February 2005

Lesbian and Gay Literature Newsletter

There’s a new website with information on book choices in the gay and lesbian genres, “Books To Watch Out For”, a terrific resource for librarians in collection development.

After twenty years of publishing a popular newsletter ‘Feminist Bookstore News’, author and bookseller Carol Seajay has renewed her efforts to spread the word to the public about interesting reads from smaller and independent publishers on gay themes…here’s a profile of the project from Poets and Writers .

Revenge of the Codex People

George Needham, one of the contributors to the blog It’s All Good, offers a parody of Michael Gorman’s Revenge of the Blog people story. It’s in the form of an interview with Abbbot Michael upon his return from a visit with that upstart, Johannes Gutenberg.

This upstart Gutenberg claims he has created a device to allow ink to be directly applied to paper, without the intervention of a scribe! He has adopted a wine press, of all things, and places tiny pieces of wood on the face of the press, slathers ink all over the wood, and then presses the letters to the paper. He claims he can turn out dozens of pages a day this way.

Court sides with teens punished for Web sites’ content

twistedlibrarian writes “GREENWOOD, Ark. — A federal judge has ruled in favor of two honor students suspended over the content of Web pages that drew a parent’s protest because of the way they depicted athletes and band members.

The judge ordered that no record of the suspensions linger in the students’ records — and ordered administrators to never mention that the pair had once been wrongly suspended.

First Amendment Center

Court Hears Challenge to DTV Content Protection Rule

twistedlibrarian writes “A Federal court today hears a challenge to the “broadcast flag” rules designed to deter widespread copying of digital TV broadcasts. The rules require that after July 2005 all devices handling broadcast digital programs must obey certain content protection standards. The lawsuit by a range of public interest groups argues the FCC did not have the authority to create such broad rules, which impact computers and the Internet as well as TVs. February 22, 2005

Center for Democracy and Technology

Focus on Cookbook Vandalism

New cookbooks are coming to the shelves of the Bloomington, IL library, thanks to LISNews reporter and librarian Rochelle Hartman, who brought attention to the problem that struck her library last summer when unknown vandals cut out as many as 40 pages from assorted cookbooks. Friends organizations from other states have also pitched in to replace the damaged editions. Here’s the good news.

Kew loses over 800 years of history

The Telegraph Reports More than 1,600 historical records, some of which date back to the 12th century, have gone missing from the National Archives in Kew.

Details obtained by The Telegraph under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that 1,672 original documents have disappeared. The papers, which span more than 800 years of British history, include 21 records from the private offices of various prime ministers and 24 Cabinet Office documents.

Patent Threats Hurt Scientific Research

twistedlibrarian writes “EFF Asks Court to Protect Academic and Competitive Studies

Three consumer advocacy groups including the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) asked the Supreme Court today to protect scientific researchers from patent-based legal threats. The case, Merck v. Integra, deals specifically with information researchers submitted to the Food and Drug Administration regarding a potential cure for cancer. But it raises broader questions about whether patent owners can stop academic researchers and inventors from studying patented inventions in order to research or improve upon them.

Electronic Frontier Foundation

Athletic Shorts Under Attack

twistedlibrarian writes “The book Athletic Shorts, by Chris Crutcher, has become controversial in Grand Rapids, Michigan, because one of the stories contains the word “nigger.” After a parent complained, the teacher was suspended and the book was removed from the schools, including the libraries.

Controversy over racially sensitive themes and language is not new. For example, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a frequent target of similar censorship efforts. African-American authors are disproportionately attacked on these grounds. Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, Alice Walker, Walter Dean Myers, Toni Morrison, and many others, have been challenged, even though their books represent efforts to expose the reality of racism and the harm it causes.

National Coalition Against Censorship

How to insult, swear, cuss, and curse in 165 languages!

Swearsaurus is the world’s largest resource of multilingual swearing. It will teach you a vast array of swearing, profanity, obscenity, blasphemy, cursing, cussing, and insulting in a massive 165 languages – because it’s good to experience cultural diversity!

Over 4,000 contributors have helped compile this Swearsaurus. Their aim is to include all languages.

One More For The Blog People

Rather than attempting much of a Gorman round-up myself, I’ll do mostly a Gorman round-up, round-up.

Seth Finkelstein’s Infothought blog has some Good quote sources.

LibraryPlanet.com does the same.

Jessamyn Notes Cohen noticed The Gorman piece is currently on the DayPop top 40 (something only blog people would care about). She also pointed the way to Rochelle’s words on the subject.

David Rothman Says, Dump Gorman–as a threat to literature and librarianship

You can use the LISFeeds Search to see what the librarian blog people are saying, and technorati to find others, he’s quite popular now! Just Ask McGoogle.

One more amusing note, Jessamyn Points Out Turns out that the ideas in Michael Gorman’s blog people column was a bit of a rehash of a few pages from his recent book Our Own Selves.