Library Juice 5:14 - April 11, 2002


  1. Progressive Librarian #19-20, Spring 2002
  2. Preservation 101: An Internet Course on Paper Preservation
  3. State Privacy Laws Regarding Library Records
  4. More Information Being Stripped From Gov Web Sites
  5. Librarian turned activist lawyer targeted by Ashcroft
  6. Joy Richmond's Paraguayan Library Project (an appeal)
  7. Petition to preserve Sandy Berman's contribution at HCL
  8. In U.S. Media, Palestinians Attack, Israel Retaliates
  9. Authors urge Amazon to limit sales of used books
  10. The Evil Of Silent Censorship (blocked email)
  11. Thoughts on the reaction to Nicholson Baker's Double Fold
  12. City of Los Angeles Librarians appeal for support
  13. Progressive Portal letter campaign (on the war in Israel/Palestine)
  14. McFarland book on Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky
  15. Three ads that have some of us going

Quote for the week:

'If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper,
before 24 hours my occupation would be gone. The business of a journalist
is to destroy the truth; to lie outright; to pervert; to vilify; to fawn at
the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily
bread. You know it and I know it and what folly is this toasting an
independent press ... Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all
the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes.'

John Swinton of the New York Times toasting his profession before the New
York Press Club in 1953, quoted by

Homepage of the week: Chris Brown-Syed


1. Progressive Librarian #19-20, Spring 2002

The new issue of Progressive Librarian is working its way to members' and
subscribers' mailboxes. The table of contents is pasted below.

Three articles from the new issue are on the web. They are:

Librarians or Dissidents: Critics and Supporters of the Independent
Libraries in Cuba Project, by Stuart Hamilton

"Why Do We Need to Keep This in Print? It's on the Web...": A Review of
Electronic Archiving Issues and Problems, by Dorothy Warner

Disconnected: Teaching Information Equity to Undergraduates, by Angelynn

Progressive Librarian #19/20, Spring 2002



Librarians or Dissidents: Critics and Supporters of the
Independent Libraries in Cuba Project Stuart Hamilton - p. 3

"Why Do We Need to Keep This in Print? It's on the Web...":
A Review of Electronic Archiving Issues and Problems
Dorothy Warner - p. 47

Disconnected: Teaching Information Equity to Undergraduates
Angelynn King - p. 65

September 11th and PLG: an Editorial Exchange
John Buschman & Mark Rosenzweig - p. 77


LeftWords: Another Country Lynn Andersen - p. 86


Letter to the American Library Association Annual
Meeting, 6/01 Marta Terry - p. 89

Memo to: International Relations Committee, ALA
Ann Sparanese - p. 96

Resolution Concerning Cuba adopted at IFLA - p. 106

Cuba: Sovereignty, Development and Intellectual Freedom -
A Presentation, 6/17/01 Rhonda Neugebauer - 107

Memo to: Committee on Professional Ethics, ALA
Larry Oberg - p. 118


A Radical Democratic Critique of Capitalist Education,
Richard A. Brosio
reviewed by Michael Carbone - p. 124

Intellectual Freedom and Social Responsibility in American
Librarianship, 1967-1974, Toni Samek
reviewed by Jenna Freedman - 127


2. Preservation 101: An Internet Course on Paper Preservation

In eight modules, with self-testing quizzes, this very well designed
online tutorial covers archiving; environmental, biological, and
mechanical causes of deterioration; cleaning and tools of the
trade; planning for emergencies; specifics on storage and care of
photographic images; and organizing a preservation program.
Also includes a glossary of terms, basic care and handling
guidelines, and an annotated guide to further sources.

