We owe a great debt to the brilliant, if flawed, Melvil Dewey

Greg Hill, director of Fairbanks North Star Borough libraries, has A Column in yesterday's Fairbanks Daily News-Miner on Melvil Dewey. He says even with all his shortcomings, Dewey's legacy, an elegant scheme for organizing knowledge logically, remains and overshadows his frailties.


The Straight Dope on Librarians

Jaclyn Mussehl writes "Another library-related article from
The Straight Dope
, this time about the Dewey Decimal System."


Cataloger Discovers Lord Byron Poem

stevenj writes "A poem by Lord Byron has been discovered in a 19th-century book within the archives of University College London. It is the only known manuscript of the untitled poem that appeared in print four years later, in 1816. It was assumed that the original had been lost, but a librarian stumbled across it during a routine cataloguing. Dated April 19, 1812, the poet signed his name in Greek characters. The story appears at:"


LoC says NO to cataloging Italian Books

kathleen writes "Library of Congress says NO to cataloging Italian books.

Saw this on H-Net, but can't find anything at the LOC page to confirm Dr.Connell's notice. Comments welcome.

Dear friends of Italy:

Libraries throughout the United States that have programs to acquire Italian
books now face a major funding crisis because of an arbitrary decision by the
Library of Congress.

The Library of Congress, which is in many respects the world's most important
library, has decided to stop cataloging Italian books.

Meanwhile, books that come in from other countries around the world continue
to be routinely cataloged in Washington at taxpayers' expense.

Cataloging information is made available at no extra charge to smaller
libraries throughout the United States under existing programs, but this will
no longer be the case for Italian language books. It is anticipated that
each library will have to pay an exorbitant fee of almost $15.00 to access
the cataloging information for each new Italian book that it acquires.

All members of the educated public who want American libraries to continue to
acquire Italian books should contact Dr. James H. Billington, who is the
Librarian of Congress ([email protected]), and especially their Congressmen--to
whom the Librarian reports.


William J. Connell
Professor of History and La Motta Chair in Italian Studies
Director, Alberto Italian Studies Institute
Seton Hall University
South Orange, NJ 07079

H-Italy is a member of H-Net Humanities & Social Sciences OnLine. H-Italy offers scholars a central source for information in the field of Italian history."


OZ National archives prepares to go digital

Computer World Australia Reports he National Archives of Australia (NAA) in Canberra is set to launch its digital archiving service on new infrastructure.

Lola McKinnon, acting director of the National Archives' digital records projects and operations, said the rate of creation of digital information has spurred a set of "e-permanence" products and guidelines, which is the framework for developing the e-records management system and maintaining it.

"Digital records are subject to the same constraint as paper, which may be made available to the public," McKinnon told Computerworld. "But most records are kept 'private' for 30 years, which makes managing the two types of information a challenge."

Call Number Games & Quizzes

Do you know someone who needs a refresher course in understanding Library of Congress and/or SuDoc call numbers? They might as well have some fun doing it. Thanks to AbsTracked, Here are some links to quizzes, games and tutorials.


Dewey Subject of Great Idea Contest

LibrErica writes "Dewey Decimal is the best idea since sliced bread? Just maybe. While conducting a contest for "The Best Idea Since..." the SEIU is soliciting entries for any common sense idea from any willing contributor about any topic under the sun. One submission suggests using the Dewey Decimal Classification system to make relevant web pages easier to find. Could the submission be a stealth attempt by a librarian? Could it be from an avid library patron? Check it out for yourself here:"


OpenWorldCat to Get Amazon-style Features?

AshtabulaGuy writes "OCLC just announced a new OpenWorldCat pilot sub-project through FIRSTSEARCH-L. The pilot will involve allowing users to contribute "details" (which would include tables of contents that would otherwise be encoded using "505" formatted content tags in MARC21 by ctalogers) and "reviews" by users in the style of The press release also noted that these features that are presently in testing may eventually make their way into the subscription-based WorldCat database. It is uncertain whether or not this will run into quality control issues like Wikipedia has had mentioned recently, though."


Who Needs Catalogers When You Have LibraryThing?

Kelly writes "Do book book cataloging using Flickr-style tagging and with access to LC's catalog (still in beta) Cost? (so far): $10.00 for lifetime membership to

Testimonials (which seem rather enthusiastic)."


Sanford Berman's Jean Coleman Award Speech ALA June 2005

Steve Fesenmaier writes "Sandy Berman was given the Jean Coleman Award for 2005. After receiving the award he gave a speech entitled, "Classism in the Stacks: Libraries and Poverty." The posted speech should have look normal, but since Sandy's eyes were very bad while he was typing the speech, he had to type it in ALL CAPS. Despite several messages to ALA's Satia Orange, her staff has posted it ALL IN CAPS! ( I lost a $1 bet - I just didn't think they would do it.) Read the speech at - man/jeanecoleman.htm"



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