Library Juice 5:19 - May 16, 2002
- Library on Wheels for Non-Violence and Peace (LOWNP)
- At The Margin
- On Despising Genres
- "Literary Lynching:" When Readers Censor Writers
- Andy Rooney's 10 observations on libraries
- Alternative press: Radical pubs to zany zines
- Creative Commons
- Mexican police suppress pirated CD sales, riot ensues
- Media Literacy: An alternative to Censorship
- The Dignity Commission and the Case of the "Salamanca Blood Papers"
- Central Booking "best/worst library experiences"
- The IFLA Internet Manifesto
- RadCat discussion on Hennepin County's de-Bermanification
- Photos from the PLG gathering in NYC
Quote for the week:
"Censorship is to art as lynching is to justice."
Henry Louis Gates, Chair, African American Studies, Harvard University
Homepage of the week: Dan Cherubin
1. Library on Wheels for Non-Violence and Peace (LOWNP)
is a project that operates within Palestine.
The LOWNP visits more than 100 locations throughout the West Bank,
distributing/loaning children's books in Arabic to Palestinian children
in isolated villages.
You can find out more about LOWNP upon the following websites:
It seems that --given the present situation within
Palestine, -- LOWNP might need a lot of our help right now.
LIBRARY ON WHEELS
For Non-violence and Peace (LOWNP)
PO. Box 20961, Jerusalem 91202, Israel
Tel: (972) 2 583 5146
Fax: (972) 2 583 5127
Mobile Phone: 050 998 004
2. At The Margin
Details, often bizarre and obscure, from the world of books
From the website:
At The Margin, which was started under the aegis of Avenue Victor Hugo
Bookshop, is a monthly e-mail newsletter about books. It is usually about a
dozen screens of eclectic text on everything from Jane Austen to the state
of e-books, plus a lot of interesting web links. It often includes messages
from its subscribers, all of whom are well-spoken and intelligent, some of
whom are famous.
The back issues of At The Margin are archived here (they generally get put
here within a week after they are posted to the e-mail list), and you can
reach them by the live links below.
If you want to subscribe to At The Margin and receive it as soon as it is
available, send plain-text e-mail to avhnewsletter-request[at]shore.net with
the word "subscribe" in the body of the message (omit quote marks).
Back issues are available online at:
At the Margin is by Floyd Kemske.
3. On Despising Genres
By Ursula K. LeGuin
....Division of fiction into genres is like all classification, useful -
useful to readers who like fiction of certain kind or about certain
subjects and want to know where to find it in a bookstore or library; and
useful to critics and students and Common Readers who have realised that
not all fictions are written in the same way with the same aesthetic
Genre has no use at all as a value category and should never be used as
But the concept or category of genre is used to evaluate fiction unread. To
sort out the real books - that is, realistic fiction - from the
"subliterature" - that is, everything else - every other kind of fiction
written in this century. Everything but realism, including the very oldest
and most widespread forms of story such as fantasy, gets shoved into a
4. "Literary Lynching:" When Readers Censor Writers
By Dorothy Bryant
Currently serialized http://www.holtuncensored.com
An excerpt from the introduction:
When we talk about censorship, we usually mean the silencing of writers by
ruling powers, religious or secular: Galileo's life and Salmon Rushdie's
life threatened by religious authorities; Gustave Flaubert, James Joyce,
D.H. Lawrence, Allen Ginzberg, etc. dragged into court for "indecency"; a
whole generation of writers terrorized or killed by Stalin or Hitler or Mao
or dozens of lesser dictators. These are the most serious threats to
writers, but not the only ones, and not the only ways to suppress a book.
William Styron said, "There have been very few writers of any
stature who have not been subjected to a great deal of abuse." Any serious
writer endures mean-spirited reviews, angry family and friends, irrational
misreaders, and assorted cranks with personal agendas. These are all normal
hazards of the job. "If you can't take the heat..." as the politicians say.
