September 2004

Judge Rules Against Patriot Act Provision

Fang-Face writes In the continuing saga of USAPA, the law has suffered another setback. An article from Reuters,
and reprinted at, reports that a federal judge has struck down as unconstitutional the provision forbidding people from admitting they had been interrogated or interviewed under USAPA. This means that librarians can now put us signs saying that the FBI had indeed been in the library under S.215 — should it ever happen or if it already has.

Hawaii’s Librarians are Retiring with no Replacements

search-engines-web writes with an with an article on the understaffed Hawaii public libraries:

There is a shortage of would-be librarians, and the profession is graying, with more than half of the state’s librarians eligible to retire in the next five or six years, Fujio said. The tight labor market has also slowed recruiting, with the state’s unemployment rate the lowest in the country.

The shortage of librarians willing to work for the offered pay was covered earlier this year. (And before backing your bags, be aware that your pets may be subject to a 120-day quarantine confinement — although some exceptions do exist.)

Arrests in library thefts won’t happen

Anonymous Patron writes Arrests in library thefts won’t happen : Thieves have stolen more than $72,000 from the Fort Worth Public Library, but sloppy internal accounting procedures have made it impossible for police to make an arrest.

Police detectives narrowed the list of suspects to two people but couldn’t prove a case because of poor record-keeping and other issues at the library, said Sgt. Rene Kamper of the major case unit.

“The big issue is that there were many problems,” Kamper said.”

Do Open Access Articles Have a Greater Research Impact?

Anonymous Patron writes E-LIS – Do Open Access Articles Have a Greater Research Impact? While many authors believe that their work has a greater research impact if it is freely available, studies to demonstrate that impact are few. The finding is that, across all four disciplines, freely available articles do have a greater research impact. Shedding light on this category of open access reveals that scholars in diverse disciplines are both adopting open access practices and being rewarded for it.”

Patron Thousands of Miles Away Uses Library Ebooks

While I’ve seen lots of “our library has ebooks” stories, this one give concrete examples of how ebooks can make a library much more accessible to its patrons. The Park Ridge (IL) Public Library has contracted with e-vendor Overdrive to provide e-titles via its catalog. Patron Paul Pacholski, on business in Singapore

logged on, accessed the Park Ridge e-book system and browsed their 500-title collection. He picked a guide to Hong Kong – the city he would travel to next – and “Slaughterhouse Five” by Kurt Vonnegut. With his high-speed Internet line, he checked out the books and downloaded each in less than a minute.

Book-banning controversy tears at souls of librarians

Anonymous Patron writes Book-banning controversy tears at souls of librarians When libraries and bookstores encourage patrons to read literature that has drawn the censors’ matchbooks, they tend to highlight classics. Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” is a popular ambassador for intellectual freedom. So is J.D. Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye.”

But toiling for free speech doesn’t always align one with high culture. Before Madonna took to writing colorfully illustrated children’s books, she published a wildly controversial bit of erotica called “Sex” (also colorfully illustrated). It had free-speech-loving librarians “defending a book maybe even they didn’t want to defend,” says Holly Carroll, deputy director at Cleveland Public Library.”