Some Thoughts on the Digital Divide

As the growth of the online population continues upward, the digital divide is narrowing and reasons for being outside of the e-arena may now be more a result of choosing to remain there. [more...] from The Columbus Dispatch.


Knowing What We\'re Walling In or Walling Out

Art Wolinsky has written A Look at filtering in the current MultiMedia Schools.

He says a possible private sector class-action lawsuit being considered against one or more filtering companies is not aimed at the legislation, and this would send ripples throughout the filtering industry and have significant impact on filtering decisions, and maybe they would then work better.


Library Thievary

Charles Davis sent in this Story library officials at the Quincy public library in MA, discovered a stained-glass window
worth a minimum of $100,000 is missing and was apparently stolen in January. The thief removed the entire frame containing the window that has been on display since
1883 in the H.H. Richardson building of the Thomas Crane Public Library.

In Better News from IA, -- A thief who lifted 452 compact discs and six digital video discs from Hayner Public Library, then pawned them at two shops, was caught, and the loot recovered.

Ya win some, ya lose some.


Censorship fears as Alexandria library is rebuilt

Charles Davis sent in This Story on the Biblioteca
It opens today after, two decades in the
making, today\'s opening to academics and journalists ahead of the formal ceremony in
October has been overshadowed by a row over censorship which is
threatening libraries and bookshops across the country.
for more info. as well.

\"Under mounting pressure from Islamists, President Mubarak has urged government officials to press ahead with a strict censorship regime against works deemed offensive to Islam. Bookshops, book fairs and public libraries are frequently raided by government censors.\"


Classic and Neo- Information

This week\'s Library Juice has an editorial called Classic and neo- information, about how the concept of information has changed without much notice, and about the implications of the change. Classic information is what\'s found in reference materials (for example), and neo-information includes anything that can be carried by an electronic signal. Values that apply to classic information are being used to support neo-information, and the failure to make the distinction has contributed to confusion about librarianship\'s future.


Let the Stories Go

Lawrence Lessig wrote an interesting OP-ED Piece at the NY Times on how silly copyright law is getting. Congress has extended the term of existing copyrights 11 times in the past 40 years. Current copyright law says the term is the life of the author — plus 70 years.

He says \"At some point, every story — and certainly one like this — should be free for others to use and criticize.\"

More on The Wind Done Gone

Salon has a lengthy Story on \"The Wind Done Gone\", the book that was ruled to infringe on \"Gone With the Wind\". The argument here boils down to if the book is a parody or an unauthorized, unlicensed (and therefore illegal) sequel. The judge ruled \"The Wind Done Gone\" is simultaneously not enough about \"Gone With the Wind\" and too much like it. The judge said the \"extensive copying\" in \"The Wind Done Gone\" \"usurps the original\'s right to create its own sequel.\"


Schools Are Joining the Digital Copyright Battle

Brock writes \"This interesting article recently appeared in BusinessWeek. Here is the Story \"

Teachers have been able to use portions of books, music, and videos under fair use since copyright laws were changed in 1976. Now online colleges are being treated differently. Technology Education & Copyright Harmonization (TEACH) Act would give online professors the freedom to show instructional videos, e-mail literary works, and download short music clips without getting permission or paying.

Not suprisingly, publishers (via the APA) say this is unnecessary, unjustified and unfair. Their view is the creators and producers of online course content are being denied fair market value for their products when no one is pushing for federal legislation to eliminate the need to pay for computers, software, Internet access, faculty salaries or tuition, or any of the other costs involved in online education.
No suprise there, after all they \"have a very serious issue with librarians\".


DMCA Hearings Round Up

NPR ran a Show [You\'ll need Real Player to listen] on this mess.

Wired has Copyright Clash Shutters Speech a nice overview, and DVD Piracy Judges Resolute a look at the hearings held yesterday in NYC.
This is the first case to test the DMCA.

Slashdot also has a Report From The 2600 Appeal Hearing, a very thorough and complete look at the hearings.

Stories from The NYTimes, and The USA Today


In observance of May Day ...

Brian writes \"The Chicago Tribune has a Good Feature on \"the world\'s oldest socialist publisher,\" the 115-year-old Charles H. Kerr Publishing Co.

The Charles H. Kerr Publishing Co. is 115 years old, the world\'s oldest socialist publisher, Franklin and Penelope Rosemont are now in charge.


How to Crack Open an E-Book

Wired is Reporting someone has cracked the encryption on e-books on the RocketBook which will allow the extraction of the content as plain text. The game of cat and mouse now begins with crackers always a step ahead. The cracker said...

