Library Juice 2:33 - August 25, 1999


1. Jean Heriot's Micropress Reviews
2. Black Ice--Small Press Q
3. Joel Kahn's anti-copyright Frankentoons
4. Kansas Board of What?
5. Lather, Read, Repeat
6. Discussion of Steve Coffman's article in Searcher
7. World Biographical Index
9. The Pencil Pages

Quote for the week:

"Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of sXXXch, or the
right of the people peaceably to XXXemble, and to peXXXion the government
for a redress of grievances."

The first amendment according to XStop
(according to Marc Rotenberg, Electronic Privacy Information Center)

Homepage of the week:

GraceAnne Andreassi DeCandido, writer, speaker, ALA Councilor

DeCandido's home page presently is blocked by CyberPatrol.


1. Jean Heriot's Micropress Reviews

A site with reviews of small and noteworthy publications, often in a
DIY spirit, often with anarchist or situationist themes.  Great reading
and great for reviews of interesting and worthwhile publications you're
likely not to see elswhere.

Blocked by CyberPatrol, at least in our library.

2. Black Ice--Small Press Q

This is a small press I really appreciate and try to support at every
turn. Rob Hardin's Distorture is a personal favorite (won the Firecracker
Award for small press fiction 2 years ago) and I believe they also publish
librarian Mark Amerika. There is also some information on the page about
NEA disputes in regard to their content and related free speech issues.
Their Board of Directors have included a number of "contemporary"
authors (which could also read as "makes virtually no money from their
art") that I believe we'll look back on as magnificent contributors
who kept the faith at the end of the century.

Rhonda K. Kitchens, Librarian
Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library
900 North Ashley Drive
Tampa, FL  33602

3. Joel Kahn's anti-copyright Frankentoons

If you are interested in the question of intellectual property, you
might want to check out Joel Kahn's Frankentoons, just uploaded to

Frankentoons are cut up and recombined cartoon characters, like
"Hulkathy," who is the Incredible Hulk with Cathy's head, or Bam B.
Coyote, who is Bambi's body with Wile E. Coyote's head.  Frankentoons
are a game played with cartoon characters that we all grew up with,
but  which large corporations claim to own.  Joel first created this
site as a form of civil disobedience, and was eventually forced to
remove it  from the server he was using at Southwest Missouri State
when the University received threatening letters from the copyright

I think it is ridiculous that this form of play should be
considered  illegal, that we are not allowed to use material that is
almost  unavoidably in our posession as participants in contemporary

What the legal system would finally say about Frankentoons is of
course unknown at this point.  Strong precendents exist to claim a
right to make and share Frankentoons.  An eventual lawsuit would be a
wonderful outcome, because it would either establish a freedom or
expose the senselessness of intellectual property laws to a
potentially wide  audience.  I will probably not have the pleasure of
participating in such a lawsuit, if it ever comes to pass.
depends on a  third party for the computer space and connectivity who
has a strong interest in avoiding trouble, and will probably force me
to remove the site long before any action reaches the court.  Others
out there with  their own server space may want to host Frankentoons
when that happens.  Joel would be happy to hear from you.

Here is a message I recently received from Joel about Frankentoons:

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

Date: Sun, 22 Aug 1999 05:55:15 -0500
From: jok707s[at]
To: Rory Litwin <rlitwin[at]>

So, I guess we let the copyright holders find out about our ongoing
mischief  the slow & hard way.  If I were to make a bet, I would say
that neither of us  will get a letter from a lawyer about the
Frankentoons for a year or  so--unless some group of radicals makes a
really strong campaign out of the  stuff I suggest on my text page,
&/or some journalist does a story on it in a  major medium.

This whole tangled copyright/parody/technology/money/&c mess reminds
me of the  words of John Perry Barlow in his famous essay "Selling
Wine Without Bottles:  The Economy of Mind on the Global Net":

"We are sailing into the future on a sinking ship.  This vessel,
accumulated  copyright and patent law, was developed to convey forms
and methods of  expression entirely different from the vaporous cargo
it is now being asked to  carry. It is leaking as much from within as

"Legal efforts to keep the old boat floating are taking three forms:
a frenzy  of deck chair rearrangement; stern warnings to the
passengers that if she goes  down, they will face harsh criminal
penalties; and serene, glassy-eyed denial.