From Librarians' Index to the Internet -

3. State Privacy Laws Regarding Library Records

Date: Tue, 02 Apr 2002 15:11:09 -0600
From: "Don Wood" <dwood[at]>
To: Intellectual Freedom Action News <ifaction[at]>
Reply to: dwood[at]

State Privacy Laws Regarding Library Records

The American Library Association encourages all librarians,
particularly those in public libraries, to work with their local legal
counsel to ensure they understand state confidentiality laws so they may
respond quickly to any requests from law enforcement. Forty-eight of 50
states have such laws on the books, but the language varies from state
to state. The ALA recommends that each library adopt a policy that
specifically recognizes the confidentiality of information sought or
received, and materials consulted borrowed or acquired by a library
user. These materials may include database search records, circulation
records, interlibrary loan records and other personally identifiable
uses of library materials, facilities, programs or services, such as
reference interviews. Libraries are advised to rely on existing laws to
control behavior that involves public safety or criminal behavior.

Libraries should have in place procedures for working with law
enforcement officers when a subpoena or other legal order for records is
made. Libraries will cooperate expeditiously with law enforcement within
the framework of state law.

See also

Developing a Confidentiality Policy

For Librarians and Libraries, including ALA Policies and Statements on

Draft Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights on Privacy

Questions and Answers on Privacy and Confidentiality

Privacy and Confidentiality

Privacy Resources for Librarians, Library Users, and Families


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 [at] your library
Free People Read Freely®

"Intellectual Freedom is the right of every individual to both seek
and receive information from all points of view without restriction.
It provides for free access to all expressions of ideas through which
any and all sides of a question, cause or movement may be explored.
Intellectual freedom encompasses the freedom to hold, receive and
disseminate ideas."--Intellectual Freedom and Censorship Q & A

4. More Information Being Stripped From Gov Web Sites

Date: Thu, 21 Mar 2002 17:37:31 -0500 (EST)
From: Frederick W Stoss <fstoss[at]>
To: SRRT Action Council <srrtac-l[at]>

This article by Bill Sammon in the March 21 Washington Times (not
necessarily the best or most reliable resource) informative. It looks like
the Administration will ride the wakes of its "victories" (one of which is
to operate in an atmosphere of low dissent) and remove more federal Web
sites from government departments and agencies. Rationale is to further
restrict access to so-called "sensitive information" as a weapon in our
arsenal for the War or Terrorism. Here is the URL to the WT Article

Circulate as you would like.

Fred Stoss

5. Librarian turned activist lawyer targeted by Ashcroft

Date: Wed, 10 Apr 2002 18:43:17 -0400
From: Mark Rosenzweig <iskra[at]>
To: SRRT Action Council <srrtac-l[at]>

In as provocative a move as can be imagined for those who are
concerned with the civil-liberties implications of the PATRIOT ACT
and related emergency decrees, Ashcroft's Justice Department has
used its newly declared powers to target a defense lawyer for an
accused 'terrorist,' as herself an 'accomplice' to terrorism.

See the article here:

This attack on rights of due process and derivatively of
lawyer-client confidentiality, should elicit great concern by those
of us who are at the forefront of defending the Bill of Rights. I
assume it is our understanding -- as the 'First Amendment advocates'
librarians are supposed to be -- that the rights specified in the
first 10 amendments to the Constitution only have force when the
rights already in the Constitution (e.g due process, habeus corpus
etc.) are maintained and defended.

The Ashcroft Justice Department, in singling out this ex-librarian
turned activist lawyer, Lynne Stewart, a radical but respected woman
activist and professional, is clearly aiming to intimidate the
entire legal profession, upon whom the exercise of our rights so
significantly depends.

I urge ALA Executive and the OIF to examine this matter and hopefully
express its concern publicly, in defense of the rights to counsel,
to client confidentiality, to due process, equal treatment as
essential to the Constitutional order on which free expression and
intellectual freedom, our proximate concerns as professionals, rests.
The juggernaut of the Justice Department unhinged by the Ashcroft
doctrine with its extra-Constitutioinal arrogation of powers has
begun. Let us show that it cannot proceed unimpeded by public
protest not only by individual citizens but by the public's
'ombudsmen' in the professions, in our cased, librarianship, with its
strong civil liberties commitments

04/09/2002 - Updated 10:40 PM ET
Terrorist's lawyer indicted with 3 others

By Toni Locy, USA TODAYAFP file
Lynne Stewart, left, and Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman are named in the
indictment delivered by the U.S.

