Search results1 – 10 of 386
In 1982, Scarecrow Press published Alternative Materials in Libraries. As one chapter, the book included a directory of collections of contemporary alternative materials…
In 1982, Scarecrow Press published Alternative Materials in Libraries. As one chapter, the book included a directory of collections of contemporary alternative materials in libraries. That directory, compiled by Patricia J. Case and edited by James P. Danky and Elliott Shore, proved immensely useful as a reference tool for identifying libraries throughout the United States and Canada that contain original source materials emanating from the social and political upheavals of mat period which is known loosely as “the Sixties.”
Writing in 1995, what seems from our vantage point an almost primitive moment in technological evolution, hypertext theorist, and fiction writer Catherine Marshall, with…
Writing in 1995, what seems from our vantage point an almost primitive moment in technological evolution, hypertext theorist, and fiction writer Catherine Marshall, with her colleague David Levy, presciently described modern libraries;The academic and public libraries most of us have grown up with are the products of innovation begun approximately 150 years ago. We would find libraries that existed prior to that time largely unrecognizable. It is certain that the introduction of digital technologies will again transform libraries, possibly beyond recognition by transforming the mix of materials in their collections and the methods by which these materials are maintained and used. But the better word for these evolving institutions is “libraries,” not digital libraries, for ultimately what must be preserved is the heterogeneity of materials and practices. As library materials and practices of the past have been diverse—more diverse than idealized accounts allow—so they no doubt will remain in the future (Levy and Marshall, 1995, p. 77).By reminding us that libraries were always much more than repositories of collated pages of print, Levy and Marshall highlight the characteristics of modern libraries that mark them not as something new and different, but as something wholly in keeping with the diversity of “traditional” library holdings. “Our idealized image of a library imbues it with qualities of fixity and permanence. This is hardly surprising, since the library is considered to be the Home of the Book, and books are by and large one of the more fixed, more permanent types of documents,” the authors write, but “libraries have always contained materials other than books. Special collections and archives are filled with unbound and handwritten ephemera—correspondence, photographs, and so on … [And] traditional libraries have long contained a diversity of technologies and media; today these include film and video, microfilm and microfiche, vellum and papyrus” (p.77). Now that libraries contain various forms of digital media as standard parts of their collections (electronic journals, electronic catalogs, digital images, digitized sound files), the distinction between “traditional” and “digital” libraries has lost much of its original use, and so has the distinction between traditional and new types of librarians, the stewards of the libraries in any and all forms.
This is the first in a projected series of columns which will suggest materials for libraries from alternative, independent, radical, and small presses. Each column will focus on one aspect of the burgeoning independent press movement. In this issue we will suggest the salient alternative press periodicals in a number of categories, publications which libraries of most descriptions should consider as important a resource as any in their collections. In future columns, we plan to examine alternative publications in greater depth, in specific subject areas and formats, and for retrospective collection. Comments and suggestions are welcome.
More than the previous two columns, this list is highly suspect. It represents what I like to read from England, what I could get my hands on, and what could serve as a core collection for an American library. What I immediately want to do is disclaim that these are the most representative or even the most sensible choices for libraries, although I do want to emphasize that they are a fine assortment and that they are among the most influential and intriguing publications of the English press that are readily available.
It is time for some different brand names. Librarians are notorious for unthinkingly ordering books from major publishers. There is an understandable logic at work: these are large and well respected companies and their products must meet rigorous standards in order to be published. A secondary assumption underlies the first; if the book isn't so hot or if it is controversial, the librarian can always make the argument that it is from a usually reliable source. Buying from established sources can also allow the selector to circumvent the rule, sometimes unwritten, that one or two favorable reviews are needed in order to purchase. And there are the added bonuses of CIP data and ease of ordering and handling.
Where in our library collections will we find information on Jimmy Carter's membership in the Trilateral Commission? Can we answer a reference question on the effects of substitution of powdered milk for breast feeding in Third World countries? How about a question on the effectiveness of the four billion dollar anti‐cancer campaign in the United States? What about the costs of decommissioning nuclear power plants?
The most challenging aspect of overseeing an alternative press collection is to provide adequate reference service. The same forces that cause libraries to ignore…
The most challenging aspect of overseeing an alternative press collection is to provide adequate reference service. The same forces that cause libraries to ignore alternative publications also conspire against their using them fully and effectively once they have been acquired. This holds true for all forms of alternative literature and media, though periodicals probably suffer the most severe neglect. Many periodicals go unindexed from year to year because such companies as H. W. Wilson and its Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature stick basically to a traditional core of “safe” or “acceptable” periodicals. (It took Readers' Guide ten years to include Rolling Stone, which had long since shed its “alternative” image.)
Collaboration is essential to realizing the potential of the new digital environment for learning, teaching, and research. Yet successful collaboration often entails…
Collaboration is essential to realizing the potential of the new digital environment for learning, teaching, and research. Yet successful collaboration often entails organizational changes, political realignments, and rethinking our most basic assumptions and habits. This chapter focuses on CLIR’s current work in fostering collaboration across institutions, disciplines, and professions. It considers these activities in the context of a broader group of emergent collaborative activities that, in aggregate, could support a new and vital digital environment for research, teaching, and the public good. It then discusses a new CLIR activity designed to address the prerequisites for collaboration, and for coherence at scale.
The diversity of ideas and information is central to the meaning of libraries—we enshrine it, and too frequently that is the word—in our Library Bill of Rights and other…
The diversity of ideas and information is central to the meaning of libraries—we enshrine it, and too frequently that is the word—in our Library Bill of Rights and other documents. This diversity of ideas is more than a passive concept, not just one of defending materials already in our collections, though that is a basic and important role for librarians and one that we are reminded of by Drake, Fairhope, and Kannawha counties. But to support this intellectual freedom we all need to actively promote the widest possible range of opinions, of concepts, of expression. And to do this we need more than the output of Gulf & Western, the Columbia Broadcasting System, Mattel, or Times Mirror. If these names seem unfamiliar in library work to some of you, perhaps you know them through their subsidiaries, Golden Books, Pantheon, and Simon & Schuster.
It is proposed that public libraries have a duty to collect material from alternative publishers (in both fiction and non‐fiction and in all media) to better reflect the…
It is proposed that public libraries have a duty to collect material from alternative publishers (in both fiction and non‐fiction and in all media) to better reflect the diversity of their communities. This paper aims to investigate the links between alternative publishing and public libraries in Scotland.
Two surveys (based on the 1979 Alternative Acquisitions Project) were carried out of alternative publishers and public libraries in Scotland. Questions were based on those in the 1979 survey, except where updated to accommodate new technologies. A literature review was also carried out to contextualise survey findings.
While alternative publishers and public libraries were aware of each other, alternative publishers faced many hurdles in getting their material in public libraries. For their part, public libraries were constrained by budgets but wanted to extend support for alternative publishing.
This paper re‐uses a previously tried and tested methodology to create a comparable and up to date study of an area of publishing often overlooked. Alternative publishing is revealed as a flourishing area, despite trends towards fewer and larger publishing outlets. Public libraries are seen as having a vital role to play in giving an outlet to alternative publishing.