Susan Calcari Passes

Gary Price passed along the news that Susan Calcari, the founder and director of the Internet Scout Project passed away on July 8, after a long battle with breast cancer. Susan\'s family has set up at scholarship fund to honor her memory -- donations can be made to \"Iron Mountain High School - Susan Calcari Scholarship Trust,\" Iron Mountain High School, 300 West \"B\" St, Iron Mountain, MI 49801.

An obituary can be found on the Scout Website.


The Dawn of the Pay-Per-View Web?

This just in from Slashdot- a potentially grim development for those providing their patrons with free Web access:

\"A Norwegian newssite ( has a story . . . about a Swedish company\'s filter-system which enable content-delivery sites to differentiate between different ISP\'s. This means that the ISP has to pay a fee to the site in order to enable the site\'s content to the ISP\'s users. Another story (also norwegian) discusses the implications of this. They report that the swedish company (Tric AB) will \"act as a third party between ISP\'s and content-suppliers with the intent to let the content-suppliers get a share of the access-income. It will act as a clearinghouse where the income from the ISP\'s is distributed to different content-suppliers in relation to size and traffic\". According to a swedish newssite (, Tric has already gathered the largest content-suppliers in Sweden and they are already in discussions with the large ISP and telecoms in Sweden (Telia, Tele2 etc.) which are positive to this. The background for this initiative is the problem of financing the content on the Internet. So far it\'s all been advertising and subsidising from other parts of the companies, now it will be the up to the ISP and telecom-companies to share the income with other actors. This would also be the death of smaller ISP\'s that feed off the free structure of the net, given that this model is applied to the entire net. And not to forget the new business created: clearinghouses. We were just waiting for another level of complicity.\" Either your ISP pays a fee to the content provider (raising your access fees, of course), or the provider blocks access to itself from all of your ISP\'s users and you have to deal with their complaints. We\'ll probably see this in the U.S. soon, as the next stage in the media consolidation.\"

Scroll down to about the 1/2 way mark on the page to find this article and a link to the 100+ outraged responses. Thanks to Metafilter.

Russian E-Book Pirates Still Afloat

The Moscow Times reports that Elcomsoft (the Russian firm whose software allowed the piracy of e-books
sold by Barnes and Noble) is now offering their products for
free via the web:

Barnes &, the No. 1 U.S. online book store, halted the sale of electronic books after Russian company Elcomsoft began selling a program to illegally copy text.
Under pressure from Adobe Systems, which created the protective software for the e-books, Elcomsoft was compelled to discontinue the sales of its \"hacker\" program.
It is now distributing that program for free. . . \"We have published the web address from which the program can be taken for free,\" [manager Alexander] Katalov said, \"and in the future we will probably publish the cracking algorithm for eBook . . . according to current Russian judicial practice, one can\'t be tried for a web address.\" [More. . . ]

For those of you who can read Russian, here\'s a new site that outlines the current state of Russian copyright law.

Banned Books Offer Chance for Learning

A South Carolina librarian, recognized as one of the top most influential 20th century librarians, has written a book about banned books.
\"the book is designed to show adults how they can guide young students through novels that have been banned for reasons including foul language, overt sex and racial rhetoric. “I don’t believe every book is for every child,” she said in a telephone interview. “But these are books that shouldn’t be missed.” [more...] from MSNBC.


Library rage over floppy disk

I\'m sorry to lower the tone after today\'s important stories, but here\'s one I couldn\'t resist - an assistant librarian from Belfast Free Library (Maine) has been charged with assault for punching a patron. The patron had tried to use a floppy disk in a library computer and the two had to be pulled apart. The full story from the Bangor Daily News.
I particularly like the sentence \"Police said that use of floppy disks is not allowed\", as though that explains everything!


Judith Platt Responds

Judith Platt has responded on her radical librarian remarks below.

\"The last thing that I intended was to anger or alienate the library
community. I value them as friends, colleagues and allies in the fight for
free expression and literacy. If publishers and librarians don\'t always see
eye-to-eye on copyright issues, we\'ve been able to seek workable compromises
in the past, and we have every expectation of doing so in the digital

I was quoted completely out of context ZDNet news article.


Library radicals targeted in latest copyright battles Is Reporting on the copyright controversy that casts us as villains simply for doing our job.

And you thought Pat Schroeder was bad a few months ago?

\"They\'ve got their radical factions, like the Ruby Ridge or Waco types, who want to share all content for free, said Judith Platt, a spokeswoman for the Association of American Publishers.\"

They say Publishing houses primary targets are now the public library.
You go ahead and worry about filters, or hotels, me, I\'ll be worrying about The DMCA and The AAP. We\'ll see what impacts libraries more.

\"I don\'t see the doomsday of libraries not existing,\" said Wayne Overbeck, a professor of communications at California State University at Fullerton, who\'s been closely watching the digital copyright debates. \"But I do see libraries having a smaller collection. It\'s going to cost a lot more money than ever for libraries to be up to date.\"

Promise Keepers Seek to Purify Cyberspace

For CNS News, Michael Betsch writes...

\"Promise Keepers, a group that rallies men to be better husbands and fathers, is taking its family-values mission to cyberspace, offering a new Internet Provider Service that will help members \"guard their hearts and minds. Promise Keepers said the service, called, is \"for any person or family who is concerned about filtering out negative content and allowing only positive resources of the Internet through.\" Inspired by the organization\'s Third Promise, which says \"a Promise Keeper is committed to practicing spiritual, moral, ethical, and sexual purity,\" will automatically filter out websites containing pornography, hate speech, violence, and other content that presents an obstacle to the fulfillment of this promise. [more...]


