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Re: [mythsoc] libraries

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  • Joe R. Christopher
    ... Ah, censorship in libraries. It was in my hometown that Ruth Brown was fired as public librarian nominally for having communist literature in the stacks
    Message 1 of 16 , Dec 16, 2004
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      Janet wrote:

      >Message: 13
      > Date: Thu, 16 Dec 2004 12:55:51 -0600
      > From: "Croft, Janet B." <jbcroft@...>
      >Subject: RE: Real Libraries (was: Project MUSE to add Tolkien Studies)
      >
      >Now, I have to object to this, but I guess given that source, that's
      >what one can expect:
      >
      >"To maintain this view we have to ignore the grimly unpleasant American
      >Library Association, which has been engaged in a campaign to keep
      >imaginary FBI agents from poring over library records in search of
      >suspicious reading habits. But apart from the cranky left-wing
      >librarians, our libraries are indeed pleasant places and they testify to
      >some good American qualities. "
      >
      >We are wandering a bit far off topic, but I don't think it's entirely a
      >fantasy that the Patriot Act grants some pretty broad powers that
      >library users should be concerned about! And how pleasant would our
      >libraries be if you felt someone was looking over your shoulder?
      >
      >Janet, proud to be a crakny left-wing librarian by that reporter's
      >definition.

      Ah, censorship in libraries. It was in my hometown that Ruth Brown was
      fired as public librarian nominally for having communist literature in the
      stacks (this was way back when), actually for going into a local drug store
      with two African-American women and asking to be served lunch. Janet, you
      should be aware of the episode since (1) it happened in OKlahoma where
      you're living and (2) O.U. Press published a book about it. (Although the
      author of the book doesn't know it, Brown did have some left-wing
      literature in the library, since I read some of it a few years later when I
      was in highschool.) She also had the Oz books, at a time when Baum et al.
      were not considered good writers. Just think what the McCarthyites could
      have made of Baum.

      --Joe
    • Stolzi
      Here s another article on the subject, raising some other interesting questions: http://www.opinionjournal.com/taste/?id=110006040 For instance: As things
      Message 2 of 16 , Dec 17, 2004
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        Here's another article on the subject, raising some other interesting
        questions:

        http://www.opinionjournal.com/taste/?id=110006040


        For instance: "As things stand, the spending decisions of publishers (and
        librarians) grant a kind of imprimatur to printed works, legitimizing them
        for the sphere of public discourse. Who will fill this function in the
        future? Should anyone? "

        Everyone should feel free to ignore any kind remarks therein about private
        enterprise.

        Our librarian when I was a child had no political opinions I am aware of,
        but fervently believed in astrology. He and my mother shared a birth-month
        and he was always trying to tout her on a book about the glories of being an
        Aquarian.

        I shall always be glad that the children's section had not "got the word"
        and tossed Baum.

        Diamond Proudbrook
      • Croft, Janet B.
        Interesting, to be sure, and the whole Google project is just making public many of the debates we ve had for decades within our own profession. But as David
        Message 3 of 16 , Dec 17, 2004
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          Interesting, to be sure, and the whole Google project is just making
          public many of the debates we've had for decades within our own
          profession. But as David pointed out earlier, you just can't beat the
          efficiency of ink on paper as a stable long-term storage device for
          information, so I can't buy into books going away. And you have to store
          them somewhere and take care of them and have a retrieval system in
          place, so there is still going to be a physical library that consists of
          a collection of physical books.

          Also, with the advent of the personal computer and the internet, we have
          seen the library has become the place where people without home access,
          or who are away from home, can reap the benefits of the information
          explosion or just communicate with friends and family. The economic gap
          between people who can afford access and equipment and people who can't
          shows no signs of disappearing.

          Another point -- Google's project may be worthwhile, and I look forward
          to seeing online texts that even Gutenberg hasn't digitized yet, but
          for research it can't hold a candle to using an actual library website
          where the noise of ads and commercialism have been kept out for the
          user's benefit. And there is the "legitimizing" factor -- a librarian
          has chosen this particular database, based on evaluations of its content
          and organization, and has arranged the library website for efficient
          use, maybe even adding bells and whistles like federated searching and
          article linking, so you know that what you're getting has been evaluated
          in some way, at least at the macro level.

