August 2007

Bush Library Snubs British Artist, He Bites Back With Portrait in Porn

After the Bush Library reportedly backed out of a portrait they had commissioned from British artist Jonathan Yeo, the 36-year-old artist went forward with one anyway, a collage created from fragments of 100 porn magazines.

This Sun story has a small version of the portrait which you are invited to enlarge. Artist Yeo has even more graphic details of the portrait on his website.

The work was unveiled yesterday at London’s Lazarides Gallery in Soho.

Universities Look to Make Internet Public Library a Virtual Learning Lab

Three universities– Drexel University, the University of Michigan and Florida State University, are working together with the IMLS to make the Internet Public Library an even more beneficial learning and teaching tool for librarians and students.

Drexel said it received more than $600,000 in grants from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services’ Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program, which will run through June 2010. Here’s the scoop from Computerworld.

Librarians Eat Questions for Breakfast

According to Library Journal, On Monday, September 10, librarians are asked to “Slam the Boards!” by visiting online “answer sites” such as Yahoo! Answers, Ask MetaFilter, Wikipedia Reference Desk, or Amazon’s Askville, fielding as many questions as possible, and making it clear that the service was provided by a librarian. What began as a word-of-mouth idea has grown into an international effort, as librarians from the U.K., New Zealand, and beyond have joined the grass-roots effort in the U.S. to raise the profile of librarians and libraries that offer virtual reference services by doing what libraries do best–providing answers from authoritative resources.

See you in cyberspace on the 10th.

Barnes & Noble WILL Sell OJ Book After All

Barnes & Noble has changed its mind about selling the OJ book. The Washington Post reports that for days Simpson’s book has been in the top 100 on Barnes & and at one point even topped the best-seller list. “If I Did It” has also entered the top 100 on

Simpson has maintained his innocence in the 1994 killings in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles. Acquitted of the murders in 1995 and currently living near Miami, he has disowned the book, saying he had little do with its creation. The ghostwriter, Pablo Fenjves, has disagreed, saying “If I Did It” is based on extensive discussions with Simpson.

Paternal Penguins Pique Parents, ALA’s Most Challenged Book

Paternal Penguins Pique Parents (story from the New York Times)

And Tango Makes Three, an award-winning children’s book based on the true story of two male penguins who reared a baby penguin stands atop the American Library Association’s annual list of works that drew the most complaints from parents, library patrons and others, The Associated Press reported. Published in 2005, the book by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, with illustrations by Henry Cole (Simon & Schuster), was named one of that year’s best by the association.

But some parents and educators complained that it advocated homosexuality. In all, the number of books challenged last year was 546, compared with 406 in 2005, but low in contrast to the figures recorded in the mid-1990s, when challenges exceeded 750 a year. The American Library Association defines a challenge as a formal, written complaint filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness.

Other books on the 2006 list included the Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison’s Bluest Eye and her Pulitzer Prize-winning Beloved both challenged for language and sexual content. Judith Krug, director of the association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, said 30 books were banned last year.

One of the Great Untold Stories of Broadcasting History

Here’s that amazing story from the BBC:

In 1937 Marie Slocombe was working as a summer relief secretary at the BBC.

One of her tasks was to sort out – and dispose of – a pile of dusty broadcast discs. She noticed that among them were recordings of GB Shaw, HG Wells, Winston Churchill, Herbert Asquith and GK Chesterton. So she hesitated.

Marie Slocombe saved those recordings from the scrap heap. In that moment was the humble beginning of what became one of the most important collections of recordings in the world – the BBC Sound Archive.