February 2003

When Your Life Is An Open Book, Find a Comfy Chair and A Really Good Lamp

SomeOne submitted this Nice Washington Post Article, By Doug Brown on how we read.
He wonders… Is there a model reading space? A perfect light? An unsurpassed chair?

And answers… there is nothing near consensus on the notion of the nonpareil reading environment. There are library or study people. There are bed people and bathroom people. There are anywhere people.

First lady Laura Bush, a librarian who travels the country touting the delights of reading, wrote in an e-mail that she and the president usually start their day together reading newspapers, and they end the day reading too. At the White House, she wrote, “the library is a great place to settle in with a good book, and at our ranch in Crawford, I like to sit on our porch and read.”

So what’s the best way to read, for you?

Multi-Tasking Makes You Stupid

Lee Hadden writes: “There is an article by Sue Shellenbarger in today’s (Feb. 27, 2003)
issue of the Wall Street Journal how the ubiquitous multi-tasking, a common
procedure in the “do more with less” work environment, actually leads to
loss of memory and reduced thinking capabilities. From the article…

“A growing body of scientific research shows one of jugglers’ favorite time-saving
techniques, multitasking, can actually make you less efficient and, well, stupider.
Trying to do two or three things at once or in quick succession can take longer
overall than doing them one at a time, and may leave you with reduced brainpower to
perform each task.”

If you have a subcription, Read more about it at www.wsj.com.

I think at doing 6 or 7 things at once or in quick succession make me smarter.

Expert: Read to kids, it pays

Charlotte.com has This One on Jim Trelease, the nationally known literacy advocate.

He says the most important thing you can do for a child, aside from a hug, is “Read aloud to him, from crib through adolescence.” Despite overwhelming evidence that reading aloud to youngsters is enormously beneficial, Trelease says, only 39 percent of parents with children younger than 3 read to them daily. Why?

“There’s not enough pain involved,” the author said in a recent interview from his home in Springfield, Mass. “Many parents subscribe to the Vince Lombardi approach to learning — no pain, no gain; the medicine can’t do any good unless it hurts going down. It’s so much fun, reading to your children, that you don’t think it’s doing any good.”


Eugene sends word about the new access cards from the New York Public Library. From the ‘about’ page:

“The New York Public Library Research Libraries are expanding the functionality of the online catalog, CATNYP, through the introduction of the ACCESS card and new software modules. The ACCESS card allows researchers to request and use materials from the Research Libraries’ closed stacks. The collections, as always, will be available free of charge, for use on site only.”

“ACCESS cards and the CATNYP circulation system provide the Library with tools to improve collection security. An overriding principle of our Research Libraries is that materials in their collections should be cared for and made accessible in perpetuity. The ACCESS card and the circulation system will ensure greater accountability when researchers use library materials.”

“With the data from the Research Libraries circulation system, the Library will be able to manage and develop its collections more efficiently and in order to meet current and future research needs. Over the past several decades, the Research Libraries’ collections have grown rapidly in size and complexity, and we need to take advantage of the latest technology to track and manage the 40 million items in them. All major research libraries, including the Library of Congress, Harvard’s Widener Library, and the British Library, already have similar systems in place.”

A New Phase for Gay Books

Jen Young sent over A New Phase for Gay Books, from the NYTimes, on Kensington Publishing, one of the largest general independent book publishers, and their new 15-page catalog proclaiming, “On the Cutting-Edge of Gay and Lesbian Publishing.”

No large mainstream house has had a gay imprint since St. Martin’s Press closed its Stonewall Inn Editions in January 2002, although it still publishes a number of gay and lesbian books.

“We are doing entertaining books that are not depressing,” Mr. Scognamiglio said, “not about AIDS or suicide, but are positive and uplifting and fun.”

Another City condemns Patriot Act

Richmond California condemns Patriot Act, Predicting a stunning erosion of civil liberties, the City Council on Tuesday condemned the Bush administration’s U.S. Patriot Act and affirmed support for the Bill of Rights.

This One Says Three U.S. senators have introduced legislation to enhance congressional oversight and public reporting of the FBI’s domestic surveillance efforts, including the agency’s efforts to monitor Internet activity by Americans. Carrying a torch for Liberty takes a look from Canada.

The bad news is FBI’s new spy powers upheld by judge, The FBI does not have to explain why it applied for search warrants to bug homes and tap phones of defendants in a terrorism case, a federal judge ruled Wednesday in an early test of the government’s new and expanded spying powers.

Some In The Senate do seem to be paying attention though.

FBI Arrests Patron at Sante Fe Library

Madeline Douglass and Michael Nellis both sent over This One on A St. John\’s College Library user, Andrew J. O\’Conner, who arrested computer terminal he was using. He was handcuffed and brought him to the Santa Fe, New Mexico, police station for questioning by Secret Service agents from Albuquerque.

The agents accused him of making threatening remarks about President George W. Bush in an Internet chat room.

Oregon Senate Bill proposes library porn filters

News From Oregon where Sen. Charles Starr, R-Hillsboro, said this week he introduced Senate Bill 656 because constituents expressed concern about children viewing online pornography at public libraries.

“We’re a lot more familiar with the Internet and what’s out there than we were a year ago or five years ago,” Starr said. “As this public knowledge and awareness increases, there are more concerns about what we’re exposing our children to.”

Libraries battle proposed funding cuts

Sad News From New York where Gov. George Pataki wants to cut funding to libraries. Pataki is proposing a 15 percent cut in aid to the state’s 23 library systems. Now libraries are lobbying Albany lawmakers over their importance.

If approved by the state Legislature, the cuts could force libraries to limit programs, reduce hours of operation, curtail book orders, eliminate a popular summer reading program for children and slash jobs.

A Similar Story from South Carolina where Several years ago, state aid to libraries was about $2 per capita, it\’s about $1.17 per capita and falling.

Georgia Says the Libraries were ignored during the state’s times of prosperity, state library funds have not increase in 19 years, and are now being cut. In CaliforniaMeanwhile, Over In The UK, Libraries shut in \’booze over books\’ row.

State Library News From Around The World

Washington Is Still Trying to eliminate the state library. Gov. Gary Locke\’s 2003-05 budget proposes to severely cut the library, which took a big hit last year but avoided closure.

Meanwhile, Another Editorial says Gov. Jeb Bush\’s relocation plan for the Florida State Library \”says less about innovation than about his naked contempt for the capital\”. A coalition of historians, librarians and genealogists from across Florida is banding together to seek a court order to stop Gov. Jeb Bush\’s plan to break up the century-old State Library in Tallahassee and donate most of its books to a private university in South Florida.

One More asks \”Is this some sort of bobblehead pastime where the kids on Jeb Bush\’s staff sit around trying to figure out the goofiest thing they can still say out loud with a straight face?\”

You really can\’t blame Jeb though, Saddam Made Him Do It. The good news is Governor could still lose in the state library fight.

Down In Australia, librarians at the Victorian State Library have cast off their conservative image, donning Ned Kelly helmets to demand a payrise.