Submitted by Ryan on September 1, 2001 - 5:01pm
Here\'s an entertaining commentary on the pros-and-cons of
Oxford University\'s somewhat archaic but venerable Bodleian Library:
I should mention that the library takes four to five hours to \"fetch\" a book from its stacks. Readers are advised to order what they need in the morning so they\'ll have it by afternoon. An all-morning wait should be enough to force a person into careful consideration. So why I ordered Universalis Arithmetica is a puzzler. This book is a ridiculously valuable first edition of a massively important work, true. Newton was still at Cambridge in 1707 when the Bodleian\'s edition was printed. . .
More from the National Post.
Submitted by Ryan on September 1, 2001 - 4:47pm
Unsurpisingly, a new study from the Pew Internet & American Life Project has found that the majority of students turn to the Web for assistance with their homework, bypassing libraries:
Seventy-one percent of middle school and high school students with Internet access said they relied on the electronic technology the most in completing a project, according to a survey conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life Project. That compares to 24 percent who said they relied on libraries the most, according to the survey. . .
More from Reuters.
Submitted by Ryan on September 1, 2001 - 4:33pm
The Public Library of Science will soon launch several free online journals. These titles are intended to showcase the work of scientists participating in a boycott of publishers that do not place articles in the public domain within six months of publication:
Thousands of scientists around the world will soon be boycotting academic journals that refuse to make their contents freely available on the web soon after publication. The boycott could mean scientists refusing to submit papers to journals and refusing to review the work of their peers for any journal that does not deposit research papers into an online public library of science.
The group behind the online library is planning its own online journals to give scientists who join the boycott a forum for their work. . .
More from BBC News.
Submitted by Ryan on September 1, 2001 - 1:25am
In breaking news, The Associated Press has apparently begun leaning on About.com authors to stop using quotations from AP articles to guide their readers to the complete text as it appears on other sites.
In a message sent to all contributors, an About.com moderator wrote:
\"I have some bad news to convey to everyone - AP and other news services
have decided to be quite strict in how they interpret their copyrights.
Before, it was always assumed to be OK if we just quoted a couple of
sentences from a news story and then provided a link - it was copying all or
most of a story which we had to avoid.
But not any more. Quoting even one sentence, if it conveys the gist of the entire story, isn\'t something that they want to permit now. They are serious about this. They have already been in contact with About over Guides who have done nothing more than quote the first couple of lines
on their sites, along with a link back to the full story.\"
About.com seems ready to knuckle-under D.M.C.A-style, and I can only imagine \'blogs will be the next target.
More information is available at Politech.
Submitted by Ryan on September 1, 2001 - 1:05am
The Associated Press reports:
For the third time, the Bush administration has delayed release of 68,000 pages of Ronald Reagan\'s White House records, including vice presidential papers from President Bush\'s father. The papers were to have come out in January, 12 years after Reagan left office as provided under law. The White House delayed the release to June 21, then to the last day in August.
On Friday, White House counsel Alberto Gonzales sought a third extension, this time with no deadline, so the administration can review the records and consult representatives of former presidents Reagan, Bush and Clinton . . . ``I think it\'s a scandal to hold them back,\'\' Anna Nelson, a historian at American University, said Friday. ``I think the whole point of the Presidential Records Act is to open documents. It goes against the spirit of the law.\'\'
More via the New York Times.
Submitted by Blake on August 31, 2001 - 4:00pm
Salon has a Story on the U.S. Copyright Office report giving the Digital Millennium Copyright Act a passing grade.
\"Libraries could not exist without first sale. If they had to get permission or pay a fee every time they lent a copy of a book, they would have to stop lending. There would be no functional difference between a public library and a Barnes and Noble.
Submitted by Blake on August 31, 2001 - 3:24pm
Bob Cox passed along This One from SfGate that talks about the Child Internet Protection Act. This one comes down solidly against filtering, and says filters tend to block sites in a way ACLU representative Emily Whitfield describes as \"capricious.\" One interesting note in this story, the privately run Waldorf schools refuse to allow their under-12 students to use computers or television.
\"We\'re not concerned with online content. Instead, we believe that children should be free to develop their imaginations, and we feel the Internet provides prepackaged information that makes kids passive. Plus, we feel that physical activity leads to healthier minds. Sitting in front of a computer, pointing and clicking, is not a picture that we support as leading to later health.\"
Submitted by Jill on August 31, 2001 - 1:43pm
APRIL SIMUN from The State newspaper writes: \"The S.C. State Library board voted 5-0 Thursday to comply with a new state law requiring them to filter their own computers and to withhold money from local public libraries that don\'t filter.\" Full Story
And Annalee Newitz from the San Francisco Gate writes: \"...many experts and activists say our current methods for regulating kids\' access to the Internet, like blocking, are worse than useless.\" Full Story
Submitted by Jill on August 31, 2001 - 1:32pm
MIKE HENDRICKS from the Kansas City Star reports that \"KC loves this idea\" of the city reading the same book at the same time.
\"My phone has been ringing off the hook from Kansas City Metropolitan Library & Information Network members asking if and how we will be participating in this project,\" wrote Susan Burton, executive director of that group of 76 area library systems.
Submitted by Jill on August 31, 2001 - 1:17pm
Are comfy chairs an issue at your library?