A New York lawyer and three others were indicted Tuesday on charges
that they helped a convicted Egyptian terrorist communicate from
prison with his followers worldwide. The indictment of Lynne Stewart,
63, along with three men, was announced by Attorney General John
Ashcroft. Some criminal-defense lawyers denounced Stewart's arrest as
an attempt to intimidate lawyers who challenge government
prosecutions. A librarian and schoolteacher before she went to
Rutgers Law School in New Jersey, Stewart has had clients ranging
from members of the radical Weather Underground to mobster Salvatore
"Sammy the Bull" Gravano....


6. Joy Richmond's Paraguayan Library Project (an appeal)

 ---------- Forwarded Message ----------
 Date: Thursday, March 21, 2002 1:00 PM -0500
 From: Julio Guerrero <camila[at]>
 To: jherrada[at]
 Subject: can you help?

 Joy Richmond, MSW, 1999 is currently a Peace Corp Volunteer in Paraguay.
 Attached is a letter she sent requesting books for her work there.
 Delete if you must. Read and act if you prefer.
 Tony Alvarez

 Date: Monday, February 25, 2002 8:55 AM -0800
 From: joy richmond <joyousrich[at]>
 Subject: more info on the library project

 hey everyone,

 thanks for all of your positive feedback about the
 librbary my community and I are trying to get started.

 I am forwarding along a letter that we have written
 which gives a better explanation of the project, and
 you guys can feel free to pass it on to anyone who may
 have an interest in helping out.  thanks again, and i
 hope that all is well.

 To whom it may concern,

 A good education and the availabilty of books are
 things we take for granted.  Reading is a cherished
 part of many of our lives, whether it is reading a
 bedtime story or the morning paper.  It is how most
 information is communicated, yet not everyone has
 access to this "luxury".  A group of volunteers in
 Peace Corps Paraguay have recently formed a Library
 Committee made up of volunteers working in libraries
 or interested in starting libraries in their

 I am one of 26 volunteers involved with this library
 committee.  I am living in rural Paraguay, 9 hours
 from the capital city, in a little community called
 San Rafael del Parana.  I have been living there for
 one year, and my primary project is working in the
 schools.  I have also been involved in developing
 sports opportunities for girls and women, working with
 a youth group, and more recently I have been working
 with some teachers and parents to get a library

 One goal of mine and the library committee is to
 receive book donations.  Most book donations, however,
 do not include shipping costs which will be expensive
 and unrealistic for me and my community to pay,
 despite local fundraising efforts.  Locally purchased
 books are very expensive, limited in variety, and
 often poor quality.  For these reasons, we have
 decided to raise funds both in Paraguay and in the
 United States in attempt to pay shipping costs for
 book donations.  To do so we need your help.  If you
 would like to make a donation (no matter how big or
 small) you can send a check in my name, Joy Richmond,
 to my home address and my parents can deposit it in my
 account which I can access over here in Paraguay.  My
 home address is:

 6 Heather Lane
 Hanover, NH  03755

 The other option is to send a tax-deductible donation
 made out to, Friends of Paraguay.  This can be sent

 Friends of Paraguay
 c/o Rafael Martinez
 12210 Connecticut Ave.
 Wheaton, MD  20902

 If you send a check to Friends of Paraguay please
 enclose a note that states the donation is for PCV Joy
 Richmond's library project.  It would also be a great
 help if you could send me an email letting me know
 that you have done this, so I can know to be on the
 lookout for it.  My email is joyousrich[at]
 This money will get forwarded on to me over here.

 If you are interested in donating books (spanish only
 please) that would also be very helpful.  They can be
 mailed to my home address and I will arrange for
 shipping to Paraguay or if you would like to mail them
 directly my address in Paraguay is:

 Joy Richmond, PCV
 cuerpo de paz, 44
 162 Chaco Boreal c/mcal lopez
 1580 Asuncion

 Thank you for your support!  If you have any questions
 please feel free to contact me by email at

 Muchas Gracias!

