Library Juice 3:25 - June 28, 2000


1. Progressive Librarians Around the World
2. Sandy Berman on KUCI "Subversity" show
3. Core Values on PUBLIB
4. Student project on alternative literature
5. Note on ALA-Commissioned Report on Outsourcing and Privatization
6. The Pacifica Radio/UC Berkeley Social Activism Sound Recording Project
7. Adam Hodgkin and Mary Ann Meyers on
8. Macho Librarians
9. Getting involved in Open Source Software
10. Linux distro war in public libraries?
11. ACTION ALERT: Nader Left Out of Media Websites
12. The Nation's Election 2000 resources
13. Recent book about French National Library
14. GEO - Grassroots Economic Organizing Newsletter
15. Thomas Hennen and Mary Ann Meyers on Questia
16. A Broken System: Error Rates in Capital Cases
18. Findlaw Forms
19. Reference Questions (poem)

Quote for the week:

"I'd rather vote for something I want and not get it than vote for
something I don't want, and get it."
-Eugene  Debs

Home page of the week: Chris Mays (the design is meant to be annoying)


1. Progressive Librarians Around the World

Date: 26 Jun 2000 23:06:04 -0000
From: "Progressive Librarians Around the World" <dehmlow[at]>
To: "Progressive Librarians Around the World" <ProgLib[at]>
Subject: New entries

Progressive Librarians Around the World -

Dear colleagues,
I just wanted to let you now, that there are now 73 colleagues from 14
countries on our list. New entries are from Iran, Korea and Peru.
All the best to you,
Raimund Dehmlow
To unsubscribe, write to ProgLib-unsubscribe[at]


2. Sandy Berman on KUCI "Subversity" show - RealAudio

This from Daniel Tsang, this year's Eubanks Award winner, describing an
archived edition of his radio show at KUCI - "Subversity":

Activist Librarian of the People

On our June 2, 2000 show, we chatted with Sandy Berman, librarian
extraordinaire, and advocate of democratizing and making
libraries more socially responsible.  Hear about "bibliocide"
and "internal censorship".  Are libraries turning into corporate entities
with no soul?

Read the  press release

To hear the interview using a Real Player, click on:


3. Core Values on PUBLIB

Some of the best discussion of the Core Values Statement draft can be found
in the PUBLIB archive for June.

The archive by date is at:

Searching the page (which is long) for "core values" should get you to most
of the discussion.  Some other comments come under the subject lines

"Capturing the Spirit beyond the Letter"


"Re: [ALAOIF:11538] Re: [Fwd: Conformism or Consensus?]"

The June archive by subject line is at:


4. Student project on alternative literature

Date: Tue, 27 Jun 2000 14:48:54 -0700 (PDT)
From: Abigail <velocity[at]>
To: Rory <rlitwin[at]>

re: library juice.

here's a little blurb on the archiving alt lit project. i'm going running

The Collection and Archiving of Alternative Literature project began as an
undergraduate research project; I'm bringing it with me into my MS of
Information program, for fun and, er, profit. The purpose is to compile an
online resource detailing the history, mission and methods of various zine
libraries as well as Special Collections that include alternative
literature. (At the moment I'm only including libraries and archives,
although distributors might be an interesting project as well. If anyone's
working on that, let me know!) I'm interested in hearing from anyone with
comments or suggestions about the site, or with connections to archives I
haven't yet included.

abigail leah plumb


5. Note on ALA-Commissioned Report on Outsourcing and Privatization

Date: Sun, 25 Jun 2000 01:00:31 -0500
To: SRRT Action Council <srrtac-l[at]>
From: Al Kagan <akagan[at]>
Subject: [SRRTAC-L:4883] Outsourcing report

I just got the Executive Summary of the report ALA Council
commissioned on outsourcing and privatization.  Unfortunately, the
full report will not be on the web until July 4th.  The report was
done at Texas Woman's University, School of Library and Information
Studies.  The principal investigator is Robert S. Martin and the
report was done within the context of a regular doctoral seminar on
Trends and Issues in Library Management. "The fifteen students in the
class comprised the research team and carried out the study."