Nobody forces us writers to publish our thoughts. But when the abuse goes
beyond the expected heat, it can become an unofficial attempt at censorship
resembling the spontaneous, irrational gathering of a lynch mob.
Literary lynching often begins with a furiously irresponsible
attack by a reviewer. So far, situation normal - the attack should just
sputter out or become a controversy - that is, a heated exchange of
differing opinions. But it doesn't. Instead, the reaction against the
author spreads, sparking attacks that distort or reinvent the contents of
the book and throw whatever nasty labels are current ("traitor," "racist,"
"pornographer") at the author. These labels are then spread by people who
have never read the book (and may even make statements vowing not to).
Unofficial blacklisting by bookstores and libraries may follow. All these
attacks are abetted by silence or even by half-hearted agreement from
respected people who know the accusations are lies. Even worse can be the
silent withdrawal of friends, acquaintances, and even family. This silence
can be more shocking to the author (and more lonely) than official
government suppression. "Not what our enemies did," as Hannah Arendt put
it, "but what our friends did." Worst of all - especially for us readers -
may be the effect on the injured author's work. She or he may be unable to
write for a time or may be knocked off course by emotions, and write
something that detours from the real strength of his or her talent.
Why would a book trigger, not an argument, but a widespread,
spontaneous effort to obliterate it, and sometimes even the author?
Sometimes the author has written a truth that many people know but are
unwilling to see revealed. But sometimes the book exposes nothing - it
simply happens to come out at a moment in history when widespread fear and
anger are seeking release, and the book becomes a target - a scapegoat in
the most primitive sense of the word.....
5. Andy Rooney's 10 observations on libraries
This cute piece ends with the following:
© MMII, CBS Worldwide Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Hence, the bare link, which I hope they don't mind, as it is one of those
6. Alternative press: Radical pubs to zany zines
Star Tribune Published May 13, 2002
Want a quick trip to the radical underground?
File through the cabinet of self-produced magazines called "zines," and
you'll find passionate screeds about private lives ("Parking Lot Dude"),
feminism ("Bloody Since Birth") and literature ("Elvis is Dead But at Least
He's Not Gaining Weight"). Or pluck books such as "Class War" or "Zapata's
Revenge" off the shelf.
All are part of an extensive alternative-press collection being developed
at what may seem an unlikely place: the Minneapolis Community and Technical
College (MCTC) library.
Here you'll find books that would never grace Oprah's list. The collection
has a "leftist, progressive slant" with radical-right publications
sprinkled in for leavening, said librarian Thomas Eland who, with
colleagues Julie Setnosky and Anne Ryan, is assembling the collection....
7. Creative Commons
A group of law and technology scholars are setting up a nonprofit company
that will develop ways for artists, writers and others to easily designate
their work as shareable. The firm's founders argue that recent expansions in
intellectual property law could stifle creativity. The new company, called
Creative Commons, will work on clearly identifying material that is meant to
be shared. By making it easier to place material in the public domain,
Creative Commons hopes to encourage more people to do so. "It's a way to
mark the spaces people are allowed to walk on," said Lawrence Lessig,
leading intellectual property expert. Lessig will take a partial leave from
Stanford Law School to serve as chairman of Creative Commons.
[SOURCE: The New York Times; AUTHOR: Amy Harmon]
[from the Benton ComPolicy list]
8. Mexican police suppress pirated CD sales, riot ensues
The original A-INFOS report:
Later reports from the mainstream press:
What happened was, police went into a market in the Chiapas town of San
Cristobal de las Casas to break up sales of pirated CD's, which are the
only kind the people there can afford. So, the people in the market had a
riot with the police. The clash over copyright has drawn blood now.
(This happened on March 7th.)
9. Media Literacy: An alternative to Censorship
by Marjorie Heins & Christina Cho
"A detailed (and lively) survey of media literacy education and why it
is far preferable to TV ratings, Internet filters, "indecency" laws, and
other efforts to censor the ideas and information available to the
young. Includes five recommendations for public policies to advance
Marjorie Heins is speaking at the ALA Intellectual Freedom Round Table,
Intellectual Freedom Committee, and Division Intellectual Freedom
Committees program "Not in Front of the Children: 'Indecency,'
Censorship, and the Innocence of Youth.
