American Libraries

Articles from Vol. 41, No. 9, September

Birmingham Hosts Black Librarians' National Conference
The historic Magic City of Birmingham, Alabama, home of the 16th Street Baptist Church, Kelly Ingram Park, and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, opened its doors and down - home hospitality to some 400 attendees of the Black Caucus of the American...
By Any Other Name: Librarians Come with Almost as Many Titles as Books, and They Don't All Work in Libraries
So what do you do for a living?" she asked, pushing her comb through my dampened hair. It was an innocent question from a hair stylist, who by all outward appearances, seemed to be innocent herself. I know it's one of the first questions we all...
Customer's Always Right: To Thrive, the Library Must Be an Essential Component of the Community's Educational Infrastructure
We strive to provide great customer service, yet few of us actually use the "C" word. We have many names--patron, borrower, user, reader--but "customer" remains controversial and typically we avoid it. Not so at Howard County Library, located in the...
Dollar General Invests in the American Dream
Through community partnerships, Wauconda (Ill.) Area Public Library developed Spanish - and English - language brochures, as well as a video that was posted to You-Tube. Housed in a brand - new doublewide trailer, the tiny Pinewoods branch of the Athens...
Dynamic Doers
Welcome to a showcase of the dynamic doers--a snapshot of those singled out by the American Library Association in 2010 for dedicating themselves to the profession, who have gone above and beyond, and whose contributions have been so significant and...
Early Adopters Climb onto OCLC's Web-Scale Management Cloud
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, are the first in line to go live with OCLC's much-hyped Web-scale Management Services (WMS) (AL, June/July 2009, p. 38), which moved from pilot phase to production...
Early Literacy: A Sustainable Statewide Approach: A Coalition in Colorado May Serve as a Template for Other Regions to Establish Programs Critical to the Development of Our Youngest Citizens
Public libraries have maintained that they are significant in fostering children's literacy since the first children's section was established in the late 1800s. But in times of economic uncertainty, decision-makers find it easy to levy budget cuts...
Global Reach
CANADA 1 Ottawa Public Library has installed two kiosks in the foyer of the Hunt Club-Riverside Community Centre that opszerate as popular-library vending machines. Believed to be a first in Canada, the machines are stocked with books and DVDs selected...
Google Wave Is All Washed Up
We called it a "paradigm shift" in online communication (AL, Nov. 3009, p. 28), anxiously awaited an invitation to use it in its beta release, showed it off to colleagues, used it to lay the groundwork for American Libraries' Perpetual Beta blog, and...
How the World Sees Us
"When I say 'library,' what's the first thing that comes to mind, other than books? Is it an old librarian? Card catalogs? That dusty smell that comes off rows and rows of paperbacks, some of which haven't been cracked open in years? Well, the brand-new...
In Their Own Words: Authors Unite in Library Advocacy Effort
Our Authors, Our Advocates" was launched at my Inaugural Banquet during Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., in June. I was deeply honored to have as my special guests four wonderful authors who spoke so eloquently. They were funny, passionate, compelling,...
It's Not Monkey Business: Profound Ideas Populate the Pages of Picture Books
If by vocation or avocation you've come to cherish children's literature, you've no doubt encountered some skepticism about this particular passion. For too many people, children's books simply don't merit serious consideration. As Seth Lerer aptly...
LC Unlocks Doors for Creators, Consumers with DMCA Exceptions
Mashup artists, smart-phone users, academics, and people who are visually impaired are all winners, thanks to the latest exceptions made by the Librarian of Congress to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Since its enactment in 1998, the impact...
Measuring E-Resource Use: Standards and Practice for Gauging Remote Usage
Over the years, librarians and researchers have studied the usage of books, journals, meeting rooms, photocopiers, programs, and just about any other resource or service libraries have chosen to provide. The reasons for doing so are simple: Librarians...
Newsmaker: Charles Ogletree
Charles Ogletree, Harvard Law School professor and founder of Harvard Law's Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, serves as one of several celebrity honorary co-chairs of the American Library Association's Spectrum Presidential Initiative,...
Reaching out to Undergraduates: Recruitment Via Internship: As Interns, Undergraduate Students Can Cultivate a Career in Library and Information Science and Technology
Most students don't know much about library science, but an internship working in the library helps them catch a glimpse of what librarianship is all about. When Noelle Rader, a junior at Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, Utah, applied for...
Rousing Reads
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DUTCH Elmore Leonard's friends call him Dutch. Many of his fans do, too, and while using a nickname presumes a degree of familiarity to which those of us who only know Leonard through his books aren't entitled, we can't help ourselves....
Technology: Reducing Operating Costs
King County (Wash.) Library System (KCLS) has the second - highest circulation of any public library system in the United States. Serving a population of 1.2 million in 44 branches, annual circulation for the library system is 21 million. The library...
The Association's Associations: LITA
ATLANTA SITE OF 13TH FORUM The Library and Information Technology Association (LITA) National Forum explores leading-edge technologies and their applications in all types of libraries while providing the networking benefits of a small conference....
The Competition Intensifies
Have you noticed that we seem to have entered an era of heightened competitiveness? Lots of wagon-circling and turf - protecting. Libraryland as one big happy family aside, shrinking funds are bringing out the tiger in us. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]...
When Crisis Calls
I recently answered a call on ASK NYPL, the New York Public Library's telephonic and electronic reference line, from the New York City Police Department. A 16 - year - old girl was threatening to throw herself off the Verrazano - Narrows Bridge that...
Who's in Charge Here? Libraries as Leaders in an Increasingly Leaderless Information Landscape
Lady Gaga is totally playing us. I mean, "Alejandro," a song that even ABBA couldn't get past the semifinals of the Eurovision Song Contest, a video that includes her wearing a machine - gun bra that Madonna would be embarrassed by ... and it's a worldwide...
Why Librarianship Endures: Gentle Readers Will Always Need Gentle Guidance
Once when I was working the reference desk, a seemingly normal community college student (no exposed underwear, multiple tongue piercings, neck tattoos, or a message shaven into his hair) asked why so many Civil War battles were fought in national...
Winning Grants: A Game Plan: How to Write Proposals That Work
Grant seeking is a marketing process. Simply stated, you define your library's need and sell it to one who can fund your project. Librarians are their own best grant-proposal writers. No outsider can write a proposal as effectively as a "library insider"...
Your Reality, Augmented: Location-Aware Mobile Technologies
Last time, I discussed QR codes and how they can link you to content that provides further information about an object. But what if you didn't have to put barcodes all over everything you wanted people to scan? What if all it took to get that content...