February 2002

Lynda Barry on the joys of nonfiction

Cartoonist extraordinaire Lynda Barry has contributed \”Non-Fictional\”, an awe-filled comic about the deep #1-ness of browsing the nonfiction stacks, to Salon.

\”Non-fiction is my section. True stories about fungus, their two kingdoms, the Basidiomycetes vs. the Ascomycetes in a contest of best spore production. Who will win?\”

NY Times Source Database Hacked

\”A computer security researcher accessed internal New York Times computer networks this week through the Internet and managed to view hundreds of sensitive Times files. Among them: a database of 3,000 Times op-ed page contributors. The file contained Social Security numbers and other personal information belonging to luminaries like James Carville, James Baker, Larry Lessig, and Robert Redford. The researcher also got phone numbers for William F. Buckley Jr., Rush Limbaugh, Warren Beatty and Jimmy Carter. In a statement, the New York Times said it is investigating the problem.\” More

The Literary Web

SFGate has Story on Literary Web sites.

They say communities of writers, especially those poets, spoken-word artists and experimental-prose writers have made effective and enduring use of literary webzines — and they may barely have noticed the fallout of the technology crash.

The Continuing Saga of the SSSCA

A hearing on the future of the Security Systems Standards and Certification Act is being held as I type this:

A Senate committee is stepping into the middle of an increasingly vocal spat over the future of technology: how to prevent illicit copying of digital content.

On Thursday morning, Senate Commerce chairman Fritz Hollings (D-South Carolina) will convene a hearing on digital copy protection, which he believes should be embedded in nearly all PCs and consumer electronic devices . . .

The SSSCA and existing law work hand-in-hand to steer the market toward adopting only computer systems where copy protection is enabled. First, the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) created the legal framework that punished people who bypassed copy protection — and now, the SSSCA would compel Americans to buy only systems with copy protection on by default . . .

More from Wired, with thanks to Library Juice and Politech.

Come See Us @ Computers in Libraries 2002

Steven and I will be presenting at Computers in Libraries 2002, on Thursday, March 14.

Weblogs: Their Impact on Delivering Information will be our topic, and if we are lucky, I\’ll convince Ryan & Gary to stop by as well.

\”The advent of Weblogs has created another way for information to be delivered to our users. Subject-specific, hand-picked news items as well as relevant Web sites can be updated quickly into a Weblog, bringing all current information to one place for all to see. Presenters discuss how Weblogs have changed the way information is delivered, how Weblogs operate and how they enhance creativity and productivity, then talk about current Weblogs in library and information science, as well as the technologies involved.\”

If you\’re going to be in DC, be sure to track us down.

A Library as Big as the World

Business Week has This Story on Brewster Kahle, the guy behind Alexa, and the Internet Archive.

Now he\’s trying to develop tools that will make it easier to use the archive to answer involved questions and to expand its content to include digital copies of radio programs, TV shows, and copies of books that are in the public domain.

Of course now it\’s illegal to build a digital library.

Of Our Cataloging Terminologies

Loretta writes: \”Most libraries divide up their collections using these two general names, \”fiction\” and \”non-fiction.\” However, we are perpetuating a mistake when we send patrons to \”non-fiction\” to retrieve Shakespeare and folktales and myths. No wonder people have trouble distinguishing the differences between the two categories.

Now I know that Dewey had classifications for fiction and biographies, but that most libraries have segregated these two collections, in addition to other choices individually made.
But can\’t we come up with terminology that more correctly describes that section of our libraries?

I find it hard to believe that there aren\’t other librarians bothered by this, I mean we certainly can spend hours ad nauseum discussing the finer points of cataloging decisions.

I\’ll also add, many of the same types of user UN-friendly things happen on most library websites.

State Pulls Data From Internet

James Nimmo passed along This NYTimes story on how NY Gov George Pataki has quietly ordered state agencies to restrict information available on the Internet and limit its release through New York\’s Freedom of Information Law to prevent terrorists from using the material.

\”The intent, clearly, is to remove from the public Web sites that information that serves no other purpose than to equip potential terrorists,\” Mr. Kallstrom said. \”This is not an attempt just to shield legitimate information from the public.\”

Guerilla Warfare and Librarian Spies

Lee Hadden writes: \” The Wall Street Journal has a front page article in the Feb 26th issue
by Chip Cummins \”A Mistaken Shooting Puts Army War Games Under Tough
Spotlight,\” and refers to war games played in central North Carolina in the
mythical country of \”Pineland.\” Army teams go in to either support or
subvert the mythical republic by meeting with locals, some of who
participate in the games as either pro-Pinelands or anti-Pinelands agents.

The local librarian in Ramseur, NC, carries secret coded messages tucked
away in a copy of a Dr. Seuss book. \”Yes, Sam I am, I can topple Pineland,
yes I can…\”

In the first horrible accident in a number of years, several soldiers
thought the local policeman who caught them riding in the back of a local
pickup truck with a local supporter was also in with the game, and the
armed soldiers were killed when they resisted arrest.\”