OCLC Seeks $30 Million to Upgrade

OCLC is seeking $30 million to upgrade its infrastructure and to give itself more room to grow. According to OCLC, 2,000 to 3,000 new libraries froim around the world come on board each year. more... from GCBA.


Open Source VRD Software Available

Rob Casson, electronic information services librarian at Miami University, is offering RAKIM - a software package he has developed that enables live, online, chat-based reference service - for free downloading. An excerpt from his 9/21/01 posting to the DIG_REF listserv:

Here is a brief rundown of features:

*unlimited number of operators/librarians
*librarian-patron chat
*shared queue of patrons
*ability to refer patrons to other librarians (personal queue)
*shared/personal bookmarks
*email transcripts to patrons
*audible alert to librarian when new patron arrives
*audible alert to patron when their call is answered
*editable preferences for librarians
*browser-based - no plugins (except to play alerts, and this can be turned off)
*needs frames/javascript/css; right now, this means Netscape 4.X and IE, but support for Mozilla (and its offspring) . . .
*relational database backend . . . any relational database that PHP can connect to can be used to run the software . . .
*its Free software....Free, as in speech, and free, as in beer.

I thought people on this list might be interested in a Free alternative to the LSSI\'s of the world . . . it may not have all the features
of some of the commercial products, but its also a very young project, and the source code is available, just waiting for others to tear it apart, fix it, add to it, or ignore it and write your own . . . ;)

For more information, see the RAKIM home page.


The changing role of law librarians

The Pittsburg Business Times has a Nice Look at how the law librarian field has changed.

It seems like most of what they say carries over nicely to all areas of librarianship.

\"Computers can do a lot for us, but they can\'t think like we do. There is a certain serendipity when a person sits down with a legal book,\'\' said John DiGilio, a legal and business research librarian at the Downtown law firm of Kirkpatrick & Lockhart L.L.P.\"

Terror Attacks Boost More Book Sales

Cavan McCarthy passed along this Ananova Story on more books that are selling well since last week.
Professor Angus Gillespie\'s Twin Towers: The Life of New York City\'s World Trade Centre, had sold just 2,000 copies before Tuesday and now the remaining 1,000 sold out within 24 hours of the attack. Amazon.com says that Barbara Olson\'s book about Hilary Clinton has sold out (She, Olson, was on one of the hijacked planes).

I assume this is true at libraries as well?


Library of Congress Documenting Public Reaction to 9/11 Attacks

The Library of Congress\' American Folklife Center is leading an effort to document public opinion concerning last Tuesday\'s attacks:

Exactly one week after terrorism struck the country, Rory Turner places his mini-disc recorder and microphone on a counter as construction workers, firefighters, cops, mothers with young children and business professionals grab lunch at the Cross Street Market in South Baltimore.

Turner, a folklorist and program director for the Maryland State Arts Council, finds a relatively quiet corner behind a Chinese food and barbecue stand. He turns to customer Douglas H. Strachan, pastor of St. Paul\'s Lutheran Church in Curtis Bay, and asks how he responded to the attacks. Strachan is happy to share his feelings with a stranger . . .

In the background, vegetables sizzle on the grill and an employee rinses a large colander of noodles. The clanging commotion of the lunch spot is absorbed by Turner\'s recorder, as are Strachan\'s words, so that listeners 100 or 1,000 years from now will know the sounds of lunch in the early 21st century as well as the pastor\'s impressions.

Turner\'s interview with Strachan and others having their noon meal is bound for the permanent collections of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress in Washington . . .

More from the Baltimore Sun . A Real Audio file of \"The Day After Pearl Harbor,\" a radio documentary compiled from similar recordings made by the Library of Congress in 1941 (and mentioned in this article) is available here.


Nostradamus Flying Off the Shelves

It seems that books on or by Nostradamus are flying off library shelves in some places. A number of e-mail messages have been surfacing about this attack having been predicted by Nostradamus during the 1500s as the beginning of WW III and or possibly the end of the world. A visit to Urban Legends will yield more information on that and other Internet hoaxes. more...


A Virtual Walk Through Tin Pan Alley

The Chronicle of Higher Ed is reporting on a cool new Online Archive at Mississippi State University\'s Templeton Sheet Music Collection.
The university\'s library is digitizing and conserving the collection, an archive of about 22,000 pieces of ragtime, blues, show-tune, and war-song folios from the 1890s to the Great Depression.

Bay County\'s Sage Branch Library seems to be taking the opposite approach, selling off volumes from the original collection of the library from 1884.

Be Not Proud In This Library

Here\'s and interesting one from News-Press
on a sticky situation at Florida Gulf Coast University.

The head librarian (Director?) asked some employees
to remove “Proud to be an American” stickers this
week, saying she didn’t want to offend international

“My concern was that if a student comes to the
desk and sees the slogan, it might make it
uncomfortable, I think we have an
obligation to think about how we present ourselves. We
want to ensure civility and tolerance.”

Update[Thurs 10:15am] She Said Sorry after the school president rescinded her directive.

Good News Bad News

The Chicago tribune reports
Friends of Sulzer Library filed a suit Tuesday against
the Chicago Public Library Commission seeking a halt
to removal of books from the Sulzer Regional Library.
The library called the book removal a standard
\"weeding\" process common to all large libraries.

The Anchorage Daily News says The
Anchorage School District\'s Controversial Issues
Review Committee voted 10-3 to leave \"It\'s Perfectly
Normal\" on school library shelves.

