Library Juice 7:9 - April 30, 2004
1. Librarians Say No to Occupation!
3. What you are reading
4. ALA on Nomination of Allen Weinstein for Archivist of the US
5. Archivist Groups - Questions to Ask the Nominee
6. One Site
Quote for the week:
"There is scarce truth enough alive to make societies secure;
but security enough to make fellowships accurst;
much upon this riddle runs the wisdom of the world."
-The Duke in Act II: Sc ii., Shakespeare's _Measure for Measure_
Homepage of the week: Jason Griffey
1. Librarians Say No to Occupation!
Now, with the bloody occupation of Iraq continuing, with the farce of a
'transition' to a US puppet-government with no sovereignty poised to
operate under military occupation, with the occupation's brutality against
the city of Fallujah among many other areas, with the death toll of Iraqis
and occupying troops climbing daily, with partisan calls in the US Congress
for even more troops being heard as a proposed solution to the problems
created by the present 'inadequate' force of occupying troops...
We the undersigned librarians re-affirm the petition 'Librarians Say 'Stop
the War Now!' and demand:
End the occupation of Iraq by the coalition armies, foreign corporations and
Bring the troops home! No new troops to Iraq!
Stop the violence of the doomed imperial project in Iraq!
No cultural aid to the occupation.
Librarians around the world once again voice their collective opposition to
the militarism and imperialism of the US mission in Iraq. We also affirm
that the Iraqi people's fate is in the hands of the Iraqi people themselves
and progress ultimately must mean a peaceful, democratic solution based on
the national sovereignty of Iraq. Progressive-minded librarians everywhere
will support reconstruction of Iraq only if and when occupation and war
Sign this petition at
Death of a whistleblower
April 26, 2004
Sydney Morning Herald
[ from Tom Baxter to the PLG list ]
New listserv: RFID_LIB
For discussing RFID in libraries. "Get in on the ground floor."
Email listproc[at]listproc.sjsu.edu with the message "subscribe rfid_lib"
The Case of the Disappearing Article
by Tony Greiner -- Library Journal, 4/15/2004
[ sent to the SRRT list by Dee Conkling ]
Not Censorship But Selection [Wilson Library Bulletin]
[ Library Link of the Day - http://www.tk421.net/librarylink/ ]
Google In Controversy Over Top-Ranking For Anti-Jewish Site [SearchDay]
[ Library Link of the Day - http://www.tk421.net/librarylink/ ]
"Jew Watch", Google, and Search Engine Optimization
[ Seth Finkelstein to his infothought list ]
Police search library computers without a warrant
[ Alexander Z to a-librarians ]
NYU's "Bobst Boy"
Washington Square News (NYU Student Newspaper):
Issue date: 04.26.04
Ousted Bobst Boy gets dorm
Steve Stanzak has been evicted from Bobst Library. After nearly eight
months of secretly living in the building's underground A-level, Stanzak,
a College of Arts and Science sophomore, was relocated by NYU officials
Tuesday when they discovered his LiveJournal weblog, which details his
subterranean life. http://www.washingtonsquarenews.com/news/campus/7383.html
Issue date: 04.27.04
The legacy of Bobst Boy
We felt a twinge of sadness upon learning that Steve Stanzak, aka
Bobst Boy, had been evicted from the library. We applaud him for not
only beating the system and living in one of the most expensive cities
in the world for free, but also for doing it with style and flair - all
the while entertaining his many fans with his tale of lighthearted vagrancy. http://www.washingtonsquarenews.com/opinion/editorial/7410.html
Bobst Boy's livejournal:
Some newspapers pull, edit Doonesbury for language in strip about wounded
ELIZABETH McKINLEY, Associated Press Writer
[ Ruth Gordon to Member-Forum ]
"Reversing Vandalism": How a library converted crime into art
[ Fred Stoss to the SRRT list ]
Tim Sprehe column on US Archivist (Federal Computer Week) "Politicizing
Sprehe is president of Sprehe Information Management Associates Inc. in
Washington, D.C. and has a longstanding column in Federal Computer Week
SF Chronicle "Scholars question changing chief of archives. Bush's
decision may delay release of documents"
Bush Nominee for Archivist Is Criticized for His Secrecy
(registering with the NY Times is free and easy)
Washington Post today 4/20 "Bush Picks Weinstein as Archivist:"
(you have to register I think)
Newsday 4/17 "A quiet nomination:"
Article by John Dean ("Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of
George W. Bush")
particularly good on Bush's history of secrecy starting back in Texas.