\"My goal was, and continues to be, to point out the weaknesses of DRM (digital rights management) systems, in the hope that these systems will either grow so much to collapse under their own weight or be abandoned as futile,\"

Librarian/author James Still

Lee Hadden Writes:\"On today\'s \"Morning Edition\" talk show on National Public Radio, there
was an account of the librarian and author James Still.
The web page.\"

\"Remembering Writer James Still -- Host Bob Edwards talks
with professor Ted Olson about the works of Appalachian
writer James Still, who died at 94 this weekend. Still\'s
work was widely popular in the 1930\'s, but he never
received as much notoriety as other writers of the time.
Now a new collection of his poetry will be published by The
University Press of Kentucky in June. It\'s called \"From the
Mountain, From the Valley.\"


Shortage of librarians plagues library boom

Good news, Los Angeles has built five libraries and doesn\'t have enough librarians to work in the buildings.
They say it is not only a local problem. Nationally, the supply of librarians is falling far short of the rising demands. About 22% of the nation\'s 191,000 librarians will turn 65 in the next decade.
There were 1,000 openings at the ALA, but only 481 job-seekers showed up. Hopefully that means salaries will start to go up, and I won\'t have any problem finding a new job!
LA has The Story

\"The new librarian is really a swinging person, because he or she can manage information and that\'s an incredible skill in today\'s world. I mean, who among us hasn\'t done an Internet search and gotten 5,486 hits?But a librarian knows how to find that precise bit of information you need.\"

Finish Sam\'s Book

Speaking of Buffalo, the Buffalo & Erie County Library is running a Mark Twain Writing Competition
"A Murder, a Mystery and a Marriage,".Cash prizes of $5,000 for first place,
$3,000 for second place and $1,000 for third place will be awarded in the international
competition. It\'s easy, just finish the book and win! Read the First 2 Chapters and see what you can do......


Community Reading

Someone writes \"A very interesting program in Rochester, NY where the whole community read the same book: \"A Lesson Before Dying\" by Ernest Gaines.

Full Story \"

They say we tried it here in Buffalo last year, though I somehow must\'ve missed it. Great quote from the story:
\"encouraging everyone in a
community to read the same
book conjures up a social
phenomenon displaced long
ago by America\'s
TV-obsessed culture: a collective literary experience\"
Neat book, neat idea, anything to get people to turn off the TV for a second is a good idea.


An Easy \'A\'

The Houston Chronicle has This Story that seems to unfairly lump Questia in with paper mills and other ways students use the web to cheat. No doubt the internet is a cheaters paradise, but is Questia (or any of the other e-Libraries) making it easy to cheat?

\"Professors are really anchored in the book and printed culture, But the students aren\'t.\"

DMCA and Free Speech

The RIAA used the DMCA to stop a research project that involved hacking a watermarking technology promoted by the five major record labels. A few good stories to read up on this issue:

Is the RIAA running scared? from Salon says this move by the RIAA \"shows just how wary of free speech the recording industry has become\", but, this case could potentially undermine the widely disparaged DMCA.

Similar Story at the NY Times.

Wired calls it Another Stain on Copyright Law. \"Once again, the law intended to promote the distribution of content on the Internet has instead been used to restrict it.\"


\"Tin Drum\" legal fees OK\'d

The Oklahoma City Council finally decided Tuesday to
pay court-ordered legal fees for a man who sued after
police confiscated his rented videotape of \"The Tin
Drum\" because they believed it
contained child pornography.
Then they promptly forgot to actually authorize the
$143,047 payment. The city has now spent more than
$700,000 to settle the case.

James writes: \"The civic leaders have
dragged their collective feet for years, thereby fully
disclosing what fools they are. The reluctance to pay up
shows their ignorance and fundamentilst training in
that instead of paying for their lose, they continue to
keep the issue alive, perhaps hoping that god will take
pity on them and strike the ACLU and Michael Camfiled
dead and remove the \"sin\" of freedom to read and view
from Oklahoma City.\"

You can read more at the
Newspaper in America) The
Oklahoman Archives
aren\'t free, but there does
appear to be a number of stories on this subject. This
entire thing is just a sad joke.


On Library Services and Management

Judy Westbrook was kind enough to send along more
information on Robert S. Martin, just nominated to be
Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

He was in charge of this outsourcing study , \"The
Impact of Outsourcing and Privatization on Library
Services and Management\". The study examined in
detail outsourcing of cataloging, selection, and
management of library operations. They say they found
no evidence that outsourcing per se represents a threat
to library governance, or to the role of the library in
protecting the First Amendment rights of the public.


The most fascinating library buildings in world!

writes \"I recently returned from an
extensive trip last week to some European countries to
obtain routine outside photographs of the national
libraries, as part of my ongoing book project to update
the 1999 Internet version of the forthcoming Book of
Library Records

I was left dumbstruck for more than half an hour when I
made my first trip to the new Bibliothèques Nationale in
south Paris, having seen
the old building in central Paris many times before.

But on the way home, I realised a new entry for the book
project will be a great idea: The most fascinating library
buildings in the world

I will naturaly want the opinions of all librarians to be
paramount, and not just mine, so I have decided to ask
librarians to give me their
vote for the most fascinating library buildings in the
world. \"

Find out how you can vote.........



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