Thursday, June 23, 2005

A few links

Orham Pamuk wins the 2005 German Book Trade Peace Prize for his literary work in which "Europe and Islamic Turkey find a place for one another."

Nabokovilia is a haphazard collection of quotes by writers who have snuck references to Nabokov and things Nabokovian into their work.

The Icarus Girl was published this week. The 20-year-old author, Helen Oyeyemi, interviewed in the NYTimes, says her main character "represents this kind of new-breed kid, the immigrant diasporic kid of any race who is painfully conscious of a need for some name that she can call herself with some authority."

And remember when John Ashcroft mocked librarians? Remember how he claimed the Patriot Act had never been used by the FBI to obtain records from libraries and accused librarians and critics of Section 215 of "hysteria" and "distortion"?

Did you believe him?

"Law enforcement officials have made at least 200 formal and informal inquiries to libraries for information on reading material and other internal matters since October 2001, according to a new study that adds grist to the growing debate in Congress over the government's counterterrorism powers." (NYTimes)

The study, released Monday by the American Library Association, finds that "public anxiety and librarian concern over law enforcement activity in libraries is justified."

"We now know with certainty that law enforcement is visiting libraries and asking for information on library patrons. We must ensure that the proper oversight is in place to ensure that the government doesn't conduct 'fishing expeditions' at America's libraries," says Emily Sheketoff, executive director of the ALA Washington Office.

The study was funded in part by the group that announced the horrifying revelation that one-third of the high schoolers in the United States believe the First Amendment goes "too far."

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