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"Here, from the list archives and co-moderator Sara Weissman, who shares list duties with Karen G. Schneider, is an overview of the first fifteen years of the Public Library listserv, PubLib. From all of us here at www.lisnews.org, Happy Birthday and many happy returns (whatever that means as it applies to a listserv).
As you most likely know, PubLib is a discussion list for public librarians here in North America. It was established in 1992 and this year is it's fifteenth anniversary. On this momentous occasion, I (birdie) took the opportunity to interview Sara Weissman (SW) and find out a bit more about the discussion list. Here are my 24 questions and her answers.
1) Who started Pub-Lib? What inspired it? Who were the moderators? How were librarians advised of its existence? A bit of history if you please.
SW - Jean Armour Polly and John Iliff and the folks at NYSERNET (NY state educational server.) started it.
From the Public February 18 1997 digest: A Message From Publib's Co-Moderators, (Jean Armour Polly and John Iliff): "O.K., folks, it's been four-plus years, and your PUBLIB co-moderators are taking our leave. We are passing the torch to a very capable duo- Karen Schneider and Sara Weissman. In addition, the list is moving to a new site- the University of California at Berkeley. At the time it moves Karen and Sara, who already have a ton of good ideas, will take over. We'll keep you posted on the when and how of these developments, but for now things will continue as always. As our official swan song, we decided to interview ourselves in the PUBLIB Interview format. We haven't done one of these in a long time (the list has been too busy,) but we thought this might be a good way to say an early bye."
Here's a message from the Feb. 18, 1997 digest and founders Jean and John tell us how Pub-Lib came about in 1992:
John: "It started in Jean's fertile imagination. Prior to her starting at NYSERNet in 1992 she contacted me about working with her on a listserv for public librarians (we "met" virtually at The Well the previous year.) She envisioned everything, and the amazing thing is everything worked exactly as she thought. In all these years Jean and I had three brief face-to-face contacts, much to her benefit because I'm a heck of a lot easier to look at in ascii than in person! This whole collaboration has been almost daily, and it's been a great working relationship."
Jean: "There were several academic library lists circa 1992 but there was not one on public libraries. There really were not that many PL's on the Net at that time. In those days you needed heavy duty Unix or equivalent to run a listserv, and it was one of my first priorities to get my new employer to run a list for public librarians. Happily, NYSERNet agreed, we began the list in early December, 1992. It steadily grew."
This is what Jean is currently doing, NetMom: From the website: Jean Armour Polly is Net-mom and the author of six editions of Net-mom's Internet Kids & Family Yellow Pages (Osborne McGraw-Hill), a family-friendly directory to 3,500 of the best children's resources the Internet has to offer. She is also a professional librarian, employed by the Liverpool (NY) Public Library as Assistant Director and Administrator of Systems and Technology. Author, librarian, and mom, Jean has tinkered with Internet accounts since 1991 and has participated in and facilitated online telecommunities for more than 20 years. -- Read More
Scott Boren has a great look at electronic searching of the full-text of books. He covers Several Book Search Web Sites, Text Archives for older materials, Proprietary Book Search sites, some Smaller Collections, Google Book Search, some Emerging Projects, and some sites for Further Reading.
Electronic searching of the full-text of books goes beyond the index and table of contents to search for any and all text in one book or in many. A phrase, number, word, or any string of characters can be searched. A9 same book database as Amazon, Google Book Search, and Live Search Books can all Search Inside The Book, or search inside many books at once. The book search sites listed in this paper are available free of charge, with the exception of "Two Proprietary Book Search Products below." As Greg Notess pointed out at the Computers in Libraries conference on April 18, 2007 (hereafter Notess 2007, April), another use of book search is to verify citations and to find mentions of passages as when a patron brings a photocopied chapter and asks "What book does this come from? I need to find the source" Or when was a particular word, number, or phrase mentioned? (For early mentions of words, the Oxford English Dictionary is also good.) -- Read More
sarahmae writes "Over at the Philosophy Cafe, Peg Tittle has posted her latest polemic, Libraries: what are they and so what? This time it is about the annoyances of the libraries she uses. The horror of a kid playing games next to her in the public library and of a person talking on their cell phone in the academic library. For her libraries are a "repositories of knowledge" that "do not have an extensive collection of westerns and romances."
