Library Juice 5:2, January 10, 2002
- Innovation no. 22, June 2001 - Progressive librarianship
- Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large 2:2
- Marylaine Block's "Rules of Information"
- Soul and the Sustainability of Librarians
- Draft Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights on Privacy
- Library Resources Concerning the WTC/Pentagon Attacks
- Lawrence Lessig interview on Slashdot
- The Promise of Software Libre (Open Source)
- Library Lovers' Month
- Two responses to "David Litwin remembers the Donnell Branch"
- If You Don't Want American Flag Stamps, Watch Out!
- Library songs
Quote for the week:
"Librarians see themselves as the guardians of the First Amendment. You
got a thousand Mother Joneses at the barricades! I love the librarians, and
I am grateful for them!"
Michael Moore, quoted in "Marian and Me," Salon, Jan. 7, 2002
(Library Juice is mentioned a couple of times in this article.)
Homepage of the week: Eben Moglen
1. Innovation no. 22, June 2001 - Progressive librarianship
What progressive librarians believe: an international perspective
by Mark Rosenzweig - p.1
Progressive librarianship: oxymoron, tautology, or the smart choice
by Colin Darch - p.6
Living in the real world: a decade of progressive librarianship in the
U.S.A. and in international library organizations
by Al Kagan - p.10
BiS: the formation and development of a left-wing library society in Sweden
by Lennart Wettmark - p.20
How far we progressive library workers have come!
by John Pateman - p.25
Voices of dissent: LIWO, civil rights and the library community in South
Africa in the 1990s
by Christopher Merrett - p.30
Progressive librarianship in a postmodern world: a prospective view from
by Jennifer Cram - p.35
Progressive librarianship: a personal view from the U.S.
by Elaine Harger - p.42
Alternative library literature 1998/1999 edited by Berman, Sandford and
by Angela Spencer - p.47
Leonie Prozesky, 1951 - 2001 - p.49
For Abstracts go to
2. Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large 2:2 is now available:
A special Midwinter 2002 issue (16 pages)
- Bibs & Blather/New Year's Resolution
- RLG Diginews 5:6 and ARL Bimonthly Report 218: A Good Stuff Cluster
- Looking Back at the Future
- Ebooks and Etext
- Learned Publishing 15:1: A Good Stuff Cluster
- Product Watch...six items
- The Good Stuff (formerly Press Watch I)...five items
- Stereophile: Toys for [Rich] Boys
- Cheap Shots and Commentary (formerly Press Watch II)...two items.
And for those of you who miss "PC Values," you'll find a one-page
special with the December and January descriptions. (It's not a stable
URL--I'll reuse the location next time I do a "PC Values extra"). Go
down past the reminder for the January issue and you'll find the link.
See (some of) you in the Big Easy!
3. Marylaine Block's "Rules of Information"
"A few years back, just before doing my first bibliographic instruction
session for a class of freshmen, I had to figure out what the few, most
important things were we could teach them, the things we information
professionals knew and the students didn't, the lessons that would make all
the difference between finding and not finding what they needed. I emerged
from my office with a piece of paper with four sentences on it: my four
rules of information. I have added to them over the years, but the fact
that I and my colleagues still know and practice them seems to me the
signal difference between us and our users. I didn't invent the rules. I
merely codified them. Codification - another one of the things that
information professionals routinely do when people ask them questions."
4. Soul and the Sustainability of Librarians
"Information Technology and Global Ecological Crises: Soul and the
Sustainability of Librarians"
By Cate Gable, Electronic Green Journal no. 15, December 2001
"How information technology, global ecological crises and soul can shape
(This is an odd article about librarians by a non-librarian consultant who
offers a new-agey conception of sustainability. Has some ideas in it that
may be new.)
This site offers resources that inform and help instruct
librarians, teachers, parents, and students about
information literacy. Along with guidelines for
evaluating and finding reliable information is a list of
sites "ranging from tax tips to homework help and
movie reviews to car values." Resources for
librarians include training, handouts, and marketing
materials. Created by the Washington State Library as
part of its Information Literacy Project.
