FirsrSearch Statistcs Problem!

Bill Drew writes \"I just discovered and reported to OCLC a very critical error in the reports generated for FirstSearch Usage statistics. The tech support contact told me that they are aware of it and have been for some time. It is fixed with reports after this Month. They are unable (or unwilling) to fix it for statistics generated before that date. What I found was in doing the Searches Used report where individual databases are used, if a database was not used for the month I selected to generate the report on it does not appear in the report at all.

More....

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Feeling the Web

A short and simple article on haptic technology - hardware and software that endow digital objects with tactile qualities:

Although scientists are still far from simulating the feel of corduroy or velvet on the computer screen, haptics have made mainstream inroads in the past year. In August 2000, Logitech unveiled the iFeel Mouse and the iFeel MouseMan--the first mainstream mice to transmit vibrations when a person scrolls over a hypertext link on a Web page or passes the cursor over a pull-down menu . . .\"Touch is part of the trinity of the user experience of sight, sound and touch,\" said Bruce Schena, chief technical officer of Immersion. \"Several years from now, we\'ll think of the sense of touch as integral to the computer experience--the same way we think of sight and sound now.\"

More from CNET, with thanks to Slashdot.

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County to address sex books

From Alaska to Florida sex education books are upsetting
adults. This in from the Star Banner in Ocala, FL.\"Debate
over two
sexually explicit books geared toward young people has prompted
county commissioners to arrange a panel discussion designed to
ease perceived tension concerning the Marion County Library\'s
collection which includes both books.\" The books are
\"It\'s Perfectly Normal\" and \"Deal With It\". Full Story

\"It\'s Perfectly Normal\" was also challenged in Anchorage, AK as
posted in this
earlier story
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Porn access irks council

This article from Recordnet.com in Stockton, CA reports that
\"the City Council says it wants more control over what is offered
at the library in response to a Manteca resident\'s complaint that he
saw a man looking at pornographic materials on a library
computer in full view of children.\"

The patron who reported the offense asked, \"Does our library
need to come with a warning label like a pack of cigarettes?\"

Full Story

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That\'s Why I Go the Public Library, Where I Can Look Up Anything

Groan...After a brief vacation, which evaporated all too quickly, I\'ve found myself back at my desk under a mountain of e-mail which I suspect I\'ll have finished answering sometime after the next ice age. I did receive a link to the following story, however, which I have decided to share. David Grebe has written a column for the Ames (IA) Tribune entitled \"Worldwide Puritanism.\" He talks about employers cracking down on \"inappropriate use of the Internet,\" and how one little typo, such as inputting \".com\" rather than \".org,\" and haven\'t we all done it, may have resulted in a meeting of the minds at his workplace over the issue. Obviously, when Internet activity logs are maintained, such a \"boo-boo\" can result in a somewhat embarrassing incident, which, of course depends upon one\'s sense of humor. more...

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Giving Away E-Books to Sell the Printed Word

In the same year that the National Academy Press began offering 2,100 titles free through its web site, the
company also experienced a record growth in sales of printed books. How?
They acted on some simple but revolutionary insights into the way each medium is used:

It would seem axiomatic that giving away pages means that fewer people will buy the books, but that confuses the content with the product. Sugar, butter, flour, eggs, and vanilla are the contents of a pound cake, but quite obviously more than those contents is required to create something pleasing to the palate. It\'s clear to us that the material we publish -- the final printed book -- has a value quite distinct from the content itself, and a utility independent of any particular page. The handy, readable, formatted, bound volume is still the way most people want to read a book-length work . . . To my knowledge, no book by any publisher has ever sold less than expected because it was available free online.

More from the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Authors Give Parts in Novels to Highest Bidder

Ananova reports that authors are auctioning off parts in their new novels. This reminds me of a book of Mother Goose I had as a kid where my name had been printed in as the main characters\'. Apparently this is no joke, with Margaret Atwood, Terry Pratchett, Ken Follett, and Pat Barker signed on to participate. The auction is October 16th and proceeds go to charity. Reminds me of some of the more strange items auctioned on ebay.

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India Investing in Libraries, Web Access

The Indian government is investing in libraries in the southern state of Udupi:

All district libraries in the state would soon get computer and internet facilities, announced Babu Rao Chauhan, Minister for Adult Education and Libraries. He laid foundation stone to the Udupi District Library and commercial complex building here on Sunday. He said that the Udupi Library would be upgraded as City Central Library and would be renovated at a cost of Rs 45 lakhs. A purchase Committee has been setup for the bulk purchase of books and 20 per cent of that would be reserved for local writers, he added . . .

More from South Nexus.

The Future of Electronic Access to Scientific Literature: A Forum

Here\'s a helpful index of Nature\'s ongoing forum on the future of scientific publishing, including \"No Free Lunch,\" Martin Frank\'s intelligent critique of the Public Library of Science boycott:

The American Physiological Association objected to E-Biomed because it would have undermined both our ability to safeguard the integrity of journal contents and the economic viability of our scholarly journals and the service activities that they support. As with many other scholarly societies, APS uses journal revenues to run and subsidize other programmes, particularly in the areas of education, outreach to under-represented minorities, public affairs, student awards and scientific meetings. . .

