Internet Makes Research \'Too Easy\'

Yahoo News reports on the results of a new survey conducted for the Associated Press showing half of respondents rating Internet skills as very important for school. Most students were able to find the majority of the resources they need for writing assignments on the internet:
``Most students depend on the Internet to get their stuff,\'\' said 16-year-old Jeff Sands of Horsham, Pa. ``You can most find anything by going onto Yahoo,\'\' an Internet search engine.
``The Internet makes it too easy sometimes,\'\' said Campbell, a 17-year-old from New London, Pa. ``I still think you should go to the library.


New York Public Library Buys Kerouac Archive

The New York Public Library has aquired the literary and personal archive of Jack Kerouac:

The archive, the largest Kerouac holding in any institution, contains manuscripts, notebooks, letters, journals and personal items saved from the time he was 11 until his death at 47 in 1969. . . Meticulously organized by Kerouac himself, the archive comprises more than 1,050 manuscripts and typescripts, including novels, short stories, prose pieces, poems and fragments, a handful of them in scroll form; 130 notebooks for almost all of his works, published and unpublished; and 52 journals, from 1934 to 1960, which include material used in \"The Town and the City,\" \"On the Road\" and \"Big Sur.\"

More from the New York Times (registration required) and even more from the Boston Globe.

The NYPL has provided a bit more information on the contents of the collection here .


NZ Authors Threaten to Pull Books from Libraries

Authors in New Zealand are threatening to pull their books off the shelves of public libraries in protest over a funding cut for writers. Apparently the government has decided to take away $100,000 from the $1.1 million fund. The fund was established as a means of compensating writers for lost royalties as a result of libraries freely distributing their work. more... from The News Room


Prisoners Record Childrens Books on Tape

The Orange County Public Library (CA) has a cool program to help illiterate parents learn to read to their kids. They have inmates at the jail record childrens books on tape. Jill Klubek, the library\'s family-literacy specialist, says, \"what matters is the voice, not where it\'s coming from.\" The inmates are doing other things for kids too, such as \"knitting hats for kids with cancer, recording books for the blind, and repairing bikes for poor kids.\" Judging from the article, it looks like everyone benefits, even the inmates. more... from The Orange County Register.


Digital Library Lets You Virtually Pull Books Off the Shelf

For, Charles Greifenstein writes...

\"With the assistance of a National Leadership Grant from The Institute of Museum and Library Services, the College of Physicians of Philadelphia has begun to develop a digital resource, The Historical Medical Digital Library.
The digital library is not intended to provide complete digital copies of historical medical books. Instead, it allows patrons to browse selected books electronically; a virtual pulling the book off the shelf.\" more...


MD Community Seen as Role Model in Library Effort

In Grantsville, MD they\'re building a new library, thanks to support from the community. So far, the town has raised $160,000. According to Congressman Roscoe Bartlett, \"The most important thing is what this says about your community. Libraries across the country are being neglected as people spend hours in front of the TV. If this was a typical community, I would have a lot more faith in America. This community could be a role model for the rest of the country.\" more... from The Times News.


Filtered Web Snares Students Seeking Legit Info

For News-Press, Jennifer Booth Reed writes...

\"Cyber porn. Online cults. Electronic crime manuals. Parents, relax. The virtual bad guys are out there, but children are safe from Internet smut — at least as long as they’re at school. But some question whether the safety precautions create too great of a roadblock to online research and study. The Lee County School District this year, in compliance with a new federal law, has cracked down even further on Internet use and strengthened its barriers against harmful materials. The 2001 Children’s Internet Protection Act requires school districts and public libraries to block access to pornography and other harmful materials. It threatens to yank money from districts and libraries that don’t comply. In Lee County $1 million per year is at stake.\" more...


Huge Harry Potter Editorial Cartoons Compilation

Sue Jones writes \"Since Harry\'s been a topic here, thought your readers might enjoy this compilation
. \"

It\'s a big archive of 20 something Harry cartoons from the editorial pages of papers from all over.
Many of them seem to stay with the \"Harry got my kid off of TV/Computers\". Funny Stuff!


Illiteracy in UK Worse Now Than Before WWI

According to an article at ITN, in regard to a study conducted by the University of Ulster, \"At least two million people in Britain are totally illiterate and unable to make sense of basic information such as bus timetables or supermarket labels.\" more...

A Harry Encounter - Readers Respond

Florida Today recently had a reader write-in for those wishing to express whether they are for or against Harry Potter. The event was in response to the release of the video \"Harry Potter: Witchcraft Repackaged - Making Evil Look Innocent.\" The original LISNews posting can be found Here. If you like reader opinions, these are sure to give you a boost. One, in particular, is just downright funny. A reader responds...\"...Will all Sunday school kids have charred action figures of Harry Potter, who was burned in the fires of hell? This sounds like a case of my occult is better than your occult.\"

Click here for Harry Lovers or
Click here for Harry Haters


Harry Potter Compared to Jesus Christ

For Syracuse Online, Jerry Rosen writes...

