Publib Discussion: Unnecessary censorship or necessary evil?

 What would Mark Twain do?

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Publib contributors weighed in on questions regarding the sanitation of language in a new edition of Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn for the purpose of classroom instruction. Would Mark Twain approve? Should period works be sanitized for classroom instruction?  The general consensus appears to have been a resounding NO.

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

♦  Appalled – Judy Jerome

♦  Awful, just awful. – Sally Tornow

♦  doubt that Mr. Clemens would have approved – Sharon Foster

♦  disgraceful – Mary Soucie

♦  Political correctness run so far amuck that it is changing history and literature – Fred Beisser

♦  outraged – Lisa Guidarini

♦  What good does that do? – Kathi Kemp

♦  outrageous and self-aggrandizing endeavor – Robin Orlandi

♦  bowdlerizing is misguided – should be considered/cataloged as a derivative work – John Beekman

♦  order some new copies of the Twain books with the original language so that we ensure that we have them around as needed in years to come… – Sharon Highler

♦  Hi Tech Bowdlerization, still pathetic. – Jeff Imparato

♦  UNBELIEVABLE – GiGi Bayne

♦  horrendous – Tom Cooper

♦  Is there similar outrage about versions of pop music that have selected words altered? – Brad Thomas

♦  The idea that the “new version” is specifically intended for the educational market i(s) disheartening.  – Paula Laurita

♦  Mr. Twain is no longer around to grant his permission. – Aleta Copeland

♦  If you think this edition is a bad idea, then fight for the original. – Jacob Browne

♦  Twain’s language reflects his times, not ours – Kathleen Stipek

There are certainly many different perspectives on race.  But, there really is only one race. We *all* began in Africa.  Folklore / religion / and ignorance of history create the illusion that we are different other than in extremely superficial characteristics.  Those superficial characteristics are simply tiny changes in the genetic markers that have occurred over many thousands of years.

National Geographic produced an excellent film – The Human Family Tree – that traces us back to scientific Adam and scientific Eve.  Worth collecting for any public or academic library:

http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/human-family-tree-3706-interactive

The Genographic Project will let you trace your own history, our own history – way, way, way beyond Ancestry.com .

The Elbert County Library in Colorado sponsored a presentation on Genealogy DNA Testing: 

http://denver.yourhub.com/Franktown/Stories/News/General-News/Story%7E921172.aspx  

Think about what a program like that could do for your community.

What would Mark Twain do?

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Best of PubLib 03.14.10

Best of Publib Current Topics and Archives

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This edition of  Best of Publib covers the weeks of March 1st  through March 14th 2010. This edition includes questions about collection development, thought-provoking discussions about  known inaccuracies in ‘non-fiction’ works , circulation manager duties ,  humorous anecdotes regarding blondes ,  and the impact of closing public school libraries: 

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Best of PubLib 02.21.10

Best of Publib Current Topics and Archives

Best of PubLib TVComing Soon!

This week  in  Best of Publib covers February 15th through February 21st 2010. This week includes PubLib questions about collection development, the value of on-line tutorials and databases , organization of gaming tournaments,  and the cause of stress in public libraries. Some of the topics we will be reviewing include: 

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Best of PubLib 01.31.10

Best of Publib Current Topics and Archives

Video returning soon

weekly updateThis week  in  Best of Publib covers January 24th through January 31st 2010. This week includes discussions about the Broadband Stimulus Programs,  collection development, technology planning, library programming, access to archives,  and the effect of library reference poaching. Some of the topics we will be reviewing include:

