Library Juice 3:35 - September 13, 2000


1. Union Bugs
2. Alternative Library Literature, 1998/1999
3. New Book by Toni Samek
4. The WTO and Libraries
5. Inside the covers - excerpts from ALA Editions
6. Libraries - Community Resource for Environmental Information?
7. Dr. Laura show set to attack ALA
8. filteReality
9. Election tipsheet available online
10. Two Major Reports on Digital Preservation
11. New title additions to Ethnic Newswatch Database
12. Trials of a Para-Professional
13. Message from an Ethiopian librarian

Quote for the week:

"To tell the truth is revolutionary."
- Antonio Gramsci

Home page of the week: Darcy Sharman


1. Union Bugs

Draft Proposal for Inclusion of Union Label Description
in Bibliographic and Archival Cataloging Guidelines

by Lincoln Cushing

This is a very interesting article about the history of union bugs (labels)
in printing and guidelines and precendents for including them in catalog

This is a draft; Lincoln is interested in getting feedback as he prepares
the paper for publication.



Alternative Library Literature, 1998/1999
A Biennial Anthology

Edited by Sanford Berman and James Danky

[440]pp. $45 softcover (8 1/2 X 11)
Illustrations, index
ISBN 0-7864-0917-7   2000

"Libraries tout themselves as bastions of democracy.  They're
supposed to be accessible, egalitarian, and neutral - not peddling
any one ideology or product, not shill for any particular class
or party or world view" -- from Sanford Berman's "Talking the
Talk and Walking he Walk."

This highly acclaimed biennial ("the best of alternative library
journalism" - Library Journal) provides a reminder of the roots
of librarianship and a prod to a profession that has sometimes
forgotten those principles.  People/Work, Women, Censorship/Human
Rights/Peace, Kids, Alternatives/ Service/Advocacy/Empowerment,
Multiculturalism/Third World and Cyberspace/Virtual Libraries are
the topics covered, with writings from Ron Chepesiuk, Simone
Murray, Scott Walter and others.

Famed Minnesota cataloger Sanford Berman and James P. Danky are
also the authors of _Alternative Library Literature 1996/1997_
and _Alternative Library Literature 1994/1995_.

McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers
Box 611
Jefferson, NC  28640

To order, please call 1-800-253-2187

3. New Book by Toni Samek

Intellectual Freedom and Social Responsibility in American Librarianship, 1967-1974

Toni Samek
Foreword by Sanford Berman

[192]pp.  $35 softcover
Notes, references, appendix, index
ISBN 0-7864-0916-9    2000

This work examines the controversies within the American Library
Association over social responsibility and intellectual freedom
during about seven critical years of ferment.  Two recurring
analytical themes are the concept of neutraily - which calls for
libraries to possess collections representative of many points of
view with no regard to the personal or moral opinions of librarians -
and the question of intellectual freedom, which is provided for in
the Library Bill of Rights and later interpretations.  Beginning
with an introduction that presents these opposing concepts, this
work discusses the discord between the alternative press movement
and library activists and chroniclesthe battle of a group of young
American LIbrary Association members who changed the establishment.
Also outlined is the evolution of the Library Bill of Rights and
the debate concerning the ALA's professional jurisdiction and
intellectual freedom that peaked in 1973.

Toni Samek is assistant professor in the School of Library and
Information Studies at the University of Alberta where she teaches
in the area of information access.  A member of the Canadian
Library Association Advisory Committee on Intellectual Freedom,
she also chairs the Intellectual Freedom Committee of the Library
Association of Alberta.  She lives in Edmonton.

McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers
Box 611
Jefferson, NC  28640

To order, please call 1-800-253-2187

4. The WTO and Libraries

Despite the protests in Seattle, most people still don't know what the WTO
is or what it is doing. Far from working for free trade, the WTO primarily
works for the deregulation and privatization of economic activity on a
global scale. Already, US laws have been overriden by WTO rules in
hundreds of cases.  As you may have heard, these are laws protecting
health, the environment, and labor rights. But did you know that cultural
services, like eduction and libraries, are also covered by WTO rules? It
can be considered a "trade barrier" for a community to provide publically
funded library service where an international company tries to offer a
competing service on a for-profit basis (for example, electronic "library"
services like e-books).

