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January 30, 2008


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Louise Mould

Re: your blog and this statement:
"...it die in a moldy basement somewhere?"
presumably a national library that has as its mission the preservation of the artistic and cultural output of the nation would not have material in
"moldy basements".
Don't you think this line perpetuates the stereotypic view the public has of "dusty shelves", "moldy basements", "musty old books and papers", and terms like dingy, drab, dull, boring, dead, and the like -- lines that the press loves to use to describe archives and libraries? I have been reading articles for the past 30 years that almost without exception contain lines like these -- and in another breath talk about how librarians are no longer the hair-in-a-bun, dowdy etc etc etc. -- there was one such not too long ago that made the library news.
If you talk to modern conservators of paper and other objects, they will tell you that digitizing items in collections does not do away with the need for preservation of the originals, that digitzing to provide access actually assists with the preservation of the original. Even if the writers agreed one and all to digitize their works, I would presume that a national library would still want to have the original and would not want to place it in a "moldy basement somewhere".

Peter Murray

In the case of the first story, it is probably even worse. As a practicing lawyer, he had to submit an application of "good moral character" to the state bar association. In California, the rules say:

"Every applicant shall be of good moral character. The term 'good moral character' includes qualities of honesty, fairness, candor, trustworthiness, observance of fiduciary responsibility, respect for and obedience to the laws of the state and the nation and respect for the rights of others and for the judicial process. The applicant has the burden of establishing that he or she is of good moral character." http://calbar.ca.gov/calbar/pdfs/rules/Rules_Title4_Div1-Adm-Prac-Law.pdf

If he didn't disclose a past conviction, which the article from the Cornell paper may suggest, he might lose his license to practice law.

Of course, I'm not a lawyer and I'm just speculating on motivation.

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