Free speech wins again!

Brian writes

\"On May 22, the U.S. Supreme Court declared unconstitutional a law requiring cable TV operators either to completely scramble channels like Playboy and Spice or to transmit those channels only during late-night hours. Justice Kennedy\'s majority opinion in U.S. v. Playboy Entertainment Group (http://laws.findlaw.com/us/000/98-1682.html) is a must-read for librarians, as it includes a beautiful affirmation of free speech and individual responsibility.... -- Read More

New state of the art facility for Bee County, Texas

Jo Ann Oliphant writes

\"Thanks to over a $3 million dollar gift from the Joe Barnhart Foundation, Beeville is set to be the new home for Bee County’s state-of-the-art library in late 2000. The new library will be housed in the historic two-story Praeger Building, one of the city’s vacant downtown landmarks. Construction began in March and is scheduled to be completed in August. The Library serves the County’s 27,000 population of which 70% are Hispanic. -- Read More

Five more librarians file complaints over Internet porn issue

The Startribune has a short update on the continuing trouble in Minneapolis.

Five more librarians filed discrimination complaints against the Minneapolis Public Library System Monday, even though their attorney admitted conditions at the downtown Central Library have improved since a policy was drafted limiting access to pornography on the Internet.

The latest complaints filed with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission were drafted shortly after seven other librarians filed complaints earlier this month, charging the library with being a \"hostile, offensive, palpably unlawful working environment.\" -- Read More

Universal Access

Slashdot.org has an article from Jon Katz on Universal Access.

\"Universal Access is that rarest of social phenomena, the win-win issue. Except for moral guardians clucking about pornography and violent video games, who could really oppose it?: It can advance technology while it helps eliminate potentially bitter social divisions, upgrades literacy, education and research, liberates information, enhances democracy, strengthens community. Some companies even believes if strengthens family ties. It would make the Net a universal business, educational and social tool, rather than a network for the affluent, educated and technologically-inclined it is now. \" -- Read More

Looksmart to Liberate Premium Magazine Content from Hundreds of Publications

A new blog (OK it\'s a plug for my new weblog) called Traffick Notes passes on today\'s announcement from Looksmart: it plans to distribute a great deal of proprietary and premium content: magazine and periodical articles, reports, etc. for free through its distribution partners (which include Excite, Altavista, Time Warner, Netzero, etc.). Boy, this global media business can get confusing. -- Read More

Pros and Cons of Filtering

The Pros and Cons of filtering in public libraries are debated here in this opinion piece from the Duluth News.
Pro filtering: \"A library is not a public forum open to all forms of expression. There is no constitutional requirement for government to provide access to illegal pornography such as obscenity and child pornography in libraries simply because it provides Internet access.\"
Anti Filtering: \"Yet there are powerful reasons filtering Internet access would be unwise, if not downright unconstitutional. A major problem with filtering Internet access is that current technology is too crude to target only material that might harm children -- for example, obscenity and child pornography.\" -- Read More

Killer Fonts from libraries

There is a new web site where people can order fonts based on the handwritings of serial killers. The person who runs the site says he got the fonts from libraries. See the article from conoe.ca
\"Mahaffy said the site, www.killerfonts.com, is glorifying murderers such as Charles Manson, cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer, assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, Gainesville Ripper Danny Rolling and Sirhan Sirhan.

\"This is morbid and an insult to victims worldwide,\" she said.

The site, based in Los Angeles, claims to have gleaned the signatures from libraries, court materials and public documents.\" -- Read More

Yellow Pages reaches out and touches the library

Excite News has this article on the Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages sponsoring a reading program in public libraries.

\"Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages and the Norfolk Public Library (NPL) today launched the \"Take Me to the Library\" program, encouraging adults to bring children ages K-3 to visit their local libraries. Third graders from Jacox Elementary School were captivated by the voice of actor and Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages spokesperson, James Earl Jones, as he read Grandfather\'s Journey in the children\'s reading room of the Kirn Memorial Library.\" -- Read More

Everything you wanted to know about LISNews.

You may have noticed a lack of email and headlines from LISNews lately. That was mostly due to the fact that I (Blake Carver) was sick, and I started a new job that is keeping me pretty busy.

How can you post your own stories? Who am I? What is this all about? Where do the ads come from? Why don\'t the headlines by email work? Read on for all the boring details. -- Read More

Watching readers eyeballs

Anyone who does web sites must check out theStanford Poytner Project. They watched peoples eyes as they read news web pages. The eyes could be tracked as screens scrolled normally. They say this is the first such scrolling-screen eyetracking effort. They reached a few interesting conclusions.