There was a program at this summer's ALA conference discussing the
implications of the WTO for libraries. American Libraries gave it a brief
writeup, with the facetious title, "Are Libraries a barrier to free trade?"

IFLA came out with a strong statement against these WTO rules before the
Seattle meeting. [ See their position paper at ]

The Canadian Library Association also released a strong anti-WTO
statement. After the meeting, ALA followed suit, alerted by Social
Responsibilities Round Table members.

Here is the resolution passed by ALA Council at the last midwinter meeting:

Resolution on World Trade Organization Policies Affecting Libraries

Whereas IFLA and the Canadian Library Association (CLA) have taken very
similar strong positions regarding new World Trade Organization (WTO)
proposals affecting libraries;

And whereas the national delegates to the November 1999 WTO Ministerial
Conference in Seattle were unable to proceed due to large-scale protests
mobilized by a wide coalition of environmental, labor, religious,
professional, and civil society organizations;

And whereas ALA sent a delegate to the WTO meeting but had no official

And whereas the WTO negotiates in secret and excludes popular

And whereas the WTO proposals could have dramatic negative effects on
publicly supported libraries as explained in the IFLA and CLA position

Therefore be it resolved that ALA endorses the IFLA WTO position statement;

Be It Further Resolved that ALA will work in coalition with other
organizations as identified by the International Relations Committee to
protect libraries within the WTO context.

Be It Further Resolved that this resolution be communicated to the
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA)
and to the Canadian Library Association (CLA).

Moved by Al Kagan, SRRT Councilor
Seconded by Mark Rosenzweig, Councilor at Large


5. Inside the covers - excerpts from ALA Editions

Date: Thu, 7 Sep 2000 01:00:35 +1200
From: "Alistair Kwun" <ak698[at]>
To: "New Librarians" <newlib-l[at]>
Subject: [website] Inside the covers - excerpts from ALA editions

Here is a link to excerpts from recently published ALA books.
Some chapters require Adobe Acrobat Reader to view.


Alistair Kwun
Acquisitions Dept
University of Auckland Library
Pirvate Bag 92019
Auckland 1000
New Zealand

6. Libraries - Community Resource for Environmental Information?

                                 AN  INVITATION
                               to participate in
         Libraries - Community Resource for Environmental Information?
              Exploring Public Access To Environmental Information
                         A Dialogue Via the Internet [at]
                       September 18 - September 29, 2000

You are invited to participate in an online Dialogue that will explore how the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can best work with libraries to increase
public access to environmental information.  Emphasis will be on how to
improve the scope and utility of electronic information.

Guiding the discussion will be our moderator, Steve Curwood, producer of the
National Public Radio program, "Living on Earth."  The Dialogue will be
structured around an online panel of experts including: Howard Fox, Science &
Social Science Department, Seattle Public Library; Fred Stoss, Associate
Librarian, Science and Engineering Library, State University of New York at
Buffalo; Paul Orem, Working Group on Community Right to Know; Velma Smith,
Legal Environmental Assistance Fund; Judy  Duncan, Oklahoma Department of
Environmental Quality; Jamie Conrad, American Chemical Council; Patricia
Eklund, Mayor of Novato, California, and Tom Goldtooth, Indigenous
Environmental Network.

Panelists and participants will address the following set of questions:
- What environmental information does the community want?
- Where is this information available - at the EPA or from state or local
sources? Is it currently available on the Web or in print?
- What can libraries do to assist citizens seeking environmental information?
What information do they currently receive about EPA activities, how do they
receive it and can it be better organized for easy public use?
- How can public libraries be more effective in helping members of the
community get environmental information?
- What could EPA do to help libraries provide environmental information to the
public through the Internet? How might the EPA web site be a more useful
- Other questions that arise throughout the Dialogue discussion.

Results:  A summary report will be shared across EPA and used as a basis for
deciding whether to pursue the concept of developing partnerships with
libraries. If Dialogue participants endorse the idea that librarians can serve
as a bridge to communities for environmental data and information, then the
Office of Policy, Economics and Innovation will seek partners for a
diverse set of pilot projects.  Active Dialogue participants are likely to play
a role in these pilots.

