Jeffrey Pomerantz

Democracy is Communism

This is another spring cleaning post, last updated October 2005, apparently. But it seems appropriate to yesterday’s post. Sure, you’re saying, upon reading the title of this post. And freedom is slavery, and ignorance is strength. But actually the title of this post is the exact opposite of my real point; I was just going for the catchy title. I’ve just started to reread Eric Von Hippel’s Democratizing Innovation (on my Palm, damn.. Read More

FOIA Foobar

So back in March I submitted a FOIA request for a report submitted to the IMLS in May 2003. I already had an IMLS report that a colleague had FOIA’ed, and the report I FOIA’ed was cited in that report. And here’s where this story becomes a comedy of errors. What did the IMLS send me? The same report I already had. Oops. The two reports have similar titles, & they were both.. Read More

The library as a forum for personal protest?

University Library Reinstates Its ‘New York Times’ Subscription, from the Chronicle In announcing on Friday that the subscription would be reinstated, Mr. Morgan said that he did not believe his use of the university library as a forum for personal protest was inappropriate… It’s amazing, there are so many ways in which I disagree with this statement. The library should not be anyone’s personal soapbox, not even the library director’s. I’m not even.. Read More

NIH Open Access policy, not so much

NIH Has Little to Celebrate on 1st Anniversary of Its Open-Access Policy, but Changes May Be on Way, from the Chronicle The public-access policy of the National Institutes of Health marked its first anniversary last week, and all involved in the debate agree that it has failed to create free online access to the biomedical literature. Not to say I told you so, but I told you so. Well, I thought it was.. Read More

Congress vs. the Association of American Publishers?

Bill Seeks Access to Tax-Funded Research, from the WaPo A smoldering debate over whether taxpayers should have free access to the results of federally financed research intensified yesterday with the introduction of Senate legislation that would mandate that the information be posted on the Internet. The legislation, which would demand that most recipients of federal grants make their findings available free on the Web within six months after they are published in a.. Read More

The old home town stands up to The Man

Thanks to John, human news aggregator and Reporter-At-Large for PomeRantz, for sending this one along. The Homer Street branch featured so prominently in this story was my home library for many many years, since I was about 8 or so and that branch was first built. Newton library forces FBI to get warrant to seize computers, from the Boston Globe A matter of principle — and law — made Newton Free Library‘s director,.. Read More

It could be your data

Feds Seek Google Records in Porn Probe, from the WaPo Google has refused to comply with the subpoena, issued last year, for a broad range of material from its databases, including a request for 1 million random Web addresses and records of all Google searches from any one-week period… Yes, that could be your data. Me, I use Google daily, several times. So do you. All Google searches from a one-week period? How.. Read More

Brain drain, part 4

Stem cell scientists headed to Singapore to continue research, from CNN Two government biologists heavily recruited by Stanford University have decided to work in Singapore instead, saying they will face fewer restrictions on stem cell research overseas. And so it begins. It seems that today is the day for me to revisit themes that I blogged about this time last year. Last year I was posting about the impending decline in foreign grad.. Read More

Connecticut PATRIOT Act case

Organization That Received Patriot Act Letter May Identify Itself in Public, Judge Rules, from the Chronicle A Connecticut organization that received an order from the Federal Bureau of Investigation to turn over the records of library patrons should be allowed to identify itself publicly, a federal judge ruled on Friday. The FBI issued the order under a provision of the USA Patriot Act, a controversial law intended to help prevent domestic terrorism. Despite.. Read More

Zoia Horn

I wrote on Friday that maybe some librarian somewhere would be willing to go to jail to defend patron privacy. Well, K.G. Schneider points out what I did not know, that this has already happened: One of the ironies about Gorman’s comment that he wouldn’t go to jail on behalf of the Patriot Act because he’s an academic librarian (and 64 years old–not that much older than Judith Miller) is that the example.. Read More