More Head Butting Over Gay Pride Display

This time it comes from Alamogordo, NM. It seems there\'s more brouhaha over another gay pride display. I think everyone should just be allowed to display everything ... on second thought... [more...] from The Alamogordo Daily News.


Digital Book Rights

Carrie McNerney writes \"A federal judge in Manhattan ruled yesterday that the term \"book\" in book contracts does
not automatically include electronic books. The decision goes to the heart of a battle over who controls the right to sell digital editions of the great majority of work published the last century. They say the decision will be good for authors and agents from reselling the digital rights to previously published work. \"

Full Story from The NY Times

Not Your Average Summer Reading Program

I love reading about library summer programs for kids, especially the ones where the program goes way beyond the reading part. This program allowed children to study nature and included letting them dissect owl pellets. Librarianship is such a learning profession, and librarians are so creative. I had no idea what an owl pellet was until I read this. It wasn\'t what I would have thought... [read more...] from The St. Petersburg, (FL) Times.

Librarian Finds WWII Soldier\'s Kin

From The Detroit, (MI) News, Scott Neinas writes...
\"Hiram Wilkinson left Petersburg about 60 years ago to fight in World War II. Soon his remains may be coming back, thanks in part to a librarian at the Summerfield Petersburg Branch Library.\" [more...]


Librarianship is Second Most Headache Prone Profession

The makers of Excedrin recently sponsored a study to determine the profession that causes the most headaches. According to the study, librarians are the second most likely group to suffer headaches, followed by truck drivers and construction workers. Accountants are more likely than all the others to suffer headaches. The article provides a link to a headache quiz as well as a treatment quiz. read more here from Cleveland, Ohio\'s NewsNet5.


B & T Joins Gaylord to Allow Libraries to Check-Out Digital Text

I came across this while doing one of those library things ... It seems that B & T and Gaylord have joined forces to develop a means of allowing libraries to download and circulate electronic text. This is what Katherine Blauer, the prez of Gaylord has to say: \"Truly efficient workflows for ordering, order acknowledgement and invoicing have been elusive in the world of acquisitions processing. Our close collaboration with Baker & Taylor will streamline the acquisitions process and reduce the amount of time it takes to get materials into the hands of library users.\" Yeah, but what\'s it gonna cost? [more...]


Library Project is a Model for Cooperation

From The South Idaho Press, Renee Wells writes,

\"What the Rupert DeMary Library and the Burley Municipal Library (Heyburn, ID) have combined to create is what library leaders would like to see happen nationwide. Robin Cabot, from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), in Washington, D.C., visited with committee members about their efforts in promoting the proposed Magic Sage Library District. Cabot praised the committee for its promotion efforts, but his real excitement was generated by the efforts the committee has put forth in writing an exemplary grant and administering it in such a way as to become a pattern for libraries nationwide to follow. Asked by Committee Chairperson Kathleen Hedberg why Congress was so willing to appropriate money for such a project, Cabot said the Mini-Cassia effort is a excellent example of how library districts should operate.\"


Vancouver Library Plans Hearing on Child Internet Act

From The Columbian, (Vancouver, WA), Tom Vogt writes...

\"Children\'s Internet access and Web filtering in local libraries will be the topic of a hearing Aug. 6 at Vancouver Community Library ... The regional library receives about $30,000 a year in telecommunications money for a wide range of telephone, data and Web services...\"[more...]


Judge Rules Against Random House

Random House has lost its bid to have electronic publishing rights implicitly included in traditional contracts, though the ruling is likely to have limited impact on publishers:

Denying a request from Random House for a preliminary injunction, a federal judge ruled today that an online publisher could sell electronic versions of books by authors who had signed book contracts with Random House.

The judge concluded that Random House did not own the rights to publish the eight works in question as electronic books.

The ruling in a federal district court in Manhattan was based on principles of contract law. It dealt only with four contracts signed long before electronic books became technologically possible. But it was a setback for conventional publishers because it further established that they must separately negotiate electronic publishing rights. . . Still, it was a limited victory [for authors] because most publishers\' contracts now deal with electronic rights.
[More from the New York Times.]

Religious books: Divine popularity

CNN has This Story on sales of religious books being up more than 4 percent.
They say it\'s not just Christian-oriented books that are selling so well, but any religious books tend to be doing well.
Does anyone keep circulation numbers on this type of book, are they up as well?

\"The more suspicious people are of their local church, then the more apt they are to just assemble their own books, to assemble their own spiritual life,\"


Teachers choose raises over librarians in Salt Lake

Tanya writes \"This is a follow-up to an earlier story. The Granite School District has opted to move librarians to teacher positions and staff the media centers with library-aides after the teachers union rejected a 1.4% raise as being too low. The story will be available at the Salt Lake Tribune website for the next week\"

Utah seems to hate school librarians. They say few of Utah\'s 40 districts have full-time librarians working in elementary schools, and this district only requires one librarian for every two or three schools.

America\'s Library Site Registers More Than 100 Million Hits

I found this one while visiting The Library of Congress.

\"America\'s Library (, the Library\'s Web site for children and families, has handled more than 100 million \"hits\" since its April 2000 debut. \"This milestone is a testimony to the Web site\'s appeal to both children and families,\" said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. \"With its colorful, interactive elements, America\'s Library has been instrumental in making the Library\'s collections more accessible to people of all ages.\" To visit the site, Click Here.



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