Gov Doesn\'t Own FirstGov - Millionaire Does & He Wants It Back

It\'s no surprise to learn that the US government has goofed again. It seems that to the surprise of some, illustrious Uncle doesn\'t own FirstGov. It was a \"gift to the nation\" from millionaire philanthropist and President of Inktomi, Eric Brewer. The \"gift\" seems to have come with strings attached, from which our ever-so-eminent legislators, under the Clinton Administration, neglected to protect themselves. In 2003, the owner gets the database back, and the cost for the government to implement a new system will cost millions. Not to worry, taxpayers will be happy to foot the bill. According to OMB Deputy Director, Sally Katzen, \"I was a bit of a nervous Nellie” about Brewer’s free offer.\" Nervous obviously because what seemed too good to be true turned out to be just that. more... from GCN.

Sacramento Library Lets Users Decide on Filtered or Unfiltered Viewing

Board members of the Sacramento Public Library don\'t know yet whether they should filter or not. The issue \"requires more study.\" Rather than force librarians to police internet use, patrons, including children would decide. All computers would be filtered, allowing for that option. According to the article, \"Children would have to use the filters if their parents were present to monitor their use or if they followed parental instructions to that effect.\" more... from Sacbee.


Picture Ebooks Receive Interest from Librarians

From ContentBiz...

\"ipicturebooks, Time Warner-funded publishers of eBooks for children, have found the going is tough. Although the Company\'s \'Shrek Activity eBook\' was the #1 bestselling eBook at Amazon in June, Jim Kirchman, VP Marketing admits that the title only sold \"hundreds of copies.\" However he feels the eBook marketplace is still too embryonic to judge success by sales figures. Although ipicturebooks initially targeted the consumer marketplace, they\'ve received substantially more interest from teachers and school librarians.\" more...


School Director Fired - Hired as Librarian

A former school director, placed on paid administrative leave last year after being charged with improper conduct, and more recently \"terminated as a result of audit findings of numerous financial deficiencies in the school system,\" has been hired as a school librarian. more... from The Tennessean.


The Internet is Messing with Everybody

For The Seattle Times, Jerry Large writes...

\"The Internet is messing with everybody: businesses trying to make money off of it, businesses trying to figure out how not to be killed by it, book publishers, record companies, newspapers, everybody. Rules that have held for decades, or in some instances centuries, don\'t cut it in cyberspace... Because libraries are deeply embedded with a First Amendment sensibility, they have, at their best, fought for the broadest inclusion. But as a practical matter, their job has always included selectivity. They make judgments about which books and other materials they will keep in their limited space. The Internet upset that role. The Internet, while not boundless, is too vast to be policed or cataloged...\" more...


The Great Library Card Collection

Michael Sauers of Aurora, CO is trying to collect as many valid library cards as possible - help him out!

What I am trying to do is to collect as many valid library cards as I can. As I get them I will post them here. If you wish to have your library\'s lending card added to this collection please issue a library card to me and send it to the following address . . .

View the current collection + get more information here. Thanks to Library Lovers LiveJournal .


Library Hires Author to Run Children\'s Program

It\'s an age-old question and a concern for many: Why to teenagers stop using the library? The Hoboken, (NJ) Public Library has hired children\'s author, and former New York City librarian, Ona Gritz to bring them back. According to the article, \"Gritz by the city\'s Department of Human Services to be the library\'s senior librarian-youth services director. In her new role, she will lead a children\'s department that has seen a decline in the number of participants. Her first mission is to go to every school and talk to students about the library and, most importantly, reading.\" more... from The Reporter.


Library Says Trespassers will be Prosecuted

If you aren\'t at the Picayune, (MS) Public Library conducting public library business, don\'t bother coming, or you may be arrested. The library has received numerous complaints over the years and some patrons feel threatened by interlopers who are there for no other reason than to just hang-out. more... from The Picayune Item.


TN Libraries to Lose State Funds

For The Tennessean, Bonna de la Cruz writes...

\"The Tennessee state legislature plans to withhold at least 25% of several state grants and eliminate many others that will affect local public television stations, libraries, school safety programs and incentive pay to firefighters and police. The total loss to those four departments totals $31 million. As for the libraries themselves, according to state librarian Edwin Gleaves, \'The state\'s four largest cities share $1.1 million of a $1.5 million grant. Nashville\'s share is about $284,174. None of the grant money will be distributed until his office gets a clearer picture of its financial situation.\' \" more...


79% of WI Libraries Not Filtering

One Wisconsin library system thinks it makes more sense to just say no to filtering, regardless of losing e-rate funding. It would cost the libraries $100,000 to install filters. They currently receive $5,200 in e-rate funds. Looks like the nays definitely have it. more... from The Journal Sentinel.