"Intellectual property law cannot be patched, retrofitted, or
expanded to  contain the gasses of digitized expression any more than
real estate law might  be revised to cover the allocation of
broadcasting spectrum. (Which, in fact,  rather resembles what is
being attempted here.) We will need to develop an  entirely new set
of methods as befits this entirely new set of circumstances."

To extend the maritime metaphor a little further: one part of the
crew of this  ship is running a thriving business selling to the
passengers power drills and  drill bits which are easily capable of
punching through the outer hull, while  another part of the crew
constantly tries to warn the passengers that they  should always
point their drills *away* from the hull.

If we had the same "system" for weapons, we would allow everyone to
own  nuclear missiles and launching hardware, but we would just keep
warning them  against making any launches.  Our "system" is totally
unstable, period.  It is  not going to last forever.  I only hope
that the Frankentoons, by literally  giving faces and bodies to the
elements of the dilemma, will somehow speed the  ultimate resolution.

Go ahead and communicate with RTMark, and with anyone else that you
like.   I'll keep tinkering with this at my end.  Stay in touch.


*   *   *
"[Reality] cannot be expressed with words and it cannot
be expressed without words.  Now quickly say what it is."
-- Mumon's commentary on a Zen koan
*   *   *
"Email is packaged by intellectual weight, not volume.
Some settling of contents may have occurred
during transmission."
-- Anonymous

4. Kansas Board of What?

Date: Thu, 19 Aug 1999 14:42:48 -0700
From: Earl Lee <ewayne[at]>
To: KANLIB-L[at]
Subject: Evolution

Fellow Kansans, fellow Americans, et al. ....

I belive most of you are probably as appalled as I am by the decision
of the Kansas State Bored of Education to drop evolution from the
standards for public schools.  This is a giant step backwards for
Kansas, as now we will be labeled as just another bunch of redneck
hicks, much the same way that you can't think of Tennessee without the
famous Monkey Trial coming to mind.

This is not just a problem of how we are perceived by others, it is
now a major political problem in Kansas.  Now every moron in the state
can go to his/her local school board and demand that "creation science"
be taught in the classroom.  Frankly, "creation science" is not science,
it is made-up hogwash!  Just because the Bible says that the earth is
flat and the sun goes around the earth, this does not make it true!
Similarly, just because the Bible says that mankind was "created"
doesn't make this fairy-tale true... and "Eve" wasn't made from Adam's
rib, either (though I'm beginning to think the current members of the
State Board of Ed. were made from the jawbone of an ass!)

I am including the names and email addresses for the board on this
message so you can contact them directly and voice your concerns.  It is
especially important to contact the chair, Mrs. Linda Holloway, who
masterminded this new policy.  I am also including a link to Noam
Chomsky's remarks on this subject.

Mrs. Janet Waugh  JWaugh1052[at]

Mrs. Linda Holloway  linhosbe[at]

Mr. John Bacon  jwmsbacon[at]

Dr. Bill Wagnon  zzwagn[at]

Mr. "Sonny" Rundell   ibvrrun[at]

Mr. Scott Hill  scotth[at]

Mr. Howard Voth  hlv[at]

Mrs. Mary D. Brown  qekc86a[at]

Mrs. Val DeFever  vdefever[at]

Dr. Steve Abrams  sabrams[at]

Chomsky Comment Regarding Darwinism Controversy

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

>From free! Freedom Forum Online

Education, civil rights groups mount efforts to save evolution

"Less than a week after the Kansas Board of Education decided to dump
evolution as a necessary topic for science classes, a state civil
rights group has threatened legal action against what it sees as an
attempt by state officials to promote the Christian theory of

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


5. Lather, Read, Repeat

Date: Tue, 17 Aug 1999 13:08:38 -0400 (EDT)
From: Tamara Miller <miller[at]>
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>
cc: ...
Subject: Sponsorships - Suave?

Fellow Councilors --

Attached are excerpts of comments by a member of the LITA Board.  Pat
Ensor calls your attention to an interesting example of commercial
sponsorship  and urges Council to spend some time reviewing sponsorship
policies. I agree that we need to review both the policies and the current
agreements and practices in place.