How the Dialogue works:  The discussion is not conducted in real time. People
can participate at their convenience. The typical participant will spend about
thirty minutes a day reading messages, reviewing background materials and
drafting comments.

To participate, simply register at the Dialogue Website:

For more information: Send e-mail to Patricia Bonner, U.S. EPA:
bonner.patricia[at], or to Information Renaissance:laurie[at], or
call 1-888-638-5323.

   Host: Information Renaissance B  Manager: The Environmental Law Institute
           Sponsor: The United States Environmental Protection Agency


7. Dr. Laura show set to attack ALA

Date: Wed, 6 Sep 2000 11:14:04 -0400 (EDT)
From: Frederick W Stoss <fstoss[at]>
Subject: [MEMBER-FORUM:1840] Dr. Laura (fwd)

ALA Members, Friends, Colleagues,

You might want to route this around to other lists.

Dr. Laura is going to use her war against ALA to market her new TV show.
ALA is going to generate BIG bucks.

We better get used to the facts: ALA is going to be her punching bag until
her listners and now viewers tell her to stop or until the money she is
reaping dwindles.

The other day my mother-in-law and sister-in-law pointed out to me that
the Good Dr. Laura was criticizing ALA ("I hope YOU are not a member of
that group... ") for it position on supporting laws that prevent parents
from seeing the library circulation records of their children.

Read on...

---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date: Wed, 6 Sep 2000 10:27:53
From: Francis Kayiwa <kayiwa[at]ACSU.BUFFALO.EDU>
Reply-To: SILS Students discussion list <UBMLS-L[at]LISTSERV.ACSU.BUFFALO.EDU>
Subject: Dr. Laura


>From the Rocky Mountain News (Denver, CO) this morning:



8. filteReality

A Note From the Author (Brian Smith, of "The Laughing Librarian" fame)

For librarians in the United States, the big question about Internet
filtering is (or at least ought to be) this: What uses of filtering
software are prohibited by the U.S. Constitution? filteReality is intended
to be used as a tool by librarians, library board members, and others who
seek reliable information about the constitutional implications of using
Internet filtering software in public libraries. The main message of this
site may be boiled down to the following argument:

-The U.S. Constitution requires governmental bodies to use sensitive
procedural tools when placing regulations on expression based on its
subject matter.
-Commercially-produced Internet filtering software does not qualify as a
sufficiently sensitive tool.
-Therefore, a public library cannot legally require users of its Internet
computers to go through commercial filtering software which blocks access
to one or more categories of subject matter.

I arrived at this conclusion through honest investigation; I did not just
seek out data to support a position I already held. When I began working
in a public library in July 1998, I was fairly neutral on the issue of
libraries using filtering software to block pornographic websites; I'm
sure I wouldn't have been opposed to requiring filtered access for
children. As I read up on the matter, however, I noticed that a lot of the
"facts" from pro-filter activists were false or misleading. Newspaper
articles and research findings were misrepresented. Statements from
anti-filter activists and librarians were taken out of context or
misquoted. Important holdings of courts were ignored. Irrelevant issues
(e.g., the Columbine High School killings) were brought into the
discussion for their emotional impact.

While I examined much of the pro- and anti-filter literature, did some
testing of a popular filtering product, and read a stack of Supreme Court
opinions on free expression, I came to realize that filtering advocates
need to rely on bad information because there is so little good
information -- factual, accurate, and authoritative -- which supports the
position that libraries should use filtering software to prevent users
from viewing pornographic websites. While anti-filter voices do
occasionally misinform, the core case against the required use of
pornography filters by libraries is pretty solid.

Why should you believe what I say about any of this? You shouldn't. Read
the filteReality site: the position statement, the excerpts from Supreme
Court opinions, the refutation of inaccurate statements about libraries
and filters. Read the resources that filteReality cites. Discuss the
issues with other people. Use your brain.

If filteReality is wrong about something, tell me about it. I intend to
correct any factual error or substantive omission brought to my attention.
If given a good reason -- for example, if the Supreme Court indicates that
using a commercially produced, secret blacklist is an acceptable method
for denying access to a designated public forum -- I'll even change my and
filteReality's position.

