Library Juice 2:11 - March 17, 1999

1. American Libraries Online March 15 news stories (ad) 
2. Latest issue of RUSA Update Now on the Web 
3. Understanding MARC Bibliographic: MAchine Readable Cataloging 
4. Out-of-print book sites 
5. American Women's History: A Research Guide 
6. _Talking about people: a guide to fair and accurate language_ 
7. Update on strike at the British Library 
8. TOC: Progressive Librarian #15, Winter 1998/99 
9. Online Journal of Peace and Conflict Resolution 
10. NETFUTURE and the Issues Facing Libraries 
11. Spanish/English Dictionaries and Glossaries of Computing 
12. Guatemala: Memory of Silence - report to UN 
13. NEA Blocks Grant for "Story of Colors"  -  Discussion 
14. Practical History Website 
15. Defend Your Data -- ACLU 
16. "Freedom" software to guarantee anonymity on web 
17. From _Private Matters: In Defense of the Personal Life_ 
Quote for the week: 
"[Information technology] is inherently destructive of memory. 
You think you're getting lots more [information] until you've 
found out you've made a bargain with the Devil. You've slowly 
mutated, and have become an extension of the machine." 
"It's significant that we call it the Information Age. We don't talk 
about the Knowledge Age." 
- James Billington, Librarian of Congress, quoted in 
  "The Too-Much-Information Age: Today's Data Glut 
  Jams Libraries and Lives. But Is Anyone Getting Any 
  Wiser?" by Joel Achenbach, in the Friday, March 12th 
  'Washington Post.' 
   Note: Library Juice is now searchable.  See 
1. American Libraries Online March 15 news stories (ad) 
Date: Fri, 12 Mar 1999 16:33:33 -0600 
From: "Gordon Flagg" <gflagg[at]> 
To: member-forum[at] 
Subject: American Libraries Online March 15 news stories (ad) 
Reply-To: member-forum[at] 
Sender: owner-member-forum[at] 
Status: U 
News stories appearing in the March 15 American Libraries Online 
*  ALA President Holds Discussions with Filtering Software Manufacturers 
*  Voters OK $139.9 Million for Broward County Library 
*  San Diego Politicians Float New Library Funding Plans 
*  San Antonio's June Garcia Named CARL Corporation CEO 
*  Wisconsin Librarians Appeal for Continued BadgerLink Service Funding 
*  Mormons to Launch Genealogy Service on the Web 
*  British Librarians Devise Rating System for Literary Works 
*  SurfWatch Blocks Filtering Facts Web Site 
*  Rare Book Makes History (Room) 
*  Parent Objects to Giant's Beer in Beanstalk Book 
American Libraries' Web site also features the latest "Internet 
Librarian" columns by Karen Schneider; AL's "Career Leads" job ads; 
listings of conferences, continuing-education courses, exhibitions, 
and other events from AL's "Datebook"; and Tables of Contents for the 
current year. 
2. Latest issue of RUSA Update Now on the Web 
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 1999 10:00:19 -0600 
From: "Cathleen Bourdon" <cbourdon[at]> 
To: Reference and User Services Association List <rusa-l[at]> 
Subject: Latest issue of RUSA Update Now on the Web 
Thanks to editor Beth Woodard, the latest issue of RUSA Update, Volume 
20, Number 1, is now available on the Web at: 
3. Understanding MARC Bibliographic: MAchine Readable Cataloging 
        This site explains what a MARC record is, how is was 
        developed, and also has a reference section explaining what 
        the many of the fields, tags, codes, and indicators stand for. 
