June 2006

Social Networking for Bookworms

The Wall Street Journal takes a peek at LirbaryThing. If bookcases are a way to casually display interests dear to the owner, the Internet throws open the doors on reading habits. Social-networking and book retailers’ sites are already rife with lists of readers’ favorite material, allowing people to compare notes on taste and compatibility.

But for Tim Spalding, a computer programmer and bibliophile, listing a few titles in an online profile isn’t enough. He sought a way to catalog his entire book collection — and to check out what was lining other people’s shelves.

Gwinnett County to bring back Spanish fiction

Anonymous Patron writes AP Wire: Following a public outcry, Gwinnett County Public Library officials are expected Wednesday to restore funding for Spanish-language fiction.

The library’s Board of Trustees will hold a called meeting to ratify the decision before the library’s budget year begins July 1, officials said.

“We heard from people on both sides of the issue and we heard from a lot of the press,” board Chairman Lloyd Breck said. “We are choosing to restore that line item. … We were not trying to send any signal, but everyone seemed to think we were.”

The board decided earlier this month to cut $3,000 for Spanish translations of popular books. Afterward, board members received letters and e-mails from as far away as California and New Zealand from writers, professors and editors.”

Changes in informatics program strain UB relationships

Business First of Buffalo has a report on The UB School of Informatics. The School of Informatics was originally conceived as a place to bring together four departments, including the departments of computer science and engineering, media study and communication and the school of information and library studies. Computer science and engineering and media study never joined the school, however. Tripathi contends the dissolution of the school aligns with the principles of the UB 2020 planning process, which calls for providing the best academic support for students and making changes that would allow programs to flourish.

Parents Concerned About Library Poker Games

Some parents in Bellingham, Mass., are upset about an event that allows elementary students to play poker at the town’s library.

About 20 children showed up for Monday night’s “Bubblegum Poker” event. Some are worried it will open the door problems down the road.

The director of the Mass Council for Compulsive Gambling told the Boston Herald that part of the program should teach about the dangers of gambling.

Banned books must remain in school district for now

A series of children’s books banned this month by the Miami-Dade School Board must stay in the district — and possibly in the schools — until a federal judge holds a preliminary hearing in late July. Copies of Vamos a Cuba and 23 other titles in the same series remain in school libraries, according to School Board attorney Luis Garcia. U.S. District Judge Alan Gold told the district today to keep possession of the books, saying he wanted to ”hold the status quo” until a July 21 hearing, but he did not specify whether the books need to remain on shelves and accessible to students.

Library Cards are Cool Tools

Former editor of Wired and all around Web cool guy Kevin Kelly has a great write up promoting the use of libraries’ remote access databases. He’s selected them as a cool tool.

This vast store of knowledge is found on the Invisible Web — that part of the WWW that hides behind passwords and subscription fees, and is beyond the grasp of Google (although Google Scholar is working on this). This part of the web holds the databases that professionals and librarians pay to search…

There are several ways to get to this stuff as an individual. 1) You can call a public librarian to do the occasional search. 2) You can purchase a subscription to a database vendor for personal access, or 3) You can use a digital library card for web access from your home via your local library system. For most of us, #3 is the way to go.

Here’s the full post, titled “Digital Library Cards”

ProQuest donates portable library

Ann Arbor-based ProQuest Co. donated a portable library to the city of New Orleans library system which lost its branch nine months ago in Hurricane Katrina.
The library, located in 14-by-56-foot educational trailer, had been stationed in Baton Rouge a few months after the devastating storm.

It has 13 computer terminals, including three designed for young children and several racks of books. Company officials did not disclose investment in the library, which was partially funded by IBM Corp.

Long wait for porn filters in Australia

News From Australia where they say will be six months before families can obtain a free filter to block offensive material on home computers.

The technology is, however, available at cost price from internet service providers under an existing child protection scheme.
Details of the Howard Government’s $116 million attempt to make all internet-enabled home and library computers child-friendly remain patchy.

It is likely parents and library staff will select accredited filtering software from a central site.

Intereview With Tulane Law School Librarians

This Weeks podcast from Jim Milles, University at Buffalo Law School, he talks with Lance Query, University Librarian and Interim Director of the Law Library. He also talks with Ray Lytle, former Head of Public Services at Tulane Law Library.
Check It Out Here. Update: 06/27 21:59 GMT by B :err, uuh, make that an interview from earlier this year, not this week 🙂