Library Juice 6:5 - March 6, 2003
2. Report to SRRT on Midwinter ALA Council Meetings
3. Return of the Cat Lady
4. Paper topics!
6. Amusing Searches
Quote for the week:
"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired
signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not
fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not
spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius
of its scientists, the hopes of its children... Under the cloud of
threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron."
- President Eisenhower
Homepage of the week: Michael McGrorty
The Amelia Bloomer Project, sponsored by the ALA Feminist Task Force,
has selected the best in feminist literature for young readers for 2003.
To find the list of recommended titles, as well as the 2002 list,
go to http://www.libr.org/FTF/bloomer.html
[ Thanks, Jenny Baltes ]
Is Google Too Powerful?
Mark Rosenzweig, who frequently perceives problems just as they are
developing, and, unfortunately, some time before most others are able
to see the same thing, is concerned about Google's power to actually
determine websites' popularity, and thereby alter the shape of the web,
through its pagerank system. He is also concerned about their privacy
practices. Apparently there may also be an indirect connection between
Google and intelligence personnel. Mark has passed along the following
URLs for reading about the power imbalance presented by Google:
nyc peace rally february 15, 2003
words and photos by carol van houten
[ link from librarian.net ]
[ Thanks John Ronald ]
Holt Labor Library anti-war page
[ Thanks Shannon Shepard ]
Bibliofile, the University of Pittsburgh MLIS student newsletter, new issue:
[ Thanks Kathryn Yelinek ]
Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia
[ LII ]
SOL 84: The Homeland Security issue
(SOL means "Spanish in Our Libraries")
[ Thanks Bruce Jensen ]
The Tavani Bibliography of Computing, Ethics, and Social Responsibility
[ Surfed ]
Poets Against the War
[ LII ]
"Online Policy Group, Seth Finkelstein Submit CIPA Court Brief"
[ Seth Finkelstein ]
Group Protests N.Y. Peace T-Shirt Arrest
[ Surfed ]
Media Monopoly On Notice
This article looks at the ramifications of Congress' media deregulation
and the growing protest against them.
[ Center for Arts and Culture Update ]
Santa Cruz Public's warning signage re: Patriot Act privacy loss
[ Thanks, Sally Pine ]
FCC commissioner Michael Copps: "Crunch Time at the FCC"
[ Thanks, Ann Sparanese ]
[ Thanks Chris Dodge ]
Independent Media Centers: Cyber-Subversion and the Alternative Press
by Gene Hyde
[ Thanks Dan Tsang ]
Florida State Library: Save Your State Library: Information Resources
[ Don Wood ]
Internet Boosts Attendance in Libraries
Interview with Mitch Freedman
[ Thanks Mitch Freedman ]
LibraryInstruction.com - Resources for Library Instruction
[ Surfed ]
March is Small Press Month 2003: "Let Every Voice Be Heard"
[ Don Wood ]
A Day in the Life of a Non-Profit Librarian
[ Surfed ]
Slideshow of an action take at the Florida State Library Tuesday:
[ Deborah Richards ]
[ Surfed ]
2. Report to SRRT on Midwinter ALA Council Meetings
Philadelphia, January 2003
By Al Kagan, SRRT Councilor
The major issue at Midwinter was how ALA would deal with the USA
Patriot Act, Homeland Security Act, and related laws and executive
actions restricting civil liberties. Although the issue had been
widely discussed before the meeting on the Council listserv,
addressed by the Council's Legislation Committee, and even discussed
by a separate select listserv, ideas were still in flux when we
arrived in Philadelphia. SRRT was concerned about 3 major points:
the need to strongly state our objections, the need to provide
specific background information, and the need to be inclusive of all
the repressive measures taken against civil liberties. The
Legislation Committee provided various drafts throughout the meeting
at various venues. I spent quite a bit of time going to various
committee meetings and putting forward the SRRT positions. It was
clear from the beginning that the leadership was not interested in
opposing the whole Patriot Act, Homeland Security Act, and various
executive measures. We therefore concentrated on trying to get the
strongest language possible to oppose various sections of the acts.
A major debate developed on whether to use the phrase "amend or
change sections", or rather "repeal" them altogether. SRRT argued
that using terms like "amend" or "change" might mean just making
horrendous sections only slightly less obnoxious. ALA Washington
Office staff made the bizarre argument that Congress would find the
word "repeal" to be a red flag and therefore discount our efforts.
