The Public Library Of Charlotte Mecklenburg County Censors An Anti-WordPress Site


charlotte mecklenburg library Censorship

charlotte mecklenburg library Censorship

I wasn’t planning on writing about my local library this morning but my hand has been forced by their actions.  I’ve complained previously about their Internet connection in the past and met with some results.  Granted that was after literally years of complaining.  I’ve been meaning to complain about a recent experience in the West Blvd. branch where card playing for money (what you and I would call gambling) was occurring, right underneath the eye of the security guard on duty, and how I still haven’t heard back from the library administration as to why this is allowed by their policy. (That was the guard’s excuse to let it continue.)

wordpress™ wank has been blocked by the library.  That’s right.  The leading site that tells the truth about Matt Mullenweg and the sad shape of ethics over at Automattic has been censored by The Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County.

The irony of this is that their own blog is hosted on the servers.  That’s right.  The library who last year tried to get the entire Charlotte community to read and discuss To Kill a Mockingbird, a book that has been censored many times previously, as no problems with censorship and racism themselves. (Which makes for even more irony.) I guess their stated goal of “of expanding minds, empowering individuals and enriching the community” doesn’t apply when it concerns a vendor of theirs.  Can’t empower individuals when you deal with a company that believes discussion shouldn’t be open. Can’t strive to make information available to anyone who wants it when that information is locked away behind an Internet proxy.

Organize Your Books With LibraryThing


I know I’ve complained about my local library previously but I’m a big book person if you haven’t guessed.  Heck, my very first blog post way back when was about cats in libraries.  When Angie left, all of my books disappeared as well.  I had a lot of books back then (I worked for Waldenbooks for a few years until I realized that I was going to make less than $20k a year as a store manager.) and I have to admit that I missed them. 

Anyway, through the magic of the Internet, I’ve been slowly rebuilding my collection.  I read mostly science fiction although I have been know to read other things a time or two.  Most of what I’ve obtained I have saved on my laptop’s hard drive and I read it from my iPod Touch with Stanza.

The biggest problem besides trying to convert those files to something Stanza can read is trying to keep things organized.  I find myself using Windows search function just to find out if I have a certain book or if I have to go looking for it.  Some folks have suggested different organizers to keep things sorted but all the ones I’ve tried either didn’t work the way I liked, converted the books into weird formats or made multiple copies killing the space on my drive, or just didn’t work at all.  Right now, I’ve got a directory labeled Books on the hard drive, the 26 letters of the alphabet underneath that, and a separate folder under each of those for each author by their last name.  Not the best of solutions but they’re sorted.  The problem though is there’s no easy way to tell what I have, what authors I have, and what I’m missing. (Some of the files are corrupt as well which makes me check each and every one but that’s besides the idea of this post.)

Having a few extra bucks at the end of this month, I’ve gone ahead and paid for a year’s subscription over at LibraryThing. (I feel bad that I only had left six bucks left in my Paypal account instead of the ten that they ask for but they took it.  Hopefully I can add more to that later on someday.)  LibraryThing is an online category system that allows people to organize and catalog their book collections.  I’ve only got a single book cataloged so far (They have a limit of 200 books for free accounts.) but now I’m going to try to get more of what I have in there. (edit: Oops, got two in there now.  Been reading The Black Unicorn lately so I went ahead and added it.)

Anyone care to show off their own collections and give me another reason why I need to get organized?

edit: The image is from the LibraryThing website.  I don’t see the legal information there though so I can’t give credit besides that. 🙁

1977 the Comic

1977 the webcomic

1977 the webcomic

I have to admit that I stay away from promoting *cough* adult webcomics that I read.  Knowing that I spend most of my time in the library, it’s kind of hard to read them.  Sometimes the librarians peek over your shoulder to see what you’re working on.  They probably wouldn’t like some of the webcomics that I read.

Anyway, here’s a plug for 1977 the Comic.  It’s a borderline comic with a fair amount of skin.  Heck, one look at the header image will probably tell you that. You’ll also have to deal with the occasional peek as well.  That doesn’t bother me but I know it does with some.  The drug and alcohol references will probably set off a few folks as well.  And, considering it’s been restarted a couple of times, that may set off even more folks.

So why should you read it?  Well, it’s funny.  I haven’t seen a dud comic yet.  W. Byron Wilkins, the creator, artist and writer, is fairly good with updating twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays.  I enjoy his artwork as well.

Feel free to give it a try.  Just make sure you do read it in front of any nuns.

Why I Don’t Like The Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County

where's google?

where’s google?

Yes, that’s the Google website from here at the library.  The Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County system can’t find it.  The most popular website on the net and their system is telling me that it doesn’t exist.

I’ve been complaining about their poorly setup system for over a year with no response.  In fact I’ve gotten to the point that I’ve complained about their comment form on their site and wondered why they even bother having it since no one ever answers it.

It’s not just me either.  I’m sitting here with three over folks using their laptops and they get the error from time to time.  About 1 in 15 page views on average.  If I turned around I could watch those folks using the terminals hit the same problem.  If you sit here and just do CTRL-F5 refreshes on a site you’ll get it often as well.

What’s even worse is they keep winning “Library of the Year” awards from librarian organizations but yet they can’t fix this issue or even acknowledge it exists.

It’s really sad.

How to stop the irritating “Updating your computer is almost complete – Restart Now?” message

monitor.jpgLooks like they updated the computers here in the Atkins Library again here at UNCC. Every time they do so, we get stuck with the “Updating your computer is almost complete – Restart Now?” message with a five minute countdown. Rebooting doesn’t help as that message pops right back up 30 minutes after the reboot.  Over and over again.

It’s real simple to fix although you have to go into the system settings to do so.  That will give some folks the willies but it’s fairly easy.

Click on the Start button like you were going to start up a program followed by the Run icon.  You’ll get a small popup that includes an “Open:” field.  Type or copy in “gpedit.msc” without the quotes and click on the OK button.  You’ll get a new window that sort of looks like the file manager included with Windows.

Here’s where you have to do digging but we’re looking for something that’s found in a very specific place within the system.  Look at the column along the left hand side and travel these levels until you reach the final one:

  • Local Computer Policy
  • Computer Configuration
  • Administrative Templates
  • Windows Components
  • Windows Update

When you click on the Windows Update folder, you’ll get a long list of records in the right hand side window. Look for the one labeled “Re-prompt for restart with scheduled installations” and double click on that to pull it up for editing.

We have to change both settings within that window. You can choose any number between 5 and 1440 minutes (That’s 24 hours in case you didn’t know) and you have to click on the enable selector.

Not done yet. When you exit out of that window, it saves your settings but you still need to tell your computer to pay attention to the changes settings.

Open up the Run box again and type or copy in “gpupdate.exe /force” without the quotes and press ENTER.

Hope this helps