[link to it] 31Oct03hi

Hi. I've gotten one report that people can't see the links in the header above. If anyone else is having this problem can you drop me an email and tell me what OS/browser you are using? Thanks. Also, I am trying to add more library school resources to the links page. If anyone knows of a library school that has a newsletter or blog [not just a home page] please drop me a note.

Those smarties at MIT are finding ways to share music without either breaking the law or paying through the nose for individual copies of all the music. The secret? Cable TV. Meet LAMP the Libraries Access to Music Project. [nyt, thanks lisa]
As per usual, it's good to remember that not all patrons appreciate our anti-PATRIOT Acts. In fact some don't even seem to understand what we do for a living....
Okay librarians, let's get this straight. You stack books in a building for a living. Are we clear? You run books under that beeping thing and give them to those of us who are too cheap to buy them in stores. You are not arbiters of free speech, the Constitution or our freaking civil rights. [stuff]
Illinois libraries serving the visually disabled are testing out a new virtual reference service for the visually impaired called InfoEyes. [lisnews]
Guess which profession gets the fewest speeding tickets, after homemakers?
[link to it] 29Oct03hi

Hi. I'll be speaking at the New Hampshire Library Association Conference next week, something about the PATRIOT Act, libraries and CIPA. Still working on it.

If you MUST filter, there is a good comparison chart of filters for libraries available online from Library Consultants, The Galecia Group. [lisnews]
There's already been some lively debate about Amazon offering full-text searching for a good chunk of its books. My personal opinion is that it's just going to wind up favoring big publishers over small ones because they are going to be more likely to offer these incentives to Amazon [as well as to be well-represented there to begin with, my small-press title doesn't even have a snappy-looking book cover shot to accompany it.] They are also more over a barrel in terms of ceding to Amazon's wishes to make this "feature" available. Of course the addition of full-text searching makes their already not-so-great search work more poorly, but then again I never did use Amazon for anything except known item searches to track down ISBNs.
The "Dangerous Reader" store is up. If you're interested in getting a bumpersticker, baby t-shirt or other merch with the "I read therefore I'm dangerous" slogan, go to it. Jason Pettis runs it and he is donating proceeds to the ACLU to help them fight the PATRIOT Act.
[link to it] 27Oct03hi

Hi. I made my reservations to go to ALA in San Diego. If anyone is going and wants to meet up for coffee or kvetching, drop me a line. I'll be at all the Council meetings, other than that, I'm not sure.

Since ALA, we all have known that the Canadian library schools are really putting out some top librarian talent. But who knew they had a fashion sense as well. The students from the SLIS at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia are hawking some mighty fine librarian t-shirts, possibly ones even too racy to wear to work. And, "action figure" aside, my favorite one has to be the NLA shirt. [thanks all]
Other trends I am fond of... precision book truck drill teams. This one won first place! Longer list of library teams is here.
Speaking of kvetching, this guy has a good point.
It's possible, however, that society's collective inability to appreciate the public library as a vital institution is the library's fault. But libraries are also venturing into murky waters. They are attempting to be everything to everybody, particularly at a time when higher usage is often rewarded with higher levels of funding support from government. [lisnews]
State funds for school library enhancement were completely cut in Alabama after the failure of the Governor's tax referendum. As a result school libraries are watching their budgets shift to zero while the stadards for accreditation are [rightfully] staying the same. Also, one of the saddest little library pictures I have seen. [thanks mac]
[link to it] 26Oct03hi

Hi. For your enjoyment, here are the copies of my letter to the New York Times as it appeared in my outbox, and as it appeared in print today. I'm pretty much done with this issue, but it's fascinating how, according to the Times, my very own originals are now just "variations" of what they printed. Also note the non-capitalization of their version of the Act's name, as if it really has something to do with patriotism, instead of being an atrocious acronym.

from my outbox

I was thrilled to see the text to three of my "Five *Technically* Legal Signs for Your Library" listed in a sidebar to Subversive Reading [Sep 28 '03]. As you know, the USA PATRIOT Act makes it difficult if not impossible to legally protect patron confidentiality. The associated gag order also means that librarians cannot inform their patrons if their personal information has been requested and provided. My signs are a way to end-run the gag order by allowing the library to provide the perfectly legal information that the FBI has not been there ... yet.