The program is scheduled on Saturday, June 15, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., at
the Georgia World Convention Center, B406/B407, during the 2002 ALA
Annual Conference in Atlanta.
From indecency laws to Internet filters, censorship exercised on behalf
of children and adolescents is often based on the assumption that they
must be protected from controversial information or ideas. In recent
years, this rarely examined assumption has produced a series of
censorship laws restricting sexual expression online or-particularly
troublesome for libraries-mandating the installation of filters on
school and library computers. Taking off from her book, "Not in Front
of the Children," Marjorie Heins will recount some especially poignant,
instructive, or comic moments in the history of "indecency" laws and
other restrictions aimed at shielding youth from expression that is
deemed "harmful" or inappropriate. She will also survey the current,
rather baleful state of minors' First Amendment rights, including recent
school censorship problems such as "abstinence-only" sex education.
Marjorie Heins is the director of the Free Expression Policy Project at
the National Coalition Against Censorship, New York, NY, and author of
"Not in Front of the Children: 'Indecency,' Censorship, and the
Innocence of Youth," which was honored with the American Library
Association/Intellectual Freedom Round Table's 2002 Eli M. Oboler
Memorial Award for the best published work in the area of intellectual
10. The Dignity Commission and the Case of the "Salamanca Blood Papers".
Archivists and Historians from the universities of Catalonia have joined
together to form the Dignity Commission that aims to expose the fact that
documents stolen by Franco's army in 1939, have not been returned to their
rightful owners: they include the Archives of the Catalan Government,
University Libraries, Trade Unions, political groups etc. These documents
were taken for police scrutiny in 1939 and thousands ofd democrats suffered
reprisals of uncalculable consequences at the hands of the Franco
dictatorship. Hence the name "The Salamanca Blood Papers".
The Commission is looking for support among academics the world. We want
to convince the Spanish authorities of the need to return the documents. So
far the demands of the Catalan institutions have met with no response since
the first appeals were made in 1978. Nor are UNESCO criteria urging for the
return to their owners of documents displaced in time of war or conflict
born in mind by the current Spanish authorities.
Our campaign has been very successful. We are pleased to be able to say
that over 400 intellectuals, academics, historians and archivists
throughout the world, led by professors Noam Chomsky, Paul Preston (LSE),
Howard Zinn (Boston University), Jim Flynn (Otago University, NZ), Ulisses
Moulines (Munich University), Alan Yates (Liverpool University), Till
Stegman (Frankfurt University) have brought forward their signatures to
support their colleagues in Catalonia, Spain. Professor Paul Preston has
recently decribed the Spanish Government's position as a "scandal" and
other professors have described this situation as "one of the last great
unrighted offences of fascist Europe
What can be done about this affront? The Dignity Commission seeks the
support of archivists and academics throughout the world -including your
country-, in the quest for justice. Catalan historians and archivists want
the documents that a fascist army stole to be handed back. We also wish to
denounce the fact that in October part of these documents is to go on show
at the "Salamanca Culture City programme", without any form of consent
being sought from the rightful owners of the papers. It is a case of
humiliation in its most authentic.
We would very much like your personal support or that of the organization
you belong to. We can send you further information in the form of a more
complete report if you so require. Please send your support to
Antony Strubell MA (Oxon). Coordinator of the Dignity Commission Campaign.
11. Central Booking "best/worst library experiences"
have you seen this?
Date: Fri, 10 May 2002 08:02:27 -0500
From: "Sheila Bankhead" <bankhead[at]nwrls.lib.fl.us>
The weekly LII new web sites newsletter included Central Booking this
week. While I was surfing there, I came across this forum on
libraries...I knew the public perception of us was bad, but this bad?
and they have no clue as to how libraries are funded...
