October 29, 2008

LJP at ALA in Chicago next July

Make a note to yourself to mark your 2009 calendar when you buy one:

Library Juice Press and Litwin Books will be having a reception during the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago in 2009, at Quimby’s Bookstore, on Saturday, July 11th, 7pm.

Quimby’s is a little off the beaten path, but it’s a very cool Chicago institution that specializes in zines and alternative publications.

LJP and Litwin Books will also have a booth in the exhibits in Chicago.

Not going to Denver for ALA Midwinter in January, unfortunately….

October 28, 2008

Bibliographic and Web Tools for Alternative Media

For many years Byron Anderson has been producing a bibliography of tools for helping librarians attend to the alternative press.

The new edition of his guide is out: Bibliographic and Web Tools for Alternative Media. Updates of this bibliography are regularly published in Counterpoise and posted to the web on the Alternative Media Task Force (ALA/SRRT) site.

This bibliography/webliography is useful for librarians who want to work from an understanding of the importance of alternative literature in libraries but face collection development obstacles.

October 27, 2008

Call for Papers: Mapping the 21st Century Information Landscape: Borders, Bridges and Byways

Canadian Association for Information Science: Call for Papers

The Canadian Association for Information Science invites abstract submissions for its 37th Annual Conference, to be held May 28-30, 2009 at Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, as part of the 2009 Congress of the Canadian Federation of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Deadline for proposals is January 16, 2009. Proposals, including the name(s) of the author(s), mailing and e-mail addresses, telephone and fax numbers, should be sent electronically (Word or rich text format please) to conf2009@cais-acsi.ca.

The conference theme is “Mapping the 21st Century Information Landscape: Borders, Bridges and Byways”.

We are seeking submissions that address any aspects of the following questions:
· How are the traditional information institutions of the 20th century and the broader information landscapes within which they continue to operate responding to the real and perceived pressures of a 21st century information economy?
· Has globalization and its effects on the information landscape produced a “sea-change” in our understanding of the role and function of information institutions, information services and information workers?
· Does history help or hinder our ability to describe, analyze and interpret contemporary conditions? What are the historical continuities or discontinuities that shed light on current issues in library and information science?
· Many argue that “the local” matters more and more. What are the boundaries and bridges between the local and the global in existing and emerging information landscapes?

Papers that address other aspects of information and library science or other aspects of the conference or congress themes are also warmly invited.

Submissions should include a title, the name(s) of the author(s), a statement of how the content relates to the conference themes and be no longer than 750 words. Proposals that report on completed or ongoing research will be given preference. Diverse perspectives (theoretical and applied) and methodologies are welcomed. Proposals may be submitted in English or French. Doctoral candidates are especially invited to submit proposals for the conference. With permission of the authors, full manuscripts of the highest ranked papers will be published in the Canadian Journal of Information and Library Science / La revue canadienne des sciences de l’information et de bibliothéconomie with their abstracts appearing in the online proceedings.

Student to CAIS/ACSI Award: Papers submitted by graduate students will be considered for this award. The award includes a monetary prize as well as publication of the full manuscript in the Canadian Journal of Information and Library Science / La revue canadienne des sciences de l’information et de bibliothéconomie. Details of the award, including previous winners, can be found at the CAIS/ASCI website (http://www.cais-acsi.ca).

Conference proposals will be refereed by the Programme Committee. Authors will be notified of the Committee’s decision no later than February 27, 2009. All presenters must register for the conference. Papers to appear as full-text in the electronic proceedings must be submitted no later than April 17, 2009.

For further information, please visit the CAIS/ACSI website (http://www.cais-acsi.ca) or email the Programme Committee at conf2009@cais-acsi.ca.

Call for Papers: The Society for Textual Scholarship

The Society for Textual Scholarship
Fourteenth Biennial International Interdisciplinary Conference
March 18-21, 2009, New York University

Program Co-Chairs: Andrew Stauffer, Boston University [astauff@bu.edu];
John Young, Marshall University [youngj@marshall.edu]
Deadline for Proposals: October 31, 2008

The Program Chairs invite the submission of full panels or individual papers devoted to interdisciplinary discussion of current research into particular aspects of textual work: the discovery, enumeration, description, bibliographical analysis, editing, annotation, and mark-up of texts in disciplines such as literature, history, musicology, classical and biblical studies, philosophy, art history, legal history, history of science and technology, computer science, library science, lexicography, epigraphy, paleography, codicology, cinema studies, media studies, theater, linguistics, and textual and literary theory. The Program Chairs are particularly interested in papers and panels, as well as workshops and roundtables, on the following topics, aimed at a broad, interdisciplinary audience:

* Textual production and the social sphere
* Textual cultures
* Digital editing and textuality
* The production and editing of “minority” texts
* Theoretical and practical intersections between textual scholarship and book history
* Textual scholarship and pedagogy

Papers should be no more than 20 minutes in length. Panels should consist of three papers or presentations. Individual proposals should include a brief abstract (one or two pages) of the proposed paper as well as the name, e-mail address, and institutional affiliation of the participant. Panel proposals, including proposals for roundtables and workshops, should include a session title, the name of a designated contact person for the session, the names, e-mail addresses, and institutional addresses and affiliations of each person involved in the session, and a one- or two-page abstract of each paper to be presented during the session. Abstracts should indicate what (if any) technological support will be requested.

