Kids and Civil Liberties

Val writes \"The Village Voice\'s Nat Hentoff waxes nostalgic off about Joe McCarthy and his John Ashcroft, and that pesky ol\' Bill of Rights.
Full Story \"


See also, On the Public\'s Right to Know , The day Ashcroft censored Freedom of Information.

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The top ten reasons why the Internet still will not replace the public library

The top ten reasons why the Internet still will not replace the public library by Andy Barnett says don’t plan on closing your doors anytime soon. He gives ten reasons why the public library is here to stay.

The business of the Internet is entertainment, Increasingly, quality content will cost, and Text on paper has some widely ignored advantages are just a few.

UK 1901 Census Goes Offline

This story from BBC News is reporting that the Public Record Office has had to take the England and Wales 1901 Census offline for a week while they try to improve the computer systems in order to cope with the huge demand.
As this earlier story reported, it went live last week and promptly got an average of about 30 million hits per day while they had only designed the site for a \"generous estimate\" of 1 million per day. It\'ll be back in a week, hopefully sleeker and ready to face its users but until then, it\'s probably more helpful not to provide a link to it here!

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I Hate Librarians

Whilest tolling through the comments I ran across librarianarchy\'s friends and enemies list, and it occured to me not everyone likes librarians.
Some people hate librarians, calling us bitter,
snappy, completely bitchy
, or, mean & evil ,and we even smell of old books .
Some people hate us so much they\'ve written Poems about how much we suck.

Others Don\'t Like the ALA, but no one seems to Hate It.
Of course, there are pleanty of reasons to Hate Books.
Not to worry, we are also Loved, and so are Books [note: interesting search result].
[also note: I don\'t hate librarians, it\'s just a catchy title]

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The geeks who saved Usenet

Bob Cox sent along This Salon.com Story on Google\'s restoration of digital history and how some packrat mentality [you may think of that as librarianship] and a mountain of decaying mag tapes brought back some old messages.

Oreillynet has another story, as seen on slashdot.

There seems to be no shortage of Other USENT History info out there as well.

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Book Forager

Bob Cox pointed out Book Forager, they say \"Book Forager offers an easy way to find the kind of read you are looking for\".

It\'s a kind of wizard [not the D&D kind, but the install kind], that leeds you through choices, and finds a book based on what you entered.

You can choose things like, happy, sad, short, long, and so on.

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Legislature holds fate of library in its hands

Brynn passed along The Latest Word on the WA State library.

Gov. Gary Locke wants to shut it down in October as part of his plan to balance the state budget, which faces a $1.25 billion shortfall. And if the Legislature goes along with that proposal, as many as 134 full-time or part-time librarians could lose their jobs in a move that would save $5.5 million.

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Library finds friends in volunteers

Here\'s A Nice Little Story on all the nice things \"Friends\" do for libraries.

\"Libraries are so important to a community,\" Brown said. \"They give people a chance to read so many more books than they\'d be able to buy.\"

Another Love Letter to Public Libraries

From the Washington Post:

Kids adore libraries. Where else can you find endless shelves filled with stories about curious monkeys, giant peaches, beanstalks and hungry caterpillars? The plastic library card and the responsibility of returning books on time is a rite of passage, one of many marking our entrance into the adult world.

Most adults, on the other hand, tend to favor the crisp, sanitized environs of chain book retailers, where one can flip through the latest John Grisham bestseller or fresh copies of Oprah-worthy selections while nursing coffee and biscotti.

I used to be among those latte-drinking, magazine-flipping masses, snubbing my modest neighborhood library until just a few months ago. Visions of musty stacks, an archaic Dewey Decimal System and intimidating librarians kept me from going, even though it\'s just half a block from my apartment . . .

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The Triumph Of Librarians

Marylaine passed along word that Rory got a mention in a Salon Story on Michael Moore\'s new book. Ann Sparanese, a librarian at Englewood Library in New Jersey gets the credit for starting the ball rolling.


\"When Michael Moore\'s publisher insisted he rewrite his new book to be less critical of President Bush, it took an outraged librarian to get it back in the stores.\"

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More On The Death Of Free

americanpressinstitute and CNET both have year-end collections of stories on the dot.com bust, and how it has changed what we read for free on the web.

CNET notes To keep their businesses afloat, a number of dot.coms turned on the charm by giving advertisers just about anything they wanted, not a good sign.

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Lost job alters financial plans

BusinessToday.com has a Sad Story on an unemployed librarian who is unable to find a job in her field with a salary to match what she had been earning previously, after being laid off. She made $65,000 a year at her previous job, and her husband just got laid off as well. She has taken a job as a field investigator for a company that performs background checks. She will begin earning $25,000 a year when she starts the job in February.
A fininacial planner provides some advice.