Variants of these signs are in use in libraries across the country. They have been sent as part of an intellectual freedom packet to every public library in Vermont. The ACLU has even come out with their own variety. While I think their impact is strengthened by their visual appeal over their raw text, I invite your readers to see them for themselves at


from the paper

I was thrilled to see the text to three of my "Five ‘Technically' Legal Signs for Your Library" listed in a sidebar to Margaret Talbot's essay (The Way We Live Now, Sept. 28). The Patriot Act makes it difficult to legally protect patron confidentiality. The associated gag order also means that librarians cannot inform patrons if their personal information has been requested and provided. My signs are a way to end-run the gag order by allowing the library to provide the perfectly legal information that the F.B.I. has not been there . . . yet.

Readers can see variations of the signs at librarian.net/technicality.html.

[link to it] 23Oct03@ your liberry
If you're into listservs and ezines, here is a good list of them on disability issues including DISLISEM for library students, librarians and information professionals with disabilities.
If you're into listservs and ezines, here is a good list of them on disability issues including DISLISEM for library students, librarians and information professionals with disabilities.
Hioni Karamanos has collected links and compiled a bibliography relating to library staff with disabilities.
Accessibility of Online Databases: A Usability Study of Research Databases. Is your OPAC accesible to people who use adaptive technology to look up materials in your library?
Perhaps the most profound outcome of this study for those of us who work in the area of Access Technologies is the extent to which this research shows that [Section 508] conformity and usability can be at opposite ends of the spectrum. A very good example of this dichotomy is the Silver Platter databases which for the most part showed conformity with the Section 508 Standards, but are extremely difficulty to use due to poor site construction and almost a total lack of usability with an audio browser.
[link to it] 22Oct03hi

Hi. My rad landlady is now sporting one of the "Repeal the USA PATRIOT Act" stickers on her back bumper. This is, after all, the woman whose license plate reads DMOCRAT.

Your print disabled patrons may be interested to know about Web Braille, Braille books and magazines available through the web, for free to eleigible patrons and libraries. Don't know what to read? There's always the Braille Book Review.
Developing accessible library services, a readable and useful artcle from Library & Information Update.[thanks eoin]
The library at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary is now one of 13 libraries in the world to own a reproduction of Codex Vaticanus, considered one of the oldest surviving Greek manuscripts of the Bible. Apparently there are 450 copies of this book [original is at the Vatican] and only thirteen are in libraries. I guess you can get one too, for around 6K. [thanks brandon]
People always ask me "Do any libraries really use your signs?" Now I can for sure say "Yes!" [large files, but worth it]
There's also the management perspective to consider when you are providing library services to the disabled. As this writer points out, there are few disabled librarians and very little library education about these special populations.
The needs of the disabled are still not clearly understood by many library managers. Providing library services to the disabled need not be expensive if networking is effectively used. As negative library staff attitudes are the largest barrier to the disabled accessing the library, effective on-going education needs to be instituted. Improving library service to the disabled has proven to improve over-all library service delivery.
I have refrained from mentioning anything about the Internet being up and down at our library these past two days, or how little fun it was. However, I refer you to the comedy gold of Kudzu and Cissus and their entertaining weblog He Said She Said. [lisnews]
[link to it] 21Oct03hi

Hi. EFF got the money from the sale of the bumpersticker and Dan Greene will be getting the sticker in the mail. Thanks to Jason Pettis who made the sticker in the first place.

Some people find the shushing action figure hilarious. Check out this shushing scarecrow at the North Scituate Public Library.
This week is Make a Noise in Libraries Week in the UK. Does your library have materials for your print disabled patrons? I'll be heading down to the State of Vermont Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired to learn about their adaptive technologies. [thanks owen]
In the months after 9/11 and continuing today, libraries have tried to get more books on Islam for their patrons. The Council on American-Islamic Relations helped libraries fill their collection gaps with book and information donations. Now some are saying CAIR is running a PR campaign in America's libraries for a kinder gentler, and inaccurate, view of Islam. [thanks taylor]
[link to it] 20Oct03hi

Hi. The anti-PATRIOT Act bumpersticker sold for $22, with all proceeds going to the charity of the buyer's choice. Thanks all who bid. I may have a second one for sale sometime soon.

