Person Injured in Detroit Libary Explosion

An explosion occurred at the Detroit Public Library Thursday morning. One library worker was injured and is listed in serious condition. The cause is believed to be a problem with the air conditioning system. [more...]
Here\'s another story from the Detroit News.


The Average Reader Doesn\'t Care About Quality

Newspapers are dissing book reviews. Reasons cited are \"the average reader really doesn\'t care about quality.\" I wonder, according to whom? One editor says \"book review sections only appeal to a small, elite, older readership.\" Ya don\'t say... The article also goes on to say that \"newspaper editors don\'t read books.\" Now, that doesn\'t surprise me. [more...] from Salon.


Baker & Taylor to Offer Library E-Book Infrastructure

Baker and Taylor has signed a deal with Reciprocal to develop a \"digital library and content delivery system\" for B&T\'s client libraries:

Baker & Taylor has signed an exclusive multiyear deal with digital infrastructure provider Reciprocal to deliver books in electronic form to thousands of B&T\'s client libraries.

Under the agreement, Reciprocal will build a digital library and content-delivery system for the library market to the specifications of Baker & Taylor\'s Informata e-commerce business unit. Content will be delivered to libraries as part of a digital subscription service provided by Informata, enabling library patrons to browse e-books online or download and check them out of the library for specified periods. Baker & Taylor and other wholesalers will sell digital content through Informata\'s subscription service to libraries for their patrons\' use, and Reciprocal will resell content in markets that Baker & Taylor does not currently serve. [More from Publishers Weekly (free registration now required.)]

Here is Reciprocal\'s press release on the deal.

School Board Considers Banning Books With Dirty Words

A Brunswick, Georgia school board is considering banning books that contain profanity. The biggest offender is Salinger\'s \"Catcher in the Rye,\" which contains references to homosexuality, drinking and probably the f-word. Ya know, I\'ve never even read that book. [more...] from ABC News.

George W.Bush in the Reading Room

Charles Davis writes \"On 19th July George W. Bush was at the Reading Room of the British Museum,
where he and his librarian wife, Laura, read to children during a morning of cultural events.
Bush said: \"The Reading Room is spectacular. Did you know they
have a book there where people signed in to read there? Karl Marx, Lenin, Mark Twain
and now George W. Bush. From one end of the spectrum to the other.\"
Full Story \"


Book Business Is Latest Battleground

Carrie sent along This NYTimes Story on the second stage in the legal fight over the ground rules of media contracts and copyright law in the Internet age, the first being Napster.

Now writers are fighting with the traditional media companies over the application of old-media concepts in the new-media world. Now they fight over questions about the meaning of the word book and the experience of reading pixels instead of print.
They are focusing on the RosettaBooks case.

Mayan scribes/librarians

Ursula writes \"Here\'s a Story from the New York Times on the very interesting (and often painful) lives of the \"keepers of the royal libraries\" in Mayan culture.\"

They came from the noble class , sometimes from the royal family itself, but, if their king lost, the were captured, humiliated in a public ceremony, mutilated and finally executed.
Seems almost as bad as a the board meetings of today.


This is Your Brain on Vacation

For The Dallas Morning News, Tim Wyatt has written an article on homework sites for kids to refresh their minds on what they may have lost during the summer. He\'s included some pretty cool links that are definitely worth checking out. [more...]


Annoucement Comes - EPFL Branches Will Close on September 1

As has been reported here, the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, MD has been forced to close five of its branches. The announcement came yesterday on which five are to get the axe on September 1 of this year. The collections from each branch will be divided up among local schools and other community organizations. [more...] from SunSpot.


New Library Promps Hopes for Intellectual Revival in Egypt

Doesn\'t sound too bloody likely, however:

[As] the new library\'s credentials grew -- and $200 million poured in from Persian Gulf states, the United Nations and other international donors to finish the building -- the book collection expanded slowly but with no guiding principle. There is no set budget for acquisitions, and the previous director was criticized for his willingness to accept any donated tome that came through the door. His policy, detractors warned, threatened to create an 8 million volume attic of castoffs instead of the \"lighthouse for thought\" spoken of by its chief patron, Egyptian first lady Suzanne Mubarak. As of now about 200,000 \"so-so\" volumes are in hand, Serageldin said, including outdated travel and investment guides and old copies of the Guinness Book of World Records.

[More from the Washington Post .]

Anchorage Library Lawsuit Settled

For The Anchorage Daily News, Tim Pryor writes...

