Children\'s Privacy in the Library

Pam Force wrote a fantastic in-depth look at childrens privacy concerns in the library.


How do we define privacy? And what are the problems behind the complex issue of children\'s privacy in the library? Privacy can be defined as the ability to control information about one\'s self. Respecting the privacy of others is tantamount to accepting others as members of the human race. Once gaining privacy was as simple as closing the curtains, but no longer. The internet has made the issue of privacy a very personal one for every individual, not just those who use it. -- Read More

Foil the Filters Contest

The Digital Freedom Network is running a contest to show how inadequate censoring software can be.

\"The purpose of the contest is to have a little more fun with something whose greatest accomplishment is as an object of ridicule. It\'s the Corvair of programming,\" said DFN Internet Development Director Alan Brown of censorware.

Full details are here

Gay Books Banned in Canadian School

The \'Gay Book\' stories continue. Someone [sorry I lost the name] sent in this Story I managed to find at Canada.com. The school trustees of a Vancouver suburb had the right to bar three books about same sex couples from kindergarten and first grade classrooms.

\"No society can be said to be truly free where only those whose morals are uninfluenced by religion are entitled to participate in deliberations related to moral issues of education in public schools...\"

Again, no word on how many children got gayed after reading the books. -- Read More

Gay Books Stay In Texas Library

Mary Musgrave was the first one to send in The Story from TRNOnline. A federal judge struck down Wichita Falls, TX \"gay books\" library resolution saying the controversial rule was unconstitutional. The case stems from a two-year controversy over \"Heather Has Two Mommies\" and \"Daddy\'s Roommate\". They has set up a petition system to allow library patrons to ask the library to move children\'s books to other sections of the library.
It required the signatures of 300 card holders who were 18 or older and had lived in Wichita Falls for at least six months. No word on how many children turned gay from the books. -- Read More

Free to read Harry, eh?

CNN has a Story on a victory for Harry
Potter in Canada. The Durham Region School Board,
near Toronto, had required parents to sign a consent
form before allowing the books to be read.


\"It\'s not the normal way we do business,\" said Doug
Ross, chairman of the board, on Tuesday. \"If their only
intention is to see the books banned then they\'ll never
be happy, because were not in the business of banning
books or censoring material.\"

No word on how
many students were turned into witches.

Top 10 most frequently challenged books

CNN is one of
many fine places to Read about The ALA\'s
list of most challenged books. They have a nice little
\"interactive\" section that tells about why each book has
been challenged.

Don\'t forget Banned Books Week
runs Sept. 23-30. Ban a book a day to celebrate! -- Read More

Rating the E-rate

Education Week has a nice Story on how the E-rate is working for us folks in the US. The say the program earns praise for overall effort, but lower marks for implementation.

\"The main theme I hear from educators and librarians is that this program has made possible the use of technology that otherwise would have been years away in classrooms,\" says Kate L. Moore, the president of the Schools and Libraries Division of the Washington-based Universal Service Administrative Co., or USAC, the nonprofit agency that manages the program for the Federal Communications Commission. \"It is allowing these organizations to leapfrog into the realm of advanced technology and learning.\" -- Read More

New E-Books Announced by RCA

There\'s a new e-book coming to town, and it\'s brought to you by RCA... -- Read More

Anti-Censorship

Lee Hadden Writes:

Scientific American announces a new publishing program in the October
2000 issue, pages 34-36, in the \"Technology & Business\" section. A new
program that allows a user to post an item to the World Wide Web that
cannot be altered or erased was announced in mid-August. Called \"Publius\",
it permits an author to place a file on the web that cannot be tampered
with or removed by censors or even government officials. It will be nearly
impossible to remove illegal materials from the web.

The program can be combined with anonymous hosts to obscure the names
of the file owner, and thus the file could truly be speech without
accountability.

Student Newspapers and Censorship

Lee Hadden Writes:

An article in the Washington Post shows that many high school students
who have articles censored in their student newspapers, are then posting
their items on the internet from their home computer. This avoids the
regulations that schools place on budding reporters, but has its own
problems as well. Many parents and teachers remember the diatribes posted
by the students from Columbine HS school shortly before their shooting
rampage. Also, problems of teen angst, accountability and slander remain.

Book Ratings?!

Here is an interesting article from SF Gate. School trustees may want to put ratings on required reading, which will inform parents about their contents.\" Several trustees say they want to do a better job of alerting parents to content that they might find inappropriate for their children. They are also reviewing how the Fairfield- Suisun school district selects required reading and responds to community challenges to books on the list.\" -- Read More

E-books Shmee-books

This opinion piece from ZDnet warns about getting caught in the e-book hype. The one problem that I have with the article is that comparing e-books to toothbrushes is like comparing...well...e-books to toothbrushes.\"I remember the first electric toothbrushes. They\'d revolutionize dental care.
They flopped.

