Library Juice 3:28 - July 26, 2000


1. ALA Conference 2000: A Review in Haiku
2. Mick Foley Delivers the ALA Smackdown
3. Fun with Dr. Laura
4. The Librarians of Penzance
5. Gay, Lesbian & Bisexual Book Lists
6. Fat Librarians discussion list
7. Informacion y Educacion: Agentes Para el Desarrollo de la Humanidad
8. Chronicle of Higher Ed. on Summer issue of Dissent
9. Discussion of new Nicholson Baker article in the New Yorker
10. Introducing PLG to a new librarian
11. Union Songs
12. Digital Librarian: A Librarian's Choice of the Best of the Web
13. Gernot Katzer's Spice Pages

Quote for the week:

"Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness"
-Chinese proverb

Home page of the week: Karen Janowsky


1. ALA Conference 2000: A Review in Haiku

from The Laughing Librarian


2. Mick Foley Delivers the ALA Smackdown

By Teri Weesner, Library Juice Youth Services Editor

After two programs in a row on Sunday morning (Teen Voices and
Librarians & Teens Wrestle With the Internet) at the ALA Conference I
was handed a ticket for lunch in the room next door with Mick Foley.
I'm bleary, I'm hungry, I don't know who Mick Foley is, but if
there's free food in close proximity... at this point, I am all for
it.  A buffet line for pizza, salad, soda and cookie -- okay.  Many
hungry librarians sit with their cardboard trays on their laps,
eating, talking and looking at the stage which has a small round
table with a table cloth and lit candles.  Here comes Patrick Jones,
I know him, I have been running into him since Friday's preconference
on Gay Teens in the 21st Century. And before the conference was over,
I would see more of him and his genius revealed. Read more about the
man one of my coworkers called, "a Mental Babe!" on his web site
<>.  Patrick Jones is the Youth Services
Coordinator for the Houston PL System and the author of "Connecting
Young Adults and Libraries: A How To Do It Manual" and "What's So
Scary about R.L. Stine?" as well as tons of articles. Patrick starts
talking about his life-long love of... learning?  No, reading?  No,
libraries?  No... Wrestling. It hits me: the READ poster on the wall
with the three wrestlers on it (my library ended up with a poster of
an animal intstead, because the Friends took WWF to mean World
Wildlife Fund) - Mick Foley is a wrestler - he is one of the
wrestlers on the READ poster - his wrestling name is MANKIND and we
are going to hear him interviewed by Patrick Jones while we eat
pizza! The following interview questions are taken from Patrick
Jones' web site. You can read Patrick's intro as well as see some
nice photos (one with me and Mick!) by following the links "News" and
then "My Lunch with Mick" on his site.  Mick gives a lot of this
information in the introduction to his book, "Mankind: Have a Nice
Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweat Socks."  The quotes are from my
memory, but he really did say this stuff!

1. "Mick Foley, you have taken on a lot of tough opponents in your
day, but tell me, have you found any tougher than book reviewers?"

Although his book made the New York Times best seller list, it was
never reviewed. When he asked his publisher about this, he was
informed that books do not have to be reviewed and publications only
print a review of a book if they want to.  Mick is disenchanted.

2. "Unlike lots of other sports entertainers, you actually wrote your
own book, longhand no less.  Why was that?"

Mick's disenchantment with the publishing industry did not begin with
his book being ignored by reviewers.  Oh, no: it began with his
experience with a ghost writer. "You mean all those sports figure's
autobiographies I read and loved as a kid were not actually written
by them?"  The ghost writer Mick's publisher set him up with had
written many a sports figure autobio. In fact, he wrote one about
Willy Mays. "Wow," said Mick, "How did you do that?"  "Well", said
the ghost writer, "I talked to him for about a half an hour."
Ouch.  Mick reluctantly agreed to the process. He saw a first chapter
draft from the ghost, which reverberated with the very inauthentic
voice of what the world would think (as he had about his sports
heroes) was the real deal. This was when Mick came to the conclusion
that "the publishing industry was even faker than professional
wrestling!"  He told them, "Thanks, but, I'll write my own
autobiography."  With no keyboarding skills, Mick was left with the
option of writing it by hand.  And write he did, in a seven-week
period including one marathon eighteen hour day.

