Libraries

A Political Economy of Librarianship?

Here is an excerpt from the hard-to-categorize (here) A Political Economy of Librarianship?\" by William Birdsall, in the new issue of Hermès: Revue Critique:


No profession concerned with the administration of a public institution, such as the library, can ignore the need to pursue serious research into the politico-economic sphere of public policy. Understanding the enduring link between economics and politics is crucial to understanding the current political realm of librarianship. Achieving this understanding is the reason for the need to develop a political economy of librarianship. Currently, the primary attention librarians give to politics and economics is political advocacy for the purpose of generating enhanced funding of libraries. Such advocacy is admittedly very important and librarians have become increasingly sophisticated at doing it. However, I assert that librarians need to devote more effort researching the political and economic dynamics that define the past and current environment of libraries. Libraries are the creation and instrument of public policy derived from political processes. Understanding these processes includes appreciating the connection between the polity and the economy. This connection between the polity and economy defines the political realm of the library and the basis for this paper’s claim that there is a need to develop a political economy of librarianship.

Something new at the library

The King County Library System in Washington is trying something new to attract youngsters. Multicolored library cards. The article appeared in the East Side Journal.
``I don\'t know of any library in the country that has tried anything like this,\'\' said Bill Ptacek, director of the King County Library System. ``The idea is for people to individualize how they access the library. We are the `People\'s University,\' and many things to many people.\'\' -- Read More

African-American Research Library

The Denver Post has a Story on plans for a new library in Denver that will house a growing collection of documents related to African-Americans in CO.

\"We focused really hard on getting African-American political people first,\" Nelson said. \"But community people are very important also. Just the everyday folks, because they have the real nuts and bolts of things. We know the high-visibility people have done a lot. But the community people are very important to us too.\"

Do libraries even exist anymore?

The San Fransisco Gate has this to say about kids doing research. First the New York Times, now this? Do we need to educate the public more, or what?\"

Rated

Michigan Live has a decent Story on the ol\' R-Rated Video checkout debate. They do a good job covering both sides of the issue. Should libraries \"rent\" R-Rated videos to Kids? If they can\'t do it at Blockbuster why should they be able to do it at a library?

\"Libraries exist to provide a window to the world. How far open the window should be is a matter of debate -- and it\'s not a new one.\" -- Read More

Choosing Quick Hits Over the Card Catalog

Steven Bell writes:Here is a story I think every
librarian should read on student use of the
Internet for research. It\'s at The NY TImes


This is an intersting story to say the least. Filled with
quotes to make a point, and few facts, the author leads
us to believe kids hate libraries. The \"card catalog\" is
cited as an example of how students are \" more
comfortable sifting through hyperlinks than they are
flipping through a card catalog. \" Don\'t most
schools use an OPAC now?

\"Sam still prefers doing research with his
Hewlett-Packard PC to looking up information at the
library. \"I\'d much rather be online,\" he said. The library,
he added, is \"a tenser atmosphere.\" -- Read More

Don\'t Rush LC To Collect The Web

The Advocate has a nice Editorial on The Library of Congress. Remeber that report from The National Research Council that said the Library of Congress could turn into no more than a \"museum of books\" if it didn\'t take steps to apply its archival talents to the digital world? Well Jared Kendall say Pish Posh to that silly idea. He thinks LC would be better of putting the collection it has online, rather collecting what it online.

\"Reliability is what the Web needs more of, not storage space. The Library of Congress doesn\'t need the Web. The Web needs the Library of Congress. \" -- Read More

Cyberporn in the library

Here\'s a great article from First Monday (A Peer Reviewed Internet Journal) on how libraries and librarians are dealing with all the XXX web sites.

\"This article examines the conflict that cyberporn raises between the mission of libraries, the rights of library patrons, and the law. In the first part of this essay, the terms \"pornography\", \"obscenity\", and \"child pornography\" are defined, followed by an exploration of the issues surrounding the availability of cyberporn on public accessible computers in libraries. The views of librarians on cyberporn are examined as well as legal and feminist perspectives. -- Read More

Book Drop Bomb

According to this article from Denver Post, someone put a pipe bomb in a library book drop.\"On the sidewalk near the library\'s main doors, police found a message spray-painted in black: \"If you don\'t stop your harassment you will be murdered,\" Thomas said.\" -- Read More

Out with the old

Here is an opinion piece from the Times on the British Library thowing out old newspapers.\"The past never passes. It simply amasses,\" wrote the American poet Brad Leithauser. Librarians should take this to heart, but the Board of the British Library has decided that it is time to take on the role of winnower and to dispense with part of the piled-up past.\" -- Read More

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