The Fraud THEY Didn't Want You To Know About

Despite being utterly, and embarrassingly, full of crap, Kevin Trudeau's books are still popular. I've got patrons asking for them every week and I have to put them on hold because they're usually checked out. Never mind that the man's a fraud and a con-artist spreading false information about everything from cures to cancer to ways out of debt, people want to read his stuff.

So while I applaud the recent actions of a federal judge who ordered Trudeau to pay US$37 million for violating a 2004 order regarding false claims in his weight loss "cures" book, I doubt it'll have an effect on those wanting to read it. However, we can at least take solace in the fact that he's also been barred from publishing anything or creating infomercials for the next three years.

More from, where else?, the Federal Trade Commission.

Wikipedia May Restrict Public’s Ability to Change Entries

Stung by criticism after vandals changed Wikipedia entries to erroneously report that Senators Edward Kennedy and Robert Byrd had died, Wikipedia appears ready to introduce a system that prevents new and anonymous users from instantly publishing changes to the online encyclopedia.

The new system, called Flagged Revisions, would mark a significant change in the anything-goes, anyone-can-edit-at-any-time ethos of Wikipedia, which in eight years of existence has become one of the top 10 sites on the Web and the de facto information source for the Internet-using public.

Full article in the New York Times


LibraryThing Calls for New Cataloguing Scheme

With all the talk of Dewey or Don't We...

Gawd I'm getting tired of that phrase.

Anyway, with all the talk of whether or not libraries should use DDC, LCCN, BISAC, or something else for their collections and then the possibility of using open databases instead of OCLC, it seems like cataloguing is on everybody's mind.

It is over at LibraryThing too, where they've issued a call for the creation of OSC, or the Open Shelves Classification. They're looking for a few librarians who are of a mind to create a system that's free, "humble," modern, open source, and crowd sourced. Indeed, they want something that the library profession has needed for a long time - a modern system capable of changing, and changing easily.

So if you're of the cataloguing bent, check it out.

Obama's BlackBerry

In the library world, we rely on technology. We e-mail our colleagues and co-workers. We use the web to find information for us and for others. As a profession, and like many other professions, we've grown increasingly attached to digital communications and we'd find ourselves hard pressed to make do without them.

Not so with the highest office in the United States. The President of the United States really doesn't engage in e-mail because of laws regarding the archiving of Presidential communications, but also because of security. While the ability to send a message instantly to POTUS is a powerful thing, if that message contains classified information and it's intercepted by a hacker, then we're talking a matter of national security.

Nevertheless, our new President is a bit of a geek and is addicted to e-mail and his BlackBerry. He's explicitly stated that "They're going to pry it out of my hands."

So how do you provide the security needed by the President when all he really wants is to use the same tools millions of people use every day? Simple. You get him the most secure BlackBerry ever made.

The Jig Is Up for Amazon; New York Court Dismisses Challenge of State's Internet Sales Tax Provision

In a significant victory for New York's independent retailers, a New York State judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by that challenged the state's Internet Sales Tax provision. The provision, which went into law on June 1, 2008, requires online retailers with certain selling activities in the state, such as, to collect and remit sales tax on sales made in New York State. A similar lawsuit by Overstock was also dismissed, according to Reuters.

In dismissing Amazon's challenge, Judge Eileen Bransten wrote: "The neutral statute simply obligates out-of-state sellers to shoulder their fair share of the tax-collection burden when using New Yorkers to earn profit from other New Yorkers," as reported by CNN Money. Bransten also noted that had failed to state a claim and that "there is no basis upon which Amazon can prevail," according to CNN Money.

Adults Reading More Fiction

For the first time since 1982, "the proportion of adults 18 and older who said they had read at least one novel, short story, poem or play in the previous 12 months has risen [to 50.2%]," according to a National Endowment for the Arts study being released today, reported by the New York Times.

The increase was most notable among 18-24 year olds and involved novels and short stories more than poetry or drama. Literary reading also increased among Hispanic Americans.

For the first time, the study included Internet reading, which some thought might have helped boost rates, although the AAP's Pat Schroeder suggested that some people don't count reading online or on e-readers as "book" reading.

Other possible explanations for the jump: one community, one read programs; the popularity of the Harry Potter and Twilight series; and "individual efforts of teachers, librarians, parents and civic leaders" to promote literature and reading. Booksellers, too, we'd think.

The study is called "Reading on the Rise: A New Chapter in American Literacy" and is based on data from the Census Bureau compiled last year.

Donkeys boost Ethiopian literacy

It may be low-tech (and decidedly green) but it works, according to this BBC story about donkey powered mobile library sevices.

"If you leave them practising their letters and walk out through the garden gate, you will find another group of children, clustered under a shady tree, absorbed in their books.

Parked alongside them is a brightly painted wooden cart, with sides which fold down to display the shelves of books.

The two donkeys which pull it are resting in another patch of shade.


New Year's Day Flooding in Clackamas County Library

A flood caused by a New Year's Day storm destroyed thousands of books at the library in Estacada, OR on Friday.

"Everything on bottom shelves is gone," said library director Katinka Bryk.

The town is in Clackamas County, where the rains were heavy and Gov. Ted Kulongoski declared a state of emergency.

More from the Seattle PI.

Reprieve for Philadelphia Libraries

Update: Mayor Nutter and the Free Library of Philadelphia will halt their plans to shut down 11 branch libraries Wednesday after 5:00 p.m after a judge from the Court of Common Pleas ruled against the closures, as reported by MSNBC and

Ten Stories That Shaped 2008

It's that time again! Read on for some highlights from this year's library news.

10. OCLC Claims Ownership of Data In OPACs

As if charging libraries to provide it cataloging records wasn't enough... what's next? Suing a library-themed hotel?

9. Annoyed Librarian Joins Library Journal

Though some love to hate her, everyone's favorite snarky semi-anonymous blogger continues to garner attention.

8. Censorship Roundup

Penguins continue to make intellectual freedom headlines, as does violence, homosexuality, and sex. Even Sarah Palin made some of the papers she reads with a story about her dealings with the city librarian while mayor of Wasilla.

7. Wikipedia Marches Ever On

Truthiness issues aside, Wikipedia and other user-generated sites continue to grow. If you haven't already familiarized yourself with such sites as Wikipedia, Digg, and Facebook, turn in your library degree now.

6. Book Technology

Kindle, e-paper, and related gizmos made further inroads and advances this year, but mainstream adoption is perennially a few years away.

5. Lawsuits Aplenty

Notable publishing lawsuits this year involved Jerry Seinfeld, Harry Potter, and Electronic Reserve.

4. California Librarian Fired for Reporting Man Viewing Child Porn

Yes, sadly, you read it right. There's more to the story than that, but it remains a reminder that some libraries are short of a full deck.

3. Google Books Settlement

This fall, a payment system was worked out between Google, authors, and publishers, including a subscription model that left some libraries feeling shorted.

2. Gaming Takes Off


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