          So while I agree with some of the author's conclusions -- and I hope my
          profession will pay so well someday that people will think I went into
          it for the money! -- I cannot agree that the physical library will ever
          go away. Libraries, and the jobs librarians do, will change, and have
          been changing since libraries were first invented, but I feel there will
          always be a need for a place called the library.

          (Okay, to drag it back to topic: Libraries in science fiction:
          realistic, utopian, or dystopian? Discuss.)


          Janet Brennan Croft
          Head of Access Services
          University of Oklahoma Libraries
          Bizzell 104NW
          Norman OK 73019
          405-325-1918
          Fax 405-325-7618
          jbcroft@...
          http://faculty-staff.ou.edu/C/Janet.B.Croft-1/
          http://libraries.ou.edu/
          ----------------------------------------
          "In early days, I tried not to give librarians any trouble, which was
          where I made my primary mistake. Librarians like to be given trouble;
          they exist for it, they are geared to it. For the location of a mislaid
          volume, an uncatalogued item, your good librarian has a ferret's nose.
          Give her a scent and she jumps the leash, her eye bright with battle."
          Catherine Drinker Bowen (1897-1973), U.S. biographer. Adventures of a
          Biographer, ch. 9 (1959).

          -----Original Message-----
          From: Stolzi [mailto:Stolzi@...]
          Sent: Friday, December 17, 2004 9:10 AM
          To: Mythopoeic Society
          Subject: Re: [mythsoc] libraries


          Here's another article on the subject, raising some other interesting
          questions:

          http://www.opinionjournal.com/taste/?id=110006040


          For instance: "As things stand, the spending decisions of publishers
          (and
          librarians) grant a kind of imprimatur to printed works, legitimizing
          them for the sphere of public discourse. Who will fill this function in
          the future? Should anyone? "

          Everyone should feel free to ignore any kind remarks therein about
          private enterprise.

          Our librarian when I was a child had no political opinions I am aware
          of, but fervently believed in astrology. He and my mother shared a
          birth-month and he was always trying to tout her on a book about the
          glories of being an Aquarian.

          I shall always be glad that the children's section had not "got the
          word"
          and tossed Baum.

          Diamond Proudbrook





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          $4.98 domain names from Yahoo!. Register anything.
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          Links
        • Carl F. Hostetter
          ... Do library websites allow one to search the _contents_ of the library s holdings? Or just the metadata describing the holdings (titles, authors, keywords,
          Message 4 of 16 , Dec 17, 2004
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            On Dec 17, 2004, at 12:23 PM, Croft, Janet B. wrote:

            > Google's project may be worthwhile, and I look forward to seeing
            > online texts that even Gutenberg hasn't digitized yet, but for
            > research it can't hold a candle to using an actual library website
            > where the noise of ads and commercialism have been kept out for the
            > user's benefit.

            Do library websites allow one to search the _contents_ of the library's
            holdings? Or just the metadata describing the holdings (titles,
            authors, keywords, etc.)? Because if one can't search the contents,
            then I don't see how anyone can believe that Google's projected
            database won't be _vastly_ more valuable for research purposes (all
            things being equal, that is: sc., if Google and the library in question
            index the same materials). After all, if I want to research, say, some
            specifics of lenition patterning in the Celtic languages, I'm going to
            turn to Google, not Amazon. And when Google's projected database is in
            place, I would turn to it before I would resort to a card catalogue
            (even an electronic one) or the MLA (again, all things being equal, and
            certainly despite any commercial "noise").


            |======================================================================|
            | Carl F. Hostetter Aelfwine@... http://www.elvish.org |
            | |
            | ho bios brachys, he de techne makre. |
            | Ars longa, vita brevis. |
            | The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne. |
            | "I wish life was not so short," he thought. "Languages take |
            | such a time, and so do all the things one wants to know about." |
            |======================================================================|


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Croft, Janet B.
            Carl asked: Do library websites allow one to search the _contents_ of the library s holdings? Or just the metadata describing the holdings (titles, authors,
            Message 5 of 16 , Dec 17, 2004
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              Carl asked: "Do library websites allow one to search the _contents_ of
              the library's holdings? Or just the metadata describing the holdings
              (titles, authors, keywords, etc.)? Because if one can't search the
              contents, then I don't see how anyone can believe that Google's
              projected database won't be _vastly_ more valuable for research purposes
              (all things being equal, that is: sc., if Google and the library in
              question index the same materials)."

