Library Juice 4:9 - March 14, 2001


  1. Information for Social Change No. 12, Winter, 2001
  2. ALA Presidential Candidate Interviews in
  3. Mom Loses Livermore Appeal
  4. 7-line program to decrypt DVD's
  5. Further corporatization of the web
  6. Contribute to the Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom
  7. The Register and Cyber Patrol
  8. Update: Library of Congress' pirating of Communist Party Papers
  9. Letter from Mary Ann Meyers to American Libraries re: CPUSA docs
  10. ALA Council and others discuss Privatization report
  11. School Library Journal
  12. The Hacker Ethic
  13. Is Hacktivism Robin Hood Politics?
  14. Fox Guilty of Playing Chicken
  15. Anarchy at LOC
  16. Community Information by Zip Code

Quote for the week:

"There are still places where people think the function
of the media is to provide information."

- Dan  Rottenberg, White House spokesperson, _Readers & Writers
Magazine_, "Looking at Language," by Richard Lederer

Homepage of the week: Marjorie Schreiber


Mitch Freedman for ALA President -

1. Information for Social Change No. 12, Winter, 2001

is now on the web, at:

Table of contents:

Editorial. John Vincent

Clause 28. Anne Ramsden

Clause 28 and its effects.

Changing times: information destinations of the lesbian, Gay, bisexual and
transgender community in Denver, Colorado. Martin Garnar

Barriers to GLBT library service in the Electronic Age. Ellen Greenblatt

Book review: Ian Lumsden's Machos, maricones and gays: Cuba and
homosexuality. Review: John Pateman and John Vincent

Social Exclusion Action Planning Network

Book review: Fidel Castro's Capitalism in Crisis. Review: John Pateman

There is some content in the print edition that doesn't appear on the web
(Items not listed here).


2. ALA Presidential Candidate Interviews in

Mitch Freedman:

Ken Haycock:

Bill Sannwald:


3. Mom Loses Livermore Appeal

The California Court of Appeal agreed March 6 with a lower-court decision
that the Livermore (Calif.) Public Library is not constitutionally
obligated to offer blocking software on its public-access Internet

Story in American Libraries:

4. 7-line program to decrypt DVD's

Slashdot has an article about a seven-line program to decrypt DVD's
that was used to teach a computer science class at MIT.  Were the
instructors guilty of violating the Digital Millenium Copyright Act?


5. Further corporatization of the web

Some domain name registrars will be giving trademark-holders first
crack at new domain names in the new top level domains that are
opening up.

Story on Slashdot:


6. Contribute to the Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom

[IFACTION:1347] Lend Us a Hand!
Date: Fri, 16 Feb 2001 11:19:07 -0600
From: "Don Wood" <dwood[at]>
To: Intellectual Freedom Action News <ifaction[at]>

As you know, OIF publishes the Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom
(  The Newsletter--the
only such newsletter in the United States--is your source for the latest
information on intellectual freedom issues.  It is the only journal that
reports attempts to remove materials from school and library shelves
across the country.  The challenges reported in NIF are only a fraction
of the challenges that take place each year.  As IFAN volunteers
(, please make it your
job to

Read the newspaper and watch your local TV programs for incidents of
censorship, and report them to OIF. (You can report to OIF by e-mail,
fax, phone, or U.S. mail.) Send us any information you come across.

Monitor electronic lists and computer bulletin boards looking for
incidents of censhorship and information on pressure groups that are
forming in your area. Report this information to OIF.

Attend library board, school board, and local government meetings. On
average, more than two-thirds of the materials challenged were in school
libraries or school curricula. Don*t wait for a controversy to erupt;
make your views known before this happens.

Lend your support to someone who is facing a challenge and to respond
to requests for support from OIF on controversies in your area.

