Library Juice 3:45 - November 29, 2000


  1. Snappy Librarian Comebacks
  2. Women Leading Through Reading
  3. Nancy Kranich's Quarterly Presidential Report
  4. International workshop for access to government information
  5. Secrecy News
  6. GreyNet to cease trading
  7. NCAPAL extends deadline for Ching-chih Chen Leadership Awards
  8. FTF discussion of current feminism in librarianship
  9. 2000 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

Quote for the week:

"If truth is beauty, how come no one has their hair done in the library?"
- Lily Tomlin

Homepage of the week: Abigail Plumb


1. Snappy Librarian Comebacks -

What to say when the Boss tells you that everything's free on the Internet!


2. Women Leading Through Reading

---Forwarded Message
Subject: women, libraries and literacy
Date: Wed, 18 Oct 00 07:34:28 -0500
From: Mev Miller <wplp[at]>
"WSS" <wss-l[at]>, <gay-libn[at]>,
"PLGNet" <PLGNet-L[at]>,
"Collection development" <COLLDV-L[at]>,

Some of you may know me from my years of work with the Women's Presses
Library Project (WPLP). I'm still doing that work -- at least in the
Interet world at
( -- we should have some new publishers there
in the next month.

However, I also have another piece of work I'm doing with issues of women
and literacy. The website is an umbrella not only for WPLP
but for another initiative I've been working on since 1996 - Women
Leading Through Reading. I've recently updated their portion of the
website. It includes a resource list of BASIC English literacy materials
that address women's issues, a desciption of the work we've been doing, a
manual about how to organize and do training for the Women Leading
Through Reading book groups, and a questionnaire so that I can continue
to add resources. It's located at:

This website will grow and change over the next few years as it is part
of my dissertation project and a future for my career work.

I've not had a chance yet to figure out how to contact the ALA section
for literacy but I thought some of you might be interested in this
resource. anything you have to add will be appreciated.

Thanks for your continued support.


Women's Presses Library Project
...keeping women's words in circulation
MMev Miller, Project Coordinator
1483 Laurel Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55104-6737

651-646-1153 /fax


3. Nancy Kranich's Quarterly Presidential Report

Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2000 20:52:01 EST
From: "NANCY KRANICH" <kranich[at]>
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>
Reply to: kranich[at]

My quarterly report to the ALA Executive Board is now posted on my
web site at: I welcome your
comments and suggestions.

All Councilors are invited to participate in my Information Literacy
Advocacy training session on Thursday afternoon (information about
registration will be posted soon). On Sunday afternoon, I hope
you will attend my President's Program on the Digital Divide,
featuring Larry Irving, former Deputy Secretary of Commerce, and
several telecommunications policy specialists. The session will be
followed by small group discussions focused on formulating an equity
agenda for the Association. I encourage all Councilors to join this
important dialogue.

Best wishes for a joyous holiday season.

--Nancy Kranich

Nancy Kranich, President
American Library Association
Professional Address: Voice: 212-998-2447
New York University Libraries Fax: 212-995-4942

70 Washington Square South      Nancy.Kranich[at] or
New York, New York  10012       kranich[at]

4. International workshop for access to government information

Kiswahili Edition of the Proceedings of Information for Accountability
Workshop, Tanzania Are Now Available

The proceedings of the worlds first Information for Accountability
Workshop are now available in Kiswahili. They may be downloaded from The workshop was held at the British
Council auditorium in Dar-es-Salaam on 27-28 March 2000. It was sponsored
by the World Bank Danish Trust Fund on Governance and the British Council.

Gaining access to government information can be a major challenge in
Tanzania and elsewhere throughout the world. Transparency International
(Tanzania) and the International Records Management Trust, Rights and
Records Institute held a two-day workshop in Dar-es-Salaam in March 2000.
The workshop participants discussed the issue of improving citizens access
to information held by public bodies. They included members of parliament,
senior civil servants, and representatives of the legal profession, the
media, academia and public interest groups. The workshops goal was to
encourage the formation of an informed civil society. Once equipped with
information, individual citizens and their representatives can assert their
civil rights, hold governments accountable, and help to detect and deter
corruption and fraud.

Key issues and obstacles to accessing government information were
highlighted by workshop participants and a number of recommendations were
made. The focus was on developing a practical action programme to meet both
short-term and longer-term objectives. The District Based Support for
Primary Education programme provided a real case study for the workshop. In
addition, actions with a wider goal of improving access to information
across government were also discussed.

