American Libraries

Articles from Vol. 33, No. 11, December

A Moving Target in the War on Terrorism. (Pentagon Library)
Redesigned and Relocated--Still Serving," says the Pentagon Library's new publicity brochure. But that simple tagline belies a more complicated reality that could also be described as "Floundering, Fragmented--Still Struggling." More than a year after...
Another Two-Cents Worth from the Petit Fonctionnaire. (Editorial)
I'm glad that something I wrote in these pages agitated the editor of our rival journal in New York. Trouble is, in his eagerness to find someone to rail against, he doesn't seem to have bothered to actually read what I wrote (Oct., p. 41) before he...
Auditors Urge Feds and City of Investigate Detroit PL Finances. (News Fronts)
Findings from an audit of Detroit Public Library's finances from 1999 to March 2002 have been forwarded to the U.S. Attorney's Office and the Internal Revenue Service after a city investigation uncovered improper financial management practices. According...
Chicago Botanic Garden Acquires Premier Collection. (News Fronts)
The Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, Illinois, has purchased a world-class collection of books and journals from the financially strapped Massachusetts Horticultural Society in Boston, to add to its existing holdings of about 20,000 volumes. The...
Copyright Is Dead ... Long Live Copyright: American Librarians Must Be Concerned over Threats to Users' Traditional Rights. (Cover Story)
The American library community is confronted by a copyright axis of evil. The combination of globalization, extensive new laws and legislation, rampant licensing of information, and new technological controls is making it increasingly difficult for...
Datebook
ALA EVENTS Dec. 11: Safeguarding Our Patrons' Privacy: What Every Librarian Needs to Know about the USA Patriot Act and Related Anti-Terrorism Measures, satellite teleconference cosponsored by ALA, ARL, AALL, MLA, and SLA. From 12-3 p.m. EST....
FTRF Sues for Data on Patriot Act Surveillance. (News Fronts Washington)
The Freedom to Read Foundation has joined three other groups in suing the U.S. Department of Justice to obtain information about how the government has used its expanded surveillance powers granted by the USA Patriot Act. The suit--filed October...
FY 2002 Ends in the Black. (ALA News)
Thanks to a $1-million expense reduction implemented in fall 2001, ALA ended fiscal year 2002 $181,000 in the black. Because the reduction target was met, $61,000 in deferred merit increases for ALA staff will be distributed, ALA Executive Director...
LC Displays New Digital Talking Book. (News Fronts)
A model for a new digital talking book that could lead to a replacement for the cassette-based players in use today was unveiled October 21 by the Library of Congress's National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS). The book-like...
Leaders Struggle to Keep Budget Healthy; Treasurer Resigns. (ALA Executive Board)
Of the dozens of items discussed at the fall meeting of the ALA Executive Board, November 2-3 in Chicago, the Association's FY 2003 budget generated the most actions. The intense budget talks centered on how ALA can maintain revenue, reduce expenses,...
Libraries without Librarians in Springfield. Ill. (News Fronts)
Public elementary schools in Springfield, Illinois, are finding that it's tricky letting students have access to library collections when there's no one there to check books out for them. The positions for all elementary-school librarians and library...
Managing the Media during a Library Crisis: Truth and Accessibility Are Your Best Tools for Handling Reporters after a Disaster Strikes. (Special Report)
SNIPER! shouted headlines all across the United States this fall. Americans already shocked by the events of September 11, 2001, multiple anthrax scares, and talk of a war with Iraq now found themselves facing a new and unanticipated threat in their...
More Than a Memory Center: The OAS Library Has Much to Offer American Librarians and Scholars. (Collections)
The Organization of American States (OAS) is the world's oldest regional organization of nations. The association of 35 American countries is also an important cultural institution that has worked effectively for the international community's benefit....
Not Cheaper by the Dozen. (Censorship Watch)
A member of the Fairfax County, Virginia, group Parents Against Bad Books in Schools (PABBIS) filed challenges in October to 18 books in the district's libraries--half of which are in elementary-school collections and the other half on middle-school...
Now Is the Time for Better Salaries. (Presidents Message)
In his October editorial (p. 41), the American Libraries magazine editor tried to sell the same tired argument that's been used to depress the salaries of library workers since time immemorial: Since library budgets are threatened and these are tough...
Obituaries
