Library Juice 3:17 - May 3, 2000


Contents:

1. One-stop guide to online etexts
2. Manifestoes web site
3. Librarians vs. Intelligent Software Agents
4. Online articles at _Progressive Librarian_
5. AOL's "youth filters" protect kids from Democrats
6. Complete List of MLS Schools at About.com
7. MANDATORY FILTERING LEGISLATION IN CONGRESS
8. Children's Internet Privacy Law Goes Into Effect
9. New Books from the Electronic Privacy Information Center
10. Search Engines (LIBREF-L Query)
11. Search Engine Meeting Report
12. An interview with Jeeves (of "AskJeeves.com")
13. Big Tetris game redux
14. Online Audio Recordings
15. Zen Centers of the World
16. Medterms.com
17. May 11, 2000 is Equal Pay Day
18. The Other 90 Percent: What Your MLS Didn't Teach You


Quote for the week:

"What seemed to me to be at stake at this time was a kind of censorship
by effect, at the very source, where decisions are made as to what is
identified as news, what information is chosen for dissemination, what
ideas and views are considered acceptable, or desireable, to publish and
disseminate.  And the source was shrinking.  Open censorship can be
fought openly, and often successfully.  But, how can librarians assure
the broadest representation of information, opinions, and creative
expression in the face of the growing concentration of ownership of
communication channels?"

-Zioa Horn, _Zioa! Memoirs of Zoia Horn, Battler for the People's
Right to Know_, McFarland, 1995


Home page of the week: Tony Calvo
http://www.sirius.com/~tocal/

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1. One-stop guide to online etexts


Comprehensive guide to free online etexts at Robotwisdom

http://www.robotwisdom.com/web/etexts.html

Jorn Barger, March 20000

After much Web-floundering, trying to track down available etexts by a
wide range of authors, I'm compiling this 'etext finder' that should make
the process less random. Some of these tricks require you have Javascript
on, but if you can't use Javascript, basic alternatives are always included.

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2. Manifestoes web site


Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2000 13:19:52 -0700 (PDT)
From: Dan Tsang <dtsang[at]sun1.lib.uci.edu>
To: PLGNET-L <PLGNet-L[at]listproc.sjsu.edu>
Subject: manifestos web site

Here is a website for manifestos:

alt.usenet.manifestoes Archive Index
http://www.emf.net/~estephen/manifesto.html

The Unabomber manifesto website is there:
  
   FC's Manifesto
   http://www.emf.net/~estephen/manifesto/unabetoc.html

Also many others' manifestos...
(my WORD spell checker gives both spellings as permissible)

Daniel C. Tsang
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3. Librarians vs. Intelligent Software Agents


Date:    Mon, 1 May 2000 17:08:35 -0400
From:    librefed <librefed[at]kent.edu>
Subject: A Comparison of Librarians and Intelligent Software Agents
MIME-Version: 1.0

===== Original Message From "Sloan, Bernie" <bernies[at]uillinois.edu> =====

FYI.....some of you might be interested in this new article from
FirstMonday:

http://firstmonday.org/issues/issue5_5/zick/index.html

The abstract reads:

"In this paper, the author examines the characteristics of information
agency, the work of librarians and of intelligent agents as information
mediators, the differences between human and software agents, the possible
tasks for software agents in libraries, and speculates on the future of
human and software agency. A typical medical library-based information need
is presented and the attendant information processes are examined. The
author describes the future of information mediation as based on efficient
interaction between human and software agents and provides examples of
possible collaborative information tasks."

Bernie Sloan
Senior Library Information Systems Consultant
University of Illinois Office for Planning and Budgeting
338 Henry Administration Building
506 S. Wright Street
Urbana, IL  61801
Phone:  (217) 333-4895
Fax:      (217) 333-6355
E-mail:  bernies[at]uillinois.edu
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4. Online articles at _Progressive Librarian_

http://www.libr.org/PL/contentsFT.html

Progressive Librarian's web site now has a page that pulls together all
of the articles that are online in full-text, so you don't have to visit
each issue's table of contents to find the article you want.  Very convenient
for users who just want the articles.

