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The LA Times has a neat Story on The Capital Library a 22-story library in Beijing.To keep abreast of the times, the Chinese library recently added computer rooms for Internet use and access to its electronic holdings nlc.gov.cn. Though the library must overcome a reputation for user-unfriendliness that \"is legendary,\" according to China\'s own state-run news agency. Of course all the libraries here in the US are known for their legendary user-friendliness! -- Read More
Here are the Friday updates for this past week. Stories included: e-book news galore, less room for the library in a school, 10 pounds for no words, students are told where to sit, and much more... Enjoy!! -- Read More
Someone wrote in with this \"The National Library of Medicine has funded a Website that provides a distance learning opportunity for public librarians (and other information providers) who need to answer health-related questions. Is this an approach that makes sense? \"
I checked out the site, and it\'s pretty cool. They have several nice Pathfinders and other nifty health related stuff. A nice Reference Interview Resources provides information on, well, you can guess what.So....Does it make sense?
Desertnews.com has a fairily lengthy story on how The Salt Lake County Library Board has appointed a subcommittee of librarians to study electronic books. They predict they will have electronic books within five years. Why sit and study it, while other libraries move forward and do something about it? Earlier this year, the Patchogue-Medford Library in Patchogue New York started circulating Nuvomedia Rocket eBook readers. Check out that story.
\"\"As e-books become more popular, they will probably become available in the city\'s libraries. If e-books become materials that our patrons request, then we will explore that option,\"says community relations manager Dana Tumpowsky\" -- Read More
Infotoday cleared up the May 23 announcement from Web directory service LookSmart who said they signed an exclusive agreement with Gale Group. According to the release, they are going to make business and premium magazine and periodical content available for free. You may find the quantity of material actually delivered through the service to be, at least initially, a lot less than the press release leads one to believe. -- Read More
\"Our latest protagonists in this Internet soap opera are the giants of book publishing, those stuffy New York types accustomed to being masters of their own plots. This may be the first drama where they control neither the rights to the story nor the basic story line--you know, the familiar one where everyone gives away everything for free and nobody has a clue how to make money. -- Read More
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has this article on a library that is making people sick.\"So far this year, 10 of the library\'s 35 staff members have missed a combined 225 work hours because of air-quality related health problems, Enerson said. Among them is Susan Skaggs, who wears a filtered breathing mask to work and maintains a \"Sick Building Log\" with entries from November 1998 through February 1999\" -- Read More
Phillynews.com has this article about a town in PA that changed its name from Library to South Park. Does anyone else see the symbolism here?
\"Library, a town of 3,600 tucked in South Park Township about 12 miles south of downtown Pittsburgh, never was incorporated into a governing body. The town last week became South Park, to the liking of some and the chagrin of others.\" -- Read More
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.\"
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 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,
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
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
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
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
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
\"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
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
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
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
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