World Book Day and Google Book Search

 World Book Day, Copyright, and Google Book Search

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On March 22nd the Southern District Court of New York rejected the Google Books Settlement.  One of the central issues of the Google Books Settlement was the burden on Copyright holders to opt out of having their works digitized by Google.  Instead, the burden is put on Google to obtain rights by having Copyright holders opt in. What does this mean for the extraordinary database Google has constructed of digitized works?  What contents are already available in Google Books?

 On March 16th the World Book Day game was reposted from Facebook to the PubLib Listserve:

  • “It’s that time again – World Book Day. Grab the book closest to you right now. Open to page 56 and choose the 5th sentence. Publish it as your status and write these rules as a comment. Don’t choose – PICK UP the CLOSEST BOOK. Don’t say what the book is about.”

The World Book Day game on Facebook is apparently a derivation of World Book Day as explained here by Judy Turner   :

  • Briefly, the day’s official name is World Book and Copyright Day (also known as International Day of the Book or World Book Days. It is celebrated yearly,except in the UK and the Republic of Ireland where the first Thursday in March was chosen as the date. The commemoration was organized by UNESCO to promote reading, publishing and copyright and was first observed in 1995.

Many PubLib subscribers posted the fifth sentence on the 56th page of the book closest to them on PubLib.    Running the sentences through Google Book Search yielded many of the titles.  Google sells many of these titles through the eBookstore, so it stands to reason that many of the copyright holders would have given permission to digitize.  Do the searches that do not appear represent opting out?  It also stands to reason if the 56th page of a book is available through Google Book search, the rest of the book would also be available.  Does this mechanism of being able to search a book in its entirety still represent fair use?  And, what are the books that were closest to the PubLib readers who participated in the game?

The 56th page fifth sentences follow. The sentences do not necessarily correspond to the 56th page of the edition scanned, but each sentence was available in its entirety:

This is only a test

By similar reasoning, it was held in U.S. v. Jacobsen (1984) that field testing of a white powder uncovered by a private search was no search, as it would only reveal whether the powder was an illegal substance.” ~ Robert Balliot  – Criminal Procedure Constitutional Limitations – Jerold H. Israel and Wayne R. LaFave -2006  – ( Editor: this was not in Google Book Search – is this an example of opting out by Thomson West?)

“Locally crafted of walnut, mahogany, and sometimes cypress, these knobs are identical to examples made in the eastern United States and continued to appear on both bench-made and factory-made furniture through the nineteenth century.”~ Audrey Jo DeVillier – na

“Paul knew that if he meant to make it in show business he had to go ‘down south’, even though southerners had a reputation for being unfriendly and condescending to northerners such as himself.” ~ Mark P. Hasskarl – Fab: An Intimate Life of Paul McCartney – Page 56 – Howard Sounes – 2010 – 634 pages

“Mainly a place for jewelers to pick up stock, ordinary mortals, too, can rummage the sparklers and invest in either loose gems or unique pieces of fine jewelry.”~ Gair Helfrich - na

“”The double hit of having a tendency to form clots combined with an additional element that causes clots can lead to serious problems.” ~ Viccy Kemp – 100 Questions and Answers about Stroke: A Lahey Clinic Guide – Page 56 – Kinan K. Hreib – 2008 – 185 pages

“Like her he scanned the shadows, the deep pits of dark.” ~ Patrice Matujec - na

“And later, after her gentle care, she could see the trusting look in his eyes”. ~ Deb Yoder – A Moment in Time – Judith Gould – 2001 – 323 pages

“What these men had to eat and drink Is what we say and what we think.” ~ Myers, Leigh – Selected poems John Crowe Ransom – 1969 – 159 pages – More editions

“I can do without the snake’s help this time.” ~ Charli Osborne - na

“Like its rival Laphroaig, this [Lagavulin] is a very distinctive malt.” ~ Diane Swint Levin

“Is she awake yet?” ~ Darla Wegener - na

“”We won’t be doing that, Sheriff Barnett.’” ~ Glenda Pate - na

“It’s my mother.” ~ Betsy Cherednik - na

After agreeing to the new, harsher terms, Johnston surrendered his once-great army on April 26, 1865. ~ Melissa Davidson – Insiders’ Guide to Civil War Sites in the Southern States- John McKay – 2005 – 384 pages

