January 2002

The House Newspaper Built

Lee Hadden writes: \”Annanova has an article about a house made from old newspapers.
Literally. The house and furniture is made from 100,000 newspapers, and was
constructed between 1922 and 1941.

Perhaps this is a solution to the problem Nicholson Baker described in
his recent attack on libraries, \”Double Fold.\” Because public libraries
weren\’t keeping old newspapers because of problems of staff, space and
money, Mr. Baker bought some old runs of newspapers up and started his own
private library. This is certainly one way to handle the library problems
of staff, space and money. Make the library collection _into_ the library,
so to speak!\”

Celebrating Audiobook Narrators

The New York Times is carrying an article on audiobook narrators. \”A spoken book. There can be tremendous pleasure in hearing a book, if the voice of the narrator is right. Those authors who don\’t narrate their own books have in a sense ceded to an actor the direct connection to the listener-reader that is part of the power of authorship, in much the same way a playwright does. But if the whisper or the rumble resonating from an audiobook has the right complexity of tones, it can be as satisfying as theater.\” More

Ireland’s 2nd Oldest Public Library Expands

From The Sligo Champion:

As the second oldest public library service in the country, Sligo County Library has had a long history of development and service delivery to the people of Sligo. Currently, Sligo County Library service is embarking on an impressive project of library development, which will include new branch libraries, additional services, extended opening hours and computerisation which aims to marry the best in library traditions with modern technology . . .

For the past fifty years, Sligo City branch has operated from its Stephen Street premises. At one time a church, the 150-year-old building has served the library well, but now faces retirement, due to increased user numbers and the expansion in the levels of services being delivered . . .


Atlanta-Fulton Central Library: Weeding or Clear-Cutting?

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Hundreds of books and periodicals are being removed from shelves at the Atlanta-Fulton Central Library downtown. The items are going as part of a $3.1 million renovation of the library that calls for adding materials and computers, according to library officials.

Some folks, however, are angry at the change. They say the removal is butchery of the library\’s collection by a tyrannical administration . . .

The transformation is painfully obvious, said former librarian Lynne Pickens, who was shocked to discover hundreds of books gone from the children\’s section she managed for three decades before retiring 18 months ago. \”Those books are gone. There\’s nothing that can be done. The children\’s department has been decimated,\” said Pickens, who remembers having about 60,000 books during her tenure . . .

More. Meanwhile over in Peachtree City, GA, Oak Grove Elementary School\’s library recently held a \”media purge party\”.

The Great Giveaway

/. pointed out this New Scientist story on open source. The article is also Copylefted.

They say open source has come to embody a political stand–one that values freedom of expression, mistrusts corporate power, and is uncomfortable with private ownership of knowledge. It\’s \”a broadly libertarian view of the proper relationship between individuals and institutions\”.

To The Shredder

Lee Hadden writes: \”Michael Orey has an article in yesterday\’s (January 30, 2002) Wall Street
Journal front page, \”Why We Need a National Association for Data
Destruction: Paper-Shredding Firms Thrive as Businesses Guard Secrets;
Enron isn\’t the Half of It.\”

As a federal librarian, I have had to oversee and witness the
destruction of classified documents (dusty and noisy); as a state employee
I had to witness the actual burying of documents at a trash pit (smelly) by
a bulldozer; as a public librarian, I have had people dig things out of the
library\’s trash bin and come back to me with \”Why are you throwing away
this valuable twenty-year old Japanese language encyclopedia? I can\’t read
Japanese, but I\’m sure it must be to valuable to throw away!\”
So librarians see the need for destruction of documents. This article
discusses the industry that supplies that need, and how the machinery for
destruction has improved over the years.

Read more about it at: WSJ.com or your local library.

the OSSNLibraries Portal

Presenting the OSSNLibraries Portal

The portal is \”a prototype of an open source software (OSS) in libraries portal — a combination directory/webliography of OSS projects and information resources designed for and useful in library settings.

The Software section is a directory of OSS software browsable by a number of characteristics. The Webliography lists themes pertaining to OSS in libraries and zero or more links to Internet resources elaborating on the theme.\”

Reviews that reveal the appeal

The Reader\’s Robot, is a nifty site run by Kevin Kierans, Manager of Library and Support Services, over in B.C.

They say there is nothing magical about these databases. They are like friends talking about things they enjoyed (and why and when), and you deciding whether you would enjoy them too.

You can find a new book, and recommend one you like.

Spotted at The Stuff.