Public Libraries & E-Books: Links

Thinking of offering e-books to your patrons? Wondering who to contact for advice? Here\'s a fairly extensive list of links to public library e-book programs around the world from the Kansas State Library.

Suicide Book Challenged in Schools

Thanks to Sue for sending the link to this one from Excite News. For the Associated Press, (Denver, CO), author Colleen Slevin writes...

\"In a world where twins are illegal, a baby twin boy is \"released\" from life with a fatal injection. A girl, overcome with painful memories in a utopian society in which strong feelings are frowned upon, administers the fatal needle herself. The topics in Lois Lowry\'s \"The Giver\" have created controversy in libraries and classrooms across the country since it was first published in 1993. Parent opposition to the book\'s treatment of suicide and euthanasia helped it reach No. 11 on the American Library Association\'s list of most challenged books of the 1990s. The Newberry Medal winner was No. 10 on the last year\'s list, which was headed by \"Harry Potter.\" Lowry\'s book has been challenged in schools in at least five states since 1999, sometimes more than once.\" [more...]


Books by the Byte

The Washington Post has a Story on an e-book lending program being rolled out at public libraries across the country.

Of course publishing houses worry that the lending programs will hurt the bottom line, to say nothing of copywrite.

Speaking of copyright, there\'s more on the Adobe eBook Cracker over on

Tasini, Round 2

The National Writers Union plans to file suit over the terms of the New York Times\' recently rewritten contract with its freelancers:

National Writers Union president Jonathan Tasini asserted yesterday that a Times contract - crafted in the wake of the Supreme Court decision - that seeks freelancers\' permission to keep their work in the paper\'s archives without additional compensation is illegal and unenforceable. \'\'They\'re demanding people sign away all their past and future rights to those articles,\'\' Tasini said in an interview yesterday. \'\'We would rather negotiate this and they\'ve just taken a very hard line.\'\' He said that unless the Times changed its policy within 24 hours, a suit would be filed today in New York. An attorney representing the writers union said the likely venue would be federal court.

[More from the Boston Globe]

Ohio Libraries are Extending Lending to One Another

From The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Sarah Hollander writes...

\"Public and school libraries throughout Ohio should be able to share material with next-day delivery service starting this fall. The State Library of Ohio finalized a delivery contract last week. The computer hardware and software for locating and reserving the materials should be available in a few months. The service will allow patrons to check out books and, in some cases, videos, CD-ROMs and other material from any participating library when those items aren\'t available at their home library. \"At some point in the future, we\'re hoping any Ohio resident will be able to borrow a book from anywhere in the state,\" said Roger Verny, deputy state librarian. The state library paid for the technology with $1.2 million in federal funds. It will cost libraries about $2,800 a year to participate, which will cover the cost of deliveries.\" [more...]


Bill Collector to Track Down Overdue Books

From The Los Angeles Times, Richard Winton writes...

\"Scofflaws with long-overdue materials from the Los Angeles Public Library soon will be pursued by a collection agency, the Board of Library Commissioners decided Thursday.
Commissioners approved a pilot program with an agency that recovers overdue materials and fines for more than 400 libraries nationwide. Their decision is a move away from the library\'s traditionally passive approach to tracking offenders, one that relies on automated telephone calls and notices.\" [more...]


Court orders Anchorage to reinstall gay-pride exhibit

A federal judge has ordered the city to reinstall a
gay-pride exhibit at its main library. The court said \"We
just don\'t have a consistent and unambiguous policy
that meets the test\". No word from Mayor George
Wuerch in this one.

Full Story from freedomforum.


Librarian Discovers Ford Theater/Lincoln Flag

Carol Reed writes \"Here\'s the URL for the story:

CNN Story

All this happened just because a librarian wanted a good prop for a talk she was giving.... \"

A librarian searching a historical society\'s cluttered storage area stumbled upon a flag that was in Abraham Lincoln\'s theater box on the night of his assassination.Those pesky librarians, always poking around in those dusty boxes!


Temptation Plagiarism

From the Associated Press, via CNet News, someone writes... \"Before her students write term papers, Melanie Hazen makes sure they understand one small thing: You can\'t put your name on someone else\'s work. Still, they don\'t see the harm in borrowing from a Web site. ``Taking something straight off the Internet and using it as their own, they don\'t seem to think that\'s stealing at all,\'\' said Hazen, an English teacher at Montgomery Central High School in Clarksville, Tenn. At a time when most schools and public libraries are wired to the Internet, students of all ages are being tempted more than ever to cut-and-paste others\' work and pass it off as their own. For students, plagiarism has never been easier. For teachers, combating it has never been more of a challenge.\" [more...]

Library Provides Free Meals to Disadvantaged Kids

Here\'s another great story about libraries doing something unique for the community from The Columbus, (OH) Dispatch. Through some special funding, the Athens County, OH libraries are able to provide kids with nutritious meals throughout the summer. The program is a sort of spin off of the federal school lunch program for disadvantaged children. \"When school\'s out and the children don\'t have those meals, where do they go? There really is a substantial need,\" said Cecilia Torok, who coordinates the federal education program. [more...]


