17th-century texts stolen from Oxford

Always helpful Charles Davis passed along This Times UK Story
on several 400-year-old theology books that have disappeared from the Bodleian Library at Oxford, just days after thieves tried to
snatch precious watches, silver and gold from the university’s
neighbouring Ashmolean Museum.

The 17th-century books, worth about £20,000, had been
available to study on request and were not in display cases.
They think ten large volumes were smuggled out of the library, concealed in clothing.

Traditional publishing\'s latest horror story

Cliff writes \"This is an interesting article especially because it suggests some interesting ideas on how this technology will or could be used. It\'s too bad publishers find this a threat rather than think of it as a business opportunity, but perhaps that\'s the bias of this article\'s writer. This kind of tech will make trees more endangered than ever, as books can join the ranks of \"throwaway\" status if this technology becomes widespread. One can imagine some publishers priting very cheap copies of books, meant to be thrown away (trashy novels, for example?)

Full Story from Digital Mass \"


Gates gives $4.2 million to UK libraries

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has donated $4.2 million to British libraries, reports this story from the Times (UK). The money will be used to provide information technology learning centres in 350 libraries serving some of the most deprived areas in the UK. It will be very welcome as the government wants all 4,300 of Britain\'s libraries to be online by next year, no easy task.

The Warrior Librarian gets makeover

Earlier this month, there was a story about the very funny site of Biblia, the Warrior Librarian, written by a school librarian and full of good stuff. Now, \"in an effort to compete with sites that look nicer than Biblia\'s old site\" Biblia is getting a major makeover and the site is now called Warrior Librarian Weekly. It\'s well worth a look, there\'s some great new content there too. Following Biblia\'s example...(there is no more to read).

Sep 1st Deadline for Public Library of Science Demands

Matt Eberle writes \"September 1st is the deadline for the Public Library of Science demands to be met. 25,000 scientists have pledged to publish in, edit, review for, and subscribe to only journals that agree to make articles available after a 6 month embargo.

Full Story\"

Child pornography in the suburbs

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that a man has been accused of downloading child pornography at a suburban library. Of course, it gets turned into a story about filtering: Library says no to Net filter despite porn case.

Strange how we never seem to get similar angles in other kinds of crime-in-the-library stories: "Library says no to security cameras despite assault," etc.


Being an Anomaly: Male Librarians

A great article from Ex Libris that I hope hasn\'t been posted here already:

I know what it\'s like to be the only woman in male-dominated organizations -- uncomfortable! -- so I always wondered what it was like for men to work in female-dominated professions like librarianship. A while back, I asked my male readers about their experiences, and several of you responded. I also read a survey of male librarians in the March, 1994 American Libraries, and a book by Christine Williams, Still a Man\'s World: Men Who Do Women\'s Work. Between these, I think I\'ve gotten some sense of the pleasures and awkwardnesses of this situation. (More)

Thanks to New Breed Librarian


E-Books Flowering in China

The Chinese government\'s recent move to restrict Internet access has not stopped e-books from attracting an audience there:

A portable e-book device is now available through The Xinhua Book Store in Xinhua, China. The Xinhua E-Book, which has been developed with a Taiwanese tech company, connects to the Internet and supports multimedia Audio visual programs. The Xinhua Post has created a channel for the device. At another Chinese site, Eshunet.com, e-books are free for the taking. (In Chinese, \"shu\" means book.) All titles are in EXE format and over 700,000 units are downloaded each day. Eshunet encourages redistribution, such as posting e-books to other sites or mailing them to friends, and has obtained permission from its authors to give their work out for free.

More from Wired

Electronic Publishers Coalition Condemns Criminal Use of DMCA

\"Persecution of an individual shouldn\'t be any company\'s response to a commercial disagreement, especially regarding copyright,\" Connie Foster, the EPC executive director said Sunday.

All members of the EPC -- not just a small portion of them as with print-oriented groups like the AAP -- work with the Adobe and other electronic formats to publish their e-books, and we recognize that the same technology that benefits publishers with lower production and distribution costs also aids copyright violators.

In this case, readers\' interests should be paramount, and the leading e-book formats -- Adobe\'s among them -- slight them by making it impossible to open an e-book when upgrading to a new computer or when suffering a number of all-too-common computer woes, such as virus infection and hard-disk failure.\"

Read the Full Release.

The Electronic Publishers Coalition was founded by a group of publishers committed to furthering the growth of the e-book community. It is the largest trade association of electronic publishers in the world. A primary role of the EPC is to follow through on its commitment to develop a healthy marketplace for digital content as well as to take a leadership role in setting minimum standards in order to encourage quality within our industry.

American Association of Publishers Supports Sklyarov Prosecution

Pat Schroeder and company weigh in:

In the AAP\'s announcement, released July 19, president and CEO Patricia Schroeder hailed Sklyarov\'s arrest as consistent with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, which prohibits the manufacture or distribution of tools designed to circumvent technological protections on copyrighted material. \"It\'s only common sense to expect that, if the public wants desirable books to be available online and through other digital media like the Adobe Reader, the authors and publishers who have the legal rights to commercially exploit such works in the global digital marketplace must have reasonable assurances that the market value of their works can be protected from the extraordinary risks of illegal reproduction and distribution that are made possible by the capabilities of digital media,\" said Schroeder. \"Congress understood this when it enacted the DMCA to help promote the online availability of copyrighted works.\"

This article and an editorial on the case are available at eBookWeb.

A Library to End All Libraries?

I\'m sure Stephen H. Wildstrom didn\'t give that title as much thought as he should have, or maybe he did.
His Story in Businessweek is about how publishers are developing a system for locating and retrieving material on the Web--especially the sort of copyright works now found mostly in libraries.

