Library student Joshua Kitlas interviewed LoC reference librarian Thomas Mann for one of his classes at Syracuse. I am a Mann Fan, so it was fun to get to read this.
“The profession is radically getting dumbed down. There is so much more to search than Google or OCLC. You need to see relationships between subjects and their headings. Tags by users are simply no substitute. Theyâ€™re okay as supplements to controlled vocabularies–but not substitutes. Thereâ€™s a need to go beyond the internet and look at the systems librarians and publishers have developed that are not accessible by Google or the other engines.”
More on the Chicago Defender.
Here are my old Banned Books Weeks posts: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. I skipped 2005.
It’s time for a review of Banned Books Week. This year most of my BBW information comes from Twitter. Amusingly BBW on Twitter can mean two very different things. This is the note I put on Twitter yesterday.
“Oh look an actual attempt at, well not book banning exactly. Weird old Pentagon. http://bit.ly/cqg9PL Happy [sort of] Banned Books Week.”
Pretty sketchy story. The Pentagon bought up the entire first printing of a book published by St Martin’s Press because it “contained information which could cause damage to national security.” The second edition has come out, heavily redacted. This is one of the closer “government is telling you what you can’t read” stories that I’ve seen this year. Here’s another look at the websites that are linked from ALA’s offical BBW website ala.org/bbooks, a page that is linked from the front page, but only as one of the six “slides” that revolve through the top of the page. So, Banned Books Week is sponsored by these organizations. Let’s see what their websites look like.
One of the interesting thigns to note about the ALA list of challenges is how many of the public library challenges seem to be centered around just a few library systems. Most of these stories are ones that hit the national news and so I’ve heard about them and you probably have also.
There are also good websites to go to to learn about censorship and the larger (to me) issue of chilling effects on people’s right to live free from fear and free from silencing. Here are a few things I’ve been reading lately
Join me in a rousing song celebrating free expression, won’t you?
The ACLU filed a lawsuit agains the Library of Congress for terminating a CRS Assistant Director for writing a letter to the editor for the Washington post and an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal. Colonel Morris D. Davis was, prior to his CRS position, responsible for the prosecution of suspected terrorists held at GuantaÌnamo Bay.
62. Because of his former position as the Chief Prosecutor for the military commissions, Col. Davis is regularly asked to comment on GuantaÌnamo and the military commissions system. Col. Davis believes he has a unique perspective to add to this debate, and he would like to convey his insights and opinions to the public. Since he was informed that he was being terminated by CRS, however, Col. Davis has declined numerous opportunities to speak publicly about military commissions issues out of fear that he could be subject to further retaliation by the Library and [CRS Director Daniel] Mulhollan.
63. The decision to terminate Col. Davis for his speech has intimidated and chilled other CRS employees from speaking and writing in public. CRS employees are confused, uncertain, and fearful about what outside speaking and writing is permissible.
64. As a result of the Libraryâ€™s and Mr. Mulhollanâ€™s actions, Col. Davis has suffered, and/or will suffer, both economic and non-economic losses, emotional distress, and other compensable damages.
Shorpy is a great source for old photographs. They often get them from sources like the Library of Congress which is where this photo of the New Cannan public library in 1953 came from. You can also see the original set of photos over at the Library of Congress [did not see this one over at their Flickr photostream]. The big add that Shorpy’s has, however, is the community. It’s not just a photo of a library, it’s also people commenting about their memories of the library including where else they’ve seen that certain floor tile [fun fact: it’s also the tile that’s in my bathroom as near as I can tell] [thanks mike]
I just became a fan of the Library of Congress on Facebook. They seem to be using facebook in a prety normal way, highlighting events, adding a few photos. If you want to find other ways to be social with LoC, check out this post on Resource Shelf. I’ve always felt their YouTube channel was pretty nice.