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The Myth of Browsing

May 19, 2010

A headline in the November 12, 2009, issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education tells what is becoming a familiar story: “In Face of Professors’ ‘Fury,’ Syracuse U. Library Will Keep Books on Shelves.” Pressed by economic realities, hurting for space, and seeing the opportunities offered by existing and emerging information technologies, the director of … Continue reading The Myth of Browsing


Fiscal Crisis Management

March 17, 2010

A bad economy has resulted in a painful paradox for libraries: Government, institutional, and philanthropic funding for libraries has been severely cut across the country, while use is at record highs. Providing more service with fewer dollars is difficult and stressful for trustees, staff, and customers as they adjust to reduced expectations and services. Tough … Continue reading Fiscal Crisis Management


Our Conservative Ideals

March 17, 2010

Although TV talking heads discuss trillion-dollar bailouts for broken industries as if you might trip over one on your way to the unemployment office, libraries—which aren’t broken—struggle to make our case. I sometimes worry that librarians’ language only addresses the left side of the political aisle, leaving the right’s opinions to be shaped by people … Continue reading Our Conservative Ideals



April Facilities Submissions: New address for info

January 8, 2010

With the updated web site, the address for submitting new or renovated buildings for the Library Design Showcase in April broke, at least temporarily. The redirect should be in place now, but in case, all information can be found at http://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/submission_policy/facilities. Deadline, as before, is February 1.


Fresno Students Protest with Study-in

December 11, 2009

There has been a resurgence of student activism at public universities throughout California. State budget reductions and rising student fees have resulted in students paying more and getting less. Students have occupied buildings, held marches, and been arrested at UCLA, Berkeley, and Santa Cruz. California State University at Fresno is not known as a radical … Continue reading Fresno Students Protest with Study-in


Newsmaker: Arne Duncan

October 31, 2009

The U.S. Secretary of Education shared his views on, among other things, volunteerism, No Child Left Behind, reading readiness, and libraries, in an exclusive June 22, 2009, telephone conversation with American Libraries Editor in Chief Leonard Kniffel. Arne Duncan at the Fanwood (N.J.) Public Library for the June 22 kick-off of "United We Serve." American Libraries: … Continue reading Newsmaker: Arne Duncan


Retiring the Golden Years

October 27, 2009

The last thing you want to hear is that times are tough. You're living it. You don't need to be reminded. Hours are being cut back, book budgets are being slashed, and librarians are being laid off. The personnel cuts are the ones that create the most fear and pain. As I talk to librarians … Continue reading Retiring the Golden Years


Digital Divide on the Inside

October 26, 2009

Technology and reference are intertwining strands of public service. As our systems get more sophisticated, and as our desire to overhaul and remake those systems gets more intense, libraries need librarians who are tech-savvy and back-office staff who are pure tech. But is the drive toward more technologyoriented public service a one-way street? Or is … Continue reading Digital Divide on the Inside