01 September 2004

Issue Intro: New School Year. New BiblioTech Editor

It's time for another school year, a new semester and a new editor for BiblioTech, me. I'm attempting to take over for our founder and former editor Lori Ito Hardenbergh. Lori has done such a great job; I can only hope this issue is as good.

I believe the concern was the name BiblioTech is a frequently used term in the library world but since BiblioTech is the name everyone knows and has meaning to our program, I've decided not to change the name at this time. Also there is a lack of a new good name, but if anyone has any suggestions please let me know.

We have some great articles for this issue, ranging from movie review, book jackets and conferences to what its like to work in a Japanese university library and resource allocation. I want to thank all the contributors for their great articles. I couldn't put out BiblioTech without them.

Hope you all enjoy this issue of BiblioTech. If you have any problems with the site or any suggestions to make it better, please let me know.


Erica Hanke
Editor, BiblioTech

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Notes from Japan: Tokushima Bunri University Library

by Kevin McDowell and Derek Henson

Bunri university library entrance

Japanese university libraries, like their US counterparts, are concerned with access to materials. However, while American academic libraries stress the greatest possible freedom of access, the Tokushima Bunri University Library (the university I'm teaching at now) hinders entry to the library and prevents full access to books and even the library catalog in a variety of ways.

The first thing I noticed after entering the library was an imposing electronic sensor that bars admittance. It is necessary to swipe a university identification card to enter the library. Students, faculty, and visitors to the library who, for whatever reason, don't possess a card are allowed to enter the library only after signing in: recording name, time, university affiliation (note: I still haven't received an ID card so I have to go through this onerous process each time I enter the library.)

The library itself is a gleaming new building, equipped with, largely unused, multi-media equipment, a fairly large computer room with cutting edge machines (which faculty are not permitted to reserve for classroom use � a serious barrier to using the Internet and other instructional technology for teaching). It also has a narrowly targeted range of English language journals, aimed at covering the main academic fields offered by the university. The journals are in pristine condition and look untouched. In terms of Japanese language materials, the library, of course, according to my colleagues, provides good coverage. (They do, however, lament the lack of ESL related materials � the university doesn't offer a literature or language major.)

Recently I was led to a secret, off-limits, strictly guarded vault, holding a wealth of books on a wide variety of topics, many in English, as well as the entire retrospective backlog of journals and newspapers. Somewhat eerily, to enter and exit the room one must swipe an ID card (conjuring up images of emaciated researchers, trapped inside, and desperately searching for misplaced cards). Apparently, students are not allowed inside. I tried to find out why these particular books and journals was locked away, but couldn't get a clear answer. It doesn't seem to be a space issue, but rather a matter of control.

Outside 'secret room'Inside

Like the physical materials, the library catalog, too, is strictly controlled. The catalog is set up on the university's LAN, so students can access it only from inside the library or in a faculty member's office. It seems, again according to colleagues, that the library was pressured to create an online catalog, but then did little to advertise the existence of the catalog or promote usage. This further reinforces the image of the library as a secluded fortress, with librarians hunkered down behind the reference desk and in back offices.

While these notes are somewhat impressionistic, it does seem that the Tokushima Bunri Library, and I think, making a dangerous leap, Japanese libraries in general, take a widely different approach to access than American universities. Entry to the library is closely monitored and access to both physical and electronic resources is strictly controlled. This note us not meant to be another form of �Japan bashing' but rather just an attempt to record my initial impressions of the library system, with the idea of trying to link library operations to wider issues in Japanese society in future studies in an attempt to make sense of libraries and library use in Japan.

Tokushima International Exchange Center (TOPIA) book collection conversion project

Newcomers to Tokushima are often directed to the Tokushima International Exchange Center . The Center, located in central Tokushima , dispenses advice, offers counseling services in several languages, makes travel arrangements and supplies essential orientation information. In addition, it maintains a books collection of approximately 6,000 books with around 1,000 users.

