Author Archive: George M. Eberhart

Hamayoun Ghafoori, assistant library director of the American University of Afghanistan.

A Visitor from Kabul

March 28, 2017

Ghafoori, who has been with AUAF since 2008, said he had visited several public, academic, and government libraries in the past three weeks, among them San Diego (Calif.) Public Library, University of Nebraska Omaha library, the Library of Congress, the State Library of Maine, and Lithgow Public Library in Augusta, Maine. He was impressed with … Continue reading A Visitor from Kabul


Jelani Cobb speaks at the ACLU of Illinois luncheon, March 17, 2017.

Old Snake, New Skin

March 20, 2017

So when the ACLU of Illinois held its annual luncheon at the Hilton Chicago on March 17, FTRF and other staffers from the American Library Association (ALA) headquarters joined some 2,000 other like-minded individuals for its program on “Fighting for a More Perfect Union.” Although the topics addressed did not touch on libraries per se, … Continue reading Old Snake, New Skin


ALA logo

Council III Addresses Gun Violence

January 24, 2017

Memorials were read for J. McRee “Mac” Elrod; Robert “Bob” Alan; Valerie Bross; Sandra “Sandy” Friedman Dolnick; Nettie B. Taylor; Ruth Gordon; John Shuler; Karen Avenick; Robert White; and Warren “Jim” Haas. A tribute was offered to honor Emily Sheketoff for her service as executive director of the ALA Washington Office. William “Bill” Sudduth, chair, … Continue reading Council III Addresses Gun Violence


One of the breakout groups at the advocacy meeting. From left: Casey Wallace, Christopher Moffat, Elissa Checov (a 2016 I Love My Librarian winner), Eugene Hamer, and Susan J. Schmidt (United for Libraries president). In the background is Donna McDonald (United for Libraries secretary).

Advocate Proactively

January 23, 2017

Donna McDonald, director of the Arkansas River Valley Regional Library System and secretary of United for Libraries, noted that many public library users are “unaware of the library’s funding challenges, and the biggest supporters may not be frequent users.” Elected officials can often be a “hard sell” because they are also looking at funding for … Continue reading Advocate Proactively



Cheryl Gorman (right), senior fellow of the Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, served as moderator for the 90-minute town hall meeting.

ALA’s Town Hall Meeting

January 22, 2017

The event was streamed live on the American Libraries Facebook page, where it is available for replay. Cheryl Gorman, senior fellow of the Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, served as moderator for the 90-minute session, which gave each member a maximum of three minutes to state his or her concerns. A total of 32 individuals … Continue reading ALA’s Town Hall Meeting


Crowd at the Atlanta March for Social Justice and Women.

Librarians on the March

January 21, 2017

Midwinter Meeting attendees gathered in a hall of the Georgia World Congress Center to create posters, distribute “Radical Militant Librarian” pins, and generate some LIS energy for the march. A sign on the wall suggested some slogans the librarian contingent could use: “Silence is not the answer,” “Libraries are the key to freedom,” and “Too … Continue reading Librarians on the March


Kansas City Public Library Executive Director R. Crosby Kemper (left) and Director of Programming and Marketing Steven Woolfolk. Screenshot from Kansas City Star interview.

Kansas City Public Library embroiled in free-speech case

October 3, 2016

On May 9, after a question-and-answer session following a public lecture by US diplomat Dennis Ross at the Plaza branch of the Kansas City (Mo.) Public Library (KCPL), city police arrested and detained an attendee and the library’s director of programming and marketing. The attendee, social activist Jeremy Rothe-Kushel of Lawrence, Kansas, was charged with … Continue reading Kansas City Public Library embroiled in free-speech case


From left: Irene Munster, associate director of the Priddy Library for the Universities at Shady Grove in Rockville, Maryland; Raymond Pun, first-year student success librarian at California State University, Fresno; and Sharon McQueen, a faculty member at the University of Wisconsin‒Madison.

Immigrants and the Library

August 18, 2016

Irene Munster, associate director of the Priddy Library for the Universities at Shady Grove in Rockville, Maryland, described the waves of Jewish immigrants to Argentina from 1889 to the 1930s, many of whom established their own library collections in Yiddish, Russian, German, or Polish languages in the towns and cities they settled in. As refugees … Continue reading Immigrants and the Library


David Ferriero, archivist of the United States, delivered a plenary address on open government at the 2016 World Library and Information Congress.

The National Archives and Open Government

August 17, 2016

In December 2009, Ferriero said, the president issued an Open Government Directive that called on each government agency to submit an open government plan to increase the availability of its documents. NARA is now developing its fourth plan with 50 specific commitments to strengthen open government. These feed into a National Action Plan (currently the … Continue reading The National Archives and Open Government



Eddy Maepa, executive director for core programs at the National Library of South Africa in Pretoria, discusses his library's efforts to comply with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.

National Libraries and Sustainable Development

August 16, 2016

Lili Boshevska, director of the University St. Kliment Ohridski Library in Bitola—one of five national libraries in Macedonia—said that the majority of the UN goals are already mirrored in national policy. “Sustainability is possible,” she said, “but there is still much to be done by 2030.” Combating poverty by eradicating illiteracy is one of Macedonia’s … Continue reading National Libraries and Sustainable Development