From Librarians' Index to the Internet - http://lii.org
6. Draft Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights on Privacy
[IFACTION:2492] Learn about the Draft Interpretation of the Library Bill
of Rights on Privacy
Date: Mon, 07 Jan 2002 16:27:45 -0600
From: "Don Wood" <dwood[at]ala.org>
To: Intellectual Freedom Action News <ifaction[at]ala1.ala.org>
Privacy is essential to intellectual freedom, the freedom to hold,
receive, and disseminate ideas. In its Library Bill of Rights, Code of
Ethics, Libraries: An American Value, and other policies and guidelines,
the American Library Association (ALA) has affirmed that library users
have a right to privacy. Indeed, protecting user privacy and
confidentiality has long been an integral part of the mission of libraries,
library trustees, and librarians.
To assist librarians in preserving privacy and confidentiality for library
users, particularly in this post-September 11 period, the ALA Intellectual
Freedom Committee has drafted an Interpretation of the Library Bill of
Rights on privacy
To learn about and discuss this draft Interpretation, join the ALA
Intellectual Freedom Committee (IFC) at its Issues Briefing in Room 279 of
the New Orleans Convention Center on Saturday, January 19, 11:30 a.m. to
In accordance with the IFC's usual procedure, this draft has been
distributed to the ALA Council, Executive Board, Divisions, Committees,
and Round Tables for review and comment. This is the first of several
opportunities to comment. You, too, are welcome to send comments to the
Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF), and you are urged to do so as soon
as possible after Midwinter, and no later than March 15, 2002.
In addition to this draft, the IFC simultaneously is developing a set of
guidelines and issues for local libraries to use when they are developing
privacy policies. An initial draft of this document will be available at
Midwinter as well.
We hope to see you at the 2002 Midwinter Meeting Issues Briefing Session!
If you are unable to retrieve this pdf, please contact OIF at
1-800-545-2433, ext. 4223.
American Library Association
Office for Intellectual Freedom
50 East Huron Street
Chicago, IL 60611
1-800-545-2433, ext. 4225
intellectual freedom @ your library
Free People Read Freely
"Congress Shall Make No Law Respecting an Establishment
of Religion, or Prohibiting the Free Exercise Thereof; or
Abridging the Freedom of Speech, or of the Press; or the
Right of the People Peaceably to Assemble, and To Petition
the Government for a Redress of Grievances."--First Amendment
7. Library Resources Concerning the WTC/Pentagon Attacks
A Web site created by law librarians as a source of
information in response to the September 11, 2001
attacks. Included are articles written by librarians, a
listing of experts in Islam, New York legislation
resulting from the attack, book lists on pertinent topics
from terrorism to coping, a variety of news items, and
From Librarians Index to the Internet: http://lii.org/
Two other great resources for issues related to 9/11:
8. Lawrence Lessig interview on Slashdot
Here is a lengthy interview with copyright critic Lawrence Lessig on
Slashdot, with the usual discussion following:
For a taste of what this is about, here is the first question:
"The question of harm:
In round two of Valenti vs. Lessig a crucial question arose but due to the
to-and-fro of debating was only addressed anecdotally. The question was one
Valenti posed to you. To paraphrase it roughly: "Who cares? I would like
someone to explain to me what harm is being done to the world by Mickey
Mouse's copyright being extended twenty years. How does that harm anyone's
ability to be creative or incentive to be creative." In the debate you only
had the opportunity to present an anecdotal response. (A teacher whose
class film projects couldn't be shared due to copyright infringement fears,
I think.) Beyond the anecdote, however, a clear answer would be very
helpful. We can all see that the copyright extension bargain was one-sided:
copyright holders profited and the public gained nothing. We see the
inequity in the action, we sense that the fix was in, and we resent it. But
resentment over seeming corruption and the copyright holders' good fortune
can only take us so far. A clear conception of direct harm to the public
might be far more persuasive than the secondary harm of the copyright
holders getting a really sweet deal. I kept hoping during the debate that
the opportunity would come for you to address the question more fully, but
it never did."
