American Libraries

Articles from Vol. 30, No. 2, February

Cable Internet: When It Is Good, It Is Very, Very Good
The 1998 NCLIS report on public libraries and the Internet (available at www.nclis.gov/what/survey98.pdf) says "only a third" of all public libraries have the technology necessary for graphics, sound, and video. Equipment is one obstacle to access,...
Chapter Report: 1999 State Legislative Outlook
When it comes to library funding, legislatures in the 1990s have given the pendulum a full swing. The beginning of the decade was marked by lower levels of public funding for many services, including libraries, while continuing prosperity in the latter...
Customer Service: A View from the Trenches
Since the early 1980s many library directors and library school faculty in the United States have grown preoccupied with "customer service." New recipes for improving CS are constantly prepared and sent down upon the rest of us in a torrent of concern...
Flying Solo: Librarian, Manage Thyself
INDEPENDENT LIBRARIANS HAVE THE SATISFACTION OF CALLING THE SHOTS - BUT IT'S NOT A JOB FOR EVERYONE What's a solo librarian? One who flies an airplane alone? Not exactly, but there are similarities. Martha Rhine, founder of the Solo Librarians...
New Hall of Fame Honors Writers of African Descent
LIBRARIAN AND BROADSIDE PRESS FOUNDER DUDLEY RANDALL IS AMONG FIRST 39 INDUCTEES When we worked together at the University of Detroit, Dudley Randall was the complete professional librarian," remembers former coworker Joan Gartland, now in the Art...
Patrons Pressure Board to Reinstate Staff
Some 30 patrons of Oak Park (Ill.) Public Library's Maze branch demanded again December 15 that two popular branch librarians who were transferred without explanation be returned. And the board again defended the transfers, saying they were in the...
Share and Share Alike
ARE JOINT-USE LIBRARIES THE ANSWER TO DIMINISHING RESOURCES? LIBRARY DIRECTORS ALLAN KLEIMAN AND JANE LIGHT EXAMINE THE PROMISE AND PERILS OF SHARED FACILITIES. Last year saw the trend toward joint-use facilities partnering public libraries with...
Sometimes the Roof Doesn't Just Leak, It Caves In!
MICROMANAGEMENT SKILLS ARE A NECESSITY FOR LIBRARY DIRECTORS PULLED IN EVERY DIRECTION When the roof leaks, we hang plastic over the 800s and call maintenance again. In a month, on a bright and sunny day, maintenance shows up and can't find the...
Study Ranks California Last in Student-Librarian Ratio
Following up on his campaign theme to turn around the state's notoriously troubled public schools, newly installed governor of California, Gray Davis has called for $444 million for education, $186 million of which would go to reading programs. He...
Taking Charge of Micromanagers
IT'S NOT THE ONE WHO STEERS THE SHIP THAT CONTROLS THE HELM, BUT THE ONE WHO CHARTS THE COURSE Library directors can drive themselves to immediate distraction if they even suspect that their board members are trying to wrest the day-to-day management...
The E-Book: Pipe Dream or Potential Disaster?
SYSTEMS, NOT GADGETRY, WILL DETERMINE IF THE BOOK OF THE FUTURE IS AN ELECTRONIC ONE "He came up about 15 minutes after I did and found me dead asleep, holding it still. Just as he took it from my hand, it shut itself off." This quote from a November...
Triumph over Adversity: Vo Thin Van's Story
A VIETNAMESE LIBRARIAN TALKS ABOUT HER TRIUMPHANT RETURN TO THE U.S. AFTER 24 HARROWING YEARS AS A VIETNAM WAR REFUGEE On November 3, 1974, Vo Thi Van boarded a plane at Washington National Airport to return to Vietnam, buoyed by thoughts of her...
When a Library Apologizes. 44 Years Later; a Canadian Librarian Fired for Leftist Ties Gets an Apology Nearly Half a Century Later
The world was deep in the Cold War when the Victoria, British Columbia, public library arbitrarily and secretly fired the librarian it had just hired for its new bookmobile. The grounds for dismissal? Alleged past associations with the Communist Party....
When Communities Want Branches, Why Don't We?
Most librarians have two libraries. There's the library we work in and then there's our community public library. That's the great part about public libraries, everybody gets to have one. Everybody who's willing to pay for one, that is. Although...

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