Money Issues

Executives Charged with eRate Fraud

This one comes by way of eSchool News...\"Federal authorities on Dec. 18 charged the owner of Connect2 Internet Networks Inc., a New York-based internet services company, and three employees with allegedly defrauding the eRate of millions of dollars.
The case marks the first time criminal charges have been filed against anyone for abusing the program.\" Read More... [registration required]
The original story is Here.

Just when they\'re needed most, libraries forced to cut back

Bad news from California, North Carolina, Oklahoma and from Virginia where State-funded museums, libraries and historical attractions were among the biggest losers in the sweeping cuts ordered this year by the state governments.
Not to worry, Bush plans to boost education spending. The planned spending boosts, he said, were a reflection of educational priorities in last year\'s No Child Left Behind Act.

Libraries Feeling Budget Pinch

Here\'s an Associated Press story that\'s making the rounds on budget troubles we are facing across the country. It\'s way too short, but they do say Librarians say one of the most disturbing consequences of the budget cuts is that they\'re coming at a time when more people need libraries to help them find work. They also add The American Library Association says funding problems stem from a lack of political clout. The group plans to launch a campaign to raise funds and awareness next month.
Here\'s Another with a few more details, and a good quote from Mitch:

``As the economic times get worse, library use has gone up,\'\' said Maurice J. Freedman, president of the American Library Association. ``The injustice of it is, here we are providing more service with the same staff, and we\'re asked to cut our budgets.\'\'

Public Library of Science Grabs 9 Million

Jen Young noticed This Story over at The Chronicle of Higher Education.
They say Public Library of Science received a $9-million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to help pay for a journal project.
The journals, to be titled Public Library of Science Biology and Public Library of Science Medicine, are expected to start publication during the last half of 2003.

Boston U. refunds millions to angry donor

Michael Lambert, Charley Hivey, Bob Cox, and others sent over This CNN Story that follows up on that 3 million gift from a philanthropist who demanded his money back and threatened to sue from BU.Boston University will keep the estimated $1.2 million in interest earned during the years the money sat unused, but will donate the rest to Cape Cod Hospital and public television station WGBH-TV.

FCC Decision to Result in Higher Cell Phone Bills

This one comes by way of the Columbus Dispatch. It talks about how the FCC\'s new way of charging phone companies for E-rate is going to mean higher cell phone bills for consumers. The cost is going up, but are the benefits to libraries and the poor also going up? In light of recent \"investigations,\" one can\'t help but wonder. Read More... [may require free log-in]

$3 Million Donation Is 'Lost'

Yahoo News Is Reporting on a $3 million donation that has been "lost."Grocery entrepreneur David Mugar donated $3 Million to Boston University to renovate The Mugar Library, he said he had been told the money was "lost" through poor accounting and could not be identified among university funds.
"BU has been very apologetic about losing my money, but regardless, I want my money back," Mugar said in Wednesday's editions of The Boston Globe.

Director Says, Some Staff will See Pay Increases Next Year

Here\'s more on the situation at the Akron-Summit (OH) Public Library. It seems that the Director has decided that most staff will get a slight pay raise next year. This, of course, comes after he was given a huge bonus by his board of trustees and came under fire in the media. Read More. Related stories are Here and Here.

FCC Inspector Addresses Fraud Allegations in E-Rate Program

This one comes by way of RCR Wireless News. It deals with recent allegations that there is some questionable activity going on with regard to the E-Rate program. Interesting enough, Walker Feaster, FCC Inspector General, \"Until such time as resources and funding are available to provide adequate oversight for the USF [Universal Service Fund] program, we are unable to give the chairman, Congress and the public any level of assurance that the program is protected from fraud waste and abuse.\" Anyone surprised? Read More.

Free science database targeted by publishers

From The Scientist:

Bowing to pressure from commercial publishers and the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA), the US Department of Energy on November 4 closed the PubScience database. Patterned after the National Library of Medicine\'s PubMed, PubScience had provided free access to research publications on the physical sciences, creating unfair competition for commercial databases, publishers argued.

\"The introduction of a free product, even an inferior one, runs significant risk of driving out cost-based products and therefore eliminating competition, resulting in a lack of choice for users,\" according to David LeDuc, public policy director of the SIIA . . .

Complete article.

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