Library Juice 1:8 - March 4, 1998

1.  Correction: URL for WHOA - Women Halting Online Abuse 
2.  MSRRT Newsletter - New Issue 
3.  Letter to ALA Member Forum on War and the ALA 
4.  Progressive Librarian 12/13 now on web 
5.  New Gov Docs website (USA) at University of Buffalo Library 
6.  Lunar Phases Web Tool [Java] 
7.  National First Ladies' Library 
8.  Computing and the Humanities - Round Table Summary Report 
9.  Linguistics Resources on the Internet--SILS 
10. Virtual Collection Development - continuing ed. course via internet 
11. Secretary-General's Mission To Iraq--UN 
12. _The Inspector General's Survey of the Cuban Operation_--GWU NSA [.zip] 
13. Information Please: site of well-known reference sources on the internet 
14. Nolo's Legal Encyclopedia 
15. "Understanding and Using Metadata" - OCLC Seminar 
16. Africa Online [RealPlayer] 
17. "New Visions: Beyond ALA Goal 2000"  planning document open for input 
19. Notes on a talk by Regina Minudri, acting San Francisco City Librarian 
1. Correction:  URL for WHOA - Women Halting Online Abuse 
Here's the original annotation for the website, with the correct URL this 
time.  Sorry to anyone who couldn't get to it before. 
WHOA! (Women Halting Online Abuse)'s purpose is "to educate the 
Internet community about online harassment, empower victims of 
harassment, and formulate voluntary policies that systems can adopt in 
order to create harassment-free environments.  WHOA fully supports the 
right to free speech both online and off, but asserts that free speech is 
not protected when it involves threats to the emotional or physical safety 
of anyone. "  Its membership is mainly made up of women, but it 
welcomes men "who demonstrate sensitivity toward the issues of 
harassment and a willingness to support" this cause. 
2.  MSRRT Newsletter - New Issue 
MSRRT Newsletter - "Library Alternatives".  MSRRT stands for Minnesota 
Social Responsibilities Round Table.  Part of the Minnesota Library 
Association.  Chris Dodge and Jan DeSirey are the editors, working in the 
glow of Sandy Berman and creating their own worldwide.  (See Library Juice 
No. 2 for Chris's web-page Street Librarian.  Library Juice is archived at ). 
> Since Chris seems slow in tooting his own horn, let me mention that I 
> was please to receive the new MSRRT Newsletter 
Toot toot.  Web edition at 
Clip art edition (a.k.a Bathroom Edition) available for trade, cash, 
subscription, barter, or beautiful promises: MSRRT News, 4645 COlumbus 
Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55407. 
--Chris D. 
PS: No spring peepers heard here yet (despite temps in the 50s this week). 
Back to 32 and snowing this gray Saturday morning.  Cheers! 
3.  Letter to ALA Member Forum on War and the ALA 
---------- Forwarded message ---------- 
Date: Mon, 02 Mar 1998 10:51:41 -0600 
From: Mohammed Aman <aman[at]> 
Reply-To: member-forum[at] 
To: member-forum[at] 
Subject: Re: War and the ALA 
Yes, you do have other outlets, this is a free information society and you 
should know that war is bad for libraries and education, peace and 
prosperity are good for these publicly-funded institutions which employ the 
majority of librarians/info. professionals and educators. So,  librarians 
have a major stake in the issues of peace and war, if not for themselves, 
at least for their own constituencies who suffer when our military 
industrial complex grows and our education enterprises shrink and 
deteriorate. This was the case in the Johnson era when he sadly discovered 
that for all our greatness as a nation, we could ill afford "guns and 
butter." Furthermore, you refer to censorship-do you think that 
misinformation by certain elected officials or govt. bureaucrats is not 
censorship? If librarians don't care, their library users are entitled to 
the correct and right information. Censorship is not just about sex and 
race, it is about citizens' right for free and unbiased information about 
their government and its conduct in peace and war. Mohammed Aman 
 At 09:36 AM 2/20/98 +0000, you wrote: 
>I too am concerned about the IRAQ crisis. But I have other outlets to 
>express those concerns.  We have large issues to deal with that 
>relate to our profession here.  Intellectual freedom, censorship, 
>ramps to the Information Highway,  access to information, etc.  These 
>issues are what we should be combining out efforts towards in this 
>forum.  They are big enough to keep our attention for a very long 
>Debbie Holmes 
4.  Progressive Librarian 12/13 now on web 
I have just uploaded the text of the last issue of _Progressive Librarian_ 
to the website, and given it a new look.  The URL is 
