Libraries Threatened By Globalization?

Just to tie librarianship to yet another vast and baffling issue, here\'s Fiona Hunt\'s essay on the implications of globalization for libraries:

Public libraries are in the public domain, supported by public taxes. Imagine an information services company entering a market and demanding the same subsidies and tax support that public libraries get. It would be entitled to do so under national treatment rules, providing it can prove itself to be the same kind of operation. The government\'s most likely response would be to cut back on or eliminate public funding to libraries so as to avoid similar claims in the future. Libraries could find themselves forced to generate income to survive. The worst case scenario is that, without public funding, libraries could disappear altogether. The public would then be required to buy their information from information companies or from libraries, if libraries could stay afloat by charging for their services. Either way, the public would find itself paying for information that was once in the public domain. [More from the Progressive Librarian]

Also check out Rory\'s earlier posting on this subject.

U.S. Fair Use Primer

Georgia K. Harper\'s brief and useful introduction to U.S. copyright law, with a focus on fair use and the D.M.C.A.:

The balance that copyright law has achieved between the interests of copyright owners and the interests of the public has evolved slowly and has been only periodically adjusted. Today, however, the pace and the magnitude of change threaten to skew this balance to the point of collapse. Some of these changes -- licenses, access controls, certain provisions in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) -- have the potential to drastically undermine the public right to access information, to comment on events, and even to share information with others.

More from the Journal of Electronic Publishing . Harper\'s earlier article \"Fair Use of Copyrighted Materials\" provides additional information on the tests used to determine fair use.

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Could Librarians Have Prevented a Death?

Helga sent along This Infotoday story on a death at Johns Hopkins’.

They say that evidence of the chemical’s dangers could easily have been found in the published literature. The Dr. , made \"a good-faith effort\" to research the drug’s adverse effects, using PubMed, butPrevious articles published in the 1950s, warned of lung damage associated with the drug. A previous article on this asked the question, \"Could Librarians’ Help Have Prevented Hopkins Tragedy?\"

The answer to that question is a resounding \"Yes.\"

Here Comes The Competition

The ever helpful Bob Cox sent along This Story from universitybusiness.com on new for-profit digital libraries.

They start by saying \"IF THERE IS ONE INSTITUTION on a college campus that has never faced outside competition, it is the library.\"

Now any number of a half-dozen companies would like to undermine the library\'s monopoly. They cover all the usual suspects, Questia, ebrary, netLibrary, XanEdu, and Jones.

As You Lick It

Are Shakespeare and adult entertainment incompatible? Not hardly, says Prof. Richard Burt. \"He\'s even written a screenplay called Shrew You!, which he believes is the first lesbian adaptation of Taming of the Shrew.\"

Lingua Franca gives us the scoop on titillating literature...

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Growing pains for the Information Age

Brian Surratt writes \"The New York Times has an interesting article today about how scientists are (again) debating the nature of information. The article states that simple sets of information can create complex systems because of the way data relates to itself. For example, simple genomic information results in complex organisims. The article is Here but the NYT requires registration to access the site. \"

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South Carolina\'s Mandatory Filtering Law

Brian Surratt writes \"The State Library of South Carolina has put the enforcement of the state\'s new filtering law on hold while it looks to the Attorney Generals office to clarify it. The law applies to public and school libraries (excluding those of \"higher learning.\") The law itself fails to satisify local systems for being both too restrictive and too lax. It stipulates that 1 or 10% of computers should remain unfiltered, but all others must be filtered. The Richland County public library system prefers to keep more computers unfiltered, while the Lexington County system wants to filter all computers. An article is available online at Here \"

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Canada Considering Modification of Copyright Laws

The Canadian government is considering modifying the Copyright Act to address digital copyright issues:

In order for Canada to be an important player in the emerging digital economy, the Copyright Act may need to be amended to ensure that it continues to be meaningful, clear and balanced. In particular, the examination of key digital copyright issues is necessary to fully realize the government\'s priority of promoting the dissemination of new and interesting content on-line, for and by Canadians. The departments believe it is now an opportune moment to initiate consultation with stakeholders on whether the Act should be amended to:

1. Set out a new exclusive right in favour of copyright owners, including performers and record producers, to make their works available on-line to the public;

2. Prevent the circumvention of technologies used to protect copyright material; and,

3. Prohibit tampering with rights management information.
Another important issue relates to the circumstances under which Internet service providers should be held liable for the transmission and storage of copyright material when their facilities are involved. At present, the Act does not clearly identify the conditions for imposing liability, nor does it explicitly limit such liability. [More]

The public comment period ends September 15th. Thanks to Waterloo Wide Web.

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Dmitry Sklyarov: Friend of Publishers?

Open Source Definition author Bruce Perens argues that Dmitry Sklyarov has done publishers a favor by exposing the glaring flaws in the encryption software they trust to protect their content:

E-book publishers might think of jailed Russian cryptanalyst Dimitry Sklyarov as their worst enemy... until they see his slide show. While publishers fret over the potential of illegal copies of their books, Sklyarov\'s presentation reveals that they could be ripped off in an unexpected way: by producers of astonishingly inept cryptography software. Sklyarov is in jail for revealing that secret. [More from ZDNet.]

Thanks to Robot Wisdom.

