Submitted by Ryan on September 4, 2001 - 5:01pm
One of the many interesting articles that have appeared in the new journal portal: Libraries and the Academy:
Ideally, advances in information technology could be used to improve access to information resources and promote the discovery of new knowledge, to improve educational opportunities, or simply to enhance the free flow of information essential to an informed citizenry. But in the new economy, these salutary outcomes are often forced to take a back seat to the proprietary interests of an steadily shrinking handful of multinational corporations whose overriding interest, unfortunately for public policy, is the extraction of profit from information resources.
A striking example concerns the distribution of educational reading materials in the higher education environment . . .
More. The article appears only to be accessible if your institution has paid for access to Project Muse.
Submitted by Blake on September 4, 2001 - 2:47pm
The NYTimes has a nice Story on the guy that invented \"cookies\", Lou Montulli. He was employee #9 at Netscape... Just imagine those stock options! He left Netscape in 1998, a millionaire many times over to create epinions.com and they say he has since left that company as well.
It\'s a good story for a little piece of web history, and they also cover all the privacy troubles with cookies.
\"A recent survey by Public Opinion Strategies, a Republican polling organization, found that 67 percent of Americans identify online privacy as a big concern — far more than those who identify fighting crime (55 percent) or building an antimissile shield (22 percent).\"
Submitted by Matt on September 4, 2001 - 1:18pm
This story from the International Herald Tribune: Bulgari payed novelist Fay Weldon for use of the Bulgari name in her new novel The Bulgari Connection. While Bulgari had originally ordered a special printing of the book, it has been picked up by Grove/Atlantic. The book was written in around 6 months and is about 200 pages short.
Both publishers and marketers are enthusiastic about the possibilities if this particular experiment takes off. What\'s next? Harry Potter and the [Insert Product with the Biggest Ad Budget Here]?
Submitted by Jill on September 4, 2001 - 12:45pm
This editorial in the Seattle Times responds the the articles about libraries becoming day cares. Denise Ward writes: \"To those who say the library is a \"great place for kids,\" and everyone should be welcome, I say No, the library is not for everyone.\"
Submitted by Blake on September 4, 2001 - 9:36am
Jonathan Wallace has written another critical look at N2H2 called N2H2\'s Weak AI. It takes a detailed look at the company\'s claims of \"robust\", \"state of the art\" artificial intelligence. Can N2H2\'s software (or anyone) tell the difference between a prurient story and a scholarly essay about sexuality? He interviewed experts in AI and took a look both at the company\'s claims for its products and at their actual performance.
In the first article in this series profiling censorware vendor N2H2 Inc. of Seattle, he concluded that the company, which is unprofitable, running out of cash and facing NASDAQ delisting, must leverage its technology to survive. N2H2 is a tech company, and it has nothing else to sell.
Submitted by Blake on September 4, 2001 - 9:17am
Someone writes \"Librarians are always hearing wild, wonderful and flimsy excuses for the late return of books.
But former student Mohamed Bokreta could only write of his \"juvenile and youthful wicked whims\" after returning a book to South Thames College in London after 24 years...
Full Story \"
He went on to say :\"I am seeking both apologies and pardon from my dear friends, the respected college principal and his brave librarian staff\".
I just returned one about 11 years over due I found when I moved, ouch.
Submitted by Blake on September 4, 2001 - 9:14am
Steven Bell writes \"On 9/3/01 the Philadelphia Inquirer reported a story about a surburan Public Library, in Abington Township, that held a retirement party for its library pet, a turtle called Eltrut. This would be a fairly standard story, but the Inquirer actually identified the turtle as a librarian. As if our public image wasn\'t bad enough, and the public didn\'t already think that everyone who worked in the library was a librarian, now the Inquirer refers to the library pet as a librarian. The story is found
Submitted by Ryan on September 4, 2001 - 12:56am
An interesting article on a wildly popular program for decrypting Microsoft e-books, and why publishers\' insistance on overly strict copyright control may doom the e-book as a popular medium:
It\'s easy to load a small library of electronic books into your laptop or handheld organizer and carry it with you on the bus or to the beach. But try to make backup copies of those same e-books or loan one to a friend, and you\'ll run smack into the digital equivalent of an electrified fence. The problem is that once a literary work has been liberated from the printed page, it\'s potentially vulnerable to unlimited digital piracy—a danger that makes most e-book publishers insist on strict software controls to prevent anyone but the purchaser from opening an e-book file . . . Until software makers and publishers can figure out how to protect their e-books without treating all readers like thieves, in other words, the summer of beach-blanket e-books may never materialize.
