Ask the ALA Library

Budgeting for a Library Building

Q. Our town's library is bursting its seams, so we're beginning the exploration for a new one.  Is there any place we can look for the cost factors we need to consider?

Number of Children's Books Published

Q. Can you tell me the number of children's books that were published last year?

Art Media in the Caldecott Medal Books

Q. Using several sources, both print and online, I've tracked down the type of art media used in many of the Caldecott Medal-winning books, but I haven't been able to find some of the older ones, so my list is not complete. Can ALA help with this? I just want the art media for the Caldecott winners, not the honor books, if that helps.

Starting a Library

Recently, a reader of our I Love Libraries website sent over an inquiry about setting up a library in her community.  According to the IMLS  report, Public Libraries in the United States: Fiscal Year 2008 (most recent in the series), all but about 2% of the U.S.

Celebrating National Gaming Day

Q. Where can I get information about how to best present and suggest our library celebrating National Gaming Day?

Libraries and Photos of Patrons

Q. My library board would like to know if ALA has a policy in relation to taking pictures of children or adults in the library and then using them for promotional purposes, including posting them to the online photo sharing web site, Flickr. We love to share our events, but we're concerned about copyright.

Political activities

Q. I am a high-school senior working on a school project in which we must write an extensive paper on a special interest group of our choice. I've always been interested in being a librarian, so I chose the American Library Association. Your website has been helpful, but I don't see any information on the ALA interaction (or impact) on recent congressional or presidential elections. Where should I be looking?

VHS to DVD?

Q.  With the increased use of DVD systems it has been suggested that we convert our VHS library of educational videos in VHS format to DVD.  Is it a copyright violation to convert to DVD and discontinue use of the VHS tapes?

Longevity record?

Q. I was just reading Theodore Jones' "Carnegie Libraries Across America" (Wiley, 1997) and saw a reference to Gladys Powers who served as the librarian in the Shelbina Carnegie Public Library for 67 years (from 1921 to 1988).  Is that a record?

Storm Center

Q. I saw this week's article at the Huffington Post website about movie librarians, Librarians Save The Day! 11 Great Movies In Which They Star. I was very surprised to see a film there starring one of my favorite actresses, Bette Davis, that I never heard of! By any chance, can ALA tell me anything about Storm Center (1956)? I'm hoping to add it to my list of requested films from that online DVD rental service.

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