Chuck Bates, 55, director of the Pueblo City--County (Colo.) Library District for 21 years, died of cancer October 13. As director, he oversaw the construction of three branches and successfully campaigned for two tax increases and a $14-million bond...
Of Mini-Bars and In-Room Movies. (Will's World)
In this period of economic recession, certain members of our staff were recently kicking around ideas about saving money and pinching pennies. Inevitably the discussion turned to city travel budgets. Our conclusion was fairly routine--we shouldn't...
Open Source Software and the Intellectual Commons: The Digital Frontier Provides a New Front for the Information Control Wars. (Cover Story)
Many in the library community are trying to convince you that libraries should be embracing Open Source Software. And there are an increasing number of librarian/programmers using the Open Source Software development model to create useful library...
Quick Bibs: Books on a Timeless Topic
Political Bios for the Apolitical I have no interest in politics. I have no idea who my representative is, and I probably couldn't name more than a halfdozen current U.S. senators. So why, you ask, am I presuming to write a column about political...
Raspberries, Crippled PCs, and Libraries. (the Crawford Files)
Copyright can drive you crazy, which may explain this month's title. Raspberries? That's what I hear when I turn "CBDTPA"--the Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act--into an acronym. (I would say "Bronx cheer" but that may not be...
Reader Forum
A Pair of Paraprofessionals Recently library support staff have applauded ALA's efforts to include paraprofessionals and acknowledge our contribution to the library world in America. Now I wonder if that acknowledgment is just skin deep. Steve...
Sanctuary through Technology. (Internet Librarian)
Recently, at our faculty retreat before the start of the school year, my colleague David Levy led a fascinating discussion based on his interest in the theme of "information and the quality of life." I can't do justice to the subtlety and depth of...
Statewide Virginia Budget Cuts Slash Library Funds
To address a budget shortage that could reach $2 billion over two years, Virginia Gov. Mark R. Warner announced $858 million in statewide emergency cuts October 15, including 15% reductions in aid for local and regional libraries. The cuts are the...
Taking the Wireless Network Plunge. (Technically Speaking)
Is wireless in your future? If you are in an academic library, the answer is likely to be yes. But if you are in a public library you may not have thought much about the possibilities of a wireless network. Think again. A number of public libraries...
The Association's Associations: A Committment to Youth Participation. (News Fronts ALA)
With the publication of New Directions for Library Service to Young Adults (ALA Editions, 2002), the Young Adult Library Services Association has prepared itself for the next generation of librarians and library service to teens. The 146-page paperback...
The Top 10 Library Stories. (the Year in Review)
No matter how you size it up, this was not a happy year for American libraries. As the fallout from September 11 spread over the economy and the horror of that day embedded itself in the national psyche, librarians struggled to maintain their budgets...
This Month, 31 Years Ago
IN DECEMBER 1971, Forest Press President Verner Clapp and School Library Journal Book Review Editor Lillian Gerhardt were trading ripostes over an editorial Gerhardt wrote for the September 1, 1971, issue of Library Journal. In "Melvil! Thou Shouldst...
Tough Times Call for Tough Love. (on My Mind)
I find it deliciously ironic that in this incredibly tough budget year, lavish corporate enterprises such as WorldCom and Enron collapsed, while the outfit I work for--the little old Librarians' Index to the Internet--miraculously survived, courtesy...
Videoconferences Can Bridge the Gap. (Grassroots Reports)
Last month's column on distance learning focused on the profession, rather than patrons. But examples from libraries in Indiana, North Carolina, and New York demonstrate that what's good for the goose (librarians) is good for the ganders (library users)....
Visitors Find War-Weary Kabul Librarians Struggling to Rebuild. (Report from Afghanistan)
In September, a colleague and I from the National Library of Iran visited libraries in Afghanistan. At the central public library in Kabul, which has been playing the role of a national library for lack of an official one, we found that the resources...
What's Wrong with Collaborative Digital Reference? Libraries Jump at Every Opportunity to Share and Share Alike. Maybe Sometimes, They Shouldn't. (Reference)
Sharing and collaboration have always appealed to our finer instincts as librarians. Collectively we have built a huge cooperative bibliographic-control system that we've used to catalog nearly 50 million books. We have developed vast interlibrary-loan...

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