Library Juice 3:18 - May 10, 2000


1. Labor History Month Bibliography
2. Mother's Juice
3. Online gay film search engines, indexes of gay films
4. Article advocating inclusion of hate literature
5. "Net's Truth Squad"
6. Raging Search
7. Biblitecarios Progresistas listserv
8. Listserv for librariana collectors
9. EPA requests help from librarians
10. US Depository Drastically Cut by House Appropriations Committee
11. Development Forum: Globalization, Development and Poverty
13. Article on the image of librarians

Quote for the week:

"To ensure a comprehensive and non-sectarian collection of material on
all subjects requires a social project of great complexity.  Yet
as people charged with providing public access to knowledge easily
equal to that of the academic, the doctor or the politician. 
They have the task of providing a democratic society with the information
to preserve, even to improve that democracy.  They are required
to be unbiased and to serve everyone equally.  Censorship promotes
elitism, the enemy of democracy.  Selection should act as a leveller. 
It should not ignore marginal interests.  If they are to work
effectively as agents for social and cultural education librarians
need to engage in an activism that is largely lacking in the profession."

Chris Atton, _Alternative Literature: A Practical Guide for Librarians_,
Gower, 1996

Homepage of the week: Helene Gold


1. Labor History Month Bibliography

Date: Fri, 5 May 2000 09:32:45 -0700 (PDT)
From: ACS20[at]
To: publib <publib[at]>
Subject: Labor History Month Bibliography

May is Labor History Month -- time to focus on the contributions of working
people the history of our country and the world!

I have updated my "Selected Bibliography for a Public Library Labor Studies
Collection" for 2000, which you can find on my library's web site:

Or you can get it right off the main page during this month:

It includes LOTS of resources, including children's and YA titles, videos,
even some music.

Any comments, suggestions, corrections are welcome. And here's hoping you
celebrate LAbor History Month at your library!

Ann Sparanese
Englewood Public Library
Englewood, NJ
201-568-2215 ext.229

2. Mother's Juice

Teri Weesner, Youth Services Editor

I am about to leave for Cuba on a Global Exchange
<>  Reality Tour to Cuba, entitled,
Cuban Libraries: Creating Partnerships. But, before I  go, I want  to
leave you with some Mother's Day and travel inspiration resources.
That Hip Mama <> Ariel Gore has come out with
another fabulous book  on the heels of "Hip Mama's Survival Guide:
Advice from the trenches on -- pregnancy, childbirth, cool names,
clueless doctors, potty training, toddler avengers, domestic  mayhem,
support groups, rightwing losers, work, day care, family law, the
evil  patriarchy, collection agents, nervous breakdowns and way more"
Hyperion, 1998.  Breathe...This one is called, simply, "The Mother
Trip: Hip Mama's Guide to Staying  Sane in the Chaos of Motherhood"
Seal Press, 2000. Check the web site for a book tour  stop near
you!  The latest issue of Hip Mama is the "Are we there yet?" travel
issue. The latest issue of Bust magazine (also online [at]
<> check out their "Girl Wide Web"!) is the "She
gets around" travel  issue. Bust -- the voice of the new girl order,
has got it all: articles by women you want to read (including Annie
Sprinkle, Margaret Cho, the girl next door, and you!); reviews of web
sites, books, zines and music; erotica; and sex toy adds aplenty. I
found a review of <> which is a new PBS
series. The first one is on, synchronistically enough, Cuba.
Obviously, I'm on the right track. Along with "the top 15 things a
woman should carry in her backpack", (from Bust magazine --go read
it!) I am also taking children's books to  donate to library
collections in Cuba. To help me compile a list, I asked Alma Flor
Ada, head of the Multicultural Children's Literature Department of
the School of Education at  the University of San Francisco and a
winner of this year's Pura Belpre Award for "Under  the Royal Palms:
A childhood in Cuba" Antheum Books, 1998.

I'm off to the book store!!!

3. Online gay film search engines, indexes of gay films

From: _____
To: "Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual Librarians Network" <gay-libn[at]>
Subject: [websites] SUMMARY: gay film search engine/index of gay films
Date: Wed, 3 May 2000 14:37:41 +1200

Hi everyone:

Thanks to all those who answered my question about online
gay movie sites/index of gay films. Here's a summary.




