Consumer Reports Filtering Study Flawed?

Here is an interesting twist on the filtering study by Consumer Reports. It seems that the Information and Technology Association of America thinks that the methodology and the conclusions drawn from the study are flawed. Make your own judgements. Read the ITAA press release here, and an article on the whole shebang here.\"\"Like automobile seat belts, filtering software is not 100 percent effective, said ITAA President Harris Miller. \"But no responsible adult allows family members to drive without first buckling up. We think kids should be as safe as possible, whether they are rolling down the road or cruising through cyberspace.\".


New list on Integrated Library Systems

Erik Lewis writes \"
After much thought and deliberation I have founded a new listserv to deal with library
automation. I don\'t feel there is a single list or website in existence that is what I consider a top notch source of information on the subject of
Integrated Library Systems. So I have started one with the purpose of sharing information about library automation. Hopefully this will allow
better communication amongst the vendors and consumers so that a better measure of what we want is available. I also hope that it serves to aid in making smart purchases and serves to share information concerning how to deal with the various vendors and consultants in this field. Hopefully we will also discuss future advances and standards. The list is meant to be
open to all. To subscribe please send a blank email to the following address.
[email protected]


Laura Bush Goes Own Way

Phil Quinones was kind enough to send in This Story on Laura Bush from The LA Times.

\"Laura Welch Bush, 54, is a self-described introvert who likes singer Van Morrison and margaritas on the rocks. She smoked for years, then quit, but sneaked a few during her husband\'s 1994 run for governor. She has a graduate degree in library science, but is baffled by computers. She goes to bed early with a good novel. Her shoes are organized by color and her books by the Dewey Decimal System.\"

Help needed from Librarians to complete book project

Godfrey Oswald writes \"Dear Librarians

I am near the final completion of a major project, to update the
Info Connect List of LIS Records 1999.

This is a factual reference book (first published in 1997), of the
major records on libraries, information science and librarianship,
akin to the \"Guinness Book of Records\".

It includes such records as, the oldest university library in the
world,the most expensive library in the world, the largest public
library in Europe, the 100 largest and important libraries in the
world, the first CD-ROM database.

The new edition is to be called \"The Book of Library Records\"
and is to be made available in book printed and electronic version.

I am seeking information on any new entries to add to the new edition.

Here is how you can help me....


Access to Bookstore Data

Samantha Cook wrote\"
\"Did anyone see Friday night\'s edition of 20/20?

John Stossel\'s \"Give Me a
Break\" segment
had a story
regarding the
government\'s right to access a
bookstore\'s customer information list. The information
about a suspect\'s
buying habits and book material would be used to add
to the evidence to
prosecute an individual (for example, if they bought
materials regarding
bombs, weapons, creating home drug labs, etc.). I\'m
as concerned about
these issues as the next person, but feeling as if my
buying habits and book
selections could be scrutinized by the government, and
that they could be
used to solidify criminal charges against me, is a
troubling thought. How
often does someone read materials just for information
and knowledge, with
no intention of committing a criminal act? Admittedly,
this source is a
television \"news\" magazine, and has been known to
make errors in its
reporting, but if there is any validity to the story, we are
in serious

The government is (once again) on an extremely
slippery slope, sticking its
oversized nose into its citizens homes and lives. \"


Many People Inefficient at Reaching Their Online Destinations

This is interesting.

Alexa Research did a \"comprehensive two-year study\" to determine that people are stupid, or at least that\'s how I took it.
They say an alarming number of Web users are not particularly efficient at reaching their online destinations. People are so stupid they\'ll even type a complete URL into the search box of a search engine (something I see all the time in the logs for LISNews).

These findings are based on an examination of more than 42 million search pages.

It\'s funny they seem to blame the users, not the people who design the software and serach engines. As a WebMaster I think it\'s my fault when people can\'t figure out my site, which makes me the stupid one, but maybe that\'s just me.

“This study shows that for many, there’s a conceptual misunderstanding of how to effectively navigate the Web,” said Work. “Some people think that their homepage is the Web, that they have to go through their homepage in order to get to the site they want, without realizing that any website can be accessed directly. This notion is supported by our Web traffic popularity rankings, where eight of the top 10 sites are portals and/or search engines.”


online resource for legal research professionals

T. R. Halvorson writes:

LexNotes is a new, free online resource for legal
research professionals. It provides categorized and searchable links to
research sources, bibliographies, pathfinders, articles, reviews, papers,
legal news, and tips. The domain was registered January 23, 2001 and the
site went \"live\" February 12, 2001.

Highlights of the Resources follow...


Showgirl for a day

Brian writes \" Article about the librarian who did the switch-jobs-with-a-Vegas-showgirl stint on \"Inside Edition.\"

Jennifer Lucas, a really good looking (my opinion)electronic resources librarian for King County Library System in Seattle traded places with a Las Vegas showgirl.