-- Tam

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 16 Aug 1999 12:22:11 -0500
From: "Ensor, Pat" <Ensorp[at]>
Subject: ALA sponsorship/affiliation with commercial orgs

On the ALA Council List recently, there has been some discussion  of ALA's
campaign to tie in libraries and books with some special A&E programming.
Of course, I can't participate in that discussion and I had not felt moved
to comment in any context until today when I was searching the ALA Web
site and found the following at

 "The Suave line of hair and personal care products is produced
 by Helene Curtis, an operating unit of Unilever, one of the
 world's leading manufacturers of branded consumer products and
 packaged goods. The Suave family line of products includes
 high-quality, value-priced hair care, skin and facial care, baby
 care and other products. "

As you'll see from the site, the ad is there because Suave sponsored the
"KidsConnect [at] the Library" contest last year. I do understand that this
is increasingly a commercial world and ALA has to get its money somewhere;
in this case, some school really benefited from Unilever's money.

But, I have a visceral negative reaction to seeing the ad on the ALA Web
site: it is for a line of products that have nothing to do with ALA (other
than that many library users and librarians have hair), and it is a
reproduction of an advertising statement from the company that implies
that ALA endorses the quality of their products. The fact that it is on
the Web allows for international distribution and on the Web it also loses
the context of what the relationship between what the 2 organizations is.
(Note: I am not trying to say that the Suave issue should be brought up,
except as an example. I am interested in the overall policy and practices
in the sponsorship area.)

Mary Ghikas has replied to the council list briefly, noting the part of the
ALA policies that governs sponsorships and also saying that procedures have
been worked out in the past year, based on these policies.

I'm asking/stating several things this discussion brings to mind:

1) as a member I would strongly urge that Council examine the policy and
procedures about commercial sponsorships; and

2) since there was recently constituted a task force on ALA and the Web,
this might also need to be to be brought up as another example of what the
weight is of something that appears on the ALA Web site.

Pat Ensor, Director of Library Services
University of Houston-Downtown
One Main Street
Houston, TX  77002
Voice: (713)221-8011
Fax: (713)221-8037
Work: Ensor[at] Home: PLEnsor[at]

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

Date: Tue, 17 Aug 1999 14:48:35 -0400
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>
From: Mark Rosenzweig <iskra[at]>
Subject: Hair today, gone tomorrow

After raising questions of sponsorship in the context of ALA's A&E series
endorsements for cash considerations, I must say even I am shocked to what
depths we have  already sunk in this sponsorship business.

Thanks to Pat Ensor for bringing it to our attention. I hope it's not just
brushed off.

The Suave hair products promotion linked to ALA is the wave of the future
if we don't untangle this issue pronto.

It makes my hair (what's left of it) stand on end.


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

Date: Tue, 17 Aug 1999 17:14:52 -0400 (EDT)
From: Pamela Sieving <pcsievin[at]>
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>
cc: ...
Subject: Re: Sponsorships - Suave?

Tam, thanks for pointing this out.  I am, as many of you know, already
uneasy about this entire issue.  Even more so now that I see the
KidsConnect site.  And since it is on the ALA server, we need to look at
it closely.

I asked one of our faculty members to look at the sponsorship section,
which seems to list ALA and Suave equally.  She said her impulse was to
click on the Suave image to order their products.
We chatted for a few more minutes about this page.  She volunteered that
it was qualitatively different for a site to acknowledge sponsorship or
support by a commercial interest than to have what reads like an
advertisement on the site.

Are there other equivalent sponsorships acknowleged on other ALA website

Pam Sieving
RUSA Councilor


6. Discussion of Steve Coffman's article in Searcher

First, five messages from PUBLIB:

Date: Thu, 19 Aug 1999 18:32:39 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Thomas J. Hennen Jr." <thennen[at]>
To: publib <publib[at]>
Subject: Building Earth's Largest Library by Steve Coffman
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.4.10.9908191832370.22658-100000[at]>

Perhaps I missed it, but on this list there does not seem to have been any
mention of Steve Coffman's article titled Building Earth's Largest Library:
Driving into the Future. It was published as Volume 7, No. 3, March 1999 of
Searcher magazine.  It is also available on the web at:

Mr. Coffman's article has gotten so much attention that the magazine did a
special feature in its July/August edition.

Coffman is Director, FYI ó County of Los Angeles Public Library and a
serious dreamer.  He has a vision of Earth's Largest Library that will make pale by comparison. He speaks of melding catalogs, circulation
systems, and delivery mechanisms into the type of structure that propelled from nothing to a billion dollar business in just four years.
One senses he agrees with the authors of the 1948 classic book A National
Plan for Library Service.  To paraphrase the authors of that work: Make no
small plans, for they have not the magic to stir our souls.

