Library Juice 3:20 - May 24, 2000


1. Anniversary of the first digital sentiment
2. Library-Related Weblogs
3. IFLA Public Libraries Section Newsletter
4. Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship
5. Information Literacy Instruction Objectives
6. Voluntary Simplicity Workshops in Public Libraries?
7. Letter from Karen Schneider to US DOJ
8. ACTION ALERT - Depository Program in Jeopardy
9. The ALA OIF home page has a new address
10. May issue of American Libraries
11. Recent Letter from Sanford Berman to Library of Congress
12. Miss Charlotte Brown, Librarian, Goes Mad

Quote for the week:

"The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting." 
-Milan  Kundera

Homepage of the week: Laura Kortz


1. Anniversary of the first digital sentiment

"On May 24, 1840 -- Samuel Morse taps out the message "What hath God
wrought" in what is still called Morse Code. Can this be possible?: The
first man to write in digital code didn't do it on a Mac? Question was
sent from Washington to Baltimore, formally opening America's first
telegraph line, & still being asked today."

>From the Daily Bleed -

2. Library-Related Weblogs

A weblog is a web page somebody updates on a frequent basis to
share what they find in on the web.  Weblogs have become extremely
popular in the last year or so. 

Here is a list of library-related weblogs, taken from Jessamyn West's
Jessamyn set up this weblog to collect interesting and funny stories
relating to libraries that she finds in her web searching.  Jessamyn
likes anarchism and sex, and anything relating to the image of librarians.

This site is a weblog and more.  Blake Carver posts excerpts from
news stories relating to libraries and technology that he collects
from the web and from users of the site.  The PHP-driven site has
software allowing people to participate in discussions about the news
items that are posted and to cast votes on issues.  He wants to build
a team to expand the site.

Booknotes: Books, Libraries, Preservation and...
The title pretty much describes this site, maintained by Craig
Jensen.  At this site, Craig has also posted the full text of several
books about book binding and preservation.

The AcqWeblog
The AcqWeblog is part of the AcqWeb site, which is for librarians
doing acquisitions and collection development.  It is very much a
professionally-oriented site and very practical.  It also includes a
lot of press releases.

Research Buzz Weblog
Tara Calishain's Research Buzz is a great weekly newsletter on
developments in the search engine world.  Her website provides the
same news but on a daily basis.  She also has a personal weblog on
site which she uses to feature whatever she likes (styrofoam, Prince,
Napster, etc.)

Redwood City Public Library Liblog: A Library Weblog
This weblog features "current web sites and stories dealing with the
interface between technology and libraries."  It really mainly covers
information technology and the web.  Good for "cybrarians."

Libraries and Other Things
Kip DeGraaf, the site author, is a non-librarian, library
enthusiast.  He writes in the weblog's faq: "I'm someone who is
passionate about a library's place in a community and how technology,
particularly the Internet, affects how the public uses the library
these days.  You'll see a focus on filtering and internet access via
public libraries, but anything that you want to talk about concerning
libraries is just fine.

Casey Hill's New Pages Weblog
Casey Hill used to have a print publication on alternative publishing
called The New Pages.  Now he has a website by the same name, which
aims to be a resource for finding and handling alternative
literature.  The weblog includes fairly diverse news on the world of
alternative publishing, including new books, music, and interesting
articles online.

3. IFLA Public Libraries Section Newsletter

International Federation of Library Associations. 
Section Public Libraries. Newsletter.

The Section of Public Libaries Newsletter is published by the
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions.  The
Section of Public Libraries provides an active international forum for the
development and promotion of public libraries which serve the whole
community in the context of the information society and ensure free and
equal access to information at the local level.

The latest Newsletter from the Public Libraries' Section, Issue No. 22,
March 2000, is now to be found on IFLA Website. You will find it here:, under PUBLICATIONS.

The Newsletter is in pdf-format, so in order to read it on your computer,
you must have the free software Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you haven't got
this free software, you can download it from this address:

Borge Sondergard
Information Coordinator
Standing Committee, Section for Public Libraries
E-mail: bibbso[at] or 2b[at]

4. Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship

The Spring 2000 issue of Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship
celebrates the 30th anniversary of Earth Day with the theme of Sci-Tech
Libraries and the Environment.

