Library Juice 3:30 - August 9, 2000


1. Stupid Librarian Tricks
2. Library Journal article on XML in libraries
3. LISNews piece on the Gates Library Foundation
4. Slashdot article on Library Censorship
5. First Monday article on internet porn in the library
6. Mother Jones on Filtering
7. COPA Hearing Held August 3-4, 2000
8. Intolerant Librarian
9. Google Advanced Search
10. Berkeley Professor Builds an Ultra-Fast Web Portal for the Government
11. ALA Editions book available for free online
12. LC21: A Digital Strategy For the Library of Congress
13. Publishing Grant for Librarians
14. More on Nicholson Baker article
15. NY Times digital preservation article
16. Funding Status of GPO's Federal Depository Library Program
17. Exploding Dictionary
18. St. Lawrence the Librarian
19. Worst Analogies

Quote for the week:

"...My grandma always said that God made libraries so that people didn't
have any excuse to be stupid.  Close to everything a human being needed
to know was somewhere at the library."
- Jenna Boller, in Loan Bauer, _Rules of the Road_ (New York: G. Putnam, 1997)

Home page of the week: Lydia Ievins


1. Stupid Librarian Tricks

compiled by Erica Olsen

Little stories about clueless patrons, most funny, some sad.  Sometimes the
librarians telling the stories don't realize that they are rather clueless

2. Library Journal article on XML in libraries

"XML (eXtensible Markup Language) is fast gaining favor as the
universal format for data and document exchange -- in effect becoming
the lingua franca of the Information Age. Currently, "library
information" is at a particular disadvantage on the rapidly evolving
World Wide Web. Why? Despite libraries'explorations of web catalogs,
scanning projects, digital data repositories, and creation of web
pages galore, there remains a digital divide. The core of libraries'
data troves are stored in proprietary formats of integrated library
systems (ILS) and in the complex and arcane MARC formats -- both
restricted chiefly to the province of technical services and systems
librarians. Even they are hard-pressed to extract and integrate this
wealth of data with resources from outside this rarefied environment.
Segregation of library information underlies many difficulties:
producing standard bibliographic citations from MARC data,
automatically creating new materials lists (including new web
resources) on a particular topic, exchanging data with our vendors,
and even migrating from one ILS to another."

More of this longish, excellent article:


3. LISNews piece on the Gates Library Foundation

and some criticism it has been receiving of late:


4. Slashdot article on Library Censorship

Date: Sat, 5 Aug 2000 19:57:54 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Don Wood" <dwood[at]>
To: publib <publib[at]>
Subject: Checking Out Library Censorship

Jon Katz
Checking Out Library Censorship

"If you're looking for a political issue that will advance freedom,
support the growth and innovation of technology, support younger geeks
(and adults) who depend on libraries for access to the Net and Web,
and also strike a blow against the Luddites who dominate Congress and
media, there's a great cause for you: your local library needs some
help. Enlightened educators and librarians are seeking help in
blocking imminent federal legislation that would require the
installation of filtering software on all
school and library computers connected to the Net."


Don Wood
Program Officer/Communications
American Library Association
Office for Intellectual Freedom
50 East Huron Street
Chicago, IL 60611
800-545-2433, ext. 4225
Fax: 312-280-4227

5. First Monday article on internet porn in the library

CyberPorn: The Controversy

By Joyce H-S Li

"This article examines the conflict that cyberporn raises between the mission
of libraries, the rights of library patrons, and the law. In the first
part of this essay, the terms "pornography", "obscenity", and "child
pornography" are defined, followed by an exploration of the issues
surrounding the availability of cyberporn on public accessible computers
in libraries. The views of librarians on cyberporn are examined as
well as legal and feminist perspectives."

6. Mother Jones on Filtering

Date: Mon, 31 Jul 2000 11:35:00 -0400
To: SRRT Action Council <srrtac-l[at]>
From: Carol <radred[at]>
Subject: [SRRTAC-L:5037] Mother Jones on Filtering at Boston & San Diego PLs

As reported in the July/August 2000 issue of Mother Jones
(p.22) Boston Public Library's CyberPatrol filter blocks the ("most
telling") web sites of Mother Jones, Planned Parenthood, the MIT Student
Association for Freedom of Expression, and ("most embarrassing")
Creature's Comfort Pet Care Service.

