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


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

Sugar Ray

October 23, 2009

The first program I ever saw on television was a boxing match: Rocky Marciano versus Jersey Joe Walcott, September 23, 1952. My family didn't have a television at the time, but our neighbors across the street did, and my father, mother, and I were all invited over for the fight. Marciano won handily, but what … Continue reading Sugar Ray

We Are All Millennials

October 23, 2009

Net Gen? Gen Y? Gen M? All are labels we've heard applied to the generation ranging in age from adolescents just entering or about to enter high school, to those just joining the work force. Whatever they're called, they have particular, technology driven learning styles, which are examined in Teaching Generation M: A Handbook for … Continue reading We Are All Millennials

Killjoy Was Here

September 23, 2009

Recently I listened to a commencement speaker who said, "If faculty members can't offer students some hope and optimism for their future, some path of confident thinking in uncertain times, then we have no right or reason to be around them." I'd prefer offering students a sunnier picture from behind the reference desk, but the … Continue reading Killjoy Was Here


What Do You See?

September 23, 2009

On what was apparently a slow news day, the front page of the July 29, 2009, New York Times featured YAWA—yet another Wikipedia article—a variation on the enduring theme of “Wikipedia is changing the world; how shocking” (or how wonderful, depending on the mood of the reporter). This one highlighted an exploration of the ethics of … Continue reading What Do You See?

Building a Digital Branch

September 23, 2009

Library websites have been around for about 15 years. The list of what has changed in the past 15 years could fill a library. Programming languages have changed. Web browsers have changed. Internet connections have gotten faster, and websites have come to serve a wider variety of functions. Interaction has also changed. Many library websites, … Continue reading Building a Digital Branch

Why Johnny Can’t Search

January 2, 2007

A couple of generations ago, a catchphrase entered the American lexicon, representing growing concern about the quality of education and in particular a perceived decline in literacy. “Why Johnny Can’t Read,” from the title of 1955 book by Rudolf Flesch, became a byword for the perception of relaxed standards and concomitantly lower achievement in schools. … Continue reading Why Johnny Can’t Search