American Libraries

Articles from Vol. 30, No. 6, June-July

Art for Libraries' Sake
A CALIFORNIA LIBRARY FINDS ITS PRESTIGE AND BOTTOM LINE BOOSTED BY HOSTING ART EXHIBITIONS In a neighborhood whose most remarkable feature is a miles-long beachside boardwalk, relentlessly patrolled by tattooed and pierced young men on skateboards...
BookExpo: Light on Librarians in Laid-Back L.A
Booksellers, publishers, and librarians in Los Angeles for BookExpo America, April 30 through May 2, found less glitz than expected both on the convention floor and at the various receptions and social events held throughout the city. "Laid-back" was...
"Challenge," and Other Politely Empowering Euphemisms
What do we really mean when we talk about "censorship" or "banned books"? There is no real consensus among those who use the words. Some seem determined to stick to the letter of the law; others are much more spiritual. And to some of our most religious...
Chapter Report: Some Bills Never Die. but They Don't Pass, Either
Effective state-level lobbying for library issues will headline at least one program sponsored by the Chapter Relations Committee at ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans June 24-30. To whet your appetite, consider the fate of a bill recently derailed...
Crescent City Cravings
TWO RESIDENTS GUIDE CONFEREES TO FIRST-RATE DINING: CREOLE IN LAID-BACK HANGOUTS TO ADDICTIVE DELICACIES IN THE GARDEN DISTRICT The simmering cauldron of New Orleans in June produces a riot of sensual experiences. Heat waves rise from the pavement....
Freedom of Information: Its Ebb and Flow
IT SEEMS THAT OPEN ACCESS TO GOVERNMENT INFORMATION IS THRIVING IN OUR SOCIETY - BUT IS IT REALLY? The concept of freedom of information is as old as our republic Thomas Jefferson originally thought that officials and bureaucrats, knowing that their...
From Construction to Technology: An Update on Federal Funding
You may be surprised to hear that some state libraries in the United States get a third of their total budget from the federal government, most of it in the form of grants. The federal government has supported library services with grants since...
Lauding Local Legacies
AN AMBITIOUS EFFORT BY THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS PRESERVES THE NATION'S DISTINCTIVELY AMERICAN TRADITIONS When William "Robot Man" Clark lost his license for his auto repair shop in Newtonville, New Jersey, in 1980, he wasn't ready to retire. So he...
Libraries: A Misunderstood American Value
PUBLIC - AND PROFESSIONAL - MISCONCEPTIONS PROMPT A CLARIFICATION OF LIBRARIES' ROLE IN PROTECTING INTELLECTUAL FREEDOM Every challenge to a book, video, or magazine in a library inevitably raises the question, "Why? What is there about this item...
Lovers of Children's Literature Converge on Bologna
More than 3,500 trade visitors, 1,400 exhibitors from 72 countries, plus software companies, a gallery of African art, and a sizable number of librarians made up the 36th Annual Children's Book Fair in Bologna, Italy, April 8-11. The Italian Pavilion...
Murder Rampage Culminates in Colorado High School Library
"I don't really remember all of it," said Patrick Ireland, the wounded 17-year-old who dropped to safety out a second-floor window of the Columbine High School library during the bloody rampage that took place in the school near Littleton, Colorado,...
Parents, Kids, Librarians: Can This Relationship Be Saved?
In Libraries: An American Value (see insert, following p. 80) the members of the American Library Association "affirm the responsibility and the right of all parents and guardians to guide their own children's use of the library and its resources and...
Patron Confidentiality, Millenium Style
LAWS PROTECTING THE PRIVACY OF LIBRARY PATRONS HAVE NEVER BEEN ADEQUATE - IT'S TIME TO IMPROVE THEM Librarians have a well-established and laudable interest in protecting the privacy of library patrons. The free flow of information - the life blood...
Penny for Your Thoughts
Several years ago I stayed at a little hotel in the heart of the French Quarter. Although I was alone, I was never lonely. For companionship all I had to do was sit at my window and enjoy the mysterious alchemy in the street below. In the morning,...
Places I Never Meant to Be: A Personal View
ONE OF THE MOST BANNED WRITERS IN AMERICA TELLS WHAT IT'S LIKE TO BE VILIFIED FOR TELLING THE TRUTH When I was growing up I'd heard that if a movie or book was "Banned in Boston" everybody wanted to see it or read it right away. My older brother,...
Practitioners, Educators Seek Library' Place in Professional Education
It seems that none of the 116 delegates to ALA's Congress on Professional Education knew exactly what to expect when they were thrown together in Washington. D.C.'s Loews l'Enfant Plaza Hotel, April 30-May 1. What they got was an unprecedented opportunity...
Record Numbers Gather for Day of Lobbying Capital
Almost 600 library advocates representing 48 states and the District of Columbia gathered in Washington May 4 for the 25th annual National Library Legislative Day, a marathon of meetings with senators and representatives and their staffs to lobby for...
Sentinels in Long Still Rows
A PROLIFIC TELLER OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN TALES RECALLS GETTING HER INSPIRATION FROM A CHILDREN'S LIBRARIAN BEARING BOOKS OF MANY SIZES AND HUES My mother, Etta Belle Hamilton, was a perfectly round, small woman, not five feet tall. As a youngster going...
The Shame Is on You, Dr. Laura
I remember the first time 1 ever heard Dr. Laura Schlessinger on the radio. It was during one of the many solitary drives home down 1-94 that I've taken since I moved from Detroit to Chicago 11 years ago. I remember the strength and self-assurance...
UCLA Library School Drops the "L" Word
The University of California/Los Angeles Department of Library and Information Science has become the 10th ALA-accredited master's program in library and information science to drop the word "library" from its title. Rechristened the Department...
Will Virtual Pitches Yield Real Dollars for Cornell?
Determined to get the word of their $4-million endowment campaign to potential donors across the country, Cornell University Library officials have written 1,000 alumni, emeriti, and others inviting them to visit CUL's Web site for a virtual mini-tour...
You've Got Mail
Shortly before going on vacation, I went to library discussion lists Publib and Web41ib and posted a quick question about offering e-mail to patrons. Out of nearly 70 responses from a mix of public and academic libraries, all but five reported that...

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