        Produced by Follett Software Company and the Library of 
        Congress. - ew 
        Subjects: librarians 
Carole Leita, cleita[at] 
LIIWEEK Listowner and Coordinator of the 
Librarians' Index to the Internet 
4. Out-of-print book sites 
Sent to NEWLIB-L in response to a query: 
(excellent; my personal favorite) 
(also excellent and efficient) 
Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA) 
(scroll down a bit) 
Good luck 
Alistair Kwun 
Acquisitions Dept 
University of Auckland Library 
Auckland, New Zealand 
5. American Women's History: A Research Guide 
Created by Ken Middleton, reference librarian and graduate student in 
American Women's History at Middle Tennessee State University, this site is 
an excellent resource for researchers, especially graduate students or 
advanced undergraduates, interested in US women's history. At the site, 
users will find a large number of citations of print and online reference 
materials and primary resources. These are grouped into three sections: 
General Reference and Biographical Sources, Subject Index to Research 
Sources (currently containing resources in 27 topical areas), and State and 
Regional History Sources. Middleton supplies full bibliographical 
information for print sources and a link for those available in electronic 
form. The site also offers two sections on tools and strategies for finding 
additional sources and a collection of (unannotated) select bookmarks. 
>From the Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-1999. 
6. _Talking about people: a guide to fair and accurate language_ 
Maggio, Rosalie.  _Talking about people: a guide to fair and accurate 
language_.  Phoenix, AZ: Oryx Press, 1997.  436 pages.  ISBN: 1-57356-069-3 paper $27.50 
With minds on automatic pilot, writers and speakers spout cliches.  Empty 
or imprecise linguistic conventions can have detrimental consequences, 
however.  While adults may argue that "man" means "human" and "he" means 
"he and she," study after study demonstrates that children preceive "man" 
as "men."  This tremendously useful book, an updated and greatly expanded 
version of _The dictionary of bias-free usage_ (Oryx, 1991), offers a 
wealth of thoughtful suggestions for countering ambiguity, not to mention 
sexist, class, racist and otherwise biased language.  In no way 
proscriptive, the bulk of it consists of entries on "how to say it" better, 
from emotionally loaded words and phrases ("queer" and "nigger," for 
example), to alternatives for such words as "manhandling" and "man-made." 
Arranged alphabetically, mini-essays are worked in which examine such terms 
(and concepts) as rape, violence, sexual harrassment, and welfare.  Besides 
the book's reference value, an introductory section titled "Writing 
Guidelines" ought to be read by all.  Concisely covering language 
exclusivity, gender issues, pseudo generic terminology, and 
self-definition, it also counters alarmists who decry such "corrective" 
constructions as "person hole cover" which no one has seriously suggested. 
Maggio rightly points out that people who complain of being "tired" of 
having to learn to watch what they say are quite skilled at picking and 
choosing appropriate works when they choose to do it.  Once again, 
catalogers at the Library of Congress have missed the boat on this title, 
assigning NONSEXIST LANGUAGE but neglecting the broader NON-BIASED LANGUAGE 
which its scope entails. 
-Chris Dodge, MSRRT Newsletter, Jan/Feb 1998 
Review reprinted in Counterpoise 2:2, April 1998 
Details at 
7. Update on strike at the British Library 
---------- Forwarded message ---------- 
Date: Mon, 15 Mar 1999 10:45:24 -0800 (PST) 
From: News & Letters <nandl[at]> 
To: undisclosed-recipients:  ; 
Subject: Support for british library strikers 
Date:         Fri, 12 Mar 1999 16:53:47 -0500 
Reply-To: H-Net Labor History Discussion List <H-LABOR[at]H-NET.MSU.EDU> 
Sender: H-Net Labor History Discussion List <H-LABOR[at]H-NET.MSU.EDU> 
From: Seth Wigderson <sethw[at]> 
Subject:      Support for british library strikers 
Thanx to Diana Paton for this update. SW 
- - - - - - - - 
A couple of weeks ago Seth posted a message from the British Library's 
management about the (then) imminent strike of Library Assistants.  Here's 
some more information.  My information comes  from talking to people on the 
picket line yesterday--I hope I haven't misrepresented anything! 
