More On Minneapolis Public Library Ruling

The MPL saga has been submitted by more than a few folks this week. It seems this NYTimes Story has the most information on the subject.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s ruled that the library, by exposing its staff to sexually explicit images on unrestricted computer terminals, may have allowed for a hostile work environment after 12 librarians filed a complaint.

\"Our downtown library became a club for a large number of men who were viewing pornography all day,\" Adamson, who has been a librarian for over 30 years, said in an interview. \"I\'d see these men at the door at 9 a.m. and some of them would still be there at 9 at night.\"


A Moving Experience @ Your Library

I think we rean a story Like This One long ago.
Schoolchildren formed a chain three blocks long and passed book after book from the Thornville, OH old library to its new one yesterday morning. The 310 students hand-delivered about 800 books to the new library.

Next time I move into a new apartment I want to move this way! Any volunteers?

Book Thief Nabbed

Bob Cox forwarded this along from Jimmy D. McKee, Director, Caldwell County Public Library\"
\"Colleagues, Just wanted to let you know that the lady we suspect of purloining our books has been nabbed according to our local detective who was working the case. She had more than 2,000 books some of which she claims were purchased at yard sales. The detective says that they did find records on her computer where items had been sold. Most of the books are being held by the Hickory Police department and the lead detective there, Danny Stewart, said that they would be inventorying the books and contacting the libraries involved to see about getting your materials back and to see if you want to file a warrant. We did get an editorial in our local paper this morning chiding us for checking out so many books to one individual. It is evident that most of our policies are directed toward the honest users of our libraries and perhaps this was a warning for all of us to reassess our policies and procedures in some areas. With relative ease this lady checked out close to $50,000 worth of materials!\"

Confessions of a library scofflaw

Prague Post has an interesting Story written by a library scofflaw.

Just a fun look at how people feel about returning books late. I\'d also like to admit that I am a library scofflaw too. I always whip out my ALA card to avoid the fines (\"It\'s OK, I\'m a librarian\" I say), but it never seems to help. I\'m also a video rental scofflaw.

\"But, licking their chops, the clerks at the Municipal Library of Prague are not interested in discussing the fine points of overdue-book morality. Rules are rules. I am in need of reform, and the clerks at the return desk are ready to do the job.\"


Christian books raise eyebrows

Florida\'s Lakes Region Library set up a display of
books titled \"Christian Fiction\" sitting near the check-out
desk with about 100 books. A patron raised a ruckos,
so they changed the name of the display to
\"Inspirational Fiction\". They even talk about how The
Library of Congress classifies \"Christian fiction\" books,
but, there is not an equivalent category for Buddhist
fiction or other types of religious fiction. She plans to file
a complaint in U.S. District Court against the county.
Full Story

\"We try to provide a broad diversity of viewpoints
and many types of subject matter,\" Rogers said. \"That
does not mean the library endorses those ideas. We
are a neutral provider of information, so you can come
in and select what you choose.\"

Library Stories Galore

A google of library stories from around the country all
sent in by the great Bob Cox!What about right to
from Idaho.

arnegie Library marks 100th birthday
in Pittsburg.
Related story, Three Carnegie libraries to get

A horticulture library unlike any other in
Seattle. If you\'ve ever been to The Arboretum, you know
how nice it is! Miller
Web site

Resourceful library from a few miles down the
Thruway in Rochester, is a nice story on the public
libary that serves so well.

Rare books are city\'s quiet
in Cleveland.


Academic Libraries Offer Live Web-Based Reference

Bernie Sloan has released his Preliminary Report on \"The Ready for Reference service\", a collaborative 24x7 live reference service being piloted by eight college and university libraries in the Alliance Library System in Illinois.

If you\'re interested in web-based reference work, this is a must read.

More information on the Ready for Reference project is available from the project Web site.


Science world in revolt

Gaurdian Story on the ever growing journal boycott.

More than 800 British researchers have joined 22,000 others from 161 countries in a campaign to boycott publishers of scientific journals who refuse to make research papers freely available on the internet after six months.

\"Science depends on knowledge and technology being in the public domain,\" said Michael Ashburner

Librarians Claim Sexual Harassment, Hostile Work Environment Due to Net Porn

Michael Bartlett writes, \"Reaction is mixed on a preliminary finding by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that a group of Minneapolis librarians was exposed to a sexually hostile work environment because of pornography downloaded on library computers.\" [more...] from NewsBytes.


Fan fantasy fiction

Today\'s Chicago Tribune carries an L.A. Times article about slash fiction -- homoerotic stories written mostly about TV characters by straight female fans.

I had heard of this stuff being written about Star Trek and Xena characters, but The A-Team? I pity the fool ...


NC Book Thief on the Prowl

Bob Cox forwarded this along with this warning: \"Granted this is North Carolina orientated, but these \'people\' have a habit
of crossing state borders.\"

\"Several libraries in our area, Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, and Iredell so far, have probably been victimized by a book thief.  She is very clever and evidently has had no trouble obtaining a library card in all these libraries as she presents identification.  She has given the following names, April Bumgardner, Newyum, Hudson, Nelson, & Coleman so far.  All the above libraries have overdue books checked out by this lady that unfortunately number more than 600 items so far.  She used to work at a bookstore and it appears that many of these items are listed on her Internet site for sale.

