ALA Freaks Out Over Budget

Here\'s a Story someone passed along on the ALA reaction to the latest US budget.

They say President Bush proposed cutting federal spending on libraries by $39 million.

There\'s a rather odd quote in this story:

\"Mrs. Bush understands very well how libraries are serving this nation\'s communities,\" says Emily Sheketoff, executive director of the Washington office of the American Library Association. \"Certainly, the budget doesn\'t reflect that.\"

Did I miss something here? Is Laura now making budget recommendations?

Anywhooo... They say the funding cut could underwrite the cost of 867 librarians at an average salary of $46,000. Or it could buy nearly 1.1 million hardcover books or 161,463 magazine subscriptions.

M.I.T Course Materials OnLine

Alistair Kwun, and others, passed along This Release from MIT where they have some lofty plans to make course materials available online.

They call the project \"OpenCourseWare\", and will put lecture notes, course outlines, reading lists and assignments for each course online.

Other stories Wired, CNET, MSNBC and The NY Times

More Questia Discussion

This week Library Juice published a discussion thread on Questia from COLLIB-L, the second in a series. The first one was published last December. Last July, Library Juice published an editorial called Questioning Questia. At issue is the company\'s decision to bypass libraries and offer access to their digitized collection of 50,000 books directly to students, for a fee.

Children\'s Books are Flying off Shelves

Librarians, teachers, and book stores say a notable increase has occurred in reading interest among children. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 75 percent of fourth-graders report reading for fun at least once a week. Of that group, 43 percent say they read every day. [more...] from Salon.

Libraries Gear Up for April 20 Filtering Deadline

Although the American Library Association (ALA) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) are still duking it out with the Federal government over the Children\'s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), some libraries are already putting filters in place in order to beat the deadline. [more...] from The Columbus Dispatch.

Library Says, No Shoes No Service

The Columbus Metropolitan Library is being sued for refusing to let a patron tread the aisles in his bare feet. [more...] from The Columbus Dispatch.

E-textbooks at New Jersey school

Someone Passed along This Story from CNN on a rather progressive New Jersey middle school.

Memorial Junior Middle School in Hanover, New Jersey, is experimenting with electronic textbooks, some students can do all their work (even tests) online.

\"Principal Harvey Altman said the unconventional texts motivate students. \"And any technique that causes students to want to learn, I\'m interested in,\" he said.\"

Unwritten Knowledge

Lee Hadden Writes:\" The March 29, 2001 issue of Nature has an interesting article by Jared
Diamond on \"Unwritten Knowledge: Preliterate societies depend on the wise
words of the older generation,\" Vol. 410, page 521.


Quotes from the article include: \"For us moderns, all information
essential to survival is transmitted in writing. We cannot conceive of a
preliterate society\'s absolute dependence on old people as the equivalent
of libraries.\" or \"We don\'t know, let\'s ask the old man (or woman).\"


You may purchase this article fro $7.00 if you do not already have an
account with Nature or access to it in your local library. Further
information is available at: nature.com\"

Microfilm or Paper?

A couple more reviews of \"Libraries and the Assault on Paper\" By Nicholson Baker, I may have to read this one after all.
Mark sent along
This NY Times Review and you can find another at NYBooks.com.

If you haven\'t heard, Baker says primary sources should be preserved and that the trashing them is a crime.

\"I\'ve tried not to misrepresent those whose views differ from my own, but I make no secret of my disagreement; at times, a dormant prosecutorial urge awoke in me, for we have lost things that we can never get back.\"

Using Books as Evidence Against Their Readers

NY Times is running a Story that James Nimmo sent in on the law and book records.

They say searches or subpoenas have been sought for Borders bookstores in both Massachusetts and Kansas, at the Tattered Cover bookstore in Denver and Amazon.com.

\"What we\'re afraid of is that it is a bad idea that is getting increasing publicity and occurring to more and more police — to short-circuit the investigative process and go straight to a bookstore.\"

More On Free Journals

It\'s been here before, but it keeps getting submitted, so I thought I\'d cover it again.

Nature has a Forum on the impact of the Web on the publishing of the results of original research.
In a nutshell, how could scientific information be better handled so that they can work more easily and efficiently, should it be available for free?
If you think so, Sign The Open Letter.
Slashdot also ran a story.

Library efficiency draws praise

Here\'s a Cool Story from businessinvancouver.com on a local library making some good moves.

