American Libraries

Articles from Vol. 38, No. 6, June-July

A Centennial Thank-You to the Women Who Came First
In the beginning there was no editor--at least none anyone felt was worth naming in the issues of the Bulletin of the American Library Association (precursor to American Libraries) published from the first issue in 1907 to 1931. One can only surmise...
ALA Councilors Elected Thirty-Three Members
ALA councilors elected Thirty-three members have been elected to ALA's governing Council for three-year terms, 2007-2010, in results announced May 1. Elected councilors and vote totals are: * Ismail Abdullahi, associate professor, North Carolina...
ALA Executive Board: Congress Pays Overdue Heed to Library Concerns
The new Democratic majority in Congress means that the American Library Association can begin to take a positive attitude about legislative prospects for its key issues, Washington Office Director Emily Sheketoff told the ALA Executive Board at its...
American Library Association Would like to Thank Its 2006-2007 Library Champions
As ALA's highest level of corporate membership, Library Champions provide not only essential funding through their support of ALA's national advocacy and awareness initiative, @ your library[R]--The Campaign for America's Libraries, but also an example...
Archiving America: Documentary Filmmaker Ken Burns on Lifelong Learning at Libraries
I don't remember a time when I wasn't interested in making films. From my earliest days, my father gave me a fairly strict curfew, but he'd always forgive it if there was a movie on TV late at night or something playing at the Cinema Guild. My interest...
Arphids in Ascendance: Librarians Need to Get Cozy with the New RFID Culture
Over the last few years, RFID tags have been both boons and banes for librarians. Obvious advantages come with the technology, and surely we can forgive librarians for holding out hope for gadgets that let us fulfill our "ultimate geek dream of knowing...
Capital Improvements: The D.C. Public Library Is Poised to Overcome Decades of Neglect
In a democracy, all sides should be heard. In our nation's capital, the home of our democracy, that determination to allow broad participation in decisions has been an obstacle to moving the District of Columbia Public Library System forward. Other...
Culinary Paradise: A Guide to Dining in D.C.'S Penn Quarter
Welcome to the culinary paradise of the East: the nation's capital. I work downtown, a few blocks south of the Washington Convention Center (WCC), at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, the main building of the District of Columbia Public...
D.C. Gets Ready to Wow: Bountiful Programs, Accommodations Await
The upcoming Annual Conference, June 21-27 in Washington, D.C., promises to be one of the most exciting and well-attended conferences in ALA history. By early May, registration numbers for the same time period had passed those for the 2005 Chicago...
Emerging Leaders Fire Up the Profession: Young Professionals Prepare to Infiltrate ALA at All Levels
Fire trucks arrived at Seattle Public Library January 19 just days before the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting. Had the Emerging Leaders (EL) set it on fire with their enthusiasm? No, but they might have because of the wealth of energy...
Fire Devastates D.C.'S Historic Georgetown Branch
The District of Columbia Public Library's Georgetown branch was struck April 30 by a three-alarm fire that destroyed the roof and much of the 1935 building's second floor, including the Peabody Room, which housed an invaluable collection of records...
Former "John Doe" Warns of Patriot Act Abuse
The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution heard testimony April 11 from George Christian, one of four former plaintiffs in the John Doe v. Gonzales lawsuit (AL, Aug. 2006, p. 8-9) that contested the constitutionality of the FBI's use of...
Funding, Privacy Top Legislative Day Concerns
The 32nd annual National Library Legislative Day brought 424 participants from 47 states to the streets and offices of Capitol Hill May 2. Under the leadership of ALA's Washington Office, librarians, library supporters, trustees, and patrons visited...
Getting Up to Speed: Creating Technology Competencies
There is a real deficiency in the technology expectations we have for the staff of our libraries, and it is strikingly evident in their overall lack of technical skills. We are now left with a bifurcated staff in every library--those who are the go-to...
Global Reach
1 SCOTLAND Scottish celebrities, including actor Sir Sean Connery and author Ian Rankin, have joined the National Library of Scotland's campaign to purchase the archive of Edinburgh-born publisher John Murray, which includes manuscripts and letters...
Google Defends Fair Use Doctrine
Internet search giant Google has responded to a copyright-infringement lawsuit filed against it by media conglomerate Viacom by asserting that its popular video-sharing website YouTube is in compliance with the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act....
How the World Sees Us
"One time during finals week, I saw a guy nonchalantly hang a giant communist flag on one of the shelves. I've seen people bring sleeping bags and camp out in the browsing rooms. Even if you don't see any odd displays, you'll probably see enough of...
