Say you commit a crime, or somehow become a person of interest in a crime and a government agency wishes to gather your recent reading history from the library. Too bad, so sad they are out of luck. Libraries don’t keep those records. Our automated systems are smarter than the average bear. We designed them to purposely circumvent the long hairy arm of the law to protect the public’s right to read and to protect intellectual freedom. But, if you own a Kindle. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. You’re screwed.
I’m reading an excellent transcript of a talk given by Ted Striphas called “E-books in the classroom: implications for teaching, learning, and research” presented at Georgetown University Library’s ninth scholarly communications symposium on October 30, 2009 that was published in Progressive Librarian. He says that because your notes are uploaded to a third party, the Kindle, and stored on their servers, that they’re exempt, or rather, considered beyond the scope of the fourth amendment.
Admittedly, I became a Kindle owner begrudgingly. I don’t love my Kindle. The other night, Ian asked if I downloaded sound effects for it because he swore he heard pages turning. He was right. I’m back to regular books. The second Kindle book I downloaded was a dud. It’s about early childhood development–A Child’s Work: The Importance of Fantasy Play–and is not as wonderful as I hoped it would be. So I put the Kindle down, dear reader and returned to print books. The third e book I bought is Sharing Nature with Children and I haven’t started it, either. It will serve more as a reference, something I’ll consult off and on as the weather warms and Elsa and I spend our days outdoors in our yard and exploring the Appalachian Trail and other nearby parks.
I have a slew of public library books to read. They teeter and totter on my bedside table. The Raymond Carver biography I’m reading fascinates me. I never knew he had a library science jones and took several courses but never earned his degree. He loved working in the library and counted his library jobs among his favorites.