Censorship: Taking Choices Away From Adults

Charles Levendosky has written an excellent piece on censorship.


The campaign season often gives rise to dumb ideas. Weeks ago, the
FBI
released statistics showing that youth and school violence is at its
lowest level in more than a decade. Yet, members of Congress chose
this
month to blame the film and television industries for rising teen
violence.

The message to Hollywood: Get rid of the violence on your own, or
we\'ll
pass legislation that does it for you. The political chorus was
joined
by Democratic candidate for president Al Gore, his running mate,
Joseph
Lieberman, and Lynne Cheney, wife of Republican vice presidential
nominee Dick Cheney.

Politicians don\'t believe the American people can find the off button
on
their television sets.


There is pleanty more, be sure to read on... -- Read More

More Stupid Trademarks

Wired has a Story on the company Gemstar-TV Guide International, which licenses the technology for e-books to Thomson Mulitmedia, appling to trademark the stand-alone word \"EBOOK\" as well as the name \"Gemstar EBOOK\". I think I\'ll trademark the word book.

\"The term e-book has a generic meaning in the industry and to the general public, said trademark lawyer Laura Hein of the Minneapolis law firm Gray Plant Mooty. She said a fundamental principle of trademark law is that in order to qualify, the word one chooses needs to identify the source of the product or the services rather than the product or the service itself. \"

$60 Million For LOC

Washingtonpost.com is one of the places with the Story on the big gift to the LOC. Nice guy John Kluge is giving $60 million To The Library of Congress.
The donation will establish the John W. Kluge Center for scholars and a $1 million annual prize for lifetime achievement in scholarly endeavors.


\"We must do more to bridge existing information gaps between academia and government,\" Rep. Bill Thomas said yesterday. \"Mr. Kluge\'s generous gift to the Library of Congress will help us do just that.\"

Creating Useful Knowledge Structures

Knowledge Management Mag has an Article that caught my eye because of the opening line. \"Lessons from library science and architecture inform today\'s Web designs\". They talk with Louis Rosenfeld, president of Argus Associates [He\'s got an MLS] about information architecture and all sorts of cool tredny stuff.

\"Rosenfeld...\"We could see that the information technology revolution was going to create some problems,\" he recalls of the early days of the discipline. \"We saw an opportunity to do the kinds of things that librarians had been doing for centuries in ways to make them work in the new digital world.\"

So it turns out librarians are still usefull, but now we can be called \"Information Architects\", that has a nice ring to it. Looking for a new job?

Judging E-Books by Their Printers

The Industry Standard has some rather interesting Observations on the Frankfurt e-book awards. They say the books are available in digital format, BUT most of titles first gained attention as print books, and easily obtained by walking into a bookstore [or a library]. The finalists for the award are listed Here.

\"Microsoft paid for these awards, and it\'s pretty obvious they rely on big publishers to provide content for MS Reader,\" says Connie Foster, who runs the e-publisher Ebooksonthe.net in Bar Harbor, Maine. \"There was never any intention of awarding the independent publishers. This was just one big marketing ploy.\"

Tell us about your digital divide initiative

The Digital Divide Network is beginning the
groundwork to develop a searchable, national
database of public Internet
access points and other local digital divide initiatives.
Users will be able
to input their location and find out what\'s going on in
their community
regarding the digital divide. We\'ve partnered with a
range of national
organizations and government entities, including the
American Library
Association, the US Departments of Education and
Commerce, HUD, PowerUp, and
other institutions to gather the latest information on the
types of digital
divide initiatives available in each community across
the US.

digitaldividenetwork.org/database-form.adp

There is more... -- Read More

Toward a Family-Friendly Library

Family.org has a
Page with a number of resources for the
pro-filtering camp. Includes \"\'HEIDI BORTON’S
STORY\", the librarian turned filtering activist, and a News Release that goes after the ALA for
Banned Books Week.

\"Banned Books Week is a
fraud,\" said Dick Carpenter, Education Policy Analyst for
Focus on the Family. \"Nothing is banned. There are no
book burnings. -- Read More

The Al Capone of Cartography

An unrealted (or is it?) stolen map Story from ABC. They talk
about a
just-published book about the notorious map thief,
Gilbert Bland. The
book \"The Island of Lost Maps,\" by Miles Harvey
states some reasons that Bland was able to get
away with what he did, and some of the reasons
involved for his actions. They also talk about the
librarians at the various institutions he
plundered, as well as police and university officials.

\"The allure of antique maps is even stronger,
not just for their art and craft — renderings of far-off
lands, decorated by wind-blowing gods, sea monsters,
naked Amazons or other imaginary attractions — but for
the possibilities that lie beyond their limited or
guessed-at boundaries.\"

A New Kind of Illiteracy

MSNBC has a Story on a report from The Gartner Group on the digital divide. They say that 75 percent of U.S. households would be linked to the Internet by 2005, up from 50 percent today. That\'s the good news. The bad news is millions will not be \"Wired\". I\'m not sure if they took into account your friendly neighborhood library.

\"The fate of the 50 million adults who will suddenly find themselves functionally \'illiterate\' in the new economy is an issue of profound importance,\" -- Read More

Legislating Property of the Mind

Wired has an Interview with Representative Howard Berman who is the ranking Democrat on the House subcommittee on courts and intellectual property. He talks about the important issues in this area today.