Table of Contents:

  * It's Not Easy Being Green: A Survey of Staff Experiences with
    Environmental Issues in Sci-Tech and Other Libraries
       by Kristine M. Alpi, Weill Cornell Medical Library

  * Love Canal: Reminder of Why We Celebrate Earth Day
      by Frederick W. Stoss and Carole Ann Fabian, University at Buffalo,
      State University of New York

  * Training Future Science Librarians: A Successful Partnership Between
    Academia and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
      by Kristen Conahan Roland, University of North Carolina at Chapel

  * Transforming Higher Education Through Sustainability and Environmental
      by Terry Link, Michigan State University

  * The Need for Environmental Information Quality
      by Maria Anna Jankowska, University of Idaho


  * Digital Libraries by William Y. Arms
      Reviewed by David Flaxbart, University of Texas, Austin

  * Social Issues in Science and Technology by David E. Newton
      Reviewed by Julie Wood, Georgia Institute of Technology


  * Synergy
      Reviewed by Ann C. Glenn, Northern Illinois University

  * Compendex Web
      Reviewed by George S. Porter, California Institute of Technology

  * Turpion Electronic Journals
      Reviewed by Greg Youngen, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

                                Andrea L. Duda
                        Sciences Collections Coordinator
           Davidson Library, University of California, Santa Barbara
                         E-mail: duda[at]

5. Information Literacy Instruction Objectives

Date: Fri, 19 May 2000 10:56:27 -0400
From: Carla List <carla.list[at]>
Subject: [ACRL-FRM:557] Information Literacy Instruction Objectives
To: ACRL Forum <acrl-frm[at]>

This message is being posted to several lists. Please excuse any

NEW: Objectives for Information Literacy Instruction by Academic

A new document has been drafted to replace the "Model Statement of
Objectives for Academic Bibliographic Instruction," the 1989 document
from the Bibliographic Instruction Section of ACRL that many librarians
have used in their instruction programs. The first draft of the new
document is tentatively entitled "Objectives for Information Literacy
Instruction by Academic Librarians." It is now available for review at
the IS Web site. Go to <> and follow
the "Instruction Objectives" link. Paper copies of the document are
available through the mail by contacting Carla List (address below).

There will be a public hearing to discuss the draft at ALA Annual in
Chicago, on Sunday, July 9, 8:00 - 9:00 a.m., in Chicago Ballroom A of
the Marriott Downtown.

The Task Force to Revise the Model Statement of Objectives that created
the document includes librarians from large and small, private and
public institutions. They worked with the ACRL document, Information
Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education
( The Standards provide
performance indicators and outcomes; the new Objectives aim to help
librarians achieve the outcomes.

Your input is solicited both before and during the public hearing.
Please review the Objectives carefully. Bring your comments and
questions to the hearing in Chicago. If you aren't able to attend the
hearing, send comments and questions to the Task Force Chair, Carla
List. She will collate all comments received by July 1 and make them
available as a handout at the hearing, and on the Objectives Web site.

Carla List

fax 518-564-5209

Feinberg Library
Plattsburgh State University
2 Draper Ave.
Plattsburgh, NY  12901-2697

6. Voluntary Simplicity Workshops in Public Libraries?

Date: Sat, 20 May 2000 18:52:24 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Beth Andersen" <bandersen[at]>
To: publib <publib[at]>
Subject: voluntary simplicity

Please forgive any cross-posting.

I am interested in hearing from any libraries that have done (or are doing)
voluntary simplicity workshops. I know that the Northwest Earth Institute,
based in Portland, OR has a discussion course on this topic which apparently
has had considerable success in the library field.

If you have done such a program, here are a few of the questions I would
love to have answered:

1). Do you do this program in partnership with other community
organizations?  Which ones?

2). What is your budget for this program? Did you apply for any grant money?

3).  How is your program arranged?  The NEI setup is eight sessions.

4).  Do you limit the number of participants?  How many?

5).  What has been the reaction of those who sign up?

6).  Do you charge any fees for registration?

7).  Did any of you use the NEI workbook?  If not, what materials did you
use to plan your program?

8).  Do the voluntary simplicity materials in your library do well?

Any additional information would be gratefully received.

Thank you.

Beth E. Andersen
Adult Services
Ann Arbor (MI) District Library

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Date: Sat, 20 May 2000 18:53:30 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Beth Andersen" <bandersen[at]>
To: publib <publib[at]>
Subject: voluntary simplicity

Forgive the cross-posting again.

