March 2011

Monty The Dog Hits The Stacks At Yale Law

Yale University Law School is an intense place, and its library is no joke: It has soaring vaulted ceilings, stained-glass windows and giant chandeliers that hang from chains. To help students unwind, the library is offering a rather unusual checkout option: Monty, a Jack Russell-border terrier mix.

Full story

What standards vendors use to measure the underlying quality of their product?

On editing & updating standards
“What is important about these excerpts (and in my opinion, I don’t believe these systems or approaches to be unique to West) is that they get to an underlying issue not being asked of lawyers and legal researchers generally, that is, what do you, the consumer, consider to be a quality update to a legal treatise? It’s rare to find lawyers talking about such things, and law librarians had a perfect opportunity to do so at the recent AALL Vendor Colloquium, but instead limited their focus to pricing and subscription models, vendor communications, digital v. print, etc. Honestly, what difference does all of that make if you don’t know what standards vendors use to measure the underlying quality of the product?”

IL library yanks homeless man’s card

A homeless man whose story was told in the News-Democrat on Sunday says library staff confiscated his library card because they found out from the article that he doesn’t have an address.

Read more: http://www.bnd.com/2011/03/26/1645702/belleville-library-yanks-homeless.html

CA City Considering Replacing Library With Community Center With NO Books

Tomes’ time might be up at Newport Beach library

The city is considering closing its original library and replacing it with a community center that would offer all the same features — except for the books.
Instead of a reference librarian, patrons would be greeted by a kiosk equipped with video-calling software that would allow them to speak with employees elsewhere. And books — when ordered — would be dropped off at a locker for pickup.

Release Dates and Double Standards

New York Times: To publicize the release of “The Pale King,” a posthumously published novel by David Foster Wallace that is set in an Internal Revenue Service processing center, Hachette Book Group created a marketing campaign centered on the traditional tax day: April 15. Except that’s not really when it went on sale.

Amazon and Barnes & Noble were selling the book on their Web sites on Wednesday, long before many bookstores would receive copies. Nicole Dewey, a spokeswoman for Little, Brown, part of Hachette, said the official on-sale date for the book was March 22, but the publication date — when the book is available everywhere — remained April 15. (A countdown clock on the Hachette Web site ticks away the days, hours and minutes until April 15.) “I don’t really understand the confusion,” Ms. Dewey said. “This happens all the time. There’s nothing unusual about it.”

It was a distinction lost on many bookstores, who erupted in protest on Wednesday when they heard that Amazon was already selling the hotly anticipated book.

New York Times: To publicize the release of “The Pale King,” a posthumously published novel by David Foster Wallace that is set in an Internal Revenue Service processing center, Hachette Book Group created a marketing campaign centered on the traditional tax day: April 15. Except that’s not really when it went on sale.

Amazon and Barnes & Noble were selling the book on their Web sites on Wednesday, long before many bookstores would receive copies. Nicole Dewey, a spokeswoman for Little, Brown, part of Hachette, said the official on-sale date for the book was March 22, but the publication date — when the book is available everywhere — remained April 15. (A countdown clock on the Hachette Web site ticks away the days, hours and minutes until April 15.) “I don’t really understand the confusion,” Ms. Dewey said. “This happens all the time. There’s nothing unusual about it.”

It was a distinction lost on many bookstores, who erupted in protest on Wednesday when they heard that Amazon was already selling the hotly anticipated book.

“Outrageous,” said Zack Zook, the general manager and events coordinator at BookCourt, an independent store in Brooklyn. “If stuff like this keeps happening, booksellers are going to start suing publishers.” Kelly von Plonski, the owner of Subterranean Books in St. Louis, said she was “irate” after hearing on Wednesday that the book was already on sale. She had planned a midnight release party for April 14, the night before she thought the book was being released. “I’m really, really angry about it,” she said. “Add it to the list of advantages that Amazon has been given.”

Nixon Library To Take the Spin Out of Watergate

LOS ANGELES (AP) — History is being restored at the Richard Nixon Library, where the Watergate exhibit once told visitors nearly four decades after the scandal led to his resignation that it was really a “coup” by his rivals.

For years the library exhibit that retraces the former president’s notorious saga was a target of ridicule, panned for omissions and editing that academics and critics said shaped a legacy favorable to the tainted 37th president.

On Thursday, archivists will present a revamped and expanded version of the exhibit at the Yorba Linda CA library, a $500,000 makeover they say is faithful to fact, balanced and devoid of political judgment.