4. Article advocating inclusion of hate literature

Date: Thu, 4 May 2000 14:06:12 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Blake Carver" <btcarver[at]>
To: publib <publib[at]>
Subject: Why have controversial material in your library?

Karen McCandlish wrote a great story on materials for LISNews.
Why have controversial material in your library? She came up with a few
reasons why it might be good to have anti-gay or racist or other
controversial material in a library. It certainly is a way of raising
people's consciousness, and perhaps their consciences, as to what's really
out there - the level of hate where these people are coming from.
It's a great read, check it out at

-Blake Carver

5. "Net's Truth Squad"

Date: Wed, 03 May 2000 20:56:21 -0400
From: "Marcus P. Zillman, M.S., A.M.H.A." <zillman[at]>
To: Rory[at]
Subject: Hello...


Have enjoyed your Library Juice very much......keep up the excellent

I have just updated what has been considered by quite a few folks as one
of the more comprehensive sites on the Net for hoaxes, myths, frauds,
anti-spam, network security etc.....  I like to call it "The Net's Truth
Squad"  :-)

It is at the following URL:



Marcus P. Zillman, M.S., A.M.H.A.
Producer BOT2000 NewYork
Executive Producer/Host Television Show

6. Raging Search

Another search engine!! Another search engine? Yes, yet another Web
search engine has come online, but this one isn't just business as
usual. For one thing, there are no graphics, no banner ads, and no
fancy portal features, so Raging Search loads very quickly. Another
thing that makes it stand out is the ability to customize various
parameters like the number of results displayed per page or the
amount of detail returned for each result, and have those preferences
"stick," so users need not reset them every time they enter the site.
Also through this customization interface, users can select the
languages of resources they want to search for (including support for
various non-English character sets) and opt to include a "translated
version" link along with each search result. And last, but certainly
not least, all of the above runs atop an AltaVista search engine,
consistently rated one of the best search tools on the Web, enhanced
with Google-style link analysis technology to help identify the most
useful sites. Overall, if you're serious about tracking something
down on the Web, then Raging Search is definitely worth a look. [EA]

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

7. Biblitecarios Progresistas listserv

Date:         Wed, 3 May 2000 11:35:23 -0600
From: Carmen Yasmina López Morales <cyasmina[at]ALLMAN.RHON.ITAM.MX>

Dear colleagues:

This is to inform you of the creation of a new progressive librarianship
discussion list in Spanish.

The Mexican Circle of Progressive Studies in Librarianship has created
this list with the main objectives of:

        -supporting democratic library structures and questioning the
         trend toward turning libraries into mere markets of information.

        -Facilitating a public forum for the development of critical
         issues in librarianship, closely linked with social, political
         economic and cultural problems.

        -fostering unity, solidarity, and organization among activist
         libraries and other libary workers of resistance social

        -Supporting acts of resistance against antidemocratic library
         administration practices and trends, mainly in Latin America.

Discussion of these issues is very important because there currently very
few resources in Spanish that deal with progressive and/or alternative

While this list, called Biblitecarios Progresistas (Progressive
Librarians), is primarily devoted to discussion of situation within Latin
America, we certainly expect to reflect on events in an international
context in order to communicate closely with other progressive
organizations around the world.

Although Spanish is the main language of the list, all your messages in
other languages (English, Italian, Portuguese, and French) are welcome and
you can be sure we will be gald to have your participation.

Please send subscription requests to:


You will receive a message of welcome. Any problems or questions should be
sent to our administrator, Lorena Torres, at lubjana[at]

Thanks for your attention, and we look forward to hearing from you very


Mexican Circle of Progressive Studies on Librarianship
Lorena Torres
Julia Gonzalez
Martin Vera
Felipe Meneses

Please see our statement at


8. Listserv for librariana collectors

Date: Wed, 3 May 2000 15:45:31 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Larry Nix" <larry.nix[at]>
To: publib <publib[at]>
Subject: Listserv for Collectors of Librariana

I'm writing to alert members of this listserv to a new unmoderated listserv
for individuals interested in collecting librariana which includes the
collecting of any items related to libraries and librarians. It might also
be of interest to library history buffs and those interested in library

The list owner is Dan Lester, the Network Information Coordinator at  Boise
State University and an avid collector of librariana.

To subscribe, send mail to LISTSERV[at]LISTSERV.BOISESTATE.EDU with the command:

                                    SUBSCRIBE LIBRARIANA Your Name

Archives for the listserv can be found at:

The listserv is just starting so bear with us until it grows a little.  If
you join, please introduce yourself and your collecting interest.

