5.0297 BM Reading Room; Future Libraries; Regulations (3/155)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Sun, 1 Sep 1991 14:25:33 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 5, No. 0297. Sunday, 1 Sep 1991.
BM Reading Room; Libraries of the Future; Proposed Regulations

(1) Date: Sun, 1 Sep 1991 12:12:13 EDT (49 lines)
Subject: Keep the Round Reading Room

(2) Date: Thu, 29 Aug 91 1:23:48 EDT (34 lines)
From: lenoblem@ERE.UMontreal.CA
Subject: The libraries of the future

(3) Date: Thu, 29 Aug 91 (72 lines)
From: FISKE%UMDC.BITNET@cunyvm.cuny.edu
Subject: Proposed regulations

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Sun, 1 Sep 1991 12:12:13 EDT
Subject: Keep the Round Reading Room

Those among us who use the British Library regularly, or even
occasionally, might be interested in assisting the Regular
Readers Group's campaign to have the Round Reading Room retained
as a British Library reading room when the move to St. Pancras
takes place. Some of you may have seen Felicity Baker's piece
in the TLS and her follow-up; there has also been recent coverage
in the Observer, the Sunday Times and the Times. As matters now
stand, soon after the move to St. Pancras has been completed
(whenever that may be; the movable shelving is malfunctioning in
the tests, now that the library has discovered -- surprise, surprise!
-- that when shelves are not full, books fall over) the part-library,
not now to be completed, will be full, and outhousing will have to
start. Thus the one big argument for the new library -- that readers
would no longer have to wait a day or two to receive outhoused books
-- has weakened to the point of invisibility. The grand new increase
in seating has also gone; there will be more readers, as the
admission age is to be lowered to 18, but there will be only 73
additional seats. The computerization too looks set for disaster,
with inadequate numbers of terminals, a not-very-efficient or
user-friendly system, and inadequate manual backup.
With these and many other points in mind (anyone interested
can obtain a copy of the report sent by the Regular Readers Group
to the Minister of Arts -- send 5 pounds to British Library Regular
Readers Group, 46 Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3PA), not least
the beauty of the library and the pleasure of working there, the
RRG is urging the retention of the Round Reading Room as a reading
room for pre-1850 books. It is the post-1850 books, with their
crumbling acid paper, that are most in need of the supposedly
splendid conservation conditions of the new St. Pancras building.
The current British Library/ British Museum building has good
storage, much of it purpose-built (e.g. the magnificent King's
Library), for the pre-1850 books.
The group urges you to write NOW to the Minister of Arts to
add your voice to this proposal. Write to:
The Right Hon. Timothy Renton, MP,
Secretary of State for the Office of Arts and Libraries
Horseguards Road
London SW1P 3AL

Antonia Forster
William Williams

(2) --------------------------------------------------------------49----
Date: Thu, 29 Aug 91 1:23:48 EDT
From: lenoblem@ERE.UMontreal.CA
Subject: The libraries of the future

We have had in the recent past (last 2 years) several messages on
HUMANIST concerning the evolution of national and research libraries
such as, for example, the Nouvelle Bibliotheque de France.

Are some of you aware of the existence of papers, books or working
papers on the very subject of the libraries of the future.

Could those who know of such projects in their own country mention to us
the name of these projects or libraries in question, their situation and
even the name and references of those in charge of public relations for
these projects.

Are some members of HUMANIST on advisory committees of projects of this
type? Are there planification or orientation papers that could be
obtained from them on the subject?

A preliminary list of such projects would include:

- La Bibliotheque de France (formerly named TGB)
- The New British Library
- The "paperless" library in California (?)

Michel Lenoble
Litterature Comparee
Universite de Montreal
NOUVEAU / NEW E-MAIL: lenoblem@ere.umontreal.ca <-------------!!!!

(3) --------------------------------------------------------------79----
Date: Thu, 29 Aug 91
From: FISKE%UMDC.BITNET@cunyvm.cuny.edu
Subject: Proposed regulations

I am reposting this message at the request of Dr. Shirley Fiske,
President of the National Association for the Practice of Anthropology
(NAPA). It would appear to me that this is the type of restriction of
the freedom of expression that might be of concern to members of this
list. Bob Trotter, Northern Arizona University.

----------------------------Original message----------------------------
I would like to alert you to some proposed federal regulations
that would severely restrict professional activities of federal
employees. Most importantly, they would change the course of our
discipline and nature of our professional meetings and
organizations. I urge you all to submit comments during the
public comment period -- open until September 20, 1991.

The Office of Government Ethics (an independent federal agency,
which I had never heard of before this) has proposed a set of
"Standards of Conduct Regulations," which are comprehensive
rules that would apply to all agencies.

The proposed regulations would prohibit federal employees from
holding office in professional organizations, participating on
committees, and if interpreted literally, from participating in
annual meetings or serving on editorial boards.

Currently, each agency has its own set of standards that govern
participation in professional organizations. My agency, for
example, encourages proessional leadership and participation.

I do not have a copy of the proposed regulations yet (I've
ordered them). But I do have a copy of an editorial which
appeared in EOS, the publication of the American Geophysical
Union (AGU). AGU is a professional organization much like AAA
and SfAA, with members from earth and life sciences. It was
brought to the attention of my office by a colleague who is a
chemist. If you would like a FAX of the editorial, let me know.

As I see it, these regulations are detrimental to the discipline
of anthropology, and the federal organizations that rely on the
expertise of scientists and professionals as employees. Results
of the proposed regulations would undermine the efforts of our
discipline to develop links between practice and academic
pursuits, would destroy the possibility of maintaining a highly
qualified, technically competent staff of scientific federal
employees, would lead to problems recruiting good people in the
federal sector, would undermine the efforts of the executive
branch agencies to develop a workforce of leaders in science. As
the editorial points out, it would lead to the development of an
underclass of government scientists who are out of touch with
theory and advances in their professional disciplines.

We have worked so hard as a profession to get where we are, it is
frightening to see our progress jeopardized.

The public is invited to comment until September 20th. I intend
to let the Office of Government Ethics (an independent federal
agency!) know my opinions, and I urge you to do the same.
Comments from individuals are important as well as responses from
organizations. Please pass the word.

Comments or requests for information should be sent by September
20 to:
Office of Government Ethics,
Attn: Leslie Wilcox
1201 New York Ave., NW -- Suite 500,
Washington, D.C. 20005-3917

Phone: (202) 523-5757
FAX: (202) 523-6325