3. "You're a huge star on television and recently in the movie Beyond
the Mat. Tell us why you came here to the American  Library
Association conference?"

Mick explained to us that his time is money and some pay nicely for
it. However, he did not accept any money to be there that day.  He
was there because he believes in reading and libraries and he loves
librarians! (Wow! Look who we've got in our corner! Maybe he'll kick
some ass for us on the senate and congressional floor! Can you see
him in a cage with Karen Jo Gounaud?)

4. "In your long career, tell me, what do you feel are your greatest

"Father; writer; and wrestler; in that order."

5. "Why do you do it?   You've been thrown off the top of 20 foot
cage through a table, pile driven onto thumbtacks, hit in the head
with a steel chair, and that was in a single match.  Why, Mick, Why??"

Contrary to what many believe, wrestling is, to a great extent, very
real. The back cover of Mick's book highlights his injuries over the
years. Very few, if any, professional athletes would continue a game
after sustaining the types of injuries Mick has finished matches
with. But I still don't think I understand the why of it. Listening
to Mick and reading his autobiography (of which all in attendance
received a copy -- Thank You, HarperCollins!)  I think it has to do
with his passion for wrestling and his own sense of personal
integrity as a wrestler.

6. "You've been a "good guy" and a "bad guy" in your wrestling
career.  A lot of folks out in the audience today might see all
wrestlers as bad guys and don't think you should be featured in the
ALA Read posters.  To those critics, to those doubters, what do you
have to say?"

"Kids who have never read a book they were not assigned in school,
read my book. Adults who have not read a book in ten years, read my
book. This means more to me than all my years of wrestling."  Mick
has developed such a love for writing and inspiring reading, that he
continues to write.  He shared a bit of a hilarious Christmas book
for children that he is working on.

I was greatly impressed by Mick Foley. I bought two READ posters and
had him specifically address them to the kids at the two libraries I
work in, who ask for wrestling magazines and books and log on to
wrestling sites. They are as impressed as I was. Thanks MANKIND and
Patrick Jones!

3. Fun with Dr. Laura

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 25 Jul 2000 09:10:11 -0700 (PDT)
From: Phineas Narco <pnarco[at]>
Subject: New Dr. Laura single out

To Whom it May Concern:

This is to let you know we have an audio collage available
called 'Dr. Laura's Rap' which is a parody of and
commentary on The Dr. Laura show. We've tried to capture
our impression of The Dr. Laura show with 'Dr. Laura's
Rap'.  I have submitted it to WWW.MP3.COM but they are
afraid they will be sued if they feature it publicly on
their site. It is now in their holding tank. I contend that
it is legal under the terms of FAIR USE in the U.S.
copyright code: that is, it uses samples from her show as a
means of commentary on the show.  I let you be the judge.
Feel free to use it or the news of it in any way you see

The single can be downloaded at

Let us know if you need a cd or tape copy.

-=-Phineas Narco and The National Cynical Network

It's all very complex. Or very simple. Or perhaps both. Or neither.

4. The Librarians of Penzance

an operatic extravaganza, in PowerPoint

by Karen Janowsky

5. Gay, Lesbian & Bisexual Book Lists

Compiled by Sarah Struble

6. Fat Librarians discussion list

Date: Thu, 20 Jul 2000 20:50:43 -0400 (EDT)
From: Katia Roberto <kroberto[at]>
To: SRRT Action Council <srrtac-l[at]>
Subject: [SRRTAC-L:4987] new listserv for fat librarians.

In a fit of crankiness, I decided that the world needs such a thing.

Here's the description I wrote for it:

This is supposed to serve as a forum for fat library workers (past and
present) to talk about size acceptance & how it plays out (or DOESN'T play
out) in libraries. Acceptable topics include fat-positive resources (what
they are, how to get them into libraries, etc.), coworker interactions, so
on and so forth. Unacceptable topics include size-bashing and diet tips.
Mutual respect is expected at all times. Non-fat members can join so long
as they're cool. Queer-positive.

If you're interested, please email fatlibrarians-subscribe[at] or
contact me for more info.