  • Topic   »    Library Fines – Lynda Dydo in Los Gatos, CA wants to know who raised fines – What was the impact on revenue?
  • Topic   »    Author Meet & Greets –  Rhonda Jessup  in Whitby, ON Canada  wants to know how you introduce authors – What is most effective?
  • Topic   »    Employment applications – Kathleen McCorkle in Sedan, KS would like examples of library specific employment applications
  • Topic   »    Documented LJ Index Problems – Thomas J. Hennen Jr. in Racine, WI provides analysis of issues with LJ Index – Will the problems be answered or resolved?
  • Topic   »    program attendance question – Elizabeth Fraser in Charleston WV is looking for program statistics – Which programs are successful?
  • Topic   »    GED revisions? – Kevin O’Kelly in Somerville, MA wanted to know about GED updates – the NETLS Coordinator provided the answers
  • Topic   »    Astoria Library Birthday Party Invitation – Jane Tucker in Astoria, OR lets us know about the 118th Birthday of Astoria Public Library
  • Topic   »    Question for Frequent Travelers – Jennifer Ray in Cassopolis, MI wants to know how to predict the best deals on flights – Sharon Foster offered Bing
  • Topic   »    Church Partnerships? – Tony Ross in Washington, DC wants to know how to build relationships with local churches – Are there constitutional considerations?
  • Topic   »    CD shelving – Lynne S. Ingersoll  in Blue Island, IL is looking at functional storage and display for 3000 CDs – What works?
  • Topic   »    RFID Implementation - Andrea Taylor in Fullerton, CA wants your story on setting up RFID – What were the processes and pitfalls?
  • Topic   »    Challenges to newspaper index entries – Bruce Brigell in Skokie, Illinois relates the effect of newspaper archives that  disparage – What is the balance between public access and public disparagement? 
  • Topic   »    CD and DVD protectors – Margaret (Meg) Van Patten in Baldwinsville, New York wants to know what works best – How do you protect the data side surface of your DVDs?
  • Topic   »    which Speaker System to use – Amy Blossom in Ashland, Oregon wants a low-cost speaker system with portable mikes  for library programs – Which products work for you?
  • Topic   »    iPad and what it means to the library – Andrea Taylor in Fullerton, CA discusses the potential impact of the Apple iPad  on similar products and libraries – What do you think?
  • Topic   »    Tax season – Elisa Babel in Washington, DC provides a great link to Closed Stacks discussing  tax season effect on libraries and the types of tax filers librarians are most likely to encounter – How did libraries become in loco IRS ?
  • Topic   »    Social Networking and the Library – Jane Genzel in Muskego, WI wants to know how your library benefits from blogs, Twitter, Facebook and other social networking tools – How do you measure success?
  • Topic   »    New Blog: Quid est veritas? – Bob Watson in Lake Villa, IL has started a new blog offering his expertise on reference issues Quid est veritas?
  • Topic   »    Appointments for in-depth Reference Assistance - Theresa Grieshaber in Modesto CA is reviewing methods for exclusive reference services
  • Topic   »   PR/Marketing Masterpieces – Dinah Harris in Lexington, TN is presenting on library public relations and marketing at Tennessee Library Association Conference 2010  – What are some of your success stories?
  • Topic   »    Reference Question Poaching – What happens when a collegue interupts the reference interview with their own answers? How do you handle it?
  • Topic   »    Library Humor for the month of January was compiled in  Best of PubLib Library Humor
  • Topic   »    Get Connected now available - Diedre Conkling in Newport, OR  links to Broadband Stimulus Program information  
  • Topic   »    NTIA sending out 1,400 rejection letters! – James Casey in Oak Lawn, IL points to some of the faults in the bureacratic process – Are Broadband Stimulus Applications too complicated? Is resistance useless?

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Best of PubLib ALA Midwinter Exhibit Hall Review

Best of PubLib at the ALA Midwinter Meeting Exhibit Hall Review

This week,  Best of Publib covered the ALA Exhibit Hall at the Boston Convention Center.   The HD video below includes hundreds of vendor displays.  We hope it will help you imagine the experience if you were not able to attend, or help refresh and reinforce what you learned.  

 
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Boston Convention and Exhibition Center

The Boston Convention Center was an excellent venue for ALA. The train brought us to South Station - just a few minutes away from the hotels and convention amenities.   There are many local publishers and library suppliers within a short distance, so start-ups and unique product suppliers could present affordably.  And, Boston rocks!  The Freedom Trail, Duck Tours , along with world-class museums and libraries are within short distances of the convention center.  

The organizational effort by ALA and attention to detail by the library vendors was outstanding. It was easy to lose track of time on the exhibit hall floor amidst the panorama and noise.  It took on a casino / carnival atmosphere with prizes to win and vendors pitching their games. High above, you could use the Food Court sign as a directional beacon.  

Of all the hundreds of vendors represented, we chose to review five.  

The first is : I-Concepts which defines itself as Innovative Concepts for Nonprofit Organizations.  We could imagine many libraries outside of Boston benefiting from this service, along with fostering a general appreciation of local history archives.  If you are looking for a way to both encourage collection use and raise funds – i-concepts may be the answer. The Amelia Earhart print was fascinating.  

LibraryThing.com/forLibraries

The second  is : LibraryThing. Tim Spalding along with his gregarious black-shirted  horde truly represented the best of Open Source, Library 2.0 and viral marketing. They were eager to engage and highly entertaining.  

The third vendor is : LE@D-Lifelong Education @ Desktop from the University of North Texas   This group was absolutely charming and demonstrated infectious enthusiasm for their services. They dressed in some of the most colorful attire at the exhibit.  Le@D  provides highly affording library training. According to Director – Kevin Haney (in the middle with the green shirt) – costs are as low as $15 for a course! Enthusiastic library training –  Deep in the heart of Texas!  

New York Times

The fourth vendor is: The New York Times offering 50% off Home Delivery Service
 Marketing was conducted by On the Avenue Marketing Group with this excellent salesperson hawking half-price subscriptions. She may have been the hardest working individual in the exhibit hall. Yet, it was somehow troubling that this was the limit of representation of the New York Times publishing empire.  

III

The fifth vendor is: III – Innovative Interfaces Incorporated. III is one of the heavy hitters in the Library industry. Many libraries are dependent on their products and they have  a loyal base. I worked on two transitions to III – the first at Brown University from CLSI and the second at CLAN libraries from Horizon. I have used III for over twenty years and find it offers outstanding service. However, what I observed in the exhibit hall was troubling.  

