American Libraries

Articles from Vol. 38, No. 1, January

100 Years in the Making
In 1907, Melvil Dewey was 56 years old. By then he had devised and constructed almost single--handedly the profession of librarianship, including the establishment of the American Library Association and Library Journal in 1876. The World Encyclopedia...
20 Tips to Inspire Innovation: Pointers from a Technology Guru
There's nothing like the 25th anniversary of your graduation from library school to trigger reflection. What have I learned in those 25 years as a practicing librarian in the information industry? Is any of it useful? I can't guarantee that each of...
American Libraries Kicks off 100-Year Celebration
Join the celebrations starting at ALA's Midwinter Meeting in Seattle as American Libraries magazine marks its 100th anniversary (see p. 70). Since 1907, more than 29 million copies of the Association's membership publication have been distributed....
Balancing the Online Life: Blogs, Wikis, and iPods Are on the Minds of Young Librarians-And Social Software Is Changing the Way Everyone Does Business
Now is an amazing time to be a librarian. The technologies available to us are changing so quickly along with the tools our patrons are using to learn, communicate, and build community online. We have the ability to provide traditional library services...
Best of the Year
On the one hand, it's a bit melancholy to learn that, after twentysomething years, this column is no longer deemed "Quick." But it's not every aging columnist who gets to see the word "Rousing" atop his meanderings, so I'll simply say my goodbyes to...
Blast from the Past: Climbing Back into the Box for American Libraries' 100th
My favorite joke involves a restaurant that displays a sign proclaiming "We Serve Breakfast At Any Time." A man walks into the restaurant and says, "I'd like to order eggs over easy in the Renaissance." It's a clever joke, but it's also a great...
Gates Foundation Expands Grants
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has expanded its Global Libraries initiative and plans to invest $328 million over the next seven years to support computer and internet access in as many as 15 developing countries. The first round of grants,...
Getting Your Game On: A Few Great Reasons to Offer Playtime
In the year since the first Gaming in Libraries Symposium brought together 130 librarians from across the country, the handful of libraries offering some type of gaming service to their patrons has grown to a crowd. It's easy to fall into the trap...
Global Reach
1 IRELAND A new library opening in Ballina, County Mayo, early in 2007 houses an important historical collection containing 22,000 rare books, maps, and ephemera spanning 400 years of Irish history. Assembled by the late antiquarian and businessman...
How the World Sees Us
"Tennessee Williams saved my life. As a 12-year-old boy in suburban Baltimore, I would look up his name in the card catalog at the library and it would read 'see Librarian.' I wanted these 'see Librarian' books--and I wanted them now--but in the late...
I Love Libraries: Transforming Advocacy with a Website for the Public
This month we celebrate a new look for American Libraries. As you turn the fresh, new pages of this issue, we hope they will delight your eyes as they engage you in challenging content, including a report on our December National Library Agenda summit...
Internet2 Marks 10th Anniversary with Tenfold Speed Increase
Some 700 Internet2 members gathered December 4-7 in Chicago to mark the 10th anniversary of the data network that connects nearly two-thirds of college campuses and one-third of high schools in the United States. The meeting included the unveiling...
In the Company of Friends: Learning through Dialogue
We may expect professional development to occur in the workplace or at a conference. But many librarians have discovered the joy that comes from growth in the company of like-minded professionals with whom they do not work! For example, one public...
Iraq National Library Closes Briefly
In the wake of increasing sectarian violence that resulted in the deaths of several staff members, Iraq's National Library and Archive in Baghdad closed for three weeks on November 21. In a December 6 e-mail to the Chronicle of Higher Education, Director-General...
Jill Nishi
Jill Nishi directs the U.S. Libraries Initiative for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, headquartered in Seattle, bringing computer and internet access to disadvantaged communities through the nation's public libraries. Before joining the foundation...
Jim Crow in Our Libraries: Support Staff Deserve More Support
Are separate drinking fountains and segregated staff rooms the next step in the class wars between support staff and librarians? You might think so after reading the angry responses generated by American Libraries' March 2005 cover story titled "Support...
Librarian's Library: The Transformation to an Information Commons
What's next for libraries, now that we've embraced technology? One idea is for them to transform themselves into "Information Commons." In fact, with electronic resources, banks of public access computers, and, increasingly, services to remote users,...
Looking toward the Future
The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) promotes the improvement and extension of library media services in elementary and secondary schools as a means of strengthening the total education program. Its mission is to advocate excellence,...
New Year, New Beginnings: Children's Services in the Real World
Matthew Arnold once wrote that "Each year we see/ Breeds new beginnings." This year sees me beginning a new column for American Libraries that we've decided to call Youth Matters. After some debate, we chose this name for both its meanings: that...
Northwest to Seattle: Emerging Leaders, a Forum on Library Education, and the Year's Best Youth Media Highlight the Conference Agenda
The more than 10,000 attendees, exhibitors, authors, and guests expected for the American Library Association's Midwinter Meeting January 19-24 will enjoy a new location for the annual event, the city of Seattle. Located in the northernmost latitude...
Opposition to EPA Cutbacks Increases
The Environmental Protection Agency faces escalating resistance to its cost-saving plan to replace printed library materials with online resources. The transition is part of the agency's response to President Bush's proposed $2-million budget reduction...
Sending a Unified Message: Discussion Commences on a National Library Agenda
Over 40 librarians, information professionals, and others invested in the future of libraries gathered December 10-11 at the ALA Washington Office for ALA President Leslie Burger's Toward a National Library Agenda Summit. Expanding upon Burger's presidential...
Student Tasered by Police in UCLA Library
A University of California at Los Angeles student was repeatedly stunned with an electronic Taser by campus police officers November 14 at the UCLA Powell Library. The incident, which was partly captured on video by another student and posted on YouTube,...
The Next 100 Years: Meet You at the Bleeding Edge
A brand-new year. A brand-new place for my column. A time to talk about being hip and modern. And a chance to start a column with four sentence fragments! But seriously, there's nothing like working in technology to make this 30-something librarian...
These Lavish Edifices: A Visitor's Impression of America's Libraries Seven Decades Ago
American Libraries was delighted when Caroline Tapfield sent us her aunt's account of her trip to 1933 America and the libraries she visited there. She writes, "My Auntie Kitty (actual name Catherine Marsh) was a librarian in Halifax, West Yorkshire....
Why Johnny Can't Search: Searching Is the New Reading
A couple of generations ago, a catchphrase entered the American lexicon, representing growing concern about the quality of education and in particular a perceived decline in literacy. "Why Johnny Can't Read," from the title of 1955 book by Rudolf Flesch,...

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