Katia Roberto, Monographic Cataloger   (518) 442-3629
University at Albany                   kroberto[at]
1400 Washington Ave, UL B-35A
Albany, NY 12222

7. Informacion y Educacion: Agentes Para el Desarrollo de la Humanidad

Date:         Mon, 24 Jul 2000 07:15:50 -0400
From: IFLA LISTS <iflalists[at]>


Los invitamos a participar en este Congreso organizado por la Universidad
Autónoma de San Luis Potosí, en coordinación con la Asociación Mexicana de
Bibliotecarios, A.C. (AMBAC)

Donde se trataran los más recientes aspectos, avances y perspectivas de
desarrollo en cuanto a la generación, transmisión y uso de la información
documental en el mundo, de manera que permita una revisión retrospectiva y
una visión prospectiva en el arribo del nuevo milenio, para reconocer,
analizar, reflexionar y proponer acciones sobre su impacto en el desarrollo
de la humanidad.

Este evento se celebrará en la Ciudad de San Luis Potosí, S.L.P., del 13 al
15 de septiembre del presente año, por lo que esperamos contar con su
valiosa participación.

A las personas que se inscriban en la página Web se le hará un 10% de

Visite nuestra  página o bien para mayores
informes dirigirse al e-mail: infoedu2000[at]

A t e n t a m e n t e


8. Chronicle of Higher Ed. on Summer issue of Dissent

A glance at the summer issue of "Dissent":
Reviewing the new books about books

In "Goodbye to All That?: Elegies for the Book," Steven J.
Zipperstein, a Stanford University professor of Jewish culture
and history, writes about books on books -- and their sometimes
melancholy authors. These books are no longer focused on the
pleasure of the page; rather, they dwell on something darker --
whether books "will retain in the near future, and in the wake
of the cultural changes in technology all around us, little more
than a cult-like, minuscule following." "What sets them apart
from other, earlier books on books is an internal tension
between lyrical evocation of the pleasure of book reading,
collecting, even handling, and a keen uneasiness about the
future of those very pleasures," Mr. Zipperstein writes. "The
fundamental question underlying them is, quite simply, whether
books -- like, say, fountain pens or manual typewriters -- are
now, or will soon be, the province of the picturesque, remnants
of a slower, bygone age." Mr. Zipperstein whisks through the
spectrum of such writings, commenting on authors from Anna
Quindlen to Anne Fadiman to Lynne Sharon Schwartz. The works
range from brighter views of the future to dismal pessimism.
Sven Birkerts, for example, says that the leisurely perusal of
books is more and more often an "elegiac exercise." "Once this
is undermined, our spiritual values, even subjectivity, might
well disappear." He already sees some of that in his college
classroom where students can't read Henry James." James is
beyond the reach of Mr. Birkerts's students not because of the
difficulty of his language, but rather because the students have
no knowledge of the indirect. "Their electronically
circumscribed world completely denies them these experiences,"
Mr. Zipperstein writes. He contrasts Mr. Birkerts's view with
that of Henry Petroski, whose "universe is one where technology
seeks to respond sensibly -- and with, perhaps, an uncanny,
unlikely, smoothness -- to human needs; Birkerts' [view] is one
where technology threatens to supplant them, to remake human
needs into something fundamentally inhumane." Nevertheless, hope
is not lost; Mr. Zipperstein cites Harry Potter and Oprah's Book
Club among the recent signs that the love of books will survive.
The article is not available online, but information about the
journal can be found on its Web site, at

9. Discussion of new Nicholson Baker article in the New Yorker

Messages taken from ALA Council List and ALA Member Forum.

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From Mark Rosenzweig:

Dear friends,

As some of you already must know and others will have heard soon enough,
there is a scathing, disturbing article by Nicholson Baker in the current
New Yorker (7/24/2000, p 48-) about the dereliction of responsibilities by
the library profession with respect to the preservation of the complete
historic record and our stewardship of the human birthright of ideas and
their embodiments, in their original formats, to the best of our ability.

Entitled "Deadline" it regards the literal "trashing of America's
newspapers" by the libraries of record, including the British Library, the
Library of Congress,  the NYPL Research Library, other major research
institutions as well as local, regional and state libraries of all kinds.