My apologies for not explaining what voluntary simplicity is.  I've had
several inquiries asking for a definition.

VS is a quietly growing movement in this ever-faster paced world we live in
which people are encouranged to slow down, to re-assess all facets of their
life, and to scale back on those things that are not all that important
after all.  One of the key identifying factors of this trend is to simplify
financially, to really look at consumerism on a personal level, and to think
twice before spending. One of the most visible, often-talked about results
of this downscaled consumerism is getting out from under the expensive
holiday rat race of spending and gift giving and re-directing that affection
for friends and loved ones into giving more meaningful gifts, such as those
of one's time.

Duane Elgin, one of the modern day advocates of this idea, describes it
thus: "To live more simply is to live more purposefully and with a minimum
of needless distraction." One of Elgin's concerns is that the direction of
competitive consumerism and breakneck pace is eroding not only the
environment, but people's sense of community through increased isolation.

One of the misconceptions of the movement that may causes people to
initially dismiss it out of hand is that they believe it's a call to live in
poverty and discomfort. That's not it at all -- many people start by looking
at the things they already own and asking themselves if a little
housecleaning/yard sale/charitable donation mindset might restore calm to a
cluttered 'nest.' The next step might be to consciously stop and consider
thoughtfully before making an impulse purchase. Another might be for people
used to replacing their vehicles every year or two, to decide to extend that
period, or to maybe decide they DON'T need such a (big, fancy, loaded --
pick one) vehicle. Many re-examine their work situations. If the stress of a
high level position is beginning to feel intolerable, how can that stress be
relieved -- delegate? step down? total career change?

Some people put more thought into recycling vs. throwing away unwanted

Others give certificates of time at Christmas instead of fruit cakes or
ties. (i.e. "This certificate entitles you to 5 companionable walks at the
park with the giver.")

You get the point.

Below are some of the titles that are used to educate/guide/promote this
notion of voluntary simplicity:

Complete Tightwad Gazette: Promoting Thrift as a Viable Alternative
Lifestyle by Amy Dacyczyn

How to Want What You Have: Discovering the Magic and Grandeur of Ordinary
Existence by Timothy Miller

Inner Simplicity by Elaine St. James

The Overspent American: Upscaling, Downshifting, and the New Consumer by
Juliet Schor

The Simple Life: Plain Living and High Thinking in American Culture, by
David E. Shi

Unplug the Christmas Machine: How to Have the Christmas You've Always Wanted
by Jo Robinson

Your Money or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and
Achieving Financial Independence, by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin

The feedback I've received from library systems that have started offering
these classes is that the response by the public is immediate, grateful,
overwhelming, and bottomless.  Classes fill up as soon as they are posted.
The local media have done stories that generated a lot of positive attention
toward the library. In one true story, an assistant director of a large
public library system took the course and took it to heart.

She quit.

And is blissful and unharried in her new life.

Of course, this is a dramatic example of the power of personal reassessment.
  Most of those who take the course do so much more quietly.

I hope this answers some of the good questions I've been getting.

Hope this helps.

Beth E. Andersen
Adult Services
Ann Arbor (MI) District Library


7. Letter from Karen Schneider to US DOJ

Gail Walker
United States Department of Justice
May 16, 2000

Dear Ms. Walker,

I am writing to explain why I will not testify regarding the deficiencies
of Internet content filters in your upcoming retrial of the Child Online
Protection Act.

As a librarian, my first impulse was to agree to testify, because I have a
professional responsibility to share information impartially, regardless of
the user's intention.  I believe information is a public good, and that no
information is in itself harmful.   As an expert on the topic of Internet
content filters, I was very tempted to reemphasize the points I made in
legal testimony as well as in my book, A Practical Guide to Internet Filters.

However, after reviewing the information you shared with me regarding the
government's intent with respect to COPA, I realized that testifying about
the defects of Internet content filters would actually be in conflict with
my professional responsibility.

I have worked with children, I have used the Internet for ten years, and I
understand what open access to the Internet implies.  In the course of
analyzing Internet filters, I have seen quite a bit of objectionable
content on the Internet.  Nevertheless, I believe the true danger to
children would not come from exposing them to an unfettered information
medium of such magnitude that it has become a matter-of-fact part of daily
life for a majority of Americans.  The greater harm would come from
weakening the First Amendment to the point where children would grow up to
become adults in a shrunken, compromised democracy, deprived of the
freedoms we now enjoy.

