Why filtering is Unconstitutional

From Findlaw.com

The current filtering debate reminded me of the CDA debate from a few years ago, so I thought I would let the supreme court speak for me. The following paragraphs are taken from the Supreme Court Ruling on the CDA. While they did not rule on filtering perse, the text of the decision may apply to filtering. States that force libraries into filtering may find these laws ruled unconstitutional.

 


We find this argument singularly unpersuasive. The dramatic expansion of this new marketplace of ideas contradicts the factual basis of this contention. The record demonstrates that the growth of the Internet has been and continues to be phenomenal. As a matter of constitutional tradition, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, we presume that governmental regulation of the content of speech is more likely to interfere with the free exchange of ideas than to encourage it. The interest in encouraging freedom of expression in a democratic society outweighs any theoretical but unproven benefit of censorship.

Read on to make your own decision... -- Read More

Filtering Internet in Public Libraries

Jamie over at slashdot continues to report from the belly of the beast, Holland, MI. Checkit out here

At the League of Women Voters meeting in Holland\'s library on Monday night, I felt like I\'d walked into a ridiculous play, perhaps one like George Bernard Shaw\'s Heartbreak House.Monday night\'s meeting at the library was an informational forum arranged by the League of Women Voters. It opened with a detailed talk by a lawyer about exactly what the local ballot initiative means in legal terms, which was interesting to me but which many attendees found tedious. Oddly enough, the first item on his agenda was the First Amendment, which he simply skipped as too complicated. In the final analysis, of course, it may be the only legal issue of any importance. -- Read More

Librarian beats Boyle for top job

Lynne Brindley has become the first professional librarian to head the British Library since it was formally separated from the British Museum in 1972. Read this story Here. From Yahoo! News (UK).

TWO strands of important news emerged from the British Library in London yesterday. The first was that Lynne Brindley had got the chief executive\'s job. The second was that James Boyle had not.

Ms Brindley, a university librarian and former management consultant, becomes the institution\'s first female chief executive.

School Dumps Captain Underpants

LISnews\' very own Blake Carver used to be called \"Captain Underpants\", what an extraordinary coincidence! Anyway, check out this story. From Yahoo! News.

``Captain Underpants\'\' has proved no match for elementary school officials here, who have banished the cape-and-underwear-clad character from their library.

\"The Adventures of Captain Underpants: An Epic Novel,\'\' one in a series of four, features bathroom humor and two
mischievous boys.

Officials at Maple Hill School say the problem was that some fourth-graders started acting like the boys in the book.

Libraries try to get a reading on future needs

The Sacramento Public Library plans its future. Read about it Here. From the The Sacramento Bee.

\"What we\'re doing is having workshop participants envision what they want their library to be in the year 2020,\" said Richard Killian, library director. \"What are the things we need to do as a library, not to just keep up, but to move ahead?\"

Starting today, library officials will hold the workshops around the county.

Board: Aging libraries need money (New York)

Will Gov. George Pataki and the Legislature approve the spending? Read about it Here. From the Syracuse Post-Standard.

The state board that oversees New York\'s public libraries
is recommending $90 million to pay for physical improvements for library buildings over the next five years.

The state Board of Regents said Tuesday that New York\'s 1,080 public libraries need $800 million for construction, while the state spends just $800,000
annually. The regents said their proposal, \"Libraries 2001,\"
would provide a \"first step\" toward meeting that goal.

H.R. 354 Vote Coming Up

Infodude writes No URL available yet.

ALAWON: American Library Association Washington Office
Newsline
Volume 9, Number 6
February 8, 2000

In this issue:

Urgent Action Alert: Vote on Problematic Database Imminent; Ask
Your Representative to Vote Against H.R. 354 and For H.R. 1858
Today

Here we go again...! As early as the week of February 14, Rep.
Howard Coble\'s (R-NC) problematic database bill, H.R. 354, the
Collections of Information Antipiracy Act (which ALA opposes),
could come up for a vote in the House....Be sure to read on... -- Read More

E-Book in the stores

wired has a small Story about the first E-Book to make it into stores. This is what many see as the future of books, and libraries.

Author Carol Givner\'s book, Bing, Bang, Boom,published by Book-On-Disc is the first e-book to make the crossover to the bookshelves of the major chains.

Eight Barnes & Noble superstores are now
stocking the novel­-on-a-disk, which is showing up on the new-releases table right alongside John Grisham\'s latest hardcover.
\"There\'s no e-book section in any of these stores yet,\" said Givner, \"but that\'s just a matter of time.\" In readings, Givner attracts crowds of 50 or more who heard about her erotic thrillers through Internet buzz. -- Read More

Crackers still at it

One of Many Stories on the recent wave of DOS attacks on major web sites.

News.com also has a nice Wrap up story that explains how this kind of thing happens.

The weapons used to execute \"denial of service\" attacks, which crippled major Web sites this week, have existed in rudimentary form for decades. But security experts say several effective assault tools that help automate the launch of such attacks have been released only recently.

With names like Trinoo, Tribal Flood Network and Stacheldraht (German for \"barbed wire\"), these tools take advantage of otherwise innocent computers connected to the global network to launch a vast flood of traffic at their targets.

A cry for help from France

Judit Kiraly tschann@webstore.fr wrote in from France awhile ago with this request, I thought I would repost it for her.