He shows how, beginning in 1950, with the wild enthusiasm for microfilm,
embraced zealously by the management of the Library of Congress, and
proceeding to spread everywhere at an ever faster pace (now fueled by the
added enthusiasm about how everything is going to be scanned and available
on the Web), that the actual physical newspapers of the post-1870 period,
in all their colorfulness, unique artifactual significance,impact,
browsability etc.  have been systematically trashed, destroyed in
reproduction, discarded or sold off, and replaced, regardless of the actual
physical condition of the bound runs, with microfilm or microfiche and with
no complete paper back-up ANYWHERE.

The idea was that the post 1870's newspapers were "deteriorating' (what
isn't?) but hisinvestigation shows that the major considerations have had
to do with space saving and that perfectly fine,bound sets of our most
important newspapers,in reasonable states of preservation and with a
shelf-life, under properconditions, which in many cases would rival most
books, all have had
substited for them copies on reels of low-resolution, sometimes illegible,
monochrome, and also physically/chemically unstable microfilm (which is
browsable only by people with nerves of steel). Incomplete, unreadable,
microfilm runs have replaced complete sets of the real thing.The real
things are being destroyed, wholesale.

The article in the New Yorker's current issue is another indictment by
admitted library-lover/muckraker, novelist/journalist Nicholson Baker, of
our profession's concern for the "bottom line", the giving of the
appearance of with-it-ness, and of savvy kowtowing to political/economic
expediency, over and against the professional responsibility to resist the
destructive forces which threaten to create gaps and blurs in the human
record,trends which are the results of unquestioning acceptance of
corporate influences,of the increasing monopolization of ownership of
information resources, and the irresitableness of "virtualization" of
public space and of artifactual authenticity.

His other forays into this arena were his work about the implications of
the destruction of our card catalogs,and his exposes of the SFPL's large
scale, irresponsible "weeding" of books in order to fit into their new
accomodations which seemed to have more important purposes than housing the
printed collection.

It is embarassing and depressing that a non-librarian has called on the
conscience of the library world, in work aimed at a level at which our most
central functions and beliefs are concerned, and we have never risen, as a
profession or an association, to the challenges he has previously posed,
except with the spokespeople for instituions crafting of bureaucratic
excuses and management-styled rationalizations.We have never engaged this
extraordinary man and what he represents.  This time once again he is
saying "stem the tide" before it's too late. See if you don't think, as I
do, that we have a need to examine how, in light of his call, we  can and
must  review, rethink and renew our commitment to what librarianship is all

I cannot summarize the richness of Baker's argument or capture the pathos
of his desperate account as he tries,almost singlehabdledly, and at great
personal effort and expense, to "save" the few surving intact copies of
major newspapers through efforts of his own to acquire them before they are
sold to dealers who cut them up for re-sale as birthday knicknacks, etc.

ALA Councilors must read it for themselves. The "Heads" must read it and
think of something other than clever justifications for disatrous policies.
Baker must be engaged, openly, honestly, constructively and the
implications of his story, "Dealine" must be thought through. I urge us
all to take it seriously, especially as he has exposed to public scrutiny,
in brilliant  prose and in a major,widely-read journal of high repute, and,
what's more,as an advocate - a friend - of libraries,  a seamy side of our
profession's behavior which is more undermining of the public image of
librarianship and of its necessity than all the negative efforts Family
Friendly Libraries and local book challengers.

Mark C. Rosenzweig
ALA Councilor at large
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Date: Mon, 24 Jul 2000 09:03:47 -0400
From: Peter Graham <psgraham[at]>
Organization: Syracuse University Library
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>
Subject: [ALACOUN:4931] Re: CORRECTED: (please replace previous versi

I'm sorry that MR jumps to the conclusion that Nicholson Baker is
correct in indicting librarianship.  As for myself, I draw two
conclusions so far:

1.  Nicholson Baker has the right problem and the wrong enemy.
Libraries are hit be constraints in many ways, and society's
continuing unwillingness to expend resources on preserving its own
history are the root problem.  We then end up finding unsatisfactory
conclusions.  They are often the best that can be done with the
knowledge and standards available at the time.

