Feds Elated With E-Rate

Wired has a Story on 2 new reports that say many good things about the E-Rate here in the US. : E-Rate and the Digital Divide: A Preliminary Analysis From the Integrated Studies of Educational Technology, conducted by the Urban Institute. The report found that e-rate funding is accomplishing what it was established to do, namely improving internal connections in the nation\'s poorer schools and getting them connected to the Internet.


\"The e-rate is helping to eliminate the digital divide and raise standards of learning in virtually every school and classroom,\" Riley said at the Conference on Educational Technology. \"The report clearly shows that we\'re moving in the right direction.\"



A second study released Monday from the National Center for Education Statistics, Teachers\' Tools for the 21st Century: A Report on Teachers\' Use of Technology showed that 99 percent of teachers have access to computers or the Internet at school, but not all of them have the skills to use it effectively.

More trouble with Journal Costs

The Desert News has a short Story that sheds some light on the big problem many libraries are having with huge increases in journal prices.

\"John Elsweiler, interim director of libraries, announced the decision to discontinue some periodicals.
Inflation and a decrease in legislative funding have resulted in a budgeting crisis, said Elsweiler.
\"Imagine that you have to cope with an inflation rate that\'s nearly 50 percent over three years,\" said Elsweiler.\" -- Read More

Google falls for Yahoo!

Eric Rumsey at Hardin Library for the Health Sciences, University of Iowa, has written a nifty report on Google and Yahoo!. He says he has found solid evidence that Google\'s new alliances, especially the pact with Yahoo! that was announced in June, seem to have compromised its ability to find directories.
More to the story from google and slashdot, read on.... -- Read More

National Filtering Week?!

We might as well declare it that as there have been so many filtering stories this week. Here is another from Michigan Live about a library that spent $85,000 for a filtering system (plus $17,000 per year in support costs). Granted, they \"had\" to do something, but do you know how many books $85,000 could buy?\"The Kent District Library Board on Tuesday decided to fund an Internet filter system they say is cost-effective and also complies with requirements of a new state law to shield minors from offensive materials.\" -- Read More

Banned in the USA

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has this article on Banned Books Week (September 23-30).\"Harry Potter made the list. So did \'\'The Catcher in the Rye\'\' and \'\'The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.\'\' The most popular children\'s books? No. The ones adults most wanted removed from library shelves in the 1990s.\" -- Read More

Book Return Finds

Fox News has a story on a 16 mm film checked out of a library in January 1958 was finally returned two weeks ago during a fine-free week. \"On the slip, under \'comments,\' it says \'very good,\"\' said Marshall. \"So we not only have the film back, we\'ve got it reviewed, too.\" Fines of $1 a day for overdue films once were charged by the library, so at 1958 rates the fine could have totaled more than $15,500 by now. But library officials capped fines at $5 in the 1970s.

On a more serious note, a vandal inserted a hose into the Little Chutelibrary\'s book return sometime after 8:30 p.m. and left the water running. The prank wasn\'t discovered until 7:25 a.m. Sunday, when a Post-Crescent carrier found the hose and told a nearby restaurant owner, who alerted police. Full Story

Gone without a sound

Story from North Dakota that ends the trouble they were having with the library director in Fargo. He quit, but they gave hime quite the golden parachute – $62,244 – including health insurance and retirement benefits, plus $10,000 in attorney fees and $6,000 in relocation expenses.

\"“It’s with regret that a qualified librarian and a good man’s reputation has been damaged here, but it’s important for us to grow and move on as a board.” said Library Board President Virginia Dambach.

The comment drew a few quiet, sarcastic remarks from some people attending the meeting, many of whom were past and present employees of the library.

Now they are thinking the next director should Not be a librarian. -- Read More

Filters, Filters and more Filters

The Courier Press has this article on whether libraries should put filters on their computers.\"When he’d finished the page, he clicked one of the photographs to go to the next link. It took him to a site where a beautiful woman wearing nary a stitch of fabric stood looking coyly into the camera. The photo loaded from the top down, and the boy’s eyes got bigger and bigger until he pushed his chair back and dashed from the computer laboratory. He explained later that he wasn’t sure he should see such a thing.\" -- Read More

I Will Get You My Pretties

The Associated Press has this story about parents who would not let a school give out certificates that said Hogwarts\' Certificate of Accomplishment because it exposed them to witchcraft. It seems that they don\'t care that they expose their children to censorship, free speech violations, and stupidity.\"The certificate, meant to encourage children to read, honored its recipient for completing a term at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the school young Harry attends. The books feature Harry fighting against the forces of evil, aided by spells, flying brooms and magical instruments.\" -- Read More

Web filters in the limelight

The Orange County Register has an interesting Story on filtering. The story is interesting due to the lack of librarian quotes. Supervisor Todd Spitzer wants to let parents know about Orange County\'s program, \"Cyber Safely - Filter Out the Filth,\" so he is holding a news conferencetoday to trumpet it. Spitzer said the county is committed to defending the filtering policy in court, should anyone fight it by arguing First Amendment rights.