Here's a web page on The Forums at Central Booking.com (
http://www.centralbooking.com/ ) that you may be interested in reading:
--Sheila W. Bankhead Northwest Regional Library System Head of Reference Panama City, Florida
Heisenberg: Swerve left, swerve right, or think about it and
die. Michael Frayn, Copenhagen Act Two.
Central Booking: Read Like Crazy...
This site, which concentrates on contemporary adult fiction,
constitutes a "webzine, an online community space covering
the world of contemporary literature for the opinionated,
discerning bibliophile." Essays, featured author biographies
and interviews, book news, a free weekly Internet update
newsletter, user forums, and links to related Web sites and to
authors' home pages are here. Check Nightstand for weekly
book recommendations and reviews. Of special interest: the
diverse links under Reader Resources. Searchable.
From Librarians Index to the Internet - http://lii.org/
12. The IFLA Internet Manifesto
Le Manifeste IFLA pour Internet: http://www.ifla.org/III/misc/im-f.htm
Das IFLA Internet-Manifest: http://www.ifla.org/III/misc/im-g.htm
Russian translation: http://www.ifla.org/III/misc/im-r.pdf
Manifiesto sobre Internet de la IFLA: http://www.ifla.org/III/misc/im-s.htm
Unhindered access to information is essential to freedom, equality, global
understanding and peace. Therefore, the International Federation of
Library Associations (IFLA) asserts that:
- Intellectual freedom is the right of every individual both to hold and
express opinions and to seek and receive information; it is the basis of
democracy; and it is at the core of library service.
- Freedom of access to information, regardless of medium and frontiers, is
a central responsibility of the library and information profession.
- The provision of unhindered access to the Internet by libraries and
information services supports communities and individuals to attain
freedom, prosperity and development.
- Barriers to the flow of information should be removed, especially those
that promote inequality, poverty, and despair.
Freedom of Access to Information, the Internet and Libraries and
Libraries and information services are vibrant institutions that connect
people with global information resources and the ideas and creative works
they seek. Libraries and information services make available the richness
of human expression and cultural diversity in all media.
The global Internet enables individuals and communities throughout the
world, whether in the smallest and most remote villages or the largest
cities, to have equality of access to information for personal development,
education, stimulation, cultural enrichment, economic activity and informed
participation in democracy. All can present their interests, knowledge and
culture for the world to visit.
Libraries and information services provide essential gateways to the
Internet. For some they offer convenience, guidance, and assistance, while
for others they are the only available access points. They provide a
mechanism to overcome the barriers created by differences in resources,
technology, and training.
Principles of Freedom of Access to Information via the Internet
Access to the Internet and all of its resources should be consistent with
the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and especially
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right
includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive
and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of
The global interconnectedness of the Internet provides a medium through
which this right may be enjoyed by all. Consequently, access should
neither be subject to any form of ideological, political or religious
censorship, nor to economic barriers.
Libraries and information services also have a responsibility to serve all
of the members of their communities, regardless of age, race, nationality,
religion, culture, political affiliation, physical or other disabilities,
gender or sexual orientation, or any other status.
Libraries and information services should support the right of users to
seek information of their choice.
Libraries and information services should respect the privacy of their
users and recognize that the resources they use should remain confidential.
Libraries and information services have a responsibility to facilitate and
promote public access to quality information and communication. Users
should be assisted with the necessary skills and a suitable environment in
which to use their chosen information sources and services freely and
In addition to the many valuable resources available on the Internet, some
are incorrect, misleading and may be offensive. Librarians should provide
the information and resources for library users to learn to use the
Internet and electronic information efficiently and effectively. They
should proactively promote and facilitate responsible access to quality
networked information for all their users, including children and young
In common with other core services, access to the Internet in libraries
and information services should be without charge.
Implementing the Manifesto
IFLA encourages the international community to support the development of
Internet accessibility worldwide, and especially in developing countries,
to thus obtain the global benefits of information for all offered by the
IFLA encourages national governments to develop a national information
infrastructure which will deliver Internet access to all the nation's
IFLA encourages all governments to support the unhindered flow of Internet
accessible information via libraries and information services and to oppose
any attempts to censor or inhibit access.
