Faulty Electrical Cause of Weimar Library Fire

UPDATE to last Friday's story on the Weimar library fire:

From Expatica News: WEIMAR - Dilapidated electrical equipment has been pinpointed as the cause of the fire at the famed Duchess Anna Amalia Library in Weimar which destroyed 30,000 irreplaceable books, a newspaper reported Tuesday.

The Thueringer Allgemeine newspaper said police and crime investigators had come up with the preliminary conclusion which pinpointed the source of the fire to old electrical equipment dating back to the communist era, located beneath the roof. More here.

Australian Library system passes its shelf life

Australia's libraries run the gamut from bustling modern Central libraries to smaller distant libraries in less populated regions, such as the North Western Library Service co-operative in rural NSW, 120 kilometres west of Dubbo.

Here the librarians (described as "knowledgeable, patient people") are beginning to lose their patience when it comes to out of date computers.

The libraries of Warren, Bogan, Coonamble and Gilgandra in a cotton and wool-producing region used to run library cataloguing software on four separate 486 servers - one in each library - with the main one housed at Warren. To connect the sites, librarians had to email their database to Warren at 12:30pm every day. "Every lunchtime, three libraries would email their collection and borrowing data via dial-up and the girls in Warren would do the consolidation through an old version of Libero (library management software). They would input the emails, create an updated file and email it back to the libraries. It used to take up to an hour a day," says Darren Arthur, manager of finance and administration, Warren Shire Council.

More from The Age (registration required).

Buenos Aires Attracts 3,000 to IFLA Conference

Fang-Face writes "There is
a notice about the IFLA conference at American Libraries Online, focusing primarily on the financial difficulties plaguing the event. The IFLA web site doesn't seem to have anything about the event yet; the update indicator was still set at 18 Aug as of my writing this."

From Windows to Linux in Singapore

Resolvoannouncedtoday that The National Library Board of Singapore has completed the migration of 52 Windows NT Domain Controllers to a Linux-based solution in all its 26 sites nationwide.

For those of you interested in getting down to the real nitty-gritty, here's the pdf.

Police Chiefs Want More Access to Private E-mail, Internet Communication

Canadian police want the federal government to revamp 30-year-old Criminal Code provisions and give them greater access to fight hi-tech crime carried out via e-mail, the Internet and other forms of electronic traffic. Police organizations want more power, through lawful access with warrants, to monitor e-mail, web surfing, instant messaging, mobile telephones and telephone services that use Internet connections.
The police are especially concerned about child pornography, exploitation of children, and organized crime. Read all about it.

China Asks Libraries to Restrict Access to Magazines

In addition to use of traditional illegal drugs (cocaine, heroin, opium and marijuana), Chinese youth are starting to engage in the manufacture of the newest designer drugs, such as ecstacy, mix and Ketamine. One of the accused, Zhu Huaping, who faces trial, learned how to make Ketamine from a magazine at a public library and bought the raw materials in a market.

Chinese officials from the Ministry of Security are planning a crackdown on the manufacture and use of drugs in dance clubs and other popular hangouts, and are also asking libraries in the country to restrict access to books and magazines containing information on how to manufacture the drugs.

According to this article from China Daily , drug use is on the rise both in large cities and remote villages of China.

Soothing Murderer's Feelings with $1200 Political Correctness

The Privacy Act is completely out of hand when a convicted murderer can get a payout for "hurt feelings" because he couldn't read all of a letter about himself, says National's Law & Order spokesman Tony Ryall.

He is commenting on a report that the Human Rights Review Tribunal has awarded a prisoner $1200 for hurt feelings and humiliation because the Corrections Department did not show him all of a letter that made allegations about his behaviour while he was on temporary release from jail. Read More.

E. European leaders appeal to IFLA re: Cuba and Library Repression

Walter Skold writes "In a powerful and important letter released today by the Czech-based human rights group, People In Need ( sme.htm) several major dissidents from the former Soviet Union have called on IFLA to complete its investigation of the destruction of independent libraries in Cuba, and the jailing of more than a dozen leaders in the growing movement.The text of the letter to Paul Sturges, the Chair of FAIFE, has been posted at("

Peru National Library - Priceless collection of Spanish colonial-era papers could be lost

Charles Davis sends us
this story from the Detroit News about Peru's State Library's preservation troubles:

These volumes are rarely brought out for display at Peru’s once-grand National Library, where the ravages of humidity, auto exhaust and decay are taking a heavy toll in one of the world’s most important repositories of papers from the Spanish colonial era.

Librarians are hampered with an inadequate arsenal — aging vacuum cleaners, a couple of household air purifiers, soft-bristle brushes. Gonzales, one of the library’s chief researchers, longs for specialized high-tech equipment and climate control systems to halt the collection’s deterioration.

French Librarian Arrested for Stealing from National Library

French authorities arrested librarian Michel Garel, charging him with stealing rarities from the very collection he's managed for more than 20 years. Police claim that Garel, 58, head of the French National Library's Hebrew-language archives, has been lifting items, some dating back to the 14th century, from the collection for several years. Read all about it.


Subscribe to International