September 2008

Despite porn, libraries should keep Internet open

Julie Muhlstein Says Despite porn, libraries should keep Internet open. “There’s a technical answer and a philosophical answer,” said Mary Kelly, the Sno-Isle Regional Library System’s community relations director. “Technically, filters are getting better, but no filter is 100 percent perfect,” said Kelly. Sno-Isle libraries use privacy screens and desks with hoods covering computer monitors, she said.

“Philosophically, libraries are historically places where people can go and access a variety of information,” Kelly said. “You know how difficult it is for courts to determine what is pornographic, what is obscene. We have a compromise that gives parents some controls but doesn’t take away the rights of adults.”

Developing Libraries in Eritrea: A Timely Issue

This could very well be my first post on libraries in Eritrea: Developing Libraries: A Timely Issue; The Ministry of Education has been establishing libraries in line with the construction of schools in the whole country in collaboration with interested organizations. But how are we dealing with libraries is the main question. As the people assigned to libraries are not well trained, the knowledge of parents, teachers and school directors on the importance of libraries is limited; we can conclude that we are not using our libraries effectively.

Judy Blume speaks to BBC

American author Judy Blume recently spoke to the British Broadcasting Corporation and that interview wound up in their compilation podcast known as Global Arts and Entertainment. The time marker for the start to the interview is 22:08. Blume spoke about issues ranging from book challenges to the present presidential election contest and motivations behind writing.

The website for the podcast is available at the BBC’s podcast portal. As the BBC World Service has not broadcast any shortwave signals to North America and the Pacific since the summer of 2001, this is a way to access such without a subscription to satellite radio. Some NPR stations carry parts of BBC World Service programming as can be seen here. Online streams are also available.

People still do judge a book by its cover, so it better be good

People still do judge a book by its cover, so it better be good: There’s a new wave of public interest in book design, and about time, too. The people who put together the way a book looks and feels are like writers in some ways: intensely creative and intuitive, obsessed with their creation, very painstaking and fussy, probably their own fiercest critics. “It’s a passion,” educational book designer Olga Lavecchia told the festival session. “It’s difficult to show you, but it’s within us.”

Toothless, feel-good spectacle

Los Angeles times has a blog entry called “Banned Books Week — does it matter?”

Blog entry opens with: Today’s the start of Banned Books Week, an event founded by the American Library Assn. back in 1982 and observed — and argued about — ever since. The Times’ book editor David Ulin takes a look at the annual event:

I’m ambivalent about Banned Books Week, which runs through Saturday. On the one hand, we clearly still need such a public affirmation, as the recent tumult over Sarah Palin and her “rhetorical” inquiries to the Wasilla, Alaska, public library show.

On the other, Banned Books Week offers up the sort of toothless, feel-good spectacle that makes us less likely to consider the actual ramifications of free expression.

Sex offender nabbed at MA city library

A registered, Level 2 sex offender who walked into a children’s room at the downtown public library Thursday was fined $150 for violating the city’s “child safety zone” ordinance.

Police saidhe is the first sex offender to violate a city ordinance banning individuals convicted of juvenile sex crimes from being in public places where children are present.

‘Harry Potter’ Goes To College: Students Study The Books Seriously In New Courses

Innocent no more, the students in Swarthmore College’s “Battling Against Voldemort” class are learning to look at their favorite children’s series with adult eyes. Finberg teaches “Harry Potter” (along with the “Lord of the Rings” and “His Dark Materials” series) as a bridge to get students to grasp basic concepts of literary theory and step up their writing skills.