July 2005

Arjun Singh sued over books raising doubts about deities

Here’s One on an interesting law suit filed over a book. A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) activist has taken Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh to court for schoolbooks suggesting there is no scientific evidence that Hindu deities Ram and Krishna existed.

Ajit Kumar, a BJP worker from the Samastipur district, has filed a complaint in court against Singh and a few others, stating that new history books for Class 11, which say there is no scientific evidence of Ram and Krishna, have hurt the sentiments of Hindus.

Libraries buy what patrons want: DVDs

Johnson County Daily Journal (That’s from Johnson County,IN) takes a look at some collection development issues that are common to public libraries. Area librarians say the rise in DVD titles on library shelves is a matter of supply and demand.

More patrons are demanding the DVD version of their favorite films, and fewer distributors are supplying VHS tapes. But Emery said the Franklin library will not phase out its VHS options anytime soon. The library still plays an important role in supplying the format as rental and retail stores begin favoring DVD choices, she said.

UK Libraries face their biggest shake-up

The Guardian Reports UK Librarians could be stripped of their 144-year-old right to choose books under plans to reorganise the public library service disclosed yesterday.

A national agency would be set up to run libraries, largely replacing current control by a patchwork of 149 local authorities. Staff would be redeployed from back offices to deal with the public. Book choice would be privatised by wholesale suppliers; the savings could help extend opening hours or pay for popular titles to win back book borrowers.

An odd ILL plan for Erie County libraries may help save costs

mdoneil writes “The proposal to leave a book at the library where it was requested (rather than returning it to the lending branch) was one of the ways of cutting costs suggested for Erie county libraries.

This proposal and some other not encouraging news is available from WGRZ.

The ILL proposal seems like a bad idea and it oversimplifies the ILL system (I don’t think one employee drives one book around) but if libraries were run like a manufacturing business it would be plausable.”

Seattle Action-Hero Librarian Stokes Reading Habit

Bloomberg Has A Short One on Nancy Pearl. They say she is a rarity in the hushed world of the Dewey Decimal System: a celebrity librarian.
Pearl’s next project is a reading guide for children, tentatively titled “Book Crush.”

Later this year, her stops will include a writers’ conference in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and a booksellers’ gathering in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

We’ll be talking with Nancy next week, let us know if you have any questions for her.

The World’s Smallest Presidential Library

Remember President…David Rice Atchison?

Well, gee, no, but some people say he was President for a day (in 1849), and soon the “world’s smallest presidential library” will be opened in Atchison (KS) in his honor.

More here . Can’t wait to see what they’re going to stock in the gift shop.

Portrait of an Inner-City Library and Its Patrons

Our nations capital, the seat of our federal government and home to a multitude of shiny marble buildings and monuments is also home to a slightly decrepit branch of the DC public library, the Southeast Neighborhood Library on Capitol Hill.

It is here that Conrad Cheek Jr., a homeless man, comes on Tuesday evenings to teach aspiring chess players the game. After a game with 11-year old Avery, Cheek goes back out into the night to sell his “Street Sense” newspapers. Several other regular patrons, young and old, are also profiled in this article.

Southeast’s struggles mirror those of the other 26 branches in the D.C. library system, which are in such disrepair that public interest crusader Ralph Nader launched an advocacy group on their behalf 2 1/2 years ago. The D.C. Library Renaissance Project has given the library system more political clout. But that has yet to change anything at the Southeast library. There have been plans to renovate the building for years, but the money for hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of repairs has not come through. More than one portion of the library is literally held together with duct tape. More about the District’s library system from The Washington Post .