IFLA urges the library community and decision makers at national and local
levels to develop strategies, policies, and plans that implement the
principles expressed in this Manifesto.
This Manifesto was prepared by IFLA/FAIFE.
Approved by the Governing Board of IFLA 27 March 2002, The Hague,
Proclaimed by IFLA 1 May 2002.
13. RadCat discussion on Hennepin County's de-Bermanification
[ RadCat is the Radical Catalogers list that Katia Roberto started and
runs on the dangpow server. For details, see:
[radcat]: Fwd: RE: Sandy Berman/Hennepin County Library's database
Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2002 19:41:31 -0700
From: Rory Litwin <rlitwin[at]earthlink.net>
Here's a message sent by Karen Schneider (no radical) to San Jose State's
SLIS listserv, in response to a student who promoted the petition in
support of Sandy Berman's cataloging. She is defending HCL's decision.
I'm curious to see how radcat-ers would respond to her specific points.
Forwarded Message ----------
Subject: RE: Sandy Berman/Hennepin County Library's database
Date: Mon, 15 Apr 2002 13:47:03 -0700
From: "Karen G. Schneider" <kgs[at]lii.org>
Sandy Berman exhibited great leadership with his alternative subject
headings, and he can take credit for shaming LC into many much-needed
However, there is another side to this discussion that the Library Juice
article does not address: what is the negative impact of using
non-standard subject headings?
Unfortunately (and some catalogers got a bit upset when I said this on
another list) if interoperability is important, LCSH is a necessary
evil. It's not as if the Hennepin authority files became adopted by many
catalogs; that didn't happen--and more's the pity; I think that's due to
the routine lack of attention paid to cataloging from other types of
library professionals. So if you are planning to do more than be a
single, isolated catalog, the arcane, bizarre language of LC becomes
important. The memo from HCL, cited below, makes this clear.
It would be great if library systems could afford to have LC and local
controlled vocabularies, or LC and Hennepin... but most libraries
don't have the kind of budgets to make this possible. I don't know what
the budget situation is in Minnesota, but if it's like every other state
right now, tighten your seatbelts because it's going to be a bumpy year.
I also feel the language of the petition puts potential signers in an
awkward place. Is the point to argue that the subject headings play a
vital role in encouraging change in this area of librarianship? Or is it
to complain that the library's rationale for making this decision is
"specious, narrow-minded, and unconvincing?" Even if this were true, is
this the rationale language of influence?
Finally, Hennepin's administration also announced last month that they
will indeed make the authority files available for scholarly and
research purposes (as they promptly told me, as well, when I wrote them
before they made the announcement--all I had to do was ask). To
encourage them to ensure these files are preserved, I would sign a
separate petition, neutrally worded.
Karen G. Schneider kgs[at]lii.org http://lii.org
Coordinator, Librarians' Index to the Internet
lii.org New This Week: http://lii.org/ntw
lii.org:Information You Can Trust!
From: owner-csu_slis[at]listproc.sjsu.edu [mailto:ownercsu
_slis[at]listproc.sjsu.edu] On Behalf Of Eli Edwards
Sent: Monday, April 15, 2002 1:04 PM
Subject: Sandy Berman/Hennepin County Library's database
For those of you who are familiar with HCL's Sanford Berman and his work to
challenge and revise LC's Subject Headings, here is some information on how
the database of subject headings and the authority file he worked on for 25
years are being taken off-line to make room for standardized OCLC records
with LC headings:
(NOTE: PDF file)
For those of you who are concerned about this and would like to add your
voice to those protesting this action, there is an online petition that
will go to NCL's library board and county commissioners:
God be between you and harm in all the empty places you walk.
