Ask LISNews

You Be The Judge...Did Smiley Get A Fair Sentence?

E. Forbes Smiley III was sentenced to three and half years for stealing over 100 extremely valuable maps from several libraries and selling them for his personal profit. Here's the Hartford Courant's editorial on the punishment that was meted out to him.

What's your opinion? In this day and age when anyone can and does sell anything on the internet, what controls (if any) can internet companies set on the sale of someone else's property? How can we prevent this sort of thing from happening again and again?

What Books Adequately Represent an LIS Degree?

Deane Barker writes "I am contemplating a Masters in LIS. I really want a Masters in Content Management (as discussed here), but an LIS degree seems to be the closest thing to it. However, I'm wondering about my level of interest and/or passion for LIS. What I'd like is for the community to recommend two or three of the seminal books in the LIS field, so that I can read them and see if any of it "trips my trigger," so to speak. So, what books can the community recommend that pass the following test: 'If you love this book, then an LIS degree is just what you're looking for.'? Put another way, if you had to represent an LIS degree in a single book, which one would it be?"

Help Wanted: Archival Swicki

Woody Evans writes "Hi LISNews,I've long looked for a good single archival search engine that would pick up public domain materials, image and text repositories, archival collections, etc. but have never found one that can do everything I want it to. So I'm trying to build one. I've started to train a "swicki" search engine called "archival media" (at this link: These swickis learn from the searches performed in them and from the sites suggested by searchers -- and who better to train this thing than librarians? "

dvd, video, cds classification?

Anonymous Patron writes "I used to have a couple of cds, videos and dvds in my school library which i left them lying around on the shelf, but recently someone donated a large amount of these items to the library and frankly i don't know what kind of classification to adopt Can anyone help me?(most of them are fiction)"


Should I Become A Librarian?

bolo writes "I am 35 years old with BA in English that hasn't taken me anywhere special. My wife and I are expecting a child in four weeks (yikes!), and I'm feeling a strong need for a stable, respectable, professional career that will help keep my family off food stamps. A couple of months ago, while brainstorming career options, librarianship hit me like a sucker-punch, and the idea of becoming a librarian has been been buzzing around in my brain since then. I *love* books (I've worked mostly in bookstores since college) and libraries, I'm fascinated by the issues involved (media, media literacy, information access, community, archiving, copyright, etc.), and cataloging actually sounds fun to me! I think librarianship is noble, important, cool, and could expand wildly in the 21st century. My problem is this. Library school would be a big investment of money for us--my wife and I are already working on a decent-sized debt. I don't feel like I'm in a position to spend money/get into further debt for a career that isn't at least reasonably secure and renumerative. In short, I make just under $30K a year now, and I need to make more fairly soon, with prospects for more in the future. I'm willing to work hard in library school--get involved in organizations, volunteer, go to conferences, etc.--so I can become a more appealing job candidate, but I need to know that I'm not spending time, energy, money, and heart on a career that will disappoint me. SO, my question is mostly to recent (5 years or less) library school grads: What has your experience been? What is the job market really like? (I'm beginning to get that the "librarian shortage" is a myth.) How many people are applying for the jobs I see on How many of these jobs go to recent MLS's? What about jobs outside of libraries? Is an MLS really applicable to any work outside libraries? Was library school worth it? Are you paying off your loans? Is Google slowly killing libraries? Is lack of funding helping?"


Working for a Woman Can Be a ...

GregS* writes 'From PW's Soapbox section: "Women make wonderful bosses. We should know -between the two of us we have more than 30 years of experience in the publishing business and have reported exclusively to women. In our observations, female bosses often become more mentors than managers, nurturing the careers of those who report to them more than their male counterparts. Working for women can be amazing and inspiring. But..." I've worked for good and bad, some guilty of all listed, some a few. But all were women so I can't compare except in how I see my own actions. How about you?'

Teen Services Questions -- What Does Your Library Offer Teens?

A teenager in Cincinnati (who independently sought out our website) is doing a senior HS project on teen services in libraries. Here's what Kikito writes in his (her?) journal:

"Ok, this is my first time writing a Journal. But I am doing reasearch (sic) on Teen searvices (sic)in the public library and I could use any help getting information on what libraries currently do for teens. Thanks for anyone who can send me some info or point me in the right direction for info."

GregS* and mdoneil posted responses to this query, but if anyone else wants to add a comment, we'll send it along to 'Kikito'. Please mention the size/scope of your library and a few features about what your library offers teens.

Valentine Picks From Salt Lake City Librarians

As we're well aware, Valentine's Day is fast approaching (did you cast your vote in the poll yet?), and for that occasion, the librarians of the Salt Lake City Public Library System (with its glorious facility) have chosen a few romantic selections for their readers.

Among their choices, works by Rainer Maria Rilke, Edgar Allen Poe, Shakespeare and Edna St. Vincent Millay. More from the Salt Lake Tribune .

LISNews readers, care to add your own selections?

Bentonville Friends Have a Booksale

The Read It Again Bookstore in Bentonville, AR, is the library's own second-hand bookstore. Their booksale sold a ton of books in preparation for their move to another location.

Ask LISNews: Booksales are great for fundraising, but why do so many Friends organizations only charge $.50 for books when many new books cost well over $20 these days? What do you think of the pricing?

Should We Move A Million Little Pieces To Fiction?

Karen Writes: "I am just a citizen concerned about the mis-classification of James Frey's "non-fiction novel" A Million Little Pieces. I feel the author and publisher should not be the authority over where the book is positioned in our nation's libraries. I feel it should be re-classified and moved to the fiction shelves. I have written to the American Library Association, but have not received any response. Please tell me if this is a valid endeavor? Am I the only one who cares about the integrity of book classifications in our libraries?

I just feel strongly that unsuspecting library patrons in future years will be mislead by this book if it remains in the non-fiction stacks. The author initially wrote this book and pitched to publishers as a novel and has admitted fabricating key portions. I am saddened that major opinion makers such as Oprah Winfrey say it is no big deal to pass off fiction as fact. I am amazed that librarians have not spoken out in this public debate. But maybe I am alone in my concerns."



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