Amnesty: Cuban harassment of libraries continues

Steve Marquardt writes "A Press release on the severe restrictions on freedom of expression and association affect thousands of people across Cuba.

In Cuba, all print and broadcast media are under state control. Also, access to the internet is severely limited outside governmental offices and educational institutions....

During 2006, there was a rise in the harassment and intimidation of independent journalists and librarians....

Prisoner of conscience, Julio Cesar Lopez Rodriguez, Vice President of the Frente Linea Dura and Director of an independent library, was arrested on 22 July 2005, whilst he tried to participate in a peaceful demonstration in front of the French Embassy. He has been campaigning for many years for political reform and the defence of human rights, and kept anti-totalitarian books in his library. He has been held without charge or trial...."


FBI: Massive Archived Database of Surfing Habits

Search Engines WEB pointed the way to a Declan McCullagh Article that reports The FBI appears to have adopted an invasive Internet surveillance technique that collects far more data on innocent Americans than previously has been disclosed.

Instead of recording only what a particular suspect is doing, agents conducting investigations appear to be assembling the activities of thousands of Internet users at a time into massive databases, according to current and former officials. That database can subsequently be queried for names, e-mail addresses or keywords.

Keep in mind, Declan McCullagh wrote this.

Government Sale of Kaczynski Papers

everhoef writes "Monday's NYTimes reported: "Nine years after he began serving a life sentence for the Unabomber crimes, Theodore J. Kaczynski is fighting to reclaim more than 40,000 pages of his writings and correspondence so he can preserve them in their rawest form for the public to read....The government wants to auction sanitized versions of the materials on the Internet to raise money for four of Mr. Kaczynski's victims."

Pelosi's First 100 Hours Legislation

Joe Hodnicki writes "Links to the text and summaries of the bills that passed the House and bill status so one can monitor Senate action are provided on Law Librarian Blog at lawprofessors.typepad.com"

Needed Reforms for Presidential Libraries

rteeter writes "In a New York Times OpEd, professor Benjamin Hufbauer suggests six necessary reforms in the system of presidential libraries. Archives of Spin."

The Public Understanding of Science....

Turner writes "Technology taking on superstition...this could be interesting. In the last few years, Americans have seen the harm that results when political decisions are made in the name of religion. Now, the non-believers are fighting back. A group calling itself "The Rational Response Squad," has launched The Blasphemy Challenge, a campaign to entice young people to publicly renounce belief in the God of Christianity. Participants who videotape their blasphemy and upload it to YouTube will receive a free DVD of The God Who Wasn't There, a number one bestselling independent documentary at Amazon.com. http://www.alternet.org/stories/46566/"


My Space to Offer Parental Notification Software

Turner writes "I wonder what the kids think about this ? Will they vote with their feet? Two story sources below. MySpace.com, News Corp.'s (NWSa.N: Quote, Profile , Research) popular online social network, plans to offer free parental notification software in a bid to appease government critics, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. Parents will be able to use the software, named "Zephyr," to find out what name, age and location their children use to represent themselves on MySpace, the Journal said. It would not allow parents to read their children's e-mail or see their profile pages, and it would alert children that their information was being shared, the paper reported. http://plonc.blogspot.com/2007/01/myspace-to-offer -parental-notification.html http://dmwmedia.com/news/2007/01/17/wsj-myspace-to -offer-parental-notification-feature-on-kids-accou nts"

Like digital wildfire

Here's A Short Article from the Missoula Independent on that goofy blog thing that happened a couple weeks back. When Absarokee-based Episcopal priest Jane Ellen Schmoetzer recounted a conversation she had with a small-town librarian on her blog, janellen.blogspot.com, on Jan. 9, she had no idea the post would trigger a long-distance game of "Telephone" that would change the way she approaches her four-year-old blogging habit.

In her post, "Libraries are dangerous places," Schmoetzer recounts a conversation she had that morning with Larrie Hayden, director of Joliet's tiny public library. According to the post (since removed), Larrie told Schmoetzer that she had submitted a book request to a Billings library for copies of The Last Jihad and The Ezekial Option by novelist Joel C. Rosenberg, which she received along with a letter informing her that the order had earned her a spot on a government "watch list," and that she would have to "appear in person in Billings" before she would be able to order any more books.

Indiana Proposes Big Changes for Libraries

Indiana Library Advocate writes "According to this Chesterton (Ind.) Tribune article, Indiana Library financial issues have escalated to the state level.

The Westchester Public Library Board of Trustees went on record Thursday opposing Gov. Mitch Daniels 2007-09 state budget recommendation to eliminate the Indiana Cooperative Library Services Authority (INCOLSA) and redirecting its funding to the Indiana State Library.

A December 2006 Indiana Office of Management and Budget report proposed this change after admonishing INCOLSA for alleged fiscal unaccountability. Ironically, the Office recommended transfering the money and services to the State Library, seemingly rewarding the same agency charged with accountability for INCOLSA state funds for its failures.

The report also pushes for the elimination of the Indiana Librarian Certification Program, the Statewide Library Card Program, and the Distribution to Public Library Program.

All of this is happening while the Indiana State Library searches for a new director after the abrupt resignation of the previous State Librarian, Barbara Maxwell, in December 2005."

SMU Prez to Faculty: Bush Library Will Be Good For US

You know that saying, any kind of public relations is good PR? That seems to be the selling point for having the Bush Library at SMU.

Yesterday college president R. Gerald Turner told 175 of the 600-member faculty "Over time, the political components of the library complex will fade and the historical aspects will ascend."

He added that SMU had been working with the Department of Homeland Security and that SMU's police chief had attended some FBI training. More from the Houston Chronicle.


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