[ links and notes from Debbie Richards to progarchs ]
See also: The Haunted Archives, in The Nation
posted to the website April 15
[ from Eli Edwards to the PLG list ]
Expelling Edgy Writers
By Rachel Brahinsky
San Francisco Bay Guardian, April 14, 2004
(Follow-up article on the Academy of Art free speech battle noted in the
[ sent to me by Alejandro de Jesus ]
White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack
[ Noted by John D. Berry in a message to ALA Council ]
Making women's issues go away
(How Bush administration has quietly removed 25 reports from its
Women's Bureau Web site, deleting or distorting crucial information
on issues from pay equity to reproductive healthcare.)
[ sent by Kathleen de la Pena McCook to the SRRT list ]
British libraries could shut by 2020 [The Guardian]
[ Library Link of the Day - http://www.tk421.net/librarylink/ ]
Alternatives Library at ECOBell
[ from David x to the PLG list ]
My web discovery of 2004 is the WFMU website. WFMU is a totally
listener-supported, free-form radio station broadcasting in the NYC area
and staffed with knowledgeable, discerning, and creative DJ's around the
clock. What's special about the website is that the radio station has been
archiving all of its radio shows in multiple digital formats for years,
resulting in thousands of hours of listening available. If you take a
serious interest in music in all its varieties or are a fan of radio, you
should check out this site (while it's still legal and affordable for
independent radio stations to be on the web).
WFMU-FM 91.1/Jersey City, NJ; 90.1/Hudson Valley, NY
[ found surfing ]
3. What you are reading
In the last issue I asked readers to send me a couple of paragraphs
telling me about the books and periodicals they are currently reading.
Here are the compiled responses:
I'm a children's librarian in Perth, Australia.
I just read Tadpole's promise by Jeanne Willis & Tony Ross. It's about a
tadpole and a caterpillar who fall in love. Cross species love doesn't work
and disaster ensues. I couldn't stop laughing but I'm not sure I'd read it
for story time coz kids might find the ending truely horrible and be
scarred for life :)luv clare.
City of Armadale
Books: Just finished: James Belich - Making Peoples (a history of early New
Zealand) In the middle of: Ian Sinclair - London Orbital (an account of a
journey round the M25 motorway) Next book: Jeffrey Eugenides - Middlesex
Periodicals read in the last week: Time Out, London Review of Books, Sight
No matter what else I do, reading is what brought me into this
business. I just finished Graceland by Chris Abani (Farrar, Straus &
Giroux,04), a novel set in Nigeria that provides a strange mix of
Igbo and U.S. pop cultures. This fit well with the biography I'm
reading, Ready for Revolution: The Life and Struggles of Carmichael,
Stokely. (Kwame Ture) (Scribner, 2003). Also, just got the April
Monthly Review in the mail (v.55, number 11) and found the article
"Disposable Workers" by Fred Magdoff and Harvey Magdoff (pp. 18-35) a
much needed antidote to Bush on the stump.
In my pile to read NEXT are:
Ramblin' Man: The Life and Times of Woody Guthrie (Ed Cray)
Norton, 04 and the novel, Links, by Nuruddin Farah (Riverhead Books
Kathleen de la Pena McCook
University of South Florida
"The Sorrows of Empire" by Chalmers Johnson. Extremely well-researched
perspective on "why they hate us." The origins of our vast network of
military bases, how they came into being, who makes money off of them, and
how they sow seeds of hate throughout the world. By the author of
"The Drinking Life" by Pete Hamill. Wonderfully written evocation of a 50's
Irish Catholic Brooklyn boyhood and the hard-drinking journalist's life by
the celebrated newspaperman.
"Marcella" by Mrs. Humphry Ward
Romantic, wonderfully written novel set in Victorian-Edwardian England,
featuring headstrong beauty Marcella Boyce, a socialist reformer torn
between solidarity with the poor and her chance to marry into some really
serious money. Great evocation of the era, and Ward is a little-known but
excellent British writer.
