William Sannwald Answers Your Questions

William Sannwald was the first ALA Presidential Candidate to ring in with the answers to your questions. The questions are bolded, followed by the answers.

I was overwhelmed with the number of questions I received from librarians in the US and from around the world (the total was somewhere around 50). Normally I am lucky to get 10 responses to a call for submissions from people, so this seems to be an important topic for the LISNews audience. I chose what I felt were the best ones, omitted the duplicates (most popular were questions on pay and image), and ran them through a spell checker. What you see are the unedited questions I received, more or less in the order I received them.

I did move the very first question to the first position in this list, it struck me as being the simplest question, but yet the hardest question to answer.

They were free to answer or ommitt any of the questions. I removed the names to protect the innocent, and did not number the questions.

Why should I continue to pay my dues and remain a
member of the ALA?
Being a member of ALA makes one part of the collective
voice of libraries and librarians in the USA.  It also
enables members to have access to the programming and
publications of ALA, including American Libraries as well as
Divisional Journals and Newsletters.In addition, involvement in
the association creates a bond and allows for a lifetime of
friendship with other members.When I look back at my career, it
was involvement in ALA that was one of the things that helped me
develop my appreciation of and skill in the craft of


Berners-Lee On The Web

SiliconValley.com has an Interview with Tim Berners-Lee on the past, present and future of the web. He worries the web may spin out of control.

``My worry is that we\'ll make a system that isn\'t conceptually clean enough . . . so that in 10 years time, we\'ll find the technology is limiting,\'\' he said.

He also says he wishes he didn\'t put the double slashes in URL\'s, they are a pain, aren\'t they?


Friday Updates

The friday updates for this week include censorship, free speech, circulation records, 19th Century library, farewell to a high school librarian. Enjoy!

Changing roles for university libraries

InsideDenver has a nice Story on college libraries, and how well they are doing. They touch on Questia Media, and the internet\'s impact on libraries.

\"It\'s not providing the information. It\'s providing the service to help people find the right stuff,\"

Inconsistent Librarians?

In order for librarians to state their case on the matter of filtering, they need to see the other side of the controversy. This will make their argument stronger. Art Linkletter, in the Nando Times had this to say about filtering:\"Professional librarians go through years of schooling to acquire degrees in library science, and they are taught to discern worthy from unworthy material. Given limited resources to buy books, librarians routinely choose not to buy rubbish. Few, if any, libraries stock their shelves with unvarnished porn...The libraries\' argument is, to put it charitably, inconsistent.


The Real Thing: Democracy as a Contact Sport

Here is an article by Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman, of Focus on the Corporation fame, about the recent donation of 20,000 Coke ads to the Library of Congress. They attended the reception at the Jefferson Building, questioned the use of a public library to promote junk food, were thrown out and told never to return. I guess it was their physical removal that prompted them to title the story The Real Thing: Democracy as a Contact Sport.

The Thomas Jefferson quote in the article is wonderfully ironic: \"I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws our country.\"


Creating Community Controlled Journals

SPARC and the Triangle Research Libraries Network (TRLN) today launch
SCIENCE JOURNALS, a how-to handbook and web site that guides editors
and editorial board members of scientific journals toward responsible
journal publishing. To see the site or download a PDF version of the
handbook, please go to: arl.org/sparc/DI.

UCITA a guide to understanding and action II

The ARL has posted a PDF version of UCITA a guide to understanding and action. It\'s a good place to learn more on this law, and how to handle it.

Be sure to check out \"Appendix A, Myths and Facts about UCITA\"!


Scholarship for library school students with disabilities

AccessLife is carrying a story about how Ellen Perlow convinced ASCLA to offer a library school scholarship for people with disabilities. At first, ALA turned her down.

\"This fact made Perlow realize that the program would have to be funded independently and not detract from the Spectrum scholarships for racially diverse library students. So she went out and got her first anonymous donation and, in a very short time, the program was set.\"


Search engines need to improve

ZD Net has an interesting Look At search engines. They say people get \"Web-rage\" after searching for 12 minutes, and not finding what you\'re looking for. They say all that information is just overwhelming.

\"A great majority, (86 percent) of Internet users feel that a more efficient way to search the Web for accurate information should be in place,\" Roper Starch Worldwide researchers wrote.\"

The other 14% must not actually use the internet.


