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Nice slogan, "LIBRARIES TO THE PEOPLE!" But it can only be realized when people make their libraries invigorating, just, and responsive.
- Sandy Berman

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'30dec02
Hi. ALA took two weeks to charge my credit card for my membership application, but I guess I am now officially a member.
Library allow patrons to check out twice the number of books they normally could? Why? They are moving and want to save money on movers. [ thanks natalia ]
When you close a library branch, do the people just go away? A short but sweet letter to the editor.
I didn't know that Vancouver [BC] Public Library had already been closing for a week a year for years now in order to save money. Seattle Public is keeping a budget reduction timeline, online to keep track of cuts they are being asked to make.
Lipstick Librarian makes the paper for an article on .... lipstick
"It's a great way to look made up without having to put a lot of makeup on. And if you're a librarian with red lipstick, people feel more comfortable around you and remember you as the one who wears lipstick"
Congressional reading room & LoC branch in the Capitol building closing to make way for interns, in part because Senators think they can use the Internet to do their research. Senators will now have to go to the LoC, ten minutes down the road. [ stuff ]
'25dec02
Apparently Library Journal has predicted a librarian shortage, due to hit us over ... oh about the next twelve years. Accpording to LJ, this is not much time to prepare. Huh.
Some prison librarians just want to help inmates read books to their children.
Who is the ARSCC Librarian?
Not for country. Not for honor. For your reading list! Harrison Ford in Patriot Act [ thanks nat ]
A ways back, Canadian Living magazine wrote a section on Canadian Libraries as the strong point of many Canadian communities.
'21dec02
Hi. Happy Solstice. I'll be heading to San Francisco tomorrow. Updates will be likely less frequent, but I'm sure I'll have some wonderful reports from the library. Maybe I can get them to give me a card.
My Vermont Congressman Bernie Sanders is planning to introduce legislation challenging the PATRIOT Act, or at least the "spying on all citizens without probable cause" part. [ thanks daniel ]
What was the last recorded book that was actually banned in Boston? [ thanks don ]
While I think that amnesty for overdue books is a great thing for a library to do once a year or so, the slogan Share the Thrill, Return the Books! seems a little over the top. Beats calling the cops, though.
I'd be remiss if I did not note the Santa Claus Library, in Finland. [ thanks eoin ]
When I search Google for the word librarian, I notice two things: 1) my site comes up second [damn you lii.org for your superior page rank!] and the only sponsored link is an ad for a guy who creates bookshelves made of books.
Washington State library not closing exactly, but they may lay off 81 of 114 staffers which means they don't have enough people to even open the building.
"We would become what I'm calling an elegant warehouse, because the staff would be taken away that would serve the public," [state librarian] Walsh told The Olympian newspaper....She said the savings, about $5 million, would save less than 0.1 percent of the budget shortage that Locke is trying to fix.
'19dec02
The great thing about putting interesting content out there is that a lot of times smart people you might not ever get to talk to in real life riff off your stuff and make new stuff out of it? What am I on about? This new slogan: in america, [the] library checks you out! Big thanks to Trained Monkey. There's more interesting news about yesterday's spikey popularity on my site, in case you care.
Meanwhile, Oakland has passed a resolution against the PATRIOT act, spurred on by, among others, the library.
If you have always been dying to comment on some of these links, you can, over at the librariandotnet syndication page at LiveJournal. I'm new to all this syndicate stuff, but this seems like a good thing. Note: that is not my page, just a LJ service to you, the users of the Internet.
Rich Microsoft guy devotes time and money to helping the poor learn to read.
...is Wood ready for a break from the dizzying pace of life after Microsoft? Not exactly. "We've helped 100,000 kids gain access to books so far," he says. "That is one one-hundredth of 1% of the illiterate people on this earth. So congratulations. Get your ass back to work." [ thanks belva ]
Amherst college buys nuclear bunker, turns it into offsite storage for the library. [ thanks daniel ]
The latin library, sometimes you just want to read the classics in latin.
And, in the "noted without comment section: Prison librarian accused of having sex with prisoner.
