American Libraries

Articles from Vol. 40, No. 11, November

Advocacy: Part II: Route 66: From Chicago to Literacy Advocacy
In my first column, I mentioned the symbolic journey on the old Route 66 from Chicago to L.A.--Library Advocacy (AL, Aug./Sept., p. 8). Let's now embark on the second part of that tripe. It is still the same route from Chicago to L.A., but this time...
Book Festival Draws Record Crowd
Afternoon downpours didn't stop book lovers from attending this year's National Book Festival: The Library of Congress estimates that more than 130,000 people traversed the muddy National Mall September 26 to listen to the likes of John Grisham, John...
Censorship Gets Smart: Technology Offers Would-Be Censors a Broader Reach
As we all know, Judith Krug--the director of ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom, who passed away April 11 (AL, May, p. 40--43)--was an extraordinary woman, a force for the freedom to read and view and write and think as we please. She was a hero...
Confessions of a Data Junkie
"We tell stories. We talk about statistics. And in 1978, we added an element of the show that gave it its heartbeat: the long distance dedication." --Casey Kasem I loved listening every weekend to Casey Kasem's American Top 40 when I was growing...
Digital Divide on the Inside: As Reference Gets Techier, the Need for Public-Facing Tech Staff Grows, Too
Technology and reference are intertwining strands of public service. As our systems get more sophisticated, and as our desire to overhaul and remake those systems gets more intense, libraries need librarians who are tech-savvy and back-office staff...
Fear of Socialism
Two small items in this month's American Libraries really connected for me. On page 34 we have a quote from the San Francisco Chronicle's open reader forum, in which the writer says facetiously, "Of all the current assaults on our noble republic, perhaps...
Global Reach
CANADA (1) The Vancouver (B.C.) Public Library has refused permission for Exit International, an Australian assisted-suicide organization, to hold a workshop on suicide in its main downtown library. The organization had proposed holding the workshop...
Google Waves "Hello" to a New Communication Paradigm
The much - awaited Google Wave beta was released September 30, giving a hundred thousand users lucky enough to get beta accounts a first glimpse at a new era of online communication. Wave is a complex suite of tools blended together in Google's...
How the World Sees Us
"This year's freshmen ... have never used a card catalog to find a book." Time columnist NANCY GIBBS on Beloit (Wis.) College professors' Mindset List, a "dictionary of all the deeply ingrained cultural references that will make no sense to the...
How to Work a Crisis: Demonstrating That Libraries Are a Necessity
The phrase "never let a good crisis go to waste" rings as true in our nation's public libraries as it does in the government and commercial sectors. On the scale of amenity versus necessity, library technology used for job seeking, continuing education,...
Illinois's Dominican University Establishes LIS PhD Program
In a bold recession-bucking move, Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois, has launched the first PhD program in library and information science in its 108-year history. The Doctorate of Philosophy in Library and Information Science, to be...
Jumpstart Survey Exposes Literacy Gap
Ninety-five percent of Americans consider early childhood literacy important, but they do not know that reading to children ages 3-5 has long-term consequences for their academic achievement and lifelong success, according to a Jumpstart survey released...
Libel Tourism: Why Librarians Should Care: When Plaintiffs Can Shop for Friendly Jurisdictions, Intellectual Freedom Suffers
The global exchange and purchase of information via the internet has undoubtedly enriched scholarly communication and library collections. But all sorts of legal and cultural barriers confront information crossing national borders. Consider a book...
LITA Forum Speakers Make the Case for Mobile
After the opening session at ALA's Library and Information Technology Association National Forum, held in Salt Lake City October 1-4, American Libraries caught up with LITA Past President Andrew Pace, who said there's a lot of work involved in diversifying...
Managing Multivendor RFID Rollouts: Communication and Compatibility Are Keys to a Successful Project
With library operational budgets being slashed nationwide, more IT directors are turning to radio frequency identification (RFID) systems to track inventory and manage circulation, cutting operating costs and increasing efficiencies. Because most RFID...
Newsmaker: David Weinberger