When the poet Claude McKay reviewed Shuffle Along for The Liberator magazine, he made a point of praising its all-black production because some black radicals ‘were always hard on Negro comedy…hating to see themselves as a clowning race.’ ~ Kathleen Stipek – Anything Goes: A Biography of the Roaring Twenties- Lucy Moore – 2010 – 352 pages

“Malcolm Usrey called the book ‘a powerful and moving story, made poignant by [O'Dell's] restraint and simplicity, reflecting the stoic, proud, and quiet or passive strength of Bright Morning.’” ~ Donna Olson – Biography Today Author Series: Profiles of People of Interest to … Laurie Lanzen Harris, Cherie D. Abbey – 1996 – 190 pages

The nation’s first nonpartisan African American summit convenes April 21-23. ~ Melodie M. Franklin – The African American almanac L. Mpho Mabunda – 1997 – 1270 page

Glue and clamp together four pieces of 3/4″ x 3-1/4″ x 4-1/4″ stock to form the cab block (B). ~ Michael May - The great all-American wooden toy book Norman Marshall – 1999 – 211 pages

“4 1/2 cups water” ~ Ami Kreider – too many hits - na

“I went to Sedona’, Brenda Answered ~ Carolyn in Glasgow, MT - Fatal Error – Judith A. Jance – 2011 – 368 pages

“It’s true that I may have looked a bit New Agey, but I didn’t really need this.” ~ Margaret M. Neill – One of Our Thursdays Is Missing – Jasper Fforde – 2011 – 384 pages

Beigeschmack m (-[e]/no pl.) slight flavor; smack (of)(a. fig.) ~ Fred Beisser – The Oxford-Duden German dictionary: German-English, English-German – Page 1538  Olaf  Thyen, Michael Clark, Werner Scholze-Stubenrecht – 1999 – 1728 pages

Since then, staff have followed up and worked with them to identify things they will do. ~ Carolyn Rawles-Heiser - na

“”Eileen, achora, I hear someone come tapping.” ~ Cindy Rosser - na

Install A-B-C fire extinguishers in the home and teach family members how to use them. ~ Dianne Harmon – It’s a disaster! … and what are you gonna do about it?: a … – Page 56  Bill Liebsch, Janet Liebsch – 2006 – 268 pages

Finally Ethel walked out on him and went to perform at a Black club called Egg Harbor, then landed at Rafe’s Paradise where the patrons were white. ~ Judy Turner - na

“Dorothy showed him no respect at all.” ~ Erin – Wringer – Jerry Spinelli – 2004 – 227 pages

It was characteristic of not only the Platonic but the Xenophonic Socrates. ~ Bill Manson - na

The very worst poetry of all perished with it creator Paula Nancy millstone Jennings of Greenbridge, Essex, England in the destruction of the planet Earth. ~ Diane Doty – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Page 58 Douglas Adams – 1997 – 208 pages

Those to whom the power of election is transferred must observe the provisions of law concerning an election and, for the validity of the election, they must observe the conditions attached to the compromise, unless these conditions are contrary to the law. Conditions which are contrary to the law are to be regarded as non-existent. ~ Paula Laurita – The code of canon law: new revised English translation  Catholic Church, Canon Law Society of Great Britain and Ireland, Canon Law Society of Australia and New  Zealand – 1997 – 508 pages

“The boy wondered and grieved that she could not eat; and when, putting his arms around her neck, he tried to wedge some his cake into her mouth, it seemed to her that the rising in her throat would choke her.” ~ Brad Leifer – Uncle Tom’s cabin, or, Life among the lowly – Harriet Beecher Stowe – 1852

“Then he heard a rustling sound coming from the kitchen.” ~ Meegan Tosh - - na

“The brigand’s sword withdrew to strike, and Friar Lorenzo sank to his knees in submission, clutching the rosary and waiting for the slash that would cut short his prayer.” ~ Heather Murray - Juliet – Page 56 Anne Fortier – 2010 – 464 pages

The Wee Tods cooried in close, their nebs twiggin, their een skinklin like stars. ~ Gail Roberts - na

“The rep was described as what we termed “UK-6 Aristocracy Dapper-12,” which meant that he had a fine pencil mustache and spoke as though he were from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.” ~ Catherine McCullough Les -  One of Our Thursdays Is Missing -  Jasper Fforde – 2011 – 384 pages

“All the same, she saw him go with regret.”  Betty Neels, The Awakened Heart. ! ~ Carrie Braaten (Editor: not in Google Books but  the line partially repeats – A Good Wife – Page 32 Betty Neels – 2009 – 192 pages – Shall I go up?’ Serena gave him a tired ‘Hello.’She was both tired and very worried, her hair hanging down herback … be along presently,’ he told her, ‘ and I’m sure your brothers will see to everything.’ She saw him go with regret. ..) - na.