\"The original vision of copyright law that is specifically referenced in our Constitution was designed to create a system that creators of tangible property, of books and other art forms, have a period of time where they can get compensated for that effort. They are given a property right in their creation on the theory that if that didn\'t happen, nobody would have the incentive to create anymore. It was just a simple recognition of the need to have some protection as an incentive to creators.

Rare African maps stolen from S.Africa library

CNN has this story about rare maps stolen from a university library in South Africa.\"Fifteen maps were stolen on Saturday from the William Cullen Library at the University of the Witwatersrand. They are extremely rare and extremely valuable,\" Dr. Alan Crump, a professor of fine arts at the university, told Reuters.\" -- Read More

...and throw away the key

Here is an article from the Belleville News-Democrat. It seems that everytime they fire someone at this library, they change the locks.\" Early Monday morning, several members of the library\'s Board of Trustees walked into the library\'s main branch on East Washington Street and told Director of Adult Services Michele Bruss that she was fired, effective immediately, and that she had 15 minutes to clean out her desk. While Bruss hurried to gather her belongings, a locksmith changed the locks on the building.\" -- Read More

Blume Most Challenged Author

Freedomforum.org has an Interview with Author Judy Blume. She\'s also the author of five of \"the 100 most frequently challenged books of the decade\" of the 1990s, so she knows a thing or two about censorship. She appears most often on that list. It\'s a great lengthy interview, and worth a read.

\"The pattern of targeting books adds up to three \"S\" words: sexuality, swearing and Satan, she noted.

\"Long, long, long, long before Harry Potter, I would go out and speak about the three S\'s,\" she said \"And that\'s been true for a very long time. People would choose to ban books — Satan\'s been there.\"

What\'s Next: Bookster?

Wired has a Story related to the Docster idea from OSS4LIB.org. The big concern at an book conference hosted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, was of course Piracy. They 50 percent of all new books will be electronic in form within 10 years and piracy could cripple the market. Let\'s hope piracy doesn\'t = library. -- Read More

Measuring electronic resource use and the network

Marcia Geyer writes \"I am seeking information (and willing to share what I receive so we\'ll all be better aware). The subject of my inquiry is, what are other academic libraries or the university I.T. staffs that support them doing to measure utilization of their local LAN and licensed gateway resources? I\'d like to establish contact with anyone who is doing measurement of either the information resources being used or the server and library\'s network resources being \"spent\" to support the information retrieval through the library -- even better, any attempts to correlate information access and resources used to facilitate it.

Read on for the details... -- Read More

Suit Considers Computer Files

A Parent in Exeter, NH has started alawsuit that could determine whether a computer file that tracks Internet use in a New Hampshire public school is a public document, similar in spirit to school budgets and the minutes of school board meetings. The NY Times has the Full Story.

\"Parents have a right to see which textbooks are being used in class and which books are on the school library shelves,\" Knight, who is 44, said in an interview. \"If certain Internet Web sites are also part of the curriculum, then it\'s the prerogative of parents to see those as well.\"

Public library Internet study Results

The U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science (NCLIS) announces the completion of the sixth public library Internet study. Public Libraries and the Internet 2000: Summary Findings and Data Tables was prepared by Dr. John Carlo Bertot and Dr. Charles R. McClure for NCLIS. The summary findings of the 2000 study are available Here (It\'s a PDF)

A few results:

Internet connectivity in public libraries is 95.7%, up from 83.6% reported in the 1998 study. Ninety-four point five (94.5) percent of public libraries provide public access to the Internet. Suburban libraries saw the largest increase in connectivity, reporting a 20% increase in public Internet connectivity since 1998. Public library outlets have nearly doubled the number of public access workstations since 1998. Seventy-five (75) percent of public library outlets have eight or fewer workstations as compared to four or fewer in 1998.

Studio B Buzz -- Patents, UCITA

Today it\'s all about legal stuff in the B Buzz
Highlights. There\'s a Slashdot discussion on UCITA on
whether or not it applies to printed books, and Amazon
takes its patent battle to an appeals court. Read on.. -- Read More

Outgrowing old buildings thanks to the Internet

The St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times reports that its local libraries are doing unexpectedly well -- so well, in fact, that several libraries will have to build new facilities soon. The article credits the Internet explosion and also touts libraries as a meeting place.

When the library opened in 1992, some residents questioned the need for such a facility. It would go unused, some said.

Eight years later, city officials said they have been \"astounded\" by the thousands of people who have passed through the library\'s glass doors. The library, which officials once thought would last decades, is running out of space to accommodate its many users.

\"It\'s been a surprise for the city,\" said library director Michael Bryan.

(Full disclosure: yes, the libraries mentioned are members of my employer, and boy are we proud.)

Spanish language access to library materials

Prudence Cendoma Writes:


At the beginning of August,
I posted to several library listservs requesting data for
my research on
Spanish subject access to information. Unfortunately, I
have not been able to collect enough data from the 36
responses I received. However, the information I have
gathered so far is leading me
into some interesting territory, and I would like to
continue my research. I
thought perhaps if I posted some preliminary findings
and brief background
information it would generate more interest in my
research project.

You can read on for more
details, or go directly to the online survey at:
www
.pitt.edu/~pacst50/spansurvey2.htm
-- Read More

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