9. The Promise of Software Libre (Open Source)
"Software Libre" is a name that some people have started using for "Free
Software" in order to clarify that the "Free" in "Free Software" has the
meaning of "Libre" rather than "Gratis." (Readings in the list below will
clarify this distinction.)
"Open Source" is a relatively new term, denoting a particular
organization's effort to market software libre and to define it in a more
specific way that is friendlier to the capitalist marketplace (in my
limited understanding of the subject).
Here is the idea behind the following reading list: Software Libre and 21st
Century Librarianship, via their economic practices relative to technology
and "content" respectively, constitute an information age political
economic movement combining the best of both libertarianism and socialism.
(Socialism is relatively discredited (in the US), thanks to the Soviet Union,
so I am somewhat disinclined even to use the word here, but the idea of a community
sharing its resources and providing equal and unimpeded access to public
goods is at the essence of socialism as an intellectual current, and at the
essence of librarianship and software libre as well.)
Software Libre is something librarians should think about who want to
build on a vision of the "big picture" of 21st Century librarianship and
potential social/cultural developments in the broader sense.
I invite additions to this list, including expansions into related areas.
Philosophy of the GNU Project
By Eric Steven Raymond:
The Cathedral and the Bazaar
"This paper influenced Netscape's decision to release Communicator 5.0 in
source, and there are hopeful signs that it may be launching a long-overdue
reliability revolution in the software industry."
Homesteading the Noosphere
"In this paper, I examine in detail the property and ownership customs of
the open-source culture. Yes, it does have property customs -- and rather
elaborate ones too, which reveal an underlying gift culture in which
hackers compete amicably for peer repute. This analysis has large
implications for anyone interested in organizing large-scale intellectual
The Magic Cauldron.
"This paper analyzes the economics of open-source software. It includes
some explosion of common myths about software production economics, a
game-theoretical account of why open-source cooperation is stable, and a
taxonomy of open-source business models."
A Second Look at the Cathedral and Bazaar
Another critical review of Eric Raymond's "The Cathedral and the Bazaar."
O'Reilly 2001 Open Source Convention - Proceedings and Coverage
THE POWER OF OPENNESS
Why Citizens, Education, Government and Business
Should Care About the Coming Revolution
in Open Source Code Software
A Critique and a Proposal
for The H20 Project
By David Bollier
Berkman Center for Internet and Society
Netscape Communicator Open Source Code White Paper
"This paper discusses Netscape's new open source development strategy;
provides examples of successful open source projects; describes how
Netscape plans to use this model to deliver high-quality, branded versions;
and reveals how developers, enterprise customers, and consumers ultimately
benefit from this new strategy, which is now an integral part of Netscape's
client product development."
Articles on Open Source in Salon:
Apache's free-software warriors
By Andrew Leonard
The little operating system that could
By Andrew Leonard
Let my software go!
By Andrew Leonard
The saint of free software (About Richard Stallman)
By Andrew Leonard
Response to the Above by Eric Raymond and others:
Microsoft's Halloween scare (claiming Open Source a great threat)
By Scott Rosenberg
Martin Luther, meet Linus Torvalds
By Thomas Scoville
Free the Windows source code?
By Scott Rosenberg
Readers respond to the above:
The Halloween documents: Full text of the Microsoft memos on Linux and the
open-source challenge to the company's dominance.
Open Source Software: Free Provision of a Complex Public Good
By Jim Bessen
"Open source software, developed by volunteers, appears counter to
conventional wisdom about private provision of public goods. Standard
theory holds that without property rights, free-riding inhibits private
investment in public goods such as information and software. But complex
open source products challenge commercially-developed software in quality
and market share. I argue that the complexity of software changes the
results. For complex goods under asymmetric information, open source
developers self-select, offsetting free-riding losses. But commercial firms
lack information necessary for effective provision. I compare different
forms of provision and different property rights. Strong property rights
can limit provision of complex public goods."
'Libre' Software: Turning Fads Into Institutions
By Jean Michael Dalle and Nicolas Jullien
"This paper presents an economic analysis of Libre software and of its
sustainability as an economic model. We underline the role of Libre
software development communities and analyze incentives of both kernel and
obscure developers. We especially emphasize the role of the so-called
'public' licenses to provide an appropriate institutional framework."
