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Category Archives: Libraries

A Brief History of the Grand Old American Tradition of Banning Books

LitHub: “Book banning is a chaotic and illogical business. How a book is received or understood is often subject to the historical moment—and the tastes of individuals. The notion of an objective measure or checklist to decide what is “appropriate”—something far-right school boards have worked to police and enforce—has long been slippery to define. In… Continue Reading

The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

1845. “The Raven” is published in The Evening Mirror in New York, the 1st publication with the name of the author, Edgar Allan Poe. Its publication made Poe popular in his lifetime, although it did not bring him much financial success. The poem was soon reprinted, parodied, & illustrated. Critical opinion is divided as to… Continue Reading

Authors Are Fighting Amazon’s Audible

Libro.FM Blog: “Amazon’s impact on the book industry is no secret to most readers. From taking business from independent bookshops—business they depend on, unlike Amazon—to limiting accessibility of audiobooks with Audible Exclusives, the company’s dominance threatens diversity of the publishing ecosystem. According to WordsRated, Amazon “controls between 50% and 80% of the book distribution in… Continue Reading

GPO Completes the Law Library of Congress Historical Reports Records

“The U.S. Government Publishing Office’s (GPO’s) Library Technical Services (LTS) has completed the cataloging of the Law Library of Congress Historical Reports. GPO would like to thank the Law Library of Congress for their wonderful collaboration on this project. In April 2020, the Law Library of Congress and GPO began a multi-year project to catalog… Continue Reading

Tools for Thinking About Censorship

Ex Urbe: “Was it a government action, or did they do it themselves because of pressure?” This is inevitably among our first questions when news breaks that any expressive work (a book, film, news story, blog post etc.) has been censored or suppressed by the company or group trusted with it (a publisher, a film… Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Affirms That Texas Book Ban Law is Unconstitutional

Association of American Publishers: “The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit today affirmed the preliminary injunction of the “Reader Act” (formerly HB 900) granted by Judge Alan D. Albright of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Austin Division in a written opinion issued on September 18, 2023.  The law would have required independent bookstores, national… Continue Reading

OpenAI warns copyright crackdown could doom ChatGPT

Telegraph: “The maker of ChatGPT has warned that a ban on using news and books to train chatbots would doom the development of artificial intelligence. OpenAI has told peers that it would be “impossible” to create services such as ChatGPT if it were prevented from relying on copyrighted works, as it seeks to influence potential… Continue Reading

‘Major Win’ in Fight Against Dictionary-Yanking School District

Newser: Federal judge allows lawsuit against Florida’s Escambia County School District to proceed – “A Florida school district is keeping students from accessing dictionaries which, in defining sex and other concepts, are considered to violate the state law prohibiting materials in schools that depict or describe sexual conduct, per the Messenger. Escambia County School District… Continue Reading

Making the Greatest Medical Library in America

NLM: “On a quest to bring together and catalog the world’s medical knowledge, John Shaw Billings, an Army surgeon and book collector who oversaw the U.S. Surgeon General’s library (today known as NLM), acquired approximately 300 pamphlets from the private collection of the renowned French physiologist Claude Bernard in 1878. Later that year, these scientific… Continue Reading

Generative AI and Finding the Law

Callister, Paul D., Generative AI and Finding the Law (December 8, 2023). Available at SSRN: or – “Legal information science requires, among other things, principles and theories. The article states five principles or considerations that any discussion of generative AI large language models and their role in finding the law must include. The… Continue Reading