Inquiries and proposals should be submitted electronically to:

Professor Andrew Stauffer, email address: astauff@bu.edu
Department of English
Boston University
236 Bay State Road
Boston, MA 02215


Professor John Young, email address: youngj@marshall.edu
Department of English
Marshall University
One John Marshall Drive
Huntington, WV 25755
(304) 696-2349
(304) 696-2448 (fax)

All participants in the STS 2009 conference must be members of STS. For information about membership, please contact Secretary Meg Roland at mroland@marylhurst.edu or visit the Indiana University Press Journals website and follow the links to the Society for Textual Scholarship membership page. For conference updates and information, see the STS website.

Call for Papers: Digital Labour: Workers, Authors, Citizens

Call for Papers

Digital Labour: Workers, Authors, Citizens.

A conference hosted by the Digital Labour Group (DLG), Faculty of Information and Media Studies, University of Western Ontario, October 16-18, 2009, London, Ontario, Canada.

‘Digital Labour: Workers, Authors, Citizens’ addresses the implications of digital labour as they are emerging in practice, politics, policy, and theoretical enquiry. As workers, as authors, and as citizens, we are increasingly summoned and disciplined by new digital technologies that define the workplace and produce ever more complex regimes of surveillance and control. At the same time, new possibilities for agency and new spaces for collectivity are borne from these multiplying digital innovations. This conference aims to explore this social dialectic, with a specific focus on new forms of labour.

The changing conditions of digital capitalism often blur distinctions between workers, authors and citizens more often than they clarify them. Digital workers, for example, are often authors of content for the increasingly convergent and synergistic end markets of entertainment capitalism – but authors whose rights as such have been thoroughly alienated. Citizens are often compelled to construct their identities in such a way as to produce the flexible and entrepreneurial selves demanded by the heavily consumer-oriented ‘experience and attention economies’ of digitalized post-Fordism.

How might we come to understand the breakdown of distinctions between labour and creativity, work and authorship, value and productive excess in the new digital economy? What is labour in an era where participation in the cultural industries is the preferred conduit toautonomy and self-valorization? What struggles do entertainment workers, information workers, and workers in an increasingly digitalized manufacturing sector share in common? What might recent theorizing on the infinitely malleable ‘post-Fordist image worker’ tell us about the nature of affective ties to states and other political formations in the twenty-first century?

Policy makers, along with workers and union activists from the entertainment, information and manufacturing sectors will assist academic specialists in assessing these and other crucial questions.

Papers, reading no more than 20 minutes in length, that address any ofthe above matters, or cognate ones, are now being solicited. Please submit your brief abstract by February 1, 2009, to Jonathan Burston atjburston@uwo.ca. An editorial board will examine all submissions andissue acceptances no later than March 15, 2009.

Thank you for circulating this call to any researchers at your institution, or elsewhere, who may be interested.

The Digital Labour Conference Organizing Committee at the Faculty of Information and Media Studies, University of Western Ontario:

Jonathan Burston, Edward Comor, James Compton, Nick Dyer-Witheford, Alison Hearn, Ajit Pyati, Sandra Smeltzer, Matt Stahl, Sam Trosow

October 22, 2008

Wikipedia and what we mean by truth

Simson Garfinkel has an article in the new issue of MIT’s Technology Review about Wikipedia, arguing that it is creating troubling implications for the way we view reality: Wikipedia and the Meaning of Truth: Why the online encyclopedia’s epistemology should worry those who care about traditional notions of accuracy. In a sense this article is a long time coming, because many people have alluded to this problem in conversations and mentioned it as an aside in published works, but nobody had really addressed it so directly up to now.

I got the link in the Library Link of the Day email.

October 21, 2008

MediaLens on journalism’s filtering system in action

MediaLens is a UK organization dedicated to raising awareness of the way the media system distorts reality as a result of the forces of free-market capitalism. Their analysis of things is along the lines of Chomsky and Herman’s propaganda model of media filtering.

This month they have published a three-part analysis of current goings on in the journalism profession that demonstrates the actual functioning of this filtering system in the UK today.

I believe it is very important for librarians to at least be cognizant of this analysis of the media system, information being our field of expertise.

