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For months, more than a dozen library customers of EVA Subscription Services, based in Shrewsbury, MA, have expressed enormous frustration after not receiving periodicals ordered and finding that their calls and emails to EVA went unreturned. One customer even filed a complaint with the local Better Business Bureau (BBB), which closed the case as “unanswered,” two filed complaints with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s (AG) office, and several expressed concerns on library electronic mailing lists.
LJ, after being alerted to libraries’ concerns, contacted EVA, whose president Mary Cohen, was deeply apologetic, even if her explanation for why the company dropped the ball likely won’t convince certain customers.
As gaming in libraries becomes more of a commonplace and less of a radical notion, librarians will be forced to deal with the same kinds of issues they encountered when libraries began to carry movies.
When libraries started stocking VHS cassettes, there was a huge debate over R rated movies. Should libraries stock such films even though many R rated movies garner Academy Awards and other film acclaims? Now the rating issue isn't over R, it's M for Mature. Should a library carry a game or not simply based off its rating? Grand Theft Auto IV is rated M but received accolades throughout the entire gaming world. How reliable is the rating? Do we check it out to minors? And the list goes on.
We've had our share of trouble with game ratings here in the States, so it shouldn't surprise anyone that the good folks over in the United Kingdom are slogging through similar problems.
This article comes to us courtesy of ALA's Library Direct e-mail. Johnsonton County is on the hunt for books to remove from its collection after removing "How the Girls lost their accents". What scariest of all is that they aren't waiting to react, they're just looking for books that are "offensive."
The Acquisitions Librarian at the Wichita Falls (TX) Public Library wants to find out what Spanish readers want; he doesn't speak the language, but it's his job to acquire Spanish-language titles. How to go about the task? Here' the scoop from the Times Record News (three names are better than one!)
teaperson writes "The myth is that Boston's cockamamie streets were laid out by cows. That story can be put to the lie at the Boston Public Library's Leventhal Map Collection, which just received a $10 million endowment from the eponymous Norman Leventhal, a 90-year-old Boston real estate developer, as well as 178 rare maps of Boston and the rest of the world. Some of his favorites are shown on Boston.com."
Soon to be retiring chef Fritz Blank, owner of Deux Cheminees Restaurant in Philadelphia, is turning over his impressive culinary collection of about 15,000 volumes to the University of Pennsylvania.
Being known as a collector, Blank said he receives many volumes without asking. But he's also done a lot of treasure hunting himself, especially in used book barns. Among the titles that the Penn library will acquire are An Illustrated Guide to Shrimp of the World, The All-American Cookie and Country Scrapple: An American Tradition (for which Blank wrote the introduction).
"Some of the most astounding pieces that I found were just laying there in a cardboard box for 50 cents," Blank said.
Penn librarian Lynne Farrington is still taking inventory.
"At this point, I just know it's huge," said Farrington, curator of printed books for the university's Rare Book and Manuscript Library. More from the AP.
cjovalle writes: "Here's a scary story I first encountered at librarian.net... Apparently, either code or human error caused one copy of every item in a PSU library ordered since May 2001 to be reordered when someone attempted to update the system to daylight savings time. I hear stories about ILS's fairly often (not allowing deleting without losing everything, using different keys to do the same thing depending on the screen, other usability issues), but nothing like this! Are there other troubling stories out there?"
After thirty years of making the questionable available, Loompanics Unlimited is shutting down. This may be your last chance to stock your library shelves with books like Backyard Meat Production , Prison Killing Techniques , and The Construction and Operation of Clandestine Drug Laboratories at 75% off. They no longer carry the most famous of their titles, but you can actually buy The Anarchist Cookbook at Amazon now, despite the author's objections:
...I wrote to Lyle Stuart Inc. explaining that I no longer held the views that were expressed in the book and requested that The Anarchist Cookbook be taken out of print. The response from the publisher was that the copyright was in his name and therefore such a decision was his to make -- not the author's. In the early 1980's, the rights for the book were sold to another publisher. I have had no contact with that publisher (other than to request that the book be taken out of print) and I receive no royalties.