The Library Assistants are the 125 workers responsible for delivering books 
to readers.  They are members of the Public and Commercial Services Union 
(PCS).   They have have been on indefinite strike since Monday of this 
week.  (The strike is a "rolling" strike involving occasional days in which 
all are out but mainly 50% out at any one time.)  They went on strike after 
talks about management's efforts to impose its "Review" of staffing 
practices broke down.  There are lots of concerns about proposals in this 
Review, including the fact that the "consultation" process by which it was 
arrived at failed to take into account the workers' opinions.  The most 
important point is the proposed division of the 110 library assistant jobs 
into 2 grades ("D" and "E").  These are already the lowest paid workers in 
the library, with the lowest earning less than 10,000 pounds a year.  The 
45 people who will be allocated into the lower grade E  will have their pay 
cut, losing 20 pounds a week, or more than 1,000 pounds a year.  Most of 
the grade E jobs will involve working full time in the basements of the 
library where the books are stored, rather than the present situation where 
people working in book delivery rotate frequently between working in the 
basement and in the reading rooms.  Since there are many health and safety 
problems associated with work in the basements this is a big concern.  An 
independent health and safety reportissued in June 1998 made 37 
recommendations yet PCS members have seen no changes. 
Management has been trying to set readers against workers in this: their 
line has been that these proposals are necessary to provide a better 
service to readers--although it's not clear how poorer and unhappy staff 
will provide a better service. They have also emphasized the inconvenience 
that the strike is causing readers, attributing this to the union's 
supposed intransigence.  Pressure from readers in support of the workers 
could be essential at this point in persuading management to negotiate in 
good faith. 
I would guess that lots of people on this list are British Library 
readers--past, present or future!  Especially if you are, but even if you 
are not, please 
e-mail or fax the BL's management, urging them to settle the dispute 
+44 171 412 7268 
e-mail or fax support for the strike to PCS, including sending them copies 
of messages you send to the BL: 
+44 171 924 1847 
Come and show your support--everyone will be out next Wednesday (March 
17th) and the strikers have asked readers to join them from 10-11 am at the 
--Diana Paton 
<kate.chedgzoy[at]>--> my e-mail account is not in my own 
name ... 
"Human Power Is Its Own End."--Karl Marx 
News and Letters Committees / NEWS & LETTERS 
59 E. Van Buren Ave., Room 707, Chicago IL 60605, USA 
8. TOC: Progressive Librarian #15, Winter 1998/99 
A Few Gates: An Examination of the Social  Responsibilities 
Debate in the Early 1970s and '90s. 
	by Steven Joyce 
Librarianship and Resistance 
	by Sandy Iverson 
Conference Proceedings: SRRT-ALA Program 
on International Social Responsibilities & 
LIWO: Local Touch and Global Networking in South Africa 
	by Johnny Jacobs 
>From Student Revolt to Working Librarians: The Formation 
	of BiS, Sweden 
	by Lennart Wettmark 
AKRIBIE: Arbeitskreis Kritischer Bibliothekarinnen / 
	Working Group of Critical Librarians, Germany 
	by Frauke M”hrt-Thomsen 
KRIBIBI: Public Libraries and the "Working Pool of 
	Critical Librarians" in Austria 
	by Renate Obadalek 
Radical Librarianship, UK:  Something of an Overview 
	from the UK 
	by Martyn Lowe 
Added Entries 
The Cuba Poster Project 
	by Lincoln Cushing 
Book Reviews 
Librarianship and Legitimacy: The Ideology of the Public 
	Library Inquiry by Douglas Raber 
	reviewed by Patti Clayton 
McLibel: Burger Culture on Trial by John Vidal 
	reviewed by Martyn Lowe 
Remarks on Racism, International Relations & Librarianship 
	by E. J. Josey 
Letter Against Bombing of Iraq, 12/16/98 
World Bank Protest Letter, 6/29/98 
More information is available at 
9. Online Journal of Peace and Conflict Resolution 
Vance Bell wrote: 
From: vbell[at] (Vance Bell) 
Subject: Online Journal of Peace and Conflict Resolution 
Date: Thu, 18 Feb 1999 11:46:01 -0500 (EST) 
Online Journal of Peace and Conflict Resolution 
ISSN 1522-211X 
The Online Journal of Peace and Conflict Resolution in a Web-based free 
text resource for anyone interested in peace studies and/or conflict 
resolution.  Past submissions have come from professors, graduate 
students, diplomats and professionals.  The journal has been published 
since March of 1998. 
