Libraries and librarianship, NYC news

Subway exhibit at NYPL

Another NYPL exhibit of note features William Barclay Parsons, the first chief engineer of the subway system. In collaboration with the New York Transit Museum, the Science, Industry and Business Library presents Parson’s correspondence with subway-financier August Belmont, photos of subway construction, early subway tickets, and other reports on the early system. Note also the related programs, especially the lecture on tunnelling.


Intellectual freedom, privacy, etc., Libraries and librarianship, Reading and writing

Subtle censorship

Kids’ books face censorship over gay characters

Martha Freeman got the bad news at lunch from her publisher and literary agent. Although “The Trouble With Babies” had received good reviews, the sales of her children’s book about a young San Francisco girl were poor compared with the first title in her series, and the paperback rights would not be sold.

The reason: A brief passage…about two gay fathers and their adopted son apparently had discouraged many librarians across the United States from buying the title….

Freeman’s publisher now wants her to write a third book in the series, but that leaves her with a question: Fight the censorship and retain the gay characters, or leave them out in the hopes of selling more books?

[via ArtsJournal]

Libraries and librarianship, Reading and writing

CIA World Factbook, 2003 edition

BeSpacific reports that the 2003 edition of the CIA World Factbook is now available. Whenever I edit a country-specific project (like my current book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Understanding North Korea), I always find the CIA Factbook to be a valuable reference. It’s also fun just for browsing.

BeSpacific quotes the press release:

This reference work provides a snapshot, as of 1 January 2003, of wide-ranging, hard-to-locate information about the background, geography, people, government, economy, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for countries from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. The nine primary information categories and 134 subcategories for most entities include geographic coordinates, Gross Domestic Product, number of telephones, natural resources, legal systems, political parties, illicit drugs, mortality rates, and more. Included among the 268 geographic listings is one for the “World,” which incorporates data and other information summarized where possible from the other 267 listings.

[via beSpacific]