Patti Brandt from the Bay City Times writes about the selection of chairs at the Bay County Library System:
\"Staff members there have been asking visitors for the last week or so to rate six different chairs on size, comfort and eye appeal...Thomas Birch, managing librarian of the Bay City Branch, said choosing a chair is a very subjective matter.\"Full Story
Submitted by Jill on August 31, 2001 - 12:49pm
An editorial in the Seattle Times says:
\"Libraries are icons of our sense of community. They\'ve long been seen as safe havens where adults and children spend hours immersed in books, maps and videos.
Now they want to limit children. It\'s not that libraries don\'t want children.\" It calls for more common sense and less rules. Full Editorial
Submitted by Blake on August 31, 2001 - 9:57am
Amy Kearns writes \"I got this alert from the ACLU!
TAKE ACTION! SEND A FREE FAX IN JUST TWO CLICKS! TO OPPOSE EXPANDED GOVERNMENT SECRECY!
You can read more and send a FREE FAX from the action alert Here
Last year, with little debate and no public hearings, Congress adopted an intelligence authorization bill that contained a provision to criminalize all leaks of classified information. A firestorm of criticism from civil libertarians, major news organizations, academics and LIBRARIANS resulted and President Bill Clinton vetoed the bill. Unfortunately, at the request of Senator Richard Shelby (R- AL), this year\'s intelligence authorization bill may include the identical provision.
Submitted by Blake on August 31, 2001 - 9:13am
Wired has a rather indepth Look at Filtering and CIPA. They say 75 percent of schools use filtering already.
\"We believe schools should be a safe haven for children –- a place for children to learn and grow, not cesspools for the destruction of the minds and souls of children,\" said Kristen Schultz, a legal policy analyst with the Family Research Council.
Seems as though the internet is still the least of most peoples worries:
\"We have far more complaints about written materials like certain classics, novels, and plays than anything having to do with Internet resources.\"
Submitted by Blake on August 31, 2001 - 9:08am
Someone writes \"the USAToday is running a Story story on Mark Twain\'s unpublished \"blindfold novelette\" entitled \"A Murder, a Mystery, and a Marriage\". The summer issue of The Atlantic Monthly ran it, and the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library launched a writing contest to finish the mystery that drew 730 entries from as far as Japan and Australia. The winners will be announced Oct. 13.
Submitted by Blake on August 31, 2001 - 8:59am
Slashdot pointed the way to This Techreview Story on An anonymous programmer that has found a way to decrypt Microsoft Reader e-books.The decryption program enables purchasers of \"owner-exclusive\" Microsoft Reader titles—Microsoft\'s most highly protected form of e-book—to convert these titles to unencrypted files viewable on any Web browser. The programmer hasn\'t released it, saying he developed it for his personal use.
Submitted by Ryan on August 30, 2001 - 11:48pm
If you have any doubts about the chilling effect of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act on free speech, take a gander at this article from Salon. A British medical research firm has used the Act to force a U.S. ISP to remove the page of animal rights group critical of their work:
On Thursday, EnviroLink Network, a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit Internet service provider, took offline two Web sites belonging to the animal-rights activist group Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty. The action came in response to a letter sent to the ISP earlier in the week by Huntingdon Life Sciences, a British medical research firm. Citing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), Huntingdon accused the activists of violating its copyright. Although no charges have yet been filed, under the terms of the DMCA, Envirolink was forced to remove the sites to avoid potential legal liability. \"It\'s very clear that Huntingdon Life Sciences just wants to shut them up,\" says Josh Knauer, the founder of Envirolink, which provides free Web hosting to nonprofits . . .
More. This is a truly disgusting development.
Submitted by Ryan on August 30, 2001 - 11:31pm
After a review of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the U.S. has concluded that offline copyright law does not apply to the digital world, and that the anti-circumvention clause does not merit further attention:
The study does give critics some ammunition to work with. It asks legislators, for example, to clarify whether temporary copies are legal, and advises Congress to give users of digital content the right to make archival copies. But the report also rejects the argument that offline copyright law should apply to the digital world, calling the analogy \"flawed and unconvincing.\"
The study also refuses to address the energetic public outcry over the DMCA\'s controversial anti-circumvention clause, which prohibits the creation and distribution of methods for getting around copyright controls. While it acknowledges that most of the people who criticized the law -- at public hearings and via e-mail -- \"expressed general opposition to the prohibitions on circumvention of technological protection measures contained in [the anti-circumvention clause section 1201], and noted their concerns about the adverse impact that section 1201 may have on fair use and other copyright exceptions,\" the Copyright Office, which falls under the authority of the Library of Congress, sidestepped public concern. . .
More from Salon (the free part.) The Copyright Office report can be found here.
Submitted by Jill on August 30, 2001 - 6:07pm
Katie Pesznecker of the Anchorage Daily News writes:
\"Two parents of Anchorage grade school students say the sexual health book \"It\'s Perfectly Normal\" is not perfectly normal reading for their children and want it off school library shelves.\"
The book got national praise for it\'s \"normal\" look at sex education. Full Story
Submitted by Blake on August 30, 2001 - 2:46pm
Bob Cox passed along a A Short Story on that WWF read-in that happened in MI the other day. WWF stars Stacy Keibler and Rhyno did the reading.
\"We\'re going for the reluctant reader, the male teenager that the WWF appeals to,\"
Submitted by Blake on August 30, 2001 - 1:21pm
Jill passed along more about SLC PL\'s new non-MLS director froma member of the board.
\"Jim Cooper\'s business acumen, dedicated support for the library programs, ability to interact constructively with numerous constituencies and government interests and his deep commitment to the Salt Lake Valley community were viewed by the board as credentials more compelling than an advanced degree in library science. \"