              Well, it depends. In the case of journal articles, yes, in most
              full-text databases you CAN search the actual contents of the electronic
              holdings. The same for electronic books, depending on the vendor
              interface. For books scanned by the library, it depends if we used
              optical character recognition software and what kind of interface we
              provide.

              I'm not saying it won't be a wonderful thing to have these books scanned
              and searchable, because it certainly will be. I just don't think this
              means library catalogs are going to become unnecessary, and that library
              cataloging (when properly detailed) is valuable even when full-text
              searching is available. Standardized index terms can bring resources
              together that you might miss when just searching full-text; a classic
              example would be using the index term "gasoline," which in the library
              catalog would also retrieve British works that only use the term
              "petrol," and which you would miss entirely in a full-text search. Or
              closer to home, what if you're looking for resources about "Gollum" and
              there's a paper that calls him "Smeagol" the whole way through and never
              uses the name "Gollum"? Full-text searching will miss it; an index using
              a standardized vocabulary and a see-also entry will retrieve it.

              Full-text searching and controlled-vocabulary indexing are complementary
              tools; one doesn't make the other obsolete. I'd call Google and the
              library catalog valuable in different ways, depending on the task at
              hand.


              Janet
            • Carl F. Hostetter
              ... With these statements I agree entirely. Different tools suited for different purposes.
              Message 6 of 16 , Dec 17, 2004
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                On Dec 17, 2004, at 3:34 PM, Croft, Janet B. wrote:

                > Full-text searching and controlled-vocabulary indexing are
                > complementary tools; one doesn't make the other obsolete. I'd call
                > Google and the library catalog valuable in different ways, depending
                > on the task at hand.

                With these statements I agree entirely. Different tools suited for
                different purposes.
              • Berni Phillips
                From: Croft, Janet B. ... This is what most concerns me about the emphasis on electronic media over paper-based: it places more of a burden
                Message 7 of 16 , Dec 17, 2004
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                  From: "Croft, Janet B." <jbcroft@...>
                  >
                  > Also, with the advent of the personal computer and the internet, we have
                  > seen the library has become the place where people without home access,
                  > or who are away from home, can reap the benefits of the information
                  > explosion or just communicate with friends and family. The economic gap
                  > between people who can afford access and equipment and people who can't
                  > shows no signs of disappearing.

                  This is what most concerns me about the emphasis on electronic media over
                  paper-based: it places more of a burden on kids whose parents can't afford
                  electronic access at home. Sure, kids can use the computers at the library
                  if they don't have one at home, but they have to be able to get to an open
                  library and find an available computer and do what they need to do in the
                  amount of time allowed. The computers are so in demand at our libraries
                  that kids couldn't do an afternoon of research on them. And libraries are
                  cutting hours and closing entire additional days out here. Books you can
                  check out and take home; computers you can't.

                  > (Okay, to drag it back to topic: Libraries in science fiction:
                  > realistic, utopian, or dystopian? Discuss.)

                  Y'all should read McKillip's latest book, _Alphabet of Thorns_. Its main
                  character is a librarian and it's McKillip's best book in years.

                  Berni (coming out of lurk mode again)
                • Daniel Dimitroff
                  ... On the opposite end, electronic libraries doen t have books that are checked out, overdue or missing from the shelf. They don t close on holidays, early on
                  Message 8 of 16 , Dec 17, 2004
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                    --- Berni Phillips <bernip@...> wrote:

                    > This is what most concerns me about the emphasis on electronic media
                    > over
                    > paper-based: it places more of a burden on kids whose parents can't
                    > afford
                    > electronic access at home. Sure, kids can use the computers at the
                    > library
                    > if they don't have one at home, but they have to be able to get to an
                    > open
                    > library and find an available computer and do what they need to do in
                    > the
                    > amount of time allowed. The computers are so in demand at our libraries
                    > that kids couldn't do an afternoon of research on them. And libraries
                    > are
                    > cutting hours and closing entire additional days out here. Books you
                    > can
                    > check out and take home; computers you can't.

                    On the opposite end, electronic libraries doen't have books that are
                    checked out, overdue or missing from the shelf.

                    They don't close on holidays, early on friday and sunday nights. I don't
                    have to drive there. I don't get fined if my 2-year-old eats the copy I
                    have or it gets dropped off after hours and I get a late fee because the
                    collector the next day missed it sitting in the bottom of the bin.

