Independent Thinking and Middle East Librarians

Lee Hadden wrties: \"Stephen S. Rosenfeld had an
intriguing editorial in the Washington
Post concerning a letter sent by a librarian at the King
Fahd National
Library in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The writer of the letter,
one S\'ud Ibn
Muhammad Al-\'Aqili, wrote about the Palestinian
Authority\'s use of children
in the current intifada. The writer notes that the Prophet
Mohammed refused
to use children below 14 years of age in his
campaigns, but the PLO does
today. The editorial is about the independent thinking of
this individual.

The original letter can be read as \"Special Dispatch
#206\" in the Middle
East Media and Research Institute (MEMRI) site at: memri.org.
An interesting analysis, and an interesting comment
on library staff.\"

Price of stupidity: Read

I know it isn\'t excatly funny ha-ha, more like funny strange I guess...

The so called \"Jackass Four\", the high school teens who ran over their buddy while trying to recreate a TV stunt showing a man jumping over a moving car. The only shows the teen-agers are allowed to watch for the next six months are nightly news programs. And (here\'s the library connection), they must read 12 classics each and turn in a book report every two weeks.

Full Story

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Laura Bush - Bitch or Victim?

Someone writes \"Fun story, despite the librarian stereotype...

\"As a former librarian, Laura is likely to be viewed by the public more as bespectacled victim than bitch (though this stereotype doesn\'t have much allure for Chatterbox, who in his time has encountered more than a few tyrannical librarians).\"

Full Story
\"

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Cataloging Missteps at the French National Library

From the International
Herald Tribune
: \"More than any other new
monument in Paris, the new
National Library
is a symbol of Francois
Mitterrand\'s desire to prove that he was the
\'thinker-president.\' Today, the building is less
associated with thinking than with calamity:
stupendously impractical architecture, despite the early
protests of people with experience in the field; a
user-unfriendly location and a clumsy attempt to mix a
scholarly library with a public one.\"

Bad News @ Questia Media

The Houston Chronicle is Reporting Questia laid off half of its work force Tuesday. They are also slowing down the pace at which books are added to the site because it was too hard to raise enough additional cash from investors to justify the pace at which it was adding books. Laid-off employees will receive eight weeks of pay and 60 days of benefits, not too bad I guess. They\'ve also had a fivefold increase in the number of paying subscribers in the past two weeks alone, that puts the number at around 5,000.

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The Best of Times, The Worst of Times

Carrie passed along This NYTimes Story on Richmond, VA\'s decision to buy 23,000 new Apple iBook laptops. That\'ll be enough for every teacher and student in its middle and high schools.

Meanwhile in Montreal, the English Montreal School Board is considering reducing staffing hours at its elementary-school libraries. Yet more bad new from Canada, it never seems to stop. Full Story

Two Ohio Legislators Oppose Statewide Library Freeze

This one comes via ALA Online...
From the smallest rural public library to the academic library at the Ohio State University, libraries across the state of Ohio are scrambling to cut programs and services

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FCC Considers Action to Stop E-Rate Fleecing of Consumers by Phone Companies

From The New York Times...
Under the E-Rate plan, the FCC currently requires telephone companies to contribute 6.9 percent of their interstate and international toll revenue to schools and libraries for Internet service and other technology expenses. Phone companies are allowed by law to recover a portion of these funds via what\'s called a Universal Service Fee. In light of certain telecompanies charging consumers several times the amount the carrier actually pays, the FCC is considering placing a cap on the amount telephone companies can charge consumers for the Universal Service Fee. [more...] from The New York Times.
**This is a free subscription service. To subscribe, Click Here.

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The Ol\' Bookmobile

Idahostatesman.com has a cool Story on a traveling library created in 1898 by the women of the Boise Colombian Club. The books were loaded into wooden crates and shipped by stagecoach or train to a library station. The article outlines the entire history of libraries in ID.

DMCA Misses the Mark

eCompany has a nice Story on the DMCA.

They say Media companies are quick to invoke the DMCA but it won\'t work. The DMCA is clearly losing the war being fought against it on two fronts.
1. The law is being invoked in cases where its ability to deter anybody\'s behavior is questionable
2. It\'s being used to preempt rights that are close to Americans\' hearts.

R.I.P. stupid law

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home-ed-press.com Now Links to Porn Site!

Amy Hollingsworth writes \"Since 20% of our subscribers are libraries, I thought you might want to post this. It\'s a terrible situation: people trying to access information on homeschooling will instead be sent to a porn site. It\'s one of those sites that doesn\'t let you escape; it keeps opening multiple windows until the browser or computer crashes.

We appreciate any help you can offer in getting the word out!


Sites that originally linked to Home Education Magazine through home-ed-press.com should now use: www.home-ed-magazine.com.

Full Relase Follows

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Filtering Round Up

More than a few Filtering Stories in my Bookmarks this morning.

Colorado\'s Bill keeping kids from Net porn looks like it will die in the CO State Senate.

CNN Story on how representatives of nearly a dozen anti-pornography organizations will meet with U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft next week to try and convince the government to start enforcing obscenity laws.

