Censorware and Memetic Warfare

Slashdot has an outstanding report on filtering, and how it works. This is a great read whatever your views on filtering are, read it HERE.
Be sure to check out the link to This Report on sites blocked at the University of UT.

Most measures of blocking software effectiveness focus on how much pornography it blocks. We weren\'t able to test that because we couldn\'t look through the 99.4% of unblocked material - over 53 million URLs. Just too much data. But we did learn that, in Utah, 5% of the time, when the software said \"you can\'t look at that,\" it was just plain wrong.

Ninety-five percent accuracy might sound like a nice high figure to base a good meme around. Who could argue with a number like 95%? But consider what this means for the 300 Web sites in question: each of them was blocked from being read by a great many public institutions in the state of Utah.

Black CU law students fight for library exhibit

A Story from the Denver Post, on the refusal of University of Colorado law school\'s library to put up a Black History month display.

A group of black law students wanted to tell their classmates this month about the case of an escaped slave denied freedom by the courts, and the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that separate but equal was the best way for races to co-exist.

But the director of the University of Colorado law school\'s library said no.\"She hasn\'t proffered any reasonable explanations,\" said Haygood, a second-year law student from Denver. \"Today, she said she is the one in charge of that display case and can decide what goes in there.\" -- Read More

Librarians debate Internet filters

A Story from Iowa, on the debate over filtering.


Iowa\'s public librarians say their budgets should not be tied to putting safeguards on Internet sites.

An effort by the Marshall County Board of Supervisors to deny extra money to local libraries that do not install filters on Internet service has triggered a debate over free speech and local control.
The suggestion died last week because of a tight county budget, officials said.
One librarian says the idea sets \"a really dangerous precedent.\" -- Read More

school removes some horror books

The Idaho Statesman has a Story HERE on the removal of several books from a middle school.

Several books by prolific youth horror author Christopher Pike will not be available to students at West Middle School, because concerns were raised about violent content, Principal Jeff Read said Monday.

Read spent the weekend reading five of Pike’s novels — “Chain Letter 2,” “Midnight Club,” “Remember Me 3,” “The Star Group” and “Bury Me Deep.” He also skimmed over several more, he said, and concluded that none of them was appropriate for middle-school readers.

“I didn’t like them,” he said, explaining that they contain graphic descriptions of torture and violence, sexual innuendoes and profanity.

Internet porn issue revs up library race

Greenville County South Carolina is in the odd position of having people paying great attention to the upcoming library board elections. Story Here at Greenville Online

The Internet pornography issue has turned the normally ho-hum business of filling seats on the library board into a heated race, putting the controversy squarely in the Greenville County Council\'s lap next week as it chooses seven board members from a field of 16 candidates.

The higher-than-usual interest in the 11-member board comes at a time when the library is being criticized by a consultant who says the system is \"dysfunctional,\" offers poor service in many areas and lacks coordination with its branches.

\"This time we don\'t have to beg for candidates,\" said County Councilman Joe Dill. -- Read More

Libraries try to keep Internet access safe

A story from Oklahoma on filtering policies in public libraries.

The policies in libraries ranging in size from New York City to Hominy have a common theme -- read at your own risk.

\"Ultimately, everyone has to take individual responsibility,\" said Jon Walker, division director for automation and collection services for the Tulsa City- County Library.

\"When you look at all the media including television and print, you have bad things in all those arenas. We have to teach people the skills to be able to discern what is accurate and important.\"

The Oklahoma Library Association and the Oklahoma Department of Libraries support and encourage libraries to develop an Internet policy but do not make recommendations for content.

Local library boards have the final decision about what is passed and enforced in their communities.

Worlds oldest Valentine unearthed in Britain

The world\'s oldest-known Valentine\'s Day message, written in 1477, was unveiled on Monday at the British Library and proves that when it comes to love, some things never change.

On February 14, 523 years ago, Margery Brews wrote what has become the oldest surviving Valentine\'s card, using all her womanly wiles to try and convince her lover to marry her.

She flattered her fiance, appealed to his chivalry, then she turned to emotional blackmail.
The letter is part of the library\'s Millennium exhibition: ``Chapter & Verse: 1,000 years of English literature.\'\' -- Read More

Charges dropped against man with overdue library books

MSNBC had this short report.