UCITA Running on Empty

From InfoWorld, Ed Foster writes...

\"This past Sunday was the day opponents of the Uniform Computer Information Transaction Act (UCITA) had been dreading for a long time: On July 1, UCITA was formally enacted as law in Virginia. Now that the day has passed, however, it turns out that there may be more reason than ever for anti-UCITA optimism.\" [more...]


Childrens Books, Especially Harry Potter, Miscast Women

From The Times (UK), Elizabeth Judge writes...

\"WOMEN characters in children’s storybooks fit 1940s stereotypes, being meek, gentle, ineffectual, rarely employed, and wholly dependent on their men, an American study has concluded.
The only feisty women with roles that extend beyond baking cakes or washing clothes are evil, usually witches, the researchers say.

One of the worst offenders was the Harry Potter series, in which two of the most admired female characters exhibit nurturing, humble, emotional traits. “Mrs Weasley and Harry’s mother are known for their feminine traits, where family and children come first,” said Claire Etaugh, from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, who led the research. “Only one of Harry’s friends, Hermione, is tomboyish, clever and smart and able to get the boys out of scrapes.” [more...]


Everyone Can Contribute to Building a Library

From The Journal Standard (Freeport, IL)

The folks in Freeport are putting their heads and their money together to held fund the building of a new library. Some are using their federal income tax cut money. Even the kids are getting involved, as one class at the local high school takes up the cause as part of a class. Isn\'t it great when commuinities really pull together to meet a common goal? [more...]


Library Accused of Censorship for Editing Kids’ Coupon

From The Freedom Forum, someone at the Associated Press writes...

\"A local public library director is under fire for removing a biblical reference from a goodie bag for children in a summer reading program. Linda Mielke, director of the Carroll County Public Library (Westminster, MD), said she decided the Bible verse on a discount coupon for a Pennsylvania corn maze was inappropriate for the library to hand out. So she had library volunteers use markers to delete the verse on the 13,000 coupons.\" [more...] from


Too Much Email!

Carrie writes \"This New York Times Story describes the problems associated with corporate users not organizing and deleting their mail.\"

I, for one, delete almost everything, and only save my sent messages. With all the lists we can subscribe to, it\'s hard to keep up sometimes!

\"\"There is an excitement to reading and replying, but filing takes cognitive effort without an immediate reward,\" he explained. \"So despite its being important in the long run to be organized, it is human nature to avoid it.\"


What Should Be Allowed on Library Walls?

From The Anchorage (Alaska) Daily News Lisa Deemer writes...

\"The furious debate in Anchorage over a gay pride exhibit banned from Z.J. Loussac Public Library has at its core this question: Just what should be allowed on library walls? To First Amendment experts and the American Library Association, the answer is clear. If a library lets any group hang a display, it has created a public forum and must open the door to virtually all others, said Bob O\'Neil, director of the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression in Virginia.\" [more...]


Wanted: a DLS that is professional, not research

Elizabeth Christian Passed along the results of the survey she ran the other day on a different type of DLS, you can read them below.

Wanted: a DLS that is professional, not research
based, here are the results from this group so far.
Please read and add your opinion.

Retired Collection Agent Returns 70-Year Overdue Book

From The San Francisco Chronicle - Steve Rubenstein writes...

\"It took 70 years, but the Enea family finally returned its overdue book to the San Francisco library. Librarians, who rarely get excited, said yesterday that they were very excited to have it. \"This,\" said librarian Dennis Maness, cradling the slim brown volume, \"is a resource that belongs to the people.\" It was in 1931 that \"Vale and Other Poems,\" by George Russell, was checked out from the library. Since then, the collection of two dozen poems has resided on the bookshelf of Vincent Enea, a 78-year-old retired collection agent.\" At least he was honest...[more...]


Congress Stalls Library Disclosure Bill on Account of It Includes Them

From The Roll Call (Washington, DC) -
As if there\'s any surprise here... It seems that members of Congress were chomping at the bit to pass a bill requiring disclosure of financial donors to Presidential libraries until someone proposed an amendment to that bill which would include all non-profits named or controlled by Congress to be bound by the same law. Now, because it could cause everyone else\'s activities, besides the President\'s, to come under scrutiny, support for the bill has declined. Gives new meaning to the term \"double standard,\" if\'n ya\' ask me. [more...]


E-Book Ink 2

The Washington Post reports on the challenges faced by public libraries around the United States in their effort to provide e-books to their patrons:

Joseph Sigurani used to have to trek 10 miles to borrow a verse of Shakespeare or the latest true-crime novel. These days, he simply reaches for his computer.
Through an e-book lending program being rolled out at hundreds of public libraries across the country, Sigurani can access practically any work he desires, at any hour of day, from the comfort of his home just northeast of Silicon Valley. And all for free. . . The services may be every bibliophile\'s dream, but publishing houses worry that the lending programs will cannibalize their revenue and destroy financial incentives for popular writers. The fear isn\'t so much about the demise of old-fashioned paper books - after all, no one\'s quite figured out how to make a digital book as enchanting as fresh print. It\'s more about whether free electronic libraries unfairly compete with the digital initiatives of booksellers, effectively devaluing their copyrights.


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