The charge was to investigate outsourcing and privatization on
library services and management.  Believe it or not, they used a
definition of privatization that resulted in the inability to find
any such cases!  That definition was "where control over policy was
relinquished to a vendor."  I have heard that a number of federal
libraries have been completely privatized and therefore fit this
definition.  So without any research, I can already say by their own
definition that their research on this aspect is not credible.

Regarding outsourcing, they found that  "... the evidence supports
the conclusion that outsourcing has been an effective managerial
tool...."  I wonder how the ALA Outsourcing Task Force will feel
about the report since it contradicts the ALA  TF's conclusions.  We
might ask the question on how this grant was awarded?  We might also
ask the question on whether or not such a study should be done as an
academic exercise within a regular seminar course?

Al Kagan
African Studies Bibliographer and Professor of Library Administration
Africana Unit, Room 328
University of Illinois Library
1408 W. Gregory Drive
Urbana, IL 61801, USA

tel. 217-333-6519
fax. 217-333-2214
e-mail. akagan[at]

6. The Pacifica Radio/UC Berkeley Social Activism Sound Recording Project

        A library of recordings of significant people and events that
        shaped the politics and culture of the 1960's. The first phase of
        this project focuses specifically on social activist movements in
        Berkeley, California, particularly the Free Speech Movement
        (FSM). Recordings include radio programs as well as unedited
        field recordings. The project is a cooperative venture of radio
        station KPFA-FM (Berkeley, California), the Pacifica Radio
        Archives (PRA) (Los Angeles), and the UC Berkeley Library.
        Requires RealAudio for connections slower than T-1, which
        requires StreamWorks. - jb

>From Librarians Index to the Internet -

7. Adam Hodgkin and Mary Ann Meyers on

First Adam:

Dear Rory

I read Mary Ann Meyer's letter (7 June, 2000) about xrefer with

[See -ed.]

We see xrefer as a resource for the library community, but also for
researchers, writers and journalists, for students and educators and
most of all for the web user who wishes to be well informed. We are
'yet another reference resource' and librarians will be important to
us in explaining to their readers how we can be used; but we are
obviously only one part of the 'range of reference solutions' which
the web is offering to users and readers. Librarians who use the site
will see how we fit in: a new method for consulting reputable and
generally reliable reference works.

We have built our reference engine using XML and software, assisted
by editors. We enrich our texts by providing additional
cross-references 'xreferences' which take users to other works on the
site which have entries of relevance to any particular topic. To do
this we rely on the input of the editors of all the reference works
we have on the site. The cross-references which they thought to
insert in their individual books are our starting point. The process
is highly automated, so we have not generally needed to employ
librarians or editors to insert the xreferences. But we are pleased
to be getting feedback from librarians about what we should be doing;
whether differently, the same, or 'more of and better'. Not having an
entry on 'xeriscape' we take Mary Ann's observation as an
encouragement to find 'more and better' reference material.

By the way, we do NOT claim to be a 'family safe' site and the
Bloomsbury Dictionary of Slang, which will be going into the site
today or tomorrow, has a lot of taboo words and phrases. But a
comprehensive reference service must take the rough with the smooth.
On the other hand if the library community tells us that we ought to
have a 'safe search' option then we will aim to provide it.


Adam Hodgkin
Managing Director, Limited

See xrefer's latest reviews:

e   adam.hodgkin[at]
t   +44(0) 20 7479 9208 (direct)
m   +44(0) 7931 371744
f   +44(0) 20 7479 9212
Macmillan House, Paddington Station, London, W2 1FT,

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

From: "Mary Ann Meyers" <ljmmam[at]>
To: <adam.hodgkin[at]>
Cc: <Rory[at]>
Subject: Re: xrefer and who makes the xreferences
Date: Sat, 24 Jun 2000 13:05:47 -0500

Dear Mr. Hodgkin:

Thank you for sending me a copy of your letter to Rory Litwin in regard
to my comparison of xrefer and LibraryCard.  I appreciate your viewpoint
on questions I have about these and similar website resources.