In terms of obligations, I owe it to the people who wrote the First
Amendment to assume they knew what they were doing.   As someone with no
legal skills whatsoever, I apologize for my hubris in analyzing the
Constitution, but I have to believe there is a reason why our founders left
its wording so broad.  They were not stupid men, and they were not in a
hurry.   They knew that intellectual freedom is a delicate ecosystem,
easily subject to destruction by those who do not understand the law of
unintended consequences.  They were also aware that if it were left up to
individuals or special-interest groups, there would be very little
information available to anyone, ever.  Their guidance rings with prescient
clarity: "make no law."  I take these words as literal guidance.

Finally, as a lesbian, it saddens me to think that the Department of
Justice would deny teenagers access to "objectionable" information until
they were 17.  I know what it means to be labeled "objectionable."  Many
people would describe me that way.  Gay teenagers have enough trouble
coming to terms with their sexual orientation without finding out that the
government has banished information about their very existence into the
same realm as cheap pornography.  My research into Internet filters points
out the disquieting reality that when third parties intervene to decide
what others should see, oppressed minorities sufferand homosexuals are a
favorite target of any group attempting to regulate what others can see.  I
do not trust the federal government to allow children access to
age-appropriate gay-themed websites when it cannot stomach concepts as
simple and mundane as an openly gay person serving her country, or two
people of the same gender choosing to marry.

Think again about the law of unintended consequences.  Matthew Shepard died
because two young men grew up believing people like Matthew are
"objectionable."  Again, if the government is truly concerned about
protecting children, what does it have to say to Matthew's
mother?  Teaching children that homosexuality is "objectionable" will only
lead to a rise in hate crimesand contributing to an increase in crime
conflicts with your professional responsibilities.

Ms. Walker, in several years there will be new technological concerns and
challenges.  The promise of the next-generation Internet includes a
directory structure so rich and complex that children will not be able to
stumble into sex sites any more than I can wander onto 42nd Street in
Manhattan from my house in Albany.   In the meantime, I regretfully decline
to provide testimony for your trial.


Karen G. Schneider
Author, A Practical Guide to Internet Filters


Depository Program in Jeopardy
House FY2001 Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill Cuts Program by 61%

On May 9, the House Appropriations Committee approved a drastic cut of 61% in
the FY2001 budget for the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). This was
included in a 25.3% cut in the FY 2001 Government Printing Office (GPO)
budget, which is part of the FY 2001 Legislative Branch appropriations bill.

Only the GPO Access web site would be funded, and all paper and other
publications and 85 positions would be eliminated. The severe cuts would
decimate the Federal Depository Library Program. The House will vote on the
Legislative Branch appropriations bill on Thursday, May 18.

YOUR HELP IS NEEDED NOW. Please call or fax a short letter to your
representative to urge him or her to OPPOSE the cuts and to vote for COMPLETE
FUNDING of the GPO budget at $115.3 million, including the FDLP at $34.5

Provide your representative information that relates how your depository
library serves the constituents of your state and Congressional district. In
addition to providing the local examples, please draw from the

* talking points <>

* fact sheets, and

* sample letters <>

available from the Government Documents Round Table (GODORT) action alert


Larry Romans

Total GPO Appropriations:
FY00: $103.2 million
FY01 requested $115.3 million;
Appropriation Committee recommended level: $77.1 million;
Total reduction: $26.1 million (25.3%)

FDLP and Other S & E Appropriations:
FY00: $29.9 million
FY01 requested: $34.5 million;
Appropriation Committee recommended level: $11.6 million;
Total reduction: $18.3 million (61%)

Larry Romans,
Political Science Bibliographer and
Head, Government Information Services,
Central Library, Vanderbilt University,
419 - 21st Ave. South
Nashville TN 37240-0007
phone (615) 322-2838; FAX (615) 343-7451
E-mail (office): romans[at]
E-mail (home): larry.romans[at]

9. The ALA OIF home page has a new address

Date: Thu, 18 May 2000 11:36:11 -0500
From: "Don Wood" <dwood[at]>
To: Intellectual Freedom Action News <ifaction[at]>
Subject: [IFACTION:854] The OIF Home Page Has a New Address

The OIF home page has a new address:

Although is directed automatically to our
new address, please use/link to the new address.

Thank you.

