Politics

The Concerned Librarian’s Guide to the 2012 ALA Midwinter Exhibit Hall

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.

NY Congresswoman Wants to Deny Americans Access to Taxpayer Funded Research

NY Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney Wants to Deny Americans Access to Taxpayer Funded Research
Why, you might ask, would Carolyn Maloney, representing a liberal Democratic district in New York City that is home to many research institutions, sponsor such a reactionary piece of legislation that benefits a group of wealthy publishers at the expense of the American public? Hmm. Wouldn’t happen to have anything to do with the fact that she’s the biggest recipient of campaign contributions from the publishing industry, would it?
[Thanks Stephen!]

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Is Tim Hortons a substitute for libraries?

Is Tim Hortons a substitute for libraries?
It looks like November 22nd's meeting of the Toronto Library Board was a doozy. One board member in particular—Stephen Dulmage, the guy who suggested closing more than a third of the City's branches as a cost-saving measure—got a few choice remarks in, suggesting that people don't need a warm place to read a book so long as there are Tim Hortons in the world. David Hains was there and gives some more details of the meeting:

Which Republican is Winning the Book Sales Race?

Which Republican is Winning the Book Sales Race?
Mitt Romney is the clear front-runner, with over 100,000 copies of his latest book, 2010's No Apology, sold in this year alone. Ron Paul's Liberty Defined is a distant second with 38,000 copies sold in 2011. Herman Cain's This is Herman Cain! My Journey to the White House is the surprise that isn't all that surprising: despite being released less than two months ago, it's in third place for 2011 sales by any Republican hopeful, closely mirroring the period of his ascendancy in the polls and 9-9-9 becoming part of the national lexicon. (Although at least a few copies were purchased by the Hermanator himself.)

Occupy Wall Street: The Book

From New York Magazine, news of a forthcoming look at the "Occupy" phenomenon.

Progressive publishing house OR Books will release a 200-page first draft of a history entitled Occupying Wall Street: The Inside Story of an Action That Changed America as soon as December 17, using volunteers from the movement's Education and Empowerment Committee, and including work by both "sympathetic writers and people who are active in the occupation," OR co-founder Colin Robinson told New York. The book's release date will mark the protest's three-month anniversary. "Although you can't deliver definitive opinions at the moment or set out a course of action, you can record the details of what has happened so far in Zuccotti Park," he said.

The publisher — whose anti-Sarah Palin essay collection Going Rouge wound up a New York Times bestseller — will release Occupying Wall Street as a print-on-demand product and independent e-book, with all profits going back to the occupation.

Here's another story on the process of writing the book from Huffington Post.

Ex-Mayor of Detroit to Speak at Library...via Skype

Kwame Kilpatrick is coming to the Detroit Public Library -- sort of -- in two weeks. The controversy is already there.

Jonathan Kinloch, vice president of the library commission, said Friday that residents have called him to complain about the former Detroit mayor's book signing, scheduled for the evening of Oct. 19. Kilpatrick plans to appear via Skype, an audio and video service that allows people to interact over the Internet. The co-author of his memoir will appear in person.

At issue is an e-mail the library sent out Friday that said people who attend will "learn the truth behind (Kilpatrick's) meteoric rise in politics, the crippling controversies surrounding his administration, his downfall and, ultimately, his redemption."

Story from the Detroit Free Press.

President Obama: Why don't you read more women?

It's good to see people getting upset by important issues...
President Obama: Why don't you read more women?
"Now the fact that the president of the United States apparently doesn't read women writers is not the greatest crisis facing the arts, much less the nation -- but it's upsetting nevertheless. As I suspect Obama would agree, matters of prejudice are never entirely minor, even when their manifestations may seem relatively benign."

The Daily Beast isn't upset (WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE) but they do have a nice little quote: "If the president of the United States manages time for fiction, why can’t we?"

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LISTen: An LISNews.org Program -- Episode #164

Contrary to normal practice, a text copy of this episode's essay is presented below the “Read More” fold. A PDF file will also follow in the podcast feed.

Creative Commons License
LISTen: An LISNews.org Program -- Episode #164 by The Air Staff of Erie Looking Productions is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Britons Sue Government for Closing Libraries

Is closing a library comparable to child abuse? At least one Brit thinks so.

Campaigners are seeking a ruling that decisions to close six libraries in the London (UK) borough of Brent are legally flawed.

The Brent case is expected to be followed in the near future by similar challenges to library cuts proposed by Gloucestershire and Somerset county councils, and on the Isle of Wight.

Nick Cave, Depeche Mode, the Pet Shop Boys and Goldfrapp are among those who have contributed to campaign legal costs.

Playwright Alan Bennett launched a scathing attack when he spoke at a church benefit to raise legal funds to save Kensal Rise library, one of the six under threat in Brent. He compared the loss to ''child abuse''.

Brent campaign lawyers yesterday applied for judicial review, arguing council officers unlawfully failed to assess local needs and the likely impact of closing half the borough's libraries.

From the Telegraph UK.

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