Library Juice 3:12 - March 22, 2000


1. Louis L'Amour's birthday
2. Four articles added to the Progressive Librarian website
3. Library unionization query
4. LISNews call for submissions
5. Article on libraries in Journal of Mundane Behavior
6. CyberPatrol decryption
7. "The Electronic Frontier" - Gov't report on internet crime
8. Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable
10. The Merck Manual of Medical Information - Home Edition
11. ALAOIF thread on attacks from the right
12. Letter to Dr. Laura from the Horizons Foundation
13. "The Library as Social Centre"
14. Anniversary of Goethe's death

Quote for the week:

"What can I say? Librarians rule."
-Regis Philbin (Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, 17 Feb. 2000)

Home page of the week: Owen Massey


1. Today, March 22, is Louis L'Amour's birthday.

Some biographical information is at:


2. Four articles added to the Progressive Librarian website

>From Issue 16:

Agnes Inglis: Anarchist Librarian, by Julie Herrada and Tom Hyry

The School and the Barricade, by Marianne Enckell

>From Issue 15:

Librarianship and Resistance, by Sandy Iverson

The Cuba Poster Project, by Lincoln Cushing (with color images)



3. Library unionization query

Date: Fri, 10 Mar 2000 18:55:52 -0800 (PST)
From: "Susan Katzenstein MHV (978) 373-1586" <katzenst[at]>
To: publib <publib[at]>
Subject: Unions - yes or no!

We are embroiled in a union debate which is splitting the library into
many adversarial factions. We are considering belonging to the
teamsters, which represents the other city departments in our community
of 50,000 people.  Our public library has a director and 4 department
heads and no assistant director.  Some of the issues we are wrestling
with are:

-Should the M.L.S degreed librarians belong to the same union as
nondegreed personnel?
-Should the department heads belong to a separate union from line
staff?  If so, how will their relationship change?
-Should we investigate other unions that perhaps specialize in library
issues? -Is it advantageous to belong to a powerful city union?
-Can unions get involved in library policies, such as open access to the
-How will the relationship between director and department heads
change if the department heads are in the union?  Will it become more
-General impressions - advantages & disadvantages?

I know this is a very complicated issue, but we are struggling
mightily.  Any advice would be extremely helpful.  Thanks!

4. LISNews call for submissions

>===== Original Message From "Blake Carver" <btcarver[at]> ===== is currently accepting submissions of writing, poetry, essays,
reviews, satirical columns and other commentary.

To get a feel for our preferred content, check out our site:

LISNews brings together practitioners from academia and industry to exchange
related to both traditional and emerging fields of library and information
science. We invite submission of any type of work relating to library and

Electronic Publications
The Internet
Knowledge Management
And much more..

Thank You,
Blake Carver

5. Article on libraries in Journal of Mundane Behavior

Sent in by Library Juice subscriber Peter Glenister

From: BIBCANLIB-L <bibcanlib-l-coord[at]>
Subject: Journal of Mundane Behaviour and libraries
Date: Wed, 15 Mar 2000  09:52:52 -0400

>From this morning's Ottawa Citizen
A new scholarly journal, the Journal of Mundane Behavior, has an article on
searching in libraries in its first issue.

The article on this mundane topic is:
Remarks on the social organisation of space and place
by Andy Crabtree
Sociology, Cartmel College, Lancaster University
Journal of Mundane Behavior
volume 1, number 1 (February 2000)

submitted by
Nancy Brodie                            Phone: (613) 947-5887
Information Resource Management         Fax:  (613) 996-3573
National Library of Canada              Internet:
Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0N4                        Nancy.Brodie[at]

6. CyberPatrol decryption

info courtesey of Karen Schneider

From: "Karen G. Schneider" <kgs[at]>
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>
Subject: [ALACOUN:4483] Fw: CyberPatrol decryption utility mirrored in response to lawsuit
Date: Thu, 16 Mar 2000 10:49:18 -0500

This is what happened, in plainer English: two guys in Sweden figured out
how to decrypt the Cyber Patrol filter, and posted the results on their
website.  As happened a couple of weeks ago when another group, Peacefire,
decrypted X-Stop (the filter made infamous in the Mainstream Loudoun case),
a panicked company--in this case, Mattel, the current owner of Cyber
Patrol--threatened legal action.   In other words, filter vendors are
claiming the right not to tell you what they're blocking, how they do their
blocking, or what information they are gathering on the blocked sites, and
they're objecting when product reviewers analyse their products and tell you
what they find.