Until companies like Water Pik, Sonicare and others came along with better technology.

Similar thing\'s happening with electronic books (e-books) -- those devices and software that let you download and read digitized works. Lots of hype, some sales, but not enough to alter the industry.\" -- Read More

For Knowledge, Look Within

Here\'s an interesting story from KM Magazine on an alternative career for librarians, they call the position an \"Internal Infomediary\", someone who creates or manages systems to connect employees with the knowledge they need.

\"In this information age, I think people are acknowledging there is more to it than sticking a Web browser on your desktop. There is usually a curve organizations go through of Why do we need intermediaries? We have the Web. We have Yahoo. We have Alta Vista. We can do our own searching. Then the organization usually comes full circle and says, What are we doing? We are not paying engineers to surf the Web all day.\" -- Read More

70s prom latest fund-raiser

Here\'s a nifty idea from Wisconsin for fundraising. The event is called Back to the 70s Prom, a fund-raiser on behalf of the Weyers-Hilliard Branch of the Brown County Library. Money raised Friday will buy books and other materials for the children\'s area. Nifty!


The Back to the \'70s Prom to benefit the Weyers-Hilliard Branch of the Brown County Library will take place Friday at the Comfort Suites of Green Bay, 1951 Bond St. Tickets are $12.50 each at the door, or $10 in advance. Hors d\'oeurves will be served. There will be a cash bar.


Full Story from PressGaztteNews.com

That Old Devil ALA!

Karen G. Schneider has written an interesting Column in the ALA Online on \"Excess Access\", a video produced and sold by the American Family Association (aka The AFA).

\"In 21 minutes, Excess Access portrays a small drama in a public library involving Internet pornography, and follows this story with discussions by “experts.” (Actually, it’s a church library, which might explain why you see a child pulling a picture book from a set of encyclopedias.) \"

It\'s interestin to read how far they go with this one.

US Congress Next in Copyright Tiffs

In what can only be bad news, Wired is predicting a grim battle in Congress next year as a result of the ongoing Napster lawsuit. They Say the loser of the Napster case will be inmportant to this area of law.
The two-day international intellectual property conference was held last week.


\"We must protect the rights of the creator,\" Hatch said. \"But we cannot, in the name of copyright, unduly burden consumers and the promising technology the Internet presents to all of us.\"
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch

Gifted kids and librarians

Brian writes \"A short Interview with author Judy Galbraith about the relationship between gifted students and school librarians, from Foreword magazine:

\"

Question: It makes sense that school librarians would be a gifted student\'s natural ally. Have you found this to be the case?
Her Answer Follows... -- Read More

Saying the F word in libraries

ALA\'s
Public Information Office has some good suggestions about talking to people about filtering. Here\'s a sample, from their section on answering the tough questions:

The best way to deal with tough questions from library users, your board members, the mayor or a reporter is to be prepared. The following are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Listen -- don\'t judge. Anticipate which questions you will be asked and prepare your answers ahead of time.
  • Acknowledge: \"You obviously have strong feelings. I respect your views. Let me give you another perspective.\"
  • Reframe the question -- Why do you think students should be allowed to view pornography on the Internet? \"You\'re asking me about our Internet policy...\"
  • Be honest. Tell the truth as you know it. \"My experience with the Internet is...\"
  • Remember, it\'s not just what you say but how you say it. Speak simply, sincerely and with conviction.
  • Less is more. Keep your answers short and to the point.
  • Stick to your key message. Deliver it at least three times.
  • Avoid use of negative/inflammatory words such as \"pornography.\"
  • Don\'t fudge. If you don\'t know, say so.
  • Never say \"No comment.\" A simple \"I\'m sorry I can\'t answer that\" will do.

Dear Dr. Laura ...

Brian writes \"Friday was my day off, so I watched Dr. Laura\'s TV show about pornbraries. My impression is that she\'ll get cancelled fairly quickly in many markets; she doesn\'t have much of a TV presence, sighing and hmmphing around the set like a little kid. (I could be wrong: I didn\'t think Conan would stay on the air after I saw him shaking his way through his monologues at the beginning.) The big revelation was that an e-mail address was given out on the air: mail4drlaura@yahoo.com. I noticed a bit of misinformation given on the show and on the Web-based Dr. Laura Activism Center she plugged, so I sent a note encouraging her to go do the right thing and take a moral stand for truth:

Read on for the letter... -- Read More

Canadian Students Find Theses on Contentville

The Edmonton Journal has this article on graduate students who are upset that their theses were sold on Contentville. It seems that they should file a complaint with the National Library.\"The students didn\'t know it, but the U.S. firm gained the rights to sell Canadian theses this summer through a subcontract with the company that reproduces academic work for the National Library.

Stephen Biggs, a senior doctoral student in psychology at York University, found his master\'s thesis listed for the average price of $57.50 US -- $54.62 for club members.\" -- Read More

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