                    Most people have friends they can call and come over to use their computer
                    if they don't own one themselves.

                    Dan



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                  • Katie Glick
                    I don t think the Google database is a bad thing. I think it will be enormously useful for research purposes and for things like deciding whether a certain
                    Message 9 of 16 , Dec 18, 2004
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                      I don't think the Google database is a bad thing. I think it will be
                      enormously useful for research purposes and for things like deciding
                      whether a certain book is really what you're looking for or not. I
                      wonder how this works with copyright though ... I assume this would
                      only be for public domain material, or for those who volunteer their
                      works for it. I can't imagine Michael Crichton letting his latest be
                      put up on the internet in its entirety for people to access free of
                      charge. And in that case, it makes the research thing a bit iffier.

                      The article I read indicated that while some libraries are making
                      their entire contents available, others are only releasing certain
                      books. I have to think that there will be legal issues surrounding
                      this, because copyright law is very specific about what may and may
                      not be done with library copies of books. I don't remember it so well,
                      but I seem to recall it being limited to patrons making copies (not of
                      a substantial portion of the book) or copying a book that was
                      irreplacable for archival purposes. But that confuses me because I
                      have to imagine that Google is the type of company that would know the
                      legal issues and address them before attempting this so ... <shrug>

                      I highly doubt that this will spell the end of the printed word. It's
                      not that much different than the introduction of mp3s in the music
                      world. It may have hurt record sales (and I think that's do to many
                      factors, not merely the availability of technology) but I haven't
                      noticed that CDs have disappeared. The record store I shop at seems to
                      do a lot of business and in fact, it not only sells CDs, but has quite
                      a large vinyl section, which one would expect to be totally extinct.
                      The only that I don't really see are cassette tapes.

                      There are just so many people who have busy lives that do their
                      reading on the bus, or subway, or at the beach or poolside on
                      vacation. I can maybe see reading on a laptop on the subway, but I
                      can't really see people propping up a laptop on the beach to read
                      their book. I certainly can't read anything long on the internet. I've
                      tried to read books on the internet and it simply doesn't work for me.
                      I think people are pretty stubborn about clinging to older forms even
                      when new technology arrives. I have a DVD player, but I still have my
                      VCR, and my mother still has the Super 8s we filmed when I was a kid.

                      Even if, for some reason, printed collections in libraries dwindle, I
                      have to imagine that at the very least the larger city libraries will
                      still retain their collections and if nothing else, the Library of
                      Congress requires physical copies of copyrighted works to be placed in
                      its archives and I can't see that changing. If nothing else it would
                      be necessary to satisfy certain legal disputes if only electronic
                      copies of things were available elsewhere.

                      So although I have my doubts on how useful or successful this project
                      will be (at least to me personally) I certainly don't see it as the
                      doomsday knell for the printed page. There may be a panic period and
                      an adjustment period, as there was when mp3s and Napster reared their
                      heads, but after legal issues are sorted out and people find new ways
                      to make money, things will balance out and we'll probably continue on
                      with a new way to research alongside the other research methods
                      available.
                    • Christine Howlett
                      Actually, the best long-term storage so far has been chisel on stone. Though I admit you d have to love a novel a LOT to commit it to the ages this way. Paper
                      Message 10 of 16 , Dec 18, 2004
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                        Actually, the best long-term storage so far has been chisel on stone.
                        Though I admit you'd have to love a novel a LOT to commit it to the ages
                        this way. Paper is better than electronic storage certainly, but has been
                        distressingly liable to loss over 3000+ years. Fire, water, insects - too
                        many enemies. It's interesting that the more technology we plug in, the
                        more likely we are to lose what is stored because the medium has become
                        outdated (in decades rather than centuries!), while rock and paper never
                        outdate...
                        Christine
                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: "Croft, Janet B." <jbcroft@...>
                        To: <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
                        Sent: Friday, December 17, 2004 12:23 PM
                        Subject: RE: [mythsoc] libraries