I hope these stoplists get published worldwide, so you folks all find out
what "choosing" a filter really entails.  But for now, note that when you
give a patron a "choice," what you're really doing is handing selection
decisions to third parties whose primary motivations are not the public
good, and who are now fighting legal battles to keep their methods and
outcomes highly secret.  This is a bad precedent for the future of
information access.

Karen G. Schneider kgs[at]
Assistant Director of Technology
Shenendehowa Public Library, Clifton Park, NY

----- Original Message -----
From: "Declan McCullagh" <declan[at]>
To: <politech[at]>
Cc: <junger[at]SAMSARA.LAW.CWRU.EDU>
Sent: Thursday, March 16, 2000 9:46 AM
Subject: FC: CyberPatrol decryption utility mirrored in response to lawsuit

> It should be obvious to anyone who has half a clue about the Internet what
> happens when a company or government tries to stomp out something it
> doesn't like.
> The offending bytes appear in every corner of the globe.
> It happened in the case of DeCSS
> (, and it's
> happening now with the CyberPatrol decryption utility. So far the
> verboten-ware is at:
> thread:
> Background:
> -Declan
-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

From: "Karen G. Schneider" <kgs[at]>
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>
Subject: [ALACOUN:4484] Fw: Letter to the Editor, NY Times
Date: Thu, 16 Mar 2000 11:21:33 -0500

I just sent this to the Times.  If you find it useful, please "borrow" any
of the text for a letter to your local paper.

Karen G. Schneider kgs[at]
Assistant Director of Technology
Shenendehowa Public Library, Clifton Park, NY

----- Original Message -----
From: "Karen G. Schneider" <kgs[at]>
To: <editor[at]>
Sent: Thursday, March 16, 2000 11:19 AM
Subject: Letter to the Editor, NY Times

> Editor, New York Times:
> We have Consumer Reports for objective evaluations of peanut butter and
> sedans.  And we have enterprising software cowboys such as Eddy L. O.
> Jansson and Matthew Skala to tell us the truth about Internet content
> filters   ("Software Co. Sues Hackers," 3-16-00).
> Incredibly, Internet filters rely on hidden site lists that prevent
> teachers, librarians and parents from seeing what the companies really
> block.  Mattel's threats of legal action only underscore what most of us
> have suspected all along--that these companies are not interested in the
> public good, and encrypt their stoplists to prevent public review and
> analysis of their products.
> For too long, filter companies have lacked accountability for their
> products.  When good information is blocked from view, this hurts the
> trying to access the information, the person who created the information,
> the people--parents, teachers, librarians, and other
> for insuring people have access to information, and the democratic
> of our society, which depends on the free flow of
> speech.
> Clearly, Mattel feels it has something to hide.  Its claim that Jansson
> Skala are violating copyright law is both scurrilous and laughable. The
> "irreparable harm" Mattel cites in its legal paperwork won't be caused by
> showing the world what sites it chooses to block with Cyber Patrol.  The
> real harm comes in establishing a precedent where companies can sue people
> who explain what their products actually do.
> Karen G. Schneider kgs[at]
> Author, A Practical Guide to Internet Filters (Neal Schuman, 1997)
> 298 South Main Avenue, Albany NY 12208
> Home: 518-437-0664  W: 518-371-8622  Mobile: 518-331-7737
-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Reply-To: "Karen G. Schneider" <kgs[at]>
From: "Karen G. Schneider" <kgs[at]>
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>
Subject: [ALACOUN:4487] Fw: CyberPatrol wins restraining order against "cphack" decrypt app

fyi... also, in a follow-up message, McCullagh advised subscribers that
Cyber Patrol had issued him a subpoena regarding the mirror sites for this