In addition, "Other Useful Links"
( on the home page
has been renamed "Organizations, References, and What You Can Do."
New links under "What You Can Do" include those to four new pages:

"Coalitions Against Censorship"

"Dealing with Challenges"

"Reporting a Challenge"

"The Internet: For Children and Their Parents"


Don Wood
American Library Association
Office for Intellectual Freedom

10. May issue of American Libraries

Date: Mon, 22 May 2000 01:12:04 -0400
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>
From: Mark Rosenzweig <iskra[at]>
Cc: plgnet-l[at], srrtac-l[at], gordonflagg[at]

Dear Colleagues,

I want to thank Kathleen de la Pena McCook for the section of the
American Libraries May 2000 issue which she put together as Guest

Laudably (although not unexpectedly), she used her guest editorship
in the spirit of librarianship's historic social commitments, to try
to raise consciousness about  an issue paid much lip-service but
scarcely ever seriously confronted:  libraries' responsibilities to
poor people.

Her tribute to Sanford Berman's effort's in this cause, as expressed
in her editorial introducing the issue, and her acknowledgement of
the importortance of the SRRT Task Force he founded (Hunger,
Homelessness and Poverty Task Force), remind us of how, in these
times, advocates for the disempowered are all too few and, despite
their professional distinction,  often themselves marginalized,
abused and victimized as Berman has been, despite his reknown and
reputation, for being a public  exponent of daring  to  think and act
like librarianship can and must make a difference.

De la Pena McCook is to be applauded for her efforts.

  I  - and I imagine many others - am profoundly impressed, moved
and, most of all, aroused to action by the  provocative articles she
chose for her special issue.

The irony is, that the thirteen pages in American Libraries, devoted
to the cause of librarianship in the service of the least powerful,
the most needy, is followed by ten pages of the "Reference" section
given over  to what seems to me to be the exact opposite "point of
view":  that the web-enabled are our most important target clientele,
that the online services which elude the grasp of the poor are the
primary focus of development in provision of information resources,
and that  fees for services are necessary, justified and ethical ,
even in the face of all that De la Pena McCook raises in the first
half of the issue.

Add to that the ever-execrable soi-disant "humorist" Will Manley in
his "Will's World"  (yes, I know he's suposed to be the height of
hilarity) talking about cataloging, an area that Sanford Berman, as
is well known, thought was key to enabling access for minorities, the
poor, the working stiffs,.  Manley declaims, from his accumulated
wisdom, "Do you really want catalogers  to be thinking outside the
box? Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I want my catalogers to be inside
the box, cranking out work so that the new books can get on the shelf
and into the hands of patrons."  So much for cataloging contributiong
to broader access to diverse populations!

It's also interesting that this May issue of American Libraries,
suposedly devoted to "Reaching Out to Poor People", opens,  not with
De la Pena McCook's editorial but -  right after the Table of
Contents - with an advertisement from EBSCO which  PURPOSELY has been
made to look exactly  like  an American Libraries editorial!  Well,
all's fair in love, war and advertising.  Obviously EBSCO gets the
placement it can pay for --and screw the ostensible theme of the
issue. The real theme is "the market rules".

The on-going corporatization of ALA, symbolized by this ad placement,
as well as  by the recent appearance of commercial advertisements on
the ALA web page, by the whole change in the ethos of ALA as
registered in the discussion of core values which basically indicates
a refusal to publicly continue an advocacy position with respect to
"social" issues, all this, along with the other things I've noted
above about the AL issue in question, stand in sharp contrast to what
Kathleen's editorial efforts try to promote. Her position is allowed
to be expressed only to be overwhelmingly negated, not by argument
but by overall context.

This in no way reflects upon Kathleen's efforts . Her section, in
itself,  is great. It is just to indicates how something like what
she has to put forward can only be done in the mainstream media if it
is literally enveloped in the miasma of  business-as-usual thinking
which accepts poverty as a fact of life about which we can do little
or nothing and embraces "the market" as the principal arbiter of
social and professional values..

Mark Rosenzweig
ALA Councilor at large
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Date: Mon, 22 May 2000 08:21:51 -0500
From: "James B. Casey" <jimcasey[at]>

Mark Rosenzweig wrote: (excerpt):

"This in no way reflects upon Kathleen's efforts . Her section, in
itself,  is great. It is just to indicates how something like what
she has to put forward can only be done in the mainstream media if it
is literally enveloped in the miasma of  business-as-usual thinking
which accepts poverty as a fact of life about which we can do little
or nothing and embraces "the market" as the principal arbiter of
social and professional values."