Here's the table of contents of issue 12/13: 
     Issue no.12/13, Spring, Summer 1997 
     The End of Information and the Future of Libraries, by Phil Agre 
     A House Divided Against Itself: ACRL leadership, Academic Freedom 
     & Electronic Resources, by John Buschman 
     A Primer on WIPO & Database Extraction Rights, by James Love 
     Corporate Inroads & Librarianship: The Fight for the Soul of the 
     Profession in the New Millennium, by Peter Mcdonald 
     GII: Global Power Grab, by Vigdor Schreibman 
     Speech by the Superintendent of Documents at ALA 
     Statement of Robert L. Oakley on the GPO Budget 
     Notes from the Front Lines at SFPL 
     From France: Libraries Losing their Reason 
     William F. Birdsall's The Myth of the Electronic Library,, 
     reviewed by Mark Rosenzweig 
     7 Years of Progressive Librarian, Tables of Contents (this page) 
     Notes on the Contributors 
5.  New Gov Docs website (USA) at University of Buffalo Library 
From: Maryellen Donathen <donathen[at]> 
Subject:      Government Docs Website 
To: GOVDOC-L[at] 
In keeping with the Federal Depository Library Program mandate to promote a 
"more electronic library," the Acquisitions staff of Central Technical 
Services at the University at Buffalo Libraries has created an innovative 
region on the University at Buffalo Libraries' Website devoted to 
electronic government documents.  The section encompasses United States 
federal documents received through the depository program, as well as, 
Canadian, New York State, and Erie County, New York documents. 
This section is located in the Government Documents region of the 
Electronic Books and Pamphlets section of the Website.  The URL is 
What makes this site truly unique, is that while many of the documents are 
links to exisiting government sources already posted on the Internet, many 
others have been digitized or scanned locally. 
Acess is three-fold.  Electronic versions of documents are placed in 
arranged alphabetically, fisrt by title and second by government agency. 
The third acess point is the Popular Table.  This table is arranged 
according to eighteen searchable subject categories.  The URL is 
Publications which have been selected for inclusion appeal to a broad 
spectrum of the population and provide information to individuals in may 
areas important to their daily lives. 
MaryEllen Donathen 
Acqusitions Department 
Lockwood Library Bldg. 
SUNY at Buffalo 
Buffalo, NY  14260 
6.  Lunar Phases Web Tool [Java] 
The phases of the moon have interested people for thousands of years. 
Although often appreciated, they are not as often understood. Professor 
Lawrence A. Molnar of the Physics & Astronomy Department at the University 
of Iowa provides this Java based tutorial that demonstrates lunar phases 
clearly and logically. It includes sections on time of day, time of month, 
and apparent direction of the moon. The Java demonstrations are meant to 
complement the simple yet elegant and powerful explanations of concepts. A 
typical demonstration involves a stick figure human on the earth's surface 
who can be interactively moved as the rotation of the planet is moved, to 
show how the phases change relative to time and direction. A quiz and 
teacher information are also provided. [JS] 
(From Internic Scout Report, ) 
7.  National First Ladies' Library 
Developed and maintained by the Stark State College of Technology in 
Canton, Ohio, this new site is the first virtual library devoted to the 
history of America's First Ladies. At the heart of the site is a 
comprehensive bibliographic database containing 40,000 books, articles, 
letters, manuscripts, and other works by and about the 43 First Ladies. 
Both the site and the new physical library aim to bring materials together 
to fill a longstanding informational void in both American women's studies 
and the history of the presidency. [MD] 
(From Internic Scout Report, ) 
Computing and the Humanities - Round Table Summary Report 
Sender: International Federation of Library Associations mailing list 
From: Terry Kuny <Terry.Kuny[at]> 
Subject:      [DOC] Computing And The Humanities: Promise And Prospects 
Comments: To: DIGLIB Mailing List <diglib[at]> 
March 3, 1998 
        "Computing And The Humanities: Promise And Prospects," 
        A National Arts and Humanities Computing Roundtable 
Summary Report Published by American Council on Learned Societies 
A summary report of the "Computing and the Humanities," roundtable meeting 
conducted last year at the National Academy of Sciences has now been 
released as an "Occasional Paper" by the American Council of Learned 
Societies. It is also available online. 