Karen G. Schneider kgs[at]
Assistant Director of Technology
Shenendehowa Public Library, Clifton Park, NY

----- Original Message -----
From: "Declan McCullagh" <declan[at]>
To: <politech[at]>
Sent: Sunday, March 19, 2000 1:00 AM
Subject: FC: CyberPatrol wins restraining order against "cphack" decrypt app

What's interesting is that Mattel's PR person (Mattel's subsidary sells
CyberPatrol) is trying to spin this as an order that applies to mirror
sites. Even the MPAA plaintiffs in the DeCSS suit haven't tried that. Read
on for the hype.

    Linkname: Mattel Sues Over Blocking Hack

    Linkname: CyperPatrol Hackers Lose Round



"The Electronic Frontier: The Challenge of Unlawful Conduct
Involving the Use of the Internet: A Report of the President's
Working Group on Unlawful Conduct on the Internet"
Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS)

In August of 1999, President Clinton issued Executive Order 13133,
which called for the creation of a Working Group to analyze unlawful
conduct on the Internet. This month, the Working Group has released
its report, which is now available at the Website of the US
Department of Justice (DOJ). The report discusses the legal framework
in which online crimes exist, the challenges facing law enforcement
agencies in the online environment, and the role of public education
and empowerment in combating online crime. Separate appendices focus
on particular types of crime on the Internet, including fraud, child
pornography, intellectual property theft, and the sale of controlled
substances. The report is also available on the second site listed
above, the CCIPS homepage. Launched by the DOJ on March 13, 2000,
this site details their efforts to stop online crime. Here users will
find materials such as speeches, reports, press releases, and
testimony, covering topics including "prosecuting computer hacking,
intellectual property piracy and counterfeiting, legal issues related
to electronic commerce, freedom of speech, searching and seizing
computers, encryption, privacy, and international aspects of
cybercrime." [SW]

From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2000.

8. Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable

        As any reference librarian knows, Brewer is the first
        place to look for the meaning and origin of phrase and
        fable. And although this first hypertext edition is taken
        from the 1895 edition of the book, many of the phrases
        and fables we encounter today will appear in this
        classic source. The text is browsable or easily
        searched by keywords. The site is brought to the Web
        by, a source for many titles of classic
        literature. - rms

From Librarians' Index to the Internet -

9. -

        Quotations by Topic, Literary Quotations, Humorous
        Quotations, Random Quotations, How to Identify a
        Quote, Discussion Groups ["Who Said It?" and "I
        Need A Quote!"], a FAQ, and Internet Resources.
        There is also a Reference Library, with a short list of
        audio samples from historical speeches; TV
        commercials; TV and movie scripts; and music.
        Searchable. - de

From Librarians' Index to the Internet -

10. The Merck Manual of Medical Information - Home Edition

        The full-text, searchable consumer edition of the
        famous Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy
        ("the textbook of medicine most widely used by health
        care professionals in the U.S. and worldwide"),
        written in everyday language for non-health care
        professionals. - smk

From Librarians' Index to the Internet -

11. ALAOIF thread on attacks from the right

Date: Mon, 6 Mar 2000 01:48:10 -0500
From: Mark Rosenzweig <iskra[at]>
To: ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom List <alaoif[at]>

In response to Jim Sweetlands question (below):

I believe that these folks are going after ALA because they're NOT really
about pornography or children.

They're about imposing an agenda of intolereance on public institutions,
eliminating the separation of church and state and fighting freedom of
thought, frredom of information.unimpeded inquiry, intellectual skepticism
and cultural pluralism. Pornography is patently only a pretext for these
groups in their attempt to occupy and dismantle the public sphere and
re-make it along sectarian lines, imposing a cultural and intellectual
conformity which is repugnant to a free, democratic people.

Yes, they are genuinely, sickly, preoccupied with pornography and
pedophilia too, but it's part and parcel of their preoccupation with
abortion, prayer in schools,hatred of homosexuals, a free and
independent press, etc.

