May 2005

Duke Answer Person takes on all inquiries

Steven M. Cohen writes “From The Herald Sun:

“The Answer Person, as he or she has come to be known — even affectionately as AP — is assuredly a real person, someone on the Perkins staff who also has other duties and who is broadly knowledgeable or, like any other good librarian, can at least point people in the right direction.

Beyond that, the Answer Person’s identity and even gender is a closely held secret, despite frequent guesses and occasionally propositions. These the Answer Person gamely deflects, even as he or she continues to ferret out obscure lore for genuine questions or even casual curiosity.””

Book Expo America @ NYC Javits Ctr. This Weekend

It’s an annual event where publishers, authors, booksellers and bibliophiles mingle—reviewers tingle—and cash registers jingle…(dig the rhyme?) in 270,000 square feet of books and book-related items, and it’s happening this weekend here on New York City’s West Side, Friday – Sunday, June 6-8.

Here’s more on the event from the AP and Calendar Live .

Here’s a special scoop only for readers of LISNews…the birdie (yours truly) will be peddling her wares at Book Expo (Booth #1607 downstairs)…stop by, say hello, mention LISNews and get a complimentary sample of one of our cards (well, til I run out)!

Blockbuster Leery of The Competition–Libraries

In the dog eat dog world of 2005, the video rental places are a bit nervous about libraries lending recent videos…for free.

In this AP article , reporter John Seewer notes, “The nation’s two biggest movie-rental chains, Blockbuster and Movie Gallery, said they have not seen evidence that librarians are stealing their customers. They contend that they offer more convenience and better selection than libraries.

“While it may be a creative alternative, it’s really not a threat to our business,” Blockbuster spokesman Blake Lugash said.

The number of video materials stocked by libraries nationwide has risen by 56 percent in four years, according to the most recent figures available from the National Center for Education Statistics. In 2000, the Toledo (OH) library circulated 104,639 DVDs. The number jumped to 807,169 by 2004.

Doesn’t bode well for Blockbuster, not to mention the encroachment of Netflix, etc.

Brick & Mortar’s Not Enough Anymore for a Bookstore

In his column in the Palm Beach Post, reporter Ron Wiggins tells about dropping into a used bookstore in North Palm Beach (FL), The Book Rack, and not only finding a couple of treasures to buy, but also finding the owners to be helpful and knowledgeable about books, music and well, lots of other stuff.

When he discovered that the owners, Joanne and Denny Hall, were planning to possibly close the shop, he was not happy. After twelve years, Joanne Hall, in her mid-sixties says, “We’re semi-retiring. The online side of our business is going so well that we figure we can work two to four hours a day and have an income. Whoever buys the store,” she notes, “will have to use the Internet. You can’t stay in business without buying and selling books online.”

Omitting the past’s darker chapters

Library Stuff writes “From The Chicago Tribune:

Russians remember the Siege of Leningrad–a brutal, 872-day blockade of Russia’s second-largest city by Nazi troops that killed 1.7 million people–as a dark, crucial moment in their history. Yet one of the most popular history textbooks in Russian classrooms casually distills the event into a mere four words. “German troops blockaded Leningrad.”

No Wet Suits in the Library

Kathleen writes Joe Wible has worked in libraries for more than 30 years and logged more than 1,000 dives in his life, making him perfectly suited for his job as head librarian and bibliographer at Hopkins Marine Station—this, despite a salvaged sign he keeps in his office window: “No wet suits in the library!!”
Mr. Wible holds a PhD in Marine Biology and is a member of the International Association of Aquatic and Marine Science Libraries and Information Centers.”

Boca Raton Students Donate Books to Small IL Library

While visiting his grandparents in Illinois, Mitchell Froelich wasn’t able to finish his summer reading list.

Combing through the bookshelves at one of the small town’s libraries, the 16-year-old said he couldn’t find the well-known novel he needed to read for his class – or many other books for that matter.

When Froelich returned home to Florida, he enlisted his high school’s Key Club to collect and donate books to the Divernon Township Library. More from