At Last . . . An Understanding Look at Weeding

From the Victoria Times Colonist:

Judith Reid isn\'t surprised to hear from me. God knows, the district\'s head teacher-librarian has been hearing from a lot of people these days during her visits to Greater Victoria school libraries, all of them asking the same questions I\'m asking.

Such as: What\'s going on with all these books? How come you\'re throwing away thousands of them? Aren\'t there desperate children somewhere in the Third World who\'d give anything to get their hands on some of these?

Reid and many of her 51 fellow teacher-librarians in the district are in the midst of a major cull, weeding out any books deemed to be outdated, shabby, incorrect, racist, sexist, ageist or just plain neglected . . .


Why Computers Don\'t Belong in the Classroom has An Interview with Clifford Stoll.

He\'s an astronomer and pioneer Internet user. He expresses his doubts in a volume entitled High Tech Heretic: Why Computers Don\'t Belong in the Classroom and Other Reflections by a Computer Contrarian. He argues that instead of spending time in front of computers, youngsters need interaction with their peers and with their teachers. He argues that computing offers instant gratification instead of solving the real problems in American education which require interaction with teachers and improved discipline. In this interview the author talks about some of what he sees as the negative impacts of the high-tech revolution.


What if Order of the Phoenix Is an eBook

Someone point out SFGate has This Story on the fact that Rowling has thus far signed no final contract for \"Order of the Phoenix\", still tentatively scheduled for this fall, David Kipen, asks:
\"What if Rowling turned her back on the notoriously screwy publishing industry and, like Dylan, went electric?\"

He says The consequences would be threefold and immediate, First, many nice neighborhood bookstores would curl up and die overnight, Second, those same nice booksellers would have plenty of company in bankruptcy court, Third, a downloadable Harry Potter book would put the fast-expiring micro- industry of e-book publishing incontrovertibly on the map once and for all.


Dot.Bust Overloading Public Library Terminals

There\'s a Little Blurb at Business Week on the troubles the bust are causing at SFPL.

\"As local unemployment has surged to 5.7%, once-quiet bookworm oases now swarm with surly surfers. Weekday demand for the main library\'s 300 computers is so high that administrators split them into \"express\" terminals, with a 15-minute limit, and 1-hour terminals--with strictly enforced waiting lists. \"It\'s like a stampede in the morning for the sign-up sheet,\" says library spokeswoman Marcia Schneider. \"Security has to hold people back.\"

There is a report of \"Web Rage\", where one user screamed for 10 minutes at a librarian who kicked him off a terminal and then threatened to sue.

Guide to Producing Handsome Books on Home Computers

The Chronicle of Higher Ed has An Interview with Douglas Holleley, an educator and photographer, the author of \"Digital Book Design and Publishing\".

His book \"details the ways that modern technologies and software can help aspiring authors or artists produce their own books at home, taking the power that has belonged to publishers for centuries and putting it instead in the hands of the people.\"


Big Brother is watching you read

Someone writes \"Increasingly, the government is demanding that bookstores reveal what books their customers have purchased. Bookstore owners and privacy advocates say that\'s scarier than a Stephen King novel.

Full Story is @ Salon \"

From the article:\"If we allow law enforcement access to customer records whenever they think it\'s convenient, customers won\'t feel secure purchasing books and magazines that are their constitutional right to buy,\" said Chris Finan, president of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression. \"It\'s important because many books are very private, or about sensitive issues, and if they feel booksellers turn over buying information at regular intervals, customers won\'t buy those books.\" By extension, this could have a chilling effect on the types of books that end up being published.


SAA 2001 Diversity Roundtables Report Available

The report on the Society of American Archivists\' diversity roundtables at the 2001 convention are available (as a PDF.)

Books Sweep The Oscars

Cavan McCarthy writes \"\"Last year\'s top-grossing film, ``Harry Potter and the Sorcerer\'s Stone,\'\' received just three nominations, for art direction, costume design and original score.\"

Yahoo! News Has The Story \"

The first film installment of J.R.R. Tolkien\'s fantasy classic earned 13 Nominations.


Hyperlinks patent trial

jen writes \"Just imagine the implications if this company is successful...

Company says it owns hyperlinks patent
Judge: \'Language is archaic ... like reading Old English\'
CNN Story

A British company claimed in federal court Monday that it owns the patent on hyperlinks -- the single-click conveniences that take a Web surfer from one Internet page to another -- and should get paid for their daily use by millions of people.

The Beeb has more.
The original patent was part of a technology called Prestel - an early system of linked computers that the Post Office was developing.

BT stumbled upon the patent during a routine update of its 15,000 global patents in the summer of 2000.

Prodigy\'s unlikely saviour comes in the form of a fuzzy black and white video which shows a 1968 demonstration by Stanford computer researcher Douglas Engelbart apparently demonstrating hypertext linking.
Gary Price adds, \"Just online, the full-text of BT\'s court filing.
Full-Image, too!\"


Sticky fingers

Val writes \"LATimes Story
on a
Long-time National Archives employee busted for selling documents on ebay, among them, a presidential pardon signed by Abe Lincoln, you know, Honest Abe....

