Questia: Some Issues

T. G. McFadden, the Director @ Schaffer Library, Union College in Schenectady, NY has written this look at Questia.

And while we\'re on the subject, a couple people have asked what happened to the Questia interview. I spoke with someone at the company who said they would rather not answer so many important questions in that format, and would rather answer each person individually.Read on for T.G.\'s look at Questia.

\"The following observations and findings are based on a limited, but perhaps not unrepresentative, trial of how Questia handles certain authors and subjects in areas familiar to me. Naturally, any conclusions or results should be independently verified.


What is the current usage for the librarian in charge?

Someone writes \"A librarian the other day told me they were a master librarian. I have looked around the library web pages and found titles for the librarians that have the overall responsibility of a particular library, go by general titles as chief librarian, head librarian, university librarian,campus librarian. Since library functions are always changing, I have two questions. Is there a general title as master labrarian and what are current titles for the librarian with the most responsibility at any library?

Yes, I do not work in a library. \"

I\'d say Library Director sounds about right, but maybe there are others? I\'ve never hear of Master Librarian, but it sounds pretty cool!


N2H2 filters out staff

Brian writes \"Filter maker N2H2 just laid off 51 people, close to a fourth of its staff (which was reduced by more than a third last year). Article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. \"

In other filtering news, CNN has a Look At the latest filtering wars.

And Slashdot has This Story on a proposal in TX that would require PC sellers in Texas to include filters on the machines they sell. see also\'s Story


Libraries Popping Up Everwhere

With all this talk about library closings, it\'s good too see
some new libraries popping up in some unexpected
places.A homeless shelter
in in AZ, post offices in England.
Meanwhile in France, the French national library
says it has the largest virtual
in the world. 87,000 books have been
converted to a digital format, so it doesn\'t matter where
they are.
Thanks to Robert Aubin for these.


Trouble for Toronto Public Library

Why is it everytime I post a story about Ontario it\'s bad
This Story from
The Toronto
says library officials would have to look at
closing at least 17 branch libraries, if the proposed
budget cuts take place. Keep in mind that the Toronto
Public Library has had to reduce its budget by about 25
per cent in the past 10 years. I thought the city
amalgamation was suppose to make things better?

Move Over Harry Potter, There\'s a New Kid in Town

His name is Artemis Fowl, and this 12-year-old kids\' book character has already made a mint — and literary history — for his creator, Irish author Eoin Colfer. [more...]


Fraudulent borrowers cost libraries $10,000

Here\'s yet another story on
public library thefts. Detectives are investigating a
library theft ring whose members took at least $10,000
worth of materials from at least 16 libraries in several
OH counties over five months.

They used at least five fraudulent names to take out
About $10,000 worth of DVDs, CDs, videos and books.
Overdue notices sent to the fraudulent addresses were
returned by the postal service in December, and the
libraries then knew they had been ripped off.

It\'s so sad how often I see this now.


US Presidential Libraries

Chicago Tribune
has a Story on
the Presidential Libraries in the US.

They say presidential libraries have become elaborate
and expensive and are aimed at staking a president\'s
claim to greatness, and are so expensive you could run
a presidential campaign on what they cost. President
Bill Clinton\'s library in Little Rock, Ark., has been
estimated at $100 million to $125 million.


Epublishing News

What Can Publishers Learn from
is an interesting story from Publishers
on e-books. They say libraries and
technology vendors are working at a higher level of
sophistication than most print publishers in terms of
integrating content assets, and publishers can learn a
thing or two from us.

Bob Cox sent in This Story from on E-Ink, a flexible,
paper-like display made of plastic, with paper-white
backgrounds and ink that continues to display even
after you turn the gadget off. They say it could help
digital books account for annual revenues of $7.8
billion in five years (18 percent of all publishing sales)

Net News

Charles Davis shares This Story on the ever humble Tim
Berners-Lee. He will receive an honorary degree
\"Doctor of Science (honoris causa)\" from the University
of Oxford at Encaenia. We all owe him a big thanks for
what he did.

