LivePerson: Keeping Reference Alive and Clicking

I just finished reading the article by Thomas regarding the small hardware store and talking to a real librarian, and it reminded me of an article that appeared in E-Content about live reference service via chat, using Live Person.
\"To increase users\' communication options, Lippincott Library added online chat to its reference service in September 1999. Now, in addition to contacting Lippincott by phone, email, fax, or (dare we suggest it) coming to the Library in person, students, faculty, and staff can ask questions through chat and get an immediate response.\"

Data Haven Island

My son recently convinced me to read Neal Stephenson\'s \'Cryptonomicon,\' a great read. In the book, some of the main characters try to set up a \'data haven\', a secure location that hosts internet services and is under no government imposed regulations.

He added that it turns out that the people at HavenCo (havenco.com) are setting up a data haven of their own, on the Island Nation of Sealand (A WWII British military installation 6 miles off the coast of England). You can read about the data haven at the first link, and you can read the unbelievable story of Sealand at the second link. -- Read More

3M Awards for all

3M announces the selection of three academic librarians as 2000 recipients of the 3M/NMRT (New Members Round
Table) Professional Development Grant. The awards will be presented at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago during the 3M/NMRT social, which will be held in conjunction with the ALA
Scholarship Bash, on Saturday, July 8 from 9 p.m. to midnight at the Navy Pier. The 2000 3M grant recipients are Judith A. Downie, a reference/instructional services librarian at United States International University Walter Library in San Diego, Calif.; Laurel A. Littrel,
humanities reference librarian at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan.; and Tiffini A. Travis, a senior assistant librarian at University Library, California State University in Long Beach,
Calif.


A record number of libraries throughout the U.S. participated in the 2000 3M Library Systems Check-it-out Yourself Day at the Library
event, which was held to kick off National Library Week, April 9-15. There is also a long list of winners below. -- Read More

Real hardware store, real library?

I was busy Saturday, so my wife went to the hardware store for me. She was going to get this special wrench I needed but couldn\'t name, so I described it for her. She went to one of those mega stores, you know, a Barnes and Noble for tools. She came back and said, they didn\'t have the wrench I wanted- or at least the kid who tried to help didn\'t think so. She guessed that I would have to go to a REAL HARDWARE STORE. Unfortunately the REAL Hardware Store in our neighborhood closed down and the only other one in town is all the way across town.

A real hardware store has more than just tools and hardware, of course. It is a source of expertise and advice on all those household projects that we weekend warriors attempt. They don\'t have unknowledgeble clerks with Metallica t-shirts that know more about MP-3s than socket sets. They have people who can help you with getting that plumbing project right or finding the right size carriage bolt. That type of hardware store seems to be quickly fading as the mega stores take over and few will mind when they get amazonned, I would guess. -- Read More

Still Hard to Digest, but Digital Books May Have a Future

The Los Angeles Times carried this column on writers and thier feelings on e-books.
\"Writers tend to be Luddites,\" said Steve Wasserman, book review editor of The Times. He noted how Gore Vidal still writes his novels in longhand, on legal pads, and then has those pages transcribed. Vidal still believes that the tactile feel of a pen in hand is important to the creative process, the way many readers think that the feel of a book and its pages are essential to the appreciation of writing. But Wasserman believes that e-books may expand the choices for readers.\" -- Read More

Ask Not for Whom the Bell Tolls

Halifax County and Bedford, Nova Scotia basically cut out librarians all together from the junior high libraries. They wiped out about 200 positions total, including five circuit teacher-librarian positions and 35 library assistants. James B. Casey had some good thoughts and questions on this issue. He wrote:


School Librarians everywhere should take heed. And so should Public,
Academic and Special Librarians. If the Public Education Establishment
can marginalize, minimize and neutralize their own commitment to provide

Library Service in support of K-8 Education, who will pick up the tab?
Who will be unscathed? -- Read More

Library Techs In Demand, NOT Librarians

Chicago Tribune has a Story on current employment trends in libraries. They report that highly skilled library technicians will be in greater demand. Unfortunalty that is because they will be expected to take on some of the roles traditionally assumed by librarians. -- Read More

Book industry wrestles with electronic future

CNN.com has an interesting article about how people are using the electronic books now and missing the chance to walk around the bookstores to see what they have to offer.

\"He had just been asked what he thought of electronic books.

\"Does that mean you get shock treatment when you read?\" the actor wondered, shortly after speaking to a Sunday breakfast gathering at BookExpo America. -- Read More

Man\'s love of pulp fiction nets remarkable collection

Here is a cute little article about a man who had to decide whether he wanted clean clothes or his books.

\"BUFFALO, New York (AP) -- For 30 years, it was love. George Kelley and the little numbers who kept him company in all those hotel rooms.

They\'d always own a little piece of his heart. And a great big part of his home. Or so he thought.\"  -- Read More

Book Mobile Can Be Magic

Check out The Magic Book Bus by Catherine Chute
from Homebase (the non-profit feminist group Mothers Are Women)Catherine Chute writes:

Many of us may be familiar with The Magic School Bus (the television series about the incredibly resourceful science teacher Ms Frizzle and her class). It is easy to read the books or watch the television show with a sense of detachment. We know that magic school buses don\'t really exist.

