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I’ve been sitting on this link for a while but I figure it’s worth tossing out here. Secrets of book publishing I wish I had known what authors should know about how most (not all) publishers work.
I thought this blog post containing a librarian’s response to a challenge to the book Uncle Bobby’s Wedding — an easy reader book that has a gay wedding in it — to be a model of responsiveness and informativeness and, at the same time, upholding the policies and procedurs of the library with politeness and compassion.
Finally, then, I conclude that â€œUncle Bobby’s Weddingâ€ is a children’s book, appropriately categorized and shelved in our children’s picture book area. I fully appreciate that you, and some of your friends, strongly disagree with its viewpoint. But if the library is doing its job, there are lots of books in our collection that people won’t agree with; there are certainly many that I object to. Library collections don’t imply endorsement; they imply access to the many different ideas of our culture, which is precisely our purpose in public life.
There’s a lively discussion going on in the comments sections as well as on MetaFilter which is where I first read about it. Nicely done, Jamie Larue.
I’m moving house this week, so I’m living out of my inbox more than usual.
I’ve been getting emails about a Library Hotline article I was quoted in, from my talk at ALA. I gave a presentation with Louise Alcorn as part of the PLA track at ALA. My talk was called “Six Things You Maybe Didn’t Know About Rural Technology” You can see the pdf as well as links to Louise’s presentations on this page, there’s some great stuff about technology for small libraries. It went well and was well-attended.
LH covered it well but they did use this one line “How many of you know that tax forms must be filed online next year? she queried the audience. Many didn’t” What I actually said was that for many libraries they must help patrons GET their tax forms online. Small misquote, no big deal. It’s even possible I misspoke. In any case, I only knew about this when I started getting emails. Often if I post something in error to librarian.net I’ll get a comment about it, maybe two. In this case, I got ten emails within maybe a week or two from librarians asking me about this, and looking for more information about what they thought was a policy they hadn’t heard of. I replied that it was an error and finally wrote to Library Hotline who graciously agreed to print a correction.
This sort of thing always reminds me that in many ways large parts of our profession still rely on print-only sources for at least some of their keeping current. I know that every time I get a copy of Computers in Libraries or School Library Journal I always think “Oh hey I should write about that on librarian.net” and am always sad to not find the content online and linkable.
A little-known nifty thing about Google Books is that books already digitized via GB, whether in copyright or not, can be made available to students with visual disabilities. More inside scoop on the MBooks project at the BLT blog and at the MBooks accessibility page.
We now have a system in place for students with visual impairments to use MBooks [i.e. the digitized collection] in much the same way. Once a student registers with OSSD, any time she checks out a book already digitized by Google, she will automatically receive an email with a URL. Once the student selects the link, she is asked to login. The system checks whether the student is registered with OSSD as part of this program, and whether she has checked out this particular book. If the student passes both of those tests, she will get access to the entire full-text of the book, whether it is in copyright or not, in an interface that is optimized for use with screen readers. Currently, this system is available to UM students with visual impairments. We are investigating the possibility of including students with learning disabilities as well.