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Warrior Librarian Weekly

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Note: The opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author. Any resemblance to real librarians (living or dead, or somewhere in between) or real libraries, may be a coincidence - but probably not.

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Issue #194: Early October, 2004

Library policy omission no barrier to success

John Howard Conservative Liberal John Howard was the winning contestant in the Australian Election, despite having less than 48% of the primary votes, due to the paradoxes of representational democracy.

WLW observed that Howard was the only politician to not have mentioned libraries or books-for-babies in his campaign. Not one notable library-related quote was uttered for the entire six weeks of the crusade.

Denying accusations from surly opposition members of senile dementia following his recent 65th birthday, and being too elderly to see out his fourth term of office, the re-elected Prime Minister celebrated his election win by competing in two ultramarathons before breakfast, then setting out for his daily jog around the planet ...

...No more to read here >>

Author sets new records

Austrian author One of Austria's most controversial writers and poets, Elfriede Jelinek became the 10th woman and the first Austrian to win the Nobel Literature Prize. However, Jelinek has also set a number of other records that appear to have been overlooked in the mainstream press.

She is also the only person who was born on 20 October 1946 in the town of Muerzzuschlag in the Austrian province of Styria that has won a Nobel Prize in any field of endevour. In addition, this author was unique in that her literary debut was the publication of the book titled Lisas Schatten, or Lisa's Shadow. Although other authors also have made a literary debut, none were original enough to use this particular title.

Through the awarding of these acollades to Jelinek, Bob Corbett - professor emeritus of philosophy at Webster University, St Louis, Missouri - was able to write a review of the author's work for Guardian Unlimited, in which he was notably able to mention no less than four times that he taught in Austria. Until the Nobel announcement, few people outside Webster cared about Corbett's illustrious overseas teaching career ...

...No more to read here >>

Library artist suffers for art

library mural The director of Livermore's public library was described as 'very frustrated', when a $40,000 ceramic mural was unveiled outside the city's new library. Not that she didn't understand the concept of the artwork, but at the fact that there were a eleven spelling mistakes - including "Eistein," "Shakespere" and "Michaelangelo".

Another $6,000 (plus expenses) has been authorized to fly artist Maria Alquilar up from Florida to fix the errors. Alquilar stated that "The importance of this work is that it is supposed to unite people ... they are denigrating my work and the purpose of this work." Overlooked is the fact that there were only 11 errors in the 175 names; that would be 94% in a spelling test - well above the national average.

A number of people on the council board have suggested that the artist will have to create a mural addendum, plus write out the correct spellings 100 times ...

...No more to read here >>

Library repair kit foils hurricanes

Glue sticks Reported by Library Journal, Alabama and Florida public libraries came through the recent series of killer storms "unbelievably well", according to Rebecca Mitchell, director of the Alabama Public Library Service.

Mitchell was unavailable for further comment at the time of writing, so it has been impossible to confirm whether theories regarding the amount of library paste and glue in use were a contributing factor to the buildings' ability to resist the fierce windstorms.

However, the fact that the homes of the public librarians were also left largely intact suggests that the extensive use of adhesives - necessary due to insufficient funding to replace broken and worn items, would seem to support this theory ...

...No more to read here >>

OCLC maintains blogging standards

blogger From the centre of the WorldCat universe comes yet another blog. But perhaps this one will offer a different perspective on things librarish.

With the stated aim of covering "all things present and future that impact libraries and library users", the three OCLC Library staffers who write this blog - unvetted by OCLC - provide "personal reflections about what's going on in libraryland".

Sure, there's still a smattering of links to web articles that are 18 months old, with cute(ish) dog-in-trouble stories, but given the nature of the medium ...

...No more to read here >>

Kids smoking ban extended to libraries

smoking kids The news from Kuala Lumpur includes the fact that under-18 smokers will be fined up to RM1,000 under new anti-smoking measures imposed by the Government.

Under the amendments to the tobacco products legislation, the list of non-smoking areas had been extended to include libraries. Also public toilets, Internet cafes, places of religious worship, and school buses are now no-smoking zones.

