American Libraries

Articles from Vol. 46, No. 11-12, November-December

Building a Better Board of Trustees
As the community face of your library, trustees are key. Here's how to capitalize on their talents and recruit new members Fred Stielow, a self-confessed wonk, has been involved in digital automation for decades. In the 1970s, he was on the project...
Colorado Library Develops Wildlife Discovery App
American Libraries invited Joseph Sanchez of Mesa County (Colo.) Libraries to talk about a project he has been working on: a wildlife app managed by the library. Like fly-fishing? See photos of fish, flies, books, river locations, and upcoming seminars,...
Coloring Book Clubs Cross the Line into Libraries
When a group of community members gathers every month at Woods Hole (Mass.) Public Library (WHPL), they try to stay within the lines--literally. "We purchase a couple of coloring books, I print out some free coloring pages that are available online,...
Creating Quests to Learn the Library
Product: Library Quest, libraryquestgames.com Details: Library Quest is a browser-based "choose your own adventure"-style game designed to engage students with the library. The game uses original digital art to tell a story in which the player is...
Embracing the Future: Integrate Your Technology Intentionally
In April 2015, the iPad turned five years old. For those of us in libraries, the tablet revolution sparked by the iPad ushered in a period of excitement and exploration (see AL, Mar./Apr. 2013, p. 20). We wondered how tablets might change the way we...
Everything Is Messy: The Changing Business of Youth and Family Services
Until recently, if you had asked me how I would describe, in a word, working with and for youth and families, I'd have probably responded: awesome. But not too long ago I was talking with a colleague about our work and she offered a different word:...
Improving Health Literacy, One Public Library at a Time: Public Resources and Training Programs for Librarians
The first thing that Jennifer Davis tells patrons who come to her seeking medical information is not to Google their symptoms. "It's the worst thing you could possibly do," says Davis, director of Hall Memorial Library, which serves the communities...
Librarian's Library: Scholarly Communication
My social sciences bibliography class in library school met at the dreaded 8 a.m. hour. Nevertheless, decades later, I can still recall the "aha!" moment when our professor presented the scholarly publishing cycle as the first piece for understanding...
Libraries Move toward Gender-Neutral Bathrooms
It's the central principle of a public library: Everyone is welcome. Librarians everywhere work to make sure their collections and programs offer members of their community a safe space. And now some librarians are expanding their safe spaces to include...
Making the Most of Midwinter
Meeting must-dos for Boston, January 8-12, 2016 Midwinter offers numerous opportunities to connect and share with colleagues, and invaluable experiences to take home to your organization. You'll witness the many ways in which libraries transform...
More Important Than Ever: Privacy in the Internet Age
I've read dozens of articles telling me that we are in a "post-privacy world." I disagree strongly but can't deny that it has become increasingly difficult to feel any sense of privacy. This is frightening as even seemingly benign and anonymous data...
Newsmaker: Pharrell Williams
It might seem crazy what he's about to ... write. Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, and producer Pharrell Williams--best known for his 2014 global hit "Happy"--can now add "author" to his long list of accomplishments. His recent picture book...
New Strategic Directions: ALA's New Strategic Plan: Advocacy, Information Policy, and Professional and Leadership Development
In June, the ALA Council adopted a new strategic plan for the American Library Association. Building on our longstanding commitment to our mission and core values, the new plan outlines three strategic directions--advocacy, information policy, and...
Nominations Open for Nine PLA Awards
PLA is offering nine awards and grants that highlight the best in public library service and honor those bringing innovation, creativity, and dedication to public libraries. The awards include: * Allie Beth Martin Award, honoring a public librarian...
Solving the Self-Published Puzzle: As Self-Published Books Gain Legitimacy, Libraries Develop Ways to Include Local Work in Collections
Traditional attitudes toward self-published books are changing. While long decried as the worst-written dregs at the bottom of the publishing barrel, self-publishing has started to attract reputable titles to its ranks thanks to new technologies and...
Spotlight on Your Library
The American Libraries editorial team meets every few weeks to discuss story ideas for our print and online features. We receive a number of submissions from librarians and freelancers that we consider, and we have our own ideas to pitch to the group....
The Fee Library
Are subscription libraries seeing a rebirth? If Seattle is any indicator, it appears so Summer in Seattle was glorious--warm and sunny, producing bumper crops of all sorts (including both my tomatoes and the weeds in my backyard), mirroring our...
The Future of the MLIS: Imparting Enduring Values with Changing Instruction Models
At ALA, we know that the future relevance of libraries and library professionals will depend on what we do for people rather than what we have for people. What isn't entirely clear is what this evolution means for library education. A 2014 paper from...
The Stereotype Stereotype: Our Obsession with Librarian Representation
As far back as the early 1900s, librarians have observed and commented on their public perceptions. Over the last 10-15 years, this interest in librarian stereotypes, especially those concerning fashion, sexuality, and subcultural membership, has only...
Travel Grants Offered for ALA Annual
ALA offers many grants to librarians who plan to attend the 2016 ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition in Orlando. Some require ALA or division membership while others are open to a larger audience. For a full list of grants, visit the ALA Awards...
What They Said
"I've given the stories a spine, whereby, in the three or four weeks that I was pulling them together and editing the book, I asked everybody I met to tell me something about their public library experiences in their lives and what they thought about...
When the Subject Is Death
The prospect of one's own death is not exactly a topic for casual dinner conversation. But a movement that encourages group discussion of this weighty subject is growing, and organizers are finding that local libraries are one place where they won't...
Winds of Change: Obama's Free Tuition Proposal
Community colleges are the backbone of US higher education, serving 42% of the nation's undergraduates. Yet students are struggling to make it through the system. According to the Community College Research Center, some 60% of students entering community...
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