'18dec02
Hi. Wow, the link from yesterday got a lot of attention. Glad people liked it. The more people realize how ridiculous it is for our democratically elected government to expect librarians to lie to American citizens in the name of so-called National Security, the better off we will all be.
Meanwhile, I slept through the march to protest the one week closing of Seattle Public, which started yesterday. It's good to see librarians both able to agree to take a pay cut when it matters, but still not be happy about it. [ thanks todd ]
How to transform your bookmobile into a gingerbread house [plus day two].[ large images, thanks lis ]
UK library organization CILIP supports ALA in their fight against government surveillance of libraries. [ thanks eoin ]
Ralph Nader jumps into the fray to help DC's flagging libraries. [ thanks bibliolatry ]
The secret life of non-readers.
Shortage of time is the most common complaint people like me offer up for not reading serious books. One hesitates to enumerate what we do have time for, or how we use a drug like alcohol to make our brains literature-resistant for hours at a stretch. But when it comes to Dickens and his 1,000-page kin, who were writing for a leisured class with more servants and fewer parent-teacher interviews, the clock really is an issue.
'17dec02
Hi. I am pissed off at the PATRIOT Act today and the culture of fear that is pervading this country lately, as well as the complicity and lies that librarians are expected to add to it. Screw that. I have created Five Technically Legal Signs for Your Library. Use them in good health.
'16dec02
You have likely seen this, but I hadn't. If your library uses an Innovative interface, John Udell has created a little toolbar app that will let you look up books that you are browsing on Amazon.com or other online stores with ISBNs in their URLs and see if your library has them. Damned fine! [ thanks dylan ]
Jessa Crispin, from Bookslut, has written a story about being a librarian at a sexual education center. From the always excellent Morning News.
The stupid boys elicited a completely different response. They didnít want someone to listen, they wanted someone to tell them they werenít idiots. The problem was, they were idiots. I couldnít believe anyone would ever have sex with them.
Potbellied pig who paints, @your library! [ thanks jude ]
Librarian steals money from school book fair, gets caught, is now working as a foster parent.
BookAid gets books to people who need books.
Our vision is of a world in which everyone has access to the books and information they need. We are working towards this vision by providing books for readers of all ages in some of the world's poorest countries. [ thanks eoin ]
Some Ranganathan excerpts, online: Prolegomena to Library Classification
From the same site, different section: fiction with footnotes.
The ups and downs of book collecting addiction
To feed my craving for modern first editions... takes a fifth of my income ó more than I spend on food or my children....Friends and family have felt obliged to shun me lest I drag them down with my sordid behaviour; my burblings of cracked hinges, crushed spines and discoloured front-end papers. I am abandoned to the company of quiet men in cardigans.
'13dec02
Woo hoo, a Jessamyn West book has been picked for the One Book One City project in Indiannapolis. It's a good one, too. [ thanks howard ]
Why Barbie may be an architect instead of a librarian. Plus this great quote: "I really like frumpy librarians with glasses who, after a couple of tequila shots, take their hair out of the bun and get crazy" [ thanks lis ]
No wreaths on NYPL lions this year. This is not one of those church vs. state things, they're just deteriorating. Did you know they were called Patience and Fortitude? [ thanks jenny ]
I do not want anything for Christmas, but if I wanted one thing, it would likely be the Personal Library Kit, from the good folks at Knock Knock. [ thanks jen ]
Clarence the Copy Cat is a children's book that takes place mostly in a library. [ thanks miriam ]
How to host your own book swap, tip #2 is bring lots of booze, who knew? [ thanks jude ]
A bit of a meta-link, LawMeme the yale Law School's technology law weblog, has a nice thing or two to say about librarians.
I have always thought that librarians were, as a general rule, some of the most considerate, caring people I have ever met. The extent to which they care about library users' privacy just confirms my opinion. [ thanks james ]
'11dec02
Hi. Revolting Librarians Redux has an ISBN and a catalog page now. It's some of the best news I've had all year. Yes, I know it's expensive, I'm sorry about that. Please have your library order eleventeen copies immeidately.
