Collection Development


OCLC Claims Ownership of Data In OPACs

OCLC may be trying to pull something sneaky with its new policy of claiming contractual rights over the subsequent use of data created by OCLC. In other words, the data in library catalogues couldn't be used to make anything which competes with OCLC in any way.

Needless to say, this would have a hash chilling effect on the creation of open databases of library content.

As you might expect, the library blogosphere is on fire with the news. The podcast presenter at LISNews gave a commentary in the matter during LISTen #47.

Story from Slashdot.

DRM In Your Library? Consider This...

Thinking about utilizing a service in your library which uses Digital Rights Management (DRM)?

Consider the wise comic of Randall Munroe:

The Right Books for the Right Libraries

Library Journal decided to ask a veteran Alaska librarian about some of the issues raised (libraries procedure for banning books) when Sarah Palin was chosen as McCain's running mate. Charlotte Glover is the children's librarian at the Ketchikan Public Library, and the state Chapter Councilor for the American Library Association. She’s been publicly critical of Palin, but, as the interview shows, she thinks collection decisions should be local.

  • LJ : "Do you think Wasilla will accept the donated copies of Heather and Daddy's Roommate?"
  • Glover: "I don't know the current Wasilla library director (K. J. Martin). It would be nice to see that library make a big splash to the media about having these controversial titles, but I don't think that will happen, nor should it necessarily. Wasilla is still the bible belt of Alaska. The vast majority of the library patrons there really might be THAT conservative, so what is the librarian to do then? It's a fine art to read a community, and expand their minds, without getting thrown out of town!"
  • Librarian's Internet Index merging with IPL

    The well known Librarian's Internet Index (LII) has merged with IPL at Drexel. As many are aware of, and as mentioned in the notice below, LII has had their funding cut by 50% the last two years. The merger with Drexel allows ILL the opportunity to continue sharing of sites.

    This notice appeared in their last weekly e-mail:

    This week the editors received a press release announcing LII's merger with the Internet Public Library (IPL). IPL is a huge and wonderful Web portal hosted by Drexel University and maintained by a consortium of colleges and universities with programs in information science. It has solid funding and a paid staff augmented by graduate students in library and information studies programs, allowing it to maintain and improve the database's content and aesthetics with new skills and technical tools.
    As you may know, in the last two years LII's funding was cut by 50%. Consequently, we had to reduce the number of sites we add each week, halt improvements to the browsing structure, and generally do less of everything. IPL will give LII's years of work continued life and value and we think they'll do a terrific job. The LII editorial staff and the newsletter will continue through April 30, 2009. We will share news with you as it becomes available; for more information, please contact IPL or Linda Crowe at

    This was the e-mail they sent to subscribers:

    Google Books now embeddable

    Via Lifehacker Google Books are now embeddable on websites, just like YouTube videos! You can view an example here on Google Operating System posting.

    The Debate Over Rating Video Games... In The UK

    As gaming in libraries becomes more of a commonplace and less of a radical notion, librarians will be forced to deal with the same kinds of issues they encountered when libraries began to carry movies.

    When libraries started stocking VHS cassettes, there was a huge debate over R rated movies. Should libraries stock such films even though many R rated movies garner Academy Awards and other film acclaims? Now the rating issue isn't over R, it's M for Mature. Should a library carry a game or not simply based off its rating? Grand Theft Auto IV is rated M but received accolades throughout the entire gaming world. How reliable is the rating? Do we check it out to minors? And the list goes on.

    We've had our share of trouble with game ratings here in the States, so it shouldn't surprise anyone that the good folks over in the United Kingdom are slogging through similar problems.

    More from the Beeb.

    Poet Bill Knott Does Some Weeding

    Maybe you don't know <a href="">Bill Knott.</a> Hell, maybe you don't know more than five living poets, and <i>you</I> work in a library. But you should pop over to Knott's blog, where he publishes his poetry, and rants against his former publisher, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, and Pulitzer prizewinners alike. Now he turns his attention to librarians, or rather the stereotype of librarians. Is he serious?

    Free comic book day!

    Would robot librarians do better?

    Eric Roger Green Has A Column in The Denver Post:

    There is no proof that one can have a truly balanced library collection based on all the ambiguities involved. Librarians will continue to receive collection challenges, which they should. We need to communicate that there is no perfect system. Our patrons must also understand this as well. We can challenge our patrons to take responsibility for this process. We might achieve a respectable, but imperfect representative collection. Or would robot Librarians do better?

