American Libraries

Articles from Vol. 31, No. 1, January

2000 Is Here! What Happened to the Visions?
A LOOK BACK AT SOME WONDROUS, IMPROBABLE, AND JUST-PLAIN-WRONG PREDICTIONS ABOUT LIBRARIES IN THE 21ST CENTURY Isaac Asimov once said that it is a mistake to think that because a thing can be imagined it can be done. Indeed, the last quarter-century...
After the War in El Salvador
LIBRARIES PLAY A ROLE IN THE RECONSTRUCTION OF A LAND SPLIT BY A 12-YEAR CIVIL WAR After a major earthquake in 1986, a 12-year civil war that ended in 1992, and the fury of Hurricane Mitch in 1998, the citizens of El Salvador are putting divisiveness...
ALA Heads for the Border
The American Library Association heads for a Pan-American experience with its Midwinter Meeting January 14-19 in San Antonio, Texas, only 150 miles from the Mexican border. This annual meeting will bring together U.S. library leaders with librarians...
Chapter Report: El Futuro De Asociacions Bibliotecarios
If library associations are to be vibrant and vigorous organizations in the future, they will have to recruit and retain a more diverse membership in terms of race and ethnicity, professional specialization, and interests. This is not an idle wish...
Currents
Joan A. Allen is now manager of Sioux City (Ia.) Public Library's Morningside branch. * Johanna R. Bradley has been named director of the library science program at Syracuse (N.Y.) University's School of Information Studies. * At Boston College...
Determining Our Digital Destiny
THE GAME HAS CHANGED, AND IF LIBRARIES STILL WANT TO PLAY THEY'LL HAVE TO INVENT THEIR OWN FUTURE The game has changed; of this I am certain. We face an array of possibilities and challenges that will leave no library untouched. We are, whether...
Detroit PL Staff Lacks Contract after 18 Months
Librarians and support staff came together outside a Friends of the Detroit Public Library fundraising dinner December 11 to pass out information packets that explained the position of their separate unions on the stalemate in contract negotiations...
Editorial
There's Nothing to Be Learned from the Future In the quarter-century that I've been a librarian, I've seen plenty of "futuring" and "visioning." I've concluded that there is absolutely nothing to be learned from the future. It's so obvious: How...
Financial Bailout Hatched for Flint Public Library
With a $1.4-million deficit and only enough money to operate until March, the Flint (Mich.) Public Library board of directors voted November 11 to seek a three-year, 2.9-mill tax increase that would raise about $4.6 million annually. It will go before...
From Petroglyphs to CD-ROMs: A Story about Information
JUST AS ANCIENT CAVE DRAWINGS TOLD STORIES, SO TOO DO MANY LIBRARY RESOURCES Most sensible library thinkers now agree that tomorrow's libraries will continue to be complex libraries. They will continue to build collections of books and other physical...
Internet Librarian
My Patron Wrote Me a Letter: The Joy of E-Mail Reference The way some start-up dot-com sites act, you would think they invented e-mail reference services (sometimes known as "ask-a" services, as in "Ask a Librarian"). Yet e-mail reference has been...
Is the American Public Library Part of Everyone's Life?
A CLARION UNIVERSITY SURVEY DIRECTOR COMPARES FINDINGS ABOUT THE IMPACT OF LIBRARIES Disparate companies including Bloomberg News, America Online, Ralph Lauren, and Starbucks want to be a part of consumers' daily lives by providing an ever-multiplying...
Librarians Bring Concerns to Global Trade Talks
When the World Trade Organization met in Seattle last month, library organizations were among the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) trying to make their voices heard in the international trade talks. The library representatives were frustrated...
McFarland
Your computer is dead, your neighbor is hunkering in a Y2K bunker, and pedants keep explaining why 2000 is not the start of a new millennium. If life is too crazy, just ask yourself that important question: What would Randolph Scott do? Not sure?...
Michigan AFA Forces Votes on Filtered Internet Service
Thanks to a successful late-November petition drive by two West Michigan chapters of the American Family Association, the towns of Holland and Hudsonville are grappling with whether their public libraries should filter material considered harmful to...