-- Blessing of 18th Egyptian Dynasty
Harlan Ellison, "Paladin of the Lost Hour," _Angry Candy_
[radcat]: Re: Sandy Berman/Hennepin County Library's database
Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2002 06:59:55 -0400 (EDT)
From: Gene Kinnaly <gkin[at]loc.gov>
To: radcat <radcat[at]dangpow.com>
On Wed, 17 Apr 2002, Rory Litwin wrote:
> Here's a message sent by Karen Schneider (no radical) to San
> Jose State's SLIS listserv, in response to a student who
> promoted the petition in support of Sandy Berman's cataloging.
I've disagreed with Karen (a little) before, but not often, and
not in this case. In an increasingly cooperative cataloging
environment, a commonly-used controlled vocabulary, together with
adherence to AACR, increases the number of records available to
us all which are useable after only minor local tweaking. If
collectively we have available to us a larger pool of bib records
we can use more-or-less as is, or optionally add additional or
alternative subject headings and added entries for local use,
that's a good thing, right?
> Sandy Berman exhibited great leadership with his alternative
> subject headings, and he can take credit for shaming LC into
> many much-needed changes.
It could be that in the long run, Sandy Berman's greatest
contribution to the library community may not be all of the
subject headings he contributed, but his success in forcing LC
into many changes in LCSH. Which will have a greater impact on
the largest number of catalogs and patrons, the HCL catalog or
records created by LC?
Gene Kinnaly Senior Cataloger Electronic Resources & Microforms
Special Materials Cataloging Division Library of Congress
101 Independence Avenue SE Washington DC 20540-4371
email: gkin[at]loc.gov voice: (202) 707-1501 fax: (202) 707-7161Member: ALA Better Salaries & Pay Equity Task Force http://www.mjfreedman.org/tfhome.html ..........................................................................
Re: [radcat]: Fwd: RE: Sandy Berman/Hennepin County Library's database
Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2002 10:02:05 -0500
From: Jennifer Young <youngjb[at]SLU.EDU>
Karen Schneider wrote by way of Rory Litwin:
> It would be great if library systems could afford to have LC and local
> controlled vocabularies, or LC and Hennepin... but most libraries
> don't have the kind of budgets to make this possible. I don't know what
> the budget situation is in Minnesota, but if it's like every other state
> right now, tighten your seatbelts because it's going to be a bumpy year.
I don't know - my library consortia uses both Mesh and LCSH headings as
well as local headings. I know of others that also use Sears or LC
Children's headings. And the dough is certainly not rolling in here.
Of course, Mesh and Sears headings are more for specific users.
Jennifer YoungSerials & Non-Book Catalog Librarian youngjb[at]slu.edu Pius XII Memorial Library (314)977-3098(tel.) Saint Louis University (314)977-3108(fax)
3650 Lindell Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63108-3302
[radcat]: HCL Catalog
Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2002 08:48:53 -0700 (PDT)
From: Chris Zammarelli <perniciouslib[at]yahoo.com>
To: Radical Catalogers <radcat[at]dangpow.com>
I'm a bit confused as to what the decommissioning
entails. Is Hennepin recataloging their entire
catalog to put in LC subjects? Are they deleting all
of Berman's subjects? Are they just not using them
Also, would it be possible to get an archive of
Berman's subjects for Radcat's Web site?
Me? I'm a shrill czar!
"Is poisoning someone still illegal if they really enjoy the drink you put
- Amy Chilton, "Bobbins"
Re: [radcat]: HCL Catalog
Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2002 16:24:03 -0700 (PDT)
From: Eric Riley <licinius[at]yahoo.com>
To: Radical Catalogers <radcat[at]dangpow.com>
Actually Sandy came to speak at the University of Washington just on
Tuesday. This is the situation.
The library (HCL) is going through a migration phase, from one
cataloging vendor to another, and as a result of this, they're going
to replace all of their original cataloging records with straight up
OCLC records. (How they are going to do this, I don't know, because
OCLC records are not always so straight forward. OCLC can have huge
amounts of records for similar items.) This includes the (subject)
authority files, which have been the heart of Sandy's work for the
last thirty years. The question has been, what are they going to do
with the authority file, and if it has to move, where can it go?