Please forward this message to other listservs or individuals who might be


Larry Nix

Larry T. Nix, Director
Public Library Development
Wisconsin Division for Libraries,
Technology, and Community Learning
P.O. Box 7841
Madison, WI 53707-7841
(608) 266-7270
Fax (608) 266-2529

9. EPA requests help from librarians

Date: Tue, 9 May 2000 19:40:05 -0400 (EDT)
From: Frederick W Stoss <fstoss[at]>
To: SRRT Action Council <srrtac-l[at]>
cc: Huffine.Richard[at]
Subject: [SRRTAC-L:4664] Help! Environmental Librarians - Input Needed (fwd)

Friends, colleagues, and fellow environmental/natural resources
data/information people:

I received the following note from Richard Huffine (ALA/SRRT/TFOE member)
from the U.S. EPA. I would ask that you take a look at Richard's request
for assistance and help by routing this on to other lists of librarians
that share a concern for the environment and resource management issues.

I would also ask that you contact Richard if you are interested in taking
a more active part in this discussion.

Thank you for taking the time to respond to this request for assistance.

Fred Stoss
SRRT Coordinator

Fred -

In your capacity with ALA Task Force on the Environment, I need your help
to identify librarians that work with environmental issues to engage in a
dialogue about how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency can meet the
needs of the public they serve.

As a librarian with EPA's Office of Environmental Information, I am
participating with our "stakeholder involvement" folks to build better
relationships with the library community to access and disseminate the
information we produce.  This information may be used for local
decision-makers to make better decisions about their environment - everything
from telling us what to regulate to influencing daily decisions like when
to run, walk or swim.

We're trying to identify librarians that would have an opinion on these
issues for a "virtual forum" and/or for some survey work the Agency is doing
to identify the needs of the public and our ability to address those needs.
Any suggestions from you or your members would be greatly appreciated. 
Thanks for passing this along!

Richard Huffine
U.S. EPA, Office of Environmental Information
Information Access Division
fax 202-401-1315

10. US Depository Drastically Cut by House Appropriations Committee

From: "Bernadine Abbott Hoduski" <ber[at]>
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>
Subject: [ALACOUN:4658] Depository Program drastically cut by full
House Appropriations Committee
Date: Tue, 9 May 2000 19:17:53 -0600

Council Members,
The full House Appropriations Committee voted today, May 9, 2000 to
drastically cut the funding for the depository program. They argued
that the program could function as a totally electronic program.
This in spite of the fact that thousands of publications in the
program are not in electronic form and will not be since many of them
are maps, reports and other publicatins not suitable for electronic
format. This will mean that depository libraries will not receive
paper editions of the US Code, Federal Register, Congressional
Record, CFR, hearings, reports, documents and many other publications.
This will be the end of a permanent record of government activities
and publications in depository libraries unless libraries buy the
publications or receive one of the few copies that the publishing
agencies may have in paper. Most of these publications are not sold.
If we learned nothing else from the recent virus attacks it is the
fragility of our data bases and our access to them. The future of
research and knowledge about our government is at stake. Please
email, fax, call or write your Member of the House asp. Send info on
to other list serves, library directors, trustees, friends of
libraries, newspaper reporters and editors, public interest groups
and anyone else who needs long term access to government information.
The press and the public do not understand the meaning of this
action. It is a good guess that many of those who will be voting on
this bill do not understand it either. Bernadine, Godort Councilor

Bernadine Abbott Hoduski Government Information Advisor, 100 N.
Lamborn, Helena, Montana 406-449-9974

11. Development Forum: Globalization, Development and Poverty

Beginning on May 1, 2000, the World Bank Institute and the Panos
Institute London are sponsoring a free four-week, online forum
dealing with development issues. Each week, a different topic will be
covered. Week One will focus on "Globalization, Development and
Poverty: what do we know?" The second week's discussion is titled
"Poverty, Basic Needs, and Development." "Modes of Development" will
be the topic for week three. And the last week will focus on "Whose
Development? Globalization, Empowerment and the Poor." Users may
choose to join the mailing list, or they may also visit the
globalization site without registration. Along with general
information about the forum, this site also contains links to
supporting documents and sites, including the _Washington Post_'s
coverage of the April protests in Washington DC, as well as articles
and commentary written by and about the World Bank and the IMF. [EM]

