International

Historic Timbuktu Library Torched

Mali Islamists torch hub of Islamic learning in Timbuktu library.

Fleeing Islamist extremists torched a library containing historic manuscripts in Timbuktu, the mayor said Monday, as French and Malian forces closed in on Mali's fabled desert city. Ousmane Halle said he heard about the burnings early Monday.

"It's truly alarming that this has happened," he told The Associated Press by telephone from Mali's capital, Bamako, on Monday. "They torched all the important ancient manuscripts. The ancient books of geography and science. It is the history of Timbuktu, of its people."

The mayor said Monday that the radical Islamists had torched his office as well as the Ahmed Baba Institute — a library rich with historical documents — in an act of retaliation before they fled late last week.

Timbuktu, long a hub of Islamic learning, is also home to some 20,000 manuscripts, some dating back as far as the 12th century. Owners have succeeded in removing some of the manuscripts from Timbuktu to save them, while others have been carefully hidden away from the Islamists.

The destructions recall tactics used by the Taliban in 2001 when they dynamited a pair of giant Buddhas carved into a mountain in Bamiyan province. Around the same time, the Taliban also rampaged through the national museum, smashing any art depicting the human form, considered idolatrous under their hardline interpretation of Islam. In all, they destroyed about 2,500 statues.

LISTen: An LISNews.org Program -- Episode #229

This week's episode looks around the LISHost galaxy while looking at some ambiguous information in a speculative manner.

Related links:

Download here (MP3) (Ogg Vorbis), or subscribe to the podcast (MP3) to have episodes delivered to your media player. We suggest subscribing by way of a service like gpodder.net. A way to send gifts of replacement hardware to Erie Looking Productions is available here via Amazon, as always.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/us/.

Recataloging Lance Armstrong Titles in Australia

Sign in the Manly Library Australia reassigns his titles to Fiction

Lance Armstrong's fall from grace after admitting to using performance-enhancing drugs shows no signs of slowing.

The professional cycling fraternity has shunned him, the sponsors have dropped him and just about everyone else he's ever crossed is about to sue him.

And now, his books - once an inspirational story of how to overcome adversity - have been re-shelved and re-categorised from 'must-read autobiography' to 'fiction.'

The Joint New Year's Eve Special

In concert with the team behind the Ubuntu UK Podcast, the Air Staff at Erie Looking Productions presented via WBCQ a New Year's Eve special broadcast via shortwave radio. Now that the show has finished being broadcast, it is being made available for download.

Download here (MP3). You can subscribe to the podcast (MP3) to have episodes delivered to your media player. We suggest subscribing by way of a service like gpodder.net. Stephen's shopping list of items to replace hardware damaged and destroyed due to adverse circumstances over the past week, which includes requiring replacement of our dead in-house server with a lower-powered Raspberry Pi at this point, can be found here where direct purchasing is possible to send the items directly to the Air Staff.

Creative Commons License
The Joint New Year's Eve Special produced by Gloria Kellat of the Air Staff of Erie Looking Productions is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

Christmas Tree made from catalog boxes!

In The University Library in Olsztyn (Poland), just like last year, everyone can see an unusual Christmas tree, this time made of more than 400 catalog boxes. Following the success of last year's Christmas Tree made from books, employees of the Department of Special Collections of the University Library this year also decided to create something original. 3 meter high, sparkling, and monumental. This is this year Christmas Tree.

clip on youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EY5bMCPa1YA

As far as is known it may even be the first tree of this kind in the world!

Unusual tree can be seen in the Library of the University of Olsztyn in the hall on the first floor, open daily from 8am to 8pm

full article with "making of" tutorial and additionl photos on Pulowerek.pl:
http://pulowerek.pl/2012/12/choinka-z-szuflad-katalogowych-w-bibliotece-uniwersyteckiej-w-ol...

article about last year tree made from books:
http://pulowerek.pl/2011/12/o-tym-jak-zrobilismy-pierwsza-polska-choinke-z-ksiazek/

LISTen: An LISNews.org Program -- Episode #223

This week's program has not one but two features from the United States Department of Agriculture that may prove useful to reference librarians and selectors. In the essay we talk about the World Conference on International Telecommunications 2012 and how it may bode ill for the Internet not to mention that NPR reports about such as well.

Related links:

Download here (MP3) (Ogg Vorbis), or subscribe to the podcast (MP3) to have episodes delivered to your media player. We suggest subscribing by way of a service like gpodder.net. Stephen's Silly Summation of Christmas Wishes can be found here via Amazon, as always.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/us/.

