Fixing Librarians

Kevin and Kell, a comic about an unlikely family of animals, takes a look at (among other things) updating librarians for the new millennium.


Are patrons a headache?

Holly writes \"A new Study ranks librarians as the #2 profession most likely to get headaches during work. 43% of librarians reported suffering from workday headaches. The cause? \"Librarians stated that people who have \"no clue\" how to use research resources cause the most headaches (56 percent) for them.\" \"


The Paper Pusher

If you\'re like me, and you feel like you should read \"Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper\" by Nicholson Baker, but you just don\'t feel like it, you may want to read Alexander Star\'s The Paper Pusher review in The New Republic.
I know you\'re probably sick to death of reading about Nicholson Baker, but this is the best review I\'ve seen, I almost felt like I read the book when I was done.


Alaskan Mayor Rethinks Position

Someone writes \"Perhaps he\'s not a bigot after all.
Full Story \"

Alaskan mayor George Wuerch said Wednesday he is rethinking his directive and will personally inspect the display materials before making a final call. He had just decided against a gay pride exhibit at the city library.


Will Libraries Find Themselves Ensnared In Web of Double Standards?

From the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal...

\"America\'s public library systems may find themselves caught in a sort of legal hell, where they face First Amendment lawsuits if they move to restrict Internet access and civil-rights lawsuits if they don\'t. It could also mean a curious double standard, under which restrictions on Internet usage and access to protect children from X-rated material are legally forbidden while the same restrictions would be required to protect librarians themselves from a hostile work environment.\" [more...]


The Reports Of My Death Have Been Exaggerated

I keep reading about how the death of the \"Free Web\"is upon us. CNET said \"The idealistic dream of a digital Camelot where everything is free is giving way to cold fiscal reality\". While this may be true for some sites, those burning through millions of investors dollars, the free web is far from dead, or even close to dying. The web is mostly free and it will continue to be in the foreseeable future.

Much More....


Look in the mirror

I stumbled on a couple interesting papers while looking for something else the other day.

Tamar Kirschner wrote an interesting paper that takes a A Look at librarian stereotypes.
\" Their professional sense of purpose carries over into the human beings they are outside of work, which is probably why it is the only professional stereotype that does not suggest an element of exploitation of others.\"

Richard A. Danner wrote Redefining a Profession that discusses technology and its impact on our little profession.
\"...without attention, foresight, and the willingness to take advantage of these capabilities, librarians could find that market forces alone will control and limit the future development of the profession.\"
He has 194 references on this one!


Lawmaker seeks crackdown on Internet sex at library

David Goldman passed along
This Story
on a bill set to be heard by Massachusetts lawmakers on Monday.
The measure, sponsored by Republican House leader Francis Marini, would also block Internet access to \"satanic cults\", \"indecent depictions of bodily functions\" and \"illicit drugs, alcohol or tobacco products\", in Massachusetts libraries.

\'\'Libraries are where people go to get information and have the broadest access to it,\'\' said John Roberts, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts. \'\'What you are doing is using a bat to swat a fly.\'\'


Sanford Berman resigns from SRRT/PLG

Sandy Berman has resigned \"with a mixture of sadness and disgust\" from The SRRT and The PLG. You can read the full release below.


Libraries Can\'t Catch A Break has an interesting series of stories that show the position public libraries have now been put into by recent legal happenings.

Sued either way: \"EEOC:
unfiltered computers \'harass\' librarians
\", June 4, 2001; \"Customer
\" (supermarket bagger with Tourette\'s), June 9-11, 2000; \"Columnist-fest\"
(Mona Charen on March 10-12 story, below), April 6; \"Accused
of harassment; wins $2 million from employer
\", March 10-12; \"\'Judgment
reversed in Seinfeld case\'
\", Feb. 26-27, 2000; \"Employment-law
retaliation: real frogs from \'totally bogus\' gardens
\", Sept. 29, 1999.

Meanwhile Wired Is Reporting South Dakota\'s state government is rejecting Web filters as cumbersome and unnecessary, they enforce the Internet policy with stiff punishment instead of technology. 20 workers were fired or suspended or suspended so far.

