This is my first column as ALA’s new treasurer, and I would like to use this opportunity to share with you my overall observations about ALA’s current financial situation. Despite the recession, ALA is a financially viable and financially solvent organization. One of these strengths is the fact that the Chicago headquarters—both 40 East Huron … Continue reading ALA: Dollars and Sense
But don’t just take Joe’s word for it. OCLC’s surveys on the “library brand” regularly turn up the same result. In fact, in Perceptions of Libraries 2010, OCLC found that in the previous five years libraries have become even “more strongly associated with books than they were before”—69% in 2005 vs. 75% in 2010. Or … Continue reading How Low Can Our Book Budgets Go?
Here’s a snapshot of how the library community is affected until the budget situation is resolved: The Library of Congress buildings are closed to the public, and its website is inaccessible, except for THOMAS, Congress.gov, and Cataloger’s Desktop. However, the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine still offers access to LC and other agencies before their websites went dark. The National … Continue reading The Government Shutdown and Libraries
That’s the question a lot of people were asking even before Bexar County, Texas, opened its all-digital library, dubbed BiblioTech, on September 14. The bookless facility serves an unincorporated area outside of San Antonio, offering more than 10,000 titles available for digital download and 100 e-readers on loan, as well as computer stations, digital literacy … Continue reading Paperless Libraries
Douglas County (Colo.) Libraries has been publishing a monthly list of pricing for print and ebook bestsellers for the past year. We began in September 2012 when we realized that the availability and pricing of ebooks for libraries was out of whack with the market. Not only could we see a difference in the amount … Continue reading A Year of Ebook Price Comparisons: Has Anything Changed?
Recent lawsuits against libraries in Kentucky continue to reverberate across the state, ever since two separate circuit-court rulings were handed down in April 2013 that found Campbell County Public Library and Kenton County Public Library had improperly raised their millage rates since 1979 and 1967, respectively. The decisions stated that the libraries did not follow … Continue reading Tax Battle in the Bluegrass State
More than 260 librarians and almost 800 library technicians who work for the Department of Defense (DOD) are being furloughed 11 days, one day per week from July 8 to September 27, due to sequestration. While this is a personal financial hardship, we are also concerned about having to cut library services for our patrons: … Continue reading Under Sequester
Library advocates gathered May 8 for a policy briefing in Washington, D.C., at the start of the American Library Association’s National Library Legislative Day (NLLD). Close to 400 librarians, patrons, parents, educators, and other volunteers discussed key library issues with congressional representatives, and nearly 1,400 others contacted their legislators via phone calls, email, and social … Continue reading Speaking Up for Libraries at National Library Legislative Day
With the Great Recession still affecting public service budgets nationwide, libraries continue to pursue new funding avenues. The latest foray into fiscal triage, undertaken by at least two libraries—Toronto (Ont.) Reference Public Library and the Port Chester –Rye Brook (N.Y.) Library—is to allow commercial enterprises to advertise their products and services in the library. In … Continue reading Libraries Weigh Accepting Paid Ads to Keep Afloat
Linda Eschen began her first day as a library volunteer at Livermore Valley (Calif.) Charter School when the school itself opened in 2004, unpacking boxes and cataloging books. The newly formed school already had a library collection of sorts, says Eschen—an assortment of donated books in a teacher’s garage. Since then, she’s become the full-time librarian for 1,085 … Continue reading The Void in Charter Schools
After extended debate, the ALA Council voted to substitute the resolution in support of whistleblower Edward Snowden (CD#39) that passed in Council I on Monday, with a resolution on the need for reforms for the intelligence community to support privacy, open government, government transparency, and accountability (CD#20.4 and CD#19.2) developed by the Committee on Legislation … Continue reading Whistleblower Issues Dominate Council III Session
There are so many wonderful things that come along with attending Annual. Amazing and innovative sessions; the exhibit hall . . . the accompanying blisters, and of course the people. Librarians from all corners of the profession come together to talk, share, laugh, and sometimes get a little silly. (I’m looking at you, J. P. … Continue reading The Thing about Money . . .