Library liability measure is stalled

Story on the death of an scary law in SC.

A Senate bill that would have held public libraries criminally liable for allowing children to view smut on the Internet has stalled.
A Senate Judiciary subcommittee decided to not deal with the bill after a public hearing this week.
\"I\'m confident it (the bill) won\'t go anywhere,\" said Jim Johnson, director of the South Carolina State Library.
\"I don\'t think it\'s appropriate for anybody to set library policies other than a county\'s local library board,\" Johnson said. \"It would be the same thing if the state told the library what books to buy.\"


Eating between the lines

The Toronto Star has This Story on how osme libraries are letting people eat. Good to see libraries changing with the times.

For years, librarians have read the riot act to patrons caught eating or drinking in the stacks. But they now say the influence of Chapters and other big bookstores - where customers wander the aisles with food and drink from the in-store cafés - has spilled over to libraries, making it tougher to enforce the no-food-or-drink rule. ``I think people are a little on edge\'\' about the change, said chief librarian Mike Ridley. ``There\'s concern that the collection may be at risk. The fact is, people take books out and do even worse things to them at home.\'\'

Archivists lose on appeal

The Boston Herald was one of many papers in the U.S. to pick up on this story.

A group of historians and librarians who oppose a rule that lets federal agencies destroy computer records as long as they keep a copy on paper or microfilm lost a Supreme Court appeal today.

The court, without comment, turned away an appeal in which the librarians and historians argued that paper records cannot be searched and indexed as easily as electronic records.

U.S. Govt Wants to trace you on the net

According to Wired, the little privacy we have on the internet may be too much.

The ease of hiding one\'s identity on the Net is giving police migraines and justifies providing broad new powers to law enforcement, the White House says in a forthcoming report.
The federal government should take steps to improve online traceability and promote international cooperation to identify Internet users, according to a draft of the report commissioned by President Clinton.

Schools ban book

AZCentral has this report on a book that went too far.

For Dysart Unified School District, the answer is easy: you pull the book off the library shelves when it has explicit sexual content and doesn\'t advance the goals of the district, which includes promoting family values.

So Detour for Emmy by Marilyn Reynolds came off the shelves of Dysart elementary schools when a mother of two girls, sixth- and seventh-graders, complained.

Dysart Superintendent Margo Seck said she has pulled the entire \"True-to-Life Series from Hamilton High\" until officials have time to read the series.


Internet filters legally stump libraries has a nice story on the legal troubles filtering has
brought to libraries across the U.S.

What can libraries legally do to protect children and
adults against objectionable Web sites without infringing on
the constitutional rights of others?
Before the Internet, librarians were always able to separate
\"age appropriate\" materials, said Mary Haney, director of
the Hennessey Public Library.
\"With the Internet, you don\'t have that luxury,\" she said.
\"It\'s created a really difficult ethical issue for



Richard Wayne writes \"SciNet ( from whom many of us bought CD servers, seems to be out of business. The URL still works, but the phones have been disconnected. \"


The Censorship Pages

This handy site, sent in by Bob Cox, is a great reference for those interested in Censorship. With links to Bannded Books, Discussions, Quotes, articles, and other useful censorship information. These pages provide the resources needed to explore how, and why censorship happens not only in the United States, but all around the world.


DoubleClick backs off

Yahoo\'s News reports that we are safe from prying eyes for now.

Bowing to intense pressure from government authorities, investors and privacy advocates, Web advertising firm DoubleClick on Thursday backed off plans to amass a giant online database of people\'s names and Internet habits.`This is a great first step forward for Internet privacy,\'\' said Ari Schwartz of the Center for Democracy and Technology, a Washington-based group that tracks civil liberties on the Internet.

``Companies will better recognize they have to take privacy into account before building technologies or
business practices on the Internet,\'\' he said.


Libraries face new privacy issues over Web use

Read this article Here. From the Rutland Herald.

While access to the World Wide Web comes unfiltered to the public library here, most children must have a parent or guardian looking over their shoulder if they want to surf the Net.

\"The supervision of a child\'s selection of books is up to
the parents,\" Poultney town librarian Daphne Bartholomew said. \"It seemed to us it should be the same with the Internet.\"

No one under 14 years old can access the Internet
without adult supervision, she said. That policy, set
several years ago, mirrors checkout guidelines for
written materials. Library cards are only issued to
residents 15 years and older.


Library experiments with new way to read

More on E-books Here.
From the Ames Tribune.

The Ames Public Library has a new way to read a book.

Using the ubiquitous computer technology, library personnel are experimenting with an “e-book” and have enlisted 17 patrons volunteers to try it out. The trial will last until July, at which time the library will decide whether to purchase more. It has one now.