When we saw that "repeal" was not going to fly, Ann Sparanese came up
with the word "eliminate." Our amendment on the Council floor to
substitute the word "eliminate" failed by a vote of 62 to 84.
Michael Gorman then came up with a compromise. He inserted and
Council passed language that ALA "?considers sections of the USA
Patriot act are a present danger to the constitutional rights and
privacy rights of library users." This amendment was included in the
final version approved by Council.
All the drafts of the Patriot Act resolution and its good companion
background document right up until the end included opposition to
sections of the Homeland Security Act. For some unknown (cowardly?)
reason, the Legislation Committee removed the Homeland Security Act
from the resolution at the last moment. I made a symbolic effort to
reinsert it. It is just crazy not to name it in the resolution and
background document. One argument that I heard was that it did not
specifically deal with libraries. SRRT argued that our efforts
should be to protect the civil liberties of everyone whether or not
the various sections specifically addressed libraries in the most
direct fashion. On the other hand, I heard ALA Washington Office
staff talk about getting exemptions for libraries rather than
eliminating repressive sections of the acts. The only mitigating
factor is that the resolution includes "related measures" which
presumably includes sections of the Homeland Security Act. The
Legislation Committee also proposed and Council passed a good
resolution on withdrawn electronic government information.
Various state library associations have passed their own resolutions
against the provisions of the USA Patriot Act, some are in process,
and some have endorsed the ALA resolution. ALA has created a web
page to keep track of the current status for each state. It is
beyond ironic that many of these state resolutions include the word
"repeal" and include the Homeland Security Act. One must ask why the
states are more courageous than the ALA Council?
SRRT and the Progressive Council Caucus brought a very basic lowest
common denominator anti-Iraq war resolution to Council. It urged the
President to allow the inspections process to continue towards a
peaceful solution. Despite our efforts, it was defeated by a vote of
58-91. Interestingly, the International Relations Committee agreed
with our position and said so in its report to Council. (I am
presently on the IRC.) The Committee also put forward and Council
passed a resolution for exempting educational materials from
sanctions imposed on Iraq. We will obviously need to work on the
Iraq war again in Toronto.
As we expected, there was an attempt to repeal the resolution we won
at the 2002 Annual Meeting on the destruction of Palestinian
libraries and cultural materials. As opposed to ten years ago, the
effort failed miserably because we had strong support from President
Mitch Freedman and the IRC, and because times have changed, and we
did our homework. Mitch spoke out forcefully early in the meeting at
the informational joint meeting of the Council, Executive Board and
Membership. The IRC, under Betty Turock's exemplary leadership, also
reiterated its support in its report to Council. In addition, the
IRC proposed and Council passed a memorial resolution for Dina
Carter, a US / Israeli librarian who was killed in the bombing of the
Hebrew University Library on July 31, 2002.
SRRT was very well prepared for this debate. Tom Twiss prepared
another excellent packet that we distributed to all ALA Councilors
giving the resolution as passed and documentation from numerous and
diverse sources verifying the destruction of Palestinian libraries.
However, there was one very disturbing aspect to this debate. ALA
staff advised the rescind advocates (who were not Councilors) that
they could put their literature on the Council documents table. This
was quite unprecedented. Our arguments only resulted in separating
part of the table in the back of the room, thus giving them an entire
table of their own to display their ADL press release and at least 4
other handouts. Two of these documents specifically slammed ALA for
its "anti-Israel" position. When this assertion was made in the
Council debate, I reminded everyone that the word "Israel" did not
even appear in the resolution. It turned out that the distribution
of non-Council authorized materials with Council literature was
strictly against the rules, and we got a public commitment from the
Executive Director that this would not happen again.
Council passed resolutions in support of maintaining the School of
Information Resources and Library Services at the University of
Arizona, the only library science program in the Rocky Mountain area,
and in support of the State Library of Florida which is being
dismantled by Governor Bush. The previous SRRT resolution urging ALA
to investigate the option of providing health insurance to librarians
is still in committee discussions. A report will be ready for the
Annual Meeting in Toronto. Two progressive candidates ran for the
Executive Board. Michael Gorman was elected but unfortunately Billy
Beal was defeated. Finally, the ALA Allied Professional Association
(APA) documents were approved without a great deal of debate, and its
certification and salary advocacy programs will officially get
I would be happy to try to answer any questions.
