The question came in with the subject line "Reference question that only ALA can answer" but it really is a question that only all of ALA, not just the ALA Librarian, can answer: Are there librarians who have been elected officials, or who have run for office?
Q. The recent severe weather has some of our library regulars asking about salvage of wet books. What can I tell them?
A. I'm going to address your question from two perspectives. First, what should an individual be doing, and second, what should a library be doing.
Q. Does ALA have any guidelines or sample policies for labeling books for the shelves?
A. Although the American Library Association has established standards and guidelines for a range of library activities, none of these cover shelf preparation or physical processing of library materials.
Updated July 31, 2012
Q. Are there stand-alone libraries serving children (other than those in schools, that is)?
A. A year ago we reported ten such libraries, but received additional information from our readers. Here is our current list, with links checked and updated, as well. We now can report sixteen libraries, ten affiliated with public libraries, one under construction, and five in other settings.
Public libraries with stand-alone libraries serving children:
Q. We're reviewing our policies on overdue fines and are looking for resources to guide our investigations. What's out there?
“Area libraries increasing security to combat rising thefts” is the headline for the April 23, 2011, article posted by the Dayton Daily News. But the question that comes to the ALA Library is “what is a ‘typical’ loss rate?”
Q. How many public association libraries are there in the US? Why are they association and not municipal?
A. Table 5 of the “Public Libraries Survey Fiscal Year 2008”, published by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) indicates that 14.9% of the 9,221 public libraries reporting in 2008 were "Nonprofit association or agency libraries," or about 1,375 libraries, nationwide.
Q. When was the first school library established?
Q. I'm in a public library and was assisting a local community college student who asked, "How accurate should my sources of information be?" I hardly know where to start!
[We're departing from our usual format to hear from Emily Johnson, a student at the University of Michigan School of Information. Emily joined the ALA Library staff for a week, attracted by a project to bring one of our special collections under bibliographic control. Years ago, the staff in ALA's publishing department began an archive of each book or other item published by ALA. This collection, which is strictly an internal resource (and partially duplicated at the ALA Archives), is under the Library