October 18, 2008

LJP books now available in Canada and the UK

Canadian and UK readers who’ve wanted to buy Library Juice Press books domestically now can, through Chapters, Amazon.ca, and Amazon.co.uk. Our website now links to pages on those sites for each of our books.

October 16, 2008

American Libraries (magazine) more accessible

Two press releases in two days, this one from George Eberhart of ALA…

Hello, Rory–

I wanted to let you know about some important news about American Libraries.

1. Our weekly e-newsletter, American Libraries Direct, is now available to anyone who wants to sign up for it, not just ALA members. The sign-up form, as well as the FAQ, is at http://www.ala.org/ala/alonline/aldirect/aldirect.cfm.

2. American Libraries has launched its own blog, AL Inside Scoop, http://www.al.ala.org/insidescoop/. Editor-in-chief Leonard Kniffel offers an insider’s view of goings-on at ALA headquarters and what hot topics ALA staffers are talking about in the hallways. Associate Editor Greg Landgraf offers his perspective from “the lower floors” of what many see as the ALA ivory tower.

3. Login is no longer required to view the current issue of the American Libraries print magazine online (in PDF format), or to view the archives, which date back to the January 2003 issue. Go directly to http://www.ala.org/ala/alonline/alonlineebrary/
. First-time viewers will need to install the ebrary reader to view issues. To download, go to http://site.ebrary.com/lib/ala/Download. Firefox 3 users installing the reader for the first time will need a workaround, http://www.ebrary.com/kb/users/ff3install.jsp, to make the ebrary reader work with their browser.

Thanks for helping us get the word out!

George M. Eberhart
Editor, American Libraries Direct
50 E. Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611
800-545-2433, x4212

October 15, 2008

Hollywood Librarian press release – DVD on sale

October 15, 2008

Librarian documentary to begin DVD sales on website

MADISON, WI – The Hollywood Librarian: A Look at Librarians Through Film today launched sales of the DVD version at its website, www.hollywoodlibrarian.com.

The feature length documentary, which premiered in Washington D.C. in June 2007 and has been screened in 13 countries, can now be ordered by customers in the U.S. and Canada, with international ordering to begin soon. The DVD will begin shipping in December.

The DVD contains the 96 minute film. plus such bonus features as extended interviews, deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes production photos, subtitling in Spanish and French, closed captioning for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in English, and more.

Two versions of the DVD are on sale now at the website: the standard retail version for $39.95 and a Public Performance Rights (PPR) version with limited performance rights to show the movie in public and educational settings for $289.95.

Film International calls the documentary “a deft weaving” and “a hopeful elegy …a well-reasoned, eloquent, and enjoyable argument for the continued importance of libraries in the modern democracy.” And The Edmonton Journal wrote that The Hollywood Librarian is “Entertaining, uplifting and educational, it’s everything a good documentary should be.”

The film was written, produced and directed by Ann Seidl, and is being distributed by Bifolkal Productions, a non-profit organization in Madison, Wisconsin. www.bifolkal.org.

October 11, 2008

Marie Benoit on Gaetan Benoit and Eugene Morel…

Marie Benoit is the widow of Gaëtan Benoît, author of the posthumously-published Eugène Morel: Pioneer of Public Libraries in France. She wrote the following paragraphs describing her husband and the process of writing the book, which was originally his thesis for Fellowship in the Library Association (UK), in the 1970’s.


I must confess that I have found it very hard to write these few words, by way of introduction, to the first thesis which my husband of less than 13 years, Gaëtan Benoît wrote all those years ago, and which he submitted to the Library Association (United Kingdom) in 1977.

He died in 1987 on his native island of Mauritius, in the Indian Ocean, and when I packed to return to my country, Malta in 1989, with our two daughters, I had to dispose of the vast amount of papers and correspondence he had accumulated, over the years, while he was working on the thesis and other publications. I therefore have to rely on my memory to write this brief introduction.

I met him at the Polytechnic of North London in the early 70s. He was a British Council scholar, I too, was on scholarship from the University of Malta but he was in a course ahead of me. A bi-lingual and a hard worker, in his second year of the course he was already looking into a subject for his Fellowship thesis and started exploring what was available by way of documentation at the British Library, The Library Association and the British Museum as well as other repositories. And slowly his collection of photocopies was steadily growing.

He was able to tackle the life and work of the eminent French writer and librarian, Eugène Morel, as he had a perfect knowledge of French, both written and oral, and his command of English was very good indeed. He was not one to waste time and soon he was reading and translating articles and making notes. He always marked his photocopies heavily, in his small, clear writing and even in those early days he was already drawing up an index with cross-references. He was an industrious man and did all the translating himself, which was hard work, for he had a full-time job as City Librarian at the Municipality of Port Louis, which had an old and precious collection, much of it bequeathed by the French émigrés, who had left France after the French revolution and came to settle in Mauritius. The city library also had several branch libraries and then there was his young family at home. But he managed his time well and was therefore able to bring balance to his life.

