Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Wikipedia Outage - and Free Books

As you might have heard, the English-language version of Wikipedia is one of many websites (including the Internet Archive) going dark on Wednesday, January 18th, to protest bills in congress that many internet users feel threaten the web. SOPA (Stop Internet Piracy Act - H.R. 6231) and PIPA (Protect Intellectual Property Act, S. 968) are supported by associations representing the the film, television, book publishing, and music industries. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales told the New York Times the legislation is unconstitutional.

“The government could tell us that we could write an entry about the history of the Pirate Bay but not allow us to link to it,” he said, referring to the popular file-sharing site. “That’s a First Amendment issue.”
According to Wikipedia's statement
It is the opinion of the English Wikipedia community that both of these bills, if passed, would be devastating to the free and open web.
Over the course of the past 72 hours, over 1800 Wikipedians have joined together to discuss proposed actions that the community might wish to take against SOPA and PIPA. This is by far the largest level of participation in a community discussion ever seen on Wikipedia, which illustrates the level of concern that Wikipedians feel about this proposed legislation. The overwhelming majority of participants support community action to encourage greater public action in response to these two bills. Of the proposals considered by Wikipedians, those that would result in a “blackout” of the English Wikipedia, in concert with similar blackouts on other websites opposed to SOPA and PIPA, received the strongest support.
On careful review of this discussion, the closing administrators note the broad-based support for action from Wikipedians around the world, not just from within the United States. The primary objection to a global blackout came from those who preferred that the blackout be limited to readers from the United States, with the rest of the world seeing a simple banner notice instead. We also noted that roughly 55% of those supporting a blackout preferred that it be a global one, with many pointing to concerns about similar legislation in other nations.
This protest will not affect the many specialized encyclopedias available in the library, however. Come on by if you need some information. We'll be open.

Or - if your favorite websites are down and you're stuck for something to do - drop by and pick up a free mystery. Barbara Fister, who reviews crime fiction, has brought in two grocery bags of advance reader copies. Feel free to take one home with you.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Scandinavian Crime Fiction Display

If you are looking to kill time this semester or just want a criminally good read try investigating the Scandinavian Crime Fiction display currently on the shelves at the reference desk. Discover your next fictitious victim on the display or in the PT section on the main floor of the library.

Friday, January 06, 2012


If you have a smart phone or another type of portable device, give “+Mobile” a try! This is the new mobile device site for our library catalog, MnPALS Plus.

You can now search, find an item and go right to the shelves with the call number appearing right on your portable device.

Please note that the syntax for defaulting to an individual library is slightly different in +Mobile: Use "?mylocn=GAC" (Uppercase)

Example: http://mplus.mnpals.net/vufind/?mylocn=GAC