This collection provides a valuable resource for foreign residents with books in foreign languages being both expensive and scarce in this provincial capital. And, for Chinese residents in Tokushima , the books at TOPIA seem to be their only source of reading materials in the Chinese language � and are, therefore, much used and in high demand. Also, although the Tokushima prefectural library has a fairly large collection of foreign language books, it is located far beyond the outskirts of the city making it an inconvenient trek for would-be users. So TOPIA collection is in many ways the best source for foreigners to turn to when seeking reading materials.

TOPIA's library, however, is in a state akin to anarchy, lacking a standard library classification system, a valid database, and a method of tracking circulation and book returns. The organizational scheme in place now (an ad hoc numbering system created in the hazy past of TOPIA's institutional history) is inconsistent and undecipherable, thus blocking effective searches and hindering use of the collection's materials. In addition, books are double shelved, so that users, in many cases, are not able to see what sort of books are sitting behind the front row of books � pointing to extreme limitations on shelf space.

In an effort to impose order on the collection, Derek Henson, a colleague, and I have initiated a volunteer project aimed at creating an automated library system. At the same time we have formulated a working collection development and management policy with the idea of removing duplicate books and books that don't fit with the needs and interests of TOPIA users, thereby setting criteria for accepting donations in the future and freeing up space now. We are also actively soliciting donations that meet those collection development criteria (popular fiction, literature, books on �things Japanese,' language learning and teaching, and Chinese popular fiction and non-fiction) with an eye to assembling a more coherent collection.

The most immediate issue has centered on the need to create an automated search process for locating and storing book records. Associated with that, we have had to consider what types of methods, machines and materials to use for building and maintaining the data base.

An Internet search turned up some relatively low-cost software which allows the user to enter search criteria such as title, author, ISBN, etc., and then search through the Internet for the rest of the information to build the book record. With the ISBN being of most interest because many of the books already had a bar-coded ISBN on the book. Initial searches produced a fairly high rate of successful returns on information for scanned in ISBNs except for one detail and that was in finding the Library of Congress call numbers. Even though the Library of Congress was one of the sites being searched by the software, searches of the LC catalog were returning a success rate of less than 1%.

Digging deeper into the software it became apparent that there was a problem with the search specification. This problem was solved by simply modifying the software to make it search a different way and then by confirming the results by searching the Library of Congress catalog independently. But, even so successful returns were now still only around 5%, with the problem being that the even though the Library of Congress has records of the books they don't associate the same ISBNs. By accessing other databases, we are now able to bring up Library of Congress call numbers for about 60% of the ISBNs we scan � meaning that a supplementary search process will have to be implemented. So, while some searches will require searching manually by author or title, ISBN search will bring up a good number of usable records automatically.

Building the database from scratch, bar-coding ISBN numbers and storing records means physically processing each book in the collection. This has presented a unique opportunity to root out duplicate books and other materials that fall outside the parameters of the collection management criteria we set up in consultations with the TOPIA staff � freeing up shelf space and making it easier to use the TOPIA resources.

In conjunction with the deselection process we drew up a user survey aimed at getting at user needs and interests. In tandem with the survey, we are analyzing and charting book returns. In culling the collection and collecting data we hope to be able to fine-tune the collection management criteria so as to build a core of collection of books oriented around the genres and types of books most relevant to the foreign residents and Japanese users of the TOPIA library. One of the main issues here will be to install standards and implement procedures for evaluating books selectively, so as to upgrade the collection and avoid shelf space problems.

Although we have only completed one stage of the project (storing ISBN records) most of the technical issues have been tested and resolved and we are poised now to begin the search process and begin searching for records and building the automated system. Following that we will establish a database and barcode system for maintaining library patron information, develop a computerized lending and tracking system for managing the collection with our own barcodes, introduce procedures to simplify use and to maintain the systems in the future, write up a manual on collection development policy and library procedures, monitor use of TOPIA materials, and solicit donations that meet collection development standards.

