Library Juice 2:31 - August 11, 1999


1. Banned Books Week 1999: Free People Read Freely
2. AIP's Almost Banned Book Awards
3. Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries
4. New Filter report from Censorware Project
5. Mark Rosenzweig's August 4 letter to American Libraries
6. About ALA Council and SRRT - from the ALA Council listserv
8. Re: American Libraries' coverage of Council, Membership, Demonstration
9. SRRT Resolution on the Militarization of ALA and General Powell's Speech
10. SRRT Resolution in Support of EPA Libraries
11. Here Come The Perseids!
12. Total Solar Eclipse, August 11, 1999
13. Letter from a High School Student in Singapore
14. Humor and Culture in Libraries

Quotes for the week:

"A library that's open 24 hours a day - that's my idea of
the American Dream."   - Sita Block

Homepage of the week:

     Steven R. Harris -


1. Banned Books Week 1999: Free People Read Freely

Banned Books Week 1999: Free People Read Freely (September 25 through
October 2) celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express
one*s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or
unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of
those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them.
After all, intellectual freedom can exist only where these two
essential conditions are met. As the Intellectual Freedom Manual (ALA,
5th edition) states:

Freedom to express oneself through a chosen mode of communication
becomes virtually meaningless if access to that information is not

Additional information on how to celebrate BBW 1999, including how to
order BBW kits and posters, can be obtained by calling the Office for
Intellectual Freedom at 800-545-2433, ext. 4220 or 4223, or by writing
to rdarden[at] or oif[at]

This information also is available on the OIF Web site at

"Enjoy the Wonderful World of Banned Books," an editorial written in
1998 by Charles Levendosky, can be found at

American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression has information
onf BBW 1999 at

The best sites for kids and teens in celebration of Banned Books Week
1998, rated and reviewed by San Diego Union-Tribune columnist, Barbara
J. Feldman. can be found at

The ACLU created the following site for the 1998 BBW

Don Wood
American Library Association
Office for Intellectual Freedom
50 East Huron Street
Chicago, IL 60611
800-545-2433, ext. 4225
Fax: 312-280-4227

2. AIP's Almost Banned Book Awards

The Alternatives In Print Task Force of SRRT announced the winners of
the first annual "Almost Banned Book Awards" at a program at this
summer's conference, and now have put the results on the web, at

The awards were given to the books that our panel of judges decided
were the most significant books held by the fewest libraries.  Volume
two of the review journal _Counterpoise_ served as a pre-selection
list from which the judges picked the winning books, first limiting
the field to those books held by fewer than 100 OCLC libraries.  The
theme of these awards is passive censorship by the structure of the
marketplace, which tends to filter out important alternative
publications, more so now than in the past.  It is our view that this
constitutes a kind of censorship, that is to say, "censorship" with a
adjectival modifier, e.g. "inside censorship," "censorship via the
marketplace," "passive censorship."  It may not be fully conscious,
but it is the result of a mindset at work that ultimately hinders
intellectual freedom.  We hope you will look at this web page and
read the reviews of these books.

Internally, AIP debated the title of these awards.  There was some
disagreeement over the use of the word "banned," since technically,
it could be argued, failure to recognize valuable books and select
them is not "banning" those books.  We decided to go with the title
as a tie-in to Banned Books Week, so that we could try to focus our
attention onto what we feel is a more serious threat to intellectual
freedom than outright book-banning at the present time.  Political
and financial pressures which don't originate in any individual
agents that we can pin down and accuse of book-banning are
responsible something with a similar effect - important points of
view that NEED to reach the public often do not reach them through
our libraries.  This "almost banning" is the result of a type of
political pressure, but it is less visible than what we generally
identify as censorship.  That is because this political and financial
pressure comes from the same structures that define the terms of most
public discourse - the ever growing, ever fewer media conglomerates,
whose influence is capable of tying together book publishing,
marketing, distribution, and the official review stream in a way that
requires us to make an extra effort to find the materials that will
balance our collections.

For more information about AIP and our projects, please go to

Thank you.

Rory Litwin ALA/SRRT/Alternatives In Print Task Force

** For more information on the Almost Banned Book Awards, see the
** article by Earl Lee in Library Juice 1:32, at

3. Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries

"Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries" was adopted
by ACRL Intellectual Freedom Committee: June 28, 1999, and approved by
ACRL Board of Directors: June 29, 1999.

