July 2004

Fairness Overdue at Library Journal

Anonymous Patron writes Camera.org Has This one that was orignally in the Jerusalem Post on LJ an their books reviews. The author, Andrea Levin, says a look at Middle East-related commentary produced by Library Journal suggests a striking pattern of laudatory, uncritical endorsement of patently one-sided books written by extreme critics of Israel.

The importance of special librarians

robg writes This article on “CareerPro News” highlights Special Librarianship and its contribution to organizations today:

    “Where there’s information to be stored, retrieved, analyzed or distributed, there’s a need for special librarians. That’s because they do way more than simply rhyme off the Dewey Decimal system. They locate accurate and reliable information for organizations and help bridge the gap between employees and technology.

    “…special librarians are known by many different names: corporate librarians, knowledge officers, decision support managers, corporate memory managers and business intelligence officers.

    “‘Regardless of what they’re called, they’re all vital to an organization’s ability to know what it knows, and discover what it doesn’t.'”

MSN fires up search engine

The Search Guy asks “Will MSN eventually replace Google as the choice among Librarians?”

news.com.au covers MSN who they say is investing $US5 billion ($7 billion) to create a search revolution where users will be able to pose questions and receive real answers – all without leaving the comfort of the MSN web site and, of course, the reach of its advertisers. InfoWorld has a bit more as well.

Now if there was only a place where people could pose questions and receive real answers outside the reach of advertisers…

Newspaper asking Michael Moore for Damages, Apology

I’ve been posting bits and pieces of this story in my journal, but since it’s officially a copyright issue, thought I’d share it with the larger LISNews crowd. The Bloomington Pantagraph is asking filmmaker Michael Moore for $1.00 in damages and an apology after a letter-to-the-editor they published was used in Fahrenheit 9/11.

In a letter drafted Thursday and sent to Moore and the movie’s Santa Monica, Calif.-based distributor, Lions Gate Entertainment, the newspaper admonished him for his “unauthorized … misleading” use of The Pantagraph in the film. He also was cited for copyright infringement.

The misleading part is that a letter to the editor with the headline “Latest Florida recount shows Gore won election” was altered to look like a news story and shown briefly in the film along with similar headlines. The puzzling thing, to me anyway, is the sloppy work done by Moore’s film crew. Not only was the letter reformatted and presented in a mock-up of the paper, but the date was different than the original.

I wish I knew more about documentary technique and copyright. Gut instinct tells me that this crosses the line.

ACRL 2005 seeks nominees for academic awards

search-engines-web.com sends “this anouncement from ManagingInformation.com

The Association of College and Research Librarians (ACRL) in America is seeking nominations for 2005 awards recognizing outstanding achievement in academic librarianship.

ACRL urges members to nominate colleagues whose work has influenced their thinking and growth as an academic librarian and whose contributions merit recognition by the profession. Member nominations will ensure that the pool of candidates for each award remains both competitive and distinguished.

Nominations and supporting materials for most awards must be submitted by December 3, 2004. More information, including submission procedures, past winners, criteria and contact information, is available in the awards section of the ACRL Web site at www.ala.org/acrl

Amazon halts tit-for-tat critics

Charles Davis writes “Authors and publishers face credit card barrier to anonymously puffing their books.
The world’s biggest online bookseller, Amazon, is to clamp down on anonymous reviews of titles on its website in an attempt to curb excesses of back-stabbing in the competitive world of publishing.
After mounting concern about abuse of its open door policy regarding feedback, Amazon has begun a new system, Real Names, which requires reviewers to provide their credit card details before posting a comment.

The change, which was quietly introduced earlier this month, is intended to put an end to authors and publishers anonymously showering their own books with praise while trashing the work of their rivals. An Amazon spokeswoman said: “This is the latest step in an ongoing effort to continually improve the content of the site.”
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