Libraries using Internet Trust Tools

“NewsGuard’s green-red ratings signal if a website is trying to get it right or instead has a hidden agenda or knowingly publishes falsehoods or propaganda, according to NewsGuard’s website,”

I am not feeling great about this tool and will not be installing it at our library. Curious to hear others’ decisions or experiences with NewsGuard. Live sex chats

Urbana Free Library Aggressive Weeding Draws Criticism

The Urbana (IL) Free Library is facing scrutiny after the director, Deb Lissak made a “made a unilateral decision to weed books in the print collection by date alone,” ignoring established criteria and without the knowledge of the Adult Services Director, Anne Phillips. Anecdotal reports indicate that the adult non-fiction collection has been weeded 50-75% and that the titles have been shipped to Better World Books

According to Mary Ellen Farrell, Board of Trustees President, a “conscious effort” was made “to find the most efficient way to get [the library] up to par as far as RFID tagging and … for the most usable [and] efficient things that … our library needs to have here as a core collection, and to identify things that are easily accessed, either from other libraries … or online.”

At least three staff members reported to Phillips that they were instructed to “[weed] as quickly as possible, even at the level of going through a range in 30 minutes of 2,000 titles.” That’s less than one second per book.

The details of this story are at Smile Politely.

Kinda Sorta In Praise of Ebooks

In Praise of E-Books. (NPR)

Author and NPR commentator Andrei Codrescu offers the same praise for ebooks that you might hear coming school adminstrators. He cares about his back more than he cares about books.

When I retire, I promised myself I will read all the great books I said I would read one day, and I’ll reread all the books I once loved. And all my life, it seems I carried boxes full of these books from one city to another, from one house to another, and I furnished endless rooms and gave away hundreds of volumes, and I put out my back many times. And as soon as I retired, I was ready to begin. I picked up my featherlight Kindle, the great chiropractor, and took off for the woods….

Two Wisconsin Men Aim to Create 2500 “Little Free Libraries”

‘Little Free Libraries’ Hope For Lending Revolution

Friends Todd Bol and Rick Brooks are out to beat Andrew Carnegie’s record for putting more than 2500 free public libraries in communities all over the country, many of them not much bigger than a bird house. Each library is adopted by a caretaker like Carol Elbaum who says, “We’ve met people who live a block away, and we’ve never met. And, you know, it’s interesting. Occasionally, for example, this “Children of God” is a book that we really loved. I have no idea who put it in there. But it’s just fun to see an old friend in there, you know?”

Brooks says that today, there are over 200 Little Free Libraries in 34 states and 17 countries. More info at
Little Free Library.

Skeletal Remains Removed from Library Construction Site

An archaeological survey being conducted at the site of a proposed addition to the Peoria (IL) Public Library uncovered the remains of nine individuals. The site, intended as space for a 12,000 square foot addition, was a public cemetery from 1842-1875.

Because of a law that requires living relatives to be identified and contacted so that they can authorize removal and reburial of remains, the library has had to alter their construction plans. More information is available at the Peoria Journal Star.

Two-thirds of Cedar Rapids PL Collection Lost

From Earlier this week, the situation didn’t seem quite so dire for the main branch of the Cedar Rapids Public Library when it was learned that the library had only taken on 5 feet of water. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been safe enough to get a full crew in for recovery efforts, so mold has claimed even more of the collection. Foundation staff member Marie Devries said, “It’s never going to be the same again, but it will be our library. It will be the community library again and will provide the same great service we always have.”

Included in the article is information about branch locations that are open and a plea to not donate any books, as the organization is not able to process donations. What they need is your $$.

Skip the OLPC and Give ‘Em Playstations

A story from the New York Times about one study that revealed how grades and educational aspirations dropped when poor families in Romania were given vouchers to help defray the cost of computers and internet access.

If we really want to help poor kids, whether in Romania, sub-Saharan Africa, or America’s housing projects, we may want to focus on approaches that provide structured, supervised access through after-school programs or subsidies that bring technology into low-income schools. But just giving kids computers? Might as well just ship them PlayStations.

If you have any doubt, just ask any public librarian whose job it is to help manage public computing.

Cedar Rapids Public Library said to be under water

A forwarded email from a librarian who now lives in Cedar Rapids, IA, indicates that the Cedar Rapids Public Library is under about 8 ft. of water. In addition to the library, other cultural institutions that have sustained serious damage include the children’s museum, the Afro-American Museum, and the National Czech and Slovak Museum. A video of various flooded areas in Cedar Rapids shows the library submerged (around 6:30 in the vid).

Verdict in on Kindle Loanability

Library Journal reported that they heard from Amazon about the legality of libraries loaning Kindle ebook readers, and the response is, well, goofy.

Amazon spokesman Drew Herdener told LJ that a loan of a Kindle without content is OK but sharing a device loaded with content “with a wide group of people would not be in line with the terms of use.”

Herdner refused to discuss individual enforcement issues with libraries that are currently loaning the much-talked about machines.

Interview with Hollywood Librarian Director, Ann Seidl

Sept 27, 2007 Wisconsin Public Radio talk show host Kathleen Dunn talks with the maker of the new documentary, “The Hollywood Librarian” The film not only dispels stereotypes, but also presents libraries and literature as the bedrock of civilization. Guest: Ann Seidl, writer and director, The Hollywood Librarian: A Look at Librarians through Film.

The interview will be available as an archived broadcast starting Sept.28.