San Diego PL's SurfWatch blocks ("most telling") the Official "Ally
McBeal" website, gun maker Remington, and the Official Pokemon
website, and ("most embarrassing") FILTERING FACTS. [I'd hazard
a guess that many right-eous citizens of SD - such as those who
conduct vigilante patrols on the border, are royally...annoyed by
the Remington block - if they are library users.]

The sins of Cybersitter and I-Gear, used in schools in RI and VA,
are also profiled in this brief article in chart form.

The magazine is on the newsstands now; it won't be available online
for a couple of months.

7. COPA Hearing Held August 3-4, 2000

The following testimonies can be found at

Testimony - By Judith F. Krug, director, American Library
Association/Office for Intellectual Freedom

Testimony - By Bennett Haselton, founder, Peacefire

Choosing to Avoid the Not-so-good Cyberstreets - By Nancy Willard,
director, Responsible Netizon

Legal Issues Related to the Use of Filtering Software in Schools - By
Nancy Willard, director, Responsible Netizon

District Internet Policy and Regulations - By Nancy Willard,
director, Responsible Netizon

Don Wood
Program Officer/Communications
American Library Association
Office for Intellectual Freedom

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

>>> "David Biek" <dbiek[at]> - 8/4/00 12:54 PM >>>
(also posted to ALA member forum)

This is a highly selective, and unrepresentative, group of testimonies.
Complete testimony from the three sets of hearings may be found at:

My own testimony was delivered on July 21.

David Biek
Manager, Main Library
Tacoma Public Library
1102 Tacoma Ave S
Tacoma, WA 98402

8. Intolerant Librarian

Date: Wed, 2 Aug 2000 16:39:34 -0700 (PDT)
From: Intolerant librarian <intlibrarian[at]>
Subject: more intolerance
To: (suppressed)

The new Intolerant Librarian is out.

We are now two writers strong.  Thats a 50% growth
from last time so invest now.  And if you've got
nothing better to do at the reference desk or
wherever, write an article and send it here.  

Thank you for your intolerance.

9. Google Advanced Search

For those who don't know, Google now has an "advanced search."

The first line has a word-or-phrase toggle; the second line if for
terms to exclude from the search; the third line is an include/
exclude toggle that applies to sites or top-level-domains; and the
last line lets you limit your search to one of twelve languages.

A second form on the advanced search page lets you find pages that
link to or are "similar" to a certain page.

There are also links to Google's specialized searches for Linux,
BSD, Apple/Macintosh, the US Government, and select universities.

I just used the "advanced search" to help a student who wanted to
find information on serial killers for a paper.  I limited her
search to the .edu top-level domain, and the results were pretty
good.  I wouldn't know how to do that in the standard, one-line
search box (though specifying words or phrases can be done there,
as can excluding terms).

I find it nice to have these options laid out in a multi-field form.
I will use Google's advanced search regularly.



10. Berkeley Professor Builds an Ultra-Fast Web Portal for the Government

by Florence Olsen for the Chronicle of Higher Education

A University of California computer-science professor has embarked on
a three-month project to build a database of all the federal
government's World Wide Web pages.

The new portal, called FirstGov, will be a gift to the government
from Eric A. Brewer, an associate professor of computer science at
the university's Berkeley campus. Mr. Brewer is also a co-founder and
chief technology officer of the Inktomi Corporation, in Foster City,

Government officials said Mr. Brewer first proposed the portal idea
to President Clinton when he met the president in late January. Last
month, in his first Webcast, President Clinton announced that
FirstGov would be "a single point of entry to one of the largest,
perhaps the most useful collections of Web pages in the entire




that---accessible to all!  ALA Editions, the publishing imprint of
the American Library Association, is offering the entire text (with
HTML coding) of this best-selling book by Barbara Mates--on the
subject of making electronic resources accessible to all users--FREE
on its web site at

For libraries that must proactively and deliberately plan for the
accessibility of electronic resources, this free online version
clearly lays out how to do just that, become ADA compliant, publicize
efforts and welcome a new community of users to the library.  Mates,
head of the Cleveland Library for the Blind and Physically
Handicapped, covers all of the need-to-know technologies including
HTML coding for accessibility, screen readers, voice recognition
systems and hearing assistance devices. 