                        >
                        > Interesting, to be sure, and the whole Google project is just making
                        > public many of the debates we've had for decades within our own
                        > profession. But as David pointed out earlier, you just can't beat the
                        > efficiency of ink on paper as a stable long-term storage device for
                        > information, so I can't buy into books going away. And you have to store
                        > them somewhere and take care of them and have a retrieval system in
                        > place, so there is still going to be a physical library that consists of
                        > a collection of physical books.
                        >
                        > Also, with the advent of the personal computer and the internet, we have
                        > seen the library has become the place where people without home access,
                        > or who are away from home, can reap the benefits of the information
                        > explosion or just communicate with friends and family. The economic gap
                        > between people who can afford access and equipment and people who can't
                        > shows no signs of disappearing.
                        >
                        > Another point -- Google's project may be worthwhile, and I look forward
                        > to seeing online texts that even Gutenberg hasn't digitized yet, but
                        > for research it can't hold a candle to using an actual library website
                        > where the noise of ads and commercialism have been kept out for the
                        > user's benefit. And there is the "legitimizing" factor -- a librarian
                        > has chosen this particular database, based on evaluations of its content
                        > and organization, and has arranged the library website for efficient
                        > use, maybe even adding bells and whistles like federated searching and
                        > article linking, so you know that what you're getting has been evaluated
                        > in some way, at least at the macro level.
                        >
                        > So while I agree with some of the author's conclusions -- and I hope my
                        > profession will pay so well someday that people will think I went into
                        > it for the money! -- I cannot agree that the physical library will ever
                        > go away. Libraries, and the jobs librarians do, will change, and have
                        > been changing since libraries were first invented, but I feel there will
                        > always be a need for a place called the library.
                        >
                        > (Okay, to drag it back to topic: Libraries in science fiction:
                        > realistic, utopian, or dystopian? Discuss.)
                        >
                        >
                        > Janet Brennan Croft
                        > Head of Access Services
                        > University of Oklahoma Libraries
                        > Bizzell 104NW
                        > Norman OK 73019
                        > 405-325-1918
                        > Fax 405-325-7618
                        > jbcroft@...
                        > http://faculty-staff.ou.edu/C/Janet.B.Croft-1/
                        > http://libraries.ou.edu/
                        > ----------------------------------------
                        > "In early days, I tried not to give librarians any trouble, which was
                        > where I made my primary mistake. Librarians like to be given trouble;
                        > they exist for it, they are geared to it. For the location of a mislaid
                        > volume, an uncatalogued item, your good librarian has a ferret's nose.
                        > Give her a scent and she jumps the leash, her eye bright with battle."
                        > Catherine Drinker Bowen (1897-1973), U.S. biographer. Adventures of a
                        > Biographer, ch. 9 (1959).
                        >
                        > -----Original Message-----
                        > From: Stolzi [mailto:Stolzi@...]
                        > Sent: Friday, December 17, 2004 9:10 AM
                        > To: Mythopoeic Society
                        > Subject: Re: [mythsoc] libraries
                        >
                        >
                        > Here's another article on the subject, raising some other interesting
                        > questions:
                        >
                        > http://www.opinionjournal.com/taste/?id=110006040
                        >
                        >
                        > For instance: "As things stand, the spending decisions of publishers
                        > (and
                        > librarians) grant a kind of imprimatur to printed works, legitimizing
                        > them for the sphere of public discourse. Who will fill this function in
                        > the future? Should anyone? "
                        >
                        > Everyone should feel free to ignore any kind remarks therein about
                        > private enterprise.
                        >
                        > Our librarian when I was a child had no political opinions I am aware
                        > of, but fervently believed in astrology. He and my mother shared a
                        > birth-month and he was always trying to tout her on a book about the
                        > glories of being an Aquarian.
                        >
                        > I shall always be glad that the children's section had not "got the
                        > word"
                        > and tossed Baum.
                        >
                        > Diamond Proudbrook
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org Yahoo! Groups
                        > Links
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                        > Yahoo! Groups Links
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                      • Berni Phillips
                        From: Daniel Dimitroff ... At a certain income level and higher, yes. But those are not the ones of whom I am speaking. I talk to
                        Message 11 of 16 , Dec 18, 2004
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                          From: "Daniel Dimitroff" <nightcrawler51@...>

                          > Most people have friends they can call and come over to use their computer
                          > if they don't own one themselves.

                          At a certain income level and higher, yes. But those are not the ones of
                          whom I am speaking. I talk to the janitors at work. They're hard-working,
                          Spanish-speaking immigrants with kids, just struggling to pay their rent.
                          They don't have the kinds of friends that own computers.