2.  Librarians can't answer Baker.  He's too good, and we will look
too defensive. It would be most helpful if we could find someone of
similar stature or better -- a literary person, or a historian -- who
would write similarly well about what should really be done. Our
answers will look like whining mosquitoes.  We should provide some
formal answers but be under no illusion that they are responses on
his scale.

Peter Graham    Syracuse University Library    psgraham[at]
Syracuse NY 13244-2010 315/443-5530 fax 315/443-2060  4/00nw4.7
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Date: Mon, 24 Jul 2000 10:51:14 -0400
To: SRRT Action Council <srrtac-l[at]>
From: Mark Rosenzweig <iskra[at]>
Subject: [SRRTAC-L:4998] Re: [ALACOUN:4930] Re: CORRECTED: (please
replace previous versi


Peter Graham assumes I've jumped to the conclusion Baker is correct
in his assessment. He, on the other hand, assumes not only that Baker
is wrong (or doesn't understand the problem) but that, if we are to
engage at all, "our side" has to find someone of stature (not a mere
librarian or collection thereof!) to put in the ring who would
present the "real" solution (i.e. one that shows that we've been
basically right, given the so-called constraints).

I understand Peter Graham's trepidation at publicly engaging an
argument by someone as well-informed, passionate, and skilled in the
persuasive arts as Mr. Baker.

The research and documentation for Baker's New Yorker article
"Deadline" is formidable, the historical and technical knowledge he
acquired and aplied extraordinarily impressive, the variety of people
interviewed and entreated far-ranging and exhaustive, and the actual
work he did in actually trying to prevent the disaster he describes
from unfolding before his eyes (but behind the backs of the scholarly
community,the general public, and even the cast majority of
librarians) is an awesome example of citizen concern about libraries
and the heritage they are meant to protect. Baker, however, is not
out to "get us". I believe he would welcome  acknowledgement  and the
cooperation of the ALA in investigating and, above all, helping in
solving the problem he has identified.

The issues which he raises must, in my opinion, be formally
addressed, and I believe it should be done at an Association level.

First, his article and concerns should be officially noted by the
President and the Executive Director.

In that  response, perhaps, the intention of the Executive Board to
convene a high-level committee should be announced, a committee which
would be charged to examine the nature of the problem, take
depositions from Baker and some of his supporters (like Thomas
Tanselle (vice-president of the Guggenheim Foundation and pre-eminent
blbliographer) and William Hart (chair of the National Trust for
Historic Preservation)), and consider  the implications of Baker
having to personally  form his own American Newspaper Repository to
deal with a national library issue as best he could. The committee
would report to Council with its assessment and recommendations.

Remember, this is now a very public issue. We can ride it out,
irresponsibly. We can offer bureaucratic justifications for the
policies the hidden effects of which he has brought to light. Or we
can offer our fullest cooperation in dealing with the problem in a
systematic, planned and collaborative way, a way which represents the
best of the professional ethos of American librarianship.

Mark Rosenzweig
ALA Councilor at large

At 8:39 AM -0400 07/24/2000, jcummins wrote:
>      Thanks Mark, for bringing this article to our attention. Nicholson
>      Baker's name commands a lot of attention and his writings have an
>      impact.
>      In your call for a response, what do you suggest that ALA as a whole,
>      or Council do specifically -- to whom and what form?
>      Julie Cummins
>      The New York Public Library
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At 8:19 AM -0500 07/24/2000, James B. Casey wrote:
Councilor Rosenzweig and Nicholson Baker may view the
microfilming and eventual digitizing of  old newspapers as
"trashing" of a precious resource, but those of us who have
been involved rather intimately with the microfilming projects
of the past 25 years may see things differently.

