November 2001

Need more bad news? Try schools without books

Donna Marentette sent This Story on from The Globe and Mail on budgets and library staff in Canadian schools.

But hey, everything we need is on the internet now, right?

\”Across Canada, teacher-librarians are a vanishing breed. Their acquisition budgets have nearly vanished, too. Public libraries have cut back on hours and staff who know what children like to read. And instead of buying new library books, schools are pouring millions into computers and Internet connections.\”

Time to Get the Numbers on Digital Reference

From Library Journal:

After studying seven libraries that provide digital reference services, a team of researchers has concluded that, to improve future projects, better evaluation and assessment methods must be found and implemented. The conclusions were reported this month at the third annual Virtual Reference Desk (VRD) Conference, held in Orlando, FL. Charles McClure, director of the Information Use Management and Policy Institute at the School of Information Studies, Florida State University, Tallahassee and one of the study team, told LJ that the team will \”draft a procedures manual for how to collect this data and analyze it.\” He said that, as traditional statistics for circulation and in-house reference decline, libraries underreport their electronic activity \”because they can’t count effectively what they do in the networked environment.\”


Reisman bans Mein Kampf from Chapters and Indigo

Cabot writes \”Heather Reisman, chairwoman and CEO of Indigo Books and Music Inc., has ordered all copies of Mein Kampf pulled from the shelves of Chapters and Indigo bookstores and deleted from the company\’s on-line ordering service.

Full Story \”

\”We consider it hate literature,\” she said. \”With freedom of expression, the line is drawn on hate literature. It\’s a corporate decision. It\’s what we stand for. It\’s our point of view.\”

Systems Librarians Needed

Rachel writes \”For a forthcoming book on \”accidental systems librarians,\” I am seeking a number of people willing to take some time to answer a short survey on their experiences with systems librarianship. Thanks in advance for your time!

The survey can be found online at:

It is available both as an online form and as plain-text for those who would prefer to respond via e-mail. Thanks!

Development of Electronic Reserves at the University of Calgary

From the November issue of D-lib:

This article will lay out the issues surrounding the in-house development of a fully featured electronic reserve platform known as Allectra at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. It will move through every issue surrounding digitization in general, with the added topics of authentication and copyright management. To show the scale of this pilot project, during the winter 2001 term, the 85 documents on Allectra for 22 courses at the University of Calgary were accessed more than 5,000 times.


Un-depositing material

Mary Minow passed along This Story on a recent government order that caught some local librarians by surprise and made the people who spend their professional lives providing information to others a bit uneasy.

The Government Printing Office ordered the libraries to destroy public information — specifically, a CD-ROM on reservoirs and dams prepared by the U.S. Geological Survey. The reason for the order: national security

\”“In some cases, removal of information may be justified,” he said. “The problem is it’s happening on an ad hoc basis with no criteria of what should be removed. In some cases, the agencies [are] forgetting the reasons the information was disclosed in the first place.”

University Libraries Embrace Information Technology

Steven Bell writes \”Here\’s a nice article about the library at Penn State University that appeared in one of their campus publications. I\’m providing the Link that appeared in\”

\”Where does anyone looking for information
go? For 150 years, people have gone to the
public library for books, reference materials,
periodicals, research and peace. There is no
other institution so accessible to the public.
It costs its patrons next to nothing. Its boundaries
are completely colorblind and bias-free,
ageless. It is almost always open. And it is changing.\”

Bodleian Library is one of Mick Jagger’s favourite

Charles Davis writes \”from

A new website,, has been dressed up to
resemble a teenage site. There are music videos, chat rooms
and handy biographical details (\’Over the years, Mick Jagger has
been many things… rock superstar, sex symbol, cultural
revolutionary, musical poet, tabloid subject and all-around pop
culture provocateur\’), titbits of personal interests (his favourite
websites are devoted to cricket, Bhutan and the
Bodleian Library) and, of course, Jagger himself in a black shirt, unbuttoned to the waist. \”