Mr. Coffman has certainly managed to do some magic that is stirring souls in
the library world. And no one would accuse him of making small plans! The
response has been overwhelming by library professionsls, but Coffman adds
that no fewer than 8 commercial concerns have contacted him with proposals
to implement his vision separate from the library community.

FYI is described on its home page as a fee-based research service of the
County of Los Angeles Public Library. FYI is a unique and affordable
research service designed to provide a full range of business and consumer
information for all your project and day-to-day needs. All research is
conducted by highly-trained professionals and is available in person, by
telephone, by fax or through the Internet. See

I would like to hear some responses by publibbers to his proposals and
dreams.  Coffman seems to be not only thinking outside the box, as the
cliche goes, but to have dreamed up whole new boxes to juggle around.

Thomas J. Hennen Jr.
6014 Spring Street
Racine,WI  53406
Voice: 414-886-1625  Fax: 414-886-5424

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

Date: Sun, 22 Aug 1999 18:58:22 -0700 (PDT)
From: Michael Dahn <dahn[at]>
To: publib <publib[at]>,
Subject: Re: Building Earth's Largest Library by Steve Coffman

At 06:34 PM 8/19/1999 -0700, Thomas J. Hennen Jr. wrote:

>Perhaps I missed it, but on this list there does not seem to have been any
>mention of Steve Coffman's article titled Building Earth's Largest Library:
>Driving into the Future. It was published as Volume 7, No. 3, March 1999 of
>Searcher magazine.  It is also available on the web at:
>I would like to hear some responses by publibbers to his proposals and
>dreams.  Coffman seems to be not only thinking outside the box, as the
>cliche goes, but to have dreamed up whole new boxes to juggle around.


Yes, you missed the PUBLIB discussion on Coffman's article... but it was
easy to miss.  It consisted of one post by me back in late March, 1999.  I
posted a message very similar to yours, expressing fascination with Steve
Coffman's ideas and eagerness to hear PUBLIB discussion of it.  My post,
however, generated no list discussion whatsoever, though I did receive some
private replies from some Publibbers.

I am now an academic law librarian, but my roots are in public libraries,
and I feel that Steve's issues are extremely important.  Back in March,
when I read Steve's article, I couldn't stop my mind racing about it (I
know, I'm such a geek), and I ended up writing a "response" article to his,
which was published on Searcher Magazine's Web site.  See:

On October 28th of this year, there is going to be a national
teleconference, where Steve Coffman will discuss his ideas further. 

Then, on November 8th of this year, there will be a full-day track
on this subject at the Internet Librarian conference in San Diego. 

So, there seems to be momentum growing for these ideas.  Unfortunately,
most of my discussions with librarians about this (including my initial
post to PUBLIB) have been met with apathy... which is sad.  If public
librarians do not take an active role in this issue, it will be the private
sector that will make this happen, which is likely to result in a system
that is more costly and less feature-rich than it would have been otherwise
-- in the same way that most (ok, ALL -- I won't argue) OPAC systems are
far too costly for the value they provide.

Anyway, for those of you who are interested in this issue, the following
links are a good place to start (but they are not a good place to end):

        -- Mike

Michael Dahn
Librarian, Webmaster
Stetson University College of Law
(727) 562-7800 x7681

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

In a message dated 99-08-23 09:39:46 EDT, Michael  Dahn writes:

> Yes, you missed the PUBLIB discussion on Coffman's article... but it was
>  easy to miss.  It consisted of one post by me back in late March, 1999.
>   ...

accurate, but not quite thorough response, Michael.  When the ad for
the upcoming teleconference appeared a couple weeks ago, I commented
briefly, here on PUBLIB.

Far from apathetic, I find Coffman's ideas rejectable, as inconsistent with
what i believe are fundamental public library values.  I'm sure they are
"marketable", but i find that beside the point.  Nor do i believe Coffman
"owns" these ideas.  Most of them amount to one application of ideas in
*Future-driven library marketing*, by Darlene E. Weingand, for example.
That book, i would recommend for understanding this marketing mentality,
not because i agree with it.

thom stuart
St. Cloud, MN

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

Date: Mon, 23 Aug 1999 18:27:43 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Susan B. Hagloch" <haglocsu[at]>
To: publib <publib[at]>
Subject: Coffman & Dahn's Vision

Hi, all!