Newt\'s Books

Lee Hadden writes: \"The Atlanta Journal- Constitution has An Article about the favorite
books of Newt Gingrich. If you have admirers of the Newt among your library
patrons, you may want to stock these titles:

His reading list includes the novels
\"Shogun\" by James Clavell, \"The Killer Angels\" by Michael Shaara and \"The
Unvanquished\" by Howard Fast. Nonfiction choices are \"Naturalist\" by Edward
O. Wilson and \"The Effective Executive\" by Peter Drucker.\"

They note:
\"it\'s safe to say that Al Gore\'s \"Earth in the Balance\" was not one of them\".


Shopfront libraries?

Desley writes in from always sunny Australia: \"I would like to know if anyone on the site has any information on \'Shopfront libraries\' that is libraries in shopping centres, you call them malls over there. All information, comments etc would be appreciated as we are looking at changing the location of ours as the area has developed away from this site.\"

Email her at :


New bill in Congress Inflicts More On Libraries

Mary Minow writes \"Rep. Felix Grucci introduced a bill May 15 to amend section 254 of the Communications Act of 1934 to require schools and libraries receiving universal service assistance to block access to Internet services that enable users to access the World Wide Web and transfer electronic mail in an anonymous manner. This Act is cited as the `Who Is E-Mailing Our Kids Act\'.

A library would need to certify that it`(i) is enforcing a policy regarding anonymous Internet connection that includes the operation of a technology protection measure with respect to any of its computers with Internet access that prevents use of such computers to access an online privacy service that enables a user--

`(I) to send electronic mail anonymously; or

`(II) to access the World Wide Web anonymously; and

`(ii) is enforcing the operation of such technology protection measure during any use of such computers.\'; Look up H.R. 1846 \"


Budget Woes at the Library of Virginia

Lee Hadden writes:\" According to an article in the March/April official newsletter of the
Library of Virginia, there will be projected service cuts there this year.
Under Republican Governor Gilmore\'s budget, the Library of Virginia\'s
funding will be cut 17.75%, starting as early as July 1st for fiscal year
A 54 year backlog of archival material will be curtailed due to a lack
of staff and funds to purchase archival supplies, delaying further the
release of these historic records. Saturday hours may be eliminated. Money
to preserve and conserve historic collections will be curtailed
significantly. Funding will be eliminated for the construction and
improvement of public library facilities across the commonwealth.
Nolan T. Yelich, Librarian of Virginia, said, \"These reductions are
compounded by the fact that the Library has never fully recovered from a 27
per cent reduction in its operating budget during the revenue shortfalls of
the early 1990\'s...\"
Further information about the Library of Virginia can be found at
their website of:\"


Awareness Exchange Site Launched to Protect Kids Against Net Perils

It\'s called the Awareness Exchange, and it\'s goal is to help protect kids around the world from falling into the more dangerous realms of the Internet, including those inhabited by pedophiles, cybercriminals and racists. Some of the headings include - \"Yahoo! racist chatrooms \'untouchable\', Supreme Court to consider online porn law, Net crime plans unveiled, DotSafe, dot sure and eSchola, Focussing on filtering, Families... And So On - Tech Week: Protecting Kids Online, Parents believe Internet has positive impact on children, Computer shops to block child porn on internet, Home Office backtracks on its argument that UK laws exist to protect children online.\" There is also a discussion forum, a hotline and other resources available. To visit the site, Click Here.


Library audit finds 12% of books lost

Bob Cox says Dallas News is running A Story that says 12 percent of its books are gone, and the library system has no collection agency for pursuing nearly $3.5 million in fines for overdue and lost materials.

Is there such thing as an acceptable loss rate?

Unreliability of Health Information on the Web

Stephen Francoeur writes \"The NY Times reports in this story on the findings of a study published this week in the JAMA about the unreliability of health information on the Web. \"

Not too suprising, I guess, they found that most of the time, health information on the Internet is hard to find, hard to read and often incorrect or incomplete, even on the best sites.

New Book Reviews

Casey writes \"I don\'t know if you\'ve \"caught wind\" of this new scheme to charge publishers for book reviews, but I think it is absolutely the most horrible idea I\'ve seen in the book world. Makes me grind my teeth just to think about it. And to think they actually believe librarians will read these \"reviews\"!

Anyhow, a new Uncle Frank tackles the issue here at


Little bits o\' lit

The Chicago Tribune has an article about two alternative distribution channels for literature: the Chapter-A-Day e-mail service; and Travelman Short Stories, which are being sold as fan-folded sheets from a machine in a London Underground station.

A quote from an American short-story author about the vending machine: "I don\'t think it would work here. So few people read short stories in this country. Selling them in the same way you sell gum or condoms, I don\'t think it would appeal to the same people who read short stories."



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