Why the Internet Doesn\'t Change Everything

HBS Working Knowledge has an interesting Story by Debora L. Spar on the changes the internet has brought, and why they aren\'t entirely different from other changes we\'ve seen in the past.

This was Excerpted from her book, Ruling the Waves: Cycles of Discovery, Chaos, and Wealth from the Compass to the Internet.

\"The one thing that I think will be most dramatic, though, is the ability of the Internet to sneak information around the governments who would be most likely to try to stop its flow.\"


Auburn, NY Citizens to Read Same Book

In a wave that seems to be sweeping the country, citizens of Auburn, NY have been asked to read the same book. The chosen title is, \"A Lesson Before Dying\" by Ernest Gaines. The objective of the program, according to the chairwoman is \"to get people talking about a common experience. This will bring individuals, who might not have ever had the opportunity to meet each other, together to share their feelings and come to know each other in a relatively neutral setting while talking about the same topic.\" Some other cities around the country who have started this type of program include Chicago, Seattle, Rochester, Buffalo, Cleveland, Toledo, and more. More


Librarian Surrenders to Authorities

An Illinois librarian has surrendered to authorities after a warrant was issued for her arrest for allegedly stealing money from the library. She submitted a letter of resignation to her board of trustees in September, but after an investigation into the alleged theft, she was removed from her post prior to the date her resignation was to become effective. More


Library District Disappears, Like Magic

In hopes that support for the Magic Sage Library District project would come to fruition, an Idaho organization, through a federal grant created a \"demonstration\" organization in order to expand library services to some communities outside the cities of Burley and Rupert. When it came to securing precious tax dollars to provide ongoing support for the District, the measure was defeated. The board dissolved the district and is returning the unused portion of the federal funds. Residents outside the city limits, who were able to use free library cards as part of the \"demonstration,\" will have to purchase
non-resident library cards. More


Want to Get Your Kids to Read? Get Them a Dog

There\'s a new library program that\'s being promoted across the country. It involves children, books and dogs. The program is designed to strengthen children\'s reading skills by having them read aloud to man\'s best friend. More


Libraries May be Going Out of Business

Two Indiana libraries may be forced to shut their doors due to a loss of funding. Tax money collected from a local steel mill has provided about half of the libraries\' operating funds, up until now. Attempts are being made to secure emergency funds through the state. Apprently, cutting staff, hours and programs isn\'t enough. \"The library froze hiring, ceased purchasing new materials and cancelled a number of standing orders. Officials have resorted to making copies on the back sides of already used copy paper.\" More


The Invisible Web

This one comes by way of LLRX. It\'s a book review by Donna Cavallini, Manager of Competitive Knowledge with the law firm of Kilpatrick Stockton. She discusses in her review, a book entitled \"The Invisible Web: Uncovering Information Sources Search Engines Can’t See.\" by Chris Sherman (search engine watch) and Gary Price (virtual acquisition shelf & news desk). The book talks about the vast amount of information on the web that can\'t be retrieved via search engine spiders, for various reasons, ranging from business matters to technological ones. According to the review, the book is intended to \"empower searchers to surmount these obstacles, in part by explaining the technical reasons why search engines otherwise inexplicably fail to return relevant results, and in part by providing a directory of selected subject-specific tools for accessing this valuable hidden web content.\" More

\'Harry Potter\' Movie Debuts Across U.S.

So the big Harry Potter movie opened today, not like you need me to tell you that. If you haven\'t had enough, I\'d recommend Yahoo! Movies for all the Hot Harry Action you can stand.

They have News, Reviews and much More than I can handle.

If you saw it, or are seeing it this weekend, and would like to contribute a review, please let us know.


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.

Full Story


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.

Full Release


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



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