links for 2009-04-25

  • "Liberalism has always stood […] for government accountability and citizen participation, for broadly based prosperity and the absence of class hierarchy, for social solidarity and against exploitation, domestic or international. It has always, that is, been proto-socialist. It needs to affirm those values far more explicitly and emphatically […]

    The problem with socialism–the real kind, not the totalitarian travesty–is, as everyone knows, that it would take too many evenings. The problem with contemporary liberalism is that it takes too few. How many Americans meet regularly with neighbors or co-workers to formulate questions or instructions for their elected representatives or evaluate their performance; to hear experts, activists, or officials criticize or defend government or corporate policy; to share information or discuss strategy with fellow citizens in other neighborhoods or workplaces?"

  • "Major market moves elicit strong reactions, and there have been a lot of those in the 24 hours since OCLC's announcement of a new cloud-based library management system. Unsurprisingly, the majority of the comments from library observers fit into the larger discussions related to the Ohio-based membership organization, such as the ongoing debate over OCLC's WorldCat records policy, and perceptions of the nonprofit's increasingly dominant marketplace presence."
  • "Directional labels such as those for the Dewey Decimal System or fictional genres are entirely appropriate for a library, but value-based labels intended to alert patrons to the language, themes or content of a book are not. Such labels result in de facto censorship, which is unacceptable.

    While these citizens may consider certain titles to be unsuitable material for their own children, they are not entitled to make choices for other parents, teens or young adults in the community. Much has been made of passages from particular books. Selections taken out of context may cause the purpose of the book to be misrepresented, and important teen issues centering on bullying, alienation, friendship and family relationships are lost in the process.

    Books are very powerful. Informed readers learn, explore, grow and develop a deeper understanding of the world around them."

  • "As an outdoor educator I've had the slogan 'sense of place' drilled into me years ago. But I've learned that sense of place is not enough. I know plenty of people that can identify tracks, spot a bird, measure water quality and even make a bow drill fire. What this leads to is a willingness to help enact policy or an appreciation that your greenspaces exist, it rarely results in the fervent passion that comes with knowing life and death.

    We need a better definition: sewn into place, tied to place or inextricably integrated into place. We need a mantra that means 'our food, shelter and drink come from the dirt we walk barefoot in'. Living in place is what shifts our relationships, making them more sincere."