He mentioned that the decision to do this was explained to him as
being that the library was looking to have a greater participation in
cooperative work, and that it would facilitate borrowing practices if
they were standardized.
[radcat]: HCL Catalog/Berman's demise
Date: Fri, 19 Apr 2002 06:50:41 -0400
From: "abelkops " <abelkops[at]thesquare.com>
Reply to: <abelkops[at]thesquare.com>
While the economics of Hennepin County's decision to move its catalog into
100% (or as close thereto) LCSH compliance can be understood, the
ramifications for the future of cataloging have not be fully articulated.
Certainly, gone are the days when Berman and 20+ HCL catalogers could
maintain independence from AACR2, OCLC, and LCSH. Cooperative cataloging
is, in one sense, our version of "sending jobs overseas," and the
epicenter nowadays is Dublin, Ohio.
What has troubled me since learning of HCL's decision is the notion that
nirvana will be achieved when all catalogs essentially look the same and
use the same terminology. To that end, library administrators look to LC
(and moreso, OCLC) to provide a quick fix, holding that local catalogers
will still be able to "tweek" records coming in, but major intellectual
decisions need burden them no more. I read with dismay various postings
on AUTOCAT arguing over minor descriptive questions, leaving with a sense
that, gosh, maybe that is all such and such cataloger can do to contribute
intellectually to such and such record in anytown USA.
In an era when librarianship touts being user-focused, I can't imagine that
users care that we all have mastered the metric system and thus can
accurately measure a book in centimeters. But, how many users (silently,
due to a lack of user studies) appreciate seeing that additional 500 note
added locally or recognize a local term focused on their own vocabulary?
The dumbing down of cataloging under the guise of "cooperation" produces
many stale results. One wonders if grocery stores will soon win for
spending more time intellectually arranging their shelves than a local
What others see as a two way street of cooperation, I see as as a one way
street of guardianship. We are one big family, dare I say like the mafia.
LC has been the godfather for some time, providing order and stability.
Mind you, people will give up freedom for stability. OCLC, moreover, is
quickly becoming the heir apparent. There are not many intellectuals in
the mafia, however.
Instead of arguing over centimeters, why not promote bibliographic control
at every angle locally? When hearing of a local organization frustrated
over its "database maintenance," odds are they are just as frustrated
intellectually as technically. Nevertheless, if a local library's
catalogers are purely becoming technicians, what help can be offered?
Sandy Berman championed intellectual decisions being made locally. And in
a profession where "professional" status is increasingly seen as
dispensible, the demise of his work means that the demise of your work
will undoubtedly be next.
M.S.L.S., 2001, Catholic University of America
Re: [radcat]: HCL Catalog/Berman's demise
Date: Fri, 19 Apr 2002 08:04:56 -0400
From: "Charles Hillen" <chillen[at]odu.edu>
While intellectually and philosophically I clearly agree with Chad, on
practical, day-to-day terms I'm left a bit out to sea. I have preached to
my staff that, although support documentation for cataloging is really good
for the most part, it is perfectly normal for documents such as AACR2 and
MARC to fall short of our expectations and for us to have to make treatment
decisions. No one can predict what a publisher or access provider is going
to do next. So, where it is better for our patrons and services, we have
adopted local practices that we maintain, as I'm sure many of your
institutions have done as well. However, I admit to not having thought so
progressively where the authority file is concerned.
I have been doing some reading about Mr. Berman since I joined this list,
but have not seen anything that is sort of a description of "how he done it
at HCL." Where/how did he do his research in order to choose better or new
terms? What was his typical work day like? Did he have to catalog a quota
per day/week? Did they have a huge backlog and not worry about it so he
could do all this research? I have a lot of questions about how this all
played out. Did he work 18 hour days? I guess I am assuming he did this
work on the clock.
Can someone refer me to this information if it is readily available?
