Speech Not Free When Information is Confidential

A grocer is suing an individual who allegedly posted trade secrets on a Yahoo message board. Yahoo has been subpeonaed to release the writer\'s identity. According to the article, \"Yahoo, by law, must notify the person who wrote the comments, and then that person has an opportunity to go to court to seek an injunction blocking their identification. If that person does not respond, Yahoo would turn over the information.\" When someone calls the disclosed information \"confidential,\" \"proprietary,\" or \"secret,\" First Amendment rules and protections don\'t apply. No word from the EFF on this one yet. more... from NewsBytes


Lawyer Claims New library Building will Sully her View

Some folks in Coeur d\'Alene, Idaho are battling it out over the proposed location of a new library building. An attorney is complaining that the location of the new building will ruin her view (life should be so tough) and cause the firm to lose money. The firm is also saying that construction of the controversial building may force them to move their offices. When the mayor asked the attorney why she never attended any of the other four public forums which had been held previously for citizens to voice their opinions, her response was, \"I\'m here now.\" I wonder if this means she won\'t be applying for a library card? more... from The Spokesman Review.


Ex-employee Files Whistleblower Suit Against Detroit Library

For The Detroit News, Daren Nichols writes...

\"David Gates, the former chief accountant who accused the nation\'s 21st largest library of mismanaging $4.2 million of grant money, has filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the Detroit Public Library. The lawsuit accuses the Detroit Public Library of terminating Gates after he found library administrators were recording funding from endowments and gifts separately from the institution\'s general fund. The suit said Gates was fired June 7 \"after he was about to report violations or suspected violations of state and/or federal law to local, state and/or federal employees.\" According to the attorney representing Gates, \"Somebody is padding something somewhere.\" more...


Virginia Weighs Money For Special Collections Library

Although acknowledging it as a high priority, Governor James Gilmore has not decided whether the state will fund the construction of a new special collections library for the University of Virginia:

Money for the special collections library was among $275 million in state funding for capital projects not already under contract -- mainly college construction projects -- that Gilmore froze this year to balance the state budget and keep the car-tax rollback on schedule . . . [ More from the Washington Post .]

The University of Virginia Special Collections Department holds 300,000 rare books and 12 million+ manuscripts, including the only known complete manuscript of Whitman\'s Leaves of Grass.

WWF Stars Reading to Kids

This just in: PR Newswire reports that two WWF stars will be reading to kids at a public library in Michigan. Presumably this is a good way to relax a little to prepare for the night\'s Smackdown. No word on whether they\'ll be reading from Gov. Ventura\'s book. Stacy Keibler and Rhyno will be at the Royal Oak Public Library August 28th from 11a.m. - noon.

Library has Few Books but Much History

With an annual operating budget of only $250.00, a set of encyclopedias that were printed when Jimmy Carter was in office, and a handful of volunteers to run it part-time until the weather gets too cold to man the unheated building, the people of Deering, NH are quite proud of their library. more... from The Concord Monitor.


South African Libraries Corner Market

A story from mid-July on a South African initiative to promote small business growth by establishing \"business corners\" in public libraries:

Each library receives a R10 000 launching grant with which to acquire books, journals, videos and other relevant equipment.

\"After more than a bumpy start, the Library Business Corner programme has over the past few months enjoyed an amazingly enthusiastic response from librarians, library authorities, sponsoring bodies and others involved in small business support,\" says Wolfgang Thomas, chief economist at Wesgro . . .

More from AllAfrica.


FL County Considers Charging Impact Fees to Fund Public Libraries

New home buyers in one Florida county may be paying an \"impact\" fee to fund public libraries. According to the article, \"Local governments charge impact fees to offset some costs of growth. They\'re usually calculated by consultants based on how many road miles, fire engines and police calls are demanded, on average, by the people in each new house. If the cost of providing services exceeds the taxes paid by the homeowners within a few years, government tries to make up the difference with a fee... To guarantee the same number of books and space per person, each new resident would have to pay about $91. Multiplied by the average number of people in a single family home, that comes to about $224.\" One wonders how widely accepted such a move would be by local homeowners. more... from Florida Today.


Stepmom\'s Library Records Secured as Evidence in Child\'s Death

The library records of a North Carolina woman, who was arrested for involuntary manslaughter in the death of her four-year-old stepson, have been subpoenaed by the court as possible evidence in the case. According to the article, the order tells the two libraries involved, \"produce for the court the following items, at the place, date, and time indicated below all records in your possession regarding circulation records of Sandra Hardcastle Odom during the period from January 2001 to this date (July 11).\" more... from The Dunn Daily Record.


ISP Monitors User Downloads for Copyright Violations

Excite@Home Australia has announced that it will terminate the service of any user detected downloading
copyrighted material:

Excite@Home Australia users are up in arms over the telco\'s random raids on their broadband accounts in search of pirate activity, with many saying it\'s an invasion of their privacy. The ISP informed users of its Optus@Home broadband service that it would terminate customer accounts found to be downloading pirate software or copyright material. . . .

More from ZDNet. Thanks to Slashdot .