“The amount of material on reserve for a course should be reasonable in relation to the total amount of reading assigned for the course;” ~ Kim Rutter - The librarian’s copyright companion – Page 56 James S. Heller – 2004 – 257 pages

“She is not for sale,” the father answered. ~ Marla - na

However, Sebastiano gained his greatest fame after moving to Rome in 1511. ~ Jessica Rogoz - The World Book Encyclopedia: Volume 1  World Book, Inc – 2007 – 22 pages

Most teams don’t have such a complete back; they’re more likely to have one of each, so defenses can take their next cues from the formation. ~ Sandra Ferguson - na

“Provides training and educational assistance to build a productive workforce.” ~ James B. Casey - Illinois handbook of government Illinois. Office of Secretary of State – 2001

I will continue to nurse, ride on her ody, and sleep in her nest for more than six years. ~ Judi Bugniazet - na

box of W’s. ~ Jane Carle - na

“There’ll be lots of little things like this, won’t there?” he says, sliding into the right-hand side of the bed. ~ Meredith Crosby – The Poison Tree – Erin Kelly – 2011 – 336 pages

“Eventually runners, if they survive to their eighteenth birthday, can become more of a liability than an asset.” ~ Carol Sheffer – Channel Surfing with God – Page 56 – Gary Fisher – 2009 – 267 pages

La negligencia en la otorgación del permiso de la minera San José, la falta de control respecto a situaciones precedentes y la inexistent supervisión de sus labores, se mantiene como el principal argumento del gobierno del presidente Sebastián Piñera ante los cuestionamientos opositores por el despido de Alejandro Vio, ex director del Sernageomin y responsable administrativo del desastre. ~ Kathi Kemp - Vivos Bajo Tierra/ Alive Underground: La historia verdadera de los …Manuel Pino, Manuel Pino Toro – 2011 – 272 pages

The child needs to get a job as well, which intensifies time pressure when it comes to studying. ~ Robert E. Perone – Ten minute guide – stress management – Page 91 – Jeff Davidson – 2001 – 192 pages

“And now,” said Susan, “what do we do next?” ~ Deborah Shepherd – The lion, the witch, and the wardrobe – Page 55 Clive Staples Lewis, Pauline Baynes – 2000 – 189 pages

All the lanterns were shuttered halfway so that a cool twilight suffused the air, lending an ethereal feel to the event. ~ Laurenne Teachout -Eldest – Page 56 – Christopher Paolini – 2007 – 704 pages

Boothe Homestead Museum gives tours Tuesday through Friday and weekend afternoons. ~ Cheryl Marriage – Off the beaten path: a travel guide to more than 1,000 scenic and … – Page 56 – Reader’s Digest – 2003 – 384 pages

“An evil prophecy is always fulfilled, if you put no time limit upon it; fulfilled quite readily, too, if you are a child counting little misfortunes as disasters.” ~ Ramona Lucius – The searchers – Alan Le May – 1954 – 272 pages

“Barbara came in bearing a tray of cups and saucers and a pot of hot chocolate.” ~ Deborah McLaughlin – American Taliban: A Novel – Page 56 – Pearl Abraham – 2010 – 258 pages

A rubber imitation softball, for instance, at something over 3″ in diameter, has it uses. ~ Judy Anderson – Musical instrument design: practical information for instrument making – Page 56 Bart Hopkin – 1996 – 181 pages

“In my experience there are three reasons why a boy will want to take out a book on poetry: 1. to impress a girl 2.for a class assignment 3.to impress a girl.” ~ Beth Dailey Kenneth – Bruiser – Page 56 Neal Shusterman – 2010 – 336 pages

“Until it receives a determination letter, the organization is required to file income tax returns and pay the applicable tax.” ~ John Richmond - na

“Some people set up routines or choose cues in order to build these moments of mindfulness into their day.” ~ Joanne Cronin - na

“The fall of communism was the result of a much longer process, and the popular protests were just its most visible, but not necessarily most important, component.”  ~ R.  C. Rybnikar  - na

