Not Censorship But Selection

Here\'s a great article on the
debate between Censorship And Selection by Lester
Asheim. A very interesting read for those interested in
this area.

\"Our concern here, of course, is not with cases
where the librarian is merely carrying out an obligation
placed upon him by law. Where the decision is not his
to make, we can hardly hold him responsible for that de
cision. Thus, the library which does not stock a book
which may not be passed through customs or which is
punishable by law as pornographic, will not be
considered here. The real question of censorship
versus selection arises when the librarian, exercising
his own judgment, decides against a book which has
every legal right to representation on his shelves. In
other words, we should not have been concerned with
the librarian who refused to buy Ulysses for his library
before 1933 but we do have an interest in his re fusal
after the courts cleared it for general circulation in the
IJnited States\"

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Who\'s Afraid of Harry Potter

Someone suggested this story.Amy Hollingsworth has written a very interesting Story at Christianity.com. She says Harry ain\'t so bad after all, and she\'s glad she read the book, after all she heard.

\"Evil is real. It exploits those who give their lives to it and then leaves them for dead (which is what happened to poor Professor Quirrell). That’s what Voldemort represents. What conquers that kind of evil is not a magic wand, but the goodness and bravery Harry is best known for. I’m not really sure why Harry Potter has been singled out. I have a hard time believing that the masses cried foul when C.S. Lewis wrote about a White Witch exploiting a young boy in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe or when the Queen of the Night took center stage in Mozart’s The Magic Flute or when L. Frank Baum unveiled the Wizard of Oz. Maybe they did. But if I had to answer the question, “Who’s afraid of Harry Potter?,” my guess would be: Mostly those who haven’t bothered to get to know him yet.\" -- Read More

Believe any fact can be found on the Internet?

I was most supirised by This Letter on The CBC. Maybe things are different in Canada? I can literally see it from here, and it doesn\'t look any different, eh?

\"Librarians have come to believe any fact can be found on the Internet. But, like a piece of Swiss cheese, the Internet is riddled with holes. Library budgets have been slashed and the Internet is offered as the low-cost saviour. Stories abound about finding mountains of information on any topic within minutes of logging on. However, the Internet is also clogged with dated info, misleading info, false info, and downright off the wall info. And Jeeves couldn\'t help you separate the wheat from the chafe even if you asked him. -- Read More

17-year-old banned for using library computers for porn

The Venice Public Library, in FL, has barred a 17-year-old boy for repeatedly using library computers to access pornographic Internet sites and sexually oriented chat. They gave him a few warnings, but the punk wouldn\'t listen. Police issued him a trespassing warning and the library barred him for a year.

\"\"This is a good library and a good part of the community, Fortunately, he (the teen barred from the library) is the exception, not the rule.\"
-said Mary Waddell, the head of Venice Public Library

Friday Updates

OK. The friday updates for this week include .KIDS, wall damage, library of the future, the battle of the books, another library strike, finding the childrens book, Shhhh, cafes, Net as a study tool, etc, etc, etc. -- Read More

Towards a sex-positive librarianship

Mark Rosenzweig, always in the minority on ALA Council, wrote this email to the Council listserv recently, lambasting the conservative atmosphere around the filtering debate. I\'ll be frank: I think Mark is right.


Here is a short excerpt from his email:


I am seemingly (and, in my opinion, most unfortunately) in a minority when I would assert to public and press alike that the real problems of youth in America have NOTHING to do with their exposure, if such there is of any significant magnitude, to porn on the internet terminals in libraries, even the most graphic images of naked people doing whatever it is that naked people can do.Or for that matter their being glutted with the sex-and-violence decadence of Hollywood films (not to mention all \"foreign\" films!) and TV (network and otherwise).


From a psychological/developmental point of view, the stagerring HYPOCRISY about sex in this country is, in my opinion,more deleterious than all that combined. Much more destructive. But rationality and the evidentiary are thrown to the winds as irrelevant in a debate in which \"higher powers\" are being invoked left and right.


Interested? Read on... -- Read More

Winners of the Foil the Filters Contest

The Digital Freedom Network has Winners of the Foil the Filters Contest posted.

Grand Prize -- Joe J. reports being prevented from accessing his own high school’s Web site from his own high school’s library. Carroll High School adopted filtering software which blocked \"all questionable material.\" This included the word \"high.\"


Runner-Up --You wouldn\'t think someone named Hillary Anne would have censorware problems, but all attempts to register hillaryanne@hotmail.com were rejected because censorware spotted the hidden word \"aryan.\" Hillary says \"I had to email and fight the system like crazy to actually be able to use my registered nickname again.\"

Would Holly? Hollywood.

Brian writes \"In a Column about the DMCA and related issues, Paul Somerson of Ziff Davis Smart Business says:
\"If Hollywood could ban public libraries, you know they would.\"

This is a very interesting piece indeed, every time I read something about the DMCA I just want to cry.

\"Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), an evil legislative bludgeon rammed through Congress by the Clinton administration, that prevents access to anything that\'s copyrighted unless you have the explicit permission of the owner. This essentially guts \"fair use\" of the material, and outlaws any attempt to break copy protection or encryption, or even reverse engineer anything.\" -- Read More

B Buzz -- E-Book Tech and Sales Projections

In this episode, Michelle Rafter looks at e-book advances and eMarketer projects the sales possibilities for e-books. -- Read More

Literary Magazines Take on the Book Publishing Industry

The Village Voice has an interesting Story on several literary magazines that have optimistically expanded into a new arena: book publishing. The alternative presses continue to grow.