\"
Charges have been dropped against a man who was last month arrested for having overdue library books.
Jeremy Christian Soder, 29, was arrested Jan. 7 during a traffic stop in Fort Myers. A check of his records showed a Pinellas County warrant for failing to appear in court for overdue library material.
Soder said at the time he wanted to learn Spanish for a 1998 trip to Costa Rica, so he checked out about $80 worth of books and tapes from the Clearwater Public Library. -- Read More

Activist leading fight to install Internet filters

A Story on the man leading the fight for filtering in Michigan appeared on Michigin Live

Gary Glenn has never left people lukewarm.

Through 20-plus years of political activism -- fighting organized labor, battling gay rights, looking to expand educational choice and now championing Internet filters in Holland -- the soft-spoken Southerner has inspired two reactions: devotion and derision. -- Read More

Librarians contest on

Michigan Live has a neat story on a local librarian contest
Here.

The White Pine Library Cooperative is asking for more such examples for its Libraries Change Lives story contest.

To win, library users should submit their stories, said cooperative Director Doug Simmons.

The cooperative\'s member libraries - in Saginaw, Bay, Midland, Tuscola, Sanilac, Huron, Arenac, Clare, Gladwin, Iosco, Isabella and Ogemaw counties - are participating.

\"

Charles Schulz Dead

CNN has a nice tribute to the late Charles Schulz
Here, along with Message Boards to discuss his death with other fans.


The last daily Peanuts strip was published on January 3. But
Sunday\'s papers carried the final cartoon, a strip showing
Snoopy at his typewriter, along with other Peanuts regulars.
It includes a farewell letter signed by Schulz.

\"Dear Friends,\" the letter opens. \"I have been fortunate to
draw Charlie Brown and his friends for almost 50 years. It
has been the fulfillment of my childhood ambition.\"


\"It\'s amazing that he dies just before his last strip is
published,\" fellow cartoonist Lynn Johnston, creator of \"For Better or Worse,\" said. Such an ending was \"as if he had written it that way.\"

Editorial on Filtering in IL

Someone writes \"Here is the full
editorial from The Times Newspaper covering Lansing,
Illinois. The link I sent earlier in the week doesn\'t work
because the paper moves the stories to an archive. The
story appeared in the Times at http://www.thetimesonli
ne.com

Publication date: 02/10/2000
Bring in Internet but take out trash
A Personal View

Kathy Valente
Founder, Citizens for Community Values,
Lansing
This is in response to the Lansing Library director\'s Jan. 4
letter regarding the library\'s decision to have one
unfiltered terminal. The federal court case that William D.
Babcock refers to that could threaten our community
standards, took place in Loudoun County, Va., in the Fourth
U.S. District Court, which has no jurisdiction in Illinois
whatsoever. Judge Leona Brinkema, a former librarian,
ruled it was unconstitutional for the library to filter
adult terminals. Babcock may not be aware that a parallel
decision of hers was overturned by a higher court, thereby
allowing government employees to be restricted from viewing
sexually explicit material on government-owned
(taxpayer-purchased) computers. Legal experts believe the
Loudoun case would\'ve been overturned had they appealed. But
more importantly, this 4th District ruling doesn\'t apply to
Illinois.
The group that filed the suit against the Loudoun County
Library was started by the American Library Association
(which oppose all filters), represented by the ACLU and
received a monetary award from the Playboy Foundation.
Do the ALA and ACLU have an agenda? Click Read
more to Read the rest
-- Read More

Baltimore County School Eye Library Holdings

Della Curtis writes
\"Baltimore County Public Schools, the 24th largest school
district in the nation, is addressing the problem of aging
secondary school library collections. This is a problem
across the nation. Superintendent Anthony Marchione has
proposed spending 10 million over a 3-year period that will
outfit libraries with new books to support student research
and reading. The budget proposal was approved by the
Board of Education, and is now before the Baltimore County
Council.

Cella Curtis, Coordinator of the Office of Library
Information Services, has prepared a website that gives
insight as to the scope of the collection problem, the
process used to evaluate the collections in 165 schools, how
libraries contributed to academic achievement of students,
comments from students, staff, and parents, and links to
news articles in the Baltimore SunPapers and the Washington
Post. The overall intent of the website is to inform
the community and advocate school libraries and the
re-building of their library collections. The web address
is
http://www.
bcpl.net/~dcurtis/libraryfacts

Other school libraries who face the same problem may find

Internet restriction vote set for Tuesday

Lansing officials eye all public bodies in censorship
law

After a half-hour of debate among residents and trustees,
the Lansing Village Board agreed by consent last week to
prepare a resolution urging restricted access to the
Internet in public facilities.


