Friday, November 16, 2001


Well, as the latest issues of Library Juice and the Free Online Scholarship Newsletter illustrate, there is a lot happening in the areas that I've been trying to cover in this 'blog - unfortunately, school and work have left me with almost no time to keep on top of the outside world, or to make updates here. So, I'll be shuttering infolibre until the end of December or so - though there may be a few additions if something really gets my hackles up.

ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom Advice for Libraries Re: USA PATRIOT Act

On October 25, 2001, Congress passed the “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act” (USA PATRIOT Act.) This law broadly expands the powers of federal law enforcement agencies investigating cases involving foreign intelligence and international terrorism.

The new legislation amends the laws governing the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s access to business records. One provision orders any person or institution served with a search warrant not to disclose that such a warrant has been served or that records have been produced pursuant to the warrant . . .

If you or your library are served with a warrant issued under this law, and wish the advice of legal counsel but do not have an attorney, you can still obtain assistance from Jenner & Block, the Freedom to Read Foundation's legal counsel . . .

Free Expression After September 11th - An Online Index:

Following the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, the National Coalition Against Censorship received repeated calls and e-mails from supporters, media, students and others concerned with free speech asking about censorship incidents arising from the attacks. Those who took the time to contact us are concerned that the events of 9/11 will result in incidents of government censorship and suppression of speech by private entities, as is often the case during times of crisis.

Because we share their concern, the National Coalition Against Censorship, in cooperation with other free speech organizatons, created this index so that those concerned with free expression will have one location that catalogs the various incidents of censorship and suppression of speech that are a direct result of the events of September 11th.

Thanks to Library Juice - Rory has cranked out two issues in one week!

Wednesday, November 14, 2001

Library Juice 4:40 is available.

Tuesday, November 13, 2001

[Washington Post]

U.S. Missile Destroys Al-Jazeera's Kabul Offices:

The Kabul office of the Arab satellite channel Al-Jazeera, which has been criticized by the United States for its coverage of the Afghan conflict, was hit early Tuesday by what the channel's director said was a U.S. missile . . . American officials have criticized Al-Jazeera's coverage of the bombing campaign as inflammatory propaganda . . .

Additional coverage from the Times of India, with thanks to Cursor.

Inform the World Librarian Volunteer Program:

The Inform the World (ITW) Program will train and place professional librarians from around the world. The volunteers will conduct practical service projects determined by the needs of their South African and Honduran host libraries. Previous ITW volunteers have trained librarians in basic skills such as how to inventory, weed, repair and catalog books. They also used their knowledge and creativity to help libraries reach out to and meet the needs of their communities. They have painted murals, taught workshops, made display boards, produced publicity fliers and pamphlets and helped clean, brighten and re-organize libraries. They have worked on projects ranging from creating a bookmobile to training students to work in their own libraries. After returning to the U.S., the volunteers also work with WLP to design projects that will continue to help the libraries they visited.

Monday, November 12, 2001


SAA Responds to Presidential Paper Restrictions:

I write to express the grave concern of the Society of American Archivists with respect to the President’s recent Executive Order 13233 on Presidential Papers . . .

Our apprehension over this Executive Order is on several levels. First, it violates both the spirit and letter of existing U.S. law on access to presidential papers . . . This law establishes the principle that presidential records are the property of the United States government and that the management and custody of, as well as access to, such records should be governed by the Archivist of the United States and established archival principles—all within the statutory framework of the act itself. The Executive Order puts the responsibility for these decisions with the President, and indeed with any sitting President into the future. Access to the vital historical records of this nation should not be governed by executive decree; this is why the existing law was created.

Second, on a broader level this Executive Order potentially threatens to undermine one of the very foundations of our nation. Free and open access to information is the cornerstone to modern democratic societies around the world . . .

Thanks to

[Daily Mail and Guardian]

Kenya's Camel Mobile Library Service:

In this age of the internet and electronic communication, around 1000 children in the eastern region of Kenya depend on a rather more tangible means of information delivery: the camel. The Kenya National Library Service uses the camels to circulate books to five primary schools near Garissa, 400 kilometers east of Nairobi.

It is one of the most disadvantaged regions of the country. The majority of its inhabitants are ethnic Somali nomads. Every fortnight, librarian Joseph Otieno, camel driver Ahmed Khalif and his three beasts arrive at the schools with some 500 titles in English and Swahili: strip cartoons, children's books and text books.

The primary school in one of the villages, Bour Algy, is lost at the end of a narrow path that winds through thorny trees, seven kilometers from Garissa and near the river Tana . . .

More on the Camel Mobile Library Service can be found here.
war damaged library

Croatian Libraries: The War is Behind Us, What Brings the Future?

Rudjer Boskovic Institute Library head Jadranka Stojanovski's 1996 description of post-war efforts to rebuild the digital infrastructure of Croatian libraries:

It is hard to describe those days - even during air raids, the librarians often helped by the readers tried to protect damaged buildings and put the library collections in safer places . . . In the past five years we have survived the war, we have defended our country, and we have built an information system which is not perfect, but is the best possible result of our efforts.