                          Berni
                        • David Bratman
                          ... That s why I defined paper as the medium of choice for centuries of storage, not millennia. And the paper has to be properly stored and cared for. Even
                          Message 12 of 16 , Dec 18, 2004
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                            Christine wrote:

                            >Actually, the best long-term storage so far has been chisel on stone.
                            >Though I admit you'd have to love a novel a LOT to commit it to the ages
                            >this way. Paper is better than electronic storage certainly, but has been
                            >distressingly liable to loss over 3000+ years.

                            That's why I defined paper as the medium of choice for centuries of
                            storage, not millennia. And the paper has to be properly stored and cared for.

                            Even chiseling on stone will wear away. A panel at a science-fiction
                            convention, asked to consider the question of how best to encode a message
                            to last for millions of years, eventually decided that the most lasting and
                            accurate medium would be DNA.


                            Larry Swain wrote:

                            >Most of us have been around long enough to remember about 8-9 years ago and
                            >the buzz word of the time: "library without walls" and how the Internet was
                            >going to make it possible to do away with the venerable academic library.
                            >Some administrators at some big name universities were in fact advocating
                            >slashing their libraries' budgets in favor of the information on the
                            >Internet. You'll note no doubt that we no longer hear that buzz phrase; and
                            >most library budgets haven't been slashed, but increased since publishing
                            >hasn't gone wholesale into print on demand or e-publishing;

                            Increased, really? That must be nice wherever you are, but in this
                            country, all that's happened is that they've stopped pretending that the
                            cuts aren't going to hurt.

                            >Libraries, as
                            >they did when back in 60s and 70s tapes, followed years later by video tape,
                            >then CDs, which were all going to revoutionize data storage and put an end
                            >to libraries in their day, have absorbed the Internet and made it their own.

                            It's older than that. Microfilm was the Great Answer of the 1950s.
                            Everything was going to be put on microfilm, and older books would no
                            longer be needed.


                            >No matter what media the information takes, one needs information
                            >specialists to access it effectively--and that's what libraries and
                            >librarians do: access a wide range of information across different media and
                            >platforms more effectively than a Google search does and will.

                            Sometimes a Google search is the most effective thing; sometimes it isn't.
                            Sometimes commercial enterprise is the wisest way to accomplish a project;
                            sometimes it isn't. The challenge is conveying to dim-minded enthusiasts
                            of something that, if you think it isn't always the best way, that doesn't
                            mean you're totally against it.


                            Daniel Dimitroff wrote:

                            > Most people have friends they can call and come over to use their computer
                            > if they don't own one themselves.

                            And if they can't afford to buy bread, they can go over to their friend's
                            house and eat cake, yeah.

                            Sorry, but that's the most ignorant and offensive suggestion possible to
                            the problem of the computer-less. "Most people" indeed.

                            David Bratman
                          • Croft, Janet B.
                            Katie Glick said: The article I read indicated that while some libraries are making their entire contents available, others are only releasing certain books. I
                            Message 13 of 16 , Dec 20, 2004
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                              Katie Glick said:

                              The article I read indicated that while some libraries are making their
                              entire contents available, others are only releasing certain books. I
                              have to think that there will be legal issues surrounding this, because
                              copyright law is very specific about what may and may not be done with
                              library copies of books. I don't remember it so well, but I seem to
                              recall it being limited to patrons making copies (not of a substantial
                              portion of the book) or copying a book that was irreplacable for
                              archival purposes. But that confuses me because I have to imagine that
                              Google is the type of company that would know the legal issues and
                              address them before attempting this so ... <shrug>


                              ***As I understand it, the in-copyright books will work that same way as
                              Amazon's "search inside the book" -- you'll be able to get a brief
                              passage with your search terms in context, not the whole book. It might
                              be enough to help you decide if you need the whole book -- or it might
                              not. (Libraries are hedged about with all sorts of laws and agreements
                              about copyright -- it's rather boring if you're not a librarian (and
                              sometimes even if you are), but it you're involved in education or
                              research it can be rather important to you. At my shamelessy
                              self-promoting site
                              http://faculty-staff.ou.edu/C/Janet.B.Croft-1/legalsolutions.htm I have
                              a list of links to useful copyright resources on the web, if you want to
                              find out more.)