Reading to kids is good

In a short interview in the Chicago Tribune, Jim Trelease, the author of Read-Aloud Handbook, talks about the benefits of reading to kids. Nice plug for libraries, too: "A public library card is a ticket to the richest entertainment a child\'s mind is ever going to have."

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A Loathsome Sequel to the DMCA

Cryptome has helpfully posted the text of the Security Systems Standards and Certification Act (SSSCA) which may actually be MORE odious than the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

It appears to require that computer manufacturers install government-approved filtering software on their equipment in a hamhanded attempt to prevent the exchange of private or copyrighted material:

The SSSCA and existing law work hand in hand to steer the market toward using only computer systems where copy protection is enabled. First, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act created the legal framework that punished people who bypassed copy protection -- and now, the SSSCA is intended to compel Americans to buy only systems with copy protection on by default . . .

More from Wired, with thanks to the always helpful Politech. There is also an informative thread on the SSSCA over at Slashdot.

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At Long Last, SoHo Lands a Library

The New York Public Library is planning to open a new branch in a converted 19th century chocolate factory in Manhattan.:

For the longtime residents who moved into SoHo in the 1970\'s, when the neighborhood was still largely a manufacturing district, the library is a long-sought triumph. \"It kind of represents that we\'re not a mall, we\'re not a center for tourism, we\'re a real neighborhood,\" said [resident] Sean Sweeney . . .

More from the New York Times (registration required.)

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EFF: Canadian DMCA in the Works

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has issued a call to arms regarding proposed changes to the Copyright Act that mirror many provisions
of the DMCA:

Canadian citizens, and others, are urged to contact the Canadian government and express their opposition to legislation, similar to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) in the U.S., that would outlaw circumvention of technological restrictions put in place by copyright holders. The Canadian government is accepting public comment until September 15, 2001 on its proposed \"Consultation Paper on Digital Copyright Issues\" which considers such measures. . . Canada is considering adopting anti-circumvention legislation in response to the World Intellectual Property Organization\'s (WIPO) 1996 Copyright Treaty. This treaty, however, does not require enacting national legislation that outlaws technology with many lawful uses. Given the dismal US experience with the DMCA, other countries should learn from and steer clear of the U.S. Congress\'s mistake.

More with thanks to Politech. The public comment period on modifications to the Copyright Acts ends 9/15/01. My apologies in advance for the icon-related cultural imperialism displayed here ;)

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Middle English Dictionary Project Complete

After 71 years, the Middle English Dictionary Project has born fruit:

The dictionary covers 15,000 pages and includes more than 55,000 entries. The numerous meanings and usages are illustrated with 900,000 quotations ranging from the time of William the Conqueror to the advent of printing. They come from Chaucer, the stories of King Arthur and early Bibles, as well as contemporary letters, wills and remarkably detailed medical treatises.

The Middle English Dictionary is \"a labor of love . . . that is practically unrivaled in scale by any historical dictionary project of the modern era--and perhaps of any reference work project as well,\" said Richard Ekman, a former officer with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which since 1975 has provided the bulk of the financing for the $22-million project. . .

More from the Los Angeles Times . Thanks to Slashdot.

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Library Card Sign-up Month!

Did you know that September is Library Card Sign-up Month? This story from the Poughkeepsie Journal was news to me and the ALA\'s official page will tell you all about it.

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The first National Book Festival

It\'s the first National Book Festival. It takes place on Saturday, September 8, on the grounds of the Library of Congress and the U.S. Capitol, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and will celebrate the joys of reading.

The Have a WebCast if you can\'t make it.

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Article contributors wanted

Librarian career development newsletter Info Career Trends is seeking article contributors. The immediate need is for the November issue on \"networking and mentoring,\" but queries are also welcome for future issues. For more information, see the web page
- click on \"Contributor Guidelines\" for more on contributing and a list of upcoming themes. Back issues and an online subscription form are also accessible from this page.
Rachel, the editor, mentioned that the theme of January\'s issue will be \"keeping current\" and she thought some of the LISNews authors might have something to say, hint, hint!

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The Future of Digital Scientific Literature

A heavily hypertexted article that argues for \"experimentation and a lack of dogmatism\" as scientific publishing undergoes a sea change:

\"The Internet is easier to invent than to predict\" is a maxim that time has proven to be a truism. Much the same might be said of scientific publishing on the Internet, the history of which is littered with failed predictions. Technological advance itself will, of course, bring dramatic changes — and it is a safe bet that bright software minds will punctually overturn any vision. But it is becoming clear that developing common standards will be critical in determining both the speed and extent of progress towards a scientific web . . .

More from Nature, with thanks to the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog.

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Drinks yes, food no

The Park Ridge (Illinois) public library has ended its summer trial of allowing food in the library. Patrons are still permitted to consume non-alcoholic beverages, though. Story in the Chicago Tribune.

One Book, One Chicago Update

Always alert Bob Cox sent along This Story from the Chicago Tribune on The citywide \"One Book, One Chicago\" program.
The Mockingbird has flown off the shelves at book stores and libraries around Chicago Land, and a daily, e-mail quiz on the book is being conducted in the Office of Budget and Management in Chicago City Hall.
The windy city has certainly taken wing to this book.

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