ACLU Assails Internet Anti-Smut Law

A lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union told the Supreme Court yesterday that the main federal law aimed at keeping children from viewing pornography on the Internet would cripple free speech for adults in cyberspace.

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\"Congress was saying that those who pollute the stream from which we all drink have some responsibility to reduce the harm\"-Solicitor General Theodore B. Olson


Far from being old hat, libraries have never looked more interesting

Charles Davis writes \"The Sunday Times has the following article on new libraries\".

There is a building boom world wide, Public libraries routinely costing between £90m and £120m are being planned and built in Amsterdam, Marseille, Milan and Turin. Top architects are involved in each project. In America, the technology-rich West Coast states are building libraries like crazy.


BusinessWeek Looks at Questia

steven bell writes \"In the December 10 issue of BusinessWeek the Technology columnist, Stephen Wildstrom, tries out Questia and likes it, but has some doubts about its current feasibility (obviously written before last week\'s news about more layoffs at Questia).He writes, \"it\'s easy to see how online libraries could take a lot of the tedium out of research. I don\'t think they will ever replace the pleasures of browsing the stack of a serious research collections. As a lover of old-fashioned libraries, I certainly hope not.\" Who is he calling \"old-fashioned\"? Do you think he\'s visited his local academic library recently? I think not. The online version of this article is available only to subscribers. \"


Library to Museum: Leave Our Joyce Alone

Trouble is brewing at two august British institutions:

For centuries they were two halves of one venerated cultural institution. Now, three years after they went their separate ways, a rift has emerged between the British Museum and the British Library over the growing literary flavour of the former\'s exhibitions.

The museum is planning a three-month display next spring of illustrations inspired by James Joyce\'s Ulysses, and curators at the library, in London, are said to be livid at what they regard as the latest example of a creeping infiltration of their academic territory.

A source at the library told The Independent on Sunday: \"Bosses are fuming, and the curators do not understand what the British Museum is playing at. We want it to get its tanks off our lawn.\"

More from the Independent.


Black Author Hurls That Word as a Challenge

stuart yeates writes \"

A black Harvard scholar,Randall Kennedy has published a book on the word nigger. \"I think it is pretty fun,\" Mr. McDonald said, imagining customers asking a bookstore clerk, \"Can I have one `Nigger\' please? Where are your `Niggers\'?\" He added, \"I am not afraid of the word `nigger.\' \" The story is here\"

He said he had come up with the idea for the book, which grew out of a series of lectures, after idly typing the word \"nigger\" into a database of court cases.


What\'s selling in sport books

The Guardian has a Nifty List of the top 10 most popular sport books in the UK this week.

1 The European Football Yearbook 2001/02 ed Mike Hammond
2 Boys of \'86 - The Untold Story of West Ham United\'s Greatest-Ever Season by Tony McDonald & Danny Francis

I wonder if a soccer book has ever been a best seller over here?

See Also the entire list of top 10\'s in the UK.


Harry Potter furor spawns closer look at books

I just can\'t get enough of the Christians Vs. Harry Potter stories.

With the intense interest in the movie \'\'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer\'s Stone,\'\' certain books in Lubbock TX Independent School District elementary libraries are under close inspection.
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\'\'I have not received any calls from parents requesting us to look at books in our library,\'\' Graves said. \'\'We just want to be prepared and aware of what books we have in our library.\'\'


California sells birth data to Web site

The birth records of more than 24 million Californians have been sold by the state and posted on the Internet, offering easy access to critical information needed to create fake identities.
Full Story is at

Copyright Law Foes Lose Big

Wired has a good Wrap Up on some bad luck the good guys had in US courts last week.

Wednesday a pair of federal courts siding with the music and record industry, the Electronic Frontier Foundation lost two of its most important intellectual property cases so far.

Many had pinned their hopes on these lawsuits as a way to eviscerate the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Conspiracy Theories A Go-Go

I think it was Mefi that pointed me to and This Huge Collection of alternative theories on the 9-11 tragedies. They have a collection of links and questions you\'re not likely to find anywhere else.

Did the U.S. know that the attacks were going to happen?

What are the Bush family\'s business connections in the Middle East?