NINCH was an organizing sponsor of this meeting together with the Computer 
Science and Telecommunications Board of the National Research Council, the 
Coalition for Networked Information and the Two Ravens Institute. 
Determined to find more effective ways of working productively together in 
networking cultural resources, a prominent group of scholars, teachers and 
practitioners in the arts, humanities and computer and communications 
sciences met for what proved to be a most stimulating conversation, in 
which the possibilities and challenges of productive collaboration were 
equally examined. For all involved, this day was clearly the first step in 
continuing conversations that could lead to practical productive projects. 
Print copies of the publication may be obtained by contacting Candace 
Frede, Office of Publications, ACLS, 228 East 45th Street, New York, NY 
10017-3398. Fax: (212) 949-8058. E-mail: candace[at] 
David Green 
David L. Green 
Executive Director 
21 Dupont Circle, NW 
Washington DC 20036 
202/296-5346                                  202/872-0886 fax 
9.  Linguistics Resources on the Internet--SILS 
This site is provided by the Summer Institute of Linguistics, located at 
the International Linguistics Center in Dallas, Texas. The focus of the 
whole site is the study of minority languages and cultures around the 
world. The Academic domains represented include linguistics, anthropology, 
translation, literacy, language learning, and computing. The Linguistics 
Resources on the Internet section contains annotated listings of resources 
of interest to the linguistics, computational linguistics and natural 
language processing fields of study. The page is divided into eight 
sections including computing resources (including links to text and speech 
analysis, morphology and phonology, and lexical software); journals and 
newsletters; conferences and meetings and electronic texts, dictionaries 
and data. The individual sections contain extensive lists of links, many of 
which are briefly annotated. [MR] 
(From Internic Scout Report, ) 
10. Virtual Collection Development - continuing ed. course via internet 
X-Sender: jpearl[at] Date: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 09:06:35 -0600 
To: netinlib-announce[at] From: Jane Pearlmutter 
<jpearl[at]> Subject: course on virtual collection development 
Mime-Version: 1.0 
The School of Library & Information Studies at the University of 
Wisconsin-Madison will offer an interactive continuing education course via 
the Internet on Virtual Collection Development. Every day, new resources 
become available in electronic formats and on the Internet. How does this 
impact traditional library collections? In this on-line course, you'll 
learn how to select and evaluate these resources, what policies should be 
in place, and how to use the Internet as a collection development tool. The 
course will run from  from May 4 to June 12, 1998. More information about 
the course and its format can be found at 
	Questions? Interested in registering for the course? Please contact 
Jane Pearlmutter, Outreach Program Manager, UW-Madison School of Library & 
Information Studies, 600 N. Park Street, Madison, WI 53706 (608) 262-6398 
(email: JPEARL[at] 
 To unsubscribe, see 
NetInLib-Announce Legalese is available at 
11. Secretary-General's Mission To Iraq--UN 
The United Nations has posted relevant information about Secretary-General 
Kofi Annan's mission to negotiate an agreement with the government of Iraq 
on the issue of compliance with UN resolutions 687 and 715, concerning 
elimination of certain of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, along with 
compliance monitoring. The site is highlighted at this time by the 
Memorandum of Understanding negotiated between the UN and the Republic of 
Iraq, and transcripts of two press conferences by the Secretary-General. 
