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"If good books did good, the world would have been converted long ago."

- George Moore

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Fiona Rigby has done a paper evaluating self-checkout methods. You can also read other papers presented at the Library and Information Association of New Zealand conference last year. [ pdf file ]

We all know, or should know, proper ways for disposing of American flags. Did you also know you can get your holy books buried? [ NYT, thanks jude ]

Booklover's Ball raises money for children's book collection at the Denver Public Library. [ libnews ]

A cathedral of comfort for non-believers: the library. "When it comes to the library, I'm orthodox. I relish its quiet and contemplative spaces. "


Hi. I just got my own card catalog. It came from some library at Harvard a ways back via someone from Boston, has sixty drawers which currenly have labels like "Phish" and "Jerry Live", and weighs a ton. I haven't decided what to use it for yet.

Those nice people who put on the play Underneath the Lintel emailed me and said they thought they got short shrift from the NY Times review. They would like librarians to be able to decide for themselves if the play -- a librarian mystery -- is worthwhile. Their web site is at, take a look for yourselves.

Connelsville restores their Carnegie library reading room back to its 1903 state, plus a few computers.

Treasures from the great libraries of Los Angeles. [ thanks dan ]


The Internet Archive does not just have the fun fun fun Wayback Machine, but it also has this great old movie called The Librarian [scroll down]. Now, here in dial-up land, we lack the patience for 32MB downloads, but if you can stomach it, I hear there's "...some kind of airstream trailer-bookmobile at the beginning of the movie, but the image is small, so it's hard to tell." [ thanks heather ]

"...two self-service checkout machines stood idle. Michael Dong of the Bronx approached one, but his attempt at do- it-yourself library clerking ended in an error message. "Of all the times I've tried it, it's worked once," said Mr. Dong of the machine as he abandoned it in exasperation." [ NYT, thanks jhobbs ]

"The New South Wales Public Service Association today begins a case for equal pay covering three occupations traditionally dominated by women. The union will argue before a full bench of the state Industrial Relations Commission that librarians, archivists and library technicians have been undervalued." Hmm, any American unions want to pick up the ball here?

"Public libraries are beloved institutions. When one is being built, everyone wants it to be special and everyone wants to feel a part of the project." Trouble choosing library architects in FL. [ libnews ]

According to my calendar, it's still 2001, but that hasn't stopped the folks at RUSA from putting out the Best Free Reference Web Sites list a bit early. [ stuff ]

I love watching new library districts sprouting up all over the place.

Wanted: One creative person with a catchy name for a new library. Reward? a $50 gift certificate and a prime spot at the library's grand opening.

"I brought in my daughter's copy of The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe and said, Maybe this will keep you from getting in trouble." Classic novels giving jailed teens something useful to do. "If a kid holds out, it's like a flashlight in the back of my brain," he said. "They can't read. Almost always, if I sit down with them privately, they'll admit it, and I can get them together with one of our tutors."


The Machine Learning Journal lost two-thirds of its editorial board this month when 40 members resigned after citing philosophical differences in the journal's restrictive distribution policies. [ libnews ]

Relatedly and bearing repeating: the cost of information. [ juice ]

Also related to the cost of information -- sending library work overseas. "it is the kind of work that most people don't do in the States, because it's not thought to be very interesting." [ infolibre ]

How to ask questions the smart way. An information acquisition lesson from hackers.

Oh yeah, that filtering plan from yesterday? It sucks. Surprised? [ thanks rebecca ]

And speaking of sucks, howabout that new Microsoft Thesaurus that does not "suggest words that may have offensive uses"? If you are looking for some offensive words, might I suggest Roger's Profanisaurus?

Like books? Gardyloo!

Underneath the Lintel, a librarian mystery play. [ thanks jhobbs ]

Largest Arabic Library in the world -- Library of Congress -- all but shut down due to anthrax scare. [ stuff ]


Librarian dies 28 hours before official retirement, her beneficiary gets stiffed out of her pension. Think this would have been different if the beneficiary was a legal spouse? [ thanks jjg & michael ]

Island librarian [ thanks mk ]

CHILDE: Children's Historical Literature, Disseminated Thoughout Europe. [ thanks eoin ]

AOLTimeWarner, Yahoo and MSN support filtering system designed by ICRA. Says anti-filtering activist Bennett Haselton "It's a reincarnation of a system that has been around for years with enormous financial backing, and nobody uses it." [ libgeek ]

As much as I love the Internet Archive, calling it the world's largest library is like calling Amazon the world's largest bookstore, it's missing the point somehow.

