Library Juice 4:30 - August 29, 2001


  1. Newbreed Librarian is planning a picture book
  2. Declan McCullagh's Politech
  3. Three more articles online at Progressive Librarian
  4. Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large 1:10 (September 2001)
  5. FACTSHEET 5 is coming back!
  6. Indonesia volume released: Now history of U.S.-Greek Ties Blocked!
  7. Yahoo! News agrees with FAIR criticisms "100 percent"
  8. Don Wood's IFACTION
  9. Trust Us, We're Experts
  10. Low-Cost Computers for the People
  11. Another PLG blockbuster for Annual!
  12. Librarians Adjust Image in an Effort to Fill Jobs
  13. Some discussion about the Jesus Bricks story from the last issue
  14. Monika Antonelli moonlighting on Dragon Ball Z
  15. Speaking of Cartoons
  16. Funny searches for August

Quote for the week:

"Filtering advocates are caught in a bind. On the one hand, they believe
they can keep children pure by protecting them from the evil that is on the
internet. On the other hand, they assume that children are naturally
corrupt in needing protection from their own 'natural curiosity.' This
curiosity, unfettered in the public library that doesn't filter the
internet, will then foil the purity of their children."

- Lucy Barber, after testifying at a Sacramento, CA Library Commission
Meeting on the new filtering system that is planned for the Sacramento
Public Library.

Personal Homepage of the week: Hannah Lammie


1. Newbreed Librarian is planning a picture book

Newbreed Librarian is planning an online picture book, where you will be
able to "match the face with the name" of readers of the site. You may be
a NewBreed reader without having noticed the small announcement of the

To be in the upcoming picturebook, email a picture of yourself to the
editors, at crew[at]


2. Declan McCullagh's Politech

Declan McCullagh is a journalist, programmer and photographer who lives in
Washington, DC. He's very interested in political and legal issues
relating to information technology, and has a listserv which he uses to
distribute news on the subject. It's a good place to find out the latest
news affecting privacy and freedom of speech. There is much there that I
don't see anywhere else, and if I do see a story mentioned on another
listserv or on another site, it was probably posted first by Declan (BUT -
be aware that in the vast majority of cases these posts are brief excerpts
and links to stories published elsewhere).

A typical day will see about five posts - mostly snippets from Declan, and
maybe one or two responses, which are usually very intelligent. (The list
is moderated.)

The top page of the site contains a long list of links to all the latests

- Rory

3. Three more articles online at Progressive Librarian

Three articles from issue 18 of Progressive Librarian, which was published
this summer, are now on the web. They are:

Reading in the Age of Global Media, by Mark Crispin Miller, with a response
from John Buschman
This article talks about media conglomeration and libraries and comes from
the perspective of a non-librarian social theorist.

The WTO and the Threat to Libraries, by Fiona Hunt
This articles talks about the WTO and in particular, the GATS, or General
Agreement on Trade in Services, which has direct implications for public
services like libraries. Fiona Hunt is a librarian in British Columbia who
was the driving force behind CLA's landmark report on the WTO and
libraries, which led to the IFLA report, and then the ALA resolution.

The Dismissal of Ruth Brown: Civil Rights, Censorship and the American
Library, by Louise Robbins is reviewed by Zoia Horn, who is a library
heroine in her own right.

At present there are 40 articles online at the PL site, from the current
and previous issues. All of them can be accessed from


4. Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large 1:10 (September 2001)

This issue is 18 pages and features:

As always, the home page for Cites & Insights is

-walt crawford-


5. FACTSHEET 5 is coming back!

After a 3 year hiatus, FACTSHEET 5 is coming back! A new editorial
collective has taken over and we hope to have the first issue out by the end
of the year.

Factsheet 5 is an authoritative guide to zines and alternative publications.
Each large issue will be packed with hundreds of reviews of independent and
unusual publications. Every issue of Factsheet 5 will catalog and review an
abundance of zines complete with price, critical reviews, and ordering
information. Additionally, it will include informative articles on zine
culture, independent publishing, lively columns, interviews with
self-publishers, and an extensive news section.


