Daniel's blog

New FGI Discussions: January 29, 2007

Note: The volunteers at FGI wish to express their condolences to the family, friends and coworkers of retired documents librarian Ridley Kessler. Read Daniel's tribute at (http://freegovinfo.info/node/886) and read comments from a former student and former GPO inspector.   This past week found the FGI (http://freegovinfo.info) volunteers and January 2007 BOTM Deb Liptak posting the following stories: Deb's Posts  

  Volunteer Posts  

Our poll on the use of social software (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_software) among FGI users continues. Please stop by and vote! We only have 29 votes so far and we'll close the poll soon. We're continually on the lookout for audio/video spots promoting depositories, government information or the Federal Depository Library Program. Please send a link to your video/radio clip and we'll add it to http://freegovinfo.info/video. If you use Bloglines (http://www.bloglines.com ) or some other RSS reader, consider subscribing to the FGI Feed at http://freegovinfo.info/blog/feed to get FGI stories as they are posted. Over 160 people already have.

Liberals to blame for Iraq, really

I'm posting here because I know Norma's been having trouble getting to my blog and perhaps others have as well.

Here's a writer who argues that the Iraq fiasco can be laid at the feet of liberal idealists.

Strangely, I think he's on to something. What do you think?

Iraq - Who we're fighting, level of violence

Update 1/25 - In my comment on Kathleen's journal, I had referred to a "Strategic Studies Institute" paper on the Iraq Insurgency, but I actually meant this naval journal document:

Analysis of Sunni-Based Opposition in Iraq
Strategic Insights, Volume IV, Issue 5 (May 2005)
by Maj. Timothy Haugh, USAF

"Strategic Insights is a monthly electronic journal produced by the Center for Contemporary
Conflict at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. The views expressed here are
those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of NPS, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government."
----------------------------
In light of kmcook's journal entry and the President's new plan, I wanted to offer a link to this September 2006 report from the General Accountability Office:

Stabilizing Iraq: An Assessment of the Security Situation GAO-06-1094T September 11, 2006

While acknowledging POST-INVASION al-qaeda elements, the report asserts that most of the insurgent elements in Iraq are former baathists and shia militias.

Therefore, the claim that most of our trouble in Iraq is due to "state sponsored terrorists" is not credible, nor is it one made by our own government.

The report also has some handy charts on page 8 and 9 of the PDF file show an almost linear increase of attacks against coalition forces. This should give the lie to the President's SOTU assertion that we were doing just fine in Iraq till "The terrorists struck back" in 2006. 2006 was a simple extension of the violence that has been increasing since May 2003, despite the presence of US troops and despite the much hailed elections.

New Discussions @ FGI: January 22, 2007

This past week found the FGI (http://freegovinfo.info) volunteers and January 2007 BOTM Deb Liptak posting the following stories:

Deb's Posts

Volunteer Posts

Our poll on the use of social software (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_software) among FGI users continues. Please stop by and vote!

We're continually on the lookout for audio/video spots promoting depositories, government information or the Federal Depository Library Program. Please send a link to your video/radio clip and we'll add it to (http://freegovinfo.info/video).

If you use Bloglines (http://www.bloglines.com) or some other RSS reader, consider subscribing to the FGI Feed at http://freegovinfo.info/blog/feed to get FGI stories as they are posted. Over 160 people already have.

New Discussions @ FGI: January 15, 2007

This past week found the FGI (http://freegovinfo.info) volunteers and January 2007 BOTM Deb Liptak posting the following stories:

Deb's Posts

Volunteer Posts

Our poll on the use of social software (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_software) among FGI users continues. Please stop by and vote!

We're continually on the lookout for audio/video spots promoting depositories, government information or the Federal Depository Library Program. Please send a link to your video/radio clip and we'll add it to (http://freegovinfo.info/video).

If you use Bloglines (http://www.bloglines.com) or some other RSS reader, consider subscribing to the FGI Feed at http://freegovinfo.info/blog/feed to get FGI stories as they are posted. Over 160 people already have.

