Most members of the Washington Library Association are proud of the service traditions of U.S. public, academic, and school libraries: open-stack browsing of materials, open catalogs of materials, access for all community members, reference service to answer all sorts of questions from all sorts of patrons, defense of intellectual freedom. We are proud to read stories about individuals who found knowledge, support, and comfort in libraries. Unfortunately, though, the sad fact is that throughout our history, some people have been excluded from library service, because of race, ethnicity, language, condition of being institutionalized, reading ability, or just where they lived.
Today, our hope is to provide library service for all members of our communities. But are we prepared to do so? What if potential clients’ most fluent language is not English? What if they are unfamiliar with the concepts or values of U.S. libraries? What if library patrons are very poor, so poor that they don’t have homes or ability to attend to basic hygiene? What if potential library users are in prison or jail? What if they live in a rural area, far from library facilities? And how can primarily print-oriented libraries serve communities with cultural traditions that are primarily oral, rather than primarily written? What changes do we need to make, in our services, our facilities, our collections, our assumptions, and ourselves, in order to serve a diverse library clientele, a clientele that includes many kinds of differences?
Alki Editor: Carolynne Myall
Alki Editorial Committee: Sue Anderson Kathleen Ardrey, Chair; Tami Echavarria; Cheryl Farabee; Nancy Huling; Eva-Maria Lusk; Carla McLean; David Hurley, intern; Cameron Johnson, asst. editor, Cathy Brownell, Link editor
Cover by Dawn Holladay.
Download the full-color PDF issue below.
Published March 2002
by Rayette Wilder, Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture
by Yolanda J. Cuesta and Gail McGovern, Consultants
by Karen Spence, Yakima Valley Regional Library
by Joe Martin, Pike Market Medical Clinic
by Carla McLean, Kent Regional Library
by David Hurley, University of Washington Information School
by Regan Robinson and Tom Brown, Stevens County Rural Library District
by Karen T. Knudson, Lakeview Elementary School
by Judith Zelter and Sally Polk, King County Library System
by Judy Rizzuti-Hare, Ruben Cavazos, and Gloria Garcia, Mid-Columbia Library
by Carol M. Bell, Sumner Library, Pierce County Library System
by Carol Gill Schuyler, Kitsap Regional Library
by Carolynne Myall, Eastern Washington University Libraries
by Sue Plaisance, Hillsboro Public Libraries
by Lorraine Burdick and Kirsten Edwards, Solinus Presidents
by Mike Wessells, Timberland Regional Library
by Nancy Pearl, Washington Center for the Book