An Intriguing Reference Question

I was subbing at Durant Branch in late 2014. A patron who spoke Russian (but very little English) approached the reference desk together with a staff member who translated for him. The patron was a mathematician who wanted to know how to patent some original work he had done in mathematics.

I was inclined to tell him that mathematical discoveries were, just that, discoveries – not inventions (which can be patented).  Credit for a discovery in nature is claimed by writing a scholarly paper describing it.  The US Patent Office states the following: Continue reading

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The Case for the Vertical File

Are you getting requests for juvy or YA material on “Day of the Dead”? There aren’t many books on this Mexican holiday and teachers don’t want material from the internet. What to do? Continue reading

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Public Scanners

I’m often asked by library patrons if we have a scanner for public use.   Continue reading

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I AM NOT A SHEEP

Our “adversarial system” of litigation does not work.   The chief function of the system is to enrich the lawyer industry – not to achieve justice among ordinary citizens.

So, of course, when I was summoned for jury duty in 2014 I did not want to participate.  I set forth the reasons in my letter below (edited and redacted):

Continue reading

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California Traffic Camera Tickets: Robotic Law Enforcement

Below is part of a “Trial by Declaration” response to a California robot camera ticket.    This was successful.  But it took a year before I got my bail money returned. Continue reading

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1993 Tardiness Grievance

From the Memoirs of a Public Librarian . . .

In 1993 – at Exposition Park branch (LAPL) and at other branches – one of our work shifts was “11:30 am until 8:00 pm”.

The LAPL Library Manual, however, recognizes what  my supervisor then refused to recognize; that an agency open to the public requires 5 – 10 minutes to lock up the building after the last patron has left, to count the cash, set the alarm, etc.

My 1993 grievance is the reason why, today,  LAPL units (those open to the public) are required to set the schedule to be from 11:40 am until 8:10 pm instead of 11:30 am until 8:00 pm.

In 1993, I was written up (continuing harassment – see earlier grievances) for coming one minute late to work – although we always left the building not less than 5 to 10 minutes after 8 !  The point of the grievance was that if you are going to be strict about arrival time you must also be strict about departure time!

Click below to view my 1993 Tardiness grievance.  Names (or at least last names) have been redacted. Continue reading

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Captainbiblio’s Webmaster Workshop

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Click on image above.  After clicking on a course, log in as a “guest” to view course content.

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Agency fee.

A strong union is important for public librarians. We are on the cutting edge of an amazing information revolution. Our job description has changed dramatically over the last 15 years. We must now be fluent with new tools of technology in addition to the traditional fluency in literature being accessed by that technology.

We are caught between extremely rapid advances in the manifestation of information, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, library administrators who lag behind even the general public in knowledge of technology – but who nevertheless make decisions affecting our day-to-day workplace situations. Continue reading

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Usury Laws

According to an excellent article in Harper’s Magazine (April 2009) – Infinite Debt by Thomas Geoghegan – the key to the 2008 financial meltdown and economic crisis can be summed up in one word:

USURY.

Most analyses of the economic crisis focus on the housing meltdown and/or the lack of proper bank regulation. These are true – but not the whole truth. Continue reading

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ITC v. LAPL Librarians: Is the tail wagging the dog?

To what extent are the traditional responsibilities of the professional librarian being swallowed up by the new technology?

This question comes up due to the policy at LAPL whereby librarians are prohibited by ITC from downloading any programs to the reference desk computers – including reference tools like Google toolbar which reference librarians use to fill patron inquiries.

The following are some of the issues involved – as stated in grievance (and grievance appeal) papers that brought (and denied) regarding this issue: Continue reading

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