\" I have \"inherited\" in December the presidency of the English-American Library of Nice. The problem is that what I know
about libraries is rather limited to my own experience of various establishments where I did my doctoral research.
It is a small, 20 000 volume English library in the south of France. I intend to do my best, but we are all voluntary and I am
the one who does most of the organising/running of it with the help of some very nice but totally unqualified voluntary
librarians. The place is reasionably organised and indexed, but when it comes to improving it - I definitely need professional
advice.--Read more for her questions. -- Read More

Knowledge Management and the Corporate Librarian

Steven Bird writes in from Australia... \"Found this article that supports the changing role of librarians. We need to be proactive in playing a role in Knowledge Management. We have the necessary skills...we have been managing \"knowledge\" as a profession for hundreds of years! Now all of a sudden IT people have discovered the value of managing knowledge and act like it\'s never been done before. What do Librarians do? get back in the corner of their library and cry about how we have missed another opportunity to show our true value! \"

The article is a good read, be sure to check it out.

\"It\'s something that\'s a great opportunity at the moment for librarians and information specialists to get involved in. If they don\'t get involved, it\'s their own fault,\" -- Read More

The Slashdot Effect

Slashdot.org is the inspiration for lisnews.com (as some of you were nice enough to point out). Forbes has a fantastic Story Here on slashdot, and the hordes of readers they have. If you\'ve ever visited slashdot, this story will be worth a read.

With an active readership estimated to be as high as 700,000--staggering by new-media standards--Slashdot has become a Web leviathan. \"[For] geeks like me,\" he chuckles, \"Slashdot is different. People who are just like you comment on it--people who actually know sometimes what they\'re talking about.\" -- Read More

Pro-filter groups plan big push

Michigan Live continues the great coverage of the filtering debate in MI here; with news of the latest push from the pro-filtering groups.

Two groups fighting for Internet filters at Herrick District Library are ready to launch a campaign blitz for the Feb. 22 ballot initiative, each using a different tactic.

The Family Research Council plans to establish a lobbying committee so the nonprofit group can openly campaign for the issue.

The American Family Association, on the other hand, is providing a sizable donation to the Holland Area Citizens Voting YES! to Protect Our Children. -- Read More

Ebay hit with antitrust suit

infodude writes \"Auction aggregator Bidder\'s Edge has filed an antitrust lawsuit against eBay Inc., charging that the auction giant engages in unfair business practices and is trying to monopolize the online auction market.

The Computer World Article \"

EBay is trying to stop Bidder\'s Edge from accessing eBay and then placing eBay product and price information on its own site. In addition, eBay\'s lawsuit alleges that Bidder\'s Edge, which lists information from numerous auction sites, engages in unfair business practices and computer fraud.

Meeting the Information Literacy Needs of Spanish Speakers

Dawn Smith writes \"I was curious to see what sort of technology services are offered to multicultural patrons - specifically Hispanic & Spanish speaking patrons - at libraries around the country. It seems to me that there is a huge gap in these services. The New York public library offers one computer class in Spanish (for all of the branches too, not just the main library)! I am doing some research on this, I would be really interested in comments, or even a story. Thanks!
Dawn Smith \"

Bryan College Fire - Scopes Monkey Trial documents

Dawn Loomis writes \"Bryan College in Tennessee had a fire over the weekend. The library was severely damaged. Included in that damage was the original docments from the Scopes Monkey Trial. \"
Check it out HERE

The most significant loss of the college\'s memorabilia from the trial of John Scopes, a science teacher prosecuted for teaching evolution, was William Jennings Bryan\'s personal copy of Charles Darwin\'s \'\'The Origin of Species.\'\'

Utah requiring libraries to filter Net

Freedomforum.org, which is always a great resource for IF and censorship news, has a Story from the filtering front.

The House Public Utilities and Technology Committee has unanimously approved a bill that would block state funding to any public library that does not restrict minors from accessing obscene material.

The sponsor, state Rep. Marlon Snow, R-Orem, the bill is intended to ensure that children are not viewing obscene material, intentionally or unintentionally, at the public library. -- Read More

Misinformation Services - Nation’s School Libraries Desperate for Funding

Read this story Here. From ABCnews.com.

In America’s schools these days, students can learn more than the usual reading,writing and arithmetic. They can find out the benefits of asbestos insulation, the geography of
the U.S.S.R. or how man will someday walk on the moon.

Groups Fight Potter Banning

Publishers Weekly has a very short Blurb on the groups rallying for Hary Potter.


A number of industry organizations are beginning to rally to the defense of the Harry Potter titles, which, according to the American Library Association, were the most frequently banned books last year.

The focal point for the industry initiative is the actions taken last November by Gary Feenstra, the superintendent of Zeeland, Mich., public schools, who prohibited the Potter titles from being read in classrooms and limited access to the books by placing them in the school library where students could only check them out with parental permission. In addition, Feenstra ruled that the district would not buy any forthcoming additions to the series. -- Read More

Information Seeking on the web

First Monday, \"A Peer reviewed Journal\", has a short study on how people search. See it HERE,

This paper presents findings from a study of how knowledge workers use the Web to seek external information as part of their daily work. Thirty-four users from seven companies took part in the study. Participants were mainly IT specialists, managers, and research/marketing/consulting staff working in organizations that included a large utility company, a major bank, and a consulting firm.

The research presented here suggests that people who use the Web as an information resource to support their daily work activities engage in a range of complementary modes of information seeking, varying from undirected viewing that does not pursue a specific information need, to formal searching that retrieves focused information for action or decision making. -- Read More

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