The articles online at the present time are as follows:

No. 16, Fall 1999
Agnes Inglis: Anarchist Librarian, by Julie Herrada and Tom Hyry
The School and the Barricade, by Marianne Enckell

No. 15, Winter 1998/1999
A Few Gates: An Examination of the Social Responsibilities Debate in the
Early 1970s and '90s, by Steven Joyce,
Librarianship and Resistance, by Sandy Iverson,
The Cuba Poster Project, by Lincoln Cushing,
Librarianship and Legitimacy: The Ideology of the Public Library Inquiry,
by Douglas Raber, Book review by Patti Clayton,
Letter Against Bombing of Iraq, 12/16/98

No. 14, Spring 1998
Editorial: "Institutionalizing silence within ALA?"
Garlic, Vodka, and the Politics of Gender: Anti-intellectualism in American
Librarianship, by Michael Winter,
The "Invisibles" - Lesbian Women as Library Users, by Heike Seidel,
"Lesbians & Libraries" Resource List
Librarians Against War: an open letter, by Mark Rosenzweig

Nos.12/13, Spring/Summer 1997
The End of Information and the Future of Libraries, by Phil Agre
A House Divided Against Itself: ACRL leadership, Academic Freedom &
Electronic Resources, by John Buschman
A Primer on WIPO & Database Extraction Rights, by James Love
Corporate Inroads & Librarianship: The Fight for the Soul of the Profession
in the New Millennium, by Peter Mcdonald
GII: Global Power Grab, by Vigdor Schreibman
Speech by the Superintendent of Documents at ALA
Statement of Robert L. Oakley on the GPO Budget
Notes from the Front Lines at SFPL, by Melissa Riley
>From France: Libraries Losing their Reason
William F. Birdsall's The Myth of the Electronic Library, reviewed by Mark
Rosenzweig

Nos.10/11, Winter, 1995/96
Editorial: A Blaise with Indignation
Service Undermined by Technology: Gender Relations, Economics and Ideology,
by Roma Harris
Information Technology and the Future of Work, by Stan A. Hannah and
Michael H. Harris

No.9, Spring 1995
Superhighways, Work and Infrastructure in the Information Age, a symposium
with John Buschman, Barbara Garson and Lance Rose

Nos.6/7, Winter/Spring 1993
Politics of Information and the Fate of the Earth, by Theodore Roszak
Information Technology, Power Structures, and the Fate of Librarianship, by
John Buschman

No.4, Winter 1991/92
Politically Controversial Monographs, by Charles Willett

No. 3, Summer, 1991
Politics and Anti-Politics in Librarianship

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5. AOL's "youth filters" protect kids from Democrats

http://www.news.com/Perspectives/Column/0,176,421,00.html

"America Online provides "youth filters" that are supposed to keep
kids out of dangerous Web sites--but they seem designed to eliminate
creeping liberalism."

_________________________

Don Wood
American Library Association
Office for Intellectual Freedom
http://www.ala.org/oif.html
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6. Complete List of MLS Schools at About.com

I was guilty of having an incomplete list of ALA accredited schools posted
on my (old) webpage.  In part, it was a conscious decision to showcase each
school with a link on the homepage, and gradually add schools to the list
one by one.  Well, now all the schools are showcased, all the time, in two
webpages.  I went over all the schools.  Now, they all (except the
University of Puerto Rico) have their own webpage.  For each, I added that
bit of uniqueness that came through their website in the annotation.

Considering the Lifelong Learning Tax Credit from the USA Federal Income
Tax, prices for many of use are now 20% off for an MLS course.  Might be
time to shop around for a program.

For schools A thru M - http://librarians.about.com/msubschl.htm
For schools N thru Z - http://librarians.about.com/msubschl2.htm

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7. MANDATORY FILTERING LEGISLATION IN CONGRESS


[ From Center for Democracy and Technology - http://www.cdt.org ]

For several years, on different bills, Congress has come close to adopting
amendments that would require schools or librarires to use filtering
software.  CDT opposes mandatory filtering legislation.