Kevin at TOPIA

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The Fundamental Challenges of Resource Allocation

by Will Ascarza

The budget is a crucial factor in library management. Automation, continuing education, information technology, materials acquisition, personnel salaries, and public relations necessitate funding. Each of these resources is important for any library that wishes to provide excellent services to its employees and patrons. Unfortunately because of poor resource allocation, many library services are phased out or severely cut back. This directly affects the efficiency of the library and also lowers the satisfaction level of the user.

There are many ways of how budgets affect a library. A prime example is in the area of personnel salaries. Oftentimes committees have been established to study and implement salary setting policies. However, it can be difficult to gauge the many factors that need to be considered when determining salary issues. Examples of these factors include experience, education qualifications such as an MLS degree or beyond, and the economic situation in the country at the time coupled with the determination of salaries based upon other library institutions (Williams, D.E.. and Garten E.D. 1999).

Additionally, the budget can affect both materials acquisition and information technology in the library. The cost effectiveness of certain collections of materials should be considered. For example, government documents are often inexpensive to purchase in contrast to some journals or periodical subscriptions (Smith, D.H. 1993). One must also consider possible sources for the acquisition of materials. Budgeting needs to be taken into consideration when considering how much funding should be allocated for purchasing the material and how much reliance should be placed on donations.

The efficiency and cost effectiveness of new technology must also be examined. For example one must consider automatic checkout as compared to circulation checkout. Another consideration that affects IT technology is what operating system the server will utilize to host the World Wide Web. Many libraries use UNIX based information systems to operate their client server network.

Continuing education for library employees is another factor that is dependent upon the budget. Different education programs bring with them different costs. These include both money and time. When creating the budget it's important to evaluate the cost and effectiveness of each program.

Public relations also are related to the budget. Certain allocations of funds need to be made by the library to market its services to the public. Visibility is important for the library so that people know where it is and what materials it has. Orientation programs held weekly would build relationships between both library staff and patrons while �printed guides� could serve as tools to further market the library (McKay, D.J. 1988).

There are difficulties inherent when making allocations within any budget. For instance, not all costs can be readily seen. Whereas tangible factors appear in the budget such as the cost of employing personnel, intangible factors such as the effectiveness of the personnel insofar as their skills are concerned may remain unknown. Another difficulty with budget is that it can be misleading. An example of this would be exorbitant figures in the continuing education of library personnel. The result might be to cut back on continuing education investment because of the cost while not examining the content or duration of such programs. There is also the concern that budgets are created without any real thought concerning their importance. As a result, no improvement is made in the allocation of resources and the library becomes a victim of mismanagement of funds.

There are several good ways to improve deficiencies in resource allocation. One of them is to appoint a Task Force. The establishment of a Task Force produced a positive effect when applied by Webster University in St. Louis , Missouri . (Williams, D.E.. and Garten E.D. 1999). The University created a Task Force that was assigned the responsibility of studying how each resource in the library was currently used and determining whether it was over funded or under funded. It then readjusted how much funding each resource would receive accordingly.

Another option is the use of (ALMS) which stands for �A Library Management System.� The goal of this system is to provide administrative librarians with data so that they may determine needful appropriations in the field of operating expenses and salaries/wages. This system has won the favor of the California State University and Colleges System (Mitchell B.J. 1983).

Negotiation is also a tool that libraries can use should they discover that their resource needs exceed their budget. It is important to be able to bargain with outside sources that may provide additional funding of library resources. A good example of what can be achieved through collective bargaining is found in the case of Egypt and Israel (Bolman, L.G., and Deal, T.E. 2002). Both countries were involved in a land dispute that was resolved by satisfying each other's underlying interests. In a library setting, funds are needed to provide services to the community. Budget processes are governed by parent institutions, such as city governments or universities. These organizational bodies depend upon the library for information and also public support. Like countries, there is room to negotiate between libraries and their parent institutions.