The statement can be found at

It's preface states:

A strong intellectual freedom perspective is critical to the
development of academic library collections and services
that dispassionately meet the education and research needs of a
college or university community. The purpose of this
statement is to provide an interpretation of general intellectual
freedom principles in an academic library setting and,
in the process, raise consciousness of the intellectual freedom
context within which academic librarians work. These
principles should be reflected in all relevant library policy

4. New Filter report from Censorware Project

Date: Wed, 28 Jul 1999
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>
From: "Karen G. Schneider" <kgs[at]>
Subject: New Filter report from Censorware Project

Councilors might keep this new report handy for talking to people about
why filters don't work:

Karen G. Schneider kgs[at]
Enjoying three weeks of irresponsibility between jobs
Author: A Practical Guide to Internet Filters, Neal Schuman, 1997

5. Mark Rosenzweig's August 4 letter to American Libraries

From: Mark Rosenzweig <idsadmin[at]>
To: americanlibraries[at] <americanlibraries[at]>
Date: Wednesday, August 04, 1999 10:57 AM
Subject: Powell's speech and free speech

Dear Editor:

You quote without comment, but apparently - from the context-  approvingly,
retired General Colin Powell's remarks at the Opening General Session of
ALA's 1999 annual conference that "it was soldiers that got us the First
Amendment in the first place."

Nice sound bite, but I'm afraid it is not true.  It is cooked American
history meant to glorify the military at the expense of truth. The First
Amendment  was forged by elected representatives, by a democratic process,
not by a professional military at the point of bayonets. The Constitution
itself was crafted by civilian representatives. The American Revolution, by
the way, was, also not brought to us by professional soldiers, but arose
from the activities of free citizens who took up arms against tyranny--a
far cry from the super-power military Colin Powell represents.

As one of the protestors at the Colin Powell speech, I should point out
that, with no regard to our First Amendment rights to protest militarism,
the ALA conference leadership participated in an attempt to prevent
protestors from displaying their placards outside the General Session and
OK'd police attempts to move the demo outside the conference premises (into
the rain). I was personally threatened by the police with arrest and told
that if I didn't get my colleagues to leave the hall, we would all be
arrested. The police vans were called on a cell phone and were on the way.
Nice, at a librarians convention to have such a display of the limits of
free speech in 1999.

Mark Rosenzweig
Institute for Democracy Studies, NYC

6. About ALA Council and SRRT - from the ALA Council listserv

Date: Thu, 5 Aug 1999 17:48:06 -0500 (CDT)
From: Kathleen Balcom <kbalcom[at]nslsilus.ORG>
Subject: Re: Council Cop or Mirror?
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>

Jim (Casey) asked how Council should evaluate itself.  Is it acceptable to
be  primarily reactive?  Did Council not perform well if resolutions were
frequently voted down?

Having been very active in ALA division and committee work, I believe
that much of what our members value is created in ALA's committees,
divisions and roundtables.  In most cases, Council endorses the
standards, policy proposals and plans that come from these groups.
Careful, collaborative work has been done and there is rarely need to tamper.
In these cases, Council may appear reactive, but I believe that mode is
appropriate.  These finished and approved projects or plans rarely get
highlighted in conference news featured in the library press, but they are
the services our members use and value in their day to day work.  In this
scenario, I think Council's motto should be "do no harm!"

The resolutions brought forward by "freelance advocates" are often more
controversial and generally make waves in the library press.  We often
debate these issues longer, in part because they haven't been through a
collaborative, institution-based process.  This doesn't particularly
bother me, except when I hear members say that Council spends all of its
time on issues that don't matter to most members.  Some of the issues
that matter most are given a "consent" call from Council.  That quick
response doesn't invalidate Council's contibution to the process.

What I take from our recent discussions is a concern about how to take
timely action.  While some of the issues we face require timely response,
often I question if it is Council that should be considered responsible
to develop it.  Sally Reed outlined several ways in which ALA responded
quickly to time-sensitive issues and I support the approaches taken.  For
instance, Council would not have been a good place to strategize a
response to Dr. Laura -- we might still be in New Orleans thrashing the
issue out on the Council floor!