Internet Innovation and Open Source: Actors in the Network
"The paper analyzes the growth and development of the Linux community and
demonstrates how it evolves into an ecology of community-centered
http://opensource.mit.edu/papers/Ilkka Tuomi - Actors in the Network.pdf
(Yes, this URL really has spaces in it.)
The Political Economy of Open Source
"The paper describes the open source process and characterizes more fully
the economic, technological, and social systems that together constitute
this distinct mode of production. The paper explains the open source
process, by answering three questions about individual motivations,
coordination, and complexity using a compoud argument of microfoundations,
economic logic, and social/political structure."
Code, Culture and Cash: The Fading Altruism of Open Source Development
By David Lancashire, First Monday
Abstract: "The nexus of open source development appears to have shifted to
Europe over the last ten years. This paper explains why this trend
undermines cultural arguments about "hacker ethics" and "post-scarcity"
gift economies. It suggests that classical economic theory offers a more
succinct explanation for the peculiar international distribution of open
source development: hacking rises and falls inversely to its opportunity
cost. This finding throws doubt on the Schumpeterian assumption that the
efficiency of industrial systems can be measured without reference to the
social institutions that bind them."
Economics of Open Source Software
By Justin Pappas Johnson, Cornell University
"A simple model of open source software is presented. Individual
user-programmers decide whether to invest their valuable time and effort to
develop a software application that will become a public good if so
developed. The benefits and drawbacks of open source versus profit driven
developments are presented. The effect of changing the population size of
user-programmers is considered; finite and asymptotic results (relevant for
some of the larger projects that exist) are given."
Economic Model for Impact of Open Source Software
By Asif Khalak, MIT
"This paper presents an economic model of the impact of Open Source
Software (OSS) upon a commercial software market. Agents are used to model
the users (buyers), the companies (sellers), the code bank (marketplace),
and the OSS community (source of free goods). The effect of introducing
open source products into an equilibrium commercial market is investigated
with respect to demand structure."
The Simple Economics of Open Source
Josh Lerner and Jean Triole, National Bureau of Economic Research
"This paper makes a preliminary exploration of the economics of open source
software. The authors highlight the extent to which labor economics,
especially the literature of career concerns can explain many of these
Development, Ethical Trading, and Free Software
By Danny Yee
"This paper makes the political and ethical case for the adoption of free
software by Community Aid Abroad and other members of Oxfam International.
It should be applicable to development agencies generally, and to other
organisations with similar values."
Free Source as Free Thought: Architecting Free Standards
By Steve Mann
"As we build cyberspace, it is up to us, as individuals, not to promote
illiteracy and proprietary standards that shut out those who fail to
purchase computer programs from a specific vendor. It has become
fashionable to blame others, such as Microsoft, for creating what is known
as the "dark ages of computing". However, I suggest that we can and should
look to ourselves as the source of the problem. In this article, I propose
the "public park" analogy as a first point of departure from current
critical thinking, and as a framework with which to better understand
possible conflict of interest in government and education. Moreover, in the
age of Personal Cybernetics (personal electronics, wearable computing,
implantables.com, etc.), this issue will become all the more important.
When "technology as extensions of mind and body" is no longer a metaphor,
will we have already sold our heart and soul for software of a particular
corporation, or will our thoughts be free?"
Speeches by Robert Chassell, discussing "freedom, your rights to copy,
study, modify, and redistribute, and how such freedom leads both to lower
prices, and to collaboration."
How to Shape a Technology
Free Software: Access and Empowerment
Free Software in the New Economy
Open Sources: Voices from the Open Source Revolution
O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
Edited by Chris DiBona, Sam Ockman & Mark Stone
ISBN 1-56592-582-3, 280 pages
$24.95 US, $36.95 CAN
"A collection of insightful essays about the open source movement by the
people who've led it. Includes pieces by Linus Torvalds, Eric Raymond,
Larry Wall, Richard Stallman, Bob Young of Red Hat, and many others. Linux,
Perl, Apache, GNU, Mozilla-you name it, they're all covered here. A must
Rebel Code: Linux and the Open Source Revolution 5
By Glyn Moody
ISBN 0-73820-333-5, 336 pages
$27.50 US, $40.95 CAN
"Rebel Code puts Linux into historical and social contexts by tracing "free
software" from its early '80s origin and takes it as far as the end of
2000. The author charts every milestone in the development of the Linux
kernel and follows the progress of major free software projects."