\"If a child was to copy these illustrations in their
class, they\'d be sent to the principal,\" McNeil said.
\"They\'d probably be suspended.\"


Radio giant encouraging censorship?

This article on Slate.com discusses a \'no-play\' list of songs distributed by Clear Channel Communications in reaction to last week\'s attack. Clear Channel owns and programs air time on over 1000 radio stations in the United States. Metallica\'s \'Seek and Destroy\' is on the list, but so is John Lennon\'s \'Imagine.\' Should this be an individual station decision? Does the company have the right to do this since they are a private, rather than public, entity? Should we tolerate this in light of last week\'s attack? This is an important issue with many intriguing facets. Check out the song list and see what you think.


Two \'Instant\' Books on 9/11 to be Published

The Nando Times reports on two new \'instant\' books on 9/11. One is to be a collection of literary pieces on America and the other a compilation of stories from survivors and eyewitnesses. The first is due out by the end of the year, while the second is due September 30th. It\'s good to know the America\'s capitalism continues strong in the face of any challenge.


Patriots Hack Overseas Web Sites - WTC Virus May Be On the Loose

It seems that some computer hackers have decided to wage their own war on those suspected of being involved with the WTC and Pentagon disasters. According to the NIPC, this sort of vigilante justice is un-American. Some hackers defaced Taliban related web sites with wanted posters of Osama Bin Laden, while others caused denial of service attacks on the Afghanistan government web site. more... from MSNBC.


Alta Vista Gets New CEO - Axes 160 Employees

If a person didn\'t know better, one might make the assumption that Alta Vista\'s days are numbered. They\'re revamping, cutting costs, laying people off, and closing up shop in one location, but they\'ve got a new CEO. Will he be able to jump start the failing engine? more... from NewsBytes.


Library? Students prefer using Web to do research

ModBee.com has This One that says for many of today\'s students, the Dewey Decimal System is ancient history.

They are talking about The Study by Pew Internet & American Life Project. Seventy-three percent of the 12- to 17-year-olds who were interviewed said they used the Internet. And of the 754 Internet users surveyed, 94 percent said they used it for academic research.I haven\'t gone through the study myself, but the results don\'t look good as reported.

\"You can find stuff about basically anything on the Internet,\" said Brittany Pittman, a high school sophomore, who used the Internet for a paper on Princess Diana last year. \"It\'s so much easier than finding something in the library.\"


Sex book getting close look

This One is worth it just for that headline.

17 members of the Anchorage School District\'s Controversial Issues Review Committee (sounds like a fun bunch), have reviewed the book \"It\'s Perfectly Normal\" and will hear testimony from two parents who want the book off school library shelves.

\"I need to operate in the best interest of all of my students,\" Oliver said. \"Librarians respect the parents\' right to be the ultimate authority in what (their children) are exposed to. That\'s one of our unbendable laws. But that right to control what their child is exposed to only extends to their child. And there are as many parents out there as there are opinions, and I need to serve all of them.\"


FBI tracks Internet role in helping terrorists

Debby Auchter writes \"From the South Florida Sun-Sentinel (sun-sentinel.com) comes this interesting story about the anonymity of Internet communications and how someone can get away with murder...literally.

The men suspected of masterminding last week’s terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington may have found a perfect hiding place to develop their plot — the virtual anonymity of public computers to tap the Internet. U.S. intelligence agencies have known for years that e-mail, chat rooms and instant messages are a common mode for communication among terrorists. But the volume of Internet discussions and a lack of foreign-language specialists have thwarted the ability of authorities to effectively monitor online traffic.
Full Story \"


Book Worms Feasting on Historic Collections at British Library Cause for Concern

The problem of insects and parasites gorging themselves on rare manuscripts and historical texts is such a problem in the UK that the British Library has decided to organize a conference on the issue in order to find a solution. more... from The Times.

Archives of History of American Psychology Provide Insight Into Terrorist Mind

Anyone who\'s studied psychology is familar with the shock boxes of the mid 1900s. A volunteer, sitting on one side of the curtain, despite written warnings, would flip a switch emmitting a direct, high voltage jolt to someone on the other side, as indicated by agonizing screams. It was fake, but the person pushing the button didn\'t know that. From the Holocaust to modern day terrorism, the Archives of the History of American Psychology, in Akron, Ohio, according to director David Baker, \"is bigger and more important than any general psychology archive in the world. Imagine studying the history of art without museums and galleries, or of literature without libraries and bookstores. That\'s what it was like to study psychology before the archives opened in 1965.\" more... from The Plain Dealer.

Libraries May Be Winners in State Lottery

If a West Virginia legislator has his way, libraries in that state will soon be reaping the rewards of a lottery. According to the lawmaker, \"It\'s the wave of the future in funding public projects.\" The scratch-off tickets would fund libraries in the same manner they are used in other states to pay for services for senior citizens, veterans and other human services programs. more... from The Daily News.


Library of Congress Site Selling Ad Space?

I\'m not sure what to make of this: the LOC is featuring several scalable maps of 9/11 attack areas on their site - the maps were not taken from the LOC collection, but from that of a vendor - a shill for whom is featured on the page itself:

All rights reserved. No portion of this map may be electronically stored or reproduced in any manner without written permission from the publisher. For a copy of this poster, Downtown Manhattan - An Axonometric View of the Big Apple , contact mapPoster.com / Ludington, Ltd. -- beautiful maps blending art and cartography, 1 North St. 2W, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY, 10706. tel: 914.478.7010 fax: 914.479.5569.

Is this a new development? Are there no similar maps of these areas in the LOC collection? If not, why?



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