Friday, November 14, 2003


I'm here, in Louisville, supporting my wife as she presents at the AOSA National Conference. It is low-tech, could be in the 80's. No laptops, PDA, PowerPoint (thank you), or WiFi. This is a very different environment than at the library conference. These folks have no internet room for checking their e-mail and yet they survive, flourish even.

They take no notes, the sessions are participatory. Everybody up and dance, play instruments, sing, always doing something. We have to remember that there are folks out there who are not shifted and have no need to get that way. It is more important to a music program to have a student who can hold mallets and play a scale that to do a PowerPoint on Madonna. This is a remarkable group of people. Music teachers are just a good to be around as librarians. It has been a pleasure being here and sharing their conference.

I do think a bit of technology would be useful. Taping the sessions and then putting them on CDs as MP3s or in Ogg Vorvis format could be a benefit to those who could not attend. The participatory nature would be lost, but it would be something. Beyond that, this low-tech conference is working just fine.

Public Libraries

I'm typing this and reading some of my e-mail in the Louisville Public Library. Another example of a library as an important part of the community. It looks to have been built in the 60's or 70's. It has people, like me, on the public access computers. Another woman is doing genealogy. Seems one of her ancestors was a murderer. Other people are checking out books, reading magazines, looking for videos asking reference questions, asking for help with the copies. And the library is here for all of us. What a wonderful insitution.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Verify the Vote: Tell Congress to Fight for Secure Elections!

The 2004 presidential election might not be flawed like the last one was; it
might be even worse. Communities across America are purchasing electronic voting (e-voting) machines, but the technology has serious security problems that need to be addressed. Most of the machines use "black box" software that hasn't been publicly reviewed for security. Almost none provide voter-verifiable paper ballots to detect fraud. And despite the efforts of one voting technology company to silence its critics, the public has become increasingly aware of the problems with e-voting. The bill has momentum with 62 ponsors, but we need your help. Send your representative a letter suporting the Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2003 (HR 2239), which would require openly reviewed software and voter-verifiable paper audit trail for all new e-voting machines.

Make your voice heard with the EFF Action Center

From EFFector Vol. 16, No. 31, November 10, 2003