American Libraries

Articles from Vol. 42, No. 7-8, July-August

A Pioneer Evolves: Engaging the Community at Pittsburgh's Carnegie
Andrew Carnegie had a radical idea. In 1895 when he developed the public library complex in Pittsburgh, it included swimming pools, music halls, art galleries, and a natural history museum. He wanted to ensure that his steel mill workers and their...
As They like It: Make Friends, Influence Search Results
One of the best parts of my job, especially this time of year, is marveling at great achievements; how splendid it was to witness an old friend and erstwhile student, Eric Meyers, defend his dissertation last month. Eric's dissertation covered a...
Automation Assessments: Middling Satisfaction May Lead to System Turnover
For the last four years, Marshall Breeding has conducted an online survey to measure satisfaction with multiple aspects of the automation products used by libraries. The results of the four editions of the survey data, along with brief interpretive...
Book Buzz at BookExpo America
Librarians were well represented at the 2011 BookExpo America (BEA) in New York City, held May 24-26, in autographing lines, workshops, and publisher parties that lasted late into the evening. Although traditionally aimed at retail book buyers, BEA...
Case Study: Preservation Efforts
In an effort to draw awareness to the importance of preservation, 3M celebrated National Preservation Month in May by recognizing efforts by the State Library of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg and the Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library located...
Dead Trees We Have Known: For Some, Our Bark Was Better Than Our Bytes
One of my biggest mistakes as a library administrator was getting rid of the card catalog. No, I'm not talking about replacing it with a digital version. Everyone did that back in the '80s. That was a no-brainer. What I mean is that after we installed...
Empowering Voices: Telling the Story of the Transformational Power of Libraries
We are living in extraordinary times. Throughout the library world, reductions in financial resources threaten our survival. At the same time, many libraries are experiencing large increases in demand and usage. In academic, public, school, and special...
First-Class Service for 1st Graders
On eight school-day mornings every September, school buses pull into the Selma--Dallas County (Ala.) Public Library every hour starting at 9 a.m., unloading 40--50 bubbling 1st graders. They line up excitedly outside the door and then head in for one...
Global Reach
CANADA (1) An outreach program spearheaded by Vancouver (B.C.) Public Library is taking root across Canada. Motivated to increase inclusiveness, VPL took the lead in 2004 on the Working Together Project (www.librariesincommunities.ca), sending librarians...
Google Discontinues Initiative to Digitize Newspapers' Archives
Google emailed its newspaper partners May 19 to inform them that it would be discontinuing its effort to digitize the world's newspaper archives and make them available online, the Search Engine Land blog reported. The project, which was started...
How One Library: Digitized Its Community's Newspapers
The Winona Newspaper project, an open, noncommercial digital archive, is providing access to a number of historic periodicals of Winona, Minnesota, a midsized city in the southeastern part of the state. The project is an indispensable resource for...
How the World Sees Us
"If every tax dollar I generate were spent on funding public libraries, I would be the happiest taxpayer in the United States." Escondido (Calif.) City Councilwoman OLGA DIAZ, who opposed closing the East Valley branch, a move that left the city...
How to Offer More Than a Movie: Producing Film Discussions That Are Serious Cultural Events
Many libraries don't screen I films. Many just "play and walk away." Here's how to make your screening a quality cultural event equal to your book discussions. Your library's films are some of the highest-quality work in your building, often unjustly...
Is the Line between Librarianship and Journalism Blurring?
What do journalists and librarians have in common? How can collaboration on their common ground make libraries and the media better for our democracy? More than 125 attendees worked on these questions for two days in April at the first-ever conference...
Judge: There's a Right to Leaflet near Libraries
Shasta Public Libraries in Redding, California, can no longer limit the distribution of pamphlets outside the facility to a 66-square-foot area on one side of the entrance. Plaintiffs from the North State Tea Party Alliance (NSTPA) and the American...
Librarians Witness New Orleans' Recovery: More Than 20,000 Return to the City for Annual
Because ALA's 2006 Annual Conference was the first' major convention in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, many librarians feel an affinity for the city and a strong concern for its continued recovery. During the American Library Association's 2011...
Libraries and the Future of Electronic Content Delivery
Libraries are about content plus community," says Michael Porter. "What does that mean in a world where in 5, 10, or 20 years the vast majority of content is electronic?' Porter, who joined the ALA Executive Board in June at the end of Annual Conference,...
Libraries of the Smartest Readers
We all know that "Libraries are the smartest investment." Study after study shows that for every dollar invested by a community in library services, $2.38 (Indiana) or $4.48 (South Carolina) or even $6.54 (Florida) in economic benefits are returned...
Mentors Need Advice, Too: A Role Reversal Makes the Relationship a Two-Way Street
Librarianship is a profession with a strong tradition of mentorship. At some point in grad school, every future librarian has the daunting assignment to "find a librarian and interview him or her about his or her job." You groan, you sigh, you poke...
Merger of the Century Rolls Out
Two of the leading names in digital reference publishing told their customers June 2 that they have merged to strengthen the value of their databases and print resources. EBSCO Publishing, a subsidiary of EBSCO Industries founded in 1944 and headquartered...
My Midsummer Metamorphosis: Remembering Why Librarianship Beckoned in the First Place
Summer is an island. The trees around my house come into leaf, a bright and wafting curtain of green between me and the neighborhood. Spring semester has ended, and fall term lies far in the distance, little more than a dot on the horizon. Wavelets...
New Technologies, New Directions Emerge at ALA: The Lowdown on High-Tech Trends Showcased in the Exhibit Hall
Technology, innovation, and convergence were all on display inside the bustling 2011 ALA Annual Conference exhibit hall in New Orleans. Aisles of publishers with bright, appealing print-book displays and long lines of fans awaiting author signings...
Privatization, and Pushback, Proceed in U.S., U.K
The three-branch Santa Clarita (Calif.) Public Library opened its doors over the Fourth of July weekend as an independent city system for the first time since city officials voted in August 2010 to depart from the County of Los Angeles Public Library....
Solutions and Services
SenSource introduces an accurate, thermal-imaging people-counting system available with video-verifiable counting performance called the Dual View Thermal Imaging People Counter. It monitors multiple people entering and exiting at the same time while...
Step Easily into the Digital Future
Libraries know the future is digital, but how do we get there in these times of shrinking budgets and staffs? In a tough economy, a collaborative approach makes digitization possible for many libraries. By joining a mass digitization collaborative,...
Taking on Transformation: E-Books, Young Professionals, and Reinventing ALA
LA's Executive Board and governing Council discussed and acted on a series of recommendaions from five special task forces. Council's Equitable Access to Digital Content Task Force has been studying the challenges and potential solutions for improved...
The Power of Words and Pictures: Graphic Novels in Education: Use Students' Visual Vocabulary as a Learning Tool
Perhaps we're past the point of having to explain that graphic novels, with their knack for attracting reluctant readers and hitting developmental sweet spots, have a legitimate place on library shelves. Perhaps. But what about the idea that graphic...
Tutorials That Matter: Learning Objects in the Library Instruction Program
Over the past decade, a large number of academic libraries have created online learning objects for their patrons. Whether it was a basic guide on doing research or a suite of tutorials for every database and topic, there has been growing recognition...
What You Told Us
In April, we conducted an online survey of our readers, in order to find out what we're doing right and what we could be doing differently. A big thank you to the nearly 3,600 participants, who represented all types of libraries (public, academic,...
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