We will review zines and alternative/independent publications. We suggest
you enclose a separate card clearly stating the sample price and
subscription price. Also print the ordering address, email address/web site,
the check endorsement name, and if you regularly review zines, books,
videos, comics, or records. You can also tell us if you want submissions, if
you require an age statement, if you regularly print reader letters, if you
offer free prisoner subs, and the page count for that issue. Some people
love trading, while others are more selective or dont want to be bothered
at all by unsolicited trades. Feel free to state your preference on the


Besides zines and independent publications, F5 will also review books, music
and videos. Preference will be given to DIY/independent projects, although
books from major publishers and music from major labels will not be
automatically excluded. Music of all styles welcome!


Factsheet 5
PO Box 4660
Arlington, VA 22204


Factsheet 5 will publish quarterly (4 times/year). Although the magazine has
been on haitus for three years, all current active subscribers will have
their subs honored and fulfilled. The cover price for the magazine will be
$4.95. Single copy sample will be $5.00 by mail. A one-year subscription (4
issues) is $15.00 ($25.00 for first-class delivery).

$5.00 Sample copy
$15.00 1-yr sub (sent by 3rd class mail)
$25.00 1-yr sub (F5 friend sent by 1st class mail)
$30.00 2-yr sub (3rd class mail + free complimentary copy of Alternative
Press Review)
$50.00 2-yr sub (F5 friend sent by 1st class mail + free mini-sub (2
issues) to Alternative Press Review)

$28.00 1-yr sub Canada/Mexico ($56.00 for 2-yr sub)
$40.00 1-yr sub Overseas ($80.00 for 2-yr sub)


We are offering discounts on the standard ad rates that existed previously
for F5 (approx 20% off). We are also offering a special deal for advertisers
that reserve three insertions. Pay for two, get the third free.

Back Cover - $890 (regular F5 price) - $710 (discounted price) - $1420 (for
three insertions)
Inside Front - $690 (regular F5 price) - $550 (discounted price) - $1100
(for three insertions)
Inside Back - $625 (regular F5 price) - $500 (discounted price) - $1000 (for
three insertions)
(Back cover and inside covers are full-color)

Full Page - $465 (regular F5 price) - $370 (discounted price) - $740 (for
three insertions)
Half Page - $240 (regular F5 price) - $190 (discounted price) - $380 (for
three insertions)
Third Page - $160 (regular F5 price) - $125 (discounted price) - $250 (for
three insertions)
Quarter Page - $135 (regular F5 price) - $105 (discounted price) - $210 (for
three insertions)
Eighth Page - $90 (regular F5 price) - $70 (discounted price) - $140 (for
three insertions)
Twelfth Page - $45 (regular F5 price) - $35 (discounted price) - $70 (for
three insertions)

Classified ads are .50 cents per word. Pay for two classifieds, get the
third free.

Deadline for the first issue is November 10, 2001. For additional
information or to request an ad rate card contact us at

Factsheet 5
PO Box 4660
Arlington, VA 22204
Tel: 703-553-2945
Fax: 703-553-0565
email: twbounds[at]

6. Indonesia volume released: Now history of U.S.-Greek Ties Blocked!

Date: Sat, 18 Aug 2001 15:26:13 -0500
From: Mark Rosenzweig <iskra[at]>
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>

Now that with the hue-and-cry about the State Deparment's attempt to recall
the Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) volume on Indpnesia
actually seems to have reversed the decision and the volume (which
documents central and ongoing US involvement in the anti-Sukarno coup and
the strategic, tactical and material support to the -- 'succesful'
--campaign to physically exterminate the Indonesian left and all those
associated with it), there appears to be a new volume which has been
revealed as being supressed by the government.

This latest one is about the history of illegal, covert US involvement in
the Greek coup which led to the brutal military dictatorship of the
colonels(some of you may remember it was described in the famous movie "Z"
by film director Costa-Gavros).Please see the story below (linked and in
text, from Wahington Post)

The volume of the FRUS which contains important details of this story has
been impounded by the StateDepartment/CIA and literally labelled "Embargo:
This Publication Cannot be Released.

Once again I urge ALA to protest this government censorship and demand the
release of the already printed volumes to participating libraries and the
public. I hope the Government Documents Roundtable will once again take the
lead, but I think it is important for ALA as a whole to take a stand
inprinciple against this kind of CIA interference in freedom of information
in the US itself.

