Submitted by Ryan on August 27, 2001 - 10:26am
An initiative by the Indian government and the World Bank is giving illiterate, homeless kids in Delhi access to computers, with interesting results:
In the slums of Delhi, an experiment has shown how illiterate street children can quickly teach themselves the rudiments of computers and the internet.
The aim of the experiment . . . was to see what role computers might play in educating India\'s illiterate millions. . . [researchers] found that within days the children were able to browse the internet, cut and paste copy, drag and drop items and create folders. One of the things they particularly liked was drawing, discovering how to use the MSpaint programme to create paintings.
More from BBC News. Thanks to Robot Wisdom.
Submitted by Blake on August 27, 2001 - 9:34am
Steven Bell writes \"I came across this in an Educause e-news report. Therefore I don\'t have a URL for the orginal report from Wireless Newsfactor. Thought you might be interested though.
The Community College Foundation of California promotes
technology awareness in poor urban areas with eBuses. An eBus
is a mobile computer lab with workstations and a satellite
linkup that travels through underprivileged neighborhoods,
offering computer training and Web access services.
\"We can just park the bus and people come right
up, We\'ll park in front of a library, do some
training, and then show people that the same technology is
available inside that library.\"
(Wireless Newsfactor, 23 August 2001)\"
They have a nice WebSite and the buses even have WebCams. I think we ran something on this already, but it\'s neat stuff.
Submitted by Celine on August 24, 2001 - 9:50pm
The library of the London School of Economics (LSE) is one of the largest social sciences libraries in the world and it has just been \"redeveloped\", with improved environmental standards for the books, more floor area, 500 extra student workplaces and a pair of glass lifts (or elevators for the US readers!). Read all about it in this story.
It all sounds lovely but I can\'t help wondering how long it will be until the library staff discover that the lightbulbs are too high to replace, or the fancy central atrium means the whole building is too noisy. I know, I\'m just a library renovation cynic.
Submitted by Celine on August 24, 2001 - 9:45pm
The IFLA Annual Conference in Boston saw the launch of the first IFLA/FAIFE World Report on libraries and intellectual freedom:
\"a major project, a first attempt to provide a picture on the status of libraries and intellectual freedom throughout the world. More than 140 countries have been contacted and 46 have submitted their report.\"
As expected, the reports already collected confirm that \"all is not well\" with freedom of expression and freedom of access to information.
This sounds like such an important project and I don\'t think anyone has posted it already: here is the official press release from IFEX, the International Freedom of Expression Exchange.
Submitted by Celine on August 24, 2001 - 9:41pm
The Punjab government have imposed a ban on the purchase of books by libraries in the province which is causing a slump in the book trade. It appears to be part of a reorganisation of library affairs, controlling who is responsible for the provision of books and furniture for libraries established in the province. This story from the Business Recorder isn\'t very clear, but it would be good to find out more about what is going on in an area that relies heavily on libraries to promote literacy.
Submitted by Blake on August 24, 2001 - 4:47pm
Slate has Another Story on BookScan the sales-tracking system that can currently find the exact number of copies sold at about 50 percent of U.S. bookstores.
Current Best Seller lists aren\'t really lists of the best selling books, so it\'ll be interesting to see how much the lists change when we really know what people are buying. They say publishers are already hyperventilating with fear.
See Also: The Fact and Fiction of Best Sellers Lists. by Dennis Loy Johnson.
Submitted by Ieleen on August 24, 2001 - 3:04pm
MP3.com may not be directly responsible for the violations committed by Napster and other file swapping organizations, but they\'re being held responsible for it anyway. The claim: It was they who started the trend and gave the world the tools to commit copyright infringement. Guilty by association? more... from The Houston Chronicle. Nashville is also suing MP3 for $25 million. more... from The Tennessean.
Submitted by Ieleen on August 24, 2001 - 2:29pm
Peter Maas, author of more than a dozen novels, and various other works, has died. Maas\' career spanned 50 years and included such works as \"Serpico,\" and \"Made in America,\" which went on to become movies. His novel, \"The Terrible Hours,\" made the New York Times Bestseller list last year and was turned into a made-for-television movie. more... from CNN.
Submitted by Ieleen on August 24, 2001 - 2:09pm
After being forced to close in 1997 due to structural damage caused from decades of neglect, the Carnegie Library in Savannah, GA will again resume operations, but not without a heated controversy. The libary will name a wing after Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. The decision came after a considerable donation was made by a friend of Thomas\'. more... from The Savannah Morning News.
Submitted by Ieleen on August 24, 2001 - 1:35pm
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
Submitted by Ieleen on August 24, 2001 - 11:57am
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.
Submitted by Ieleen on August 24, 2001 - 11:35am
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...
Submitted by Ryan on August 24, 2001 - 11:10am
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.
Submitted by Matt on August 24, 2001 - 11:09am
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.
Submitted by Ieleen on August 24, 2001 - 10:44am
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.
Submitted by Ryan on August 24, 2001 - 10:21am
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.
Submitted by Ieleen on August 24, 2001 - 10:05am
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.
Submitted by Ieleen on August 24, 2001 - 9:54am
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.
Submitted by Ryan on August 23, 2001 - 10:29pm
[email protected] Australia has announced that it will terminate the service of any user detected downloading
[email protected] 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 [email protected] broadband service that it would terminate customer accounts found to be downloading pirate software or copyright material. . . .
More from ZDNet. Thanks to Slashdot .
Submitted by Matt on August 23, 2001 - 3:18pm
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