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



[Originally published in _Counterpoise_ Vol. 3, Issue 3/4, and republished
with permission]

Based on a Presentation before the SRRT/Alternatives in Print Task Force
at the American Library Association Annual Conference.
New Orleans, LA
June 27, 1999


Nancy Kranich
Associate Dean, New York University Libraries
President-elect, American Library Association

Walk into any Barnes and Noble superstore and customers will be reading
intently in settings not unlike those in our libraries.  Many people now
spend their days in these stores, undisturbed, conducting research or simply
curling up with a good book.  Others come to hear a multitude of authors
speak, to meet friends, to sip cappuccino, or to pick up the latest issues
of their favorite magazines.  Renee Feinberg visited several of these stores
in New York City last year and interviewed various customers, including
students from New York University, who told her that the store adequately
met their research needs.  Remarked Feinberg, "the library has information,
but B&N has books.  The library is still involved with good reading to make
good people, while B&N is willing to suspend ‘good' and to stretch the

Big chain bookstores not only serve many of the research and recreational
needs of residents and students alike, but they also exert enormous
influence over what gets published.  They make big profits with best
sellers.  They use their ambiance to effect sales.  Yet, they have few staff
to guide customers, making it difficult to sell less popular titles.  So
what distinguishes these superstores from the libraries that they appear to
imitate so well? 

The Library Marketplace

In the United States, we have 115,000 school, public, academic and special
libraries.  Last year alone, these libraries spent more than $5 billion for
books - 10% of publishers' revenues overall, but 50% to 90% of sales of
reference books, specialized materials, children's books, poetry and
non-fiction.  Nevertheless, librarians are often an invisible market to
publishers, since most of our purchases are through wholesalers rather than
direct from the publisher.   In an article in Library Journal, Barbara
Hoffert noted, however, that: "Publishers are beginning to realize that
although they create the books, librarians have tremendous power to
influence readers."(2)

The U.S. Publishing Industry

In this country, we have 20,000 publishers, including trade, professional,
journal, electronic, textbook, university press, reference and mass-market
paperback.  Together, these publishers produce 50,000 imprints annually.
Yet a mere 2% of them account for 75% of the output.  Less than 6,000 titles
are reviewed each year, most of which are published by fewer than 200
publishers - the largest publishers.  Since the passage of the
Telecommunications Act of 1996, a single corporation may now own not only
book publishing, but also radio, TV, newspapers and Internet services—all in
the same market area and up to a one-third market share nationally.  This
means that the dozen major corporations dominating media output today could
further consolidate to three or four in the next decade.  In 1998, mergers
and acquisitions activity in the publishing/information sector was up 59% to
$33.4 billion.  The number of deals climbed to 439 from 390.  Among the
largest: Pearson purchased Simon and Schuster from Viacom for $4.6 million.
Thomson completed the largest number of acquisitions: 29.  Reed Elsevier
completed the largest number of divestitures.(3)  Since the 1920's, the
average profit of a U.S. publishing house was around 4%.  These houses
sought to balance profitability with responsibility.  Today, conglomerates
look for a 12-15% return on their investment.  Periodicals publishers like
Elsevier average in the 25%+ range.

André Schiffrin, director of The New Press, recently reviewed the lists of
the three largest publishers: HarperCollins, Simon and Schuster, and Random
House.  Out of a total of 400 titles, the three lists included only four
books on current politics, one of which was by an ideologue who is among
Rupert Murdoch's favorite political thinkers.  There was not a single work
of serious history, no work of scientific inquiry, and no translations.  "Of
course the remaining independent presses and university presses are doing
their best to publish the books that have disappeared from the conglomerate
lists.  But as the investment of the major publishing houses, which control
80% of sales, continues to shift to more commercial fields, the choice of
ideas presented to American readers will continue to dwindle."(4)  Like
publishing, book distribution is also dominated by only a few companies:
Ingram and Baker & Taylor.  These big distributors tend to be very slow in
making payments, not a problem for conglomerates but this really hurts small
publishers.  Stated one, "They feel you can't do business without them.  But
we can't stay in business if we keep dealing with them."(5)

As the mainstream media continues its gold rush to acquire and merge with
other media companies, they are neglecting their public interest obligation
to advance knowledge and the public's right to know.  More and more,
homogeneity is creating a monoculture in this country where we are bombarded
with celebrity news, infomercials and titillation.  We alternate between sex
and violence: from Monica Lewinsky and Paula Jones to atrocities in Kosovo
and Littleton.  As Neal Postman has stated, we have become the "best
entertained, least informed society in the world."(6)  Increasingly,
Americans are more ignorant about public and international affairs and
alienated from social issues.

