Library Juice 1:31 - September 2, 1998

1. "Librarian's Yellow Pages" on web 
2. CapitolWatch email service tells how individual legislators vote each day 
3. GuideStar--Donors' Guide to Charities and Nonprofits 
4. Resources for the Future (RFF) 
5. The Dialy Bleed, a radical book of days 
6. The Household Cyclopedia of General Information 
7. Holdings of ALA Archives now web accessible 
8. News about the list Librarians[at] 
9. No, please, not more about Gary Webb 
10. Bombing protest letter now on web, with list of signatories 
11. TOC of new book: _Libraries in the Age of Mediocrity_ by Earl Lee 
12. SLA Affirmative Action Scholarship 
13. Two items on the problem at the British Library 
14. Free Speech Internet Television Newsletter 
15. AKRIBIE -  Who we are - what we want - what we do 
Quote of the week: 
"I have never met a public librarian who approved of censorship or one who 
failed to practice it in some measure." 
Leon Carnovsky, "The obligations and responsibilities of the librarian 
regarding censorship," Library Quarterly 20, January 1950 
1. Librarian Yellow Pages on web 
(To SJSU SLIS's listserv) 
I have just been informed from another listserv that The Librarian Yellow Pages 
is now online. 
It can be found at  
Dawn Loomis 
2. CapitolWatch email service tells how individual legislators vote each day 
From: Dave Paquin <davep[at]> 
Here's a great new, free, information service.  Go to 
and sign up for a free, daily email, customized to tell you how your 
individual senator and congressmen voted that day. 
3. GuideStar--Donors' Guide to Charities and Nonprofits 
Donors and philanthropists can now more easily compare and monitor 
organizations to which they may contribute, while nonprofit 
organizations can perhaps spend less of their resources on fundraising. 
These are the goals of Philanthropic Research, Inc's GuideStar, a 
clearinghouse of information on more than 600,000 charities and 
nonprofit organizations. GuideStar hosts a searchable database, a 
newsletter, employment and volunteer opportunity listings, and valuable 
articles in addition to lists of links for both donors and nonprofit 
organizations. Database information includes brief descriptions of the 
charities/nonprofits and their programs, funding sources, geographic 
location(s), and income/asset statements. GuideStar derives its 
information from 990 tax submissions to the IRS as well as directly from 
the nonprofit organizations themselves. [JR] 
>From the Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-1998. 
4. Resources for the Future (RFF) 
Based in Washington DC, Resources for the Future (RFF) is an 
independent, nonprofit organization devoted to the economic aspects of 
environmental issues. RFF scholars examine topics such as government 
regulation, risk, biodiversity, climate, Superfund policy, technology, 
and outer space in a variety of freely available discussion papers, 
articles, project summaries, and reports [.pdf]. An archive of the RFF 
quarterly publication _Resource_ dating back to 1995 [.pdf] is also 
available in addition to an on-site glossary and list of up-coming 
seminars. [MW] 
>From the Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-1998. 
5. The Dialy Bleed, a radical book of days 
>From The Daily Bleed page, hosted by Recollection Used Books: 
"Our Daily Bleed... recall on this date..... Simply click a date for  
significant events which occurred...public secrets made public! 
The Daily Bleed began as email; in November 1997 we began archiving in a  
database. In January we began issuing the web version... thus you can now here  
access dates between 12/11 & the present...  All other dates are void of  
entries.  Contact us if you'd like to receive the daily emailings. Be advised,  
these daily pages are graphic intensive." 
The best way to get this, in my opinion, is to subscribe and get a large email  
each day, with numerous important events that have happened on that day in  
history.  You can subscribe from their webpage. (ed.) 
Link courtesey of Jessamyn West's page. 