My interest lies primarily in discovering how these new
information-brokering website ventures promote or undermine traditional
library values, e.g.intellectual freedom, free access to information for
everyone, diversity of viewpoint, public service.  One of my co-lateral
interests is to ponder whether this new method of marketing information
will supplant the professional librarian and, in effect, make use of the
public service ethos of professional librarians to obviate the need for

In considering these questions, I do not intend to single out xrefer as
better or worse than other similar websites. Some questions follow
for your industry and my fellow librarians to consider in terms of the
authority of the information and in terms of their effects on the future
of public librarianship and professional ethics:

1.  How does the delivery of information provided by dotcom websites
differ from that provided by dotedu, dotgov, dotorg websites?  Print
references rarely contain advertising; websites often rely on
advertising or "sponsors."  Is there a conflict of interest between
the advertising/sponsorship and the information provided?
What is the quality of the information on the website in
comparison to its print predecessors?  Has the re-packaging of
the information to suit a virtual environment affected its quality?

2.  Does the website list the names and credentials of the content
evaluators, content managers, selectors, editors, advisory board
members?  Many of these job titles are ambiguous and non-descriptive
of the range of duties or the training and experience required.
Does the website offer the services of professional librarians to
explain the use of the resources, to offer guidance via a reference
interview? Are librarians involved as "content managers" or "editors"
in assessing the quality of the information provided and in devising an
arrangement that will meet the various information-seeking
behaviors of the website's customers?

3.  Does the website state a philosophy of information delivery, a set
of ethics, pledged and practiced by the website owners and their
employees?  How does this code of behavior compare with the values
of public librarianship?  Does the website hide an information-filtering
statement in, e.g. the FAQ--or is it prominently displayed?  Is filtered
information the only option offered?  How is the website's
information-delivery set of ethics integrated with the primary aim of
any business--that of profit-making?,, and other similar websites
have chosen names which make a subconscious (or conscious) association
with public and academic libraries.  Free, direct public access to
dotcom resources can easily be changed to pay-per-view, privatized
information delivery to a wider customer base.  At present most of these
sites require no substantive or continuing participation from
professional librarians--and this may, during the present time when
librarians hope to see the continued existence of bricks-and-mortar
libraries, seem benign.  Whatever the future brings for libraries, I
hope my fellow librarians will take the time to ponder the increased
interest of commercial, monied entities in establishing dotcom websites
for the purposes of (now or in the future) direct sales of information
to the general public, without the intermediation of librarians.

Mr. Hodgkin states, "Librarians will be important to us in
explaining to their readers how we can be used."  That is a very limited
role for librarians--and one which has the potential of making use of
our public service ideal to undermine our own profession.  Aside from
the ethical values we bring to the public, librarians assist their
patrons in information-seeking through reference interviews.  Librarians
design information-delivery models.  Librarians counsel patrons in the
use of resources and in how to compare and determine the relative
information-quality merits of various resources.  Librarians employ
their training, experience, empathy, intuition--the foundations  of both
the science and the art of their profession--to devise and implement
classification systems, indexes, and cross-references; to envision
how best to serve their patrons' browsing and serendipitous discovery
preferences. Librarians offer a wide range of experiences and talents
--and a powerful ethic--useful to the far-sighted and insightful website
owner or manager.  Yet, typically, dotcom website entrepreneurs see
the profession as playing a very limited role--perhaps as a temporary
intermediary, perhaps as a useful temporary marketing tool.

I welcome useful new online resources that offer value-added services
like xrefer's cross-referencing of reputable resources.  However, I
would ask the library community to consider this--that dotcom
websites are co-opting library classification schemes, library
terminology, library procedures, models and systems.  They often are
modeling themselves in the minds of the public as mirrors of public and
academic libraries, but without assurances that the information that
they provide is not biased toward a particular viewpoint, without
assurances that library philosophy and ethics will undergird their
enterprises, without any guiding principle of selflessly-motivated
public service.