Indian Street Kids Crack the Internet

An initiative by the Indian government and the World Bank is giving illiterate, homeless kids in Delhi access to computers, with interesting results:

In the slums of Delhi, an experiment has shown how illiterate street children can quickly teach themselves the rudiments of computers and the internet.
The aim of the experiment . . . was to see what role computers might play in educating India\'s illiterate millions. . . [researchers] found that within days the children were able to browse the internet, cut and paste copy, drag and drop items and create folders. One of the things they particularly liked was drawing, discovering how to use the MSpaint programme to create paintings.

More from BBC News. Thanks to Robot Wisdom.


Update on Bookmobile Concept

Steven Bell writes \"I came across this in an Educause e-news report. Therefore I don\'t have a URL for the orginal report from Wireless Newsfactor. Thought you might be interested though.

The Community College Foundation of California promotes
technology awareness in poor urban areas with eBuses. An eBus
is a mobile computer lab with workstations and a satellite
linkup that travels through underprivileged neighborhoods,
offering computer training and Web access services.
\"We can just park the bus and people come right
up, We\'ll park in front of a library, do some
training, and then show people that the same technology is
available inside that library.\"
(Wireless Newsfactor, 23 August 2001)\"

They have a nice WebSite and the buses even have WebCams. I think we ran something on this already, but it\'s neat stuff.


New British Library for Political and Economic Science opens

The library of the London School of Economics (LSE) is one of the largest social sciences libraries in the world and it has just been \"redeveloped\", with improved environmental standards for the books, more floor area, 500 extra student workplaces and a pair of glass lifts (or elevators for the US readers!). Read all about it in this story.
It all sounds lovely but I can\'t help wondering how long it will be until the library staff discover that the lightbulbs are too high to replace, or the fancy central atrium means the whole building is too noisy. I know, I\'m just a library renovation cynic.


First IFLA/FAIFE World Report on libraries & intellectual freedom

The IFLA Annual Conference in Boston saw the launch of the first IFLA/FAIFE World Report on libraries and intellectual freedom:
\"a major project, a first attempt to provide a picture on the status of libraries and intellectual freedom throughout the world. More than 140 countries have been contacted and 46 have submitted their report.\"
As expected, the reports already collected confirm that \"all is not well\" with freedom of expression and freedom of access to information.
This sounds like such an important project and I don\'t think anyone has posted it already: here is the official press release from IFEX, the International Freedom of Expression Exchange.

Ban on book purchases for Punjab libraries

The Punjab government have imposed a ban on the purchase of books by libraries in the province which is causing a slump in the book trade. It appears to be part of a reorganisation of library affairs, controlling who is responsible for the provision of books and furniture for libraries established in the province. This story from the Business Recorder isn\'t very clear, but it would be good to find out more about what is going on in an area that relies heavily on libraries to promote literacy.

More On BookScan

Slate has Another Story on BookScan the sales-tracking system that can currently find the exact number of copies sold at about 50 percent of U.S. bookstores.
Current Best Seller lists aren\'t really lists of the best selling books, so it\'ll be interesting to see how much the lists change when we really know what people are buying. They say publishers are already hyperventilating with fear.

See Also: The Fact and Fiction of Best Sellers Lists. by Dennis Loy Johnson.

Topic: Being Sued for Bootlegging Practices of Napster, may not be directly responsible for the violations committed by Napster and other file swapping organizations, but they\'re being held responsible for it anyway. The claim: It was they who started the trend and gave the world the tools to commit copyright infringement. Guilty by association? more... from The Houston Chronicle. Nashville is also suing MP3 for $25 million. more... from The Tennessean.

Best Selling Author Peter Maas Dies at 72

Peter Maas, author of more than a dozen novels, and various other works, has died. Maas\' career spanned 50 years and included such works as \"Serpico,\" and \"Made in America,\" which went on to become movies. His novel, \"The Terrible Hours,\" made the New York Times Bestseller list last year and was turned into a made-for-television movie. more... from CNN.


Library Wing Named After Clarence Thomas Despite Heated Controversy

After being forced to close in 1997 due to structural damage caused from decades of neglect, the Carnegie Library in Savannah, GA will again resume operations, but not without a heated controversy. The libary will name a wing after Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. The decision came after a considerable donation was made by a friend of Thomas\'. more... from The Savannah Morning News.


Speech Not Free When Information is Confidential

A grocer is suing an individual who allegedly posted trade secrets on a Yahoo message board. Yahoo has been subpeonaed to release the writer\'s identity. According to the article, \"Yahoo, by law, must notify the person who wrote the comments, and then that person has an opportunity to go to court to seek an injunction blocking their identification. If that person does not respond, Yahoo would turn over the information.\" When someone calls the disclosed information \"confidential,\" \"proprietary,\" or \"secret,\" First Amendment rules and protections don\'t apply. No word from the EFF on this one yet. more... from NewsBytes



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