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The NY Times has an interesting Story on eBooks. The author says the publishing industry is not being entirely rational about eBooks. No one knows if eBooks will ever take off, and the publishers are taking a big chance.
\"After decades of bruising battles among agents, publishers and booksellers over the stagnant revenue from slow-growing book sales, no one wants to see their rivals get a jump on them.\"/I>
\"The Internet\'s gain in stature as an information resource has been the reference librarian\'s loss.
After all, the library isn\'t the first place most people think of when they need a digital gateway to information.\"
Now ask yourself, whose fault is that?
Whose fault is it that people even need to ask this question-
\"With all these commercial online reference services, will librarians become obsolete?\"
The ALA estimates only 3 percent of communities are without library services, Grayson, Kentucky is one of them. This is a farming community where half the working-age people are either functionally illiterate or have minimal reading skills, and yet they wouldn\'t pay an extra $30 a year to open a library. CNN has the Full Story
\"It was pretty unbelievable,\" said Mindy Woods, a mother of two who collected 2,200 signatures supporting the measure. \"Their attitude was, \'We\'ve made up our minds. Don\'t confuse us with the facts.\' \"
The British Library has put the The Gutenberg Bible online digital facsimile. If you\'ve never seen the real thing, check this virtual copy out. They say there are only 48 left and The British Library has two complete copies. They discovered 3 interesting things while producing The digital images.
1.It was first envisaged that rubrics should be printed in red. This was soon abandoned, perhaps to save time.
2.It was decided to increase the number of lines per page, presumably to save paper.
3.It was decided to increase the print-run, but as some sheets had already been printed in the number first envisaged, these pages had to be printed again. This is the best explanation for why a number of the pages exist in two different versions.
InDUHvidual: \"What do we need a library for now that everything\'s free on the Web?\"
Snappy Librarian: \"Would you like to bet your career on that? I\'m betting mine that you\'re wrong!\"
InDUHvidual: \"Everything\'s free on the web.\"
Snappy Librarian: \"Yeah, but so is garbage. I’m not going to quit buying my food at the supermarket and just pick through the neighbour\'s compost heap. Every once in while you find something of value at the side of the road – but it’s not a tenet to live or run our company by.\"
New Zealand taxpayers were mighty upset when they found out that tourists are able to check their e-mail at the national library for free. Computer User has the full story.\"New Zealand Member of Parliament (MP) Winston Peters lashed out at Wellington\'s National Library of New Zealand, painting its provision of free Internet access as an invitation for unrestricted surfing of porn sites and a free Net cafe for foreigners to check e-mail at taxpayers\' expense.\" -- Read More
While we fight, fight, and fight for Internet 1st Ammendment rights, another issue has popped up in public libraries all around the country...children checking out R-Rated movies. In this story from the Spokesman Review, a man brought the issue to the library board, and lossed. Whose responsibility is it? The parents or the library.\"Last week, the library\'s five-member board denied resident Pat Kilpatrick\'s request to ban kids\' access to R-rated movies.
Kilpatrick said the decision \"undermines the integrity\" of Post Falls.
\"My concern has been that the community is trying to maintain standards,\" Kilpatrick said, who\'s also asking local churches for help in changing the library policy.\" -- Read More
While I anxiously await issue #5 of The Intolerant Librarian you can check out issues 1-4. With headlines like these, you know it\'s good!
\"ALA Expects controversy over new JK Rowling Book: Harry Potter and the Magical Dancing Penis \"
\"Bookmobile 2000 Kills Commies, Spreads Literacy.\"
\"Stupid Librarian almost ruins Frat Party.
And My Favorite:
\"\"Intolerant Librarian\" now listed on Infoseek, Thus Assuring It Will Never be Found.\"
Here\'s an interesting one from interactionarchitect.com on how \"skeptical Internet users\" are using the internet. Skeptical Internet Users are those who are motivated by the Internet\'s promise of offering value, not by how cool it is. They don\'t use search engines, that is too much work, they just check out a few web sites regularly. They are unforgicing and ready to never visit your site again! Sounds like they need to visit a library and ask for some help!
In 1988 Henry H. Barschall did a study that found nonprofit society-based journals offered work equal to or better than commercial journals, and are cheaper. Commercial publisher Gordon & Breach didn\'t like what was said, and has filed suite. Gordon & Breach has now spent millions of dollars and eleven years pressing a false-advertising claim against two nonprofit competitors.