Newspapers published from about the 1860s to present
are printed on "wood pulp" paper which turns yellow with
age and crumbles to the touch after 20 or 30 years.  Prior
to about 1860, rag content paper was used more prevalantly
and the older newspapers tend to be much more durable
and usable in their original form.  A researcher who goes
through an original newspaper from the 1920s (say), even
in bound form, would likely end up by destroying the
newspaper just by paging through it.  Scholars, archivists,
manuscript curators, and historical society librarians
(such as I was at Western Reserve Historical Society
and Ohio Historical Society during 1977-84), have fought
desperately hard and with the help of National Endowment
for Humanities Grants to obtain custody of and to microfilm
old newspapers before they deteriorate all together and are
lost forever.   Better to have them on microform than not
to have access to the information at all.  Even as a public
librarian, I hunted down and gained permission to film
unique runs of small town papers from my community so
that they would be preserved and not "lost in a fire" or
via neglect.   The filming process invariably meant
breaking the bindings and caused some damage to the
usability of the originals since getting a good microfilm
exposure required that the papers lie flat, but afterwards
the papers were wrapped up in acid free paper and
stored away.

It is true that microforms and digitization resolve
space problems, but they also address preservation
issues.  We digitized our collection of Oak Lawn
photographs and have stored away the originals.
Not only can anyone access this collection over
the WWW via our website, but the original photos
are preserved from damage caused by repeated
handling and the images are far more widely
accessible than ever before. --- If that isn't the
essense of good librarianship, what is?

Site for historical photographs digitized:

James B. Casey -- My own views as a public librarian

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Date: Mon, 24 Jul 2000 09:58:58 -0400
To: SRRT Action Council <srrtac-l[at]>
From: Mark Rosenzweig <iskra[at]>
Subject: [SRRTAC-L:4997] Re: [ALACOUN:4925] A disturbing light cast on
librarianship's "core" responsibilities


Read the article. Of course it addresses and  very critically  and
intelligently analyzes in a larger context all these arguments laid
out in your second paragraph. Indeed that's the gist of the article.
The fact that you at Oak Lawn in your project "stored away the
originals" represents a  more responsible program than the ones he
describes at large research institutions and national libraries. I
think you will find his research disturbing and at odds with your
notion of stewardship.

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It is true that we wrapped up old, deteriorating newspapers and
put them in storage following the microfilming process, but keep
in mind that those old newspapers will continue to disintegrate
despite our best efforts at storage and even de-acidification.
Their eventual disappearance as usable resources is inevitable.
The "bottom line" for us wasn't saving the storage space, but
saving the information and the images of those precious
newspapers for future generations.

Is it better to read the original newspapers than to see the
microform or digitized image?  Of course, it is!  But that
isn't a viable option over the long term.  Nor is it always
convenient or possible for scholars who live thousands of
miles away to read obscure, radical Chicago newspapers
of the early 1900s in their original, paper form.   Should
only those who are fortunate or rich enough to come to
Chicago be able to read them?

There will always be constraints of space and money which
must be addressed, whether we like it or not.  But the most
important and devastating constraint of all is the insufficiency
of TIME.  Not all the money in the world can prevent us or
those things that we value (like old newspapers) from growing
old and disappearing.  How do we save the essense of what
is best and carry it on to future generations?

James B. Casey -- My own views as a public librarian.
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Date: Mon, 24 Jul 2000 12:17:30 -0400
To: "James B. Casey" <jimcasey[at]>, member-forum[at]
From: Mark Rosenzweig <iskra[at]>
Subject: [MEMBER-FORUM:1795] Re: Constraints will always be with us.


There's really no point in arguing with ME about this. The article by
Baker is one which challenges so many of the assumptions most of us
have held in this area (and many of which are embedded in your
responses).  It's all about "constraints".

I can't - and needn't - present the whole story as Baker has done.
Suffice it to say it is MUST reading for all librarians, and, as many
of us will recognize (perhaps even you!) it requires a rethinking of
many things.

Let me just point out that Baker is a t pains to say he is NOT
against microfilming, by any means. He is against the way that the
imlementation of  microfilming projects and the policies and
practices underlying them have  left gaps and  blotches in the
historic record, degraded information quality when it was
unnecessary, led to wholesale destruction of original materials which
were in useable condition  where there often was no other original
copy institutionally available.

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Date: Tue, 25 Jul 2000 13:37:50 -0500 (EST)
From: ANN SNOEYENBOS <snoeyena[at]>
Subject: [ALACOUN:4956] Re: Rebutting Baker
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>
Organization: NYU Libraries

While I find all this back and forth vaguely interesting I must say
that I agree wholeheartedly with Nicholson Baker's article as I did
with his article about the SFPL. 