For more information, visit or
go directly to the online version of ADAPTIVE TECHNOLOGY FOR THE INTERNET at


12. LC21: A Digital Strategy For the Library of Congress

This report, commissioned by the National Research Council and made
available by the National Academy Press (last mentioned in the
February 6, 1999 _Scout Report_) takes a hard look at the impact of
digital information on the Library of Congress's traditional mission
(and by implication, the mission of all US libraries) to collect,
preserve, and make accessible the intellectual work of the American
people. Even though the American Memory Website created by the
Library of Congress is hugely successful and a national model for
digitizing historical collections, the report points out that the
problem of collecting and preserving materials that are "born
digital" is far more urgent. New digital information is being created
at a rapid pace, and much of it is more ephemeral than the
paper-based materials now become digital at American Memory. The
report not only outlines the problem clearly, but makes
recommendations for action. For example, the report urges the Library
to immediately define policies for collecting Websites created in the
US, and to form a high-level planning group to develop digital
preservation strategies. LC21 is fascinating reading for all crystal
ball gazers concerned with the future of libraries. [DS]

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

13. Publishing Grant for Librarians

The Women's National Book Association/Ann Heidbreder Eastman Grant
is available for librarians interested in learning about the
relationship between the library and publishing professions.

The WNBA offers a grant of up to $750 for a librarian to take a
course or participate in an institute devoted to aspects of
publishing as a profession or to provide reimbursement for such study
completed within the past year.

Librarians holding an MLS or its equivalent and having at least two
years of post master's work experience in a library may apply.  The
primary qualification will be the likelihood of career benefit to the
person taking the course.

September 30, 2000

For More Information:
Guidelines are available at
or contact
Grant Administrator
American Library Association
50 East Huron Street
Chicago, IL  60611
Fax: 312-944-8741

14. More on Nicholson Baker article

Date: Fri, 28 Jul 2000 13:31:44 -0400
To: SRRT Action Council <srrtac-l[at]>
From: Mark Rosenzweig <iskra[at]>
Subject: [SRRTAC-L:5027] A different proposal re Nick Baker

I am forwarding the below letter to help inform the discussion of
Nicholson Baker on the Concil listserv (see below: Cummins, Woolls).
I suggest rather than sending him to some workshop, that we invite
him as keynote speaker for the upcoming Annual ALA conference and
leave ample time for librarians to "educate" him from the floor.


Date: Thu, 27 Jul 2000 22:26:52 -0800
To: iskra[at]
From: gbrechin[at] (Gray Brechin)
Subject: Nick Baker's article

Dear Mr. Rosenzweig:

A friend at the SFPL forwarded me the exchange concerning Nick Baker's
recent article, and I wanted to thank you very much for your remarks. I
know that there are some librarians (or rather, "information managers" such
as Ken Dowlin) who detest Baker and consider him a meddlesome Luddite. I
spoke just before Baker did to a packed audience in the new SF Main shortly
after it opened; I had never met him before that night, but was astonished
by what he had to say. The care and courage with which he built and
presented his case against the swindle of the taxpayers and destruction of
knowledge represented by that building was on a par with Zola's J'ACCUSE.
Had anything that Baker said that night been unsubstantiated, Dowlin or
others responsible would have been fully justified suing him for libel.
Instead, the library administration attempted to pressure the NEW YORKER
into not running his account of what happened in SF, and when that failed,
to preemptively wreck his reputation.

I am the scholar whom Baker mentions towards the end of his article; I
helped him to arrange the rescue of the SF CHRONICLE by the California
State Library and the Wells Fargo Foundation. Because I used many period
newspaper illustrations for my recent book, IMPERIAL SAN FRANCISCO: URBAN
POWER, EARTHLY RUIN, I have experienced personally the tragedy of which
Baker writes and am grateful that he has brought it to wide attention.

