American Libraries

Articles from Vol. 40, No. 12, December

2010 ALA Nominating Committee Council Nominees
Xan Arch Electronic Resources and Technology Librarian Stanford University Stanford, California J. Douglas Archer Reference and Peace Studies Librarian University of Notre Dame Hesburgh Library Notre Dame, Indiana Xima Avalos...
ALA Executive Board: Fiscal Year 2009 Ends Better Than Expected; Budgetary Caution Urged for Next Two Years
Cost-cutting measures, including staff cuts and furloughs, taken to ward off an anticipated $1.6-million deficit, have resulted in a better-than-expected end-of-FY2009 financial picture for ALA, Treasurer Rod Hersberger told the Association's Executive...
Alan Kornblau, James Neal Vie for Treasurer Post
Alan Kornblau, director of Delray Beach (Fla.) Public Library, and James Neal, vice president for information services and university librarian at Columbia University in New York City, are candidates for the 2011-2014 term as ALA treasurer. With...
Be the Bridge: Librarians Can Span the Gap between Students and Their Instructors
There are many bridges in Libraryland: Books are a bridge connecting people and information; librarians connect people and books. Class assignments can serve as natural bridges between the content of a class and true learning. The type and nature of...
Beyond Books and Bullets: One Librarian's Personal Account of Learning New Leadership Skills during a Deployment in Iraq with the Army National Guard
One day in 2007 I am head of the Systems Department at the University of Arkansas Libraries in Fayetteville. The next, I am two weeks away from a 13-month deployment to Iraq with the Arkansas Army National Guard. It really wasn't that I thought it...
Bringing Books to Kids in Rural India
The state of Maharashtra in western India is the nation's wealthiest and home to Mumbai, the country's financial center. In the rural areas of the state, however, many children have no access to books until they begin school. And with no preparation,...
Buena Casa Buena Brasa: A Program of Rhymes and Songs Draws Spanish- Speaking Families to the Library
Since the early 1890s, American public libraries have opened their doors to immigrants. One of the early purposes of the public library was to help immigrants become knowledgeable, assimilated American citizens. The rationale behind this mission...
Freedom to Read Foundation Files Amicus Brief in Animal Cruelty Case
ALA's Freedom to Read Foundation joined publishers, booksellers, and other media groups in an amicus brief filed by the Media Coalition urging the court to strike down a 10-year-old federal law banning the production and sale of visual descriptions...
Gaming and Literacy: Board and Video Games Serve as a Link to Literacy
It was another resounding success for ALA's second annual National Gaming Day @ your library, November 14. Much to the chagrin of some of my colleagues, I have always been a strong proponent of gaming, especially for teens and preteens. Gaming activities...
Global Reach
CANADA 1 Pedestrians passing by Bloor Street and Avenue Road in Toronto October 24 had the chance to ask any question they liked to master's students from the University of Toronto iSchool. The students collected donations for the Stephen Lewis...
Governing Social Media: Protect Your Library's Brand Online
We are living in the age of participation on the web. Social media tools like blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and FriendFeed make it so easy to connect with friends, family, and people around the world with common interests. Chances are, some of the people...
Gwinnett Board Blinks, Rescinds System Reorganization
Citizen-activists in Gwinnett County, Georgia, have won a months-long battle with library officials: Trustees voted unanimously at a specially called October 21 meeting to keep all 15 branches of the county library system open as full-service libraries...
Hawaiian Librarians Aid in Tsunami Recovery in American Samoa
Apair of librarians traveled from Hawaii to Pago Pago to help in recovery efforts following the devastating tsunami that struck September 29. Triggered by a magnitude 8.0 earthquake, the waves killed 34 people in American Samoa and around 160 in neighboring...
How the World Sees Us
"Were it not for libraries, there would be no safe harbor for characters and stories, nowhere for them to wait out disasters and economic storms." AMY GOLDMAN KOSS, author, most recently, of the teen novel Side Effects, on the safety that libraries...
Library Levy Landslides Make History in Ohio
Election Day in Ohio reaped an unprecedented show of library support: Voters approved 29 of the 37 library levies November 3 placed on ballots by cash-starved public libraries reeling from 11th-hour cuts to state aid for FY2010-12, with one more apparently...