\"People are adults, and if they can\'t be adults they have to pay the consequences,\"-spokesman Bob Mercer


Gay Pride Exhibit Pulled By Mayor in AK

The Anchorage Daily News is reporting Mayor George Wuerch abruptly removed A gay pride exhibit at Z.J. Loussac Public Library on Tuesday. The exhibit was sponsored by Metropolitan Community Church, a predominately gay and lesbian congregation, and Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, or PFLAG. There were no complaints from any patrons, he\'s just much smarter than the people who elected him. Full Story

\"I just said \'no,\' \" Wuerch said. \"This is a fundamental responsibility of the mayor, to make decisions. Once in a while, you have to say no.\"


Filtering Company is Opposed to Mandatory Filtering

Filtering company, Surfcontrol, is against mandatory filtering in libraries and schools. They think that filtering should be a choice, not a forced initiative. The article from Newsbytes\"Because SurfControl maintains an office and a substantial presence in Massachusetts, the company felt that it was important \"as a filtering company\" to go on record in opposition to the mandatory filtering effort, Getgood said.\"


An Assessment of the Impact of the General Agreement

Cabot writes \"The Canadian Library Association, in partnership with the British Columbia Library Association, the Canadian Association of Research Libraries, the Canadian Association of University Teachers, the Library Association of Alberta, the National Library of Canada, the Ontario Library Association, the Saskatchewan Library Association, and Industry Canada, has completed an Assessment of the impact of the General Agreement on Trade and Services (GATS) on policy, programs and law concering public sector libraries.

The Study , written by Steven Shrybman, a well-known expert on international trade agreements, gives clear indication that libraries need to be concerned about the impact that GATS can have on them in the future.

Look Around The Public Library

A bunch of unrelated, but interesting stories, most sent in by Bob Cox.

The Post-Intelligencer has a Story on the King County library system, which is The third busiest in U.S. They say the only way to get a study table at King County\'s main library on a Sunday is to race in the door when it opens at 1 p.m.

San Antonio\'s public library fines are the highest at 20 cents a day.
\"We give people three weeks to return a book, a week to return a video or a CD,\" Graham said. \"After that, they are stealing from the taxpayers. We\'re just providing incentive for people to bring the material back.\" Story on that woman who had 900 books after she was arrested for stealing from the library.
This is a lesson,\" said Jim McKee, director of the Caldwell County library. \"Most of our policies have been geared toward honest people.\"

The latest chapter in book sales: 3.3% drop

USAToday has A Story on the drop in book sales last year.

They credit Rowling for a rise in childrens books sales of 10.1% between 1999 and 2000. Adult Hardcover sales dropped 12.9% and trade paperbacks declined 14.2%, while cheaper, rack-sized mass-market paperbacks fell 2.8%.

Pat Schroeder blames it on the uncertainty about the outcome of the presidential election.

More likely are the price increases by publishers and smaller discounts from booksellers, consumers spent more while buying fewer books, spending $14.14 billion last year, up from $13.24 billion in 1999. They say previous industry studies have warned of a limited number of people willing to spend $25 on a book.

Duh. Someone needs to go back to college and take an economics class.


Fireflies in the Shadow of the Sun

Just received this one via e-mail from J. Wyatt Ehrenfels:

\"Fireflies in the Shadow of the Sun exposes the moral/methodological inadequacy of academic psychology to address authentic psychological phenomena. It is a novel based largely on factual accounts and would be a suitable acquisition for librarians.\" The mission -- public service to the human spirit...\" To visit the web site, Click Here.


Filter or Forfeit

To some public libraries, loss of e-rate funds isn\'t an issue when it comes to filtering, but further complications resulting in loss of substantial technology dollars may make some libraries think again. [more...] from Pantagraph.


Literature Junkie

Lee Hadden writes: \"Yahoo! has an interesting site about the problems of literature junkies, aka \"literature abusers\" or \"Bookaholics.\" While this humorous outlook is aimed mostly at English majors, it can also apply to librarians
and library users. The joke of the day for May 31, 2001.\"

Are you a literature junkie? Take This Test and find out! How many of these apply to you?


Special Library Closes

This Story From The New York Times was recommeded by Kerry and Stephen.

AOL Time Warner closed Time Inc.\'s editorial research library, described as \"a huge collection of volumes and archived clippings that occupies a floor and a half at the Time-Life Building, plus extensive warehouse space — employed three dozen librarians and staff.\"

\"Peter Costiglio, a spokesman for Time Inc., said that closing the library should be seen not as dissolution but as an act of decentralization.\"

Hurray, a new word for FIRED!

A column of conservative claptrap

Dennis Byrne, a regular commentator on the Chicago Tribune\'s editorial pages, commentates today on "A library of liberal lunacy."

In short, he says: Oh, those left-wing liberals! They want kids to surf porn in libraries, but they also won\'t allow naughty pictures to be displayed in the workplace. Now that librarians are filing sexual harassment complaints in big public libraries that don\'t filter, it\'s a clash of liberal dogmas!



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