More library thefts

Another story on thefts of CDs and DVDs from a public library. This time, the items were taken to a pawnshop and the suspicious shopowner notified police. The most amazing thing to me is that Timberland Regional Library allows users to check out up to 200 items at a time. Surely noone has that much free time?

Librarians: Masters of Technology

Jeff Lehr writes...

The days of the school librarian stereotype are quickly becoming numbered, making way for a new breed of tech-savvy specialized record keepers who are primed to make getting what you need easier than ever before.[more...] from My San Antonio.


Native Americans & Libraries as Tourist Attractions

It seems there has been some debate over this town\'s printing of a tourist brochure in which it refers to \"local villages, churches and libraries as interesting attractions.\" While the libraries may consider this good PR, some aren\'t so quick to accept it and have forced a reprinting. The tribe is no longer mentioned, but now, of course, that offends some other people. At least they kept the libraries in there.[more...] from The Providence Journal.

Nation\'s First 24-Hour Virtual Help Desk

The first of its kind in the nation, this 24-hour virtual help desk, located at the Cleveland Ohio Public Library, hopes to attract new clients. [more...] from The Columbus Dispatch. To visit the virtual help desk, Click Here.


Library cancels Muggle Studies

Oskaloosa Public Library put an advert in the local paper for a summer reading program based on the Harry Potter books, calling it \"Muggle Studies\". Residents complained, someone threatened a lawsuit and the program was cancelled. The full story from CBS News.
\"They felt threatened by the evil factor.\"


British Library may stop collecting everything

In a new consultation document entitled New Strategic Directions, the British Library has announced that it is considering abandoning its comprehensive collection policy. Instead, it will focus on specific areas, leaving the rest of the material to be collected by specialist universities and institutions. As this story from the Times (UK) notes, this has understandably provoked a negative reaction: \"it would be the end of what the British Library has been known for\".
If you\'re interested in seeing what all the fuss is about, New Strategic Directions is available in PDF format.


US Department of Justice say CIPA does not violate First Amendment

The US Department of Justice argues that the CIPA does violate free speech since it \"mandates only that public libraries install the content filters; not how - or whether - to use them\". This seems to be setting the scene for an even bigger legal minefield if you ask me. The full story from Newsfactor Network.


Web Site Warns ALA Conference Hotel Patrons About Perils of Crossing Picket Line

As quoted from the web site...
\"This site is to inform potential customers that the San Francisco Marriott Hotel is involved in a 5-year labor dispute, and a boycott of the hotel has been underway since September 2000. Because hotel accommodations can make or break travel and meeting arrangements, it is crucial that you know that this fight, and specifically the boycott, has been extremely disruptive for the hotel\'s guests.\" To view the site, Click Here.


Book Awards Ceremony Canceled at ALA Convention Due to Labor Dispute

A labor dispute has resulted in the cancelation of several events at the upcoming ALA convention in San Francisco. Of these, is the 2001 Coretta Scott King Awards Breakfast which honors black writers and illustrators of childrens books. [more...] from The Washington Post.


Censorship High

Salon has an interesting Story by Daniel Silverman, a student at Foothill High School.

He writes about how the school used various filtering techniques to block out some sites, and how he found a way around them.

\"Whenever we click a site that is on the block list, a funny face appears on our screen along with a message informing us that the site we requested has been blocked because it contains objectionable material. There are those words again, \"objectionable material.\" They\'re used to make parents feel safe, to make lawmakers feel secure, to make society feel good. But they have no real meaning.\"


Defining the Future of the Book

Coalition for Networked Information director Clifford Lynch holds forth on \"competing visions for the future of the book in the digital environment.\"

Commercial publishing interests are presenting the future of the book in the digital world through the promotion of e-book reading appliances and software. Implicit in this is a very complex and problematic agenda that re-establishes the book as a digital cultural artifact within a context of intellectual property rights management enforced by hardware and software systems. With the convergence of different types of content into a common digital bit-stream, developments in industries such as music are establishing precedents that may define our view of digital books. At the same time we find scholars exploring the ways in which the digital medium can enhance the traditional communication functions of the printed work, moving far beyond literal translations of the pages of printed books into the digital world. This paper examines competing visions for the future of the book in the digital environment, with particular attention to questions about the social implications of controls over intellectual property, such as continuity of cultural memory. [from First Monday ]

The library of the 21st century?

