Must Read Stories

A chance to participate!

The Office for Intellectual Freedom is beginning to compile it's list of book challenges for his year, 2008. Please follow the link below if you would like to participate. I strongly encourage anyone who has access to these figures to take part in the list. Actions of this sort help sustain the neutrality of our libraries by ensuring that undue pressure to censor library materials does not compromise our free access to information.

Participate here!

Banned books list from 2007

Banned books list from 2006

Banned books list from 2005

When the law is not the law

Libraries are involved with patron's personal information, we all know that. We know who has what book checked out, and in many system there is a record of who has read what, used which computer, etc. Even when there are no physical records, this information can still exist in the form of logs, computer related information that is carried over for a period of time (cookies, etc.), and when books are checked out of a State libraries the records may exist outside the library where the materials were accessed even if that library does not keep records itself once the materials have been returned. It's just a fact of life.

There are laws in place to protect us, the public, from abuse of those in power when it comes to these records. And, while they are certainly not perfect, from from so since 2001, they are still the law, and this is a land of law and order based on those laws - or so we are told. In certain circumstances, people in positions of authority know that if they use their influence to coerce members of the public to abandon their rights, they will often get compliance despite their request being illegal. It happens all the time. -- Read More

OCLC Claims Ownership of Data In OPACs

OCLC may be trying to pull something sneaky with its new policy of claiming contractual rights over the subsequent use of data created by OCLC. In other words, the data in library catalogues couldn't be used to make anything which competes with OCLC in any way.

Needless to say, this would have a hash chilling effect on the creation of open databases of library content.

As you might expect, the library blogosphere is on fire with the news. The podcast presenter at LISNews gave a commentary in the matter during LISTen #47.

Story from Slashdot.

Google's growth makes privacy advocates wary

Most people today appear to me to love Google, but how much do people really know about this 'indispensable' tool? I'm not going to post an extended rant about how evil Google is in some people's eyes, but I do think that this AP story is worthy of consideration, especially considering the integration that Google is developing with libraries.

Google's growth makes privacy advocates wary

Summary:

This article discusses how information that is collected by Google could be used in violation of current privacy statutes. Some Google tools, such as their Chrome web browser transmit your keystrokes before you press the Enter key. This information is then analyzed by their systems to predict your search terms and offer suggestions. There is an option to turn this feature off, but the activity still occurs, just without user notification, giving the sense that web activity is now 'private'. Along with the information typed into the web browser, your computers Internet address is also recorded, creating a history much like what is visible in your local web browser, but on their servers.

Key concepts from the article:

"It's about having a monopoly over our personal information, which, if it falls into the wrong hands, could be used in a very dangerous way against us,"

“Court says that with all its products, Google has more opportunities than its peers to capture personal information without users realizing it. “ -- Read More

The Election & Technology

Declan McCullagh, CNET's chief political correspondent, recently wrote about the impact on technology of the win by the Obama-Biden ticket. Issues overlapping into the realm of library science include issues like the Digital Millenium Copyright Act.

video of an great ABC pop up book

This is a video of a great pop up book in case you would like to see it.

It's called ABC3D, and it is an unbelievably witty and well-made pop-up ABC book, produced by Marion Bataille. It's one of those books that could only be a book -- there's no way this could be an ebook or a movie (though the little video above gives you an idea of the thing, it's a poor substitute) or an audiobook or whatever. This is the apotheosis of book, something you have to put between covers to really, really appreciate.

A personal library like no other.

Story at Wired.com about Jay Walker's library. You have to see the pictures of this.

Hangman, Spare That Word: The English Purge Their Language

I saw a list of these endangered words on LIS News, but the article accompanying it is interesting: public figures are actually trying to promote these words to see if "throwing a pebble in the pond of language really can generate ripples."

Educating about Tejano music

PegasusNews via Latina Lista brings us a story about one librarian in Dallas providing educational opportunities relative to Tejano music. Carolina Martinez is working on a community information to share what Tejano music has contributed to not only Texas but also the music industry.

Did he spray toes at library?

From The Enquirer in Cincinnati:

"In a case that has befuddled police officials, a Columbus man has been charged with crawling under a table at a library on University of Cincinnati’s campus, spraying a substance from a syringe on a woman’s shoes and then photographing them."

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