Can we make our influence felt in this new information marketplace?  Can
we convey to our patrons the value-added service they receive from us
while we are referring them to excellent websites?

Mary Ann Meyers

8. Macho Librarians

Date: Thu, 22 Jun 2000 20:35:58 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Absher, Linda (absher)" <absher[at]>
To: publib <publib[at]>
Subject: Macho Librarians....

Looks like the Lipstick Librarian has met her match!


Linda Absher / absher[at] / 503.578.3485
Intranet Librarian / IBM NUMA-Q/ Beaverton, OR
"The more I read, the more questions I have. Every time I pass a library I
get an anxiety attack."  --SeaQuest DSV

9. Getting involved in Open Source Software

Date: Fri, 23 Jun 2000 15:14:34 -0400
From: Matt Wilcox <matthew.wilcox[at]>
To: jake-list[at], newlib-l[at]
Subject: getting involved in open source software

Hello folks,

I came across these two articles on getting involved in open source
software projects like jake ( ).  I have found
them useful in thinking about how I (as someone with miniscule programming
skills) can contribute--antything from testing to working on documentation
or working on making the website better.  I first found out about these on
the news items sidebar at http://www.oss4lib that includes stuff from

Importance of Non-Developer Supporters in Free Software

In-Roads to Free Software Development


matthew.wilcox[at]    203-785-5680
"They say no man is an island, but I'll bet if you got a whole bunch of men
and duct taped them all together, you could call that an island.  If they
didn't sink, that is."     (James Key)

10. Linux distro war in public libraries?

This is a thread on, a site for new users of Linux,
the popular open-source UNIX variant.  Linux comes in a variety of
competing distributions ("distros") which offer slightly different
features and installation experiences, as well as slightly different
hardware compatibility issues.  Someone had the idea to let different
distros fight it out via library users, who would borrow them from the
library for installing Linux on their computers.  While I don't think
such a "distro war" in a library-as-battleground would decide
anything, I think making Linux distributions available in a public
library is a good idea, and inexpensive.

Here are some quotes from the thread:


"The target: Public Libraries in your town.

"Anyone who has a cd burner make 2 copies of your favorite distro, as
well as any other current/recent version distro you have laying
around. Print the installation howto a couple of times. Take a cd and
a set of printouts, put them in a big envelope. Total cost at this
point is $5 max per cd/instruction package.

"Put them all in your local public library, and request that they be
made available for checkout and inter-library loan.

"The distro with the most late fines/fees in a year wins .

"I am going to the library tomorrow."


I took 3 cd's to my local library.Slak7,Man 7 and Suse 6.3 and they
wouldn't put then in their stack because they couldn't scan them with
Norton Anti Wirus ??????HAHA what can I say...never kick a gift hourse
in the mouth.


So your library wouldn't accept it because they couldn't scan them?
That's lame.
I really like this idea, I'm going to do the same thing, thanks for
bringing it up.



                    Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting
               Media analysis, critiques and news reports

ACTION ALERT: Nader Left Out of Media Websites

June 22, 2000

According to recent political polls, the Green Party's Ralph Nader is now
the leading third party candidate for president. But you wouldn't know it
from looking at online news media websites.

In a Gallup poll released June 9, for example, Ralph Nader ranked third
among possible presidential candidates, with 6 percent, vs. 2 percent for
Buchanan; Nader edged ahead of Buchanan 4 percent to 2 percent in a May 31
Zogby Reuters poll, and led 5 percent to 4 percent in an April 29
Hart/Teeter survey. Buchanan has been included in most lists of candidates
available on most major news websites. Information about Nader, however, has
been strangely absent.