Please enjoy these postings on the topic of "libarians suck" The rest of the Librarians chatboard is a lot more reasonable, and useful.


"The questions we normally get from (foreigners) are about green cards or learning English," the librarian said. "Usually people don't come in asking about water maps." When is giving info to the FBI justified, if they haven't asked for it? [ thanks kelly ]

In the land of content, the one-eyed librarian is queen. "...content professionals have been around for years, and they know more about content management, acquisition, filtering, taxonomy development and categorization than any tool or technology. These information professionals -- also known as librarians -- already know the answers to many of the content questions posed by the IT side of the house. They know where to get content and how to present it in a meaningful way. IT doesn't have to reinvent the IC wheel." [ thanks ken ]

The Library Association of Ireland has a lovely easy to use web site. [ thanks eoin ]

"The old Kemp Public Library across from the Times was my salvation. But it took special help. The card file listed no book in the whole building that was written about outhouses. I finally asked the three librarians on duty about the reason for crescent moons in outhouses. They scattered in three directions and two came up empty-handed, but a fellow by the name of Lendel Lunsford whispered a librarian's version of a shout of triumph!" [ thanks jen ]

"I think it's a very silly thing that the [library] board decided," he said. "It's as silly as hell." Library chairman quits over poppy-sale ban. [ newbreed ]

"Scarce resources have forced school boards to choose between keeping their libraries and paying for textbooks, teachers and guidance counsellors." Ontario school libraries in big trouble.
Bookmobile comic. [ lisnews ]

Librarian finds a dead body. Their personal story and the news report on the same dead body.


Hi. I'm in Burlington Vermont at the Vermont International Film Festival checking in through the wonders of insecure library computers [UVM]. I'll mostly wait to update til I get home and I know you've probably read this link but....

Man kept off flight for book he was reading. Now, we joke a lot about wingnuts and the books they try to keep us from reading, but if you examine this article closely, you'll notice that even when this guy came back to the airport carrying a Harry Potter book it still got the once over, maybe even a twice over. I believe that as librarians it is our job to put a stop to this bullshit idea that people can be made dangerous, or can be legitimately thought to be dangerous, merely by dint of the books they read. Nonsense. [ thanks michael & kelly ]


LOC to be closed to "most tourists." Researchers can continue with their work. [ thanks amylinda & david ]

3M wants to make your weeding easier, but not necessarily cheaper at 90 cents per book.

"Attention cat owners! Your feline friend is sitting on a miracle cleanserŠ of books!" Now you can buy smelly books with impunity! [ thanks lynsey ]

"That pesky First Amendment aside, the problem isn't just that Internet filters don't work well. It's that the very nature of how filtering software weeds out inappropriate content means they never will." Read the whole report from the National Coalition Against Censorship. [ newpages ]

Lincoln Center Library -- "the cerebellum of the performing arts industry in New York" -- reopens after massive renovations. [ NYT ]

Like Steinbeck? Want a little bit of cash for your library to tell other people how much you like Steinbeck? There's help available. [ what's gnu ]

"Libraries and open source software are a natural fit. Both promote learning and understanding through the dissemination of information." [ lisnews ]

Was there ever a library remodelling that was not controversial? Bodleian Library thinking about some changes... "The authors of this grossly insensitive proposal need to be reminded that the Divinity School is one of the supreme monuments of English Gothic architecture. Any visitor will want first of all to stand and take in the interior as a whole, undistracted by any display and on leaving to pause and admire the play of light on the Purbeck stone paving. None of this will be possible if the centre of the floor is occupied by displays." [ lisnews ]


Progressive Librarians Around the World has moved to the universe.

Oh look, it's from October 1999! That Wayback Machine is a little spooky, dontcha think?

Many nice library graphics over at ALIA's site. Where do you think this nice lady works? [ newbreed ]

Mandatory pledge/anthem in Madison raises ire. Jack Barisonzi, a school librarian, said the debate provides an 'example of the fear of the majority'."I hope people who are so nationalistic and feel that God is on our side realize that the Germans in World War II thought God was on their side," Barisonzi said.