In the publishing arena, conglomeration has resulted in the inclusion of
financial and marketing people in the editorial process.  If a book does not
look as if it will sell a certain number—and that number increases every
year - these "numbers" people will argue that the company simply cannot afford
to undertake the project.  Market censorship is increasingly in force in a
decision-making process that is based on whether there is a pre-existing
audience for a particular title.  Books by well-known authors or obvious
successes are preferred; new authors and critical viewpoints are
increasingly rejected by the major houses.  In short, states Peter Phillips,
Director of Project Censored, "The U.S. media has lost its diversity and its
ability to present different points of view."(7)

Perhaps the most dangerous aspect of the current increase in conglomerate
media power is that it has gone largely unchallenged by the public in
general and librarians in particular.  Antitrust legislation is rarely
discussed, and other forms and structures of media ownership are hardly
contemplated.  While the small, independent presses provide an alternative,
their share of the market is just 1% of total book sales.  Moreover, they do
not have the strength or resources of the major firms, and they do not have
anywhere near as ready access to bookstores. 

The Alternative Press

Often absent from the review media, standard bibliographic tools, and
conference exhibits are the alternative, small and/or independent
publishers.  While none of these labels is satisfactory, the term
"alternative" is most apt because these publishers counterbalance the
corporate media.  Too often, however, they are outside the mainstream of
traditional distribution channels and the peripheral vision of libraries.
Some are even unaware of the potential of selling to libraries.  Others are
confused how to do so.  This is unfortunate.  Alternative publishers are on
the cutting edge of important literature and issues.  They make an important
cultural and literary contribution.  And, they are an essential part of the
community of publishers with whom librarians must interact.

Little money, influence or prestige backs alternative publishers.  They are
small, and their authors and editors are rarely known.  Often, Library of
Congress cataloging is minimal or non-existent for their publications.
Booksellers omit them from approval plans, making it difficult for libraries
to acquire their titles efficiently.  Librarians have to work hard to seek
out their titles.  Nevertheless, we have a duty to guide users to the full
range of relevant facts and opinions; therefore, we must pursue these
publishers, who can provide us with more obscure fiction and literature as
well as vital information about our communities and diversity.

The Role of Libraries in Supporting the Alternative Press

Unfortunately, alternative publishers do not always see librarians as their
alternative.  They simply do not look to us as outlets for their resources.
They do not understand how to work with us.  They do not see us as natural
allies.  With media wealth so concentrated, so solidified, and so integrated
into the corporate-government elite, what role can libraries play to ensure
the public a more democratic flow of ideas and offer alternatives to the
narrow, corporate-media view of the world?  How can we create real access to
information and participation for all sectors of our communities?  How can
we counteract the market censorship that is shifting formerly reputable
publishers' lists from serious titles to hype?

Libraries could and should be that community-based information sanctuary
that offers diverse voices the right to read, view, listen and discuss
ideas.  But library collections are increasingly looking more and more
alike.  According to Milton Wolfe and Marjorie Bloss (8),

librarians have put their library clientele on a core collection starvation
diet, depriving them of those nutritious sources that distinguish one
library from another, those materials that enable thinking outside the box
of commercially purveyed pabulum.  The fast-food collecting syndrome, which
focuses on the core at the expense of the periphery, is threatening library
users with a severe case of content-deprived anemia. . . .   In truth, there
is a well-entrenched, global commercial monopoly on the distribution and
approval of ideas, and we, as selectors, often contribute to its hegemony by
our slothful collection habits. "Content," too often, has become what our
commercial enterprises define and distribute, and we often unwittingly
purchase - largely because few institutions now devote the number of hours
required to the time-consuming, professional job of selection.

Among Wolf and Bloss's recommendations are that we "put our always limited
funds toward our overarching visions: to ensure that we have cooperative,
just-in-case repositories and archives, which have purposely targeted the
peripheral, the non-mainstream, the non-corporate information to serve the
just-in-time needs of our clientele."