The dotCommunist Manifesto: How Culture Became Property and What We're
Going to Do About It" (Video in various formats)
By Eben Moglen
Anarchism Triumphant: Free Software and the Death of Copyright
By Eben Moglen, First Monday
"The spread of the Linux operating system kernel has directed attention at
the free software movement. This paper shows why free software, far from
being a marginal participant in the commercial software market, is the
vital first step in the withering away of the intellectual property
Interview with Stefan Merten, Nov. 2001: Free Software and GPL Society
by Joanne Richardson
This interview explains some important differences between "Free Software"
and "Open Source" that I was not formerly aware of -RL.
Consider this excerpt:
>> Q: In a previous interview with Geert Lovink
you mentioned that the relationship between free software and Marxism is
one of the central topics debated on the list ... Do you think Marx is
still relevant for an analysis of contemporary society? Could you give an
idea of the scope of this debate on the list?
First of all we recognize the difference between Marx' views and the views
of the different Marxist currents. Although different brands of Marxism
have distorted Marx' thought to the point where it has become
unrecognizable, I tend to think that only Marx' analysis gives us the
chance to understand what is going on today. The decline of the labor
society we are all witnessing in various ways cannot be understood without
that analysis. The Krisis group [http://www.krisis.org] has offered a
contemporary reading of Marx, claiming that capitalism is in decay because
the basic movement of making money from labor works less and less. This
doesn't mean that capitalism must end soon, but it won't ever be able to
hold its old promises of wealth for all. A number of people on the Oekonux
mailing list have built upon the Krisis theories and carried them onto new
ground. On the list among other things we try to interpret Marx in the
context of Free Software. It's very interesting that much of what Marx said
about the final development of capitalism can be seen in Free Software. In
a sense, we try to re-think Marx from a contemporary perspective, and
interpret current capitalism as containing a germ form of a new society.
>> Q: According to many circles, Marx is obsolete - he was already
obsolete in the sixties, when the mass social upheavals and the so-called
new social movements showed that not class but other forms of oppressive
power had become determining instances and that the economic base was not
the motor that moved contradictions.
I think that at that time the economic base was not as mature as it has
become today. In the last ten to twenty years Western societies started to
base their material production and all of society more and more on
information goods. The development of computers as universal information
processors with ever increasing capacity is shifting the focal point of
production from the material side to the immaterial, information side. I
think that today the development of the means of production in capitalism
has entered a new historical phase.
The most important thing in this shift in the means of production is that
information has very different features than matter. First of all,
information may be copied without loss - at least digital information using
computers. Second and equally important, the most effective way to produce
interesting information is to foster creativity. Free Software combines
these two aspects, resulting in a new form of production. Obviously Free
Software uses the digital copy as a technical basis. Thus Free Software,
like any digital information, is not a scarce good; contrary to the IPR
(intellectual property rights) people, the Free Software movement
explicitly prevents making Free Software scarce. So, scarcity, which has
always been a fundamental basis for capitalism, is not present in Free
Software: Existing Free Software is available for next to zero price.
More importantly, however, the organization of the production of Free
Software differs widely from that of commodities produced for maximizing
profit. For most Free Software producers there is no other reason than
their own desire to develop that software. So the development of Free
Software is based on the self-unfolding or self-actualization of the single
individual. This form of non-alienated production results in better
software because the use of the product is the first and most important aim
of the developer - there simply is no profit which could be maximized. The
self-unfolding of the single person is present in the process of
production, and the self-unfolding of the many is ensured by the
availability of high quality Free Software.
