Karen K

Impeachment Exhibit in Clinton Library

A story from MSNBC says that Bill Clinton’s presidential library will contain a ground-floor exhibit on the impeachment proceedings that were brought against him. The impeachment will be shown in the context of a “culture of confrontation” and will end with Clinton’s moment of victory when he was acquitted by the Senate. Apparently, the blue dress is not part of the exhibit.

Color disputes in Phoenix

Newszap.com has this story about a new library branch in Phoenix. Slated to open in February 2005, the library was designed by the firm Richard + Bauer. Some large boxes on top of the building, containing the air handling units, were originally painted “sage green, dark gold and blue-gray.” Residents complained that the colors did not mesh with the surrounding desert, and the colors were modified to match the “desert palette.”

Okay, so it’s not quite as fun to read about as Seattle, but it’s interesting enough.

Sexual Minorities Library in Calcutta

An NGO in Calcutta, India, called Saathii, is forming a library focused solely on sexual minorities. (It seems to have an AIDS focus as well.) Funded partly by the Elton John AIDS Foundation, the library will include personal stories, history, self-help, directories, documentaries… The library is not a lending one, and the catalog is not online yet. But, according to the perception of Anupam Hazra, one of the directors, there is a large need for this kind of information and the library will supply information to distant patrons as well. See The Telegraph India for the story.

Knight Ridder to digitize Civil War newspapers

Resource Shelf points to this story from Newspapers and Technology, which describes a project by Knight Ridder to digitize Civil War-era issues of the Philadelphia Inquirer. The article says the archives will be “available this fall,” but it doesn’t sound like they are imminent. It also sounds like not every article from the paper will be digitized, just those relating to the war. These should be rich material, though, including the Gettysburg Address and “eyewitness accounts from the battlefield.”

Clinton Library accused of clearing out homeless

A recent Associated Press story describes attempts in the city of Little Rock to get homeless people out of the woods and into shelters. The Clinton Library, set to open in November, was built on the site of a warehouse where homeless people used to live. Some say attempts to remove homeless from the area are motivated by a desire to make the city attractive to those who will be visiting for the library’s opening. The president of the Clinton Foundation denies that the attempts to clear out homeless camps are related to the library’s opening. Strategies for moving these people include making sure everyone eligible for veterans benefits is getting them, and making more people aware of shelter options.

original copies of patents found

The background (for those, like me, who didn’t know this) is that there was a fire in 1839 in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that destroyed records of 10,000 patents. Two lawyers just found 14 of the missing patents in Dartmouth College’s library (these were the patent-holder’s copies, which were donated to the library in 1960). The patents were listed in the library catalog – not hidden, if you know where to look.
The Concord Monitor has a story, but Dartmouth’s website does not.

Corvallis, Oregon struggle over filtering

The Corvallis-Benton County library in Oregon is testing out filters on their public-access computers after a citizens’ group requested that filters be installed on children’s computers. The head of the library system is concerned about filters restricting access to non-pornographic websites, but has agreed to try out a filter on one computer each in the children’s and adult section. SILive (Staten Island) has a story, as does kgc.com, but the latter makes you sign in.

LOC launches “Ask a Librarian”

Wired has an article on a new service formed by the Library of Congress and more than 60 participant libraries around the world. It sounds like virtual reference, but with a common interface for all 60 libraries. It will be open around the clock, making use of the difference in time zones at different libraries. This site, for the Global Reference Network, describes the project and says it is called QuestionPoint. However, the web site for Question Point seems to be product support.

Update: 08/04 12:34 EST by B:As cronopi0 points out, it was new a few years back. I guess it’s been moved Here?

Another article on RFID

The Chronicle of Higher Education has an article on the use of RFID tags in libraries around the country, such as the University of Nevada and University of Connecticut. The article is pretty clear about outlining a) what one *could* do with RFID tags and b) what is being done now. Readers can base their fear or lack thereof on either a or b.

UNLV says the only information stored in their tags is bar code information, and also argues that RFID readers are not standardized between companies. Yet Lee Tien from the Electronic Frontier Foundation points out, “A government building could have an RFID reader set up at a doorway. A person could walk in with a library book in a bag and sign in at a security gate. The bar code on an RFID tag could be picked up and connected to an identity.” The article also points out that RFID readers will likely become standardized in the future.