How and Why Are Libraries Changing?

Denise A. Troll, Distinguished Fellow at the Digital Library Federation has a draft of How and Why Are Libraries Changing? posted.

\"The purpose of this paper is to initiate discussion among a small group of university and college library directors being convened by the Digital Library Federation (DLF) and the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) to explore how and why libraries and library use are changing. This exploration is envisioned as the first step in a larger initiative that includes conducting research and presenting the research results to library directors, their provosts, presidents and faculty.\"

Sometimes I think Cam wants to be a librarian.

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New Bibliomystery set at the New York Public Library

Matt writes \"The Christian Science Monitor\'s review of Allen Kurzweil\'s new bibliomystery.
The Grand Complication has enough librarian stereotypes to go around. However, the main character, a cataloger named Alexander Short, certainly reminds me of some of the characters I\'ve met in library school and beyond.

Full Story

My personal favorite of this sort of thing is Charles A. Goodrum\'s Dewey Decimated. \"

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Academic Face/Off on DMCA

Brian Surratt writes \"This article from the Chronicle of Higher Education discusses two Carnegie Mellon professors who are on opposite sides of the DMCA debate. David S. Touretzky (Anti-DMCA) is notable for maintaining the Gallery of CSS Descramblers at his college at CMU, Michael I. Shamos, was paid $30,000 by the Motion Picture Association to conduct experiments and provide testimony to support DMCA in court. The saga is far from over... \"

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Are Libraries the Next Napster?

Junk e-mail goddess strikes again. See what you miss when you\'re on vacation? It took me like 2 days to find the link to this from an e-mail message. God knows I\'d hate to be accused of lifting something verbatim. Anyway, every now and again, library stuff makes it into major news publications. Anyone seen Time lately? Someone is suggesting that we may be the next Napster. How so? Weren\'t we here first? Like over a hundred years first? more... if you really want it.

Government archive launched by the British Library

Charles Davis writes \"An internet archive of government papers dating
back to 1688 has been launched by the British
Library and 10 universities.
BOPCRIS, a site with 23,000 official documents,
offers insights into the processes of officialdom and
shows how little some things have changed.
A report to the Commons in 1718 warns of a
hackney carriage gridlock in Westminster. Another,
from the 1920s, recommends a farmers\' insurance
scheme against foot and mouth. The site address is
bopcris.ac.uk \"

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SearchShots provides Screenshot Previews of Search

Matt writes \"According to iaslash.org Searchshots.com provides screenshots for 1.3 million results. Uses the Open Directory project for the backend database.

Check out This for a sample from the library section.
\"


Also a somewhat related story from About.com on Searching the Web Like a Map and the tools you can use.

Librarians Quest for Benefits Yields Unkind Words

It\'s sad to think, in this day and age, that there are many professionals out there who not only go to work every day for a salary that is just about the same as the poverty level, but many also have no benefits. Some librarians at the Clermont County Library (FL) have decided to try to change that. Recently they set out to gather signatures on a petition. Although they gained quite a few, some folks were less than receptive to the cause. more... from The Orlando Sentinel.

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They Do Exist...

What a riot! Okay, anyone who knows me at all knows why I have no choice but to post this story ... I never knew there was such an institution as the International Motorsports Hall of Fame Library, let alone one so devoted to NASCAR. According to the executive director of the IMHF, \"it\'s the most comprehensive library on racing there is in the world. There\'s nothing else like it.\" I want that job. Go 22! more...

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Libraries Threatened By Globalization?

Just to tie librarianship to yet another vast and baffling issue, here\'s Fiona Hunt\'s essay on the implications of globalization for libraries:

Public libraries are in the public domain, supported by public taxes. Imagine an information services company entering a market and demanding the same subsidies and tax support that public libraries get. It would be entitled to do so under national treatment rules, providing it can prove itself to be the same kind of operation. The government\'s most likely response would be to cut back on or eliminate public funding to libraries so as to avoid similar claims in the future. Libraries could find themselves forced to generate income to survive. The worst case scenario is that, without public funding, libraries could disappear altogether. The public would then be required to buy their information from information companies or from libraries, if libraries could stay afloat by charging for their services. Either way, the public would find itself paying for information that was once in the public domain. [More from the Progressive Librarian]

Also check out Rory\'s earlier posting on this subject.

U.S. Fair Use Primer

Georgia K. Harper\'s brief and useful introduction to U.S. copyright law, with a focus on fair use and the D.M.C.A.:

The balance that copyright law has achieved between the interests of copyright owners and the interests of the public has evolved slowly and has been only periodically adjusted. Today, however, the pace and the magnitude of change threaten to skew this balance to the point of collapse. Some of these changes -- licenses, access controls, certain provisions in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) -- have the potential to drastically undermine the public right to access information, to comment on events, and even to share information with others.

More from the Journal of Electronic Publishing . Harper\'s earlier article \"Fair Use of Copyrighted Materials\" provides additional information on the tests used to determine fair use.

