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reported that according to FBI director Robert Mueller the reason law
enforcement officials haven't had to use the Patriot Act in accessing
library records is that ""we have had the cooperation of the libraries
to date,"" prompting the ALA's Washington office deputy director Patrice
McDermott to later respond, ""it's a core principle of our profession that
user records are confidential. If you're not free to read and research
and think, you don't have freedom of speech.""
Anonymous Patron writes "A hot-button film is getting multiple viewings at a local polling place the week before the election, NewsChannel5 reported. Some say the West River branch library should not be playing politics. Here's the first story and a follow-up story from today in which the library said it was just trying to accommodate all the patrons who had holds on the film.
"Library Journal has announced their 2004 Politician of the Year:
"Building a 21st Century Library System for San Diego" was one of ten goals Mayor Dick Murphy issued when he took office in January 2001. The Mayor's purpose was "to create a city worthy of our affection" by 2020. Libraries ranked right up there with strengthening police and fire protection, reducing traffic congestion, building affordable housing, establishing energy independence, cleaning up the pollution of the city's beaches and bays, and even building a new baseball stadium. The rare combination of a mayor giving the city library system as high a priority as other crucial city services, articulating a long-term vision for the development of that plan, seeking allies to support it, and sticking with it even when it became a campaign issue attracted the attention of LJ's editors... [more]
documentation boy sends NY Times column by David Brooks : Librarians -- "word" people -- donate to Kerry over Bush by 223 to 1.
The Curmudgeony Librarian writes "Bookstore giant Barnes and Noble finds itself in hot water from both sides of the political fence as copies of the controversial book "Unfit for Command" have sold out. The book, written by John O'Neill and Jerome Corsi, is critical of Presidential candidate John Kerryâ€™s war service. In an already contentious political season, this book shortfall has only fueled controversy. Some customers claim this shortage is intentional and accuse the chain of hiding the book. At the same time, some critics of the book have asked the chain to remove the book from their shelves."
"â€¦librarians are more freedom fighters than shushers.â€?
--Ms. Magazine online
Radical reference is a service provided by volunteer library workers from all over the United States. The main goal of this service is to assist demonstrators and activists at the convergence surrounding the Republican National Convention in New York City August 29-September 2, 2004. Library workers will utilize their professional skills and tools to answer information needs from the general public, journalists, and activists. Service will be provided via this web site, blog, e-mail, chat, phone, in the street and Ouija board.
Need more answers?...
Rich writes "The DOJ Patriot Act web site has the full report:
Report from the field: the USA Patriot Act at work (PDF). It was submitted to Congress on July 13th.
The ACLU has responded An excerpt:
A report submitted to Congress today by Attorney General Ashcroft on the governmentâ€™s use of the Patriot Act omits key information and avoids any mention of numerous controversial provisions of the law, the American Civil Liberties Union said.
...The Attorney Generalâ€™s report, submitted to the House Judiciary Committee, sidesteps the most serious concerns raised by the ACLU and many other organizations and individuals from across the political spectrum.
russell writes "The Digital Copyright Canada forum and the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) are working to make Internet, Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) and digital copyright issues during the current election.
In 2001, with the help of the EFF, we were able to generate approximately 650 of the 700 written replies that the government received to their consultation. Our replies all opposed the DMCA being brought into Canada.
Unfortunately Parliament has not been listening to us. Recent reports from parliamentary committees have directed government to immediately ratify the WIPO treaties that were implemented as the DMCA in the USA.
We need to get louder, and letting candidates know during elections that this is important to us is one important way to send a message. Canadians should be proactive and ensure that their candidates know where they stand on these issues. Both CIPPIC and the Digital Copyright Canada forum have questions for Candidates which can help you find out where they stand.
Issues we are getting answers from parties and candidates about include: Music File-sharing, Technological Protection of Copyright Materials, Educational Use of Internet Materials, ISP Liability for copyright infringement, Open Source Software, SPAM, and National ID cards.
If you are one of those 40% of Canadians that don't vote, please consider getting involved this time. Protecting the Internet and FLOSS from bad government policy is an important reason to vote!"
InfoWhale sends "this article from the New York Times titled "Politics: Checking on the Neighbors' Campaign Donations". If you are curious about your neighbors' political donations,
a new website, Fundrace.org lists political donations in your hometown, address by
address. While the chronically nosy in your neighborhood are giddy, not everyone is so pleased.
Kathleen McCook writes "On May 17, 2004 the nation celebrates the landmark case, Brown v. Board of Education. In Derrick Bell's new book, SILENT COVENANTS: BROWN V.BOARD OF EDUCATION AND THE UNFULFILLED HOPES FOR RACIAL REFORM the results to today are explored. The deliberate speed was at a snail's pace in many places and defacto segregation in Boston continued for decades after Brown.
In librarianship the profession's efforts to reflect the people we serve among our own numbers have been recently analyzed in the LJ study,"The Diversity Mandate" by Denice Adkins & Isabel Espinal(4/15/2004) where it is noted:"In the 1995â€“96 academic year only nine percent of MLS graduates were students of color. That number peaked at nearly 13 percent in 1999â€“2000. Since the Spectrum program was initiated, ten percent of all MLS graduates are librarians of color."
The American Library Association SPECTRUM scholar program has had a small and positive effect on greater diversity in librarianship. Yet we must not think on the eve of the 50th anniversary of Brown that ours is a profession that fully embraces this goal. The conservative library website blogger, Greg McClay, discussed SPECTRUM on May 13, 2004--
Since 1998 ALA has provided over 250 scholarships for $5000 in what can only be called a racist effort to increase the number of non-white librarians. Not just increase the number, but the fact that these people applied and received these scholarships means they believe their skin color has relevance to the profession that they have chosen. ALA has spent $1,250,000 perpetuating a very crude and ignorant concept.
In the United States we should be tolerant of all points of view but it is important to recognize that intolerant people offer smell tests."