library of congress

LCSH News: “Mountain Biking” Replaces “All Terrain Cycling”

Even though mountain bike sales and participation are down (as a percentage of market share, biking has been declining for ten years), the Library of Congress has just issued a directive to change the subject heading from “All Terrain Cycling” to “Mountain Biking.” The term was apparently first coined by Charlie Kelly and Gary Fisher in 1979.

Stage Two Truth

Arthur Schopenhauer is suggested to have said: Every truth passes through three stages before it is recognized. In the first it is ridiculed, in the second it is violently opposed, in the third is regarded as self-evident. If the reaction to Karen Calhoun‘s report to the Library of Congress on The Changing Nature of the […] » about 300 words

A Library For All Peoples

In a Washington Post column last week, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington proposed A Library for The New World:

[T]he time may be right for our country’s delegation to consider introducing to the [UNESCO] a proposal for the cooperative building of a World Digital Library. This would offer the promise of bringing people closer together by celebrating the depth and uniqueness of different cultures in a single global undertaking.

And in this time of war and strife, what makes such a proposal so important?

Libraries are inherently islands of freedom and antidotes to fanaticism. They are temples of pluralism where books that contradict one another stand peacefully side by side just as intellectual antagonists work peacefully next to each other in reading rooms.

And I can’t think of a better message to start the holidays with.

Another Limitation of LC Classification

Right up front in the prologue of Ruth Wajnryb’s Expletive Deleted she quotes the following from Richard Dooling on the difficulty in researching “bad language”:

The Library of Congress classification system does not provide a selection of books … on swearing or dirty words. A researcher … must travel to the BF of psychoanalysis, the PE of slang, the GT of anthropology, the P of literature and literary theory, the N of art, the RC of medical psychiatry, and back to the B of religion and philosphy.

Wikipedia and Libraries

Wikipedia seems to get mixed reviews in the academic world, but I don’t fully understand why. There are those that complain that they can’t trust the untamed masses with such an important task as writing and editing an encyclopedia, then there are others that say you can’t trust the experts with it either. For my […] » about 400 words