Not in My Library!

“Berman’s Bag” Columns from The Unabashed Librarian, 2000–2013


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About the Book

Foreword by Mitch Freedman, a reprinted Counterpoise interview and 45 of Sanford Berman’s U*L columns dealing with book-burning, genocide, government secrecy and repression, cataloging, indexing, classism, self-censorship and free speech for library staff (et cetera!). Index by Chris Dodge.

About the Author(s)

Famed librarian Sanford Berman as written several books and numerous shorter works (“provocative”—Library Journal. He is the recipient of an American Library Association Honorary Membership (2004) and the Robert B. Downs Intellectual Freedom Award (1996), and was named Minnesota Librarian of the Year in 1977.

Bibliographic Details

Sanford Berman
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 208
Bibliographic Info: index
Copyright Date: 2013
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7822-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1351-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Foreword by Maurice J. Freedman  1

Introduction (Counterpoise Interview with Kristin Hoyer, 2005)  10

Why Catalog?  (U*L 116, 2000)  19

Must “The Poor” Always Be Among Us?  (U*L 117, 2000)  21

The Top Censored Library Stories of 1998–2000   (U*L 118, 2001)  27

Updates and Additions   (U*L 119, 2001)  31

Updates and Additions   (U*L 120, 2001)  35

No More Shushing: Library Staff and Users Speak (Part 1)   (U*L 121, 2001)  42

Harry Potter Imperiled, Keyword Searching as Panacea, Robin Hood’s

Noble Liege, and Other Foolishness   (U*L 124, 2002)  46

“Not in My Library!”   (U*L 125, 2002)  52

Updates and Additions   (U*L 127, 2003)  57

Cuba Libre!   (U*L 128, 2003)  62

No More Shushing: Library Staff and Users Speak (Part 2), More on Cuba   (U*L 129, 2003)  65

King County Responds, “Banned Books Week” Deconstructed, Cataloging Blues at LAPL, Loompanics’ Mike Hoy on Censorship, Deep-Sixed Afghan Atrocity Film, Cuba Again   (U*L 130, 2004)  71

Access Denied   (U*L 133, 2004)  77

Squelched Letters, More Access Denied   (U*L 134, 2005)  81

Fighting the USA PATRIOT Act, Updates and Additions   (U*L 135, 2005)  86

UCLA Cross-Refs, AACR3, Library Openness   (U*L 136, 2005)  89

Cataloging Zines and Widgets   (U*L 137, 2005)  92

Questions   (U*L 138, 2006)  95

“Genocide” or Merely “Massacres”?—The Politics of Subject Cataloging   (U*L 139, 2006)  98

Darfur Revisited, GLBT Access Denied   (U*L 140, 2006)  101

LC Subject Cataloging (Part 1)   (U*L 143, 2007)  103

LC Subject Cataloging (Part 2)   (U*L 142, 2007)  105

LC Subject Cataloging (Postscript), Self-Censorship   (U*L 143, 2007)  108

Obsessions  (U*L 144, 2007)  111

Huh?, Fines and Fees, Self-Censorship (Continued)   (U*L 145, 2007)  114

“Controversial” Cataloging   (U*L 146, 2008)  117

Flawed Indexing, Erotica Selection, Subject Heading Currency,

Undercataloging   (U*L 147, 2008)  121

Darfur Redux, LC Cataloging Rescue, Subject Heading Currency (U*L 148, 2008)  124

One Book, Many Missed Opportunities, or Why Cataloging Matters

(When It’s Done Right)   (U*L 149, 2008)  127

Cats, Cataloging, Fines, and BBW (Banned Books Week)   (U*L 150, 2009)  131

More Classism in the Stacks   (U*L 151, 2009)  134

Cataloging Stink, Truth in Materials Selection, CEO Pay   (U*L 152, 2009)  138

Liberated Foreword, Unrequited LC Letters   (U*L 153, 2009)  141

Nation Gets It Wrong, More Unrequited LC Letters, LCSH Currency  (U*L 154, 2010)  144