 ---------- End Forwarded Message ----------

7. Petition to preserve Sandy Berman's contribution at HCL


March 28, 2002

We, the undersigned library workers and users, wish to express our anger,
sorrow and dismay at the recent announcement that HCL intends to demolish
its present bibliographic database and authority file. It plans on
ultimately replacing them with completely "standard" OCLC catalog records
and Library of Congress name and subject forms. The database and authority
list, painstakingly and creatively constructed over nearly three decades
under the leadership of former Technical Services Director Mitch Freedman
and head Cataloger Sanford Berman, are national treasures. Rather than
destroy them, HCL should be promoting them as OCLC promised to do in spring
1999. The reasons for undoing this globally applauded work seem specious,
narrow-minded, and unconvincing.

If the decision cannot be overturned and the HCL catalog restored to its
previous status of preeminence within librarianship, at least the two files
should be preserved "as is" for current and future use by the library
community. We expect details on how and when this will be done.

To sign, go to

8. In U.S. Media, Palestinians Attack, Israel Retaliates

                    Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting
               Media analysis, critiques and activism

In U.S. Media, Palestinians Attack, Israel Retaliates

April 4, 2002

The numbers will have risen by the time you read this, but more than 300
Israelis and 1,200 Palestinians have been killed since the current
Intifada began in September 2000 (Boston Globe, 3/31/02). Thousands more
people have been injured.

U.S. media coverage of the conflict has been intense in recent weeks, as
the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) mounted a large-scale invasion of the
West Bank and Palestinian militants carried out several major suicide
bombings. Amnesty International (4/3/02) has condemned the targeting of
civilians by both sides, voicing concern over "flagrant human rights
abuses" by the IDF, including looting, mass detentions, the targeting of
medical personnel and possible extrajudicial executions. Israel has tried
to exclude the press from the entire area where the abuses are occurring;
the Committee to Protect Journalists has expressed alarm (4/2/02) over the
apparent targeting of reporters in "ongoing incidents in which IDF forces
have opened fire on, or in the direction of, journalists attempting to
cover events in the West Bank."

With thousands of lives at stake and reporters risking their own lives,
it's increasingly difficult-- but perhaps more urgent than ever-- to step
back and examine how U.S. media have framed the story. To this end, FAIR
has surveyed how the language of "retaliation" has been used on the
nightly news shows on ABC, CBS and NBC.

From the start of the Intifada in September 2000 through March 17, 2002,
the three major networks' nightly news shows used some variation of the
word "retaliation" (retaliated, will retaliate, etc.) 150 times to
describe attacks in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. About 79 percent of
those references were to Israeli "retaliation" against Palestinians. Only
9 percent referred to Palestinian "retaliation" against Israelis.
(Approximately 12 percent were ambiguous or referred to both sides
simultaneously.) [Full data below.]

Both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict routinely present their
attacks as being retaliation for previous attacks or actions. Both sides
portray their struggle as essentially defensive. Whether one regards these
justifications as credible explanations or self-serving rhetoric, the fact
is that reporters make choices about whether to report them. The network
news shows have characterized Israeli violence as "retaliation" almost
nine times more often than Palestinian violence.

This disparity is meaningful. The term "retaliation" suggests a defensive
stance undertaken in response to someone else's aggression. It also lays
responsibility for the cycle of violence at the doorstep of the party
being "retaliated" against, since they presumably initiated the conflict.

Among the three major networks, ABC's World News Tonight was the closest
to being balanced, with 64 percent of its uses of "retaliation" referring
to Israeli actions and 21 percent to Palestinian actions-- a three-to-one
ratio. CBS Evening News came next, with 79 percent of its uses of
"retaliation" referring to Israeli actions and 7 percent to Palestinian
actions. NBC Nightly News was the most imbalanced, never once referring to
Palestinian retaliation.

The devastating human toll of such "retaliations" makes these imbalances
are all the more striking. According to the latest estimates from the
Israeli human rights group B'Tselem, 897 of the Palestinians killed from
September 29, 2000 though March 30, 2002 have been civilians. Israeli
security forces killed 823 of those 897 people, including 192 children.
B'Tselem records that 253 Israeli civilians were killed by Palestinians in
the same period, including 48 children. At least 16 of those 253 people
were killed by Palestinian National Authority security forces or persons
reportedly linked to them. B'Tselem notes that these figures include
neither suicide bombers nor Palestinians who "died after medical treatment
was delayed" by Israeli forces. (See

Figures like these, highlighting the targeting of non-combatants and even
children, make clear that it is simply inaccurate to cast either side as
acting purely defensively.