The English-language edition of the Proceedings of the first Information
for Accountability Workshop are available on the IRMT website at

5. Secrecy News -- FAS

The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) Project on Government
Secrecy, which works to "challenge excessive government secrecy and
to promote public oversight," has recently launched this email
publication. Distributed two to three times per week, _Secrecy News_
contains stories on recent developments in secrecy and security
policy and links to new materials placed on the FAS Website. A
subscription form is provided at the site. [MD]

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

6. GreyNet to cease trading (fwd)

Date: Mon, 27 Nov 2000 10:39:20 -0500 (EST)
From: Frederick W Stoss <fstoss[at]>
To: SRRT Action Council <srrtac-l[at]>
Reply to: srrtac-l[at]

This is sadness to the library community that pays attention to Grey
Literature. Maybe there is a story for publication editors in this.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 27 Nov 2000 09:32:50 -0000
From: Vicky Williams <VWilliams[at]>
To: "'fstoss[at]'" <fstoss[at]>
Subject: GreyNet to cease trading


Dear GreyNetters

It is with regret that MCB University Press, parent company of GreyNet - The
Grey Literature Network Service, announces that the services of GreyNet are
discontinued forthwith.

Volume 1 of the "International Journal on Grey Literature" can now be
accessed at <>;

GreyNet publications are now available on interlibrary loan/document
delivery only, via the British Library Document Supply Centre at
<>;. This includes the proceedings of the
conference series.

There will therefore be no GL 2001, or "GL-Compendium - a Net-based
Directory of Grey Literature Collections". Those few members of the
community who subscribed to GL-C for 2000 either directly with MCB, or via
GreyNet membership, will receive a refund over the next few weeks.

Thank you to those of you who have supported GreyNet actively over the

Eileen Breen
GreyNet - The Grey Literature Network Service.

7. NCAPAL extends deadline for Ching-chih Chen Leadership Awards

Date: Sun, 26 Nov 2000 22:57:28 -0500
From: Ling Hwey Jeng <lhjeng00[at]>
To: "NCAPAL Press Release distribution list":;

NCAPAL extends deadline for Ching-chih Chen Leadership Awards

The National Conference on Asian Pacific American Librarians announces the
new deadline for the Ching-chih Chen Leadership Awards as December 30th.
The deadline is extended to encourage broader participation while giving
APALA and CALA members more time to prepare the application or nomination
requirements. Don't miss this opportunity to nominate a colleague for the
Leadership Award (over five years library experience) or apply yourself for
the Emerging Leader Award (less than five years library experience). Each
award is consisted of $1,000 and a citation. In addition, the winners will
make presentations at the conference.

Nominees for the RECOGNIZED LEADER Award must be current members of CALA or
APALA, with at least five years of professional experience in library and
information profession. Nomination for the Recognized Leader Award consists
of 1) Letter of nomination, 2) Curriculum vita of the nominee; 3) Statement
on leadership (up to two pages, double-spaced); and 4) Names & addresses of
three references.

Members of APALA or CALA, with up to five years of professional experience
in library and information profession, are encouraged to apply for the
EMERGING LEADER Award. Complete application shall consist of 1) Cover
letter, 2) A statement (up to five pages, double-spaced with at least one
inch margin on each side) detailing how the award will be utilized for
project/research, including budget; 3) Curriculum vita; and 4) Names &
addresses of three references. The award cannot be used for course work
leading to a degree or certification.

DEADLINE for submission is December 30, 2000. Please send five (5) copies
of the complete nomination/application to:
Kingsborough Community College Library
2001 Oriental Blvd
Brooklyn NY 11235
* * *

8. FTF discussion of current feminism in librarianship

A thread from the SRRT Feminist Task Force listserve:

From: "Suzanne Hildenbrand" <denbrand[at]>
To: <feminist[at]>
Subject: Painful questions...
Date: Tue, 10 Oct 2000 11:50:15 -0700

Friends, I wonder if we could discuss the level of feminist activism in the
library world and/or ALA today? People keep telling me things like "COSWL is
dead," "I never see anything on that list, Feminist,. any more," etc. Yet I
see that great bibliog, On Account of Sex. Some tell me that younger or
newer librarians show "no" or "little" interest in issues like those
pursued by library feminists in the 70s. Professional literature appears to
emphasize technology, and not so much outreach which appears somehow more
compatible with feminist interests. (Is this true?) We can look at some
outstanding women leaders today who were identified with feminist activism
in the 70s and 80s...are there younger women today who are identified with
feminist and who seem to be on a fast track to major directorships,
deanships, etc?