(From Internic Scout Report, ) 
12. _The Inspector General's Survey of the Cuban Operation_--GWU NSA [.zip] 
After spending 36 years locked in a safe in the CIA director's office, this 
highly critical report of the CIA's handling of the Bay of Pigs Invasion 
was made public on February 22, 1998, after a two year Freedom of 
Information Act effort by The National Security Archive at George 
Washington University (discussed in the September 20, 1996 Scout 
Report-- The 
top secret report, officially known as _The Inspector General's Survey of 
the Cuban Operation_, strongly criticizes the CIA for misinforming Kennedy 
administration officials, poor planning and intelligence, treating rebel 
leaders as "puppets," and conducting an overt military operation beyond 
"Agency responsibility as well as Agency capability." Note that the report 
is available as a series of large .zip files of scanned images. They may be 
available as HTML files in the future. [MD] 
(From Internic Scout Report, ) 
13. Information Please: site of well-known reference sources on the internet 
Information Please LLC provides this site, a cyber-ready reference library 
of information derived from its well-known publications, _The Information 
Please Almanac_, _The A&E Information Please Entertainment Almanac_, _The 
ESPN Information Please Sports Almanac_, _The Information Please Kids' 
Almanac_, and _The Information Please Girls' Almanac_, as well as the 
_Columbia Encyclopedia_, and the _Random House College Dictionary_. Users 
can search or browse by topic. Clicking on "Home" takes users to what 
amounts to an Almanac table of contents. Content at the site is current 
through 1997, except for the _Columbia Encyclopedia_, which has a 1993 
copyright date. [JS] 
(From Internic Scout Report, ) 
14. Nolo's Legal Encyclopedia 
This site, provided by Nolo Press, a publisher of self-help law books and 
software, is a handy compendium of brief advice on fifteen topics, 
including small business, patent, copyright & trademark, legal research, 
wills & estate planning, and real estate. Content is composed of excerpted 
articles from Nolo books on the topics. Also provided are annotated lists 
of links related to each topic. While the purpose, of course, is to sell 
Nolo books and software, there is much useful content here. [JS] 
(From Internic Scout Report, ) 
15. "Understanding and Using Metadata" - OCLC Seminar 
Sender: International Federation of Library Associations mailing list 
From: Terry Kuny <Terry.Kuny[at]> 
Subject:[SEMINAR] OCLC Institute "Understanding and Using Metadata" 
The OCLC Institute announces 
"Understanding and Using Metadata" 
The OCLC Institute invites you to participate in an intensive 2 1/2-day 
theoretical and practical exploration of metadata and its applications. 
After participating in this seminar you will be able to: 
* Understand the foundations of resource description and its application to 
the Internet 
* Understand emerging Web standards such as XML, RDF, and the Dublin Core 
and their application in resource description systems 
* Evaluate your information management needs and determine the 
appropriateness of metadata for a variety of applications 
* Use Dublin Core metadata in a real-world application 
This seminar consists of lectures, structured lab exercises, and group 
discussions.  First, you will receive an overview of Web-based resource 
description systems and detailed instruction in the Dublin Core metadata. 
Then, as a member of a small project team, you will design and implement a 
MARC- or webserver-based resource description system using metadata records 
for a real-world collection.  Finally, you will evaluate the resource 
description system in terms of design and functionality, including data 
input, storage, retrieval, and display. 
How You Will Benefit 
* You will understand the current state of metadata and learn about 
expected long-term developments. 
* You will gain hands-on experience creating and working with several 
metadata systems. 
* You will be able to compare and evaluate the results of alternative 
* You will be able to plan, implement, or extend your use of metadata in 
your own environment. 
This seminar is designed especially for: 
* Internet/metadata catalogers 
* Systems librarians 
* Intranet managers 
* Knowledge managers 
* Anyone managing an information resource on an intranet or the Internet 
For complete details, including seminar dates and location information, and 
to register online, visit the OCLC Institute home page at, or contact Erik Jul at jul[at], (614) 
764-4364, or (614) 718-7132 Fax. 
Erik Jul Associate Director OCLC Institute jul[at] 
16. Africa Online [RealPlayer] 
This site, provided by Prodigy's Africa Online, Inc., a provider of 
Internet communication services in Africa, is a gateway to information 
about that continent. Its' ten major sections include news, business & 
finance, computing, music, and women. Sections contain either original 
Africa Online content or pointers to relevant sites. The music section 
offers brief RealPlayer selections of contemporary music from five areas. 
Five English, one French, and one Swahili discussion forums are available. 