On the joint New York Times/ABC News site "Political Points," the candidates
listed under "Elections" are George W. Bush, Al Gore, Patrick Buchanan and
Alan Keyes (who is still contesting the Republican nomination despite Bush
having an insurmountable majority of committed delegates). Though the Green
Party is listed under "Parties and Persuasions,"  Nader is absent from the
list of possible candidates.'s "Campaign 2000" site lists only Gore, Bush and Buchanan as
candidates in its "Correspondent's Handbook," which is meant to be a
"political consumer's guide" for journalists covering the elections. Though
Nader is listed in the site's "Candidate Schedules" section, he is excluded
from the more substantive "Where They Stand" and "Follow the Dollar" pages,
while Buchanan is included.'s "White House hopefuls," like's "Decision 2000" candidate
profiles, features Buchanan, Bush, Gore and Keyes-- but not Nader.
only offers profiles of Bush and Gore.

Two news sites that do include Nader in their lists of candidates are and (The Fox site also mentions Libertarian
candidate Harry Browne.)

ACTION: Please contact the following websites and let them know that Ralph
Nader, the leading third party candidate, deserves to be included in their
lists of candidates. As always, please remember that your comments are taken
more seriously if you maintain a polite tone. Please cc fair[at] with
your correspondence.

New York Times: mailto:navigate[at]
MSNBC: mailto:world[at]
CBS: mailto:webmail[at]
Time: mailto:webletters[at]


Feel free to respond to FAIR ( fair[at] ). We can't reply to
everything, but we will look at each message. We especially appreciate
documented example of media bias or censorship. All messages to the
'FAIR-L' list will be forwarded to the editor of the list.

Also, please send copies of email correspondence, including any
responses, to us at: fair[at] .

Feel free to spread this message around. Put it on conferences
where it is appropriate. We depend on word of mouth to get our message
out, so please let others know about FAIR and this mailing list.

Don't miss a single e-mail from FAIR-L.

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The subscriber list is kept confidential, so no need to worry about

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You will receive FAIR's magazine, EXTRA! and its newsletter, EXTRA!
Update. You can become a member by calling 1-800-847-3993 from 9 to
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                    FAIR/EXTRA! Subscription Service
                              P.O. Box 170
                         Congers, NY 10920-9930

                             (212) 633-6700
                          E-mail: fair[at]

list administrators: FAIR-L-request[at]


12. The Nation's Election 2000 resources


13. Recent book about French National Library

From: "Eric Fenster" <efenster[at]>
Organization: Moscow Study Trips
To: "Moscow study trips"<efenster[at]>
Date: Wed, 21 Jun 2000 15:30:11 +0200
Subject: Recent book about French National Library

I've written here in the past about the problems in design and
function of the new French National Library.

Followers of this tragi-comedy might be interested in a recent

Jean-Marc Mandosio
L'Effondrement de la Très Grande Bibliothèque Nationale de
France: Ses cause, ses conséquences
Paris 1999
Editions de l'Encyclopédie des Nuisances
74, rue de Ménilmontant
75020 Paris France
75 FF (about US$11)
Eric Fenster efenster[at] [sic] [sic]
Next Moscow Study Trip(s) in 2001
Web site has FAQs, trip details, anecdotal accounts, sample schedules,
photos, more ...

14. GEO - Grassroots Economic Organizing Newsletter

"Mission: GEO provides news and a bi-monthly forum on grassroots organizing
to build and finance worker-owned, democratically run, community based,
ecologically sustainable enterprises.  GEO promotes networking to encourage
the growth of a self-conscious movement for economic democracy."

Issue #36 (March/April 1999) contains articles on education for cooperative
ownership and grassroots economic activism at the college level, in both
traditional and alternative settings.  It also has book reviewsa bibliography,
a calendar, and brief news items.  It appears extremely useful for anyone
interested in community based economic activity, and would be a good addition
to a library collection supporting sustainable development.

ISSN: 1071-0590

Web page:

Mailing address:

RR 1 Box 124A
Stillwater, PA  17878

Subscriptions are $40 per year for libraries, $20 per year for individuals.


15. Thomas Hennen and Mary Ann Meyers on Questia

Date: Mon, 19 Jun 2000 18:41:35 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Thomas J. Hennen Jr." <thennen[at]>
To: publib <publib[at]>
Subject: The questia question

First now questia.  E-texts in abbundance to provide new
challenges to public libraries.

