October 2009

SirsiDynix Corp [Not Very] restricted lobby paper against Open Source technologies, Sep 2009

David Lee King pointed out A Post On Wikileaks about SirsiDynix: “This document was released only to a select number of existing customers of the company SirsiDynix, a proprietary library automation software vendor. According to our source it has not been released more broadly specifically because of the misinformation about open source software and possible libel per se against certain competitors contained therein.”
[Update]: See Also It’s About a Respectful Discussion for a discussion from the author. He’s also posted a link to the “restricted” paper.

Fat But… Weighty Concerns in Children’s Literature

Excellent blog post (and very entertaining video) by Elizabeth
Bluemle in Publishers Weekly about how overweight characters are described in children’s books. She is concerned that writers of children’s fiction are casting negative aspersions on overweight characters instead of just describing them…

‘Fat issues loom large in our culture, as it were, and kids pick up messages about how they should look that batter their confidence at every turn. Literature for young people should be one place where kids don’t find themselves mocked, dismissed, or shamed. I am not talking about books that deal directly with weight; it’s the books that don’t realize they are reinforcing negative stereotypes that concern me.

While we have all become accustomed to popular culture’s celebration of thin, what I didn’t expect is that books — the refuge of the chubby kid, the place where people understand the value of what lies beneath the surface, a land of acceptance and tolerance for difference — would come around to betray their readers.’ More from PW.

FDsys Tutorials

GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys) is an advanced digital system that will enable GPO to manage Government information from all three branches of the U.S. Government.

FDsys is available as a public beta during migration of information from GPO Access. The migration of information from GPO Access into FDsys will be complete in 2009, until this time GPO Access will contain all content.

GPO has made available brief FDsys video tutorials, including an FDsys overview, simple search, advanced and citation search, and browsing. Click here to access the tutorials.

Patrons Join Library Director in a Flashlight Read-In

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio— Fourteen patrons of the Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County, seven on each side of Carlton Sears, turned out their electric-bulb candles Wednesday afternoon as the director of the library read the name of the branch each represented.

They were part of a press event held in the main library to draw attention to the precarious financial position the system finds itself in as advocates for Issue 6, a one-mill operating levy to run five years, seek to persuade county residents to vote for renewal.

Billed as a “Lights-Out Read-In,” the event, attended by some 60 patrons, saw them hold flashlights to read their books (their own and those borrowed from the library) a minute or so as television news cameras captured the moment.

The event began at 5:30 p.m. as the main library in the county system closed at that hour for the first time instead of the usual 9 p.m. because of the 31% reduction in funding from the state.

And Dancing in the Streets…

Following up on our story last month, today’s New York Times features a photo of Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet dancing with the librarian who invited her to join him in La Cueca.

President Bachelet is a pediatrician and a single mother. Her unorthodox style has left a mark on the country’s political culture. During her state of the nation address in May, she joked about losing a shoe while kicking a soccer ball at a stadium inauguration, saying investment in four new stadiums would include money for “the flying shoe.” In the recent interview, she joked that her gender parity plan for the cabinet was intended to ensure that everyone had a dance partner.

A New Main Library for San Diego?

The San Diego City Council voted 6-2 yesterday to pay the project’s original architect and construction consultants an additional $500,000 to begin the bidding process on construction of a new main library at Park Boulevard and J Street, twice the size of the existing facility on E Street.

Council members Carl DeMaio and Sherri Lightner voted against the payment. “Given our current and projected economic situation, we need to prioritize for basic neighborhood services first,” Lightner said.

Council President Ben Hueso said it is key for the city to get a cost estimate, and he dismissed budgetary concerns.

“Using the city’s financial situation as an excuse for not supporting this project and saying the future is uncertain I think is not a real good reason why we shouldn’t support this library today,” he said.

The hope is the project’s costs will be at or below the 4-year-old estimate of –whoa– $185 million. Sign on San Diego.

Serving Literature by the Tweet

The founders of Electric Literature, a new quarterly literary magazine, seek nothing less than to revitalize the short story in the age of the short attention span. To do so, they allow readers to enjoy the magazine any way they like: on paper, Kindle, e-book, iPhone and, starting next month, as an audiobook. YouTube videos feature collaborations among their writers and visual artists and musicians. Starting next month, Rick Moody will tweet a story over three days.

Story in the NYT