England and Wales have just adopted national standards for libraries, which call for improvements such as longer opening hours, free or cheap Internet access and convenient locations. The Guardian reports that this has led to a battle between modernists and traditionalists \"for the soul of the library\". Tower Hamlets in London has closed 5 of its 12 branch libraries in order to open 7 new hi-tech \"idea stores\", located in shopping centers and open supermarket hours. Several other cities are looking at a similar move, but there are concerns about the closures of branch libraries. The story is an interesting look at the future of public libraries and the changes that lie ahead.

Bonfire of Liberties

A New Haven Register Story on an exhibit by Leslie Ann Williams and Seth Godfrey, called \"The Bonfire of Liberties.\" They detail book banning from as far back as the rewriting of Mayan history through the banishing of \"Huckleberry Finn\" and beyond. They are also including Web sites and filtering. It\'s at the New Haven Free Public Library.

\"We\'re hoping this will provoke a reaction. Reading levels are down,\" he said, adding that too many people rely solely on television for entertainment. \"And because of that, there\'s a mindlessness that dilutes critical thinking.\"


Words on the Side

BrillsContent has a Story by Harold Bloom on the curious history of what we scrawl in the margins of books.

\"We read in order to live, even if in dark passages we read in order to survive. It may be that Jackson is right. Moses said to Joshua: \"Would to God that all the Lord\'s people were prophets!\" Perhaps it would be good if all readers violated the Marginalia Taboo.\"


White supremacist gets green light in suit against library

It\'s that age-old story: Racist guy wants to speak in library, library says okay, library changes mind and says no, racist sues library. The Chicago Tribune reported this week that a judge has denied the Schaumburg Township District Library\'s motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought against the library by Illinois\' favorite white supremacist, Matt Hale. Here\'s the story.

What the Trib story doesn\'t say is that the Schaumburg library board turned Hale down the day after his appearance at the Peoria PL turned into a nasty clash between his supporters and protesters. Chairs were thrown, mace was sprayed, and the local TV news cameras were there. I\'m wondering if Schaumburg would have a better case if, instead of outright denying the request for Hale to speak there, they had made their approval contingent on Hale or his supporters putting up some money for extra security.


Emotions flare over exhibit removal

Yet Another Story on the big flap in Alaska.
You may recall Mayor George Wuerch removed a gay pride exhibit from the city library. Now they say a torrent of messages from both sides has poured into Wuerch\'s office since he ruled on June 5 against the display at Z.J. Loussac Public Library. This quote made it all worth reading.

\"Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!\" wrote Linda Carleton, a mother of two whose family owns an electrical contracting business. \"You have made me proud. I was so excited I faxed this good news to Dr. Laura,\" a reference to talk radio host Laura Schlessinger. In an interview, Carleton said, \"I don\'t want my children going to the library and thinking it is an acceptable lifestyle.\"


America\'s Chronicles: only in Canada

Cabot writes \"A small Ottawa company is gearing up to store more than 300 years of the United States\' most precious memories in Canada\'s capital.

Cold North Wind, which digitizes newspapers so
they can be searched and viewed over the Internet,
has teamed with the National Newspaper Association
(NNA) in a deal that will see Cold North digitize
microfilmed editions of 3,600 NNA-member newspapers, bringing as many as 500 million news
pages to Internet.

Full Story \"

Stolen goods in, literary heritage out

The Guardian (UK) has this story on how Britain is becoming the
new centre for the illegal trafficking of rare books and
manuscripts, many of which have been stolen from European
While they can\'t seem to keep the illegal stuff out, the
good stuff is getting away.
This story
from The Independent on how British libraries
are not able to
compete with \"wealthy American libraries\" which are
offering big bucks to buy up the papers of famous modern
British authors including Ted Hughes, Martin Amis and Salman
Now if someone will just point me at one of these wealthy
American libraries...

Burning Questions, Final Answers

Bob Cox pointed out Forbes is running
a really neato Series of Questions.

They Include, Who was the first person to envision the
Internet? Does the Web site of the Girl Scouts of
America contain cookies? Will there ever be
compatibility among operating systems?
And... Who first called it \"surfing the Web\"?
Of course we all know it was Jean Armour Polly, a
former public librarian working on an article about the
Internet in 1992.
It\'s a really fun look at some of the questions you
never thought to ask, not that you would know who to
ask if you\'d have thought of it in the first place.


Library accused of $4.2 million flub

I just like the title of this one, when was the last time you saw the word \"Flub\" in the title of a story?

The Detroit News is Reporting the Detroit Public Library\'s chief accountant says the Detroit Public library is mishandling millions of dollars worth of grant money. He was terminated last week after just five months on the job.



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