I just need to know that nobody’s reading over my shoulder, about to ask me what I’m writing. ~ Sarah Howison – Messenger of Truth: A Maisie Dobbs Novel -  Jacqueline Winspear – 2007 – 336 pages

“I waited for another crack of thunder, thinking one surely had to follow a statement like that.” ~ Liz A. Vagani - na

In the was a brick oven carrying a large pan; beside it stood a rattan basket filled to the brim with pieces of charcoal. ~ sherry hupp - Judge Dee at Work: Eight Chinese Detective Stories – Page 56 – Robert Hans van Gulik – 2007 – 184 pages

“She didn’t know the real Eddie.” ~ Janet - na

What he needed was to dull his senses as much as he could, staying just sober enough not to be completely tongue-tied. ~ Connie Jo Ozinga - na

From the beer bottles strewn about like passed out drunks, and the cheese doodle dust coating his chest and face, it was pretty clear what he’d been up to. ~ David Faulkner – Red-Headed Stepchild – Jaye Wells – 2009 – 342 pages

“Or at least buy you a book on tactics to bolster your metaphors.” ~ Mary Wilkes Towner – - The Orchid Affair – Lauren Willig – 2011 – 405 pages

“An indoor botanical conservatory, two wedding chapels, and the Spa Tower complete the extravagant picture.” ~ Daniela Yew – Fodor’s Las Vegas 2010 – Page 56 -  Fodor’s – 2009 – 392 pages

“Later Longie Zwillman, the so-called ‘Al Capone of New Jersey’ , took Doc’s place.” ~ Michael Gregory – Encyclopedia of world crime: criminal justice, criminology, and …: Volume 1
- Jay Robert Nash – 1990 – 4500 pages

“To be sure, unlike Dana, the movement’s advocates were not attempting to democratize taste.” ~ Malakia Oglesby - na

“Wishing for my leg back.” ~ Susan Riley - na

“At one end of the bar the television set was on, but the sound had been muted.” ~ Celia Bandelier – P is for peril – Sue Grafton – 2001 – 352 pages

“A robot is already a spare part.” ~ Brock Peoples - na

“He furnished himself with shirts and all the other things he could, following the advice the innkeeper had given him; and when this had been accomplished and completed, without Panza taking leave of his children and wife, or Don Quixote of his housekeeper and niece, they rode out of the village one night, and no one saw them, and they traveled so far that by dawn they were certain they would not be found even if anyone came looking for them.” ~ Lisa Guidarini -  The First Part of the Delightful History of the Most Ingenious … -  Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra – 1909

“Other patrons push their chairs back; the front door opens and shuts, then opens but doesn’t shut as Hattie steels herself to explain about radon, and about how the cancer had already spread by the time they found it – to his liver and brain before anyone knew a thing. “ ~ Laura Carroll - World and Town – Page 56 – Gish Jen – 2010 – 386 pages

Badawi scratched his chin thoughtfully. ~ Ann Perrigo - na

“Frey and others such as Versaci are part of a growing number of educators encouraging read3ers to see comics as a legitimate literary form.” ~ Joann D. Verostko - na

“An old and inconvenient term still used to designate a color mixed with black.” ~ Teresa - na

Swaz si des uber Rin mit ir zen Hiunen brahte, daz muose gar zergeben sin. ~ Lucy Roehrig - Deutsche Grammatik: Volume 1; Volume 4 – Gustav Roethe, Edward Schröder – 1989

“We’re authorized by the Department of Extraordinary Affairs to take you into custody for the possible murder of Professor Mason Redfield.” ~ Pat Mathews – Dead Waters- Anton Strout – 2011 – 335 pages

“Aren’t you forgetting something else?” said Katie acidly. “Like, um, the vents?” ~ Terry Ann Lawler - na

“The very nicest.” ~ Cheryl Schubert - na

World Book Day sentence results

Word Map of Results

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The Google Generation and Library Skills

What the Google Generation Doesn’t Know or 

Get off of my Lawn!

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How has Google affected research skills?  Are library patrons getting the facts?  Are the facts they are getting ‘real’?   Do they know how to find information or what questions to ask? How is the technological immediacy of information balanced against quality?  Do rolling stones still gather no moss?  Many opinions were offered on these subjects and more when  Kevin O’Kelly of the Somerville Public Library asked Publib members:

         “is ignorance of the skills of the pre-Internet age limiting their (high school students) ability to function in the Internet age? ”

To which the Publib Chorus responds:

Thy cnt spl.  Vowels are a thing of the past. Seriously, they can’t spell. They can’t find things, sometimes even on Google because even Google can’t make heads or tails of what they are trying to say.   ~ Dusty Gres – Ohoopee Regional Library System  (editor:   SMS language avoids vowels)

Ay?