9. Election tipsheet available online

Date: Wed, 06 Sep 2000 10:09:43 -0500
From: "Beatrice Calvin" <bcalvin[at]>
To: <AMind[at]>, <CSKTFMEM[at]>, <ECAUCUS[at]>, <interGEN[at]>,
        <library-lit[at]>, <OLOSADV[at]>, <OLOSCHRS[at]>,
        <OLOSPOOR[at]>, <OUTREACH[at]>
Subject: [OLOSPOOR:334] Election tipsheet available online

Election tipsheet available online

A new tipsheet focusing on the role that libraries play in fostering an
informed electorate. is now available online at Called "Smart voting
starts @ your library," the tipsheet was developed as part of ALA President
Nancy Kranich's presidential initiative, Libraries: The Cornerstone of Democracy.

The tipsheet suggests how libraries can showcase their role in educating
people about voting and civic participation. The booklet includes examples
of what libraries around the country are doing to promote civic involvement,
ideas for programs and publicity, how library issues can be promoted
during this election season and beyond, and an extensive resource list
for both children and adults, including Web sites, books, videos and
CD-Roms. Librarians are encouraged to use the publication to help develop
displays, programs, services or events leading up to the national election
in November. 

"Libraries are the cornerstone of democracy. They are part of the American
dream," says Kranich. "They are a place for education and self-help
and are centers for civic discourse. They enhance citizen participation
in our democratic processes. Libraries offer people young and old the
opportunity to become better informed about the issues of the day,
about candidates running for office and the electoral and political
system. This tipsheet is designed to help libraries spread that important

The tipsheet is available while supplies last from the ALA Public Information
Office. Libraries only will be charged for bulk shipping. The tipsheet
also was an insert in the August issue of American Libraries magazine.
For more information, please call 800-545-2433, ext. 5041/5044 or send
an e-mail to pio[at]

Beatrice Calvin, Communications Officer
ALA Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment
ALA Office for Literacy and Outreach Services

50 E. Huron St.
Chicago, IL  60611
Toll-Free:  800/545-2433 ext. 4280
Direct:  312/280-4280
E-Mail:  bcalvin[at]

10. Two Major Reports on Digital Preservation

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-acqnet-l[at]
[mailto:owner-acqnet-l[at]] On Behalf Of ELEANOR COOK
Sent: Tuesday, September 05, 2000 06:56
To: acqnet-l[at]
Subject: ACQNET: Two Major Reports on Digital Preservation

[Ed. Note: This posting was received by ACQNET on 8-30-00]

Date: Mon, 31 Jul 2000 13:54:22 -0400
From: Gerry Mckiernan (Iowa State U.) <GMCKIERN[at]>
Subject: Two Major Reports on Digital Preservation

           _Two Major Reports on Digital Preservation_

   I recently learned about two major reports relating to the issues
surrounding digital preservation and believe that they will be of interest
to my web colleagues.

   The first of these was prepared by Gail Hodge of Information International
Associates on behalf of the International Council for Scientific and Technical
Information  (ICSTI) [ ]. The publication, _Digital
Electronic Archiving: The State of the Art and the State of the Practice_
was published in April 1999. It is accessible at the following addresses:


                     [Table of Contents]

                     [Executive Summary]

                      [Main Report]

  The second is a report prepared by a committee for the National Academy of
Sciences (NAS) and provides recommendations on the digital preparedness and
the Library of Congress in collecting and preserving digital resources. A
general summary of the report recently appeared in the New York Times on
July 27 2000

"Saving The Nation's Digital Legacy" / by Katie Hafner
( )

Alistair Kwun
Acquisitions Dept
University of Auckland Library
Pirvate Bag 92019
Auckland 1000
New Zealand

11. New title additions to Ethnic Newswatch Database

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 8 Sep 2000 12:02:57 -0400
From: Portia Diaz-Martin <pdiaz[at]ACSU.BUFFALO.EDU>
Reply-To: UB Libraries Distribution List <UBLIB-L[at]LISTSERV.ACSU.BUFFALO.EDU>

Dear Colleagues,

The following list are SoftLine Information new title additions to the
Ethnic NewsWatch Database

African American Magazine:  A bi-monthly publication that focuses on the
areas of educational and economic empowerment.