Yahoo! is now under fire from \'betrayed\' porn fans, after it began to crack down on all things naked on the site. See Also.

Will The Religious Right
Make The Tech Slump Even Worse?
is an interesting look at what could happen if all those groups get their way.

AOL\'s New Filter on the Block

Kuroshin.org on the family friendly library.

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Literary life and death

Bob Cox sent along This Story that takes a very different look at \"Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper\" by Nicholson Baker.
I know, you\'re probably about sick of hearing about this book, but this story is very different. The author worries that this influential book will lead us to consider the concept of the life cycle of literature in unhelpful ways.

\"Rather than join Baker in mourning the long dead, we should draw attention to and drum up support for efforts to keep books alive, if only momentarily.\"

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The Filtering of America Online

Wired has this one about AOL and RuleSpace joining forces in implementing filtering software. Although civil liberties advocates are still skeptical, RuleSpace and AOL report that the filter has been working well due to content recognition technology, parental controls and user feedback. Proponents feel that if AOL is using it, it has to be good.

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Censorship in Cartoons

Lee Hadden writes: \"Many of the cartoons
produced before 1950 used and satirized racial and
ethnic stereotypes. In an article in Friday\'s Wall Street
Journal, May 4,
2001, first page, \"Bunny in Blackface: Why Cartoon
Network Won\'t Run 12 Bugs
Pix: Its Plans for a June Retrospective Sparked
Concerns Over Taste; Two
Agendas Inside AOL.\"
Some of the Bugs Bunny cartoons produced during
World War II showed
racial and ethnic stereotypes against the Japanese and
Germans. Other Bugs
Bunny cartoons showed racial stereotypes and
demeaning situations that are
offensive to today\'s sensibilities.
The owners of the original Bugs Bunny cartoons did
not want these
offensive cartoons shown, even for historical
representations and
retrospective reviews. The control over the cartoons is
slipping, as is the
censorship efforts to prevent their being seen.
Read more about it in the Wall Street Journal.\"

You should be able to see some of them Here at Throttlebox.com

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Emerging Technologies That Will Change Public Libraries

John Guscott says his report you may have seen here
before was updated on May
1 and has doubled in length.
Read the full report for an interesting look
into the future. They\'ve selected crucial technologies
that public library administrators, trustees, managers
and professionals should be watching.
Teleservice
Next Generation Online Publishing
Language and Translation Software
And several more.

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Library cat attacks assistance dog

Alert reader Charles Davis sent along This Story from
ananova.com on a
man that filed a $1.5 million claim against a
California city, after a cat who lives in the public library
allegedly attacked
his dog.
The cat was apparently uninjured.
The cat is featured on the
library\'s
website
, and even has it\'s own FAQ. They say it\'s usually lounging on
bookshelves or cabinets
and is popular with the library\'s readers.
The man says his assistance dog was attacked by
LC moments after they entered the library in
Escondido.MGTC passed along Two more Stories on the same thing.
I don\'t quite know what to say on this one, some
animals just get along like, well, cats and dogs.

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Nicholson Baker\'s Predjudices

Lee Hadden writes \"While many librarians and
library supporters have criticized Nicholson
Baker\'s attack on library stewardship in his book
\"Double Fold,\" few have
picked up on his sartorial prejudices against male
librarians wearing
bowties. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal on
May 4, 2001, on page
W17 by Joseph Epstein, \"Fit to be Tied: The Enemies of
Civilization Find a
New Target, Just Below the Chin.\" describes and
illustrates this prejudice
agaisnt bowties.


Mr. Epstein notes that Mr. Baker \"...seems to have his
villains neatly
turned out in bowties: A man named Verner Clapp is a
\"polymathic bowtie
wearer,\" and the historian and former Librarian of
Congress Daniel Boorstein
is described as a \"chronic bowtie wearer.\"


If Mr. Baker is mistrustful of male librarians simply
because they wear
bowties, then he is seeing a trend to maybe match the
old stereotype of the
female librarian in hairbun, breastwatch, and reading
glasses on a string of
fake pearls, finger poised to go \"Shush!\" I am thus
tempted to join the ranks
and change my work uniform to something more in
keeping with guild
guidelines. I might trade in my four-in-ones for the
Daniel Moyniham look.
But then, I might not.\"

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Exit Gutenberg ?

The Atlantic Monthly has a Story on eBook World conference in New York. They say the consensus from the conference was that digital delivery of most \"print\" is inevitable. I guess only time will tell if they were right.

Out of Print, But Into Digital from Wired, takes a look at octavo.com a company that uses digital technology to capture images of rare books, manuscripts and other materials on CD-ROMs.
Seems like a more useful eBook for now.

The Library Buildings Boom

LA Times Story on the new Central Library and the name that is stiring up some Controversy.

The Story from Seattle is a bit different, it mostly focuses on the team designing the new Central Library. The library is busy evolving even before it gets built.

Hopefully to avoid The Mess in Paris. The new National Library which has \"stupendously impractical architecture\", a large stairway that is slippery in the rain and open to the winds, awkwardly structured spaces for both researchers and staff, impractically situated toilets and so on.

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