More from Technology Review.
Submitted by Ryan on September 3, 2001 - 11:50pm
Here\'s a press release from BioMed Central with information on the first free, peer-review scientific journals to emerge in the wake of the Public Library of Science boycott:
Today BioMed Central announces the first group of research journals to be launched in a new publishing initiative. This initiative is designed to allow groups of researchers to publish online journals representing their community and to offer free access to the research articles within these new journals. The journals will use BioMed Central\'s established publishing infrastructure, comprising an online submission system, electronic tools for peer-review, and the ability to publish accepted articles in both PDF and HTML formats. The peer-reviewed research articles in these journals will be indexed in the National Library of Medicine\'s bibliographic database, PubMed (widely used by researchers, clinicians and the general public) and deposited without delay in PubMed Central, the electronic repository of complete publications. . .
More. Thanks to the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog.
Submitted by Ben on September 3, 2001 - 10:03pm
Slashdotters are discussing the 2001 Hugo awards, which include J.K. Rowling\'s latest tome Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire as Best Novel. Although Hugo awards often go to \"hard\" science fiction, fantasy is of course also a part of speculative fiction (sf). It\'s nice to see a novel that\'s accessible to both sf fans and children (and no comments from the peanut gallery, please, about the two groups being identical).
Submitted by Jill on September 3, 2001 - 9:01pm
Wayne Risher from the Memphis, TN
Appeal news writes: \"Like it or not,
day cares, hangouts and meeting spots, as well as
places for bookish pursuits. \"
The Central Library will be closing for two months to
move to a new building. Parents and kids are having to
find other \"day care\" options. Day care centers have
noticed a slight increase in enrollment.
\"A couple of parents have told me they\'re signing up
because the library is closing,\" said Thomas. \"I think
we\'re going to get a lot.\"
Submitted by Jill on September 3, 2001 - 8:25pm
This from Japan reporting that the Tottori
Prefectural Library was found to have lost 6400
volumes since it opened in 1990. In recent months
several libraries have reported losses. They are
considering installing a Book Detection
The Asahi Shimbun reports:
\"The prefecture\'s administrative surveillance team
was brought in, with the governor\'s strict orders to get to
the bottom of the matter. Governor Yoshihiro Katayama
apologized in public for his own ``supervisory
oversight,\'\' and served a written warning to the chief
Submitted by Jill on September 3, 2001 - 8:06pm
This article reports on the state of filtering in the
Eastern Shores Library System in Sheboygan County
WI. They say they will stop accepting e-rate grants
rather than add filters. They are trying other popular
monitoring techniques such as placing terminals near
reference desks and using time limits.
ANNE DAVIS of the Journal Sentinel writes:
\"Placement of the terminals was a key factor in the
library board\'s decision not to install filters, she
Submitted by Jill on September 3, 2001 - 7:44pm
From ALICE DuBOIS
at the New York Times - A nice
synopsis in of internet search techniques, tools and
tips. With advice from librarian, Ms. Osofsky, from the
\"People think with the Internet, you push a button and
get an answer,\" says Marcia Osofsky, a librarian at the
New York Public Library telephone reference desk.\"
Submitted by Ryan on September 2, 2001 - 10:31am
Baltimore citizens said a sad goodbye Saturday to five city libraries shuttered by budget cuts:
Yesterday, the last day in the lives of five city libraries, played to a small but sad audience.
As Carla D. Hayden, director of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, made a farewell tour to thank librarians in all five branches she chose for closure, many people paid their last respects to beloved neighborhood beacons in all corners of Baltimore, from Pimlico to Fells Point.
One woman from far outside the city made a pilgrimage to her past . . . \"This was my childhood library,\" she said. \"I\'m a librarian because of it. I could walk here.\"
More from the Baltimore Sun.
Submitted by Jill on September 1, 2001 - 9:02pm
Just the other day this article
here appeared about South Carolina ordering filters on library
computers. Guess what? The order said libraries had to
filter all BUT 10% of their computers. So now some library systems
have to take filters OFF of at least one computer to
the order. JESSICA FLATHMANN from the Charlotte
Observer says: \"Area public libraries are removing
pornography-blocking software from some of their Internet
computers because of a new state law.\" Full Story
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.