Gauging Your Interest

November 5, 2012

A few weeks ago, ­American Libraries sent you a survey. And despite all the other surveys and polls and requests that likely came to you this election season, more than 4,000 of you responded. Thank you for taking time to provide feedback. We want to know what you think about the magazine, and indeed, all … Continue reading Gauging Your Interest

Laurie Borman


May 19, 2012

Transforming sounds like such a magical process. In a glittery whirlwind, Cinderella is transformed from rag-covered servant to bejeweled beauty in a ball gown. Unfortunately, transforming rarely occurs in fairy-tale fashion. It’s a process that takes time, determination, and effort by dedicated teams. Glass slippers and fairy wands are strictly optional. In our May/June 2012 … Continue reading Transformations


Of Design, Danes, and Daffodils

March 19, 2012

What is your favorite library space? Perhaps a school library reading nook, or the august reading room from your university days, or maybe the balcony stacks in your hometown? The architectural design—and of course, a facility’s resources—draws you to these places and encourages you to stay awhile. That’s why American Libraries features new and now library … Continue reading Of Design, Danes, and Daffodils


Treasure Hunt

January 11, 2012

All of you who’ve weeded a collection know the challenges I face. Former American Libraries Editor Leonard Kniffel left me a legacy: file drawers stuffed with materials from his 15 years at the helm of this magazine. As someone new to the American Library Association and to this publication, it’s been somewhat daunting to determine what … Continue reading Treasure Hunt

George Eberhart

What You Told Us

August 12, 2011

In April, we conducted an online survey of our readers, in order to find out what American Libraries is doing right and what we could be doing differently. A big thank you to the nearly 3,600 participants, who represented all types of libraries (public, academic, school, and special). You answered 31 questions about your preferred … Continue reading What You Told Us


An Exit Interview

December 30, 2010

What better way to make sure you’re asked the right questions in your exit interview than to conduct it yourself? So after 22 years on the American Libraries staff, 15 of them at the helm, here comes mine: Why are you leaving AL? I’m listening to a little voice inside that says it’s time to … Continue reading An Exit Interview

Leonard Kniffel

Less Ink, More Words

November 4, 2010

With the November/December 2010 issue, American Libraries print moves permanently to bimonthly publication. Monthly print as a viable delivery vehicle for anything that can be called “news” is clearly limited, and publishing to the web allows for faster and more flexible dissemination and is a general industry trend. Although manufacturing and postage costs are certainly … Continue reading Less Ink, More Words

Leonard Kniffel

Banning and Burning

October 1, 2010

I have never been prouder to be a part of this profession than I was on September 11 this year, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Barbara Jones, director of ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, at the entrance to ALA headquarters here in Chicago, making a simple statement of opposition to book burning. At our sides were Gerald … Continue reading Banning and Burning

Leonard Kniffel

The Competition Intensifies

August 30, 2010

Have you noticed that we seem to have entered an era of heightened competitiveness? Lots of wagon-circling and turf-protecting. Libraryland as one big happy family aside, shrinking funds are bringing out the tiger in us. For example, the decades-long competition between OCLC and rival library vendors came to a head July 28, when for-profit SkyRiver … Continue reading The Competition Intensifies

Unnecessary Choices

July 28, 2010

Members of the American Library Association have been talking a lot about books these days, the future of the book as a delivery mechanism, as opposed to a quaint artifact. Readers of American Libraries have responded by writing some provocative articles for the August 2010 issue about the future of the book in a digital … Continue reading Unnecessary Choices

Rolling with the Punches

May 14, 2010

I don’t know anybody who hasn’t been hurt by this economic debacle that seems to be turning the entire country on its head—any number of countries, in fact. At the American Library Association, we’ve been hit just like everybody else. It is tempting to do a lot of hand-wringing and tooth-gnashing because it seems as … Continue reading Rolling with the Punches