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July 27, 2005

Online conference on e/audiobooks

From Web4Lib:


On Thursday, July 28, 2005 the first of an ongoing series of online conferences about hot topics in librarianship and information technology will be held. The series is called "Let's Go Library Expo" and the July 28 online conference will focus on "Books, eBooks, and Audiobooks." The keynote speaker will be author Asra Nomani (Author of the new book Standing Alone in Mecca, one woman's pilgrimage to reclaim the rightful role of women in Islam).

Participation in this inaugural conference is free of charge for conference attendees. All you need to participate is a computer with a sound card, speakers, and an Internet connection. If you want to speak using Voice-over-IP (in addition to text chat) you need a computer microphone.


For more information about "Let's Go Library Expo: Books, eBooks, and Audiobooks," the July 28 online conference, go here. This online conference is supported by the Mid-Illinois
Talking Book Center
, the North Suburban Library System near Chicago, and the Alliance Library System in central Illinois.


For additional information about the entire "Let's Go Library Expo" series, click here.

"Let's Go Library Expo" is a service of Planet Library, an emerging full-service online library that will provide a wide variety of content and services for library users worldwide.

July 26, 2005

Buffalo PL update

Jill Hurst-Wahl has sent along an update on the Buffalo/Erie County Public Library system and its budget woes from a Buffalo-area newspaper:

Library board likely will close more than 19 branches

Administrators to review list of potential closures to make sure some service is available to all regions of the county

Library officials haven't finalized their list of library closures for next year, but a few things are becoming clear.

First, there's a growing likelihood that the library system will close more than 19 libraries - the low-end figure originally tossed out.

July 25, 2005

Gorman interview on USA PATRIOT Act

ALA President Michael Gorman was interviewed by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation about the USA PATRIOT Act.

He starts off with vim and vigour:

"It's very reminiscent of the '50s and the 'red scare' where people showed up at libraries trying to find which political books professors had read, because they were going to be put on a communist list or something," said Michael Gorman, a British-born librarian who heads the US library group.

But unfortunately undercuts himself (in my semi-humble opinion) at the end:

Gorman said he would be reluctant to go to jail to defend the implicit trusted relationship between librarians and readers.

"To be perfectly honest, I'm a 64-year-old academic librarian," he said. "I'm not going to go to prison over that kind of stuff."

... which begs many follow-up questions, but I'm going to leave it alone.

July 15, 2005

Lit Quote of the Month

For those of you who may be reveling or suffering in Harry Potter mania, and children's librarians everywhere, a quote for you from the Observer (UK):

The great children's books were written by emotionally backward men and women who were writing principally for themselves.

I suspect many of you figured that already, but it's not something I expect to see in print.

Another day, another letter to Google

From Bernie Sloan via the LITA-L list ...

The Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers has issued a letter to Google regarding the digitization of copyrighted works as part of the library portion of Google Print:

... Google’s representatives do not yet seem willing to arrive at a practical way forward in relation to in-copyright works which the publisher has not yet digitised. Google has variously stated that it wishes to collaborate fully with publishers; that it believes that the copying involved is covered by Fair Use/Fair Dealing (which we absolutely dispute); that the precedent of Kelly v ArribaSoft is applicable (which we also dispute); and that the copying is justified by the beneficial nature of the resultant use (which is no defence, in our view, against a copyright infringement).

The Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers calls on Google to cease unlicensed digitisation of copyright materials with immediate effect, and to enter into urgent discussions with
representatives of the publishing industry in order to arrive at an
appropriate licensing solution for ‘Google Print for Libraries’. We cannot believe that a business which prides itself on its cooperation with publishers could seriously wish to build part of its business on a basis of copyright infringement.

July 13, 2005

Eeek ...

Well, it looks like the Archive is being sued. I have no other info than what's in the article ...