African Studies Bibliographer and Professor of Library Administration
Africana Unit, Room 328
University of Illinois Library
1408 W. Gregory Drive
Urbana, IL 61801, USA
3. Return of the Cat Lady
[Editor's note: The following is a true story of public library work told
by Michael McGrorty, a library student in Southern California. You can
catch more of Michael's writing in postings to NEWLIB-L, where he is very
popular. You can also buy his mystery novel, The Sewing Machine Murder,
from online book vendors.]
I did another turn at the reference desk today, my last as an intern in
this particular library. The project ended on a pleasant, if odd note-- but
perhaps I should retrace my steps to the night before.
It was one of those evenings when it seems the entire earth has been tilted
and all the loose pebbles come cascading into the library.
A tall man came in around sundown, strolled casually up to the desk and
inquired as to whether I'd like to give a name to his child. Somehow I
managed to ignore the best straight line I'd heard in weeks and directed him
to the proper sources. He spent the remainder of the night writing scrawling
Old Testament names with various spellings. At one point he took a break,
approached and said to me,
"Are you a Christian?"
I said, "That depends. I wouldn't want to be baptized in these shoes."
It turned out that he was Jewish. At least that was what he told me
initially; a few garbled sentences later he confessed a deep love for the
Koran. Finally, and with absolutely no prompting whatever, he produced a
notebook of illegible scrawlings which he represented as the product of his
search for the One True God. I found him a big, thick concordance to the
Bible and let that weigh him down while I found something else to deal with.
While my new friend was adding to his notebook with a stub pencil a flood
of plaid-skirted junior-high girls attacked the desk, all of them desperate
for information about one or another of the topics they'd been assigned to do
a research paper on by their teachers. I felt like a crust of bread
smothered in yellow-jackets. When most of the worst was done a passel of
high school kids arrived with their own burdens: Apparently some ingenious
teacher had let them figure out their own research assignments, many of which
either made no sense or were impossible to execute.
A girl with a tongue stud and contact lenses the color of cocktail olives
presented her choice; unfortunately it concerned research on Woodrow Wilson's
role in World War II. At first I thought it might have been a typo, but she
assured me that she meant "That skinny President with the glasses and the war
that started at Pearl Harbor." I decided upon a Solomonic solution and asked
her which of the two elements she would prefer to retain. Luckily for both
of us she chose the war; I didn't feel like it was fair to make her figure
out the League of Nations when many a better mind had failed at the task.
It being fairly close to tax season, the usual inquiries on forms and
deadlines continued sporadically through the evening. The Department of
Internal Revenue seems to invent new forms each year for the public to puzzle
over. This year, many of these forms were unavailable amongst the pile of
materials provided to the library by our government. The answer, which no
doubt the government has reckoned upon, is that the library, meaning your
narrator, will search the Internet for the appropriate form, then print it
for the benefit of the patron, who will then offer the opinion that it isn't
the one desired or that he's just changed his mind and isn't going to deduct
his gambling losses anyway.
We are not supposed to search out these forms. We are not supposed to
print them, either, but anyone who has stared into the glazed orbs of some
woman whose angst-ridden husband has sent her to the library specifically to
obtain said forms will refuse without a deep pang, especially if he
understands what it is to be, or be married to, a man who is using his only
night off to do the family taxes. Better to print the forms and save a
As anybody who has worked a reference desk will tell you, the hour comes
when the crush of humanity ebbs, the air seems to freshen and a librarian can
catch his breath. That moment came at around seven p.m. Pacific Time, but
just as quickly the reins pulled taut again and the share cleft the furrow.
At least it makes an evening go quickly.
During a brief pause in the havoc the phone rang beside me. I managed to
catch it on the third jingle, and just could hear a faint voice on the other
end of the line attempting to ask me a question. Something about cats. I
said to the voice, "Please speak up, I'm having trouble understanding you."
There was a silence, during which the live patron I was assisting
gradually came to understand that the writing I had put on the slip he held
was a number which corresponded to one affixed to a book in our collection.
He left and the telephone voice became a bit louder. Now I could tell it was
a woman. She said,
"Is this Mack? I wanted to ask you something about my cat."