ALA repesents to them a bulwark of intellectual freedom, and librarians in
the communities are the sentinels of liberty at the grass roots.  That's
why we are the enemy.

Mark Rosenzweig

>this current discussion, as well as several others recently, brings up
>a question:
> Since a number of profilter, and/or procensorship groups seem
>to be attacking the American Library Association, any ideas on why?
>This tactic (or strategy?) of going after the ALA, rather than the
>publishers/authors of whatever a group finds objectionable, seems to
>have begun with the Loudon County case.
> And, the rhetoric appears to be escalating, so that ALA now
>being accused of directly purveying "porn" rather than merely being
>a "dupe".
>I have my own thoughts, but would like to hear from others--
>why has ALA become the 'bad guys'? What are the attackers after?
..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..

Date: Mon, 06 Mar 2000 10:25:09 -0500
From: Chuck0 <chuck[at]>
To: ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom List <alaoif[at]>

Mark hits a home run here with this simple explanation of the
motivations behind these folks. They don't give a shit what gets burned
in their campaign to control intellectual freedom. After all, many of
these people are fundamentalists, whose view of the world is seriously
challenged by a secular society and competing religions. I suspect that
they are getting increasingly desperate as their support base erodes,
because of the overall liberalization going in American society. If
Internet porn gets a few fundamentalists to question their lives and
give up trying to tell other people how to live, then we should be
grateful for that.

<< Chuck0 >>
Mid-Atlantic Infoshop:
Alternative Press Review:

Free Leonard Peltier!

"A society is a healthy society only to the degree
that it exhibits anarchistic traits."
        - Jens Bjørneboe
..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..

Date: Mon, 06 Mar 2000 10:04:39 -0500
From: Chuck0 <chuck[at]>
To: ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom List <alaoif[at]>

Mark Rosenzweig wrote:
> Mr. Burt's contention that "The American Library Association is preparing a
> program for its annual conference on "Erotica in Libraries" that will focus
> on how to bring more pornography into public libraries" is an outright lie!
> First of all, it is not the ALA which is preparing the program, but the
> "Alternatiuves in Print" Task Force of the Social Rsposnibilities Round
> Table (AIP/SRRT). There is a BIG differenmce, and Burt knows it, between
> some small sub-constituent of ALA sponsoring an event , and ALA itself, as
> a 75.000 member organization sponsoring it.. He shows himself, once more,
> to be a shameless, dishonorable liar and vulgar propagandist.
> As a member of that AIP task force actually sponsoring the panel (although
> not involved with setting up this particular meeting) and as a member of
> SRRT action Council, I can assure you that it is also untrue that the panel
> is addressing "how to bring more pornography into the public library".
> Unless, of course, all material with sexual content is pornography, as Burt
> would apparently have it.

Boy, David must really be feeling like a loser these days. I've been
anticipating attacks on my session from him, although this opening salvo
came a bit earlier than I had expected. Nonetheless, preparations for
the "Erotica in Libraries" session are coming along fine. At this point
it looks like I may have too many speakers for the session, which means
I may find myself in the unfortunate position of telling somebody that
they can't be on the panel.

I'm not quite sure what this panel will be talking about *exactly*,
because I haven't seen the final talk proposals (deadline is March
10th). Yes, this panel may talk about how to get more
erotica/pornography into public libraries. Since public libraries are
neglecting to carry materials which address a fundamental aspect of the
human experience, sex, you can expect that a few of the speakers will
talk about this. I'm gettign a strong sense that many librarians feel
guilty about this and really want to see this session happen. I also
promise that a few of the speakers will be talking about their ACADEMIC
erotica collections. We may also have at least one librarian who writes

ALA is not footing the bill for this session, nor is my employer paying
my way. I plan to catch a cheap flight and sleep on the couches of
Chicago-area friends. There will be some expenses involved in this
session, so donations to the AIP are encouraged. If you can donate as
little as $20, you can help make this session an awesome one, help Rory
with his session on "Alternative Children's Lit for Libraries," and help
make future AIP sessions kick ass.

