karenmuller's blog

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.

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?

Donating Ebooks?

Q. Our local library, like so many others, now offers ebooks for loan. Their inventory is not as great as I would like. I’d like to be able donate ebooks I have purchased, just as I would donate paper copies of books I no longer wish to own, but I’m told this isn’t possible. Could you explain the difference to me and let me know if there is legislation in the works that can correct this seemingly unfair disparity?

Coretta Scott King Award Seal Design by Lev Mills

Q. I was recently teaching my students about the various literary awards for children’s writers and was asked an interesting question by a student. I have looked on your website as well as on the internet in general and cannot find a complete answer. I am hoping you can help me.

In the design for the Coretta Scott King Award, there are five religious symbols that are in line underneath the child reading the book. . . . My student asked me what they are. And his whole class is now fascinated with knowing about the design. Can you verify for me what these symbols actually are? Thank you so much for your help.

Librarian Ethnicity

Q. Does ALA have recent information on the ethnic distribution of librarians?

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