Transforming Libraries

March 21, 2011

A key goal of the 2011–2015 ALA strategic plan is to provide leadership in the transformation of libraries and library services for today’s dynamic and increasingly global digital information environment. Virtually every media interview I’ve had during the past seven months has been an occasion to illustrate how libraries, the people who work in them, … Continue reading Transforming Libraries


djhoek.jpg

Must We Abide?

March 15, 2011

More and more, publishers, database providers, and other corporate content proprietors are taking steps to replace the traditional benefits of ownership with the rigorously controlled provisions of licensing. Known as terms of sale (TOS) or end-user license agreements (EULAs), these licenses uniformly stipulate who can (and can’t) use a certain product and how that product … Continue reading Must We Abide?


feature-gisolfi-webart.jpg

This Old Library

March 2, 2011

Sustainable building construction is the major issue facing the architectural profession in the United States and around the world. Consider the implications of ignoring it: Today, 300 million people living in the United States represent approximately 4.3% of the world’s population, which is now nearing 7 billion. All 300 million of us use 21% of … Continue reading This Old Library


Midwinter’s WikiLeaks Letdown

February 1, 2011

One of the key problems of our time is lack of government transparency, and therefore restricted public access to U.S. government information. The ongoing WikiLeaks disclosures highlight the need to protest these policies and get them changed. Several of the American Library Association’s core values are directly relevant to this discussion; “access,” “democracy,” “the public … Continue reading Midwinter’s WikiLeaks Letdown


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





Barclay_feature_art.jpg

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