March 2012

“Libraries will ultimately be forced to use computers” (Barach, 1962)

“Libraries will ultimately be forced to use computers” (Barach, 1962)
Every 60 seconds, day and night, approximately 2,000 pages of books, newspapers, or reports are published somewhere in the world; and the output is increasing by leaps and bounds. Libraries will ultimately be forced to use computers such as this for locating documents and references, since it will be so difficult otherwise to keep up with the printed material. This pioneering installation is at the Center for Documentation and Communication Research at Western Reserve University.

When Christian Bookstores Ban Female Body Parts

When Christian Bookstores Ban Female Body Parts

In a breathy post about her life as in the Christian publishing industry in general, blogger Rachel Held Evans wrote specifically about her about her forthcoming book about her experience living “biblical womanhood” for a year: “…I’m too busy arguing with my publisher. They won’t let me use the word vagina in my book because we have to sell it to Christian bookstores, which apparently have a thing against vaginas.” Though only one sigh among the many difficulties of being a Christian “industrialist,” Evans’s fans raced to her rescue for this.

Are You a Press or Are You a Library? An Interview with NYU’s Monica McCormick

Are You a Press or Are You a Library? An Interview with NYU’s Monica McCormick
This interview covers one example of the ways in which a university library and press are learning to negotiate this new publishing ecosystem together. I spoke with Monica McCormick (@moncia), who holds the interesting and unusual position of simultaneously working with both the NYU Press and the NYU Library in her position in the Office of Digital Scholarly Publishing. In our conversation, we covered issues ranging from the relationship between the Press and the Library at NYU, her position on open access, and the important and undervalued work that editors continue to play in academia.

Envisioning Future English Libraries

It appears that Arts Council England (a non-departmental public body associated with the United Kingdom’s Department of Culture, Media, and Sport) has opened a blog seeking to discuss the future of libraries in England. The blog warns that it is only looking at the future while current issues with library services should be brought up with one’s local governing authority or put to the forum at Voices for the Library or to The Library Campaign.

(h/t The Bill Thompson)

School District Told to Replace Web Filter Blocking Pro-Gay Sites

CAMDENTON, Mo. — Students using the computers at Camdenton High School here in central Missouri have been able to access the Web sites for Exodus International as well as People Can Change, antigay organizations that counsel men and women on how to become heterosexual.

But the students have not been able to access the Web sites of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, or the Gay-Straight Alliance Network.

They have been able to read Bowers v. Hardwick, the 1986 Supreme Court ruling that upheld a Georgia statute criminalizing sodomy. But they have been blocked from reading Lawrence v. Texas, the 2003 Supreme Court ruling that held that laws criminalizing sodomy were unconstitutional.

They have been given access to scores of antigay sites, but not to those supportive of gay people.

A clear-cut case of censorship? Actually, not so clear. “These filters are a new version of book-banning or pulling books off the shelf,” said Pat Scales of the American Library Association. “The difference is, this is much more subtle and harder to identify.”

LISTen: An Program — Episode #191

This week’s episode brings a conference report from Blake Carver followed by a bit of a news miscellany.

Direct Download MP3

Related Links:
Human trafficking ‘hiding in plain sight’ in northern Ohio, U.S. Attorney says
Facebook removes page paying homage to Toulouse killer
Toulouse gunman dies in hail of bullets during police raid
French officials under fire over Toulouse gunman
French president promises law to make viewing “hate sites” an offense
Don’t rush to shut down hate on the web
FOIA data suggests FCC more secretive than CIA
Verizon Data Breach Report Offers Scary Truths About Security
‘Hacktivists’ Lead Data Breach Threats, Study Finds
Pirate Bay plans to build aerial server drones with $35 Linux computer
Pirate Bay plans sky-high flying proxy servers
US broadcasters put the squeeze on small-town cable TV
Conservatives hijack #ILikeObamacare hashtag on Twitter

Creative Commons License
LISTen: An Program — Episode #191 by The Air Staff of Erie Looking Productions is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

Collecting Late Fees Too Much of An Aggravation in Boston

From the Boston Globe:

On a Saturday morning at the Gleason Public Library in Carlisle last month, Jason Walsh deposited a tall stack of materials on the returns desk and automatically reached for his wallet. It was the end of school vacation, and he was sure that at least a few of the books, CDs, and DVDs his three young daughters had consumed over the past week had accrued some fines.

But the librarian waved him off, explaining that Gleason had stopped charging for overdue materials five months ago.

Like many library patrons, Walsh was surprised. Aren’t overdue fines as integral to the fabric of the public library system as, say, Dewey decimal numbers or signs asking for quiet?

But Carlisle is not alone in its decision to stop charging for late returns. Over the past few years, Massachusetts libraries have been increasingly hopping aboard the fine-free bandwagon, including institutions in Dover, Littleton, and Westford.

Read more to find out why…