Submitted by Blake on September 5, 2001 - 9:48am
Carrie writes \"Four major publishers have agreed to open an online clearinghouse on the Internet portal
Yahoo to sell their electronic books directly to readers, advancing their efforts to liberate themselves from reliance on online retailers in the nascent business of selling books in digital form.
Full Story from The NYTimes \"
They go on to say Although almost no one is buying electronic books today, there is a mad dash to be the first to market with this kind of thing, on the outside chance it does take off.
Random House, Simon & Schuster, Penguin Putnam, and HarperCollins are the publishers teaming up with Yahoo.
Submitted by Blake on September 5, 2001 - 9:33am
Marina Chestnykh oversees an erotica collection assembled by the Communist government that has been a secret for most of the time it\'s been kept. They say such a tight secret that no one knows exactly what is among the approximately 11,000 books, postcards, prints, brochures, drawings and other objects. It\'s on display in the the State Library, formerly the Lenin State LibraryState Library, formerly the Lenin State Library.
\"All these books brought to the Soviet Union could survive only here, in the library,\" said Ms. Ryzhak, who began working in special sections in 1976. \"Anywhere else they would have been burned immediately. We were able to save them, and they are part of our Russian history that we can now have back.\"
Full Story from the NY Times
Submitted by Blake on September 5, 2001 - 9:26am
Laura Bush and James H. Billington [you should know who they are] have ganged up and written an Announcement piece in the USA Today.
They will be hosting the first National Book Festival on Saturday at the Library of Congress in Washington. It\'s intended to be a celebration of the crucial role books and reading have in our individual lives and in the democracy that we cherish.
Submitted by Blake on September 5, 2001 - 9:23am
The Dallasnews is running This One on a man who landed in jail because of Cinderella and Tom and Jerry. They say that about 20 people have been arrested in 10 years in Nolan County, TX.
His failure to return the two books he\'d checked out for his children, plus two others about handwriting analysis, cost him more than $1,000, jeopardized his job and left him with a criminal record.
\"It\'s crazy,\" said Mr. Fox. \"It\'s ludicrous. This is on my record as theft; nobody can believe it was over library books.\"
Submitted by Blake on September 5, 2001 - 9:16am
Susannah Crego writes \"I wrote an article on law librarians acting as newscasters in their law firms. It is now available on the Law.com website.
Too many law firms believe librarians are unnecessary. \"Hey, it\'s all available online.\" In order to combat that, law librarians need to do more than just provide legal research assistance. One way-provide news.
The Story is Here
Or go to law.com and click on Law Librarians on the right side of the page. My article is sthe first one in the section titled: \"Breaking News.\"
This is a story not just for Lawbrarians, but for all of us, I think.
Submitted by Ryan on September 4, 2001 - 9:57pm
This article appeared shortly after the Copyright Office report itself on 8/31, but I missed it:
\"Given the relative infancy of digital rights
management, it is premature to consider any legislative change at this time,\" the report states. The Copyright Office is required to issue the report to Congress so that lawmakers can decide whether there are holes or flaws in the digital-copyright law that need to be fixed. Library groups and scholars have long argued that the act\'s anticircumvention provision and nonnegotiable license contracts with software vendors have been undermining the first-sale principle. The anticircumvention provision forbids breaking the encryption on digital material. . .
More from the Chronicle of Higher Education, with thanks to LLRX.com.
Submitted by Blake on September 4, 2001 - 6:06pm
CNN has a nifty Little Interview with Onion editor Robert Siegel, they have a new book out -- \"Dispatches from the Tenth Circle.\".
The interview is short, but funny.
Siegel: Are your stories real?
CNN: Absolutely. We are the world\'s news leader.
Siegel: OK, then we\'re on the same page here.
Submitted by Ryan on September 4, 2001 - 5:43pm
A short article on the surge of interest in African-American authors from old-line publishers:
Self-publishing and respect don’t usually go hand in hand, but African-American authors are not only getting respect, they’re being sought out and picked up by traditional houses. Random House, Ballantine, HarperCollins, Doubleday and Warner have all launched African-American imprints in the past couple of years, and dozens of the titles that they are issuing this fall were originally self-published . . .
More from Wired.
Submitted by Ryan on September 4, 2001 - 5:01pm
One of the many interesting articles that have appeared in the new journal portal: Libraries and the Academy:
Ideally, advances in information technology could be used to improve access to information resources and promote the discovery of new knowledge, to improve educational opportunities, or simply to enhance the free flow of information essential to an informed citizenry. But in the new economy, these salutary outcomes are often forced to take a back seat to the proprietary interests of an steadily shrinking handful of multinational corporations whose overriding interest, unfortunately for public policy, is the extraction of profit from information resources.
A striking example concerns the distribution of educational reading materials in the higher education environment . . .
More. The article appears only to be accessible if your institution has paid for access to Project Muse.
Submitted by Blake on September 4, 2001 - 2:47pm
The NYTimes has a nice Story on the guy that invented \"cookies\", Lou Montulli. He was employee #9 at Netscape... Just imagine those stock options! He left Netscape in 1998, a millionaire many times over to create epinions.com and they say he has since left that company as well.
It\'s a good story for a little piece of web history, and they also cover all the privacy troubles with cookies.
