netLibrary Saga So Far

The Chronicle of Higher Education\'s unofficial liason to the library world, Jeff Young, provides a helpful summary of the netLibrary saga so far:

The struggling e-book provider netLibrary filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Wednesday, and the nonprofit library organization OCLC immediately announced that it had offered to purchase all of the company\'s assets.

The company\'s fiscal implosion came just five days after one of its investors had filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging that netLibrary had overstated its earnings to attract venture capital . . .


We\'re the Jesus Party, and Harry\'s not invited!

Val writes \"A Christian group in Lewiston, Maine, celebrates the release of the Harry Potter movie with an old-timey, feel-good book-cutting...\"

Yep, that\'s right, they cut the books instead of burning them, seems... I dunno, anti-climatic. There is something about a preacher screaming about the devil in front of a fire that is so much more inspiring than watching a man cut a book apart with his little scissors.
An English teacher at the protest called it (the book cutting) child abuse. Sounds like a good time was had by all.

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Freeport\'s New Library Saga Continues

Our friends in Freeport (IL) are in the news again. They\'ve been experiencing some difficulties over the design for the new library. First, they were criticized for the building plans. Then, there was an an appeal to the public to contribute funds from tax refunds and other personal means. Then, the citizens forced the town council to reject the funding. Then it looked as though they would get about 1/2 of their proposed funding.
Then, the public ranted more. Then, it was decided that landfill money would be used to fund the new library. Then, it looked as though they were gaining ground. Now, they\'ve hired a marketing firm to conduct a publicity campaign. An interesting facet of the situation is that the board of trustees has been \"working\" on the issue for ten years, and, still no resolution. More

Grown-ups and Harry Potter

In this article from the Independent, Jonathan Myerson
criticizes the many grown-ups who are reading Harry Potter these days.

Myerson classifies these grown-ups Harry Potter lovers into three categories:
Never-Readers, for whom Harry Potter is the first book they have read in eons,
Occasional Readers, who have been convinced by the hype to make Harry
Potter one of the few books they\'ll read this year, and Regular Readers, for whom
Harry Potter is just one of many books.

Myerson heaps scorn on these adults, but what I find most offensive is not his
opinion of Harry Potter in particular (I\'m not a great fan), but his attitude toward
children\'s books in general.


CSMonitor\'s Annual Book Guide 2001.

Hermit ;-) writes \"The CSMonitor\'s book editor, Ron Charles (and crew!-), has their annual \"retrospective list for discriminating readers\" up.

A quick scan and the review of the book _Republic.com_ by Cass Sunstein caught my eye.

The review, \"Create your own world on the Internet - and democracy crumbles,\" by Merle Rubin, Here, paints an eerie picture of a global net of polarized extremists. A disturbing potential consequence of self-filtering (?self-filtering?).

\"The MindGuard is down to 15% Captain! At any time the Enterprise may be broached by Unfiltered Ideas!\"

\"Raise the GroupThink to Maximum Scottie! Red alert, lasers on stun.\"

[Spock raises an eyebrow ;-] \"


Winnipeg School Division Turns Down Free Books

This Winnipeg Free Press article reports that the Winnipeg School Division has refused an offer from the Canadian Children\'s Book Centre to distribute a free book to every grade one student.

The reason for turning down free copies of John Bianchi\'s Young Author\'s Day at Pokeweed School? The book has the TD Bank logo on the front cover and a letter from the bank chairman on the first page.


Hanging Out at the Bodleian

In a National Post article, Julia McKinnell, a summer student at Oxford, describes the joys of being in the Bodleian Library.

She reports having to \"swear before a man in a gown that I wouldn\'t \"kindle fire therein\" or \"undertake to injure objects.\" After taking this solemn oath, she requests a few books for the fun of it.
You can read the whole article here.

Library to Pay Portion of Legal Settlement Over Meeting Room Policy

The city of Portage, WI has been sued over the local library\'s refusal to let a group use their meeting room. The library was forced to pay for a portion of the settlement. Those who filed the suit weren\'t after monetary damages, but rather, a change to the library\'s meeting room policy. Since the suit was filed, libraries across the state of Wisconsin have begun updating their policies. The library in Portage will no longer refuse to allow meetings to be held in the meeting room based solely on content.More


Libraries change lives

This Yahoo! News Story on Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan that shows just how important libraries are, and how those silly little random decisions we make every day really change our lives.

Greenspan his interest in economics started when he was playing as a professional musician in a dance band.

``I found that in the 20-minute breaks we\'d have in between sets that I started to go to the library and read books on economics. Why? I haven\'t a clue,\'\' he told an audience at Rice University in Houston after giving a speech on energy policy.

``If I had turned left instead of right (in the library), I may have ended up as a physicist for all I know,\'\' he said, drawing laughter from the crowd. \"

Potter Movie Mania

IMDB is Reporting all sorts of Harry News today. In case you live in a cave, the movie from Stupid Director Chris Columbus opens this weekend. There is a Review, the first major North American newspaper to publish a full-fledged review.