The language of retaliation is only one factor in reporting, of course,
but FAIR's findings-- 79 percent to 9 percent-- are striking and indicate
a tendency to define Israel's role as defensive, and the Palestinian role
as aggressive. By doing so,  ABC, CBS and NBC have oversimplified this
complicated conflict and done a disservice to viewers.

ACTION: Please urge the networks to examine why they apply the word
"retaliation" almost exclusively to one side in the Israeli-Palestinian

ABC World News Tonight with Peter Jennings
Phone: 212-456-4040
Fax: 212-456-2795

CBS Evening News with Dan Rather
Phone: 212-975-3691
Fax: 212-975-1893

NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw
Phone: 212-664-4971
Fax: 202-362-2009

As always, please remember that your comments are taken more seriously if
you maintain a polite tone. Please cc fair[at] with your

Based on a Nexis database search of ABC World News Tonight, CBS Evening
News and NBC Nightly News from September 28, 2000 through March 17, 2002.
Some percentages don't add up to 100 because of rounding.

--By Category:
Israeli retaliation: 118 mentions, of which 2 occurred in soundbites (79%)
(ABC: 27 mentions; CBS: 53 mentions; NBC: 38 mentions)

Palestinian retaliation: 14 mentions, of which 5 occurred in soundbites
(ABC: 9 mentions; CBS: 5 mentions; NBC: Zero mentions)

Ambiguous/both: 18 mentions (12%)
(ABC: 6 mentions; CBS: 9 mentions; NBC: 3 mentions)

--By Network:
ABC total: 42 references (Israeli retaliation 64%, Palestinian 21%,
Ambiguous 14%)
CBS total: 67 references (Israeli retaliation 79%, Palestinian 7%,
Ambiguous 13%)
NBC total: 41 references (Israeli retaliation 93%, Palestinian 0%,
Ambiguous 7%)


Feel free to respond to FAIR ( fair[at] ). We can't reply to
everything, but we will look at each message. We especially appreciate
documented example of media bias or censorship. And please send copies of
your email correspondence with media outlets, including any responses, to
fair[at] .

FAIR ON THE AIR: FAIR's founder Jeff Cohen is a regular panelist on the
Fox News Channel's "Fox News Watch," which airs which airs Saturdays at
6:30 pm and Sundays at 11 pm (Eastern Standard Time). Check your local

FAIR produces CounterSpin, a weekly radio show heard on over 130 stations
in the U.S. and Canada. To find the CounterSpin station nearest you, visit .

Please support FAIR by subscribing to our bimonthly magazine, Extra! For
more information, go to: . Or call

FAIR's INTERNSHIP PROGRAM: FAIR accepts internship applications for its
New York office on a rolling basis. For more information, see:

You can subscribe to FAIR-L at our web site: . Our
subscriber list is kept confidential.

FAIR                              (212) 633-6700
                          E-mail: fair[at]

9. Authors urge Amazon to limit sales of used books

Date: Wed, 10 Apr 2002 21:34:06 -0400
From: Declan McCullagh <declan[at]>
To: politech[at]

An excellent example of the diverging economic interests of authors
and readers, with Amazon caught in the middle...

Relevant links:

News coverage:,1367,51676,00.html


Interesting commentary in the full version of Declan's email, at:

10. The Evil Of Silent Censorship (blocked email)

"The more I look into it, the worse it gets for us all. Consider this:
Whether you know it or not content filters probably are blocking or
discarding some of your outbound messages before they ever reach their
destination, even if you've never written anything remotely racy or
salacious in an email. Many times, you may never know that your mail
wasn't delivered to your intended recipient."