Recent novels I have read include:
The high flyer, by susan howatch. This is the second of a trilogy
examining the lives of rich city types in the city of London in the late
80's early 90's. As with her earlier series of novels, this explores in
some depth the interior life of her characters, and their ultimate goals in
life. At times the plot creaks, almost in the style of victorian
melodramas, to which I can see some parallels. A gripping yarn, very
I have just finished reading:
Jesus, by A.N. Wilson. Wilson is an ex-Christian, and has written a deeply
sceptical account of Jesus' life as depicted in the gospels. He points out
the difficulty, near impossibility, of separating the Jesus of history from
the Jesus of faith. At times, his points and opinions seem a little
credulous, and his outlook seems stuck in that rationalist approach of
eminent victorian atheists. An annoying book, but from which I can gain a
deeper understanding and knowledge of my Christian faith.
Another book I have been dipping into is:
Zeiss compendium East & West 1940 - 1972 by Charles M Barringer and Marc
James Small. This is a history of post-war Zeiss Ikon cameras from
Germany, filled with plenty of technical information which I love to soak
up. I have a special interest in fine mechanical cameras of this period,
and all the detail I could want is contained within. The layout and prose
style is not always perfect, though.
Amongst the hordes of computer books, magazines and manuals I have been
Linux for dummies by Dee-Ann LeBlanc. It's good as far as it goes as an
introductory text and fills in some of the spaces left by the Suse Linux
manual that came with my version of Linux.
GIMP: for Linux and Unix by Phyllis Davis is one of the few printed books
on the GIMP.
Hopefully, one day I can give up on Microsoft and proprietary software and
get my computing, image manipulation and electronic communications sorted
out fully with open source software.
My current reading of books is circumscribed because of the amount of
reading I do on the Net - newsgroups, special interest groups and so on.
Fiction reading in particular has taken a back seat for me in recent years.
In fact, there aren't that many contemporary writers whose work I
thoroughly enjoy, so I tend to read older fiction when I have the time. By
the way, I'm based in the north-west of England, UK and work for a smallish
metropolitan public library authority as a generalist with fingers in
nearly all our pies, and a special knowledge and love of music.
Many thanks for the ever-informative and useful (and fun!) Library Juice.
As well as current reading, it might be interesting to do a similar survey
of most used and favourite web sites - what 5 websites do you use most days
or most weeks ( I know freepint does this already for individual
information workers each issue)
Eccleston Library Broadway Eccleston St Helens WA10 5PJ
tel (01744) 677576 fax (01744)677577
When I applied for my current job one of the interview questions was
"what was I reading".
The International Institute for Sustainable Development - Information
Centre is a special library.
For development to be sustainable it must integrate environmental
stewardship, economic development and the well-being of all people-not
just for today but for countless generations to come. This is the
challenge facing governments, non-governmental organizations, private
enterprises, communities and individuals.
The International Institute for Sustainable Development meets this
challenge by advancing policy recommendations on international trade and
investment, economic policy, climate change, measurement and indicators,
and natural resource management to make development sustainable. By
using Internet communications, we cover and report on international
negotiations and broker knowledge gained through collaborative projects
with global partners, resulting in more rigorous research, capacity
building in developing countries and a better dialogue between North and
Right now I have two titles on the go.
"Navigating a new world : Canada's global future" by Lloyd Axworthy
Former Foreign Affairs Minister Axworthy charts how we can become active
citizens in the demanding world of the twenty-first century, to make it
safer, more sustainable and more humane. Throughout he emphasizes the
human story. As we meet refugees from civil war and drought, child
soldiers and landmine victims, the moral imperative is clear: this is a
deeply compassionate appeal to confront poverty, war and environmental
disaster. Lloyd Axworthy delivers recommendations that are both
practical and radical, ranging from staunch Canadian independence from
the U.S. to environmental as well as political security; from rules to
govern intervention when nations oppress their own citizens, to codes of
conduct on arms control and war crimes.
"American dynasty : aristocracy, fortune, and the politics of deceit in
the house of Bush" by Kevin Phillips
"Political and economics commentator Phillips (The Politics of Rich and
Poor, etc.) believes we are facing an ominous time: "As 2004 began, [a]
Machiavellian moment was at hand. U.S. president George W. Bush... was a
dynast whose family heritage included secrecy and calculated deception."