A study of ARL libraries undertaken by Anna Perrault in the late 1980's
reinforces Wolfe's and Bloss's concerns about collection homogeneity.
Perrault found that there was "a decrease in the percentage of unique titles
in many subject areas, and an increased concentration on core materials."(9)
Another collection development study by Stephen L. Hupp in Ohio libraries
concluded that "the state's libraries have done a poor job in collecting
controversial political materials."(10)   His follow-up study found that
holdings of alternative periodicals lagged behind holdings of liberal or
conservative titles.

Another study by Markinko and Gerhard published in College and Research
Libraries (11), which examined the holdings rates of alternative press
titles in U.S. research libraries, determined that alternative press titles
are not widely held in these libraries.  The authors concluded that these
rarely-indexed periodicals were less likely to be purchased.  Likewise,
these periodicals are not cited because they are difficult to obtain.
Therefore, they are often not utilized by scholars and are, consequently,
less likely to be purchased by librarians.

Policies Supporting Diversity of Sources

Over the years, the library community has developed and endorsed numerous
policies that recognize and support the importance of a diversity of sources
in our libraries.(12)  Our ALA Intellectual Freedom Manual states that:
"Librarians have a professional responsibility to be inclusive. . . ."  And
our Library Bill of Rights maintains that: "Libraries should provide
materials and information presenting all points of view on current and
historical issues.  Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of
partisan or doctrinal disapproval."  ALA's Telecommunications Policy, which
was passed in the early 1990s, reinforces these ideals for the information
superhighway: "The NII should support and encourage a diversity of
information providers in order to guarantee an open, fair and competitive
marketplace, with a full range of viewpoints."  The related Freedom to Read
Statement endorsed by both ALA and the American Association of Publishers
says that:
It is in the public interest for publishers and librarians to make
available the widest diversity of views and expressions, including those
which are unorthodox or unpopular with the majority. . . .  It is the
responsibility of publishers and librarians to give full meaning to the
freedom to read by providing books that enrich the quality and diversity of
thought and expression. . . .

It is impossible to have a meaningful discussion on issues of the day
without access to a broad representation of the viewpoints held in society
at large.  Yet, information is no longer referred to as a public good but a
marketplace commodity.  This creates a major dilemma for librarians
concerned with ensuring the public's right to know in a commercially-driven
information age.

What Librarians Can Do to Ensure a Healthy Alternative Press

As we explore ways to help the alternative press flourish, we must realize
that, too often, these publishers are unfamiliar with libraries and
librarians are unfamiliar with them.  We have an insufficient involvement
with the publishing industry, particularly the alternative press, even
though we are highly interdependent.  Nevertheless, there exists a natural
synergy between a healthy publishing industry and healthy libraries, both of
which are essential for a democratic society.  We must decide where and how
we want to weigh in on the impact of the corporate media and the role of the
alternative press.

First, we must counter the illusion that the current media offers more
choice.  We should conduct studies on the impact of conglomeration and
document harm to the free flow of ideas.  We should focus on antitrust
issues, not just legislative action.  We should become much more media
literate and recognize the synergy between the communications and library
communities.  We should join forces with the many groups who are speaking
out about the impact of media conglomeration on intellectual freedom and the
public's right to know.(13)

Second, we need to prioritize the acquisition and cataloging of alternative
press materials.  We should encourage the indexing of alternative press
publications and buy alternative press indexes. We should establish standing
orders with independent presses and encourage distributors to handle more
small publishers.  Because these publishers prefer direct sales which pay
much faster, they may be willing to offer libraries a higher discount for
direct purchases.  By seeking out alternative publishers, we can help
guarantee them a more predictable market.  We can also help to market their
lists by showcasing them at programs, book parties, and lectures, as well as
adding their archives to our special collections.

Third, we can encourage our professional associations to promote the
alternative press more actively.  They can feature their publications more
prominently in advertising and exhibits and offer more programs about these
resources at conferences.  We should also mainstream discussions about the
alternative press within ALA; all collection development specialists should
be concerned about these publications.  ALCTS should co-sponsor programs
with several of the roundtables and focus more attention on the issues
surrounding corporate media.