Mark Rosenzweig
ALA Councilor at large

PS: Thanks to Paul Lefrak for bringing this to my attention)

Article at:


7. Yahoo! News agrees with FAIR criticisms "100 percent"

August 24, 2001

In an August 9 alert ( ),
FAIR noted that Yahoo!News Opinion/Editorial columnists are 67 percent male,
90 percent white, and only 24 percent liberal. Additionally, not one female
artist is included among the 25 Yahoo!News Op/Ed contributing cartoonists.
Scores of media activists, responding to FAIR's alert, asked Yahoo! News to
broaden their range of editorial debate.

Commendably, Yahoo!News took FAIR activists' concerns seriously: In an
August 16 letter to FAIR, Yahoo!News senior producer Kourosh Karimkhany
thanked FAIR for suggesting increased balance in their contributors' race,
gender and political perspectives: "To state it succinctly, we agree with
you 100 percent. We have been trying to achieve exactly what you suggested."

Karimkhany said that Yahoo!News' mission is "to represent almost every
perspective" without editorial bias. "We are negotiating with several more
organizations to run material from the authors you suggested," he wrote,
referring to a list of progressive columnists included in FAIR's alert. "Our
only limitation is the time and business development resources it takes to
procure this content."

Karimkhany closed his letter by welcoming continued monitoring: "We
encourage Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting to watch our site over the next
few months. We hope you will notice a broader journalistic range."

You can keep tabs on Yahoo!News' progress by checking in at:

You can subscribe to FAIR-L at our web site: , or by
sending a "subscribe FAIR-L enter your full name" command to
LISTSERV[at]LISTSERV.AMERICAN.EDU . Our subscriber list is kept confidential.

8. Don Wood's IFACTION

A good news source on intellectual freedom and privacy issues is IFACTION,
the email distribution list run by the ALA Office for Intellectual
Freedom's communications guy, Don Wood. I have regularly copied emails
from this service.

If you want to browse a web archive of past postings - up to the last day
or so - you can do that at:

Here are a few messages from IFACTION that I've been saving for a rainy day
(note: it is not raining in Sacramento today - it's just an expression):

.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..

[IFACTION:1882] Banned Books Project
Date: Thu, 23 Aug 2001 12:23:39 -0500
From: "Don Wood" <dwood[at]>
To: Intellectual Freedom Action News <ifaction[at]>

Banned Books Project

This is an individual's site dedicated to bringing awareness to banned
books--and more.

from the site:

"You can either pick a book that you read and write me and tell me how
that book affected you or what it meant to you, or just write your ideas in
general regarding banned or challenged books. I would eventually like to
make a whole site dedicated to freedom of speech in regard to books, so
help me by participating in my Banned Books Week project. I am also
compiling a list of resources and articles on book banning, so if you know
of any, please send me the URLs. Thank you."

.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..

Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2001 12:11:29 -0500
From: "Don Wood" <dwood[at]>
To: Intellectual Freedom Action News <ifaction[at]>
Reply to: dwood[at]


See also

The Public's Right to Know

Freedom of Information Act

.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..

Federal appeals panel refuses to free jailed writer

"A novice crime writer jailed for withholding notes from a grand jury
investigating a 1997 murder will continue her fight despite a federal
appeals court's refusal to free her, her lawyer said."

- Don Wood

.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..

(censorware vs. privacy & anonymity)
Date: Fri, 17 Aug 2001 09:19:11 -0500
From: "Don Wood" <dwood[at]>
To: Intellectual Freedom Action News <ifaction[at]>

[Please publicize to the relevant lists, thank you]

Available at:
BESS's Secret LOOPHOLE (censorware vs. privacy & anonymity)

Abstract: This report examines a secret category in N2H2's censorware,
a product often sold under the name "BESS, The Internet Retriever".
This category turns out to be for sites which must be uniformly
prohibited, because they constitute a LOOPHOLE in the necessary
control of censorware. The category contains sites which provide
services of anonymity, privacy, language translation, humorous text
transformations, even web page feature testing, and more.

Seth Finkelstein ?Consulting Programmer ?sethf[at] ?

.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..

