Selections from American Libraries Direct. July 23, 2008. 2

The eNewsletter of the American Library Association (ALA): July 23, 2008.

Child Online Protection Act gets third strike
“After a decade of federal litigation and two decisions that were returned to lower courts from the Supreme Court for further review, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals July 22 unanimously declared unconstitutional for the third time the Child Online Protection Act of 1998 on First and Fifth Amendment grounds. ‘The government has no more right to censor the internet than it does books and magazines,’ Chris Hansen, ACLU senior staff attorney, remarked after the ruling was handed down….”

ACLU challenges expanded FISA powers
“President George Bush signed into law July 10 the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, a bill expanding legal authority for wiretaps by spy agencies that has been hotly debated since the February expiration of the Protect America Act. Within hours of the bill’s signing, the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit in the U.S. Southern District Court of New York challenging its constitutionality on First and Fourth Amendment grounds….”

New ALA award for best book in library literature
“From 2009 through 2013, the Greenwood Publishing Group Award for the Best Book in Library Literature will consist of $5,000 and a commemorative plaque. It will be given to an author or coauthors whose work exemplifies excellence in library and information studies. The award was established at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California….”

World’s oldest Bible goes online
“More than 1,600 years after it was written in Greek, one of the oldest copies of the Bible will become globally accessible online for the first time on July 24. High-resolution images from the Codex Sinaiticus, which contains the oldest complete New Testament, as well as notes on the work made over centuries, will appear on the Codex Sinaiticus Project website as a first step towards publishing the entire manuscript by next July….”

Facebook gets a facelift
“Facebook rolled out a major redesign of its social networking site late July 20 featuring a cleaner interface that links feed technology with user forums. Company officials said the updated site will give users more control and ownership over their profiles. The new version, now in limited use, will be rolled out gradually to Facebook’s 80 million users. The new look is all about the Wall, the blank space on a profile page that users can fill in with stories, photos, links, and the ever-popular Status Updates….”
New York Times, July 21; TechNewsWorld, July 22

WebAnywhere overcomes visual impairments
“Blind persons generally use computers with the help of screen-reader software, but those products can cost more than $1,000, so they’re not exactly common on public computers at libraries. WebAnywhere, developed by a computer science graduate student at the University of Washington, is an internet application that can make web surfing accessible on most any computer….”
Associated Press, July 16

Online journal access reduces citation breadth (subscription required)

“Scholarly access to more and more journal articles online may have the effect of slowing the steady increase in the number of citations of discrete articles, according to a study published July 18 in Science. University of Chicago sociologist James A. Evans found that as more articles appear online, scholars’ citations tend toward more recent and less diverse articles….
Chronicle of Higher Education, July 18”

Difficulties in determining copyright status
“Peter Hirtle discusses the impact that the 1996 copyright restoration of foreign works has had on U.S. copyright status investigations, and supplies some new steps that users must follow in order to investigate the copyright status of any work. He argues that copyright restoration has made it almost impossible to determine with certainty whether a book published in the United States after 1922 and before 1964 is in the public domain. Digital libraries wanting to offer books from this period do so at some risk….”

To see the complete issue in html format, click here.
D-Lib Magazine 14, no. 7/8 (July/Aug.)

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