“The whole purpose is to find out if people like it and if
we should buy more of them,” said Marianne Malinowski, adult collection manager at the Ames Public Library.

The last of the great salt-trading people

The NYTimes has a nice\"Story on a woman in Africa who still deals books the old fashioned way.

Oddly enough, there can still be romance in being a bookseller, an embattled yet ennobled calling these days. More accurately, let\'s say there can be passion and adventure in trafficking in books: buying, selling and bartering them, rather like dealing for salt along the old trade routes. A woman who owns a bookstore in Cape Town, South Africa, does just that. She bargains in books and jokingly refers to herself as \"the last of the great salt-trading people.\"


Cook Books are a good read

This story from the LATimes foucuses on a different kind of book, all together.

Paging through old cookbooks published by women\'s organizations is more fun
than reading novels. Along with recipes, they offer tender memories of families
and friends, historical insights, unassuming humor, inspirational tidbits, practical
advice--even poetry.
It\'s like peeping into other people\'s lives, at least the parts of their lives that
revolved around the kitchen and dining room. The bonus is access to treasured
family recipes, set down in print for what was probably the first and only time.


Money and Universities

Here\'s one from the Atlantic Monthly an article entitled \"The Kept University\". It focuses more on medical and science end of things, but it helps to explain the decline in support for many socially valued
disciplines like Library and Information Science. With more and more universities accepting the market driven model it is what brings in the money that begins to shape policy. The authors mention other signs of the universities selling out to the marketplace. These include distance learning, overuse of adjuncts, etc...

Commercially sponsored research is putting at risk the
paramount value of higher education -- disinterested
inquiry. Even more alarming, the authors argue,
universities themselves are behaving more and more like
for-profit companies Boycott

Books, patents, business and intellectual property are all intertwined at There is now a growing boycott of The boycott is a result of the company\'s legal pursuit of patent right infringement for a patent many people say should not have been granted because the idea was neither unique nor new. Should libraries support the boycott? Read on…

Electronic Books Are Still Far From an Easy Read

KAREN KAPLAN, LATimes Staff Writer spent a couple of weeks testing two electronic books now on the market: NuvoMedia\'s Rocket EBook and the SoftBook Reader by SoftBook Press. Read it HERE

She says\"
All in all, the e-books are reminiscent of the early personal computers from the 1970s. You can tell their time will come, but it\'s not here yet. Someday, books printed on paper will be replaced by lightweight digital readers that can store hundreds of titles, download books from the Web that cost a fraction of the price of their pulpy ancestors, and even eliminate the need for a light while reading in bed at night.
That day is still far away.

Wayne NJ debates limits for Internet

This Story from NJ.

The Township Council and the Library Board are at odds over installing software that would block sexually explicit Web sites on computers in public libraries.
\"If a person decides to walk into the library and expose themselves, they would be arrested, and we have [minors] accessing\" adult sites, said Orson.

Other council members were more hard-lined.

\"I never thought I would see libraries become porn shops,\" said Councilman Joseph DiDonato. \"We have the power of the purse strings. We could cut off their funds if we want.\"

\"The [library] board should consider the use of our technology in light of what\'s going on there now,\"


New library has only a handful of books

The Miami Herald reports on the lack of books at a local library.

A new library has been built at Carol City Elementary after three years of construction. But it is missing one important component: books.

The Carol City Elementary School Parent Teacher Association said in a press release that bookshelves at the new library ``stand 80 to 90 percent empty.\'\'

``The library\'s lack of materials is so stark as to be shocking for anyone entering for the first time,\'\' the PTA said.

The group is holding an emergency meeting at the school at 7 tonight to plan strategy for getting books into the library.


The funny side of censorship

I\'ve been waiting a long time for a story from The

Nation\'s Teens Disappointed by Banned Books

Huckleberry Finn, Slaughterhouse Five, and The Catcher In The Rye are just a few of the many banned books to which U.S. teens are reacting with disappointment, the American Library Association reported Monday.

\"I was really psyched to read Huck Finn when my English teacher told me it was banned, because I figured, you know, it would be dirty,\" said Joshua Appel, a sophomore at Rocky Mount (VA) High School and one of 14,000 teenagers recently surveyed by the ALA. \"But it was totally lame: There was no sex or violence or anything. They say \'nigger\' in it, but I can hear that on half my CDs.\"


Utah State Senate approves filtering

USA Today reported yesterday that the Utah State Senate unanimously voted to withhold state funding from libraries that did not shield childeren under 18 from Web sites featuring obscene material.

The senate also approved a measure to ban from prisons, jails and juvenile detention centers magazines and other materials that \"features nudity\".

The bills now go to Governor Mike Leavitt.



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