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kathleen writes "WASHINGTON, Dec. 15 - Months after the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials.--New York Times.
The Washington Post states:
The revelations come amid a fierce congressional debate over reauthorization of the USA Patriot Act, an anti-terrorism law passed after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The Patriot Act granted the FBI new powers to conduct secret searches and surveillance in the United States.....Kate Martin, director of the Center for National Security Studies at George Washington University, said the secret order may amount to the president authorizing criminal activity...."This is as shocking a revelation as we have ever seen from the Bush administration," said Martin, who has been sharply critical of the administration's surveillance and detention policies. "It is, I believe, the first time a president has authorized government agencies to violate a specific criminal prohibition and eavesdrop on Americans.""
Kathleen writes "It is not every day that a world-class writer ends up in court, still less so on charges of insulting his country. That is the deplorable fate of Orhan Pamuk, the Turkish author of acclaimed novels such as Snow, Istanbul and My Name is Red reports The Guardian.
The New York Times notes: "International scholars have widely agreed that more than a million Armenians were killed in the genocide. But the topic is still off-limits in Turkey, and the government still denies that the killings were part of a genocidal campaign. Mr. Pamuk's comments provoked outrage in the country, and he was charged under Article 301 of the revised penal code, which criminalizes criticism of "Turkishness," of state institutions and of the revered founder of the republic, Ataturk.""
Peg Eby-Jager writes "A Public at Risk: The Heritage Health Index Report on the State
of America's Collections has been placed online in its entirety
at http://www.heritagehealthindex.org/ and identifies urgent need for environmental controls
The first comprehensive survey ever to assess the condition of
U.S. collections concludes that immediate action is needed to
prevent the loss of millions of irreplaceable artifacts held in
public trust. Improper storage conditions and the lack of
realistic disaster planning top the list of chronic problems.
Heritage Preservation, the country's leading conservation
advocate, in partnership with the Institute of Museum and
Library Services (IMLS), a federal agency, details these and
other findings in A Public Trust at Risk: The Heritage Health
Index Report on the State of America's Collections.
Key findings of the report include:
* 80% of U.S. collecting institutions do not have an
emergency plan to protect collections with staff trained
to carry it out -- Read More
The Friends of Cuban Libraries writes "According to news agencies such as EFE and ANSA, on Dec. 2 two foreign reporters were arrested in Cuba while visiting an independent library in the town of Sancti Spiritus. The Polish and Swiss journalists have now been deported. The Committee to Protect Journalists quickly protested their arrest."
I'm slowly but surely whipping the new slashcode into shape. The new server is another story, but at least it seems more or less stable now.
It's now possible to add headlines from other sites to the LISNews homepage you seen when you're logged in. It's a very limited list at the moment, but just Let Me Know what other sites you'd like to see and I'll be happy to add them.
Here's a quick how-to:
Click on the Change Homepage link over on the left side navigation. Down at the bottom, you should see a section called "Customize Slashboxes" Make sure "Use Slashboxes" is checked, and then just add whatever boxes you'd like. There's only a few right now (in no particular order): The ALA TechSource Blog , The Library Journal Tech Blog, Steven M Cohen's Library Stuff, Walt at Random and Tame The Web. It takes a while to add a new feed, but I'll be happy to add anything that is Requested.
Jay writes "An article published in the American Heritage brought our attention to Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web. When thousands of web pages are being created each month, most of us tend to use the web without reflecting on how this technology of today came to life. This is an interesting article which in my opinion, a must read.
Excerpts: "It was born just 15 years ago today, by one measurement, yet the Web has managed to affect everything from international commerce to personal relations, from how revolutions begin to how you look up a recipe for corn muffins." and "While the inventors of Netscape and Google and other businesses have amassed millions, Berners-Lee has not capitalized on the Webâ€™s moneymaking potential. Instead he has stood by the principles of open access and the democratizing possibilities of his invention. He holds an academic position at MIT and runs the World Wide Web Consortium, a nonprofit working group dedicated to keeping the Web free and uninhibited." Read the complete article at: The Inventor of the World Wide Web"
John Shableski(of Brodart) writes "Hey, just wanted to let you know about this young girl in Mineral City Ohio whose only wish was to have a children's library built in her town.
NBC contacted Brodart to provide the "guts" of the project: shelving, furniture, circ desks, supplies and some books.
Twelve-year-old year old Girl Scout Nicole Donant had already gathered some 6000 books on her own. Some of these books were cleaned and repaird by Nicole. In any case, her wish came true.
How many 12 year olds can do such a wonderful thing? This is such a wonderfully selfless act that goes beyond description.
For our part, we now have over 900 employees who have a new sense of pride in what we do. We were able to turn this request around in only ten days. Normally, it would have been something along the lines of 8 months to two years to deliver a complete library. It's amazing what one little girl can do to galvanize her own community and another that is a few hundred miles away.
Be sure to tune in to Three Wishes this Friday, November 11th at 9pm EST on NBC and you too will see how great this kid really is.
I have a lot of stuff to share with you and I can be reached at 800-474-9802 ext 6270. Thanks--john"
Friday Time Killers
(a new feature from LISNews)
The fastest growing craze in puzzles these days is Sudoku, a 9-grid number puzzle. Your patrons may have asked you about them (mine have!). Addictinggames.com has a version you can play online--three new puzzles every day.
Waste your time and stave off Alzheimer's, all in one blow!
It keeps clicking for me, and the good news is it seems to be clicking with some other folks as well. So I think this should raise a question. This is a simple question, though it's 800+ words long: With whom does this need to click for it to matter? Does it need to click with the ALA? The directors of the ACRL libraries? If I'm wrong, and this is yet just one more "end of the libraries" time, then our profession live through it just fine. If you agree with me, who should we being trying to convince we're right? Let me explain a little what I'm talking about here.
1. This is another "end of the libraries" time when some people are very worried.
2. We are nodes. We are a small piece of a huge information industry that we used to have a monopoly on. -- Read More