There's "always" a demand for librarians with high-tech research skills. This is, of course, back when people thought that HTML "programming" was a high-tech skill. [ thanks jay ]
When you donate your money to a university library, make sure the university uses it for the library. They might lose it and then you would have to sue them to try to get it back. [ thanks sarah ]
The BBC is putting a big emphasis on reading and literature in this season's lineup. Here's some case details about The Big Read from Books and Business, itself an interesting website. [ thanks eoin]
British Library staff busted for looking at porn on their work computers.
A source said the suspensions were surprising: "The British Library has the largest collection of 'porn' in the world, as it receives a copy of every book and magazine published." [ thanks owen ]
The big question on my mind is whether the newly created kids.us domain will have some of the same problems as Internet filters. Do you think the federal government will find websites on teen homosexuality suitablke for kids under 13? How about sites that say that the president is a dork? How easy do you think it's going to be to "continuously monitor" an entire domain? What about foreign websites?
A federal contractor will approve participants wanting to establish addresses with the new suffix and continuously monitor to be sure they are free of pornography and other material not suitable for youngsters under 13. [ thanks pat ]
Please don't forget that there are many people who not only feel that a kids.us domain is entirely justified, but also think that ALA is a left-wing organization that does not have children's best interests at heart.
Library workers in the King County system -- the largest library system in the state of Washington -- have decided to unionize. [ thanks hannah ]
'10dec02
Hi. I joined ALA today. Now you can all vote for me for ALA Council. For an organization that is supposedly by and for information professionals, the sign-up process is ridiculous; a series of circa-1996 buttons and forms that then [I am guessing] securely EMails [their spelling, not mine] my credit card information to some mystery location at ALA. I am sure that when I was in Chicago in April they were showing me the mock-up of a new website they were contemplating. It was attractive. What do you suppose ever happened to it...? The whole experience seemed like a metaphor for the dwindling impact of todays public libraries, but maybe I'm reading too much into it. At least now ALA lets you opt out of getting your name sold to every customized pencil and post-it manufacturer in the country. I'll let you all know when I am a card carrying member again.
You know, I call bullshit on these articles saying there is a librarian shortage. Many of my friends who are graduating with library degrees can't find work in public or academic libraries. My feeling is not that we have a librarian shortage, but that libraries are cutting positions to make ends meet in a budget-slashing economy. Until there is reasonable funding for library staff [not just computers and new downtown libraries], the librarian shortage will be with us and people will look on libraries as the red-headed stepchild of the public service sector. [ thanks bill ]
The libraries of Harvard sponsor two contests. One is on book and art collecting, the other is for undergraduate book collecting.
The prize, which was established in 1977 .... is administered through Lamont Library, is awarded annually to undergraduates who have formed the most coherent, promising and thoughtful book collections.
Artifical intelligence collection at Edinburgh library ironically destroyed by oldest known technology -- fire. [ thanks margie ]
BookWorm, flash library game Link letters together to make words. Then click submit! Don't let the red tiles reach the bottom, or your library will catch fire! [ thanks pauline ]
Ramana Rao's Information Flow is a monthly newsletter devoted to making sense of the information glut and learning ways to channel and work with it.
'09dec02
Hi. Here is a song about books by the Magnetic Fields called Book of Love. The accordian player for this band also writes Lemony Snicket.
The book of love is long and boring
No one can lift the damn thing
It's full of charts and facts and figures
and instructions for dancing
but I
I love it when you read to me
and you
you can read me anything
The book of love has music in it
In fact that's where music comes from
Some of it is just transcendental
Some of it is just really dumb
but I
I love it when you sing to me
and you
you can sing me anything
The book of love is long and boring
and written very long ago
It's full of flowers
and heart-shaped boxes
and things we're all too young to know
but I
I love it when you give me things
and you
you ought to give me wedding rings
I
I love it when you give me things
and you
you ought to give me wedding rings
If you are in NYC please cnsider attending Spies in the Stacks, a story about libraries and confdentiality and government interference. January 2-25. I've read the script and like it a great deal. Here's some more info on it. Don't be put off by the poster, the whole thing takes place in 1962.
