Web Hoaxes and Misinformation

Be sure to check out the feature article in this months Searcher Magazine. Paul S. Piper discusses many aspects of web site evaluation and misinformation. There is also a nice list of sites that track these Internet hoaxes. A must read for public librarians.\"Misinformation on the Internet is, and will always be, a problem. One of the attributes of the Internet — the fact that nearly anyone can publish on it — creates an environment of freedom and simultaneously an environment that lacks quality control. That lack of quality control often requires the Internet user to perform the filtering done for us transparently in magazines, newsletters, journals, encyclopedias, books, and so on.\" -- Read More

Friday Updates

Friday updates for this week include Books as Punishment, building revival, JFK Library, Another librarian strike, $20 Million donation, A novel idea, Auditing the library, Stelaing books in Boston, Civil War Newspapres found, banned books, etc... -- Read More

Britain\'s Brain Drain

Lee Hadden writes :

In a letter to Nature (Vol 407, 7 Sept 2000, page 13) Alice Sharp
Pierson and Peter Cotgreave of the Save British Science Society, have used
citation analysis of the publications of scientists who have received
degrees in Britain in 1988, to indicate that the brain drain of British
science is a real occurrence. Recently, the British government has
announced substantial new investment in the British science base as a means
to stop the brain drain of British scientists and engineers. The
investigators, \"Using bibliographic data, we report here a statistically
significant difference between the quality of scientists who trained in the
United Kingdom but are now in the United States, and those who stayed in
the United Kingdom.\" -- Read More

Dr. Laura in the Library

Dr. Laura\'s show (The Friday, September 15, 2000 \"LEWD LIBRARIES\") was recently filmed at the Denver Public Library. You can find out if the show airs in your neck of the woods Here

\"Library officials said Tuesday that the show taped a 15-year-old girl using a computer at the library to access pornographic Web sites. The youngster also checked out an R-rated video.
Library spokewoman Anya Breitenbach said library officials declined an invitation to appear on the show. \"We felt it was a set-up, and we weren\'t interested.\"

Young minds at risk

Harsh words from The Chicago Sun Times\"Have we as a society become so desensitized that the idea of children accessing hard-core pornography in a children\'s library does not bother us? I sincerely hope this is not the case.\"
I\'m afraid it is. And the library profession defends it as acceptable, if not desirable, behavior. -- Read More

Library Juice Copyright Supplement

This week, Library Juice issued a pathfinder on copyright issues as a supplement. It inludes links to numerous articles and sites you may not have seen if you are interested in copyright, and a full article by Mark Anderson from EXTRA!, which I am copying here, with permission: -- Read More

This just in: Alaska is part of the United States

This just in from CNN: Residents of Alaska and Hawaii may now participate in a Harry Potter essay contest run by Scholastic, according to this story. When the contest was first announced, only kids from the Lower 48 could enter. Alaskans cried foul, and Scholastic corrected the rules.

\"Your company\'s treatment of Alaskans -- particularly our children -- as second-class citizens reminds me of the colonialist attitude which the federal government often displays to our state and residents,\" [Ketchikan mayor Bob Weinstein] wrote. \"In closing, you can be like Harry Potter or Voldemort -- the choice is yours.\"

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.

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