American Libraries

Articles from Vol. 35, No. 4, April

ALSC Works to Create a Better Future
The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) is the world's largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. ALSC provides leadership to the profession and the public on behalf of high-quality...
Atlanta-Fulton PL Director Gets More Authority, Training
In the wake of a consultant's report that critically examined personnel procedures and employee morale at the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library, the board of trustees, at a special two-hour meeting February 11, voted to give Library Director Mary Kaye...
Building on the Past: An Inspired Union of Two Buildings, Grand Rapids Public Library Exemplifies a New Model for 21st-Century Design
Whether libraries are simply riding the wave of a glorious past remains to be seen, but the array of facilities and design rising across the nation suggests a future that is, if not glorious, at least vibrant and based on the traditional role of libraries...
CIPA Fallout Filters Down to States
Several states have adopted or are considering legislation apparently triggered by last June's Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutionality of the Children's Internet Protection Act (AL, Aug. 2003, p. 12-13). The new state laws would require...
Complaint Prompts Texas Library to Tweak Black History Exhibit
Objections made by a patron to the inclusion of depictions of Little Black Sambo, pickaninnies, and Aunt Jemima in the city library's Black History Month display prompted Brownwood (Tex.) Public Library Director Mathew McConnell in early February to...
Conference Call: Should We Ever Work for Free? Library Directors Phil Baugher and Maurice Freedman Discuss the Dilemma between Vocation and Volunteering
At its 2002 Midwinter Meeting, ALA created a separate professional advocacy organization, the ALA-Allied Professional Association (APA). One of its charges is to address issues relating to equitable pay for library workers, a task that could be a formidable...
Currents: Professionals on the Move
Alexandra Bernet has been appointed project archivist in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Columbia University in New York City. * Rosanne Burgess becomes director of the Cinco Ranch Branch of the Fort Bend County (Tex.) Libraries this month....
Deenie Defeats Detractors-Sort Of
Deenie, a coming-of-age novel challenged last fall by the parent of a 7th-grader who borrowed the book from the Spring Hill Elementary School media center, will remain in the K-8 collections of the Hernando County (Fla.) Schools, the school board ruled...
Former Idaho Falls Director Speaks out about Charges
Nancy Donahoo has spoken out about the reasons she resigned her position as director of the Idaho Falls (Idaho) Public Library in January (AL, Mar., p. 19-20). Donahoo told American Libraries that she left in order to be with her family in Pocatello...
Grassroots Report: Next Stop, Information Commons
What does late-night bus service have to do with libraries? When a student government leader touted early-morning ridership statistics for a special student bus route at a recent meeting of the Indiana University Board of Trustees, one trustee asked...
Internet Librarian: Reality by Consensus
I have seen the future of indexing. Well, probably not, but that makes a catchy opening, don't you think? I ran across an intriguing website the other day called the ESP Game (www.espgame.org). No Dionne Warwick or Miss Cleo, sadly, but fun nonetheless....
Keeping the Doors Open: Public Librarians Pack the Programs at Record-Breaking Seattle Conference
PLA Conference Draws 8,691 "If we want to keep our American commitment to equality, we've got to keep the library doors open," said William H. Gates Sr. at the opening session of the 10th national--and largest ever--conference of ALA's Public Library...
Librarian's Library: Resources for Continuing Education
The Patriot Act Exposed One of the undeniable effects of the USA Patriot Act is that many librarians have begun to rethink the user records they maintain. Author Herbert N. Foerstel addresses this and other implications of the very complex and controversial...
Mansell Revisited: Now Forgotten, the Ambitious National Union Catalog Was Once Hailed as the Greatest Bibliographic Feat in History
It cost more to publish than it did to build the Metropolitan Toronto Public Library. It took almost as long to complete as it did to build the Brooklyn Bridge 100 years earlier. Described at its inception as the greatest bibliographic feat in history,...
Oakland, Modesto Tax Measures Pass
Residents of Oakland, California, voted for Measure Q March 2 to restore funds to the city library system by increasing a $36 parcel tax to $75 per year. The increase was needed to keep the Oakland Public Library main branch open seven days a week,...