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\'Unfortunate\' tales captivating kids

ZWire is running This Story on the \"Series of Unfortunate Events\" series by author Lemony Snicket.

They say Snicket\'s \"Series of Unfortunate Events\" and Rowling\'s \"Harry Potter\" are becoming a tag-team of sorts as children go back and forth, reading and rereading the series. Both are accomplishing what few others could since Dr. Seuss - they\'re making reading cool.

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Stop You\'re Killing Me

Here\'s a nifty site.

stopyourekillingme.com by Bonnie Brown, is a resource for the lovers of mystery, intrigue and suspense books. Stop! has hundreds of authors, with complete, chronological lists of their books in this sub-genre. This site has a straightforward format. The books are arranged by author, series character, and by date written.

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New British Library Improving With Age

. . . or so reports The Times\' Derwent May:

When it opened in November 1997, the exterior seemed rather disappointing. There were long, bare, pink brick walls, very dull, variegated only by pointless blank portholes and plum-jam- coloured surrounds. I do not think they have improved much with time. The real beneficiary of these outer walls has been St Pancras station, whose pinnacles loom up behind them, far more romantic for the contrast.

But the grandiose courtyard that is flanked by these walls has begun to work its magic . . .

More.

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A Few Reagan Era Documents Released to Great Fanfare

An editorial on this week\'s unveiling of the few Reagan era records not suppressed by the Bush administration:

Suppose they gave a document drop and nobody came? Well, that almost happened here on Thursday when the Reagan Presidential Library, operating under the heavy thumb of the White House, with some fanfare released 8,000 documents from the Reagan years to show how open they intend to be in letting historians work with the raw material of their craft.

One journalist came. An Associated Press reporter scanned the 12 boxes that constituted the \"Inventory of Restricted Materials\" released a year late, because the new Bush White House has ordered that documents will not be seen if there are objections by the current president, the former president, or their relatives and lawyers . . .

Last week\'s document drop, probably put together hastily because of the bad publicity surrounding President Bush\'s locking up of public archives, was advertised as proof that historians and scholars would be \"pleasantly surprised\" by the importance of the papers and the liberal attitudes toward truth of our current leaders.

It turned out to be a joke . . .

More via Yahoo. A more optimistic assessment is, of course, available at Fox News.

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20 Million Accessed 1901 UK Census in First Week

Or tried to, anyhow - a flood of genealogists has swamped the servers of the UK\'s Public Records Office, which unveiled the online version of the census this week:

The growing fascination with family history came to the fore this week when an estimated 20m people attempted to access the newly launched online version of the 1901 census.

Designed to cope with just 1.2m visitors a day, the site effectively seized up with a couple of hours and within 24 hours had been withdrawn for a quick overhaul that the Public Records Office said would allow more people to log on.

Plans to put all Victorian census records online are also to be speeded up to meet the obvious demand from a public fascinated with when their relatives were born, married and died and how they lived their lives . . .

More from the Guardian.

Mubarak Inaugurates Children\'s Book Fair

From the Arabic News:

Egypt\'s First Lady Suzanne Mubarak on Thursday stressed that child culture no longer depended solely on books, but on other vehicles of knowledge in today\'s changing world.

The statements came in Mrs. Mubarak\'s word at the inauguration of the 18th Cairo International Children\'s Book Fair. . .

Mrs. Mubarak called on caring for child books and developing them and to focus on scientific books and simplified books that meet the needs of children.

More.

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SearchDay 2001 Year in Review

Ryan passed along SearchDay 2001 Year in Review from searchenginewatch.com.
It\'s a personal and admittedly idiosyncratic look back at some of the most newsworthy or notable stories from SearchDay\'s first year of publication.

They also ran 2001\'s Most Wanted Search Terms, which covers all the major search sites, and more.

If you like the \"year in review\" kind of things, Year in Review 2001 from Yahoo is pretty spiffy.

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Appeals court upholds anti-spam law

SFGate and CNET both have stories on the California appeals court thatupheld the state\'s anti-spam law, ruling that it does not violate a clause of the U.S. Constitution.

California\'s anti-spam law requires unsolicited messages to include a viable return address or a toll-free phone number that recipients can use to tell the sender to stop sending documents. The statute also requires unsolicited e-mail to include \"ADV:,\" for advertisement, in the subject line of the message--or in cases where the advertisements relate to adult material, \"ADV:ADLT.\" Violating the law is a misdemeanor.

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