Thanks, Charles Hillen
Old Dominion University
Re: [radcat]: "Berman catalog" :: Apology
Date: Sat, 20 Apr 2002 17:03:30 -0700 (PDT)
From: Eric Riley <licinius[at]yahoo.com>
To: "'radcat'" <radcat[at]dangpow.com>
Cc: "stetler, lynn" <lstetler[at]hclib.org>
This is to apologize for my lack of adequate representation of
what was said at the Sandy Berman presentation at UW. I did not take
notes, and as such my synopsis was merely an attempt at getting "the
gist" of the presentation.
I am aware, and Sandy did make it explicit, that the work at
Hennepin County Public Library was fully the work of the entire
cataloging staff, and that personal taste and judgement in cataloging
was always highly encouraged. He also discussed how the HCPL
cataloging department not only double checked and revised LC
cataloging copy, but also checked copy within the cataloging
department at HCPL.
Re: "Berman Catalog": I am also aware, as I have used HCPL
subject headings in my personal cataloging work, that this wasn't
just Sandy's catalog, but the catalog for the Hennepin County Public
Library. I did not personally intend to misrepresent that with the
subject line, but was just following the discussion thread so that
the original poster would find the reply.
News: the entire presentation that Sandy gave at the University
of Washington will be available in full on the school's website in
the near future as a realvideo file. There are students currently
working on transferring the DAT file to realvideo as we speak.
Although I don't know the timetable on this, I will keep you all
posted when this file is available.
"Non pilus tam tenuis ut secari non possit." -- St. Minutia
My Site is: www.geocities.com/licinius
[radcat]: Fwd: video recording of Sandy Berman's talk at UW
Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2002 14:40:10 -0700 (PDT)
From: Eric Riley <licinius[at]yahoo.com>
Attached is the official announcement of the online videos from the
Sandy Berman discussion at the University of Washington.
Eric S. Riley
Jill Seidenstein <wstseide[at]u.washington.edu> wrote:
Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2002 14:00:05 -0700
From: "Jill Seidenstein" <wstseide[at]u.washington.edu>
To: "Information School Official Announcements"
Subject: video recording of Sandy Berman's talk
Dear MLIS students, and anyone else interested in cataloging issues,
The video recording of Sandy Berman's talk is now available online! Many
thanks to Aaron Louie for doing the conversion. It is available on the
ALISS website, at http://students.washington.edu/aliss/ and has been broken
into three parts, as follows:
Segment 1: "Jackdaws Strut in Peacock's Feathers" (24 minutes, 26.1MB)
Segment 2: Question & answer session (39 minutes, 43.6MB)
Segment 3: "Bibliocidal Cataloging" (22 minutes, 24.3MB)
Currently, this is the only way to view the tape. However, we can convert
the tape from the digital format to VHS. If anyone out there is willing to
do it, please let me know.
Thanks for your patience while this conversion was being done! I hope you
enjoy his talk :)
Whatever you can do,
or dream you can do, begin it.
Boldness has genius, magic and
power in it.
--Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
"Non pilus tam tenuis ut secari non possit." -- St. Minutia
My Site is: http://www.geocities.com/licinius
Editor's note: Clearly, you don't have to be a radical to be on this list.
It seems to be the place to go for catalogers who want to discuss some of
the broader intellectual issues involved in cataloging, rather than the
nuts and bolts you get on AUTOCAT. Isn't it interesting that the place to
find a philosophical discussion of cataloging would be on a self-described
"radical catalogers'" listserv? I think it's interesting. -RL
14. Photos from the PLG gathering in NYC, April 28, 2002
A few photos from the Progressive Librarians' Guild die-hard's gathering at
Mark Rosenzweig's apartment in Manhattan last month:
John N. Berry III, Ann Sparanese, Jenna Freedman, Mark Rosenzweig, Miriam
Braverman, and Elaine Harger. Everyone except Ms. Braverman is holding
a toy ape, Mark's totem animal.
John N. Berry, III on the phone with Rory.
Miriam and Jenna
Cheers from New York.
(Photos by Mary Beaty)
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