deborah: the Library of Congress cataloging numbers for children's literature, technology, and library science (Default)
1. Here's a great post from the Archivist of the United States (RSS/[syndicated profile] aotus_feed), where he uses the news that the Library of Congress is acquiring the digital archive of public tweets as a jumping off point for explaining the difference between the missions of the National Archives and the Library of Congress. And along the way, he showed an interesting historian's perspective on twitter:

Midwife’s Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812 )

2. If you are looking for fascinating new blogs, the C-SPAN video blog (RSS/[syndicated profile] cspan_video_feed) is a great entry point into their huge collection. (I just watched a baby turtle poop in a senator's hand!)

3. I really like this Book Spine Poetry that the Somers Library in New York put up on Flickr. A couple of my favorites, linked and transcribed here:

Book Spine Poetry )
deborah: the Library of Congress cataloging numbers for children's literature, technology, and library science (Default)
We are actually having a conversation with commenters on the DCA blog! Hooray for commenters!

If you are the kind of nerd who thinks about how controlled vocabularies influence and are influenced by our perceptions of social justice, go over and weigh in on Veronica's excellent post, "The trouble with subject headings".

In a nutshell, Veronica asks how do we cope with tagging photographs with a controlled vocabulary, given:
  • the historical baggage of Library of Congress subject headings, given that the LOC is an organization as subject to systemic racism as any other
  • our need as people concerned with social justice to be aware of what materials in our collection represent historically underrepresented populations
  • the essentializing of straightness, whiteness, maleness, able-bodiedness, etc. inherent in tags such as "Blacks" and "Women". (Admittedly, "Men" Is a subject term as well, but we seem to only use it for historical images, while we use "Women" for photographs of students and faculty.)


Now, Veronica didn't use any of that language, because I am obsessed with academic jargon and she knows better, and I can't even talk about these issues without using words like "essentializing". You should be glad I edited out "normativize"! So go read her post, and comment.

OMG! Illustration found in gathering the links above: "Beating hemp, flogging a woman".
deborah: the Library of Congress cataloging numbers for children's literature, technology, and library science (Default)
Thingology has been doing a good job of reporting on the dangers of the new OCLC policy [PDF] which goes into effect in February, explaining how it de facto removes work from the public domain. This is important: a private company is, by licensing terms, effectively stealing intellectual content created by government employees in the course of doing their jobs, and putting in noncompete clauses which make it implausible for these government agencies to contribute to public domain or open licensed efforts such as the Open Library. Read:

Then, if you are angry -- and you should be -- sign Aaron Swartz's petition. And then, if you are a librarian or a WorldCat user, sign the Petition for OCLC to Collaboratively Rewrite Policy for Use and Transfer of WorldCat Records.
deborah: the Library of Congress cataloging numbers for children's literature, technology, and library science (Default)
Why isn't the library blogosphere abuzz over the to-be-deported librarian (or library employee; the new stories are inconsistent but seem to imply a library employee) Marxavi Angel Martinez? 23-year-old Martinez has been married for two years, works in a library, is attending college, has a 15-month-old son, and plans to become a kindergarten teacher. She didn't criminally race across the border in hopes of stealing jobs from hard working Americans -- that is, unless as a three-year-old she decided to swim the Rio Grande.

You know, at some level it disgusts me that the main defense of Martinez I've seen in the news is, effectively, she had a skilled-labor job and white friends ("To go after productive citizens who have been our neighbors and friends for years? It's insane"), but if that's what it takes to make people realize that undocumented immigrants are also human beings, fine, I will take it. Although what the heck is up with this news story? "Alamance County ? Thousands of people use the internet at libraries around the Triad everyday, but it might not be the safest place. Sheriff Deputies in Alamance County arrested Marxavi Angel Martinez earlier this week. Martinez was employed by the county library system. She is facing federal charges for alleging aggravated identity theft, false claim to U.S. citizenship, social security fraud and fraudulent or misrepresentation of a material fact. This comes less than 24-hours after MySpace had security breach. ... Can the internet be trusted?"

Also, note to self: NEVER read the reader comments on immigration stories in the news. I simply don't have enough Sanity Watchers points to go around.

In more entertaining crazy news, LibraryThing has gotten a warning from Google AdSense for the "adult or mature content" in -- wait for it -- Library of Congress Subject Headings.
deborah: the Library of Congress cataloging numbers for children's literature, technology, and library science (Default)
In the "good news" category, a federal judge denied a motion from the Library of Congress to dismiss a transgender discrimination lawsuit.

United States District Court Judge James Robertson ruled that former U.S. Army Special Forces Officer Diane Schroer has legal grounds to file a sex discrimination claim against the library under Title VII of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964.... Schroer, a 25-year Army veteran, accepted an offer by the Library of Congress’s Congressional Research Service for a position as a senior terrorism research analyst ... Schroer applied for the position under her former male name and appeared for her interview in male clothing. ... [F]ollowing the division’s decision to hire her, Schroer revealed that she was transitioning into a woman and would begin her job using her new name and as a woman dressed in traditional female attire. ... [L]ibrary officials decided Schroer would not be a "good fit" for the job, based on the information revealing her change of gender.


Thanks, United States District Court Judge James Robertson. And fooey on the LOC.
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