May 2006

Silence Is Broken in Librarians’ Records Case

New York Times article Four Connecticut librarians who had been barred from revealing that they had received a request for patrons’ records from the federal government spoke out yesterday, expressing frustration about the sweeping powers given to law enforcement authorities by the USA Patriot Act.

For the local angle on this story, see article and video available from the Hartford (CT)Courant, and more information on Connecticut’s Library Connection here.

Dick and Lynne Cheney @The Library

Christine Whittington writes “Lynne Cheney, in an interview with KCWY New-13 (Casper, Wyoming) spills the beans that, as high school students, she and Dick both spent time at the “old Carnegie Library” in Casper–though they may not have noticed each other. She says, “[B]oth of us were reading our way through the old Carnegie Library. And Dick was in the history section. I was in the fiction section. We didn’t cross paths, but we’ve compared notes so we know that one summer we were both in there a lot.” Read the interview, mostly about the Cheneys’ courtship activities, in “Presidential News and Speeches” on

Want to Buy a Library and Help a Few Blokes Pay Their Rent?

Here’s one along the lines of “Want to buy a bridge?”

Students at Oxford University have put the Bodleian Library up for sale on ebay for pay their dormitory fees. A university spokeswoman stated of course that the library “not theirs to sell”. The reserve price on e-bay is £189m.

Story from the BBC but perhaps the listing has already been removed, it’s not under Bodleian.

New FGI Discussions: May 29, 2006

This week was a light one for our guest blogger Cindi Wolff and our regular Free Government Information volunteers, but we still managed to post the following stories:

Cindi’s postings:

Volunteer postings:

As always we hope that you will stop by and join our conversation.

If you haven’t already, please vote in our poll on archiving gov’t e-docs at We’ve got 87 votes and nine comments, and we’d like to see all 229 depository libraries who gave a positive response to question 65 to weigh in.

No FDSys related activity has been observed either at the main FDSys site during the past week.

If you use Bloglines ( or some other RSS reader, consider subscribing to the FGI Feed at to get FGI stories as they are posted.

I & B Ministry plans Digital Delhi Project

The Television Point reports that the Information and Brodcasting Mininstry (India) has drawn a new plan to phase out all analogue transmissions and to turn India completely digital in the coming Five Year plan (2007-12. The deadline for the project, Digital Delhi, has been set as 2010 and thereby India will go completely digital by 2015, The Economic Times has reported. Read the full article at:
I & B Ministry plans Digital Delhi project.

Beware of Blogs: Entries Admissible in Court

The Memphis Daily News points out an educational viewpoint regarding blogs and indicates how blogs can raise legal questions. Excerpt: ‘A blog can be protected under conditions such as the First Amendment’s free speech clause, although it does have limitations. The classic example is that you can’t yell fire in a crowded theater.’

Read the full article at:
Beware of Blogs: Entries Admissible in Court without Warrant.

Jeb Bush Vetos Florida Library Funds

kmccook writes “The Tallahassee Democrat reports, “Public libraries cut for sixth year.”
It defies understanding why Mr. Bush, who is admirably called “the education governor,” has vetoed a $2.2 million appropriation for Florida public libraries. …”In an apparent time of plenty, it is unfortunate that libraries were such an easy place to go to trim what is now the largest state budget in Florida history: $73.9 billion. The $2.2 million is a drop in the bucket; another drop was the $1.8 million eliminated for online tutoring services through public libraries.””

HubMed provides chart tracking keywords

Jay writes: ResearchBuzz reported a very interesting and useful feature of HubMed which now provides Charts Tracking Keywords. Excerpts: “It’s an interface to the medical literature search engine PubMed that’s simplified and very easy to use. Nice if you’re not a professional medical researcher and find the PubMed interface overwhelming. HubMed also offers keyword-based RSS feeds for tracking additions to its database. HubMed also offers charts as well. Run a search. On the results page look to the right and you’ll see a results count: “Results 1-20 of” however many results you got. Next to that will be a small chart icon.” For example, searching for Biomaterials and then clicking the chart icon finds
16 papers with titles or abstracts containing the word ‘biomaterials’ in 1975; Number of papers with the term ‘biomaterials’ in titles or abstracts increased to 480 in 2005. (NOTE: the icon for ‘charts’ is not clearly visible; It is very small)