    An Economic Take On Open Access

    The Marginal Revolution Blog Says the partial monopolization of for-fee journals makes it possible to produce status returns to motivate both editors and referees. Returning to the free setting, refereeing will survive insofar as writing detailed referee comments on other people's work helps with your own research; it is interesting to ponder in which fields this might hold.

    Library and Archives Canada axes Canadian Book Exchange Centre

    Library and Archives Canada has announced the <a href="">elimination of the Canadian Book Exchange Centre</a>. Opened 35 years ago, the exchange centre is a massive swap shop for public and academic libraries across Canada.

    Kindles can't be lent!

    According to Rochelle , who talked to Amazon customer support, libraries that are lending out Kindles (Amazon's ebook reader) to patrons are in violation of the terms of service. She makes some compelling points on questions that Amazon needs to answer, such as ways to disable people from downloading without disabling the account.

    Johnston County censorship in action!

    This article comes to us courtesy of ALA's Library Direct e-mail. Johnsonton County is on the hunt for books to remove from its collection after removing "How the Girls lost their accents". What scariest of all is that they aren't waiting to react, they're just looking for books that are "offensive."

    Rabbi Makes Weeding Harder

    mdoneil writes "Are you weeding in the 200s.? Well you better be careful about which books you pitch. Some of those books cannot be thrown away according to The God Squad.
    No Bibles with the coffee grounds. No Korans in the dustbin. You have to bury them. The books would be covered and buried respectfully though not necessarily in a cemetery. They should be covered and then buried. "Dust to dust" refers to the disposal of all holy vessels."

    Wholesaler Gone Bust To Auction Off Inventory

    Book auction from the late AMS (Advanced Marketing Services)...if you're in the Indianapolis, IN area, you might want to check out the announcement here. Auction is in Indianapolis on Tuesday, October 9. A brochure may be downloaded from the auctioneer's website.

    Library Patron Miffed About Weeded Books

    Jersey City NJ resident Juan Albornoz describes himself as a "pain in the butt," and is well-known to many city officials for being, as one unnamed council aide said, a "person with an opinion on everything." (translation??) So Albornoz did not shy away from expressing his opinion to the council at their last meeting on June 27 regarding some books from the Jersey City Free Public Library he found in a hamper earlier this month on Mercer Street, outside the library's Main Branch. The books, with their cover torn off and pages gutted - including titles by James Jones, William Kennedy, Joseph Heller, John Irving, R.K. Narayan, Muriel Spark, and P.D. James.

    "I let them know that major works of American literature are being destroyed," Albornoz said. "The bottom line is what kind of city is this that would allow this destruction." Library Director Priscilla Gardner wished that he would have taken his opinion directly to her as oppposed to the City Counsel, but unfortunately that's not what Albornoz chose to do. Story from the Hudson Reporter.

    Board Game Reference List

    Board games have evolved much since the days of Monopoly. Thanks to the Euro game boom of the 1990s, there is a rich variety of board games to explore. At Boardgame News, Giles Pritchard lists age-appropriate games for school children, as well as games that target math, literacy, and negotation skills. These could be interesting for both educators and librarians who plan after-school programs for youth.

    What they want/What they need

    Anonymous Patron writes "R. Crosby Kemper III is the director of the Kansas City (MO) public library sysytem, even though he has no MLS or library experience. What he does have is a cousin who chairs the library board and a very prominent family presence in the area. Kemper until 2005 was the CEO of UMB Bank (cuz is the CEO of another major bank in town). He boasts of a personal library of thousands of books his millionaire corporate friends must be very impressed with.

    Now, he seems to want the public library to adopt a similar collection philosophy: "...the goal is to build a collection that is 'excellent and enduring.'

    Never mind what regular taxpaying folks want to read.

    Libraries ponder a collective dilemma is in Today's The Kansas City Star"

    Controvery Over "The Higher Power of Lucky" is Just Nuts

    Weary of all the brou-ha-ha over "The Higher Power of Lucky"? Here's how several book people feel about the issue...

    John Mutter at Shelf Awareness hopes the controversy will "soon shrivel up and go away." He also reports on why one librarian, Liz Frame, from the San Antonio (TX) Christian Elementary School, declined to buy the book. Are we surprised?

    Ozzy Osborne for Black History Month?!?!?!

    Grumpy Librarian writes "YBP's Community College Center provides "custom lists" of books on certain topics. I've always assumed that these were somehow selected, but the "Black History" list (released this month for obvious reasons) includes the book: Black Sabbath: Doom Let Loose: An Illustrated History and Black November: The Carl D. Bradley Tragedy — a book about a commercial shipping accident.

    Have we become so lazy in our collection development that vendors can search their catalogs for black AND history and call it a selection tool?"


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