Obituaries
AL recently learned that George Bonn died in Honolulu, Hawaii, September 11 at age 90. Bonn served at a number of universities--most notably Rutgers from 1956 to 1965 and the University of Hawaii from 1966 to 1967--before joining the University of...
On My Mind: We Can Still Do the Right Thing on Cuba
Like many ALA members, I want Nat Hentoff to stop writing about ALA and its stand on Cuba. And I also want Hentoff to reaccept his Immroth Memorial Award for First Amendment advocacy, which he has returned to ALA in protest of the Association's position....
President's Message: Building Accessibility for All
This month's American Libraries features the many wonderful examples of library-service facilities that have undergone restorations, adaptations, and new designs from across the country. During my travels this year engaging in discussions about equity...
Put Diversity into Action @ Your Library
ALA Office for Diversity Diversity Leadership Institute June 24 & 25, 2004 Pre-Conference ALA Annual Orlando This one-and-a-half-day Institute, Action @ your library, goes beyond your basic diversity training and includes dynamic...
Quick Bibs: Flaubert's Parrots
Book titles are creatures of fashion every bit as much as women's hemlines. Back in 1985, Julian Barnes wrote a quirky novel about an obsessive scholar's quest to determine if a certain stuffed parrot once sat on Gustave Flaubert's desk. The novel...
Reclaiming Family History in El Paso
Every once in a while, a library comes up with a community outreach project made in heaven. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Last year in El Paso, a man named Luis Lujan died. The day of his death, entirely coincidentally, the El Paso Times ran a photograph...
SFPL Holds Public Forum on Adopting RFID Technology
San Francisco Public Library held a public forum March 4 to air views on its controversial plan to insert radio frequency identification chips (RFIDs) into its circulating materials (AL, Dec. 2003, p. 22). [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Kathy Lawhun,...
Technically Speaking: Starting off on a Technicality
Technically speaking, I am not just a technical person. Unlike some of my more technically minded colleagues, I do not think that technology alone can solve a library's problems. But neither am I an "accidental" systems librarian, as some who have...
Texas Rare-Book Thief Gets Probation
A U.S. district court judge sentenced a Chicago woman to three years of probation January 30 and ordered her to pay restitution fees of $381,595 for the theft of nearly 400 rare books in the early 1990s from the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center...
The Castle Is Back: A Frontier Town Library Becomes a Downtown Anchor in a Cinderella Story of a 1911-Era Restoration
Hays, Kansas, a frontier town where Wild Bill Hickok, Buffalo Bill Cody, and George Armstrong Custer walked the streets, seemed an unlikely place for a public library. Yet, by 1899 the town's citizens had started one, and by 1911, thanks to Andrew...
The Crawford Files: A Dozen Solutions to All Library Problems
In honor of April 1 and the library facilities issue, I'd like to share a special set of precepts to eliminate library problems and end the need for new library buildings, if you follow them to the letter. 1. Every good library is the same. That's...
The Saving Grace of Library Space: Promote Your Facility as a Low-Stress Zone, Put on the Coffee Pot-And Stand Back
Most library managers are worried about the future of their libraries. You read about it all the time in professional journals: Will the Internet and the influx of electronic media cause people to cease walking into a library building? If people can...
Thus Said: How the World Sees Us
"A generation ago, reference librarians--flesh-and-blood creatures--were the most powerful search engines on the planet. But the rise of robotic search engines in the mid-1990s has removed the human mediators between researchers and information. Librarians...
Will's World: Building a Flavorful Workplace
The great isms of 20th-century history are fascism and communism, one of which caused World War II and the other the Cold War. Because these isms were so powerful and so evil, we tend to shy away from them. From ancient Greek times and onward, the...
Working Knowledge: Saying "Thank You" -- Part Two
Q I am the branch manager of a medium-sized library and was inspired by your January 2004 column (p. 96) to start an employee-of-the-month award. We recognize staff members who have suggested successful cost-saving ideas with a designated parking space,...
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