Does this sound like your library and if so, so what?"
kmccook writes "The Oversight and Government Reform Committee has been investigating whether White House officials violated the Presidential Records Act by using e-mail accounts maintained by the Republican National Committee and the Bush Cheney '04 campaign for official White House communications. This interim staff report provides a summary of the evidence the Committee has received to date, along with recommendations for next steps in the investigation.
Here is the Interim Report on Possible Violations of the Presidential Records Act.
Kelly writes "This weekend see a play and find out why a library book is a 113 years old.
"Underneath the Lintel": In one of the year's best performances Michael Joseph Mitchell plays a librarian (called, simply, the Librarian) who searches for the person who returned a book 113 years overdue. He discovers more than he expected in this one-actor play by Glen Berger. 7 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. BoarsHead Theatre, 425 S. Grand Ave., Lansing. 517-484-7805. www.boarshead.org. $20-$35.
Arthur Edgar E Smith writes: This year marks the two hundredth anniversary of the abolition of slavery which came after the end of the American civil war. This war which was fought between the slave holding states of the south and the Northern confederate states then under the presidency of Abraham Lincoln was in essence over the rights to hold slaves as property. The Southern states were known for their extensive exploitation of slave labour to work their plantations. Kentucky was of course one of such states. Last year whilst part of the Summer institute of the study of contemporary American Literature we were led on a conducted tour of the restored remains of one of such plantations and its slave house and other appendages. This plantation along with its slave house, Farmington, are preserved to reflect much of how it was then in the early 19th century. -- Read More
I'm looking for a few good bloggers to join the authoring team here at LISNews. There's no pay, but it's a good way to get your name out there, and gain the respect and admiration of librarians from across the globe. If that's not enough, you'll have the enormous sense of well being that comes with helping your fellow librarians stay informed.
The "job" requires only a minimal time commitment, and just some basic knowledge of HTML & Blogging. You post whenever you have time, and with some restrictions, you post what you want. Some current authors post just a couple times a month, others find the time every day, and most of the rest of our crew fall somewhere in between. If you're interested, read below for all the details. Feel free to pass this one along to others who might be interested. -- Read More
Steve Fesenmaier writes "Sanford Berman 2007 revised
Sandy Berman was forced to retired in March 1999. He resigned from the ALA Council the next June after just getting elected to it by a large number of votes. Lots of people kept the great injustice of his forced retirement in the library press for a year or two afterwards, but few know that Sandy has been as active retired as he ever was working full-time at Hennepin County.
Just in the last month he gave presentations at the UCLA Dept. of Information Studies and the College of St. Catherine's Progressive Librarian Guild student chapter in St. Paul, Minnesota. On a weekly basis he sends out at least 100 pieces of mail to friends, politicians, and interested groups, making him the most active librarian in the world. -- Read More
Another one by By Arthur E. E. Smith Senior Lecturer, English, Fourah Bay College. Not exactly library related, but it's a good story:
My interest in the theatre could be traced back to my secondary school days at the Prince of Wales when its simulation of life in its diversity on stage at annual prize-giving ceremonies which were in themselves very colourful occasions greatly fascinated and intrigued me. Then whilst awaiting my results I got myself into acting alongside a number of T.V personalities as well as theatre veterans managing to hold the role of Mark Antony which I played creditably to rousing appreciation from the audiences at the British Council. At Fourah Bay College, I followed that through by acting in LEEDS Drama Workshop productions of THE TAMING OF THE SHREW and GODS ARE NOT TO BLAME. Back at the Prince of Wales school as a teacher I led and directed a number of ground breaking productions and improvisations. Now as a lecturer of American literature I have been concerned amongst other aspects in the development of American theatre which had a later start than the other genres because of the greater intolerance directed at it by the Puritans -- Read More