Chalkboard Heroine

April 20, 2010

One might reasonably think I’m beyond having a favorite teacher. Having turned in all my assignments and completed my formal education years ago, such a declaration might seem a tad unnecessary. A note on author Nikki Grimes’s Facebook page, though, called my attention to Teacher Appreciation Day, recognized early each May. Her words, to say … Continue reading Chalkboard Heroine


Maybe the Play’s the Thing

April 14, 2010

For millions of American schoolchildren, National Library Week isn't quite the celebration that librarians want it to be. That's because the viability of properly staffed school libraries, whose direct impact on increased academic success has been documented ad nauseum for decades, is under attack like never before. In a particularly poignant NLW celebration, students at … Continue reading Maybe the Play’s the Thing


Court Tosses “Wholesale” Ban of Registered Sex Offenders

April 6, 2010

Citing an individual’s right to receive information as paramount, the U.S. District Court of New Mexico has overturned a two-year-old mayoral regulation that banned anyone who is a registered sex offender under federal or state law from visiting the 16-branch Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Library. Albuquerque officials were considering their options in light of the ruling, according … Continue reading Court Tosses “Wholesale” Ban of Registered Sex Offenders


West Virginia Governor Vetoes Current-Level Funding for Libraries

March 29, 2010

West Virginia library advocates suffered a blow March 26 when Gov. Joe Manchin used his line-item veto power to slash library funding in next year’s state budget by 5%. Library supporters had convinced the legislature to maintain funding at current levels despite the weak economy. Manchin cut the appropriation for grants-in-aid to public libraries from … Continue reading West Virginia Governor Vetoes Current-Level Funding for Libraries


Author Sarah Vowell Closes Public Librarians Conference in Portland

March 27, 2010

"Education is telling the truth to students," said author and contributing editor to National Public Radio's This American Life Sarah Vowell at the closing of the Public Library Association conference in Portland today. "You have the goods," she added. "You have the places where that person can find that truth." Vowell was responding to a … Continue reading Author Sarah Vowell Closes Public Librarians Conference in Portland


Singer Natalie Merchant, Journalist Nicholas Kristof Applaud Public Librarians in Portland

March 24, 2010

The Public Library Association conference in Portland, Oregon, opened today with a surprise appearance by singer Natalie Merchant, performing songs from a new CD of poems set to music and titled Leave Your Sleep. The special twist was that Merchant had selected a number of fairly obscure poets from the late 19th and early 20th … Continue reading Singer Natalie Merchant, Journalist Nicholas Kristof Applaud Public Librarians in Portland


Pink Slips – and Rumors – Fly in L.A.

March 17, 2010

The state of fiscal emergency in many libraries, school districts, and academic campuses has lent credence to recent media reports that officials of the Los Angeles Unified School District have approved the dismissal of every certificated teacher-librarian systemwide. According to California School Librarians Association President Rosemarie Bernier, however, the truth is far less dire. Bernier … Continue reading Pink Slips – and Rumors – Fly in L.A.


Ridiculous, Meet Sublime

March 16, 2010

Remember the old saying assuring us that even fools come in out of the rain? My new corollary is: Even naysayers need shelter from the storm—especially when the naysayers don't realize it. There's one particular naysayer I have in mind: Tommy Wayne Kramer, columnist for the Ukiah (Calif.) Daily Journal. Yesterday, I found myself combing … Continue reading Ridiculous, Meet Sublime


Congress Extends Library Provision of Patriot Act to 2011

February 26, 2010

The U.S. House of Representatives sent Pres. Obama a bill extending three often-contested provisions of the Patriot Act on the evening of February 26, two days before the sections were due to expire. Approved by a vote of 315–97 the night after the Senate passed the bill by voice vote, H.R. 3961 extends until February … Continue reading Congress Extends Library Provision of Patriot Act to 2011



Florida Man Sues Two Libraries for Religious Discrimination

February 17, 2010

A Florida man has filed a religious-discrimination lawsuit against Volusia County Public Library, Director Lucinda Colee, and the county, claiming that VCPL’s New Smyrna Beach branch declined his request to conduct a seminar called “Is Religion Alive in America?” there because library policy bans use of the meeting room for sectarian programming. The February 4 … Continue reading Florida Man Sues Two Libraries for Religious Discrimination