Afro-Americans in New York Life and History:  A bi-annual journal that
publishes analytical, historical, and descriptive articles dealing with
African Americans in New York State.

Alberta Sweetgrass:  The Aboriginal Newspaper of Alberta:  Showcases the
Aboriginal people, places and events across Alberta.

Atlanta Tribune:  The Magazine:  Black Atlanta's leading source for
relevant, thought provoking news and information on business, careers,
technology, wealth-building, politics and education.

Black Issues Book Review:  The only large circulation forum solely devoted
to critical discussion of fiction by black authors and non-fiction on topics
related to the culture and politics of the African Diaspora.

Black Parenting Today:  Informative features on topics of interest to
parents and caretakers of African American children.

Buffalo Spirit:  Created to inform, educate and create discussion regarding
native culture and a spiritual way of life.

Chicago Defender:  One of the only African American daily newspapers in the
country and one of the most historically influential.

ColorLines Magazine:  A national, multi-racial news magazine on race,
culture and action, devoted to covering the politics and creations of
communities of color.

Country Road Chronicles:  A monthly news magazine, Cherokee-Creek owned and
operated, celebrating a natural alternative of living, honoring Mother Earth
and Native American life.

El Andar:  A national magazine that publishes the best writing and visual
journalism for and about Latinos in North America.

Indian Report:  Published quarterly by The Friends Committee on National
Legislation (FCNL), focuses entirely on American Indian, native Alaskan, and
Native Hawaiian issues.

Oklahoma Indian Times:  The only inter-tribal Indian newspaper of its kind

Race, Gender and Class:  an inter-disciplinary and multicultural journal on
race, gender and class published by the Southern University at New Orleans.

Raven's Eye:  The Aboriginal Newspaper of British Columbia and Yukon:
Provides news and information for the Aboriginal people of British Columbia
and the Yukon and serves as a unify force for all people in British Columbia
that have been a connection with Aboriginal people and Aboriginal culture.

Saskatchewan Sage:  The Aboriginal Newspaper of Saskatchewan:  Features the
Aboriginal news, information and entertainment of Saskatchewan.

Take Pride! Community:  A weekly news publication, provides interesting and
enlightening stories about health, entertainment, education, the arts,
spirituality, technology, news events, and profiles positive role models and
people who found success in all walks of life.

Windspeaker:  Canada's National Aboriginal News Source:  A source for
Aboriginal news, information and entertainment.

Portia Diaz-Martin
Instruction/Reference Librarian
Undergraduate Library
109 Capen Hall
645-2943 ext. 236

12. Trials of a Para-Professional

by Judy Hadley

[Editor's note - I recently picked up a copy of _Revolting Librarians_,
Celeste West and Elizabeth Katz, eds., Booklegger Press, 1972, and was
happy to see an anti-copyright notice on the inside.  The articles are
mostly extremely dated, though, and not really usable in Library Juice.
The article below is an exception.  It discusses the situation of
paraprofessionals in an academic library, and most of the observations
seem true today.]

It looks like a fortress, but the sign on the Roman brick wall reads
"Library."  Students flood through the turnstiles to each of the
university departmental libraries which are staffed by a hierarchy of
professionals, p*a*r*a*-professionals and student assistnats.  All
together, but not so together....  All equally responsible for public
service; all unequal in most other respects.

What is it like to enter into this blobocracy as paraprofessionals?  (A
blobocracy is a system wherein foreign bodies are caustically digested and
diffused long before they have a chance to become effective or to make
waves.  See "The Blobocracy Blight," Albert Shapero, _Innovation_, May,

We are expected to become invisible and to do our jobs without complaint,
question, or creativity.  It will go better for us if we do, since very
few of the "professionals" are interested in new ideas, and suggestions
are often passed off with a comment that that's not what we are here
for.  Or they may say that the proposal is simply idealistic.  Somehow the
term "idealistic" has taken on the connotation of wild, irresponsible
abandon and even sounds like a dirty word.  The best thing for one's
sanity then is to remain silent, take whatever money is left after taxes
and retirement - and run.

