Saturday, October 20, 2001

[BBC News]

Internet Radio Aids Community Development in Africa:

From his office in the rural market centre of Rongo in southern Kenya, Alsen Oduwo is able to access information from all over the world.

Beside him is a special radio connected to an adapter card in a Pentium computer. On the other end, the radio is connected to a detachable micro-dish receiver outside the window.

As the information and training manager for the Community Mobilisation Against Desertification (C-MAD), a development agency that promotes food security and good health in Kenya, he is busy downloading useful information to hand on to organisation members . . .

The WorldSpace satellite network is an innovative communication technology that enables people to access information even in the remotest villages where there are no telephone lines or electricity . . .


Security Systems Standards and Certification Act Hearing Due on 10/25:

Senator Fritz Hollings will testify about his proposed SSSCA legislation before the Senate Commerce Committee on October 25. While the Open Source community is acquainted with the potential effects of this bill on freedom from government intrusion on our private activities, many businesses that use Open Source software, government agencies who sponsor Open Source projects, and lawyers who specialize in technology issues either have not heard of the bill, or do not understand its implications.

Eben Moglen, chief counsel for the Free Software Foundation, is succinct: "SSSCA is a deliberate attempt to destroy free software."

Time for a little naive but inspiring 60s radicalism - the John and Leni Sinclair Papers, 1957-1979 at the University of Michigan's Bentley Historical Library. A generous helping of links to scanned items from the collection is included - among them a photo of the MC5, a Trans-Love Energies poster, and the cover of the first issue of Guerrilla.
Myojo sho

Myojo sho by Yosano Akiko (Tokyo: Kaneo Bun'endo, 1918)

A Hundred Harvests: the History of Asian Studies at Berkeley

A Hundred Harvests: the History of Asian Studies at Berkeley, was an exhibit in the Brown Gallery of Doe Library from June 20, 1997 through February 1, 1998. It lives on here as a virtual exhibit. Through archival holdings and matchless library collections showcased in the exhibit, the story unfolds of the scholars and philanthropists who founded and nurtured the Asian programs that today are consistently rated the best or among the best in the country and that attract scholars and students from all over the world.

[Canada NewsWire]

Canadian publishers move to protect old growth forests:

Environmental groups today congratulated 20 of Canada's leading publishers for committing to stop using paper made from ancient forests. Literary giants such as McClelland & Stewart, Random House Canada, Douglas & McIntyre, Penguin Canada and Raincoast Books have pledged to publish all books on ancient-forest-friendly papers by the end of 2004.

For the past year, publishers have been working with the Markets Initiative to develop environmentally-responsible purchasing policies that protect the world's ancient forests . . . Canadian author Timothy Findley also applauded the decision to phase out the use of paper made from ancient forests. "Libraries are the home of our cultural heritage, holding the wisdom of generations. Ancient forests are nature's library, home to our biological heritage, protecting species for the future," said Mr. Findley.

Thursday, October 18, 2001

Library Juice 4:37 is available.
[Publishers Weekly (registration required)]

War and the Renaissance in University Publishing:

To say publishing has changed since the attacks is to downplay the transformation of the world we now inhabit--a place where Costco orders from Yale University Press, where the director of Rutgers UP finds packs of editors at Frankfurt clamoring for her attention, where Princeton can say with no exaggeration that a book titled The Paradox of Patriotism is selling briskly.

These are heady times for university presses, who, after a decade of trying to move into the trade, have now found the trade, rather suddenly, moving to them. Yale's
Taliban by Ahmed Rashid has landed on the Times bestseller list with six-figure sales numbers more appropriate to The Rock, while authors like Princeton's Bruce Lawrence (Shattering the Myth) have made somewhere in the neighborhood of eighty media appearances.

Orbis Sensualium Pictus

Orbis Sensualium Pictus by John Amos Comenious, 1659

"Picturing Childhood: The Evolution of the Illustrated Children's Book" a circa 1997 exhibit from the UCLA libraries. Thanks to the Women Children's Book Illustrators site for the tip. Fewer giant graphics and more hard news in the coming week, I promise :)
[Chronicle of Higher Education]

More on the resignation of the editorial board of Machine Learning:

In another sign of scientists' discontent with costly traditional journals, at least half the editorial board of a journal on artificial intelligence has resigned to join a competing journal that is distributed free online.

Forty computer scientists at the traditional journal, Machine Learning, signed a resignation letter this month and distributed it widely. It said the journal's subscription fee was so high that scientists' articles were not reaching a wide-enough readership, and also complained about the publisher's restrictions on circulating articles online.

Thanks to LISnews.

In the absence of any standout library news today, one more great non-library link - Soundprint's program "Zoom Black Magic Liberation Radio":

Mbanna Katanko's pirate radio station, broadcast from a corner of his living room, is heard in a two mile radius ofthe John Hay Homes housing project in Springfield, IL. 'Zoom Black Magic Radio' has attracted a relatively large audience with its mix of rap and reggae music, listener call-ins and political commentary. It has also attracted the attention of the FCC, the local legal system and the Springfield Police, all of whom have attempted to shut the stationdown. Producer Gary Covino gives us this this profile.

Howl poster

"Posters American Style"
An online exhibit from the Smithsonian American Art Museum

[New Scientist]

U.S. buys rights to satellite images of Afghanistan:

The US government has bought exclusive rights to images from Ikonos, the world's most advanced commercial imaging satellite. The deal covers pictures of Afghanistan and parts of surrounding nations . . .

The images will be of little practical use to the military, which already has seven orbiting imaging satellites with a resolution down to 10 centimetres. However, the deal will stop images falling into the hands of the Taliban or the Al-Qaeda terrorist network, says a spokesman for the Pentagon.

