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50th Anniversary of Kik-Step

Gen y in the library

All the talk about how libraries are losing the younger generation is apparently just that...talk. A survey done by Pew Internet & American Life Project found that the biggest group is actually Generation Y, the 18-30 year olds. While they may no longer be using the library for what we would call "traditional" reasons, they are using the library.

Ten Stories that Shaped 2007

Time flies; we're due for yet another look back at the year's top library-related stories. -- Read More

Judge Strikes Down Parts of Patriot Act, National Security Letters

A federal judge today struck down parts of the new U.S.A. Patriot Act that authorized the Federal Bureau of Investigation to acquire corporate records using informal secret demands called national security letters.

The law allowed the F.B.I. to force communications companies, including telephone and Internet providers, to turn over their customers records without court authorization and permanently to forbid the companies from discussing what they had done. Under the law, enacted last year, the ability of the courts to review challenges to the ban on disclosures was quite limited.

Today's New York Times reports: Judge Marrero wrote that he feared the law could be the first step in a series of intrusions into the role of the judiciary that would be the legislative equivalent of breaking and entering, with an ominous free pass to the hijacking of constitutional values.

According to a report from the Justice Department's inspector general in March, the F.B.I. issued about 143,000 requests (big number there)through national security letters from 2003 to 2005. The report found that the bureau had often used the letters improperly and sometimes illegally, case in point, the letters served to Connecticut's Library Connection.

The New NEA

Porter Anderson writes of the all new NEA, their avoidance of giving grants that cause controversy, and instead are promoting programs such as "Big Read," the town that reads together. There up to 117 cities so far with an expected 400 next year, as well as four international programs that will start up in the next year. Exciting to see the government promote reading, and its the NEA to boot.

Policy Changes Debuting in WikiPedia after Scandal

Search-Engines writes "Following revelations that a high-ranking member of Wikipedia's bureaucracy used his cloak of anonymity to lie about being a professor of religion, the free Internet encyclopedia plans to ask contributors who claim such credentials to identify themselves. But, he said, if people want to claim expertise on Wikipedia, they ought to be prompted to prove it. If they don't want to give their real names, they shouldn't be allowed to tout credentials. Had that policy been in place, Wales said, Jordan probably would not have gotten away with claiming a Ph.D. in religion http://physorg.com/news92507189.html"

UPDATE: O.J. Book & Show a No-Go

News Corp. chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch announced this afternoon that the company is canceling publication of O.J. Simpson's book If I Did It as well as the broadcast of the two-part interview with Simpson that was conducted by Judith Regan and was to air on Fox News. Report from Forbes .com.

Murdoch commented: "I and senior management agree with the American public that this was an ill-considered project. We are sorry for any pain this has caused the families of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson."

Regan's imprint ReganBooks was to have published the book, which she called a "confession," on November 30. The deal was estimated to be worth $3.5 million.

Wonder what's to become of the tens of thousands of books that have been printed and bound and probably already distributed...

Oh OH ...here it comes...

Bob Turner writes "Declan Mculagh sends this out to his Polytech mailing group...this video is a MUST see....Watch it and weep...bt Based on preliminary reports, this is what seems to have happened on Tuesday evening: Mostafa Tabatabainejad, a UCLA student, was quietly studying in the campus library around 11:30pm. Campus police asked him for his ID, a usual procedure. Mostafa didn't have it with him and walked toward the exit. While en route, one of the police officers laid a hand on Mostafa (which may well be simple battery) and he reacted by saying "Get off of me." That's when he was hit with a blast from a Taser, which can render someone unable to walk for 5 to 15 minutes. But the cops, through malice or ignorance, kept demanding that Mostafa immediately stand up and walk to the door. He was screaming at this point and said he could not, at which point they Tased him again and again. The cops also threatened to Taser bystanders as well if they persisted in asking for badge numbers. This, too, is on videotape and is in fact a crime. (Think that cop will go to jail? Right.) The video is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3CdNgoC0cE Articles on this incident: http://dailybruin.com/news/articles.asp?id=38958 http://dailybruin.com/news/articles.asp?id=38960 http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/californi a/la-me-cellcamera16nov16,1,2951795.story http://cbs2.com/local/local_story_319101652.html
 "

Student Tasered in UCLA Library

Corrine writes "A student was asked to present ID in the Powell Library computer lab. Upon his failure to do so, he was asked to leave and did not immediately do so. Police Officers were called in, and as he was leaving, he was grabbed and tasered.
The entire incident was caught on a video camera phone. You can read the full story and see the video here." Video also at YouTube. Aside from the funny home videos and show clips, YouTube has made news before for exposing (POSSIBLE) police brutality and intimidation (or even JiffyLube antics). The University of California Police Department said: "All use of force incidents require an administrative review, which is currently under way." Update: 11/16 19:47 GMT by J :More news from the Daily Bruin and the Chancellor.

Libraries as a Public Good

A trio of readings on the radical idea of libraries in our society:

Also of note is an upcoming UK report stating that
"knowledge should be public good first, private right second"
-- now that's just kooky talk!

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