Questia is building an online service to provide access to the full text of
hundreds of thousands of books, journals and periodicals, as well as tools
to easily use this information.  Their primary market appears to be liberal
arts undergraduates that prefer the net to the physical library and have
amounts of money to burn.  As an after thought, they may market to
libraries, both public and academic.

Questia is slated for opening in 2001.  Questia expects to have 50,000
volumes digitized in early 2001 and is projected to have over 250,000 within
three years.  According to them, thatís greater than the number of volumes
in over 80 percent of all academic libraries in the United States.

The Questia interface will allow students to search, access and interact
with thousands of important books and journals from anywhere: from home,
from the computer lab or anywhere else they connect to the Internet. The
Questia service will have, they say the most valued volumes in the liberal
arts from the 20th and 21st centuries (not including textbooks).

Anyone will be able to search Questia at no cost to locate books and
journals. But to experience the ease and convenience of online viewing of
full text and the unique research tools of the Questia service, users will
need to subscribe.  The collection will be searchable by a word, phrase or

Questia says it will allow simultaneous access by an unlimited number of
people to a given book at any given time.  It will also allow the ability to
view, copy and paste text from any page of any book.  It will also have
tools that allow you to compose and save papers online.

The Questia search function, they add, is to be offered to all at no charge.
It will allow librarians or professors to find the exact volumes and pages
that can answer a studentís question. Because the research process is more
efficient and less cumbersome.

Are we in libraries ready for this new century?  I still think the
challenges make it a great time to be a librarian!


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

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

Dear datcalm,

Thanks for the current awareness on yet another commercial website
dedicated to the "marketplace" of ideas. I just checked out questia.
They say they don't expect to replace bricks-and-mortar libraries; but
many of the press accounts listed on their website mention them as a
"virtual library," and they describe themselves in some of their web
content as a "library."

They have a (one, as far as I could tell) "professional librarian" on
staff who has 25 years experience in "managing collections." Questia
does not talk about her degree(s), if any, or of what her experience
consisted, or where she has managed collections, or if she will have a
role in evaluating and selecting texts for inclusion. Questia
mentions its several memberships with various library associations, but
does not state whether some texts will be filtered out for political,
religious, philosophical, etc. reasons. Will the library profession's
code of ethics hold sway over this commercial venture? Rather doubtful.

Included texts will be chosen by some vague committee of folks and
various "advisory" groups. The narrative style on this site is warm,
cozy, and very fuzzy. It looks like a really great way to make some big
bucks for people who can co-opt the public library and market it. And
just think, they see themselves as a great resource for librarians who
can locate citations to full-text online for their "customers"--oops!
patrons, that is. What a great idea! Get the librarians to "turn-on"
students and other patrons to an online resource they can use at home
and obviate the need to go to a library and diminish even further any
perceived need for professional librarianship in either
bricks-and-mortar or virtual libraries.

Yeah, it's a great idea, but I don't feel reassured by their sweet
rhetoric. Online research is here. More is inevitable--and more will
be tied to e-commerce. Can we guess what their core values are?

Professional skeptic,
Mary Ann Meyers

16. A Broken System: Error Rates in Capital Cases, 1973-1995 [.pdf]

Released on June 12 by the Columbia University Justice Project, the
"Liebman Study" is a groundbreaking report that examines every
capital conviction and appeal between 1973 and 1995 (nearly 5,500
judicial decisions). It finds that in this 23-year period 68 percent
of death penalty verdicts were thrown out when appealed. In other
words, serious, reversible errors were found in nearly seven out of
ten capital cases reviewed in this period. The majority of these
cases were overturned not on technicalities, but for clearly
preventable errors, the most prominent of which were "egregiously
incompetent" defense lawyers, prosecutorial misconduct, and faulty
instructions to jurors. Combined, these "constitute 76% of all error
in capital punishment proceedings." The full text of the report is
available online in HTML format, accompanied by state/national
capital punishment report cards in .pdf format. Note that all of the
appendices to the report are not yet available online, but the
Justice Project plans to make them available in the near future. [MD]

