LISNews Features

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Ten Stories that Shaped 2005

It's that time again when the media looks at the year in ideas and we review the top stories of 2005. Below are some of the highlights of this year's library news. For some background, see the 2004 and 2003 recaps, as many of those stories are alive and well.
This year we look back at stories that cover Google, a good looking librarian, a curmudgeonly president, Wikis, Rootkits and more. The LIS world continues to be shaped by the stories you read here.

Update: 12/30 13:12 GMT by J :Added some late entries. Make sure you add your own memorable stories in the comments below!

Disinformation, Security & Librarian Ethics

Kathleen writes "Librarians are encouraged to raise public awareness regarding the many ways in which disinformation and media manipulation are being used to mislead public opinion in all spheres of life. Here again is another example where we must be vigilant.

The Bush administration has been pressuring newspaper editors as reported by Howard Kurtz in the Washington Post :
Peter Ferrara of the Institute for Policy Innovation has acknowledged taking payments years ago from a half-dozen lobbyists, including Abramoff...

"There is nothing unethical about taking money from someone and writing an article."

The ALA encourages its members to help raise public consciousness regarding the many ways in which disinformation and media manipulation are being used to mislead public opinion in all spheres of life, and further encourages librarians to facilitate this awareness with collection development, library programming and public outreach that draws the public's attention to those alternative sources of information dedicated to countering and revealing the disinformation often purveyed by the mainstream media"

Search To Help Yourself Or Others

stevenj writes "Two new search engines are profiled in this article, not because they necessarily do a better job (they actually just license the search technology from Google or Yahoo), but because they are trying a new approach to attracting Internet searchers. And, depending on who you want to help, yourself or others, you can make a choice. randomly awards prizes to its searchers, while allows searchers to have a donation made to their favorite charity. Both engines use portions of advertising revenues to fund the prizes or donations. Which will you choose? Read more about this at: m.html?th&emc=th"

Embracing New Technologies Have An Implied Warning Label

Embracing new technologies have a implied warning label, especially when dealing with specialty software markets, like library software. Take as in my case, a Dynix library catalogue on Microsoft SQL 2000, Windows XP Professional x64, Then add to that one fat windows based library software client, SirsiDynix's Horizon client version 7. Will they work together?

Short answer: No, not "Out of the Box".

Long answer: Yes, but only if you know about the "workaround". And it comes with cavaents.

USAPATRIOT ACT Debate: Spying on U.S. Citizens

kathleen writes "WASHINGTON, Dec. 15 - Months after the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials.--New York Times.

The Washington Post states:
The revelations come amid a fierce congressional debate over reauthorization of the USA Patriot Act, an anti-terrorism law passed after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The Patriot Act granted the FBI new powers to conduct secret searches and surveillance in the United States.....Kate Martin, director of the Center for National Security Studies at George Washington University, said the secret order may amount to the president authorizing criminal activity...."This is as shocking a revelation as we have ever seen from the Bush administration," said Martin, who has been sharply critical of the administration's surveillance and detention policies. "It is, I believe, the first time a president has authorized government agencies to violate a specific criminal prohibition and eavesdrop on Americans.""

Orhan Pamuk on Trial for Criticizing Turkishness

Kathleen writes "It is not every day that a world-class writer ends up in court, still less so on charges of insulting his country. That is the deplorable fate of Orhan Pamuk, the Turkish author of acclaimed novels such as Snow, Istanbul and My Name is Red reports The Guardian.

The New York Times notes: "International scholars have widely agreed that more than a million Armenians were killed in the genocide. But the topic is still off-limits in Turkey, and the government still denies that the killings were part of a genocidal campaign. Mr. Pamuk's comments provoked outrage in the country, and he was charged under Article 301 of the revised penal code, which criminalizes criticism of "Turkishness," of state institutions and of the revered founder of the republic, Ataturk.""

A Public Trust at Risk

Peg Eby-Jager writes "A Public at Risk: The Heritage Health Index Report on the State
        of America's Collections has been placed online in its entirety
        at and identifies urgent need for environmental controls
        The first comprehensive survey ever to assess the condition of
        U.S. collections concludes that immediate action is needed to
        prevent the loss of millions of irreplaceable artifacts held in
        public trust. Improper storage conditions and the lack of
        realistic disaster planning top the list of chronic problems.
        Heritage Preservation, the country's leading conservation
        advocate, in partnership with the Institute of Museum and
        Library Services (IMLS), a federal agency, details these and
        other findings in A Public Trust at Risk: The Heritage Health
        Index Report on the State of America's Collections.
        Key findings of the report include:
                * 80% of U.S. collecting institutions do not have an
                        emergency plan to protect collections with staff trained
                        to carry it out

Library Bust Nabs Two Reporters

The Friends of Cuban Libraries writes "According to news agencies such as EFE and ANSA, on Dec. 2 two foreign reporters were arrested in Cuba while visiting an independent library in the town of Sancti Spiritus. The Polish and Swiss journalists have now been deported. The Committee to Protect Journalists quickly protested their arrest."

Using LISNews As A Feed Reader

I'm slowly but surely whipping the new slashcode into shape. The new server is another story, but at least it seems more or less stable now.
It's now possible to add headlines from other sites to the LISNews homepage you seen when you're logged in. It's a very limited list at the moment, but just Let Me Know what other sites you'd like to see and I'll be happy to add them.
Here's a quick how-to:

Click on the Change Homepage link over on the left side navigation. Down at the bottom, you should see a section called "Customize Slashboxes" Make sure "Use Slashboxes" is checked, and then just add whatever boxes you'd like. There's only a few right now (in no particular order): The ALA TechSource Blog , The Library Journal Tech Blog, Steven M Cohen's Library Stuff, Walt at Random and Tame The Web. It takes a while to add a new feed, but I'll be happy to add anything that is Requested.


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