Phillips perceives a dangerous, counterdemocratic trend toward dynasties
in American politic-she cites the growing number of sons and wives of
senators elected to the Senate as an example. Perhaps less convincingly,
he compares the "restoration" of the Bushes to the White House after an
absence of eight years to the royal restorations of the Stuarts in
England in 1660 and the Bourbons in France in 1814. To underscore the
dangers of inherited wealth and power, Phillips delineates a complex
case involving a network of moneyed influence going back generations, as
well as the Bushes' long-time canny involvement in oil and foreign
policy (read: CIA) and, he says, bald-faced appeasement of the
nativist/fundamentalist wing that, according to Phillips, is now
"dangerously" dominating the GOP. Casting a critical eye at the entire
Bush clan serves the useful function of consolidating a wealth of
information, especially about forebears George Herbert Walker and
Prescott Bush. Phillips's own status as a former Republican (now turned
independent) boosts the force of his argument substantially. Not all
readers will share Phillips's alarmist response to the Bush "dynasty,"
but his book offers an important historical context in which to
understand the rise of George W." -- Publishers Weekly.
Thanks very much
International Institute for Sustainable Development
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
I've only just found your site, but, as a reading obsessive, I can't resist
your invitation ! Two caveats:1. I'm always one of the first to
suggest/reserve new books I'm interested in, and most of them turn out to
be fairly popular. As a result, I get hit with many books at once, andcan
rarely extend their loans. Since I'm also a web obsessive, I rarely have
time to finish all the books I collect.2. I'm 70, and over 50 years I've
probably read every worthwhile novel up to, say, Catch 22; however, I no
longerread ANY fiction - there's too much to learn! Now, to the chase; I'm
presently trying to read:
Martha Gellhorn: A Life, Caroline Moorehead
Dylan Thomas: A New Life, Andrew Lycett
A Short History of the World, Geoffrey Blainey
Since they only have a fortnight left, and I picked up another
3 books today, I'll be struggling to finish them, I fear.
Well, I hope this outburst was of some use, but don't expect
many more - TIME !
More or less simultaneously, I'm reading the following:
First Have Something to Say: Writing for the Library Profession by Walt
I've only finished the first chapter, but am finding the book insightful
and entertaining. Crawford is a very convincing writer with a definite
point of view. I particularly like that the first chapter deals with
reasons to write and not to write. Many books about writing never deal with
this very important topic.
Book Lust by Nancy Pearl
I'm mostly skimming this but I really like it. Pearl has definite likes and
dislikes and she's left out a couple of my favorite authors, but she's very
widely read and I really like the way she writes and thinks about books.
Deep Pockets by Linda Barnes
The latest Carlotta Carlyle mystery. This series is set in Boston. Carlotta
is a tall, redheaded ex-cop who owns her own private investigation firm.
She also plays blues guitar, moonlights as a cabbie, and has an on again,
off again relationship with a mobster. She's Big Sister to Paolina, a
fifteen year old Hispanic girl with some major family issues. In this
installment of the series, Carlotta is hired by an African-American
professor at Harvard who is being blackmailed over his affair with a white
undergraduate student. I'm about halfway through this and am really
enjoying it. Barnes writes interesting characters and involving stories. I
really like hard-boiled detective mysteries with female characters and
Barnes is one of my favorites.
The Goodbye Summer by Patricia Gaffney
I just started this one and am about five chapters into it. I really like
Gaffney's characters. Generally, she writes beautifully about relationships
and her characters really grow and change during the course of the book.
This looks like another good one.
I can also write about the books I just finished reading, but then my
e-mail would be twice or three times as long. Not that I'm addicted to
books or anything. I can quit anytime I want. But what fun would that be?
Laura L. Barnes, Librarian
Illinois Waste Management & Research Center
It's a bit difficult to answer your question about what I'm reading in
just a paragraph or two, so I'll just highlight what have been my
favorite reads so far this year....
In the fiction genre, there are three books that I read in the past few
months that have had a moving effect upon me. I read E.L. Doctorow's
CITY OF GOD for the first time; an excellent detective story with a
probing intellectual quest for spiritual (and/or theological)
enlightenment woven into it. I would say this is Doctorow's best work
A friend gave me a copy of Alan Garner's STRANDLOPER and I loved it. It
is the story of William Buckley, an Englishman displaced to aboriginal
Australia in 1801. It is a moving, uncompromising story of one man
determined to be true to his fate. Garner is a linguistic genius,
mixing in 19th century English, sea-faring jargon from around the world
and native aboriginal tongues seamlessly.
