Ex Libris: an E-Zine for Librarians Free Pint

#200, December 5, 2003

SUBJECT INDEX to Past Issues

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Neat New Stuff I Found This Week
Jigsaw puzzles, the art of science fiction, online speeches, and more.

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My resume
Or why you might want to hire me for speaking engagements or workshops. To see outlines for previous presentations I've done, click on Handouts

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My Writings
A bibliography of my published articles and columns, with links to those available online.

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Order My Books

Net Effects: How Librarians Can Manage the Unintended Consequences of the Internet, and The Quintessential Searcher: the Wit and Wisdom of Barbara Quint.

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What IS Ex Libris?

The purpose and intended scope of this e-zine

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E-Mail Subscription?

For a combined subscription to Neat New Stuff and ExLibris, please click HERE, complete the form, and click on "subscribe." To unsubscribe, use the same form but click on "unsubscribe." To change addresses for an existing subscription, unsubscribe from that form and return to the page to enter the new address.

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Highlights from Previous Issues:

My Rules of Information

  1. Go where it is
  2. The answer depends on the question
  3. Research is a multi-stage process
  4. Ask a Librarian
  5. Information is meaningless until queried by human intelligence
  6. Information can be true and still wrong

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Guru Interviews

  1. Tara Calishain
  2. Jenny Levine, part I
  3. Jenny Levine, Part II
  4. Reva Basch
  5. Sue Feldman
  6. Jessamyn West
  7. Debbie Abilock
  8. Kathy Schrock
  9. Greg Notess
  10. William Hann
  11. Chris Sherman
  12. Gary Price
  13. Barbara Quint
  14. Rory Litwin
  15. John Guscott
  16. Brian Smith
  17. Darlene Fichter
  18. Brenda Bailey-Hainer
  19. Walt Crawford
  20. Molly Williams
  21. Genie Tyburski
  22. Patrice McDermott
  23. Carrie Bickner
  24. Karen G. Schneider
  25. Roddy MacLeod, Part I
  26. Roddy MacLeod, Part II
  27. John Hubbard

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Cool Quotes

The collected quotes from all previous issues are at

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When and How To Search the Net

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Wanna See Your Name in Lights?

Or at least on this page, anyway? I'd like to print here your contributions as well as mine. As you've noticed, articles are brief, somewhere between 200 and 500 words -- something to jog people's minds and get their own good ideas flowing. I'd also be happy to run other people's contributions to the regular features like Favorite Sites on _____. I'll pay you the same rate I pay me: nothing.

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Drop me a Line

Want to comment, ask questions, submit articles, or invite me to speak or do some training? Write me at: marylaine at

Visit My Other Sites

My page on all things book-related.

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How To Find Out of Print Books
Suggested strategies, resources, and finding tools.

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Best Information on the Net
bestinfo/default.htmThe directory I built for O'Keefe Library, St. Ambrose University, still my favorite pit stop on the information highway.

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My Word's Worth
an occasional column on books, words, libraries, American culture, and whatever happens to interest me.

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Book Proposal

Land of Why Not: an Appreciation of America. Proposal for an anthology of some of my best writing. An outline and sample columns are available here.

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My personal page


Numbers that end in zeroes somehow seem weighted with symbolic value. A birthday ending in a zero, like I've just had, is more of an occasion to reflect on the direction of your life than the ordinary birthdays. The fact that this is the 200th installment of ExLibris is an occasion to reflect on what I'm doing with it, and how long I want to keep doing it.

I invite your thoughts. What in ExLibris is of particular value to you? Is there something I should do more of? Less of? Are there things I haven't done at all that you'd like to see here? Send your answers to me at: marylaine at I'll be thinking about it during the break I'm taking to work full time on Library Journal's Movers and Shakers issue. ExLibris -- possibly a remodeled ExLibris -- will return in January. Meanwhile, here's my Christmas card for you.

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It's three in the morning of Christmas Day
and Santa's four continents behind.
With baby gyms, dollhouses, toy motor speedways,
the poor man's going out of his mind.

He's got ratchets and drillbits and screws, brads and bolts.
He has driven screws, hammered and pliared.
The scariest words in the whole English language

He's plugged printers and modems and speakers and such
into color-matched slots in computers;
He's configured and entered new passwords, and now
what he needs is a stiff drink at Hooters.

But since duty calls, he picks up his sack
full of Game Boys, Nintendos, and Sims,
and batteries, triple A, B, and C,
also D, spilling over the rims.

Wistful, he thinks about long ago Christmases:
blocks and Play-Doh and books and stuffed toys,
that were played with or read from or cuddled, but didn't
have green flashing lights, or make noise.

The only power needed was imagination.
The toys could be knights and their vassals,
or princesses, monsters, or aliens from space,
or skyscrapers, houses, or castles.

A merrier Christmas than Santa's I wish you:
one that's completely unwired.
May you go to bed early on this Christmas eve
because NO assembly's required.


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Anyway, here's a story from my childhood, which I tell every year at this time:

My father warned about the TV Monsters. These creepy creatures lurked in a dark forest, waiting to catch and chew up an unwary kid. But there was a way to get safely through those sinister woods. The TV Monsters couldn't hurt you if you held a book in front of your face.

You know what? It still works.

"Give the Gift of Reading." Dan Gillmor's eJournal, December 3, 2003

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You are welcome to copy and forward any of my own articles for noncommercial purposes (but not those by my guest writers) as long as you retain this copyright statement:

Ex Libris: an E-Zine for Librarians and Other Information Junkies.
Copyright, Marylaine Block, 1999-2003.

[Publishers may license the content for a reasonable fee.]

Please do NOT copy and post my articles to your own web sites, however. Instead, please copy a brief excerpt and link to my site for the remainder of the article.