a difficult time, a difficult task

At there is an entry titled "a difficult time, a difficult task"

It opens with: I work occasionally as a fill-in librarian at a local public library that serves a community of about 5,000 people. This is the community I am moving to next month, up the road from where I live now, and while technically it puts me out of the “rural” designation, it’s still pretty rural. Last week and the week before there was a horrible tragedy that rocked the whole community. Short form: a local girl Brooke Bennett, went missing and her body was discovered a few days ago. The most likely suspect at this point is an uncle who is on the state sex offender list.

First off let me say that I’m quoting from news stories only. Our official staff position is “no comment” and I’m sticking to that. Here is why this is a library issue.

Full entry here.

Lawyer Seriously Slapped Down For SLAPP Attempt Against Librarian Blogger

We've covered the concept of SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) suits plenty of times before. These are bogus lawsuits filed to try to bully a critic into shutting up. In one such case, involving an incredibly broad subpoena against a librarian blogger compiling information on the potential link between mercury and autism, a magistrate judge has seriously smacked down the lawyer who filed the subpoena.

Full article at Techdirt


Twitter Scooped NBC on Russert's Death

In the world of broadcast news, it's normally a given courtesy that, when a well known news personality dies, the station they worked for will be the first to break the news after the family has been notified. It's one of the unwritten rules of journalism.

In the case of beloved NBC newsman Tim Russert, Twitter scooped the massive network on the big story.

Turns out that a minor lackey at the station heard the news and, assuming it was public knowledge, edited Russert's Wikipedia page to reflect the death. Someone at the station caught it, which makes me wonder who they pay to watch Wikipedia, and changed it back some eleven minutes later.

Too late.

By the time they made the changes, the story was already out on Twitter.

The Associated Press still sucks, but so do we.

Usually I make a bad joke, or several, about an issue and then forget about it. But I found my way back to this issue through Angel Rivera and I have some extra thoughts.

Some bloggers want you to boycott the Associate Press because the AP want to limit fair use. They want to guarantee that they get some financial compensation from our using their property. Whether it's an ad or actual money, they feel that whatever they publish, they should control, completely. And then "fair use" will get a new definition created by them which will be completely one-sided and totally unfair. So for that, the AP sucks. If you agree with that, then click the link and join the boycott.

boycott the AP?

But I feel it is also we who suck. We right-click and paste content and links without giving proper attribution. If I wrote a formal paper and didn't credit my sources, you'd call me a plagiarist. So why doesn't anyone care when bloggers omit that source credit? If you intend to have your opinions taken seriously, you should be expected to cite your sources.

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How to Annoy a Public Librarian

<a href="">A funny anedote</a> from a SoCal librarian/blogger: 1) If the computer you're working at has icons, delete them all as soon as you finish your session. 2) Randomly shuffle books around in the non-fiction section. 3) Don't watch your children. 4) Remind them that you pay their salary. 5) Hide the newspaper.

The Associated Press to Set Guidelines for Using Its Articles in Blogs

The Associated Press, one of the nation’s largest news organizations, said that it will, for the first time, attempt to define clear standards as to how much of its articles and broadcasts bloggers and Web sites can excerpt without infringing on The A.P.’s copyright.

The A.P.’s effort to impose some guidelines on the free-wheeling blogosphere, where extensive quoting and even copying of entire news articles is common, may offer a prominent definition of the important but vague doctrine of “fair use,” which holds that copyright owners cannot ban others from using small bits of their works under some circumstances. For example, a book reviewer is allowed to quote passages from the work without permission from the publisher.

Full article here.

"Peak Information": Libraries and the End of Oil

As society moves towards "peak oil" and an energy-poor future, what will the impact on libraries be? Will we be needing to prepare for "peak information" too? What of the future of electronic data when electricity is no longer cheaply available?

Would You Miss LISNews if it Vanished?

John Moore at Brand Autopsy Asked about Businessweek, now I'm curious about LISNews.

Does LISNews provide such a unique "publication" and reader experience that we would be saddened if it didn’t exist? Does LISNews forge such unfailing emotional connections with its readers that they would fail to find another website that could forge just as strong an emotional bond?

What do you want and expect from LISNews?
What makes (or could make) our website essential?

And no, I'm not thinking of letting it vanish, ever. Just curious what you think.

Have blogs been good for books?

In today's Observer Review, Robert McCrum writes about the effect of the last decade on the world of books. On balance, he thinks change has served global literature well: "What's not in doubt is that it's a huge democratic moment: more people than ever before are being able to share their ideas and feelings with a global audience, and to engage in a vivid contemporary dialogue about the meaning of culture, in books, film, music, theatre and art."

Peer Review, Journal Articles, and Blogs - an Example

In Peer Review, Journal Articles, and Blogs - an Example David Lee King takes a look at the slow pace of print, "My article is being published more than two years AFTER the original conversation took place", and his blog as a peer review tool, "To me, that’s true, useful peer review - instant feedback, criticism, and suggestions from my peers."

Now compare that with the traditional model of peer review - 2-4 anonymous reviewers who grant the right for an article to be published or not. No discussion, no conversation, no interaction. To respond, one has to either write a letter to the editor or write another article - in which case any true discussion is killed. Which is better peer review?


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