Newsmaker: Els Van der Plas
Headquartered in the Netherlands, the Prince Claus Fund is "a platform for intercultural exchange," says its director, Els van der Plas. The fund's Cultural Emergency Response program has also played a significant role in aiding disaster-stricken libraries...
Opening Up Library Systems: Web Services and Open Architecture: Hype or Reality?
In the current phase of library automation, we're inundated with the language of openness. Open source ILSs have promised to give libraries more control over their software than has been possible with proprietary products. Companies that produce and...
Open Source Advocates Reject SirsiDynix Warning
In the ongoing discussion about open source integrated library systems, one wouldn't expect a big ILS vendor selling closed, proprietary products to have anything nice to say. Nonetheless, when SyrsiDynix Vice President of Innovation Stephen Abram...
Patterns of Best Practice: Librarians Help Teens Make Tight-Knit Connections
One of my quietly treasured possessions is a 20-year-old pair of hand-knitted socks. Lest you think I've suddenly gone Dobby on you, let me explain: These plain white socks, made of admittedly declasse acrylic rather than all-natural wool, are the...
Record Crowd in Charlotte Rallies for School Libraries
A record-breaking 3,950 school librarians, educators, exhibitors, and guests attended ALA's American Association of School Librarians (AASL) 14th National Conference November 5-8 in Charlotte, North Carolina, complete with preconference workshops,...
Rounsing Reads: Singing the Midlist Blues
Unless you happen to be J. K. Rowling or Stephen King or Michael Connelly or a handful of others, it's tough making a living as a writer--and getting tougher. The confluence of events that takes an author from a publisher's midlist to the stratosphere...
Sara Kelly Johns, Molly Raphael Seek 2011-12 ALA Presidency
Sara Kelly Johns, school library media specialist for grades 6-12 at Lake Placid (N.Y.) Middle/High School, and Molly Raphael, recently retired after a six-year stint as director of libraries at Multnomah County (Ore.) Library, are candidates for the...
Service with a Personal Touch
The largest portion of the budget for most organizations is spent on human resources, or as we were once known, personnel. I miss that word; it brings to mind people--unlike resources, which makes me think of minerals, oil, and natural gas. [ILLUSTRATION...
Space for Children and Teens Created at Library of Congress
The Library of Congress, for the first time in its history, has created a space devoted to the reading interests of children and teens in its historic Thomas Jefferson Building, in cooperation with the Center for the Book. Visitors to the Young...
Tech Services Consolidation Looms over Massachusetts' Five Colleges
Based in Amherst, Five Colleges Incorporated--a nonprofit consortium composed of Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst--is examining a consolidation of the schools' library technical services,...
The Association's Associations: YALSA
ADVOCATING FOR YOUNG ADULT LITERACY The Young Adult Library Services Association's Teen Tech Week 2010 takes place March 7-13, with a theme of "Learn Create Share @ your library." Registration is open at www.ala.org/teentechweek through February...
The Buck Stops There: No One Wants to Take the Rap for the Tough Decisions
Have you ever walked down the street, peered into a newspaper rack, read a headline that caught your attention, and impulsively deposited two quarters into the rack to read the entire article under the headline? That doesn't happen to me very often....
The Fab Ten of Online Ed
GraceAnne A. DeCandido, a lecturer in children's and young adult literature at Rutgers School of Communication and Information, shared this Beatles-influenced list of things that students need to know when starting online classes. 1. The Long and...
To Boldly Go: A New Flash Tool That's Set on Stunning
Now I know why they call it Big Sky Country. I was up early in Bozeman and decided to take a walk outside in the predawn hours, figuring I'd see more than I could back home in a big city like Seattle. I was overwhelmed with the enormity of it--the...
Who's an Info Activist? What If Everyone Had Access to the Sum of Human Knowledge?
On a recent Sunday evening I found myself flipping through the cable channels. As I surfed, I landed on the USA Network, which happened to be running a brief blip on its Character Approved Awards, bestowed on characters that "are changing the face...
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