Another battle over filtering is now shaping up. The House Education and
the Workforce Committee is expected soon to consider draft bills to
reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Although at present
there is no mandatory filtering language in these bills, it is likely that
such language will be offered as amendments, probably on the House floor.
The language offered could be as extreme as the language offered last fall
by Rep. Ernest Istook (R-OK).  Or it could be more moderate language
requiring either a stringent acceptable use policy or mandatory use
of filtering, blocking or monitoring software (modeled on Sen. Rick
Santorum's (R-PA) bill S. 1545). A third proposed alternative is to
require schools to adopt Internet use policies.

For the text of S. 1545, see
   http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d106:s.01545:

For more details on the Istook mandatory filtering language last
fall, see
   http://www.cdt.org/publications/pp_5.23.shtml

In this debate, it is worth noting how earlier this spring the town of
Holland, Michigan voted to reject mandatory filtering of Internet access
in the public library. The election demonstrated how local communities can
work together to develop children's online safety measure that best fit
their own needs, without imposing filtering on all library patrons.  The
Holland community met shortly after the election to develop an Internet
use policy that will effectively address the community's interests in
both access to information on the Internet and children's safety, without
federal mandates or a straitjacket approach.

For more information on the post-election decisionmaking process
in Holland, Michigan, see
   http://www.thehollandsentinel.net/stories/022500/new_net.html
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8. Children's Internet Privacy Law Goes Into Effect

From EPIC:

On April 21, the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) will
go into effect.  The law requires website operators to obtain parental
consent before the collection and use of personal information of
children up to the age of 13.  The type of parental consent necessary
is governed by a sliding scale depending on the use of that data.  For
example, if personal information collected from children is not passed
on to third parties, website operators will only have to receive an
email from parents allowing that use.  If similar personal information
is passed on to a third party, more reliable means of verification
such as a letter or credit card number will need to be supplied.

In related Internet privacy news, a new survey conducted by Odyssey,
a market research firm, reveals wide public mistrust of the Internet
companies with their personal information.  Eighty-two percent of
households surveyed agreed with the statement "the government needs to
step in and regulate how companies use personal information."  An even
more convincing 92 percent agreed that "I don't trust companies to
keep personal information about me confidential, no matter what they
promise."

The final rules implementing COPPA are available from the
Federal Trade Commission:

     http://www.ftc.gov/os/1999/9910/childrensprivacy.pdf

A more general guide to COPPA is online at:

     http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/buspubs/coppa.htm

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9. New Books from the Electronic Privacy Information Center


"The Privacy Law Sourcebook: United States Law, International Law, and
Recent Developments," Marc Rotenberg, editor (EPIC 1999). Price: $50.
http://www.epic.org/pls/

The "Physicians Desk Reference of the privacy world." An invaluable
resource for students, attorneys, researchers and journalists who need
an up-to-date collection of U.S. and International privacy law, as well
as a comprehensive listing of privacy resources.

                  ================================

"Filters and Freedom - Free Speech Perspectives on Internet Content
Controls," David Sobel, editor (EPIC 1999). Price: $20.
http://www.epic.org/filters&freedom/

A collection of essays, studies, and critiques of Internet content
filtering.  These papers are instrumental in explaining why filtering
threatens free expression.

                  ================================

"Privacy and Human Rights 1999: An International Survey of Privacy Laws
and Developments," David Banisar, Simon Davies, editors, (EPIC 1999).
Price: $15. http://www.epic.org/privacy&humanrights99/

An international survey of the privacy and data protection laws found
in 50 countries around the globe.  This report outlines the
constitutional and legal conditions of privacy protection, and
summarizes important issues and events relating to privacy and
surveillance.