Libraries as Lyceum

I posted the following to Norma's journal entry on Libraries as community lyceums, but I thought that an edited form deserved its own entry as well:

Your post title jogged my memory about the perceived roles of libraries in the 19th Century. That led me to this article on metafilter that included this quote:

"An elaboration of the school image, but one suggesting grander purpose, was the idea of a "people's university," a term that became a commonplace of librarians' rhetoric [33, pp. 81-86; 36]. The phrase appeared several times in the Bureau of Education report, which referred to "people's colleges" and to the library as a "virtual university" [16, pp. xiv and 240]. "It is a pet phrase with us," said Winsor in his 1879 ALA presidential address, "that the public library is the people's university" [37, p. 225]. Winsor and others who used the metaphor hoped that prestige from the research and land grant universities then being founded in the United States would also be due libraries, if they too could become centers of learning. Representatives of universities likewise saw benefit in association with the public library, as a vehicle to help democratize their own institutions. The historian Herbert Baxter Adams, of Johns Hopkins University, for example, a principal advocate of the university extension movement, wished that "every great public library should become, in its own field, a people's university, the highest of high schools in the community" [38, p. 184]. Alvin S. Johnson, a Cornell University economist commissioned by the Carnegie Corporation in 1915 to report on the objects of Andrew Carnegie's philanthropy, wrote "the best of them gave meaning to my dream of the library as a People's University" [39, p. 159]."

Dictionary.net offers these definitions of "Lyceum"

1. A place of exercise with covered walks, in the suburbs of Athens, where Aristotle taught philosophy.

2. A house or apartment appropriated to instruction by lectures or disquisitions.

3. A higher school, in Europe, which prepares youths for the university.

4. An association for debate and literary improvement.

Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

To me, that not only appears to fit the definition of library as Carnegie and early pioneers saw it, but a well run public library. And it's a vision of libraries that seems to have a century long pedigree.

Libraries! What are they good for?

Norma through her journal and an entry at Collecting My Thoughts, has started a topic I think more LISNewzters should pay attention to. Norma is far from alone in her opinions and librarians should know how to response positively in a polite and respectful way or we should hang up our skates and go home.

In her blog, Norma says:

So why is the public library offering writing classes, or music lectures, or quilting discussions, or this noisy gathering for middle schoolers:

--------------
The library “turns it up to 11� as we invite guitar heroes of all ages to join us in our first all-new videogame themed events. Play the Playstation 2 versions of Guitar Heroes 1 and 2 on our giant 12-foot screen as we transform our Theater into a Virtual Rock Venue, complete with sound system and lights. Sign up is limited to 50 and we expect to be “sold out.� We’ll provide snacks and everything needed to play. Feel free to bring in your own custom Guitar Heroes controllers.
UAPL program for winter
--------------

There may have been a time long ago--maybe during the Great Depression--when people didn't have much to do in their leisure time. But those days are gone.

I think it is time to privatize the libraries. They've lost their mission and are searching for something to do with their staff and money.

Is she right? Why or why not?

And should we suggest to her or other people that if we privatize, or more likely close libraries because of money not being spent well, should we not close down other government run enterprises that spend more in five weeks than ALL of America's public libraries spend in an entire YEAR without observable results, not even national elections, since 2005?

New FGI Discussions: January 7, 2007

Coming back after holiday break, New FGI Discussions wishes everyone a happy and prosperous 2007! The last few weeks of 2006 and the first week of 2007 found the FGI (http://freegovinfo.info) volunteers, December BOTM Duane McCollum and January 2007 BOTM Deb Liptak in a posting frenzy. Thanks Duane and welcome Deb!

Deb's Posts

Duane's Posts

Volunteer Posts

We also started a new poll on the use of social sofware (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_software) among FGI users. Please stop by and vote!

We're continually on the lookout for audio/video spots promoting depositories, government information or the Federal Depository Library Program. Please send a link to your video/radio clip and we'll add it to (http://freegovinfo.info/video).

If you use Bloglines (http://www.bloglines.com) or some other RSS reader, consider subscribing to the FGI Feed at http://freegovinfo.info/blog/feed to get FGI stories as they are posted. 160 people already have.

What could we be spending on instead of Iraq?

I have established a blog with the sole purpose of comparing spending in other areas with our $8 Billion/month poured into the sands of Iraq with no result other than more Iraqis support attacks on Americans and want us to withdraw than in Jan. 2006.

The blog is called What can the Iraq War Buy? and can be found at http://whatiraqwarbuys.blogspot.com.

