American Libraries

Articles from Vol. 34, No. 11, December

2004 ALA Council Candidates
JOSE A. AGUINAGA Associate Librarian California State University at Long Beach Long Beach, California MARCY M. ALLEN Government Information Librarian Western Illinois University Macomb, Illinois MARK ANTHONY Media Specialist...
ALA Executive Board: Huron Plaza Proceeds to Benefit Future Fund, Spectrum
At its spring meeting, held October 11-12 in Chicago, the ALA Executive Board had the happy task of allocating the $10.6 million the Association received from the refinancing and sale of its Huron Plaza headquarters building. With President Carla Hayden...
As Library Schools Struggle, Change Happens Anyway
I had a rare opportunity recently to observe the functioning innards of a library school: two days of service on the Library and Information Science Program advisory board at Wayne State University, my alma mater. LISP Director Joseph Mika asked...
Association, Know Thyself; ALA Embarks on a Mission to Document Its Demographics
The ancient sage who advised knowledge of the self was not thinking of nonprofit membership organizations like ALA. But most such groups do collect basic professional and demographic information about their members. This information helps in planning...
Bill Gates: Why He Did It: In an Exclusive Interview, the Microsoft Chairman Looks Back, as His Foundation's Library Computerization Project Comes to the End of a Five-Year Run
It's the stuff that makes him love his job, says Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, talking to American Libraries about the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's five-year library initiative. As the project to install computers and train staff in public...
Billington Issues Narrow DMCA Exemptions
Librarian of Congress James Billington has issued four narrow exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) prohibition on circumventing digital copy-protection technologies, disappointing consumer-rights groups that had hoped for broader...
California Libraries Offer Fire-Recovery Assistance
"Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to all of the fire victims and their families and loved ones," read the opening page of the San Bernardino (Calif.) Public Library's website as the state's librarians and library staff offered comfort and assistance...
Censorship Watch
Contested Videos Get Second Run The films My Chauffeur and Sugar and Spice are back on the shelves of the Lafourche Parish (La.) Library's Bayou Blue branch as of late October at the request of the same person who asked for their removal for reconsideration...
Currents: Professionals on the Move
Jim Alsip has joined Providence Associates, a library-planning consulting firm in Cottonwood, Arizona. * William G. Asp retires December 12 as director of the Dakota County (Minn.) Library. * David Baca has been named team leader for the science and...
Global Reach
UNITED KINGDOM A law passed October 31 permits the British Library to preserve CD-ROMs, websites with "uk" domain names, and e-mails as part of its legal depository program. The library had pushed for electronic documents to be included, BBC News...
Internet Librarian: The Right Tool for the Right Job
In one of my first "Internet Librarian" columns (AL, Oct. 2002, p. 84), I raved about the Google toolbar. I must admit I had a moment of trepidation about it. In general, I'm not a big downloader of applications; but this one sounded interesting, so...
Muncie PL Officials Berated at Bookkeeper's Sentencing
Prior to sentencing a former Muncie (Ind.) Public Library bookkeeper who had embezzled $123,000 in funds, Delaware Circuit Court Judge Robert Barnet Jr. expressed surprise that no one from the library was in attendance. "But based on their own [procedures],...
NYU Shaken by Suicides at Bobst Library
Extra security guards were posted at New York University's 12-story Elmer Holmes Bobst Library in mid-October while construction workers installed glass walls to enclose the library's interior balconies after two students fell to their deaths from...
One Librarian's Fight against AIDS: An American Librarian Works to Raise Awareness of an Epidemic That Is Plaguing Africa
The library profession has joined many in the United States who are contributing to worldwide efforts to fight the spread of AIDS. While many of our colleagues are collaborating with teams of researchers and developers to combat the disease and are...
On My Mind: CD-ROMs: Ready for a Comeback
A decade ago, the wiring of public libraries for the Internet in the name of bridging the digital divide became a juggernaut. Poor communities often became the first ones to go online. Librarians started to introduce people in their communities to...
President's Message: Something for Everyone @ Your Library
Just before the start of my presidential term, I asked our divisions, round tables, units, and caucuses to provide information on their work and activities in the areas of equity and access. I asked several questions of each group. They included:...
Proof That "Information Matters" in Kansas City: American Association of School Librarians National Conference
"My school librarian changed my life," acknowledged keynote speaker Bertice Berry at the opening general session of the American Association of School Librarians' 11th National Conference and Exhibition in Kansas City, Missouri, October 22-26. Berry--an...
