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

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, 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 \"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:


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!


Quotes from Lewd Libraries

Dr. Laura’s big “LEWD LIBRARIES” show is over. Both sides made some good points, but there was not much new offered, and it was rather boring as far as talk shows go. I pulled out some quotes from both sides, for those of you who can’t or won’t watch the show. I was supreised The ALA declined to go on the show.

Dr. Laura-“I would be first online with the sign to oppose censorship in the library ”

Topic: salary survey

For anyone thinking of making the jump to the world, has a story on what cities are \"most affordable\", that is, highest pay, lowest cost of living.

\"The first-of-its-kind survey, released exclusively to CNET , uses detailed salary information from more than 570,000 workers who filled out questionnaires at Workers run the gamut from technical writers and telephone call-center operators to senior vice presidents and chief technology officers.

Read on for the winners and losers...

Update from Holland, MI

Slashdot has an Update and report from Hollan, MI on the big fitlering fight. They went to the Holland library\'s open board meeting on Tuesday night; and the report is Here. It\'s worth the read, for both sides of the issue

\"The latest issue of the American Family Association Journal has an article titled \"Low percentage of Christians using Internet filtering shows ignorance of the dangers.\" They claim that \"Seven out of 10 Christians have Internet access -- but only one out of 10 has filtered Internet access.\"


Web Hoaxes and Misinformation

Be sure to check out the feature article in this months Searcher Magazine. Paul S. Piper discusses many aspects of web site evaluation and misinformation. There is also a nice list of sites that track these Internet hoaxes. A must read for public librarians.\"Misinformation on the Internet is, and will always be, a problem. One of the attributes of the Internet — the fact that nearly anyone can publish on it — creates an environment of freedom and simultaneously an environment that lacks quality control. That lack of quality control often requires the Internet user to perform the filtering done for us transparently in magazines, newsletters, journals, encyclopedias, books, and so on.\"


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