Selections from American Libraries Direct June 18, 2008

From the American Library Association (ALA).*

Midwest libraries endure rising floodwaters
“Days of sandbagging could not keep the Cedar River out of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Overflowing barriers on June 12, it deluged more than 100 blocks of the city’s eastern side, including the Cedar Rapids Public Library (a YouTube video, above left, shows the library at about the 6:20 mark). Some 64 miles to the northwest, some 18 inches of water destroyed the wooden interior of the Elizabeth Rasmussen Martin Memorial Library in New Hartford (bottom left). In Iowa City, the University of Iowa ordered the June 13 closing of the Main Library and a number of other campus buildings in the wake of several area bridges collapsing. Hundreds of volunteers formed a chain (top right) to remove books and dissertations from the campus library, while others transferred artwork from the museum as the arts campus was submerged. River towns throughout the upper Midwest continue sandbagging in anticipation of record overflows predicted to hit by June 20…”

.ProQuest to acquire Dialog
“Ann Arbor, Michigan–based electronic publishing company ProQuest signed an agreement June 12 to purchase the Dialog database service from media company Thomson Reuters. The transaction is expected to close by mid-July, pending completion of a formal consultation period and other customary closing conditions, ProQuest CEO Marty Kahn told American Libraries. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed….”

Arkansas library evicts court from building
“In what might prove to be the end game in a conflict that has persisted for over a decade, the Pine Bluff–Jefferson County (Ark.) Library System served an eviction notice to District Court Judge Waymond Brown June 10 requiring him to remove his court’s operations from the ground floor of the library building. Division 2 of the Jefferson County District Court has occupied the space since 2001 in an arrangement that was intended as a temporary measure….”

Libel suit over digitized article dismissed
“A federal judge has dismissed a $1-million lawsuit filed by a Cornell University alumnus who claimed that the school libeled him in a 1983 Cornell Chronicle article reporting that he had been charged with third-degree burglary when he was a student. Back issues of the Chronicle, a newspaper published by the university’s press office, are being digitized by the campus library….”

Defining digital preservation
“The ALCTS Preservation and Reformatting Section has developed a definition of digital preservation. It was developed to promote an understanding of digital preservation within the library community as well as its allied professions and user communities. The definition marks a current understanding of digital preservation and grew out of a conversation held at the Digital Preservation Discussion Group at the ALA 2007 Midwinter Meeting….”

How to annoy a public librarian
“Five suggestions from Roland Saint-Laurent, among them: ‘If the computer you’re working at has icons, delete them all as soon as you finish your session. I don’t know why patrons do this, but I will occasionally see a computer station with either one, a couple, or all of the icons missing. Since there are a ton of computers in the library, it’s usually not a terrible inconvenience to the public,’ but it certainly is annoying to the staff..”..
Stay Down Here Where You Belong, June 17

Talking points against the new Canadian copyright bill
“A bill to amend Canadian copyright law that would make it illegal to circumvent digital rights management technologies, Bill C-61, is currently before Parliament. Brendon Wilson offers a concise set of talking points to use when educating your friends and informing your Member of Parliament about the wide-reaching ramifications of the legislation on consumers’ rights. Open Source Cinema has created a PSA video (0:50) about the bill….
Brendon Wilson, June 16; Open Source Cinema”

ISBNs for digital books
“Peter Brantley writes: “Already, publishers are making a single EPUB digital book package, and then leaving the proliferation of more discrete e-book reader formats to intermediaries, distributors, and wholesalers. Ingram will make the XYZ, Amazon will make the Kindle format. The publisher is only responsible for one file-the .epub package. We are rapidly jerking forwards into a near-term future where ISBNs will be assigned for derivative digital book products by intermediaries, not publishers.”…
Publishing Frontier, June 16”

100 useful web tools for writers
“Laura Milligan writes: ‘Whether you’re a freelance writer or someone with regular hours, the internet can provide you with unending support for your practical duties (like getting paid) and for your more creative pursuits-like developing a plot, finding inspiration, and playing around with words. Turn to this list for 100 useful web tools that will help you with your career, your sanity, and your creativity whenever you write.’…”

To see entire issue, click here.
____________________________ *Submitted by Philip Y. Blue, Senior Law Librarian New York Supreme Cour Criminal Term New York County

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