Biography of a Bookstore

Lee Hadden sent in this one.The Washingtonpost has a Story on the Politics & Prose bookstore. Independent stores continue to struggle against the big chains.

\"I am filled with shelves; the shelves are filled with books; the books are filled with ideas. Of all stripes: liberal, conservative, kooky, kinky, cogent, cautious, cockamamie.\"

Bibliographic Tools for the Alternative Press

Many librarians with collection development responsibilities who understand the importance of the Alternative Press still don\'t select from it, saying they don\'t know how to find those materials or don\'t have the time. Bibliographic Tools for the Alternative Press, a regular feature in Counterpoise, the review journal of the Alternative Press, is a bibliography of resources you can use for exactly that purpose. (Of course, the reason we need to select from the alternative press is that the mainstream press does not provide a full range of perspectives, being slanted by its corporate point of view.)

Online Schools

Former Education Secretary William Bennett is one of the folks out selling some new online schools. Bennett once gave schools\' efforts to increase use of computers in teaching an \"F-\". Cnet has the Full Story.


Washington Post has another story on the same thing. Sounds like a big gamble on some vaporware.

\"It\'s a back-to-basics approach,\" Bennett said. \"We\'re combining traditional learning and powerful technology.\"

Consortium Offers Unfiltered Advice on Filtering Software

The Safeguarding the Wired Schoolhouse initiative, launched by the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN)is offering unfiltered advice on what educators can do to safeguard students online. Complete Story at NY Times.


They do not advocate mandatory filtering, but have established the framework to give educators a \"vendor-neutral\" process by which to make decisions about the various software options available. Trying to \"filter\" out all the ads from vendors for the people making the decisions.

New Tech Standards for School Administrators

The NY Times has a Story on how Representatives from the ISTE, the National School Boards Association, the National Association of Elementary School Principals, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and others are trying to put together some sort of standards for clueless school admins.

\"Administrators need to be comfortable about not knowing everything, but they should know who knows,\" she said. \"They don\'t have to be a network administrator.\"

Term-paper citations of Internet sources no longer exist

Bob Cox sent in this press release from Cornell on a study by Cornell University librarians shows that many URLs, cited in student term-paper bibliographies often are incorrect or refer to documents that no longer exist. I\'m sure it\'s just a coincidence! Why would a student make up a URL?

They suggest that professors set guidelines for acceptable citations in course assignments. Also, they believe that collegiate libraries should create and maintain scholarly portals for authoritative web sites with a commitment to long-term access and instruct students on how to critically evaluate resources. -- Read More

New Library Unites Town

Motherjones.com has a nice Story on how the Town of Johnsburg, NY put together the money and the people power to build a new library. A heart warming story on how the library has become the center of the small town.

\"When a small town set out to create a library, it took the first step toward building something far more elusive--a community.\"

Friday Updates

The last Friday updates for the year include Home Depot, eagle scouts, bookmobiles, coffee beans, updating the classics, LOC, and much much more. Have a Happy New Year!! -- Read More

Vietnam Burns Books

Lee Hadden Writes:

\"The Associated Press has an article today about the Vietnamese
Cultural Inspectors, who have recently burned over six tons of books,
newspapers and other publications that were deemed \"poisonous cultural
items\"and thus unsuitable for reading by citizens of Vietnam. According to
another story about this today from Public Radio, International, among the
\"superstitious\" items burned were religious books and newspapers from
abroad, including Bibles and Catholic publications.\"

License to Link

Brian writes \"http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,40850,00.html
Wired News has a story about news sites charging fees for the right to link to articles.
\"

This is a funny story, apparently iCopyright.com thinks they have the ability to get $50 from people who link to sites they \"protect\". One of those sites, The Albuquerque Journal, when asked about the $50, says -
\"I don\'t know. We certainly wouldn\'t go after you. We link to other sites. We encourage people to link to us.\"

Libraries Need Cash

I saw this sad story from Inside Denver about cutbacks in school libraries, and I thought sharing may help ease the pain. Here are only a few frightening facts:(1)Part-time aides replace librarians who also have been trained as teachers.

(2)Two of five public schools have either no trained librarian or one who works less than half-time, according to the state library.

(3)Since 1994, staffing relative to enrollment has dropped more than 10 percent.
As jobs disappear and librarians retire, the pipeline is drying up. By 2010, the state library predicts, there could be no new library media graduates in Colorado.\" -- Read More

Gay Books Outed

The LA Times has a Story on some books in CA. They say officials pulled 10 biographies of gay people from the shelves of a junior high campus. The ACLU cries censorship, while the school officials that pulled the books say the books reading level was too high for Orangeview students, and that the books presented a safety hazard because students who checked them out might be harassed by other students. How\'s that for a nifty excuse?The books are part of a series called \"Lives of Notable Gay Men and Lesbians\".