I wonder how listmembers would characterize the feminist scene in the (US)
library world today?


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Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2000 16:44:53 -0400
From: Katie Brady <klb28[at]>
Subject: Re: painful questions
To: ALA Feminist Task Force Discussion List <FEMINIST[at]MITVMA.MIT.EDU>

As a very new-to-the-profession, late-20something librarian who considers
herself a feminist, I must admit I have been mystified by the silence on this
listserv. And the reticence in general about feminism in this profession in
general. Is this because librarianship enjoys such a high percentage of women?
Because the timid librarian stereotype has some validity to it? Because we are
all scrambling around like mad(women) and are too busy to devote time to an
arguably less central part of being a librarian?

I am curious, too, to hear more about what the issues facing librarianship in
the '70's were. Given that I was born in the early part of that
decade, I would be interested to hear about those challenges.

As for the statement that polarizes technology and outreach as occupying
opposite ends of the gender spectrum, I have to wonder. ("Professional
literature appears to emphasize technology, and not so much outreach which
appears somehow more compatible with feminist interests." ) Why is outreach
more compatible than technology for feminist interests? Because I'm a
woman/feminist I'm somehow less likely to be equipped to deal with techie
responsibilities, and motivated to do so? While certainly the majority of
students in my systems/IT graduate courses are indeed men and the majority
of the students in the more traditional library courses emphasizing service
and resources are women, I am uncomfortable with equating feminist
interests to outreach over technology. It ignores the fact that much of
the outreach that librarians do these days involves familiarizing users
with new technologies, and perpetuates easy, if not very progressive,

Katie Brady

Katie Brady
Electronic Resources Librarian
Hagerty Library, Drexel University
33rd and Market Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19104
tel: 215.895.2771 / fax: 215.895.2070

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From: "Kelly Hovendick" <kbhovend[at]>
Organization: Syracuse University Library
To: ALA Feminist Task Force Discussion List <FEMINIST[at]MITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2000 16:57:41 -0400

First of all, a huge thank you to Suzanne for opening up a can of
worms that I have been dying to discuss.
I am one of the newer librarians(only in the profession two years).
Starting w/ my thesis research, I was wondering where the feminist
voices of the profession where. It was easy to identify those of you
who had individual feminist voices, but I was wondering where the
collective conscious was. And I still wonder. The only time I see it
is when I am in COSWL(which I do not think is dead - particularly
in light of 2000 mid-winter's discussion) or WSS
meetings(unfortunately, I haven't made it to any FTF meetings yet).
But, then as soon as I step out of the meetings, the energy seems
to disappears. To say that I'm frustrated is an understatement, but
like everyone else, I'm sure, time limits me in my ability to be able
act -- hence, I'm not as involved in committees as I want to be, I'm
not publishing the articles that I want to publish. More recently, a
proposal for a panel discussion on women and technology issues
that I was part of at a national library conference was rejected and I
can't help but wonder whether it was because the abstract
mentioned technology enpowering us as women. Speculation
I believe that as one of the third wave feminists(if you subscribe to
that terminology), I am still looking at the same issues that
feminists in the profession in the 70s were looking at -- pay scales,
gender gaps in admin, etc. Something else I recognized
immediately in libraryland was the passivity of the women in higher
level positions that I've encountered. My own direct and
energetic(i.e. aggressive) personality has already placed me in
some uncomfortable situations, but I choose to remain true to
myself and my beliefs. To a large degree, I think that has been my
activism thus far. I've truly found that it sounds easier to do than it
On an organizational level, ALA has got me worried. I wonder what
the true agenda is. Though I hate to be suspicious, I can't help but
wonder why ALA leaders are "ordering" men into committee
meetings to find out whether or not we deserve to exist anymore.
Unfortunately, I am ending this email w/ no solutions or even
suggestions. Just a few thoughts from one of the newer grrls on
the block. I'm looking forward to further dialogue on this topic.


