On Being a Systems Librarian

I was Googlin\' the other day, and ran across a few cool things. It\'s amazing what you can find when you\'re looking for something else on Google


Eric Lease Morgan has written a nice piece called On Being a Systems Librarian that provides a job descrition and a nice FAQ.
He says they are librarians first and computer users second. \"Systems librarianship is the art and science of combining the principles of librarianship with the abilities of computing technology.\"

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LISJobs Info Career Trends

If you\'ve never been over to LISJobs.com and had a look at all Rachel has done there, you\'re really missing out. Be sure to check out Info Career Trends (January 1, 2001 Issue), the electronic
newsletter for information professionals interested in developing
their own careers. If you are looking for a job, or just want to keep up on what\'s going on, it\'s a great resource.
Rachel\'s new book \"Teaching the Internet In Libraries\", has just been released by ALA Editions as well!

Library of Congress Goes Digital

Wired is Reporting The Library of Congress has finally met its ambitious goal of putting 5 million historical items online by the year 2000. There are fears that the library will focus on archiving print media instead of dealing with the new digital information. The National Research Council\'s report A Digital Strategy for the Library of Congress said that very thing.

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Mixed marriage

Brian from librarism.com writes \"

Chicago Tribune writer Julia Keller Talks about the mixed marriage of Laura and Dubya Bush: She\'s a reader, he ain\'t. \"

George W. Bush pointed out that he and William F. Buckley Jr. both attended Yale. \"He wrote a book there,\" Bush said. \"I read one.\"

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What makes librarianship exciting to You?

Someone emailed me a while back to ask for my little contribution to a very cool new librarian oriented web site (you\'ll see an anouncement as soon as they launch).


They asked one simple question:


\"What makes librarianship exciting to You?\"

I\'ll post my answer here sooner or later (whenever I finish it), but I\'d like to hear from the LISNews community (if there is such a thing).....

What makes librarianship exciting to You?

If you have some time to spare, post your ideas below.

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American Library Association votes to challenge CIPA

The executive board of the American Library Association (ALA) voted
yesterday to initiate legal action challenging the recently enacted
Children\'s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), signed into law on December
21. The decision came after more than a week of intense discussion
among leaders and members during the association\'s annual Midwinter
Meeting. The ALA contends the act is unconstitutional and creates an
infringement of First Amendment protections.

CNET has a Story and so does ZD Net.

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Dred Scott documents available on Internet

State officials formally announced the Web site on Monday, Martin Luther King Day, so I\'m a little behind on this one.

The Missouri State Archives worked with St. Louis Circuit Court and Washington University to put 170 pages of the original Scott documents online.

\"In 1846, Dred Scott and his wife Harriet filed suit for their freedom in the St. Louis Circuit Court. This suit began an eleven-year legal fight that ended in the U.S. Supreme Court, which issued a landmark decision declaring that Scott remain a slave. This decision contributed to rising tensions between the free and slave states just before the American Civil War.

The records displayed in this exhibit document the Scotts\' early struggle to gain their freedom through litigation and are the only extant records of this significant case as it was heard in the St. Louis Circuit Court.
\"

Information Technology, 2500 B.C.

Bob Cox sent in This Story from Scientific American. It\'s a look back from the future, 2500 to be exact. They actually look back to the first society to leave a vivid written record, and it\'s impact on the future.

\"It was mainly war that brought ruin to walled Uruk and to all its royal successors. Whether we moderns will better manage our own overarmed world is far from a foregone conclusion.\"

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Your Digital Rights, Gone?

This Story from Wired says content owners and digital rights management companies are discouraging the growth of digital music by taking liberties with their control of copyrights.


This One says First-sale rights do not exsist on software, since you only \"licensed\" it.


While This One from CNET says some bad things about the new \"Product Activation technology\" from Microsoft. The technology FORCES each user to register the software over the Internet or by phone.

And of course many people feel Mandatory Library Censorware is the worst of all.

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The Book(s) Checked Out From The Library Today

Someone suggested \"At Salon Table Talk:
What You Checked Out of The Library Today\" over on Salon.

A topic for everyone, but especially for those of us who either cannot or will not buy books in abundance. Besides, libraries are about the coolest places on Earth, yes? So, tell us what book(s) you checked out today! CDs, videos, records, etc etc are OK too!


Me, I took one on a 350 year old Native American Village in my backyard.

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People Still Like to Read

Lois Fundis writes \" The New York
Times
has a Story that one of the nation\'s oldest
magazines (founded 1857), under a new management,
is being redesigned but still focused on \"exploration of
big ideas, big subjects, the American experiment. I do
not mean to get highbrow about it, but that is what The
Atlantic is about.\" It also mentions their longstanding
rivalry with Harper\'s, also founded in the 1850s: \"the
difference between New York and Boston\".

