January 2005

Google lead in search is narrowing

Anonymous Patron writes Google lead in search is narrowing is a New York Times you can read at IHT.com. They say so far, the fruits of thousands of computer scientists’ labor have not seemed to shake Google from its perch at the top of the search market.
Hardly a week passes without an announcement heralding an Internet search innovation by one of the big sites – Google, Yahoo or Microsoft, which is testing the search engine that it will soon promote on its MSN service. Even the smaller players, like Acoona.com and A9, the search engine run by Amazon.com, are trying to get in on the act.


Government Printing Office Revises Access Policy

Durst writes Government Executive News has a story about GPO’s policy regarding public access to agency information.

The new policy requires a more detailed review of why an agency wanted to withdraw, withhold or restrict access to a document, and whether alternative options could be used. The option would depend on what the agency wanted to do. For example, if they wanted to withdraw a publication, the option might be to edit it so it can be printed anyway. If they wanted to hold a publication, the option might be to put a timeline on how long it’s held.

Map restoration is memorial to librarian

twistedlibrarian writes “For years, librarian Charyl “Char” Frounfelter helped people learn about their ancestors, Michigan history and many other topics, too.

“She was very knowledgeable,” says Eleanor Koepke of Grand Blanc Township, president of the Flint Genealogical Society, “and she helped a lot of folks over the years.”

“A couple of times she helped people who found relatives they’d been separated from for years,” says Lloris “Larry” Frounfelter, Char’s husband.

“One lady who found her brother wrote Char a letter, thanking her for helping find him. That meant a lot to her.”

Char Frounfelter died in December at the age of 56, not long after she retired from the Flint Public Library.

Recently, local genealogists and history buffs decided that she should be memorialized for all the years she assisted Flint area researchers.

They agreed on a project that would be dedicated to her memory – raising money for the restoration of a large, 1859 map of Genesee and Shiawassee counties at the Flint library.

Mlive.com (Michigan

Resources For School Librarians

Resources For School Librarians is one page on the School Libraries On The Web site from Linda Bertland. This is a list of library web pages maintained by K-12 school libraries in the United States and in countries around the world. This directory is limited to listing pages which focus on the school library/media center. The content of these pages is quite varied and displays the marvelous creativity of school librarians around the world.

Need Input from LIS Folks for Conservation Biology Research

birdman writes “Developing a university curriculum regarding information sciences/research in the field of Conservation Biology. Would like input from others in the field of library science, special library personnel, related fields concerning

1/ need for information specialists in the field of conservation biology
2/ important aspects of information technology in this field that you have used or are aware of.
3/ positions you are aware of that have been filled by those with library science background that were acquired outside of libraries. Does not need to be within the field of Conservation or Biology. Curriculum rational is the advantage that information specialists have in the world today.
4/ the existance of surveys sent to businesses, organizations, industry, regarding the need for employees with information science background.
5/ any suggestions in developing such a curriculum. This is a curriculum that is being designed to teach students in a Conservation Biology graduate/certificate program about conducting research in the field, how to write and research a scientific paper and conversely, to interest information specialists in the field of conservation.”

Nation’s presidential libraries struggling to draw visitors

search-engines-web.com shares An Associated Press Piece on presidential libraries. With Americans spending less time visiting such museums across the country, Walch and the directors of the nation’s other presidential libraries say they are marketing themselves more aggressively than ever.
“I’ve had easier sells,� said David Collins, a University of Iowa marketing instructor who helped develop a plan to boost the number of visitors at the library. “The problem is getting people here. Part of that problem is that everybody is looking for the ‘wow’ factor now.�

Libraries in Maine and Colorado Donate Fines for Tsunami Relief

twistedlibrarian writes “”In Maine, libraries donated all fines, printing fees, and loose cash donations collected during Maine Libraries Week, January 9–15, to give to the UNICEF Tsunami Relief Fund. The idea is credited to Camden Public Library Director Elizabeth Moran, who sent out a press release asking all Maine libraries to participate. York Public Library waited until January 20 to make sure the effort was publicized, Assistant Library Director Sudie Blanchard said in the January 28 Portsmouth (N.H.) Herald.

In Colorado, more than a dozen public libraries are participating in a similar drive January 24–30 to deliver fine collections and other donations to the American Red Cross. Ralph Rulo, a facilities maintenance technician for the Douglas County Libraries in Castle Rock, thought up the plan, and Director Jamie LaRue liked the suggestion so much that he appealed to libraries across the state to join in the effort. A week’s worth of fine collections in Douglas County alone brings in about $2,600.”

American Libraries Online

Slicing librarian jobs undercuts reading goals

Iowa is one of the many states cutting librarian positions from schools. This Des Moines Register Editorial says that Iowa schools have 157 fewer full-time and part-time librarians than they did five years ago.

This is an example of why the Legislature needs to restore adequate school funding. Iowans can’t expect academic achievement to rise while cutbacks erode parts of the education system that make the classroom teacher most effective.

Cutting library services is not just a small-schools issue.

Real-life ‘Marian’ surprises audience and cast

More than 1,500 people in attendance at Saturday night’s production of “The Music Man” at Brigham Young University were surprised by a special appearance of the original inspiration for the character “Marian the Librarian.”

Marian Seeley, 84, of Provo, inspired the part when she was living in California during World War II with her husband, Frank, who worked for Armed Forces Radio.

Frank Seeley worked with Meredith Willson, who would later become famous for writing “The Music Man.”

Marian Seeley was working as a medical records librarian at the time, and Willson dubbed her “Marian the Librarian.”

More at harktheherald.com