I was assisting a middle-schooler with her homework when I noticed she had written that the two official languages of Canada were English and Sumerian. I pointed out her mistake, but even if she had turned the homework in and gotten it wrong she would probably still have discovered that Yahoo Answers isn’t the best resource. And I don’t know about others in my generation, but I rarely find myself’ following the shiny blue hyper-links all over the place in some sort of internet-induced ADD rapture (unless it’s Wikipedia, in which case all bets are off – that site is an easy time-suck). ~ Theresa McNutt – Red Oak Library 

The truly disturbing thing is that back in the day, patrons who couldn’t use the book resources got no information and came to us for help.  Now they will actually get something with their poorly constructed search strategies and they’ll be happy about it.  It’s hard to educate someone who thinks they know what they’re doing. ~ emilie smart – East Baton Rouge Parish Library

. . .Often they finally do come to me, and the only thing left to do is to employ the backhoe method to help them.  I ask ‘what piece of information do you need to have when you leave that you don’t have now?’  … They are entirely too trusting.  They will believe anything if a search engine produces it.  They need to have that talk about not all is gold that glisters and not every search engine is righteous in its presentations.  They don’t know the difference between a site that is there to sell something and one that is there to provide information.  …  They are willing to show others–including librarians–how to manipulate the technology in exchange for being shown how to manipulate information.  Together, we have possibilities. ~ Kathleen Stipek –  Alachua County Library District   

As a member of “generation Google” I respectfully disagree.  It’s a vast  generalization to say that an entire generation (or all young people,  etc.) don’t know how to search online, use an index in a book, or any number of other assumptions. Some younger people don’t know how to do these things; that’s for certain. But neither do some adults. It’s unfair to say that, just because I grew up using computers and the  Internet, I don’t know how to use a library in the traditional sense; or  that I don’t know how to correctly and successfully search for
information online. ~ Amanda Dias – Rodman Public Library

I find that just as many middle aged and older adults have basic book finding and research questions as younger ones. ~ Jesse Ephraim – Roanoke Public Library

I have found that fewer young people have an understanding and appreciation of the Dewey Decimal system.  As we migrate to eBooks and other things digital, I also think about children reading about this strange system (Dewey) that was used to arrange an old technology (books) a long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…. Which leaves me to wonder if Dewey will ever have a place in a completely digital world? … are the same basic skill(s) needed to find, use and evaluate information changing?

How would our ancient predecessors have handled a change in information technology?  It would be interesting to consider how the Roman era librarians of Alexandria would have handled the change from housing half a million papyrus scrolls to a lesser number of paper books.  What changes in society and technology would have effected them?  (And we all know how the changes in society, politics and history of their times influenced the end result of the Great Library of Alexandria.) ~  Dana L. Brumbelow – Alachua County Library District

 many people of ALL ages now just turn to Google and don’t go any further when looking for information. For me it’s really a question of reminding people that unlike the web, a book doesn’t just suddenly disappear, the way a website will if the internet connection is severed. ~ Teresa Eckford

Pretty much anything off the Internet, regardless of source, if it sounds remotely plausible, will satisfy many questioners. Certainly no one wants to wait the few minutes for a librarian to find the correct information in an actual reference book – just take whatever Wikipedia offers.  And it seems that many teachers, having grown up with the same attitudes, don’t have the sense to demand authoritative sources.  Or, perhaps, even to be aware that they exist.

One of my favorite books, “The Franchise Affair” by Josephine Tey rightly skewers the tabloid press of the 40s.  The crazy tabloids my grandmother subscribed to have move comfortably to the web. Batboy lives!  And I’m having a Martian love child next month!  
. . .  Often research skills are taught in school, but patrons want to take the easy way and have you hand them information.  I’ve encountered this often as a K-8 school librarian.  Several teachers complained to the principal that the students didn’t know how to find information or use the library.  This was after years of being taught how to do both.