Encourage others to volunteer for the Intellectual Freedom Action

Send your information to:


Fax: 312-280-4227

Phone: 1-800-545-2433, ext. 4223

Thank you for being


Don Wood
Program Officer/Communications
American Library Association
Office for Intellectual Freedom
50 East Huron Street
Chicago, IL 60611
1-800-545-2433, ext. 4225
Fax: 312-280-4227
intellectual freedom @ your library


7. The Register and Cyber Patrol

Date: Fri, 09 Mar 2001 09:06:09 -0600
From: "Don Wood" <dwood[at]>
To: Intellectual Freedom Action News <ifaction[at]>

More on The Register v. Cyber Patrol

"Cyber Patrol, lame-brain developer of filtering software, is blocking
The Register to protect children, according to Janet Erickson, of the
CyberPatrol division of Surfcontrol (thanks to the dozens of readers who
forwarded us her letter). Interesting how well Cyber Patrol's commercial
interests are served by protecting children from The Perfidious


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

8. Update: Library of Congress' pirating of Communist Party Papers

Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2001 14:34:55 -0500
From: iskra[at]
To: SRRT Action Council <srrtac-l[at]>

The collaboration of the Russian archives and the  Library of Congress in
the piracy and unauthorized publication/distribution of the papers of the
Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA), which that  latter
organization -- still  very much existant and active-- sent to the former
USSR for safe-keeping  papers which very much remained its property,
continues to go unexplained, despite repeated inquiries.

No contact has ever been made in this matter by the Library of Congress
with the CPUSA, a legitimate American political party, regarding the
allegation of confiscation and copying of CP materials and of the entailed
violations of the rights of organizations and individuals.

Now a growing list of international historians, librarians and archivists
are demanding an accounting for this refusal to even acknowledge the
CPUSA's interest in the fate of it's own papers!  Iurge you once again to
jjoin with them, if you haven't already, insigning the Open Letter to the
Librarian of Congress which is being circulated.

The imperious attitude on the part of the Russian authorities and the
Library of Congress covers what, at the very least, is a clear-cut
violation of the Society of Americasn Archivist's (SAA) ethical code. Legal
counsel has advised that the return of the original papers to the CPUSA and
the examination of the legal implications of the Library of Congress'
acquisition of this copied material is called for.

Below, for your information and background on this issue, are three news
items writtenby Andrew Albanese and re-printed with permission courtesy of
Library Journal Academic Newwire . The Newswire has been covering the story
with interest and concern.

For more information on the present situation in this matter contact: Mark
Rosenzweig, Reference Center for Marxist Studies <iskra[at]>.

Mark Rosenzweig

[To sign Mark's earlier, open letter, read it at
and email him to express your agreement.]

9. Letter from Mary Ann Meyers to American Libraries re: CPUSA docs

From: "Mary Ann Meyers" <ljmmam[at]>
To: <americanlibraries[at]>
Sent: Thursday, March 08, 2001 11:07 AM
Subject: Reader Forum: "Communist Records to LC"

Your brief news item, "Communist Records to LC," (March 2001, 20)
failed to mention the controversy surrounding the acquisition of these
records.  Perhaps your news deadline is the reason that coverage is
lacking in your item or elsewhere in the magazine--and you will
consider giving this topic fuller coverage.

Here are some of the concerns arising from this Library of Congress

1. These records belong to an existing legal American
organization--the Communist Party of the United States of America.
The records were sent to the USSR for safekeeping from illegal US
seizure during the "red" witchhunts of the mid-twentieth century.

How did these documents, still belonging to the CPUSA, come to be "seized"
and sold back in microfilm copy form to the LC for a large sum of
money?  Who is the legitimate owner(s) of the originals and of any
publication rights?

2.  The CPUSA documents are a rich source of history for labor,
political, economic and social movements in twentieth-century America.
What is the provenance of the microfilm?  Who can attest to the
accuracy of the microfilm's presentation of documents?  What use may
be made, or already has been made, of the copies of these records to
revise history?

3.  Innocent people connected with these records may suffer
unwarranted consequences as the LC, without permission and in
violation of the privacy of people mentioned in the records (and their
surviving family members and friends), cooperates and partners in
the publishing of and profiting from unauthorized use of the records.

4.  I am not an archivist.  Was the transaction legal?  Were
recognized archival procedures and methods, professional and humane
ethics, adhered to by LC in pursuit of these copied records?

Consider this, please--that in doing the right thing by the CPUSA in
pursuing answers to these questions, we are preserving our own
legitimacy as professional librarians and archivists.   So far James
Billington of the Library of Congress has failed to respond to these

Mary Ann Meyers
Littleton, Colorado

10. ALA Council and others discuss Privatization report

Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2001 11:23:18 +0200
From: Al Kagan <akagan[at]>
To: SRRT Action Council <srrtac-l[at]>

I am forwarding this message from Sally Reed regarding a resolution
on privatization and outsourcing.  I have previously forwarded this
just after the DC meeting.  They are taking feedback until May 1st.
Perhaps we can have some discussion on the listserv?  The
Outsourcing/Privatization Proposal is on page 3.