6. The Household Cyclopedia of General Information 
This 1881 reference book was designed to help nineteenth-century 
households stay healthy and productive. Need to know how to winter your 
bees? Build a barometer? Bleed a patient with leeches? Your answers are 
here. The site, a part-time project of freelance webmaster Matthew 
Spong, evokes a time when many households were largely self-sufficient, 
and the value of a book explaining how to amputate a limb, for example, 
could be immeasurable. Spong discovered Henry Hartshorne's wonderful 
compendium in a market in Sydney and has almost completed scanning the 
text and converting it to HTML. We look forward to the final chapter, 
Miscellaneous, containing everything from Proof-reading to Dialysis. 
>From the Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-1998. 
7. Holdings of ALA Archives now web accessible 
Sender: H-NET Discussion List on the History of Library and Information 
              Science <H-LIS[at]H-NET.MSU.EDU> 
From: "Elizabeth R. Cardman" <ecardman[at]> 
Subject:      New in the ALA Archives 
The University of Illinois Archives, which is under contract to maintain 
the archives of the American Library Association, is pleased to announce 
that the general descriptive holdings for the ALA Archives are now 
Web-accessible.  They are available at: 
The ALA Archives' home page provides a complete listing of all holdings. A 
simple search mechanism permits key word searching of all scope and 
content notes for the archives.  Finding aids [box and folder listings] 
are not yet available through the Web, but will be available on request. 
Also available electronically will be releases of "New in the ALA 
Archives."  The most recent acquisition featured is the Columbia 
University School of Library Service Library Vertical Files, 1832-1994 
(record series 85/7/6).  The files comprise over 118 cubic feet of library 
documents from the U.S. and around the world.  They include photographs, 
staff manuals, publications, booklists, floor plans, annual reports, 
postcards, correspondence, exhibition catalogs, commemorative brochures, 
signs, forms, and catalog and library cards from public, school, academic, 
and special libraries. There is also a substantial collection of library 
equipment and vendors' catalogs dating from the turn of the century; 
subject files on library-related topics; a series of documents from 
library, publishing and information science organizations in the U.S. and 
abroad; and documents from ALA annual and midwinter meetings and divisions 
of ALA. A 120-page finding aid is available. 
There is a digital exhibit highlighting materials from the Columbia School 
of Library Service Library Vertical Files, which can be seen via the 
'What's New' entry on the ALA Archives home page. 
Additional information can be obtained from: 
American Library Association Archives 
University of Illinois Archives 
Room 19, Main Library 
1408 W. Gregory Drive 
Urbana IL 61801 
(217) 333-0798 
Elizabeth R. Cardman                          Phone:  (217) 333-0798 
University of Illinois Archives               Fax:    (217) 333-2868 
8. News about the list Librarians[at] 
Here is some news about the list Librarians[at], a list for anarchist  
librarians, their sympathizers, and the curious, from Chuck0, the list  
  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  
Hey folks. 
As of this morning, this list has 97 subscribers, which is darn close to that 
arbitrary number 100. This is pretty good for a list like this which is just  
over a year old. 
I'm please to also report that our companion web page 
( is one of the top web pages at the  
Burn! site, averaging around 400 hits a month. 
Woo hoo! 
Your list maintainer, 
9. No, please, not more about Gary Webb 
An interview with Gary Webb: 
The Merc's Dark Alliance site: 
(links courtesey of Dinah Sanders, ) 
10. Librarians protesting recent bombing now on web, with list of signatories 
Mark Rosenzwieg's letter protesting the bombings of Sudan and Afghanistan 
is now on the web, with all signatories up to the date September 2. 
If you would like to add your name at this point, please send it to me, 
along with your professional affiliation, and I will add it to the list. 
The URL for the letter is: 
11. TOC of New Book: _Libraries in the Age of Mediocrity_ by Earl Lee 
      "I only wish I had your paper before me when I wrote 
       Silicon Snake Oil" --Clifford Stoll. 