Fourth, we should adopt alternative publishers.  They need our help to
thrive, and they simply do not know how to get to our market.  We should go
to their meetings and develop and distribute guides about working with
libraries.  We should also produce guides to help librarians work with
alternative publishers.  A slight increase in our business can mean a big
difference in their survival rates.  According to one small publishers, if
every librarian simply bought just 10 independent press titles this year,
the marketplace would boom.  Many titles such as literature in translation
and short stories published by the alternative press sell almost exclusively
to libraries.  Library sales can make a big difference for small publishers
whose average press run is 5000 copies; some are even smaller.  We must
recognize that the marketplace is as much a censor as those who purge
information from our airwaves, libraries, publisher's lists, or the Internet.

Libraries are sanctuaries for alternative voices.  If the mainstream press
ignores, under-covers, or diminishes hard-hitting, essential stories, our
libraries and our databases are unlikely to pick them up.  On a recent
Pacifica radio show about Project Censored, I was asked: "Can't someone who
just searches Nexis/Lexis pick up on these stories?"  I responded: "No, if
they are not printed in the mainstream press, the mainstream indexers are
not going to cover them."  In the library community, we have an obligation
to build balanced collections.  Given the trends in publishing, we cannot
build these balanced collections without heavily investing in alternatives
to the mainstream press.  It is time we recognize our own values and ensure
we have diverse collections that truly represent the full spectrum of
published opinion and thought.  Otherwise, Barnes and Noble will eclipse us
as the community's primary information resource.


1. Renee Feinberg,  "B&N: The New College Library?" Library Journal 123, # 2
(February 1, 1998): 49-51.

2. Barbara Hoffert, "Publishers are Looking at You," Library Journal 116, #3
(February 15, 1991): 146-154.

3. See Who's Buying Whom: Highlights of Publishing/Information/Training
Acquisition Activity, NY: Whitestone Communications, 1999.

4. See André Schiffrin, "Bucking the Monoliths: Publishing with a Mission,"
American Libraries 30, #5 (May 1999): 44-46; "Publishers' Spring Catalogues
Offer Compelling Reading About the Market for Ideas, The Chronicle of Higher
Education (March 19, 1999): B8-B9; and "Random Acts of Consolidation," The
Nation, (July 5, 1999): 10.

5. Mark Crispin Miller, "The Crushing Power of Big Publishing," The Nation
264, #10 (March 17, 1997): 11-18.

6. Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of
Show Business.  (New York: Penguin Books, 1985)

7. Peter Phillips, "Building Media Democracy," in Censored, 1999: The News
that Didn't Make the News by Peter Phillips and Project Censored..  (New
York: Seven Stories Press, 1999): 129-135.

8. Milton Wolf and Marjorie Bloss, "Without Walls Means Collaboration,"
Information Technology and Libraries, 17, #4 (December 1998): 212-215.

9. Anna H. Perrault, The Changing Print Resource Base of Academic Libraries
in the United States: A Comparison of Collection Patterns in Seventy-two ARL
Academic Libraries of Non-Serial Imprints for the Years 1985 and 1989.
Florida State University doctoral dissertation, 1994. P. xi.

10. Stephen L. Hupp, "The Left and the Right: A Preliminary Study of Bias in
Collection Development in Ohio Libraries," Collection Management 14, #2
(1991): 139-54.  And " The Left and the Right: A Follow-Up Survey of the
Collection of Journals of Public Opinion in Ohio Libraries," Collection
Management 18, #2 (1993): 135-52.

11. Rita A. Marinko and Kristin H. Gerhard, "Representation of the
Alternative Press in Academic Library Collections," College and Research
Libraries, 59, #4 (July 1998): 363-377.

12. For a compilation of statements and interpretations, along with a
history and guidance for action, see Intellectual Freedom Manual, 4th ed. by
the American Library Association, Office for Intellectual Freedom, (Chicago:
American Library Association, 1992) and "Principles for the Development of
the National Information Infrastructure," (Washington, DC: American Library
Association Washington Office, 1993).

13. For an extensive list of groups working to democratize the media, see
The Progressive Guide to Alternative Media and Activism.  (New York: Seven
Stories Press, 1999) and Censored, 1999: The News that Didn't Make the News
by Peter Phillips and Project Censored. (New York: Seven Stories Press,
1999): 271-323.

13. Article on the image of librarians:

"Wear lipstick, have a tattoo, belly-dance, then get naked: The making of a
virtual librarian"

by Andy Brewerton

in _Impact: the journal of the career development group_ (UK)

Thanks, Jessamyn -

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