The site also connects to Africa Online sites for Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory 
Coast, site is in French), Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. [JS] 
(From Internic Scout Report, ) 
17.  "New Visions: Beyond ALA Goal 2000"  planning document open for input 
From: Don Wood <dwood[at]> 
To: ala-ifc[at], alaoif[at], ftrf-l[at], 
        ifaction[at], ifrt[at], merritt-l[at] 
Subject: New Visions: Beyond ALA Goal 2000 
>From Stuart Whitwell 
Most everyone knows about ALA's strategic planning document "New 
Visions: Beyond ALA Goal 2000" widely distributed before, during, and 
following Midwinter. Now that document is on the ALA web site at It can be accessed 
from the ALA home page by finding the ALA Goal 2000 and Beyond 
listing under "Library Adcocacy & Support." 
Please encourage members to read the document if they have not done 
so. There are some modest but important revisions to the version 
distributed at Midwinter. As you will remember this is a working 
document in constant revision; it is distributed not only for 
information but also comment. 
We will be putting the URL on the Member forum and the council listserv. 
Sender: owner-ifrt[at] 
From: Don Wood <dwood[at]> 
To: ala-ifc[at], alaoif[at], ftrf-l[at], 
        ifaction[at], ifrt[at], merritt-l[at], 
        publib[at], publib-net[at] 
Rumors have been confirmed that another bill is likely to be introduced 
next week that would cut the annual cap from $2.25 billion to $625 
million.  We have not been able to confirm the rumor that inside 
wiring/connections may be disallowed under the discounts.  Clearly, 
here is another grave assault on universal service from interests that 
want to put the bottom line over serving every community in the 
United States. 
Please contact your U.S. Senators and Representatives (phone: 
202/224-3121) as well as the Federal Communications Commission 
(phone: 202/418-0500) and ask them again to protect the 
telecommunications discount program. 
     annual cap was put on the part of the universal service fund 
     designated for the school-library program.  Maintain this 
     funding and promote the rural health care initiatives. 
     inside connections and related services that will make these 
     networks reach to the end-users. 
      other policy disputes disrupt this program.  It must move forward 
     to assure every community is connected by the Year 2000. 
The telecommunications discount program for libraries, schools, 
and rural heath care providers--one of the most historic 
universal service programs mandated in the Telecommunications Act 
of 1996 and intended to connect rural America and low-income 
communities--is again threatened even before it has a chance to 
get off the ground. 
At this writing approximately 20,000 libraries and schools have 
applied for universal service support, including more than one-third 
of all school districts in the United States.  Applications 
from libraries and library consortia account for 20% of total 
applications so far.  We cannot let our communities down! 
The e-rate program will give urban and rural communities a level playing 
field to meet our vision of networking every community.  For the future 
of our children, for career and economic development, for rural health 
care, and for life-long learning -- these discounts are needed in 
schools, libraries and rural health care facilities in every 
community to assure universal access to networking and 
telecommunications services. 
Contact Lynne Bradley at the ALA Washington Office at 
1-800-941-8478 or at 202/628-8410; E-mail: leb[at] 
19.  Notes on a talk by Regina Minudri, acting San Francisco City Librarian 
Jo Falcon originally addressed these notes to the student community at the 
San Jose State University SLIS, which is in the San Francisco Bay Area.  I 
pass it along for the interest value it might have to others. 
From: Jo Falcon <jfalcon[at]WAHOO.SJSU.EDU> 
Subject:      Notes on Regina Minudri's Talk at SFPL (long) 
X-To:         Sendto CSU List <csu_slis[at]> 
To: Multiple recipients of list CSU_SLIS <CSU_SLIS[at]SJSUVM1.SJSU.EDU> 
What follows are my notes of what you missed at "The New Main at 
Two Years: a conversation with Regina Minudri" (acting SF City 
Librarian).  I've moved a few remarks from the original 
chronological order to where the bulk of the discussion of that 
topic was, but otherwise it's a fairly direct reconstruction; 
anything in quotes is a real quote or a close paraphrase, anything 
in [square brackets] is a gloss. 
This event was sponsored by BayNet, an association of all types of 
Bay Area libraries and information centers, with a more local focus 
than California Libraries Association, and an emphasis on 
collaboration and resource sharing.  Student membership is $20 (a 
deal!).  Consider bookmarking 
right next to the San Francisco 
( and San Andreas 
( chapters of the Special Libraries 
Association (SLA). 