                  ================================

Additional titles on privacy, open government, free expression,
computer security, and crypto, as well as films and DVDs can be
ordered through the EPIC Bookstore: http://www.epic.org/bookstore/

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10. Search Engines (LIBREF-L Query)


From:    librefed <librefed[at]kent.edu>
Subject: Search Engines
MIME-Version: 1.0

===== Original Message From marc[at]tiar.reno.nv.us =====

Hello all...I'm doing a workshop next month for fellow library staff on Search
Engines.  I have my own favorites and stand-bys, but I'm curious what others
use and reasons why.  What are you favorites? What features make them your
favorite?  Any good recommendations and insight would be appreciated.  I've
already looked at some statistical analyses re: # of pages indexed, pertinent
hits, dead links, etc. (at http://www.searchengineshowdown.com if you're
interested), so I'm looking for personal preferences, more than just "by the
numbers".
Regards,
Marc Tiar
Washoe County Library, Reno NV

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

Date:    Fri, 21 Apr 2000 14:21:26 -0400
From:    librefed <librefed[at]kent.edu>
Subject: Search Engine responses
MIME-Version: 1.0

===== Original Message From Marc Tiar <marc[at]tiar.reno.nv.us> =====

First of all, a huge THANKS to all those who responded...I was deluged with
email today, both on and off list with all your valuable opinions.  I
naively tried to give a personal reply to the first handful this morning,
but after that, the dam broke and the futility of that effort became clear.
There are probably more replies coming through the moderator, but some
clear favorites emerged:

-Google was the overwhelming favorite, mentioned by 13 replies
-Hotbot was 2nd, with 6 mentions
-Fast Search (alltheweb) and AltaVista were mentioned 5 times each
-Northern Lights and Yahoo! were both mentioned 4 times

The following received only one or two mentions: Dogpile, Mamma, AskJeeves,
Librarians' Index to the Internet (lii.org), Webtop, Topclick, Webferret (?).

Some comments: Most replies mentioned at least 2 favorites, some up to 4.
My impression, before counting them up, was that FastSearch and Google were
the favorites; maybe FastSearch users are just more passionate about it and
made a stronger impression on me (and I agree with them!)
--
marc t

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


=====  Message From Gary Price <gprice[at]gwis2.circ.gwu.edu> =====

Marc:
Hello from D.C.

A couple of comments about "general" search tools.

While "general" search tools (Alta Vista, Google, Hotbot) are crucial as
resources to tap a large amount of useful information "on the Internet",
(a favorite of mine is Alta Vista, advanced mode only, allowing use of
the adjacency oprerator,  near (10 words in either direction).

it is also important to realize that these same tools do not
index a great deal of useful information.

Several issues are at play as reasons to why and how this issue
exists.

A few of them include:
1) Material in dynamic databases or other "interactive" formats can not be
crawled by the search spider.
2) The indexing spider may not know that the page exists.
3) The spider my not crawl to the depth of where the page exists.

Additionally, even if a page that can guide you to this "hidden"
information exists in a "general" search tool, you need to ask how
long will it take find it and navigate to it?

Where much of this "hidden" info resides is now being termed the
"invisible web" and thousands of resources exist to assist in
tapping it.

The challenge for information professionals is to know (as we know our
print reference collections) some of what exists PRIOR to it being needed.
In many cases the web can not be best utilized as an "on-demand" reference
tool.

Over the past couple of years I have been assembling a resource
a directory of several thousand of these resources. Many use the
compilation as directory as well as an acquisition resource.
I am constantly adding new or newly discovered material.

Please feel free to take a look. The urls are:

Main Page:
http://gwis2.circ.gwu.edu/~gprice/direct.htm

U.S. State and City Page (Several hundred searchable/interactive dbases)
http://gwis2.circ.gwu.edu/~gprice/state.htm

Searchable Bibliographies and other Library Tools
http://gwis2.circ.gwu.edu/~gprice/bibs.htm
--------------

Finally, here are a few additional references of articles that discuss the
invisible web.

An article I wrote for Searcher about common Internet myths.
http://www.infotoday.com/searcher/jan00/price.htm

Chris Sherman, "The Invisible Web"
http://websearch.about.com/internet/websearch/library/weekly/aa061199.htm

Danny Sullivan, "Invisible Web Revealed"
http://searchenginewatch.internet.com/sereport/99/07-invisible.html

Diana Botluk, "Exposing the Invisible Web"
http://www.llrx.com/columns/exposing.htm

-------

cheers,
gary

Gary D. Price, MLIS
George Washington University
Virginia Campus Library
Gelman Library
Ashburn, VA and Washington, D.C.
gprice[at]gwu.edu
703-726-8235
703-726-8237 (fax)

