Public peeved about S.F. library

A story on the new library in San Francisco, CA.


A city-commissioned report calling for $28 million in fixes to the 3-year-old Main Library received its first public airing.

The $240,000 report was commissioned to find solutions to a shortage of library shelf space and to complaints that books were difficult to find. But several of the nearly 60 people who attended Thursday night\'s meeting were disabled and worried the direction of the study would exclude them from the library\'s services.
\"Get a little sense,\" said the 54-year-old San Francisco resident as he addressed the commissioners and the team of library experts that worked on the study. \"I can\'t believe the commission paid to have this survey done.\"

The end of News Groups?

News.com is running a story on how MSN is dropping support for newsgroups. We are removing newsgroups from MSN servers because we now have a better communication vehicle provided by MSN Web Communities--including chat, message boards, email and Web pages,\" the representative wrote in an email. While newsgroups will no longer be supported on MSN.com, they will still be available at the company\'s corporate Web site, Microsoft.com.

News.com seems to think this is the begining of the end for newsgroups. What does the LIS community think of this? Most librarians are subscribed to a number of different lists, and use them as a primary source for news and information. Certainly this is not the begining of the end, or is it?

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Voters reject filters for library computers

Bob Cox sent in this St
ory

Voters on Tuesday rejected a measure that would have
required the city to stop funding the Herrick District
Library unless it installs Internet filters on its
computers.
In unofficial results, voters in Holland rejected the
measure, 4,379 to 3,626.
Thousands cast their ballots on an ordinance that has
divided the conservative west Michigan com

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limiting access to Harry Potter books

Harry sure does get in alot of trouble. Full story Here from mlive.com

Zeeland\'s Board of Education stood behind a decision Monday that limits access in the district to the Harry Potter book series.
Superintendent Gary Feenstra issued a memo to staff in November that prohibits Zeeland teachers from reading the books aloud in class.

Checkout of the first three books of the series, written by Scottish author J.K. Rowling, is restricted to fifth- through eighth-graders who show written permission from their parents. Feenstra\'s order also says the district will buy no more installments in the series.\"You can\'t pretend there is no such thing as right and wrong,\" Van Rhee said.

Lisa VanDerKolk said that even though the books are a work of fiction, the witchcraft and wizardry could still give children ideas. \"This stuff is real, and kids can get mixed up in it,\" she said.

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book kept on the shelf at school

A story out of OH, on the fight over a book.

A book about the devil, demons, the underworld, and the occult is never again going to leave Northwood High School.

In a compromise with two parents who wanted the book removed altogether, school board members have decided to prohibit students from taking the book from the library.

\"They were concerned about students taking it home to use without supervision,\" James Herr holtz, principal, said. \"Now it is to be a reference book, and I think it was a win-win situation.\"
\"I wanted the book out, but I felt that was the most I was going to get,\" Mrs. Richardson added. \"It could be a stepping stone for pursuing more information like this and with all the violence that is going on, we have to realize how influential [children] are.\"

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library alters its policy on book list

This Story is a follow up on the report we had a few weeks ago on a charge of censorship in a library.

In the aftermath of a charge of censorship, the Schaumburg Township library board has revised its policy on how new materials are added to its collection.
On Monday, the board voted to add an appeals process to the policy. The move came a month after the board denied a request by Hoffman Estates resident Christopher Bollyn to donate a copy of \"Final Judgment\" by Michael Collins Piper to the library.
The library\'s criteria to decide whether to acquire a book, ranges from the reputation or significance of the author to reviews of the material and its cost.

The Not So Quiet Librarian

A Super Duper story HERE on the new director of the Detroit Public Library


Maurice Wheeler is the first African-American male to head the 135-year-old institution. At 41, he\'s also the youngest. And while many of the previous directors were bespectacled, the new director\'s glasses are decidedly hip.

\"I think we should be providing services that excite people,\" Wheeler says. \"This is not going to be the library of the past where you had to be afraid that the librarian would shush you. We want the library to be a social place. A place where everyone belongs.\"

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Win $100

Jamie at Slashdot.org continues his Must Read Filtering Series with this challenge.