Jailed writer presents First Amendment argument to appeals panel
Date: Thu, 16 Aug 2001 15:39:10 -0500
From: "Don Wood" <dwood[at]>
To: Intellectual Freedom Action News <ifaction[at]>

Jailed writer presents First Amendment argument to appeals panel

"Vanessa Leggett, 33, has spent nearly a month in jail for failing to hand
over the notes that contain information about the shooting and ensuing
jailhouse suicide of a suspect."

Don Wood
Program Officer/Communications
American Library Association
Office for Intellectual Freedom
50 East Huron Street
Chicago, IL 60611
1-800-545-2433, ext. 1 + 4225
Fax: 312-280-4227
intellectual freedom @ your library
Free People Read Freely?

.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..

Woe to would-be defilers of Velveeta
Date: Thu, 09 Aug 2001 15:21:51 -0500
From: "Don Wood" <dwood[at]>
To: Intellectual Freedom Action News <ifaction[at]>

Woe to would-be defilers of Velveeta

"[Senate Antitrust, Business Rights and Competition Subcommittee chair Sen.
Herb Kohl (D-Wis.)] . . . said, 'Too many Americans have recently opened
groceries and found offensive, racist, anti-Semitic, pornographic and ? ? ?
? ? hateful leaflets.'"

.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..

Book Burning
Date: Thu, 09 Aug 2001 14:35:26 -0500
From: "Don Wood" <dwood[at]>
To: Intellectual Freedom Action News <ifaction[at]>

Book Burning

"Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings."
(German: ""Dort, wo man B?cher verbrennt, verbrennt man am Ende auch
Menschen.")*Heinrich Heine, from his play Almansor (1821)

Please send any relevant information on book burning throughout history to:


.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. Article: Cracking the Code of Online Censorship
Date: Tue, 7 Aug 2001 10:01:36 -0400 (EDT)
From: dwood[at]
To: Intellectual Freedom Action News <ifaction[at]>

This article from
has been sent to you by dwood[at]

Cracking the Code of Online Censorship


Seth Finkelstein decrypts filtering programs and uncovers, he
believes, the political biases behind them

.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..

Questions & Answers on Librarian Speech in the Workplace
Date: Wed, 01 Aug 2001 10:41:32 -0500
From: "Don Wood" <dwood[at]>
To: Intellectual Freedom Action News <ifaction[at]>
Reply to: dwood[at]

Questions & Answers on Librarian Speech in the Workplace

Prepared by the ALA Committee on Professional Ethics, this explanatory
statement of the ALA Code of Ethics answers questions such as "As a
Librarian, do I have free speech rights on policy related matters in my
place of work?"

Librarian Speech in the Workplace will be published in the September 2001
issue of the Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom.

See also

Committee on Professional Ethics

ALA Code of Ethics

Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom

.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..

ALA applauds court ruling on CIPA decision
Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2001 09:43:21 -0500
From: "Don Wood" <dwood[at]>
To: Intellectual Freedom Action News <ifaction[at]>
Reply to: dwood[at]

ALA applauds court ruling on CIPA decision

"The American Library Association (ALA) yesterday gained a preliminary
victory in its legal challenge to the Children's Internet Protection Act
(CIPA), the federal Internet filtering law. In a one-paragraph decision,
the three-judge federal district court denied the government's motion to
dismiss the ALA's case."

.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..

Odd lot of cases tends to favor First Amendment
Date: Mon, 23 Jul 2001 09:18:16 -0500
From: "Don Wood" <dwood[at]>
To: Intellectual Freedom Action News <ifaction[at]>
Reply to: dwood[at]

Odd lot of cases tends to favor First Amendment

"In the term that ended recently, the Supreme Court considered First
Amendment claims from the following individuals or groups: a Tennessee
mushroom grower, a controversial radio talk-show host, the Colorado
Republican Party, tobacco companies and a Bible club."

.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..

Banned Books Week Essays
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2001 17:42:46 -0500
From: "Don Wood" <dwood[at]>
To: <ifaction[at]>
Reply to: member-forum[at]

Banned Books Week Essays

Nancy Kranich and Ann Symons have written essays on Banned Books Week.

Develop Yourself: Expose Your Mind to a Banned Book
By Nancy Kranich, President, American Library Association (2000*2001)
"[Librarians] must act as the trail blazers in promoting access as well
as the watch dogs in protecting public access to information. Otherwise,
we will endanger our most precious right in a democratic society*the
right of free speech and inquiry. At risk is not only public access to
information, but also the very survival of the democratic system that
safeguards our cherished freedoms and rights."

