Acme Book News
(# Link to this item)
For cryin' out loud, KEEP THE LIBRARY!!!
Preserving our Heritage: The Case to Keep the Washington State Library by Secretary of State Pam Reed
Since 1853, we've honored and preserved our state history under one roof at the Washington State Library. Virtually any background a researcher has needed on history, state government and public policy issues has been available in one place, free-of-charge.
Now, picture Washington State in 100 years. It is the only state in America without a state library. A researcher is looking for facts on a particular issue that transcends generations. Maybe it's the environment or healthcare. Maybe it's our state economy. Maybe it's transportation. What happens to the research? What happens to pending legislation of the 22nd Century that demands a historical perspective? In 100 years, who exactly will have had the money and/or interest in preserving Washington State history in its entirety? To our knowledge, there's not a single organization in the state that could afford to shoulder the costs even with the collections moved to separate locations. Will our heritage then sit on shelves in the collections historians thought would prove most vital to their predecessors? How could they possibly have known?
Should a proposal to close the state library solidify, researchers, legislators, historians, and the state of Washington will go without the help, history, and perspective they need to improve the quality of life in the Northwest. [read more]
High book prices force students to photocopy by Lai Ting-ming
... As long as Taiwan remains marginalized and dependent on Western countries, the big bucks we have to pay for foreign-language books will only increase, not decrease. As the schools pursue internationalization, the demand for foreign-language textbooks will only rise, as will the cost of book purchases -- commensurately.
Few people photocopy books from China and Taiwan except when they are out-of-print editions, because books from China are cheap and Taiwan's book prices are in keeping with our standard of living. Foreign publishers should ask themselves whether it is reasonable to sell books to students in developing nations at prices set according to their own living standards.
The piracy situation will never be eliminated if this problem is not resolved. If foreign publishers take into account the living standards of developing countries and adopt more reasonable price-setting policies, then I believe the piracy problem will abate. [read more]
Jessamyn West: Freelance Librarian The Ultimate Antistereotype
If Jessamyn West was what people thought of when they thought of the word "librarian," our profession would be unbelievably cool. Visit West's web site (librarian.net) and you will find quickie reviews of the books she read in the past four years; her journal, "Abada abada"; her research projects (including surveying the literacy programs in America's public libraries); and an actual formal rÈsumÈ where she recounts her many jobs as researcher, reference librarian, writer, newsletter editor (Social Responsibilities Round Table of the American Library Association), ThinkQuest judge, and now coeditor for Revolting Librarians Redux. [read more]
More interesting stories about great librarians in the Library Journal special feature, Movers & Shakers.
(# Link to this item)
Bravo for the ALA
American Library Association to argue against mandatory Internet filtering in U.S. District Court March 25
Intellectual property power grab
From the Fact Sheet:
- CIPA abolishes a community's control of its library policies. More than 95 percent of libraries have Internet-use policies in place. Local libraries and their trustees and community members have created solutions that work.
- Filters simply do not work, and CIPA does not protect children. In test after test, filters have failed to block objectionable content, and they continue to restrict legal and useful content. Filters can give parents a false sense of security that their children are protected when they are not. Education is more effective than filters - kids need to make good decisions about what they read and view, no matter where they are.
- CIPA violates the First and Fifth Amendments because it makes access to funding and discounts for Internet use in public libraries contingent on accepting content and viewpoint restrictions on constitutionally protected speech. The law does not strictly only limit Internet access for minors, but also for adults and library staff.
- Poor communities and people with disabilities will be affected disproportionately if libraries are forced to choose between federal technology funding and censorship.
When elephants dance by Michael Fraase
When elephants dance, it's best to get out of the way. That's exactly what's happening now as the entertainment industry--the recording, publishing, and motion picture industries, mainly--attempts a worldwide intellectual property power grab with two distinct targets. Think of it: a coup and a lock on all published content in the same year, amazing isn't it? [read more]
What Hollings' Bill Would Do by Declan McCullagh
The University of North Texas Libraries and the U.S. Government Printing Office, as part of the Federal Depository Library Program, created a partnership to provide permanent public access to the electronic Web sites and publications of defunct U.S. government agencies and commissions. This collection was named the "CyberCemetery" by early users of the site.
(# Link to this item)
Clueless in Washington
Forget e-Books. Online publishers believe the biggest challenge to the "paperback in your pocket" will come from publishing on demand. Chris Middleton reports. [read more]
Anti-Copy Bill Hits D.C. by Declan McCullagh
Everyone's linking to it
Sen. Fritz Hollings has fired the first shot in the next legal battle over Internet piracy.
The Democratic senator from South Carolina finally has introduced his copy protection legislation, ending over six months of anticipation and sharpening what has become a heated debate between Hollywood and Silicon Valley.
The bill, called the Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act (CBDTPA), prohibits the sale or distribution of nearly any kind of electronic device -- unless that device includes copy-protection standards to be set by the federal government. [read more]
The Social Life of Paper by Malcolm Gladwell
...Paper is tangible: we can pick up a document, flip through it, read little bits here and there, and quickly get a sense of it. (In another study on reading habits, Sellen and Harper observed that in the workplace, people almost never read a document sequentially, from beginning to end, the way they would read a novel.) Paper is spatially flexible, meaning that we can spread it out and arrange it in the way that suits us best. And it's tailorable: we can easily annotate it, and scribble on it as we read, without altering the original text. Digital documents, of course, have their own affordances. They can be easily searched, shared, stored, accessed remotely, and linked to other relevant material. But they lack the affordances that really matter to a group of people working together on a report. ... [read more]
Framing Papers from the Conference on the Public Domain held at Duke Law School, November 9-11, 2001