I suspect I am not alone in agreeing with him, and I think it would
be inappropriate for Council, and/or the Association to make a group
statement about something that really comes down to varying personal
philosophies of librarianship and curation of the world's knowledge. 

Issues such as these are multi-faceted and it would be patently
untrue for any body or subset of this association to claim to
represent the profession or the Association as a whole.

Ann Snoeyenbos
On this I speak as an individual and do not claim to represent the
New Members Round Table.

Ann Snoeyenbos

10. Introducing PLG to a new librarian

Note to PLGnet-L from Kristine Kelleher:

>I am new to the library field and I joined your listserv to become more
>familiar with your organization because I share many of the same sentiments
>as your group.  As was stated in the Statement of Purpose, members of your
>organization oppose the "commodification of information" and the current
>neutrality stance taken by public libraries.  I'm interested to find out
>what are some of the steps that the organization and/or its members have
>taken to combat these trends.  Any input would be greatly appreciated.
>Thank you for your time.
..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..

Response from Mark Rosenzweig:

Thanks for your inquiry.

As an organization we publish a journal , provide speakers and
arrange public events/programs which take aspects of those very large
issues as subjects (like "commodification" and pseudo-neutrality) for
critical analysis and debate.

We are, also, active opponents in our institutions and communities of
privitization of public libraries and of public information
resources, outsourcing of key library functions,  commercialization
of library services, fees for service, and all economic, social,
regional, racial  barriers to access to information and to the
highest levels of information services. Some of our members are
involved in the community library movements which have set up
info-shops to provide alternative lnformation services where they're

We have been involved as an organization and individually in the
anti-WTO movement, opposing the WTO agenda's likely effects on public
libraries and on information provision generally: this has taken the
form of PLG contingents at demos and networking with anti-WTO
activists in the library community. Also PLGers were active in
getting the ALA to pass a resolution highly critical of the WTO.

We are active in support of the alternative press: several of our
members are involved in the Alternative Center, The Alternative Press
Index and the Alternatives-in-Print Task Force of ALA/SRRT.

We have advanced the principle (through petitions, demonstrations and
practice in our libraries themselves), with regards to neutrality,
that librarians have a professional obligation to actively engage
public issues and controversies, and that he ALA  as our principal
professional organization, needs to take positions on all
social,political, cultural and economic question which impact the
larger, global context in which librarianship operates.

These are just a few of the ways PLG helps combats the trends we
noted in our statement of purpose.

Mark Rosenzweig

11. Union Songs [QuickTime, RealPlayer]

Forgotten the words to "Joe Hill," "Look for the Union Label," or "Do
Re Mi?" Look no further than this site, created and maintained by
Mark Gregory, a Web Development Project Officer at Macquarie
University (Australia), which features the lyrics and many audio
clips of approximately 100 classic and more recent union songs.
Numerous lyrics pages also link to related sites. In addition, the
site offers some book and CD reviews, a Union Discography, a
bibliography, and song and union links. Joe Hill ain't never died.

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

12. Digital Librarian: A Librarian's Choice of the Best of the Web -

        An excellent directory of online resources, organized by
        topic, and maintained by a librarian. Although most of the
        many links are only briefly annotated, the "see" and "see
        also" references assist searchers. The simplicity of the
        page makes it load quickly, and this is a good starting
        place for new Web searchers and librarians alike. - ht

> From Librarians' Index to the Intenet -

13. Gernot Katzer's Spice Pages

        Detailed information on over one hundred spices including
        the history, chemical constituents, culinary use, and
        etymology of the plant names. There are several indices:
        alphabetic (a large file which may load slowly),
        geographic, morphologic (the part of the plant used in
        cookery), botanic, and Spice mixtures (e.g., five spice
        powder, Thai curry pastes). The site is also keyword
        searchable and is available in both German and English,
        with spice names in several other languages. Use the
        keyword search or the alphabetic index if you know only
        the foreign name of a spice. - mg

> From Librarians' Index to the Internet -

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