Why libraries must reject the OCLC Policy: A Call To Action

A proposed OCLC Policy got Tim thinking about compiling all the arguments against the Policy. He wants to start with the process and legal ones, which have gotten very short shrift. OCLC spokespeople are persuasive personalities, and OCLC's "Frequently Asked Questions" allay fears, but the Policy itself is a scary piece of legal writing and, as it explictly asserts, the only writing that matters. He finishes with a call to action:
Librarians and interested parties have only a month before the OCLC Policy goes into effect. It is time to put up or shut up.

* The New York Public Library is hosting a moderated discussion with OCLC Vice President Karen Calhoun from 1-4pm on Friday, January 17. Show up and make your displeasure known.
* Visit and link to the Code4Lib page on OCLC Policy change.
* Sign the Internet Archive/Open Library petition to stop the OCLC Policy.
* Sign librarian Elaine Sanchez's petition.

Librarian, There's Some Bacon in My Book

It's that time again; time for another story about strange things found in books as bookmarks from the NYT Papercuts Blog.

A few weeks ago in the NYT Book Review, Henry Alford wrote about strange things found stashed (and smashed) inside books, from money and photographs to baby’s teeth, insect corpses and pieces of superannuated bacon. There are some interesting replies to the papercuts blog too, from Unshelved cartoonist Bill Barnes, and this one from Liz G :"These leavers-behind of bacon in books may be literary, but they are certainly not true bacon lovers! While I might very well eat bacon while reading, I would never sacrifice an entire rasher to mark my place."

There seems to be a lot of skepticism about the bacon bookmark meme. A 2006 essay on Bibliobuffet mentions numerous sightings of errant breakfast meat in libraries from Florida to Nebraska to Washington State, but no first-hand accounts from librarians.

On the subject of my book, there's an In My Book® bookmark (not bacon and for that matter, glatt kosher); if you'd like a complimentary sample to consider for your library or bookshop please send a stamped self-addressed (to your library) #10 envelope to In My Book, Attn: birdie, 39 Third Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231 (limited time offer through January 26, 2009, good only in the US). I'll send you one!

After Stream of Library Complaints, EVA Subscription Services Finally Responds

For months, more than a dozen library customers of EVA Subscription Services, based in Shrewsbury, MA, have expressed enormous frustration after not receiving periodicals ordered and finding that their calls and emails to EVA went unreturned. One customer even filed a complaint with the local Better Business Bureau (BBB), which closed the case as “unanswered,” two filed complaints with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s (AG) office, and several expressed concerns on library electronic mailing lists.

What would it look like if OCLC was broken up?

Terry's Worklog wodners.... What would it look like if OCLC was broken up?
So if it was up to Terry, how would we resolve this situation? Well, there's at least two possible scenarios.
1. Open up WorldCat.
2. Split OCLC’s membership services from OCLC’s vendor services.


Kindle competitor starting in Europe

James Sherwood wrote at The Register's hardware section about a "Book on Mobile" plan by Vodafone. While The Register is a tech publication based in Europe, it may be possible that reading books on your own smartphone under this plan may not be too far off for the United States. Vodafone is, after all, a minority owner of Verizon Wireless so there is some potential leverage to bring such to the United States eventually.

Booksellers, wholesalers vying for Ontario school library funding

The Ontario government has finally gotten around to disbursing some of the $80-million it promised earlier this year for the purchase of books for school libraries, but some booksellers are complaining that the tendering process is proving unnecessarily burdensome.

Correction: Highsmith is relocating, not closing

Highsmith, a distributor of school and library supplies headquartered in Fort Atkinson, is closing its facility and will move operations to the Lab Safety Supply facility in Janesville after Lab Safety Supply bought the 52-year-old firm in July.

A Sept. 5 Capital Times story reported the Highsmith company in Fort Atkinson was closing, putting 86 employees out of work. Company officials said Highsmith is not closing Nov. 1 but is relocating, and a majority of the 200 employees at the Fort Atkinson facility are being offered positions in the Janesville facility.


Highsmith Closing Ft. Atkinson Headquarters

The headquarters of the Highsmith Inc., a leading distributor of supplies, furniture and equipment to public, academic and school libraries is closing down on November 1. The property was purchased by Lab Safety Supply of Janesville, who is also laying off 86 Highsmith workers.

According to The Capital Times, the company "was founded in 1956 by Hugh Highsmith and sold overruns of children's books to schools. Highsmith has grown from its small beginning to marketing 25,000 products through its various catalogs, including a 754-page Library and School Products catalog. The company does some $50 million annually in sales, and employs a total of 200 employees."


Shelfari, The Social Network For Book Lovers, Acquired By Amazon

Mashable Says Shelfari has been acquired by Amazon; probably not because it has a huge community, but because Amazon needed a book-oriented social network and acquiring Shelfari was the easiest, fastest, or least cash intensive way to do it.

Will the Next Generation of Library Systems be Customer Generated?

Eric Schnell Wonders Will the Next Generation of Library Systems be Customer Generated?

It's no wonder that library systems of tomorrow are really just library systems of yesterday. It seems to me that as a profession we are stuck in a bad relationship with our systems and vendors. We just can't figure out a way to get out of it. Are we happy that III will not give us APIs? Are we so insecure with our relationship with them that we are content to take what they give us? Do we feel we are that powerless?


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