I started researching that book in the mid-80s. It required scanning miles
of microfilm looking for the images now in a section on the media called
"The Thought Shapers." Anyone who has had to work extensively with
microfilm, particularly in underfunded, high-use libraries such as U.C.
Berkeley, will testify to the hatefulness of that medium and the balkiness
of the readers which are so often out of order or jammed.

Somewhere along the way, I found that many of the images that I was looking
at from early in the century had been printed in color. I discovered Bill
Blackbeard whose house in western SF was crammed to the ceiling with bound
and unbound volumes of US newspapers. Bill showed me how beautiful the
originals were, how graphic designers of the time such as Maynard Dixon had
been heavily influenced by European movements such as Art Nouveau and the
Viennese Secession. It was Bill who showed me that the excuse offered by
librarians that the paper was so brittle that it would self-destruct, and
that they therefore were simply hastening the inevitable, was a canard. He
told me he had saved many of these volumes by dumpster diving.

I found it difficult to believe that such destruction had taken place, but
when I tried to find the originals in libraries, I found they were gone (if
I could get a straight answer at all.) Only Gary Kurutz at the CA State
Library seemed to appreciate what was being lost and to try to save what
little was left. I sensed embarrassment elsewhere at what had so quietly
been done.

I'm afraid that except for what Blackbeard and Baker have managed to save,
it is largely too late; the best newspaper in SF at the turn of the century
was the SF CALL. Unless someone has stored it in their attic, no run of
this paper exists any longer, and even fragments of it are extremely rare.
If I wanted to reproduce graphics from this or any other early paper, and
Gary or Bill did not have it, I would be forced to take a xerox off of
microfilm, scan the image, and do my best to digitally clean the dirt
specks and scratches using Photoshop. The result was a poor substitute for
taking a photograph from the original; there was, of course, no chance of
reproducing color from B&W microfilm.

Certainly, originals should not be heavily used. As Mr. Casey correctly
observes, microfilm offers the possibility of wide dissemination of
information (as long as the film remains intact) and saves wear and tear on
fragile originals. As Baker observed, the originals usually had to be
unbound before they could be filmed. But that was no reason to get rid of
ALL of the originals in all libraries. Bill Blackbeard had bound perfectly
good bound voulumes which libraries threw out as soon as they got microfilm
from Bell & Howell. And why ANYONE ever thought that microfilm was so
perfect a medium of reproduction and retrieval that it rendered the
originals superfluous I have no idea. Very soon, it will be possible to
reproduce those papers, in color, on CD ROM or more advanced media.
Scanning them then will be far easier and more pleasant...except that most
of those papers no longer exist for that purpose, so we are stuck with the
primitive tech of microfilm.

Gary Kurutz has a few volumes of the CALL and CHRONICLE loaned or given him
by Bill Blackbeard. They bear the stamp of the San Francisco Public
Library, which had discarded them. Their bookplates bear the library's
motto: Vita Sine Libris, Mors Est. It's a good thing that so few can read
Latin these days, since those words pasted to the pathetic shards of our
patrimony are enough to make one weep.


Gray Brechin
Ciriacy-Wantrup Postdoctoral Scholar
U.C. Berkeley Department of Geography
..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..  ..

From: Nann Blaine Hilyard <nhilyard[at]>
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>
Subject: [ALACOUN:4984] The Baker Article
Date: Fri, 28 Jul 2000 14:13:03 -0500

I finished reading Nicholson Baker's article this morning.  I am not really
upset by it.  I think it is unfortunate that libraries have divested
themselves of bound volumes of newspapers.  More than that, I think it's
unfortunate that libraries have HAD to do so (whether because of genuine
lack of space, or because microfilming was the niftiest new thing to come
down the pike and everyone else was doing it).  I don't like using
microfilm, either, and I appreciate the need for scholars to have the
complete text of the complete run of whatever it is they are researching. 

I also thought it was interesting to find out how those "get the front page
of the day you were born!" outfits operate.  (Slow news time/advertising
sales at the New Yorker -- they gave the front page company a full-page

There is a larger lesson that I hope my colleagues in ARL and similar
institutions are heeding:  don't throw out the old in favor of the new until
you're sure that the new will work the way it should for the length of time
you want it to perform (which for the kinds of things like newspapers means
forever).  That goes for microfilming, digitizing, binding, storing in the
stacks.  I remember a story on NPR wherein they reported that the archival
quality video and audiotapes used by broadcasters are deteriorating at a
much faster rate than anyone anticipated.  Not only do we have imperfect
preservation of the print record, we also have imperfect preservation of the
sound record. 

