Acquisitions

Amazon fights union activity

Just in case you needed another reason not to use Amazon, here is an article in the New York Times about their efforts to prevent their workers from unionizing. (You may have to register to read the article, but that\'s free.) The article is a couple of weeks old, and newer stories are probably available, but I liked this one. If you want to get your books from a union shop, the place to go is Powell\'s, a great bookstore with a huge physical presence in Portland, OR. (Largest used book store west of the Mississippi, with lots of new books too.) You can get most things there. It\'s always my first stop when I\'m looking for a book.

What Your MLIS Never Taught You

The Other 90%: What Your MLIS Never Taught You is an article by Byron Anderson, originally a talk at last summer\'s ALA conference and later published in Counterpoise and then picked up in Library Juice. In it, he claims that 90% of what is published is semi-invisible to librarians, because it is not covered in the major review journals, which are dominated by the marketing apparati of the major publishing companies (which have grown ever larger as a result of merger-mania). Publications that are critical of the status quo are affected the most, since their interests vary from the corporate interests of the big publishers. This ultimately affects the nature of our library collections. Anderson criticises some of the major \"lessons\" of common collection development textbooks and offers alternatives. He also recommends that library schools teach new librarians about the publishing industry so they will be able to respond to these facts. I am skeptical of the 90% figure but strongly agree with Anderson\'s major points. Do you have any comments? Kudos? Threats?

A Question of Balance

At last summer\'s ALA conference, then President-elect (now President) Nancy Kranich gave a talk on the importance of seeking out the alternative press as essential in developing a balanced collection, a value expressed well in the Library Bill of Rights. That talk was published in the review journal Counterpoise and later electronically in Library Juice. It\'s called A Question of Balance: the Role of Libraries in Providing Alternatives to the Mainstream Media. -- Read More

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