The Library Connection
The Monthly Newsletter of the Eastern
Shores Library System
Volume 26 Number 11 November 2006
Click here for four holiday season bookmarks from Library Media and PR
Click here for the Fall 2006 Bookmobile Schedule
Kim Dahlhaimer, Reference Liaison - Mead Public Library, Sheboygan
Since the attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center in 2001, the Bush Administration has issued many documents and directives planning for the safety and security of U.S. citizens. Simultaneously, these same policy changes have greatly restricted how American citizens can access this taxpayer-supported government information. Since 9/11 large quantities of information once available to the American public have become unavailable due to national security concerns.
Several patterns have resulted from these new policies. The main concern is that the federal government is keeping more information from the public. This results in more Americans filing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to access government information. The federal government’s response to these increased FOIA requests has been to delay giving the information or to reclassify documents to the level of ‘for official use only.’ The federal government is using strategies to keep unclassified information from the American public by making entirely new categories of vague ‘classifications’ that go beyond the intentions of the FOIA. These new policies seriously threaten accountability in government and the public’s right to know.
The federal government certainly has pressing national security issues to solve, but those decisions must work within the context of a democratic society that embraces open government. The Web sites listed below are a good start for librarians to help the public find the information they need to know at this critical time in our nation’s history.
Annenberg Political Fact Check http://www.factcheck.org/
FAS Project on Government Secrecy http://www.fas.org/main/content.jsp?formAction=325&projectld=5
Freedom of Information Clearinghouse http://www.citizen.org/litigation/free_info/
While browsing the Helpful Links portion of the Cedarburg Public Library's web site recently, I came upon the subject "Fugitive Files." I was intrigued and decided to investigate exactly where this led. This is what I found: "Fugitive files usually contain links to or answers for hard-to-find miscellaneous information. Librarians often compile these and provide them to customers."
The library links to three sites that provide help with these perplexing reference questions. Included are links to the Hennepin County Library in Minnesota, the Santa Cruz Public Library, and the Internet Public Library.
This is just some of the elusive information I was able to locate. I found the text of the Vice President's oath of office and the name of the actor who played Zorro on the 1957-59 TV series. I learned the names of the California Raisins, the seven dwarfs, and everyone who came on the Mayflower. I also know why people in some countries drive on the right side of the road and others on the left and several reasons why New York City is known as the Big Apple. I also know who coined the phrase "The opera ain't over until the fat lady sings."
Remember Fugitive Files when your customers come to the Reference Desk with those elusive questions.
Children's Librarians Corner
Lynn Mihm, Sheboygan Falls Memorial Library
I just read an article in the September 2006 School Library Journal entitled "Free Reading" which correlates closely to my philosophy on getting children hooked on reading.
Children become better readers by reading essentially whatever they want, including comics, catalogs, manuals, graphic novels, and magazines. So get them hooked on anything in the library. Do not worry about reading level, format, phonics, or book reports.
Schools are good at teaching the reading basics. The magazine article emphasized that all classrooms should use SSR-sustained silent reading. The real challenge of transforming today's children into competent readers isn't about teaching the basics. It's about helping students develop richer vocabularies, understand complex oral and written language, and become proficient writers and reasonably accurate spellers.
Studies have confirmed that those who read more know more about a wide variety of topics. "Recreational Reading" is the source of our reading prowess. This is why libraries need to step up and help schools and families move children to higher levels of literacy.
We need to find out what really appeals to kids. Talk to the children about their books and recommend other titles you think they'll love.
Libraries level the field between affluent and poverty families. Everyone can get a library card. Create a kid-friendly "reading environment", which many children do not have in their own homes.
We will not reach every child, but it is a step in the right direction.
SEAchange - The Wisconsin Education E-newsletter - October 30, 2006
A free DVD of the PBS program, "To the Contrary: Health and Public Libraries," is available to libraries. Requests can be emailed directly to email@example.com. Requests should include the name of the library, number of copies, and how libraries might use the copies. This free video is made possible by the support of the Jacob and Valeria Langeloth Foundation. Libraries across the country are offering health-related programs and workshops for all members of their community. They are stepping up to meet the health needs of their communities through innovative exercise and nutrition programs for teens, and engaging trained volunteers as health information guides. Complete story at http://www.dpi.wi.gov/seachange/sea0531_5.html.
The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office is pleased to announce that applications are now available for two new traveling exhibits for public, academic and special libraries. Applications for both "Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World" and "Lewis and Clark and the Indian Country" are available online at www.ala.org/publicprograms and are due by February 9, 2007.
The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has provided major funding for both "Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World" and "Lewis and Clark and the Indian Country."
The "Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World" exhibit for libraries is based on a major exhibition of the same title that was on display at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia until April 30, 2006. "Lewis and Clark and the Indian Country" is based on a major exhibition of the same title that was on display at the Newberry Library from September 28, 2005 through January 14, 2006. Support for the exhibition at the Newberry Library was provided by the NEH, the Sara Lee Foundation, the National Park Service, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Libraries selected for the "Benjamin Franklin" and/or "Lewis and Clark" tours will host the 1,000-square-foot exhibit for a six-week period. Participating libraries are expected to present at least two free public programs featuring a lecture or discussion by a qualified scholar on exhibition themes. All showings of the exhibition will be free and open to the public.