Jo Falcon, Duchess of URLs 
and schmoozer/liaison for the above groups 
(415) 826-2464 
San Francisco 
Announcements by ANDY KIVEL (Diablo Valley College):  State 
Librarian Kevin Starr ("not to be confused with Special Prosecutor 
Starr") will be speaker at the Annual Meeting, May 12, with updates 
on the Library of California statewide networking project.  Also: a 
series of workshops on web design and programming will be offered 
this spring; details in the next Newsletter. 
Introduction by PEGGY WATSON of AIM:  Minudri was her first boss 
after library school.  When Peggy showed  up dressed for success, 
Minudri gave her advice that has shaped her entire career: "You 
won't last a day in those shoes." 
A past president of both ALA and CLA, Regina Minudri has worked at 
libraries in San Francisco, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Saratoga, 
Alameda and for 17 years as the City Librarian for Berkeley, as 
well as teaching at SJSU.  She was brought out of retirement to 
serve for six months as interim director of SFPL -- and that was a 
year ago.  Now, for a talk Watson thinks of as "Willie and Me and 
the Board of Supervisors" -- 
REGINA MINUDRI:  Tomorrow (3/4/98) will be her anniversary at SFPL. 
 When she arrived "there were a lot of lemons floating around, and 
we've made a *lot* of lemonade since." 
The building:  yes, it's spectacular, it's imposing, and it IS 
larger than the Old Main (*not* counting the airspace, thank you). 
There's three times the amount of seating for readers, new features 
such as the room this meeting is in [Hispanic Community Meeting 
Room], special collections like the Wallace Stegner Environmental 
Center, the Art & Music Room, and the various Affinity Centers 
[African-American, Filipino, Gay/Lesbian, etc.], 
         An aside about the James Hormel Gay/Lesbian 
        Reading Room.  Certain politicians are trying to 
        make his ambassadorship conditional on his 
        disassociating himself from the facility that 
        was named after him over his modest protests. 
        "Can you imagine having your career sabotaged 
        because you gave half a million dollars 
        to a public library?!" 
Other new features: a teen center (that's a first), a media studio 
that is the front end for the City's public access cable TV Channel 
54, a cafe, a Friends of the Library gift shop, and one of the 
largest, best-stocked children's libraries in any urban downtown -- 
which is a good thing, because the growing number of kids in the 
Tenderloin have nowhere else safe to go.  The number of bathrooms 
has increased from ten in the Old Main to 70 now, and there are 
much improved safety, ventilation, temperature control, and 
disabled facilities. 
What's wrong with the building?  Not enough shelf space, "no matter 
how you slice it."  Five miles were lost between the original plans 
and "as built" -- though it's still better than the Old Main.  Too 
many books are in closed, compact shelving, accessible only through 
the paging desks.  The flying bridges can't be closed off to add 
floor space because the ventilation and heating systems run through 
them.  Traffic patterns are confusing and the signage isn't good 
enough to compensate.  The Atrium is beautiful, and the natural 
light is a big advantage, but it's a lot of lost floor space, it 
can be noisy, and the sound dampening for *that* problem makes it 
hard to hear the closing announcement and other PA system alerts. 
And it's a looooong walk to the elevators from the main entrance, 
even longer from the two side doors. 
Brooks Hall [under Civic Center Plaza]:  "It's free storage.  I 
like that about it."  91,000 square feet of dark, dank, dreary 
former exhibit space (before Moscone Hall was built, the ALA met 
here); "depressing, but if you're a bound periodical from 1985 or 
earlier you probably don't care."  Library using half the space, 
mostly for periodicals, about 45,000 books moved after the 1989 
Quake and not on the OPAC, a sheet music collection, and the 
Mayoral papers.  "You know how it is to clean out an attic -- well, 
City Hall's attic was no different" when the building was cleared 
out for its seismic upgrade.  Easy to enter Brooks from the Library 
loading dock -- no stairs or elevators -- *but* half of it's a 
parking lot, and CO2 from the cars is bad for books.  Ideally, the 
parking function would be ended so the space could be closed off 
and moisture controls installed.  "Assuming nobody else wants it 
now that they could have Moscone instead, Plan A would be for the 
City to give Brooks Hall to the Library, put in a new floor, drop a 
ceiling with skylights to bring in natural light from Civic Center 
Plaza, add elevators, and run it as a public branch library 
specializing in the City archives and government documents.  The 
Museum of the City of San Francisco [now at Fisherman's Wharf] 
would be a compatible co-tenant.  It's cheaper than building a new 
space -- and possession is 9/10ths of the law." 