Councilor Rosenszweig attempt to stereotype the poor as penniless,
helpless folk who are absolutely disconnected from the cyber-mainstream
is so well expressed that I almost believed what he was saying for a
moment or two.  The marketplace isn't the villain as much as it is the
reality and the revolutionary changes brought about have boosted
employment opportunities and expanded horizons for many.  Schools
and libraries are making computer literacy a "power of the people"
(at least in this country) and helping to bring the world closer
Sometimes, as with the Gates Foundation efforts, schools and
libraries are getting help from those who have occasionally been
villified by some Members of Council.

The stereotypes, sacred cows and slogans of the 1960s just
don't "cut it" anymore when it comes to social justice.   We have
to work harder to balance budgets to buy books and bytes,
serve all patrons rather than objectify and feel sorry for groups them
at a time, and play politics in a world where the results are more
important than conceptions of moral and ideological purity.

Librarians won't get to ge good enough at politics and money to
close the digital divide until they stop lusting after martyrdom and

James B. Casey --- Councilor-at-Large.
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Date: Mon, 22 May 2000 11:08:24 -0400
From: "Maurice J. Freedman" <freedman[at]>

Dear Colleagues,

I don't wish to respond to anything but the first portion of Councilor
Casey's first sentence, "[Mark's] attempt to stereotype the poor as

If we can understand the word 'penniless' in any way other than 'without
pennies', by definition the poor are without means, and in many case are
'penniless' in the absolute sense of the work, i.e. 'without even a cent of
money'.  It's not just a stereotype of the poor, it is a fact.

Councilor Casey can debate whether or not 'all' poor people are 'helpless
folk' and 'absolutely disconnected from the cyber-mainstream', but it will
take little research--just walk the mean streets of big and small cities in
the USA--to see and know that there are far too many people who are all
three, 'penniless, helpless, & disconnected from cyber-mainstream'.

I apologize to those who might feel that attempting to correct such a
foolish statement was unnecessary, but I just was in NYC for the IOLS
National Online Show and placed some money in the blanket of a homeless
person wrapped in an army blanket, sleeping on an assemblage of flattened
cartons next to the ramp of the parking garage in which I parked.

One could interpret him as not being penniless because I stuffed a $10 bill
into the blanket; and of course being literally across the street from the
National Online Show's hotel, he was closer to that cyber-stream than
almost all of the members of the ALA Council.  I don't know if he planned
to walk down the block to NYPL's nearby Donnell Library Center to use the
Internet, but I can say with a high degree of certitude that this man was
poor and would shortly be penniless, and very much likely outside the

By the way, if anyone wants a better example of the ridiculous differences
in distribution of the new wealth, the parking fee for six hours at 53rd &
6th was $55.  The homeless man's location next to the garage's ramp
provided a contrast that was reminiscent of the depression billboard of the
family in their shiny new car and the long line of unemployed men waiting
in a soup line.

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Date: Mon, 22 May 2000 11:36:40 -0500
From: "James B. Casey" <jimcasey[at]>

"Maurice J. Freedman" wrote (excerpt):

"Councilor Casey can debate whether or not 'all' poor people are 'helpless
folk' and 'absolutely disconnected from the cyber-mainstream', but it will
take little research--just walk the mean streets of big and small cities in
the USA--to see and know that there are far too many people who are all
three, 'penniless, helpless, & disconnected from cyber-mainstream'."

One doesn't need to "walk the mean streets" to see the ravages of
poverty.   The poor and homeless are often patrons using our
Library facilities.  Nor does it take much imagination to conjure up
situations where Dr. Friedman, Councilor Rosenszweig and I might
find ourselves, by twist of fortune, reduced to homelessness and
utter poverty.  It could happen to any of us.  I would think that
hope and a way up and out of that difficulty would be more useful
than a handout of cash or sympathy.

Libraries can do much and a great deal more to provide a bridge
over the digital divide and ladder of hope for the less fortunate.
But this can only be accomplished if Libraries have the political
and financial saavy to keep their doors open, keep their service
desks staffed, and keep their books and bytes resources up to
date.  Being doctrinaire and self righteous in our approaches
won't help.

