American Libraries

Articles from Vol. 40, No. 5, May

$1.6 Million Shortfall Forces Staff Layoffs, Furloughs
ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels announced March 25 that the Association would attempt to close a projected $1.6-million shortfall in the $27-million FY2009 general-fund budget by, among other things, eliminating up to 10 staff positions,...
Acquisition in Times of Trouble
By most measures, one of the things that ALA has always done well is recommend books. Through review periodicals and an elaborate awards system, the Association, from its inception, has been in the business of recommending and celebrating not only...
Balancing the Books: Our Noble Profession Counts on Change It Can Save Up
I love the word "library." It's a noble word that carries a weighty and serious connotation. It stands for knowledge, learning, and scholarship. It has soul. It is timeless. Why we in the library profession feel the need to distance ourselves from...
Book Groups the Way Boys like 'Em: How to Appeal to Notoriously Elusive Audience
Book groups often appeal more to girls than to boys, but that may have much to do with how we run them. Book groups can be a great way to share and support reading, but to make them more boy friendly we may need to be open to making some drastic changes...
Budget Cuts Continue to Loom over U.S. Libraries
What's good for library use is bad for library budgets. The same economic climate that is driving recession-minded Americans to libraries in droves is also forcing those libraries to slim down. Many major library systems, including Baltimore, all three...
Candidates Sought for 2010 Election
The ALA 2010 Nominating Committee is soliciting nominees to run on the 2010 spring ballot for the offices of ALA president - elect, treasurer, and councilor - at - large. The committee will select two candidates to run for president - elect, two...
Congress Revisits NSLs, Digital Privacy
With the Patriot Act due to sunset at the end of 2009, Congress is considering several bills that would collectively impact the ability of law enforcement to access, amass, and warehouse digital data about the activities of private citizens. Rep....
Coping with Convergence: Technological Progress Brings Loss and Possibilities
Two pieces of sad news reached me in the last few days. First was the passing of Betty Angelino, who for many years ran the public library in my hometown of Oneida, New York. She led a remarkable life: first woman editor of the Daily Orange, the student...
Coping with Reduction: ALA Will Rally Resources to Maintain Service
There's just no way to put a happy face on losing your job. In April, 10 staff members at ALA were told that their positions had been eliminated. Even though severance packages were as generous as we could make them, it didn't take away the pain. We're...
Economy Is the Undoing of Libraries for the Future
When the national nonprofit organization Libraries for the Future announced March 18 that it had ceased operations after 17 years, Executive Director Bruce Astrein blamed the economic meltdown that has overtaken the country. "We have accomplished so...
Educating the Teachers: Member Input Sought about Task Force Recommendations
In recent years, the American Library Association has repeatedly looked at library education. Most recently, a Task Force on Library Education, appointed by former ALA president Leslie Burger in 2006 and chaired by former ALA president Carla Hayden,...
Family Storytime: With Planning and the Right Resources, Novices and Seasoned Children's Librarians Alike Can Deliver Quality Cross-Generational Programming
I find myself in front of dozens of family groups each year, entertaining them with stories and songs at libraries, schools, festivals, and literacy programs. I thoroughly enjoy audiences where young children are joined by older siblings, parents,...
Global Reach
UNITED KINGDOM 1 A claim by literary scholar Stanley Wells that a 17th-century painting from the family collection of Alec Cobbe held in Ireland is a "life portrait" of William Shakespeare was widely publicized in March. However, art experts quickly...
How the World Sees Us
"The librarians have waited years to get on the list of school initiatives in a district that has spent more of the past decade making cuts rather than program improvements." The Oregonian reporting on a shortage of certified librarians in Portland...
Judith Krug the Freedom to Read: The First Amendment Lost a Champion with the April 11 Death of the Director of ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom, Who Fought Censorship for 40 Years with Courage, Intelligence, and Wit. A Look Back at the Career of a Library Legend
Judith Krug believed that no one has the right to tell other people what they can or cannot read. When asked where libraries should draw the line when it comes to stocking controversial material, she always had one answer: "The law." She understood...
Kent State SLIS Opens Picturebook Collection
A collection of over 21,000 picture books from the past 50 years has a permanent, newly designed 1,800-square-foot home in the School of Library and Information Science at Kent (Ohio) State University. Housed on the library's third floor, the Marantz...
My Office in the Cloud; Web-Based Office Applications Enable Collaboration
It's become increasingly common to work collaboratively from a distance, whether you're writing an article with others, planning an important project, or developing a budget. I can still remember trying to write a paper in graduate school with four...
Newsmaker: Cokie Roberts
Cokie Roberts is a political commentator for ABC News and senior news analyst for National Public Radio. From 1996 to 2002, she and Sam Donaldson coanchored the ABC interview program This Week. Along with her husband Steven V. Roberts, she writes a...
Objection to Google Scanning Settlement Filed
The consumer advocacy group Consumer Watchdog has sent a letter to the Justice Department asking to delay implementation of last October's settlement (AL, Dec. 2008, p. 30) of lawsuits over Google's scanning of copyrighted books. Concerns from more...
Ohio Principal Judges Magazine by Its Cover
The removal last fall of an issue of a gaming magazine from a media-center collection has attracted the attention of the local teachers union and the American Civil Liberties Union, which has sent a cautionary letter to the school board president....
Open Source Public Workstations: Open Source Software Lowers Libraries' Cost, Environmental Impact
In a time where an economic downturn and concerns about climate change are influencing library managers' decisions, many libraries are looking for ways to save money and reduce environmental impact. Open source operating systems and software applications...
Read This Now: ALA's Award-Winners Represent the Best for Library Collections
For decades, the American Library Association, through its divisions and roundtables, has recognized outstanding works of literature with its prestigious book and media awards. This year's class of winners offers a host of diverse experiences, from...
Rousing Reads: Sin and Michael Malone
Michael Malone's Handling Sin (1986) is one of those special novels that engenders utter devotion in its readers. Meeting a fellow Sin lover at a crowded cocktail party is akin to exchanging a secret handshake with a long-lost lodge member. The story...
Squeezing out Specialists: Questioning the Need for a Second Graduate Degree
Following my college graduation, I could not decide whether I desired to travel the road of librarianship or psychology. However, with joy I discovered that avoidance of this fork was possible by becoming a psychology subject specialist at a university...
Stimulate Your Library: Local Use of Federal Funds
Congress made history with the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), signed by President Obama February 17 (AL, Apr., p. 19--20), and now libraries have their turn. The ARRA will ultimately release an unprecedented level...
The Greening of ACRL
The most eco-friendly major event ever held by an ALA division, the Association of College and Research Libraries' (ACRL) 14th National Conference in Seattle, March 12--15, may well serve as the model to follow. Two of the most prominent green features...
UMich Press Goes Digital, Will Report to Library
The University of Michigan announced March 23 that its largest publishing affiliate, the University of Michigan Press, will restructure to focus on production and distribution of primarily digital monographs. The reorganized unit will report to the...
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