ALA's organizational structure is to establish groups of specialists or
interested parties to handle issues within specific parameters.  When
necessary, the work of those groups comes to Council for review.  That
structure places Council in an evaluative and reactive role.  Would our
"specialist groups" be pleased to see these issues handled on the Council
floor without their input and involvement, so Council could have a more
proactive image?  If you, too, have been active in ALA units, remember
your roots.

I am not suggesting that Council can't create and initiate.  We can --
though is it harder for 175 people to do it together!  I want to
underscore that we are also fulfilling our role to evaluate and act on
the work forwarded by other groups in the organization so high quality
services and support is delivered to our members.  That role is valued and
appreciated by those who elected us and by units we are serving within the
organization.  I, for one, believe much has been accomplished when we
fulfill this "reactive" role well.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *  *
Kathleen M. Balcom   Phone (Direct): 847-506-2612
Executive Librarian   Office Phone: 847-506-2610
Arlington Heights Memorial Library Switchboard: 847-392-0100
500 North Dunton Avenue   Fax:  847-506-2650
Arlington Heights, IL 60004-5966 E-mail: kbalcom[at]
*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *  *

  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..

Date: Fri, 6 Aug 1999 09:17:58 -0500
To: SRRT Action Council <srrtac-l[at]>
From: Al Kagan <akagan[at]>
Subject: Re: Council Cop or Mirror?

I would like to endorse part of Kathleen Balcom's message.  Council doesn't
need to work on procedures but on policy issues.  As SRRT Councillor, the
problem I see is that Council is all too often not willing to take a stand
on important issues.  For example, there was a perfectly fine report on
outsourcing from a representative and deliberative ALA committee.  The
Council could have, but refused to endorse most of its recommendations.

By its nature, Council is a more conservative body than many other ALA
bodies.  Let's just admit this.  Council members are long-time librarians
and long-time ALA regulars.  They are also often well connected in their
state library and other related organizations. Many councillors are
administrators rather than people on the frontlines serving their users.
What all this amounts to whether we want to acknowledge it or not is that
Councillors tend to be people who have a vested interest in the status quo,
and therefore respond well to resolutions that reaffirm current conditions
and established policies.  Many Councillors may think that this is as it
should be.  It is no secret that SRRT is not happy about the status quo.

I do want to voice my disagreement with one of Ms. Balcom's points.  She
states that:

"The resolutions brought forward by "freelance advocates" are often more
>controversial and generally make waves in the library press.  We often
>debate these issues longer, in part because they haven't been through a
>collaborative, institution-based process."

In fact, I suspect that many of these so-called "freelance advocates" are
actually SRRT members who are taking SRRT issues, and in many cases
SRRT-sponsored resolutions and/or policies, to the Council.  I would like
to remind the Council that SRRT is one of the largest ALA round tables.
There is significant support for many of these resoultions.  The
outsourcing report is a very good example.  I would bet that a membership
referendum on the report would support it without much reservation.  I
would like to remind the Council that it was SRRT's Alternatives in Print
Task Force that established a Hawaii Working Group that really brought this
issue home to the Association.  The very large SRRT program where the
Hawaii librarians described their shocking fate was a huge success.

Let me assure the Councillors that SRRT is very happy to now have an
official seat in our governing body.

  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..

Date: Fri, 6 Aug 1999 15:17:13 -0500 (CDT)
From: Kathleen Balcom <kbalcom[at]nslsilus.ORG>
Subject: Re: [akagan[at] Re: Council Cop or Mirror?]
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>

I appreciate Al Kagan reminding me - and perhaps others - that many of
the resolutions I categorized as from "freelance advocates" may be from
SRRT.  Now that SRRT has a formal voice on Council, the relationship will
be clearer to us.  I wasn't thinking of SRRT issues exclusively in my
comments, but it is good to remember that when we are "spending lots of
time" on SRRT's issues, we are talking about the concerns of a large
membership group.  Thanks, Al.



The ALA Council has an electronic mail list that is used for informal
communication among Councilors, as an adjunct to the ALA Home Page for
making available Council documents, reports, minutes and other
information, and as a means of encouraging discussion of issues of
concern to Council.

The Ad Hoc Task  Force on Electronic Communication and the ALA
Council have agreed that the Council list should:

a. Be unmoderated in content;
b. Be available for posting only by Council members, by chairs of
 Council committees, and by authorized ALA HQ staff.
c. Be available for read-only access by any others who have
 access to the network;
d. Include official notices and other ALA communication which
 will further the effective ALA functioning;
e. Continue for this time to be an informal mechanism for ALA
 communication, supplementing existing formal mechanisms.