Baker's article ended with his account of the newspaper archive he has
begun.  More power to him!  It will be interesting to know how he plans to
share the wealth of that archive with scholars.  Bookedge photocopiers?
Reference service?  Posted hours of operation?  Continuing collection
development?   (Should someone tell him about the Milwaukee Public Library's
sale of bound volumes of Patent Office records?  That's "The" Patent Office
(=British).  MPL couldn't find anyone to take the mile-long collection so
they offered some to patrons for $1 each and also put older ones up for
auction on eBay.  Response has been very good.)

Nann Blaine Hilyard
Lake Villa District Library in northern Illinois
....where our storage problem this afternoon is ice cream!!  We gave out 600
tickets for the end-of-summer-reading-program-picnic but only 300 people
attended.....Peter Graham and Jim Neal, I'll bet an overflowing freezer has
not been among your concerns lately.

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

From: "Karen G. Schneider" <kgs[at]>
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>
Subject: [ALACOUN:4986] Baker
Date: Fri, 28 Jul 2000 15:36:54 -0400
Organization: Generally Good

I read the Baker article today, and felt that he has some good points, but
as he has done in the past, he distracts the reader by finger-pointing
rather than stepping back to ask, why did this happen?  It happened because
libraries are underfunded. He could have gathered his points and put them
under a much larger philosophical umbrella.  He was caught up in--shall we
say... the fine print.

Karen G. Schneider kgs[at]
Assistant Director, Shenendehowa Public Library, NY

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

From: "GraceAnne A. DeCandido" <ladyhawk[at]>
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>
Date: Tue, 8 Aug 2000 15:10:26 -0400
Subject: [ALACOUN:5002] the Mail at the New Yorker

I draw your attention to The Mail, page 5 of the current New
Yorker magazine of August 14, 2000. Councilor
Rosenzweig's letter, in approval of Nicholson Baker's
"Deadline" article of July 24, is published, as is a letter
from librarian Constance Holberg (with a clear opposing
view), and from scholar Arthur Schlesinger (harumphing on
the discomforts of microfilm).
While I am in deep disagreement with Councilor
Rosenzweig on this issue, I applaud his publication.

GraceAnne A. DeCandido
Blue Roses Consulting ~ Writing ~ Editorial ~ Web Content ~ New York City ~
What's Ladyhawk reading now?

All shall be well / and all shall be well
and all manner of things / shall be well.
Julian of Norwich

15. NY Times digital preservation article

From: "Karen G. Schneider" <kgs[at]>
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>
Subject: [ALACOUN:4995] NY Times Circuits section and preservation
Date: Sat, 29 Jul 2000 09:12:54 -0400

The Times had an excellent article on the Library of Congress and digital
preservation issues this Thursday in the Circuits section.  If you're
registered for the Times, you can still read it:

Karen G. Schneider kgs[at]
Assistant Director of Technology
Shenendehowa Public Library, Clifton Park, NY

16. Funding Status of GPO's Federal Depository Library Program

From: "Bernadine Abbott Hoduski" <ber[at]>
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>
Subject: [ALACOUN:4988] Funding Status of GPO's Federal Depository Library Program
Date: Fri, 28 Jul 2000 16:49:38 -0600