Article on weblogs with a librarian emphasis. [ newbreed ]

High school library evacuated after bird seed found in book. [ libgeek ]

Mitch Freedman's report to the ALA on the five months since his election. You can keep track of his campaign promises too.


Hi. I have switched registrars for this domain. I have moved it from [evil spawn of hell] Network Solutions to [nice and French] The transfer was completely transparent and only took a few days start to finish. If you are the administrative contact for your domain and you resent paying insane fees to a company that is tough to deal with and charges too much, think about transferring the domain. Gandi is about ten bucks American per year. Oh, and I do not work for them.

Okay, seriously, does anyone know what is up with the @yourlibrary web site? I read something in American Libraries that they were doign a deal with IFLA to change to focus to a campaign for World Libraries instead of the Campaign for American's Libraries. Apparently the normal old @yourlibrary site is the "consumer" site, but no mention why it might be down.... more stuff to sell, maybe?

Beyond Utopia Lies Anarchism. A cataloging in joke, complete with tattoo. [ thanks jon ]

Libraries worldwide that lend out ebooks, as part of a larger paper on whether ebooks can improve libraries. [ robotwisdom ]

"Any government that tries to control what its citizens read is evil." The newest installment6 by Uncle Frank, on the Cuban Library Problem.

Library Juice officially has its manifesto up. I think I need a manifesto too.


"It will be tragic if we continue to waste the substantial sums being spent on the "@yourlibrary" campaign on this shallow image publicity. We should use the money to tell America and the world the true value of the service and agency librarians provide. We should be telling them what value we add to the quality of life and citizenship in America, and why they should spend their tax dollars to pay for libraries and to pay librarians better." Oddly, the @yourlibrary site is being revised this very day..... [ LJ login required ]

Walt Crawford, who wrote the AL weblogs article, also has his own online magazine, Cites & Insights.

Boy Scout librarian.

"Mostly you just rant. That's not a category in the Dewey Decimal System."

"Wrongo. It's 320.42"
[ thanks michael ]

I've been waiting for this, the Evasion-English Dictionary.
Feel=Am : "I can't believe I did that to you. I feel terrible."

I don't know about the rest of you, but $360/week would be an improvement on my income level, maybe now is the time to get a job at NetLibrary which is otherwise up for sale.

"Listen up bookworms, I'm here to install my proprietary OS on all the library computers!" Sneaking between bookshelves, Lynn quickly changes into Linux Lass.

Librarians can answer all your questions -- a look at Seattle's Quick Info department. Now, maybe someone from the NW can help me out on this, but when I applied for a job in Quick Info, it did not require and MLS and paid roughly $8-9/hour. I am the last person who would say that people without MLSes are not excellent question answerers, but I am curious after reading this article as to whether the people the article refers to are mostly MLS librarians, or mostly underpaid clerks getting paid to do the work of librarians. Anyone know? [ stuff ]


Hi. Typos in recent links are fixed. If you notice a link not working, please do let me know.

Librarians against War


Hi. I registered a .info domain, seemed like all the cool kids were doing it. It was fun and easy. Try it!

Well, when all else is uncertain, there's always library porn, and Buffy slash fiction. [ thanks aaron ]

"Why not why not lie down and in the sanctuary of the library why not come cool all night and see the shores of the sky?"

More reports of terrorists using the library. Gee, where ELSE would they have gotten their information? [ thanks robert ]

Librarian with anthrax? Let's hope not. [ thanks kelly ]

"If he was going to be a librarian, he'd be the most dangerous one in the tire kingdom."

University librarian suspended for sending email critical of US foreign policy. Clerical union comes to his aid. [ newbreed ]

Brian the Laughing Librarian is interviewed by Marylaine this week. [ stuff ]


Hi. I just got back to Vermont after a 23 hour bus ride and a three hour drive. I grilled cheddarwursts in the backyard and marvelled at the picture of myself in American Libraries. I'll be taking a few days off. I've updated the links page in an all-text format that should be useful, so check out some of those pages, and check back in a day or two.


Hi. It's Vallejo, not Valleho. Less scrupulous weblogs would just go back and correct it, not me. Welcome to warts-and-all weblogging. [ thanks jill ]

The Effects of September 11th on the Leading Search Engine. [ stuff ]

Thank Jehu for the Onion in times like these. "A number of the new security measures will directly affect the public: It will now become more difficult to obtain a library card, requiring a birth certificate and two forms of photo ID. The daily children's story hour has been shortened to 20 minutes. And while the library has always officially had a no-loitering rule on the books, it will now be strictly enforced." [ thanks sarah ]

One of my favorite book reviews.