Editor: Derek Sweetman 
Email: peacejnl[at] 
(Sent to NewJour: News of New Electronic Journals) 
10. NETFUTURE and the Issues Facing Libraries 
Response to:  "Editor's Note" (NF-85) 
From:  David Miller <dmiller[at]> 
I'm sorry to see that IFLA is pulling the plug on NETFUTURE. I want to 
assure all nonlibrarian readers that this doesn't say anything about 
NETFUTURE's relevance to librarianship.  I thought that it was quite 
enlightened of IFLA to provide space for the newsletter, but apparently 
not everyone at IFLA agreed.  Too bad.  I'm sure I'm not the only 
librarian reader, since the questions you address go to the heart of many 
of our most important issues and challenges. 
David Miller 
Levin Library, Curry College 
Milton, MA 
NETFUTURE is a freely distributed newsletter dealing with technology and 
human responsibility.  It is published by The Nature Institute, 169 Route 
21C, Ghent NY 12075 (tel: 518-672-0116).  Postings occur roughly every 
couple of weeks.  The editor is Steve Talbott, author of *The Future Does 
Not Compute: Transcending the Machines in Our Midst*. 
Copyright 1999 by The Nature Institute. 
You may redistribute this newsletter for noncommercial purposes.  You may 
also redistribute individual articles in their entirety, provided the 
NETFUTURE url and this paragraph are attached. 
NETFUTURE is supported by freely given user contributions, and could not 
survive without them.  For details and special offers, see 
Current and past issues of NETFUTURE are available on the Web: 
To subscribe to NETFUTURE send the message, "subscribe netfuture 
yourfirstname yourlastname", to listserv[at] .  No 
subject line is needed.  To unsubscribe, send the message, "signoff 
Send comments or material for publication to Steve Talbott 
If you have problems subscribing or unsubscribing, send mail to: 
11. Spanish/English Dictionaries and Glossaries of Computing 
DICTIONARIES (Alternative dics.) - Langenscheidt Online Spanish-German-English 
dictionary A Web of On-line Dictionaries Diccionario Anaya Eurodicautom Merriam-Webster's Dictionary The Logos Dictionary Diccionari de la Llengua 
Catalana List of 
Dictionaries OneLook Dictionaries, The Faster Finder IPL Ready Reference 
INTERNET TERMS ń very good ń Spanish, Univ. de 
MICROSOFT Glossaries for several languages can be found at this site: -- Download the MSG Browser for the MS 
Submitted by: 
From ResPool - 
12. Guatemala: Memory of Silence - report to UN 
Established in 1994 as part of the Peace Process in Guatemala, the 
Guatemalan Historical Clarification Commission (CEH) recently completed its 
work and forwarded its report to the parties to the Peace Accords and to 
the Secretary General of the UN. Titled, "Guatemala: Memory of Silence," 
the report makes disturbing reading, accusing the US-backed military of a 
host of human rights violations and systematic state terrorism against the 
Mayan Indian population. While the report concludes that the responsibility 
for the majority of these violations "reaches the highest levels of the 
army and successive governments," it still reflects the army's continued 
power in that it does not name the guilty or call for any trials. However, 
like the Final Report of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission 
(described in the October 30, 1998 Scout Report), this report is seen by 
some as both an essential acknowledgement of the truth and as an important 
step in the political healing process in Guatemala. Provided by the Science 
and Human Rights Data Center, the first three chapters of the report, an 
annex (Chronology of the period of armed confrontation), and several maps 
and charts are currently available at the site in both English and Spanish. 
The remainder of the report is promised shortly. [MD] 
>From the Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-1999. 
13. NEA Blocks Grant for "Story of Colors"  -  Discussion 
(Letter sent to ALA Council list by Councilor Mark Rosenzweig...) 