A Challenged Modern Library
By Ann K. Symons, President, American Library Association
"Ideas can only flourish*and democracy survive*if the right of
everyone to choose for themselves what they wish to read, hear and view
is guaranteed. Without it, we jeopardize both our basic democratic rights
and one of our most democratic institutions*the library."

See also

Banned Books Week 2001, September 22-29, 2001

2001 Banned Books Week Order Form

Banned Books Week: Past Posters


9. Trust Us, We're Experts

Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber, TRUST US, WE'RE EXPERTS: HOW
York: Tarcher/Putnam, 2001). ISBN 1-58542-059-X. And check out
their web site: .

Now a new book, TRUST US, WE'RE EXPERTS! by Sheldon Rampton and
John Stauber, provides a chilling, documented history of ongoing
corporate efforts to use propaganda and "public relations" to
distort science, manipulate public opinion, discredit democracy,
and consolidate political power in the hands of a wealthy few.

The Big Idea behind the anti-democratic corporate-power movement
is that people cannot be trusted to make political decisions
because they are irrational, emotional, and illogical. This
cynical view of humans is widely held by the public relations
industry's experts but also by the scientific experts they employ
to 'guide' the public. For example, physics professor H.W. Lewis
(University of California, Santa Barbara), a well-known risk
assessor, says people worry about non-problems like nuclear waste
and pesticides because they are irrational and poorly educated.
"The common good is ill served by the democratic process," he
says. (pg. 111)

If people are not rational they cannot be guided by reason, so
they must be manipulated through emotion, PR experts say (thus
justifying their own propaganda services). For example, a
spokesperson for Burson-Marsteller, a PR firm that manipulates
the public on behalf of Philip Morris, Monsanto, Exxon Mobil and
others, told the Society of Chemical Industry in London in 1989,
"All of this research is helpful in figuring out a strategy for
the chemical industry and for its products. It suggests, for
example, that a strategy based on logic and information is
probably not going to succeed. We are in the realm of the
illogical, the emotional, and we must respond with the tools that
we have for managing the emotional aspects of the human psyche...
The industry must be like the psychiatrist..." (pg. 3)

The PR psychiatric manipulation industry is now enormous.
Corporations spend at least $10 billion each year hiring PR
propaganda experts (pg. 26) and our federal government spends
another $2.3 billion or so (pg. 27) -- and these are no doubt
underestimates. But these huge sums are not wasted -- they
provide major benefits to the clients. For example, about 40% of
all stories that appear in newspapers are planted there by PR
firms on behalf of a specific paying client. Because most radio
and TV news is simply re-written from newspaper stories, a
substantial proportion of the public's "news" originates as PR
propaganda. Naturally the connection to the PR source is edited

and found that more than half its stories are "based solely on
press releases" even though many carry the misleading statement,
"By a WALL STREET JOURNAL Staff Reporter." Thus what passes for
news these days is, as often as not, corporate propaganda. Tongue
in cheek, Rampton and Stauber refer to the major news media as
the disinfotainment industry.

Unfortunately, as Rampton and Stauber make crystal clear with
example after example, all of this manipulation has devastating
consequences for real people. The news media largely set the
limits on public discussion, and thus on public policy debate.
What is excluded from the news is often more significant than
what gets inserted. For example, approximately 800,000 new cases
of occupational illness arise each year, making occupational
illness much larger than AIDS and roughly equivalent to cancer
and all circulatory diseases, but most people have no idea that
this is so.


10. Low-Cost Computers for the People

by Rachel Anderson (rachel[at]


From a communications-saturated vantage point here in North America,
sometimes it's easy to forget that the majority of the world's population
has never made a telephone call, let alone used the Internet. In many
developing countries, the very cost of a computer can amount to more than
the average worker's annual salary. In an attempt to surmount the
prohibitive cost of this increasingly essential piece of IT hardware,
researchers in the developing world have begun to take matters into their
own hands by designing low-cost computers that address the particular needs
of their nations' more disadvantaged populations.

