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A principal's decision to remove a magazine from a middle-school library has drawn criticism for the Cleveland Heights-University Heights school board from the American Civil Liberties Union.
The ACLU said the First Amendment was violated when Brian Sharosky, principal of Roxboro Middle School, confiscated the November issue of Nintendo Power magazine. The magazine covers the world of Nintendo video games, from previews and ratings to secret codes and short cuts.
"Literature should not be removed from a school library simply because one person may find it inappropriate," said Christine Link, ACLU of Ohio executive director, in a statement last week. She called for the board to "immediately order that the magazine be reinstated."
Sharosky deemed that particular issue unsuitable for students in grades six to eight because of a "violent figure" on the cover and content about a game that's rated for mature audiences, according to district spokesman Michael Dougherty
The librarian objected, maintaining that staff members -- including the principal -- are supposed to follow the policy for challenging a publication. That starts with submitting a form to the superintendent and ends with a decision by the school board.
Cites & Insights 9:5, April 2009, is now available.
The 32-page issue is PDF as usual, with HTML versions (such as they are) for each essay available via the links below.
The issue includes:
Making it Work Perspective: Thinking about Blogging: 1
Do comments make a blog a blog? Is the "blogosphere" imploding? Have conversations moved elsewhere? And some offhand notes about blogs as a median medium, in an "interesting sweet spot in a casual media hierarchy of length, thought and formality."
Ignoring the Death of Serious Reading, which is as specious as the Death of Blogs, the Death of Print Media and even (in my opinion) the Sudden Death of Newspapers, we look at some other reading-related topics--Aliteracy and Online and Print Reading. A third topic somehow moved over into...
The Death of Journals (Film at 11). That's the overall title, and no, I don't believe journals are nearing sudden death either...but the topics this time around do relate to journals: Are print journals obsolete? Should professional journals evolve into blogs?
Time Inc. and Toyota Motor Corp., partnering on new customized print magazine. You can choose content from 5 different publications (from a group of 8). The print edition will be available to the first 31,000 to request it; 200,000 more can get the online version.
Could personalized content work in a print publication, or is just a waste of paper?
Direct link to subscribe is here. (I already requested my copy.)
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspaper will produce its last printed edition on Tuesday and become an Internet-only news source, the Hearst Corporation said on Monday, making it by far the largest American newspaper to take that leap. Thus ends a 146-year run.
But the P-I, as it is called, will resemble a local Huffington Post more than a traditional newspaper, with a news staff of about 20 people rather than the 165 it has had, and a site consisting mostly of commentary, advice and links to other news sites, along with some original reporting. NYTimes and video and commentary from the P.I. itself .
David Carr of the NYT imagines a secret meeting of top newspaper people complete with cigars and cognac. On the Agenda:
United, newspapers may stand.
Cites & Insights 9:4 (March 2009) is now available.
The 30-page issue (PDF as usual, but there's an HTML version of the essay) consists of one essay:
Perspective: The Google Books Search Settlement
As an author with nine out of print books (to which I hold the rights): Great! I might see a couple hundred dollars...eventually. As one who cares about fair use: Boo! Google backed away from a case I thought they could win--and did so in a way that will make it harder for others in a similar situation. As a reader: Great--Google Books Search will continue to grow, and we'll see more than snippess from (some? most?) of five million out-of-print/in-copyright books. (As for "buying" such books, or rather, "permanent" online access to indifferently-scanned pages that can't be downloaded as PDFs and don't appear to have first-sale rights: Eh.) As a library supporter and user: Unclear--extremely unclear.
We won't have final answers for a long time. Meanwhile, this issue reviews some of the summaries and commentaries, throwing in a fair amount of my own commentary.
Barring truly unusual events, the April issue will have more than one essay, and almost certainly more than two. -- Read More
The librarian who operates The Wall Street Journal's news research library -- which is set to close with the elimination of her job and another staffer's -- said in a memo to other librarians that the shutdown is both a personal difficulty and a hit to news coverage.
"When I asked who will do research for the reporters, I was told, 'No one,'" the memo from Leslie A. Norman, posted on a librarian list serve last week, stated. "The reporters will probably be using a Lexis product called Due Diligence Dashboard (you know how your moms told you 'if you can't say something nice...')" Editor & Publishers reports.
She later adds that it cannot replace the "knowledge about how to research using all the tricks we've learned over the years. We figure that the reporters will probably spend 10 times our compensation trying to do their own research."
Cites & Insights 9:3, February 2009, is now available for downloading.
The 30-page issue is PDF, as usual. Three of the essays are available as HTML separates (using the links below). The first, which is also the longest, is available as a PDF separate--the inclusion of embedded Excel graphs within the document made HTML creation more cumbersome than I was willing to deal with.
This issue features the article versions of my two presentations for the OLA (Ontario Library Association) SuperConference, held just over a week ago in Toronto, Ontario. The first article is a longer version of my session "Shiny Toys or Useful Tools?"; the second article includes "My own take" as the first set of Tech Trends, and that was my initial commentary during the "Top Tech Trends" session.
Making it Work: Shiny Toys or Useful Tools? (pages 1-9)
Blogs and wikis aren't shiny new toys for libraries and librarians any more. They've moved from toys to tools. This article includes the only defensible definitions of blogs and wikis that I know of, some comments about planning library blogs, and sections on the state of liblogs and library blogs in December 2008. Included--for the first time in C&I--graphs, eight of them. (As noted, the link is to a 9-page PDF.)
Robert Darnton, head of the Harvard library system, writes in a lengthy article in the February 12th issue of the New York Review of Books:
"Google will enjoy what can only be called a monopoly--a monopoly of a new kind, not of railroads or steel but of access to information. Google has no serious competitors. Google alone has the wealth to digitize on a massive scale. And having settled with the authors and publishers, it can exploit its financial power from within a protective legal barrier; for the class action suit covers the entire class of authors and publishers."
He also discusses the economics of professional journals and how the system has changed over the past hundred years. A portion of his commentary:
"The result stands out on the acquisitions budget of every research library: the Journal of Comparative Neurology now costs $25,910 for a year's subscription; Tetrahedron costs $17,969 (or $39,739, if bundled with related publications as a Tetrahedron package); the average price of a chemistry journal is $3,490; and the ripple effects have damaged intellectual life throughout the world of learning. Owing to the skyrocketing cost of serials, libraries that used to spend 50 percent of their acquisitions budget on monographs now spend 25 percent or less. University presses, which depend on sales to libraries, cannot cover their costs by publishing monographs. And young scholars who depend on publishing to advance their careers are now in danger of perishing."
The Washington Post reported today that it plans to close its stand-alone magazine Book World as of mid-February.
In dropping one of the few remaining stand-alone book sections in American newspapers, Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli said that the coverage will be shifted to the Style section and a revamped Outlook section. Shea said that The Post would publish about three-quarters of the roughly 900 reviews it has carried each year. The change will take effect Feb. 22.