Rules for the $100 offer are as follows. Find a search result URL that shows naked people, for a search on \"chocolate chip cookies\" or \"chocolate chip cookie recipes.\" I\'ll accept any variant that an inexperienced Web-surfer might search for. Your result must appear on one of the first five pages of results returned (typically the first 50 results). I\'ll accept any major search engine. Send me the exact query you used; I will only accept queries I can verify to work as claimed. You aren\'t allowed to put up a cookie page, submit it, then change its content; to prevent this, you have until 11:59 PM EST, Wednesday the 23rd. Only the first person gets the money; order is determined by timestamp of Received: headers at my server. I\'ll mail you a check or donate it to your favorite charity. This offer is made by me personally, not Slashdot, Andover.net, or VA Linux. Notify me at [email protected].

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What\'s So Smart About That...?

In yet another step towards embracing new technologies at the expense of user freedom, some libraries have started issuing so-called smart cards which allow patrons to access the Internet at varying levels, from \"full access\" [i.e. only mildly filtered] to \"restricted access\" [only safe sites]. Chat and newsgroups are never allowed and the viewing of obscene material may result in the loss of Internet privileges.

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Filtering flap continues in MI

Experiences draw group leaders into library Internet filter fight

The issue of requiring Internet filters at Herrick District Library has polarized the community.

And it\'s brought into the public eye several local people who have never been in the political spotlight before.

Those on the pro-filter side share a common passion -- the fight against pornography.

All say their passion on the issue stems from personal pain.

Filter vote will prolong debate \"I\'m just trying to make this a safe place to live,\" said Irv Bos, vice president of the local chapter of the Mississippi-based American Family Association.

\"I\'m so frustrated the community is bitter about this. I just don\'t understand the hearts and minds of those who criticize us,\" Bos said.

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Harry Potter explained

In this essay taken from the current print edition of the London Review of Books, appearing online exclusively at Books Unlimited, comparative mythologist Wendy Doniger investigates why we love the wizard of Hogwarts.

Young Harry Potter\'s parents are dead. So far, so good: many of the heroes and heroines of the classics of children\'s literature are orphans, while others have invisible, unmentionable or irrelevant parents. The sorrow of grieving, not to mention the terror of helplessness, is quickly glossed over in favour of the joy of a fantasised freedom.

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populist software rating startup

Charles Greenberg writes
\"I\'m one of those librarians that doesn\'t have enough to
do already and has wondered why populist sentiment for
software inadequacies (bad design) couldn\'t be harnessed and
aggregated to actually help consumers identify the simplest
and most usable programs. I decided Y2K might be the year
that a community of software raters could be found to launch
this, so I started techsimple.com

I do this on my own time with my own home resources, but I
believe there will be eventual benefit for librarians that
want an idea of what programs are simplest to use in a
number of categories, or they may want to refer library
users to my site.

I just started this site and need populist participation.
Librarians and educational technologists who have studied
usability and design will recognize that my rating survey
for each program is based on Jakob Nielsen\'s useit.com usability
heuristics for software design. Privacy for all individual
ratings and identities is maintained, and I don\'t see why a
rater couldn\'t have the application being rated open at the
same time they complete the survey.

I would appreciate feedback and

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Can volunteers do it ?

Benton Foundation, at the request of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, published Buildings, books, and bytes in November 1996. The report reveals what library leaders and the public have to say about the future of libraries in the digital age. Follow this link to read the HTML version of the report. A PDF version will be available soon for downloading.

Elizabeth
Christian
writes \"It jumps out from the recent
publication, Buildings, Books, and Bytes,Libraries and
Communities in the Digital Age by the Benton Foundation,
urgent, demanding a response. From one focus group which
made up much of this report
the statement
\"They..sanctioned the notion that trained professional
librarians could be replaced with community volunteers, such
as retirees.\"
As we try to push our \"information literacy\" services on our
publics they also said
\"they preered to acquire new computer skills from \'somebody
they know\', not from their local librarians.\"

Retirees as volunteers.....