Mike Dahn said that we publibbers had been apathetic not to respond to his
original post about Coffman's article in SEARCHER.  I think it was less
apathy than that we were taking time to digest it.  I read the article when
it originally appeared in the magazine, and photocopied it for my Department
Heads.  Next to get it will be my Board of Trustees.

I think that a great many of us have been thinking along these lines without
having been able to articuluate our thoughts as well as Coffman and Dahn
have done.  Looking at what is developing in Ohio, with OPLIN and the
Statewide Resource Sharing initiative shows what can be done.
Unfortunately, Ohio's Statewide Resource Sharing was not funded in the
state's 2000-2001 biennium budget, so the State Library is looking at
funding alternatives.

Mike's article is interesting in the ways that he sees us possibly achieving
the vision.  As he points out, many professionals will say it cannot be
done, and that we are wasting our time.  At a meeting I attended a few years
ago, a very savvy librarian told me that it was impossible for patrons to
place their own holds on a multi-library database;  not technologically
impossible, but totally unfeasible.  He didn't seem to understand that our
consortium was already doing it!

We can do it.  We are already beginning.  It will take time, sure, and the
final result probably won't be an exact duplicate of Coffman's vision.
Reality does shape our ends.

But --  What an exciting time to be a librarian!!


Susan B. Hagloch, Director
Tuscarawas County Public Library
121 Fair Avenue NW
New Philadelphia, OH  44663-2600

"Information is the currency of Democracy."  Thomas Jefferson
..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  .. 

Date: Tue, 24 Aug 1999 03:43:44 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Karen G. Schneider" <kgs[at]>
To: publib <publib[at]>
Subject: Coughing up Coffman

Apathetic? O.k., I'll bite.  Some of the ideas were fun.  But some of the
comments were unsubstantiated, and others made wild leaps from hypothesis
to conclusion.  Coffman wrote, "Statistics show that less than 3 percent of
the average public library's circulation comes from interlibrary loan
(Baker, 1993)."  Well--but what does this prove?  It might demonstrate
several things:

* INTRAlibrary loans work so well that loans aren't needed
* The browsable physical collection is what people really want
* Six-year-old statistics don't show much

I'm not sure these statements are completely, exclusively true--but I don't
think they're entirely or even wholly false.  As for his conclusion--local
databases are awful; let's use OCLC--all I can ask is, post hoc ergo
propter hoc?  C'mon, admit there's more it than that.

As for the public library as commercial venture--oy, here we are
representing one of the last bastions of public service, and someone is
proposing we should sell our stuff?  Other people do the commercial schtick
a lot better.  Not only is there nothing wrong with the traditional public
library model of free service--it's a proud tradition.  As for that
"deadwood," yes, libraries should weed collections--but even I have an
issue with wholesale abandonment of older materials.  We can get too
careless too soon with our history.  Knock knock knock, hello Coffman? It's
higher calling than making sure we have enough copies of Clancy's latest
junk to turn a profit.  What do we say fifty years from now when we have
regained our collective senses and begun to understand how the wildly
commercial Mc90's endangered so many public resources?  We're sorry, we
were too busy trying to turn a profit to keep copies of that author's first
works?  We were too excited about forthcoming formats to take care of the
old ones? I don't think so.  Maybe being a true-blue public servant, a
purveyor of free books and services for the masses, isn't good enough for
Coffman, but it is damn fine good enough for me.

On the other hand, Coffman did a good job (though he is no trailblazer
here) in outlining the weaknesses of the online catalog, that bloated
bastion of ancient library technology.  Our catalogs stink. They ARE also
way overpriced.  Some of this may be due to the vendors--but some of this
may be due to the library profession, which sometimes (often?) puts a
premium on the wrong features.  Look how long it has taken most of us to go
to web-based catalogs.  How many of us sneak looky-loos at Amazon to
enhance reader's advisory when we find something in our funky old
inflexible, ugly and impersonal catalogs?  And as Coffman points out--if
you have to take a class on how to use a web-based database, it's not an
effective tool.

One of the truly funky facts of library science is that for many of us the
term "library automation" meant putting the library database into
electronic format... and everything else trailed a poor second at best.  If
we had had more perspective on it, ironically, we would have ended up with
a better product.  (However, that product would still not be for sale...)

