International

Libraries forced to charge to make ends meet

This story from The Jerusalem Post tells how possibly 50% of Israel\'s public libraries have been reduced to charging patrons to borrow books, even though charging fees is illegal. This is the only way they can stay open because they are so short of money. Librarians and library supporters have been demonstrating in front of Jerusalem\'s main public library to try to get the extra funding needed.

Medical journals at knock-down prices

Six major journal publishers have agreed to offer researchers and students in developing countries either free or dramatically discounted online access to their medical journals, reports this story from the New York Times. This comes in response to a request from the World Health Organization and covers \"about 1,000 of the world\'s top 1,240 medical journals\". However, there is still work to be done as not all the institutions have the computers on which to access these online journals and the big university presses still have to be asked. But did you know that access to the British Medical Journal and The Lancet have been free for years?
[NB. You will need to register for a free NYTimes password to access this article.]

How I now ended up packing to move to Aruba!

Richard R.
Shook
has written a nice look at how he found a
job in sunny Aruba. If you\'ve ever thought of getting out
of North America, see how he did it, and maybe you can
join him!
He writes:

\"On March 3 I signed a contract to be the
Librarian at the International School of Aruba. On my
school librarians‚ listserv (lm_net) over 30 librarians
asked me questions and then I was asked to jot a few
notes about the experience of finding an international
school job. Here, I\'ll try to address these requests. -- Read More

America\'s Chronicles: only in Canada

Cabot writes \"A small Ottawa company is gearing up to store more than 300 years of the United States\' most precious memories in Canada\'s capital.


Cold North Wind, which digitizes newspapers so
they can be searched and viewed over the Internet,
has teamed with the National Newspaper Association
(NNA) in a deal that will see Cold North digitize
microfilmed editions of 3,600 NNA-member newspapers, bringing as many as 500 million news
pages to Internet.

Full Story \"

An Assessment of the Impact of the General Agreement

Cabot writes \"The Canadian Library Association, in partnership with the British Columbia Library Association, the Canadian Association of Research Libraries, the Canadian Association of University Teachers, the Library Association of Alberta, the National Library of Canada, the Ontario Library Association, the Saskatchewan Library Association, and Industry Canada, has completed an Assessment of the impact of the General Agreement on Trade and Services (GATS) on policy, programs and law concering public sector libraries.


The Study , written by Steven Shrybman, a well-known expert on international trade agreements, gives clear indication that libraries need to be concerned about the impact that GATS can have on them in the future.
\"

Britain leads the way with European library project

Charles
Davis
writes \"Britain has moved a step closer
towards European
integration with the creation of a pan
continental virtual
library.

The British Library is co-ordinating a
project which will allow
users to search for and access
digital and other collections
from the European participants.

A 30-month co-operative project will
provide the
groundwork on which to build the
pan-European service.

The project unites the eight national
libraries of Finland,
Germany, Italy, the Netherlands,
Portugal, Slovenia,
Switzerland, and the UK.

The European Library (TEL) project
will be boosted with
funding of 1.2 million euros from the
European
Commission\'s Information Societies
Technology (IST)
research programme.

Detailed information on how the
project is progressing can
be found on the TEL website at
europeanlibrary
.org.
\"

Internet cafes closed in Tehran

Reuters reports that police in Tehran shut down 400 Internet cafes in the city last week. One cafe owner is quoted as saying, "The rumors are that the police, the police intelligence unit, the (telecommunications agency) and other ministries are behind this. They have their own motives and reasons."

Read the story.

Independent Thinking and Middle East Librarians

Lee Hadden wrties: \"Stephen S. Rosenfeld had an
intriguing editorial in the Washington
Post concerning a letter sent by a librarian at the King
Fahd National
Library in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The writer of the letter,
one S\'ud Ibn
Muhammad Al-\'Aqili, wrote about the Palestinian
Authority\'s use of children
in the current intifada. The writer notes that the Prophet
Mohammed refused
to use children below 14 years of age in his
campaigns, but the PLO does
today. The editorial is about the independent thinking of
this individual.

The original letter can be read as \"Special Dispatch
#206\" in the Middle
East Media and Research Institute (MEMRI) site at: memri.org.
An interesting analysis, and an interesting comment
on library staff.\"

Cataloging Missteps at the French National Library

From the International
Herald Tribune
: \"More than any other new
monument in Paris, the new
National Library
is a symbol of Francois
Mitterrand\'s desire to prove that he was the
\'thinker-president.\' Today, the building is less
associated with thinking than with calamity:
stupendously impractical architecture, despite the early
protests of people with experience in the field; a
user-unfriendly location and a clumsy attempt to mix a
scholarly library with a public one.\"

Congratulations Canada on the BeerBrary!

Congratulations Canada on completion of the first
National BeerBrary.

Canada, home of the Canadian Penguin, North
America\'s first black Prime Minister (Jean Chrétien),
and the 20 hour metric clock, has just announced the
Canadian National BeerBrary has been completed.
Tim Horton (Canadian King for some 35 years)
was on hand at the celebration in the Canadian capital,
Toronto.
Construction took over 12 years, and cost over
$356 Million Canadian \"Loonies\" (That\'s about
$285.00
US). It is estimated almost 100 Canadians lost their
lives transporting the huge 12 ton ice blocks that make
up the 125 Meter (That\'s about 10 US floors) structure
that is
now the tallest structure in Canada. Ice was used to
ensure the 25,000 different Canadian Beers would stay
chilled in the BeerBrary. Since the average temperature
in Toronto never gets above freezing (That\'s -13 C) the
ice building is expected to last until global warming
causes the ice sheet Canada was built on to melt into
the sea.


\"This is a great day for all 23 Canadian States\", said
The Head of the BeerBrary , Don Cherry, \"It moves
Canada ahead of all other countries in alcohol
preservation, ahead of even New Orleans, and
Millawaukee\" -- Read More

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