My favorite book by far, however, has been Russell Hoban's AMARYLLIS
NIGHT AND DAY. Being a long-time Hobanite, I have to admit a bit of
prejudice here, but rightly so. Hoban, like Garner, loves linguistics
and wordplay. He also is a masterful story-teller, creating a dream
state that one is never quite sure isn't real after all, and a reality
that one can never be quite sure isn't a dream after all. This book is
a romance, but a romance unlike any you have ever come across before;
Hoban is something you just have to experience for yourself.
As for non-fiction, I have found myself reading mostly political books
in this election year. Al Franken is a favorite, especially LIES AND
THE LYING LIARS WHO TELL THEM. Craig Unger's HOUSE OF BUSH, HOUSE OF
SAUD is a must-read. Richard Clarke's AGAINST ALL ENEMIES is a scary
critique of the Reagan/Bush regimes' handling of terrorism and a
telling account of what shrub really doesn't know. Too many more good
non-fiction reads out there for me to equitably mention any other
I'm currently a stay-at-home dad planning my re-entry of the library
work-force (public libraries, tech services).
"I don't think so," said René Descartes. Just then, he vanished.
For the what-are-you-reading question:
I just three weeks ago read a great book called the Shamans of Prehistory:
Trance and Magic in the Painted Caves where a French anthropologist, Jean
Clottes, and a South African archeologist, David Lewis-Williams, discuss
Paleolithic cave paintings in terms of stemming from a shamanic tradition.
It was recommended by Scott Momaday, a Kiowa writer who is a professor here
at the University of Arizona. I entirely changed the way that I understand
rock art, the study of which it's easy to get obsessed with in the southwest
U.S. The book I'm reading now is Two Cities: On Exile, History, and the
Imagination by the Polish poet Adam Zagajewski. He's a wonderful poet, and
I've heard him speak at the Dodge Poetry Festival, but I hadn't read his
essays before starting this book.
Special Assistant to the Dean
University of Arizona Libraries
I'm currently reading 4 books. Here's how I rate them:
"The Secret Life of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd. Well-told story with
"Your Money or Your Life" by Joe Dominguez & Vicki Robin. Excellent manual
for reforming one's relationship with money and finding time for the people
and activities that give life meaning.
"The Little Mac iApps Book" by John Tollett. Great tips on how to use Mac
applications, especially for newbies like me.
"Switching to the Mac: the Missing Manual" by David Pogue. Overall good,
but I think the edition I got for the library is for a previous version of
my operating system. (Some things don't work.) Must try newer edition.
I just finished "Cashing In on the American Dream: How to Retire at 35" by
Paul Terhorst. It's slightly dated (1988) but otherwise great. Basically
it says you don't need a million bucks to retire; you just need to live
frugally while making income off investments. This way you can spend time
with loved ones, volunteer for causes you support, learn languages, etc.
Periodicals currently being read: Bust (great), National Geographic Traveler
(ok, but a bit less rugged than I'd like), and Bitch (edgy).
National Public Radio
Re: "What are you reading?" --
Yesterday I read most of _Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why_, by
Laurence Gonzalez (Norton, 2003), an excellent book that cites Epictetus,
Jack London, and such titles as _Lost Person Behavior_ and _Accidents in
North American Mountaineering_, based partly on the author's own experiences
as an aerobatics pilot (and his father's as a WWII prison camp survivor).
Other recent reading notes are posted here:
Hope all's well with you.
From blooming Minneapolis,
I have just finished the following books:
Gallapagos by Kurt Vonnegut
The Da Vinci Code by D. Brown
Angels and Demons by D. Brown
Hej Rory !
With ref # 1. What are you reading?
I am reading about the architect Adolf Loos at present, in the Taschen art
They are some of the best & cheapest art books one can get within Europe,
while they might also appeal for the high accedemic input to be found within
They also publish a lot of works upon artist who are better known within the
German, rather than the English speaking world.
We are also talking about some very high quality printing too.
The best recommendation of all - I even paid good money for the 12 books I
now own in the series.
Well so much for books.
I also just bought a DVD of the movie 'Land & Freedom' while I was in
I am looking forward to seeing it again!
I should also give you a list of the Audio books I have been listerning to
late, but that is going to have to wait for now.
I have just gotten into "We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be
killed with our families" by Philip Gourevitch. It is about the Rwandan
genocide. With ten years to distance me from the depressing horror of that
genocide I felt I could read about it finally. I just skip the gory bits.