“What we tried to do is lay out the record and encourage visitors to come in … and draw their own conclusions,” said Susan Cooper, a spokeswoman for the National Archives.

More from the AP.

Publishers Weekly Planning First pre-ALA Supplement

For the first time, PW will publish a special supplement ahead of this year’s American Library Association’s annual conference set for June 23-28 in New Orleans. The pre-ALA issue will be published May 30 and will include features on library funding, the e-book loan controversy and an overview of the meeting program, in addition to other pieces on the show. “Our subscribers have been telling us they want more coverage of the library market and the ALA supplement is part of our commitment to act on that request,” said PW publisher Cevin Bryerman who will handle advertising inquiries at [email protected] Andrew Albanese will be overseeing the supplement’s editorial content and can be reached at [email protected]

It was Almost Gone With the Wind…

NYTimes reports: SOUTHPORT, CT — Long thought to have been burned the way the North set fire to the cotton at Tara, the final typescript of the last four chapters of Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone With the Wind” has turned up in the Pequot Library in this Yankee seaport town. If not quite a spoil of war, the manuscript is a relic of some publishing skirmishes, and it will go on exhibit starting on Saturday, before traveling to Atlanta, Mitchell’s hometown, in time for the 75th anniversary of the novel’s publication in June.

A page from the final draft of a late chapter of “Gone With the Wind.”

The chapters, which contain some of the novel’s most memorable lines — like, “My dear, I don’t give a damn” and “After all, tomorrow is another day” — were given to the Pequot in the early 1950s by George Brett Jr., the president of Macmillan, Mitchell’s publisher, and a longtime benefactor of the library. Some pages from the manuscript were actually displayed at the Pequot twice before — in a 1979 exhibition of Macmillan first editions, also donated by Mr. Brett, and in 1991 for a show honoring “Scarlett,” Alexandra Ripley’s authorized, if not very good, sequel to “Gone With the Wind.”

NYTimes reports: SOUTHPORT, CT — Long thought to have been burned the way the North set fire to the cotton at Tara, the final typescript of the last four chapters of Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone With the Wind” has turned up in the Pequot Library in this Yankee seaport town. If not quite a spoil of war, the manuscript is a relic of some publishing skirmishes, and it will go on exhibit starting on Saturday, before traveling to Atlanta, Mitchell’s hometown, in time for the 75th anniversary of the novel’s publication in June.

A page from the final draft of a late chapter of “Gone With the Wind.”

The chapters, which contain some of the novel’s most memorable lines — like, “My dear, I don’t give a damn” and “After all, tomorrow is another day” — were given to the Pequot in the early 1950s by George Brett Jr., the president of Macmillan, Mitchell’s publisher, and a longtime benefactor of the library. Some pages from the manuscript were actually displayed at the Pequot twice before — in a 1979 exhibition of Macmillan first editions, also donated by Mr. Brett, and in 1991 for a show honoring “Scarlett,” Alexandra Ripley’s authorized, if not very good, sequel to “Gone With the Wind.”

But Dan Snydacker, executive director of the library, said nobody back then paid the manuscript much attention or recognized its importance.

The pages went back into storage and resurfaced only in response to a query from Ellen F. Brown, who was working with her co-author, John Wiley Jr., on “Margaret Mitchell’s ‘Gone With the Wind’: A Bestseller’s Odyssey From Atlanta to Hollywood,” published in February by Taylor Trade Publishing. Ms. Brown was interested in the Brett collection at the Pequot and curious to know if any of the library’s many foreign editions of “Gone With the Wind,” yet another bequest, had inscriptions from the author to her publisher.

‘Literacy’ sucks

In sum, there are multiple literacies out there, but they can be organized in a way that makes sense. In fact, I think they should be organized better. I’ll admit that the organizational structure I tossed up there is a work in progress and may be completely, utterly idiotic. But, it’s a start. Feel free to criticize, compliment, or call me a moron, but at least let me know what you think. I’m always open to suggestions for improvement.

Public Libraries Take On E-Books

Public Libraries Take On E-Books
The digital age is tumultuous and the stakes for the entertainment and information industries are very high. Public libraries are great civic assets, and publishers have to find a way to serve them well, as they have for more than a century. Librarians are right to defend their interests also. Now, let’s work out a solution.
See Also:
More Libraries Decide To Give HarperCollins the Cold Shoulder from LJ. Includes a great snapshot of some other recent actions (not including those previously reported by LJ):