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11. Search Engine Meeting Report

http://websearch.about.com/internet/websearch/library/blsem.htm

The Fifth Annual Search Engine Meeting was held in Boston, April
10-11, and Chris Sherman, author of the About.com Guide to Web Search
(see the December 3, 1999 _Scout Report_), was in attendance. His
detailed, five-part report covers the most important presentations
and panel discussions featured at the conference, including Danny
Sullivan's State of the Search Engines Report, a talk by Inktomi
co-founder Eric Brewer, reports on MSN Search and FAST, a look into
the future of intelligent agents, and a spirited panel presentation
and open discussion between the chief technologists of the major
engines and members of the audience. [MD]

> From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2000.
http://scout.cs.wisc.edu/
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12. An interview with Jeeves (of "AskJeeves.com")

http://www.fnwire.com/features/satire-jeevesinterview.html

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13. Big Tetris game redux


In last week's Library Juice I published a link to a story on the world's
largest tetris game, made out of 10,000 little lights strung up on the side
of the science library at Brown University.  Well, as many of you discovered,
the story was not on that website anymore.  Here are some links to the story
that are still good:

A BBC news story:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_718000/718009.stm

Story in the Brown Daily Herald:
http://www.browndailyherald.com/stories.cfm?ID=2122

Project's homepage: http://bastilleweb.techhouse.org/

Thanks to http://librarian.net and http://www.lisnews.com

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14. Online Audio Recordings

http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/MRC/audiofiles.html

        Not just sound bites! The University of California at
        Berkeley has made available dozens of hours of sound file
        records at various lectures and events at UCB. With either
        RealAudio or StreamWorks, you can listen to speeches and
        lectures by Malcolm X, James Baldwin, Noam Chomsky,
        Umberto Eco, Michel Foucault, Carlos Fuentes, Aldous
        Huxley, Alfred L. Kroeber, Claude Lvi-Strauss, Margaret
        Mead, and Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer; and poetry readings
        from Robert Creeley, Robert Frost, Czeslaw Milosz,
        Robert Hass, Robert Pinsky, Gary Snyder, and Ted Joans. -
        cl

From Librarian's Index to the Internet - http://lii.org
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15. Zen Centers of the World

http://www.iijnet.or.jp/iriz/zen_centers/country_list_e.html

        Directory of an impressive number of Zen masters, centers,
        and sitting groups. It includes listings in over 60 countries
        and most of the states in the United States. Listings includes:
        address, contact name, denomination, lineage, and teacher.
        From the International Research Institute for Zen Buddhism
        (IRIZ) in Kyoto, Japan. - ml

From Librarian's Index to the Internet - http://lii.org
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16.

Medterms.com
http://www.medterms.com/
MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com

Created by MedicineNet.com, this free and constantly revised
encylopedic dictionary of classic and contemporary medical terms
contains over 9,000 entries. Written entirely by physicians for both
professional and non-professional readers, the dictionary also
includes "pertinent scientific items, abbreviations, acronyms,
jargon, institutions, projects, symptoms, syndromes, eponyms, medical
history -- all having to do with medicine and the biomedical
sciences, particularly anything of value and of interest." Users can
browse the dictionary by alphabetical entry or conduct a keyword
search. The length of dictionary entries vary widely, and some are
quite brief. Some, however (mostly conditions or diseases), include
links to detailed articles and related forums at the MedicineNet main
site. While new medical information sites seem to pop up every day,
the depth of Medterms, the frequent updates, and its doctor-only
editors mark it as a notable resource. [MD]

> From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2000.
http://scout.cs.wisc.edu/
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17. May 11, 2000 is Equal Pay Day

The American Library Association's (ALA) Committee on Pay Equity
urges libraries and library workers to observe Equal Pay Day on May
11, 2000.

Equal Pay Day is an event organized by the National Committee on Pay
Equity (NCPE) to symbolize the day that a woman's wages "catch up" to
men's wages from the previous calendar year.  The average working
woman makes only 73 cents for every dollar earned by her male
counterparts.  According to a national study of the wage gap done by
the AFL-CIO and the Institute for Women's Policy Research using data
from the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women who
work in traditional "women's professions," such as librarianship, lose
an average of $3,446 a year.  The Equal Pay Day campaign is designed
to raise awareness of this wage gap in America.

