Radical Reference versus RNC

Bookworm writes "This is bound to upset some, but this group appears to be up front about their views and are doing it as volunteers. http://radicalreference.info/about

"…librarians are more freedom fighters than shushers.�
--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?...


DOJ Patriot Act Field Report

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 government’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 General’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.


Canadian Election and FLOSS/Digital Copyright

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!"


Checking on the Neighbor's Campaign Donations

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.


Brown v. Board of Education. Still far to go in Librarianship..

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 1995–96 academic year only nine percent of MLS graduates were students of color. That number peaked at nearly 13 percent in 1999–2000. 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."


How Do we Trust what we read - and share with patrons?

htp://search-engines-web.com/ writes "What standards or techniques do you use to filter out Bad information from Good - when gathering information for Patrons or Work-related projects, especially current events related?
A couple of stories to consider:
Reaction: Mirror editor sacked, from the BBC, and

Daily Mirror Apologizes for Fake Photos"

Update: 05/16 11:21 EST by B: hoaxes that fooled the worldly wise British media, from The Guardian takes a look back through the decades at the issue.

Iranian History Professor's Death Sentence Upheld

madcow writes "Fundamentalists in Iran are making it a tad harder to speak freely as this temporarily available article makes clear. "Mr. Aghajari is serving a four-year sentence at Tehran's notorious Evin prison....[T]he regional court that handed down the original death sentence has reaffirmed it. "The judge has ... maintained his original decision," said a court official. "There was nothing new in the file." Now it goes back again to the Iranian Supreme Court."

Librarians' Petition Against the Occupation of Iraq

Anonymous Patron writes to point us to a link for librarians who want to sign a petition against the occupation of Iraq.
It is entitled, "Librarians Say No to Occupation."
It is part of the Librarians for Peace website.


CO: Librarian to challenge Mitchell for state Senate

Gary D. Price wrote to let us know that there is a librarian running for state Senate in Colorado.
"The two men vying for the state Senate seat representing Broomfield, Adams and Weld counties champion much the same issues. Though ideologically, they fall on separate ends of the political spectrum, both cite education and business as high concerns for the state and the district.

Curt Darius Williams, a 35-year-old academic librarian from Westminster, is scheduled to announce his candidacy for state Senate District 23 on Saturday. He filed a letter of intent for the seat last month. He'll challenge Broomfield Republican Shawn Mitchell, who served three terms in state House District 33 before announcing his run for the senate seat. Williams has never held political office."

Study Finds a Nation of Polarized Readers

The NY Times has a story on Valdis Krebs, a social-network analyst in Cleveland.
Curious to learn something about consumers of political titles in a tense election year, in January he analyzed purchase patterns for political titles, using the Times's list and the Internet. First, he plugged titles from the list of The Times into Amazon.com and Barnes &Noble.com. Then, thanks to a "customers who bought this book also bought" feature on the Web sites, he was able to determine what other titles buyers had purchased at the same time. Following the links between titles, Mr. Krebs ended up with a list of 66 books.


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