May 2004

A librarian by day, horror writer by night

Gary Price shares this article about a librarian/author:

“There are monsters in Lavallette, creatures of the night in Stafford and horrors beyond imagining on the ride between those places.

Maybe you’ve passed by them safely, unaware even of their presence. It is true these particular horrors present something of a moveable feast of nightmare, for they exist in the imagination of librarian Rita Oakes, manager of the Lavallette Branch of the Ocean County Library system.”

Keywords, concepts, and custom-generated e-book indexes

VictorianMoss writes “The Palo Alto Research Center has a number of interesting projects, and while their web-pages seem to be somewhat hit-and-miss insofar as maintence goes, MIT’s Techology Review managed to spot one of their teams out and about. In this case, they were at the Human-Computer Interaction conference in Vienna, presenting ScentIndex, a keyword and concept system that devises a custom index from the user input and the document’s data. Could this be the next step in streamlining the user interface of e-books and digitally archived materials like those of the massive Making of America project?”

Senators seek repeal of PATRIOT Act Sunsets

Daniel writes “Our friends at Secrecy News report that Sen John Kyl of AZ and nine other senators have introduced S. 2476, a bill to repeal the “sunset clause” S. 224 of the USA PATRIOT Act.

Here is the text of Sec. 224:

“SEC. 224. SUNSET.
(a) IN GENERAL.—Except as provided in subsection (b), this title and the amendments made by this title (other than sections 203(a), 203(c), 205, 208, 210, 211, 213, 216, 219, 221, and 222,
and the amendments made by those sections) shall cease to have effect on December 31, 2005.
(b) EXCEPTION.—With respect to any particular foreign intelligence investigation that began before the date on which the provisions referred to in subsection (a) cease to have effect, or with
respect to any particular offense or potential offense that began or occurred before the date on which such provisions cease to have effect, such provisions shall continue in effect.”

It seems like the country could have a better debate on this bill if it were considered AFTER the election. There would still be plenty of time to act prior to Dec 2005.”

Be kind to your books — and here’s how

Gary Price shares this helpful article from the San Mateo County Times:

“FAVORITE books are like old friends. Each time you pull one off a shelf for another visit, it rekindles important memories or feelings. So to suddenly discover the book has been damaged can be, at best, annoying, at worst, heartbreaking. The littlest things can break a spine, brown or tear pages or make them stick together. And using the wrong materials to repair the damage can make matters worse. A couple of book experts offer some tips about how to take better care of your books and increase their lifespan.”

Tennant writes book on library technology

Roy Tennant’s new book made the news in Sonoma, CA.

Sonoma resident Roy Tennant recently authored a book on how the Internet is changing libraries, “Managing the Digital Library,” published by Reed Business Press.

Tennant, an internationally recognized pioneer in digital library development and Internet training, is also the user services architect for the University of California Office of the President’s California Digital Library, and a columnist for Library Journal.

The Library on the QM2

Just for fun, a snippet from Simon Schama’s account in the New Yorker of the Queen Mary 2’s maiden voyage:

“[In 1842 when Dickens sailed] there were a few books in the saloon. Only in the second half of the nineteenth century . . . did a comprehensively stocked and magnificently panelled and furnished library become a crucial fixture. The heavily used library on the QM 2 runs the gamut from Danielle Steel to Tom Clancy; there is a wall of less intensively visited Everyman classics, and I found, improbably lurking amid the bodice-rippers and spy thrillers, Albert Camus’s ‘The Plague.'”

Library jobs long on time for studying

Fun Little Story from Dartmouth College where they say as far as campus jobs go, working at Baker-Berry Library is the employment equivalent of an all-expenses-paid vacation: cushy and much sought-after.

Student workers at the library escape many of the stereotypes of other campus jobs, such as those associated with positions in DDS. Abraham said that DDS student-workers might face some degree of pity or condescension from other students because their jobs are “not fun and have long hours.”

“Who wouldn’t want to get paid 20 bucks to sit for three hours and study? That’s how I perceive my job,” said Abraham, who works about eight hours a week at the library’s information and circulation desks.

Dershowitz’s Book Gets a Second Book Review in PW

Unhappy with the original negative review of his lengthily-titled book “America on Trial: Inside the Legal Battles that Transformed Our Nation — From the Salem Witches to the Guantanamo Detainees”, author/professor/lawyer Alan M. Dershowitz expressed his dissatisfaction loudly to Publishers Weekly Editor-in-Chief Nora Rawlinson.

Her response concurred that the original review “did not comply with our reviewing standards,” more or less admitting that the review was a reflection of the {unspecified} reviewer’s personal feelings about the author rather than a critique of the book. Here’s the story from

Oxford American is moving to the University of Central Arkansas

Southern literary magazine Oxford American has been in financial trouble lately. According to this AP wire story, they’re hoping that a move will improve their situation.

“The University of Central Arkansas and the Oxford American announced a partnership on Saturday that will bring the critically acclaimed Southern literary magazine to Conway.” After going under for a second time last July, the magazine won a National Magazine Award this month for its music issue, finishing ahead of Rolling Stone.”

rochelle adds: I hope they make a go of it as a non-profit. The first incarnation of the OA was chock full o’ brilliant, fresh, writing and had great photos. Even the ads were interesting! (I also edited the post, Anna, because the Chronicle is only available to subscribers.)