Another important factor is that capitalism is in deep crisis.Until the
1970s capitalism promised a better world to people in the Western
countries, to people in the former Soviet bloc and to the Third World. It
stopped doing it starting in the 1980s and dismissed it completely in the
1990s. Today the capitalist leaders are glad if they are able to fix the
biggest leaks in the sinking ship. The resources used for that repair are
permanently increasing- be it financial operations to protect Third World
states from the inability to pay their debt, or the kind of military
operations we see in Afghanistan today.
These processes were not mature in the 1960s but they are today. Maybe
today for the first time in history we are able to overcome capitalism on
the bases it has provided, by transcending it into a new society that is
less harmful than the one we have.
Public money, private code
The drive to license academic research for profit is stifling the spread of
software that could be of universal benefit
By Jeffrey Benner
Jan. 4, 2002
Would the creation of the Internet be allowed to happen today?
The networked society we live in is in large part a gift from the
University of California to the world. In the 1980s, computer scientists at
Berkeley working under contract for the Defense Department created an
improved version of the Unix operating system, complete with a networking
protocol called the TCP/IP stack. Available for a nominal fee, the
operating system and network protocol grew popular with universities and
became the standard for the military's Arpanet computer network. In 1992,
Berkeley released its version of Unix and TCP/IP to the public as
open-source code, and the combination quickly became the backbone of a
network so vast that people started to call it, simply, "the Internet."
Many would regard giving the Internet to the world as a benevolent act
fitting for one of the world's great public universities. But Bill Hoskins,
who is currently in charge of protecting the intellectual property produced
at U.C. Berkeley, thinks it must have been a mistake. "Whoever released the
code for the Internet probably didn't understand what they were doing," he
Open Source Software for Libraries:
Thanks to Daniel Chudnov for doing this site.
10. Library Lovers' Month
This site offers library support groups some ideas for
making February a "month-long celebration of school,
public, and private libraries of all types." There is a
sample proclamation, program suggestions, a
Valentine for Your Library fundraising project, an
"unabashedly mushy" collection of free bookmarks to
download, and other promotional aids. From Friends
& Foundations of California Libraries.
From Librarians' Index to the Internet - http://lii.org
11. Two responses to "David Litwin remembers the Donnell Branch"
From Mary Ann Meyers:
"It's only now from a distance of 3000 miles and several decades that I
see how pivotal the Donnell was in the direction my life took."
("David Litwin remembers the Donnell branch of NYPL." David Litwin,
Library Juice 5.1, Topic 12)
When I read this sentence, I had to write. My first experience with public
libraries happened when my first grade Catholic school class was taken to
the neighborhood library to get our library cards. Thereafter, I went every
week--always on my own. I walked to various neighborhood branches until I
was 18. Of course the library was a treasure box for me to explore, and it
was most curiously alive, keeping step with me as I grew and my interests
changed. However, for me the library was primarily a sanctuary, a place
where I could escape from an oppressive stepfather. When I borrowed
books to bring home, I brought a means of temporary escape with me
back to a frightening house.
The librarians were often of the stern, shushing variety. They would steer
me away from the adult section--so I knew the most interesting things were
hidden there. They didn't mind when I sat near the adult collection of
"Lives of the Saints" (poor immigrant Catholic neighborhood), however.
Every spiritual or educational authority I knew as a child thought those
stories were appropriate for children. I saw the most disturbing pictures
in the books on that shelf. From that apparently pious vantage, I easily
moved further into the adult section when the librarian was distracted.
I remember that my library experiences were almost always solitary. I
didn't pay attention to other people there. I never attended any kind of
children's story hour or other program. I didn't spend time with other
children there. The "library" and I were always one-on-one. I trusted the
library--it had everything you could want to know. It didn't lie to you
like adults sometimes did; it didn't question your interest in science; it
respected you as a questioner and a reader.
When I spent a few months at age 18 as a novice in a Catholic convent, I
discovered Somerset Maugham's "Of Human Bondage." I read it, but
was pretty clueless about any homoeroticism disclosed there. I was, after
all, a Catholic girl of the 50's (to those former Catholic students of the
era who withstood the priests' and nuns' obsessive focus on avoiding even
the "thoughts" of sex--one venial sin per thought for those who were
scrupulous--that explains everything).