The use of �zero-based budgets� is yet another tool that has led to the success of many businesses (Pell, A.R 1987). Libraries must factor in many resources when examining their budgets for the next year. Companies usually look at the effects of expansion and inflation from the past year when planning the next year's budget. Zero-based budgets examine the value of each item. Items that show productivity are retained in the budget while those that are no longer used are discarded. A good example of �zero based budgets� in a library setting is in information technology. In the past twenty years libraries have updated their search engines from card catalogue to placing their material online. Online information has become a more efficient means of relaying information while the card catalogue system has become outmoded and less efficient. Library budgets reflect this by funding the one while discarding the other.

Another solution may be the benefit of resource sharing among libraries. There is evidence that this tactic has been successful. Three member libraries in the Western North Carolina Network serve as a case in point. They joined together in 1986 to provide fully integrated services with one another that included both a shared circulation and online catalogue system. There was also cooperation in collections development of journals and manuscripts. Materials were efficiently transported from library to library by a van delivery service known as ABC Express. This system proved useful for both the libraries and the patrons. Each library profited from this relationship which reduced the demands on its budget by augmenting their materials with those of other libraries. Patrons benefited from the ability to broaden the scope of their requests to more than one library and have the same amount of time to borrow materials. (Graham, A 2000).

It has been shown that proper resource allocation can conform to the limitations of a budget. It is up to library managers to network as a team when studying the budget and communicate their findings with each other and their benefactors. This can be done through the establishment of Task Forces and collective bargaining. Both resources and budgets are never stagnant and are constantly evolving. That is why they need to be reviewed every year and modified accordingly. The openness to proper investigation and negotiation will lead to a better understanding of how to match resources with budget and merge economy with efficiency.


  • Bolman, L.G., and Deal, T.E. (2003). Reframing Organizations . (3 rd ed.) San Francisco : Jossey-Bass.
  • Graham, Amy (2000) Vol. 31 (1) Resource Sharing within the Western North Carolina Library Network: faculty and Student Perspective, Journal of Library Administration .
  • McKay, D.J. (1988). Re-assessing the role of special libraries and information units: internal marketing . United Kingdom : Taylor Graham.
  • Mitchell, B.J. (1983). ALMS: A Budget Based Library Management System . London , England : Jai Press Inc.
  • Pell, A.R (1987). Managing Through People . Garden City: New York : Dale Carnegie & Associates, Inc.
  • Smith, D.H. (1993). Management of Government Information Resources in Libraries . Englewood , Colorado : Libraries Unlimited, Inc.
  • Williams, D.E. and Garten E.D. (1999). Advances in Library Administration and Organization . Stamford , Connecticut : Jai Press Inc.

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Springtime in Library Land: See the World. Become a Librarian

by Virginia Sanchez

I spent so many hours and miles of Spring 2004 on airplanes in the course of attending library conferences - four conferences in six months - that I thought I'd share some of my experiences. All of this travel added an interesting dynamic to completing the 12 units if coursework I was enrolled in, but I survived and came away with increased enthusiasm to be a Traveling Librarian Extraordinaire!

Attending conferences is a great way to meet people from all over and expand your professional and social network, as well as to visit interesting places. I dragged my feet for the longest time over working the �networking� angle, as it seemed so Machiavellian, so I would just go to the various seminars and then go sight-seeing by myself. After a while, however, I realized that just in the course of sharing a table, a taxi or sitting next to someone during a seminar, I was doing all I needed to do to network: have fun and talk to people. We all have more in common than we often think, and a simple joke about librarian stereotypes, or how this particular workshop is far too early in the morning after that very fun reception the night before, can get the conversation ball rolling.

In January 2004, I attended the Joint Meeting of the Northern California and Nevada Medical Group ( NCNMLG ), the Medical Library Group of Southern California and Arizona ( MLGSCA ), and the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Medical Library Association ( PNC/MLA ), which was held in Sacramento, California. Several of the librarians from the Arizona Health Sciences Library attended, and I was introduced to medical librarians from all over the country.