Personally, I agree with the 2 recommendations on privatization of
whole libraries as far as they go. They are a step forward. However,
this proposal fails to address "outsourcing" at all. I would define
outsourcing as privatizing specific aspects of library services.  As
I said on the Council floor, I think we also need a definition for
"outsourcing," in order to address the need to oppose outsourcing of
core services.  As you will see in the document, there is a problem
in lack of agreement on what services are "core."  However, I think
there must be a way around this.  One approach that may or may not be
useful is to not worry about defining core services and hope that
most libraries will know them when they see them.  At least, this
would be better than remaining silent.  Perhaps someone can come up
with a better approach?

TO:              ALA Executive Board
FROM:    Liz Bishoff and Sally G. Reed
DATE:            January 12, 2001
SUBJ:            Outsourcing/Privatization: A Proposal

Introduction and Background:  Over the course of the past three years, the
Association has been paying particular attention to the practice of
outsourcing library functions as well as the shifting of management to the
private sector in publicly funded libraries, particularly public libraries.
This issue became of significant interest when the State Library of Hawaii
decided to outsource all aspects of collection selection, acquisitions,
processing and cataloguing for the Hawaii Public Library System to Baker
and Taylor, a for-profit company.

Due to increasing interest and concern among members, the ALA Council
directed then ALA President Barbara Ford to appoint an Outsourcing Task
Force (OTF) in 1997 to study the issue, make recommendations and report
back. The OTF held membership hearings at both ALA Midwinter Meeting and
ALA Annual Conference in 1998.  They reported back to Council with
recommendations in 1999.

Though the Council supported the OTF premise that libraries are an
essential public good and are fundamental institutions in a democratic
society, they did not agree that ALA should adopt the policy statement, ALA
opposes privatizing core library services [emphasis added] to for-profit

Several OTF proposals were referred to ALA divisions or ALA management for
further study through research.  Additionally, divisions and units were
asked to report back on checklists, guidelines, and other recommendations
developed under their area of expertise.  Specifically, Council directed
that, The Intellectual Freedom Committee (IFC) be directed to review the
Library Bill of Rights as it relates to outsourcing and privatization.  The
IFC did so and presented a checklist to Council at the 2000 Annual

In response to the Council motion to analyze the impact of outsourcing on
the operation of libraries, ALA contracted with Texas Womans University
(TWU) to study the practice of outsourcing in libraries and elsewhere and
report back their findings.  A report was presented to ALA Council at the
2000 Annual Conference.  After extensive discussion, Council moved to
accept the report and asked the President to establish a small task force
to continue the discussion and help frame the issues involved in
outsourcing and privatization.

Analysis:  In both the OTF report and the TWU report, discussion and
debate centered around two areas primarily:

Common agreement on what constitutes core services in a library
Clear definition of outsourcing v. privatization.

A review of Council discussion and debate for the OTF report and for the
TWU report reveals that there are widely varying beliefs about what
services are core to libraries.  Because of this dispute, it was impossible
to reach consensus on what or whether and service should be considered
inappropriate for outsourcing.

The review of Council discussion also revealed confusion regarding what is
meant by the term outsourcing and what is meant by the term privatization.
These terms were often used inter-changeably in the discussions and debates
making it more difficult for the Council to come to an agreement or stand
supporting or opposing outsourcing or privatization.

Definitions offered by the OTF:

Outsourcing is the contracting to external companies or organizations,
functions that would otherwise be performed by library employees.

Privatization is the shifting of policy making and the management of
library services or the responsibility for the performance of core library
services in their entirety, from the public to the private sector.

Definition of Privatization offered by the TWU report:

Privatization is contracting out for services in a way that shifts control
over policies for library collections and services from the public to the
private sector.

In both definitions for Privatization there is emphasis on services or
core services.  In fact, the TWU study reported that there appears to be a
complete lack of consensus about what constitutes a core service  and what
is core in one institutional context may well be considered to be
peripheral in another.

What appeared to have consensus in the discussions, debates and reports is
that libraries are an essential public good and that responsibility for
policies should not be shifted to the private sector in publicly funded

Findings and Recommendations:  We believe that there is general consensus

It is difficult or impossible to define core services for any single
library The responsibility for policy development and management should not
be shifted to the private sector in a publicly funded library.