\"A recent survey by Public Opinion Strategies, a Republican polling organization, found that 67 percent of Americans identify online privacy as a big concern — far more than those who identify fighting crime (55 percent) or building an antimissile shield (22 percent).\"
Submitted by Matt on September 4, 2001 - 1:18pm
This story from the International Herald Tribune: Bulgari payed novelist Fay Weldon for use of the Bulgari name in her new novel The Bulgari Connection. While Bulgari had originally ordered a special printing of the book, it has been picked up by Grove/Atlantic. The book was written in around 6 months and is about 200 pages short.
Both publishers and marketers are enthusiastic about the possibilities if this particular experiment takes off. What\'s next? Harry Potter and the [Insert Product with the Biggest Ad Budget Here]?
Submitted by Jill on September 4, 2001 - 12:45pm
This editorial in the Seattle Times responds the the articles about libraries becoming day cares. Denise Ward writes: \"To those who say the library is a \"great place for kids,\" and everyone should be welcome, I say No, the library is not for everyone.\"
Submitted by Blake on September 4, 2001 - 9:36am
Jonathan Wallace has written another critical look at N2H2 called N2H2\'s Weak AI. It takes a detailed look at the company\'s claims of \"robust\", \"state of the art\" artificial intelligence. Can N2H2\'s software (or anyone) tell the difference between a prurient story and a scholarly essay about sexuality? He interviewed experts in AI and took a look both at the company\'s claims for its products and at their actual performance.
In the first article in this series profiling censorware vendor N2H2 Inc. of Seattle, he concluded that the company, which is unprofitable, running out of cash and facing NASDAQ delisting, must leverage its technology to survive. N2H2 is a tech company, and it has nothing else to sell.
Submitted by Blake on September 4, 2001 - 9:17am
Someone writes \"Librarians are always hearing wild, wonderful and flimsy excuses for the late return of books.
But former student Mohamed Bokreta could only write of his \"juvenile and youthful wicked whims\" after returning a book to South Thames College in London after 24 years...
Full Story \"
He went on to say :\"I am seeking both apologies and pardon from my dear friends, the respected college principal and his brave librarian staff\".
I just returned one about 11 years over due I found when I moved, ouch.
Submitted by Blake on September 4, 2001 - 9:14am
Steven Bell writes \"On 9/3/01 the Philadelphia Inquirer reported a story about a surburan Public Library, in Abington Township, that held a retirement party for its library pet, a turtle called Eltrut. This would be a fairly standard story, but the Inquirer actually identified the turtle as a librarian. As if our public image wasn\'t bad enough, and the public didn\'t already think that everyone who worked in the library was a librarian, now the Inquirer refers to the library pet as a librarian. The story is found
Submitted by Ryan on September 4, 2001 - 12:56am
An interesting article on a wildly popular program for decrypting Microsoft e-books, and why publishers\' insistance on overly strict copyright control may doom the e-book as a popular medium:
It\'s easy to load a small library of electronic books into your laptop or handheld organizer and carry it with you on the bus or to the beach. But try to make backup copies of those same e-books or loan one to a friend, and you\'ll run smack into the digital equivalent of an electrified fence. The problem is that once a literary work has been liberated from the printed page, it\'s potentially vulnerable to unlimited digital piracy—a danger that makes most e-book publishers insist on strict software controls to prevent anyone but the purchaser from opening an e-book file . . . Until software makers and publishers can figure out how to protect their e-books without treating all readers like thieves, in other words, the summer of beach-blanket e-books may never materialize.
More from Technology Review.
Submitted by Ryan on September 3, 2001 - 11:50pm
Here\'s a press release from BioMed Central with information on the first free, peer-review scientific journals to emerge in the wake of the Public Library of Science boycott:
Today BioMed Central announces the first group of research journals to be launched in a new publishing initiative. This initiative is designed to allow groups of researchers to publish online journals representing their community and to offer free access to the research articles within these new journals. The journals will use BioMed Central\'s established publishing infrastructure, comprising an online submission system, electronic tools for peer-review, and the ability to publish accepted articles in both PDF and HTML formats. The peer-reviewed research articles in these journals will be indexed in the National Library of Medicine\'s bibliographic database, PubMed (widely used by researchers, clinicians and the general public) and deposited without delay in PubMed Central, the electronic repository of complete publications. . .
More. Thanks to the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog.
Submitted by Ben on September 3, 2001 - 10:03pm
Slashdotters are discussing the 2001 Hugo awards, which include J.K. Rowling\'s latest tome Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire as Best Novel. Although Hugo awards often go to \"hard\" science fiction, fantasy is of course also a part of speculative fiction (sf). It\'s nice to see a novel that\'s accessible to both sf fans and children (and no comments from the peanut gallery, please, about the two groups being identical).
Submitted by Jill on September 3, 2001 - 9:01pm
Wayne Risher from the Memphis, TN
Appeal news writes: \"Like it or not,
day cares, hangouts and meeting spots, as well as
places for bookish pursuits. \"
The Central Library will be closing for two months to
move to a new building. Parents and kids are having to
find other \"day care\" options. Day care centers have
noticed a slight increase in enrollment.
\"A couple of parents have told me they\'re signing up
because the library is closing,\" said Thomas. \"I think
we\'re going to get a lot.\"
Submitted by Jill on September 3, 2001 - 8:25pm
This from Japan reporting that the Tottori
Prefectural Library was found to have lost 6400
volumes since it opened in 1990. In recent months
several libraries have reported losses. They are
considering installing a Book Detection
The Asahi Shimbun reports:
\"The prefecture\'s administrative surveillance team
was brought in, with the governor\'s strict orders to get to
the bottom of the matter. Governor Yoshihiro Katayama
apologized in public for his own ``supervisory
oversight,\'\' and served a written warning to the chief