If you have labored under the misapprehension that the National Endowment 
for the Arts survived the Republican Congressional assault which almost 
resulted in its demise with any dignity left and any pretenses that it was 
more than a servile and hypocritical instrument of government policy, look 
no further than the front page of today's NYTimes. The story "NEA Couldn't 
Tell Book by Its Cover" relates the fate of a childrens' book entitled "The 
Story of Colors" which went through the grant process and was about to be 
released with the agency's endorsement and financial assistance when the 
chairman of the endowment, in an act of all-too-revealing political 
hysteria, withdrew the NEA's imprimatur and "generous" financial support 
(without which it indeed could not have been published), thus effectively 
censoring the book in question. 
You see, the author of "The Story of Colors" happens to be the enigmatic 
Subcommandante Marcos of the Zapatista front based in Chiapas, Mexico, a 
man whose movement has displayed incredible audacity, courage, 
resourcefulness and imagination in effectively bringing the demands of the 
disenfranchised of Mexico to the attention of its government and the world. 
Besides leading the Zapatistas, Marcos --a former University professor 
--writes childrens' books and judging by the description of the one whose 
translation under the imprint of US based Cinco Puntos Press was nixed by 
the NEA's chairman-- very vivid, beautiful and unusual books. 
NEA Chairman William Ivey cancelled the grant after a reporter called 
called and brought to his attention the fact that the book his agency had 
endorsed was an "inappropriate" piece of work. Not only that, but there 
were fears that some part of the agency's money might end up in the 
tattered pockets of the Zapatista subcommandante himself. What rubbish! The 
book, according to specialists in this literature, is a particularly fine 
representative of the "multiculturalism" the agency supposedly embraces 
(or to which they, like so many other bureaucratic outfits, give much 
This rescinding of the grant to Cinco Puntos Press is an act of political 
censorship of literature pure and simple. Rather than saving the face of 
NEA which is apparently what the pan icked Mr. Ivey intended, it tears the 
mask from the face of the NEA and what it reveals is not pretty. 
ALA Council and membership, all committees and round tables and offices, 
should respond to this act of political cowardice with a show of public 
support for Cinco PuntosPress of El Paso Texas and for Bobby Byrd the 
editor/translator whose project this was. And we should rise quickly to 
condemn NEA chairman William Ivey for this violation of intellectual, 
literary and artistic freedom. 
Mark C. Rosenzweig 
Councilor at large 
(Response from Councilor James Casey) 
The Zapatistas have plenty of web sites available. 
Here is a listing. 
IF that group's propaganda has been "muzzled" 
by any official sources in our country, it is hard 
to believe that this brand of censorship is in any 
way effective. 
John Gear indicates that the book is available for 
pre-publication orders via Amazon.  If enough 
libraries and stores want the book, our "dirty" 
capitalist marketplace will undoubtedly obey the 
call of public demand and generate a river of money 
flowing into the pockets the author and/or his cause 
far beyond any puny NEA grant. 
If the NEA and/or other power brokers had imagined 
that proscribing a book would in any way discourage 
readership and sales, they are sadly mistaken.  The 
Ayatolla condemned "Satanic Verses" and sentenced 
its author Rushdie to death.  Nothing could have been 
better for sales!  Libraries and bookstores which would 
never have imagined buying the book ended up buying 
multiple copies in order to address market and public 
demand.  Efforts to censor merely draw public interest 
and attract readership. 
James B. Casey -- Councilor-at-Large 
Here's what I'm concerned about in the NEA affair. The issue here is the 
chilling effect created by the Right and the way in which the culture is 
shaped by the implicit demand for narrowing ones' artistic/cultural vision 
in order to fit the insipid politically-tailored program of cultural 
bureaucrats, Democrats and Republicans alike. 
The reflex reaction of Chairman Ivey of the NEA in revoking NEA support for 
"The Story of Colors" by Subcommandante Marcos, not only shows that he 
personally was spineless and acted in contradiction to the NEA's own 
supposed mandate and the considered opinions of all the lower levels of NEA 
review, but contributes to creating a climate of self-censorship and 
pre-censorship which is reminiscent of the cultural ethos of the McCarthy 
I trust your library will buy The Story of Colors, Jim. And I hope, too, 
you will see that the application of crude political criteria to a cultural 
project, mostly to avoid the threat of potential political controversy, is 
a bad thing for America no matter where it comes from. 