Is David Burt a "shameless, dishonorable liar and vulgar propagandist?"
You'll get no argument from me.

I'm pretty encouraged about the feedback I've gotten about this session.
A lot of people are really excited about it and a few are practically
begging to speak.

<< Chuck0 >>
..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..

Date: Mon, 6 Mar 2000 10:47:26 -0500
From: Mark Rosenzweig <iskra[at]>

In agreement with Jamie McCarty, I think Chuck Munson  may be missing a
fundamental point here. Burt's charge that the panel is meant to FOCUS on
"how to get more pornography into the public libraries" is untrue, as far
as I know. The panel may,as Chuck notes (but not clearly enough, I
believe), entail discussion on how to get  more things that Burt and
company would CONSIDER "pornography" (which is a fairly wide swathe of
sex-related materials) into the library. But that's not the same thing. I
don't believe that Chuck's panelists are proposing that public libraries
need to have a subscription to "Buxom Vixens" or whatever. Correct me if
I'm wrong , Chuck. This is a situation in which it is ill-advised to speak
imprecisely. It only fuels the fires of Burt's book-burning ovens.

Mark Rosenzweig
..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..

Mark: Not only did Burt misrepresent my panel, but you did too. The
intention of this panel all along, for the past year, has been to focus
on what kind of erotica/pornography is out there, and why libraries
should collect it.

I don't know what my panelists will talk about, but Mark is correct. I'm
not sure how many of my panelists will propose that libraries collect
"Juggs," but I wouldn't be surprised if they did. Personally, I would
suggest that they collect magazines like this, at least the good ones.
>From the proposals I've gotten so far, I suspect that most of the
panelists will discuss your typical erotica and others will talk about
why public libraries have historically engaged in censorship of sexual

I'm not afraid of David's book-burning ovens. I'm willing to take a
controversial stand on this, because I hope that those of you who CLAIM
that you are FOR intellectual freedom will stand with me. We cannot
afford to let the David Burt's of the world set the terms of this
debate. By asking me to tone down, or be more *precise* about what this
session is about, amounts to prior censorship of my speech. I believe in
intellectual freedom for all people, so please don't mind me if I engage
in some on my own behalf.

<< Chuck0 >>
..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..

Subject: [ALAOIF:10635] Response to Christie Robbins
Date: Mon, 6 Mar 2000 12:30:53 -0500
From: Mark Rosenzweig <iskra[at]>

>OK, time for me to weigh in here.
>When we talk about putting erotica in libraries, and whether it belongs
>there or not, we should remember that not only are there reasons to keep
>it there.  If it is what our users want, it is our mission to
>provide them with that information.  However, while Burt is talking about
>pedophiles filling our libraries, let's look at the valid academic scholar
>who is doing her dissertation on how hard core erotica -or- pornography
>has changed since the advent of the feminist movement in the 60s.
>The fact is, the public library is a cultural center for the -entire-
>American society, whic means that we will all find something in them that
>we disagree with.
>Christie Robbins
>Masters Candidate
>Library & Information Sciences
>University of Texas at Austin


I am a proponent of systematically collecting sex-related materials in
public libraries and so I approach your posting with sympathy and
serious interest,

But I must point out that there are different kinds of libraries with
different users and patron needs (including in the areas of sexuality).

The "valid academic scholar" doing her research on the effects of feminism
on pornography, would be doing most of her research at academic, research
and special libraries. The Research Library of the New York Public Library,
has a vast collection of pornographic materials, historical and current,
for just such purposes as hers. Such a researcher would not expect the
local public library to be the source of much of the material she would
need for her dissertation, no matter what it was on.

Mark R.

12. Letter to Dr. Laura from the Horizons Foundation

Read it and add your signature at:


13. "The Library as Social Centre"

the opening address at the Red Wing Meeting of the Minnesota Library
Association, October 12, 1905, by Miss Gratia Alta Countryman

During these latter days of enormous library activity, we have been
conscientiously examining the functions of the library; we have been
trying all sorts of methods to popularize it, to advertise it.  We
have asked for and listened to the criticism of outsiders, and by the
light thrown upon it through this prism have separated our work into
its elemental parts and seen its various hues.