Susan Trombly, Collection Services Librarian; Mary Riordan, Information Services; Hannah Fisher, Information Services, Jeanette McCray, Deputy Director; Gary Frieburger, Director, Michelle Ochillo, National Library of Medicine Fellow.

It wasn't all seminars at the Sacramento Conference. We were walking distance from Old Sacramento and attended a Mystery Dinner Theater on the Delta King . Michelle Ochillo, who is a National Library of Medicine (NLM) Fellow and a graduate of Louisiana State University 's School of Library and Information Science, had a wonderful time touring the California State Capitol building. Unfortunately, �The Governator� was elsewhere, but she did make the acquaintance of a very friendly California Highway Patrolman.

Michelle Ochillo in the Senate Chambers and outside �The Governator's� Office

In April 2004, I attended the Annual Substance Abuse Librarians & Information Specialists Conference in Berkeley , California. This was held at the gorgeous Berkeley City Club , and was walking distance from all that famous �Berzerkely� action! I had great fun visiting with Jessica Hinkson, a kindred spirit and librarian for The Center for College Health and Safety .

Jessica Hinkson

In May 2004, I attended Annual Medical Library Association Conference in Washington , D.C. I had an opportunity to meet librarians from the National Library of Medicine , but also experience that phenomenon that happens only every 17 years: Cicadas . These where winging in larger and larger numbers every day, and created quite a bit of comedic dance steps by the squeamish venturing outside!

Washington , D.C. is a fascinating town. I rode the public buses and the Metro, strolled DuPont Circle and met a friend for dinner that I had bonded with at another conference, the irrepressible Liz Foster, Librarian for the National Clearinghouse for Alcohol & Drug Information .

In June 2004, I attended the Annual American Library Association Conference in Orlando , Florida . This Mega-Conference was rumored to have drawn 20,000 librarians. The Exhibitor's Hall alone was immense, and the technology of the booths ranged from a table and chair with a few flyers, to multi-decked stages with strobe lights and walls of television monitors. The conference agenda was packed with activities, seminars and discussion groups, which meant there was a very real chance that you would not see your room mate all day unless you deliberately planned to stick together. The SIRLS student contingent made very good use of our cell phones and most of managed to find each other at the Spectrum Scholarship Bash held at Universal Studies. I was able to participate in Cynthia Wilson's � I am a Librarian � project, which she says intends to show, �pride in our profession and send a positive image will help the world to realize that the stereotype is not true of all librarians. It will also help encourage more people to join the profession.�

If given the opportunity to attend a professional conference, go! I advise wearing comfortable shoes, and keeping the name and telephone number of your hotel on your person at all times, but beyond that go with open eyes, ears and mind, and meet your colleagues. You will find that you have far more in common with that librarian from North Dakota or Louisiana than you ever dreamed, and may make a friend and ally for life.

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On Book Jackets

by Traci Glass

Book jacket, book cover, dust jacket, dust cover.

They are all words that describe one pretty innocuous thing: the thing that covers the hard cardboard cover of a book. The book jacket was developed for practical purposes only: to protect books from dust, insects and other harmful entities. However, as years progressed, the book jacket has become a separate part of the book itself and the reading experience. The book jacket has morphed into not only an addendum used to help sell the book, but also into a piece of art in and of itself. Classic books such as Ralph Ellison's The Invisible Man , Joseph Heller's Catch-22 and newer titles such as Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park and Chuck Palahniuk's Lullaby . There's even a celebrity book jacket designer in our midst; it's hard to miss Chip Kidd and his eclectic and eye catching designs gracing the shelves of bookstores and libraries across the country and the world. The book jacket has come a long way since its early inception as a protector of books; it has become the first step in the reading experience.