\"From the halls of Hogwarts to the Quidditch fields, the wizardry of J.K. Rowling\'s Harry Potter books have cast a spell over young and old alike. The first four books of a planned seven-book series describing the coming of age and education of Potter, a young wizard, have sold well over 24 million copies. While the worldwide reception of the books has been generally spectacular, some groups, primarily fundamental Christians, have protested against their use in schools. They claim the books promote witchcraft and the occult over Christian values. Madeline Loiacono, religious educator at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Clay, doesn\'t see that side of the books. What she sees are parallels between Harry Potter and the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.\" more...


Landfill Money May Build Library

The folks in Freeport (IL) are still scrounging for dollars to fund the new library. The battle of wits between the city council, library board members, the mayor, and joe citizen is ongoing. The latest proposal is to use money from the landfill, which is to close next year. They have now hired a consulting firm, at a fee not to exceed
$12,000. One would assume that if they could all pull their acts together, they could save the 12G and put it toward the library project. Politics. Ya gotta love \'em. more...


Penguin Books to Launch ePenguin

The guardian has a story on ePenguin. Penguin books is preparing to make \"hundreds\" of books available for download. Some titles will even be released online before being available in print.
Information on the Penguin site suggests that the books will be available in either Adobe or Microsoft eBook format. If you send e-mail to they will send you a free sample eBook. It doesn\'t say if more will follow on an approval basis.

Censorship in action

Niels Ferguson, a professional cryptographer has written, Censorship in action: why I don\'t publish my HDCP results, which takes a look at why the DMCA is bad news.

\"There are lawyers who claim that a scientific paper like mine is a circumvention technology within the meaning of the DMCA, because it explains the weaknesses of a system. I have been advised by a US lawyer who works in this field that if I publish my paper, I might very well be prosecuted and/or sued under US law. \"

No, he\'s not American.


A New Effort to Measure the Condition of Collections

Heritage Preservation, Inc., in collaboration with the Institute of Museum and Library Services, ALA, and others, is undertaking a large-scale survey to determine the condition of U.S. library, archive, museum, and historical society collections:

A new Heritage Health Index, aimed at measuring for the first time the condition of the nation\'s collections . . . is under preparation by Heritage Preservation Inc. A survey is being developed in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and with major funding from the Getty Grant Program. During the project\'s 15-month developmental stage, said Heritage spokeswoman Kristen Overbeck, the organization will convene focus groups, including representatives of organizations like the American Library Association, \"to determine what we want to measure and the best way to capture it.\" The actual evaluation, which could launch in late 2002 and measure collections every four years, lacks funding at this point. . .

[More from Library Journal (registration now required).]


Library Urged to Remove Books

Someone from the Associated Press writes...

\"The works of three Western authors should be removed from the Springdale Public Library, according to one complaint, because their books contain \"pornographic, sexual encounters.\" The library board will discuss the request at a Sept. 12 meeting. The complaint said the works of Jon Sharpe, Jake Logan and Tabor Evans could have a harmful effect on readers.\" more... from The Dallas Morning News.


Cal State\'s New E-books Lending Program Less Restrictive

Besides the fact that there\'s an awful line in here that reads, \"California\'s state university system has written a new chapter in how to lend e-books,\" it seems that Cal State has figured out a way to lend one e-book to more than one individual at a time. This is, of course, thanks to NetLibrary. more... from Wired News.

Library of Rare Tibetan Texts to be Available Online

Independent scholar E. Gene Smith, widely credited with preserving much of Tibet\'s literary heritage, is working to
make his massive personal library of rare texts available online:

Crammed into bookshelves and piled onto tables, about 10,000 long, narrow tablets wrapped in red and gold fabric pack the corners of a North Cambridge duplex. Printed from hand-carved wood blocks by monks over the last millennium, these looseleaf books of mulberry-husk paper feature, in ornately lettered and occasionally illustrated Tibetan characters, the mystical poetry of Milarepa, the astrological theories of Asian scientists, and the religious teachings of the great lamas of the ages. Over four decades as an itinerant archivist with a passion for preservation, a Mormon convert to Buddhism named E. Gene Smith has amassed a rare collection of the endangered Tibetan Buddhist canon: some original writings of Buddha, early commentaries by Indian Buddhists, and the writings of Tibetan Buddhist sages over the last 12 centuries. . .

[More from the Boston Globe. Smith\'s efforts to date can be seen at the site of the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center.]


New Book Drop Checks in Books

The National Library Board in Singapore receives 200 suggestions a month. However, they liked one patron\'s suggestion so much, they developed the idea and patented it. The idea was a book drop that uses radio frequencies to detect returned books.The story doesn\'t say if the patron will receive any money from the patent, which has interested libraries from New Zealand, Australia, and Scandinavian countries. Definitely \"good value for money,\" as is the new Public Service slogan.


The Grand Complication

For The New York Times, DT Max writes...

\"The use and abuse of order is the subject of Allen Kurzweil\'s engaging new novel, \"The Grand Complication.\" We try to keep life under control by cataloging it, only to find that what gives it its meaning is its refusal to be pinned down. To live well is to make room for confusion. This moral is given us through the story of Alexander Short, a New York librarian, who, overwhelmed by life; his parents deceased, a wife he can no longer talk to, an apartment in a neighborhood overrun by crack, has taken refuge in rules.\" more... Don\'t forget your free required subscription Here.



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