Kelly Hovendick | Reference Librarian & Womens Studies Specialist
E.S. Bird Library 210 | Syracuse University | Syracuse, NY 13244-2010 |
315.443.4807 | kbhovend[at] |

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Date: Sun, 15 Oct 2000 20:06:36 -0700 (PDT)
From: Sarah Pritchard <pritchar[at]>
To: ALA Feminist Task Force Discussion List <FEMINIST[at]MITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Subject: Painful questions, ALA feminism


It is hard to know how to answer the recent post from Suzanne and then
the responses. This list has a wonderful mix of participants,
sometimes quiet and other times not; those who are new to the
profession and many who have been around for decades, like me. In fact
it shocks me to say that because it is really not that long ago that
there was so little tolerance for women's issues that we didn't even
dare use the word "feminist" -- it used to be just the ALA Task Force
on Women.

This is not to say the battles are all won. But the feminists are
alive and out there and working on things both local and national.
Perhaps the listserv has not been the best way to share that
information; perhaps we have gotten fragmented into many other
subgroups. In ALA there used to be only the TFW (now FTF);
it was that TF that pushed to establish COSWL, and many of those
same women who founded ACRL-WSS, LAMA Women Administrators
group, a former DG in (now) RUSA that focused on services to women,
a racism/sexism awareness subcommittee in the ALCTS Cataloging
and Classification area (also no longer around).

There have been many successes we now take for granted: day care at
conferences; far more equitable numbers of women on Council and in
divisional and ALA leadership; more women directors at large public
and academic libraries; official policies on sexual harrassment;
absence of grossly sexist materials in ALA exhibits; acceptance of
equity issues as legitimate ALA concern; just to name a few things
that have come about only in the last 20 years. We should not sit
back and assume that these too will just stay around unchallenged, so
yes, we do need more feminist activism and new/renewed participation
from women in ALA of all ages and career interests.

Sadly, some issues we fought hard for in the 70s and 80s have now
moved backward, for example, the policy to require ALA official
journals to print only job ads that list the full salary range
(research showed that, when unaware of the full salary range, women
were far more likely not to be successful in negotiating the top end
salaries). FTF meetings are attended by 10 women instead of 40. Few
new members come to Council to observe and learn how to shape
Association policy.

There are many of us out here who can attest that it is not a
"career killer" to identify oneself as a feminist or to specialize in
women's studies as a subject. But we need to be out there giving
support and mentoring to women newer in the profession, suggesting
strategies for success on the job and involvement in ALA. FTF has
tried to sponsor some conference mentoring for library school students
and it has not been easy; both mentors and mentees need to be found,
over and over again.

I do not, personally, like to take the essentialist view that
technology is of less interest to women librarians than outreach and
services, and that's why there's less feminist issue-raising. I
myself (and I'm not the only one) have done writing and job-work on
both technology issues and women's issues broadly defined. I think
that it is a good idea for up-and-coming librarians to focus on a
variety of issues, some related to their jobs and some related to
broader professional policies and concerns.

Many of us know that the female-dominated nature of the profession and
of ALA has created an interesting paradox: great areas of sexism
within and external to the profession, yet plenty of resistance. Some
of us will remember the bitter fight when we passed an ERA Boycott in
ALA, meaning no ALA conferences were held (for a short time) in
Chicago, our own HQ city. Many women and men still claim that "social
issues" are irrelevant to ALA, not wanting to analyze the serious
impacts on workplace equity and on information access.

I've written a little about this in an article published in Wilson
Library Bulletin entitled "Backlash, Backwater, or Back to the Drawing
Board," (an earlier version and its bibliography are on the FTF web
site at

This article and another one used to be linked directly from the FTF
home page, and apparently have been dropped from the latest layout.
Both COSWL and ACRL-WSS have home pages but neither links to a
good historical bibliography or overview of feminist action in ALA.

A nice overview is provided by Hope Olson, faculty member in LIS at
the University of Alberta who teaches a course on women's issues in
librarianship (the only ongoing course like that of which I'm aware);
see her syllabus and article list at
and the historical overview at

There are thousands of other articles out there on feminist issues in
ALA, one only has to look at the series of bibliographies entitled "On
Account of Sex." But I would not recommend the book by Christina Baum
called _Feminist Thought in American Librarianship_, which has a very
flawed methodological analysis and misses the point of a lot of ALA
women's activism.