Although book covers have been decorated for many years, it wasn't until the 1800s that book jackets came into existence. �Book jackets first appeared in England in the nineteenth century, in a culture that was still discovering the rules of consumerism. Their early evolution came about in fits and starts, constrained by cultural inhibitions that are now difficult to understand. When decoration was present on the outside of the book, it took the form of either blocking onto binding cloth, or pasting printed paper sheets onto the front and back boards� (Powers 6). Up until the advent of book jackets at this time, the decorated covers of books were quite popular and even produced celebrities of book cover design. Aubrey Beardsley and Sarah Wyman Whitman were popular book cover designers of the 1800s. Pasted paper designs started appearing on books as early as the 1830s which soon gave way to two colored textured designs and gold stamping in the 1840s and 1850s. As the years progressed, the use of text and colored ink was simplified and became commonplace on book covers around the world. �The transformation of book design owed much to the Arts and Crafts movement, which revered the book as an object both functional and aesthetic, a part of everyday life yet worthy of care and adornment. William Morris had turned to typography in the 1890s, late in his career. Reacting against the harsh, sparkling pages of spiky type made possible by nineteenth-century printing and paper technologies, Morris reclaimed the weighty, dull-edged letters of early Renaissance typography� (Lupton 364).

As the 20 th century rolled around, the book jacket changed. �Only after 1900 did book jackets begin to become commonplace, and even then, the great majority consisted simply of a repetition of the blocking from the binding on a sheet of paper� (Powers 7). In the 1900s America saw a change in the financial demographic of the population at large. A middle class suddenly emerged as factories and machinery caused the industrial revolution to blossom in cities across the country. Art for this middle class flooded the market due to the fact that although their money was limited their numbers were staggering. Artists such as R. Atkinson Fox and companies such as Napco rushed to introduce art that people in this new middle class could afford to buy. Books and their jacket designs soon became a part of this new art explosion in the middle class society. As book jackets and cover designs became more complicated and ornate, they were seen as pieces of art, pieces of art which middle class Americans could afford to buy and display in their homes. Also, paperback novels or pulp novels, flooded the market that provided inexpensive ways for people to read. Their covers often contained highly decorative and provocative images; these books became legends in their own way.

As time progressed, America moved out of the Great Depression and into the style movement of the 1950s and 1960s. During this time, pulp novels rose to high popularity and the Beat generation introduced the world to their philosophy through books. Through it all, the book jacket and cover continued to change with the times, reflecting the fascination with alternative lifestyles and deviant behaviors. �Book-cover design encompassed an extraordinarily wide range of styles and techniques, and in a culture that was still dominated by the printed image and word, there was a steep increase both in quantity and quality of book-cover design� (Powers 41). Designers such as Paul Rand and Alvin Lustig experimented with lettering, photomontage, pencil drawings and illustrations to change the look of book jackets once again. This was the time of Ralph Ellison's The Invisible Man cover designed by Edward McKnight Kauffer and Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita . The first with a significant illustration on the cover, the other plain in the style of pornographic novels of the day. (Powers 62)

It was during this time that pulp novels finally came into their own in the literary scene of America . With their content came beautiful and often provocative and disturbing cover images designed to encourage the reader to throw down a quarter and become enveloped in stories of the deviant lifestyles of juvenile delinquents and dime store detectives. The pulp novels were highly colorful and full of interesting situations. On the cover of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd , a man is being stabbed in the back; to illustrate the dangers of drug use a picture of a man who hung himself is used to illustrate the cover of The Pusher . Pulp covers had a smoky feel and women were pictured in various states of undress in many examples. Pulp publishers even used specific colors as codes to the readers. �Red Arrow followed the lead of Kurt Enoch's Albatross and Allen Lane 's Penguin Books, color-coding its covers for easy identification by readers. Red covers meant mystery and crime fiction, green meant travel and adventure, and blue meant general fiction� (Lupoff 227). The cover art of pulp novels of the 1950s and 1960s often depicted the underbelly of society that traditional book jackets rarely touched on. In that way they are an art form in and of themselves.