The head of the novices must have found out that some of us had time to
spare for reading, because all of us were warned to be careful of what we
read in the convent's library--"The Devil is working among you."
(Horrors! . . .and why where the nuns reading such impish books?)
The head of novices suggested that we restrict our leisure reading to . . .
the Lives of the Saints!
Years later I finally became a librarian. What I discovered from my
childhood library experiences was:
- You can fight or subvert oppression.
- The "sense of place" in a library is very important.
- Adults do not always know what is right for every child.
- Sometimes children need a place to which they can escape --
somewhere away from the eyes of adults.
- Anytime someone else tells you that you cannot look or read,
then you absolutely must look or read. Either it's something
very, very good that you don't want to miss; or it is necessary
that you look or read what is forbidden--for your own
education, of course.
- Neighborhood libraries are best.
My best to your Dad--
Mary Ann Meyers
From Mark Rosenzweig:
I was absolutely charmed by you father's reminiscence of the Donnell
library. I learned more in the hours spent there there and later at
the Library of the Performing Arts (also part of NYPL) than in all of
my years of public schooling.
In fact, the lousy private school, Rhodes Prep.,where I finished out
my senior year after refusing to accept being disciplined for my
anti-patriotic demonstration at a big 'assembly' at the High School
of Music and Art in 1969 (about which I wrote elsewhere recently) was
one block north of the Donnell and MOMA, right off 5th Ave behind the
museum. It is now long gone.
Many a time during that senior year (as previously) did I attend my
own 'classes' at the Donnell rather than my assigned classes at
And since, additionally, I was 'suspended' often at Rhodes (they
were big on discipline --uniform, short hair, etc. -- girls couldn't
wear 'culottes' as they were called at the time, nor could their
skirts be too short ) for minor infractions (too loud a tie,
sideburns too long, not having the school patch properly affixed on
my blazer, as well as for a few political incidents), I would retire
to the Donnell for the day and really dig in. Then I'd meet my
girlfriend Denise there, another Rhodes student, after 3PM. Half the
time when she arrived I'd be checking out a 3 or 4 books on
psychoanalysis or existentialism or nouvelle vague French novels or
abstract expressionism or something.
I remember the record collection at Donnell vividly and their
wonderful collection of art books in the basement.
From your father's short memoir of Donnell I can say that he and I
undoubtedly handled the very same records, as all the composers he
mentioned were ones I explored at NYPL. I heard the recording of the
John Cage 25 anniversary concery (two disks) because it was at
Donnell, I heard all the new composers in the European avant garde
and a great number of spoken word records in which modernist poets
read their work, including the jazz and poetry records featuring Jack
Kerouac or Adrian Mitchell.
I can honestly say that Donnell made a real impact on my life. It was
a shelter and place of peace and quiet meditation and
self-development. It was a place where all patrons were equal,
regardless of whether they were wearing furs and haute couture or
miniskirts, tailored suits or denim bell-bottom jeans. It was a
place where I could follow the trail of words and images and sounds
wherever my inquiries took me.
Readers are invited to send their reminiscences of early library use for
publication here. Rory[at]libr.org.
12. If You Don't Want American Flag Stamps, Watch Out!
From The Progressive's McCarthyism Watch, December 8, 2001
Even an innocuous trip to the Post Office can you get you into trouble
Daniel Muller, is the co-coordinator of Voices in the Wilderness, a group
dedicated to nonviolence and a leading opponent of U.S. sanctions against
On November 9, Muller and his colleague Andrew Mandell went to pick up
stamps at the Chicago post office they regularly visit. They were paying
"We needed 4,000 stamps for a mailing we were doing, and I asked for ones
not with the American flag on them."
The woman asked if Statute of Liberty stamps were OK.
"Yes, we love liberty," said Andrew Mandell.
"She asked us to step aside from the counter, and she went to the back,
out of view," recalls Muller. "I knew something was up because this was a
bit out of the ordinary. And Andrew said, 'She's calling the cops,' but I
didn't believe him..."
13. Library songs
Link thanks to Ryan Shepard's http://infolibre.blogspot.com
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