As a short aside, I wonder what Kelly H. was alluding to when she
said the ALA was "ordering men into meetings to find out whether
or not we deserve to exist anymore." Since I was chair of both
the (have we forgotten it so soon) Structure Revision Task Force
and then the Committee on Organization, I can attest to the problem
of trying to decide how to review the structural effectiveness of
the organization, how to allow the most diversity of member
interests while not having counterproductive and very expensive
proliferation/duplication of endless groups. It's not a guy thing,
it's a money thing. In either case the answer is to get appointed
to the higher level committees that do these reviews and write
the policies, both in the divisions and in ALA in general.

And learn how to present feminist issues, whether in your own
work or in ALA, in ways that show their broad applicability
to all users and all segments of the profession. Those of us
out there who've gone through the wars can help, that would be
a wonderful use of this list: for critiquing proposals, cover
letters, resumes, policy drafts, strategy and tactics.

There is indeed so much more that could be said about these
issues, both what we have done and what more we need to do.
But yes, I'm afraid sometimes we all get a little tired......



Sarah M. Pritchard              voice: (805) 893-3256
University Librarian            fax:   (805) 893-7010
Davidson Library                email: pritchard[at]
University of California

Santa Barbara, CA 93106

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Date: Tue, 17 Oct 2000 07:55:07 -0400
To: ALA Feminist Task Force Discussion List <FEMINIST[at]>
From: Isabel Danforth <danforth[at]>
Subject: Re: painful questions

I have another concern. Most folks responding to this list
and those I met at ALA as a member of COSWL are with large
public libraries and academic libraries.

Many females in librarianship work in smaller libraries,
work in part time positions, and do not have exposure to
many of these ideas. I think that issues that impact on
females in the library world need to get out of 'scholarly'
publications and into more of the professional forums that
they might read.

Isabel L. Danforth
Russell Library - Middletown, CT
Coordinator of Librarians' Online Support Team

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Date: Mon, 23 Oct 2000 13:22:07 -0400 (EDT)
From: Abigail Leah Plumb <plumba[at]>
To: ALA Feminist Task Force Discussion List <FEMINIST[at]MITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Subject: Re: painful questions

As a fairly new LIS student, I wonder if there are any others on this
list. Although I have had inklings of progressive politics from various
LIS professors, I'm in a program with a great deal of emphasis on
information science for the business world. It's frequently presented as
without politics entirely, and certainly without any issues of gender.

Has anyone in here met with some of these concerns in MLS (or other LIS
degree) programs? How have you dealt with them? Although I don't have
official statistics, I am aware that in the University of Michigan School
of Information (where I am studying) the LIS student body is heavily
female, while the men have gravitated toward concentrating in information
econ and human-computer interaction. I wonder how the supposedly
"value-neutral" attitude students in my program and, I am sure, others are
inheriting (or, hopefully, recognizing as such and evaluating) will serve
us during our professional education and in the future.

Abigail Leah Plumb/715 S. Forest, #110/Ann Arbor, MI/48104

"A circulating library in a town is as an evergreen tree of diabolical
knowledge." --Richard Brinsley Sheridan. 1751-1816

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Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2000 12:24:12 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Susan D. Kane" <suekane[at]>
To: ALA Feminist Task Force Discussion List <FEMINIST[at]MITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Cc: "Susan D. Kane" <suekane[at]>
Subject: painful issues

Well, I'm a new librarian, and a feminist, so I'll put in my two cents.

First of all, I'm new (UMich, 1998). I've only recently figured out the
overt power structure at my own institution. Having minimal history in
ALA, the large conferences simply seem like a madhouse -- hundreds of
acronyms, repetitive programming, groups and meetings and groups and
meetings ... I'm still trying to figure out how to spend my time in any
kind of useful way there.

Worrying about the overarching power structure of ALA seems somewhat
remote to me. I am very grateful for the work that ALA does on policy,
particularly around intellectual freedom and for representing the
profession nationally. Other than that ...? I am an activist, and I am a
librarian but that does not necessarily make changing ALA my first
political priority.

Compared to my friends' experiences in other professions, I've found my
own institution to be a very comfortable place to be a feminist and an
activist, so far. It is a pleasure in many ways to be in a female
dominated profession, and I also have the pleasure of seeing many women in
leadership roles at my institution. I'm not entirely sure that I want to
grow up to be one of them. I may want to grow up to be a highly paid
sysadmin, for example.

