On Thursday, June 6, 2002, lii.org (the
Librarians\' Index to the Internet) added its 10,000th Web site. The
hallmark record--describing Americorps, a service organization whose
members earn educational credits for activities such as mentoring youth
and building affordable housing--was contributed by volunteer indexer
Julianna Hamann, a San Diego resident who has contributed close to 200
records to the lii.org database.
When asked why the self-described \"grandmotherly\" type would contribute
content to the lii.org database, Hamann replied: \"When I was a little
girl, six years old, a refugee, new to the United States from Hungary, I
was afraid to utter a word because of my language barrier. My mother\'s
words still ring in my ears, \'Open your mouth and ask questions. This is
America. They don\'t punish you for asking. Knowledge will set you free.\'
Since then, words became my allies.\"
Hamann will receive an lii.org t-shirt and a certificate for a free
course through Infopeople, a training project that has brought thousands
of courses to librarians and end-users throughout California.
lii.org began in 1990 as a gopher bookmark list created by Berkeley
reference librarian Carole Leita. In the mid-90s, lii.org was adopted by
Berkeley Public Library as an in-house resource. lii.org moved to
federal funding in 1997, acquired several part-time staff, and became a
signature project of the Library of California in 2000.
Diane Davenport, Library Manager, Berkeley Public Library, commented,
\"what Carole Leita started as her own bookmark file over ten years ago
has grown to be one of the most respected Internet sources. As a file
now updated and maintained by hundreds of librarians, it\'s a testament
to librarians\' abilities at evaluating, organizing, and making reliable
Lii.org has three core services: a high-quality, searchable, browsable,
multi-subject Web site; a weekly mailing, New This Week, that reaches
over 13,000 subscribers; and--an initiative less than a year
old--special thematic collections, topics for which have included
September 11, Black History Month, Tax Time, Yucca Mountain, and The
Grapes of Wrath.
Under the leadership of librarian Karen G. Schneider since October,
2001, lii.org content is created and managed by over 130 volunteer
indexers and four other permanent staff: Martha Gifford, Assistant
Coordinator and Senior Editor; Wendy Hyman, Associate Editor; Pat Fell,
Cataloger, and Bill Moseley, Programmer. lii.org has received additional
grant funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the
Library Services and Technology Act, and is hosted by UC Berkeley