Alas, the cat lady again. A few evenings before I had met this
particular person, a not unpleasant specimen whose particular problem
appeared to be that she owned a very pregnant cat. The lady came first
called, then arrived at the reference desk wanting to know if we had books on
cat pregnancy. I led her to the place in the stacks where the cat volumes
reposed and let myself be trapped-the error of a library novice. Pinned
against a wall, she smothered me with her anxiety about poor Kitty's sad
condition. It seemed the animal had simply become a bulging sack of kittens,
scarcely able to stand, hardly a cat anymore in the better sense. The lady
blamed the horrid Toms who lurked in the alley behind her apartment. It was
the Old Story: Miss Kitty had been lured, duped, mistreated, then left to
watch her stomach fill with the product of her abuse. Not content to suffer
in silence, Kitty had kept her owner up and pacing many a night, and it was
getting to be simply awful.
My new friend wasn't any lunatic, which was a problem; crazy people are
easy to deal with. You can dismiss their hallucinations and move on to the
next patron, unless they are brandishing a weapon or have you by the necktie.
Borderline personalities are another challenge. I sat Kitty's owner down on
a kick-step, perched beside her on the carpet and gave her a short, terse and
I hope not entirely unpleasant lecture about cats, life and making the best
of things. She daubed her eyes with a pale silk hankie; I managed to
persuade her that I could do without seeing her walletful of feline
portraits, and left her in among the pet care books to think things over. A
few minutes later she waved a small hand at me on her way out the front
And so the cat lady was back. Not only that, but she just had to come by
and see me. I couldn't stop her, though I tried. Later that shift I looked
up and found her waiting her turn behind a man who was looking for books on
French philosophers; I managed to narrow the list to several million volumes,
none of which we possessed. After the man departed I found myself facing my
old friend. She got right to the point: Kitty was suffering. She was
suffering. It was all too much. I knew that this could go on forever, so I
walked her out to a spot where nobody else could hear and told a huge,
hideous lie. I told her that my own little doggie had eaten something odd in
the back yard, was sick in the hospital, probably near to death, and that I
couldn't bear to deal with another animal tragedy just then. She apologized
profusely, said she'd keep my dog in her prayers, and departed.
It really wasn't that much of a lie. I do have a dog, and she did eat
something awful in the yard, but she does that every day and if the finishing
nail she consumed last month didn't hurt her, the plastic dog whistle she
choked down for breakfast this morning won't leave a welt.
That, in essence, was the night before. This morning I got in early
enough to enjoy the silence of the reference room before the first patrons
shot through the portals. It being my last day, I wanted to take away a
picture of a place I might never stand in again. I shot a roll of mental
photographs, clicked on the computer and counted down the minutes to opening.
Across the way a clerk strolled through my reverie, carrying the day's
papers before him like gray banners on their wooden sticks; I was there in
the cool quiet for a while, until the clock struck the hour and it was time
to act like a librarian.
Usually there was somebody else, but this morning I was alone. The old
lady with the Internet phobia arrived on schedule, crashed the computer a
dozen times, then left just as she always does, mumbling. The mothers came
around to ask for novels while their kids traipsed around the Children's
department next door, and the men without jobs pretended that they had them
or didn't care or were retired, if they were old enough to seem that way.
A high school girl came in looking for some material for a term paper
that I'd promised to find at closing time the day prior. I spent some time
with that assignment and also with the homework problem of her friend, who
was in over her head with a thesis on animal abuse.
Just before lunch a thin young fellow with a ponytail and a worn dress
shirt came up to the desk and inquired where he might find a book to assist
him in fighting a ticket. I asked him to show me the ticket. He had two:
One for a traffic violation and another which specified a violation of the
penal code. I fetched him one of those self-help legal volumes, in gratitude
for which act he remained at the desk for a while, providing me with a
rambling monolog about his plight, which had something to do with his being
"abused by institutions on various levels." Whenever his speech was
interrupted he would wait, then begin the broken sentence again; it was
rather like listening to a language tape where the instructor utters the same
phrase three and four times. While he was going on like this I tapped in an
Internet search and discovered the Penal Code section referred to on his
"Section 484 (a): Every person who shall feloniously steal, take, carry,
lead or drive away the personal property of another is guilty of theft."
I inquired of my slender friend what act he might have committed that the
authorities might have construed as stealing. He said, "It involved a box of
cereal." The mention of cereal reminded me of lunch, and that I hadn't had
any, so I left the man and his story behind and got myself a sandwich.
I returned to find that my friend and one of the reference librarians had
engaged in a disagreement over some matter which ended in the patron's
leaping the counter, then absconding with some item which he hadn't been
allowed to use. That was the end of the cereal man. Somebody else got the
job of writing up an Incident Report, and I went off to spend some time in
the Children's department.