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

17., creator of SearchEdu, SearchGov, and SearchMil (see the
January 28, 2000 _Scout Report_), also offers SearcheBooks, a search
engine that indexes the full text of "thousands" of online books.
Like its siblings, SearcheBooks offers a simple keyword search
interface and caches the versions of pages that its robots find.
Unlike them, however, SearcheBooks returns two URLs for each hit, one
for the provider's page, and one for the full text of the book. While
the search engine can be used to find particular references within
the books indexed, it is probably best used to search for the books
themselves, for personal or pedagogical use, via author, title, or
subject. [MD]

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

18. Findlaw Forms [.pdf]

Findlaw (last discussed in the June 9, 2000 _Scout Report_) has
recently launched an extremely useful free site that offers almost
8,000 state and federal court forms in .pdf format. The forms,
logically enough, are grouped into federal and state sections, the
first divided by circuits, the second by state (not all states were
available at time of review). Users who do not know their circuit
court number can select it from a map. Available forms vary by
circuit or state, but most include Bankruptcy, Civil, Criminal,
Family, and Probate Courts. Others also offer forms for Small Claims,
Worker's Compensation, Juvenile, and other Courts. Related resources
and a legal dictionary are also provided. An excellent resource,
although users should certainly read the Notice posted at the bottom
of the page regarding "local rules" before filing any forms. [MD]

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

19. Reference Questions (poem)

Paul comes back from the dead.
They buzz me out to the Circulation Desk;
"Are you happy?" he says,
and I cannot stop laughing
and I am in his arms, his arms, his living arms...
I hear my mother, behind me, saying,
"I knew she could be happy..."


She visits me at the Reference Desk,
the woman wiht the sweetest perfume.
She wants a map of Africa, particularly
one that shows the rivers.
After she is gone, bearing her opened Atlas of the World
with Geographical Features, toward the Xerox machine,
taking the rivers, but not the perfume, not all of it,
I stand there by the atlas case in a flower-field--
all the flowers nodding, nodding, nodding,
still sway where she has just passed through them,
the woman with sweetest perfume-
while the water-sleeked hippopotami are frolicking, frolicking,
borne up and splashing, shining; water sheets off them as they rise,
making a joyful horrendous noise, under the African sun.


Can I read her some prices
over the phone? and if so
what does this year's Jeep cost,
fully loaded? the four door, not the two.
When I ask her how many miles,
she tells me 27 thousand--
deduct $2,250,
I tell her--as she says, laughing,
how do you suppose they got that many miles on it
in such a short time?


He is searching for Bobby Fischer,
even though
he can hardly see any more
(so he wants me to read it to him.)
He remembers about twenty years ago
Bobby was arrested in Los Angeles
he can't remember the reason
and he wants to read about that
(to have me read it to him, really)
but all the books on Bobby F. are utterly
about chess
and the last one, alittle more promising,
has no index
in which I might have looked up
Los Angeles, police dpartment, arrested,
if not twenty years ago.
So I skim through the big chess matches, game by game,
until I find him, Bobby Fischer, on the outskirts of Pasadena
wandering alone, talking to himself,
no money in his pockets.
They took him in as a vagrant
and held him for a while at the police station
until they found out he was
Bobby Fischer, whereupon,
shaking their heads, I can see it!
they let him go.
There is only one paragraph
and it doesn't tell much--how he
looked, what he wore, did he smell?--
but the reading of it satisfies, somehow,
it is sufficient; he nods, and smiles, and turns away.


She needs some information,
not very much, just an encyclopedia or something,
about the Bahamas, where are they?
And what time zone are they in?
In the World Almanac, indexed under time zones,
is a map of the world about four inches across,
with the time zones shown in parallel bands of pastel color.
Starting from Florida, you can just make out Cuba and so the Bahamas
would be just about there, four hours later than where we are standing-
looking at a tiny, imprecise map of the world.

     A gift to Brenda, who thinks the library might be poetry.

                  - June Hopper Hymas

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