November 2003

Combine librarians and the net, and in no time they will rule the world.

NYLibrarian points us to The secret life of tattooed and bellydancing librarians from The New Zeland Herald.

Great coverage of all the nifty librarian sites that are out there.

“A quick click through these websites proves that librarians are a mixed – often funny, sometimes scary – bunch. What they have in common is a passion for information, and the know-how to sort and find it.

Some people say that with screeds of information available on the net, we have less need for librarians. Fact is, we need them more than ever to help us sift through that mountain

TX Library Survives Consultant’s Recommendations

In this column from the Dallas/Fort Worth Star Telegram, columnist Dave Lieber talks about visiting the Colleyville (TX) library on its re-opening day and expresses his gratitude that the suggestions offered by a “purple-haired” library consultant were ignored. In 1999 the city contracted with a consultant who recommended against a traditional library because,”it has also become apparent that using books for information needs is often not as quick, as comprehensive, as convenient, or as satisfying as using a computer.”

ALA’s E-rate TF: questions for filter vendors

jay currie writes “Over at the ALA they have posted five pages of questions a library (in PDF) should ask a filtering vendor. All good questions but a fundamental abdication of the ALA’s obligation to act on behalf of its members. Asking questions is not the same as demanding answers or setting standards. Any filtering vendor can, and no doubt will, answer the suggested questions. But will the answers be truthful, complete and helpful? Will the ALA collect and co-relate the answers to save smaller libraries the hassle and cost of going through this process?

Libraries – big and small – are much better advised to skip the ALA’s lame attempt to get a handle on CIPA and go to Lori Ayre’s increasingly comprehensive filter information, pricing and features page.

Citations Roundup

A trio of recent news pieces have covered the use of citations.

(1) An Anonymous Patron wrote us with a NewsFactor article on the recent Read before you cite! study: the repetition of misprints in citations (such as the wrong page numbers) indicates that the “majority of scientific citations are copied from the lists of references used in other papers.”

(2) On the SEO front, a NY Times article and accompanying Slashdot discussion cover Google’s latest maneuver against sites with artificially inflated impact factors.

(3) And lastly, Steven from Library Stuff wants his props from people who steal links without attribution.

Ryerson U. teams with photo museum for masters program

Sam King points us this story from CBC News online about a newly created, master’s program in photographic preservation. Ryerson University has teamed up with world-renowned photography museum, the George Eastman House for this first-of-a-kind endeavour.

The museum, with its collection of more than 400,000 photos, will provide students an excellent resource in which to learn the trade. “There’s not only a need for people who make photographs,” said Ryerson professor Robert Burley. “There’s a new requirement for, I guess you’d call them information managers, people who can manage not only virtual collections, but object-based collections as well.”

Hmmm. I guess you could call them librarians.

– Sam”

Library Board on the Line

Janet Clark sent in this piece from the Halifax Chronicle-Herald: “LIBRARY BOARD ON THE LINE:
Councillor targets highly paid CEO in bid to be ‘fiscally prudent’
The city’s deputy mayor wants to close the book on the highly paid chief executive officer of Halifax’s library system.
In a surprise notice of motion at the end of Tuesday night’s council meeting, Steve Streatch informed council that he wants staff to look into axing the entire library board.”

Lesbian Pulp Fiction

The Chicago Tribune has a nifty article (registration required) on a revived interest in lesbian pulp fiction from the ’50s and ’60s.

Playwright Patricia Kane sums up the appeal of these novels: “They embody this whole fantasy world that’s very fun, sexy, vibrant and dangerous. There is this illicit quality to them.”