                                            "Ultimately," says Earl Lee, 
 "libraries are involved in the quest for truth, but conceptualize it in 
 a way very different from most. Library professionals pursue a philosophy 
 of inclusion, trying to have as many versions of Truth as possible, in 
 the hopes that somewhere in the mass of material, something meaningful 
 may be found by some discerning reader. But in recent years the mass of 
 data has grown to bury truth, and defeat the discerning. Librarians have 
 lost sight of what is important."  The uncontrollable mass of data, the 
 transformation of the library to an information center, the demise of the 
 card catalog, the meretriciousness of publishers' offerings, the dumbing 
 down of textbooks--these are all the subjects of thought-provoking and 
 unsweetened opinions, welcome reminders of the rich tradition of 
 intellectual freedom in the profession. 
1.  A Visit to Oz; or, "Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain!": 
	Case Studies in the Political Economy of Library Automation. 
2.  Libraries, Libertarianism and the State. 
3.  Censorship and Community Standards. 
4.  Library Automation in the Age of Mediocrity. 
5.  The Postmodern Library; or Freud in the Garden of Good and Evil. 
6.  Target ALA -- The Culture War Moves to the Library. 
7.  Freethought Materials in Libraries. 
8.  Women's Studies in the University. 
9.  Intellectual Freedom vs. Intellectual Property. 
10.  Outsourcing the Public Library; The "Chains" of Librarianship. 
11.  The Ongoing Corruption of the Arts. 
12.  Conclusion: Censorship into the Millennium. 
 ISBN: 0-7864-0548-1  
 [144]pp., 1998, sewn softcover, notes, bibliography, index, $25 
12. SLA Affirmative Action Scholarship 
The Special Libraries Association is offering an Affirmative Action 
Scholarship for $6,000 to a minority group member who exhibits an 
aptitude for interest in special library work.  This scholarship 
will be granted only for graduate study in librarianship leading 
to a master's degree at a recognized school of library or information 
science.  The application deadline is October 31, 1998.  To apply, 
call (202)234-4700, fax them at (202) 265-9317, email them at 
sla[at], visit their website at or write 
them at: 
Special Libraries Association 
Scholarship Committee 
1700 Eighteenth Street, N.W. 
Washington DC, 20009 
This scholarship information was supplied by the Scholarship Resource 
Network.  For more information regarding the Scholarship Resource 
Network check: 
13. Two items on the problem at the British Library 
-Both from Red Rock Eater Ners Service (RRE)- 
Forwarded by Melissa Riley 
This message was forwarded through the Red 
Rock Eater News Service (RRE). Send any replies to the original 
author, listed in the From: field below. You are welcome to send the 
message along to others but please do not use the "redirect" 
command. For information on RRE, including instructions for 
(un)subscribing, see or send a message 
to requests[at] with Subject: info rre 
Date: Wed, 26 Aug 1998 11:05:01 +1000 From: Michael Lean 
<m.lean[at]> To: rre-maintainers[at] 
Subject: The rising cost of research 
From: jsassoon[at] (Joanna Sassoon) 
A former student, now on staff at the NewDNB, has forwarded to me a 
message which reports the proposal of the British Library's Board of 
Management that a fee of 300 pounds per annum be imposed on 
researchers using the BL. Clearly, such a fee would effectively put 
a stop to use of the BL by researchers from abroad, to say nothing 
of the hardship it would impose on UK students and researchers 
outside London. It is evident that the proposal arises from the 
current entrepreneurial assumption that the commodification of 
intellectual resources will resolve their problems of funding -- an 
assumption which would not in any case work if applied to the 
funding problems of the British Library. 
A strong protest has been mounted by researchers, who have recently 
met with the Director, Dr. Brian Lang, and have been conducting 
regular pickets to demonstrate their concern. Both the Director and 
the Heritage Secretary (who will make the final decision) have 
indicated their doubts about such an imposition, but input from the 
scholarly community is urgently required. 
Information about the British Library Strategic Review Consultation 
can be found at: and the researchers' position 
can be accessed at:  
The deadline for responses is August 28; letters should be addressed to the  
Director and to the Heritage Secretary as follows: Dr. Brian Lang,  
Director, British Library, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB;  
fax: 0171-412-7251. Chris Smith, MP, Heritage Secretary, House of  
Commons, Westminster, London SW1A 2PW. 