Few have been able to capture the essence of the Internet Age like David Weinberger. In 1999, he co-authored The Cluetrain Manifesto, which took a seemingly radical approach to the web as a vehicle for cultural interaction, in a time when the media...
Philly Dodges Doomsday; Statewide, Red Ink Prevails
With less than a day to spare before layoff notices were to be sent to library staff, the Pennsylvania Senate approved a law September 17 that gives Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter sufficient funds to keep open all 54 branches of the Free Library...
Pols Cut Cooperatives
It's autumn--that time of year when a library official's fancy turns to thoughts of the next fiscal year. At least that's what should happen, unless said library official is beleaguered by the specter of revenue-projection shortfalls that could erode...
Queens Library Sues SirsiDynix, Alleging "Bait-and-Switch" Fraud
It's Queens Borough Public Library v. Dynix Corporation et al in a lawsuit filed by the library in United States District Court in New York and scheduled for an initial conference November 2. The library seeks more than $5 million in compensatory damages...
Redeeming Our Relevance: Let's Help Teens Answer Questions They Care About
A friend and I have an ongoing disagreement about teens and libraries, which runs something like this: I notice the latest study showing that adoles -cents don't turn to libraries to meet their information needs, and I utter dismayed comments about...
Retiring the Golden Years: Even the Dinosaurs Had to Step Aside Eventually
The last thing you want to hear is that times are tough. You're living it. You don't need to be reminded. Hours are being cut back, book budgets are being slashed, and librarians are being laid off. The personnel cuts are the ones that create the...
Rousing Reads: Bouchercon
After nearly three decades of attending conferences of one kind or another, I no longer look forward to them with the enthusiasm I once felt. Sure, there's always the opportunity to meet friends and do necessary business, but there's also the fatigue...
Salinas Public Library Draws 15,000 to Its Centennial Party
In just four hours, 15.000 people gathered September 27 at the three branches of Salinas (Calif.) Public Library--John Steinbeck, El Gabilan, and Cesar Chavez--for a simultaneous celebration of the library's 100th birthday that included entertainment,...
StoryCorps Oral History Project to Sponsor National Day of Listening
StoryCorps is probably the most ambitious oral history project ever undertaken, and libraries are essential to its success, says the project's founder, Dave Isay. StoryCorps is sponsoring a second annual "National Day of Listening" November 27, and...
Strategic Planning: A Look at Where We've Been and Where We're Going
When work began five years ago on the "ALA Ahead to 2010" strategic plan, it was clear that the effort would be like no other in the Association's history. By the time the plan was adopted, nearly 16,000 ALA members had been involved in the 2010 planning...
The Association's Associations: RUSA
MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE Don't let the name fool you--the Reference and User Services Association isn't just about reference. RUSA also represents the interests of librarians in readers' advisory, collection development, interlibrary loan, and specialized...
The Power of Word-of-Mouth Marking: Building a Buzz Is an Effective-And Free-Way to Create Public Awareness and Support
Think about it. What makes you decide to try a new restaurant, see a particular movie, read a novel? Is it because you saw an ad, or because a friend--someone you trust--recommended it? [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The whole advertising arena has changed....
Troublesome Textbooks: Students Confuse the Roles of the Library and the Bookstore
I refer to it as "the textbook phenomenon," and it has me perplexed. Over the past five years, I have watched increasing numbers of students struggle with the difference between the traditional roles of the college library and the college bookstore....
Wikipedia Growth Slows
The once-exponential rate of growth in Wikipedia's size is slowing". The number of new articles per month peaked in 2007 at about 60,000, declining steadily to about two-thirds of that figure today, according to research by the Augmented Social Cognition...
Your Desktop: The Movie: Screencasting Software for Library Instruction
In virtually all libraries today, there will be many more people using the library than just those who come through the door. Our patrons are increasingly accessing our resources and services virtually, to the point where some never use the physical...

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