License to Link

Brian writes \"http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,40850,00.html
Wired News has a story about news sites charging fees for the right to link to articles.
\"

This is a funny story, apparently iCopyright.com thinks they have the ability to get $50 from people who link to sites they \"protect\". One of those sites, The Albuquerque Journal, when asked about the $50, says -
\"I don\'t know. We certainly wouldn\'t go after you. We link to other sites. We encourage people to link to us.\"

Libraries Need Cash

I saw this sad story from Inside Denver about cutbacks in school libraries, and I thought sharing may help ease the pain. Here are only a few frightening facts:(1)Part-time aides replace librarians who also have been trained as teachers.

(2)Two of five public schools have either no trained librarian or one who works less than half-time, according to the state library.

(3)Since 1994, staffing relative to enrollment has dropped more than 10 percent.
As jobs disappear and librarians retire, the pipeline is drying up. By 2010, the state library predicts, there could be no new library media graduates in Colorado.\"

Gay Books Outed

The LA Times has a Story on some books in CA. They say officials pulled 10 biographies of gay people from the shelves of a junior high campus. The ACLU cries censorship, while the school officials that pulled the books say the books reading level was too high for Orangeview students, and that the books presented a safety hazard because students who checked them out might be harassed by other students. How\'s that for a nifty excuse?The books are part of a series called \"Lives of Notable Gay Men and Lesbians\".

\"We all know why these books have been banned,\" Matthews said. \"The books were banned because they had a positive statement to make to kids about gay and lesbian people. The books were banned because of deep-seated prejudice.\"

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Grading the Library Portals

Onlineinc.com has a Report Card on all the major librarian portal sites. They were tough graders, not many A\'s were given out! They didn\'t grade us, though I\'m not sure we fit with the rest of the portals they review. LibraryLand, Internet Public Library Services for Librarians, and Internet Library for Librarians all got A\'s.

\"The ideal library portal will have the most thorough coverage possible in several areas of the library profession for all types of libraries.\"

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Stealth Plan Puts Copy Protection into every Drive

Kell Yusuf writes \"Those who wish to make us pay for Web content will LOVE this article: It\'s about plans for copy-protecting your next computer - these drives are incompatible with ordinary dives, so you would not be able copy files from the protected drive to the non-protected drive. \"Hastening a rapid demise for the free copying of digital media, the next generation of hard disks is likely to come with copyright protection countermeasures built in...\" \"

The Register UK has a series of articles.

Stealth plan puts copy protection into every hard drive
Linux lead slams \'pay per read\' disk drive plan

Copy protection hard drive plan nixes free software - RMS
CPRM on hard drives - IBM takes a spin

Reliable Resource?

In a survey conducted by Buson-Marstelle, one third of reporters interviewed claimed that the internet is their first point of reference. 57 percent were said to faithfully believe that the Internet was a reliable source of information. On an even more interesting note, only a quarter of these journalists said that they would turn to their company’s archives or library for information.[more]

We can only hope that these news professionals have been given the training needed to discern the true quality and reliability of online information. Unfortunately notorious past mistakes suggest that this may not be the case.

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Friday Updates

Friday updates for this week include Harry Potter in Vietnam, a library with no books, parents responsibility, funding losses, flooding, the future, and much more.

Reaction to Filtering Bill

The Spokesman-Review, in the press alot lately, has this piece on the latest grasp to take away the first amendment rights of library users. It includes, in my opinion, the quote of the week.\"Blaming the library for exposure to pornography is like blaming the lake if your child walks up to it alone, falls in and then drowns. The only viable mechanism for protecting children from the questionable content of the Internet, eating too much junk food or drowning in the lake is action by the responsible agency governing this jurisdiction: the parents. Their guidance is more loving, more educational and a hundred times more effective then regulatory control.\"

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Backlisted E-Books

Wired News has an interesting story about a site called Rosetta Books which provides e-books on backlisted print titles. A pretty strange concept, but hey, you never know...\"Rosettabooks currently owns the exclusive electronic rights to 100 classics such as Aldous Huxley\'s Brave New World, Kurt Vonnegut\'s Slaughterhouse Five, William Styron\'s Sophie\'s Choice, and Pat Conroy\'s Prince of Tides.

Over 500 more titles are in various states of negotiation and an additional 1,000 have been targeted for acquisition. Strategic alliances with BN.com for a Rosettabooks boutique and prominence on the Contentville.com site are already in place.\"
There are a few other stories there too.

Warner Bros. claims Harry Potter sites

In yet another example of clueless corporate idiocy, Warner Bros. is going after Harry Potter Fan sites. They purchased the film and merchandising rights, as well as the trademarks and copyrights to the characters, from the books\' author, J.K. Rowling. For some reason, they now think no one should have a tribute site, to show how much they love Harry Potter.