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Could Librarians Have Prevented a Death?

Helga sent along This Infotoday story on a death at Johns Hopkins’.

They say that evidence of the chemical’s dangers could easily have been found in the published literature. The Dr. , made \"a good-faith effort\" to research the drug’s adverse effects, using PubMed, butPrevious articles published in the 1950s, warned of lung damage associated with the drug. A previous article on this asked the question, \"Could Librarians’ Help Have Prevented Hopkins Tragedy?\"

The answer to that question is a resounding \"Yes.\"

Here Comes The Competition

The ever helpful Bob Cox sent along This Story from universitybusiness.com on new for-profit digital libraries.

They start by saying \"IF THERE IS ONE INSTITUTION on a college campus that has never faced outside competition, it is the library.\"

Now any number of a half-dozen companies would like to undermine the library\'s monopoly. They cover all the usual suspects, Questia, ebrary, netLibrary, XanEdu, and Jones.

As You Lick It

Are Shakespeare and adult entertainment incompatible? Not hardly, says Prof. Richard Burt. \"He\'s even written a screenplay called Shrew You!, which he believes is the first lesbian adaptation of Taming of the Shrew.\"

Lingua Franca gives us the scoop on titillating literature...

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Growing pains for the Information Age

Brian Surratt writes \"The New York Times has an interesting article today about how scientists are (again) debating the nature of information. The article states that simple sets of information can create complex systems because of the way data relates to itself. For example, simple genomic information results in complex organisims. The article is Here but the NYT requires registration to access the site. \"

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South Carolina\'s Mandatory Filtering Law

Brian Surratt writes \"The State Library of South Carolina has put the enforcement of the state\'s new filtering law on hold while it looks to the Attorney Generals office to clarify it. The law applies to public and school libraries (excluding those of \"higher learning.\") The law itself fails to satisify local systems for being both too restrictive and too lax. It stipulates that 1 or 10% of computers should remain unfiltered, but all others must be filtered. The Richland County public library system prefers to keep more computers unfiltered, while the Lexington County system wants to filter all computers. An article is available online at Here \"

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Canada Considering Modification of Copyright Laws

The Canadian government is considering modifying the Copyright Act to address digital copyright issues:

In order for Canada to be an important player in the emerging digital economy, the Copyright Act may need to be amended to ensure that it continues to be meaningful, clear and balanced. In particular, the examination of key digital copyright issues is necessary to fully realize the government\'s priority of promoting the dissemination of new and interesting content on-line, for and by Canadians. The departments believe it is now an opportune moment to initiate consultation with stakeholders on whether the Act should be amended to:

1. Set out a new exclusive right in favour of copyright owners, including performers and record producers, to make their works available on-line to the public;

2. Prevent the circumvention of technologies used to protect copyright material; and,

3. Prohibit tampering with rights management information.
Another important issue relates to the circumstances under which Internet service providers should be held liable for the transmission and storage of copyright material when their facilities are involved. At present, the Act does not clearly identify the conditions for imposing liability, nor does it explicitly limit such liability. [More]

The public comment period ends September 15th. Thanks to Waterloo Wide Web.

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Dmitry Sklyarov: Friend of Publishers?

Open Source Definition author Bruce Perens argues that Dmitry Sklyarov has done publishers a favor by exposing the glaring flaws in the encryption software they trust to protect their content:

E-book publishers might think of jailed Russian cryptanalyst Dimitry Sklyarov as their worst enemy... until they see his slide show. While publishers fret over the potential of illegal copies of their books, Sklyarov\'s presentation reveals that they could be ripped off in an unexpected way: by producers of astonishingly inept cryptography software. Sklyarov is in jail for revealing that secret. [More from ZDNet.]

Thanks to Robot Wisdom.

British Library to Receive Ted Hughes letters

Matt Eberle writes \"The British Library will receive over 140 letters written by Ted Hughes to Keith Sagar. Some of the letters touch on Hughes\' relationship with Sylvia Plath, blaming anti-depressants for her suicide. The letters will eventually be on display in the library.

Full Story from The BBC\"

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Is Distributed Computing a Crime?

For ZDNet News, Lisa Bowman writes...

\"David McOwen is losing a lot of sleep these days over his decision to participate in a distributed computing project two years ago. The former computer administrator at DeKalb Technical College in Georgia found out recently that he could face up to 30 years in jail and fines totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars because he installed some distributed computing software on the school\'s computers.\"
more...

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E-Book Saga Is Full of Woe

The LATimes is running an interesting Story on the troubles with eBooks.

Flaccid sales, legal battles, technology, and slow consumer sales all seem to be trouble for the companies trying to make a buck.
It seems like they are becoming more popular in libraries now, are they being checked out?

\"There\'s only one place e-books are popular: the courtroom,\" said publishing consultant Lorraine Shanley\"

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