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Five science books rejected

This Story sent in from a reader in Oklahoma.

It was survival of the fittest textbook Friday as the
Oklahoma Textbook Committee rejected five of 16 science books because
of the way the theory of evolution
was presented and other issues.


With split votes each time, the committee rejected \"Fearson\'s Biology,\"
\"Biology Principles and Exploration,\"
\"Holt Biology: Visualizing Life,\" \"Asking About Life\" and \"Biology: The Living Science\" on the basis that they
contained either inaccurate or noncurrent information. The committee
adopted the remaining 11 textbooks.

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Library turns to collection agency

Michigan Live sure does have alot of library stories. This one is about how The Georgetown Township Library is now using a collection agency for fine collection.


Patrons with more than $50 in lost or long-overdue materials from the Georgetown Township Library could end up with a black mark on their credit report.
The Township Board recently approved a proposal by library officials that will allow the library to start a program to recover some of the more than $22,000 in materials owed by patrons.
Of the amount owed, $18,637.67 is owed by patrons in the library service area; the remainder is owed by patrons from other libraries and through interlibrary loans.
Library officials hope to begin the program by May 1 for 131 patrons with outstanding bills of at least $50. They expect to recover $11,880.67 through the program.

In desperation, man visits library, learns to rob banks

Check out this article Here. From the Birmingham News.

His slide had been a long one. The 43-year-old preacher\'s son had started out as the pudgy kid whose teachers said didn\'t reach his potential. The Army hadn\'t helped and then he bounced from job to job. Now he owed child support. He had maxed his credit card. He was drinking again. And he had gotten fired after a drunken-driving arrest in 1998.

The Newbery Awards

LISnews would like to thank Christina for submitting the link to this great article on the history and importance of the Newberry Awards. From Open Spaces Quartley.

The Newbery is the Holy Grail of American children\'s book writers. There are other awards -- the National Book Award for Young People\'s Literature, for example -- but none comes close to conferring the cachet, the recognition, that the Newbery conveys. It is the oldest children\'s book award in the world. Libraries and bookstores have shelves devoted to Newbery winners. The author\'s future books -- and reissued earlier ones -- will frequently bear on their covers the legend \"Newbery Award author.\"

When libraries faced the future

It\'s rare to find someone who says so many nice things about
librarians in one article. Th
is article
I found in the magazine University
Business
has nothing but praise for the foresight
librarians have when dealing with technology.

STROLLING
THROUGH the university library used to be a walk down memory
lane for returning alumni. Cavernous reading rooms evoked
similar memories for both the 50th reunion class and the
5th. Not anymore. During the past decade, card catalogs have
become little more than decorative furniture, and the
periodical room is now likely to be full of terminals to
access online journals. Not even the class of 1995 would
recognize the Encyclopaedia Britannica; it has abandoned
hard copy and CD-ROMs for a Web-based product.

Senate OKs library porn bill

This Story is from the Detroit Free Press. Thanks
to Bob Cox for another submission.

A bill to prevent children from using library computers to
access pornography -- and to discourage sex predators from
preying via computer -- cleared the state Senate on
Thursday.
The Senate also approved a bill to halt the quick
destruction of campaign finance records. Both bills went to
the House.
The library bill passed 37-0 after it exempted college and
private libraries from requiring electronic filters or other
means to block sexually explicit material.
\"We are standing before a whole world of hard-core sexual
predators coming after our kids,\" said Sen. Mike Rogers,
R-Brighton, the bil

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Limits on kids book spark war of words

Harry Potter is inder fire in MI.This Story from the Detroit Free Press.

Some teachers are so riled over efforts to restrict children from reading the best-selling Harry Potter books that they are threatening to burn their Winnie the Pooh discount bookstore cards.

Protesting teachers -- about 40 signed a petition asking the school board to take its restrictions off the Harry Potter books -- also plan to attend Monday\'s Zeeland Board of Education meeting, hoping to get the board to take the clamps off the Harry Potter books. The novels by Scottish author J.K. Rowling feature Harry, a boy being trained at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and his adventures in fantasy.

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