Money Matters
Ask, and You Just Might Receive "In Meridian, when a big truck pulls up with two pallets of books, it's a big deal," Meridian-Lauderdale County Public Library Director D. Steven McCartney told American Libraries of his east central Mississippi service...
New Southwestern Cuisine: From Tamaleville to Tex-Mix
Texas is usually not ranked with the creative culinary centers of the world. To be honest, Texas cuisine has been stereotyped in the past as oil-slick enchiladas, burnt slabs of beef, Jell-O salads clouded with cottage cheese, and iced tea--lots of...
Obituaries
Former University of Washington GSLIS Director Margaret Chisholm Dies at 78 Margaret Chisholm, director of the University of Washington Graduate School of Library and Information Science from 1981 to 1992, died of cancer November 21 at age 78. ...
Parliament Library Needs Repair
A Canadian Parliamentary Buildings Advisory Council is estimating that the Library of Parliament in Ottawa will require $83-million Canadian ($56 million USD) for structural repairs. Former Commons Speaker John Fraser presented the report on November...
Questions We Must Ask Ourselves as the Century Turns
For much of the first half of the past century, librarianship was very "container centered." The curriculum at the typical library school focused on books: the history of the book, cataloging and classification of the book, introduction to reference...
Reader Forum
What ALA Is For The members of the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee were faced with many choices in preparing this letter in response to the editorial, "Ceaseless Filtering Flap Calls for One Assertion" (Oct. 1999, p. 40). We could point out that...
School Librarians Unleash Their Power at AASL in Alabama
"Collaboration training, and information literacy are three of the most important issues facing media centers today," said M. Ellen Jay, president of ALA's American Association of School Librarians, at the end of the division's ninth national conference...
Socially Responsible Librarianship Champions Privacy
I applaud Richard Severson's call for moral leadership (On My Mind, Aug. 1999, p. 43), but I would like to address his question, "How appropriate is it to champion the issues of freedom and noncensorship at a time when the real cultural dilemmas center...
Southern Connecticut State to Offer Online MLS
Southern Connecticut State University has unveiled a new program that claims to offer New England's first totally online master of library science degree. Students entering SCSU's Department of Library Science and Instructional Technology will now...
Technically Speaking
Winds of Change The beginning of the new year/century/millennium sets the stage for shifting fortunes in the library automation marketplace. The most dramatic current news is that Ameritech Library Services has been sold to a pair of allied investor...
The Association's Associations: AASL Builds Partnerships
The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) works to ensure that all members of the school library media field collaborate to provide leadership in the total education program; participate as active partners in the teaching/learning process;...
The Third Annual Willie Award
It's ironic, isn't it, that librarians are so messy. Walk through the "staff only" work areas in most libraries and you will find an ungodly clutter of papers, books, files, Post-it notes, magazines, and knickknacks piled up in teetering, random stacks....
This Month, 116 Years Ago
WHAT WOULD A TIME TRAVELER from the late 19th century find in a library of the future? Charles Ammi Cutter proposed a scenario in which he constructed a dialogue between a time traveler from the late 19th century and a fictitious 1983 Buffalo Public...
To Be Black and a Librarian: Talking with E. J. Josey
A PIONEER AFRICAN-AMERICAN EDUCATOR AND ACTIVIST REFLECTS ON NEARLY A HALF-CENTURY OF LIBRARIANSHIP Perhaps more than any other member of the American Library Association, E. J. Josey represents the changes in the profession that have occurred--and...
We Never Expected a $3-Million Windfall
When I read about the refinancing of ALA headquarters that resulted in a $3-million windfall for the Association (AL, Dec. 1999, p. 7), I could not help thinking back to the time when the new building was only a dream and all the things we had to do...
Why Diversity
The strength of our nation is the diversity of its people. How we deal with this diversity continues to be a challenge. As we begin a new century, the ethnic balance of our population is shifting dramatically. Demographers predict that by the year...
Why Outsourcmg Happens, and What to Do about It
THERE'S NO NEED TO MAKE A FEDERAL CASE OUT OF CONTRACTING OUT IF YOU ARE FILLING THE INFORMATION NEEDS OF YOUR USERS. In the past 40 years, contractor organizations--known in some circles as the Beltway Bandits--have completely engulfed Washington,...