Robin Williams said that he wanted to appear in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer\'s Stone but was turned down.

Harry Potter is likely to be run on at least 7,000 screens due to multi-screen bookings at multiplexes, meaning that the movie will be playing on one out of every six screens in North America, which breaks the current record of 3,653 held by the terrible Mission: Impossible 2, from Stupid Director John Woo.


OCLC Makes Offer for Netlibrary

Subject to the approval of the bankruptcy court, OCLC Online Computer Library Center announces that it has made an offer to purchase substantially all the assets of netLibrary and assume certain netLibrary liabilities. netLibrary is a leading provider of eBooks, eTextbooks and Internet-based content/collection management services.

Concurrently, netLibrary announced that it has voluntarily filed a petition with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Colorado for relief under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The transaction includes a loan from OCLC, to be repaid upon the consummation of the asset sale, to fund netLibrary\'s on-going operations through the transition period. OCLC\'s purchase of netLibrary\'s assets and its operating-funds loan to netLibrary are both subject to approval of the bankruptcy court.

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World\'s Largest Intranet Belongs to the U.S. Army

It has a whopping 70 Terabytes of storage and it\'s called the ArmyKnowledge Online Portal. (You can\'t log-in unless you qualify for an account). According to the article, at Wired News, \"it\'s a total aggregation of all the information the Army has. Whether it\'s a general at his desk in Washington or an infantryman in the deserts of Tajikistan, every one of the Army\'s active or retired personnel will have access to all of the army\'s online resources through the site. All soldiers on active duty have already been ordered to sign up and they are subscribing to the AKO at a rate of between 10,000 and 30,000 a day. More


Dead Sea Scrolls Ready for Publication

The New York Times is reporting that the Dead Sea Scrolls are ready for publication. The announcement is supposed to be made today at the New York Public Library. According to the article, they don\'t prove, or negate, the existence of Christ. They do, however, provide insight into Jewish history. More


Authors Warn that Male-Bashing Could have Disasterous Effects on Society

In the book \"Spreading Misandry: The Teaching of Contempt for Men in Popular Culture,\" the authors, Katherine Young and Paul Nathanson discuss the negative effects that could occur as a result of the level of male-bashing that is so widely accepted today. They refer to the negative stereotyping of men and boys, as found in books, art, greeting cards, comic strips, movies, television shows, and commercials. According to the authors, \"men are laughed at, denigrated or demonized, receiving treatment that would never be acceptable if directed at women.\" The problem could result in a hostile backlash toward women in general. More


Life As A House House Has New Life As A Library

First a library was giving away a house, now this; Always quick with the quirkies, Ananova has this story on the new life of the house used in the movie Life As A House. The movie-set house was dismantled and moved to the Kenyon Elementary School in LA, where it will be used as the new library. The school only had to pay moving costs.


Free Public Library Rates High in Importance

I\'ve got Good News, and Bad News.
Good News: Business First says the Louisville Free Public Library was ranked by 92.2% as \"very important\". The Study was conducted by Bruce Gale, director of the Urban Studies Institute at the University of Louisville.
Bad News: However, \"the library ranks behind home-delivered papers and local bookstores as the leading source of reading material and information.\"


Arrest Made in Document Thefts

Charles Davis writes The following article appeared in the November 2001 issue of American
Libraries, p. 32.

Arrest Made in Document Thefts

A University of Wisconsin/Madison student has been arrested on charges he stole signatures of
early American figures while he was working at a Yale University library over the summer.
Benjamin W. Johnson, 21, allegedly stole and sold about 70 documents bearing the signatures
of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and other historical figures.

Conference on the Public Domain: Papers Online

/. pointed me to The Conference on the Public Domain papers online. There are some excellent resources here.

A Very Large PDF is available, or This Page has some short summaries. Interesting titles include, \"the cultural public domain: fair use and appropriation\", and \"the history and theory of the public domain\".

\"This conference, the first major meeting to focus squarely on the topic of the public domain, will try to answer some of these questions in areas ranging from the human genome to appropriationist art, from the production of scientific data to the architecture of our communications networks.\"


The Trouble With Harry Potter

Wired has a Story on a new WebSite that teaches kids about censorship and fighting for freedom of expression, using the fictional boy wizard as a case study.

Check out

\"You couldn\'t ask for a better poster child against censorship than Harry Potter,\" said Chris Finan, the president of American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression


Latest On NetLibrary

The reports that NetLibrary has a buyout offer, and An announcement of a possible sale could come as soon as a day or two.

RockyMountainNews says they are being sued by a venture capital partner for allegedly cooking company books with inflated sales figures. They are saying that the company had overstated annual revenues by more than 30 percent.



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