                              Janet Croft
                            • Larry Swain
                              - ... Perhaps, but generally the cuts are now across the board at public universities and not directed specifically at getting rid of libraries. Therein for
                              Message 14 of 16 , Dec 20, 2004
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                                ->
                                > Larry Swain wrote:
                                >
                                > > Most of us have been around long enough to remember about 8-9
                                > > years ago and the buzz word of the time: "library without walls"
                                > > and how the Internet was going to make it possible to do away
                                > > with the venerable academic library. Some administrators at some
                                > > big name universities were in fact advocating slashing their
                                > > libraries' budgets in favor of the information on the Internet.
                                > > You'll note no doubt that we no longer hear that buzz phrase; and
                                > > most library budgets haven't been slashed, but increased since
                                > > publishing hasn't gone wholesale into print on demand or
                                > > e-publishing;

                                David replies:
                                > Increased, really? That must be nice wherever you are, but in this
                                > country, all that's happened is that they've stopped pretending that the
                                > cuts aren't going to hurt.

                                Perhaps, but generally the cuts are now across the board at public universities and not directed specifically at getting rid of libraries. Therein for the purposes of this discussion lies a world of difference.


                                > > Libraries, as they did when back in 60s and 70s tapes, followed
                                > > years later by video tape, then CDs, which were all going to
                                > > revoutionize data storage and put an end to libraries in their
                                > > day, have absorbed the Internet and made it their own.
                                >
                                > It's older than that. Microfilm was the Great Answer of the 1950s.
                                > Everything was going to be put on microfilm, and older books would no
                                > longer be needed.

                                True.


                                >
                                > > No matter what media the information takes, one needs information
                                > > specialists to access it effectively--and that's what libraries
                                > > and librarians do: access a wide range of information across
                                > > different media and platforms more effectively than a Google
                                > > search does and will.
                                >
                                > Sometimes a Google search is the most effective thing; sometimes it isn't.

                                Depends on what you're searching. Even when this project is complete, Google can only search what is in its database--it can't search the books on my shelf for me.


                                > Sometimes commercial enterprise is the wisest way to accomplish a project;
                                > sometimes it isn't. The challenge is conveying to dim-minded enthusiasts
                                > of something that, if you think it isn't always the best way, that doesn't
                                > mean you're totally against it.

                                I'm more than well aware of the problem; and regrettably the dim-witted enthusiast is too often in a seat with the reins.

                                Larry

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                              • Croft, Janet B.
                                Joe Christopher said: It was in my hometown that Ruth Brown was fired as public librarian nominally for having communist literature in the stacks (this was way
                                Message 15 of 16 , Dec 21, 2004
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                                  Joe Christopher said:

                                  It was in my hometown that Ruth Brown was fired as public librarian
                                  nominally for having communist literature in the stacks (this was way
                                  back when), actually for going into a local drug store with two
                                  African-American women and asking to be served lunch. Janet, you should
                                  be aware of the episode since (1) it happened in OKlahoma where you're
                                  living and (2) O.U. Press published a book about it.

                                  ***Neat! I've seen it in the OU Press catalog, but now that I know more
                                  about it I'll have to read it!

                                  Janet





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                                • dianejoy@earthlink.net
                                  One thing I was curious about with *For Us, The Living*: I hear tell Heinlein had more of a pro-socialist stance in that book. Apparently he learned better.
                                  Message 16 of 16 , Jan 5, 2005
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                                    One thing I was curious about with *For Us, The Living*: I hear tell
                                    Heinlein had more of a pro-socialist stance in that book. Apparently he
                                    learned better. Did you notice anything on that? ---djb

                                    Original Message:
                                    -----------------
                                    From: Stolzi Stolzi@...
                                    Date: Fri, 17 Dec 2004 09:09:35 -0600
                                    To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                                    Subject: Re: [mythsoc] libraries



                                    Here's another article on the subject, raising some other interesting
                                    questions:

                                    http://www.opinionjournal.com/taste/?id=110006040


                                    For instance: "As things stand, the spending decisions of publishers (and
                                    librarians) grant a kind of imprimatur to printed works, legitimizing them
                                    for the sphere of public discourse. Who will fill this function in the
                                    future? Should anyone? "

                                    Everyone should feel free to ignore any kind remarks therein about private
                                    enterprise.

                                    Our librarian when I was a child had no political opinions I am aware of,
                                    but fervently believed in astrology. He and my mother shared a birth-month
                                    and he was always trying to tout her on a book about the glories of being an
                                    Aquarian.

                                    I shall always be glad that the children's section had not "got the word"
                                    and tossed Baum.

                                    Diamond Proudbrook






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