This may be the case where you live, but not here, not in Chester, Nova Scotia, where I am.
Even though this is not a fanciful place and we are pretty sensible folk in all other ways, something magical happens when the bookmobile comes to town. -- Read More

Small Booksellers Seek Browsers Online

The New York Times carried this article on independant booksellers\' quests to compete in the online world.
\"Nearly half the independent booksellers have disappeared since 1994, according to the American Booksellers Association. Now the Internet, the site of so much recent loss for the independents, will take on greater importance as a battleground in the next two months.\" -- Read More

Supreme Court to review FCC subsidies

A Story from ZDnet tells us how the US Supreme Court is about to hear an important case on FCC subsidies used to help schools and libraries connect to the internet.the FCC has operated a $2.25 billion annual federal program to subsidize Internet connections for schools, libraries and rural health care facilities. Sounds Nice doesn\'t it? -- Read More

City of Boston makes available open meeting minute

Don Saklad writes \"After years of denying, delaying or hampering access to open
public meetings minutes of our city of Boston public library
department board of trustees minutes have been made
available via the Web
bpl.org/WWW/trustees.html -- Read More

Interview with José-Marie Griffiths

Joy Schwarz writes

Have you already seen this interview with José-Marie Griffiths (CIO for the University of
Michigan and a professor in the graduate School of
Information) in the June 1, 2000 issue of _CIO Magazine_? It\'s titled \"The Role of the Librarian in the Digital Age\" and it\'s at
.CIO Magazine.

It\'s a short but interesting interview. -- Read More

The Top 15 Signs Your Librarian is Nuts

15.Entire library stock replaced by 50,000 copies of
\"Yes, I Can\" by Sammy Davis, Jr.

14.Half-dozen recently-extracted tongues stapled to
the \"Quiet Please\"
sign.

13.Recommends Kato Kaelin\'s book.

12.Instead of scanning barcode on book at checkout,
seductively licks
the
inside cover.

11.Library only has two sections: \"Limbaugh\" and
\"Liddy.\"

10.Inserts boudoir photos of herself in copies of
Gray\'s Anatomy.

9.When you ask for an appendix, she winks
suggestively
and shows you
her
scar.

8.Replaces the overdue book fine with canings from the
\"Rod of Literary
Tardiness\".

-- Read More

Library Liberals

Marva
Chung
writes: From Quill &
Quire
, June 2000, p.17 article titled: \"Library clerk
resigns
over \"liberal\" Internet policy\"
CLerk resigned because the library\'s policy
essentially...\"places the
responsibility of defining offensive material on
individual employees...\"
This - may be \"discomforting\" at times...\" reports
Manchester, the Chief
Librarian, \"...but says she has not received complaints
from any other staff
members.\"

They don\'t seem to have this issue
online yet, if it becomes available I will update the link.

Where have all the librarians gone?

U.S. News has this interesting piece on the shift of librarians from school and public libraries to Internet companies.\"Checked out a school library lately? You may be in for a shock. Creaky old card catalogs have given way to computers; massive rows of encyclopedia volumes have dwindled into single CD-ROMs or disappeared into online databases. And while books still abound, it\'s getting harder and harder to find that other familiar fixture: a qualified librarian\" -- Read More

Spurned by wife, man gives up pulp fiction library

The Times of India has this article about a man who had to choose between his laundry and his 25,000 Pulp Fiction book collection.
\"My wife gave me an ultimatum,\" he recalls. \"She said, \'I can\'t get to the washer and dryer. You have to make a decision between the books and clean clothes.\" The books are now at the University at Buffalo\'s Lockwood Library. Five years after Kelley donated them to his alma mater, librarians have catalogued each volume.\" -- Read More

Reading for fun might be a lost art

A Story from Starnews.com
pines about the good old days, when teenagers read
for fun, and swiped what they wanted from the library.
An interesting take on how the internet is influencing
school libraries.

\"That\'s because teen-agers no
longer are reading for fun. In libraries, computer labs
and at home, most youths today are more apt to spend
an hour chatting with friends on the Internet than spend
an hour reading a good book.\" -- Read More

When the tree falls, when the phone rings...

The title sounds like a latter day parody of Sound of Music, but the related question is serious. Aquinas asked: If a tree falls in forest with none to hear, is there a sound? Today that question is a cliche where once it was profound, but if a phone STOPS ringing in the desert because of the Net, is there silence?


Tom Brokaw reported on the NBC Nightly News recently as follows:
Remember earlier this spring, when we introduced you to a telephone booth in the middle of nowhere in California\'s Mojave Desert? Its number had gotten onto the Internet and people called in from around the world. Well, the line now is officially dead. But the legend lives on. Here\'s NBC\'s Roger O\'Neill.


For more see:
http://www.deuceofclubs.com/moj/broke2/index.html -- Read More

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