The Guardian has a "how to" section about how to use a library. Required reading for bibliophiles or just the book-curious.
In most libraries, there is a section of large-print books. The print is so large, in fact, that most of the text has to be removed. For example, in 100 Years Of Solitude, you'll be lucky to get 40 Years Of Moderate Loneliness.
[link to it] 19Oct03hi

Hi. I don't mean to whine, but I must be the most undercited blogger there is... here's a link to a piece in the Charleston Post & Courier. Who do you think that small town librarian is? [use the NYT registration if they require one]

Clark Atlanta University trustees voted this week to close the library school, among other departments, protests nonwithstanding. Damn damn damn. [thanks mac]
The NYPost has a photo of the librarian who is "too sexy" to get promoted at Harvard. Incidentally, the closing of Clark's library school will be another blow against furthering the causes of black librarians. [thank bill]
Book drive in Sierra Leone. Can you help refill the shelves of the Kalangba Agricultural Secondary School? More info is here.
If you're smart, have some serious library schooling, and know computers, academic librarianship may be for you. [thanks barbara]
[link to it] 17Oct03hi

Hi. I'm at the Vermont International Film Festival this weekend. No updates until Monday. Ebay auction is doing well and we'll have to see if my letter makes it to the NY Times Magazine this weekend.

[link to it] 15Oct03hi

Hi. I got a very nice email from the folks at the New York Times Magazine yesterday. They explained how they had come to reprint my content with insufficient credit and how they were very sorry. They offered me a chance to write a letter to the editor of the magazine giving myself proper attribution. We'll see how it goes. Thanks to everyone who offered suggestions on how to resolve the problem.

If you consider yourself a capital-F Friend of Cuban Libraries, you might like the Rule of Law and Cuba site at Florida State.
Unshelved's take on the librarian action figure... astute cultural critique or deft product placement? [thanks Kevin]
Maybe the way they can get people to really care about the USA PATRIOT Act is to say that it's going to affect how we shop?
Mr. Bevis, of Arundel books, said his online book buyers continue to gravitate to less controversial titles - no matter his promises of privacy. But shoppers at his Seattle store - many of whom work at a nearby federal office building - continue to buy books that in some cases might be construed as inflammatory. "But nowadays," he said, "everybody I know who's a federal employee is paying cash." [NYT, lisnews]
[link to it] 14Oct03hi

Hi. This is a linkless post so I thought I'd put it here. I have it on good authority that NYPL will be installing filters on their library terminals to bring them into compliance with CIPA. When I called their public relations office to check, I got something along the lines of "probably definitely" but that they hadn't selected a software vendor yet. Big news?

Carrie Bickner Zeldman wrote an article a ways back explaining how Internet laws hurt the poorest of the poor. It's still sadly true.
I wonder if their policy on public use of the Internet will change?
Reminiscing about Alabama's first bookmobile, in 1931.
[link to it] 12Oct03hi

Hi. A reader of the site sent me some bumperstickers of the image I've been using in my header bar for the past few weeks [RSS folks, click here to see what I mean]. I have one on my car. I have a few extras. I am selling one via Ebay as a fundraiser for the anti-PATRIOT Act charity of the buyer's choice. I'll have another one available next week if this one goes well.

PATRIOT Watch: if you are into the whole shopping-for-change thing, the "White House Gift Shop" may be worth a looksee. [thanks jessica]
I think the knee socks are a good touch on this naked librarian. Does anyone but me look at this picture and say "wow, those are really nice shelves"?
Ever wonder if degrees from online library programs are looked at the same as degrees from the old brick and mortar establishments? Preliminary survey results indicate that while a large percentage of people see the degrees as equivalent, 18% would not hire people with an online degree. [lisnews]
The Shifted Librarian's new look is a real eyecatcher. Clean, useful, colorful, updated. Nice going Jenny and Bryan.
[link to it] 8Oct03hi

Hi. No word yet from the demons at the New York Times thought I did get a nice note from the author assuring me that she was not the one who used my content without permission or attribution. My boss today told the library board I had the librarian fire burning within me. I thought that wasa pretty nice thing to say.