Hi Council Members,
I am forwarding a good report on the status of the appropriations for
depository libraries.  Please send this on to other lists.  Thank all of you
for your ongoing support for this program.  This compromise of some 27
million is better than a disaster of $11 million but still bad news for a
multi format depository library program. It will mean cuts in paper versions
of documents, not hiring new staff with technology expertise, fewer
publications cataloged and lots of other cuts.  GPO asked for 7 million more
than they are getting for this program.  This is 2 million less than they
got last year.  Those who supported the increase from 11 million need to be
thanked so they continue to support this compromise on the floor of the
House and Senate.  It will not be voted on for another month.
The study on the transfer of Supt Doc to LC has been given to GAO instead of
CRS/LC.  CRS in previous studies has concluded that this is not a good idea
and I assume that the Congress realized that and decided that they might get
a report more to their liking from GAO.  The library world needs to be
closely involved in this study as well as the one by NCLIS.  It seems as if
the policy makers would rather study while our program burns to the ground
or am I thinking of the wrong century.  Bernadine Abbott Hoduski, GODORT
-----Original Message-----
From: Rick McKinney <Rick.McKinney[at]>
Date: Friday, July 28, 2000 3:20 PM
Subject: FYI: Funding Status of GPO's Federal Depository Library Program

>I note that House and Senate conferees have filed a conference report (H.
>Rept.. 106-796, July 27, 2000) on H.R. 4516,  Legislative Branch
>Appropriations for FY 2001 and I understand that $27.9 million has been
>appropriated for the Superintendent of Documents function which covers the
>Federal Depository Library Program.  This is about $2 million less than
>what that function received in FY2000 and about $7 million less than what
>was requested.  The text of the conference report and its joint explanatory
>statement with the nitty-gritty details will be published (I believe) in
>Part II of the Congressional Record of Thursday, July 27, 2000 (not yet
>Surprisingly, however, the conference report also includes the Treasury
>Department, Postal and General appropriation (H.R. 4871 and S. 2900) which
>had earlier passed the House, but not the Senate.  Thus Democrats claimed
>that the Republicans were pulling a fast one and the debate in the House on
>the rule to consider the conference report was contentious and the rule was
>only narrowly agreed by a vote of 214 to 210 . The report itself is yet to
>be voted on by either the House or the Senate.  In any case the House and
>Senate have now adjourned until September 5 (Senate) and September 6
>(House) at which time they can take up the matter.  It should be noted that
>joint conference reports can not be readily amended.  If parts are not
>agreeable to the majority of members then the whole text could be sent back
>to conference with special instructions and a new conference report could
>be issued.
>Those with views on the subject still have time to make those views known
>to their representatives in Congress, but my guess is that the $27.9
>million figure (a compromise between the House and Senate figures) is not
>likely to change for FY 2001.
>For House debate on the rule to consider the conference report; see
y00-71  (may add  .pdf)
>and the vote at
y00-74  (may add  .pdf)
>Rick McKinney
>Assistant Law Librarian
>Federal Reserve Board Law Library
>Depository No. 0094-C
>Washington, D.C. 20551

17. Exploding Dictionary

Chris Knight, the author/inventor states: "The basic idea was to take a
set of publicly available dictionaries, index them into a SQL database,
and then cross-reference them to near death. :) As a researcher, this
should be a very useful resource. Hypertext is the researcher's dream
come true, allowing for instant jumps to related or unknown material.
The information is provided twice. First it is displayed 'clean',
then below it is displayed with each individual word hyperlinked.
I hope that you find this material useful. If you have any questions
or suggestions, please feel free to write me at

This dictionary, or "meta-" dictionary, is fun.  Indeed, every word
in a definition is hyperlinked, including the funny abbreviations
concerning a word's derivation.  To be honest, this seems more useful
for word-surfing than research, but that's okay.

There appear to be four dictionaries included, though I may have
missed some: _Webster's Revised Unabridged (1913)_, _WordNet_, The
Free On-line Dictionary of Computing_, and _Easton's 1897 Bible
Dictionary_.  The Webster's and WordNet have the majority of the

The nice thing about this resource is the surprises it contains,
lying in the illustrations of word usage.  Looking up "library" tells
you, "they had brandy in the library." 

I did notice some strange behavior when I looked up some of the shorter
words.  The page for the word "a" gave me definitions of a number of
seemingly random, unrelated, longer words.

All-in-all, a fun-to-use reminder of how wonderful dictionaries are.

Thanks to Blake at for the heads-up.