There being not a whole lot going on thereabouts I left after writing
press releases about next summer's reading program. I gravitated to the
adult reference desk and picked up some of the overflow from one of the
regulars there. During a brief lull I got word that the staff in children's
had just chased off a gent who was attempting to inspect the underpants of
little girls. Another Incident Report I didn't have to complete.
I spent the remainder of the shift answering patron inquiries and making
a list of desirable books to cover a $500 donation by a patron who insisted
the contribution go to purchase books about 1.) German economic history, 2.)
game theory, and 3.) Alfred Stieglitz. I tried finding a book about all
three but could only get two of them together, and it wasn't in English so I
had to recommend two dozen separate books in total. For a few minutes there,
fielding questions from patrons while squandering five hundred bucks, I felt
like an actual librarian.
And then the hands on the clock got as far from each other as they
possibly could; the moment arrived to call it a day, and a career. After 135
hours it was time to go back to the other side of the reference desk. I
flipped my plastic I.D. placket in the reference desk drawer and walked away.
I crept up the stairs to the break room, picked up my jacket and was
going to leave out the back door when I caught a glimpse of my supervisor at
her desk. She gave me the high sign and I went over to say goodbye. I was
hoping she wouldn't make a big deal of it, and she didn't. She said, "Well,
I just wanted you to know something. We found some more money to pay you
with-just a few bucks, but if you'd like to keep working here, maybe we could
make some arrangement. Let me know in the morning." I told her I'd let her
know. And then I went out the front door, tired and happy and ready to do it
all over again.
For a similar day-at-the-library story from a 1917 issues of Library Journal,
go to http://www.libr.org/rory/wbm4.html
4. Paper topics!
I can't deny it - Library School was a disappointment, and while my
masters degree may impress friends as to the complexity and difficulty
of librarianship, earning my degree had the opposite effect on me. The
most common sentiment among bright library students is, "Shouldn't
this feel more like graduate school?"
The following is a list of potential paper topics, or ideas for paper
topics, that library school faculty could use or adapt in order to make
library school more interesting, challenging, and intellectually rewarding
for their students....
- Rory Litwin
Discuss the debate over whether to call library users "users,"
"patrons," "customers," or by some other name, with reference to
appropriate concepts in sociolinguistics and other relevant disciplines
e.g. symbolic interactionism, etc.
There has been some talk about "metadata" replacing MARC. Explain what
is really meant by this and provide your own prediction of the future of
cataloging, carefully justifying your view.
Library of Congress Subject Headings are slow to be updated to reflect
changes in language and reality, and no good system exists to propagate
updates into existing catalogs. Improvements in search engine
technolgies and a growth in the amount of text available for keyword
searching have resulted in a decline in use of subject access tools in
general. Budget cuts in libraries have resulted in shrinking cataloging
departments. In light of these challenges, is there a possible future
for LCSH? What changes would LC and the library community need to put
in place to overcome the trends leading away from the use of subject
access, and how can the advantages of subject access be maximized in the
Discuss the implications of international trade agreements such as GATS
and FTAA for public libraries. Evaluate the arguments of critics of
these agreements in the library community and those in the community who
do not see the same degree of threat.
Critical Theorists such as Jurgen Habermas as Theodore Adorno have said
the Public Sphere is dead or dying, having been replaced by consumerist
relations between individuals and society as a whole. Read the essay
by Habermas, "The structural transformation of the public sphere"
(1989). Using its framework, discuss how libraries and their role in
society (as part of the public sphere) have changed during the period
discussed. Try to develop some strategies for preserving in libraries,
and in society through libraries, those aspects of the public sphere
that are essential for democracy and a good society and have some hope
In his 1950 paper, "Classification as the Basis of Bibliographic
Organization," Jesse Shera wrote, "(T)here can no longer be any doubt
that library classification has failed, and failed lamentably, to
accomplish what it was designed to do," and called contemporary methods
of library classification obsolete. Why did he make this statement?
What might Shera say on the subject a half century later?
("Classification as the Basis of Bibliographic Organization." In Jesse
Shera and Margaret Egan, eds., _Bibliographic Organization_, University
of Chicago Press, 1951.)