The staff:  excellent, very cooperative, committed to serving the 
community, and welcoming change now that they are part of defining 
it.  "They held this place together with spit and bailing wire" 
when administration was "ignoring details -- and the devil is in 
the details."  Adding more staff to share the load has helped, but 
communications issues are more important.  "When the building was 
going up and the hype was high, promises were made and not kept." 
Staff were involved at the beginning, focus groups were held on 
what they needed to do their jobs -- but during the construction 
process, "that dried up.  The building process became a runaway 
train, and you better get outta the way."  Not enough project 
management: the people were very competent, but there weren't 
enough bodies for the size of the job.  Changes were not 
communicated to staff, "and there were plenty of changes -- over 
500 construction change orders."  In addition, new collections were 
being donated that hadn't been planned for, there was never a plan 
to increase staff (actually fewer pages and shelvers than at Old 
Main), staff didn't get proper training on the new technology, and 
because of all the media attention, demands on the library when it 
opened were enormous.  Attendance went up from 2500 people a day to 
14,000 for the first weeks; has now leveled off at 5,000/day. 
"When you don't work the process of managed change, you have a 
breaking of trust" that's finally beginning to be healed. 
The Community:  "The citizens of this town want the books" and are 
mostly *very* pleased with the new seating, the light and airy 
space, Internet access -- to the point of fights breaking out in 
the lines for terminals. (At least once, a patron has tried to 
unplug a computer and take it home.)  Library's popularity is a 
problem:  circulation has leveled out at double what it was, 
patronage is way up, that means more wear and tear -- but 
"the City's maintenance budget for each Department is $100,000 and 
it takes a big chunk of that just to change the light bulbs in the 
Atrium.  Think about it."  Library Commission needs to educate 
Mayor and Supervisors "so the budget has some relation to reality." 
The Press:  Yes, there was a lot going wrong, but few libraries 
have such a spotlight held on them.  Many of the critics of SFPL 
were invited in by staff with good intentions who felt the story 
had to be told, but may not have realized that only the most 
sensational and negative stories would get printed.  Worse, they 
may not have recognized "the destructive effect not just on SFPL, 
but on every public library in the state.  Every negative story 
about any library affects us all: when Berkeley tried to pass a 
bond issue, every public meeting started with 'you're not going to 
waste this money like San Francisco did., are you?'"  SFPL is still 
in a weakened position, with the city budget office and with 
prospective donors.  Trying now to strengthen relations with donors 
in order to raise money for the 26 branch libraries, "where 70% of 
our business goes on." 
Summary:  May stay till the millennium (depending on Mayor and new 
director search process) to reinforce these positive changes and 
"make sure they're not just a blip on the radar."  Working with 
Library Commission to choose an executive search firm, find and 
rigorously interview at least three strong candidates for Director 
to present to Mayor.  [Hiring decision now rests with him, since 
charter amendment; used to belong to Library Commission.]  This 
process will involve community public hearings on what San 
Franciscans want from the Library.  "The staff has a very great 
stake in making this library a good one, and I want to make sure 
their voices are heard."  More staff involvement now in advising 
the Commission, refining programs and services, keeping 
administration in touch with what's happening.  "There are 550 
full-time equivalents here, that's over a thousand individuals -- 
that's an army.  And as librarians, we know we're good managers, we 
should be able to work miracles." 
This has been Library Juice No. 8 
I am thinking about how I might organize Library Juice into appropriate 
sections.  If you have a suggestion, please email me.  If you have items 
for inclusion, would like to unsubscribe or just send your comments, email 
me at rlitwin[at]  Thanks for taking part! 
   Rory Litwin                mailto:rlitwin[at] 
   PO Box 720511              phone: (408) 286-6409 
   San Jose, CA  95172 

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Date: Thursday, October 29, 1998 12:13 PM