The Wait for an E-book Format

Publishers Weekly has a Story on how the E Book industry is nowhere near establishing a common format that will allow folks to read any e-book on any device they happen to own. Gemstar, Micrososft and Adobe are the big 3 in this arena, and they are fighting it out to see which one will make it.

\"When you look at Beta/VHS, or Apple vs. IBM, the winner was the one that was more open and allowed more access to what people wanted,\"--Tim Oreily

Problems Facing the Usability Community

John S. Rhodes has written an interesting story \"Trouble in Paradise: Problems Facing the Usability Community\" on about how tough things are on the usablity side of the net.

\"There are problems with usability and the usability community. This article is my attempt to raise some of the most important and interesting issues. In my opinion, usability as we know it is dying. It is outdated, misunderstood, and it faces very serious challenges in web and software development circles.\"

Good Libraries, poor memories

Boozhoo (Ojibwe for greetings),

Anishaabe poet, Professor Denise Sweet, speaking at the Wisconsin Library Association noted that a tribal elder had once told a European American librarian that they had \"GOOD LIBRARIES but POOR MEMORIES while the opposite was true for his people.\" Oral cultures have both advantages and disadvantages as compared to print and now media cultures.

This put me in mind of my article, The Catalog as Community,\" to be published in the magazine Library Computing and posted on my web site at the HAPLR web site indicated below.


Serious Censorship in China

Someone pointed me to this Story available at: Salon.

10 people went to prison Thursday for illegally printing and selling books. One defendant received a life term, after they were convicted of illegal business activities and producing obscene materials! So far this year party censors temporarily shut down at least 13 publishers and closed another.


New SACS Accreditation Criteria

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) has released a proposed new set of standards for accreditation for colleges in their region. The proposed standards are alarmingly weak concerning libraries, where the previous standards were quite good and expected a high level of professionalism in library services. Academic librarians in the region are up in arms, trying to get the proposed standards changed. They may turn out to be successful, and they may not. It is a scary reminder that the place of librarianship and libraries is anything but secure, regardless of how you conceive of libraries and library service. The latest Library Juice has an article from TEXLINE, a newsletter of the Texas Library Association, on the issue, with links to relevant SACS documents, followed by some discussion from COLLIB-L, the listserv of the ACRL college libraries section, which give some insight into what is happening and what can be done about it.

Librarian\'s Lao Tzu

Someone suggested The Librarian\'s Lao Tzu by Andy Barnett.

\"The Tao te Ching is an ancient book of wisdom, the well spring of a great religion, Taoism. It has been translated many times, by such literary luminaries as Ursula K. LeGuin, Stephen Mitchell and Alan Watts. I do no possess even a modicum of their literary talent, poetic ability or knowledge of Eastern religions. I do have one advantage that they do not. Lao Tzu, the reputed author of the work, was a librarian. This is the first attempt by a fellow librarian to translate the Tao te Ching.\"


What is an Information Architect?

Here\'s a nifty and detailed explanation of just what an information architect is, from Steven Downes.

\"From my own experience, I would say that the practitioners are professionals, versed in every aspect of web design, adept communicators, and gifted visualizers - they are people who eat, sleep and dream web design and structure. But you can\'t put that on the job description.\"

LISNews Turns One

Happy Birthday to

Happy Birthday to

Happy Birthday dear

Happy Birthday to Us.

Reg Aubry was kind enough to send along a card.

It was one year ago today I launched

One year and almost 1,000 stories later, it seems like a good

time to take a step back and reflect.


Lebanon National Library Rebuilding

The Daily Star has a story on the national library, that after years of war and neglect, is having somethings restored. Plans are going ahead with the renovation of a building to house what has made it throgh the war. The new national library will be the present School of Law at the Lebanese University in Sanayeh.

“The process of rehabilitating the library has been divided into two general phases. During the first phase, which will take between three and four years, the books will be cleaned, sorted and organized in their current temporary location at the Science Library of the Lebanese University’s Hadath campus.” -Maud Stephan, the director of the National Library Rehabilitation Project

Frederick Forsyth Goes E

The online e-book race is heating up. Frederick Forsyth will release a series of five short stories, collectively titled \"Quintet.\" The stories are being released on His quote on the site says this:

\"Online publishing will be a large part of the future. It creates a simple and above all fast and direct linkage between original producer (author) and ultimate consumer (reader), with very few intermediaries. It is exciting to be going down this road.

I am a techno-peasant. I have never seen an eBook. But I have never seen a Formula One racing engine either. I nevertheless accept that they really can shift.\"

Library Turns Girl Into A Witch

I ran out of time yesterday to post this one, but since it\'s only one day past Halloween...

A high school in OK City suspended a 15-year-old student after she cast a magic spell that caused a teacher to become sick. She had read a library book about Wicca beliefs, and admitted she \"Might\" be a wiccan, and that was good enough for the principal to suspend her for \"a disruption of the education process\". The ACLU is all over this one. Just in case you\'re missing the funny part here, she read a book that allowed her to cast a spell that made a teacher sick, so they suspended her. Can they possibly, honeslty, really, actually believe this girl is a Witch with the ability to make people sick after reading ONE book?? It took me years before I could do that!