I actually think the question of men in librarianship is interesting,
which is not to say that we should not continue to do research on women.
I think it's interesting when men choose to enter a field that is largely
female dominated. Even more interesting is the current conflict at many
library schools between (mostly) men with high tech backgrounds and
(mostly) women with social sci and humanities backgrounds and even between
(male and female) librarians and (male and female) computer geeks. The
biggest difference between a librarian and a computer geek has to do with
values, not technical knowledge. Those values interact in interesting
ways with gender, and but they cannot be simplistically reduced to gender.
Is information a commodity or a public good? Again, there are gender
dynamics there, but that dichotomy cannot be reduced to gender.

I also react very strongly to any claim that technology is somehow "male".
My observation is that women are intimidated by technology, that they have
trained themselves to avoid it, and that they are further intimidated by
an aggressive, competitive and often gender-segregated culture around
technology. Given that technology is a huge source of money and power,
and will be the basis of most of what passes for economic activity for the
next generation or so, feminists must make a priority of opening up the
field. All the young librarians I know want only to gain more technical
skills. The more we know about the computers, the less we need to rely on
the computer geeks and the more we can shape the technology according to
our values.

I'm not sure what to make of the claim that feminist activism has declined
in ALA, but it would be odd indeed for ALA to maintain a 1960's/70's level
of activism in the 2000's. I was a kid during the height of the
"official" women's movement, and all I know is that there was no mass
movement for me to walk into when I realized that all was not right with
the world. I am deeply sad that I missed the 60s and had to go to high
school under Reagan, but I am not sad about growing up with Free to Be You
and Me, etc..

The continuing differential of power, money, and freedom that we see
between men and women, and that grows more stark among my friends as we
get older (I'm 32), is still far more subtle than what the generation of
feminists before me confronted. Who is to blame when one friend ends her
academic career because she wants children and her lesbian partner was
more directed, more competitive about getting an appointment? Who is to
blame when my female friends continue to go into social work (and
librarianship) despite the low pay, because the work is meaningful to
them, because they anticipate having children, because on some level they
count on finding partners who make more money and can afford to make less
themselves? I was raised to be able to support myself (not to rely on a
man), but my male friends were raised to support a family, and they
negotiate their job offers accordingly.

Our culture rewards competitive, directed, money-making behavior. It does
not reward having children, taking time off of work, caring for your
parents, maintaining your mental health or volunteer work to change the
world. This is not the kind of sexism you can pass a law or resolution
about. I would say that transforming this "half-changed world" (Peggy
Orenstein, Flux..) is the task of my generation, but many of us have spent
our political energy trying to retain the basic legal victories of the
generation before us (abortion rights, etc..). Growing up under
Reagan/Bush puts a very serious damper on one's ability to dream a better
world. Many of the feminists who came before me believed that if you
removed the visible barriers to women's advancement, the world would be
transformed, and indeed it was, in many ways. But what's left are some
very basic, structural issues. The lives of my friends (mostly white,
mostly middle-class) are a contradiction in terms. We want to work, we
want to stay home. We want equality with the men in our lives, we want
them to ensure our economic security. We want to succeed, we don't want
to play stupid, boy's games to do so. We want to change the world, we
want to get ahead in the world-as-it-is. We vote Democrat, and what the
hell does that get us?

We were raised under feminism, and our lives embody all of its
contradictions. The only thing I can say for sure is that it makes little
sense for the mothers to blame the daughters or vice-versa. There is a
way in which we resent you for setting up expectations the world did not
fulfill, and there is a way in which you resent us for not finishing the
job. But neither of us elected Reagan. Better to set our minds on how to
take the next step than to mourn the 60s over and over again.

Susan Kane
Reference/WS Librarian
Box 353080
University of Washington Seattle, WA
98195 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..

Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2000 17:24:37 -0400
To: ALA Feminist Task Force Discussion List <FEMINIST[at]MITVMA.MIT.EDU>
From: Pauline Klein <kleinp[at]>
Subject: Re: from Susan Kane re: painful questions

As an old time radical lesbian feminist librarian, I thought what Susan
Kane had to say was right on the mark, very insightful and thank her for
her comments.