In other \'net-news, Bob Cox sent along This NY Post Story on a Brooklyn busboy
who pulled off the largest identity-theft in Internet
history, stealing from more than 200 of the \"Richest
People in America\" listed in Forbes magazine, and he
did it all with the computers in a local library!Here\'s another Story too.


Noisy Libraries Speak Volumes About Us

Someone sent along This Story from The Washington
on the Arlington Road branch library in
Bethesda. Not the quiet library you would expect, and
just too loud for this author.

\"No, thanks.\" I wanted to say. \"I\'ll just head on
over to someplace where I can concentrate, like Chuck
E. Cheese.\"


University buries 10,000 books to save cash

Charles Davis sent in this Rather Strange Story on
The University of Western Sydney.
They just dumped 10,000 books
because it could not afford to store
them. Rare and antique
books were among those buried.

Vice Chancellor Janice Reid says
the university receives up
to 50% less funds than older

Official government figures show
UWS\'s income per
student is the third lowest in the


Queen to meet Potter\'s creator

Charles Davis sent in this one,
it seems that Rowling has some friends in high places.

The Queen (of England, not the U.S.) is going to meet
JK Rowling, you may have heard Harry is already a
favourite of the Prince of Wales.
During the so-called royal \"theme
day\", the Queen and
Duke of Edinburgh are to see
various aspects of the book
industry. Other visits included a
bookstore, school and

Full Story


CIPA Round Up

The CIPA submissions are flowing like wine here.

The ALA Press Release

[It\'s a PDF]

ACLU\'s Announcement

Text of the Motion
[It\'s a PDF]
CNN Story, they
also had a \"Quick Vote\" poll on this, but it seems to be
gone. President Nancy C. Kranich
was on Fox
yesterday, and got grilled pretty hard, anyone
else catch that?

Last but not least, Salon has This Story on the big hoo haa.
This Wired Story is also very


Drop and give me 20 pages, soldier!

US Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric K. Shinseki has put together reading lists for soldiers from raw recruits (Tom Brokaw\'s The Greatest Generation) all the way up to generals (Clausewitz, Kissinger and Thucydides).

Gen. Shinseki says, \"There is no better way to develop the sure knowledge and confidence required of our calling than a disciplined, focused commitment to a personal course of reading and study.\"

I don\'t often agree with warmongers, but -- right on, Brother!


What\'s More important, Freedom of Speech or the Need to Protect Kids from Porn?

I have never researched how many times in history the ALA has taken an issue to the Supreme Court, but [this one...] according to ABC News, may well be headed that way.

It is expected that if the ruling is handed down that libraries must comply or lose federal funds, some libraries will ultimately decide to give up the funding in order to prove their point. Is this the common sense approach?


Update: Bodleian rethinks visitor centre

Charles Davis writes \"From

Controversial plans to turn part of Oxford\'s
Bodleian Library into a pay-as-you-enter visitor
centre have been withdrawn.
After much opposition, the University has
decided to withdraw temporarily its planning
application for more consultation with city council
planning officers. \"


Librarians Square-Off Over Filtering Law

David Plotnikoff [writes...]

Libraries bracing for CIPA\'s arrival have almost no idea how it will affect them and when. The law, the latest in a long set of Internet filtering proposals championed by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., doesn\'t contain specific details on the mechanics of compliance. The FCC is drawing up regulations and time lines for its implementation. [more...] from the Silicon Valley


Online Reference in S.F.

Soneome passed along This Story from about how Bay Area libraries have banded together to do online reference.

About 80 reference librarians from 25 libraries are linked up to staff and
Note: San Fran residents only


SIRS Launches Free Interactive Resource Guide

SIRS Mandarin, Inc. has announced the launch of the SIRS Resource Center, an evolving collection of educational Internet resources for students, teachers and librarians. Lesson plans, online reference tools and library resources
can be found in this free, interactive resource guide.



Subscribe to LISNews: RSS Subscribe to LISNews: - All comments