Gaëtan was an academic at heart and like the protagonist of his thesis, Eugène, had enormous intellectual curiosity and loved the adventure of discovery through primary and secondary sources. No stone was left unturned to verify a fact, a date, a quotation. He conducted a vast correspondence with various libraries, in France – notably in Tours and Paris, in England and at least one in America. Morel and later his niece had strong ties with American libraries and librarians and France benefited from American know how and generosity in the field of librarianship.

But his greatest help was Mademoiselle Marguerite Gruny, Eugène Morel’s niece and herself a librarian. She wrote him letters of appreciation in her beautiful handwriting and he visited her in Paris two or three times. They took a liking to one another and so, the work seemed to flow and she supplied him with documentation, advise and contacts. She was very pleased that someone was at last writing a substantial document about her eminent uncle.

How much easier all this would have been with e-mail, internet and a word processor. How much less time consuming and arduous. Once we got married and settled in Mauritius acquiring documents was much more difficult and the grassroots typing had to be corrected again and again and revised carefully, especially when it came to the checking of dates and constantly retyped. The first draft was often done by me on my little red Olivetti and then passed on to the typist. If new facts emerged, and this often happened, then that chapter had to be re-typed from scratch.

Thankfully we had generous friends in both the British High Commission and the French Embassy. So chapters sent to London to Dr. Munford, my husband’s supervisor, went through the British High Commission by diplomatic pouch. The French Embassy helped to transport books and documentation by diplomatic pouch, too. We were very grateful to them for their generosity as post sometimes never reached its destination in those days to and from far away Mauritius.

Eugène Morel became part of our household and books about him and photocopies were much in evidence, even on our bedside tables. I grew to like him and admire him, as did my husband. He was a cultivated man but above all, did much to transform the library scene in France and was instrumental in introducing important library legislation which had tremendous impact.

One last word, and it must be one of thanks to Rory Litwin who tracked me down and has undertaken to publish this thesis. This is going to make several people happy. Three of them are no longer with us: Eugène Morel himself; his niece Marguerite Gruny and my husband. The three of them would have been delighted to see it printed and widely distributed, as I hope it will be. My daughters and myself are very happy too and wish to thank Rory from the bottom of our hearts for celebrating a number of worthy people all at one go.

October 10, 2008

Blanche survives Katrina in a FEMA Trailer Named Desire, only to face off with the copyright police

Marjorie Heins of the Free Expression Policy Project has some commentary published on the FEPP site about an interesting copyright case. It’s a Fair Use case that even copyright moderates ought to get riled up about. It concerns a play called Blanche Survives Katrina in a FEMA Trailer Named Desire, which uses the character of Blanche Dubois in a more contemporary way, for critical and comic effect. The holder of the copyright to Streetcar Named Desire is The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, and they are taking legal action against the author of the new work for copyright enfringement. They may not end up having a strong case in court, but a cease-and-desist letter can be a powerful thing, especially when directed at an artist or group that doesn’t have a lot of power. (The things that independent artists like this do often end up being very important.)

Lewis Lapham on education and intellectual life in the postmodern USA

Kevin Arthur has posted a few paragraphs from recent article by Lewis Lapham on the education and intellectual life in the United States. Kevin picked out a few choice parts that concern the place of the humanities in the technological age (this being the focus of his blog), but Library Juice readers may be interested in Lapham’s broader diagnosis of what is wrong with present-day American culture. The article was published in Lapham’s Quarterly. (Lapham is the longtime editor of Harper’s Magazine.)

October 9, 2008

Merritt Fund Video

Here’s a short video on the LeRoy C. Merritt Humanitarian Fund, which aids librarians who need financial assistance for legal or other needs when facing the consequences of taking a stand for a principle in their workplaces. It’s from the ALA OIF blog.

October 8, 2008

Eugene Morel: Pioneer of Public Libraries in France

New from Litwin Books:

This study is a critical account of the works of Eugène Morel (1869-1934), a French Librarian who, along the lines of such eminent public library pioneers as Edward Edwards and Melvil Dewey, made a remarkable contribution towards the development of public librarianship in France. Morel was genuinely interested in all facets of librarianship and played a dominant role in molding the development of most of them. His writings on the profession, more particularly his two books, Bibliothèques: Essai sur le dévelopement des bibliothèques publiques et de la librarie dans les deux mondes, and La Librarie Publique made a fitting testimony to the life’s work of a very active library pioneer. His relationship with the British and American Library Associations helped to bring closer the French professional association to both of them. Morel had an “avant-garde” view on the automation of libraries and was the first to encourage the employment of women in French libraries. It is to be regretted that the work of a true library pioneer has gone unrecognized for such a long time.

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