Information Liberation

Information liberation : Challenging the corruptions of information power by Brian Martin is now online as an eText, Here, links to the chapters are below.I\'ve only read 2 chapters, but it looks interesting.

Power tends to corrupt, and information power is no exception. Information Liberation analyses the corruptions of power in a range of crucial current areas in the information society, including mass media, intellectual property, surveillance, bureaucracies, defamation and research.

Reform solutions seldom get to the root of information problems. Information Liberation examines radical alternatives that undermine the power of vested interests. Alternatives include replacing mass media with network media, abolishing intellectual property, and changing social institutions that create a demand for surveillance. The book canvasses various strategies for moving toward these alternatives, focussing on grassroots action.

Information Liberation is provocative. Most readers will find something to disagree with. That\'s all part of the process. Everyone needs to be involved in discussing information policies and practices, rather than leaving the issues to experts and vested interests.\"

Why Books Survive

The New Republic has a book review of Book Business: Publishing Past Present and Future by Jason Epstein that turns out to be much more than a review. The author of the review has more than a few things to say about books and the publishing industry.

\"The conviction that not only will people always want books, and will want them as they have always had them--on the shelves in bookstores--and will travel great distances to get to them, has led me to put upward of 300,000 books in four buildings in my hometown in West Texas.\"


Harry Potter Casts Spell on Moscow

Irina Ibraghimova was kind enough to send in This Story from Russia on Harry Potter. The books are selling very well in Russia. Even though former President Boris Yeltsin\'s memoir is disappearing twice as fast.

\"There\'s something about the books that makes people a little crazy,\" said Natalya Chuprova, research director for the Moscow-based Moskva bookstore chain. \"It\'s quite popular, especially for a foreign book.\"


Big $$ to fix S.F. Library

Sfgate has a story on the big \'ol mess at the SFPL. San Francisco Public Library administrators want $5.3 million for a first round of fixes. This after a $240,000 report that offered a long list of ways to fix the $137.5 million building. I guess money grows on trees around there.

\"Because the main library has these problems, that\'s what we focus on. But the library is working, and lots of people are using it every day. These changes will make it better,\"

Amazon\'s used book sales

Some folks that make and sell books are none too happy about Amazon\'s new used book sales. CNET has a story Here and there is a letter to Jeff Bezos Here from the Authors Guild and Association of American Publishers.

\"If your aggressive promotion of used book sales becomes popular among Amazon\'s customers, this service will cut significantly into sales of new titles, directly harming authors and publishers,\"

Slashdot has a Discussion as well.


Sexy Russian Librarians

Salon has a funny little Piece that includes some quotable quotes on librarians.

\"The problem with kissing Natasha was that, being a librarian, she was overflowing with interesting factoids and observations about the universe.\"


Blocking for Blockheads

Brian writes \"In the Chicago Tribune, libertarian columnist Steve Chapman says that the Children\'s Internet Protection Act is bad.

chicagotribune.com has the Story\"

\"If you were looking for a book for a school-age youngster and didn\'t have a good idea of what would be suitable, would you ask advice from (a) your local librarian, (b) the child\'s teacher, (c) a parent or (d) your U.S. senator? If you answered (d), then you\'re gonna love the Children\'s Internet Protection Act.\"


Biography of a Bookstore

Lee Hadden sent in this one.The Washingtonpost has a Story on the Politics & Prose bookstore. Independent stores continue to struggle against the big chains.

\"I am filled with shelves; the shelves are filled with books; the books are filled with ideas. Of all stripes: liberal, conservative, kooky, kinky, cogent, cautious, cockamamie.\"


Bibliographic Tools for the Alternative Press

Many librarians with collection development responsibilities who understand the importance of the Alternative Press still don\'t select from it, saying they don\'t know how to find those materials or don\'t have the time. Bibliographic Tools for the Alternative Press, a regular feature in Counterpoise, the review journal of the Alternative Press, is a bibliography of resources you can use for exactly that purpose. (Of course, the reason we need to select from the alternative press is that the mainstream press does not provide a full range of perspectives, being slanted by its corporate point of view.)


Online Schools

Former Education Secretary William Bennett is one of the folks out selling some new online schools. Bennett once gave schools\' efforts to increase use of computers in teaching an \"F-\". Cnet has the Full Story.

Washington Post has another story on the same thing. Sounds like a big gamble on some vaporware.

\"It\'s a back-to-basics approach,\" Bennett said. \"We\'re combining traditional learning and powerful technology.\"



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