American Libraries

Articles from Vol. 43, No. 11-12, November-December

ALA, Publishers Talk Ebooks
A few days before her September 27 meeting with the Association of American Publishers (AAP) in New York City, ALA President Maureen Sullivan released an open letter to the industry regarding the refusal of Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Penguin...
Background on Our Budget: Reinvigorating Support for Service Imperatives
The past year has been challenging for ALA, reflecting both the difficult economic conditions affecting libraries across the US and our continuing focus on a strong Association that serves its members and supports the work of libraries and the needs...
Barbecue? Flamenco Dancing? Learning Gets Interactive
On a sunny spring Saturday at the Louisville (Ky.) Free Public Library (LFPL), hundreds of people with schedules in their hands rushed down hallways and up stairs, wondering, "What should I learn next?" Flamenco dancing or magic tricks? How to cook...
Conference Explores Future of Libraries
The 40 continuous hours of Library 2.012, the "Future of Libraries" free conference, which ran from October 3 through October 5, featured 150 presentation sessions and 11 keynote addresses from across the globe. Topics ranged from physical and virtual...
Connect Guys with Authors: Virtual Chats Make Writers Real and Relevant to Boys
It was a sunny June afternoon, perfect for playing baseball, taking a dip in the local pool--or having a virtual chat with a favorite author over Skype about what you've been reading. That was the message the New Albany--Floyd County (Ind.) Public...
Creating a New Tradition: A Tag Sale Yields Goodwill along with Revenue
Half a dozen tween girls are crowded around several large tables stacked with odds and ends in the windows of the Meekins Library in the center of the small town of Williamsburg, Massachusetts (population 2,500). Two girls kneeling on the floor...
Gauging Your Interest
A few weeks ago, American Libraries sent you a survey. And despite all the other surveys and polls and requests that likely came to you this election season, more than 4,000 of you responded. Thank you for taking time to provide feedback. [ILLUSTRATION...
Global Reach
UNITED KINGDOM 1 A clear strategy is needed if more libraries are to adopt e-lending across England, Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said September 26 as he launched a review of the best ways to make ebooks available on loan to the public. Vaizey has...
How Libraries Count in the 2012 Election
As icons of civic engagement in America, libraries are perfectly positioned to host voter registration drives and, as local statutes permit, be venues for early voting and Election Day polls. In this particularly spirited election year, libraries may...
Librarian's Library: Making Sure Libraries "Measure Up"
Times are tough for libraries, and when times get tough, managers--whether college administrators, a principal, a board of trustees, or even voters--start asking about the viability of programs and the measurable benefits of those programs. That's...
Librarians of Color Meet in Kansas
By 2015, people of color will comprise a majority of the US population. And to adapt to these changing demographics, the goal of librarians will be twofold: Address the needs of these diverse communities and have the profession better reflect them....
Live at Your Library! How to Plug into Your Local Music Scene and Charge Up Your Communities
It's hard to miss the ever-growing enthusiasm for the "buy local" movement. People want locally grown food, locally made handicrafts, locally created products. Now is the best time for libraries to join that movement and provide space in their collections...
Marketing Your Library: An Interview with Terry Kendrick, Guru of Strategic Marketing in Libraries
Terry Kendrick is the guru of strategic marketing in libraries. His book Developing Strategic Marketing Plans That Really Work is a must-read, and he writes, speaks, and runs workshops on marketing libraries all over the UK and in no fewer than 26...
Midwinter Must Dos: A Glimpse at Some of the Many Events and Activities That Are Sure to Keep You Busy during the Meeting
THE FIRST STARBUCKS ... AND WINE Visit the original Starbucks store, opened in 1976 at 1912 Pike Place Market. (The store was first at 2000 Western, launching in 1971, but moved here five years later.) it retains the original look, but the coffee...
New Americans and the Digital Literacy Gap
While major urban centers like New York, Miami, and Los Angeles have always drawn new immigrants, there are many pockets of immigrants now drawn to mid-size cities because of job opportunities and proximity to families and former neighbors from their...
Newsmaker: John Chrastka
John Chrastka, ALA's director of membership development from 2003 to 2011, didn't leave library advocacy behind when he resigned from ALA to devote more time to his start-up consulting agency. First, he was already on the board of the Berwyn (Ill.)...
Personal Branding for Librarians: Distinguishing Yourself from the Professional Herd
The trend of establishing and maintaining a personal brand has been a hot topic for some time with the public at large, traceable as far back as 1937 and Napoleon Hill's self-help classic Think and Grow Rich, if Wikipedia is to be believed. Unsurprisingly,...
Rousing Reads: The Wild and Poetic Life of Westerns
When a Western is done well, its images can strike deep--and often subconsciously--into our maginations, and the reverberations have the power of myth. I'm hooked on Westerns. Not the genre-blends that are popular today--the cowboy romances and...
Social Media? Using Online Tools to Improve Service
Are efforts to use social media worth it? Indeed, they are. I see many reasons for libraries--or practically any other organization--to use these tools. Listening Listening comes first. Before your library starts "talking back" online, set up...
Terror Has Not with Drawn: Daily Life for Librarians in Iraq
The American military formally ended its mission in Iraq on December 15, 2011. It was the inauspicious end of an invasion launched by the United States ostensibly to rid Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, which were subsequently determined to be...
The DIY Patron: Rethinking How We Help Those Who Don't Ask
Like many librarians, I was a frequent user of libraries as a child. Yet I have always avoided asking for help. I wrote an entire undergraduate thesis without talking to a librarian. If I didn't understand something, I'd find a way to figure it out...
The Wheel Turns Again: Another Milestone, Measured in Quarter Turns
And here we are, at my 100th column. Readers with long memories (or nothing better to do) may recall that for my 50th (Feb. 2007, p. 27) and 75th (Aug. 2009, p. 36) columns, I pioneered the groundbreaking idea of letting the internet do my work by,...
Toughing It out in a Tight Job Market: Hands-On Advice to Help You Stand out during a Job Search
You're all alone--with thousands of other information professionals--pursuing a library job in a down economy. If not for sheer stubbornness and hard-won self-respect, you might consider a career in the fast food industry. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]...
Trust in Your Trustees: Politicians Prefer Your Board's Views on Library Needs over Yours
It frustrates me profoundly to have someone in the library profession approach me at a conference to challenge my credibility as a speaker--usually in view of the fact that I'm retired, out of touch, and behind the times. In other words, I'm no longer...
Unforgettable Passwords: In the Age of Faster Processing Speeds, Online Security Demands Greater User Viligance
How many passwords do you have? Michael has 221; David has 210. Some are for social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter, while others are for services used occasionally, such as SoundCloud (a place to store and share audio files) or Trip it (a...
We Are ALA: Reimagining Our Association for the Future
I recently learned that another national library association has adopted the slogan "I am (my national library association)" as a means to engage its members. My immediate reaction was to think of ALA and how, if we were to follow suit, I would...
What They Said
"In this difficult economic climate, public libraries fill a critical need in the community. For years, we've had library users who expressed interest in a way to show their support for libraries of all kinds--public, academic, and special libraries....
Writing for Civilians: When We Write for the Publications Our Users Read, We Build Visibility-And Support-In Our Communities
Love to write about libraries? Many of us do. For our fellow librarians, we speak volumes, clamoring to fill blogs, association newsletters, and scholarly journals. But for our communities? Not so much. The volume drops significantly when we consider...