We used to ereect a library as an altar to the gods of learning; now,
to use Mr. Dana's words, we erect it as an altar to the "gods of good
fellowship, joy and learning."  So you see, our ideals are constantly
rising, our horizons ever broadening, and our work continually
increasing, both in extent and in depth.  We might well have
considered our hands fairly full to have dealt alone with this god of
learning, but we find ourselves embracing the opportunity for
additional service to the gods of good fellowship and joy.

It might do us good to consider tonight what we are doing for the
cause of learning, what the library has done to increase serious
reading and study, and how it may further the educational work of the
world.  This question is ever present with us, and can stand any
amount of discussion.  But it is the gods of good fellowship and joy
that we are discussing tonight, the library not as a center of
learning but as a social center.

We are dealing with a small crowd of people whom we may call "our
public."  Who are the public?  Why, you and I, and my family, and
others just like us.  They want just the same things that we do, and
to be accommodated in just the same way that we do.  The public is no
indefinite, intangible somebody, it is just "we."

We talk about the people being hungry for books and information.
Have you found it so?  Then why do we have free libraries and free
schools?  People are willing to sacrifice fo something that they are
very hungry for.  Do you hunger and thirst to read Homer and
Shakespeare, and Emerson and Arnold, and good histories and
literature?  Do you, when you are tired after a day's work, take home
a scientific work or a treatise of civics?  No, you are just a little
sample of the public, and you think you need to read a pleasant,
entertaining, restful book.  You aren't hungry for information, and,
as a matter of fact, the person who delights in study and has a fine
taste for the best in literature has one of the "gifts extremely
rare."  Most of us are practical, everyday, working people, with a
very limited time for reading, and this public whom we serve is just
like us.  A few of them will love to read the best, many of them will
want information at intervals, a large proportion want recreative
reading, and the vast majority use the library not at all.  Now the
former, who want and love the library, you need not be troubled
about.  They will naturally come to the library, and you will find
pleasure in serving them.  But these latter classes who either come
for pleasure or come not at all must be drawn and held through the
social instincts, and through their desire for pleasure.  We may find
it in friendly gatherings, social clubs, or music or conversation or
games, but social pleasure of some sort is sought by all of us, great
and small, in town and coutry alike.  In the city there is usually
plenty of opportunity - I might almost say that there is a surfeit -
and one must pick and choose.  But in the towns and villages it is
often differen; good amusement and profitable pleasures are not
always to be had, and being social beings, the social craving is
satisfied with whatever means may be at hand.  Young people
expecially can not isolate themselves, or live unto themselves.  Just
where is the library going to stand in this matter?  Is there anything
which we can do to satisfy these natural desires and to enter more
vitally into the lives of the people?  This is the question to take
home and think about.

As individuals, we are coming to have an enormous interest in other
human lives, there is a sense of social obligation upon us; we have
come to know that personal righteousness is not all that is required
of us, but that we must help to realize the social righteousness.
The library has the duty of being all things to all men.  It is no
longer simply a repository of books, it is exactly what Mr. Carnegie
calls it, the cradle of democracy, filled with the democratic spirit,
and it endeavors, as far as circumstances permit, to minister to all
the needs of the community in which it dwells.  The library stands
for progress, the progress of its town, and this does not mean
increasing the material prosperity of the people, though that may
follow, but it chiefly means the raising of the moral, social and
intellectual standards of all its people, and helping men and women
to be more effective in every way.  The library does not exist for
one side only of the life of the people, but for every side, and if
it fails to provide for those who seek amusement, it shirks a good
dury and renounces a privilege.  The sooner we unveil the "gods of
joy and good fellowship" in our library the better; and sooner we
make the library a centre for all the activities among us that make
for social efficiency the better.

