Ottawa public library Workers want ban on library porno sites

An arbitration hearing began Monday that
could determine if Ottawa public libraries will allow
people to access pornographic sites when they use
library computers to browse the Web.The library board
wants to continue giving the public free access to all
information. But the union representing librarians says
that exposes them to harassment.


An Ironclad Reason To Pay a Visit

Lee Hadden writes: "It isn't often a museum librarian gets mentioned by name in the Wall
Street journal, but Susan Berg of the Mariner's Museum in Newport News,
Virginia, was mentioned today. When all the publicity of the acquisition of
the rusty turret of the Civil War Ironclad, the USS Monitor, by the museum
was known, increased donations for the research library followed. Read more
about it in today's Wall Street Journal, March 5, 2003. (Subscription required)"
Stuart Ferguson, a reporter for the WSJ, writes:
"Indeed, during a visit last fall,
Susan Berg, the museum's librarian, showed me some recent acquisitions: two of John
Porter's designs for converting the Merrimack into the CSS Virginia. Porter took the
drawings with him to Richmond to show the Confederate government what he had in mind;
this set in motion the race to launch the first ironclad. The previous owner of these
rare drawings contacted the museum on learning it now had the Monitor's turret. In
return, of course, possession of the Monitor artifacts puts the Mariners' on the map
for anyone interested in the Civil War."


New documents from Sandy Berman posted

Steve Fesenmaier writes "Documents created by Sandy Berman during 2002 have been posted on his website. They include letters to HCL staff and some of his UNABASHED LIBRARIAN columns... Check them out...



Shortage of librarians predicted in New Jersey

"According to Norma Blake, state librarian, "New Jersey is facing a critical shortage in librarians. It’s a great job both for women starting out, and also for women making a mid-life career change."

"In the next 15 years, it is anticipated that 68 percent of librarians will retire and many public and school library jobs may go unfilled. There is already a shortage of children’s librarians in the state, and we are beginning to see shortages in reference, administration and other specialties as well. In addition, academic and special libraries, such as corporate libraries, are looking for librarians, particularly those who are very familiar with the Internet and information technology." (from The TriTown News)


Librarians, liberals with backbone

Bob Cox shares This American Prospect Story that says the "sedate shushers of your childhood" have stepped into the political arena, and they've emerged as one of the most vital and effective progressive forces in the country.
They also point out librarians, and their professional governing body, the American Library Association (ALA), have been behind some of the most significant civil-liberties battles in the country.

"But no matter how shrewd their lobbying efforts, librarians may soon find that entering the political fray on such hotly contested issues comes with substantial costs. As states face budget crises, many libraries are staring down massive cuts -- even branch closings -- and it's at times like these when it pays to have politicians in your corner. The ALA has made its share of enemies, and last year a federal bill that would have doubled library spending failed to make it to a floor vote."


She saves old books - literally

Gary D. Price spotted a Neat Article on Nancy Nitzberg a book conservator, skilled in the art of repairing the torn pages, broken bindings, and frayed leather covers of old books.
Demand for conservators' skills is growing, Frank Mowery, head of conservation at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, said. "People are realizing that if you have something in your possession - a family heirloom, a work of art - it has to be maintained in good condition to retain its value, and these things are getting more and more valuable," he said.


Librarians persevere to find answers

"I think all of us who work on a reference desk have at least one story of persistence and satisfaction. A time when we were asked a question and we had to work hard to find the answer."

"I know there are days when I have two or three slips of paper taped to my telephone receiver, reminders of searches I am pursuing."

"Many of these are never resolved. I am the last resort of someone who has already searched everywhere. But if small acts define us, stubborn would be my definition. I gather clues and keep them, sometimes for weeks, hoping I'll come across an answer." (from Contra Costa Times)


Old Maid Librarian Needs Love Too?

A Mystery User writes: "I'm a bookish, somewhat introverted 40-year-old woman who has a lot of male friends. But that's all they ever are. More than once I've heard the phrase: "You're not like other women. I can talk to you!" It's meant as a compliment, but it doesn't feel so complimentary when I realize that they would never think of me as a romantic partner. Maybe if I were like other women, they would want to do something more than talk..."

Read the full article. (premium content)


Librarian's Book Club accepting nominations for March

Troy Johnson writes "At we are accepting nominations for the March reading selection. Current nominations include 1)Small Pieces Loosely Joined: A Unified Theory of the Web
2)Technology and the Character of Contemporary Life: A Philosophical Inquiry 3)Habits of the High-Tech Heart: Living Virtuously in the Information Age 4)Managing in the Next Society
5)Free Software, Free Society: Selected Essays of Richard M. Stallman.
All librarians and those interested in the profession are welcome to join us. "


Librarians, liberals with backbone

"When progressive provocateur Michael Moore was down and out, he found help from an unlikely source. After September 11, Moore's publisher, HarperCollins, told him that his new book, Stupid White Men, wouldn't be released unless he cut some controversial sections and rewrote others. When Moore balked, HarperCollins told him it would simply cancel the book. That December, a few days after he learned that his book was destined for early recycling, Moore went to speak to a meeting of the progressive group New Jersey Citizen Action. He told group members of his plight and read a few chapters from the doomed book. When members asked him what they could do, Moore told them that there were more important battles to fight."

"Ann Sparanese, who was sitting in the audience, didn't see it that way. "Problem is, I am a librarian," says Sparanese, head of reference at the Englewood Library in New Jersey. "I was shocked . . . I think we're used to books being censored by the government for having either classified or embarrassing information in them, but this was actually being censored by a publisher who had already invested in printing the book . . . That really kind of stunned me." (from American Prospect)



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