Mark Rosenzweig 
ALA Councilor at large 
Date: Fri, 12 Mar 1999 09:56:07 -0600 (CST) 
From: Sandy Berman <sberman[at]> 
Reply-To: srrtac-l[at] 
To: SRRT Action Council <srrtac-l[at]> 
Cc: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]> srrtac-l[at] 
Subject: Re: Political censorship at the NEA 
Contact data for Cinco Puntos Press ("traced," incidentally in the HCL 
catalog as an alternative/ethnic publisher): 2709 Louisville, El Paso, TX 
79930; 915-566-9072 (FAX same); bobbybyrd[at]   En solidaridad... 
sandy berman 
        Sanford Berman             sberman[at] 
        Hennepin County Library    phone: 612-694-8570 
        12601 Ridgedale Drive        fax: 612-541-8600 
        Minnetonka, MN  55305 
Date: Fri, 12 Mar 1999 11:29:59 -0600 (CST) 
From: Chris Dodge <cdodge[at]> 
To: Sandy Berman <sberman[at]> 
Subject: Re: Political censorship at the NEA (fwd) 
they also have a web site/catalog: 
        Chris Dodge                  cdodge[at] 
        Hennepin County Library      phone: 612-694-8572 
        12601 Ridgedale Drive        fax: 612-541-8600 
        Minnetonka, MN  55305 
14. Practical History Website 
This is to let you know about the new Practical History website, which 
you might be interested in. The address is: 
So far the site includes: 
"Do you remember the first time? - resistance to the Gulf Massacre 1991" 
"Iraq: a century of war and rebellion" - a chronology of strikes, riots 
and massacres from the birth of the Iraqi state to the present day. 
"South London Stress" - a chronology of events from the radical history 
of South London, produced for a Reclaim the Streets party. 
"Reclaiming the Streets for Children" - a text about cars and kids, also 
produced for the South London RTS party, June 1998. 
From: "Neil Gordon" <practicalhistory[at]> 
Email: lamp[at]   -   Website: 
15. Defend Your Data -- ACLU 
>From Secret Service funding of efforts to develop a national database of 
driver's license photographs to the unique Processor Serial Number (PSN) on 
the new Pentium III processors, individual privacy has become increasingly 
difficult to protect in the digital age. In response to recent and 
pervasive threats to privacy by the government and the private sector, the 
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has launched a new Web-based campaign 
on privacy rights. At the site, users will find a selection of background 
information and press releases, a demonstration of just what others can 
learn about you on the Web, and a Data Defense Kit. The Kit includes a 
privacy survey, a pocket card with tips on protecting your privacy, and a 
complaint form for reporting privacy violations. Additional resources at 
the site include faxable letters to Congress and a free mailing list. [MD] 
>From the Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-1999. 
16. "Freedom" software to guarantee anonymity on web 
for more information 
also of interest.. 
to test the serial number turn off fix of Pentium 3 chips 
Your Secret's Safe 
>From New Scientist, 20 February 1999 
Kurt Kleiner 
YOU can never be too paranoid on the Internet. That seems to be the 
philosophy behind a program called Freedom which promises to preserve 
the anonymity of Net users as they browse the Web, send e-mail and post 
messages to newsgroups. 
"We anticipate it will be used by people like political dissidents, or 
someone with an illness they don't want their employers to know about," 
says Dov Smith, a director of Zero Knowledge Systems, the Montreal 
company that created Freedom. 
It handles the problem by encrypting data, such as requests for Web 
pages, before the information leaves the computer. The program then 
shuttles it between a series of Web servers, each of which encrypts it 
again, hopelessly scrambling the electronic trail. 
Suppose a Chinese dissident wants to look at the Free Tibet website and 
doesn't want the government to catch him at it. The program starts by 
selecting at least three separate servers from the cooperative Freedom 
network. Then, before the computer sends out a data packet, it encrypts 
it three times--in effect wrapping the data in three secure "envelopes", 
each of which can only be unwrapped by a specific server. 