Libraries as well as individuals can participate by sponsoring
activities on May 11.  NCPE coordinates this nationwide effort by
supplying kits with handouts, sample press releases, buttons, planning
tips, and more. 

Libraries can also complete a self-audit to examine their own pay
practices.  Visit the Department of Labor's web site at:
http://www.dol.gov/dol/esa/public/regs/compliance/ofccp/compdata.htm
to find more information on how to conduct such an audit.

Individuals can also contact their congressional representatives to
tell them how important fair pay is.  Visist
http://clerkweb.house.gov/mbrcmtee/mbrcmtee.htm to find a list of
representatives.  Ask your representative to cosponsor current bills
in Congress that would help achieve fair pay.  Visit
http://www.feminist.com/fairpay/legislation.htm to see a list of
these bills.

The NCPE is a non-profit coalition of over 180 organizations of which
ALA is a charter member and has representation on the board of
directors. 

For more information about Equal Pay Day, contact Michele Leber
(vmleber[at]leo.vsla.edu), the current ALA representative and NCPE
treasurer.

You may also contact NCPE, 1126 Sixteenth St., NW, Suite 411,
Washington, DC 20036; phone: 202/331-7343; e-mail: fairpay[at]aol.com; or
visit their web site at: http://www.feminist.com/fairpay/about.htm.
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18. The Other 90 Percent: What Your MLS Didn't Teach You


by Byron Anderson,  Head of Reference, Northern Ilinois University Libraries

[Published originally in _Counterpoise_  Vol. 3, No. 3/4, July/October 1999
and republished with permission.]


This paper is based on participation in the panel discussion,  Alternative
Press and Intellectual Freedom," sponsored by the Alternatives in Print Task
Force and presented June 27, 1999 as part of the American Library
Association's Annual Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana.

In order to understand today's book publishing industry, it is helpful to
understand some statistics and definitions that go along with the industry.
All figures presented are approximate and gathered from reliable sources.
More than 600 mergers and acquisitions have been reported in the U. S. book
industry since the 1960s, a long-term trend expected to continue.  Each year
during the 1990s, approximately 65,000 titles were published in the United
States.  Eighty percent of all trade titles came from the five largest
publishing conglomerates.  The term  trade books" is imprecise and generally
taken to mean adult fiction and nonfiction, paperbacks and children's books
intended for the general public and marketed through bookstores, including
online sales and libraries.  They are distinct from textbooks, subscription
books, book clubs, etc.  The 1990s had some revolving at the top among the
five largest publishing conglomerates but generally included Bertelsmann AG,
S. I. Newhouse (Advance Publications), Viacom, von Holtzbrink, and Pearson.
With the purchase of Random House from the Newhouse family, the Bertelsmann
Group alone is responsible for more than 30 percent of the U. S. trade books
and close to 40 percent of the best sellers. 

There are several terms used to describe the small press, and these are
often used interchangeably.  The term  independent press" has gained in
popularity and is commonly used in lieu of  small press."  Independent
publishers are independent of corporate ownership and make up more than
53,000 presses in the United States. Independent presses are not necessarily
small, for example, Grove Atlantic and W. W. Norton publish more than one
hundred titles per year.  Publications from independent presses cover a
wider range of subjects than publications from corporate-controlled presses.
The publications come from a greater variety of places than do mainstream
publications and include academic institutions, associations, literary
groups, home-based and one-person operations, hobbyist or collector's clubs
and think tanks. 

A subset of the independent press is called the alternative or progressive
press.  Though difficult to define, the uniqueness of progressive presses
lies in giving voice to marginalized groups, emerging writers and poets,
thought-provoking and sometimes thought-disturbing ideas and translations of
international writers. 

Unless aggressively pursued, librarians would be fortunate to be aware of
even 10 percent of the publishers publishing today.  The other 90 percent
remain obscure.  Library collections represent only a fraction of the true
diversity of books available.  While a library cannot collect everything,
most librarians are not even aware of many publications available in their
effort to build a collection.  Examples of alternative publications
generally absent from library collections include: 

Translated works about the Third World by indigenous writers.