Discuss the historical foundations of the common-sense distinction used
in information literacy training between fact and opinion in an
information source. Is the distinction between fact and opinion as
clear as it first seems? Are there cases where the status of an
information source as fact or opinion is unclear? What are the
implications of your findings for information literacy education?
Assess the "Berninghausen debate," about intellectual freedom and the
social responsibilities movement in American libraries. What is the
history of the debate, including its continued life up to the present?
Refer to the relevant literature. Express and defend your opinion on
Is the value of the public library measured as a part of the Gross
Domestic Product? Should it be? Discuss possible methods for measuring
the economic value of library services?
In a 1983 essay, Jesse Shera wrote, "Twenty years ago, I thought of what
is now called information science as providing the intellectual and
theoretical foundations of librarianship, but I am now convinced that I
was wrong." Why did Shera say this? What is your assessment of the
relationship between librarianship and information science? Include
definitions of the two terms and justify those definitions with
reference to the literature. ("Librarianship and Information Science,"
in _The study of information: interdisciplinary messages_, Fritz Machlup
and Una Mansfield, eds. John Wiley and Sons, 1983.)
Current community information, often in the form of brochures and flyers
from local non-profit organizations or other community groups, is
usually uncontrolled, uncatalogued, and likely to be missed in public
libraries. What are some reasons for this? What are some possibilities
for improving access to this type of community information? What types
of community information might have a place in the library but usually
aren't found there? What systems exist in libraries for providing
access to community information, and how would you improve upon them?
Examine the problem of 'library anxiety,' particularly anxiety of
patrons in approaching reference librarians. Are reference librarians
aware of these patrons or are they invisible in the reference context?
What contributing factors to library anxiety can you find in the
literature? Can you think of any other contributing factors? Is gender
a factor in library anxiety?
What are the historical origins of the UNESCO Public Library
Manifesto ("Missions of the Public Library")? What is its application in
real terms, in the United States and elsewhere? Does it have any effect?
How? What were/are the implications of the US leaving UNESCO and its
recent return for US, global, and other national cultural and
Read the article "Epistemological Positions and Library and Information
Science," by Archie L. Dick, in Library Quarterly, vol. 69 no. 3. In
light of this article, consider the question of "Creation Science"
literature in your library, in terms of collection development,
reference service, and cataloging.
What is the history and development of ALA's "Poor People's Policy?"
How is it being implemented? What should ALA do in the future in
relation to poverty in America and the implementation or development of
Read the short essay, "Neutrality, Objectivity and the Political
Center," by Rory Litwin, published in _Progressive Librarian_ No. 21
(Winter 2002). What are your own views on the subject? Explain your
differences with Litwin's ideas, making your arguments carefully and
Explain what "intellectual freedom" would mean in an absolute sense.
What are some of the various types of limitations to intellectual
freedom that librarians routinely apply? What are some hypothetical
situations where intellectual freedom might be limited by other concerns
even for the strongest believers in the ethic? Feel free to disagree
with the premises of the question, but discuss the limits or potential
limits to intellectual freedom as a practical value.
Media critics refer to "market censorship" as the weeding out of
challenging ideas in mainstream media as a consequence of the media's
ownership by larger and larger companies that have more and more ties to
other industries. How do trends in the publishing industry related to
market censorship affect book selection in libraries according to
standard methods, and what are some possible ways of countering market
censorship in libraries? Is market censorship an intellectual freedom
In _Prejudices and Antipathies_ and later writings over the years,
Sanford Berman raised a series of strong criticisms of Library of
Congress Subject Headings. Analyze these criticisms in terms of their
basis. Do they fall into identifiable categories according to the
principles that Berman applied to the problem of subject headings? How
did Berman himself express these principles? Are these principles ever
in conflict? To what extent do you agree or disagree with Berman's
ideas about subject headings and their application? Carefully defend
Part 1: Summarize the current controversies surrounding recent and
proposed changes to copyright law. Part 2: Compare the current state of
copyright law to the agreements in the Berne Conventions of 1887 and
1889. Part 3: Offer some innovative (or not so innovative) strategies
that the library community should pursue in order to preserve in
libraries the freedom to read in the face of these changes. (Be
practical, considering the political realities with which policy makers
have to contend.)
Much has been written about the "death of the book" in the electronic
age, now that the potential exists to distribute, manage and read texts
in electronic media. Are we rather beginning to see the "death of
reading," as electronic communication has sped up processes of work and
communication to the point that people feel too impatient with
paragraphs to spend the time required to understand and contend with
fully-formed thoughts? What are the implications for libraries of the
quickened pace of life in the information age?
