Professional Tools

Music in the Library

Q. Are we able to use music CDs in our collection to broadcast background sound that would distract patrons from complaining about other patrons' noises? Or do we need to pay for Music in the Library - Illustration of floating musical notationsatellite radio or commercially available piped in music to avoid copyright infringement? Are there other libraries that have tried background music?

Learning about the ACA

Q. It was in our local newspaper last weekend that at the ALA Annual Conference it was going to be announced that libraries are going to be a main source for citizens during the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.  Are you aware of any training or guidance available to ensure that library staff are well-educated for the public?

Sunday Hours

How many public libraries have Sunday hours?  You might think that's an easy question to answer, but it's a bit complicated and the results are ultimately inconclusive.

Community Disaster Response

Over the years, librarians, particularly preservation librarians, have written extensively about preparing for and recovering from a disaster, often localized at the library.  Preparations include both developing a plan for taking action, as well as documenting the specific techniques and resources tha will be needed to protect or restore the collections.

(Re-)Introducing the ALA Library

The ALA Library reference area.Some members are surprised to learn that ALA has its own library--and has had since September 30, 1924.  The purpose of the library was then, as it is now, to provide information needed by ALA staff as they carry out the work of the Association and to provide information to members and others who contact ALA with questions about librarians, librarianship, and ALA programs.

Safety and Security in Libraries

Safety in public spaces, including libraries, has always been a concern, but may be more keenly felt in light of certain recent events. A productive and effective library is one in which its staff and patrons feel secure.

Internet Use in Libraries

The ALA Library recently revised ALA Library Fact Sheet 26 - Internet Use in Libraries. Originally, the focus of the fact sheet was on the prevalence of U.S. public libraries having computers with access to the Internet that their patrons could use. But, as noted in the Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study (PLFTAS) 2011-2012, specifically in the section Public Access to and Availability of Public Access Technology (PDF), virtually all public library outlets provide public access to the Internet.

And so the focus of the fact sheet now is on how libraries assist with the ever-growing Internet access needs of their library patrons, especially those whose only Internet access is using the computers that public libraries provide.

Flu Preparedness

Q. One of our regular library visitors asked what the library's plan for preventing the spread of the flu is.  He has asked whether we wipe down the books daily, or otherwise clean them to prevent transmission.  Does the ALA have information to help libraries on this subject?

Ban Pooh?

Q. Each year when we mark Banned Books Week in my middle school reading class, I’m always astonished to see that Winnie-the-Pooh has appeared on a list of banned books, though not one from ALA. Why is this book listed?

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