I’m sad that I found out about this through Boing Boing, but I am so glad that they posted on this.

Paul Williams is a terrific writer who I was lucky enough to meet many years ago. A champion of the then booming and vibrant San Diego music scene, Paul befriended us all, and we were always happy to see his big grin out in the audience at shows. He was a biographer of Bob Dylan, The Beach Boys, Neil Young, created the seminal Crawdaddy magazine, and was a friend and supporter of Phillip K Dick, writing about him in Rolling Stone and eventually serving as Dick’s  literary executor after his passing. You can thank Paul for the fact that nearly all of Dick’s work is still available.

I for one spent an entire year waking up every morning to read one page of Waking Up Together, and still have the battered copy he inscribed to me. In 1995 he had a horrible bicycle accident that caused traumatic brain injury. Although he recovered amazingly, regaining speech and the ability to walk, his health has been steadily declining since then. The last time I was at his house, he seemed unable to get out of bed–I have been out of touch with both he and Cindy for many years & am so dismayed to hear that he continues to struggle, and that the impact on his family has reached the point where they are now asking for help. Please take the time to visit the site set up to support him and his family, even if you don’t have the ability to donate to his family to help with his care.

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–Mr Kambaksh was found guilty of blasphemy and sentenced to death last year for circulating an essay on women’s rights which questioned verses in the Koran.

It later emerged he was convicted by three mullahs, in secret, without access to a lawyer. The sentence was commuted to 20 years on appeal. At that appeal, in October, the key prosecution witness withdrew his testimony, claiming he had been forced to lie on pain of death. The prosecution then appealed to the Supreme Court to reinstate the death sentence. The defence appealed to quash his conviction altogether.–

From the Independent online:

Sayed Pervez Kambaksh, the student journalist sentenced to death for blasphemy in Afghanistan, has been told he will spend the next 20 years in jail after the country’s highest court ruled against him – without even hearing his defence.

The 23-year-old, brought to worldwide attention after an Independent campaign, was praying that Afghanistan’s top judges would quash his conviction for lack of evidence, or because he was tried in secret and convicted without a defence lawyer. Instead, almost 18 months after he was arrested for allegedly circulating an article about women’s rights, any hope of justice and due process evaporated amid gross irregularities, allegations of corruption and coercion at the Supreme Court. Justices issued their decision in secret, without letting Mr Kambaksh’s lawyer submit so much as a word in his defence.

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Unless you have been reading this blog for at least five years, you may not know much of the history behind it. It was started many years ago (8? 10? More? I honestly can’t remember) by some friends of mine as a grand experiment. The experiment concerned fair use, music, language and more — you can find a full explanation of the ethic and idea HERE. They asked me to join late in 2003, and I was really happy to do so. Back then I was concentrating on under-reported news, scouring indymedia sites and other tiny blogs, looking to re-post and hopefully spread the word on things that were important to me–immigrant and women’s rights, gender etc… After I started library school, I started posting more news on, yes, libraries and information.  Over the past few years, most of the original contributors have fallen away, and now it really is just me. The funny thing about this, is that I have nothing to do with the design of the site, and it hasn’t been changed in quite some time. It doesn’t ‘belong’ to me, but it feels like mine all the same, even though I rarely write true personal commentary about my life. The reason I bring this up now, is that I’ve been named a Library Journal Mover & Shaker, which is a lovely honor– and best of all, I was nominated by my very favorite partner in crime (and crime fighting), Char Booth. I have long thought that what Char touches turns to gold, and I am currently feeling pretty shiny. Thank you to all of my friends & colleagues who make me a better person, and in turn a better librarian. I’m not sure if theexperiment will continue to evolve in to a more library-centric, lia-centric place, but if you have an opinion either way, I hope you’ll let me know.

You can find my UC blog HERE , on Twitter I’m piebrarian, and I’m Lia Friedman on FB. I’m also on Goodreads & Flickr , but I keep those a tiny bit more private, which doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like to see you there.

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From the Union Librarian

More than 40 major British companies face legal action for allegedly buying secret personal data about thousands of workers they wanted to vet before employing them.

The information commissioner, Richard Thomas, will today publish a list of the companies he believes may have broken data protection laws, after an investigation by his office that was sparked by fears that many workers were being unfairly “blacklisted”.

Alan Ritchie, the general secretary of Ucatt, the construction union, said: “Ucatt members know from bitter experience of being refused work that blacklisting exists in construction.

“However, the extent of the practice and the fact that most of the major companies are involved in the practice is truly shocking. It is outrageous that construction workers have been barred from jobs simply for being trade unionists.”
See after the jump for the full press release   Continue reading

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The American Library Association has pulled out all of the library related hoo ha from the Stimulus Package, which was nice of them. You can find it HERE.

Thanks to the NPR Librarians blog (…as a matter of fact)  for letting me know.

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Shai Reshef has started  a new venture, The University of the People, which will begin classes in spring of 2009. Reshef isn’t new to online school adventures, he started an online university in Europe, which he sold to Laureate, and a testing preparation company in Israel, which he sold to Kaplan. UOP will be an almost free online university, with cost determined on a sliding scale based on the wealth of their country of origin,   initially offering degrees in Business Administration and Computer Science, with more in the works. The best part is that some of the learning and teaching will be peer-to-peer, with students doing the teaching. Learn more HERE and listen to a podcast with Reshef HERE.

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Interesting Open Access Experiment

More here

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Optimism? Belief in a broken system? I don’t recognize it, so it’s a bit off-putting.  I read this today and felt something shift in my head, like scooting a book over to fit more snugly to the next. Are things really going to change?

For more on this go Here but, if you’re anything like me, go Here and probably Here as well.

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But this recent posting on the iilalumni list gave me just a tiny bit of pause. What a great way to attract great potential recruits! Anyone out there want to move to move to Gettysburg?
Here’s the post in full– after the jump they lay out what they are looking for..I know a lot of people who have the skills who would be great in this position:

‘Are you tired of being a cog in the wheel?  Do you feel stuck in a bureaucratic rat race?  Do you have good ideas and no way to get them on the radar screen?
Do you wish you had more interesting professional development opportunities?
Do you like country living close to a metropolitan area?  Are you interested in being part of a strong liberal arts environment with service at its core?  Do you like the idea of working in a place where you can really make a difference?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above, please read on.
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From the UK Times Online & BoingBoing

Of the 248 inmates inside the detention facility, 44 are refusing food — but 33 of those are receiving nutrition with tubes that are forced up their noses and into their stomachs. On election night, according to one official, news of Mr Obama’s win spread across the prison facility even though no inmates had access to television that evening, and chants of “Obama! Obama! Obama!” erupted throughout the complex.

Human rights groups claim the total number of hunger strikers is higher than officials say. Gitanjali Gutierrez, a lawyer for the New York-based Centre for Constitutional Rights, says that more than 70 men held at the US base in Cuba are refusing to eat. She cited reports from visiting lawyers.

According to one official, most inmates are now well informed about what is happening in the outside world through a combination of watching Arabic news programmes and meetings with civilian lawyers and the International Red Cross, who are allowed to visit the facility. Most are aware of Mr Obama’s pledge to close the prison, which received its first inmates seven years ago this week. Asked why so many were on hunger strike and why the number was increasing, an official said: “This is the seventh anniversary of the arrival of the first detainees, and a week today is the inauguration of a new president. Hunger striking is an acknowledged form of protest.”

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