Rating the E-rate

Education Week has a nice Story on how the E-rate is working for us folks in the US. The say the program earns praise for overall effort, but lower marks for implementation.

\"The main theme I hear from educators and librarians is that this program has made possible the use of technology that otherwise would have been years away in classrooms,\" says Kate L. Moore, the president of the Schools and Libraries Division of the Washington-based Universal Service Administrative Co., or USAC, the nonprofit agency that manages the program for the Federal Communications Commission. \"It is allowing these organizations to leapfrog into the realm of advanced technology and learning.\"


New E-Books Announced by RCA

There\'s a new e-book coming to town, and it\'s brought to you by RCA...



Lee Hadden Writes:

Scientific American announces a new publishing program in the October
2000 issue, pages 34-36, in the \"Technology & Business\" section. A new
program that allows a user to post an item to the World Wide Web that
cannot be altered or erased was announced in mid-August. Called \"Publius\",
it permits an author to place a file on the web that cannot be tampered
with or removed by censors or even government officials. It will be nearly
impossible to remove illegal materials from the web.

The program can be combined with anonymous hosts to obscure the names
of the file owner, and thus the file could truly be speech without


Student Newspapers and Censorship

Lee Hadden Writes:

An article in the Washington Post shows that many high school students
who have articles censored in their student newspapers, are then posting
their items on the internet from their home computer. This avoids the
regulations that schools place on budding reporters, but has its own
problems as well. Many parents and teachers remember the diatribes posted
by the students from Columbine HS school shortly before their shooting
rampage. Also, problems of teen angst, accountability and slander remain.


Book Ratings?!

Here is an interesting article from SF Gate. School trustees may want to put ratings on required reading, which will inform parents about their contents.\" Several trustees say they want to do a better job of alerting parents to content that they might find inappropriate for their children. They are also reviewing how the Fairfield- Suisun school district selects required reading and responds to community challenges to books on the list.\"


E-books Shmee-books

This opinion piece from ZDnet warns about getting caught in the e-book hype. The one problem that I have with the article is that comparing e-books to toothbrushes is like comparing...well...e-books to toothbrushes.\"I remember the first electric toothbrushes. They\'d revolutionize dental care.
They flopped.

Until companies like Water Pik, Sonicare and others came along with better technology.

Similar thing\'s happening with electronic books (e-books) -- those devices and software that let you download and read digitized works. Lots of hype, some sales, but not enough to alter the industry.\"

For Knowledge, Look Within

Here\'s an interesting story from KM Magazine on an alternative career for librarians, they call the position an \"Internal Infomediary\", someone who creates or manages systems to connect employees with the knowledge they need.

\"In this information age, I think people are acknowledging there is more to it than sticking a Web browser on your desktop. There is usually a curve organizations go through of Why do we need intermediaries? We have the Web. We have Yahoo. We have Alta Vista. We can do our own searching. Then the organization usually comes full circle and says, What are we doing? We are not paying engineers to surf the Web all day.\"

70s prom latest fund-raiser

Here\'s a nifty idea from Wisconsin for fundraising. The event is called Back to the 70s Prom, a fund-raiser on behalf of the Weyers-Hilliard Branch of the Brown County Library. Money raised Friday will buy books and other materials for the children\'s area. Nifty!

The Back to the \'70s Prom to benefit the Weyers-Hilliard Branch of the Brown County Library will take place Friday at the Comfort Suites of Green Bay, 1951 Bond St. Tickets are $12.50 each at the door, or $10 in advance. Hors d\'oeurves will be served. There will be a cash bar.

Full Story from PressGaztteNews.com

That Old Devil ALA!

Karen G. Schneider has written an interesting Column in the ALA Online on \"Excess Access\", a video produced and sold by the American Family Association (aka The AFA).

\"In 21 minutes, Excess Access portrays a small drama in a public library involving Internet pornography, and follows this story with discussions by “experts.” (Actually, it’s a church library, which might explain why you see a child pulling a picture book from a set of encyclopedias.) \"

It\'s interestin to read how far they go with this one.


US Congress Next in Copyright Tiffs

In what can only be bad news, Wired is predicting a grim battle in Congress next year as a result of the ongoing Napster lawsuit. They Say the loser of the Napster case will be inmportant to this area of law.
The two-day international intellectual property conference was held last week.

\"We must protect the rights of the creator,\" Hatch said. \"But we cannot, in the name of copyright, unduly burden consumers and the promising technology the Internet presents to all of us.\"
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch


Gifted kids and librarians

Brian writes \"A short Interview with author Judy Galbraith about the relationship between gifted students and school librarians, from Foreword magazine:


Question: It makes sense that school librarians would be a gifted student\'s natural ally. Have you found this to be the case?
Her Answer Follows...