British Library to Receive Ted Hughes letters

Matt Eberle writes \"The British Library will receive over 140 letters written by Ted Hughes to Keith Sagar. Some of the letters touch on Hughes\' relationship with Sylvia Plath, blaming anti-depressants for her suicide. The letters will eventually be on display in the library.

Full Story from The BBC\"

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Is Distributed Computing a Crime?

For ZDNet News, Lisa Bowman writes...

\"David McOwen is losing a lot of sleep these days over his decision to participate in a distributed computing project two years ago. The former computer administrator at DeKalb Technical College in Georgia found out recently that he could face up to 30 years in jail and fines totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars because he installed some distributed computing software on the school\'s computers.\"
more...

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E-Book Saga Is Full of Woe

The LATimes is running an interesting Story on the troubles with eBooks.

Flaccid sales, legal battles, technology, and slow consumer sales all seem to be trouble for the companies trying to make a buck.
It seems like they are becoming more popular in libraries now, are they being checked out?

\"There\'s only one place e-books are popular: the courtroom,\" said publishing consultant Lorraine Shanley\"

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Sklyarov Case Round Up

Brian writes \"For a good review of the case, and a great discussion of \"fair use\" for electronic information, check out the US vs. Sklyarov at FAX the Electronic Frontier Foundation Web Site\"

Other interesting stories include:
When misguided plans go from bad to worse, from CNET. \"That plan never looked more misguided than now, when prosecutors want to close those loopholes around a man\'s neck.\".

Wired has Sklyarov: A Huge Sigh of Release, \"\"We made ourselves heard, so the fact that he was able to get himself free at least shows that the public\'s efforts worked,\" she said.\"

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Sklyarov Released on $50,000 Bail

Jailed Russian programmer and international cause célèbre Dmitri Sklyarov was released this afternoon:

Russian software programmer Dimitry Sklyarov, whose July 16 arrest on U.S. copyright charges provoked a firestorm of debate over Internet free speech, was released on $50,000 bail on Monday by a California court. Sklyarov, 26, was released into the custody of Sergei Osokine of nearby Cupertino, Calif., after his Moscow-based company, ElcomSoft Co., put up the $50,000 bond, court officials said. Sklyarov appeared in court for the bail hearing, looking tired and wearing orange prison-issued clothing. Outside the court, a small group of protesters demonstrated, saying his arrest was a violation of free speech rights. [More from Yahoo News.]

Scooped again by Slashdot.

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Allergies to cat in the library leave few quiet

Bob Cox sent along news of another library cat stiring up trouble. This time it\'s Madeline a former stray cat who called the Loutit District Library in Michigan home until complaints from some patrons prompted her removal in late July.

The problem with Madeline is the allergic reactions some patrons say she has caused.
I just can\'t believe this doesn\'t happen more often.
Full Story.

\"I certainly think the cat has been a benefit to the library,\" Library Director Char Zoet told the Grand Haven Daily Tribune. \"I feel badly about it if it has caused a problem for some people.\"

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Library Program Too Popular!

uible writes \"The good news is that the end of the summer reading program was well attended. Unfortunately the bad news is that the program was TOO well attended. You couldn\'t even cry into your free punch - promised refreshments never materialized. The culmination of the Columbus Metro Library\'s summer reading program (an ice skating party) was expected to have about 600 attendees - 1200 showed up. Twelve hours of books (reading or listening) were required to go to the Adventure Readers Summer Reading Club party.

Full Story \"


\"This sucks,\'\' mumbled 8-year-old Joshua Sparrow of Dublin, who had read the 12 hours of books required to go to the Adventure Readers Summer Reading Club party.

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FDR Presidential Library

Anne Gometz writes \"This two part article in NARA\'s Prologue magazine recounts the history of the first Presidential Library including why it is called a \"library\" rather than an archives. \"


Until Roosevelt, Presidents leaving office routinely took their papers with them. George Washington set the precedent in 1797 when he took his files home with him to Mount Vernon, with the hope—never fulfilled—of building a library to house them.

School Librarian Jobs Saved in Jeff Parish

Tanya writes \"There is a happy ending to this story I sent in earlier in the week. School librarians in Jeff Parish will not be shifted to new jobs after all. Read about it here:

Full Story
\"


The items adopted would increase the student/teacher ratio in classrooms to 28-1 and eliminate some overstaffed clerical positions. The possibility of having their jobs cut brought several librarians to the meeting. Most said they were ecstatic with the outcome.

N. Korea leader visits Siberian library

jen writes \"Later in the story, his eyes light up while looking at a rare book.

Nytimes Story

Kim Jong Il, the leader of North Korea, wound up a two-day visit to this dusty Siberian metropolis today, enlivening a historic state visit to Russia with an eclectic and energetic sampling of musical theater, tank manufacture, pig farming and library science. \"


They go on to say...
\"Not since President Boris N. Yeltsin slept through a meeting with Ireland\'s prime minister in 1994, sawing logs in his airplane on the tarmac at Shannon Airport, has a head of state been so invisible.\"

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Rare library book finally returned after 88 years

Charles Davis writes \"From
Ananova Story
Originally from
Boston.com


A first edition of Charles Darwin\'s Origin of the Species
stolen from a library at least 88 years ago has been
returned.
The book, published in 1859, could be worth around
£15,000. It was taken back to Boston Public Library by Julie
Geissler, who was left it by her great aunt Hester Hastings.
\"

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