In the Beginning ... a Historical Glimpse into Library Automation
Harry S. Truman said, "The only thing new in the world is the history you don't know." With blogs, instant messaging, and about five too many 24-hour news channels, the gap between news and history seems to be getting smaller and smaller (to say nothing...
Let the Celebrations Begin! American Libraries, Three ALA Divisions, and Others to Note Milestone Anniversaries during Annual Conference in Washington, D.C
American Libraries, the American Library Association's membership magazine, will culminate its 2007 centennial celebration when thousands converge on the Washington Convention Center (WCC), during ALA's Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., June 21-27....
Librarian's Library: Getting Bad Advice
How well does readers' advisory really serve the reader? Rather than retelling the "accepted version" in Readers' Advisory Service in North American Public Libraries, 1870-2005: A History and Critical Analysis, Juris Dilevko and Candice F. C. Magowan...
Librarians of Congress: A Look Back at a Century of Controversies and Triumphs Surrounding the National Library's Leaders
From its advent in 1907 as the Bulletin of the American Library Association, American Libraries has documented the evolution of the role of Librarian of Congress, and reported on the actions of the six men who have held the post in the last century,...
Library Security Threats Follow Virginia Tech Shootings
In the aftermath of the mass shooting at Virginia Tech April 16, university campuses, schools, and libraries across the nation tightened security measures as a handful of threatening notes, e-mails, and calls created some false alarms. Incidents involving...
Move over, Marian: The Fight against Stereotypes Goes Way Back
I was having a discussion the other day with a nonlibrarian friend about bias and discrimination. After talking about people who had been discriminated against and how they have reacted to it over time, the conversation turned personal. "Have you ever...
New Data Shows Increased Library Usage
Ten years after some pundits predicted the demise of the nation's system of libraries as a result of the internet explosion, the most current national data on library use shows that the exact opposite has happened. Data released by ALA April 16 during...
Peter Wiley
Peter Booth Wiley, chairman of the board of John Wiley and Sons, headquartered in Hoboken, New Jersey, is a member of the sixth generation of the Wiley family to be involved in the award-winning company, which is celebrating 200 years of publishing...
Rettig Wins Presidency
James Rettig, university librarian at the University of Richmond, Virginia, has been elected 2008-2009 ALA president. Rettig received 7,033 of the total 13,943 votes cast for president and will serve one year as vice-president/president-elect before...
So Long, Farewell ...: ... to a Year of Successful Transformation-Related Programming
It's hard to believe that my presidential year is coming to a close in just a few weeks. Soon I will join other ALA past presidents, serving as the elder stateswomen and men of our profession. As I anticipate my impending retirement from office I look...
Speaking across a Century: A Past ALA President and Former Executive Director Delivers a Composite Vision Drawn from the Optimistic Wisdom of 17 Visionary Presidents
When I heard of the centennial celebration for American Libraries, I wanted to be a part of it. I thought of how much history the magazine had covered in its 100 years, and of the part that presidents of the American Library Association have played...
The Evolving Library: Ten Timeless Tech Tips
One thing that hasn't changed in the past 100 years is that libraries need to constantly reevaluate their services to meet the changing needs of their service population. I recently read an address from the 1905 Minnesota Library Association conference,...
The First 100 Years
In its first 100 years, ALA's member journal grew from the Bulletin of the American Library Association--largely a way for executive officers to communicate with members, with content consisting mostly of conference proceedings, reports, and membership...
Transforming Communities One Soul at a Time: Pennsylvania Library Reaps $1,000 from a Friends of Libraries USA Contest
Presenting the "Libraries Transform Communities" essay contest winner, written on behalf of the Friends of Berks County (Pa.) Public Libraries, in conjunction with ALA President Leslie Burger's yearlong theme. In the northeast corner of downtown...
Urban Librarians Meet Politicos in Cleveland
Help them make the right decisions," said Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson, welcoming the Urban Libraries Council to his city. It was the mayor's way of saying that library administrators must be at the table with government officials when economic...
What Wonders May Come: A Look Forward to the Marvels of the 20th Century
Editor's note: In plowing through our files, we found this remarkably prescient column which, although apparently written for the conference issue of 1907, never actually appeared. In celebration of American Libraries' centennial, we run it now. ...
Where Ideas Come From: Inspiration Can Come from Almost Anywhere
A few mornings ago, I had coffee with management guru and author Peter Drucker (1909-2005). I sat on my sofa sipping a double latte while he spoke earnestly from the printed page before me. His words, written decades ago, addressed perfectly the problem...
World-Class Wonder: The Joy of Encyclopedic Knowledge
The Places to Know supplement to the ChildCraft encyclopedia was a great favorite of mine when I was ... well, let's leave it at "younger." I'd linger over pages with dioramas recreating the Seven Wonders of the World and become mesmerized by photographs...
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