American Libraries

Articles from Vol. 35, No. 7, August

ALA Council: Council Keeps Its Cool in Orlando
Although the weather outside Orlando's convention center was sweltering, ALA Council coolly attended to a wide range of issues at its three Annual Conference sessions June 27, 29, and 30. However, the body's overloaded agenda meant that resolutions...
ALA Executive Board: Trustees Confront Board on Washington Office Purchase
The Association's finances once again dominated the agenda of ALA's Executive Board meetings during Annual Conference June 25, 28, and 30 in Orlando, with President Carla Hayden presiding. In his presentation to the board Senior Endowment Trustee...
Black Employees at LC File Discrimination Complaint
Some 785 African-American employees of the Library of Congress have signed on to an informal class-action complaint with LC's Equal Employment Opportunity office charging that the library has discriminated against them. The complaint, filed May...
BookExpo America 2004: Librarians amid Throngs in Chicago
BookExpo America, the publishing industry's annual trade show, drew a large and varied crowd to Chicago June 4-6, including publishers, booksellers, authors, the book-loving public, and even a former president. Registration for the event, which...
Canadian Library Association Annual Conference: Bilingual in British Columbia
Nearly 1,200 delegates assembled in Victoria, British Columbia, June 16-19, for the Canadian Library Association's 59th annual conference. Like last year's meeting with ALA, this was a joint conference, but this time it coincided with the British Columbia...
Critics Rave over Koolhaas Design: Seattle Opening Draws Huge Crowds; $165.5-Million Facility Hailed as Best New Library in a Generation
Architectural critics are still raving and usage statistics have gone through the roof since some 28,000 visitors attended the long-awaited May 23 opening of Seattle's new central library. Designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, the $165.5-million...
Currents: Professionals on the Move
Eric Alstrom became collections conservator for Michigan State University Libraries in East Lansing April 1. * Jeannette Bastian has been promoted to associate professor at Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science in Boston....
Digital Dissertations: Keeping Low-Tech Backups of Your Online Thesis Collection Will Help Prevent Problems When Formats Change
Must a book be printed with ink, on rag paper, and in the codex form for it to actually be a book? Books today are moving toward various electronic formats to store information, just as the dominant book format progressed from clay tablets to papyrus...
Early Retirement Plan to Ease Budget Crunch
A voluntary early-retirement incentive, offered to ALA staff in May and June, has induced 11 members of the Headquarters staff to take advantage of a package that includes "transition pay," retiree medical benefits, and outplacement services at two...
Global Reach
NORTHERN IRELAND A billionaire newspaper owner has donated [pounds sterling]4 million ($7.27 million U.S.) toward a new library at Queen's University in Belfast, the BBC reported June 11. The gift from Anthony O'Reilly, former chairman of the Heinz...
Gorman Focus: Education, Recruitment
Michael Gorman, the Association's new vice president/president-elect, said the "crisis in library education" and "the recruitment of librarians from all ethnic and cultural groups" will be the focus when he assumes his presidential duties in July 2005...
Grassroots Report: Weeding the Amazon Way
Commercial booksellers are sometimes seen as libraries' competitors. Witness any number of recent discussions about whether stores like Barnes and Noble offer customer services that libraries don't but should. Despite such perceived differences, Boston...
House Hearings on E-Rate Abuse Find Fraud, Lax Oversight
The House Committee on Energy and Commerce's Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations began hearings June 17 to examine charges of fraud and abuse in the Federal Communications Commission's e-rate program, which provides discounts on telecommunication...
House Rejects Effort to Curb Patriot Act
The House of Representatives July 8 narrowly rejected an effort to block funding for a section of the USA Patriot Act that allows the Justice Department to conduct searches of library and bookstore records. The proposed amendment to a $39.8-billion...
How ALA Does and Doesn't Oppose the War in Iraq
By a vote of 39-55 at the ALA Annual Conference in Orlando, the Association's governing Council (see p. 71) rejected a resolution calling for the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. It was a serious defeat for those councilors who had already...
In Face of Public Outcry, Board Retains Director
A public outcry appears to have allowed a popular library director to hold on to her job despite the trustees' plans to fire her. The board of the Nippersink District Public Library in Richmond, Illinois, had voted last fall to fire Director Kathryn...
Internet Librarian: License to Ill
"Subscribers who use foul language ... shall have their accounts terminated without compensation." "Authorized Users who use remote access to access such Licensed Content must do so only from their personal/individual computers from home, and not...
LAMA Promotes Leadership Excellence
The Library Administration and Management Association is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Originally established in 1957 as ALA's Library Administration Division, the group's name was changed in 1979. Renowned for its programming and...
Libraries Choose to Filter or Not to Filter as CIPA Deadline Arrives
One year after the Supreme Court's June 2003 decision upholding the constitutionality of the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA), public libraries that receive federal money for Internet connectivity had to decide whether to install filtering...
Michigan Libraries Refuse Law Student's Request for Patron Info
Citing state library-privacy laws, Michigan libraries have refused a law student's Freedom of Information Act request that they turn over patron information, including names, addresses, telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses. Caleb Marker, a summer...
NEA Report: Americans Reading Less Literature
A report released July 8 by the National Endowment for the Arts indicates that fewer than half of the adult American population reads novels, short stories, plays, or poetry in their leisure time. Reading at Risk (www.nea.gov/pub/ReadingAtRisk.pdf),...
