Submitted by Ieleen on August 21, 2001 - 1:35pm
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...
Submitted by Ieleen on August 21, 2001 - 1:12pm
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
Submitted by Ieleen on August 21, 2001 - 12:35pm
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...
Submitted by Ieleen on August 21, 2001 - 11:46am
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...
Submitted by Matt on August 21, 2001 - 11:37am
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 [email protected] they will send you a free sample eBook. It doesn\'t say if more will follow on an approval basis.
Submitted by Blake on August 21, 2001 - 11:34am
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.
Submitted by Ryan on August 21, 2001 - 11:33am
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).]
Submitted by Ieleen on August 21, 2001 - 10:46am
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.
Submitted by Ieleen on August 21, 2001 - 10:36am
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.
Submitted by Ryan on August 20, 2001 - 1:01pm
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.]
Submitted by Matt on August 20, 2001 - 12:50pm
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.
Submitted by Ieleen on August 20, 2001 - 12:16pm
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.
Submitted by Ieleen on August 20, 2001 - 12:05pm
For The Houston Chronicle, Tom Fowler writes...
\"Questia Media will be accompanying millions of high school and college students back to school in the coming weeks with a full complement of TV ads, direct mailers and Internet marketing. The company is also making a librarian available to TV shows to talk about back-to-school preparations, which will naturally include a suggested subscription to Questia.\" more...
Submitted by Ieleen on August 20, 2001 - 11:46am
I stumbled across this one earlier today and it contains some great information. Cindy Curling, Electronic Resources Librarian for a Washington DC firm, did an informal survey of librarians and others on issues of privacy and filtering, and the responses and related comments are very interesting. I recommend taking the time to read the entire article and exploring the included links. Although the title mentions law libraries, specifically, the information contained in the article goes far beyond that. According to the author herself, \"I found the comments and opinions above to be interesting, and more importantly, thought provoking. I was especially surprised at how few librarians had any influence in the development of their firm/school/agency\'s Internet access policy...\" more...
Submitted by Matt on August 20, 2001 - 11:32am
The Independent has this story on possible new funding sources for the British Library. Possibilities include corporate sponsorship of individual posts, like a university endowed chair. Other ideas include postcards, a \"Railtrack wing\", and inviting, \"private investors to build and run new facilities.\"
Submitted by Ryan on August 20, 2001 - 11:14am
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has issued a call to the public to
protest the inclusion in the Free Trade Area of the
Americas (FTAA) treaty of language that grants even
greater control to publishers of intellectual property than the Digital Millenium Copyright Act:
While Russian graduate student Dmitry Sklyarov potentially faces five years in prison under the first criminal prosecution of a controversial new US law, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) passed at the request of Hollywood in 1998, its backers are now busily exporting overseas its dangerous legal theories of excessive copyright protection at the price of civil liberties. Worldwide public intervention is immediately necessary to restore freedom of speech as a value promoted by free societies. . .
The public comment period ends 8/22. The complete press release can be found here . Thanks to Slashdot.
Submitted by Ieleen on August 20, 2001 - 10:54am
Jan Bissett and Margi Heinen write...
\"It\'s been a slow journey. Okay, we\'ll admit it. It started with curiosity and collection development. With most everyone examining print collections for web replacements, often with a critical eye on dates, coverage and duplication, even reference collections are being questioned. And there\'s really no need to keep that SIC Manual, is there? It\'s over ten years old and it\'s been replaced with the NAICS, so can\'t we use that shelf space for something else, or better yet, use the web? And the answer is, of course, yes and no.\" more... from LLRX.
Submitted by Ryan on August 20, 2001 - 10:48am
Dr. Sulayman Nyang, a professor of African Studies at Howard University , is donating 20,000 books from his personal collection to the University of Gambia library:
Prof Nyang . . . made this pledge last Thursday at a reception organised in his honour by the vice chancellor of the University of The Gambia. Speaking at the reception Prof Nyang said, \"I think the University of The Gambia has a humble beginning but like a mustard seed that is planted and cultivated properly, it could very well develop into a massive hope tree and there will be many birds building their nests on this tree. Those of you who are actively involved in helping plant, water and cultivate this seed of potential academic development in this country will be remembered by future generations of Gambians, Africans and human beings from the other parts of the world.\"
[More from allAfrica.com.]
Submitted by Ieleen on August 20, 2001 - 10:37am
It looks as though the political turmoil in Freeport, (IL) has extended far beyond the issue over the new library. Now, the public is taking its turn at criticizing the political institution, which includes the library board, mayor and city council. Although the article doesn\'t discuss specifically the issue of the library, the author does make some good points about leadership in general which seem worthy of sharing. This is the stuff library schools should be teaching. more...
Submitted by Ieleen on August 20, 2001 - 10:08am
The City of Houston, TX has launched a campaign to close the digital divide by offering free e-mail addresses and use of free computer software for all residents. There are already about 1,000 computers available for use in libraries and police stations. The article also mentions the fact that corporate giving to technology programs may be waning in light of economic slowdown. Looks like libraries are still the only game in town. more... from USA Today