“It wasn’t like I was topless or anything, but I felt naked — I don’t normally walk around in a g-string, with feathers coming out of my head.”


PUBLIB Best Books of 2000

PUBLIB has posted the PUBLIB Best Books of 2000 (Favorite books read, but not necessarily written, in 2000).

All the titles were contributed by PUBLIB members.

A few titles include, Paco Underhill Why We Buy , Anne Elizabeth Simon The Real Science Behind the X-Files , and Miles Harvey The Island of Lost Maps .


Questia prospects questionable?

Brian writes \"Wired News has an article about a potential stumbling block for Questia and other e-pub subscription services: Will college students be willing to pay?\"

How do you convince cash-strapped college students to pay 5 to 10 percent of their disposable incomes on subscriptions?

\"We found there\'s a real need (for this type of service),\" said Troy Williams, founder, president and CEO of Questia. \"We found that the Internet was not helping (students) get their papers done.\"

Hyper Over Hyperlinks

Someone writes \" The appeals court sent the case back to the District Court for a trial on the issue of whether the city of Cookeville unconstitutionally denied Davidian a link solely because it didn\'t like what he had to say about Cookeville.
has the
American Journalism Review has the
Story \".

Geoffrey Davidian asked for a link to his online newspaper, didn\'t get it, so he sued them.


The end of searching as we know it

Brian writes \"How will we find good information in \"the coming age of P2P\"?

Will a Doogle (distributed Google) arise? Will metadata come to the rescue?

These issues came up at a conference in San Francisco. Wired News has the Story .


XML4Lib Electronic Discussion

An electronic discussion on XML and its use in libraries.

The Extensible Markup Language (XML) is now being used by libraries
for a variety of purposes. The purpose of this electronic discussion
is to assist library staff in learning about XML and how to apply it
to library problems and opportunities.

The discussion archive is browsable and (soon to be) searchable at
the XML4Lib web site.

Send the mesage \"subscribe xml4lib YOUR NAME\" to
[email protected]


Archivists make technology work for them

CS has a Story on how archivists are using technology to over come all the problems other technologies cause.

\"You\'re going to have to have a technology room off of all these repositories so you can have MS-DOS, Java, HTML,\" Mr. Neff says. \"We don\'t know which [program] is going to go the way of the 8-track.\"

Poetry and Manuscripts

Andrew Porteus, a librarian from across the river, is running The Niagara Falls Poetry Project.

Examining a Renaissance Italian Manuscript in the Computer Age is an interesting site recommened by Bob Cox, that deals with the intellectual provenance of the text.

Finally, for no reason, Everything you need to know about The Simpsons.


Searches bringing up more pay-for-placement

With all the dot.coms trying to find ways to make money, more and more search engines are asking for $$ to show up higher in search results. The Mercury News has a story that even mentions librarians and their current love for google. Blame this garbage on the online advertising slump, they say. has a Story that says Search Engines Must Continue to Be Referees - fair arbiters of relevance - or consumers will gravitate to different sources of information.

``The idea of paid placements would have never been entertained in years prior,\'\' said Danny Sullivan, who writes the Search Engine Watch newsletter. But now, ``we\'re having more and more paid placement and other paid programs\'\' on search engines.\"


Most Borrowed in the UK

With Harry Potter Weaving his spell in libraries, it\'s good to see Scotland is hungry for love in the library, meanwhile Cookson is queen of the library shelves in the UK, that makes her the most popular author among library users for the 15th year. They say the top ten non-fiction titles reflected preoccupations with relationships, cooking and driving tests.

Thanks to Sarah Ormes for this one!

This @!*# Computer!

Lois Fundis writes \"In the March issue of Consumer Reports is an article \"This @!*# Computer!\" which gives 10 tips for solving common computer problems.

(There are also reviews of new computers -- both Apple and PC -- in this issue but you need to subscribe to their website to access that article online. This costs $3.95 a month or $24 a year.)

The Consumer Reports article on filtering is now online, this article is aimed at parents considering using filters on their home computers, although it does have a sidebar specifically on the issue \"Should the government require filtering?\" (also Online ) dealing with the use of filters in schools and libraries. Between the two articles, CR points out many of the problems with filtering. They found that filters block as many as one of five \"harmless\" (in CR\'s own word) sites, but fail to block one of five sites that were objectionable. \"

The USA Today also covered this.


Other shades of purple

In the Chicago Sun-Times there is an article about an author and her daughter.

\"Rebecca Walker\'s memoir of her unorthodox childhood shows her mother, Alice, celebrated author of The Color Purple, in a very different hue.\"


E-books attract literary superstars

In USA Today.Com there is an article telling how Stephen King made e-books a go last year and will be remembered.

\"In the brave, new world of e-books, 2000 will be remembered as year of Stephen King. Stephen King\'s online novel was downloaded by some 500,000 readers.\"



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