I asked the teachers to bring classes in to see what the problem was.  The teacher would ask, “Where would you find information on XYZ?”  A room full of shrugged shoulders and vacant stares.I responded, “Really?  Where is the first place you would look for the information?”  Miraculously hands would go up and they suddenly remembered they would use the index to the encyclopedia and then locate the volumes indicated.  They would explain about the different Dewey classifications and using the OPAC. ~ Paula Laurita – Athens-Limestone Public Library 

 
Yellow Journalsim

Yellow Journalism

“Yellow journalism” goes back to the beginning of journalism! So do highly-regarded books that contained errors, slanted viewpoints, careful omission of important facts, etc.No matter what the medium, “logical fallacies” will always be common. Politics in general relies heavily on them, as do many other factors in life. Critical thinking can be taught, but the emotional and social variables that undermine the process can never be fully overcome.

 I would even suggest that the concept of “authoritative sources” in general tends to downplay critical thinking while appealing to emotion and social pressures.  ;)  Knowing how to manipulate the technology is an integral part of librarianship today.  Librarians should know more than the students in that regard, and should work hard to keep their knowledge current.  In most cases, that means studying on your own time for no pay, just as folks in other professions do.

. . . There are some simple ways to improve Google searches dramatically – when I have trouble finding things via Google, it’s usually because the information simply isn’t online, or it’s so obscure that it takes a lot of extra work (which is true of old style print searching, as well).  Though indexes are more precise, they are inherently much more limited. ~ Jesse Ephraim – Roanoke Public Library

The Pew Research Center [somewhere] discovered that, really, under-twenty-somethings aren’t really all that net-savvy. They found it a misconception that next-genners can fix a computer in their sleep. Stroll through any public library’s teen area and watch them actually try to find info by Googling – it’s laughable, sad even. I’m not sure Google gets enough credit in terms of info. organization. Its services just get a bad rep because of its users. ~ Michael Schofield

 
As professionals we should be aware of, and keep up to date on, both library(research) methods _and_ current information technologies. ~ Carl William Long -   Reading Public Library
 
 I think some patrons would love a drive through window! I my case as a public law library – “one divorce packet, no children, to go please.” ~ Virginia Eldridge  Grayson County Law Library

 What really gets to me about these kids-these-days-and-their-darn-computer-boxes discussions is the knee-jerk assumption that a different skill set is an inferior skill set. Lately I’ve enjoyed pointing people to Socrates’ Phaedrus, written around 370 B.C., in which he rails against the new technology of the printed word and its deleterious effect on the mental habits of future generations. David Malki, author of Wondermark, has a really good blog post about it here: http://bit.ly/fnDHxu     

Socrates

I assume that a listserv full of librarians isn’t going to side with Plato in condemning the written word, but he’s not entirely wrong. A dialogue with a knowledgeable person can be much more illuminating that reading a book written by that same person. Plato’s error is his failure to see that the written word has its own strengths to offset the ways in which it is inferior to the spoken word and his refusal to seek out and exploit those strengths rather than lamenting those inferiorities.

Computers have produced a cultural upheaval to rival that wrought by writing and we’re well the point of no return. We’ll better serve ourselves and our patrons by looking to fuse our competencies with those of the Googleites than by grousing about what the kids don’t know. ~ Andrew Fuerste-Henry – Carnegie-Stout Public Library

. . . this ability to synthesize information into thoughts (especially written thoughts) that young people seem increasingly to be missing. I’m not sure if it has to do with how, or where they are getting their information; whether the inability to use an index or to structure a good online search is part of the problem. But I do know it’s a very real problem. I see it all the time, both at work and when I serve as a judge for local debate tournaments.  ~ Tom Cooper – Webster Groves Public Library

I think this is probably the most significant point to be made on this topic, and gets to the heart of the matter. How to help patrons who don’t know they need help? ~  Mark Hudson  East Baton Rouge Parish Library

And teachers and the Internet and their assignments for children…. I can’t figure out if it’s Google-era teachers or old, seasoned veterans who apparently give assignments and say, broadly, “You need information from a book, from a magazine article, and something from the Internet.”  Period.  I used to think it was older teachers who really were backward and knew nothing of the Internet, but thought it was something that everyone was “doing,” so his/her students should “do” the Internet for an assignment, too.  But I’m not so sure.  Then again, having had experience as a parent, I’m not always sure if kids who say, “The teacher said I need something from the Internet,” and then volunteer no further info, despite the best reference interview I can muster, are telling the truth.  Maybe the teacher gave precise directions and exact websites to try.  (That does happen, in about 10% of the cases, or some ridiculously low percentage like that there one.)  Maybe the teacher spoke intelligently and well about How to Find Good, Accurate Information on the Internet.  Or not.  Or has never been in the public library.  Or perhaps has.

