2012 Library Design Showcase Call for Submissions

November 8, 2011

American Libraries is now accepting submissions for the 2012 Library Design Showcase, our annual feature celebrating the best new and newly renovated or expanded libraries of all types. Like last year, the showcase will be primarily published online, with excerpts published in the March/April 2012 issue and in American Libraries’ April Digital Supplement. To have … Continue reading 2012 Library Design Showcase Call for Submissions


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The Big Easy Revisited

September 27, 2011

Returning to New Orleans for the 2011 American Library Association Annual Conference this year was both rewarding and emotional for many of us. Five years earlier, we traveled to Louisiana less than a year after the devastating hurricanes and massive flooding from failure of the levies. At that time, we were welcomed with much more … Continue reading The Big Easy Revisited


Daniel Ellsberg

Daniel Ellsberg

July 26, 2011

Forty years ago, Daniel Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers, documents that revealed the secret history of the United States’ involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967. Since then, Ellsberg has been a lecturer, writer, and activist on controversial U.S. interventions and the need for patriotic whistleblowing. Ellsberg was a prominent guest at Annual in New … Continue reading Daniel Ellsberg


A Tribute to H. W. Wilson

June 3, 2011

In the summer of 1973, I attended my first conference of the International Federation of Library Associations (held in Grenoble, France) after becoming executive director of the American Library Association. The conference buzz was speculation about me (“Who is this Bob Wedgeworth?”), since I had just succeeded David Clift. Leo M. Weins, president of the … Continue reading A Tribute to H. W. Wilson


Wrapping Up a Busy Year

May 18, 2011

For my last message as ALA president, I’d like to update members and others on the initiatives that were kicked off at the Inaugural Banquet last June and offer a brief comment on recent events that affect the future of libraries. With “Our Authors, Our Advocates: Authors Speak Out For Libraries,” we tapped into a … Continue reading Wrapping Up a Busy Year


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


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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?


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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