Saying the F word in libraries

Public Information Office has some good suggestions about talking to people about filtering. Here\'s a sample, from their section on answering the tough questions:

The best way to deal with tough questions from library users, your board members, the mayor or a reporter is to be prepared. The following are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Listen -- don\'t judge. Anticipate which questions you will be asked and prepare your answers ahead of time.
  • Acknowledge: \"You obviously have strong feelings. I respect your views. Let me give you another perspective.\"
  • Reframe the question -- Why do you think students should be allowed to view pornography on the Internet? \"You\'re asking me about our Internet policy...\"
  • Be honest. Tell the truth as you know it. \"My experience with the Internet is...\"
  • Remember, it\'s not just what you say but how you say it. Speak simply, sincerely and with conviction.
  • Less is more. Keep your answers short and to the point.
  • Stick to your key message. Deliver it at least three times.
  • Avoid use of negative/inflammatory words such as \"pornography.\"
  • Don\'t fudge. If you don\'t know, say so.
  • Never say \"No comment.\" A simple \"I\'m sorry I can\'t answer that\" will do.

Dear Dr. Laura ...

Brian writes \"Friday was my day off, so I watched Dr. Laura\'s TV show about pornbraries. My impression is that she\'ll get cancelled fairly quickly in many markets; she doesn\'t have much of a TV presence, sighing and hmmphing around the set like a little kid. (I could be wrong: I didn\'t think Conan would stay on the air after I saw him shaking his way through his monologues at the beginning.) The big revelation was that an e-mail address was given out on the air: [email protected]. I noticed a bit of misinformation given on the show and on the Web-based Dr. Laura Activism Center she plugged, so I sent a note encouraging her to go do the right thing and take a moral stand for truth:

Read on for the letter...


Canadian Students Find Theses on Contentville

The Edmonton Journal has this article on graduate students who are upset that their theses were sold on Contentville. It seems that they should file a complaint with the National Library.\"The students didn\'t know it, but the U.S. firm gained the rights to sell Canadian theses this summer through a subcontract with the company that reproduces academic work for the National Library.

Stephen Biggs, a senior doctoral student in psychology at York University, found his master\'s thesis listed for the average price of $57.50 US -- $54.62 for club members.\"

Do You Still Need A Library Card?

Wired has a story
that admits all that
is free on the web is not all good. The story goes into Questia and
ebrary.com, 2 companies working to bring some
authority control to the web, for a fee of course.

\"The element that the Internet is missing most
is valuable, authoritative information,\" said Christopher
Warnock, CEO of ebrary.com. \"For a lot of students, if
information doesn\'t exist on the Internet, it doesn\'t


Studio B Highlights

Studio B\'s been getting a facelift! Go take a look. Sorry about the slight vanishing act, but I\'m back with the
Studio B Buzz Highlights.


XML: No Magic Problem Solver

I like This Story from
one of my favorite mags Business 2.0
on XML because the author attempts to control some of
the silly hype currently surrounding XML.

Three sad truths
Sad XML Truth No. 1: Designing a good format using
XML still requires human intelligence.
Sad XML Truth No. 2: XML does not mean less
Sad XML Truth No. 3: Interoperability isn’t an
engineering issue, it’s a business issue.


Gutenberg is the \"Man of the Millennium\"

Lee Hadden writes:

An article in the Wall Street
Journal, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2000, page
A24, talks about the celebration of Johannes Gutenberg
as the \"Man of the
Millennium\" in Mainz, and gives a brief account of his
career. See the site
(it also has an English translation) at: gutenberg.de


Report from Robert Willard On Dr. Laura

Cathy Gilletter was kind enough to send along an email
from Robert S. Willard, Executive Director National
Commission on Libraries and Information Science. He
was on the \"Lewd Libraries\" show on Friday,
and has more than
a few things to say about his experiences.

From: \"Bob Willard\"This week marks the
premiere of the syndicated
television show hosted by
Dr. Laura Schlessinger. The program dealing with
libraries, and
specifically access to inappropriate material on the
Internet by
will air this Friday (9/15). The show is placed in different
time slots
different cities; a locator is at
identifies the broadcast time in all cities where the
show is broadcast.
am disappointed to report that the name chosen for this
particular show
\"Lewd Libraries.\"

I participated in the show and I thought I would share
my impressions
the whole process.


Worth of Librarians

In the animal world we have aggregations such as: a pride of lions, a pod of whales, a gaggle of geese, a murmuration of starlings, and so forth. James Lipton, in his book An Exaltation of Larks (Penguin Books, 1993) says that the technical term for such aggregations is venery. Lipton’s book provides rules for turning the creation of terms of venery into a game. His rules amount essentially to all players coming up with terms of venery, with one judge determining categories and later awarding points to the best terms.

There are even terms of venery that change depending on exactly where the group is. For example, geese on land are a flock, in flight they\'re a skein, and in the water a plump. Venery is at times age related, as in a kindle of kittens but a clowder of cats.

What might there be for us humans? How about a bean pot of accountants or a tintinnabulation of politicians? Perhaps we should consider a worth of librarians. We could get tagged with worse! And librarians ARE worth a lot!



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