Internet Traffic Management Changes To Be Discussed Next Week (bumped)

The current holder of the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law, Dr. Michael Geist, has a post up discussing the possible imposition of "sending party pays" rules to Internet traffic. In that scenario, sites serving content would be required to pay for the cost of sending content to requesting users while the requesting users would not be required to pay any such surcharge.

Reuters reports that this and more is set to come up at a meeting in Dubai sponsored by the International Telecommunications Union, a United Nations affiliate, kicking off next week. Reuters reports that individual nation-states are seeking codification in multilateral treaties of the ability for their nation-states to be able to shape the Internet within their countries as well as destroy the veil of anonymity. Reuters notes that some developing countries and telecommunications providers are seeking the imposition of sending party pays rules.

Forbes contributor Larry Downes writes that leaked documents from the International Telecommunications Union appear to set out a social media campaign to help ease concerns over that intergovernmental body's taking some level of regulatory control over the Internet.

As to the libraries angle...the architecture of the Internet let alone the economics of the Internet are up for intergovernmental negotiation in December which may impact how electronic services are provided by your agency in the future either directly or indirectly.

British Novelist Calls On American Mega-Companies to Help Save Britain's Libraries

From the Guardian:

A fiery Jeanette Winterson has called for the hundreds of millions of pounds of profit which Amazon, Starbucks and Google were last week accused of diverting from the UK to be used to save Britain's beleaguered public libraries.

In an impassioned speech at the British Library this evening, the award-winning author of Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit said: "Libraries cost about a billion a year to run right now. Make it two billion and charge Google, Amazon and Starbucks all that back tax on their profits here. Or if they want to go on paying fancy lawyers to legally avoid their moral duties, then perhaps those companies could do an Andrew Carnegie and build us new kinds of libraries for a new kind of future in a fairer and better world?"

Winterson was referring to the meeting at parliament's public accounts committee last Monday which saw executives from the three companies vigorously quizzed by MPs over their tax affairs, and accused of diverting UK profits to tax havens. Her lecture was to mark the 10th anniversary of the independent charity The Reading Agency, and was attended by fellow authors including David Nicholls, Julian Barnes, Joanna Trollope and Sarah Waters.

Librarians Without Borders hosts Prominent Guatemalan Educator and Social Activist

From November 11-29 Librarians Without Borders' hosts their Guatemalan partner, Jorge Chojolán, on a speaking tour in five North American cities: Toronto, London (Ontario), Ottawa, Montreal, and Los Angeles.

Jorge is the founder and director of the Asturias Academy, a progressive K-12 school that offers education for students from low-income and indigenous families. The speaking events will focus on education reform, leadership, libraries, literacy, and indigenous issues and culture in Guatemala.

Since 2009, Librarians Without Borders has worked with Jorge and the Asturias Academy to promote literacy and libraries in Guatemala. Through many hours of fundraising, planning and hard work, Asturias was able to open a community library to students and their families in January 2011.

For detailed information on the events, time, and places, read more here. All these events are free and open to the public.

Rights? You have no right to your eBooks.

Further to our previous story on a Kindle reader's library being wiped by Amazon, Stephen K. has posted an update (as comment), which deserves to be its own story.

From Computer World UK Simon Phipps continues the saga of Linn, the Norwegian individual who purchased a Kindle in the UK.

The story first emerged on a friend's blog, where a sequence of e-mails from Michael Murphy, a customer support representative at Amazon.co.uk were posted. These painted a picture some interpreted as Amazon remotely erasing a customer's Kindle, but in conversation with Linn I discovered that was not what had happened - something just as bad did, though.

Linn lives in Norway, where Amazon does not operate (Amazon.no redirects to the Amazon Europe page). She bought a Kindle in the UK, liked it and read a number of books on it. She then gave that Kindle to her mother, and bought a used Kindle on a Danish classifieds site to which she transferred her account. She has been happily reading on it for some time, purchasing her books with a Norwegian address and credit card. She told me she'd read 30 or 40 books on it.

Sadly, the device developed a fault (actually a second time, it was also replaced in 2011 for the same reason) and started to display black lines on the screen (something I've heard from other friends as it happens). She called Amazon customer service, and they agreed to replace it if she returned it, although they insisted on shipping the replacement to a UK address rather to her in Norway.

More from Computer World UK.

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