The Brazilian government recently announced a project that will make
stripped-down desktop computers, known as "Popular PCs," available for about
$300. Developers were able to save on licensing fees by using free,
open-source Linux as the operating system instead of Microsoft Corp.'s
Windows. Also using Linux, but moving away from the desktop computer model,
engineers in India have designed a hand-held computer that will enable rural
populations to benefit from information technology -- even if they don't
have the ability to read. Both of these initiatives illustrate the
increasingly innovative approaches employed by developing countries to bring
their citizens into the digital age.

Popular PCs

Ivan Moura Campos, chairman of the Internet Steering Committee of Brazil and
the mastermind behind Brazil's Popular PC project, explained in a recent
interview in Wired News that countries like Brazil will never bridge the
digital divide if they depend solely on technologies imported from wealthier
nations. "We realized this was not a First World problem," he explained. "We
were not going to find a Swedish or a Swiss company to solve this for us. We
would have to do it ourselves."

Brazil is unquestionably Latin America's Internet access leader. A recent
study by eMarketer ( found that the
nation is home to 40% of South America's Internet users -- despite the fact
that only 5% of Brazilians actually have Internet access. Late last year, as
part of broader efforts to increase access to information technology, the
Brazilian government commissioned university researchers to design the
cheapest possible machine for accessing the Internet.

In response, researchers from Brazil's Federal University of Minas Gerais
have created a prototype of what's being called the Popular PC, or
Computador Popular in Portuguese. The Internet appliance, which lacks a
floppy drive or a hard disk drive, features many of the attributes one would
expect in a moderately-priced PC: a 500 MHz-equivalent processor, 64MB of
RAM, an Ethernet card, a 56K modem, 14-inch monitor, sound and video cards,
serial and USB ports, a mouse and a keyboard. Consumers will also have the
option of buying inexpensive hard disks and other peripherals for their

The first shipment of Popular PCs will go to equip schools, libraries and
health centers to access to the Internet. The state-run bank, Caixa
Econ?mica Federal, has agreed to provide loans to low-income households to
purchase the computers, which will be made available to them for about $15 a
month over the course of 24 months.

While some critics have argued that Brazil has more pressing social needs
than providing computers for the masses, the government has made it a
priority to help low-income Brazilians reap the social and economic rewards
of the Internet. It has announced that it will invest $400 million this year
alone to expand Internet use in Brazil. Through its Universal Access Plan,
the government is seeking to subsidize the deployment of telecommunications
infrastructure to impoverished and geographically-isolated areas.
Additionally, Brazil's postal service has launched a program call Porta
Aberta, or Open Door, that provides the public free access to Internet
kiosks in post offices throughout the country's largest cities.

A Little Computer Can Go a Long Way

In a country like India, where nearly 50% of the population is unable to
read or write, simply providing access to computers and the Internet just
isn't enough. That's what motivated a team of Indian scientists and
engineers to create a way for people with limited literacy and computer
skills to take advantage of the wealth of information on the Net. The team
has developed a small, powerful computing device called the "Simputer" --
short for "simple inexpensive mobile computer" -- that reads out the text
found on Web pages in a number of India's many native languages.

Field test with the first working prototypes of the Simputer, which will
cost around $200, have just begun this month. Slightly larger than the
popular Palm handheld computers, the Simputer has a built-in browser, email
software, a text-to-speech program for several Indian languages and an MP3
player. The machine, which should be available for sale by March 2002, runs
on widely-available AAA batteries.

A group of socially-committed academics and technologists from India's
computing industry came together to form the non-profit Simputer Trust,
which is offering both the software and the hardware for the appliance as
open-source technology. Their vision is to create not only a computer, but
also an "evolving platform for social change" throughout the world that will
help bridge the digital divide.

They are particularly excited by the possibilities of exposing India's vast
rural population to Simputer technology. Indian farmers, for example, could
use the devices to check local weather forecasts or the latest market price
for various produce. Simputer's creators also point to its potential as a
tool for accessing online governmental and health-care services.

For the 99% of Indians that do not currently have access to the Internet,
one of the most useful features is the Simputer's "smart card" port. The
computer's low price still exceeds what most Indians can afford, so its
creators devised a way to let many individuals share a single machine by
each using their smart cards to activate their personal accounts. Simputers
might even appear in country's ubiquitous public telephone kiosks, where an
entire village could take advantage of Internet access.