July 08, 2005

Niagara Falls PL to close

From AL's news feed:

Niagara Falls Public Library Faces Imminent Closure

Although city funding ran out at the end of June, NFPL Executive Director Betty Babanoury told American Libraries that Mayor Vince Anello came up with enough to keep the library open through July. But if nothing is done to fund it for the rest of the year, 45 full- and part-time employees will lose their jobs and Niagara Falls will lose its library. To prepare for that possibility, the board appointed at the beginning of June a “closure coordinator,” former Canisius College Library Director George Telatnik, who confessed to Babanoury that this was “the worst possible job he'd ever been assigned.”


Library officials have scheduled a meeting with councilors July 12 to go over the budget again. “Both the council and Mayor Anello would like the library to stay open,” Babanoury said. One contingency plan proposed by Council Chairman Charles Walker is to use $1.4 million of the income from the Seneca Niagara Casino for the main library, while the city budget could fund the LaSalle branch.

Babanoury emphasized that if the library closes, it would be permanently. “But that decision has to go before the citizens of Niagara Falls as a vote because the library is in the city charter,” she added. “And I haven't run across anyone in the past six months who wants the library to close. It's been around a long time, since 1895.”

UN Library blog

The Dag Hammerskold Library of the United Nations has a reference weblog, going back to March 2005. How cool is that? Very cool, say I.

July 07, 2005


My thoughts and prayers go out to Londoners coping with the aftermath of the bombings ...

July 06, 2005

More info: orphan works roundtables

I repeat myself --

From the Copyright Office:


The Copyright Office will hold public roundtable discussions regarding orphan works in Washington, D.C., on July 26-27, and in Berkeley, California, on August 2. The Office has identified several general topic areas for discussion during the roundtables, and has organized a preliminary agenda according to these issue areas. Persons wishing to participate in the roundtables must submit a request to participate to the Copyright Office by 5:00 p.m., E.D.T. on July 15, 2005. REQUESTS TO PARTICIPATE MUST CONTAIN CERTAIN INFORMATION, AND MUST BE SUBMITTED ACCORDING TO INSTRUCTIONS SPECIFIED BY THE OFFICE. Further information on the topic areas and the preliminary agenda and on how to submit a request to participate is contained in a Notice to be published in the Federal Register on July 7, 2005, but is also now available on the Office's orphan works webpage as well, at www.copyright.gov/orphan.

Many more specifics on participating in the roundtable, and the topics under consideration, can be found on the PDF listed below, or you can check the Federal Register for July 7th (i.e. tomorrow as this is written).

I forgot in the Info-Commons post ... there's a calendar:


July 15: Requests to participate in the Orphan Works roundtables in Washington, D.C. on July 26*27, and in Berkeley, California, on August 2 must be received by the Copyright Office by 5:00 p.m. E.D.T. on July 15, 2005. For more information, go to www.copyright.gov/fedreg/2005/fr-roundtables.pdf

July 21: Due date for reply comments on procedural regulations governing the Copyright Royalty Board (70 FR 30901)

July 26 and 27: Dates of public roundtable discussions regarding orphan works, in Washington, D.C.

August 2: Date of public roundtable discussions regarding orphan works, in Berkeley, California

July 01, 2005

Seeking equilibrium and fireworks

I've been fighting a losing battle between trying to grok Grokster and recover from ALA Chicago simultaneously.

I still have an uncompleted draft of a post on the Grokster decision; I think I'm going to take another looksee around various librarian weblogs to see if what I want to say has already been said.

In the meantime, Chris Dodge, formerly of Hennepin Public Library and currently a librarian/columnist with Utne Magazine, has an article in the latest issue of Utne called Knowledge for Sale (also available as a PDF). Be aware that it isn't simply a warm fuzzy to libraries. Dodge takes issues with baffling and unintuitive LC subject headings, collection development prioritized mostly by popular demand (mercantile librarianship is what it was called in my CollMgmt class) and trophy library buildings popping up while older branches are closed or severely limited in accessibility and library workers are laid off. Some readers may find it pedantic and polemic; others thought-provoking and daring. I find it interesting because it ties so many current (and long-standing) trends in public libraries in one package. YMMV.

[Edit: Pfui! I knew I forgot something ... the "fireworks" in the header of this post refers to literal ones: for the American readers, have a Happy Fourth of July!]