For exhibition details, selection criteria, guidelines and an application, visit www.ala.org/publicprograms. If you require a copy of either application by mail, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A collection of Wisconsin Library Memorabilia is on display at the Menomonee Falls Public Library during November and early December. The display is part of the celebration of the library's centennial. It includes 59 pieces of library souvenir china, 8 souvenir spoons, 5 souvenir paperweights, a variety of library postcards, and a few miscellaneous items. Most of the items date from the first quarter of the 20th century. The collection is owned by Larry Nix, the Library History Buff.
In addition to Larry's items, the library has a replica of one of the early traveling library bookcases that was built by the husband of Youth Services Librarian Kris Stabo.
Images of the exhibit can be found at: http://www.libraryhistorybuff.org/menomoneefallsexhibit.htm Also on this site are links to sites with pictures of Carnegie libraries, old card catalog cabinets, and other library artifacts and memorabilia.
NewsFlashes - November 15, 2006
EBSCO, vendor for some of the BadgerLink databases, offers versions of many of the company's training documents in 18 different languages, including Spanish. For more information, go to http://support.ebsco.com/training/resources.php
According to E-Media Tidbits, "On Oct. 18, El Mundo (a major daily paper from Spain) opened its online archives without restrictions. This allows research in the news from 1994 up to the present." To search the archives, go to http://www.elmundo.es, click on "en elmundo.es" to change the search engine from Google to the papers archives and enter your search terms in the "Buscar" box.
Channel Weekly - November 16, 2006
Jan Dibble (Oshkosh PL) and Rochelle Hartman (LaCrosse PL) have started a reference blog for public library staff called Wisconsin Reference Klatch. The purpose is to share ideas, issues, successes, problems, concerns, anecdotes, conference or workshop notes, etc., and/or to discuss the "future of reference" in public libraries. The URL is http://www.wisconsinref.blogspot.com/.
Since the blog is just getting started, comments are encouraged, including those that are provocative, interesting, or relevant to the future of reference. Readers may become contributors by sending their email address to Rochelle at email@example.com or to Jan at firstname.lastname@example.org
Channel Weekly - November 16, 2006
TRACES Center for History and Culture, a Midwest/WWII history museum in Saint Paul, Minnesota has announced that both of its mobile exhibits will be visiting select Midwest states in the spring and fall of 2007.
The BUS-eum 2, with the exhibit "VANISHED: German-American Civilian Internment, 1941-48," will tour eight eastern Midwest states in spring 2007, in partnership with regional state historical societies, state librarians/library associations and humanities councils. The BUS-eum 2 exhibit tells the stories of 15,000 German-American civilians imprisoned by the U.S. government during WWII. The Midwest was the site to 18 of the U.S. government's 60 camps and centers.
The first BUS-eum, containing the exhibit "Behind Barbed Wire: Midwest POWs in Nazi Germany," will show in eight western Midwest states in fall 2007. The BUS-eum 1 exhibit tells the stories of Midwest soldiers and airmen captured in WWII and kept as Prisoners of War (POWs) in Nazi Germany. This exhibit explores their experiences topically--looking, for example, at their capture, interrogation, camp life, art/theater in the camps, escape attempts, death marches at the war's end, liberation and return to the U.S. reconciliation, etc.
If you would like more information about hosting
either exhibit, please contact Eric Brandt at 651.292.8700 or programs@TRACES.org.
More information about TRACES can be found at http://www.TRACES.org.
Edupage - November 15, 2006
A new study by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) suggests that although college students appear fluent with technology, many are unable to effectively use computers to solve information problems. Students are comfortable using technology for leisure and social activities, but the study indicates that they have much more trouble evaluating online material and using technology effectively to find needed information. In the study, which surveyed more than 6,300 college students and high school seniors, fewer than half correctly identified from several choices the Web site that was objective, authoritative, and timely. Irvin Katz, a researcher at ETS, said, "It’s not only in academics but also in the workplace that people don’t have the necessary critical skills to access information."
By all reports, the 2006 WLA Conference "Making Connections" was a success. For those of you who were unable to attend or for those who had to choose between two sessions, you have a chance to see what you missed.
Handouts from many of the the speakers are now available on the WLA Postconference website: http://www.wla.lib.wi.us/conferences/2006/index.htm
Also, the WLA Blog, http://wlaweb.blogspot.com/ has notes from the sessions, as well as links to some of the presentations. There are also numerous pictures of many of the hard-at-work librarians who attended the conference.
SEAchange - The Wisconsin Education E-newsletter - October 30, 2006
The University of Wisconsin-Madison and Google have announced a joint agreement to expand access to hundreds of thousands of public and historical books and documents from the libraries' more than 7.2 million holdings. The university is the eighth major participant to join Google's effort to add digital versions of books to its popular online search engine. The combined library collections of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Wisconsin Historical Society comprise the eleventh largest collection of documents and historical materials to be found in North America, according to the Association of Research Libraries in Washington, D.C.
The UW-Madison and Google partnership will digitize and provide access to more than 500,000 volumes from the UW-Madison Libraries and the Wisconsin Historical Society Library over a period of six years. Google is likely to begin scanning materials from the collections and making them available online within several months. Complete story at http://www.dpi.wi.gov/seachange/sea0531_3.html.
from the August 2006 issue of Better Homes and Gardens
Some of the best information at your local library isn't in a book--it's the person sitting at the main desk. Recent research from the University of Michigan comprehensive Cancer Center showed that cancer patients looking for useful and accurate information on the Internet were much more likely to find it if they enlisted the help of a librarian. Only 4 percent of the patients surveyed said they were able to find all the same information on their own. While this study looked at cancer information, the results pertain to any health concern.