They call it the Digital Object Identifier for eBooks, The DOI consists of two parts: a prefix that identifies the publisher, and a publisher-created suffix unique to the work.

The project is also part of a much broader effort to make Web content easier to locate and retrieve. While books are just starting to join the system, there are 3 million DOIs in use giving live cross-references in online academic and professional journals.

Check it out for yourself at crossref.org


Jail Break Librarian Going To Jail

Jon Noble writes \"Librarian Lucy Dudko has been jailed for a maximum of ten years after she hijacked a helicopter at gunpoint to pluck her armed robber lover from prison.
Lucy Dudko, a 43-year-old librarian whose father is a Russian military helicopter pilot, was convicted earlier this year of breaking out armed robber John Killick from Silverwater jail on March 25, 1999.

Ms Dudko maintains her innocence and intends to appeal\"

Full Story


Wish I May, Wish I Might...

ResPool writes \"The ResPool Research Network, a free research and resource discovery service for librarians and researchers, has announced it is introducing a new feature called \"The Wish List,\" where users can anonymously submit suggestions for information resources that don\'t yet exist but should be developed. Volunteer web developers in and beyond the library community will review the list and, upon finding a project they like or have expertise in, create free resources based on suggestions and make resulting websites available to users worldwide. For more details visit the ResPool home page and click on \"The Wish List\" link. It promises to be a \"gratifying experience.\"


Adobe Sez Oops

Adobe and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) today jointly recommend the release of Russian programmer Dmitry
Sklyarov from federal custody.

Adobe is also withdrawing its support for the criminal
complaint against Dmitry Sklyarov. I guess I\'ll buy Photoshop 6 after all.

Read the Full Release.
Props to /.

See also this Salon.com Story sent in by Dawn Devine.


Children\'s Internet Protection Act May See A Court

Wired Is Reporting the coalition of public libraries, library patrons and website operators that filed the challenge in March against the Children\'s Internet Protection Act of 2000 may get its\' day in court, next February.

The Justice Department, which is representing
the Federal Communications Commission and
the Institute of Museum and Library Services
in the suit, asked a federal court in
Philadelphia to dismiss the case saying the
challenge is without merit.

They must be too busy praying in the office to have the time to actually defend this one.

\"\"There are a zillion issues here,\" Chief Judge
Edward Becker of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals told a team of Justice Department attorneys during
an hour-long hearing.\"


Bush recommends Reading

Ron Force writes \"From the Washington Post:

Wisdom From Across the Pond
The British coverage of President Bush\'s visit to London last week could have been better. Here\'s the London Daily Mirror on Friday: \"On a visit to the British Museum he was asked by one of 30 pupils gathered what the White House was like, to which he replied: \'It is white.\'

\"Then he went on to tell the audience the importance of a good education. He said: \'Sometimes boys and girls would rather watch TV than read. When your teachers say read, they are giving you pretty damn good advice.\' \"

Full Story\"

Another dangerous library

Theresa Westrup passed along This Wild Story on a man who got car jacked while leaving the library in Mankato, MN.

Two hours later the car jacker dropped his pellet gun and gave him self up.
No word on the books.


First map to use the name America heads for the US

Charles Davis writes \"The first map to use the name America is heading for the
Library of Congress.
It is buying the 394-year-old chart for $10 million.
It\'s the only known copy of a map that historians say caused
the hemisphere to be named after explorer Amerigo
Vespucci instead of Columbus.
James H Billington, the librarian of Congress, commented:
\"This map, giving our hemisphere its name for the first time,
will be the crown jewel of the library\'s already unparalleled
collection of maps an atlases.\"
he map is often referred to as America\'s birth certificate.

Full story. \"


Digital Content Vendors and Academic Libraries

Despite its lazy title, this article (from the latest issue of University Business) appears to be an intelligent survey of the companies seeking to sell digital content to academic libraries:

If there is one institution on a college campus that has never faced outside competition, it is the library. Cafeterias and snack bars lose customers to local pizza joints, and the bookstore continually fights various off-campus and online rivals. Even the classroom has commercial competitors. But the great book depository in the center of campus has always rested easy. When students needed to research and write term papers—or when faculty members planned reading lists and put books on reserve—the library was the only game in town. Until now. A half-dozen companies would like to undermine the library\'s monopoly. Styling themselves as digital libraries, course-pack providers, content aggregators, and research guides, they offer a variety of products aimed at students at all levels. None intend to replace the library, of course, but the firms are positioning themselves as purveyors of supplemental services of digital content that libraries do not provide.

There is also an interesting sidebar on the African Digital Library

Anti-Adobe Protestors Take to the Streets

\"Free Dmitri Sklyarov!\" was the rallying cry at protests held around the U.S. today. FreeSklyarov.org has information on the protests and the condition of the jailed Russian programmer.

The Adobe/Elcomsoft battle is receiving a huge amount of attention in programming and copyright law circles. The New York Times suggests it is catalyzing resistance to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act:

The arrest last week of a Russian programmer accused of violating an American digital copyright law has stirred an opposition, both against the law itself and Adobe Systems, the software company that initiated the case against the programmer. The Russian, Dmitri Sklyarov, was arrested last Monday at a computer hacker convention in Las Vegas, where he made a presentation about the security flaws in the encryption software, like Adobe\'s, used to prevent the piracy of electronic books. Mr. Sklyarov, who is being held in a Las Vegas jail, was detained under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, which makes it a crime to traffic in devices, like software, that circumvent digital encryption. Violations are punishable by as much as five years in prison and a $500,000 fine. (More)


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