While global technology companies are not racing to get their products into
the hands of people in less developed countries, it is good to know that
there are some grassroots efforts underway to bring digital information to
the masses. The experiments in India and Brazil might even demonstrate the
commercial viability of developing low-cost computers for mass consumption.

At the Digital Dividends conference in Seattle last fall, C.K. Prahalad, a
professor of business administration at the University of Michigan, called
for participants to rethinking the way people view the lower economic tiers
of societies and the need for new business models to address them.

"How can you go from [looking at] the poor as an intractable problem, to the
poor as a market and a source of innovation?" he asked.

Related Web Sites

Brazilian Committee for Internet Administration


Indian Institute of Science (IISc)


To subscribe to the Benton Communications-Related Headlines,
send email to: listserv[at]
In the body of the message, type only:
subscribe benton-compolicy YourFirstName YourLastName

11. Another PLG blockbuster for Annual!

Date: Mon, 27 Aug 2001 15:46:55 -0400
From: Mark Rosenzweig <iskra[at]>
To: srrtac-l[at], plgnet-l[at],
member-forum[at], alacoun[at]
Cc: lkniffel[at], jberry[at], aalbanese[at]

Following on the immense success of the Nicholson Baker event arranged by
the Progressive Librarians Guild (PLG) and friends at the SF Annual
Conference, I am happy to announce that Naomi Klein, the author of "No
Logo: taking aim at the brand bullies" has tentatively agreed to speak
under PLG's auspices at the upcoming Annual in Atlanta!

It promises to be another standing-room-only event, with the author of what
has gone from being an immediate cult hit in Canada to being a must-read
book for all kinds of people around the world thinking about the impact of
corporate globalization and its culture on society and citizens. I should
say to fellow librarians however: for a book published by a mainstream
house (Knopf) it is curiously sparsely represented in our US libraries --
so get it for yours ASAP!

But look forward to an extraordinary evening, sponsored by the Progressive
Librarians Guild, with a journalist and activist who's making a difference.
A book signing will follow.

We need volunteers to help raise the funds to sponsor her engagement.
Contact me any time with ideas.

Mark Rosenzweig

12. Librarians Adjust Image in an Effort to Fill Jobs

NY Times

CHICAGO, Aug. 22 - Dana Garzolini frequently turns heads when she is on the
job in the Chicago public libraries.

" `You don't look like a librarian,' " Ms. Garzolini says people tell her.
" `It doesn't fit you at all.' "

Ms. Garzolini does seem like a typical 26-year-old, though.

"I like to go out to eat," she said. "I like to go to bars. I like to
travel. Pretty much, I'm up for anything. I consider myself very

That is the image library administrators want to project as they try to
lure young people to fill what could soon be thousands of vacant jobs as
older librarians retire and the private sector beckons...

13. Some discussion about the Jesus Bricks story from the last issue

can be found


and here:

and here:

and possibly here:

and here:

and there's commentary and other good stuff from a guy in Redmond, WA,

and a tiny bit more commentary here:


14. Monika Antonelli moonlighting on Dragon Ball Z

Monika Antonelli, who is a librarian at North Texas State, a newly-elected
member of ALA Council, and a PLG member, is making the news right now in
her home state for being the voices of Chiaotzu and Puar on the Cartoon
Network's Dragon Ball Z, a Japanese series from the '80's. Monika has a
great voice for it - I am not surprised that she nailed the audition.

News story in the Star-Telegram: ________________________________________________________________________top

15. Speaking of Cartoons

Monika (see above) sent me this:

It has a grain of truth to it.


16. Funny searches for August

The following is a list of amusing web searches that led to pages on during the month of August:



| Library Juice is supported by a voluntary subscription
| fee of $10 per year, variable based on ability and
| desire to pay. You may send a check payable in US funds
| to Rory Litwin, at 1821 O St.. Apt. 9, Sacramento, CA 95814
| Original material and added value in Library Juice
| is copyright-free; beyond that the publisher makes
| no guarantees. Library Juice is a free weekly
| publication edited and published by Rory Litwin.
| Original senders are credited wherever possible;
| opinions are theirs. If you are the author of some
| email in Library Juice which you want removed from
| the web, please write to me and I will remove it.
| Your comments and suggestions are welcome.
| Rory[at] rg">Rory[at]