\"Anchorage Mayor George Wuerch on Tuesday reached a legal settlement with exhibitors of a gay pride display at the Z.J. Loussac Library, cutting short a court battle and agreeing to pay $10,000 of the exhibitors\' attorney\'s fees. The agreement brings to an end a more than month-long struggle over a gay pride exhibit at the library, but it doesn\'t resolve a larger question of what kind of displays from outside the library will be held there in the future. A temporary city ban on exhibits from outside the library will continue for now, Wuerch said. That means a six-city exhibit of Appalachian photographs and other arts and crafts will remain unassembled. It was supposed to be on display for about two months, beginning Monday. I\'m convinced we did what was right for the citizens of Anchorage, Wuerch said from his home Tuesday evening. The judge has made his ruling, and we\'ll comply with the judge\'s ruling. There\'s no debate. [more...]


Paying Double for Library Service

For years, residents of Joliet, IL have been paying double library taxes because of some geographical issues. Now, in proper American fashion, a lawsuit is filed. According to The Chicago Tribune, \"Because both libraries belong to the Heritage Trail Library System, users of either library have full borrowing privileges at the other. By double-taxing residents for the same service, the lawsuit alleges, both the City of Joliet and the Plainfield Public Library District are violating the Illinois Local Library Act.\" [more...]


Another New Library Proposal Shot Down

Is it me or does this seem to be happening quite a bit lately? The Chicago Tribune is reporting that \"In an informal poll of the City Council on Monday, aldermen voted 8-4 to reject the Library Board\'s recommendation that an $18 million, 80,000-square-foot facility be built on the site of the current library.\" They won\'t be talking about a new facility for awhile. [more...]


D-Day for EP Library Branches

Some might call today a sad day that the Enoch Pratt Free Library as the announcement is made about which five branches will get the axe. Library advocates aren\'t giving up. They\'ve vowed to fight the battle royal if necessary.[more...] from SunSpot.


Couple caught having sex in British Library

Cementing my reputation as the tabloid editor of library news, here\'s a story from Ananova about a couple who got caught in flagrante in the men\'s toilets at the British Library. This story includes some classic quotes from the library spokesperson:
\"A couple were apprehended in what could be described as a high state of excitation in a cubicle of the men\'s toilets... [They] were already in the throes of an exchange about philosophical matters, judging by the cries emanating from the cubicle.\"


Harry Potter and the censors

This thoughtful opinion piece from Sunspot takes a look at all the problems the Harry Potter books have faced with censorship because of their connection to \"witchcraft\".
We all know that\'s ridiculous, I mean he doesn\'t even know how to ride his broomstick the right way round.


Afghanistan bans internet

The ruling Taliban in Afghanistan have implemented a country-wide ban on using the Internet as it seeks to control \"those things that are wrong, obscene, immoral and against Islam\". The full, sad story from Newsfactor.

Skylarov Arrest Follow-up

Slashdot just posted a follow up on the big eBook Arrest

In one of the first cases of criminal prosecution under a 1998 federal digital copyright law [The DMCA], a 27-year-old Russian cryptographer was arrested at a Las Vegas hotel on Monday morning, a day after giving a presentation to a large convention of computer hackers on decrypting the software used to protect electronic books.

Dmitri Sklyarov, who was being held in Las Vegas without bail, is being charged with one count of trafficking in software to circumvent copyrightable materials and one count of aiding and abetting such trafficking.

What he did wrong seems to read like what librarians do every day.

\"Nathanson told me that the real damage done by the AEBPR program is that it creates a \"naked file\" that enables anyone to read the eBook on any computer without paying the feed to the bookseller. Only one legitimate copy of the encrypted eBook needs to be purchased originally and after the protections are stripped through the usage of the Elcomsoft program, there are no restrictions and the eBook can be duplicated freely and made available for usage on any computer.\"
Read The Complaint and see what you think.


The Last Word in E-Book Coverage

Where has this been all my life? Planet eBook offers up-to-the-minute coverage of electronic publishing news, as well as an email newsletter to help you stay on top of things.

Their stunningly detailed coverage of the Elcomsoft/Adobe debacle just puts my attempts to shame :)

Checking Out E-Books

For The Industry Standard, Jill Bahar writes...

\"The consumer market for digital books has turned out to be a no-show, but America\'s public libraries still think folks should be checking them out. Ever since March 1999, when the Denver Public Library system kicked off the first virtual branch of digital books available for free to library-card holders, 1,900 of the nation\'s nearly 9,000 public libraries have quietly added thousands of digital titles to their collections. The problem? Their efforts have been so understated that most library patrons have yet to learn about, let alone use, the libraries\' online collections of reference works and how-to guides.\" [more...]


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