The debate centered around access to the Internet at the
Lansing Public Library, but trustees agreed to direct their
resolution toward all public bodies in the village that
might provide such access.
The board is expected to vote on the resolution Tuesday.
Proponents of restricted access argue that self-imposed
\"filters\" will prevent users from accessing pornography and
obscene materials on the Internet.
\"Let\'s not play Big Brother so much with the Library Board,\"
Podgorski said. \"We should make it applicable to all.\"
From
www.starnewspapers.com\"
-- Read More

All knowing search tool

Story from PCWorld on a new program called kenjin. You can download it HERE.


Unveiled earlier this week at the Demo 2000 conference in Palm
Springs, California, the free downloadable program is a
\"behind-the-scenes\" search engine. It reads and analyzes the text
on your screen, picks out the major themes, and then combs the
Internet for links related to those subjects.

Kenjin works with almost any sort of document, whether you\'re
working in a word processor or writing an e-mail message.
There\'s no need to activate your browser, no need to type in
cumbersome Web addresses and keywords. You just need to be
connected to the Internet.

lawsuit by Laura Ingalls Library still in court

Someone sent in This Story about the little library on the prarie case.

A little library in the Ozarks got a boost this week in its suit to recover copyright
income from the works of its famous benefactor, author Laura Ingalls Wilder, best
known for her book \"Little House on the Prairie.\"

U.S. District Judge Ortrie Smith rejected the request by HarperCollins Publishers Inc.
of New York to throw out the suit over its claim the library missed the deadline to
claim copyrights. Smith said more fact-finding is needed to decide that issue.

School pulls book from shelves

An Article from the Idaho Statesman reports on the moves made on \"The Listeners\" in an Idaho town.

A book by popular young adult horror author Christopher
Pike has raised concerns at Nampa’s West Middle School and has
been temporarily pulled from the school library’s shelves.

A group of seventh-grade teachers at the school have asked that the
book “The Listeners” be removed from the library, along with other
grisly storylines by the prolific author.

Principal Jeff Read is reading a selection of the Pike books and said
he and media specialist Dale Buzzell will make a decision whether to
permanently remove the book on Monday.

A closer look at filtering

Someone wrote in with this interesting opinion

\"In today\'s local paper http://www.thetimesonline.com we are unfortunately headline news. You can find the story HERE If you click on news there are additional stories. The one concerning us is entitled \"Lansing trustees want library computers filtered\". If it full of misinformation. The Mayor has NEVER been in the library recently. He never even picked up the telephone to ask questions. We have NEVER had an unfiltered terminal so we certainly never moved it. We only have 6 terminals not 10.

In yesterday\'s paper, same URL, there is a guest editorial from {Someone}, a local resident, who is heading the campaign against the library. Her editorial is entitled \"Bring the Internet to the public library, but take out the trash first\". You may want to note her shopping list of sites OTHER than pornography that she wants to censor.

SHE is the reason it has taken so long to bring the internet to our library. SHE is the one who promised legal action if she ever walking in and found unfiltered internet access at the library. \"

E-Books slowly gaining ground

Here\'s a story, from The Star-Telegram, on the business side of epublishing. More and more stories report on how epubs are going mainstream.

But lately there are signs emerging that the traditional literary community is
warming to a new alien form; Time Warner Trade Publishing wants to post
chapters or excerpts from coming books on the Fatbrain site and the company\'s
chief executive, Laurence J. Kirshbaum, calls the concept \"brilliant.\" And some
prominent authors and agents are beginning to place short works or out-of-print
books on the site, which is already a literary refuge for amateur writers yearning
to share their oeuvres -- \"Psoriasis -- My 35-Year-Itch That Vanished\" or \"Did
Russia Send Us AIDS?\"

Authors back protest over library closures

The Times UK has a short Report on library closures in the UK, and the growing protests against these moves.

Nearly 80 per cent of the nation\'s local authorities have cut library
services to save money, rather than because they were being under-used.
Yet the expenditure (the public library service costs 26p per person per
week, the price of a first-class stamp) was minuscule against the benefits,
she said.

The novelist Margaret Drabble was among celebrities who denounced
yesterday the closure of local libraries around the country as nothing less
than philistine. -- Read More

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