May 2004


Interesting piece at the New York Times titled “For Some, the Blogging Never Stops” which is about those for whom blogging is their life’s work. Personally, ahem, I don’t know what they’re talking about, but maybe YOU do.

I can quit any time I want, and often do.

More library money, books urged

Gary Price shares this news item from last Friday’s Louisville Courier-Journal:

“All 26 members of the Louisville Metro Council have signed a letter asking Metro Mayor Jerry Abramson to increase funding for the Louisville Free Public Library and urging that the greatest emphasis be placed on book purchases.

In response, Abramson told the council members Monday in a letter: “Be assured that my commitment to libraries … is unwavering. You will see that commitment” in the proposed 2004-05 metro budget that he will unveil Thursday.”

My concern is that there is too much emphasis placed on obtaining money for materials purchases. Non-librarians usually do not realize that there is a cost involved with processing new materials, and often that cost is not included in additional funds for purchasing materials. LFPL would be better served by a general budget increase with no strings attached.

Affronts to Library Liberty

Jessamyn over at has posted notes for a presentation she prepared for the Medical Library Association titled, Affronts to Library Liberty: Legal, Ethical and Practical Responses. In it, she covers CIPA, the USA Patriot Act and HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). Good stuff. I’m also a big fan of Jessamyn’s non-PowerPoint presentation style. Should I ever have to do a presentation, I’ll be following her lead.

Overcrowded Library to Use Carts as Shelves

After using an aggressive weeding policy (one in, one out) for awhile, the Gleview (IL) Public Library has said that they can no longer do this, as they would be eating away at their core collection. They will now be shelving items on book carts and are looking at other options such as off-site storage. Nowhere in the article is the word “expansion” mentioned.

iPOD for reference e-books and other library apps

David Rothman writes “Want oodles of space for reference e-books, or even for novels? Consider–of all machines–the iPOD. The hard drives of the latest models can store anywhere from 15G to 40G, or thousands of books. But this is hardly for all–because of the tiny monochrome screens and other restrictions. Let’s hope that changes and Apple actually does an e-book-optimized iPOD. A bookPOD? More via TeleRead.”

The LOW Cost Of Hosting LISNews

Here’s a quick follow up on paying for LISNews. LISNews is almost paid through the end of 2004, close enough that I believe the google ads should cover the cost of the server for the remainder of the year. I can’t begin to thank you enough for your generosity and support. Thanks to everyone who paypaled money, sent me a check, or just clicked a google ad. I’ve tried to send a thank you email to everyone I could identify, and find an email address for. Here are the totals. I’ve received about $1490 out of the $1620 it’ll cost for 9 months of hosting LISNews:
Paypal: $1100
Ads: $250
Checks/Cash: $140

Thanks everyone!

Library Forgoes Paid Staff in Favor of Materials

The Lantana (FL) Library is proud of its library staff, 3 of whom are paid and 19 of whom are volunteers. According to city librarian Fred Patchett, “Volunteering is a good strategy for somebody having trouble finding work. When they do get an interview, it fills the gap in their résumé. It shows that somebody wanted them….” More here from the Palm Beach Post.

Stupid Patron Tricks

Found this weird little startle-the-librarian trick on
“You locate several books of nearly equal size and weight, and begin by placing one overhanging a library tabletop edge just far enough so the book’s center of mass does not engender torquefall to the floor.”, by the way is the homepage for Charlottesville, VA. They sure have some pranksters, there, I’m tellin’ ya.

Database Nation: The upside to “zero privacy”

Pete writes “Reason Online has a nifty article about the upside to surrendering some privacy.

“It’s more difficult to appreciate how information swapping accelerates economic activity. Like many other aspects of modern society, benefits are dispersed, amounting to a penny saved here or a dollar discounted there. But those sums add up quickly.

Markets function more efficiently when it costs little to identify and deliver the right product to the right consumer at the right time. Data collection and information sharing emerged not through chance but because they bring lower prices and more choices for consumers.”

The icing on the gravy is the personalized covers subscribers are receiving, showing an aerial photo of their homes. They even did one of John Ashcroft’s home.”

Colorado Report charges library ‘inequities’

Gary Price shares an article from the Rocky Mountain News about a community group in Denver that is trying to get the Mayor to increase hours for libraries located in low-income areas.

“Sanice Young, a parent leader for Metro Organizations for People, or MOP, released a report Friday that indicates seven libraries in Denver’s low-income communities are open, on average, a little less than 30 hours per week. But 15 libraries in more affluent communities are open, on average, more than 43 hours per week the report said. The central library downtown was not included in the research.”