In Europe, librarians are more like historians, at least they have the same "native dress" according to one writer.
There is even a native costume: throughout Europe, employees of national archives and libraries dress in lab coats, which lends them a slightly menacing air. [ NYT thanks rebecca ]
'06dec02
Marylaine has written a top-notch article this week on the weird spectre of disappearing data. You know, the stuff you see up on the web one day and then it's gone. This is annoying when you see it on a friend's page, but downright troubling when it's official government information, there one day and gone the next.
And while we're discussing the governemnt, here's ALA's Policy on Government Intimidation. It's short so I'll quote it in its entirety
The American Library Association opposes any use of governmental prerogatives which leads to the intimidation of the individual or the citizenry from the exercise of free expression. ALA encourages resistance to such abuse of governmental power and supports those against whom such governmental power has been employed. [emphasis mine]
New but promising library-usability.org, a very attractive and relevant weblog. Maybe they can fix what's wrong with Chicago Public.
"Some times you are moved by such a strong emotion that you can only express it through song ... even at the library." [ thanks emily ]
You've all read The Library at Babel right? A short story by Borges that takes place entirely in a world composed of a library. Here's a newish essay about it. [ thanks heidi ]
Everyone agrees that Bill Clinton did not sleep with Harlem librarian Daria Carter-Clark so he does not need to appear in court for the libel suit she is filing against Primary Colors. [ thanks taylor ]
Frequent librarian.net contributor Michael Sauers also has a library card collection. [ thanks david ]
Remember how Washington state just barely avoided cutting its state library a few years back? Here's a local editorial telling the adminsitration to leave it alone this year as well. Remember, Washington librarians give kidneys to strangers, you should try to keep them happy.
Are security cameras in the library a good response to security problems?
'04dec02
Hi. I'm back in Seattle. The length of my side-trip to Chicago means I'm not going to spend as much time as I had planned complaining about how truly user-unfriendly the Chicago Public Library is. The librarians I dealt with were pleasant, but every time I needed to look up a new book, I had to pester one of them to show me where to go [and no one offered me a map, though I eventually asked for one]. The GUI version of the OPAC is the worst I have ever used, and four of the dumb terminals I tried to use to end-run this problem were out of service. They have a huge section for library science books, but it is at the end of a long narrow room and has suffered badly from lack of attention and maintenance. Apparently, I'm not the only one who thinks CPL needs some help.
Hey, a question I answered for the Internet Public Library, back in the day, made its way to The Straight Dope. My answer was called "no flakier than any of these other systems" by Cecil Adams. Woo.
One of my favorite librarians, Sara Ryan, voices her concerns about trying to market and sell programs to young adults. [ALA and Hershey's Milk -- formerly Hershey's Chocolate Milk -- are you listening?]
Why do books cost so much nowadays [hint: it's not because the authors are getting rich, trust me] [ thanks lis ]
This guy has a collection of 39 library cards. I bet I can beat that. I have six already.
'01dec02
Hi. Today is World AIDS Day and librarian.net is participating in Link & Think as a way of raising awareness about AIDS. AIDS has, in the past, been stigmatized because of being a "gay disease", but due to advancements in medical technology it is also quickly becoming a "poor disease" and you know how much we care about the poor in this country. Stay informed, link & think.
Harvard's anti-gay tribunal from the 20's only uncovered thanks to a committee set-up by the library director.
Mr. Paley's request to see the documents was denied by the dean of the college, Harry R. Lewis, on the ground that they involved private student disciplinary hearings. But Mr. Paley turned to the director of the University Library, Sidney Verba, who set up an advisory committee to consider the request. On the committee's recommendation, Mr. Verba eventually decided to release the documents, with the names of the students, now all dead, blacked out.
The National Library of Medicine maintains a thorough finding aid to online AIDS information.
The Gambia Library and Information Services Association organized a three-day training of trainer's workshop on the dissemination AIDS/STIS for Library Personnel.
Community college library has a display of plaster mask casts of 26 people with HIV and AIDS, showing that AIDS affects everyone.


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