If the images are in the public domain, "compromising operational security is a definite concern," he says. The images could reveal the deployment of US ground troops, for instance. "We want to have the photographs for our own use and not the enemy's," he adds.

However, some commentators believe the main motivation behind the buy-up is to prevent images of civilian targets hit during bombing raids reaching the media . . .

[New York Times]

Walking Manhattan with Ishmael on Moby Dick's 150th anniversary:

"Circumambulate the city of a dreamy Sabbath afternoon. Go from Corlears Hook to Coenties Slip, and from thence, by Whitehall, northward. What do you see?"

Call me literal-minded. The other day — it was not the Sabbath, and it was morning, but my state of mind was appropriately dreamy — I followed Ishmael's instructions, attempting to provide an earnest answer to his rhetorical question. And I found that, though everything has changed, Ishmael and I inhabit the same city . . .

[The Age]

Anti-war protestors have set up camp on the lawn of the State Library of Victoria in Melbourne:

Members of the Peace Embassy have set up 12 tents on the lawn and have been keeping a "peace vigil" to protest against the war in Afghanistan.

Earlier today they were issued an eviction notice by the library, and were asked to leave by 3 pm today.

But union support for the group has made the library reconsider, and it has now asked the group to use the area as an information area by day, with one or two tents, and to leave the site at night.

Wish they'd found a less trite way to go about it, though.

Wednesday, October 17, 2001

WAR IS OVER IF YOU WANT IT love, infolibre]

AIU: A Yoko Ono Box

[a big, beautifully designed tribute]
Walker Art Center's Tree Planting Project:

[Joseph] Beuys envisioned projects occurring throughout the world inspired by his "7000 Oaks". In conjunction with the Walker Art Center's exhibition of Beuys' multiples from the permanent collection, the Walker has undertaken a tree-planting project . . .

In Cass Lake, a reservation town in Northern Minnesota, 1,031 seedlings were planted representing approximately one tree per resident. Although the planting itself took place over a one-week period in late May 1997, Bockley made frequent trips north over a five-month period prior to the actual planting to assure that the project "grew" in a way that was determined by the needs and personality of the community itself . . .

The mysterious groovylab presents onsundaymornings, a new series of digital art editions. The most recent consists of two MP3s and a Flash movie by John Hudak.

Tuesday, October 16, 2001


A virtual visit to the Weymouth of John Cowper Powys.

library silence -
a spider skitters cautiously
through Virginia Woolf

-Noor Khalsa

"Fresh haiku, delivered daily" from tinywords.
Bobby 3.2:

A free, web-based tool that analyzes HTML documents and suggests changes that will make your page more easily accessible to disabled users.

infolibre doesn't quite make the grade, but I'll be working to make it compliant.

Monday, October 15, 2001

Peace News, a new feature from wood s lot.

Sunday, October 14, 2001

ALA Social Responsibilities Round Table Coordinator Fred Stoss reports:

The Senate passed its anti-terrorism legislation, S. 1510, very late on Thursday night, October 11th. The final vote was 96 to 1 with Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) the only Senator voting against the bill. (Not-voting: Senators Domenici (R-NM), Helms (R-NC) and Thurmond (R-SC). Feingold made four amendments addressing many of the privacy and civil liberties issues of concern to the library community and others. All four of his amendments were tabled and thus never came to a floor vote.

But Feingold was not completely alone. For example, twelve Senators supported Feingold's "computer trespassing" or hacking amendment, one of the key amendments supported by ALA and our library association allies, the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). In a procedural vote on tabling the amendment, which would have attempted to give more rational protection to access to confidential information such as library and student records, voting with Feingold were Senators Bingaman, Boxer, Collins, Corzine, Dayton, Harkin, Levin, Stabenow, Wellstone, Cantwell, Specter, and Durbin.

THANK YOU to all library supporters who called their U.S. Senators. We believe that your calls were a contributing factor in getting Feingold some colleagues to stand with him. Those senators who spoke in favor of Feingold's proposals often referenced the library records issue as well as the concerns of higher education. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) even mentioned that her state librarian had contacted her about the problems in the bill.

Let It Go

It is this deep blankness is the real thing strange.
   The more things happen to you the more you can't
     Tell or remember even what they were.

The contradictions cover such a range.
   The talk would talk and go so far aslant.
     You don't want madhouse and the whole thing there.

   -William Empson

Thanks again to wood s lot.
Jonnie Hargis, the UCLA library employee censured for his email criticizing U.S. foreign policy, was a guest on "Democracy Now!":

One day after the September 11 attacks, a librarian at the UCLA research library sent out a mass e-mail to her coworkers citing a 1973 speech written by Gordon Sinclair titled "America: The Good Neighbor." Jonnie Hargis, who works in the same department of the library, sent out a mass e-mail response saying that the United States isn't such a good neighbor since it supports apartheid-like policies in Israel. He ended his email with the words, "So, who are the 'terrorists' anyway?" Library administrators got a hold of Hargis' response and said it violated a library policy prohibiting unsolicited messages that contain political or religious messages to be sent to department lists. Hargis was suspended without pay from Sept. 17 to 21, though the worker who sent the first mass e-mail has not been subjected to any disciplinary action. We have a clip of that speech, recorded in 1973, at the height of anti-US sentiment during the Vietnam War. The head of the library department told Hargis he was being suspended because his message "demonstrated a lack of sensitivity that went beyond incivility and became harassment," saying his comments "contribute to a hostile and threatening environment." The Coalition of Union Employees has filed a grievance with UCLA on behalf of Hargis.

Click here to listen. Thanks to Rory Litwin.

UPDATE: Dan Tsang posted these corrections to the description above to the Progressive Librarians Guild listserv:

Hargis is a library assistant at UCLA. CUE represents clerical workers at UC system. AFT is the union for represented librarians.