\"

Reasons to be thankful for librarians

Lois Fundis writes \"Craig Wilson, in his Wednesday (Jan. 17) column in the Life section of USA Today, praises librarians for our devotion to and skill at \"the hunt\" -- tracking down odd bits of information -- from a public-library reference librarian who helped him when he was a young reporter, to the modern librarians at USA Today. \"The bells and whistles at their disposal were far more advanced than anything Mrs. Susman had back in Saratoga Springs, but the game was the same. They were always ready to dig.\"
\"

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Public Library Quickies

After hunting for library oriented stories for over a year I think I\'ve gotten a good idea of the typical library story. Most Public Library stories are something like, Library launches improved Web page, or Library board to discuss plan to allow drinks upstairs, then there is the Funds short for library, and the most popular We Need or are Building a New Library.

Most of the stories I find are rather boring, or too \"local\" to be of much interest to many people.
Occaisionally I\'ll run across a good one like A Profile of a Library Director, or
This isn\'t your parents\' library
and finally the lovely Renaissance of Libraries. There\'s good news out there, it just takes awhile to find most of the time.

Stories From The Great Divide

One-third of the overall U.S. population uses the Internet at home, compared to just 16% of Latinos and 19% of African Americans, according to recent U.S. Department of Commerce statistics. Cyberstate.org has grand plans to help close the digital divide.


While the LA Times says Minorities Use the Web Differently. African Americans were more likely than other groups to focus on career advancement and professional development, education, family and relationships and entertainment. Latinos were more likely to use the Internet as a major source of news content, particularly for international news.


Meanwhile in the UK the divide seems to be at Work as well, A survey of 200 large firms across Britain, conducted by KPMG\'s legal arm, KLegal, found that 30% did not provide staff below middle management level with internet access. That figure increased to 40% when specialist information technology firms were stripped out of the sample.
In a somewhat related story, BT is turning pay phones into temprarially free internet kiosks, Story Here.

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View From ALA Midwinter

I have my exciting ALA Midwinter Photos posted.


Some of the highlights include:

Stupid Panda Tricks

The First OCLC Terminal [I was suprised to find at the Smithsonian].

The First Apple Computer.

A view of the trade show floor.

And Stupid Vendor Tricks, yes that is a real person.

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Study finds errors rife in U.S. science textbooks

CNN is one place with The Story on how bad science textbooks seem to be. Twelve of the most popular science textbooks used at middle schools across the United States are riddled with 500 pages worth of errors. The part that scared me was They tried to contact textbook authors with questions but in many cases the people listed said they didn\'t write the book, some didn\'t even know their names were listed!

\"The books have a very large number of errors, many irrelevant photographs, complicated illustrations, experiments that could not possibly work, and drawings that represented impossible situations,\"

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The Old-Fangled Search Engine

Lois Fundis writes \"The Washington Post, covering ALA Midwinter, interviews ALA President Nancy Kranich and explains that not only do libraries still count, \"Libraries may get hot\" -- not only because the incoming First Lady is a former librarian, but because \"Libraries are like the ultimate 3-D web sites.\" \"


From the story:
\"Good question. Whom do we ask? AltaVista? Google? Ask Jeeves.com? Nahhh. Let\'s ask a librarian.\"


This is the kind of story I just love to read!

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ALA Award Winners

Richard Peck, author of \"A Year Down Yonder,\" and David Small, illustrator of \"So You Want To Be President?\" are the 2001 winners of the John Newbery and Randolph Caldecott Medals, the most prestigious awards in children\'s literature.

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Library Movie Review

Irene Wood sent this along originallyAnn Ferrari has written a nice movie review and was kind enough to share it with us:

I few weeks ago I watched a great British movie called \"Shooting the Past\"
which was a Mobil Masterpiece Theater production in 1999. It\'s the best
and most suspenseful portrayal of a library that I\'ve ever seen in a movie, so
I thought I\'d write up a review. (By the way, it\'s available for sale from
Amazon.com, and I managed to borrow it through my local library).


Shooting the Past is the story of a British photographic library housed on
an old estate......

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The Wireless Library

Sharon Giles Writes:

\"From the Houston Academy of Medicine-Texas Medical Center Library (from their alert service LibLines)
With the opening of Sophie\'s Agora and Internet Café the HAM-TMC Library will have wireless capabilities. This means that our patrons with laptops and other portable computers may gain access to the internet without being constricted to the computer labs.


There will be 6 access points in the library\'s café, each capable of supporting 250 users anywhere in the library. However, to ensure that signals reach every level of the library, access points will be installed on each floor, allowing laptop users internet access from the stacks, study carrells and study rooms.

Whether you use a laptop or a handheld device all that is needed to access the wireless ports is a wireless PC card adapter.



Click here for more information on wireless technology.

\"

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