Nonetheles, certain emotional responses are evoked among us, such as:
anger, outrage, resentment, hostility, frustration, anxiety and
hopelessness.  The disease of pessimism is rampant.  Library assisstants,
as paraprofssionals were called beforet he Greek prefix became
fashionable, begin to take on schizoid tendencies, being caught between
the strict definitions of professional duties and sympathy for the
students we are to commandeer.  Library assistants are asked to make
decisions of a professional nature and receive neither a salary
commensurate with the amount of time spent in public service nor - most
important - a voice in the policies which govern the areas of their
responsibilities. All this with few words of encouragement.  Oh yes,
occassionally someone will remark: "What would we ever do without the
paraprofessionals?"  (speaking as if there were no one in the room.)  What
would they do indeed, for the truth is that these personnel are absolutely
indispensible.  There will never be any budget allotment large enough to
replace them with professional librarians.  And as no librarian worthy of
that title would ever touch a typewriter with any frequency, the
ever-inundating mounds of paperwork must make their circular course
through the hands of the minions.

Paperwork and public service without much remuneration, voice, or
recognition is the trip.  We are expected to find solace in the
*self*-recognition of a job well done.  Now, one may know whether or not
he is doing his job up to the expectation of his job description, but
unless he is given an occassional word of encouragement, morale may
plummet, thus casuing the onset of Parkinson's Law.  Certainly, the idea
of a self-regulating, self-evaluating kind of employee is desireable, but
this becomes increasingly difficult when the only comments made about the
quality of work produced occur when an error has been made.  That a
definite pecking order exists is witnessed by the manner in which student
assistants are handled.  These employees are *really* invisible, from the
very beginning of their employment.  Their status has always been
sketchily defined, owing it is said, to their transient nature.  One might
well look into the reasons for this transiency other than for those of
graduation and transfers.  One would think that the purpose of a
university and all its facilities is to serve the students and that to
withhold from them what is rightfully theirs, namely visibility, is in

Until recently, students were salaried far below the federal minimum wage
scale.  When budget cuts are necessary, the first economizing measure is
usually that of shortening student hours.  Student employees are caught
between the forces of federal work/study regulations, the library budget
pay restrictions, and the demands of the civil service paraprofessionals
and professional staff.  Some say the students have an easy job of it.
But who could put up with a job for very long that ocnsists of tedious
shelving, the reading of the collection, filing, typing and taking charge
of the reference desks four to five hours daily?  There is no question of
their absolute necessity, but they are treated as though they were being
granted a great favor.  The students are also conveniently blamed for
everyone else's mistakes.  This is easy to do because they are often
inadequately trained in the work assigned to them, and can provide handy
scapegoats for others' frustrations and inadequacies.

The library in general suffers from "The Communication Thing."  This is a
subject that has been talked to death without anything ever being done
about it.  It is ironical that the library should do its best to withhold
information from its employees, apparently expecting any developments to
be picked up at coffee breaks or on the underground wireless.  (One's
coffee breaks would be presumed to be one's own in any case.)  This is
partly due to the lack of an organized meeting for all strata of
employees.  Of course the professional staff have their departmentalized
meetings from whence all bits of information may or may not flow.  But
there is no provision for others to share information except
catch-as-catch can.  Occasional meetings on all staff levels would be
valuable if only on a comparative basis.  As it now stands, none of the
dpartmental libraries have any idea as to how the floor above them or
below them is operated.  Thus, constant idle speculations are made as to
how much or how little a particular floor is producing.

After this rather negative critique, it might be asked: why stay in such a
frustrating atmosphere?  Many people stay (although the paraprofessional
turnover rate is not all that *low*) because they simply need the money
and because the matter of job security is usually settled after a
probation period.  Others stay because they sincerely believe that
conditions can be better and that the more than one-third of their lives
spent in paid employement can be more rewarding.  Besides, library work in
itslef is vital and dealing with the public can be a crazy, funny,
detective-story trip.  Leaving the library is like leaving this country
simply because you disagree with some things that are wrong with it,
instead of staying and trying to make changes.

The question also has to be put that if one wants a real voice in library
affairs, why not get a library degree and then become a really acceptable
part of academia?  But should a paraprofessional have to change status in
order to relieve frustration?  One should be able to be what he is at the
time to achieve satisfaction; when the time comes to do otherwise, a
change can be made.  And can there really be any guarantee that things
will be different with a different title - as some problems touch all
staff members?  Wouldn't it be running away from one set of problems to
another?  People I know who have left this scene in order to found a more
ideologically and emotionally meaningful library at the core of community
life (an almost-free, grass-roots library employing all the available
media) are having an equally difficult time funding the project and
integrating a number of divergent philosophies.

