Freedom of Information
Happy Birthday, FOIA!
The fourth of July gives us more than one reason to celebrate— yesterday marked the 46th birthday of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). President Lyndon Johnson signed the historic law on July 4, 1966, and since then, FOIA has become a cornerstone of democracy in America.
Copyright Alliance: Kirtsaeng case threatens library lending
Library Copyright Alliance LogoThe Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) filed an amicus curiae brief (PDF) earlier this week with the Supreme Court of the United States in support of petitioner Supap Kirtsaeng in the case Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons. The Alliance is comprised of the American Library Association (ALA), the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL).
Valley libraries unite to boost funds, access to programs
“Glendale’s library system whittled nearly $550,000 from its budget this fiscal year, but an agreement with the Maricopa County Library District will offer some gains to residents and non-residents who use the city’s three branches. This month, Glendale will join 15 other cities and communities — including Avondale, Phoenix and Peoria — in the Reciprocal Borrowing Program. The program will allow non-residents to use Glendale libraries free of charge. The county also will pay for a new library management system, including an improved database that Glendale patrons can use to search for books and other materials.”
Digital Revolution and Libraries Featured in 2012 Bowker Annual
The first three articles in the just released 2012 Library and Book Trade Almanac (formerly The Bowker Annual) feature authors affiliated with the ALA Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) writing about the digital revolution and libraries. These articles examine the contemporary challenges and opportunities for libraries enabled by technological advances and institutional and social change.
Institutional Clinical and Translational Science Award (U54)from NIH Funding Opportunities (Notices, PA, RFA)
Funding Opportunity RFA-TR-12-006 from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. The purpose of the Institutional Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) is to strengthen the entire spectrum of NIH supported translational research. Through integrated homes that build upon and support institutional scientific strengths, they provide research resources and workforce training that improve the quality, validity, generalizability, and efficiency of clinical and translational research. These awards are the centerpiece of the NCATS CTSA program.
Section 1201 Rulemaking Updated from Copyright Advisory
After being delayed several months, the Copyright Office has come out with the latest round of exemptions.
Section 1201 Rulemaking
There are some good things here. The news immediately circulating the tech blogs was that it should be allowable to jailbreak smartphones. (I expect we’ll see some interesting license-related battles soon as a result.) The exemption allowing film/media studies professors to use small clips for educational purposes has been expanded so that it can actually be used by professors and students. Even more notably, IMHO, the exemption was expanded to include noncommercial use. That’s huge, and I’m not certain how this will play out.
English books rejected, stir debate at Fremont school board meeting
“A Fremont teacher’s request for a controversial story to be included in the list of acceptable texts for Advanced Placement English was rejected by Fremont Unified School District’s Board of Education in a 5-3 vote June 27. Teri Hu, a Washington High School AP English teacher, requested the use of “Bastard Out of Carolina” in 2009 and was rejected although books with similar subject matter such as “The Color Purple,” “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” and “We Were the Mulvaneys” were approved, according to Acacia O’Connor, a National Coalition Against Censorship project coordinator.”
Are you a library scofflaw?
“Your library card status may soon follow you like your credit history. Washington and Dakota county libraries are pursuing a $47,000 federal grant to try out a library card verification system that would tell them instantly if someone from the neighboring county is a good bet as a book borrower. People increasingly use libraries where they work or visit, not just where they live, and a computer link between library patron accounts would stop people from ducking fines for overdue materials at their home libraries and skipping to another county to get books.”
Prosecutors Dispute Claims of Selective Anti-Leak Prosecution
Last month, former CIA officer John Kiriakou, who is accused of unlawfully disclosing classified information to two reporters, said in pre-trial motions that he had been wrongly and unfairly singled out for prosecution, particularly since he had criticized the U.S. practice of waterboarding. (“Kiriakou Calls Leak Prosecution Selective, Vindictive,” Secrecy News, June 22).
This week, prosecutors unsurprisingly rejected such claims while affirming that they intend to vigorously pursue their case against Mr. Kiriakou.
Open Data Creates Accountability
A series of recent blog posts raised questions on the value of open data and transparency.
While thoughtful skepticism is constructive, there appears to be some significant confusion about the meaning of “open data,” and about transparency and accountability. When activist developers like Aaron Swartz are concluding that “the case for opening up data to hold government accountable simply isn’t there,” or former government leaders like Beth Noveck are suggesting that there are “serious doubts” whether “open data” make government “more transparent or accountable,” then it’s time to engage.
UN supports Internet freedom
In a shift from its proposed—and highly opposed—plan to increase the power of its International Telecommunications Union, the United Nations has backed a resolution stating that citizens have the same rights online as they do offline. (The Hill)
Please feel free to pass along in part or in its entirety.
The Intersect Alert is a newsletter of the Government Relations Committee, San Francisco Bay Region Chapter, Special Libraries Association.