Where do eyes go initially after firing up the first screenful of online news? To text, most likely. Also contrary to much current belief, we found that banner ads do catch online readers\' attention. For the 45 percent of banner ads looked at at all, our subjects\' eyes fixated (definition) on them for an average one second. That is long enough to perceive the ad. -- Read More

Gates donation more than doubles northern library budget

Excite News has a report on a huge donation to the Northwest Territories\' library system. Gates more than doubled the Northwest Territories\' entire budget for public libraries. The N.W.T.\'s total yearly budget for libraries is about $250,000 and he donated over $323,000. Still a small budget, but that\'ll get\'m a few new computers, eh?

A librarian\'s love for children and books

The Miami Herald has this article about a childrens librarian who has had a huge impact on the children she serves.
\"As the head children\'s librarian at the Helen B. Hoffman Library in Plantation, Ostendorf, also known as ``Miss Miki,\'\' has been a bright light for children and families who say she has a way of making young people feel at home and excited about reading.

``I love the library, and I love Miki, too,\'\' said Eileen Hanley, who visits the library with her children Katherine, 4, and Allison, 2. ``She knows each of the kids by name.\'\' -- Read More

More Pornography Issues

Here are two articles and one column regarding the issue of pornography in public libraries. First, the column from the Twin Cities Business Daily. Next, a public apology from the Minneapolis Public Library from the Star Tribune. Last, an undercover investigation from MSNBC.

Techies Wage War on Copyright Cartels

ZDnet.com has this article on the copyright issue that has everyone in an uproar.
\"Cyber-rights advocates, open-source evangelists and even librarians met at Stanford Law School on Thursday in an attempt to limit the effectiveness of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 -- a piece of legislation that gives music producers, Hollywood studios and software companies unprecedented powers over the use of copyrighted works.\" -- Read More

2/3 of Utah libraries filter the web

The Salt Lake Tribune has this article on the filtering situation in Utah. They don\'t mess around out there.
\"It won\'t be hard for libraries to satisfy a new Utah law requiring them to keep children from using library computers to peep at the Internet\'s dark side.
That\'s because most libraries already are doing so, says State Librarian Amy Owen.
An informal survey conducted by Owen\'s office last fall showed all but two libraries already had policies restricting Internet access -- and those two were in the process of writing them. One library, Rich County\'s, did not provide Internet access to patrons.\" -- Read More

Gotta love those librarians

I am pleased to post this article from Michigan Live
\"With his mother perched at his left shoulder and the librarian at his right, the boy, who looked to be about 9 years old, sat a terminal and the librarian taught him how to use the computerized card catalogue system.

The librarian walked him through each step, one at a time. First, she would tell him what to do. Then she would watch him do it.

When the boy finally located the item or two he needed, she could have moved on to the next customer; she didn\'t.

\"Do you want me to help you find the book?\" she asked him.

I was impressed at her gentleness, patience and dedication. I must admit, that, by this point, I was wondering whether she would be as diligent with me.\"

1 out of 10 kids use the web instead of reference books

The Guardian Unlimited.com has this story about a study released that states that 1 out of every 10 children now use the web to get reference information, and not books.
\"Almost one in 10 children have stopped using reference books and are relying on electronic sources - chiefly the internet - to get their information, according to the fullest study of national reading habits.
The report offers the first statistical evidence that a new generation of children growing up in the microchip era has markedly different attitudes to acquiring knowledge from those of their parents\" -- Read More

AOL offers free service to schools

CNN.com has an Article about children getting the internet while at school.

\"Students will see no ads -- other than the AOL logo -- will not be able to purchase goods online and will be blocked from accessing pornography or other offensive material. Students will be able to send e-mail and instant messages to encourage group online activities or to establish pen pals at distant schools.

No marketing information would be gathered on students because they only use their first name and a password to access the service, AOL said.\"  -- Read More

USDA creates cookbook to help low-income families eat better

Here\'s an Article to help you save a few dollars.

\"The 75-page book also provides sample menus for a two-week period, a suggested grocery shopping list, and advice on reducing food costs.

\"If the recipes don\'t taste good, they won\'t be used regardless of whether they are nutritionally sound,\" said Shirley Watkins, the Agriculture Department\'s undersecretary for food, nutrition and consumer services. \"These recipes passed all the tests with flying colors.\"  -- Read More

Tyrannosaurus Sue

CNN.com has an interesting Article about a man and some dinosaur bones.

\"Author Steve Fiffer has assembled these disparate pieces into a compelling account of a man and his first love. The man is Peter Larson, a maverick fossil collector. The love of his life is a bag of bones. A very large bag of very large bones. The relationship between Larson and the remarkable fossil he unearthed in 1990 is the core of Fiffer\'s book \"Tyrannosaurus Sue.\"  -- Read More

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