Nancy Pearl: celebrity librarian. This is a nice heartwarming article about her book tour, in case you've been sort of annoyed with her lately. [NYT]
These naked librarian pictures are not safe for work.
Multnomah County's new head librarian will finally get the full salary that was offered to her, though some of it will come out of the County's risk mangement fun. The Oregonian gets a bit tongue in cheek about it all
I have been reading a book called The Book on the Book Shelf which is not a history of books, or libraries, but a history of shelving. As many of you likely know, books used to be so precious and so rare that they were only allowed to be used if they were permanently chained to their shelves and by extension, their desks.
[link to it] 7Oct03hi

Hi. So I've decided I'm a bit miffed at the New York Times for using part of my Technically Legal Signs page without asking for permission and without proper citation. Is it asinine to get hung up on proper citation? I have written to the Times and to the original author, and have yet to hear back. I will keep you posted. Also, I am aware that the Slow-Mo Library Crawl is somewhat stagnant. I will be working on that.

ALA Council has been discussing the new RFID sensation that's been sweeping the nation. San Francisco Public may want to put tracking devices into their books to assist in checkout, book location and security. The EFF, among others, are a bit skeptical. Wal-Mart may have changed their mind about RFID... will libraries?[thanks john]
John Hubbard, that "library link of the day guy" says a few words over at Ex Libris.
Yay! Chris Zamarelli is now the Banned Bookslut over at Bookslut. While you're there please read what Michael Farrely has to say about the F**king Action Figure. It's okay Michael, if Bono can say it, so can you.
So, Gale is going to offer a "feature" of allowing Google Images searching directly from their database search interface. I have mixed feelings about this. Google Images already accounts for a huge amount of the traffic coming to and from my site [cached images on Google being lifted independently from the pages they were on]. These images then tend to wind up on other people's web pages, even further removed from context. To avoid the Google Images link from turning up anything raunchy, the "Safe Search" setting will be used. This, of course, blocks non-mature content inadvertently as well. There is no alternative, it's "Safe Search" or no Google Images search at all.
[link to it] 5Oct03hi

Hi. So far so good, you think? I have received no feedback that says the new site works or looks terrible. Please let me know if you see anything amiss.

LLRX has a good analysis of the OCLC vs Library Hotel debate and issues involved. It seems that having the Library Hotel use a different classification scheme [many of which have been mentioned in these pages over the past few weeks] is not really addressing the 800-pound-gorilla issue w/r/t/ OCLC but might be a great way to highlight other such schemes. [thanks jen]
If you're one of those DVD lovers, you'll be happy to know that Bookwars is available on DVD. I saw this movie about NYC street booksellers a few years back and loved it.
I'm not exactly sure when this is happening, but some major employers in the UK are getting together for Bring a Book to Work Week to send books to some of the world's poorest countries. [thanks eoin]
Hawai'i's libraries are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. With their budget restored they are filling 86 jobs and expanding their hours. [thanks brandon]
Children's Picture Books with Librarians and Libraries: An Annotated Bibliography
Aunt Lulu is perhaps one of the strangest librarians to drive a dogsled across the frozen tundra. While her character is rather odd and free-thinking, many of the other characters in the book are even odder. [thanks mom]

[link to it] 2Oct03hello there rss reader....

Hi. Today I'm going to try creating more than one entry, using different categories, and seeing how that works. The mailto form is now fixed, in case you tried to use it and failed yesterday. I'm slowly converting older pages [not the archive pages but the other content pages] to MT format. Let me knowif anything looks weird.

My most recent, and likely last, article about Google Answers is in print and online at Computers in Libraries.
Have you ever seen so many uses of the word "probably" in a press-release type article before? Scientists think they have a new way of drying out waterlogged books... but they dont seem quite sure yet. [thanks john]
Anchorage library laying off 22 higher-educated librarians, hiring ten new workers at lower pay. Whenever they ask me about the "librarian shortage" I point them to stories like these.
[the mayor] described the library's layoffs of upper-end employees and the hiring next year of 10 new workers at lower pay as a restructuring.... they will not receive severance pay but will be able to cash out unused leave... Some can choose whether to accept the layoff or to exercise "bumping rights" to move down a step, pushing other workers further down. [thanks bill]
[link to it] 1Oct03first day withthe new domain -- these titles will never get less dumb trust me

Hi. Okay it's settled. Welcome to librarian.net using Movable Type and hosted on ibiblio's servers! Extra thanks to Blake for the little workaround while librarian.net was down and the ibiblio folks for getting it back up. I'm going to mess around with format a bit to try to get the posts into individual RSS nuggets, please stand by.

It's Mover & Shaker nomination time over at Library Journal. There's a spiffy buffet for the winners, nominate your friends.
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