DOPA, what? A wrap up, post vote.

I probably should have mentioned in the title that my post yesterday was discussing DOPA. It’s certainly been a topic today, here are just the posts that I saw in my aggegator today.

And then there’s the blogads on Technorati which just say “Looking for Dopa? Find exactly what you want today.” Har har.

crap, filtering bill on the move

Straight form the Center for Democracy and Technology: “The House of Representatives has passed a bill that would force schools and libraries to block chat and social networking sites as a condition of receiving federal E-rate funding.” This bill is also known as DOPA, also known as bad news for libraries. Putting the Federal Communications Commission in charge of what can and can’t be accessed in libraries is total madness. Granted, this is the same as CIPA where only libraries who receive universal service support have to be subjected to it. The phrase “harmful to minors” which is not a legally defined term will be the standard for what gets filtered under this legislation. I guess I have just a few questions

1. If CIPA didn’t fix this problem — and recall, it was supposed to — why will this bill succeed where it failed? Have filters gotten better? Have the “bad guys” gotten dumber?
2. Doesn’t this create a class system of libraries where the ones who can forego federal funding can make choices that the ones who cannot are unable to make? Isn’t this sort of anti-American?
3. Doesn’t DOPA not solve any problem at all if it’s not applied to all schools and libraries and, in fact, the entire Internet, really? Does anyone have any data on where teens access the Internet besides school and the library? Is anyone doing anything about those places?
4. Isn’t having the FCC publish an annual list of chatrooms and social networking sites that “have been shown to allow sexual predators easy access to personal information of, and contact with, children” just creating a how to list for pedophiles and, as such, totally counterproductive?
5. Have any of you Representatives ever used a social networking site or a chat room?

Washington DC and keeping busy

July and August are often dead months for people work-wise because so many people are on vacation and the weather (in the US anyhow) is often hot and stultifying. I’ve been busy this Summer and I thought I’d just let you know what I’ve been up to besides all the job stuff that you likely know about.

  • I wrote a chapter for Rachel Singer Gordon’s upcoming book Information Tomorrow: Reflections on Technology and the Future of Public and Academic Libraries. My topic was technostress, technophobia and technorealism. As many of the other chapter authors know, a summertime writing deadline is one of the few things that can induce technostress in me. On the bright side, I got a lot of other things done as part of my aggressive procrastination plan, and the chapter is finished and I am happy with it.
  • I am now a co-editor of the From Picas to Pixels column of Serials Review along with current editor Michael Brown a longtime blogger librarian buddy of mine. He interviewed me for the last issue and I interviewed Jenna Freedman about zine librarianship for the latest issue. The column, in Michael’s words, “interview[s] indie-publishers about why they do what they do. It started out with print zines but has taken on websites recently.” If you have good ideas for topics, please send them my way. If I had a job job, this would help me get tenure, I bet.
  • Speaking of jobs, I’m also working on an introduction to A Day in the Life edited by Priscilla K. Shontz and Richard A. Murray. It’s a collection of almost a hundred librarians talking about what they do all day. Fascinating stuff.
  • Speaking of fascinating, I’m going to DC next week to speak on a panel at the Society of American Archivists conference. My talk is on Saturday the 5th and it’s about blogs as places where information is actually created and why this is important to archivists. As always I’m looking for interesting things to do in DC and possibly Baltimore. I’m already planning a visit to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum Library where I know the systems librarian and possibly the Library of Congress where I know the THOMAS webmaster. Do you work in a library in DC/Baltimore? Would you like to show me around it? If so, please drop me an email.