\"We all know why these books have been banned,\" Matthews said. \"The books were banned because they had a positive statement to make to kids about gay and lesbian people. The books were banned because of deep-seated prejudice.\"

Grading the Library Portals

Onlineinc.com has a Report Card on all the major librarian portal sites. They were tough graders, not many A\'s were given out! They didn\'t grade us, though I\'m not sure we fit with the rest of the portals they review. LibraryLand, Internet Public Library Services for Librarians, and Internet Library for Librarians all got A\'s.

\"The ideal library portal will have the most thorough coverage possible in several areas of the library profession for all types of libraries.\"

Stealth Plan Puts Copy Protection into every Drive

Kell Yusuf writes \"Those who wish to make us pay for Web content will LOVE this article: It\'s about plans for copy-protecting your next computer - these drives are incompatible with ordinary dives, so you would not be able copy files from the protected drive to the non-protected drive. \"Hastening a rapid demise for the free copying of digital media, the next generation of hard disks is likely to come with copyright protection countermeasures built in...\" \"


The Register UK has a series of articles.


Stealth plan puts copy protection into every hard drive
Linux lead slams \'pay per read\' disk drive plan

Copy protection hard drive plan nixes free software - RMS
CPRM on hard drives - IBM takes a spin

Reliable Resource?

In a survey conducted by Buson-Marstelle, one third of reporters interviewed claimed that the internet is their first point of reference. 57 percent were said to faithfully believe that the Internet was a reliable source of information. On an even more interesting note, only a quarter of these journalists said that they would turn to their company’s archives or library for information.[more]

We can only hope that these news professionals have been given the training needed to discern the true quality and reliability of online information. Unfortunately notorious past mistakes suggest that this may not be the case.

Friday Updates

Friday updates for this week include Harry Potter in Vietnam, a library with no books, parents responsibility, funding losses, flooding, the future, and much more. -- Read More

Reaction to Filtering Bill

The Spokesman-Review, in the press alot lately, has this piece on the latest grasp to take away the first amendment rights of library users. It includes, in my opinion, the quote of the week.\"Blaming the library for exposure to pornography is like blaming the lake if your child walks up to it alone, falls in and then drowns. The only viable mechanism for protecting children from the questionable content of the Internet, eating too much junk food or drowning in the lake is action by the responsible agency governing this jurisdiction: the parents. Their guidance is more loving, more educational and a hundred times more effective then regulatory control.\" -- Read More

Backlisted E-Books

Wired News has an interesting story about a site called Rosetta Books which provides e-books on backlisted print titles. A pretty strange concept, but hey, you never know...\"Rosettabooks currently owns the exclusive electronic rights to 100 classics such as Aldous Huxley\'s Brave New World, Kurt Vonnegut\'s Slaughterhouse Five, William Styron\'s Sophie\'s Choice, and Pat Conroy\'s Prince of Tides.

Over 500 more titles are in various states of negotiation and an additional 1,000 have been targeted for acquisition. Strategic alliances with BN.com for a Rosettabooks boutique and prominence on the Contentville.com site are already in place.\"
There are a few other stories there too. -- Read More

Warner Bros. claims Harry Potter sites

In yet another example of clueless corporate idiocy, Warner Bros. is going after Harry Potter Fan sites. They purchased the film and merchandising rights, as well as the trademarks and copyrights to the characters, from the books\' author, J.K. Rowling. For some reason, they now think no one should have a tribute site, to show how much they love Harry Potter.

\"I\'ve just read the news that the Evil Dark Arts experts a.k.a. Warner Brothers are trying to cast some dark charms and shut down this site. GOLLY! What total ROT. We have got to get some good charms and wand waving to seriously sort them out,\" wrote a fellow Harry Potter fan on Field\'s Web site.

Full Story over at ZD Net.

BT files hyperlink patent suit against Prodigy

Brian sent in This One at The Standard on British Telecom\'s idiotitic legal moves to get money from ISP\'s.


After discovering, in a routine check, that it owned the patent for the hyperlink, BT wrote to 17 U.S. ISPs, asking them to pay for the privilege of using the technology through licensing agreements. Nerver mind that someone did it Way Back in the 60\'s in CA.

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