International

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\"

A Look Over Seas

Super Helpful Charles Davis sent in a bunch of UK
oriented stories. I love to get news that isn\'t all
American for a change.
The
Telegraph

says The Queen is opened her library March to put
some of the world\'s rarest
books on display at a reception that will honour leading
figures in the publishing industry. This also ,arked the
first time that a radio programm (other than the
addresses to the nation) had been transmitted from
the Palace.
They also ran a story on a move by the British
Library lto stop 250 musical scores and extensive
correspondence with great European composers going
abroad. They include a signed and annotated score of
Beethoven\'s Ninth Symphony,

The Last Word on Cuban \'Independent Libraries\'

Ann Sparanese presented the following report to the hearing of the Latin American Subcommittee of the ALA International Relations Committee on the topic of the Cuban \"Independent Libraries\" in Washington, DC, at the ALA Midwinter Conference. Robert Kent and Company, whose emails you no doubt have seen, had taken his cause to this committee and expected a resolution from ALA Council which would have furthered his anti-Cuban cause. As a result of Mrs. Sparanese\'s report and other efforts, the LA Committee recommended \"no action.\" The report, which should satisfy readers as the \"last word\" on this issue, follows...

Canadian freedom to read isn\'t free

According to an old story in The Globe and Mail, sent in by alert reader Robert Aubin, (which I can\'t find),
Canadian authorities show
an alarming tendency to \"appease a narrow and sometimes extreme constituency\". You can check out this

WebSite for more information.

\"Canada enjoys a Charter of Rights and Freedoms which protects our right to free
expression. Yet it takes constant vigilance, determination and, sadly,
sometimes a lot of money to protect those rights against authorities who should
know better,\"

English Words Verboten in Germany

Lee Hadden Writes:\"Word lovers may be interested in a new trend to eliminate English words
creeping into the German language usage through globalization. Politicians
and other \"Kultur Fuhrers\" are beginning a populist move to create an
\"Academy for the Cultivation and Protection of the German Language,\" similar
in concept to the French Academy, which will search for German language word
substitutes for foreign words being used in German.
The English press, as usual, is having a lot of fun with this. One
English tabloid ran the story under the headlines \"Germans Haff Vays of
Banning English\"

Read more about it in the Washington Post

New targets for libraries

The BBC in Reporting that libraries are
being given new standards to meet as part of a drive to
improve services across England.

\"My hope is that the publication of these
standards and the pressure they will bring to bear on
library authorities will help to reverse the drift towards
reduced opening hours.\"

Divide and rule out

Helga Cronje was kind enought to suggest This Story from The Gaurdian on the not-so vast reach of the internet. They say not even 2% of the world\'s population is linked to the net, most people on the planet have not even made a telephone call and there are more telephone lines in a big city like Tokyo than in the whole of sub-Saharan Africa. Looks like we have a long way to go.

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