International

Africa\'s best 20th century books

This story from BBC News reports that the Zimbabwe International Book Fair sponsored an initiative to choose Africa\'s \"finest books of the 20th century\". A panel of 16 African scholars and critics narrowed down the 1,500 nominations to a list of 12.

Stories From Around The World

Cavan McCarthy writes \"Nigeria has the distinction of being one of just 11 African nations to have more than 20,000 internet subscribers. South Africa has by far the highest proportion of surfers with Algeria, Egypt and Kenya also in the group.Home internet access is for the well off. The average cost of dial-up access is about £40 per month and cyber cafes, internet access is between 30p and 60p hour.Full Story
\"

Lee Hadden writes: \"The Saudi News has an article about the banning of St. Valentine\'s Day
cards, toys, candy, etc., in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Red more about it at ArabNews.
While, The Scottish Episcopal Church is marking Valentine\'s Day by launching a book about sex. Read more about it at
Ananova.\"

Kabul University needs books

Kathleen writes \"This NY Times story (requires registration) is a brief but interesting article about Kabul University in Afghanistan, which has opened its doors to women for the first time since the Taliban took power. The library was decimated by Taliban censors -- who had a habit of shooting books of which they disapproved -- and a plea for texts is at the end. \"

There is actually a picture of a book that had been shot in the story.

China net use soars

Cavan McCarthy writes \"The number of people in China using the internet has grown by almost 50% over the past year.
More than 33 million Chinese are now online, compared to 22 million in January 2001, according to the figures by the China Internet Network Information Centre.

Full Story from The Beeb \"

The Female Text

This Gaurdian Story tells us The Women\'s Library opened last week, a warm, welcoming, well-appointed space. As a result of a £4.2 million lottery grant, the UK\'s biggest collection of books, periodicals and artefacts relating to women\'s literature and history is housed in the kind of place you generally see featured in the lifestyle pages of glossy magazines.

Media Literacy Centre in Public Library

FYI London reports that London, Ontario will have North America\'s first public library-based media literacy centre, thanks to a $200,000 donation from CHUM Televsion.
For more information, see here and here.

Draft Information Bill from Australia

Australia\'s Northern Territory has released a draft version of an information bill covering freedom of information, privacy and records management. It claims to be unique as it was not developed for a \"paper-based economy\" but in the context of \"an information based economy\". It is currently available for public comment.
This story came to me via the excellent NewsAgent.

Coca-Cola and Canadian storytimes

Coca-Cola, the Canadian Library Association and the Canadian Association of Children\'s Libraries join together to support Share the Story reading circles. This new initiative will \"help to eliminate waiting lists and lottery systems for popular storytimes\".

Apparently Coca-Cola is \"sensitive to the issue of marketing to children\".

More.

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Bookmobiles Fading in Japan

From the Japan Times:

Thirty-nine local governments in Japan stopped providing \"mobile library\" services in the three-year period up to fiscal 2000, according to a study released by the Japan Library Association.
Their demise was caused by declining use of the mobile libraries and hard financial times at local governments, said the study, made available to Kyodo News on Saturday.

The public borrowed about 15 million books from mobile libraries across the country last year, down from 21 million books 10 years ago, it said . . .

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