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From NPR's The Two-Way: The American Library Association and Barnes & Noble were among the groups named by conservative group Morality in Media in its "Dirty Dozen List" of "the top 12 facilitators of porn." The list states that the ALA encourages libraries to have unfiltered computers, and that the bookstore chain "is a major supplier of adult pornography and child erotica."
The top spot, however, went to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder for "refus[ing] to enforce existing federal obscenity laws."
Hat tip to Bobbie Newman @librarianbyday for the lead.
Radical suggestion: SAA should do less, not more
Kate Theimer: "So, here’s my radical suggestion, which has two parts: SAA should focus on doing less, but doing it better, and what it should focus on is providing direct, tangible services to members. For example, rather than trying to support public relations and national advocacy efforts, invest those resources in things like strengthening the mentorship program, providing better tools for job seekers, making annual meeting sessions available as free downloads, providing more active support for sections and roundtables, and developing resources to help members be effective advocates for their own archives."
Comic book writer Harvey Pekar, known for the American Splendor series, is reported by The News-Herald as receiving honors from the Cleveland Public Library and the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library System. Apparently the American Library Association has a United for Libraries division which named the branch in Cleveland Heights a Literary Landmark due to its connections with Pekar.
Both libraries are part of the CLEVNET consortium that stretches along the south shore of Lake Erie in Northern Ohio.
The Women’s National Book Association has announced that novelist Ann Patchett has been selected to receive the 2012-2013 Women’s National Book Award. According to the Association’s website, the biennial award is given to “a living American woman who derives part or all of her income from books and allied arts, and who has done meritorious work in the world of books beyond the duties or responsibilities of her profession or occupation.”
Ann Patchett, whose most recent novel is State of Wonder (HarperCollins, 2011), is the bestselling author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, including the novel Bel Canto, which won both the PEN/Faulkner and Orange Prize in 2002. Patchett’s work has also garnered such accolades as the New York Times Notable Book of the Year, the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize, and the BookSense Book of the Year Award; and has been a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her articles and essays have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, the Atlantic, the Washington Post, and Vogue.
In 2011, Patchett and publishing veteran Karen Hayes opened Parnassus Books, an independent bookstore in Nashville, Tennessee, after the last remaining bookstores in the city had closed their doors. Patchett has since become a nationally recognized advocate for independent bookselling, and this year was named one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World.” Poets & Writers reports.
The Concerned Librarian’s Guide to the 2012 ALA Midwinter Exhibit Hall
With a number of issues floating around libraryland at the present moment, there has been talk in some of the my social circles about what to do about them. Specifically, how to approach tackling them as it relates to library vendors who have expressed support for legislation that has the potential to impede or block access to information (directly or as collateral damage). As the ALA Midwinter Meeting is just around the corner, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity for librarians to meet with company representatives to discuss their concerns about current contentious legislation (such as the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Research Works Act (RWA)) as well as ongoing concerns (such as library eBook lending). Lest some perseverate or advocate for delaying action, our professional conferences are the best venue to voice our concerns face-to-face for the wide array of actions that have the potential to interfere with information access and exchange. This is not the time to waiver on our values and principles.
Hellman's talk was among the most arrogant and flippant I had ever attended at an ALA conference. His talk was supposed to be about linked data, but he exploited his position as speaker to unwarrantedly trash libraries, library standards, and librarians.
By way of GMANE, you can read what the folks at AUTOCAT had to say in discussing the matter further. Links to the slides used are also discussed in that AUTOCAT thread.
The Irish Library Association has created a cool video to promote Library Ireland Week, which kicks off on 7th March.
See it on http://www.library.ie/2011/03/02/library-ireland-week-is-nearly-here/
"Stealth librarianship is a way of being...the principles of stealth librarianship apply to all branches of the profession, each in particular ways...the core is the same: to thrive and survive in a challenging environment, we must subtly and not-so-subtly insinuate ourselves into the lives of our patrons. We must concentrate on becoming part of their world, part of their landscape..." *
*Included with permission from the author.
Nat Hentoff is really not happy with the ALA. I don't know enough about the situation to have an opinion and certainly not one as curiously strong as his.