Previously, the no-smoking areas include entertainment centres, except pubs, discos, night clubs and casinos; hospitals or clinics, air-conditioned eateries or shops, public transport, airports, government premises, childcare centres, learning institutions and institutions of higher learning, shopping complexes and bank counters, and Telekom, Tenaga Nasional Berhad and Pos Malaysia offices ...

...No more to read here >>

Did online libraries fail to take off?

taking off

Despite the Internet's earlier promise that news websites would bring current news stories 'almost instantly' to the information consumer, G4's website today published an article written in 2002.

The article states that "... the concept of the online library appears to be gathering virtual dust ...", and quotes various statements from digital authorities from the year prior to the article's creation. Yep, three years out of date.

Interestingly though, the commentary on the need to solve issues such as copyright and digital rights is still current information ...

...No more to read here >>

Protests over public funding

Little League Team Washington's The Common Denominator writes that opponents of public financing for a new baseball stadium are fuming over a message e-mailed last Friday to an undisclosed list of "coaches/parents of children" by Winston Lord, executive director of Washington Baseball Club LLC, which has been working for the past five years with the D.C. Sports & Entertainment Commission to return Major League Baseball to the District.

In the message, Lord solicits participation by "kids of all ages in [sports] uniforms" to participate in a rally at RFK Stadium "in case an announcement in DC's favor is made" to move the National League's Montreal Expos to the nation's capital. "We can provide transportation from schools..I'm looking for little league teams, school teams etc. anybody and everybody. This is hopefully once in a lifetime event that every child in D.C. is going to want to say they were there for!!!!!"

Parent Susan Ousley called Lord's message "insulting" when she posted it to a listserv for D.C. Public Schools advocates on Saturday morning. "I don't think I have to explain to anyone who's ever fought for a library, playground, classroom, field trip bus, school, baseball field, uniforms, or any other item that children need how fundamentally insulting and cynical I found [Lord's] memo," wrote Ousley, a leader of Save DC Parks & Play Spaces.

One of the major arguments being used by opponents of public financing for a new stadium is that it would use tax dollars that might otherwise be spent on improving public schools and libraries ...

...No more to read here >>

Action figures at odds

Pearl vs Shakespeare Armed only with a huge vocabulary and an extensive library of published works, William Shakespeare fronts Nancy Pearl's admonishing finger.

Ohio School for the Deaf librarian, Ada G. Kent together with her librarian husband, apparently discovered the two literary figures in a confrontational pose early in the morning at their Columbus home.

Used here with the photographer's permission, with the advice that "as for the copyright interest in the dolls themselves, we of course cannot confer any rights in the use of the manufacturerÂ’s artistic images. However, in the name of parody and humor we do find some basis for our derivative work". [Thanks, we think.]

Kent threatened to take the dolls to her library in this pose, to see if her patrons would 'get the joke'. Which is even funnier if you understand the different interpretations of Nancy's gesture, which vary between International Sign Language, American Sign Language, and Auslan ...

...No more to read here >>


No review copy supplied PRESS RELEASE: Legal Deposit-National Library of Canada ISBN 2-922870-05-7.

The revised edition of the Canadian Subsidy Directory 2004 is now available. The new edition is the most complete and affordable reference for anyone looking for financial support. It is deemed to be the perfect tool for new or existing businesses, individual ventures, foundations and associations.

This Publication contains more than 2600 direct and indirect financial subsidies, grants and loans offered by government departments and agencies, foundations, associations and organisations. In this new 2004 edition all programs are well described.

Unfortunately the publishers neglected to send a review copy, so WLW cannot validate the publication's existence or authenticity. We would only be able to provide information on the other stuff that was sent with the press release, like the contact phone number and ordering details ...

... No more to read here >>


Laugh yourself comatose

 man laughing
WLW Reader

Research has shown that the average librarian will take 10 to 15 minutes to read this web page. Anecdotal evidence is suggesting that many librarians fear they do not have enough time to investigate the humor links. The majority of the 90+ original library humor items (all written by Biblia, and not available anywhere else on the 'net) in the Humor Index are designed to take less than 2 minutes to read.

However, if you choose to hang around there for hours reading them all, then re-reading them, then WLW cannot take any responsibility. You now have the choice of using the genetically unmodified Alphabetical Index or the dolphin-safe Dewey Version. Caffeine-free version has been temporarily canned, pending an FDA investigation ...

