Sunday, September 30, 2007

US celebrates Banned Books week

This week is Banned Books week. There's lots of great stuff going on and lots of great links to send you to, but I thought that I would start with everyone's favorite library cartoon hero, Dewey:

Friday, September 28, 2007

Right to Know Week

September 28th to October 5th is Right to Know Week in Canada. For the Albertan link, please visit

Library holds and privacy issues

Here's an interesting story about privacy issues relating to how libraries make holds available for their patrons to pick up. According to the article, the public library in question leaves the holds out on shelves where patrons can retrieve them, much in the same way that the UofA's Rutherford Library or the Edmonton Public Library does. The problem is that instead of using the first four letters in the patrons name and/or the last four digit in their library card number, private information is in full view (for example, people passing by can see the full name of the person who put the book on hold). And, while it is true that most people have nothing to hide, I think that I would be hesitant to put anything of a sensitive nature on hold. The examples that Mr. Jaffa (the patron who pointed out the issue) pointed out are good ones - I wouldn't want anyone to know if I needed resources on divorce or cancer. Those are private issues and the library ought to try and keep them private.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Censored art

Everything you ever wanted to know about censored art - the banning, the bleeping, and the out right media blackouts. This website will fascinate you and make you want to rent a banned movie or get down to that banned music:

By the way, did you know that in 1918 Manitoba banned comedy films? Were comedies that risque back then :)

Freedom of Expression Project, revisited

We've already posted the link to the Freedom of Expression Project, but I wanted to mention it again because it's a great website and they have tonnes of interesting and thought provoking news items. You can subscibe to the RSS feed (heck, you can even choose which subset of feeds oyu want - informaton and debate, drivers of change, etc.). You can check out their handy glossary, which has definitions for everything from "blog" to media democracy. They even have a great list of web resources.

Privacy vs. security

An interesting article on the privacy vs. security issue: Who's making decisions on privacy vs. security?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Woman refuses to return sex ed book

Critic of sex education book refuses to return library copies

Another great example of how force censorship can just make an item all the more popular. After writing a letter to a newspaper, the book in question became more popular. So what's going to happen now that the story made the news and is circulating far and wide.

... hmm, I wonder if my local library has that book.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Whistleblowing and librarianship

From the FAIFE-L listserv:

An interesting article discussing the issues relating to librarians and whistleblowing: Documents, Leaks and the Boundaries of Expression: Government Whistleblowing in an Over-Classificed Age. This article is particularly pertinent to anyone interested in working in a sector that might have confidential or controversial documents.

It's a new school year

Yep, summer is over. I no longer have to work my tail off and commute 2-3 hours day, so I have time to think about doing shocking things ... like up dating this blog. Did you miss us? Have you forgotten about us or given up on us? I certainly hope not. It's a new school year, so we are all full of enthusiasm and energy. Plus, there's a whole load of newbies coming into their first year, so hopefully we'll get a few new posters too.

Please note, I have added yet another list of links to the right side of your screen: Blogs. Yes, blogs. There are plenty out there, so I thought that we should share some of our favorites. I've added a few to get the ball rolling, but there will be more (and, feel free to let us know if there are any great blogs that you think we might like to add to our list).

Hope you all had a great summer, and (for all you students) hope that your up-coming year is absolutely fabulous and filled with intellectual freedom goodness.