this is, okay?
links : about : contact
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where I'll be
28apr... ASIS, Cambridge
20jun... ALA
14aug... PNLA, Boise

A librarian is a service occupation, gas station attendant to the mind. In an earlier age, I might have made things. Now I only make things available
- Richard Powers

search me:
NY & LA Times login
user: corporatemedia
pass: stillsucks

Hi. Regular updates resume tomorrow, but oh my gosh I got elected to ALA Council [you can tell it's the new me because I'm trying very hard not to swear or "blaspheme"]! Thanks very much to all who voted for me, I'm truly honored.
Hi. The talk went well but either I was exceptionally hard on myself or it didn't go that well. Maybe it was more that Steven and Jenny and Ran and Greg all did really super talks so it was tough to keep up. I am feeling a little road-stupid after the long drive from Seattle to Boston. In any case, it was a lot of fun and updates here should resume today or tomorrow. Notes for the talk are here [like my powerpoint emulating CSS?]
Hi. I should be leaving on Monday, possibly offline here for as long as a week. Also dealing with some medical stuff [link here fyi] which has made me distracted. Please come see me in Boston if you can.
ALA wrote back to me finally. Not entirely boilerplate but not far off.
A really good, astute critique of the ALA redesign, from the perspective of finding information from our many print publications that live someplace at
Presenting the new [ALA website] struck me as if a dietetic nurse would pontificate about health issues over munching a Big Mac with extra cheese and mayo, or as the Hungarian saying puts it succinctly: preaching water, drinking wine. [ thanks tj ]
Rory also has some input, from his position as the chair of the Web Site Advisory Committee
The dirty little secret about book publishing. Sales are down and we don't even know how far down because no one's telling. [ thanks jonathan ]
It's that time of the year again.... peeps at the library. [ thanks katia ]
The US 107th Congress was the recipient of a Thomas Jefferson Muzzle Award for abridging everyone's -- and especially librarians' -- freedom of speech.[ thanks joan ]
Meanwhile, also in DC, activists fight to save the Mies-built MLK library from Big Beautiful Libraryitis
Mies once said, "God is in the details," and gazing across the reading room, Gosswein encounters the divine. God is in the large glass windows that allow patrons to simultaneously read books and "dialogue with the city." God is in the ratio of shelf space to floor space. God is in the black-metal bookshelves. [ thanks ron & julie ]
Maybe Congress's whole point is that they just want people to stop using the public library; an uninformed populace is easily led. Here's one woman's story why she doesn't want to go to the library anymore.
When adult college students have to worry about whether their use of the school library is being monitored by the government, you can't help but wonder what's next here in The Land of the Free.
I hope you've all already seen this: My parents went to and all I got was this crappy URL.
PATRIOT Watch: Arcata CA passes a law outlawing local officials from cooperating with PATRIOT Act investigations that interfere with the bill of rights. Complicated and possibly unconstitutional, but good show, nonetheless! [ thanks lis ]
Is it me, or do all these "we're going to build a new library" articles start to sound the same after a while? [ thanks carolyn ]
Is the quest towards populism the death knell for libraries? One library histiorian chimes in. [ thanks don ]
The rockabilly librarian has a new blog and contemplates the oversexed nature of his library.
It also strikes me that Get Caught Reading Month [coming up in May] is just another excuse for cross-branding. How many brands can you spot in this page of celebrities? Then again, I guess cross-branding is all the rage lately. [ lisnews ]
The Federal Librarian of the Year award went pretty much unnoticed.
Hey hey, the LACK website has a new FAQ. Accessible at this new handy ALA-friendly URL: help/cgi-bin/jss/asp/rss/wtf/questions/frequently_asked/frequently_asked_questions/ faq/faq_frequently_asked_questions_index.htm [ thanks katia ]
Hi. I'll be doing that move to the other coast thing next Monday. Likely no updates for that week.
Marylaine did what I could never do, critique the new ALA website without [much] vitriol. Plus, she calls me "respected."
Hey, "librarian chic" is the word of the day over at WordSpy. [ thanks kris ]
Here's an old but excellent article by Walt Crawford about the future of libraries and technology, from back in 1992.
Librarianship will die if librarians kill it off. If you think you’re doomed and act as though you’re irrelevant—well, then, you are. More’s the pity for the poor everyday user.
PATRIOT Watch: Do you think people will pay more attention to the PATRIOT Act now that PayPal is getting busted for non-compliance? Meanwhile, more libraries are posting warnings to patrons.
Completely impersonal and yet oddly compelling bookblog: Odd Things in Pitt's Libraries.
I have very very mixed feelings about the pictures of people looting the libraries of Iraq.
AskERIC is not on the "to be funded" list of ERIC's next statement of work. If you use ERIC, the Clearinghouse on Information and Technology or subscribe to LM_NET this may be of interest to you. [ thanks danianne ]
Library school saved at U of AZ!
Hi. Just a little bit of wordplay today.
information wants to be free.
wanting information is freeing.
information freely wanted.
is wanting information free?
free information is wanting.
wanted, free information!
When I went to the ALA website's advanced search page to try to find some URLS that are MIA, I found I had a choice of over 130 click boxes to "help" me with my search. You can then get to the search button after scrolling through three screen-pages of these boxes.
How to get to the Library Bill of Rights in six easy clicks. The non-hyperlinked site map of the ALAOIF is really a must-see.
By clicking each heading and subheading, you obtain a "breadcrumb" trail, such as Home ---> Our Association ---> Offices ---> Intellectual Freedom ---> Statements and Policies ---> Other Policies and Guidelines, or Home ---> Our Association ---> Offices ---> Intellectual Freedom ---> Statements and Policies ---> Library Bill of Rights
In case you are curious, here's a brief history of the ALA Website from 1997.
Save Farscape. Fans of the sci-fi TV show are working hard to give free tapes of the show on VHS or DVD to public libraries. [ thanks kelly ]