Obituaries
Charles E. Beard, 63, who was scheduled to retire June 30 after 26 years at State University of West Georgia in Carrollton, died June 2. He was national cochair of the White House Conference on Libraries and Information Services task force from 1991...
On My Mind: Beware the Mini-CIPAs
Last summer's Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutionality of the Children's Internet Protection Act (AL, Aug. 2003, p. 12-16) seemed at first to be the final word on the issue of filters on library computers. Instead, an additional level...
Opposition to Iraq War Pervades ALA in Orlando: But Neither Talk of War nor Heat nor Distances, Not Even Disney's Magical Allure, Could Keep These 19,731 Information Couriers from Their Appointed Rounds
Terrorism is a tactic, not an enemy," said Richard A. Clarke at the opening session of the American Library Association's June 24-30 Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida. The former counter-terrorism czar for presidents Bill Clinton and George W....
Providence Library Layoffs Spark Protests
At 2 p.m. on July 16, Providence (R.I.) Public Library officials gave pink slips to seven librarians and 14 support staff employed at the downtown branch--16 who had opted for voluntary severance packages and five others who had not--effective at the...
Restore Our Destiny: Full-Not Plural-Funding; Growing Dependence on Fundraising Is Not the Answer for Public Libraries' Budget Woes
Libraries are a tax-supported public good. They should remain that way for their own sake as well as that of the public they serve. In his article "Saving Ourselves: Plural Funding for Public Libraries" (AL, Feb., p. 37-39), Steve Coffman chooses "plural...
Roots of Hope: Haiti's Community Libraries Promise a Better Future
Flame of Hope, Roots of Hope, Shooting Star, Light of Tomorrow: The names of community libraries in Haiti convey the wish that free access to books will change the future of the country. Other libraries take the names of famous Haitian writers--Jacques...
Some Texana Auction Items Pulled at Last Minute
Three documents were removed just minutes before a June 18 auction of Texas historical documents because they may have been stolen from the Texas State Library in Austin some 40 years ago. Among the items, according to a June 18 report by NBC affiliate...
South Dakota Governor Unplugs Teen Site
On July 12, at the order of South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds, the state library removed the Teen Center section of its website pending a 60-day review of the site for objectionable content. That same day, protestors staged anticensorship demonstrations...
Stand Up and Speak Out
Advocacy" is a word that is frequently used in the library world and one that can have many meanings, especially when used in tandem with other words--"legislative advocacy," "public library advocacy," and "advocacy with the media." Yet as I travel...
State's Opinion Sought on Library Confidentiality Law
Following a May 18 incident in which three teenagers reported seeing a man fondling himself while viewing pornography at a library computer, the city of Naperville, Illinois, is considering seeking a legal opinion on the 1983 Illinois Library Records...
Staying Public: The Real Crisis in Librarianship; as Libraries Grow More Entrepreneurial, Their Change of Focus Is Dismantling the Public Sphere
Librarians and the institutions for which we speak have long prided ourselves on our integral relationship to democracy. We quote Madison and Jefferson approvingly and credit their ideas as the inspiration for what libraries do within and for a democratic...
Straight Answers From: Michele Ridge
As director of the Erie County (Pa.) Library System for over 15 years, Michele Ridge learned well the unique capability of the nation's libraries to deliver lifelong learning to its citizens. As Pennsylvania First Lady in 1995-2001, she used her position...
Technically Speaking: Hot Conference, Cool Technology
It would be easy to overplay the puns or double-entendres about the heat in Orlando during the ALA Annual Conference, but I could not help thinking that if one could not stand the heat, spending some time in the vendor's kitchen that is the exhibit...
The Apprentice Comes to Farmingdale: Can a Popular Television Show's Management Principles Be Applied to Libraries?
You're fired!" were the final words of Donald Trump, executive director of NBC Television's The Apprentice, to wannabe business novices who failed their assigned tasks. Libraries cannot fire their employees as easily. However, many of the popular show's...
The Crawford Files; Meta, Federated, Distributed: Search Solutions
Call it federated searching, if you will--or distributed searching, or cross-database searching, or metasearch, or even search portals. I suspect there are those who can make sensible distinctions between these terms, people who can explain why Searchlight...
Thus Said: How the World Sees Us
"It's kind of like a sexy take on a librarian. I think people are tired of seeing so much skin and want to leave a little more to the imagination." Seventeen Fashion Editor GIGI SOLIF SCHANEN predicting a move this fall to higher waistlines and lower...
Will's World: Beware of Soft-Pretzel Vendors
Octogenarian birthdays are a time for reflection. Several months ago while celebrating my mother's 83rd birthday, I pondered that boys never really outgrow their need for a mother. Every time I've been in a tight spot, my mother has been there for...
Working Knowledge: Manners Matter for Employers and Applicants
Q I have a year to go before I receive my MLS, but I'm doing what I can now to prepare for the inevitable job-search process. Lately, I've read some real horror stories in online discussion lists about the sort of treatment job seekers have met--like...
Work Resumes on Delayed Indianapolis Library
Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library officials reinstated June 30 a contractor they had suspended in May after "grossly defective" cracks and holes were found in concrete at the central library's expansion site. The announcement came one week...