The packet goes to the first server, which unwraps the outermost 
envelope, revealing only the address of the next server in line. The 
first server then sends the packet to the second, which unwraps the 
second envelope, reads the address for the next server in line, and 
sends it along. The final server does the same to the last envelope 
before sending the packet to the Free Tibet website. Information coming 
back from the site is treated the same way but in reverse. 
What this complicated procedure means is that no single server in the 
system knows both where the packets are going and where they are coming 
from. This makes it very unlikely that the Beijing administration could 
work out that the dissident was looking at the Free Tibet site. The 
program provides similar anonymity for users posting to newsgroups or 
sending e-mail. 
Some of the ideas behind this software have already been used on the 
Net, says Sameer Parekh, president of C2Net Software and an authority on 
Net privacy issues. But no other package has brought them together. 
Related links: 
Find out all about the Freedom software at the Zero Knowledge Systems 
website where you can download a paper in pdf format. 
:-) :-) Message Ends; Signature File Begins (-: (-: 
Forwarded by; George(s) Lessard, Community Media Arts, Management & Mentoring 
Contact info, subscriptions, public keyword searchable archives and 
CAUTIONS, Disclaimers, NOTES TO EDITORS and copyright information may 
be found [at] 
                 - 30 - 
17. From _Private Matters: In Defense of the Personal Life_ 
by Janna Malamud Smith 
(Addison-Wesley, 1997). 
What is clear is that the personal surveillance and 
information gathering now facilitated by computers, 
videotapes, voice recorders, and other sophisticated 
technologies, combined with the anxiety of contemporary 
life and the ingenuity of a commodity culture, make it 
possible to completely end privacy - and thus the personal 
life - as we have lately known it, without necessarily 
advancing real safety or social justice.  Unless we are 
willing to think much more carefully about protecting 
privacy, its present abundance is going to be lost, 
remembered as a brief time when a historically remarkable 
number of people were allowed large freedom. 
Ironically, part of protecting privacy is recognizing the 
ways surveillance usually contributes to safety.  A 
paradoxical question emerges: How much and what kinds of 
surveillance *are* necessary to prevent the real abuses of 
privacy?  Self-knowledge, honor systems, and love may 
contain us only so far.  How much do all of us need to be 
watched communally to hold in check our violence, greed, 
lying, destructive entitlement, anger, or lust? ... 
...Unfortunately, the temptation to misuse private data 
appears to be almost irresistable.  Newspapers run 
frequent stories of confidential databanks - tax returns, 
HIV status lists, criminal records - illegitimately 
invaded, and information wrongly and harmfully 
disseminated.  Tabloid media and some biographers and 
journalists daily do the equivalent to public figures.  If 
we decide to better protect privacy, we will have to 
examine the sale or exposure of all kinds of personal 
information more carefully than we have of late; we will 
have to write laws and reinforce them. 
Instead, we witness a mushrooming of spastic and 
inadequately regulated attempts on the one hand to exploit 
the profitability of private information, and on the other 
to heighten repressive social control through work 
surveillance, DNA checks, proposals for national identity 
cards, or video traffic monitors. 
The bottom line is clear.  If we continually, 
gratuitously, reveal other people's privacies, we harm 
them and ourselves, we undermine the richness of the 
personal life, and we fuel a social atmosphere of mutual 
exploitation.  Let me put it another way: Little in life 
is as precious as the freedom to say and do things with 
people you love that you would not say or do if someone 
else were present.  And few experiences are as fundamental 
to liberty and autonomy as maintaining control over when, 
how, to whom, and where you disclose personal material. 
  L I B R A R Y   J U I C E 
| Except where noted, items appearing in Library Juice 
| are copyright-free, so feel free to share them with 
| colleagues and friends.  Library Juice is a free weekly 
| publication edited by Rory Litwin.  Original senders 
| are credited wherever possible; opinions are theirs. 
| Your comments and suggestions are welcome. 
| mailto:Juice[at]                      

Web Page created by Text2Web v1.3.6 by Dev Virdi
Date: Wednesday, March 17, 1999 08:04 AM