ALA members are welcome to subscribe to the Council list.  However,
since the list is not self-subscribing, those members wishing to
subscribe should send their request by e-mail to lgregory[at]

Members who want more information or who have questions should
contact the list manager: Lois Ann Gregory-Wood, at ALA Headquarters,
50 E. Huron Street., Chicago, IL 60611; telephone: 800/545-2433,
x3204; fax: 312/944-3897; e-mail: lgregory[at]

Cou list subscription

Lois Ann Gregory-Wood
Council Secretariat
American Library Association
50 E. Huron Street
Chicago, IL 60611
1-800/545-2433, Ext. 3204
312/944-3897 (fax)

8. Re: American Libraries' coverage of Council, Membership, Demonstration

Date: Sun, 8 Aug 1999 11:42:29 -0500
To: SRRT Action Council <srrtac-l[at]>
From: Al Kagan <akagan[at]>
Subject: Re: American Libraries' coverage of Council, Membership, demo

I am sending this message to both the Council listserv and the SRRT listserv.

Mark Rosenzweig has a good point in his message below.  We should expect
the official publication of our organizataion to represent the views of all
of us fairly.  Let me give another example from the same issue of American
Libraries.  This one silences SRRT for a positive contribution to the
annual meeting.

On page 83 of the Aug. issue, there is text with a photo on a panel titled
"Daring to Save Our History: Gay and Lesbian Archives."  The text refers to
"ALA's gay task force."  Well, just where did this task force come from?
It is of course the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Task Force of
the Social Responsibilities Round Table.  We need to ask the question why
SRRT was not mentioned in the article? I have seen this kind of thing
several times where a SRRT task force is mentioned without any
acknowledgement that it is a SRRT body.  At a time when the ALA Executive
Board is investigating SRRT for its alleged improper use of the ALA name,
it is noteworthy that ALA's official organ can't get this right.  By the
way, the Ex. Bd. has yet to produce any documentation of such offenses to
my knowledge.  We might ask if the editors of AL think that SRRT is a
four-letter word?

And by the way, the same issue of AL notes the approval of a new ALA round
table,  the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Round Table (page 94).
This time the article notes that GLBTF began as a SRRT task force.  SRRT
now has 3 offspirng, the Government Documents Round Table, the Ethnic
Information Materials Round Table, and GLBTRT.  We wish the new round table
as much success as the first two within ALA constellationn of
organizations!  Yes, SRRT has historically played an important role within
ALA and it continues to do so.  The ALA Council and American Libraries
should keep in mind that there is a significant SRRT constituency out there.