\"I\'ve just read the news that the Evil Dark Arts experts a.k.a. Warner Brothers are trying to cast some dark charms and shut down this site. GOLLY! What total ROT. We have got to get some good charms and wand waving to seriously sort them out,\" wrote a fellow Harry Potter fan on Field\'s Web site.

Full Story over at ZD Net.

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BT files hyperlink patent suit against Prodigy

Brian sent in This One at The Standard on British Telecom\'s idiotitic legal moves to get money from ISP\'s.

After discovering, in a routine check, that it owned the patent for the hyperlink, BT wrote to 17 U.S. ISPs, asking them to pay for the privilege of using the technology through licensing agreements. Nerver mind that someone did it Way Back in the 60\'s in CA.

The Kids Are All Right

ZD Net has an Editorial By Matthew Rothenberg on all the filtering action.

\"Yes, using the library is a privilege, but it\'s one that citizens of the town pay for. Adults should have uncensored access to all of its content. Maybe next, the library will choose issues that it thinks you shouldn\'t hear about and filter them out of the newspaper for you, too.\"

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World Will End Without Broadband

A couple more stories on Distance Ed

CNN has a Report on The Web-based Education Commission has said a \"national mobilization\" is necessary, one that \"evokes a response similar in scope to other great American opportunities or crises\" such as the historic race to the moon or finding a cure for polio.

A Wired Report is similiar.

Can we really compare the internet with going to the moon?

E-learning Reviewed

The recently convened Web-based Education Commission was made up of a diverse group of businesspeople, lawmakers and educators, including John Gage, director of science for Sun Microsystems, Rep. Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia), and Florence McGinn, a teacher and founder of an online literary magazine. (one has to ask where the librarians were.)

The recent report released by the commision has received mixed reviews. These varying opinions are available in this article, \'E-Learning is Good; Now What?\', from Wired Magazine.

A Fast-Changing Genie Alters the World

The NY Times has a Nice Story on the impact of the WWW on the W. It\'s a nice look at the past, present and future of the web.

\"In a remarkably short period, the World Wide Web has touched or has promised to alter — some would say threaten — virtually every aspect of modern life.\"

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Pretty Woman Deemed Pornography

Holly writes \"An update to a story from back in November about citizens trying to restrict R-rated movies at the Post Falls (ID) Public Library. The highlight of This Story is this quote:

But \"Pretty Woman,\" a film in which actress Julia Roberts portrays a prostitute, is pure pornography.\"

That pretty much sums up the whole problem with the term \"pornography,\" doesn\'t it? \"

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\"Will Libraries Survive?\"

Geoffrey Nunberg argues in this article that they certainly will, and he is hi tech enough to be a major researcher at the Xerox PARC lab (he is a linguist.) This article is a couple of years old but still feels fresh. It provides a nice bird\'s eye view of American libraries and how they fit into the whole contemporary \"information\" landscape. He addresses many of the problems that libraries are beginning to face in the current situation and has suggestions for how they can be dealt with.

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Ask The ALA Presidential Candidates

Rory\'s ALA candidate post got me to thinking....

What do I know about the candidates running this year?
How can I learn more?

And the answer came....

Ask Them!

I have emailed all 3 candidates (Maurice Freedman, Ken Haycock, and William Sannwald) to request an email-interview for LISNews.

I\'d like to hear from you, the loyal LISNews reader, what do you want to know? I will be emailing the candidates a list of questions, and you can find the answers here begining on January 8, 2001.

You can post your questions below, or email me, and I will choose the most interesting to pass along.

Update 12/21 9:30am : All 3 candidates have agreed to participate!

Update 12/22 noon : Questions have been sent. Responses next year, hopefully Jan 8.

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Filtering Vendors Not in Favor of Federal Law

Ron Force writes \"Internet World has a Story on how some of the largest filtering software vendors are not in favor of the recently passed Federal filtering mandate.

\"We think legislation is not the best way to go,\" said Nika Herford, NetNanny\'s vice president for public affairs. \"We would rather see institutions work on educating their users about appropriateness and developing acceptable use policies.\" The emphasis on mandating software inevitably inspires opponents to point out the shortcomings of the products on the market and leaves potential customers with the impression that the products don\'t work at all.

Another issue is that the law expects that images will be filtered \"on the fly\", which is not within the capabilty of present software products. \"

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All About AskUsQuestions.com

Brad Stephens sent along this look at AskUsQuestions.com . Check it out, this is a really neat idea, and they will be adding more libraries as they go along.

One of the most important trends for all libraries within the
next five years will be developing a "bricks and clicks"
service orientation. With this orientation, not only will
libraries continue offering existing "in-house"
services, but new services will also be developed and existing
services altered so that they can be offered to patrons outside
of the physical building via the web.

Many libraries have already begun developing such resources with
the implementation of remote patron access to subscription
databases, web accessible catalog systems, and email-based
reference - but more can be done. And more is exactly what
AskUsQuestions.com seeks to provide.

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