There aren't any guarenteed remedies, but some suggestions might be made
in order to make working as a paraprofessional more satisfactory.  One
proposal is for one set of rules that are recognized by every staff
member.  When a regulation is set down and then flagrantly ignored by
one's superiors, the undermining of thta organization's authority has
begun. No one has the right to lay down laws and then break them.  Either
the law must be lifted, or the legislator must respect his own rules.

Library administrators must accept the responsibilities of management.
Just being a librarian in a library is not enough to give one an automatic
set of credentials with which to deal with management problems.
Complications in an organization must be met squarely in terms of one's
role as manager and not only as librarian.

Civil service paraprofessionals have begun to realize their sizable group
pressure strength and should begin to exert that prssure in a responsible
manner without being afraid of it.  Here, we have recently learned that
among formidable opponents are the state legislature and the university
administration.  It is the responsibility of each civil servant to make
sure that he is adequately represented at the state level and to demand a
voice in university affairs.  University civil servants are trapped in a
nether world between faculty and students and are, at present, merely
8-to-5 onlookers.

It's time for the entire library to take a look at where it's going as
well as where it's been.  Will the library be more, or less accomodating
to undergraduate students?  Is there any chance that the library could
become the vital cultural center of the campus, or will it remain an
isolated study area?  Surely, the questions of goals might be decided as a
joint effort on the part of the entire staff.  This effort might even
produce a more important side-effect: unity.  As it now stands, disunity
is one of the most pressing problems in this organization.  Librarians are
convinced that no other stratum could possily share the same interests.
Civil service personnel are highly suspicious of the professional staff,
accuse them of elitism.  Student assistants are sure that everyone thinks
they are cretins.

Here, an attempt at a staff association has been started, but without much
success.  The publication of a staff newsletter has been received with
mixed reviews.  It would seem that until each group is willing to drop
some of its defenses and stereotypes and really decide it's time to work
for changes in the interests of all, not much will be accomplished in this

Probably none of this might have been so apparent or important if one
could keep sharpened the very most important piece of equipment for a
paraprofessional position - a keen sense of the absurd.

Alas, there's not a spare moment to hone.

13. Message from an Ethiopian librarian

Subject: Message from Higemedhin Hadera(Mekelle University
To: ProgLib[at]
From: raimund.dehmlow[at]
Date: Mon, 11 Sep 2000 09:02:28 +0200

Progressive Librarians Around the World -

----- Weitergeleitet von Raimund Dehmlow/AEK Niedersachsen am 11.09.00
09:02 -----
"ISWICII"  <muc.iswIcii[at]>
An: <raimund.dehmlow[at]>                
Thema:  Message from Higemedhin Hadera(Mekelle University  
10.09.00 06:13                                                 

Dear Raymond Dehmelow,

Greetings from Mekelle University. I found  your address in the Link
Newsletter. I am chief Librarian of Mekelle  University. It is a young
university established in the drought stricken and  poorest part of
Ethiopia.Ever since its establishment it has been initiating and  involving
various academic , research and development activities that can change  the
livelihoods of the rural poor and fight poverty.
The Library and  Documentation Center, like its parent institution; has
been streamlining its  services towards this end. The library profession
has to lend a hand to  all academic and development endeavors of the
university in particular and  the country at large.
I am devising a project proposal for a visibility study  and subsequent
startup of community based mini rural libraries (Resources  Centers) built
and furnished with low cost local material and a collection of  local
publications, donated books and refurbished old computers.
I think you  have better information and connection on such and related

Therefore , I kindly ask your esteemed institution  to provide me with
addresses of donors and any thing written on such topics,  ongoing projects
any other issues concerning libraries and  Librarians.

My Postal address
Higemedhin  Hadera
Head, Library and Documenation Center
Mekelle  University
P.O. Box 231
Mekelle, Ethiopia

Looking forward to hear from you soon.


Higemedhin Hadera
Head, Library and  Documentation Center

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