ideal candidate will use business sense...
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The Power of Books: Lift a Flap and Enter a Child's Heart
Among Emily Dickinson's many poems is one that begins, "There is no frigate like a book to take us lands away." That is what happened when a librarian bearing books boarded a river-worn but sturdy boat (perhaps not a frigate, but ...) and traveled...
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The Specious Choice: Books or Technology
With more than 190,000 titles published in the United States every year, it seems pretty clear that most readers are not too keen on being asked to choose between books and the internet, despite the apparently growing misconception that everything...
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Video Ribs AL's Centennial Staff
Magnum, AL, a video produced by American Libraries Associate Editor Daniel Kraus, heralds the upcoming American Libraries Focus, the new video and podcasting component of American Libraries Online. Created in conjunction with the magazine's 100th anniversary,...
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What the FUD? Whose System Is This, Anyway?
These days, I can hardly put a column in the can without three or four changes in the vendor landscape occurring before it hits the pages of American Libraries or the mailboxes of readers--or my Hectic Pace blog, for that matter. This has been quite...
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