Ask the ALA Library

National Library Symbol

Q. I've seen the web page on the National Library Symbol, ALA Library Fact Sheet 30 - National Library Symbol/Library Symbol Highway Sign. But you only have a small jpg file there. Do you have any large, high-resolution image files of the National Library Symbol that my library can download and use in our promotional materials and on our website?

Volunteers in Libraries

Q. We have demand for new programming, but there isn't new funding in sight, so we're thinking about expanding our volunteer program beyond helping with the annual book sale. Do you have any resources that might help us manage our library volunteer program better?

Filing Rules

Q. I can't believe I'm asking this in this age of computers, but are there printed instructions for filing available?

Library Branch in the Mall

Q. We’re renovating one of our branches and have been offered space in a mall as a temporary home.  Have other libraries done this?

How many closings?

Q. I keep reading about recent closings of public libraries or proposed closings of branches in some larger cities, and I recall that others, such as in Salinas, CA, closed but re-opened.  How many libraries have, in fact, been closed?  I hope it isn't many, as I've also been reading about increased library usage, and I would hate to see cutting libraries viewed as a tool for dealing with strained budgets.

Evaluating your reference collection

Question: Due to budget cuts, my library is looking closely at the reference collection.  Are there any policies or guidelines for evaluating reference collections, especially in light of print and paid database resources?

Answer: While ALA does not have a collection development (or evaluation) policy for the reference collection, we do have various guidelines to help you create your own policy.  The ALA Library has gathered some resources on our Professional Tips Wiki:

Do bus fumes damage books?

Bus with exhaust

Q. Do diesel fumes, like from a bus, damage books? A request was made to the city bus transit offices to move a bus stop based on the argument that bus fumes damage books.

Cost Finding

Q. We've been asked to find out if it costs our library more or less than average to catalog a book.  But what is the average cost?

Cost Finding

Q. We've been asked to find out if it costs our library more or less than average to catalog a book.  But what is the average cost?

Summer Reading Lists

"What should my kids read over the summer?" is a common question at this time of year.  With school letting out for the summer break, teachers and parents alike are searching for reputable lists of books for their students and children.  First, check with your local public library, which often has a summer reading program.

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