Why We Need Librarians in the 21st Century…11.30.08

30 11 2008

Outgoing SLA president Stehpen Abram’s Dec. 2008 article in Information Outlook “Access is Not Equal to Know How” [http://www.sirsidynix.com/Resources/Pdfs/Company/Abram/IOColumn_78.pdf] is a good read.  Here is the beginning:

“We’re still hearing that hackneyed old comment, ‘Most everything’s available on the web now, so exactly why do we need librarians?‘ It’s coming from all quarters and other professionals too. In financially tumultuous times, when every sous is being scrutinized to within a centimeter of its life, we can expect this ugly example of shallow thinking to raise its head again. So, it’s time for reminding ourselves of quick ways to respond to these comments. Make no mistake. It’s not an option to leave these challenges unaddressed, whether they’re explicitly spoken or just lay their as underlying assumption to conversations. If we don’t respond we put our organizations at risk. We have a professional duty to educate and inform our world about the role of librarians and information professionals. So, here’s a modest attempt to develop a few strategies for talking to key folks in our world who may try to hurt our organizations and society at large because they haven’t thought through the real world issues of a web that:

• Contains too much information;

• Has no clear bias toward quality or authority;

• Is subject to manipulation by third parties through search engine optimization;

• Offers potentially different answers depending on your geo-location, personal profile or stored previous search behaviours;

• Is primarily focused on meeting those needs of its primary customers – advertisers – which may include your competitors;

• And, is available to everyone which means that you have absolutely no competitive advantage.

So, what kind of story can we tell that gets our point across in the context of those folks who would seek to cut our staff, cut our budgets or eliminate our roles entirely?…”

“The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind” Sounds Like a Good Read on Copyright…11.30.08

30 11 2008

He is a book review by Cory Doctorow [http://www.boingboing.net/2008/11/30/james-boyles-the-pub.html] on BoingBoing that made me want to place it on my reading list although copyright/copyfight has not been a major point of interest with me:

“Jamie Boyle, of the Duke Center for the Public Domain, has a new book out, The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind. Boyle ranks with Lessig, Benkler and Zittrain as one of the most articulate, thoughtful, funny and passionate thinkers in the global fight for free speech, open access, and a humane and sane policy on patents, trademarks and copyrights. A legal scholar who can do schtick like a stand-up comedian, Boyle is entertaining as well as informative.

I’ve got a copy on its way to me, but while I’m waiting, I’m delighted to discover that Jamie talked his publisher, Yale University Press, into offering the book as a free, CC-licensed download. And right there, in the preface, I’m hooked:

Each person has a different breaking point. For one of my students it was United States Patent number 6,004,596 for a “Sealed Crustless Sandwich.” In the curiously mangled form of English that patent law produces, it was described this way:A sealed crustless sandwich for providing a convenient sandwich without an outer crust which can be stored for long periods of time without a central filling from leaking outwardly. The sandwich includes a lower bread portion, an upper bread portion, an upper filling and a lower filling between the lower and upper bread portions, a center filling sealed be- tween the upper and lower fillings, and a crimped edge along an outer perimeter of the bread portions for sealing the fillings there between. The upper and lower fillings are preferably comprised of peanut butter and the center filling is comprised of at least jelly. The center filling is pre- vented from radiating outwardly into and through the bread portions from the surrounding peanut butter.

‘But why does this upset you?’ I asked; ‘you’ve seen much worse than this.’ And he had. There are patents on human genes, on auctions, on algorithms. The U.S. Olympic Committee has an expansive right akin to a trademark over the word ‘Olympic’ and will not permit gay activists to hold a ‘Gay Olympic Games.’ The Supreme Court sees no First Amendment problem with this. Margaret Mitchell’s estate famously tried to use copyright to prevent Gone With the Wind from being told from a slave’s point of view. The copyright over the words you are now read- ing will not expire until seventy years after my death; the men die young in my family, but still you will allow me to hope that this might put it close to the year 2100. Congress periodically considers legislative proposals that would allow the ownership of facts. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act gives content providers a whole array of legally protected digital fences to en- close their work. In some cases it effectively removes the privilege of fair use. Each day brings some new Internet horror story about the excesses of intellectual property. Some of them are even true. The list goes on and on. (By the end of this book, I hope to have convinced you that this matters.) With all of this going on, this enclosure movement of the mind, this locking up of symbols and themes and facts and genes and ideas (and eventually people), why get excited about the patenting of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? ‘I just thought that there were limits,’ he said; ‘some things should be sacred.'” 

Librarians, Library 2.0 & Connectivism Using Social Networks…11.30.08

30 11 2008

This 5-minute YouTube video on the 21st century “networked” student would be good to spread to librarians and library students:


Libraries & Elsewhere: The Cost of Bureaucracy…11.30.08

30 11 2008

Although the post below from TechCrunch entitled “The Cost of Prudence” [http://www.techcrunch.com/] was not regarding libraries specifically, it is relevant to any organization. Librarians particularly must deal with bureaucracies regardless of the type of library in which they serve.  