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Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2000 13:03:08 -0400
From: Rebecca Tolley-Stokes <tolleyst[at]ACCESS.ETSU.EDU>
Subject: Re: painful questions
To: ALA Feminist Task Force Discussion List <FEMINIST[at]MITVMA.MIT.EDU>

I agree with Susan Kane that my institution is certainly supportive
of feminist librarians, but there aren't any committees at the library
level that discuss policies,issues etc. However, as part of a larger
state university, there are opportunites to serve on steering,
curriculum, tenure, etc. committees (as well as women's studies
committees). Since I'm new to the institution, I haven't assessed
the campus climate toward feminism, though there is a Women's
Studies minor. During new faculty orientation, we were told that
students here are especially uninvolved in activism. I don't know if
that is a regional problem (So. Appalachia) or symptomatic of
widespread student apathy. The Feminist Majority has a new
presence on campus, though I have not attended a meeting, I am
excited to see how they will make their presense known.

Perhaps one solution is to form feminist task forces/Roundtables at
the state level. I notice that Tennessee Library Association does
not have such an animal. Are there state library assocs. that do?


Rebecca Tolley-Stokes
Assistant Reference Librarian
Sherrod Library
East Tennessee State University
Johnson City, TN
v) 423.439.4365 fax)423.439.4720 tolleyst[at]

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From: "Suzanne Hildenbrand" <denbrand[at]>
To: "ALA Feminist Task Force Discussion List" <FEMINIST[at]MITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Subject: painful questions...
Date: Sun, 29 Oct 2000 12:44:32 -0800

The replies to my "painful questions" have been interesting and show that
many have thought about these issues. There seems to be a certain
sensitivity around the issue of technology and its identification with men.
Several seem to think that I think men just ARE more techie than women ---
the essentialist position, which I do NOT hold. Yet even some of these
acknowledge men are more numerous than women and in techie courses and jobs.
That is, the reality is that technology is a more male activity today in the
library (and other) worlds. Suppose we went to some distant society where
most of the folks who are literate are men and the women are mostly
illiterate . We would never think that this was due to some essential
difference between these men and women. We would look instead for the
social structures that fostered this division.

I think that gender and technology is the big feminist issue of the future.
It seems to me that the library profession is being redefined in a way that
favors delivery of content or access (techie jobs) over work with users and
knowledge of content (cataloging rules, reference tools, etc.) The
"offiical line" of course is that computerization just gives us a new, more
efficient way to do the traditional work. Maybe, but the "new, more
efficient" way involves loss of "professional" library jobs as the systems
are increasingly used by lower paid workers. This is very evident in
cataloging and I think it is becoming so in reference. We may still have
mostly professional librarians at ref desks, but how many are part-timers?
Or temps? Or interns? Of course this kind of thing varies by library, but I
do think it is an overall trend. Many (certainly not all but enough to
encourage cost-cutting administrators) young users , who have been using
the internet for years, are convinced that "It's all on the Web" and they
feel "empowered" to find it themselves.

Most of these changes are presented as "reforms." But what is the impact?
It seems democratic to employ non-professionals in jobs from which they were
previously excluded, but will they reap the same benefits as their
predecessors? Will they be eligible for advance? Many internships are
directed at under-represented groups , suggesting that they need more
preparation than others. Real jobs for the underrepresented are what is

Another important issue is source of future leaders. Will future deans and
directors be chosen from the ranks of the techies? After all if the
"important" work is technological, shouldn't the director have a strong
background in it?

I think we need a lot more data on the impact of library technology on
library staffing, and gender must always be a variable. (Along with race and
ethnicity). But who is gathering it? Why isn't ALA doing this? Is it a job
for COSWL? FTF? --SH


9. 2000 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

IUCN-The World Conservation Union has spent the past four decades
working to provide objective, scientifically based information on the
current status of the earth's threatened biodiversity. To that end,
IUCN-The World Conservation Union has just released its
much-anticipated Red List of 2000, listing the more than 11,000
species of the earth's plants and animals that face a high risk of
extinction in the near future. Since the IUCN's last assessment in
1996, over 200 new animal species have become threatened, almost all
as a result of human activities. The searchable IUCN Red List Website
has ten sections: Introduction, Data Organization, Red List
Programme, Summary Statistics, Sources & Quality, Categories &
Criteria, Habitat Types, Threat Types, Image Captions, and
References. Two search options (regular and expert) enable users to
search by taxonomic classification, with four additional modifiers:
Red List Category, Country, Geographic Region, and/or Marine Region.
Typical returns include taxonomic details (scientific classification
and common name), Assessment Information, Distribution (by country),
and Summary Documentation (Biome). This seminal resource represents
the most current and reliable information of its sort and is a "must
read" for any one working on ecology or conservation. [LXP]

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


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