  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  
Here's a little more on the British Library (BL) that I didn't have 
to hand when I sent out yesterday's note. The BL, though a public 
institution, has been in the forefront of efforts to privatize its 
resources. While most major libraries have opened their catalogues 
to Web access, I would guess that more of the BL's catalogues than 
those of any other are subject to fees. In general, its attitude 
recalls an old conservative Prime Minister's patrician charge that 
the government would sell the family silver if it could make a buck. 
(He, of course, was talking of the Thatcher government.)  
The online fees seem unnegotiable. Charging for access to the 
library , however, is not a done deal. It is is a central proposal 
in the current "Consultative Exercise" 
that will be ruled on tomorrow (8/28). For the BL to charge for access 
on or off line would set an unfortunate precedent for other national 
collections and public information resources.  
Robin Alston, a former member of the BL staff who has more on this 
isse on his home page, tells me that "International pressure is 
The Keep the British Library Free site at  
has more for those who want more. It requests email to Britain's 
"Heritage Secretary", Chris Smith: 
14. Free Speech Internet Television newsletter 
Date: Wed, 26 Aug 1998 23:55:58 -0700 
To: ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom List <alaoif[at]> 
From: John Gear <catalyst[at]> 
Subject: Freespeech Internet TV Newsletter 
Below is information about a superb resource for access to alternative 
press information and sources for news and opinion censored from the 
corporate medialith.  Forward to anyone you know you is interested in 
knowing where to find a range of views beyond those permitted by the 
commissars of the airwaves. 
   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   =   = 
This is the Free Speech Internet Television newsletter. You are receiving 
it because you joined the Free Speech Internet Television community at I'm your host, content maven, and community 
coordinator, Joey Manley. Welcome. If your motivation in joining was to get 
the 25 megs of free space on our http and RealServers, please send me an 
email (joey[at] with your preferred directory name (in other 
words, the part of your URL that comes after, as in Otherwise, I'll just guess, which may 
be disastrous! 
ITEM: The Non-Corporate Newswire 
I'm sure you've noticed: when you go to Yahoo, in addition to their famous 
directory of websites, you also get a little box containing AP and NYT 
headlines.  Likewise, HotMail's homepage isn't just devoted to checking 
your web-based email--they've got MSNBC headlines there.   
It's called "synergy," and corporate media types have turned it into an 
artform.  The idea is that one organization uses the resources of another, 
in exchange for helping the other build traffic and um "brand identity." 
Both sites and (allegedly) the audience win.  (I say "allegedly" because in 
the cases I've listed above, there's still that nagging question of 
corporate control of information, on both sides of the "synergy" fence). 
We at Free Speech Internet Television are pleased to announce a content 
partnership with the Non-Corporate Newswire, an all-volunteer effort 
dedicated to ferreting out the most important and timely information of 
immediate use to activists and concerned world citizens.  Headlines from 
NCN will be updated daily, and appear in a box on the right-hand side of 
our homepage.  The headlines, of course, link over to the full story on the 
NCN page.  We're not nearly as interested in traffic and um brand identity 
as Yahoo or MSNBC, but we are interested in helping our members find the 
information they want and need about issues that matter.  While the focus 
of our site remains with democratic, progressive "Internet Television," the 
Non-Corporate Newswire is text-based, and should display perfectly well in 
any browser, over any connection (just as the purpose of Yahoo remains firm 
while at the same time it displays news from AP).  Let your friends know 
about this resource! 
Today, headlines include "The CIA and CNN team up," "The 'Good War'?" 
"Human Rights Workers Expelled from Mexico," and "The Leahy  
Resolution Needs Your Support."  Upcoming features this week include a two 
part special investigation about the history of legal privilege granted to 
corporations, and what you can do to put a brake on these "cabal-talistic" 
behemoth's overwhelming influence in our society.   