Tomorrow marks the 1st birthday of LISNews, I have posted 964 stories, nothing even comes close to this one.

Read on for the full press release from the ACLU.


Famed Censorship Lawyer Dies

Lee Hadden Writes:

An author, friend of libraries
and a hero in the war against
censorship has died in New York. Charles Rember
challenged the government
censoring of many works of literature that were
considered obscene during
the 1960\'s, including Henry Miller\'s \"Tropic of Cancer,\"
John Cleland\'s
\"Fanny Hill\" and D. H. Lawrence\'s \"Lady Chatterly\'s
Lover\". Books published
overseas could not be purchased and mailed to
citizens in the US, or
otherwise made available to either adults or children.
Books written in the
US that were considered obscene were open to
confiscation and destruction.
Mr. Rembar was noted for his wit and his ability
to explain rather
simply complex legal arguments, and to strike to the
heart of a legal
question. My favorite quote of his was \"Pornography is
in the groin of the


Bibliotheca Alexandrina Almost Complete

I remember when the Bibliotheca Alexandrina had
somewhere between 200,000 and 700,000 scrolls. It
was a sad, sad day when the library burned down way
back in
48BC. Well now things are all better. National
has a Story (sent in by Bob
Cox) on the $200 million renovations. When it is
opened, early next year, there will be room for 8 million

\"I think it\'s an inspiring building,\" the
library\'s director, Professor Mohsen Zahran, says. \"It
has a great deal of symbolism and meaning, and it
carries a message to future generations.\"


Internet Use/Public Library Use Study Released

The Urban Libraries Council, together with the School
of Information Studies
at SUNY at Buffalo (Got my MLS there), has released
the results of a 3000+ household national
telephone survey of Internet use and public library use.
Highlights, a
research report, and the questionnaire are available on
the ULC

The good news is we found some
astoundingly positive numbers. Forty percent
of the respondents indicate they use both the Internet
and the library.
Even better, three out of four Internet users tell us they
have used the
library in the past year. Sixty percent of the library users
are also
Internet users.

The death penalty and filtering

The Chicago
has a rather strongly worded Story on filtering. The author says that like the death
penalty, filters don\'t work.

\"So it doesn\'t really
matter that filters can\'t do either of those things
effectively. Since so many people want to believe they
do, it makes good political sense for members of
Congress to play along.\"


Should Young Children Use Computers?

A while back we posted a report published by the
Alliance for Childhood questioning
computer use by young children For those interested in
or in
need of support regarding appropriate computer use
by young children,
David Thornburg has a response on

\"What I DO have a problem with is the assertion
that computer use in school is designed to take the
place of these other activities. I have never visited a
school where children were not engaged in physical
play, art, and adult contact, even when these schools
are loaded to the gills with high-tech! Properly used,
technology just becomes another powerful tool for
learning. But the assertion of these authors is that we
have abandoned human contact for virtual worlds. \"


Problems with e-books and e-journals

Interested in E-Pubs? Gary Klein
written a lengthy critique.

One of the problems with netLibrary is a problem
that is common to
many other publisher & distributor driven systems for
delivering online
access to journal articles.

When was the last time you heard a faculty member
say \"I\'ve been out
of the loop on research in a growing field of my
discipline, and I would
like to catch up... Can you show me how I can read
some new articles
online from Oxford University Press?\"

After all, Oxford University Press publishes 170
different journal
titles, many of which are highly esteemed, and they are
going online,

It was a dark and Dewey night has this Spoooky Story on a library ghost in Snohomish\'s Carnegie Building library. Miss Catharine McMurchy, who was a librarian there in the 20\'s and 30\'s still makes her rounds to keep the books \" neatly arranged according to the Dewey Decimal System\".

\"At one point, her chair began to shake. A gust of wind rattled a windowpane; the chair shook harder, \"As if a heavy-footed person walked beside me,\" she said.\"

Any ghosts in your library you\'d like to share?


ACLU Vs. The \"genre\" stickers in a public library

Susan Hill writes:

Okay, I\'ve tried to hold my tongue, but I simply cannot remain quiet now. I
have just read October 30 American Libraries Online
specifically \"Kansas Library Stops Marking
Books as Suitable for Christians\". I am appalled and outraged that the ACLU
has taken on the battle of \"genre\" stickers in a public library. The labels
had been brought to the ACLU\'s attention by a library user, the Associated
Press reported October 21. A LIBRARY USER? ONE LIBRARY USER? Where are the
voices of all the library users who want those stickers on the books?

Last Chance on Filtering

Congressional leaders are now threatening to continue this session of Congress through Election Day. From day to day, prospects swing wildly for passage of the Labor, HHS, Education appropriations bill (H.R. 4577). One thing that has not wavered in recent days is the apparent Congressional determination to retain the filtering rider within the bill.

Most congressional offices are claiming to have heard very little from the library community on the filtering issue. Now is the time to make library voices heard. A concerted effort by the entire field is the only chance for removal of this onerous, bureaucratic, resource-hogging burden.



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