The III booth was very well-appointed and designed with several interactive product displays. It supported a large group of associates to answer questions. Yet, few were actually engaged in discussions with anyone but their co-workers. A librarian approached two of the representatives to thank III for providing a pass to the exhibit hall. One of the representatives took a look at the librarian’s badge and said something to the effect of :

 “Well ______ must have been giving away those passes all along the east coast, we had another librarian from ____ stop by earlier “.

Then the rep rattled off a few names of people they considered important from that same institution and basically dismissed the librarian. There was no sales pitch. No offer to demo. Merely, a dismissal. 

Library Service, especially in the public library sector, ideally levels the playing field. Service is equal. In contrast, some vendor representatives have obviously been instructed to find out the station of the exhibit hall attendee, determine if they were of the buyer / influencer class and dismiss the others. Yet, the nature of libraries and librarians as technology consumers requires generating interest throughout an organization and getting everyone to buy in. If you have six vendor representatives at an exhibit and you don’t have a crowd around your people, then you should generate interest by engaging everyone.  All of the library vendors were start-ups at one point.   

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The exhibit hall may be the most effective way to get hands on experience with some of the newest and most exciting products in the library world.  The meager twenty-five dollar entrance fee – or having an inside vendor representative hook you up for free makes the experience well worth the visit.  

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This Week in Best of PubLib 01.11.10

Best of Publib Current Topics and Archives

Video coming soon

This week  in  Best of Publib covers the week of December 31st, 2009 through January 10th, 2010. This week includes questions about insect extermination, thought-provoking discussions about the politics of library cards and communication , comparison of cataloging software,  and the effect of weather on library operations. Some of the topics we will be reviewing include:weekly update

  • Topic   »    iTunes on Public Computers - Natalie Morgan in Boerne, TX asks how to accomodate iPod downloads  – Can privacy and security be expected?
  • Topic   »    Braille – Michael McGrorty in Los Angeles provides this NYT article on the use of Braille  – Are there viable alternatives?
  • Topic   »    Email Notification Complaint - Diedre Conkling in Newport, Oregon is investigating the efficiency of email notices – Does email notice content differ from paper?
  • Topic   »    Buggy books - Karen Hiser in Charleston, West Virginia wants to know how to kill bug / insect eggs in library materials – What are the best methods for extermination?
  • Topic   »    Quick (hopefully) question about Excel – Phalbe Henriksen in Taylorsville, NC  seeks tutorials on Excel chart creation
  • Topic   »    Home Cataloging Software? – Tony Ross seeks reviews of cataloging software for collections >2500 without the social networking of:  Shelfari, LibraryThing  and Goodreads – What are your experiences with software such as:  Readerware  , Collectorz  and Delicious-Monster?
  • Topic   »    definitions needed – reference vs. non-reference – Ellen Eyberg in El Paso, TX asks for guidance on the scope of reference questions – When does direction become an intellectual endeavor?
  • Topic   »    Infopeople’s webinar “TEDx for Libraries” – Linda Rodenspiel of infopeople.org is promoting TEDx webinar to facilitate library programming – TED rocks!
  • Topic   »    Library card needed for checkout? - Linda Fairbanks in Oak Brook, IL questions library card mandates – What are the politics of library cards?
  • Topic   »    Wiki in the Library question - Kevin Clement wants to know how libraries are using Wiki’s as internal communication tools – How do Wiki’s work for you?
  • Topic   »    Advocating for YA Librarian - Ryan Livergood in Dover, MA wants to show critical need for young adult librarians – What are some great examples?
  • Topic   »    CD/DVD cleaning machines - Mary Hall in Bedford, IN would like to get ratings and opinions of CD / DVD cleaning machines – Which ones work the best?
  • Topic   »    Open Source Newspaper Indexing Software - Jesse Higel in Mount Vernon, OH seeks examples of free / Open Source indexing software.  Sharon Foster in New Hampshire provides an excellent example  with Zoho Creator.
  • Topic   »    Cameras - Debbie Winlock would like opinions on the use of security cameras in libraries – What works? What doesn’t?
  • Topic   »    ebook readers – experience/success with the audio download – any personal or professional testimonials - Gail Preslar Kingsport, TN seeks evaluation along with ongoing technical reviews – Sony Reader , Amazon Kindle , Barnes & Noble Nook are market leaders.
  • Topic   »    Expanded use OPAC - Joe McKenzie would like  optimal methods for utilizing OPAC computers as short-term web browsers – Does expanding internet access create more demand? If you build it, who will come?
  • Topic   »    Position Open in the Beautiful NW – Regan Robinson in Lynden, WA  advertised this Web Coordinator position  at Whatcom Library System – Resident Arizonian PubLib humorist Joe Schallan takes exception to  ‘beautiful Northwest‘.
  • Topic   »    Closing for weather poll – Linda Cannon – Joplin, MO wants to know when you shut your library down due to weather – What closes your library? 

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