More (Attempted) LCSH Input, Geopolitics Versus Historical Truth  (U*L 155, 2010)  147

LCSH Currency (Continued), Libraries and Politics, Retiring the R-Word, Celeste West Tribute   (U*L 156, 2010)  151

The Kids Are Not All Right   (U*L 157, 2010)  154

Remembrance of Things Past, Interview Excerpts   (U*L 158, 2011)  157

More Interview Excerpts, Atheist Deficit, What Rosa Said   (U*L 159, 2011)  161

No to Government Secrecy and Repression!   (U*L 160, 2011)  165

Word Peeves, “Content-Enriched Metadata,” No “Sexting” Allowed (U*L 161, 2011)  168

Really Banned Books, Another Word Peeve, Clint’s Fantasy, OWS

Library Trashed, PFC Manning’s Gift   (U*L 162, 2012)  171

Post Office Crisis, LC Letters   (U*L 163, 2012)  175

Another Real Banning, the Trashing of Both Hypatia and Her Library,

Not-So-Funny Cataloging   (U*L 164, 2012)  178

Laureates Support PFC Manning, Self-Censorship Affirmed, J’Accuse

LC of Untimeliness and Sloth, Let’s Hear It for Robin Hood!   (U*L 166, 2013)  182

Index  187

Book Reviews & Awards

“McFarland & Company has done a valuable service for librarianship and academia by bringing Berman’s work to a larger audience than that of The Unabashed Librarian readership”—Journal of Information Ethics; “recommended…essential”—Australian Library Journal; “fascinating”—Canadian Library Association; “of value…excellent”—ARBA; “Berman’s incredible, lifelong commitment to people-oriented librarianship shines through every page”—The Moral Atheist; “fascinating”—Feliciter; “In a world longing for heroes, let’s pay tribute to Sandy”—Bill Katz (1988); “Like a modern-day Diogenes, Sandy seeks honest librarians and where he does not find them, calls them to task. Good thing his humor is as great as his outrage at the shoddy, the biased, the incomprehensible”—James P. Danky, coeditor (with Sandy), Alternative Library Literature, 1982–2001; “The indefatigable Sandy is, right now, campaigning for LC to add the subject headings stop-and-frisk, wage theft, and drone warfare”—Tina Gross, Minnesota librarian, writer and activist; “Sandy Berman is one of the most original and interesting thinkers in the library field. Anything he writes—I want to read!”—Patricia Glass Schuman, cofounder Neal-Schuman, former ALA president; “Known as an advocate for the disadvantaged, the minority, the isolated, Sandy is much more—faithful custodian of the intellectual commons that the public library must be if our democracy is to survive”—James Chaffee, San Francisco library advocate; “Sandy has the passion of a revolutionary. His righteous indignation is all the more endearing for the pomposity of his targets”—James V. Carmichael, Jr., LIS professor, UNC Greensboro; “Sandy Berman is fire for the mind. Along with heat and light, he brings unchained intelligence and a passion for justice. He’s readable, he’s revolutionary, and, by golly, he’s right!”—Rosalie Maggio, How to Say It author; “Sandy Berman is the biggest mensch in librarianship. He is fiercely brilliant and critical, but just as strongly warm and generous”—Jenna Freedman, research & zine librarian, Barnard; “Indulge yourself in a marathon binge. Where else are you going to find cover-to-cover unadulterated library opinion? Just askin’!”—Toni Samek, LIS professor, University of Alberta; “For more than half a century, Sandy Berman has radicalized librarianship, improved cataloging, admonished the Library of Congress, stimulated peers, and published hundreds of scholarly works. Thank goodness!”—Robert Hauptman, editor, Journal of Information Ethics; “We live in difficult times, but Sandy’s optimism and faith gives us all hope for the future of libraries”—Earl Lee, technical services, Pittsburg State University; “Our leading missionary, revolutionary, irritant and inspiration”—Eric Moon (1993).