December 2002

Library Journal predicts librarian shortage

This Associated Press story is getting submitted frequently.
They say According to the Library Journal, 40 percent of library directors plan to retire in nine years or less, and as of 1998, 57 percent of professional librarians were 45 or older.

In the next 12 years, nearly half of the country\’s 125,000 school librarians are expected to retire.

College Groups Challenge Copyright Office on Exceptions to Digital-Copyright Law

Jen Young points to This Chronicle of Higher Education story on The Association of American Universities [], who wrote a letter on behalf of the American Council on Education and the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges the Copyright Office that says a section of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, known as the “anti-circumvention provision,” needs to be revised to permit “fair use” of copyrighted material for research and teaching.

The Rebirth of E-publishing

Ender sent over This MSNBC Story that says E-books bombed a few years ago, but they’re back, and now e-periodicals may be the next big thing.

Major publishers like AOL Time Warner, Random House and McGraw-Hill all reported that their electronic editions—across a polyglot set of devices from PDAs to laptops to Gemstar’s dedicated e-Book—were showing sales growth in double digit percentages. there are more than 40,000 titles available in various e-book formats, from over 400 publishers. And in the past few months, several companies have introduced library-lending systems for e-books—for the first time making it possible for a public library to circulate e-books with expiration dates (instead of due dates, as with physical books) so that the same title can be lent over and over.

What price, freedom?

An Interesting Editorial says we are going to have to be very careful not to throw the baby out with the bath water in our headlong rush to improve security against terrorism.

They also add One of the risks we face now is the uncertainty of terrorism. But we must be careful not to replace that with a greater evil, the certainty of tyranny.

Telephone Politics

Lee Hadden writes: \”The Geological Society of London\’s Library has recently changed their
telephone number. Out of curiosity, they tried to discover how long they
had used the old number. In doing so, they found: \”…she discovered a
Council Minute dated 18 December 1912, agreeing to install a telephone [in
the library] – but only on condition that the number should be kept
Read more about it in \”From the Library\” inside the December 2002
issue of GeoScientist.Volume 12, number 12, page 23.

Kids Find Sex Pictures In Barney Book

Charley Hivey sent over A Funny One that says two children hoping to sing along with Barney the Dinosaur opened a book entitled “Sing-Along Songs Barney” — only to find a photo of a man and woman in a naked embrace, with the words “Wilder Sex.”

Many firms voluntarily hand over data on customers

James Nimmo pointed the way to This One that says it’s not uncommon for FBI agents to ask companies to hand over customer and employee data without a warrant. And in cases related to national security investigations, the companies are often giving law enforcement what it wants, according to a poll of 797 chief security officers released last week.

“Agents in certain field offices are impatient and view you as unpatriotic (if you decline). I’ve had instances where agents have said, ‘Give me your Social Security number and your address’ to an in-house lawyer who wouldn’t produce records without a subpoena.”

J K Rowling read to dying fan

ITV Is Saying Harry Potter author J K Rowling read her latest stories over the phone to a dying nine-year-old fan so the youngster would know what happened in the children’s books before she died, it has been revealed.

Rowling also made a private donation of £75,000 to a cancer fund set up in memory of the tragic youngster.

Children abandon libraries as Potter magic falls flat

SomeOne sent in A Sad Story from the UK where they say readers are deserting public libraries, depressed by shabby decor, odd opening hours and the impossibility of getting the book they want.
Despite a sharp rise in the number of books being bought and read by children – thanks to the ‘Harry Potter effect’ – younger readers are staying away from their local branch libraries.

Rub a Dub Dub, Books for the Tub

Here\’s A Neat Wired Story on how Waterproof books, used mainly by skin divers and foul-weather hikers, are finding a new audience among people who simply enjoy a nice warm bath.

\”I think it contributes, but without the context of other books in his life, it would be an empty gesture,\” Johnson said. \”With kids, I think this is something that is only for the good. It won\’t make readers out of nonreaders, but it\’s one piece of the puzzle.\”