January 2011

Woman who dumped condiments in book drop pleads guilty

Woman who dumped condiments in book drop pleads guilty
An Idaho library has closed the book on a string of condiment attacks against its book-drop now that the ketchup-wielding criminal has been jailed, a Boise librarian said on Saturday.
Authorities say the 75 year old dumped an assortment of condiments including ketchup, maple syrup and mayonnaise into the book deposit because of conflicts the senior citizen had in the past with library patrons and staff.

Egyptians Remain Vigilant Guarding Libraries & Museums

From Discovery News: Egyptians are bravely defending their cultural heritage, according to a statement from Ismail Serageldin, librarian of Alexandria and director of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina.

“The young people organized themselves into groups that directed traffic, protected neighborhoods and guarded public buildings of value such as the Egyptian Museum and the Library of Alexandria,” he said.

“The library is safe thanks to Egypt’s youth, whether they be the staff of the Library or the representatives of the demonstrators, who are joining us in guarding the building from potential vandals and looters,” Serageldin said.

However, the risk for cultural and archaeological sites remains high.

The West Bank, where the mortuary temples and the Valley of the Kings are located, is without any security, with only villagers trying to protect the sites.

“All the antiquities in the area have been protected by the locals all night, and nothing has been touched,” Mostafa Wazery, director of the Valley of Kings at Luxor, said.

UPDATE: Sun Jan 30, 14:40pm EST: In a faxed statement, Dr. Zahi Hawass, chief of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, confirmed that a total of 13 cases were smashed at the Egyptian museum, adding that other sites are at risk at the moment.

Greenwich CT seeks Recovery of Benefits Paid in Librarian’s 2009 Denver Crash Death

From the Denver Post: Officials in Greenwich have launched a legal battle to recover benefits paid to the family of a librarian who died on a Denver highway in 2009, contending that the town is entitled to a slice of a pending lawsuit settlement.

The move comes on the eve of the second anniversary of the deaths of librarians Kathleen Krasniewicz, 54, and Kate McClelland, 71, following a collision involving a pickup driven by a drunken woman and the taxi van in which the librarians were passengers.

An attorney representing Greenwich has filed a motion in Denver District Court, seeking to stop the payment of a proposed settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Krasniewicz’s family against the pickup driver, her father, the man at the wheel of the taxi and Freedom Cabs Inc.

Instead, the town is seeking the money to offset benefits it has paid to Krasniewicz’s family and medical bills incurred as doctors fought to save her life.

“I couldn’t believe what they were doing to me and doing to my wife,” Krasniewicz’s husband, James, said Wednesday. “My reaction? How can I fight the town of Greenwich? There’s no way. They have a law that says they can do this. Some laws are not right, I would say.”

Hating the library

Librarian.net links to an interview with Amy Poehler where she discusses the bit they do on “Parks and Rec” that deals with hating the library.

See: http://www.librarian.net/stax/3475/why-would-anyone-hate-the-library-amy-poehler-explains/

Wil Wheaton: Librarians are awesome

librarians are awesome

Libraries are constantly under attack from people who fear knowledge, people who think guns are more important than books, and people who want to ensure that multi-millionaires pocket even more money. As an author, father, and a reader, I beg you: please support your local libraries in any way you can, and if you enjoy reading, take a moment to thank a librarian.

Kindle books now outsell paperbacks

When Amazon announced that its third-generation Kindle “eclipsed ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ as the bestselling product in Amazon’s history,” we knew it’d only be a matter of time before we heard the announcement that Kindle books outsell paperback books. And now, about a month after that Kindle announcement, it’s here, from Jeff Bezos: “Kindle books have now overtaken paperback books as the most popular format on Amazon.com.”

This comes six months after Amazon announced Kindle book sales had overtaken hardcover sales and had predicted Kindle books reaching this milestone in the second quarter of this year, so it’s ahead of schedule. Not only that, but the company announced that its fourth quarter sales topped $10 billion for the first time.

Full piece at MSNBC.com

A Ray of Hope in Tunisia…Previously Banned Books for Sale

From The Irish Times:

LOOKING OUT the window of her bookshop on Avenue Bouguiba, where two dozen curious faces are pressed against the pane to catch a glimpse at her latest display, Selma Jabbes is a picture of quiet satisfaction.

The crowds outside the Al Kitab bookshop are staring at a selection of newly arrived titles under the heading Livres interdits , a selection of books banned under the regime of deposed president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali and now freely available for the first time.

Most concern Ben Ali, his wife Leila Trabelsi, political repression, Islamism and corruption in the regime.

Al Kitab is still awaiting delivery of its first order of banned books from Europe; those in the window were donated by readers and put on display “to give an idea of how we suffered here”, says Jabbes, a softly-spoken woman greeted by name by many of her customers.

Under Ben Ali’s rule, booksellers required a visa from the interior ministry for every work they wanted to import, and the process could take several months. The list of sensitive subject matter was long and ever-changing, but virtually every foreign title that touched on the president or his entourage, or which denigrated his policies, was strictly prohibited.

The Lights Are Going Out

Things are apparently developing in Egypt. There is an unconfirmed report that Egypt is totally offline. The Electronic Frontier Foundation posted to Identica about a separate report about the Internet being cut off in Egypt. Caroline McCarthy at CNET notes that Twitter is presently being blocked in Egypt. Later reporting by Elinor Mills at CNET notes that blocking is on the rise in Egypt and Associated Press reporters are unable to communicate. Nina Shea at National Review Online’s group blog The Corner notes that these reports of disruption are not anomalies which is echoed by Matthew Shaffer there as well. Agence France-Presse notes that cellular telephone service is disrupted in addition to the reports of Internet disruption.

The situation in Egypt, much like the recent case in Tunisia, illustrates fundamental flaws in the nature of Internet access. Even though the system is purportedly designed to route around outages like this, failure seems to be easily caused. In conjunction with the proliferation of computer sound cards and software like fldigi, the deployment of radiofax service by outside powers to distribute information may be advisable. Examples of what this might look like are available online. Though such would have required specialist equipment twenty years ago that method for information distribution can take advantage of consumer-grade computer and radio hardware.

This situation continues to develop…

Creative Commons License
The Lights Are Going Out by Stephen Michael Kellat is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at erielookingproductions.info.