Therefore, we propose the following recommendations:

Recommendation 1)  Accept the OTF definition of privatization with an
important modification as follows:

Privatization is the shifting of policy making and the management of
library services or the responsibility for the performance of core library
services in their entirety, from the public to the private sector.

Recommendation 2)  Generate Association-wide discussion on this definition
with a view to ALA eventually taking a stand against the shifting of policy
making and management of library services from the public to the private
sector. It is our belief that a more narrow definition of privatization
will enable the Association to take a stand in support of keeping publicly
supported libraries safe from full privatization.  We believe this stand
and approach is consistent with the will of the membership.

Next Steps:  We ask that the Executive Board of the American Library
Association endorse this report along with Recommendations 1 and 2 above
and that this report be forwarded to Council for further discussion.  We
further recommend that this report be placed on the agenda of Council at
the 2001 Annual Meeting for action as indicated in Recommendation 2.

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

Outsourcing/Privatization Proposal
Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2001 12:21:25 -0800 (Pacific Standard Time)
From: Alan Mattlage <am215[at]>
To: SRRT Action Council <srrtac-l[at]>
Reply to: srrtac-l[at]

I think the proposal on outsourcing and privatization that
Al sent to the list in an attachment indeed deserves
discussion.  My comments may be naive or not politically
wise, since I have not been involved in prior discussions
of this in the ALA, but I'm concerned about the
redefinition of privatization.  I think both the OTF and
the TWU definitions don't capture the concept.  Neither are
robust enough.  OTF is better, but the ammendment seems to
make it worse.  I would prefer:

"Privatization is the shifting of policy making or the
management or performance of library services from the
public to the private sector."

I think this definition has the virtue of capturing the
concept in principle.  The other definitions seem to be
designed so that the ALA can say it is against
"privatization" while still allowing a certain amount of
privatization to take place.

Having established a less jury-rigged definition of
privatization, I would hope that the SRRT would then
propose that the ALA state that it is in principle against
privatization and that publicly funded libraries should,
whenever possible, resist privatization by maintaining or
establishing internal control over library services, or
where outsourcing is necessary, to first seek services from
publicly funded library consortia and, failing this, to
seek services from non-profit organizations.


Alan Mattlage
Reference/Instruction Librarian
Arts and Humanities Team
0131 McKeldin Library
University of Maryland
College Park, MD  20742

(301) 314-1320
.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..

[SRRTAC-L:5921] privatization
Date: Fri, 09 Mar 2001 17:57:27 -0700
From: TONI SAMEK <asamek[at]>
To: SRRT Action Council <srrtac-l[at]>

In 1997, the Canadian Library Association adopted a "Corporate Sponsorship
Agreement in Libraries Position Statement.  This Statement may be of
interest to those involved in the privatization discussion.


I have also pasted the text below:

 Corporate Sponsorship Agreement in Libraries
 Position Statement
 Ratified by Annual General Meeting
 June 21, 1997

Libraries enrich lives, provide information needed for for work
and daily living, and foster informed communities which are
essential to a democratic society. In recognition of this
important function, communities support libraries through
public funding. The library's first priority is to ensure the
continuation and growth of this primary relationship -- public
funding for the public good.

CLA encourages and supports advocacy to maintain and
develop public funding as the principal source of
support for public, school, academic and government libraries.

Publicly funded libraries can and do explore other sources of
funding, such as grants, gifts, donations, partnerships and
sponsorships, to ensure that they provide the best possible
services to their communities. Corporate sponsorships are
one source of additional support that allows libraries to
enhance the level, extend the range, or improve the quality of
library service.

To ensure that partnerships enhance the library's image and
add value to library services, libraries need to develop policies
and sponsorship agreements that outline the conditions and
the benefits of the sponsorship agreements that outline the
conditions and the benefits of the sponsorship arrangement.

CLA believes that the following principles are important in
developing sponsorship policies and agreements. Libraries
have a responsibility to:

   1.demonstrate that sponsors further the library's mission,
     goals, objectives and priorities, but do not drive the
     library's agenda or priorities.

   2.safeguard equity of access to library services and not
     allow sponsorship agreements to give unfair advantage
     to, or cause discrimination against, sectors of the

   3.protect the principle of intellectual freedom and not
     permit sponsors to influence the selection of
     collections, or staff advice and recommendations about
     library materials, nor require endorsement of products
     or services.