The book is a fascinating account of a country and its tangled connections
to US, French and Belgian interests, as well as the links to its
neighbouring states. The author uses important connections and parallels
with other atrocities throughout history to put this one in perspective -
US Civil War, Yugoslavia, Cain and Abel.The comments of the Canadian Gen.
Dallaire responsible for the UN troops in the country at the time, who did
nothing due to UN indifference to his reports of massacres is telling. He
has been quoted as saying that he believes people in the West would be more
likely to respond to a massacre of Rwandan gorillas, made famous by Dian
Fossey in her book and the movie "Gorillas in the mist".I highly
recommend this multiple award winning book and "Sunday by the pool in
Kigali" is my second choice.
Librarian in limbo and new mother
Just finished The Watch by Dennis Danvers. An anarchist SciFi. It's a time
travel story about Kropotkin in the year 1999. This excerpt from the book
discribes my feelings:
"People talk about books changing their lives, and when I was younger it
seemed like it happened all the time, but never like this before, certainly
not lately. To tell the truth, I thought I'd outgrown feeling that way -
one more misconception of youth chucked overboard. But I started reading
these books, and it's like I've been waiting for someone to say these
things my whole life."
I am now reading Kropotkin's Mutual Aid ;)
Iris Manhold, Web Designer, Nomad - currently in Germany
Greetings! In reply to your question in the current Library Juice:
Right at the moment I'm reading the latest issue of the New England
Quarterly. But in terms of books -
I recently (last month) read _In Patagonia_ by Bruce Chatwin. Pretty soon
I'll be reading _Falling Off the Map_ by Pico Iyer. I'm on a bit of a travel
In response to your question in the last edition of Library Juice, here in
Australia I'm currently reading:
1. Seven types of ambiguity, by Eliot Perlman: wants to be the Australian
version of The Corrections, but not in the same league - quite a good read
2. The Murdoch Archipeligo, by Bruce Page: one-sided, but a damning read if
you agree with the author's basic premise about the negative effects of
Murdoch's media empire, interesting in that it covers Australian, UK and US
3. London Orbital, by Iain Sinclair: the author walks the M25 ring road
around London - brilliant piece of psychogeography
As someone who's done a bit of work in the library history field I
particularly enjoy the old articles you include in LJ - always food for
thought in the contemporary context too.
Deputy Parliamentary Librarian
Victorian Parliamentary Library
Parliament House, Spring St,
This was a case of two books read in a row that
complimented each other quite nicely:
What Are People For? by Wendell Berry AND
Drop City by T.C. Boyle
Berry's essays are most persuasive in advocating the
return to rural/local economies and food supplies,
while Boyle's novel describes, in sometimes acerbic
tones, the daily habits and some of the underlying
values and aspirations of two communities - the hippy
commune and Alaskan survivalists - that are striving
to embody these types of solutions. In reading the
two, one is struck by the eloquence of Berry's
arguments yet is also made aware of the truly
problematic (human) nature of such ventures by Boyle's
Alejandro de Jesus
San Francisco, CA
4. ALA on Nomination of Allen Weinstein for Archivist of the US
For Immediate Release
April 23, 2004
The American Library Association Joins Others In Expressing Concern
About the Nomination of Allen Weinstein to Become Archivist of the
WASHINGTON -- On April 8, 2004 the White House suddenly announced the
nomination of Allen Weinstein to become the next Archivist of the United
States. Prior to the announcement, there was no consultation with
professional organizations, archivists, or historians. This is the first
time since the National Archives and Records Administration was
established as an independent agency that the process of nominating an
Archivist of the United States has not been open for public discussion
When former President Ronald Reagan signed the National Archives and
Records Administration Act of 1984, he stated, "The materials that the
Archives safeguards are precious and irreplaceable national treasures,
and the agency that looks after the historical records of the Federal
Government should be accorded a status that is commensurate with its
important responsibilities." Earlier in 1984, when the National Archives
Act was being discussed, a Senate report cautioned that if the Archivist
was appointed "arbitrarily, or motivated by political considerations,
the historical records could be impoverished or even distorted."
The law clearly states that, "The Archivist shall be appointed without
regard to political affiliations, and solely on the basis of the
professional qualifications required to perform the duties and
responsibilities of the office of Archivist." In 1984, a House report
noted, "The committee expects that determining professional
qualifications will be achieved through consultation with recognized
organizations of archivists and historians." The law also states that
when the Archivist is replaced, the President "Shall communicate the
reasons for such removal to each House of Congress."