Check the Free Speech Internet Television homepage every day for the 
latest Non-Corporate Newswire headlines at 
And if you'd like to volunteer for the project, or if you have press 
releases you'd like to submit for consideration, contact 
citizen[at]  Eventually, the goal is to build a 24-hour 
"Internet Television" and/or "Internet Radio" progressive newsfeed to 
complement the text, which will be available to any webmanager who wants to 
use it for non-commercial purposes.  Note that that's very eventually, and 
no specific plans have yet been drawn up.  You can be in on the process 
from the beginning! 
ITEM: Is President Clinton a Terrorist?  You Decide 
ITEM: Chomsky on Propaganda 
Noam Chomsky is a professor at MIT and a dissident who has written 
several books on 
United States policy towards the Middle East. The New York Times 
considers him to be 
"arguably the most important intellectual alive". The citation indexes in 
the Arts, 
Humanities and Social Sciences lists Chomsky as the most cited living 
author and ranks 
in the top ten ever, just behind Shakespeare, Plato and Freud. Yet he is 
interviewed by mainstream U.S. media.  Here's why: 
For more RealAudio and RealVideo interviews with Chomsky on the Free 
Speech System: 
For a vast wealth of Chomsky material, including the text of entire books, 
see the Chomsky Archive: 
And for the website of David Barsamian, the producer of this most recent 
Chomsky interview: 
And, finally, to get involved in countering corporate propaganda 
masquerating as "news," join FAIR: (be sure to tell them I sent you) 
ITEM: Radio Bridges Overseas, Appropriate Technology for Africa's Poor 
Radio Bridges Overseas is a Harare-based provider of high-quality, 
provocative audio content in English.  This complete program investigates 
the uneasy relationship between Africa's poor and those who would bring 
"new" technology to the continent, whether it's the early twentieth century 
and typewriters are arriving by the  
truckload, or it's the digital age and fiber is being laid. Thinking "big" or 
thinking "small"... What does appropriate technology mean? 
For the homepage of Radio Bridges Overseas: 
ITEM: Goatboy and the Music Machines 
This multifaceted documentary is both an examination of Radical Faerie 
culture--proof that gay male 
life in North America doesn't have to center on bars and gyms, but can, in 
fact, be a spiritual, 
political, progressive, and, yes, rural, experience--and a portrait of a 
unique individual, Goatboy, collector of ancient musical devices. 
RealPlayer 5.0 or better: 
RealAudio 2.0 or better: 
To visit the website of Randy A. Riddle, the producer of this program: 
For a text essay about Goatboy and the Radical Faerie commune: 
For a Radical Faeries homepage by a.f.k.a. Persimmon: 
ITEM: McCain Bill in Depth 
Joe Biles of Views from the Front takes a look at the McCain School 
Library Internet Filtering Bill. 
To visit the Views from the Front Homepage: 
ITEM: Africa, Terrorism, and International Debt 
Mike Thornton interviews Professor Dennis Brutus on his show Full Logic 
To visit the Full Logic Reverse homepage: 
Please feel free to forward this newsletter to any friends who may be 
interested.  If you wish to be removed from this mailing, send email to 
members[at] with the word "remove" in the subject line, followed 
by your email address. 
(sent by) 
John Gear 
  The Original Contract with America 
  Beware of Imitations; Accept No Substitutes; Insist on the Genuine Articles 
(send e-mail to catalyst[at] for info on t-shirts w/ this imprint) 
15. AKRIBIE -    Who we are - what we want - what we do 
AKRIBIE Arbeitskreis Kritischer BibliothekarInnen  
(Working Group of Critical Librarians) 
Akribie = our abbreviation of  Working Group of Critical Librarians, is on the  
other hand  a word in the German language which means the highest quality of  
exactness or accuracy in doing something. So we  want to show  with irony that  
we are doing nothing else but what the average honest and diligent librarian is  
doing every day: working  with Akribie.  Our small group has been meeting since  
1988, our members work in scientific, public or all kind of special libraries  
in Germany.  Akribie is not a registered organisation but rather a forum for  
candid discussion and joint action, with the goal of finding new - critical -  
forms and possibilities for library work. For this purpose the working group is  
open to everyone.  