Caution: Will open in new window ...


MASS MEDIA: Although Ingram Library Services Further Developments may not be a mass media publication, strictly speaking, at least they run a good story ...

CONFERENCES: Past and future appearances by A.B. Credaro
MEMO: Fall, 2003.
SLAQ: June 29/30, 2004.
ASLA NSW: 22/23 October, 2004.

ACADEMIA: There are more than 50 institutions that have a link to Warrior Librarian on their web sites, including the Tasmanian Department of Education ...

INTERNET: Google now lists over 4,000 for a search on the phrase "warrior librarian". Not that we check regularly or anything ...

FROM THE MAILBOX: Many thanks to all those organizations and individuals who continue to offer us cheap valium. We didn't realize that the need was so obvious ...

... ... No more to read here >>

It's no secret that people outside the library profession have no idea of what's really involved in working in a library. The intrigue, tears of blood, mystery, broken promises, heartbreak, abuse, threats of violence ... and that's just getting my kids out of bed in the mornings so I can actually get to work ...


Biblia, the Warrior Librarian
Graphic by Peter Lewis


When you re-read a classic you do not see more in the book than you did before; you see more in you than there was before.

Thomas Carlyle

More Quotes >>


Q: What's a FARQ?
A: Frequently Asked Reference Question.
[Usage: common, although not necessarily in this context. More usually used by patrons rather than library staff. Note that FARQ-U is not an institution of higher learning. WLW.]

...No more to read >>


This should be filed under Essential Information; 10 things you never knew about frogs, from the U.Bleeding Obvious ...

...No more to read >>


George Lopez, the author, writer, producer and star of ABC-TV's hit sitcom 'George Lopez', will lend his support to the newest ALA promotional campaign to encourage library card usage The Smartest Card. Get It. Use It. @ your library, or as it will soon become known, the TSCGIUT@your library campaign ...

News reports of the impact of IT in library work producing a 30% increase in salary rates for corporate law librarians seems to have omitted that technology has impacted on all types of libraries - although there hasn't been any pecunary compensation through any of the other information sectors ...

Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code, is under a plagiarism cloud and facing a law suit for using material from books published over 20 years ago ...

A long-lost humor piece by Hemmingway has been banned from publication not due to content, but estate claims. According to the current manuscript owner, it wasn't all that funny anyway ...

Meanwhile, genuine literary wit Garrison Keillor will host the National Book Awards on in New York on November 17. Keillor stated that he hoped to one day be able to fake nonchalance, but in the meantime was thrilled to be appointed MC ...

Roxboro media specialists have presented a five-year plan to their district board, basically asking for enough funding to fulfil their legal requirements. As part of that campaign, the national "Campaign for Books" will run during Children's Book Week. Smack bang in the middle of the electioneering process ...

A QUEENSLAND woman caring for the children of disgraced author Norma Khouri has asked the US consulate to help return them to their mother in America. Caboolture woman Rachel Richardson says she can no longer afford to look after Ms Khouri's children, left in her care when their mother fled Australia two months ago in the grip of a literary scandal ...

There is some degree of disagreement over whether or not India's Taj Mahal should be celebrating its 350th birthday this year. Historians argue that it is actually closer to 360 years old. However, government officials insist it has got its dates right about construction of the monument. "There are two books from which the dates have been taken as they contain authentic details," said state tourism minister Kawkab Hameed, declining to give details of the publications ...

Will dog-loving library folk be angst-ridden over the Houston Chronicle's coverage of a story on the apparent affinity of librarians with cats? Probably not ...

Who knew that Jamie Lee Curtis writes children's books? But perhaps more interesting is the report on being questioned whether her 17-year-old and 8-year-old children, think she's cool because she's famous. "My son doesn't want to see the movies I'm in, my daughter could care less." Sounds like they're pretty normal kids ...

Australia's Green Left Weekly online publication covers the story of the Unconventional Heroes Awards, which included honors to California Librarians for their resistance to the Patriot Act ...

School and children's librarians might be interested in the teaser poster for the new Lemony Snicket movie, which will star Jim Carrey, Meryl Streep, Billy Connolly, Jude Law, amongst others ...

Has YOUR invitation to the grand opening of the Clinton Library arrived yet ...

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October 10, 2004