Opening Up Library Systems


December 1, 2009

In the current phase of library automation, we're inundated with the language of openness. Open source ILSs have promised to give libraries more control over their software than has been possible with proprietary products. Companies that produce and provide service for proprietary products have redoubled their efforts to offer more flexibility, openness, and interoperability through … Continue reading Opening Up Library Systems



Bouchercon


October 27, 2009

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 that hits by about midpoint of the show and lasts for several days … Continue reading Bouchercon


Language-wise


October 27, 2009

When the first edition of Garner's Modern American Usage was published in 1998, it quickly became a standard guide. The third edition continues to hack through the thickets of grammar, word choice, punctuation, and pronunciation. If it's unclear to you whether home in or hone in is correct, or you are certain that impact is … Continue reading Language-wise


Redeeming Our Relevance


October 27, 2009

A friend and I have an ongoing disagreement about teens and libraries, which runs something like this: I notice the latest study showing that adolescents don't turn to libraries to meet their information needs, and I utter dismayed comments about all the wonderful resources intended for younger library users. My friend begs to differ, usually … Continue reading Redeeming Our Relevance


Troublesome Textbooks


October 26, 2009

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. I still remember the first time a student approached me at the reference desk … Continue reading Troublesome Textbooks


Your Desktop: The Movie


October 26, 2009

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 library at all. This has challenged libraries to find creative ways to provide comparable … Continue reading Your Desktop: The Movie


Your Desktop: The Movie


October 26, 2009

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 library at all. This has challenged libraries to find creative ways to provide comparable … Continue reading Your Desktop: The Movie


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Censorship Gets Smart


October 26, 2009

As we all know, Judith Krug—the director of ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, who passed away April 11, was an extraordinary woman, a force for the freedom to read and view and write and think as we please. She was a hero and role model for us all to live up to, and she left … Continue reading Censorship Gets Smart


Advocacy: Part II


October 23, 2009

In my first column, I mentioned the symbolic journey on the old Route 66 from Chicago to L.A.—Library Advocacy. Let's now embark on the second part of that trip. It is still the same route from Chicago to L.A., but this time the road leads to Literacy Advocacy. Although I include all types of literacy, … Continue reading Advocacy: Part II


Fear of Socialism


October 23, 2009

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 none is more dangerous than the public option-specifically, the public library option … Continue reading Fear of Socialism


The Librarian Is In


October 23, 2009

I'm no prophet, but my guess is that 2009 will be known as the year of the great health care debate. While I haven't studied all the details of the various plans, I do support the concept of universal health care for all. I have felt strongly about this issue since 1972 when I broke … Continue reading The Librarian Is In