November 27, 2001

Net porn law heads to high court
The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday will consider whether it should reinstate a controversial online porn law.
The high court will hear arguments related to the constitutionality of the Child Online Protection Act (COPA), a law that was passed three years ago but never took effect. COPA would make it illegal for companies to sell sexually explicit material to minors and would impose steep prison sentences and fines on violators.

Antiquarian Librarians
Forget "quiet, please." Bibliophily is serious business at UCLA's William Andrews Clark Memorial Library. Celebrating its 75th anniversary year, this gated haven for rare books and manuscripts occupies a square block in L.A.'s West Adams district, and one tours the elegant rooms of the European baroque-style main building by appointment. Most volumes are under lock and key, with pillows and "book snakes" on hand to protect bindings when books are being read. "Use of pen and ink is prohibited," reads a sign atop the old wooden card catalog.

November 26, 2001

Libraries may get computer blinders
Town council has adopted a resolution asking local library officials to install screens that would allow pornographic Internet material to be seen only by the individual seated at the computer.
Let's hear it for a rational decision.

November 20, 2001

The Anti-Thesaurus: A Proposal For Improving Internet Search While Reducing Unnecessary Traffic Loads
In the continual struggle between search engine administrators, index spammers, and the chaos that underlies knowledge classification, we have endless tools for "increasing relevance" of search returns, ranging from much ballyhooed and misunderstood "meta keywords", to complex algorithms that are still far from perfecting artificial intelligence. Proposal: there should be a metadata standard allowing webmasters to manually decrease the relevance of their pages for specific search terms and phrases.

November 19, 2001

The Greatest Danger Comes from Within Spot on commentary inspired by some flag waving at a public library.
One of these days Steven and I are going to have to put together an entirely too long list of terrible library pun headlines. Looking Up in the Library.

November 18, 2001

Bridging the digital divide in Namibia
"While there are no libraries, these children desperately need information resources," says Joris Komen, SchoolNet's executive director. "What we are trying to do is to empower the youth with internet to serve as a quick information source."

November 14, 2001

Camels relieve thirst for printed word among Kenya's nomads Coolest link ever? Definitely in the running. (link boosted from infolibre, which by the way, rocks socks)

November 12, 2001

U of T's porn test
At the University of Toronto, behind a door marked "Do Not Enter Alarmed Directly To The Toronto Police Service," two students are cataloguing what may be one of the largest collections of modern pornography in Canada. Neither seems particularly alarmed.
The Deserted Library
University libraries bring to mind undergraduates rooting through dusty stacks or sitting in reading rooms with their noses buried in tomes. These days, however, more and more students are entering libraries not through turnstiles but through phone lines and fiber-optic cables.

November 11, 2001

Alabama keeps evolution warning on books
There was plenty of debate when Alabama began putting stickers in its students' biology textbooks warning that evolution is a "controversial theory."
U.S. Will Monitor Calls to Lawyers Can we all agree that Ashcroft et al are seriously f'ing up this country? Non library related, yet. But just you wait.
Confessions of a serial library fine payer
Guilty as charged. It is absolutely true that on the very rare occasion that I actually return a library book on time, librarians all over the country rejoice. I think they have e-mail alerts set up much like CNN's breaking news e-mail updates, details to follow.
Library's mandatory-transfer policy will stand
Palmer was among seven longtime employees who in recent months have been ordered to move to different departments or library branches. The transfers are part of the library's long-standing policy of regularly moving employees so they learn new duties, Napoli said.

November 08, 2001

Someone found this site searching for coolest weblogs. Of course many more people find this site searching for geek porn. So, you know, whatever.

November 06, 2001

Librarians' Book Club
The Librarian's Book Club is a group to read and discuss books that are about libraries and the library profession. Every two months the Librarian's Book Club will select a new book to discuss. All you need to do is get yourself a copy of the current book and subscribe to the discussion list.

November 04, 2001

Library checks out from old building Get it? 'Checks out', heh.
New library equipment increases access for the blind
Because it is often difficult to find people to help them locate books and read to them in the library, blind people typically request materials to be mailed to them for at-home use. The Savannah Library for the Blind mails books on tape and special playback equipment to visually and physically handicapped users free of charge.
A good friend is visually impaired and I can't stress enough how important programs like this one are to him and others.
Libraries offer more than just books Is it just me, or does one of these headlines appear about once a month or so?