   4.ensure the confidentiality of user records by not selling
     or providing access to library records. sensitive to the local political and social climate and
     select partners who will enhance the library's image in
     the community.

Dr. Toni Samek
Assistant Professor
School of Library & Information Studies
3-15 Rutherford South, University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta CANADA T6G 2J4
Phone:   (780) 492-4578 or 492-0179
Fax:     (780) 492-2430

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

Re: privatization
Date: Sat, 10 Mar 2001 11:30:59 +0200
From: Al Kagan <akagan[at]>
To: SRRT Action Council <srrtac-l[at]>

Thanks to Toni for sending this statement.  It is at least a
beginning, and stronger than ALA's policy.  However, there is still a
lot missing. Mark pointed out how ALA was doing advertising and
disguising it as news stories.  What about the relative size of logos
and advertising text?  ALA needs a more comprehensive statement.  At
least point 1 below would have addressed ALA's reversal on supporting
the annual turn off the TV day in favor or sponsor advertising.


11. School Library Journal

SLJ Online is the Web companion to the top print resource for librarians
who work with children and young adults.

School Library Journal, the print magazine, and now, School Library
Journal Online, the web site, serve librarians who work with young people
in school and public libraries. The two publications give librarians
indispensable information needed to manage libraries, from creating
high-quality collections to understanding how technology can assist -- or
hinder -- learning. School Library Journal, founded in 1954, carries more
book reviews and wins more awards for editorial excellence than any other
publication in the field. As one reader recently told us, "Thanks for a
great publication for so many years."

Featured full-text articles are available in HTML format.

Editor: Phyllis Levy Mandell
Email: pmandell[at]


The Hacker Ethic
Linus Torvalds, Pekka Himanen, Manuel Castells
Hardcover - 243 pages (1 February, 2001)
Secker & Warburg; ISBN: 043620550

Review from

Nearly a century ago, Max Weber's The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of
Capitalism articulated the animating spirit of the industrial age, the
Protestant ethic. Now, Pekka Himanen-together with Linus Torvalds and Manuel
Castells-articulates how hackers* represent a new, opposing ethos for the
information age. Underlying hackers' technical creations - such as the
Internet and the personal computer, which have become symbols of our time -
are the hacker values that produced them and that challenge us all. These
values promote passionate and freely-rhythmed work; the belief that
individuals can create great things by joining forces in imaginative ways;
and the need to maintain our existing ethical ideals, such as privacy and
equality, in our new, increasingly technologized society. The Hacker Ethic
takes us on a journey through fundamental questions about life in the
information age - a trip of constant surprises, after which our time and our
lives can be seen from unexpected perspectives.

*In the original meaning of the word, hackers are enthusiastic computer
programmers who share their work with others, not computer criminals.

Pekka Himanen earned his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Helsinki
at the age of twenty. His ongoing mapping of the meaning of technological
development has brought him into dialogue with academics, artists, ministers,
and CEOs. Himanen works at the University of Helsinki and at the University
of California at Berkeley. Linus Torvalds has become one of the most
respected hackers within the computer community for creating the Linux
operating system in 1991 while a student at the University of Helsinki. Since
then, Linux has grown into a project involving thousands of programmers and
millions of users worldwide. Manuel Castells is a professor of sociology at
the University of California at Berkeley. He is the author of the
highly-acclaimed trilogy The Information Age, The City and Grassroots (winner
of the 1983 C. Wright Mills Award) and of more than twenty other books.

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

 Despite the title The Hacker Ethic is a philosophical essay contrasting the
Western capitalist world view with those of hackers. In this context, hackers
are those passionate about any subject, not just computers.

 The book starts with an essay by Linus Torvalds and finishes with a
thoughtful 75-page essay by Manual Cassels called "Informationalism and the
Network Society". At its heart though, is the paradox summed up on page 60,
"Present capitalism is based on the exploitation of scientific communism".
This simply means companies make money based on information provided by
scientists for free. This results in an ethical quandary. Companies eagerly
seize information freely provided by hackers yet withhold information
discovered by themselves. An indefensible position.

 Himamen claims hackers work because what they're doing interests them and
disseminating what they learn brings the respect of their peers while others
work for money and enjoy the envy of their peers. His arguments are well
illustrated with ideas from Plato, through medieval village life,
protestantism, academia, the industrial revolution and more. He concludes the
information revolution makes work central to our lives, soaking up the time
and energy necessary for play, for the pursuit of personal passions.