The Richmond Public Library is now offering classes on \"the Ironwood model\" of library management. Deputy chief librarian Cate McNeely even uses terms like \"merchandising\"! I\'m a big fan of this type of library management.


\"How do you do the things that we always talk about doing, but always say we don\'t have enough money or enough time or enough staff to do? We knew that if we did things in the traditional way, the majority of our resources would just be going to checking in and checking out books. And it would mean not being open 74 hours a week, not doing daily story time, not having the librarians available on the floor to help people choose that best book, and so on.\"

Popular Author of Kids\' Books Teaches Science Without Fiction

The stars of Seymour Simon\'s newest book include cockroaches, buzzards and rats, all presented with the kind of high-quality photography and heavy paper once reserved for art books.

\"Animals Nobody Loves\" (Seastar Pub Co; ISBN: 1587170795, April 2001) and hundreds of other Seymour Simon books are pioneers in the genre of reality children\'s literature.

And publishers, now aware of the youth market for attractive nonfiction books, are giving real science the respect -- and publications the budgets -- once invested only in storybooks. [more...] from The Columbus Dispatch.

ACLU Ads Warn Of \'Massive\' Government Cyber-Snooping

\"We are clearly trying to raise public awareness about the extent of the government\'s capacity for (electronic) eavesdropping,\" says ACLU Associate Director Barry Steinhardt. \"We\'re trying to focus the attention of the (Bush) administration and the Republican leadership.\" [more...] from NewsBytes.

Orangatango Protects Our Privacy

I found this story from Newsbytes on my favorite law portal LLRX. A company has created an online browser that will protect the privacy of its users. It\'s called Orangatango.\"Consumers who hate getting an inbox full of unsolicited commercial e-mail \"spam\" after registering at an online shopping site soon may have an alternative.

Utah-based Orangatango says its \"VirtualBrowser,\" which currently is available in a beta test version, will in effect stand between a Web surfer and those who wish to track his or her movements in the online realm.\" -- Read More

Budget Cuts and The Smithsonian

Lee Hadded Writes:\"Three libraries may be cut from the Smithsonian Institution. Today\'s
Washington Times has brief article today, April 10, 2001, by Gabriella
Boston, \"Smithsonian budget renovates buildings, cuts program, staff,\" on
page C1 and C2 of the Metropolitan Section. In her article, she states
about the budget cuts: \"Other cutbacks include eliminating the in-house
center for copying and distributing documents, three libraries and the
Smithsonian\'s multimedia productions center.\"

You will have to read the paper copy for this article. Regretfully,
this article does not appear to be posted on their web site at:
washingtontimes.com\"

Book Quickies

The Exorcist Banned on Good Friday in the Australian state of Victoria.


News.com Story On the continuing expansion of Amazon.com\'s electronic book section.


SfGate Story on The war between independent book dealers and chain stores in San Fransisco. A lawsuit brought by American Booksellers Association and 27 independently owned bookstores from around the US, accuses Barnes & Noble and Borders, of arranging deals with publishers and distributors independent stores can\'t get, which lead to the expansion of the big stores, and the death of the independents.


The Standard.com has This Story sent in by Lee Hadden, on sci-fi author Harlan Ellison. He is fighting the online copyright battle in some strange and angry ways.

Library Quickies

A gaggle of almost related stories I\'ve been sitting on for too long.Yahoo! News Story on how much overdue books are costing libraries.
``Focus groups have told us returning (overdue) library books can be embarrassing, so we\'re trying to add some fun to it,\'\' said Peggy Pievach, the library\'s marketing director


This Story on 3 guys who were using a library computer to print out a series of phony checks.Police arrested them as they were printing the checks. Maybe they had to pay for all their overdue books?


A couple more follow...... -- Read More

Florida Women Sue Over Lack of Access to Library Meeting Room

Two Florida women filed a federal lawsuit Monday against the city of Pensacola for denying them access to a library meeting room because of religion. [more...] from CNS News.

Armey applies privacy brakes

Here\'s a funny (not funny Ha-Ha, but funny it\'s-so-pathetic-I-must-laugh funny) story from news.com on US Senate Majority Leader Dick Armey.

He said that since 97% of all federal Web sites failed to meet current privacy standards, there is no point trying to implement anymore standards.

\"We have an uphill battle,\" admitted Ed Mierzwinski, consumer program director for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) and a member of the Privacy Coalition. \"But all this shows is that the (corporate) agenda has been adopted by the House leadership, which we already knew.\"

See Also another good story.

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