American Libraries

Articles from Vol. 27, No. 11, December

An Old Card Catalog Goes to the Smithsonian
OLD CARD CATALOGS: Will the Smithsonian Institution collect one? This was the question I recently posed to my graduate students in a Bibliographic Organization class. We had just discussed Nicholson Baker's article, "Discards" (New Yorker, Apr. 4, 1994),...
Censorship Watch
Adults-Only Agenda. Concerned about youngsters' access to materials some deem inappropriate, residents of three East Coast communities have asked their public libraries to establish adults-only sections. * Broadcast coverage of recent challenges to...
Chapter Report: Library Advocacy - a Local Brew with National Ingredients
Microbreweries are the rage these days, serving up world-class beers in small batches. The same might be said of the library advocacy network, blending techniques and themes from the national level with local messages and skilled local practitioners....
City Council Tells Library to End Patron Home Pages
Public service and private enterprise are clashing in Salem, Oregon, where the city council voted 5-4 September 30 to end home pages for all but government agencies and nonprofit organizations on the Oregon Public Electronic Network (OPEN). Created...
Detroit Mounts Centennial Show Worth Honking About
IT'S ALL ABOUT U.S. AUTOS, FROM TIN LIZZIES TO PLASTIC BODIES, AND CAR BUFFS SWARM IN FOR AN EYEFUL America's automobile industry got its start in 1896 when the Duryea brothers manufactured and sold their first auto in Springfield, Massachusetts. Who...
Diversity Initiative Gets Big Dollar Commitment
At its annual fall meeting, November 3-4, the ALA Executive Board voted unanimously to commit between a half-million and one-and-a-half-million dollars to "a multi-tiered, multi-year diversity initiative." With money from the ALA endowment, ALA staff...
Embracing Government Information
It is time that libraries started recognizing the centrality of information put out by the federal government and stopped treating it as a somewhat distasteful relative with whom one has to associate but doesn't really want to have at the dinner table....
FCC Joint Board Endorses Deep Discounts for Libraries, Schools
Preliminary recommendations by the Federal-State Joint Board of the Federal Communications Commission endorse key proposals made by ALA for significant discounts on a wide range of telecommunications services for the nation's libraries and schools. ...
How to Recruit a Library Champion
AS LIBRARY HEROES IN THE HOUSE AND SENATE RETIRE, MAKING NEW FRIENDS ON CAPITOL HILL BECOMES A TOP PRIORITY FOR ADVOCATES The American Heritage Dictionary defines a "champion" as "one that defends, fights for, or supports a cause or another person";...
Librarians as Heroes
Librarians are dragonslayers. We may not think of ourselves as heroic figures, but we are. After all, librarians organize, preserve, and promote literature and information. We transmit culture and civilization. We promote reading, literacy, and self-esteem...
Libraries and the Writing Life
First, a semi-flashback: In the summer of 1984, Vartan Gregorian, now president of Brown University, hired me to run the Annual Fund at the New York Public Library at the beginning of its $300-million "Campaign for the Library." The Annual Fund raised...
LITA and LAMA Combine Forces in ALA's First Joint Division Conference
In "Web Site Story," a sketch performed at the recent LITA/LAMA conference by the Fuzzy Match Interest Group, the gang war between the "Nerds" and the "Suits" ended with the two groups learning to coexist in harmony. However, the collaborative conference...
Media Centers Cede Space to California School Reformers
Well-intentioned California legislation designed to create extra classroom space has resulted in the unintended exile of school libraries from their quarters across the state. Enacted July 15, the Class Size Reduction Act pays participating schools up...
Microsoft Invests in Equal Access with More Libraries Online
One year after the inception of Libraries Online!, Microsoft Chairman and CEO Bill Gates announced recently that, based on the success of the pilot year of the program, his company would invest $10.5 million more into the computerization of public libraries....
Myth, Magic, and Mystery
Walking through the Chrysler Museum of Art exhibit "Myth, Magic, and Mystery: One Hundred Years of American Children's Book Illustration" can be likened to Alice's journey underground. Every step, every new view, every corner turned brings wonder, amazement,...
President Clinton on Libraries, Funding, the Internet, and the CDA
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: THE NEWLY REELECTED PRESIDENT SHARES HIS VIEWS ON LIBRARY SERVICE FOR THE NEXT FOUR YEARS AND BEYOND The election is over, and the American people have given President Bill Clinton four more years in the White House with a decisive...
Public Libraries Go Back to School
In an age of mergers and multitypes, it should come as no surprise that the two most visible publicly financed library services - the public library and the school media center - should explore the efficacy of sharing resources in joint-use facilities....
Smithsonian Libraries Celebrate a Milestone: 150 Years
A UNIQUE SYSTEM COMPRISED OF 18 FAR-FLUNG BRANCHES IS THE HEART OF THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION This year, one of the world's most venerable cultural institutions is celebrating its 150th birthday. On August 10, 1846, President James Polk signed an Act...
Technological Change and the Evolution of Information Policy
AS THE DEBATE OVER THE FUTURE OF INFORMATION LAW HEATS UP, LIBRARIES FIND THEMSELVES AT THE FOREFRONT OF THE BATTLE Information is the basic coin of librarianship; so information policy - roughly defined as the wide array of rules and policies that...
Ten Graces for New Librarians
Last year I was honored to be invited to deliver the commencement address at the SUNY/Albany School of Information Science and Policy. The last time I'd addressed a graduating class, it had been as valedictorian at my own high school, 31 years ago. Sister...

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