Library computer seizure makes the bigtime

The incident with the library computers being taken by law enforcement that I mentioned a few weeks back has now made a splash in the big media. Girl’s case had library, cops in privacy standoff. It’s interesting to see how the headline of the same AP article changes depending on who is using it. In another place it’s titled Library confrontation points up privacy dilemma or Kimball Library required warrant to view Brooke Bennett’s record’s

personal improvement projects and some links

So, I’m officially on a vacation which means I’m tootling around Portland Oregon visiting libraries and seeing friends. I am pleased to report that I am liking this vacation business and will endeavor to do more of it. My project as I mentioned earlier was to stay caught up on RSS feeds because I was starting to become one of those “who’s got time for all this?” people which was simply unacceptable. To that end, I used some stuck-in-airport time to cull down my list of RSS feeds I was following — deleting blogs that haven’t updated since 2005, removing blogs whose feeds have moved — and make sure everything I was following I was actually reading. I suggest you take some time to do the same. For the record, I follow about 150 feeds total. That includes friends, family, librarians, a few music blogs and some MetaFilter-work stuff. My next project is to catch up on all the music that needs listening to.

I have a short list of links to make sure I mention and then I’m all set and “caught up” in whatever that means for someone like me. I hope your Summer is treating you well.

what WGBH learned from Second Life

Second Life is one of those things that I mention in my talks about 2.0 stuff and outreach but I don’t have a lot of first hand experience with it. I don’t have time to be in an immersive community other than the one I work in, and the people in my real life communities aren’t really spending much time there. I’m always looking for examples of organizations (non-profits in particular) using Second Life as a tool to do whatever it is they’re already doing. I enjoyed reading Mike Janssen’s piece on what WGBH (a local Boston non-profit public broadcaster) learned from putting on a performance in Second Life.

why search, and search engine law, matters

My friend, lawyer and law professor James Grimmelmann, has written a short interesting article called The Google Dilemma about why people should care very much about how search engines work and what regulations and laws guide them. Using a few examples which may be familiar to many librarians he makes a great case for why corporate policy at Google matters and why people shoudl understand how Google works generally.

If the Internet is a gigantic library, and search engines are its card catalog, then Google has let the Chinese government throw out the cards corresponding to books it doesn’t like. There may be sites with full and honest discussion of the June 4, 1989 crackdown accessible on the Internet from China. But when those sites aren’t visible in search engines, we’re back to our field full of haystacks.

OCLC – “from awareness to funding…”

Dear OCLC,

I’m sure you do this for some very important reason, but spending $16 to express mail me a copy of a report that I didn’t ask for (though it does look quite interesting) seems wasteful. I go to the post office once a week and all express mail does is makes my postmistress agitated. While WorldCat is closer to being useful for me — showing one copy of Jane Eyre shown that is actually in my state before the ones one state over; the closest copy actually being about a quarter mile from here — I’d love it if you could apply this money to some sort of teeny-library scholarship fund so that we could benefit from WorldCat in Vermont instead of just hearing about how we can raise more money to pay you with.