\"The literary magazine presses seem like nothing so much as a return to Epstein\'s cottage industry; in both their structure and their sense of responsibility to the writer, there is something profoundly nostalgic about these publishing projects, while their attempts to draw around them a creative community seem haunted by memories of other, now extinct New York bohemias.\"

If It\'s Goodbye Books, Then Hello . . . What?

Bob Cox pointed to this NYTimes Story on the \"loss\" of books.
This
one is worth the read, it is VERY well written.

\"For as long as many of us can remember — if
we\'re serious about reading, that is — we\'ve sat with
paper in hand, staring at symbols to which we, more
frequently than not, credit far more than mere abiding
pleasure. We owe these pages whatever ability we
have to see the world with clarity. We credit them, and
justly so, with whatever ability we have to see ourselves
with generosity and empathy. To imagine these as
gone, or truly obscure, to imagine that otherwise
intelligent, eager, inquisitive people around us might
well feel in 10 or 20 years that picking up a book is
something quaint is to imagine a postmodern hell. . . .
\"

Do Open-Source Books Work?

Ben Crowell has written an excellent article on Open Source Books.

How will the internet change book publishing? This article examines a new crop of math and science textbooks that are available for free over the internet, and discusses what they have to tell us about whether the open-source software model can be translated into book publishing. -- Read More

Teachers Question Critical Study of Classroom Computers

NY Times has a Story on a new study underwritten by the Alliance for Childhood-- \"Fools Gold: A Critical Look at Computers in Childhood\" – says there is not enough research into the impact computers could have on the developing minds and bodies of young children. Not suprisingly, teachers are not too happy about the study.

\"With some kids, it\'s a way for them to get excited and learn,\" said Beth Lang who teaches second and third grades at Lakewood Elementary School in Overland Park, Kansas. \"To me, it\'s just like a book. It\'s such a part of our everyday use.\"


One of the Alliance for Childhood\'s objectives :\"To reduce children\'s growing dependance on electronic media\". Is that an indication of bias?

Donate to the Clinton Library

MSNBC has a Story that looks at the new Presidental Library for outgoing President Clinton. Vinod Gupta, the Omaha, Nebraska-based president of InfoUSA had also pledged $1 million to the president’s library and got to stay in The White House.

\"One Democratic Party source tells NEWSWEEK that the Clintons have used Lincoln Bedroom overnight invitations for library donors even more than contributors to the Democratic Party or Hillary Clinton’s campaign, although the source acknowledges that there was inevitably a large overlap among those groups.\"

Studio B Buzz - E-Books & Piracy

Good morning. It\'s Buzz time. This morning it\'s Dick Brass on privacy and James Shaffer on p-books. -- Read More

Dr. Laura\'s Tangled Web makeover

Will the Dr. Laura show makeover caused by ratings problems cause the show to appeal more or less to our base instincts? So, Dr. Laura, will the programmers ask you throw more prurient interest into your show? How does that square with your morality quest?

I read this quote from Robert Anton Wilson, in the Illuminatus trilogy recently:

\"Thus in preliterate societies taboos on spoken word are more numerous and more Draconic than at any more complex level of social organisation. With the invention of written speech -- hieroglyphic, ideographic, or alphabetical -- the taboos are shifted to this medium; there is less concern with what people SAY and more concern with what people WRITE. When a more efficient medium arrives, the taboos on television will decrease.\"

-- Read More

Challenges face Library of Congress

Philly.com has
a short but sweet interview with curator Harry Katz at LOC on the troubles with preservation these days.

\"As society becomes more digitalized, the library is increasingly looking at computer capacity as much as warehouse space in planning its future needs. \"One problem is the hardware,\" Katz said. \"Technology moves so fast that in a few years today\'s computers may be obsolete. No use keeping the disks if they can\'t be read. How much equipment do we have to preserve, too?\"\"


Interesting point I never considered, now they must save computers in order to read the disks in the future.

COPA(A) Quickies

A trio of stories on COPA(A). It\'s either COPAA or COPA, I just can\'t figure out which is what is who. You get the point though.

An Ordeal: Copin\' With COPPA
from
Wired
that says the Children\'s Online Privacy Protection Act is a flawed piece of
legislation, and decides it\'s easier to help kids forge their ages
to set up email accounts than it is to submit a credit card number,



COPA: Peddle Smut, Go to Jail
from
Wired

Conservative members of the
Commission on Child Online Protection
suggested during a
meeting a week ago that the government should shield Junior from dirty pictures by
imprisoning owners of \"obscene\" websites.



Online Children\'s Section
from News.com
Telage said there is a \"50-50 shot\" that new Web domain categories could be created,
such as \".kids,\" reserved for child-friendly content. Others have advocated \".xxx\"
for adult sites, although Telage said the commission has free-speech reservations
about that suggestion.

Banned Books, Weak

The Disinformation Company has a new page up about Banned Books Week, called Banned Books, Weak. There\'s an essay, copied here, and links to related articles and sites.


From September 23rd-30th, 2000, retailers and libraries have blown off the dust and moved the usual suspects, such as Huckleberry Finn and Catcher in the Rye, from their Literature sections to displays in the front of their buildings to show that they\'re in the vanguard on the fight against censorship. They\'re feeling righteous.


Only thing is, Banned Books Week is . . . well, weak. I like the general principle, but there are several problems with it in practice. -- Read More

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