Hittites in Love

And then there are all the official documents sent home for parental signatures at the beginning of the year, baddly ritten with pore grammer an speling an runonsentencez, and who produced *those*, I wonder.  Google-ites, or Troglodytes?  (Amorites, Hittites, Jebusites, Hivites–oops, now I’m getting carried away with names from the Bible, and am risking political incorrectness in public.  Or on publib.  Stop me now!) ~ John Richmond – Alpha Park Public Library

A brief summation of the Google Generation thread, with abject apologies to the Rolling Stones. :) ~ Tongue firmly in cheek, ~ Sarah Howison  – New Richmond Branch Library 

(You! Kids!) Get off of My Lawn

They live on the Internet and they can’t read an analog clock
And they eat junky foods till you can hear all their arteries clog.
They trust Google way too much, and they don’t know how to use an index
They cite Wikis in their papers and good lord, I don’t know what’s next!

We say You! (You!) Kids! (Kids!)
Get off of my lawn!
You! (You!) Kids! (Kids!)
Get off of my lawn!
You! (You!) Kids! (Kids!)
Get off of my lawn!
Keep off the grass ’cause you’re not allowed
On my lawn!

Their phones are ringing Bieber in the library all of the time
They answer them out loud, ignoring all the posted “no cell phone” signs.
You say “Hang it up, kiddo, or I’ll have to ask you to depart.”
And they act as though you’ve stabbed them all the way down into the heart.

We say You! (You!) Kids! (Kids!)
Get off of my lawn!
You! (You!) Kids! (Kids!)
Get off of my lawn!
You! (You!) Kids! (Kids!)
Get off of my lawn!
Keep off the grass ’cause you’re not allowed
On my lawn!

They barely use a vowel, they communicate only in text-speak
And for all the sense it makes to us, they might as well be sending Greek.
We snoop around the stacks and assume that all their acts are obscene
No wonder they seem to think librarians are all kind of mean!

We say You! (You!) Kids! (Kids!)
Get off of my lawn!
You! (You!) Kids! (Kids!)
Get off of my lawn!
You! (You!) Kids! (Kids!)
Get off of my lawn!
Keep off the grass ’cause you’re not allowed
On my lawn!   ~ Sarah Howison  – New Richmond Branch Library

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Ladies Night Out at Your Library

Ladies’ Night Out @ Your Library

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Leslie Schow at the Herriman Library in Utah queried  Publib members for ideas about hosting a Ladies Lock-in at the Library.  Kool & the Gang have addressed this issue in some detail  : 
 
But, the contributors to Publib also had some great suggestions and insight about what leads to the happiness of Locked-up Ladies :
Om

Just off the top of my head…  How about a local Romance author visit? People from local salons/department store makeup staffs doing makeovers? Cooking demos?  Ooh…ooh…yoga and stress relief exercise consultant doing a class?  What a fun idea! ~ Mimi Morris – Dayton Metro

As an idea on that stress management suggestion….I did that.  And for free.  A local business, a wellness center located in town, came in and offered to do this for free for the staff, or for the public.  They also have a nutritionist on staff who is going to do a seminar for free for us.

I’ve been planning on approaching some craft stores and seeing if they’d do a craft.  And I have put out a press release asking for volunteers who would like to share their interests.  I was hoping to start a knitting club, a chess club….I don’t know, something along those lines.  I do have one volunteer who makes the most interesting photo books online from her digital photos. She’s going to bring them in and show us how she does it. ~ Lisa Cohn  – Bloomfield Public Library

What about a jewelry exchange? Sounds fun! ~ Valerie Meyerson – Charlevoix Public Library

Photo courtesy of the US Army

Ladies Night Fight Club

How about a self defense demo or safety tips, demos etc? Something to  in-power the ladies. ~ Donna Cain

Hey, can’t they have a game night too. ~ Diedre Conkling – Lincoln County Library District

You could get someone in to do a water-color project or a pottery painting class.  ~ Melodie Franklin – Lafayette Public Library

How about reading to the ladies?  Love poetry so they will have something to take home to hubby who has been babysitting! ~ Anne Felix

Fix it!

