American Libraries

Articles from Vol. 31, No. 2, February

A Sabbatical Leave and the Certainty of Change
As I write this, I'm just six weeks away from Warsaw. I've been granted an eight-month sabbatical leave from ALA, from March through October. My plan is to fulfill a lifelong dream--to return to the village in Poland where my grandmother was born,...
Bibliophilately Revisited
THE JOYS OF COLLECTING LIBRARIES AND LIBRARIANS ON POSTAGE STAMPS George Eberhart's roundup of postage stamps featuring libraries (AL, June 1982, p. 382-86) got me hooked on collecting them. His article pointed out that libraries and librarians...
California Laws Force Trustees to Revisit Access for Minors
Y2K compliance had a special meaning for California's librarians: Two new laws took effect January 1 requiring trustees of state-funded public libraries to establish policies regarding access by minors to videos and the Internet. Although neither law...
Censorship Watch
No White-Rights Tract Allowed. Citing lack of local content, the Akron-Summit County (Ohio) Public Library board refused January 4 to allow distribution of a two-page pamphlet about the World Church of the Creator. Because of limited space, library...
Chapter Report: Sound Bites. Pontifications. and Facetiae of 1999
When I started looking for some good library sound bites from the past year, I thought that quotes from politicians might be the best place to begin. When it comes to libraries and sound bites, there are three kinds of people: (a) those who talk about...
Cringing in the Dark: Book Abuse in the Movies
IF IT WOULD END BOOK ABUSE ON THE SILVER SCREEN, WOULD SOME PRUDENT CENSORSHIP BE SO BAD? It seems that moviegoers frequently judge films from a personal perspective. Lawyers often say, "It's never like that in a real courtroom," surgeons laugh...
From Rubble to Reconstruction: Rebuilding Bosnian Libraries
Culture is often a casualty of war, and what happened to Bosnian libraries is no exception. By the time the four-year war in Bosnia ended in 1995, most of the country's libraries had been reduced to rubble. Destroyed in 1992, the National and University...
Ha! Ha! Ha! E-Humor for Librarians
IT'S OUT THERE AND WE TRACKED SOME OF IT DOWN--BUT DON'T LET US HAVE ALL THE FUN Sometimes, in this crazy world, you just have to laugh. When the job gets to be too much, when budget woes, censorship battles, and constant overwork all pile up,...
Illinois Director Charged with $157,324 Theft
The director of the Homer Township (Ill.) Library District since its founding 17 years ago pleaded not guilty Will County Circuit Court January 11 to one count of theft and one count of official misconduct. Regetta Meyers, 54, had surrendered to authorities...
Libraries Report Few Y2K Headaches
Like the rest of the country, libraries in North America were sufficiently prepared to survive the transition to the year 2000 without major problems, though a few minor glitches were encountered: * Andy Sausser, adult services librarian at the...
Obituaries
Tommy Atkins, 75, former chief librarian at Hunter College in New York City, died November 30. Born in Poland, he worked as an interpreter and assistant to New York Times correspondents there during the 1950s and '60s before escaping to America in...
On My Mind
Diversity Isn't Just about Race, Language, or Culture John approached the circulation desk to renew a book for the second time. While processing the book, the circulation clerk commented, "Gee, it seems to me that you should have finished this by...
On the Air and on Deadline at National Public Radio
FOR NPR LIBRARIANS, THE EMPHASIS IS ON PREPARATION, ACCURACY, AND IMMEDIACY Any librarian knows what it's like to have a patron standing at the counter, waiting. Rob Robinson, Christine (Kee) Malesky, and Alphonse Vinh often have millions of patrons...
Patrons Do the Darndest Things
"Ah, so they've got the Internet on computers now." --Homer Simpson Public computers in libraries have attracted a storm of angry controversy in some quarters; but day in and day out, many patrons are endearingly unsophisticated, and their interactions...
People
Currents Regina Beach is now head of library information technology at the University of Arkansas/ Little Rock. * January 28 Mary Bollman retired from the Lake Forest (Ill.) Library, where she had served as head of children's services since 1973....
School Library Media Specialists Need Operational Dollars
When Sandy Schuckett, the school library media specialist at the El Sereno (Calif.) Middle School Library found out years ago that she and the other members of the media center staff were going to be let go, she was angry. She was angry not only because...
Technically Speaking
Early Warning Alert This month's column inaugurates a new occasional feature, the Early Warning Alert, spotlighting new-technology initiatives and developments in embryonic form that, if they persist and gain momentum, will result in significant...
The Association's Associations: ACRL Salutes Best Practices
Communication among its members and collaboration with other higher-education entities are prominent elements in the current strategic plan of ALA's Association of College and Research Libraries, and two new initiatives will emphasize both of these...
The Joy of Junk Mail
A LIBRARY'S UNSOLICITED POSTAL PLETHORA REVEALS HIDDEN ASPECTS OF THE BUILDING'S PERSONALITY There's a lot I like about this business of working in a library. Although my days are frequently crazy busy, I haven't had a single dull day since I started....
The Pros and Cons of Squelching Library Theft
ALL IT TAKES IS A LITTLE IMAGINATION TO SOLVE THIS ENDEMIC PROBLEM--BUT AT A PRICE Book theft. Every librarian has suffered it, whether frantically hunting the shelves for a lost copy of Atlas Scratched an Itch or decrying the missing pages torn...
The Quotable Will Manley: 7 Years of Will's World
QUIPS, SNIPS, AND QUOTES FROM LIBRARYLAND'S MOST LOVED AND HATED HUMORIST He's been called sophomoric and inappropriate, clever and irreverent. His column (see p. 104) has also been consistently one of the most-read sections of American Libraries...
This Month, 109 Years Ago
LIBRARIANS WERE STILL CHUCKLING over an anonymously written poem entitled "The Fiction Song" published in November 1890. In a delightfully humorous way, the poem reflects the concerns that late 19th-century librarians had about circulating fiction....
What We Now Know about Librarians
People sometimes ask ALA for basic demographic facts about librarians. What is the average age? How many are in various racial/ethnic groups? What is the gender breakdown? How much do librarians make? What is their level of education? Inquirers...