 He isn't whistling "Dixie". Who do you know with a hobby? How many talk to
their families? Most spend their free time watching actors pretend to be
members of passionate families. This is essential reading for anyone who
wonders what their life is about. Hackers don't need to read it. --Steve

 Using "hacker" in its original sense, to mean enthusiastic computer
programmers not criminals, the authors describe how hacker values represent a
new, opposing ethic for the information age. They promote the belief that
individuals can create great things by joining forces in imaginative way.

13. Is Hacktivism Robin Hood Politics?

A discussion on Slashdot

14. Fox Guilty of Playing Chicken

Adbusters, March/April 2001

"There is no law, rule, or regulation against slanting the news."  When a
major news media company makes this argument in court, that sounds like,
well, news.  So when Rupert Murdoch's Fox network did exactly that, why did
the case fail to make page one and prime time?

On August 18, 2000, the "no rules" argument - in fact, the whole of Fox's
case - collapsed.  A jury found that Fox station WTVT in Tampa, Florida, had
wroongfully fired reporter Jane Akre after she refused to modify an
investigative story in ways she felt would result in "a false, distorted, or
slanted news report."  Damages were set at $425,000, though appeals by Fox
could delay the payment for more than two years.

The jury's decision marked the end of a three-year struggle that bagan after
Akre and her husband, Steve Wilson, wrapped up a series of features that
revealed the widespread use of synthetic bovine growth hormone (BGH) in
Florida dairies.  With promotional ads for the veteran reporters' work
already airing, WTVT received a warning from lawyers representing Monsanto -
the biotech giant that markets BGH under the brand name Posilac.
Eighty-three rewrites and a suspension later, the story was canned and the
reporters sacked.

"What is so unusual and egregious about our case is that this is the first
time I know of that a newspaper or broadcaster has opted not to kill a story
but to distort and mold the sotry into a shape that the potential litigant
and advertiser - in this case Monsanto - would like," Steve Wilson told
Adbusters in 1998.  (No damages were found for Wilson, who acted as his own
attorney; he will appeal the decision.)

Akre's victory marks the first time that a journalist in the US has used
whistleblower legislation, which protects employees who refuse to break the
law on the job, against a media organization acused of illegally distorting
the news.  It's a landmark case, raising red flags about the corporate
culture of the media giants.  So why son't the mainstream media pay attention?

According to Akre, reporters see the case as "too inside baseball" - media
code for the unwritten rule that news organizaitons avoid writing about
themselves or the industry.  It's the crux of the crisis in the Fourth
Estate: no one is watching the watchdogs.

[ For further background, including the alterred story script, with comment
fromm Akre and Wilson, see .]

Adbusters' web site is at

15. Anarchy at LOC

Date: Thu, 08 Mar 2001 01:08:31 -0500
From: Chuck0 <chuck[at]>
To: librarians[at]
Reply to: librarians[at]

Insiders Guide: Elihu Vedders "Anarchy" at the Library of Congress
Jeff Bagato (editor, Mole zine)