They’ve had yoga, crafts, how to use tools (done by a staff member who is A Woman Who Uses Tools, and very knowledgeably), a presentation by someone from either B&N or Borders on what’s new and hot among popular books, Irish dancing, and things that I certainly can’t remember. There always are giveaways/door prizes, and also some really nice gift packages solicited from area merchants.  There’s always food; I’m thinking maybe one of the planners who is interested in healthful eating found someone to do a program on organic foods, or something like that. 

The event is always after closing on Fridays, and lasts for two-and-a-half hours.  Because of space and all-around manageability, the top number of attendees, as I recall, is 35-40.  The last couple of years people have been asked to make a $5 donation toward costs, and no one has complained.  People have invited friends from othertowns/suburbs around Peoria.  It’s always popular.  “Lots of laughter” goes on, according to one of the staff members, in those very words.

…  it’s always nice to hear someone who lives in another library’s territory say, “This is wonderful; they won’t DO one of these at MY library, because it isn’t really about libraries/literacy/books/reading/fill-in-the-blank.” Gives us an opportunity to feel smug and terribly superior…though with humble and modest mien(s), of course. ~ John Richmond – Alpha Park Library District

Oh, what a night . . .

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Librarian Bill of Rights

Librarian Bill of Rights and Ethical Librarians

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There have been many excellent and intriguing responses so far regarding instances of unethical librarianship and untrustworthy trustees. Those responses will be aggregated  here on Best of Publib.
 
One of the interesting comments received was from Diedre Conkling formerly with the ALA Committee on Professional Ethics:
 
On Mon, Feb 28, 2011 at 3:58 PM, Diedre Conkling  wrote:

 There are many reason’s why the ALA Code of Ethics can’t be enforced on librarians, ALA members or the local level.  We, the Committee on Professional Ethics, recently studied this issue for about 3 years.  The study included open forums for input on the code, how to change it and how to enforce it.  We also looked at what is done in other organizations.  The only organizations that can enforce a code of ethics are licensing agencies.  ALA is not one of these.

 
So, even though ALA has eloquently and elegantly described how to be ethical, all of that work on behalf of the profession by professional librarians only has the authority of suggestion and consensus. On the other hand, unethical librarianship and untrustworthy trustees are the product of the powerful slippery slope.  In some environments the slope is much slippier and the pitch is much greater.

Maybe it just begins with a small compromise of ethics:

  • Did the trustee lose a book? Don’t charge them for it. They are more important than the other patrons.
  • Do you want a good evaluation?  Then hire the trustee’s cousin over a more qualified applicant. 
  • Trustee wants you to give no-bid work to one of their friends or relatives –  go along with it.  
  • Trustee doesn’t want you to provide access to public records about the no-bid work? Lose the info.
  • Meeting minutes?  What meeting minutes? 
No real harm done and you generated some good will with your trustee.  Maybe the trustee likes what you did for them, gives you a raise and authorizes a trip from library funds for you to Key West.   Hey, it is just tax dollars, no one will miss it. Come on.  Everyone does it. Don’t rock the boat. Wink, wink – nudge, nudge.
 
On the other hand, hire the more qualified applicant, treat the trustee equally, make sure funds are allocated properly, support the First Amendment, equal protection under the law and provide lawful access to public records and as an at-will public servant you could lose your job.  There is no effective protection for your profession by your profession.
 

Justice

In Rhode Island – along with many other locations, the slope is just about as slick as it can get.  The political pressure to do the wrong thing can be enormous.  The way that another important group of professionals charged with providing equal protection under the law dealt with the ethical dilemma was the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights. The Fraternal Order of Police helped to promote the Bill of Rights to protect their members from political reprisal for doing their jobs.  Many other states have adopted similar laws.

 
I believe that a *Librarian* Bill of Rights (not to be confused with Library Bill of Rights) should be promoted and adopted by the States  as a method to protect the public interest by protecting public librarians in the commission of their lawful duties as administrators, information professionals, and managers of the public trust.
 
Librarians should  have the duty,  right, and protection under the law to act in their professional capacities to:
  • Uphold U.S. Constitution/Federal/State laws
  • Support the First Amendment
  • Support FOIA and Open Meetings/Access to Public Records statutes
  • Conduct library activities using standard principles of accounting
  • Report to appropriate entity – elected officials – without fear of reprisal  – except for malicious intent – any misfeasance/violation of law -  by Board of Trustees or individual trustee
  • Unless declined – right to have evaluations discussed in public
  • Right to review credentials of Board of Trustee applicants – if  Trustees are required to *have*  credentials – prior to appointment

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