Topics of anarchism, poverty, labor, erotica, human rights, and peace
studies.

Most books of poetry.

The writings of many new and lesser known authors.

There is a persistent myth that publications from small presses are the
leftovers or rejects screened out by the  rigorous" editorial standards set
by editors at mainstream presses.  If a manuscript can't cut it with the big
houses, the authors submit to the smaller houses.  With some exception, this
is simply not true.  In mainstream presses, decisions to print are
market-based, that is, books are based on profit potential.  In independent
presses, especially progressive presses, decisions to print are topic-based
or based on literary merit, that is, books are mission-driven or have
something to say.

Inadequacies of standard library and information science textbooks

The failure of librarians to consider the independent press as an entity
worthy of collecting begins in the curricula for library and information
science (LIS).  In collection development coursework, students are
introduced to basic tools used in building a collection.  The critique here
is not in what students are taught, but in what they're not taught.
Textbooks used in collection development classes, such as Elizabeth Futas'
Collection Development Policies and Procedures, 3rd ed. (1995), lack certain
headings in the subject index: for example, Small press, Independent press,
Alternative press and Progressive press.  More surprisingly, the index has
no listing for publishers, presses, vendors, distributors or wholesalers.
There is only one page devoted to approval plans.  This strongly indicates
that students are not introduced to the publishing industry, including how
publishers and librarians should interact with each other. 

G. Edward Evans' Developing Library and Information Centers, 3rd ed.
(1995), presents a number of guidelines to use when developing collections.
First, "Select items useful to clients."  But there is no explanation of
what is  useful."  It would be better to teach librarians how to develop a
diverse collection and let patrons decide what is of use to them.  Second,
"Select only items of lasting, literary or social value."  But without
exposure to alternative presses, librarians are likely to select materials
that reflect mainstream values.  Third, "Select based on the demand for the
material."  But reader preferences can be rigged to create demand; for
example consider the Princess Di publication industry.  Librarians need to
realize that there will be little or no demand for small press items.  It's
up to librarians to make these publications available. 

Inadequacies of collection development policies

For libraries maintaining collection development policies, criteria for
selection usually include components that do not fit the alternative press.
First, "Suitability of subject and style for intended audience."
Progressive publications are rarely targeted to suit reader tastes, but
rather are challenging and thought disturbing. 

Second, "Collect based on the reputation or significance of the author and
publisher."  Small presses will rarely have a  reputation," and most of the
authors will be unknown.
 
Third, "Collect based on popular appeal."  Alternative press publications
are not trying to compete with popular best sellers.  The writing and
content are not trying to suit mass market mentalities. 

Finally, "Collect based on the number and nature of requests from patrons."
Patrons will not request what they don't know, and most will be unaware of
small press publications.

Collection development policies can contain criteria worthy of
consideration in any library: 

First, collect based on insight into human and social conditions.

Second, collect based on relevance to the experience and contributions of
diverse populations.

Third, collect based on representation of a minority point of view.

Finally, this statement from the Greenville County (SC) Public Library:

The library does not act as an agent for or against a particular issue.  The
disapproval of materials by one individual or group should not be the means
of denying those materials to all groups if, by library selection standards,
they belong in the collection.

These criteria form a basis for the consideration and purchase of
progressive publications.

Inadequacies of collection development textbooks

Collection development textbooks recommend bibliographic tools that leave
out many alternative materials.  These tools often begin with Books in
Print.  While expansive, this title misses many small presses and their
publications.  Even Len Fulton's International Directory of Little Magazines
and Small Presses, while significant for building collections, lists
approximately 6,000 presses, a small fraction of worldwide presses. 

Second, textbooks will typically recommend that librarians "follow through
on publishers' catalogs, flyers and advertisements."  Independent presses
cannot afford to market heavily, if at all, and corporate publishing houses
are prolific mailers and advertisers.  Often, they set out with a marketing
plan in mind designed to create a demand for their materials. 

