Archive for July, 2003


University and Public Library

Via ResourceShelf is a story about the first co-managed city/university library in the US. Often the real amount of public access available at your nearest university library is quietly overlooked, though you are most likely able to use their collection as you wish. At least at state universities. In fact, I plan on going to the UW library this weekend to do some Library research.

It will be interesting to see how this joint venture succeeds. There are already many combination public/public school Libraries in place. There is also some debate as to how much this kind of facility/collection/expertise sharing waters down the work Librarians do. Plus there is the issue of the survival of each distinct type of institution. The school Library isn?t the public Library, that?s for sure. Sure, they might have beautiful kids, but they just aren?t the same creature.


Only A Little Funny

This story reads like an academic soap opera gone horribly awry. Was it censorship? Was it a protectionary action? Who knows. At least parts of it are funny.
Two points worth noting:
1. One of the main characters is really and truly named Dr. Fudge.
2. Just imagine the holocaust was made up and didn?t really occur. The point of ?the story? would not be ANY less valid than it is as non-fiction. Mans inhumanity to man and power drunk hate mongers with violent philosophies must not be allowed to hold power. Even as fiction the holocaust is one of the most moving cautionary tales imaginable. Don?t burn the journal, get the point.

Via L.A.C.K. and the NZ Herald.

Now I wonder if a post about the holocaust, a ?book burning? scandal, and Dr. Fudge will get me more than three comments. :)



The Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) in Washington, DC actually had a budget increase this year. Surprise! Does anyone else wonder how federal policies towards state-wide library issues would change if DC weren?t it?s own separate governmental district, but part of a state? I?ll bet that state library wouldn?t have a budget shortage.

At any rate, a new set of grants from the IMLS are aiming to help Native American Libraries thrive and grow. I have visited and worked in many such Libraries in the Southwest and can testify that these sorts of funds are much needed.

Having seen some of the issues in these Native communities more than the average person from the ?dominant culture? (a perfect phrase I learned on these Native American Access to Technology Program trips), I can say that there are also other issues in these locations that also need cash flow very badly. Librarians less than average, but most people with an Internet connection would be very shocked to see some of the situations people on ?the rez? have been made to live in.

Given my experiences with Native American communities and Libraries, I guess the main point of this post is that it seems utterly ridiculous to me that any organization serving a dire need or priceless service to their community has to scramble at all for funding. It mystifies me why folks like this don?t already have the monies they deserve. Unfortunately, many of the neediest communities and libraries aren?t connected or organized enough to go through such a process. (It’s why I plug WebJunction and ALA and the other sites mentioned on this site and is also part of why I post to the blog in the first place.)

Having expressed dismay, the things IMLS does are generally quite admirable. If you want to see what IMLS has done in your state, check this link. If you don?t know their work already, you might be surprised.


Go For It, Tiger!

Three more links to light your Library fire. Not in a book burning kind of way or anything! More of a inspiration/tool thing. Check ‘em out if they sound interesting:

Libraries Build Sustainable Communities Workbook

Advocating for Better Salaries and Pay Equity Toolkit

Library Advocate’s Handbook


Get Recognized and Win!

Are You a Public Access Super Star? Get your hard work recognized and win an award you can be supremely proud to publicize and display. I’ve said it before and it is still true, this WebJunction stuff is the way to go. If you haven’t already, check them out and join in. What a resource! A resource that will improve with your participation. Yeah, that?s right, YOU! And it really is Library stuff, all day, 24-7. It really is free too, absolutely no strings even remotely attached. C?mon folks, this is as hard a sell as you?ll ever get from me.


Digital Divide Network

Do you know about The Digital Divide Network? ?There has always been a gap between those people and communities who can make effective use of information technology and those who cannot. Now, more than ever, unequal adoption of technology excludes many from reaping the fruits of the economy.? When I started working with the Gates Foundation US Library Program four years ago, the program was often conversationally referred to as a domestic Peace Corps for technology. The folks at The Digital Divide Network seem to work to help carry that mantle internationally.

Also found a great and familiar story written by Wanda Gardner, the Director or the Decorah Public Library. She talks about sustainability, community building and technology. My favorite Library issues! If only she talked about training too! :)

I found these pages via a link from Kathleen de la Pe?a McCook (what a cool name!) and the latest issue of ALAET (A Librarian at Every Table). Kathleen sends out a short ALAET email just about every week that discusses Librarians and community building.


Blogathon 2003

Blogathon 2003
?During the Blogathon, people update their websites every 30 minutes for 24 hours straight. For this, they collect sponsorships. Pledges can be a flat donation, or a certain amount for every hour the blogger manages to stay awake.? Even if you just want to enjoy the spectacle, mark your calendar for July 26th. Everything starts at 6:00am Pacific Time.

Also noteworthy is the fact that several of the participating bloggers are earning money for Book Aid International, which works to provide books, training and support to public libraries in Africa.


Librarian As Action Figure

I was going to work up a post on the new Librarian Action Figure, but she is popping up all over the place. Check out Library Planet’s quick summary with links if you are interested.

Archie McPhee’s is largely responsible for this little doll, so if you like it, or if you just don’t get it, talk to them. Also, because this blog has been called a place where Libraries and PEZ collide, check out the article I wrote for The PEZ Collectors News about Archie McPhee’s. What is up with that formatting anyway? At any rate if you are ever in Seattle you might seriously consider visiting them, it’ll suck up an hour but you’ll get lost in the goofiness and you’ll be in Ballard, one of Seattle’s best neighborhoods.


Library Related Blog Article

SLIS Blog Story
Blogging: Digital Davids In An Internet Goliathy Diane J. Squire
SLIS Network, Alumni Magazine
Spring 2003

If you have a blog, or more specifically a Library related blog, you will likely enjoy parts of this article a great deal. More importantly, if you run a Library related blog and some of your friends and family don?t get it, you can point them here. The article is written in an easy to understand manner and should clarify for your kin folks what your conversations might not have transmitted. Yeah, that’s right, I said “kin folk”.

Especially noteworthy is the ??Librarians and Blogging?? section of the article. Much of this section is taken from an interview with Jenny Levine, of (a site you might enjoy visiting if you haven?t already/lately). This section starts off with this quote:
?Since librarians are the information navigators of all things print and Web, it’s no wonder that they are embracing blogs as a way to communicate with their peers in a timely way.?. Show that quote to your uncle and he might fianlly understand why you work on your blog “business” so much.

Nice work, Jenny and Diane.


MCFL Book Cart Precision Drill Team

The Marin County Free Library Book Cart Precision Drill Team
What a fun way to get seen in a parade. The site even has a video of their Olympic style synchronization. Impressive. :)

Update: Greg over at Open Stacks kindly pointed out out in the comments that there is a Library Book Cart Precision Drill Team Manual! The Library world just gets cooler and cooler.

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