That Strange Hissing Sound

Ron Force writes \"The Wall Street Journal has an Opinion column by Lisa Singh on turning the library into a coffee house to attract users:

\"...the Starbucks effect goes beyond mental stimulation. It is, so to speak, a way of life, suggesting leisure rather than study and entertainment rather than work. It is in the general culture, whether there is a Starbucks nearby or not. One librarian I know says that she spends most of her time these days telling patrons to pull up their pants, put on some shoes and stop cracking gum, in between signing them up to use the computers, in front of which they often idle the hours away on Yahoo chat or even, occasionally, some porn site.

In many ways, you can sympathize with the attempt of library administrators to make their buildings \"relevant\"--especially to the young. It is probably a losing proposition, but you can understand the logic. Little wonder that so many look to Barnes & Noble--and Starbucks--for inspiration.\"


Will Minnesota be the first state to corportize its public libraries?

Steve Fesenmaier writes: \"Last week Library Journal finally posted a story on the Minneapolis library board wanting to change the city charter so that they can hire a non-librarian, and pay the non-librarian more. During the last half decade it seems that Minnesota leaders have decided to NOT support its world-famous librarians, and indeed, wage war against them. First it was Sanford Berman in spring 1999, being forced out by his supposed anti- OCLC attitudes. Next it was state leaders who decided to be the first state to close its state library. Now Minneapolis library leaders want to do away with the MLS-requirement for its largest municipal public library.


Kids and Civil Liberties

Val writes \"The Village Voice\'s Nat Hentoff waxes nostalgic off about Joe McCarthy and his John Ashcroft, and that pesky ol\' Bill of Rights.
Full Story \"

See also, On the Public\'s Right to Know , The day Ashcroft censored Freedom of Information.


Like the Taliban, some U.S. parents fear free minds

USA Today is running an Editorial that says the bands of parents who anoint themselves as thought and morality police are America\'s version of the Taliban.

They are found in communities across America, demanding that our high school classrooms and libraries be purged of books whose contents they disagree with


Adults in charge-The quiet of libraries shouldn\'t be disrupted by unsupervised

This editorial in the Seattle Times responds the the articles about libraries becoming day cares. Denise Ward writes: \"To those who say the library is a \"great place for kids,\" and everyone should be welcome, I say No, the library is not for everyone.\"

Full Editorial


Home alone — and at the library alone

An editorial in the Seattle Times says:

\"Libraries are icons of our sense of community. They\'ve long been seen as safe havens where adults and children spend hours immersed in books, maps and videos.

Now they want to limit children. It\'s not that libraries don\'t want children.\" It calls for more common sense and less rules. Full Editorial


Pet peeve about newspapers\' online sites

Kirstin Dougan writes \"As a LIS student and someone who reads a lot of news-related blogs, I have noticed a disturbing trend.

A lot of online newspaper sites don\'t clearly indicate what city or state they are from. Of course, some of them are obvious (e.g. Detroit Free Press), but some, like the \"Journal-Standard\" (in the LISNews article on the Freeport Public Library), give no indication what city they are published in.
Often the byline includes the city and not the state, which, if it is a small town, is not usually enough to pinpoint what state it is in. Perhaps they assume that only locals read the online stories, however, with the proliferation of blogs and ezines, this is not true. Am I the only one who wants to know _where_ some of these stories are occuring? (without having to dig for a colophon that may be many clicks away or non-existent)



Tests no substitue for RIF

Ron Force writes
\"An editorial in the Spokane (WA)
Spokesman-Review decries the elimination of the
Reading is Fundamental program in the Bush
education budget. They contrast the $23 million spent
on distributing books with the proposed $350 million
for testing. \" Kids won\'t learn to love reading if Big
Brother merely hands them a test. How about giving
them good books?\"
Full Story \"



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