 Just a few years ago I was roaming the complicated mezzanine of the
Library of Congresss Main Gallery (possibly looking for a bathroom)
when I made a crucial discovery in Washingtons political and art
history legacy: Anarchy lives in the Library of Congress!
She greets visitors there with open arms, bare breasts and a dripping
wine cup from a hemispherical painting above an elevator by the Main
Reading Room. Installed in 1896, Anarchys still dynamic, compelling and
crazy after all these years.
 The power of "Anarchys" image somehow made me forget all the other
artwork that overwhelms the walls of this ornate shrine to learning and
wisdom. On that first visit, I was only vaguely aware, too, that Anarchy
herself was merely the bad end of a series of five lunettes placed
around the doors of the Main Reading Room. Entitled simply "Government"
after the central panel, the series briefly outlines two courses of
public leadership: "Corrupt Legislation" and "Good Government." The
latter appears as a smug and dull matron presiding over the counting of
beans and voting chits with the scale of justice; her reign leads to
"Peace and Prosperity," who bears a strained expression and a tense
posture, bracing herself as if suffering from back pain, or bored with
the dull, sleepy-eyed youths at her side. She rests in the kind of
paradise the Talking Heads once described when they sang: "Heaven is a
place where nothing ever happens." Her torso and breasts are bare, but
her legs are covered chastely. "Corruption" seems more slothful in dress
and posture than her counterpart and holds a one-sided scale; in the
corrupt world "Good Governments" abundant fields of grain are replaced
by smoking factory chimneys .
"Corruption" leads to that exciting, irresistible femme fatale
"Anarchy," who throws off her garments, wears writhing snakes in her
hair and daringly waves her wine cup in one hand while brandishing a
burning scroll in the other. At her feet she tramples symbols of
literature, art, religion and law. Her irrepressible companions Violence
and Ignorance tear apart a classical Roman edifice and dump the rubble
into an abyss. Down in front with the discarded symbols of civilization
there rolls a black bowling ball-type bombthe kind Rocky and
Bullwinkles archenemy Boris Badenov carried like a calling card. Ever
the mad bomber, Anarchy has lit the weapons fuse, thus sowing the seeds
of her own destruction with the flames of the torch she carries.
 "Corrupt Administration" versus "Good Government" may seem like a
soundbite from last years Bush-Gore contest, but this rather
heavy-handed allegory was rendered in 1895 by Elihu Vedder, an artist
well-known in his day as an illustrator of popular greeting cards and a
best-selling edition of Omar Khayyams Rubaiyat. Vedder was chosen as a
muralist for Bowdoin College by the architect Charles McKim, who
recommended the painter when McKim headed the Library of Congress
project. Final approval was made by Edward Pearce Casey, the interior
designer of the librarys Thomas Jefferson building; the over-the-top
ornateness of the placewith every surface either overdecorated or
imposingis Caseys doing.
 Vedder drew inspiration for his Government figures from sculptures and
paintings he saw in Rome, where he lived and worked for most of his
career. Fitting the neoclassical pretensions of Washingtons Federal
architecture, the figures wear togas and sandals, rest on stately marble
benches built on pillars of carved urns and lions, and vote using the
method of ancient democraciestossing a chit into a vase. (No chance of
mistaken chads there.) Vedder had seen Blakes drawings during a trip to
London, and the Romantics influence can be seen in the smooth,
expressive outlines, heroic poses and washes of pale color. Vedder also
created the Librarys mosaic portrait of Minerva, the Roman goddess of
learning, but the image is static, much like other works there.
Vedder considered himself a landscape painter and he brought a precision
of naturalistic detail to his visionary and allegorical work that makes
it an early example of magic realism. "Lair of the Sea Serpent," a
painting from 1864, portrays a Mediterranean beach delightfully
contoured by dunes and shrubs; the giant snake curled languorously in
the sun seems like he truly belongs there. Its the same with "The Rocs
Egg," where an enormous egg dwarfs such realistically detailed desert
nomads you almost forget its there. Vedder achieves similarly
normalizing effects when he painted angels, medusas, the Pleiades, or
"The Sphinx of the Seashore." Any of these works might have graced the
covers of a later centurys pulp science fiction paperbacks.
In comparison to his realistic fantasies, Vedders Government series
seems a rather mundane version of idealized classical Roman society.
However, the central panel, "Government" itself, features two
androgynously beautiful angels; you can almost believe that they
appeared this way, wings and all, in Vedders studio. But as a
larger-than-life figure made surprisingly vivid, "Anarchy" more closely
fits the spirit of Vedders visionary work.
Aside from being the most hedonistic figure of the series, and despite
an attachment to a misunderstood political ideology that seems dangerous
or juvenile to the public, "Anarchy" is just more fun to look at.
"Anarchy" alone displays a delightful sense of movement, a dynamic,
off-centered composition, the charm of nakedness and expansive,
abandoned gestures. But her face has a grim cast; she knows that
tomorrow will bring a hangover from her present indulgences, and that
some kind of reconstruction will have to begin. The power of this
painting is that it suggests this character development, which breaks it
away from the rigid allegorical structure that confines the other works
of Vedders series.
Whether a warning or a pleasure, Anarchys residence in Washington makes
sense in the company of other ambassadors, politicos, ideologues and mad
dreamers who likewise spice a stodgy bureaucratic stew.

16. Community Information by Zip Code

      This site provides links to selected Internet sources for
        statistical data on population, education, health,
        environment, business, and politics which can be
        retrieved by entering a zip code. It includes nationwide,
        California, and Los Angeles area zip-code-level
        sources. Maintained by CSU-Northridge librarian Mary
        Finley. - beb

From Librarians' Index to the Internet -

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