October 2008

German Publishers Accuse Google Controlling Culture

German book publishers denounced a historic accord between Google and US authors, dubbing it trick that would make the US company the master of the world’s knowledge. The Boersenverein, the German booksellers and publishers association which has bitterly opposed Google for years, rejected the accord as a “creeping takeover.”

“This accord is like a Trojan Horse,” Alexander Skipis, chief executive of the Boersenverein, said in a statement on Thursday, Oct. 30. “Google aims to achieve worldwide control of knowledge and culture.

Protest logged in Australia on internet filter for illegal sites

THE Rudd Government is facing a backlash over its plan to ask internet service providers to test filters on a blacklist of about 1000 illegal websites.

The majority of online readers of The Courier-Mail yesterday angrily hit out at the Government plan, which wants to test how filters could effectively block illegal material.

A poll asking readers if they supported the proposed internet filter showed 88 per cent – or 3222 voters – were against the plan and likened it to mandatory censorship. Only 11 per cent, or 426 people, supported it.

DC Bookstore Helps a Zambian Library

Politics & Prose has launched an employee book drive to provide more than 4,000 titles for a new library that it’s funding in Zambia. Jane Meyers, founder of the Lubuto Library Project , believed strongly that those books should come from an independent bookstore.

The result is a partnership between Dow Jones and Washington, DC’s Politics and Prose Bookstore & Coffeehouse that will fill the indigenously styled library with titles carefully selected to provide educational opportunities to Zambia’s street kids, orphans, and other at-risk children. Bookweb reports.

Name That Librarian!

Last year, Information Today, the organizers of the Internet Librarian conference, held a contest to find a “retronym” for a non-Internet librarian.

Check out the list of finalists in reverse David Letterman style from HULIQ.

Another Ghostly Library

…this one in Glendale, CA.

According to legend, the Brand Library in Glendale is haunted. The building — (pictured in this LA Times Blog in a vintage postcard)– was completed in 1904 as the home of developer Leslie Coombs Brand, who lived — and, on April 10, 1925, died — there. Twenty-one years later it became a library, as his will had stipulated.

But something wasn’t right with Brand; according to legend, it’s his ghost that haunts the premises. Stories are passed on of a voice saying, “Joe” (or “Go!”), of a shadowy male figure ascending the stairs, of a presence in the tower, of the feeling, when standing near his portrait, of being watched.

Liberals, Conservatives and Undecideds, Oh My

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A conservative organization that helped start a new student newspaper at West Virginia University claims a biased school librarian confiscated a stack of the papers earlier this month for political reasons.

The Wise Library employee took 250 copies of the Oct. 14 issue of the Mountaineer Jeffersonian even though the group had permission to distribute them, according to a press release from the Leadership Institute.

WVU spokeswoman Janey Cink said Thursday that the librarian took the papers because the student group hadn’t provided a rack to contain them. She added that library staff thought the issue had been resolved.

“The university certainly welcomes different opinions and wants different student voices to be heard,” Cink said. “If there’s any misunderstanding, that’s unfortunate.” West Virginia Gazette.

Ghosts in the Library! (The Haunted Library Series is Back)

Last year about this time (just in time for Halloween), George Eberhart of the American Library Association posted on this blog a list of libraries that are said to be haunted. Now the library ghosts are back, by popular demand.

Each entry has been completely updated and about a dozen new libraries added. George has also included links to the websites of most of the libraries mentioned (as requested by a reader last year), as well as references to relevant entries in Britannica and other sources that have extra information.

The paranormal has a strong hold on the imagination of many people, and for them this series should be especially attractive. But who doesn’t enjoy a good ghost tale? These posts will run Monday – Friday this week