18. St. Lawrence the Librarian

Date: Thu, 5 Aug 1999 12:05:51 EDT
From: "r. lee hadden" <rhadden[at]>
Reply-To: rhadden[at]
To: librefed[at], collib-l[at], sts-l[at]
Subject: St. Lawrence the Librarian- August 10th

        A little bit of library lore for the slow days of August.
        In the Christian church, St. Lawrence is one of several
patron saints of libraries, the other most well known saints
being St. Jerome (September 30) and St. Catherine (November 25).
The information below is taken from a series of bulletin boards I put up a
number of years ago on Heavenly patrons of libraries:

                      Saint Lawrence
             (San Lorenzo or Saint Laurence)
     A patron saint of libraries and librarians is
Saint Lawrence the Librarian. He is a third century
saint and martyr (died 258 AD) who had
responsibility for the written archives and records
of the early Christian church.

     St Lawrence was one of seven famous deacons of
the early church. The other six deacons along with
Pope St. Sixtus II (Xystus II) were captured by the
Emperor Valerian on August 6, 258, and martyred.
They were buried together in the cemetery of
Callistus. The oppression of the Christian church
was very severe, and many Christians fled Rome or

     As librarian and archivist, Lawrence was thought to have a list of all
the members of the early church, and the locations of all the mythical
hidden hoards of gold belonging to the Vatican.  Captured by the soldiers of
the Emperor Valerian a few days later, on August 8, 258 AD, he was told to
produce all the wealth of the church. He was given only two days to bring
all the treasures to the imperial palace. Particularly desired were the
names of all the Christians who were also Roman nobles, since they could be
ransomed for gold by the emperor, or executed and their wealth confiscated
by the emperor for the state.

     Lawrence gathered up the all the diseased, orphaned or crippled
Christians on the appointed day, brought them to the palace, and told the
startled emperor that "These are the treasures of the church!"

     According to tradition, for his presumed impudence, Lawrence was then
slowly roasted on a grill on the site of the Basilica di San Lorenzo in
Rome, in the hope that he would publicly renounce his religion and reveal
the names of the wealthy Christians. He is often represented holding a
gridiron to memorialize this grisly manner of
martyrdom. Although St. Lawrence was most certainly beheaded and
not roasted, the traditions of his being cooked are somewhat stronger
than actual fact. As a result, St Lawrence is also considered a patron saint
for cooks. There is also the popular story that he was so willing to embrace
Christ in heaven, that he did not mind the pain from the fire of his
martyrdom, and indeed, he found the strength to tell his executioners "Turn
me over. I am done on this side."

     The courage and dignity of St Lawrence and many of these other early
Christians in facing their death did much to gain respect for their religion
in Rome, and after the death of St Lawrence, there was widespread conversion
to Christianity.

His feast day is August 10th, and is usually celebrated by librarians and
archivists (in honor of his traditional method of death) with cold cuts.

The annual Perseid meteor shower, one of the best known of the annually
occuring meteor showers, and which occurs near his feast day in August, are
sometimes called "The Tears of St. Lawrence" in

A reliquary with the head of Saint Lawrence is held in the Vatican Library.

        There are a number of other heavenly patrons of libraries in
other religions and cultures as well. Thoth is a patron of libraries
from the Ancient Egyptians, Ganesh is a Hindu patron, and
Kabi:Kaj is an Arabic one. If you want more information about
them, contact me.

R. Lee Hadden

19. Worst Analogies  (found in High School papers)

He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy
who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those
boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at
high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one
of those boxes with a pinhole in it.

The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling
ball wouldn't.

McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty Bag filled
with vegetable soup.

From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie,
surreal quality, like when you're on vacation in another city and
"Jeopardy" comes on at 7 p.m. instead of 7:30.

Her eyes were like two brown circles with big black dots in the center.

Bob was as perplexed as a hacker who means to access\\aaakk/ch[at]ung but gets T:\\flw.quidaaakk/ch[at]ung by

Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.

He was as tall as a six-foot-three-inch tree.

The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry
them in hot grease.

Her date was pleasant enough, but she knew that if her life was a movie
this guy would be buried in the credits as something like "Second Tall

Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the
grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left
Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19
p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.

The politician was gone but unnoticed, like the period after the Dr. on a
Dr Pepper can.

They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that
resembled Nancy Kerrigan's teeth

John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also
never met.

  L I B R A R Y   J U I C E

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