Third, textbooks state that an item being considered for selection "should
have been favorably reviewed in two or more sources."  Of the 65,000 or so
items published in the United States each year, approximately 10 percent are
reviewed, and most of these books are published by fewer than 200 presses.

Finally, textbooks state that  recommended"  or   best" lists should be
used in developing a collection because the  leg work" has been done in
singling out worthwhile titles.  The compilation of these lists rarely
reviews titles published by progressive presses.  For example, the  Best
Books of 1998" list in the Bowkers Annual Library and Book Trade (1999), put
together by the Notable Books Council of the Reference and User Services
Division of ALA, has five categories, covering areas from fiction to
children's books, totaling 159 titles.  Of these, only four titlesóall
children's booksówere from two alternative presses that were profiled in the
Alternative Publishers of Books in North America, 4th ed. (1999).  This
directory profiles 148 significant alternative presses which total hundreds
of titles published during 1998.  Surely, many titles worthy of
consideration were missed as part of the "Best Books" recommendations.

Views of library educators

To examine what library and information educators say about the current
state of their profession, one can turn to the Congress on Professional
Education, co-sponsored by the American Library Association, held April 30
to May 1, 1999 in Washington, D.C.  <www.ala.org/congress/lis-ed.html>.
Keywords and phrases taken from the "Statement on LIS Curricula" for the
Congress include "leadership and management skills," "recognizing the
fluidity of information channels," "marketing," "entrepreneurship," "grant
writing," "multitasking," "strong technical abilities," "webmasters,"
"digital preservation," and "systems design."  New topics for LIS course
development were also identified in the five-year study funded by Kellogg
and conducted by the Association for Library and Information Science
Education, 1996-2000.  Courses identified were Advanced Information
Technology Design and Analysis; Advanced Studies in Intranet and Internet
Design and Development; Data Mining; Digital Libraries; Electronic Commerce;
and Information Policy.  While the profession is headed in many of these
directions, what's interesting is in what's missing.  Besides lacking the
word service (a separate concern), there is no mention of publishers or the
publishing industry - print, online or otherwise. 

LIS curricula should include instruction in the publishing industry.
Students should know something about the marketing techniques of the
publishing industry and the distribution channels for books.  A book chapter
by Patricia Glass Schuman and Charles Harmon titled "The Business of Book
Publishing" in the ALA publication, Understanding the Business of Library
Acquisitions, 2nd ed. (1999), Karen A. Schmidt, editor, lists the following
concerns:

Librarians and publishers as professions are frequently unaware of the
methodologies, economics, impacts and policies of the other.

There are few formal education programs for those in the publishing industry.

Few library education programs offer courses about the publishing industry.

Libraries are somewhat of an invisible market for many publishers, since a
majority of libraries purchase books and journals through wholesalers rather
than directly from publishers.

The Importance of learning about publishers and booksellers

A key to diverse library collections is publisher relations.  Get to know
who's publishing what and how to seek out small presses.  Understand a
library's acquisition process, including approval plans and standing orders,
and the process used to add a particular item to a collection.  Know how to
order publications from small publishing houses, especially those with no
distributor.  Realize that most small presses will never find a library or
bookstore market for their publications, nor are they trying to.  Ensure by
policy that small press material is represented in the collection.  These
ideas should be taught in the classroom and put to work in every library.

What you can do to link libraries and the independent press

Actions can be taken to create links between libraries and the independent
press.  First, become aware of organizations working to get small press
materials into libraries and bookstores, such as the Independent Press
Association <www.indypress.org>, Small Press Distribution
<www.spdbooks.org>, the Alternative Press Center <www.altpress.org/api.html>
and the Women's Presses Library Project <www.litwomen.org/wplp.html>. 

Second, join ALA committees committed to creating an awareness of the
independent press and promoting its use in libraries.  Especially valid is
the Social Responsibilities Round Table's Alternatives in Print Task Force
<libr.org/AIP>. 

Third, advocate issues surrounding progressive literature, particularly
intellectual freedom, the freedom to read and the right to access.  Read
through ALA's "An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights"
<www.ala.org/work/freedom/interprt.html>. 

Finally, advocate library collections that reflect the true diversity of
society.
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