Book jackets are an important part of a book. According to a study by Publishers Weekly , �75% of the 300 booksellers surveyed (half from independents and half from chains) said that, of all the elements of the book itself, the look and design of the cover was the most important. The booksellers also thought that the plot summaries on the flaps and back cover were important, though somewhat less so� (Rawlinson 8). One person who has made a name for himself in the world of book jacket design is Chip Kidd. He has designed books for Elmore Leonard, David Sedaris, Michael Crichton and Cormac McCarthy as well as the new Peanuts anthologies that have been released since the death of Charles M. Schultz. Chip Kidd is �the associate art director of jackets and special projects at Knopf� and is known for his unusual style and design. (Williams 142) He worked under Carol Carlson at Alfred A. Knopf in the beginning of his career. �Carson and her core staff of gifted younger designers � Chip Kidd, Barbara de Wilde, and Archie Ferguson � transformed bookstore shelves across the country� (Lupton 363). In terms of Elmore Leonard's books, Kidd says �With all due respect to whomever worked on them before, I never thought Leonard's books were given a fair chance because of the covers. I never saw one that made me want to pick it up� (Bing 18). By interjecting a new found excitement into the book jacket industry, Chip Kidd is introducing a whole new audience to the art of book jackets � he's making the jacket as intriguing as the book itself. �His often cheeky and urbane jacket art, more MTV than mass market�� would be prone to attract younger readers (Bing 18). Chip Kidd is bringing a new face and a changing facade to book jackets with the change of the century. As he said in a recent interview with the Onion A.V. Club, ��a good book cover makes you want to pick it up. End of story� (Phipps 1).

Over the centuries, book jackets have changed with the times, Modernism to Postmodernism, drawings and illustrations to photographs and digital mastery. Legends like Chip Kidd, Paula Scher, Sarah Wyman Whitman and Alvin Lustig have all made their marks on book jackets through the years. The truth is that book jackets allow the reader to use not only their mental skills, but their visual skills, as well, when choosing reading materials. A book jacket can make someone want to pick up the book or lay it down depending on what it portrays on the cover. Hopefully, book jacket art and designs will continue to mirror the society in which they reside as well as encourage readers to try a new book or a new author. Book jackets aren't an entity unto themselves, they are the first step in the journey of reading.

Bibliography and Suggested Readings

  • Bing, Jonathan. �Elmore Kidds Around.� Publishers Weekly 245 (February 23, 1998): 18-19.
  • Feldman, Beth. �Covers That Catch the Eye.� Publishers Weekly 238 (November 1, 1991): 46-48.
  • Harnum, Bill. �Whose Cover Is It Anyway?� Journal of Scholarly Publishing 30, no. 3 (April 1999): 146-152.
  • Lupoff, Richard A. The Great American Paperback . Portland , Oregon : Collectors Press, 2001.
  • Lupton, Ellen. � Colophon : Women Graphic Designers.� In Women Designers in the USA 1900-2000 , edited by Pat Kirkham, 362-381. New York : Yale University Press, 2000.
  • Matthews, Jack. �And Another Thing�: Dust Jackets and the Art of Memory.� Logos 14, no. 3 (2003): 155-158.
  • McQuiston, Liz. Women in Design: A Contemporary View . New York : Rizzoli, 1988.
  • Phipps, Keith. �An Onion A.V. Club Interview with Chip Kidd.� The Onion A.V. Club .
  • Powers, Alan. Front Cover: Great Book Jacket and Cover Design . London : Octopus Publishing, 2001.
  • Reese, Teresa. The Best in Covers & Posters 9 . Rockville , Maryland : RC Publications, Inc., 1991.
  • Pedersen, Martin. �To Tie In or Not to Tie In.� Publishers Weekly 240 (July 26, 1993): 24-25.
  • Rawlinson, Nora. �Why Not Judge a Book by Its Cover?� Publishers Weekly 247, no. 6 (February 7, 2000): 8.
  • Reid, Calvin. �Chip Kidd: Designer-Man Wields Pen!� Publishers Weekly 248, no. 44 (October 29, 2001): 31.
  • �Seeing Double, Selling Well.� Publishers Weekly Supplement 245 (June 1998 supp): S21-S22.
  • Stevenson, Nanette. �Hipper, Brighter and Bolder.� Publishers Weekly 244 (February 17, 1997): 139-141.
  • Sullivan, Ed. �Judging Books by Their Covers, Part II: Hardcover vs. Paperback.� Voice of Youth Advocates 23, no. 4 (October 2000): 244-248.
  • Sullivan, Edward T. �Judging BOOKS by their COVERS: A Cover Art Experiment.� Voice of Youth Advocates 21, no. 3 (August 1998): 180-182.
  • Williams, Wilda. �Judging This Author by His Covers.� Library Journal 126, no. 16 (October 1, 2001): 142-143.