Karen G. Schneider kgs[at]
Assistant Director of Technology, Shenendehowa Public Library, NY
Author: A Practical Guide to Internet Filters, Neal Schuman, 1997

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

Now, some of the traffic from PLGnet-L:

Date: Sat, 14 Aug 1999 13:35:06 -0400
To: Pisces0243[at], MELISSAR[at], PLGNET-L[at]
From: mark rosenzweig <iskra[at]>
Subject: Initial response to Coffman

1) It is interesting to me how the model proposed by Mr Coffman for all
public libraries is derived from his experience with special fee-based
services for "the business community",postulating an assumed identity of
interests, needs, capacities, values, between the general public and the
information seekers in the world of business which is a hypothesis
problematic at its very basis.

These special,fee-based "business services" instituted at various public
library institutions not only are elite, publically-subsidized services for
the community of wealth and power, but invariably seem to become the
"model" for the library of the future.

However, who can argue that the information/knowledge/edification,
library-services needs of the citizen are the same as business, that they
have the same rhythm, the same function, the same quality,the same "telos";
that they exist in the virtual vacuum of business-related interactions.

This anti-humanistic assumption attacks the humane function of the complex
institution of the public library in society and reduces it to a
one-dimensional model which may suit the business world, but will not serve
variegated communities of notionally equal  citizens.

It also is an based on the introduction for pay-as-you-go services which
would essentially discriminate against users on the basis of their capacity
to pay fees for service. Mr Coffman proposes a new model and a new
philosphy for a pay-per-view world.

2) On another level, there is an analogy here with the conceptual world of
business organization a la Toyota, in terms of the way, presumably, these
"brave new world" libraries would function. Welcome to the world of "lean
production" that the Japanese instituted in the production of automobiles
and which became the rage here in the West (even as the Japanese now move
away from it). I won't go into the details here but the notion of
"just-in-time" supply, in which the need for warehousing parts for
production processes is eliminated (the production process is so "fine
tuned" that parts arrive "just-in-time" for assembly from suppliers) except
here the warehoused parts are the books in the libraries collections: we
would no longer have to pay the costs of "warehousing" them i.e. having
books etc. in available on-site collections, but would only get them "as
needed" from suppliers. The ultimate in the industrialization of library
management. There are more analogies with "lean production" which I hope to
elaborate on later (or you are welcome to pick up this thread, if you wish).

Just a few initial thoughts based on the summary already posted of
Coffman's thesis.


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

Date: Mon, 16 Aug 1999 08:29:39 -0500
MIME-Version: 1.0
Reply-To: BartaC[at]

I absolutely agree with Mark on both his points of analysis.  There are
several things that I have been thinking about that I can't reconcile.

1. Entrepreneur  X does his market research at his local public
library, at no cost to him, using the very expensive business resources
that they managed to buy on their ever shrinking budget.  He makes a
gazillion dollars marketing his new brand of widget.  Because the
city/county has decided to forgo charging taxes on all new businesses,
Entrepreneur  X pays no taxes and the library gets no additional funds.

2. Isn't interlibrary loan the library equivalent of "just in time"

Carol Barta
Director of Learning Resources
Barton County Community College
Great Bend, KS 67530

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


As some of you may recall, this is the same wag who wrote the cover
article for American Libraries back in March '98 about running your
library like a bookstore.  While I have not read this latest one, it
sounds in step with his AL piece in which he argued  an all-out assault
on the relative privileges (in pay and hours) of non-degreed library
positions and their replacement with the wage- and hour-structure of
Borders and B&N workers.  He carried this out, of course, under the
guise that libraries need espresso and lay-z-boys to keep up the torrid
pace of business.

Coffman's attacks are symptomatic of the war being waged by capital on
workers on every imaginable front.  Liberal policies and institutions 
that were previously accepted as necessary in maintaining some semblance
of stability under capitalism are now subject to commodification.
Coffman serves as a frontline facilitator of this war in his position as
"consultant."  On a personal level, I do not know whether he sadistically
enjoys designing mechanisms for throwing people out of work, or in a
fog of false-consciousness, he sees no other way of maintaining his
own privileged position.  Functionally his position is the same either way
and therefore, he and his ilk must be confronted and combated at every

-Chris Hudson

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

And finally, Steve Coffman's message to LIBREF-L:

>===== Original Message From "Stephen Coffman" <coffman[at]CERF.NET> =====

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who emailed,
faxed, phoned, wrote, and button-holed me in the hall in response to the
Building Earth's Largest Library article (full text on the web at  Whenever possible, I have
tried to respond personally to all of you who took the trouble to write me
directly, but at times the response was so overwhelming that I could have
missed a few in the flood.  If so, please accept my apologies.