We think that libraries and their employees should reflect social change, and  
make this the basis of their work. We favor democratic internal structures,  
freedom of group action, and the greatest possible strengthening of individual  
responsibility. We support the participation of library users in all aspects of  
substantive decision-making in library work. 
There are two or three meetings annually for the discussion of general  
questions and the exchange of library news. These meetings serve the purpose of  
continuing education, with occasional visits or lectures by invited speakers.  
The venue, subject and shape of the meetings are determined by the participants. 
Akribie took part in librarian's meetings and congresses every year offering  
information booths as well as forums and presentations on a wide range of  
topics such as: 
- Books and libraries in ghettos and camps (1990) 
- The honour of professionalism or voluntary labour in libraries (1995) 
- Internet and the future of libraries (1996) 
- Demolishing - the last act? The demolition of the City and State Library by  
the city authorities in Dortmund (1997)   
- Libraries without state? What is happening at the main national libraries in  
Germany? Die Deutsche  Bibliothek (The German Library) at Frankfurt and the   
Staatsbibliothek (State Library) at Berlin from the perspective of users? What  
are supporter groups and friends of the libraries doing for our public  
libraries? (1998)  
Contact with similar groups, whether in allied professions or in foreign  
countries, broadens our knowledge of otherwise little-known problems and  
practices. Thus Akribie has contacts with library and information workers in  
Germany (AKRIBIE, Bielefeld), with colleagues in Austria (KRIBIBI), England  
(Information for Social Change), Sweden (Bibliotek i Samhälle = Library in  
Society) and USA (Progressive Librarians), with the Alternative Library in  
Hellersdorf/Berlin East and with the Bookmobile for Nicaragua project. For  
purposes of communication between meetings and for the information of quite a  
number of colleagues who are interested in the topics of Akribie but cannot  
come to our meetings, there are a newsletter and occasional reports in the  
magazine LAURENTIUS (Hannover). Each individual member of Akribie is free to  
decide how much to contribute towards activities and costs. Akribie is a circle  
of critical librarians and library employees which has its roots in the protest  
movement of 1968. In the last years or decades several of us have been engaged  
in  union work or participated in different alternative mouvements like Anti  
Atomic or Disarmament or Environmental or History workshop mouvement. 
                                                              - 2 - 
The library profession in Germany has a very strong tradition which comes from  
prussian bureaucracy. Like David against Goliath,  Akribie aims to fight  
against this tradition and its implications because it has prevented democratic  
development both inside and outside German libraries.  So for most of the  
library employees it is still more important to follow the administrative rules  
than to engage for the service of the users and for the public role of the  
library. Although many libraries have staff representatives to ensure the  
rights of their workers, there is nevertheless a feeling of subordination and  
even anxiety among our colleagues.  We have to challenge this authoritarian  
tradition and to overcome the hierachic structures even in the organization of  
library employees: there is one organization for each type of employees:  
academic librarians,  librarians with a diploma for scientific and for public  
libraries, for library assistants. After years of discussions about one library  
federation only the union of public librarians decided to merge with the  
library assistants. Akribie has been discussing with colleagues from East  
German libraries the shrinking of the East German library system. Almost all  
company libraries have been dismissed, also a great number of  public libraries  
in villages and provincial towns. Many employees have been discharged or were  
obliged to retire early, at the Humboldt University in Berlin most of the staff  
of the Institute of Library Science has been replaced by West German  
professors. AKRIBIE and the journal LAURENTIUS became a forum for east german  
colleagues to discuss and publish their point of view in this process. 