Who is investigating this travesty?

Who benefits from this war?

And so on...


The Secret Land Of Librarians

0(Zero)format has a Really Cool Story on us \"Online Librarians\".

\"People know about genealogy groups, programming and design communities, diary circles, web rings, and sci-fi/fantasy cinema cults. But who knew about the roiling, secret activities of librarians?

Let\'s talk about librarians. What makes an online group of librarians such a fascinating find?\"

Big ups to Sylvar for pointing the way.


ELectronic Society for Social Scientists

ELSSS, the ELectronic Society for Social Scientists is a new, non-profit-making society, whose mission is to improve scientific communication in the social sciences, especially by the provision of electronic publications of high quality, wide diffusion and low cost for the direct benefit of the academic community (and indirectly for the taxpayer and the general public).
ELSSS is an initiative aimed at:

1. Increasing competition in the academic journal publishing marketplace;
2.Introducing a fairer and more efficient way of producing, distributing, and consuming academic journals
whereby the large surpluses currently being earned by some commercial publishers are redistributed to the individuals who make journals, namely, authors, referees, and editors - with substantial savings for libraries and the academic and student community.

Take part in the survey.
see Also.


Freedman Better Salaries/Pay Equity Task Force

Steve Fesenmaier writes \"Minutes, roster, etc. for most significant national campaign for librarians since WW II - first, pay equity - \"

It includes The Open Meeting, A Feedback Form, the Task Force Roster Subcommittees Minutes and A Photo Album.


All the Hu\'s Down in Hu\'ville

It\'s already December (in much of the world), and my mind\'s been filled with thoughts of the man who knows if I\'ve been bad or good, who keeps a list of who\'s naughty or nice, who sees and hears what I say and do.

But in a break from thinking about John Ashcroft, I pulled up my favorite winter-holiday-related Web page:

Welcome Christmas! The Story of a Holiday Hymn

This has been around for a few years, but it\'s still fun to see how many people you can get to believe that the song from the Grinch cartoon is derived from an ancient folk song from a remote area of Norway.

Or, if you want to use the page for good instead of evil, present it as a cautionary example in the next Internet research class you teach.

How a Librarian Can Live Nine Lives in a Knowledge-Based Economy

Brunella Longo has written an article the changing role of librarians. \"Like cats moving through their fabled nine lives, I think that teachers and librarians should redefine their own roles beyond the confines of their respective traditions.\" More


Harry Banned Again

Harry Potter has been Banned from the library at 60 Seventh-Day Adventist Schools in Australia. The book is said to not meet the criteria for acquisition. The school\'s policy existed long before Harry Potter. According to the school\'s director, the Tolkien\'s \"Lord of the Rings\" will likely be allowed in the library. More from The Daily News.


Letters of Support for U.S. Troops Can be Sent Online

From the web site of \"Any Service Member...\" \"Concerns about mail delivery have prompted the military to suspend this year\'s letter-writing campaign for troops abroad. However, the United States Department of the Navy\'s LIFELines Services Network is providing this private and secure online resource that will allow you to send a Sailor, Marine, Soldier, Airman or Coast Guardsman a holiday greeting.\"
Visit the site at


Librarian Arrested as Terror Suspect

\"Italian authorities arrested two people early Thursday and raided several Islamic centers in northern Italy as part of an investigation into an alleged terrorist cell linked to Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida terrorist network. One of the men arrested was a librarian at the Islamic Cultural Center.\" More from MSNBC.

Federal Judge Donates Rare Lincoln Docs to State Collection

Someone writes...
\"A federal judge from Missouri has donated a document signed by Abraham Lincoln to the Illinois State Historical Library to be displayed in the new Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Senior U.S. Judge Edward Filippine donated the document on Wednesday to the state’s Henry Horner Lincoln Collection. The document is dated Nov. 5, 1864, three days before Lincoln’s re-election.\" More


Internet Child Porn Ring Bust

Police from several countries have broken yet another Internet child pornography ring. Some of those involved are from the United States. \"Police said thousands of new images of child abuse had been discovered and more than 10,000 people were found to have visited the Internet sites in a two-week period.\" More from Wired News.



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