The interest in the original piece so great that Barbara Quint, the editor
of Searcher Magazine, twisted my arm behind my back (just kidding) until I
agreed to do a follow-up article to address the many questions and issues
that you raised.  That is now finished, and also available full-text on the
Web at

What interests me the most about this thing is that even though it most
assuredly is a "GREAT BIG HAIRY WILD-EYED IDEA!" as one of you put it
(attribution upon request)...we are very fortunate to live in a time when
GREAT BIG HAIRY WILD-EYED IDEAS can actually become great big hairy
wild-eyed  THINGS ...and if you need any proof of this, all you have to do
is look at Amazon.  Should our dreams be any smaller?

If you are interested in learning more about Earth's Largest Library and how
it could benefit your patrons, and what it might take to pull it off, there
are a couple of great programs going on this Fall.

First, INCOLSA and the OCLC Regional Networks are sponsoring a nationwide
satellite teleconference on Earth's Largest Library this October 28th.
This will be a general presentation of the concept followed by a discussion
of the issues with an in-studio reactor panel of librarians representing a
variety of institutions, followed by live chat and email discussion with the
audience at remote sites.   For further details on this please see the
INCOLSA Web site at ....

Then on November 8-11, the Internet Librarian Conference in San Diego is
sponsoring a full 1 1/2 day Track on Building a Business Plan for Earth's
Largest Library.   Featured speakers include:

Georgia Brown, VP OCLC
Roy Tenant UC Berkeley
Bob Doran, Senior VP Baker & Taylor
Mary Jackson, "Queen" of ILL, ARL
IXL Internet (the team that developed the BookSense program --- the ABA's
answer to
George Relles, business development and pricing consultant for the online
Mary-Ellen Mort, developer of the highly-acclaimed JobStar web site brought
to you by California public libraries
Ronald Wohl and Mark Haas, consultants on logistics to the USPS
Ralph LeVan, Office of Research, OCLC
Barbara Quint, Editor, Searcher Magazine

..and others yet to be named.   For further information on the Internet
Librarian Conference, please see ...

I look forward to meeting many of you at both of these programs.  And maybe
with a little luck, some hard work, and a lot of enthusiasm, we just might
be able to pull something off.  I have my fingers crossed.

Thanks again,


Steve Coffman
Director, FYI
County of Los Angeles Public Library
562-868-4065 fax


7. World Biographical Index

        This database contains about 2.4 million short
        biographical entries for prominent individuals who lived
        in North and South America, Western and Central
        Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Oceania. The entry
        for each person contains the name, variations of the
        name, pseudonyms, the years of birth and death, or years
        mentioned, occupation, source quoted, and bibliographic
        information about the sources used. It is also a compiled
        index to many biographical archives, giving archive
        name and fiche number. Based on the 5th, CD-ROM
        edition (K.G. Saur, 1998). - cl
        Subjects: biography

Librarians' Index to the Internet


8. -

        This free question and answer service has pulled together
        more than 4,000 volunteers (aka experts) to answer
        questions on over 1,000 topics. Topics are browsable
        and descriptions of volunteers areas of interest and
        expertise are searchable. Definitely worth a look and a
        try if you can't find the answer yourself or want another's
        suggestions. - cl
        Subjects: reference - general

Librarians' Index to the Internet

9.  The Pencil Pages -

        Everything there is to know about the humble but ubiquitous
        pencil. Originally intended for pencil collectors, this site has
        expanded into a comprehensive resource on the history,
        nature, manufacture, and collectibility of this enduringly useful
        writing and drawing tool. - jg
        Subjects: pencils

>From Librarians Index to the Internet

  L I B R A R Y   J U I C E

| Original material and added value in Library Juice
| is copyright-free; beyond that the publisher makes
| no guarantees.  Library Juice is a free weekly
| publication edited and published by Rory Litwin.
| Original senders are credited wherever possible;
| opinions are theirs. Your comments and suggestions
| are welcome.    Juice[at]

This page was created by SimpleText2Html 1.0.3 on 24-Aug-99.