Al Kagan
SRRT Councillor
>I'm really angry at the way American Libraries covered Council,the
>Membership chats and the anti-Powell demonstration. I believe, perhaps
>naively, that American Libraries has a responsibility to present conference
>matters in a fair and balanced way, and in this they proved themselves to
>be ever more the "house organ " of the ALA bureaucracy.
>With regard to Council, American Libraries takes an unabashedly partisan
>point of view. It presented the separate resolutions about Berman, the one
>about changing the Library Bill of Rights, and the one about
>re-establishing an Association committee to investigate the violation of
>librarians' rights (especially free speech rights) on the job, as if they
>were one issue (and a "personal" one at that, having to do with Sandy
>Berman, per se and not with the issues involved, even the policy
>implications in Sandy's own case) and as if there were no real debate.
>Sandy is personally presented in a demeaning way, as if he were making an
>inappropriate "special pleading" about a mere personal gripe.
>Our concerns about librarians' rights , and especially the concerns re:
>Sandy, were reported as having been considered "trivial and inappropriate"
>(a quote from Karen Schneider). The arguments over these three resolution
>dealing with very different aspects of librarians' rights are completely
>conflated and our arguments are not presented , even briefly. Councilor
>Charles Brown (Sandy's boss), who did not deign to speak, however is
>heroically characterized as having sat and "endured" this quietly. The
>reporters and AL editors evidently had more sympathy for Charles Brown
>having to endure the discussion of the Berman issue than of Sandy having
>been gagged and driven out of Hennepin by Brown and company.
>They chalk them this up to the work of a "small group of councilors" who
>proposed "micromanaging" libraries, not as affirming librarians' need to
>have on-job rights necessary for them to defend rights for our patrons.
>The discussion of the Labash resolution calling for a cap on speakers' fees
>at $20,000, no sooner presents the resolution than offers, with obvious
>agreement, a string of favorably presented comments against any such
>resolution: this time we were trying to "micromanage" the Association by
>limiting their (our?) spending (how could Council dare to do so!:>). There
>is no recognition that there was widespread discontent at the conference
>with paying  an advocate of "volunteerism --i.e. substituting individual
>volunteer efforts for necessary trained jobs and financially supported
>institutions -- a whopping $70,000 dollars for a bolier plate speech which
>he, in his contract, even refused to allow to be covered by the media.
>The coverage of the debate over the suggested subject-headings changes in
>keeping with the Poor People's Policy which ALA has adopted but not, in any
>particular way, implemented, made it seem like Sandy was riding his hobby
>horse and wasting Council's time with micro-issues of no concern to
>Council. It was an opportunity for more Sandy bashing, but there was
>adebate which is not reflected in the coverage. Only the triumph of the
>status quo over Sandy's allegedly quixotic resolution.
>The coverage of the demonstration against Colin Powell is similarly skewed
>in an extreme fashion. The demonstartors are not interviewed and their
>reasons for demonstrating are not presented or examined: we are just "a
>small group" with signs saying something about "militarism" and "$70,000".
>That there were four Councilors on the picket, along with the editor of
>Library Journal, is not, I believe, noted and every attempt is made to
>ignore or minimize the significance of the picket. Despite the fact that we
>"made news " by going to the brink of being carted off in police vans for
>making our views known at our own conference, and in an association which
>supposedly treasures the exercise of freedom of speech!
>The Membership meetings at whch was raised the acquiescence of ALA
>leadership in  setting loose the police on the  anti-Powell picketers is
>also looked at as part of a "gripe session" led by a small number of
>councilors, despite the fact that there was much broader concern with the
>whole Powell thing expressed by attendees.
>Finally, the resolution calling for lowering the quorum for membership
>meetings from a whopping 500 something and growing to a fixed quorum of one
>hundred was erroneously represented as a bid to RAISE the quoorum in the AL
>coverage. Just sloppy journalism: but, so what--the only thing AL is really
>interested in, aanyway, is the ritual aspects of the connference as an
>affirmation of the greeatness of ALA and of the status quo.
>The overriding attitude of contempt for dissent, which increasingly
>characterizes American Libraries coverage, is unseemly , to say the least
>for a  journal of a democratic membership organization of free speech
>I just wanted to bring this to the list's attention.
>Mark Rosenzweig
>ALA Councilor at large

Al Kagan
Africana Unit, Room 328
University of Illinois Library
1408 W. Gregory Drive
Urbana, IL 61801, USA

tel. 217-333-6519
fax. 217-333-2214
e-mail. akagan[at]

9. SRRT Resolution on the Militarization of ALA and General Powell's
Keynote Speech

Whereas, General Colin Powell has been selected as the 1999 ALA Keynote
Speaker; and

Whereas, Powell, as Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations at a
base in Vietnam, had a key role in trying to cover up the My Lai Massacre;

Whereas, Powell, as President Reagan's National Security Advisor, was of
key importance in supporting the Contra War against the people of
Nicaragua; and

Whereas, Powell, as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, illegally
invaded Panama and bombed thousands of civilians; and

Whereas, Powell presided over the Persian Gulf War killing thousands of
civilians as well as thousands of retreating soldiers on what was called
"The Highway of Death"; and

Whereas, the continuing bombing of the civilian infrastructure of Iraq and
continuing sanctions have reduced a moderately affluent quality of like to
poverty for most people in that country; and

Whereas, the recent bombing of the civilian infrastructure of Yugoslavia
parallels the Iraq experience; and

Whereas, the United States has bombed four countries within the last year,
including a crucial pharmaceutical factory in Sudan;

Therefore be it resolved, that the Social Responsibilities Round Table of
the American Library Association deplores the decision to hire General
Powell to give the 1999 Keynote Speech; and be it further

Resolved, that the Social Responsibilities Round Table of the American
Library Association demands that future Keynote Speakers be associated with
life-enhancing work; and be it further

Resolved, that this resolution be distributed to the ALA President, ALA
Executive Board, and the library press.

