Urgent message from the ALA Washington Office: On Wednesday, July 28, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the amended H.R. 5319, the Deleting Online Predators Act (DOPA), by a vote of 410-15. We believe the legislation will now go to the Senate, which may or may not have time to vote on this before their … Read more Contact your Senators about DOPA
The Deleting Online Predators Act (DOPA) would deny E-Rate funds to libraries that do not block whatever social networking sites and chat services the FCC puts on a “bad” list. DOPA has just been passed by the house and is now in the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. At ALA Annual in New … Read more DOPA Resolution
Prior to Wednesday, the muqata’a was a large government building in Nablus, Palestine, originally built by the British in the 1920s and used until this week for civil government functions. It contained the archives of civil documents of the region, containing “hundreds of thousands of file cases and documents — birth and death certificates, identification … Read more Israel targets Nablus administrative records for destruction
International Committee of the Blue Shield statement on threatened cultural property in the Middle East conflict
The International Committee of the Blue Shield has released a statement on threatened cultural property in the Middle East conflict. The statement simply states the group’s concern about the conflict and the threat it poses to cultural property (artifacts, documents, art), and calls upon governments to ratify the The Hague Convention for the Protection of … Read more International Committee of the Blue Shield statement on threatened cultural property in the Middle East conflict
The Library of Congress Professional Guild (AFSCME 2910) recently published a paper by LC librarian Thomas Mann entitled, “What’s going on at the Library of Congress?” (PDF) The paper addresses a number of controversial decisions and statments from LC in recent months and years, including The Calhoun Report, the decision to stop producing Series Authority … Read more What’s going on at the Library of Congress? (Thomas Mann)
A new FAIR Action Alert reports that FEMA security guards are blocking journalists from talking to Katrina victims in FEMA trailer parks. FAIR cites the original story from the Baton Rouge Advocate. The report says that FEMA guards told reporters that Katrina victims are “not allowed” to talk to the media, that they “do not … Read more Katrina victims muzzled
I found this on the Librarian 2 blog: New Orleans Public Library has set up a wish list through the online book vendor Alibris, to help channel people’s desire to help them rebuild in more productive ways than sending them all kinds of random, falling-apart, donated books that NOPL has no need for anyway. NOPL … Read more New Orleans Public Library Wish List at Alibris
I’ve recently gotten into Wikipedia as a contributor, as Jessamyn West noted recently. She encouraged me to start editing articles during the ALA Midwinter Meeting back in January, but I didn’t start doing it until the head of reference where I work assigned me to learn about it so that I could teach the other … Read more Wikipedia and Why Librarians Make Good Wikipedia Contributors
It has seemed to me for quite some time that discussions about the American Library Association in the blogosphere and in the popular press often distort the nature of the association by focusing on one or two small activities as though they represent a major priority or budget item. I am part of the group … Read more What ALA is doing
Hymne ?É¬† l’?É¬©galit?É¬© par Marie-Joseph CH?É‚Ä?NIER (1764-1811) ?É‚Ä?galit?É¬© douce et touchante, Sur qui reposent nos destins, C’est aujourd’hui que l’on te chante, Parmi les jeux et les festins. Ce jour est saint pour la patrie ; Il est fameux par tes bienfaits C’est le jour o?É¬? ta voix ch?É¬©rie Vint rapprocher tous les Fran?É¬ßais Tu … Read more Hymne ?É¬† l’?É¬©galit?É¬©
The Dade County, FL, school board’s attempt to ban Vamos a Cuba, the children’s book that local Cuban expatriats complain paints too rosy a picture of life in the socialist country (blogged here on June 14th), is presently being held up as a result of the ACLU’s legal challenge. At the time of the ALA … Read more Vamos a Cuba update
In a blog post on if:Book titled the myth of universal knowledge 2: hyper-nodes and one-way flows, Ben Vershbow reports on a set of interesting discussions about international information flows, specifically the dominance of Western cultural products (including print and digital texts) in international markets, and what it means.
This month is the 40th anniversary of the Freedom of Information Act, which sets up the process by which the public can get access to unpublished government information. The National Security Archive at George Washington University has a page about the history of the FOIA since its signing by President Johnson in 1966. Also of … Read more 40th Anniversary of FOIA
Libraries in the UK have been in a state of crisis for the last decade or more far beyond the degree of troubles we’ve seen in the U.S. Library use is way down and so are budgets, and the cutbacks in hours and the closures of branches have been much worse than here. Part of … Read more The “Love Libraries” campaign (UK)
Washington State recently passed a law against internet gambling that contains a provision banning speech that “aids and abets” the gambling industry it defines as illegal. As it is explained in detail on this page, two major gaming industry magazines have cancelled their Washington State subscriptions, considering themselves banned by that law. This story did … Read more Censorship via Washington State Anti-Gambling Law
Susan Maret has an article in the latest issue of Progressive Librarian titled Formats are a Tool for the Quest for Truth: HURIDOCS Human Rights Materials for Library and Human Rights Workers. It is an interesting overview of the well-developed documentation system for human rights abuses.
Students of media consolidation and market censorship are well aware of the importance of small, independent and alternative publishers in providing balanced viewpoints in libraries. In our practice as librarians we know that there is an array of institutional challenges to learning about, acquiring and making available literature from these hidden corners of the publishing … Read more Resources for the Alternative Press
SRRT Statement to ALA Council, 6/28/06 The Action Council of the Social Responsibilities Round Table made the decision that we could not leave New Orleans without issuing a statement bearing witness to what we have seen, heard and experienced while here during ALA’s annual meeting. We have witnessed that the spirit, hospitality and creativity of … Read more SRRT Statement on New Orleans
ALA Annual 2006 Report to SRRT By SRRT Councilor Al Kagan Having our meeting in New Orleans after Katrina was strange, sad, and even heartbreaking for those who saw the worst of the devastation up-front. But those who volunteered to put libraries back together and gut houses came away with a great sense of satisfaction. … Read more Al Kagan’s Council Report to SRRT
Librarian Karen Coyle (who has so often been excellent on tech and privacy issues) has an article online, with lots of good pictures, titled, Proud to Swim Home: NOLA after Katrina. Link from Jessamyn West’s collection of post-conference links.