\"Has pursuing a course of continuous litigation against both the scientific and the academic library communities hurt business for G&B\'s journals? \"Probably it has,\" Gordon admits. But, he adds, \"it\'s impossible to see how it has. As you know, library budgets have been cut in the last few years.\" \"
The Chronicle has a Story on a contract the State University of New York signed with Ex-Libris. The contract requires Ex-Libris to place in escrow a complete copy of the software source code and all related documentation. That means SUNY can look at the source code and documentation for the company\'s library-management system. Sounds like a good move.
\"Having abandoned the \"book ghetto\" and the image of glasses and hair buns, librarians have commercialized on their ability to manage knowledge and information. Today\'s librarians are more commonly known as cybrarians, content managers, information specialists, and knowledge engineers. \"
Charles Davis writes \"The British Library has suspended sales of historic newspapers after a public outcry.
It had disposed of up to 60,000 bound volumes of newspapers in
unpublicised deals in the past four years. All the newspapers were foreign.
The library said it had not broken its legal obligation to collect and maintain
British printed material.
The library, caught out by the controversy, said yesterday that it would make
no further disposals until it had undertaken \"a complete review of microfilm copies\". The recent disposals include long runs of newspapers from most
European countries, the United States, Latin America and pre-revolutionary
Story from \"Daily Telegraph\" 24 November 2000
http://www.telegraph.co.uk -- Read More
Bill Gates is giving $5 Million dollars get libraries in Chile hooked up to the Internet. Chile was chosen because of it has a history of open access. Read the full story from the Seattle Times.\"The program, announced Tuesday, would put an estimated 1,200 computers in the libraries and would pay for librarians\' Internet training. Microsoft Corp., which Bill Gates co-founded in 1975, will separately give $1.2 million in software.\" -- Read More
The University of Pennsylvania Libraries just got their 5 millionth volume, a rare hagadah. Unfortunately, their rare book collection is underutilized by the student body. What is so special about a rare book collection if nobody uses it. Excite has the story.\"Like the rest of Penn\'s unusual or uncommon 250,000 printed books, over 10,000 linear feet of manuscript collections, and more than 1,500 codex manuscripts -- many one-of-a-kind maps, broadsides, playbills, programs, photographs, prints, drawings and sound recordings -- are housed in the collection. And in about 10 minutes, you or any other Penn student can sit down, request and read from the same copy of Paradise Lost that Milton once held in his own hands or browse through its recently acquired hagadah.\" -- Read More
\"The results of the survey, which has been conducted annually since 1998, show that the number of libraries in Ontario staffed by teacher-librarians has declined by 15 per cent over the last three years (for more details, see (The Report). And according to the report, constraints in the provincial funding formula have caused a number of boards to eliminate teacher-librarians altogether. Not surprisingly, the survey also found that the trend toward volunteer staffing of libraries has continued.\"
Ontario, Canada, that is. It\'s lovely this time of year.
\"Arne Larsen, director of information systems at Horizon Blue Cross in Newark, N.J., said his company\'s software buyers have already rejected one contract clause that would have invoked UCITA and will keep on fighting it when it reappears. \"
Someone writes \"Can a library system oversee a \'Contemporary Art\' museum? It looks like the University of Arizona is trying to figure this out:
Some say that its function as a museum would best be served if \"liberated from control of the university library system\".
I like that term \"liberated\", like it\'s being held hostage.
Hate your job?
Hate your coworkers?
Wish you\'d taken a completely different career track that did not involve dealing with books and/or the public?
Read the letters in American Libraries and wonder why these people bother?
Attend a professional conference and pretend you\'re not a librarian?
Look at your library school classmates and think about how annoying they are?
Fantasize about your supervisor\'s going-away party?
You sound Snarky to me!
Check out The Snarky Librarian.
Jessamyn West (the New Jessamyn West, editor of librarian.net, not the famous author) recently did a guest column in Marylaine Block\'s Ex Libris e-zine entitled SHAKING THINGS UP: PROGRESSIVE AND RADICAL LIBRARIANS.
Marylaine introduced the column this way:
\"I asked Jessamyn West, who calls herself an anarchist librarian, to explain for me and my readers the variety of views and organizations on the leftward fringes of our profession. Trust me, nobody who reads this will ever again think librarians are sweet little ladies in sensible shoes.\"