Submitted by Al Kagan, Chair of SRRT International Responsibilities Task
Seconded by Mark Rosenzweig

Passed by SRRT Action Council, 6/28/99


10. SRRT Resolution in Support of EPA Libraries

Whereas, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized the
importance of its mission to "move the Agency to the forefront of
information management and providing the public with integrated and high
quality information" (Memo; to Assistant Administrators, Carolyn M.
Browner, EPA Administrator, October 14, 1998); and

Whereas, the EPA Administrator has laid out an ambitious and welcomed plan
to "create a structural frame work for EPA's new information office...
consisting of three offices:

 Information Policy and Collection
 Information Technology and Services
 Information Analysis and Access"

(Carol Browner, Inside EPA, December 11, 1998; Carol M Browner, letter to
Peter Robertson, Acting Deputy Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency, November 23, 1998); and

Whereas, the U.S. House of Representatives is drafting a bill to "promote a
"Second Generation" of Environmental Protection entitled, the
Second-Generation of Environmental Improvement Act (May 17, 1999,
Representatives Calvin Dooley and James Greenwood, Members of Congress)'

Whereas, Title I of this proposed bill, "Information Management" further
recognizes EPA's role as steward of environmental data and information in
the broadest sense of its responsibilities; and

Whereas, Title I of this bill would require the EPA Administrator to, among
other actions, designate a Chief Information Officer, publish an annual
report of environmental indicators, review existing agency monitor and
reporting activities and requirements, and establish a program to provide
money for states and localities to assist them in improving environmental
reporting, highlight environmental monitoring activities of all Federal
agencies through budget reviews, establish a public recognition program;

Whereas, the EPA Library Network serves as and time-tested, reliable, and
trusted gatekeeper for the identification, acquistion, management,
dissemination, and archiving of critical environmental data and information
through the development of its special collections, repositories, services,
networking, and expertise; and

Whereas, the EPA Library network has made tremendous strides to provide the
American people a strong commitment to the skills and services of libraries
and librarians to make environmental information as accessible; and

Whereas, the EPA and the American Library Association are initiating the
development of stronger ties to improve, enhance, and evolve existing
programs, services, and resources to provide comprehensive, long-term and
consistent data and information base of environmental information; and

Whereas, the Task Force on the Environment is dismayed at the failure of
any public comments about the EPA's environmental initiatives to recognize
or mention the data and information management roles of its (or other)
libraries or its (or other) librarians; and

Whereas, the Task Force on the Environment deplores the recent and proposed
massive cuts in budget allocations to support the EPA Libraries, EPA and
EPA-contract librarians; EPA library collection; and

Whereas, the Task Force on the Environment feels that these reductions will
serious diminish the EPA Libraries to provide collections, services, and
expertise not only for the public but to the scientific, policy, and
administrative staffs of the agency;

Be it resolved that the American Library Association continue to work with
the EPA Libraries and centers for environmental information to construct
stronger relations and resource sharing; and that the American Library
Association work with the U.S. Congress to include a clear and meaningful
recognition of the skills, resources, expertise, and collections of the EPA
Libraries and Library Network; and that the American Library Association
investigate the funding of the EPA Libraries and Library Network to assure
that government resources are being used to adequately fund the
collections, staffs, resources, services, and functions all of the EPA
Libraries, EPA Librarians, and EPA-contract librarians.

Respectfully submitted by:
Frederick W. Stoss, M.S., M.L.S.
Science and Engineering Library
SUNY University at Buffalo
Submitted on behalf of the Task Force on the Environment
Social Responsibilities Round Table

Passed by SRRT Action Council, 6/28/99


Elaine Harger
SRRT Secretary
49 Osborne Terrace
Newark NJ  07108
973/623-7642 home
212/569-0290 ext. 404 work

11. Here Come The Perseids!

Date: Mon, 09 Aug 1999 08:33:42 -0700
From: Mitch Battros <earthcng[at]>
To: Breaking News <earthcng[at]>
Subject: Earth Changes TV/Breaking News - Perseids Meteor Shower

Here Come The Perseids!...08/09/99

(NASA) The attention of the world will be riveted on the heavens this
week as the last total solar eclipse of the 20th century
takes place on August 11. However, for most skywatchers outside the path
of totality, the best sky show won't occur until a day and a half later,
on Thursday, August 12, and Friday, August 13. That's when the annual
Perseid meteor shower reaches its peak with 50 to 150 shooting stars per

In recent years the spectacular Leonid meteors have attracted
considerable attention, but historically the Perseids are the best known
of all meteor showers. It rarely fails to provide a pleasing display
and, because of its summertime appearance, it tends to
attract many astronomy novices.