This site is for people looking for quick answers for what a sec/min/hour/day/week/month of Iraq occupation are costing us financially. It also provides examples of alternative spending. I also expect to compare MSM examples of "wasteful spending" to our financial bleeding in Iraq and show that the Iraq War is the biggest gov't waste project currently going. The most expensive gov't program with few results since May 2003.

If it served the poor, we would have pulled the plug long ago.

Feel free to discuss any philosophical issues here or on Alaskan Librarian when I mention Iraq.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

While I may not journal here as much, I still treasure the LISNews community. Thanks for being such a creative, intelligent, diverse, fun and sometimes challenging group of people to hang out with online.

Merry Christmas, Happy Solstice, Happy Chanukah, Happy [Your Winter Holiday Here] and a blessed New Year to all!

New Discussions at FGI: December 18, 2006

This past week at Free Government Information (FGI)
(http://freegovinfo.info ), we continued our poll looking into reasons why we have over 1500 daily visitors yet suffer a dearth of comments. Ironically the poll thread has become our busiest comment thread ever.

Also this week, December BOTM Duane McCollum and the FGI volunteers posted the following stories:

Duane's postings:

Volunteer postings:

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Solstice or some other holiday of light, the volunteers at FGI wish you a happy holiday season and a new year full of transparency and accountability in government!

If you use Bloglines (http://www.bloglines.com) or some other RSS reader, consider subscribing to the FGI Feed at http://freegovinfo.info/blog/feed to get FGI stories as they are posted. 160 people already have.

New FGI Discussions: December 11, 2006

This past week at Free Government Information (FGI)
(http://freegovinfo.info ), we continue our new poll looking into reasons why we have over 1500 daily visitors yet suffer a dearth of comments.

Also this week, December BOTM Duane McCollum and the FGI volunteers posting the following stories:

Duane's postings:

Volunteer postings:

If you use Bloglines (http://www.bloglines.com/) or some other RSS reader, consider subscribing to the FGI Feed at http://freegovinfo.info/blog/feed to get FGI stories as they are posted. 160 people already have.

New Discussions at FGI: December 3, 2006 & Comment Poll

This past week at Free Government Information (FGI)
(http://freegovinfo.info ), we started a new poll looking into reasons why we have over 1500 daily visitors yet suffer a dearth of comments.

We also said goodbye to November Blogger of the Month (BOTM) Lori Smith and said hello to December BOTM Duane McCollum.

Duane and the FGI volunteers posting the following stories:

Duane's postings:

Volunteer postings:

If you use Bloglines (http://www.bloglines.com/) or some other RSS reader, consider subscribing to the FGI Feed at http://freegovinfo.info/blog/feed to get FGI stories as they are posted. 160 people already have.

What kind of Reader are you?

Samantha,

This is *so* MySpace, but ok:

What Kind of Reader Are You? Your Result: Dedicated Reader

You are always trying to find the time to get back to your book. You are convinced that the world would be a much better place if only everyone read more.

Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm Literate Good Citizen Book Snob Fad Reader Non-Reader What Kind of Reader Are You?Create Your Own Quiz

This is part penance for not yet doing the Sci Fi books meme.

New FGI Discussions: November 27, 2006

This week found the Free Government Information (FGI)
(http://freegovinfo.info ) volunteers posting the following stories:

If you use Bloglines (http://www.bloglines.com/) or some other RSS reader, consider subscribing to the FGI Feed at http://freegovinfo.info/blog/feed to get FGI stories as they are posted. 160 people already have.

Suggestions for Librarians for Fairness

Assuming that Librarians for Fairness is a librarian run organization, what could it do to work cooperatively with the larger community on its core goal of assuring that the State of Israel is fairly represented in library collections and programming?

As a librarian who sees the continued existence of Israel as a non-negotiable for the West, I have some suggestions:

  1. Quantify the problem of bias. - According to ALA, there are an estimated 117,341 libraries in the United States of all kinds. What percentage of these 117,341 have a bias problem? On what basis does LfF believe this? If there is survey data, publish it on your web site.
  2. Publish case studies of balance. - Even making the extreme assumption that 90% of libraries suffer from an anti-Israel bias, then you still have over 11,000 that either portray Israel fairly or have a pro-Israel bias. Use them to show what a balanced view of Israel looks like.
  3. Drop the non-library material from your web site. - If the point of your group is to ensure balance within libraries, then having material on your site not related to Israel in libraries hurts your cause. If people are getting steamed reading your articles that cast liberals as fascists, then they are spending less time reading about your Israel-related library materials.
  4. Consider starting up a Israel-friendly book/website review column. While it's fine for you to distribute free materials, librarians often trust third-party materials more. You already have a good start on your recommended links page. Why not spend once a week telling us in detail what is great about your selections and how they counterbalance other works on Israel.
  5. Give us some names - Finally, for you to reach people and libraries effectively, some of you are going to need to show yourselves. If that is beyond you, consider recruiting a librarian/info science person who is already well known for their defense of Israel. Three people I'd talk to if *I* were on your advisory board would be Greg McClay, Matt O'Neil and Norma of LISNews. All three people are outspoken supporters not only of Israel, but of all the current government's policies. If you are librarian run and asked them nicely, I feel confident at least one would help you. Naturally I can't guarantee their participation, but any of them would put a "librarian face" on your organization that you currently lack.

New Discussions on FGI: November 20, 2006

This week found the Free Government Information (FGI)
(http://freegovinfo.info ) volunteers and November BOTM Lori Smith posting the following stories:

Lori's Posts:

Volunteer Posts

Lori and all the volunteers at Free Government Information wish everyone a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.

If you use Bloglines (http://www.bloglines.com/) or some other RSS reader,
consider subscribing to the FGI Feed at http://freegovinfo.info/blog/feed to
get FGI stories as they are posted. 159 people already have.

Response to Norma - The good UAPL does

Hi All, I started posting this as a comment to Norma's journal referencing her UAPL bias posting on her personal blog. But then I thought that more people should see at least some of the possible arguments we can come up with in support of libraries.

Looking at all that UAPL claims to offer, I think that UAPL comes off looking family friendly and learning oriented. There's a lot for churches to support in that.

So, with that introduction, here is my reply to Norma.

--------------------
Norma,

Shouldn't your vote be based on library's overall contribution to the community?

While I think opposition based on the idea that libraries shouldn't be competing with cafes is perfectly sound, I'm concerned that you are basing your vote based on the fact that the library carries materials objectionable to you.

Think about what else Upper Arlington PL does for its citizens. Looking at their home page I see that they are:

And it looks like there is more that they do for the community, including offering home access to a number of databases including Chilton's Auto Repair Manuals, which is hardly a liberal-elite item.

If you honestly believe that doesn't offset having books that are not in line with your personal beliefs, by all means vote against this bond measure.

But if you are willing to consider the totality of what your library appears to be doing for your community. Then please consider letting them grow by voting for this bond measure. Then round up some people from your church and start placing multiple requests for new materials. If you can't get items placed despite 50 or 100 people from your church asking them, then you'll have a solid claim of anti-Christian bias no one should be able to dismiss.

Recently on Alaskan Librarian: 11/12/2006

Here in my semi-regular way, is a list of topics I've posted to Alaskan Librarian since the last time I updated you on October 24th:

  • What would authentic bipartisanship look like?
  • Congressional Directory's hidden nuggets
  • Photos: Animals wild and domestic
  • Good Stress tip from Michael A. Golrick
  • Are any of you using Posts by Del.icio.us tag?
  • Landscapes, Second Set
  • MO school librarian reads Balto, discusses job

I'd be especially interested in hearing from you on my bipartisanship posting - If you can avoid blaming one single party for all trouble and help come up with constructive suggestions. But as you know, I won't censor.

Finally, I'd like to repeat my plea for Newzters to post notes about what's been happening at their stand-alone blogs. I think it would be fun to see.

New Discussions at FGI: November 13, 2006

After a week break, New Discussions at Free Government Information is back.

The past two weeks found our volunteers, plus BOTMs Lori Smith and Tim Skeers posting the following discussions we hope you will join:

Lori's Posts

Tim's Posts

Volunteer postings:

In addition, volunteer James Staub was busy putting audio and notes from several librarians from the recently closed Fall 2006 Depository Library Council meeting. You can see the coverage he put together at (http://freegovinfo.info/node/714). GPO has made great strides in being more current with their official proceedings, and you can now find a mostly complete set of proceedings at (http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/fdlp/pubs/proceedings/06fall/index.html).
Way to go GPO!

If you use Bloglines (http://www.bloglines.com/) or some other RSS reader,
consider subscribing to the FGI Feed at http://freegovinfo.info/blog/feed to get FGI stories as they are posted.

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