Books in Retrogression

I love this quote from Arts & Letters Daily about the book publishing industry.
\"Once upon a time, the major American publishing houses could be counted on to bring controversial new ideas, trenchant political criticism, and works of enduring literary merit to the reading public. No longer. Instead, we get a steady stream of diet books, celebrity biographies, quasi-spiritual self-help manuals, formulaic technothrillers, Jacqueline Susann knock-offs, and warmed-over tabloid journalism about the scandal of the moment.\"

One may or may not easily argue the accuracy of such a statement, depending on reading tastes and also given the fact that a trip to the library or to the closest bookstore, whether it be physical or virtual, will yield quality literature aplenty for someone. The saga continues at The American Prospect

Internet Filtering ..... Big Business?

I found this particular item today on The American Prospect while news cruising through cyberspace.

Although the issue is a legitimate one, it is interesting to realize the role played by big business in the whole scheme of things. Much of the noise surrounding Internet Filtering is being made by those who stand to gain a profit (Go figure). The point is clearly made when considering the following, as quoted from an advertisement for filtering software: \"The Internet caused the problem. It\'s only fitting it should also provide the solution.\"
One hates to rain on the parade of the Internet personifying folks out there, but isn\'t it people who are the problem? Well, read on and judge for yourself...

Mining the \'Deep Web\' With Specialized Drills

The NYTimes has an Interesting Story on search engines. They say regular search engines have access to only a fraction of 1 percent of what exists on the Web and as many as 500 billion pieces of content are missed. They talk about specialty search engines like Moreover, a site I use all the time for LISNews. It\'s nice to see some very positive things said about librarians in this one.

\"People may know to come to the library, but they probably do not know which reference books to pull off the shelf. Of course, in such cases, patrons can at least consult a reference librarian. On the Web, people are usually fending for themselves.\"

Google bug or feature?

Brian writes \"If you\'re looking for George W. Bush merchandise, there\'s an easy -- and, for half the country, intuitive -- way to find some on Google. Wired News has the
Story \"
Here\'s the explanation, and if you want to try the search yourself, Try This.

Wine Library

Finally, A library you can drink!
The University of British Columbia is setting up a wine library, the wine industry is providing about $335,000 for the 1,264-square-foot Wine Research Library, and will have a capacity of 22,000 Canadian bottles, plus 8,000 bottles from other countries.Imagine the resume you\'ll need to be a librarian here.....
DJC.com has the Full Story

Library Web Suit Revived

SF Gate has a story on a woman whose 12-year-old son downloaded pornography at a CA public library, has reinstated her lawsuit that would require parental consent for minors to access the Internet at libraries.

\"We have to do a little more to protect children from themselves than to protect adults from themselves,\"


UPDATE from SF Gate. Hearing Was Held.
A panel of three justices of the 1st District Court of Appeal in San Francisco did not indicate when or which way it would rule. But one justice noted that a Virginia library was subjected to a successful suit when it blocked pornographic access and was ordered to reinstate full access.

Becoming Digital

Diane Writes:This month\'s issue of Geotimes has a one page (p.5) comment from Sharon N.
Tahirkheli on \"Becoming Digital\" that is most intersting. She\'s Director
of Information Systems for the American Geological Institute.


She discusses the fact that some digital archivers consider adding only
originally digital material to their databases, ignoring digitised print
materials.
A quote: \"When libraries decide to eliminate unused books, it\'s called
weeding. Perhaps we\'re on the verge of weeding by default.\"

The Eclectic Journal

Gerry McKiernan writes:


Based upon a review of E-journals for my new Web
registry, EJI(sm)
I have concluded that the present-day
"Electronic Journal" is evolving to become what I call
"The Eclectic Journal".

By the "Eclectic Journal", I mean a Web-based resource
that at its core provides access to e-journals that offer not
only the conventional content of a digital form of a journal but
also provides or permits interaction with novel and innovative
_features and functionalities_ (e.g., reference linking, cross-publisher
searching, page customization, open peer review, etc.) _AND_
novel and innovative _content_ (e.g., e-Books, pre-publication
history, electronic discussions, translation services, e-prints,
bibliographic databases, etc.) -- Read More

FCC Seeking Comment on CIPA

Just got this one off of Slashdot

The FCC is seeking comments on CIPA.
Thave several issues they are seeking comments on, see:
http://www.ala.org/cipa/FCCRulemaking.pdf for the issues they have.