11. Thoughts on the reaction to Nicholson Baker's Double Fold

Letters from Lincoln Cushing

Letter commenting on book review of Double-Fold by Bart Harloe in Moveable
Type, Mark O. Hatfield Library, Willamette University, Fall 2001

Dear colleagues:

I'm a librarian who was active in the printing trade for over 20 years,
and have found myself fascinated by the explosive impact that Mr. Baker's
book has had in the library community. In my many discussions with
librarians, especially after his presentation at the ALA Annual Meeting
last summer in San Francisco, it is clear that the style and content of
Double Fold has struck a raw nerve in many librarians. At the risk of
offending some of my colleagues, I'd like use Mr. Harloe's review as a
mirror to make some observations on what I see as the story behind the

My conversations with critics of Double Fold almost invariably elicit the
following four, simultaneously-held feelings and opinions:

  1. Hostility towards anyone making criticisms of the profession.
  2. Hostility towards Mr. Baker as an outsider.
  3. A begrudging acknowledgment that many of the points Baker makes are
    true, or at least worth consideration.
  4. The viewpoint that Mr. Baker's suggestions, though well-intentioned,
    are simply impractical.

Mr. Harloe's review, one of many similar written and oral commentaries on
Double Fold, is an excellent example of this phenomenon. His first line
sets the tone, describing the book as a "...polemic against the library
profession." In fact, this book is not an attack on the profession. It is a
serious, impassioned, and occasionally overstated critique of high-level
institutional policies and policy-makers. Mr. Baker makes many references
to the concerns of line library staff, and points to many examples where
librarians have "done the right thing."

So, why this defensive position? I'd like to suggest that this persistent
response hints at an interesting feature of the group character of
librarians - that many are not used to criticism, and don't handle it well.
I think it is a fair characterization that most librarians have a
self-perception as helpful public servants, much like firefighters, park
rangers, or nurses. How can anyone say bad things about people that put
public access to information above a high-paid and flashy career?
Consequently, challenges to any aspect of the field elicits a
circle-the-wagons response. Baker's "outsider" status - after all, he's a
professional writer - also appears to poison the well. Never mind that many
of his charges have been raised long before by people inside of libraryland
- the fact that he is not "one of us" is enough for critics to sniff at his
position. The notion that his "outsiderness" might provide some much-needed
perspective and objectivity is never acknowledged.

I'd like to suggest that both of these responses need to be examined.
"Librarians" are not a monolithic social cluster. The profession includes
positions with a wide range of skill, status, and power. It is not
unreasonable to expect that major policy positions at any level, from one's
local branch library to the Library of Congress, ought to be developed and
carried out with public review and comment. It is also incumbent upon
members of the profession to challenge policies and policymakers that they
disagree with, or feel have betrayed the public trust. It is also
appropriate for people outside the profession - journalists, citizen
groups, legislators- to make sure that we are using public funds for the
maximum public good. And finally, Mr. Baker's fourth "flaw" - that he
suggests a course of action that may seem hard to support financially -
should be seen as a kick in the dustjacket. His proposals are no more
heretical than suggesting a more even balance between acquisition and
cataloging budgets, or demanding better pay for librarians and support
staff. Just because we're librarians doesn't mean we can't raise our voices
for a more equitable sharing of the pie.

Mr. Baker may not be a hero, but he is certainly not the villain that he
has been painted, and I think that our profession would be more vital if we
did a little more listening and a little less complaining.


Letter to Harlan Green regarding a review of Double Fold in College and
Research Libraries, November 2001:

Dear Mr. Greene-

I just read your review of Double Fold in College and Research Libraries,
November 2001, and felt I had to reply. I recently wrote a response to
another review (see below), and, unfortunately, your piece simply
reinforced my perception that Mr. Baker has the dubious honor of being
awarded the unofficial position of Official Whipping Boy of the library
profession. In addition to the general analysis I make below, I must
comment on your critique of Mr. Baker's "seriously flawed argument"
concerning the potential longevity of the original documents. You state,
without supporting evidence, that the microfilm version of a newspaper
contributed to the archival life of newspapers by saving them from handling
by "countless researchers." Now, I don't have any numbers either, but my
guess is that the actual number of people pawing through any given edition
of a 50 or 100-year old issue of the Boston Globe or the New York Times in
any given library is more likely in the hundreds if not dozens range, and
realistically would have contributed little to the actual deterioration of
a bound volume.

