12 Ways Libraries Are Good for the Country

December 21, 2010

Americans love their libraries, and advances in technology have multiplied the ways in which libraries enrich the quality of life in their communities. Whether they are in an elementary school or a university, a museum or a corporation, public or private, our nation's libraries offer a lifetime of learning. To library supporters everywhere—Friends, trustees, board … Continue reading 12 Ways Libraries Are Good for the Country


Where to Eat at Midwinter

December 17, 2010

Everyone needs to eat, and San Diego offers plenty of terrific options. Highlighted here are mostly restaurants in and near the Gaslamp Quarter, convenient to the San Diego Convention Center and most ALA hotels, with a few farther-flung possibilities. The Gaslamp Quarter, bounded by 4th and 6th Avenues, Broadway, and Harbor Drive, is a historic … Continue reading Where to Eat at Midwinter

Neil Gaiman

Ted Danson, Neil Gaiman Headline Midwinter

December 13, 2010

Business meetings, celebrity authors—including Ted Danson, Kathy Reichs, Andre Dubus III, and Neil Gaiman—visits with vendors, and an abundance of discussion opportunities will highlight the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting in San Diego, January 7-11, at the San Diego Convention Center and area hotels. The eyes of the publishing world will turn to California’s second … Continue reading Ted Danson, Neil Gaiman Headline Midwinter


When Small Is All

December 7, 2010

In 2007, the 9,214 public libraries in the United States served 97% of the total population, a figure that has remained steady for more than a decade. But while large public libraries may serve the majority of Americans—nearly 75%—small public libraries offer the most outlets. The majority of public libraries (88%) are located in small … Continue reading When Small Is All


Booking to the Future

November 30, 2010

It’s no secret that librarians like books. For decades, those pages sandwiched between rectangles of cardboard have been the primary reason librarians sought and secured employment. As methods of communication and information sharing evolve, however, books have begun to transform, sparking a debate not only among book publishers and readers but librarians as well. In … Continue reading Booking to the Future

U.S. Poet Laureate W. S. Merwin Talks with Librarians

November 24, 2010

Before assuming his post as U.S. Poet Laureate on October 25, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner W. S. Merwin met with a select group of librarians at New York City’s Poets House for an afternoon of reading and conversation. A nonprofit organization, Poets House hosted the event as part of “One City, Many Poems,” a discussion … Continue reading U.S. Poet Laureate W. S. Merwin Talks with Librarians

Austin Shooting

How to Be Prepared in Case Violence Strikes

November 17, 2010

The library workplace is no more immune to violent incidents than any other venue, sad to say, and just as vulnerable to physical attacks by troubled colleagues as from visitors. Consider these headline-grabbing situations, all taking place in libraries within a three-week period this fall: A 19-year-old freshman toting an AK-47 (surveillance video, 1:37) enters … Continue reading How to Be Prepared in Case Violence Strikes

Scholarship money

Giving out Money: Helping Students Find Local Scholarships

November 17, 2010

Here’s the problem: How does Suzie Senior find out about the local Kiwanis scholarship? Or the one offered by the local hospital? Or the one offered by the local cancer support group? Who in your community collects information on scholarships offered by local clubs, service organizations, and other mostly nonprofits? Not the college or high … Continue reading Giving out Money: Helping Students Find Local Scholarships

Chicano Librarianship

Chicano Librarianship

November 2, 2010

August 29, 2010, marked the 40th anniversary of the Chicano Moratorium in East Los Angeles, and it brought back many memories. I was part of a library contingent marching in 1970 in protest of the disproportionate number of Mexican Americans dying in the Vietnam War; some 30,000 other Chicanos were marching too. After the police … Continue reading Chicano Librarianship


Wait! You Can’t Retire Without Sharing That with Us

October 26, 2010

As libraries face the departure of staff with well-honed reference skills, years of experience in the community, and deep knowledge of the collection and traditional resources, how can we identify and retain their departing expertise—the gold in the library’s intellectual vault? How can we ensure that newly minted employees with e-knowledge skills have access to … Continue reading Wait! You Can’t Retire Without Sharing That with Us


Gaming 2.0

October 19, 2010

The most exciting things have happened at the Houston Public Library’s Central Library since it reopened in May of 2008 after a two-year renovation: families are playing together and enjoying each other’s company; brothers, sisters, strangers, and friends are playing and learning together. Teen boys who now think the library is the best place to … Continue reading Gaming 2.0