Former Director of Texas Library Commission Named Interim NEA Chair

Robert Sidney Martin, former director of the Texas Library Commission and professor and interim director of the School of Library and Information Sciences at Texas Women\'s University has been announced as the acting chair of the NEA.
He has already been confirmed by the Senate as the directory of the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
[more...] from the Washington Post

Librarians Adjust Image in an Effort to Fill Jobs

The New York Times reports on the ALA\'s effort to challenge stereotypes about librarians in order to attract young people to the field:

In a Web site promoting a campaign by the American Library Association, librarians ride Harleys, surf and skateboard. They are young and hip. They wear dreadlocks and practice yoga. And like Ms. Garzolini, they are known to enjoy an occasional night at a bar. There is a cook and caterer, a \"popular culture junkie\" who started a hip-hop program for the Cleveland library and a \"surfer dude\" who owns a record company.

Colleges and universities are turning out more library and information science graduates than ever, the association says, but public libraries must compete with the growing number of higher paying jobs in the private sector, a formidable competitor even with the economy slowing. [ More ]

The ALA\'s campaign has been dubbed \"@ Your Library\" - the anti-stereotype part can be found here.

For the record, I was *attracted* to the profession by the stereotypes - I\'ll take quiet, bookish squares over jocks and hipsters any day, thank you very much ;)


Human Markup Language

OASIS, the XML interoperability consortium, has founded a committee to develop methods for describing human characteristics through XML:

The OASIS HumanMarkup Technical Committee (TC) will work to develop Human Markup Language (HumanML), a schema for embedding contextual human characteristics -- cultural, social, kinesic (body language), psychological and intentional features -- within information. OASIS said HumanML would have applications in artificial intelligence, virtual reality, conflict resolution, psychotherapy, art, workflow, advertising, cultural dialogue, agent systems, diplomacy and business negotiation. . .

More from Internet News . Thanks to Slashdot.


Use of Reading Habits as Criminal Evidence is Growing

Is it an invasion of privacy or a means of catching a criminal? The law enforcement community considers using a citizen\'s reading, viewing, and listening habits a necessary edge in solving a crime. Privacy advocates and others see it as something much different. Last February an Ohio prosecutor wanted Amazon.com to provide him with information about customers who had purchased a sexually explicit CD-ROM in an attempt to link a northeast Ohio man to a crime. According to the article, \"It is these types of efforts that seem to be occurring in more alarming numbers by the law enforcement profession that have opened the eyes of the often quiet book-reading community.\" more... from The News Herald.


Europeans and the internet

Following the recent story that 60% of British people are now online, a study by the Ministry of Finance, Economy and Industry in France has found that only 20% of French people have internet access at home. More significantly, more than half of the people surveyed did not foresee ever going online from home. The only other Western European country with the same slow growth of internet use is Spain, also with only 20% online at home. The full story from the BBC tries to suggest some possible reasons for these cultural differences.


Pirated books herald the new Napster

British Internet monitoring company Envisional have carried out research which shows that over 7,000 copyrighted books are now available free on the internet. These pirated works are being swapped \"on Napster-like file-sharing systems\". The most popular are apparently science fiction and fantasy. Read the full story from Excite News.
Internet monitoring - hmm, sounds like what I do all day!


E-Textbook Craze Coming to a Campus Near You

Last spring the University of Virginia conducted an experiment in which they provided students with e-textbooks. Apparently it works. So much so that Microsoft is offering its reader through library vendor Follett, and some major publishers, including Harcourt and McGraw-Hill (not Tim and Faith), are jumping on the e-textbook bandwagon. The belief is that generation D will find the
e-textbooks much friendler to use than the traditional, and much more cumbersome tomes of bygone days. more... from On Magazine.

Tesco in Line to Sponsor British Library

British supermarket giant Tesco is among the corporations
lining up to endow curatorships and (possibly) profit from
the privatization of services at the British Library:

The British Library is planning a huge injection of private money that could see curators being sponsored by Tesco and services run for profit by big business. The Independent on Sunday can reveal that barely four years after its £520m London home was finally completed, the library is to undergo a radical commercial makeover to attract more funds.

Sponsorship ideas being floated by library directors include creating posts that might include a \"Tesco curator for cookery\" or an anthropology librarian funded by Endemol, producers of reality TV show Big Brother. . . Private bidders may also be asked to pay the salaries of new specialists in other \"fashionable areas\" such as gardening, sport and DIY. The libraryis also considering plans to invite private investors to build and run new facilities. . .

More from The Independent.


Amazon Wants Your PO

For CNet News, Erich Luening writes...

\"Online retail giant Amazon.com is looking beyond individual consumers with a new program intended to attract organizations such as libraries, schools and businesses.
The new Corporate Accounts Program allows institutional purchasers to create a managed account with a payment method other than credit card, by which they can buy books, software, videos and other goods online, the company announced Wednesday. \"Whether it is local librarians ordering hard-to-find titles, corporate librarians purchasing training materials or small businesses buying software printers, these customers will now be able to use purchase orders as a method of payment at Amazon.com,\" Jason Kilar, vice president of media products at Amazon.com, said in a statement.\" more...


Librarians Compared to Executioners

For the Indianapolis Star, Matt Schwartz writes...

\"The guillotine\'s blade is poised above a naked spine. The victim waits silently, his last words already written onto his body. Soon, the blade hits with a thunk. This is no medieval tale. This is right out of the 21st century. The executioner is a librarian. He is cutting out and photographing the pages from bound newspaper volumes and transferring the images to microfilm. His victim, critics say, is Indiana\'s history... Most of the newspapers were thrown away after the process was complete. About half came from bound volumes whose spines were cut away, disbound in library parlance, so the pages could lie flat as they were filmed.\" more...



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