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Librarian Movie Reviews

by Heather Phillips

"Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!"

You wouldn't think there would be much of a connection between L. Frank Baum and a giant, floating stone head, but in fact, there is. It is when Zed, a remorseless Brutal, makes this connection that the final crisis of humanity begins.

Zardoz is the first movie I will review in what I hope will become a series of reviews on the subject of libraries in movies. It opens in the year 2293 upon a post-apocalyptic world (obviously inspired by Aldous Huxley) in which the only remnants of human society are the deathless and supercilious Eternals who live in a series of inescapable and impregnable �Vortexes� and the Brutals whom they manipulate. Zed (played by Sean Connery) gains entry to one of the Vortexes by means of the giant flying stone head, which the Brutals worship as the fearsome god 'Zardoz.' The Eternals consider Zed an interesting biological specimen and begin to study him. While they are studying him, he is studying them, trying to devise a way of destroying "The Tabernacle," the self-aware database that keeps the Eternals from dying.

Despite its surreal pseudo-artistic trippiness, Zardoz projects two very potent views of libraries. Zed begins to doubt the authenticity of his god in a library (where he reads the Wizard of OZ). On the other hand, the Vortexes themselves were originally akin to libraries--great repositories of knowledge that cut themselves off from the rest of the world and evolved into the stagnant, complacent society illustrated by the Eternals.

The effete lives lived in the Vortexes is in no way connected to the 'nasty, brutish and short' existence of the outside world. The Eternals manipulate the people on the outside in much the same way as a rancher controls his herds--by breeding the best specimens and by killing the rest. The Eternals are so disconnected from humanity that they are barely even connected to themselves, having become so cerebral that they don't even sleep. Knowledge is dangerous, Zardoz says, when it is concentrated in the hands of a few. Zardoz envisions a world where the sequestered elites have sole access to knowledge--and access to knowledge is access to power.

In a sense, Party Girl proclaims the same message -- that knowledge is power -- but portrays it in a much more egalitarian manner. Parker Posey plays Mary, the party girl of the title, who lands in jail after a wild party, and calls upon her godmother, a librarian at a branch library somewhere in New York City, to bail her out. After a shouting match ("You don't think I'm smart enough to work in your fucking library?!"), Mary takes a job as a library clerk. Despite Mary's (admittedly muddled) attempts to gather her life into some kind of coherent order, her godmother persists in seeing her as a feckless hedonist, constantly saying that Mary is just like her mother--who "had no common sense!"

In Party Girl, it is self knowledge that is power, and the library is the symbol of Mary's pursuit and capture of that knowledge. It is in the library that she begins to find direction for her life--to make decisions and to develop the 'common sense' she seems to be lacking.

Unfortunately, Party Girl portrays librarians very much in the 'Nancy Pearl' mode--dressing them in clunky glasses and unattractive shades of gray, and displaying a condescending tendency to intimidate others by using use fifty-cent words while constantly shushing the patrons. Mary has to shed her vintage couture wardrobe and put her hair in a bun before she can announce that her life's ambition is librarianship. I was disappointed by the disjointedness of this movie. It obviously wanted to be Breakfast at Tiffany's or Clueless, but couldn't manage the necessary subtlety. But while Party Girl certainly won't be making anyone's Top-100 List, it manages an undemanding, pleasant fluffiness seasoned with enough interesting characters and sub-plots that makes it watchable.

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