One more naked person in front of a bookshelf to add to the Naked Librarians page. Warning, links to picture of naked woman! [ thanks graham ]

Mo, from Dykes to Watch Out For, is going to library school! [ thanks rebecca ]

Another library haiku.

Bridging the Digital Divide at a New Mexico tribal library, a Gates Foundation report.


Hi. I live under a rock apparently. All you wonderful people were able to tell me that 1) that picture I linked to was done by Boris Valleho, or in his style 2) he is from Peru 3) he usually works from live models 4) the image was used as a promotional ad for the movie The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag 5) which sucked and 6) yes, Betty Lou is a librarian, and 7) you could order the image from Boris himself if you are so inclined. I love it that my readers are a bunch of librarians! [ thanks brad, sarah, jessica, ken, howard, janet, michael, david, bill, heather, terrence, mike ]

Weeding controversy at Chicago Public: "It's been called 'a book burning' by some community members, and 'a rape of the collection' by others. 'They didn't want any input from the Sulzer staff on what to keep,'" [ thanks michael & sean ]

Tiny library haiku for the day. [ thanks celia ]

The search for the most fascinating library buildings in the world. I had no idea that I've been to the tallest library in the world! [ thanks aaron ]

CIA looking for a few good librarians. [ newbreed ]

New issue of Moveable Type online including some great articles about Cuba and Nicholson Baker. [ juice ]

Maybe those 2800 books weren't miscataloged? Who do you believe in disputes like this? [ libgeek ]

A full complement of those nice-looking buttons I mentioned yesterday can be found over at Library Media and PR.

Library Communication Strategies: Simple is Almost Always Better


Hi. Its sweeps weeks here on the library related weblogs circuit. I am looking for a B&W image of the front of a card catalog drawer. Looking for this online has netted me many of the fine links below. I also found a library clip art site that has some nice library buttons.

Feisty SFPL foregoes f*cking filters even if forced to forego federal funding.

The history of the Souther Adirondack Library System, complete with funky old bookmobile picture.

"Library damaged in explosion of nearby College Hall, November 8, 1991. Desolation. Shambles. Utter pain." American University of Beruit.

"Lockhart, Texas---october, 2000 -- The wackiest librarian in Texas, who was scheduled to perch herself on top of the 100 year old Dr. Eugene Clark Library in an effort or raise $20,000 now claims full credit for the coldest and rainiest October weather in the last 100 years! "

"Streak on down to the library, we have something to cover everything."

"The Library is a place to study and reflect in a peaceful setting or to get some practice in our indoor bowling alley."

Wanted: The Tipsy Librarian.

I really wish I knew the context for this picture, but I don't. Anyone speak Russian?

Giuseppe Arcimboldo. The Librarian. c.1566


Chicago Public library was hit with the Nimda virus, which is what screwed up their search feature. It's fixed now -- or they have managed a workaround -- and allowed me to find this excellent list of ten famous people who were librarians.

In Defense of Freedom "We can, as we have in the past, in times of war and of peace, reconcile the requirements of security with the demands of liberty." Signed by ALA, ARL and AALL, among others. [ thanks alison ]

Mitch Freedman interviewed in this month's New Breed Librarian.

Also interviewed, Rogue Librarian Carrie Bickner.

In defense of MLS librarians "Several years ago the classification of librarian at East Side School was changed to permit hiring a less-qualified individual at a lower salary so the superintendent's wife could be given the job. " Guess what happened? [ stuff ]

New Alexandria Library opens for trial run. [ libgeek ]

Linking to the Appropriate Copy: meaningful citations in the new world of ejournals.

Those high-level thesaurus folks have come out with a new report about the challenges involved in creating a cross-catalog thesaurus.

You can all start getting your .info domains now.


Albany Library sends 100 paper cranes to NYPL: 'Sadako wanted so much to comfort him, but she didn't know what to say. Then she remembered the cranes. 'You can make paper cranes like I do,' she said, 'so that a miracle can happen.' [ roguelib ]

Library Techlog. Yay!

Apropos Borges multimedia mini. "They said he used to go along the shelves of the library and just feel the backs of the books, after he was blind. "

"putting the rarin' back in librarian since 1993"

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