Of what knowledge does Library and Information Science consist? What
disciplines does it overlap, and what are the defining elements and
boundaries of the discipline? What areas of research are purely
"Library and Information Science?" Describe the body of knowledge that
has been collected via research in the field, evaluating the progress
that has been made in each area. Based on what you find, in what areas
has research been most lacking, and where is the greatest potential for
progress in the field?
Read "Libraries, Librarians, and the Discourse of Fear," by Gary and
Marie Radford, _Library Quarterly_, Vol. 71 Issue 3 (July 2001), pp.
299-330. Critically assess their findings. To the extent that their
uncovering of the public's negative images of libraries and librarians
is accurate, what are its implications for the efforts of younger
librarians to "update" the image of the profession? What unexamined
possibilities exist for overcoming negative aspects of the image of
libraries? What changes would these require in the actuality of
libraries and in professional practice?
Self-identified radical or progressive librarians (organized in groups
such as SRRT and PLG, or floating freely on the anarchist librarians
listserv), especially in the younger generation, are often seen as
insurgents in the profession, threatening to the professional culture in
some way. By contrast, these individuals usually see themselves as
keepers of the professional flame. Examine the issues surrounding this
discontinuity of perception and make the case for each opposing view.
Extra points for applying relevent sociological concepts.
What does "agribusiness versus farming" offer as an analogy to
commodified versus community-based information and communication?
Describe some of the alternatives to hierarchical organizational schemes
(as in indexing) that have been suggested. Are they truly
non-hierarchical forms of organization or are they merely
non-hierarchical representations of hierarchical structures? To what
extent do they truly offer something new? For each organizational scheme
that you examine, identify potential advantages, likely problems and
suggest solutions to those problems.
Examine representative samples of the American Library Association's
annual budget since its founding and describe the changes over time.
Attempt to correlate major changes with external factors. Look at the
change in the proportion of non-dues revenue to the total budget.
Attempt to relate this change to other changes in the organization.
Do a survey and review of online serials for librarians, including
serials with partial electronic content. Pay attention to
characteristics that are shared with print publications (frequency,
length, editorial policy and editorial identity, cost) as well as
characteristics unique to the electronic environment (mode of
distribution, relationships to other online content, degree of
definiteness in being a serial versus some other type of website or
publication). Critically review each serial you survey in terms of
REINVENTING LIBRARIANSHIP, LIBRARIANS, LIBRARIES THROUGH NEOLOGISTICATION .
(Sick of being a librarian who studied librarianship and works in a
library? Feel that you are trapped by inextinguishable stereotypes ?
Do you feel that the public disrespects you, your job and your
institution? Here are a few attempts to use name-changing as a
strategy for empowerment or perhaps just status-elevation...) MCR
bibliosophy & informancy
texticals or texticles (for 'libraries' -- meant to be funny)
promemeologists (pro + meme)
textologist textologism textology
logolocationist (logo = word, idea)
referentium referentia referenticians
omninforium omninformia omninformatrons
seimeodontists (from 'semiology')
Even less seriously... Here are some new characterizations for the
same old same old...
librainiacs (as in "She's a librainiac")
infomaniacs (like 'nymphomaniacs' only sans sex )
bibliorgasmic (that feeling you have when you finally find it)
6. Amusing Searches
The following is a list of amusing searches that led from search engines
(mostly Google) to pages on Libr.org:
are christian romances immoral?
"half jewish celebrities"
What kind of juice will clean pennies the best?
essay on Gadgets that I am going to patent
"mary minow" (husband OR married)
how to make meet pie
how to counsel a smelly employee
"who is the incredible hulk"
how to reconstruct a 1970 dodge dart
gay harassment poems
why do we need www
too much aldous huxley
how to obtain a supoena for yahoo info.
pics of expensive glass bongs
surreal OR mentioned OR cemetery OR exempt OR scantiest
how many trees are on earth
"hell has no limits" school paper
Human Population Chart is not billions of years old
muffler noise nuisance missouri
librarian who had the alphabet tattooed on her back
"librarian of congress" erotica
generator crap detector
how many people in sainsburys are undertaking various work they do
yale and guinea pig
i hate jcrew models
pronounce name katia
mental retardation portrayed in movies
"because sex is 612.6 and love which i classify"
pics of a 5 foot bongs
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