The Newbery award winning book this year — The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron who is also a librariancontains the word scrotum, not once, but a few times. Apparently this is a problem for some librarians and parents who have been challenging and/or removing the book from school library shelves according to some short discussion on LM_NET (link dead, search the archives here). I read the mailing list archives and it didn’t seem like a big brouhaha to me, but feel free to read it over yourselves. Thanks to the power of the blogonets, you can read the author’s response to the criticisms as well as a response from AS IF, young adult authors who support intellectual freedom.

Update: The New York Times has also mentioned this story, but I’m not sure how they thought was an “electronic mailing list.” They also go on to claim “Authors of children’s books sometimes sneak in a single touchy word or paragraph, leaving librarians to choose whether to ban an entire book over one offending phrase” which I have never heard of before, either the sneaking or the banning. If anyone would like to enlighten me to other examples in the comments, I’d appreciate it. Also note, if it’s unclear or maybe you haven’t been here before and don’t know the place, I think the scrotum-bashers are over the top on this.

open source software in libraries, a query

I’m putting together a little piece about open source software, sort of showcasing how it is or can be used in libraries. Some of the tools, like Firefox or Open Office, are somewhat well known while others like VLC or are much less familiar. If your library is using an open source tool and liking it, would you mind putting a note in the comments or dropping me an email over the next week or so letting me know what you use and why you like it? Thank you.

Here are a few little things I’ve been reading on the subject this week.

– Dan Chudnov’s Talk slides: “FLOSS for Libraries: For Administrators”
– LifeHackers Geek to Live: Top 10 open source Windows apps
– Eric Goldhagen’s Open Source for Librarians powerpoint presentation.

Jessamyn, librarian *and* faerie priestess

Hey look, it’s a Jessamyn/librarian who is not me!

Jessamyn Fawn is torn between her two lives – that of a librarian living in the mundane confines of suburbia and her secret life as Faerie Priestess. Her work within the Faerie Ring takes a new turn after a Beltane ritual, which leads her further and further into the Faerie realms – and to a spiritual and sensual awakening that threatens to unravel Jessamyn’s everyday life. Jessamyn realises that in order to truly be herself she must find a way to bring these seemingly opposing worlds together.

happy lovers day, LIBRARY lovers day

The Australia Library and Information Association and Public Libraries Australia are rebranding Valentine’s day.

Forget Valentines’ Day, 14 February has been re-named “library lovers’ day”! Take the opportunity to celebrate those who love and support us and to remind decision makers how “loved” we are.

And in other 14feb news, I made this:

Happy Valentine's Day