But, said Adams, \"We have had literally zero complaints.\'\'

Scheduled speakers at the news conference include Adams, Sheriff Mike Carona, District Attorney Tony Rackauckas and Shirley Goins, a representative of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.


So where are the librarians in all of this?

Harry Potter: He\'s Everywhere!

Wired has a Story on the Harry Hype, but they also cover how good Harry has been for Libraries. More than 350,000 people preordered book 4, there\'s the upcoming Hollywood blockbuster and Harry video games, official websites in both the U.S. and in Britain, and there are scads of others sites, both for and against.

\"When people felt kids were only involved with video games, it\'s heartening to see a book so well received,\" said Neal Coonerty, president of the American Booksellers Association, a trade group for independent bookstores. -- Read More

Distance Learning Goes Niche

The NYTimes has a Story that talks about the growth of Distance Learning at colleges and universities in the US. 44 percent of all higher education institutions offered distance learning courses in the 1997-1998 academic year and 79 percent of traditional four-year public universities were offering some form of distance learning during the 1997-1998 academic year.

It\'s all about the profits.....

Finding Information on the Internet

Finding Information on the Internet from the University of California, Berkeley, is a great tutorial someone recommended for a quick link. This is one of the best (If not THE best) tutorials on the web for this topic. They cover evaluation, search stratagies, Detailed instructions for the best search engines, and the 5 options for finding information on the web.

E-books with teeth!

R Hadden Writes:

The Wall Street Journal has a story today about a new idea in
electronic publishing- renting e-books and textbooks. A new dental textbook
at the New York University is available on a DVD. The students pay an
annual fee to keep the books updated, and there are strict controls on
downloading the information. At graduation time, the book erases itself
unless additional subscription funds are paid to the publisher, Called
VitalBook DVD, this systems incorporates a method of storing textbooks,
class notes, video and other media on a DVD. The cost to dental students at
NYU is about $5,000.00 for all four years of school.

See: Thomas E. Weber. \"Protecting Copyrights: How E-Books will be Like
Parking Meters.\" Wall Street Journal, Sept. 11, 2000, page B1.v

You\'ve Been Aggregated!

Speaking of linking lawsuits and the like, I\'ve been focusing on the general phenomenon of content aggregators this week. My take is that history smiles on the aggregator even if courts don\'t in the short term.

I\'ve cobbled together some recent news links with some of my own commentary in this week\'s Traffick Weekly. -- Read More

Open Publishing: The Net and the E-book

Slashdot has a great Story By Jon Katz on E Publishing. He says the net is bringing down publishers and they need to wake up to all the issues the web brings.

\"An e-book can be a viable alternative in some cases, though -- some e-books might even make money.The real significance of Napster appears completely lost on publishing executives, however. File-sharing is what the Net was made for, but is it really what publishers want: readers passing their e-books around for free on file-sharing sites? Probably not. But by taking a middle way -- in which publishers give consumers a say in titles, book purchases and pricing -- they\'d end up publishing a lot more writers like Eggers and ultimately sell a lot more books. Don\'t hold your breath.

Assessing Linking Liability

The NY Times has a Story
on the latest linking lawsuits making their way through the
courts here in the US.

\"

According to Judge Lewis A. Kaplan of the U.S. District
Court for the Southern District, in Manhattan, a link can be
bad or good. It mainly turns on whether the linker\'s intent
is laudable or not.\" -- Read More

The Smithsonian Institution at the turn of the 20th century

The
Smithsonian Institution at the turn of the 20th century

is a look back at how things were a couple hundred years ago
at The Smithsonian. It\'s full of cool old photos and info
for all you history buffs.

The WTO and Libraries

This is going in the international category, but it could actually affect us here at home.


Despite the protests in Seattle, most people still don\'t know what the WTO is or what it is doing. Far from working for free trade, the WTO primarily works for the deregulation and privatization of economic activity on a global scale. Already, hundreds of US laws have been overriden by WTO rules. As you may have heard, these are laws protecting health, the environment, and labor rights. But did you know that cultural services, like eduction and libraries, are also covered by WTO rules? It can be considered a \"trade barrier\" for a community to provide publically funded library service where an international company tries to offer a competing service on a for-profit basis (for example, electronic \"library\" services like e-books).


There was a program at this summer\'s ALA conference discussing the implications of the WTO for libraries. American Libraries gave it a brief writeup, with the facetious title, Are Libraries a barrier to free trade?


IFLA came out with a strong statement against these WTO rules before the Seattle meeting. The Canadian Library Association also released a strong anti-WTO statement. After the meeting, ALA followed suit, alerted by the Social Responsibilities Round Table.


Read on for the resolution approved by ALA Council. -- Read More

Time Running Out for Key High-Tech Legislation

One of my favorite mags Business 2.0 has a special report on the major internet/techie laws that are pending in the U.S.


With the Internet being such a big part of the library now, this legislation could impact the LIS world in a big way.

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