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.
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.\"
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.\"
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.\"
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.
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?
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.\'\'
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.\"
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.\"
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.\"
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\"
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.\"
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.\"
\"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.\"
Wired.com has this interesting article on the how the Digital Mellennium Copyright Act of 1998 is holding up.
\"The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 was supposed to clear up copyright issues in the Internet era.
That hasn\'t exactly happened. Instead, there have been a series of lawsuits between the recording and motion picture industries, private companies and individual users, seeking clarification on how intellectual property is protected as music and video moves to the digital world.\"
The Detroit News ran this story on a two week amnesty period that a library will give its patrons to return overdue books. After that, they will have police issue warrants.
\"People can bring back overdue books with no problem during the amnesty days ... or they\'ll be dealing with the Public Safety Department,\" Public Safety Director Adam Garcia said.
Anybody with an overdue book after May 31 could be charged with larceny, a misdemeanor punishable by 90 days in jail and a $500 fine.\"
Clickz.com has a Story that points out how much pressure publishers are under.
\"The Internet changes the entire dynamics of publishing. When Stephen King\'s words can be packaged into a PDF file and downloaded by anyone with a computer in a few minutes, one must begin to question what his publisher, Simon & Schuster, is doing to earn its share of the income pie.\"
Here\'s what we do and what we have always done:
We help people access appropriate information as quickly and effectively as possible.
Here\'s what we used to use.... Books
Here\'s what we use now.... Books and Computers
Information used to come in .... Books and Periodicals
Information now comes in .... Books, Periodicals, Audio, Video, Computers
Nothing has changed but our options. We do the same thing. A patron asks a question. Depending on the type of information and the time available for the patron we access the materials that will best answer the question in the time allowed.