I encourage you to reconsider your interpretation of Double Fold and the
warnings it offers regarding technology and library policies. Library
patrons of the future may well depend on it.

Lincoln Cushing
Electronic Outreach Librarian

Reply from Mr. Greene:

Mr. Cushing --

Thanks for you comments --but I do think you misread me --and no doubt it
is partly my fault for trying to say so much in a little space.

Specifically my comment re countless researchers -- I stand by it. My
reasoning is this: If a run of a fairly obscure newspaper is microfilmed,
one particular run is filmed. People don't film different issues of say,
the South Carolina Gazetteer over and over again; -- the same hard copies
are filmed -- and the film goes to hundreds of libraries; in those hundreds
of libraries, dozens or scores of people use that film -- so it truly can
be countless uses of the film if not users. So that Gazettes survive in
hard copy, because in all those libraries all over the world, users are
viewing the microfilm. So back in Charleston, the Gazette pages can be
turned. That is the argument I was taking.

Re me making a whipping boy out of Baker -- if you knew me you would know
how unfazed I am by what others do. I do not have a MLS, but have worked in
archival institutions forever. I loved Baker's piece on card catalogues. I
went to his book expecting to love it; but what I found truly shocked me.
As I believe I say in my review, he raises good points, but he shoots
himself in the foot with his crass egoism, his easy, but non-provable
points, and his nasty invective against people living and dead. He truly is
a yellow journalist; I take great offense at his yellowness, not at the
point he is trying to make. But instead of carefully laying out his
argument, he waxes operatic, casting himself as the hero of the piece with
villains lurking everywhere. Such a pitch sells books, reasoned arguments
do not.

Like Baker, I am a novelist and also an author of non-fiction, but
scholarly books. I know what license I can take or not take in each medium.
If his book were a dissertation, it would never work, because he does not
back up his facts -- he merely states his ideas, gives some generally
supportive notes, does not name sources, etc. That will not hold water in
trying to prove a point. But for magazine articles, etc. that works.

I work a lot with small institutions, trying to find real world solutions
to preservation problems. I ridicule authorities constantly, telling people
to use common sense and the scientific method to gauge and then solve
problems. Baker does not do this. What the library world has done to him
is one thing -- but I do not feel I have made him into a whipping boy. I
have reviewed his book as ably as I could -- and I criticized him, not for
his main premise, but his not proving it, and his use of yellow journalism,
smears, and ad hominum attacks.

I welcome debate. And I can wade in on how I think the library world has
treated him, but I won't -- unless you want to.

The snippiness in this message stems from me thinking again of Baker's
nasty tactics, -- not aimed at you. Thanks for taking the time and a
reasoned view. I wish more would.

Harlan Greene

On loan to the College of Charleston
NEH processing archivist

My reply back:

I appreciate the speedy response.

First, the specific - Mr. Baker does not categorically argue against the
use of microfilm, he challenges the policy that it should REPLACE original
artifacts, and I think he makes a good case that microfilming policies were
predicated on the mass purging of artifactual records. So, yes, I won't
argue that microfilm has expanded public access, but I also don't think
that the research traffic for these types of documents is particularly

As for the bigger picture, I'm still not sure how much of your vigorous
critique is based on his methods or his content. I'd like to separate them.
True, this is not a scholarly, peer-reviewed work, and perhaps suffers from
hyperbole and thin research. But I still think that his points are very
important to consider, and I'd love to see people within our profession
accept the challenge and follow up with solid research. He does take
potshots at people, and perhaps that was inappropriate, but I think he
simply followed his nose and let these people hang themselves. My sense is
that in this morality story the villains are powerful administrators that
acted without "common sense" and do deserve some scrutiny. I also think he
makes a good point about major policies about paper stability being built
on thin evidence (pardon the pun), so he's not the only one guilty of
accepting significant premises without good data to back them up.