Another point of our concern was the consequences of the reunification of East  
and West Germany in the library and book sector. After reunification in 1990  
the greatest part of their recent book production was simply eliminated  in  
Eastern Germany.  That was not the result of a political command but was more  
or less executed as an act of adapting  to the rules of free-market economy:  
empty the depots and make room for western literature. All books published in  
the GDR were deemed worthless. There was no official attempt to stop this  
vandalism, but there were several personal initiatives. A west german  
clergyman, Father Martin Weskott, started to rescue more than half a million  
GDR books. These books were stored in a huge barn beside the church in the  
village of Katlenburg, not far from Göttingen.  Every Sunday people from all  
around the world would come to buy some of these rare documents and sometimes  
listen to the authors of these discarded books. The money from the bookselling  
was used to fund projects in developing countries. Akribie offered a tour from  
the Bibliothekartag in Göttingen 1995 to Katlenburg and held one of its  
meetings in 1996 in this remarkable village.  Akribie believes that library  
work should not be restricted to library management and library technology but  
that it is rather a kind of civil activity.  Our concern: the main reasons  
which lead the libraries and their boards to the introduction of modern  
technology are primarily goals of rationalization. Libraries as places of  
communication will disappear behind functions like delivering materials which  
users in the future will be able to do from their working place at home.   What  
culture concept have libraries and what they expect from the new technologies:  
which technology for which libraries? We think it is necessary to study library  
history as well as library developments in other countries in order to learn  
from relevant experiences in former times and under different conditions. 
                                                                      - 3 -  
Especially in Germany there is additional reason to examine the history of  
libraries: because it is so closely connected to the history of Germany in this  
century and to the difficulties of Germans in facing this history.  
So several meetings and publications of Akribie members have been concerned  
with the history of libraries and librarians under Nazi regime and some  
consequences of this history up to the present day (f.i.: Von faschistischer  
Tradition in deutschen wissenschaftlichen Bibliotheken. Auf der Suche nach  
einer demokratischen Bibliothek der Zukunft.1995).  The main topic of our  
meeting in Bremen in the fall of 1997 was: The restitution of books from two  
points of view: Books of jewish emigrants unlawfully remaining in german  
libraries, and: books as war booty. Historical and political aspects of the  
german-russian discussion about the restitution of books and objects of art.   
This meeting gave us the most widespread and positive echo within the German  
press: the very established weekly paper DIE ZEIT wrote about Akribie  as a  
group "which becomes more and more important for the intellectual life in  
Germany",  the well known journalist Rolf Michaelis wrote - in reference to our  
meeting - one page about the activities of the university library of Bremen to  
restitute the jewish books.  Agatha Haun from the German-Russian Exchange in  
St.Petersburg has enabled us to get special reports about the situation of NGO  
libraries in Russia and has offered to develop partnerships to russian  
libraries. We think it will be a valuable opportunity to have contact with very  
diligent Russian colleagues and to encourage practical and confident  
cooperation with them.  
It is not our position to urge the russian and polish people to give us back  
the books and pieces of art they got after the end of the Second World War  
rather than finding ways that everybody who wants it can see or use them. 
In the last years we gained an increasing echo within the German library  
profession though we don't estimate our impact as a very strong one. But quite  
a number of colleagues are interested in the topics we raise and the articles  
and books we publish. At the last library congress (Bibliothekartag) in  
Frankfurt in the beginning of this month the colleagues picked up all copies of  
LAURENTIUS we offered, bought a great number of titles from the LAURENTIUS  
publishing house and came to meet of Akribie membersfor discussion. 
Finally I want to give a short outline: What does social responsibility mean  
for us: 
- free access to public libraries for everybody, free of charge 
- book and media collections free of censorship and restrictions 
- libraries for all citizens, specially for the socially disadvantaged and  
- dedication to the service for all patrons, encouragement for all citizens to  
engage for their library and for their community. 
- democratic structures within the libraries, engagement of librarians for  
democratic structures in the society 
- supporting  the development of socially engaged library work worldwide! 
Finally: the attempt to translate a poem Akribie placed at the end of its  
In other words Criticism is not a complaint but a question  directed toward  
understanding -  the declaration of war against state of affairs and  
Frauke Mahrt-Thomsen 
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Date: Thursday, October 29, 1998 12:03 PM