PATRIOT Watch: frequent link contributor Lis goes to a meeting about the Act and summarizes her thoughts, the good, bad, odd and ugly.
"There is only one place to find out; one place that will give us some clue, some understanding of our present terrors. It's the library, stupid. And may there be a special curse on those who have the hubris and indecency to pervert it from a repository of knowledge into a spying platform."
Did you know that Gale has bought 18 other companies in the past four years? And they own the microfilm of Winston Churchill's private papers. [ thanks thomas ]

A site showcasing ugly bridesmaid dresses has this one filed under "librarian" [ thanks anna ]

What to do when Click and Clack keep a book out too long from the library. [ thanks don ]

If you are a gamer, you might be interested in the Dewey's Decimal mod for Penultima 2.
Since June 2002 state funding for [Colorado's] libraries has been cut by 86 percent
Hi. Can you all do me a big favor? Do not send President Bush email or articles from the New York Times website when you are using the login. OK? Thanks. Also, I voted for myself for ALA Council today, please consider voting for me. How about that random order of names on the ballot? Finding myself on that list was almost like trying to find anything on the new ALA website.
Here is a potentially offensive cartoon about Laura Bush, speaking of: Please Read to A Dead Iraqui Child. [ thanks jonathan ]

PATRIOT Watch: Republicans want to make the Act's expanded powers permanent. [ thanks chris ]

PATRIOT Watch: more FBI hijinx, some pre-dating the Act itself.
Time to load the ALA home page today: 38 seconds. But don't take my word for it, just ask Chris Zamarelli. a virtual reference service for Illinois residents, debuts this week. They have a snappy look and a very informative About Us page [and such a short URL too!]. [ thanks dina ]

Hi. I wrote ALA a note about their new website. Notable points: the 73-screen-long sitemap and this 250-character URL. Can you imagine being the hapless fool who has to read that to someone over the phone? I am not responsible for any and all broken links to ALA addresses on this site up to the present day. You can email them, or try, at
To get an idea of what ALA is up against [or how little they think of their constituency] please do not miss reading the new site FAQ.
Q. How do I reset my bookmarks with the new site?
The process for setting bookmarks has not changed. Please follow your browser’s instructions for deleting and setting bookmarks.
But don't take my word for it, just ask Karen Schneider. [ thanks katia ]

Miniature book library: an ongoing collaborative mail art project.
Fun distraction, see if you can identify some of Loganberry Book's book stumpers. This is a super smart idea: have people collaborate to help identify books that people are looking for. A small up front fee and the best stumper-solvers win books as prizes.
Seymour Lubetzky, called "the finest mind of the twentieth century devoted to the discipline of cataloging" RIP. He was 104. [ thanks dave ]

Website glitch, or just a general sign of disdain for members... ALA Privacy Statement links to not-yet-functional communication preferences page. I guess they get to sell my personal data to spammers until they get that running, eh?
New ALA website debuts at the beginning of National Library Week. Customer service open extra hours to help people use it. Say goodbye to easy-to-understand URLs. Say hello to over 50 front page images, non-Mac fonts, and browser conflicts.
Perl script to pull a list of books you have checked out from the San Francisco Peninsula Library system. It will even email you to warn you if they are about to be overdue. Seattle Public claims they will also do this, but I don't trust them with my email address. [ thanks aaron ]

Speaking of not trusting SPL, they are still not warning patrons of privacy risks under the PATRIOT Act despite a city council resolution urging them to do so.
SPL also won an architectural award for their temporary library which is only in use until they can get the Big Beautiful Library built. [ thanks bill ]

PATRIOT Watch: some libraries are using shredders to get rid of non-essential documents, should the FBI ever come to town. [ NYT, thanks all ]

Libraries remember September 11: a call for libraries to stay open 24 hours on 9/11/03. [ thanks jennifer ]

Hi. I got endorsed by the Feminist Task force of SRRT and Mark Rozenzweig for ALA Council.
Overdue becomes Unshelved and gets a new look.
It's budgeting time for libraries. In Ohio apparently there is a massive budget cut hitting the libraries while at the same time OhioReads [not a library program] is getting 30mil. [ thanks leisl ]

Thought about giving up books for lent?
How selling a library is like selling a kidney on eBay.
[Branch director] Elish has said that if buildings are too troublesome to update or renovate, his priority is “to get value for them,” [ thanks rachel ]

Meanwhile the Washington State library is suffering "only" 20% cuts instead of the Governor's proposed 58% cuts. Keep in mind that this is on top of 13% funding cuts from last year. And forget money for needed library renovations.
Hi. To the person or people that took advantage of LJ's atrocious URLs and created the fake URL for yesterday's supposed Library Journal April Fools joke: I want to buy you a beer. Best hack this year. More on the technique used.
April Fools has always been scary, not funny to me. At least some people are up front about it. Anything else I link today is likely a joke.
And some one-off headlines. [jokes, not pranks]:

Library Card Catalog Transformed into Japanese Style Micro-Hotel. Circulation Staff Will Provide Wake-Up Calls and Continental Breakfast upon Request
Head of Library: "I Picked The Wrong Day to Quit Sniffing Library Paste" [ thanks chris ]

Under new powers granted by the USA PATRIOT Act, the government is replacing National Library Week with National Security Week. And you're not allowed to tell anyone about it. [ lisfeeds ]

LISNews to purchase Library Stuff.
V-chip rating system extended to books
Some skeptical parents think children might start hangingout in libraries -- where they can still read books theyaren't allowed to borrow. Still, to many parents, the newsystem gives a parent more control over what their child readsthan is the case without this technology.
Google Blog RIP. [ thanks steven ]

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