I appreciate the personal background. This is a second career for me, and
I certainly don't pretend to know all there is about the field. I have been
around enough to know defensiveness when I see it, and unfortunately I
think that this community has reacted in a manner far out of proportion to
Mr. Baker's arguments. I also confess to having worked with him at last
summer's ALA presentation, and was very impressed with his manner and his
approach at handling a very hostile audience. I can assure you he does not
have horns or cloven feet.

Best wishes with your work, and happy holidays.

Lincoln Cushing

12. City of Los Angeles Librarians appeal for support

April 9, 2002

Dear Rory and other progressive librarians:

We are the labor organization which represents the 350 professional
librarians who work for the City of Los Angeles and we ask for your help.
Recently, during our negotiations for a new contract, the City of Los
Angeles City Administrative Office has proposed that the fifty vacant
librarian positions be replaced with a new classification of employee
having only a B.A. We contend that this is the first step in
deprofessionalizing our service to the public, since the City of Los
Angeles has required an M.L.S. for the librarian class for the last forty
plus years. We also realize that this is a not so veiled attempt to
weaken our union local by potentially reducing the number of members in
our bargaining unit.

We believe that the reasonable salary proposal which the Guild has made
will help to reduce the number of vacancies. Further, had the City
Administrative Office put a serious and meaningful effort into the
Librarian Recruitment Task Force which was set up four years ago to find
solutions to our vacancy problem, then our salaries would already have
been improved and the other recommendations would also have been
implemented and reduced the librarian vacancy rate.

At this time, we ask that you write Mayor James K. Hahn, 200 N. Spring
Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012 and City Council President Alex Padilla (at
the same address) to express your strong disapproval of this proposal of
non-professionals as the solution for the librarian vacancies at the Los
Angeles Public Library.. This would set a bad precedent, not only for the
Los Angeles Public Library system but for major public libraries across
the country. We thank you for your support at a critical juncture for our

In solidarity,

Roy Stone, President

13. Progressive Portal letter campaign (on the war in Israel/Palestine)

Date: Thu, 4 Apr 2002 11:44:57 -0800
From: "Elaine Harger" <eharger[at]>
To: "SRRT" <srrtac-l[at]>, "PLG" <plgnet-l[at]>
Reply to: eharger[at]

Dear SRRT and PLG Colleagues,

Here is a link to the Progressive Portal website that has a letter people
can customize and sign on to calling on political leaders to deescalate the
current crisis in the Middle East. I have signed their letter and urge
others to as well. This violence must end.

In solidarity,
Elaine Harger

* * * * * *
Elaine Harger
77 Seaman Avenue #5A
New York NY 10034


14. McFarland book on Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky

Date: Tue, 9 Apr 2002 18:45:15 -0400
From: Reinette Jones <rjones[at]UKY.EDU>
Subject: New Book - My Book

Hello All,

I have been the silent manager of this listserv for the the past couple of
years, but today I have some good news to share. My book has been
published by McFarland Publishers:

Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky, from the Reconstruction
Era to the 1960s
ISBN 0786411546

The book covers all aspects of library service for African Americans,
especially those few Kentucky locations that led the nation. Kentucky had
the first segregated Colored public library buildings, the first
integrated public and academic libraries in the South, and the first
library training program for African Americans. For a few decades,
Louisville Free Public Library was the national authority when it came to
African Americans and libraries. But the history was not enough to defend
against the loss of 72% of the African American librarians in Kentucky
between 1980 and 1990.

The book can be purchased for your vendor or directly from McFarland

I love this research! Stay tuned for book 2, as the history moves on to

Ok, I am back to being the silent list manager :)

UK Shaver Engineering Library
3rd Floor Anderson Hall/Lexington, KY
(859) 257-2965 /rjones[at]

âYesterday an enemy, today a fetching friend. It takes aptitude to be
the same fool twice.â
Smith, V. A. (1902). Did Someone Call for a Clown?

15. Three ads that have some of us going

The Honda ad:

The Vibrator ad, thanks to Jessamyn West:

And now on the web, thanks to Juanita Benedicto:

The Bacardi ad:


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