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Mike Winter writes \"Since Troy Johnson, the moderator at the Librarians\' Book clubhas just posted the most recent titles slated for discussion, and one of them is \"Why We Buy,\" by Paco Underhill, a self-styled \"retail anthropologist,\" this seems like a good time to ask for comments on a topic I have been thinking about lately. In comparing libraries as they are today to what they were in the U.S. in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, it seems to me that library building and design, and arrangement of the collection and services, etc., points to a definite shift in the overall nature and function of libraries. In brief, what I see is that libraries were once much more like religious or governmental agencies, but that now they are much more like retail outlets, both real and virtual.
Part of this is that the library, which was once much more solidly connected with reading as part of reflection, discussion, and argumentation, has lost these functions as the publishing sector has lost some of them as well. Also, as publishing has become much more commercialized and profit-oriented, the library has followed suit and become much more like a place marking off a large, potentially very lucrative set of consumer markets. From the citizen, that is, the reader is now more like a customer; and library, from being a public agency with all sorts of idealistic ideas about the public good, is now more like a Nordstrom or a Safeway than a church or a government agency. I\'d be interested in hearing what others think about this general idea. \"
Our library system\'s new web catalog contains images of some book covers, and some of those images might be a little racy: Sexual State of the Union, Drawing the Female Nude, and so on. I\'m wondering what sort of content rating is appropriate for the catalog as a whole (it does \'contain\' visual depictions of partial and full nudity, after all). I\'d also be interested in finding examples of books with cover images that might offend patrons? Sometimes there\'s an offensive cover on an otherwise unobjectionable item, such as Blind Faith\'s album showing a nude teenage girl holding a remarkably phallic model airplane. So a more general (and, yes, titillating) question is: what books have the raciest cover images?
Loretta writes: \"Most libraries divide up their collections using these two general names, \"fiction\" and \"non-fiction.\" However, we are perpetuating a mistake when we send patrons to \"non-fiction\" to retrieve Shakespeare and folktales and myths. No wonder people have trouble distinguishing the differences between the two categories.
Now I know that Dewey had classifications for fiction and biographies, but that most libraries have segregated these two collections, in addition to other choices individually made.
But can\'t we come up with terminology that more correctly describes that section of our libraries?
I find it hard to believe that there aren\'t other librarians bothered by this, I mean we certainly can spend hours ad nauseum discussing the finer points of cataloging decisions.\"
I\'ll also add, many of the same types of user UN-friendly things happen on most library websites.
Len writes: \"This Story, and Comments on This One
lead me to believe it is uncommon, if not unheard of, for
libraries, both public and academic, to circulate
Playboy, Hustler and other pornographic magazines.
I see, as a common argument for filtering, \"well,
libraries don\'t carry playboy, why should they provide
access to it on the internet?\". I am not asking for
reasons for or against this argument.
Why don\'t libraries carry Playboy? Certainly some
must, the exception is not what I am after here, it is the
average library I wonder about, I know I\'ve never seen
I have no good answer for Len, but it seems like a
simple question for You:
Why doesn\'t your library circulate Playboy or
What happens if the web crawls into a pay-per-view, micropayment, or some other kind of non-free model in the future? What if Microsoft or AOL get their way and we (we as in endusers) pay for everything. I can think of 4 sites I\'d pay for Slashdot, Metafilter, Yahoo!, and Google. Add a few maybes to that list, Wired, Moreover, Camworld,and CNET. But I think my list is Atypical for a librarian.
So what sites would you pay for if you had to pay for the privilege of viewing? What sites are so useful you wouldn\'t mind paying for? What sites can\'t you live without? -- Read More
The Fine folks over at BookShare have provided answers to all the questions provided by the ever inquisitive LISNews audience.
Read on below to see how they do things, and why. This is an interesting project, one that could have some impact on some libraries in the future. -- Read More
Adam wrote: \"I too was recently laid off from a
I did web work and now find myself working in a
traditional library setting again.
Anyway, I read the MBA poll.
I am considering entering the Professional MBA
program here my University (one of the perks of this
academic setting is a free tuition) and was curious how
many directors of large libraries actually
have their MBAs and library degrees? What degrees
do directors hold?\"
I\'ve worked for MLS\'s personally, but with more and
more libraries being run as businesses (for better or
worse), are there more MBA\'s in charge now?
Seems like a nifty idea, which may or may not be Reinventing the Wheel, but I\'d like to see what kinds of questions the LISNews audience has for them.
This is the first interview we\'ve run in awhile, so I\'ll expalin how it works. I gather your questions, and send them along, the answers come back, and I post a new story, with the questions and answers.
SO if you have questions, ideas or comments on BookShare, you can email them to me, or use the Contact Us form, or just post them below. I\'ll send the question collection along to BookShare on Friday, and post the answers as soon as I get them.
Ira Bhargava writes: \"This is to introduce myself as a medical librarian employed with Institute
of Nursing in Dubai, UAE, which is in middle east. I have more than 16 years
of experience behind me as a school/medical librarian.
Recently I have been requested by a local group of schools to organize a
workshop on school libraries.I would like to cover the following 3 main
1. How to organise an effective school library
2. How to instill reading habits in children
3. How to go about computerising/networking school libraries belonging to one group of entrepreneurs.
So what do you think? How does one find suitable materials to use in a conference... Post your answers below. -- Read More
The great and mysterious Ender writes :\"I was watching
Hearts in Atlantis, and it appears they used
to have children\'s/adult\'s library cards. What ever
happened to this
neat ability? It was apparently not limited by age, but
minors had to get parent\'s permission. Which puts parents
in control of which class
of books their kids could check out (but the kids could
anything *at* the library).
Seems like this would be a great help, instead of banning
books, parents could choose when and how to give access to