Ask the ALA Library

Award-winning Libraries

Q. Our library is beginning to think about a major addition.  I recall that the ALA gives an award for library buildings.  I'd like to plan a cross-country trip so that I could see some of these.  How can I get a list of these libraries?

War Service Library book

Q. Today I was going through some books donated to our book sale and ran across one with a bookplate stating "War Service Library" with a picture of a WW I Soldier carrying a stack of books.  This plate was found in a 1918 book.  What is the story behind this bookplate?

A.  The bookplate -- sometimes a label or a stamp with the words "American Library Association, Soldiers and Sailors Camp Library"-- is one of several versions affixed to books furnished to sailors and soldiers by the American Library Association during World War I.

Mobile accessible library websites

Question: We'd like to make our website available to patrons that have "smartphones".  Do you have any resources to help us?

Book Groups

Q. A new resident inquired whether our library had any book clubs.  The library in the town she moved from supports several and she had found hers to be a congenial way to explore books and reading.  What's involved in starting one?

Disaster Planning

Q. There was recently a flash flood in a neighboring town--and it seems like there's another earthquake reported every week.  Our library doesn't have a disaster plan.  Where can I get help in writing one?

A. There are a number of resources available to you. Start with the "Disaster Recovery" resources prepared by members of the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services as background material for the first ever Preservation Week, May 9-15, 2010.

Value of Old Books

Q.  One of our regular library visitors is clearing the attic of the family home now that her parents are deceased.  Where can I direct her to learn more about the value of these books?

Oldest University Library

Question: What is the oldest university library?

Moving a Library

Question:  My library will be moving into a new building next year. The building design work is completed, and construction underway, but we haven’t begun to discuss how we will accomplish the move of our collections. Does ALA have any resources that might help?

Electronic Collection Development

Question:   Is there a collection development policy would address the shift from print to electronic materials, the selection criteria for such materials, and what kind of reference materials should be preferably purchased in electronic format compared to the ones we should keep in print format?

Why was this book banned?

Updated March 16, 2015

Q. It's the question most often heard from students during Banned Books Week, "Why was this book banned?" More accurately, the question is who challenged this book being in the school or library and wanted it removed, and why, and when and where did this happen - and how did things turn out?

Pages

Subscribe to Ask the ALA Library