"The American Library Association believes that the decision to appoint
a new Archivist by President Bush should be considered in accordance
with both the letter and the spirit of the 1984 law," said ALA President
Dr. Carla Hayden.
The ALA is joining with other concerned organizations (turn the page
for a complete list) to ask the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs
to schedule open hearings on this nomination of Professor Weinstein, in
order to more fully explore the reasons why the Archivist is being
replaced, and if Professor Weinstein possesses the requisite
qualifications to become the Archivist of the United States.
Among other issues, ALA and the following organizations, believe it is
important to learn more about Professor Weinstein's:
Knowledge and understanding of the critical issues confronting NARA and
the archival profession generally. Especially the challenges of
information technology, and the competing demands of public access to
government records, privacy, homeland security, and ensuring the
authenticity and integrity of all records.
Thoughts on how NARA should balance competing interests for protecting
sensitive or confidential information with those seeking to gain access
to records created by government agencies.
Ideas for continuing essential programs as well as important new
archival initiatives, such as the Electronic Records Archives project.
Thoughts on fully supporting the National Historical Publications and
Records Commission (NHPRC), whose grants have been instrumental in
starting and supporting the production of published editions of
historical documents, and in helping to raise the level of archival
practice at state and local levels.
Experience and demonstrated ability to lead and manage a large
government agency such as NARA.
Plans for protecting the professional integrity and political
non-partisanship of NARA as a governmental agency.
American Library Association
Society of American Archivists
American Association for State and Local History
American Historical Association
Association for Documentary Editing
Association of Research Libraries
Conference of Inter-Mountain Archivists
Coordinating Council for Women in History
Council of State Historical Records Coordinators
Illinois Library Association, Social Responsibility Forum
Midwest Archives Conference
National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators
National Humanities Alliance
New England Archivists
Northwest Archivists, Inc.
Organization of American Historians
Progressive Librarians Guild
Wisconsin Library Association
5. Archivist Groups - Questions to Ask the Nominee
[National Coalition For History Letterhead]
The Honorable Susan M. Collins, Chair
28 April 2004
The Honorable Joseph I. Lieberman, Ranking Member
Governmental Affairs Committee
United States Senate
340 Senate Dirksen Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Senator Collins and Lieberman:
I am pleased to forward to the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee two
documents relating to the pending nomination of Dr. Allen Weinstein to be
Archivist of the United States: a "Joint Statement on Questions to Ask the
nominee for Archivist of the United States" and a "Joint Statement on
Selection Criteria for the Archivist of the United States." These two
items represent a collective effort by the Society of American Archivists,
The National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators,
and The Council of State Historical Records Coordinators, all three of
which are members of the seventy-plus organizations that comprise the
National Coalition for History (NCH). In coming weeks, these Joint
Statements will be considered and I expect endorsed in their present or
possibly slightly modified form by additional archival and history-based
By advancing these statements to your committee and with this letter, we
wish to initiate the formal process of "consultation" as specified on page
6 of House Report 98-707 that accompanied the "National Archives and
Records Administration Act of 1984" (P.L. 98-497). This "consultation" is
also fully consistent with the wishes of the United States Senate as
reflected in Senate Report 98-373 that also accompanied the Act.
While the report language specifies that the Archivist shall be appointed
without regard to political affiliations and solely on the basis of his or
her professional qualifications" and that this is to be achieved "through
consultation with recognized organizations of professional archivists and
historians" neither the report nor the statute specifies exactly how this
consultation is to be initiated and carried out. Though we had hoped that
the White House would consult prior to advancing the name of a nominee but
this did not occur. We hope that your committee will now move forward and
initiate the process of formal consultation with members of our
Please let me know how the committee would like to proceed with the
consultation process. I would be pleased to arrange a meeting with key
representatives of the archival and historical communities to discuss this
matter with you if that seems like a logical first step. If I can answer
and questions or be of serve to the committee in any way during this
process, please do not hesitate to contact me at (202) 544-2422 Ext # 116.
R. Bruce Craig (signed)
Dr. R. Bruce Craig
AUS Selection Criteria
6. One Site
Okay, if you've read this far, maybe you'd like to participate in
realizing Keith Patterson's suggestion to do a "what are you surfing"
feature. Just send me a single link to a website you really want to
share with other readers of Library Juice, and write a couple of
sentences about it. I will compile the responses in the next issue.
L I B R A R Y J U I C E
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