This year should be a good one for viewing Perseids. The shower's
maximum takes place on August 12, 1999, under dark skies just one day
after the new moon. Although the Perseids officially begin in late July,
the shower builds rather slowly in intensity until there is a series of
sharp peaks in activity near mid-August.

Mitch Battros
Producer - Earth Changes TV

12. Total Solar Eclipse, August 11, 1999

If you're not in the Americas you can probably see the eclipse.
Here's Nasa's information on the total solar eclipse of 1999:

You may be interested in seeing the live webcast of the eclipse.
You can find out more about that and read some "stories from the
path of totality" at the Exploratorium's solar eclipse website:


13. Letter from a High School Student in Singapore

To: rory[at]
Date: Mon, 09 Aug 1999 20:44:37 -0700
From: "Brandon Seah" <pflanzen[at]>

Dear all,

           Quite apalling the libr profession has become. What has
occured to the days of friendly neighbourly service, when our patrons
were 'friends' and people we knew? Granted, the idea of such is
probably just nostalgic waxing on my part, but, hey, isn't it a bit
too much for libraries to become just more corporate institutions?
Libraries, apparently, are morphing more into the company-like
status, most distressing. We have begun the process of
commercialization, which doesn't belong in libraries. Look at the the
National Library of Singapore (, it has started to
mimic a giant bookstore, in fact. Money should not be a question in
public libraries. To charge patrons for services, when some cannot
afford, is heresy. But some libraries, like the one listed above, and
the BL for instance, all have fallen prey to the never-ending modern
scourge of 'money'.

           The problem is everywhere, the language, the 'revamps',
etc. etc. Sure, some may be for the better, but the tendency now of
libraries to hero-worship 'trends' is most unsettling. Especially
computers. They may be good, to a certain extent, _tools_ for our
use, but we have allowed ourselves to be manipulated by our own
creations, to blindly draw up 'IT strategy plans' and integrating
them into the educational, commercial, etc. everything. (see and surf around. They seem to be infatuated with 'IT'.
Remember L'Engle's A wrinkle in time, the baddy was called 'IT') Also,
the programme of 'weeding' is much to disgusting. Ranganathan said
that 'every book its reader', so the reader of a book will come in
the future. Low use does not neccesitate destruction, as the Dunman
High School library has done ( They don't
even pay good atention to the needs of library users (the school). How
do i know? i'm a student there myself. Gone are the days when the good
people of (...?)

           On the topic of the LC, let me say something. As
libraries, we are independent institutions funded by the gov't or
other sources that have the responsibility to disseminate information
and educate the community. We should not exclude people based on
anything, race, gender, handicap, social/economic status, etc. To do
so is to go contrary to our ideals and bill of rights. But also
remember, that the LCSH, no matter how revolutionary, is only a
guiding principle, and from another library at that! We have the
right and responsibility to create our own subject headings as we see
fit, and make recommendations for change in the SH. Instead of the
blind copying, we should be innovating, and not the crazy new-age
computer-oriented innovating is what i'm talking about here. We
should be individuals, and have the courage to stand and not be
oppressed by anyone, our 'boss', the boors in LC, ALA, Dr. Laura,
etc. We reserve the right to make decisions on library material, not
by 'recommendations' from the gov'

           So this is rather local oriented, and more of an attack
against my school, but i don't care. As long as someone knows of this
brainless madness, and has a response to it, i'm happy. So listen up
all autocrats and fools without guts. We librarians do need to have
better allowances etc. So there.

                    Yours truly,

                      Brandon S.

14. Humor and Culture in Libraries

        For all the librarians and fans of librarians out there - a
        great annotated list of links to pages that'll lighten your
        day. From the Michigan Electronic Library (MEL). - cl
        Subjects: librarians

>From Librarians Index to the Internet -

  L I B R A R Y   J U I C E

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