Best way to contact them is through the web based form they have at:

http://gullfoss2.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/websql/prod/ecfs/upload_v2.hts
Docket # is - 96-45, you\'ll need it for the FCC form.

John Gilmore on Content Protection

As seen on the Freenet page and elsewhere, this essay by John Gilmore (of the EFF) explains why you should care about the efforts of industry to protect content through arbitrary technical means. Read it and send a copy to your colleagues. :)

School Libraries Bustling

The American School Board Journal has a nice Story on the different ways school libraries are changing to better meet the needs of their students.

\"I used to spend so much time wandering from table to table, policing kids and telling them to hush or leave,\" says a middle-school librarian in Vermont. \"Now I sit down with the kids and talk with them about books they\'re reading or reports they\'re writing. It\'s made a world of difference — for them and for me.\"

E-book Web Site

On my daily perusal of the web, I came across a neat e-book site called Digital Worm. You can read the latest e-book news, look at the list archive, sign up for their newsletter, look at their e-book tools section, and much, much more, for the low cost of...$19.95...but wait there\'s more...

That\'s my final search!!

My friend sent in this story from Wired. I don\'t mean to be crude, but the only difference between this game show and the \"actual\" daily life of a librarian is that the payoff is greater.\"Web Challenge has no rules regarding which search engine contestants use, or how many browser windows can be open simultaneously. Contestants bypass search engines and go directly to informational sites such as GolfDigest.com or the Internet Movie Database to get their answers. The first team to find the right answer wins $150. But if no one answers correctly within the two-minute time limit, the prize is forfeited.\" -- Read More

Hail (of) Clintonia

Brian sent in
This Story
From Computerworld.

EX-President Clinton will be
spending a lot of his time on his presidential library. IT
systems that will make it nearly impossible to fully
catalog his administration. They have 40 million e-mail
messages alone, a mere 15% of the library has been
indexed after 12 years.

\"

Free Schools and Libraries from Blocking Technologies

Public Information Campaign Announced to Free Schools and
Libraries from Blocking Technologies

A network of concerned organizations and prominent individuals
today released a joint statement opposing legislative requirements for school
and library Internet blocking technologies.

The statement came in response to legislation, signed into law as
part of an omnibus appropriations bill on December 21, 2000, which requires
all public schools and libraries participating in certain federal programs
to install Internet blocking technologies. The U.S. Congress passed the
blocking requirement contrary to the recommendations of a commission
studying the technology that was established as part of the earlier Child
Online Protection Act legislation. -- Read More

A look at the first lady

Bob Cox suggested An Interesting \"Interview\" with Laura Bush, from BettyBowers.com, that site that brought us Successfully getting Restraining Orders Against Intrusive Guardian Angels .

\"Mrs. Bush speaks to a group of Dallas housewives about how scrimping on plastic surgery can cause you to end up looking like a member of the Gang of Four.\"

Am I going to need to add a \"Laura Bush\" topic on LISNews?

American Libraries Disservice To Persons With Disability

Here\'s an Interesting Article by Joe Redman, no explanation by me needed.

\"American libraries, on the other hand, have a tradition of professed inclusion and equality. Mission statements and codes of ethics have fought against censorship and for intellectual freedom. Concerning persons with a disability however, libraries have shown an uncharacteristic conservative trend of exclusion, reflecting societies attitudes instead of setting an example for change. Libraries, from institutional to public, have often found themselves in the position of being the only contact many persons with a disability have with the outside world. Libraries have even had a tradition of subtle social activism. \"

Questions of Design

The NY Times has a nifty story on the growing field involved in the study of usability. Membership in the Usability Professionals\' Association, a professional society, now numbers nearly 1,700.
Nothing like a blown election to raise awareness!

Open Archives Initiative Protocol

The goal of the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (referred to as the OAI protocol in the remainder of this document) is to supply and promote an application-independent interoperability framework that can be used by a variety of communities who are engaged in publishing content on the Web. The OAI protocol described in this document permits metadata harvesting.

Harry Potter too dangerous for school library

The Age has a Story on The Christian Outreach College on the Sunshine Coast (in Australia) banning Harry. The man in charge said he only had to read one chapter from the latest book - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - and he had been exposed to four murders.

\"I believe these are dangerous stories, because the children are learning about murder and casting spells,\" Dr Gullo said.

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