U.S. District attorney Patrick Meehan spins: \"This is not just value measured in dollars--these were authentic documents, the actual records of events that ware part of our American history, and when they are removed from the collection the value is incalculable... This wasn\'t just a crime against the National Archives. This was a crime against future generations and their access to American history.\"

Bob Cox also pointed the way to Another Story on the same thing.


Bodleian urged to hand back holy manuscripts

Charles Davis writes \"
The Bodleian Library is the latest target of a group
campaigning for the return of treasures taken from
Ethiopia by the British Army in the 19th century.

The Association For the Return of the Maqdala
Ethiopian Treasures (Afromet) is calling for the
return of a number of holy manuscripts held by
the Oxford University library.

Afromet is lobbying the Government to return a
range of artefacts brought to Britain after a war in
Ethiopia in 1868.

The treasures include 34 illustrated ecclesiastical
manuscripts of particular importance to the
Ethiopian Orthodox Church, which are held at the

Full Story


Kabul University needs books

Kathleen writes \"This NY Times story (requires registration) is a brief but interesting article about Kabul University in Afghanistan, which has opened its doors to women for the first time since the Taliban took power. The library was decimated by Taliban censors -- who had a habit of shooting books of which they disapproved -- and a plea for texts is at the end. \"

There is actually a picture of a book that had been shot in the story.

Creative Commons: Lessig copyright project.

Troy Johnson of writes \"This is an article about a project being created by Lawrence Lessig, a copyright law professor at Stanford, that will help authors and artist get more flexible licenses for their work.

The project is called Creative Commons and it will allow authors and artist to download licenses that have more options than current copyright. \"

They have a Site in place, no content yet though. See also: Story.

Book Recalled: Children\'s Counting Book Recalled

From NewsDay...

\"Disney Press is recalling about 5,180 children\'s books because they come with a counting toy that contains five plastic beads capable of coming loose and posing a choking hazard.

Disney Children\'s Book Group LLC of New York, also known as Disney Press, has received a report of a 15-month-old boy who broke a bead from the book cover and placed it in his mouth, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said Tuesday. The child was not injured.\"

The recalled Zowie\'s 123 book is a 12-page white board book that measures 6.5-inches by 6.5-inches, with a yellow plastic abacus-like toy attached to the back.

The book is based on the Rolie, Polie, Olie television series and depicts the Zowie character on its cover. The book has the ISBN code number 078683307-6 on the back in the bottom corner.

Bookstores had sold the recalled books since last month at about $7 each.

The safety commission said consumers should take the books away from young children and return the books to Disney Press for a full refund. For information on returning the book, contact the company toll-free at 1-866-203-8070.


LA Schools Yank Copies of Koran

Tom Tugend writes...

\"Hundreds of copies of the Koran have been removed from California schools because of an accompanying anti-Semitic commentary. School board officials in Los Angeles removed the translations of the Muslim holy book, after a history teacher noted the derogatory commentary in footnotes to the text. The books were donated to schools by a local Muslim foundation to promote religious understanding following the Sept. 11 terror attacks. After the teacher complained about the anti-Semitic passages, school principals were instructed to secure all copies in their offices pending a review. It is unclear how the books were distributed to school libraries without undergoing the customary content review.\" More


Woman\'s Well-kept Secret is Libraries\' Million-$ Gift

No one knew that a Jerome, Idaho woman had become a millionaire until after her will was read and they discovered that she had left nearly $2 million to be spent on libraries. More


Is it Filtering or Censorship?

An article in The Florida Times-Union discusses the issue of filtering and how it isn\'t related to censorship. According to the article, \"If Internet filters are censorship, then so is the failure of libraries to stock the shelves in the children\'s section with Hustler and Playboy.\" More


School Board board okays Harry Potter

Someone passed along This One from up in Mayfield, MI.

More than 200 people showed up to the school board meeting night with the intention of keeping Harry Potter Books out of the schools.
The board then voted 5-0 in favor of using the four released Harry Potter books as supplemental reading for eighth-grade Fundamental English students. Worried this would endanger future millage requests, a teacher said:

\"BELIEVE ME, our schools are in bad shape,\" he said. \"The community must pull together for this.

\"Part of the voting community is alienated by insisting upon the use of the Harry Potter books,\" he continued. \"What do we have, really, to lose if we give up the use of the Harry Potter books?\"


China net use soars

Cavan McCarthy writes \"The number of people in China using the internet has grown by almost 50% over the past year.
More than 33 million Chinese are now online, compared to 22 million in January 2001, according to the figures by the China Internet Network Information Centre.

Full Story from The Beeb \"

Standing up for sofas

Cabot writes \"Demonstrators occupied their favourite chairs at the Indigo bookstore in downtown Montreal to protest against the decision to replace soft sofas with hard chairs.

Full Story \"

With signs like \"Save Our Sofas! Stand up for sitting down! Care about chairs!\", it\'s quite an interesting protest.

\"I don\'t know why they\'re doing this,\" a puzzled employee said. \"We have tons of chairs. We\'re not getting rid of our chairs.\"



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