Of course there are natural limitations to the kind of work which a
library can do, and in helping to further the spirit of good
fellowship and to furnish pleasure, we must keep within such limits
as are consistent with the spirit of a library.  The library can
appeal to people in other ways than by books alone, as we shall
consider later, yet as books are our chief tools, it is natural to
think first of giving pleasure by that method.  One of our chiefest
ways of late years  has been through the children's room.  The
children get books instruction and supplementary reading and enforced
book interests, all of which are needed for their development, in the
schoolroom.  But in the children's room at the library furnished
especially for them, with low tables, picture books and low shelves
containing fairy stories and all their favorite authors, they settle
down to satisfy their own especial individual tastes.  Then there is
the story hour, of which we shall hear to-morrow.  Many of the
children have never learned the pleasure of reading.  They do not
belong to cultured homes and the presence of books.  Many of them
never heard a Mother Goose jingle or a nonsense verse, and a book is
an unlearned delight.  But what child, even of this kind, does not
love to hear stories, and listening breathlessly, would not come
again and again.  Somehow it seems as if we could not discharge our
social obligation until we had gone into the byways and hedges and
gathered in these scraps of society, and taught them the pleasures of
a book.  The children, once acquainted with the library, will always
count it among their friends, and it will forever remain a social
centre to them.  We grown ups are not so different from the children;
we, too, like a story, and we, too, want to read the things that cheer
and entertain us.  We agreed a moment ago that we, as well as our
public, were liable to leave the serious books for the infrequent
study hour and to spend our leisure evenings with the fascinating
novel.  Well, I do not know of any better way to give amusement and
pleasure than to furnish the people with the books they want, in
which they can be interested and absorbed.  The "cares that infest
the day" will fold their wings better under the spell of a good story
than any other way.  I think we need not be frightened when libraries
are accused of being only fiction distributors, for it is a library's
function to amuse as well as to instruct, and if people will seek
amusement through the library, so much the better for the people.  It
is natural that the people should feel a curiosity about the newest
book and want to read what other people are talking about.  This adds
also to pleasant social intercourse, and gives people a common subject
of conversation.  Fiction is bound to be more and more an
interpretation of life by which we see the motives and currents in
other souls.  We need not be afraid to supply good, wholesome fiction
and to use it in establishing social relations with our people, so
that the adults as well as the children shall feel a real pleasure in
coming to the library.

Many of our libraries are now housed in beautiful buildings, in which
case, the building as well as the books becomes a means of social
influence.  If there is need of a home for social intercourse and
amusement, the library may legitimately attempt to furnish such a
home within its walls.  If there are social or study clubs, organized
labor guilds or missionary societies, or any other organizations,
encourage them to meet at the library, find out what they need, let
them find out that the library is their cooperative partner.  And so
with the schools and industries, of which I have not time to speak.
The whole building at all times should be managed in the broadest
spirit of hospitality; the atmosphere should be as gracious, kindly
and sympathetic as one's own home.  Then do away with all unnecessary
restrictions, take down all the bars, and try to put face to face our
friends the books and our friends the people.  Introduce them
cordially, then stand aside and let them make each other's blessed

Some have tried smoking rooms, had boy's club rooms and games, and
many have tried simply to make the rooms homelike and cheery, and all
of their experience is valuable to us.

It may be that no one of the plans used by other libraries may fit
your case, for it is not necessarily good for you becasue some one
else has used it successfully.  But with any plan do not expect
immediate results, for almost everything that succeeds permanently
has a slow, gradual development; that which flashes up quickly
usually dies down suddenly.  Be willing to work out a good plan if
you have one, and be willing to study your people and all of their
interests before you shape your plans.

14. Today, March 22, is the anniversary of Goethe's death

1832 -- Goethe dies, age 82, in Weimar, with last words: "More Light!" Poet/playwright/novelist/philosopher.

Nothing is more revolting than the majority; for it consists of few
vigorous predecessors, of knaves who accomodate themselves, of weak
people who assimilate themselves, & the mass that toddles after them
without knowing the least what it wants.
--- Goethe

>From the Daily Bleed

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