Reprieve for the State Library of Florida: A Case Study in Grassroots Advocacy
When Florida Gov. Jeb Bush released his 2003-2004 budget proposal in January, fiscal watchdogs were surprised to find that it included a major reorganization of state government. The state library agency, a division of the Department of State, would...
RUSA Criticized for Pulling Website Content
The ALA Council electronic discussion list lit up with criticism in October after word got out that RUSA, on the advice of ALA's attorney, had pulled a presentation from its website following complaints from a vendor that the posting was full of inaccuracies....
School Libraries Feel State Funding Losses
Although public libraries get the most attention when state budgets are cut (AL, Aug., p. 20-21), school library media centers often take hits that are relatively as big or bigger. After the defeat September 9 in a statewide referendum of Gov. Bob...
Serving Seniors: Dos and Don'ts at the Desk: Older Adults-The Most Diverse Group of Patrons That Librarians May Face-Present Specific Challenges
The number of seniors hitting our reference desks is likely to grow in the coming years, as aging baby boomers--75 million of them, born between 1946 and 1964--move into the senior demographic of 55 and over. While we as professionals have the capability...
Should Libraries Play Tag with RFIDs? Librarians Jackie Griffin and Karen Schneider Discuss the Benefits and Problems of Using This Hot New Technology
The announcement that San Francisco Public Library was making plans to adopt radio frequency identification (RFID) tags (see News Fronts, this issue) has raised the hackles of privacy advocates concerned over the potential abuse of the technology,...
Technically Speaking: RFID Poses No Problem for Patron Privacy
A recent onslaught of articles coming out of California newspapers reported on the use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags in public libraries and how they will strip away the reading privacy of library patrons (See News this issue). The...
The Association's Associations: YALSA Takes on New Look
The Young Adult Library Services Association refreshed its appearance this summer with the adoption of a new logo to better reflect the division's energy and direction. The mission remains the same--to advocate, to promote, and to strengthen service...
The Crawford Files: The Philosophy of Joint-Use Libraries
Will the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library--the massive new San Jose Public/San Jose State University library (AL, Sept., p. 16)-succeed? Are joint-use libraries the wave of the future? Although it's too early to say, I'd guess the answers are yes...
The Frankenstein Allure: Public and Academic Libraries Join Medical Institutions to Brew New Partnerships through a Monstrous ALA Traveling Exhibition
Most librarians understand that one of the keys to successful public programs in any type of library is collaboration. Community organizations, Friends groups, and a host of other library supporters can help develop all kinds of library programming--from...
The Top 10 Library Stories of 2003
The scent of victory was hard to pick up in 2003, as libraries suffered defeats on many fronts. Perhaps the most invigorating news of the year was a widespread upsurge in library use, along with generally encouraging public support for the traditional...
Tracking Tags Raise Privacy Concerns at SFPL
Privacy advocates are voicing concerns over San Francisco Public Library's plans to insert tiny computer chips into its circulating materials. The devices, known as radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, would help locate items, speed up checkout,...
Two State Bills Affect Minors' Reading Privacy
As of mid-November, the legislatures of both Massachusetts and Wisconsin had nearly passed new laws to let parents know what books their children are getting at the library. A bill under consideration by the Massachusetts House of Representatives...
What Ails Access to Government Health Information? Is It Science or Supposition That Is Infusing the Federal Approach to Medical Advice?
Americans in increasing numbers turn to the Internet for health information. According to the 2002 report "Counting on the Internet" by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, 73 million Americans searched the Web in 2001 for information about...
When Stars Fell on Alabama; the Gates Gift Five Years Later
Five years after the wealthiest man in the world hopped on a bookmobile and began showering America's libraries with computers and highspeed Internet connections, stars are still falling on Alabama, where the whole project began (AL, Apr. 1998, p....
Will's World: Retirement on the Job
We've all read accounts of nasty fights between library directors and their boards of trustees. Inevitably, the library director is the one who is given the old heaveho. The causes of these divorces between directors and their boards include poor communication,...
Working Knowledge: Putting Networks to Work
Q Everyone stresses the importance of networking, but so far I've managed to land good jobs--I'm currently the assistant director of a small public library in the Midwest--without making a second career out of schmoozing. Recently, however, my husband...