Libraries can charge fees for cost recovery and also have rules,
devices and procedures in place which allow those barriers to
be lowered quickly and unobtrusively as staff determine need.
But if we turn our backs on cost recovery on the theory that
any fee is an "economic barrier" we are effectively cutting ourselves
off from the ability to secure the resources needed to provide the
help to those who are less fortunate.

Libraries can exploit the competition and innovation of the
private sector to develop more cost effective service and
thereby reinvest public money into improvement of service
to all patrons.   If Librarians are open to such possibilities,
they can latch on to opportunity.  If Librarians close their
minds to the marketplace. . . . .

James B. Casey --- Councilor-at-Large
..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..

From: "Therese (Therese Bigelow)" <therese[at]>
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>

I have been reading the discussion among Mark, Mitch and Jim and want to
briefly throw in my two cents worth and then head for the hills.  I am not
aware of any private, college, university, school or community college that
provides the resources to the homeless that public libraries are currently
providing--a place to read and be away from the elements and to the Internet
through free email accounts like HotMail.  While being empathetic to those
who "walk those mean streets" I also feel some empathy for public libraries
where the homeless have taken over  the reading areas and the computers.  If
this issue is worth discussing by Council on this list, the discussion needs
to  be focused around libraries, in particular public libraries.  We should
acknowledge the services libraries are currently providing and also give
guidance on dealing with the issues that arise from that service. And I will
mention that PLA does have a group that focuses on Library Services to the
Homeless so we might want to hear from them.

Or if the discussion is really about what is appropriate or inappropriate
for publishing in American Libraries, we should focus discussion there. 
Therese Bigelow
..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..

Date: Tue, 23 May 2000 22:27:14 -0400
To: alacoun[at]
From: Mark Rosenzweig <iskra[at]>
Subject: "Reaching Out to Poor People"?

I can't help but point this out.

I spoke before about the ironies of the May issue of American
Libraries. There is something I overlooked (besides not commending
Acting Editor Gordon Flagg for his excellent editorial on "Hooking up
the Homeless").

Have you noticed the cover of the "Reaching Out to Poor People"
issue? It is worth looking at more closely. One doesn't have to be a
sophisticated semiotician to "read" the image on the cover and the
messages it wordlessly, yet powerfully, conveys. It speaks volumes of
deeply held attitudes and assumed frames of reference which affect
our practices in the real world.

The graphic image on the cover is so patently condescending one can
hardly call it analysis to point this out.

It is not  a subtle thing. The paternalistic literalism of "reaching
out" (in the form of reaching down) as embodied in this image. The
hand on  top - white, male, in a dress white shirt, scrupulously
clean. The hand on the bottom, filthy, male, in a tattered and torn
black  sweatshirt. Let's see: how many cliches can we fit in one

The white, male librarian in the white shirt, in an overwhelmingly
female profession where most of the "reaching out" is done by women.
The (once again) male hand of the poor person who is not only "poor"
but filthy and in rags, as if the face of poverty is only that of a
completely destitute, single male, rather than mostly of women and
children in various circumstances, including those of  victims of
racially institutionalized poverty in the ghettos and the hidden
poverty of the "working poor". White shirt on top, black shirt on
bottom. One reaching down, the other reaching up. Need I say more.
Somebody's cultural unconsciousis showing!

One picture is worth a thousand words. Especially when it's an
ever-so-carefully chosen  image on  the cover of a magazine.

You say "Political correctness run amok! You just can't win with
these "social responsibilities" people! We give 'em an issue with
"POOR PEOPLE"on the cover and they're STILL not satisfied! What do
they want!????"

How about acting on the Poor Peoples Policy  that ALA passed but
never really put into practice.? How about showing at least a modicum
of sensitivity to the fact that an image like that on the cover of AL
is offensive and runs counter to the message of the ostensible theme
of the issue?

Mark Rosenzweig
Councilor at large

11. Recent Letter from Sanford Berman to Library of Congress

May 3, 2000

Cataloging Policy & Support Office
Library of Congress
Washington, DC  20540

Dear Colleague,

Kindly advise when you intend to replace the inaccurate and
inauthentic ethnonym, GYPSIES, with either ROMA or ROMANIES.
(Hennepin County Library did this many years ago.)


Sanford Berman

4400 Morningside Road
Edina, MN  55416


P.S. Still awaiting a reply to my 3-31-00 note regarding the
long-overdue substitution of DALITS for UNTOUCHABLES.


12. Miss Charlotte Brown, Librarian, Goes Mad

An animated poem.


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