“Bureaucracy kills innovation. We all know that. But why? Partly, it’s because bureaucracy grows out of prudence, a desire not to repeat the mistakes of the past. With the current economic crisis, for example, you can be sure that a lot more checks will be put into place—both in Washington and in corporate boardrooms—to prevent the excesses that got us into this situation from happening again. Governments and corporations alike react to crises by implementing more rules and regulations.

Putting checks in place, after all, is the prudent thing to do. But bureaucracies, and the checks they impose on companies, have their unintended consequences. Paul Graham takes a stab at exploring these costs in a new essay. He writes:

Every check has a cost.

. . . Checks instituted by governments can cripple a country’s whole economy. Up till about 1400, China was richer and more technologically advanced than Europe. One reason Europe pulled ahead was that the Chinese government restricted long trading voyages. So it was left to the Europeans to explore and eventually to dominate the rest of the world, including China.

In more recent times, Sarbanes-Oxley has practically destroyed the US IPO market. That wasn’t the intention of the legislators who wrote it. They just wanted to add a few more checks on public companies. But they forgot to consider the cost. They forgot that companies about to go public are usually rather stretched, and that the weight of a few extra checks that might be easy for General Electric to bear are enough to prevent younger companies from being public at all.

The bureaucracy of large corporations can be just as bad. He gives the examples of checking to make sure suppliers are solvent before allowing them to bid for business or approving large software purchases by committee. On the surface, these are prudent precautions, but they end up imposing costs that also need to be taken into account:

The purpose of the committee is presumably to ensure that the company doesn’t waste money. And yet the result is that the company pays 10 times as much.

Checks on purchases will always be expensive, because the harder it is to sell something to you, the more it has to cost.

Suppliers, whether they are plastic manufacturers or software vendors, will incorporate the cost of complying with bureaucracy into their price. And it is not just outside vendors that make this calculation. So do employees. Throw too many rules at the employees who create your product and the most talented ones may decide it is not worth their while. Graham gives the example of software programmers frustrated by longer release schedules after their startup has been acquired by a larger company with more rules in place. He warns:

And just as the greatest danger of being hard to sell to is not that you overpay but that the best suppliers won’t even sell to you, the greatest danger of applying too many checks to your programmers is not that you’ll make them unproductive, but that good programmers won’t even want to work for you.

This is the cost of prudence. Sometimes it is worth it, sometimes it is not… 

Rules need to be judged not only by what they are designed to accomplish or protect against, but also by the hidden costs they end up imposing on everyone who follows them…”

“Gaming in Libraries”…11.29.08

30 11 2008

This is a great picture that says a lot about “gaming” posted [http://tametheweb.com/2008/11/29/gaming-in-libraries/] by Michael Stephens on Tame the Web:

Redux on Obscure Google “Search Tricks”…11.29.08

29 11 2008

Earlier this year before I began this blog, Lifehacker [http://lifehacker.com] listed what it called the “Top 10 Obscure Google Search Tricks” which are listed here briefly:

10. Get the local time anywhere

9. Track flight status

8. Convert currency, metrics, bytes, and more

7. Compare items with “better than” and find similar items with “reminds me of”

6. Use Google as a free proxy

5. Remove affiliate links from product searches


When you’re sick of seeing duplicate product search results from the likes of eBay, Bizrate, Pricerunner, and Shopping.com, clear ‘em out by stacking up the -site:ebay.com -site:bizrate.com -site:shopping.com operator. Alternately, check out Give Me Back My Google (original post), a service that does all that known reseller cleaning up for you when you search for products…

4. Find related terms and documents

Ok, this one’s direct from any straight-up advanced search operator cheat sheet, but it’s still one of the lesser-used tricks in the book. Adding a tilde (~) to a search term will return related terms… 

3. Find music and comic books

Using a combination of advanced search operators that specify music files available in an Apache directory listing, you can turn Google into your personal Napster…

2. ID people, objects, and foreign language words and phrases with Google Image Search

Google Image search results show you instead of tell you about a word. Don’t know what jicama looks like? Not sure if the person named “Priti” who you’re emailing with is a woman or a man? Spanish rusty and you forgot what “corazon” is? Pop your term into Google Image Search (or type image jicama into the regular search box) to see what your term’s about.

1. Make Google recognize faces

google-face-recogniton_sm.pngIf you’re doing an image search for Paris Hilton and don’t want any of the French city, a special URL parameter in Google’s Image search will do the trick. Add &imgtype=face to the end of your image search to just get images of faces, without any inanimate objects…”

The Importance of Infographics or Information Visualization…11.28.08

28 11 2008

There is a great post from the Dosh Dosh blog on “infograhics” or information visualization entitled “Infographics Can Help You Spread Ideas and Attract Attention” [http://www.doshdosh.com/infographics-help-you-spread-ideas-and-attract-attention/] which should be of interest to librarians who are communicators of information that is excerpted here:

“An image is an act of communication. Images play an important role in the presentation of ideas. Worth more than a thousand words, they encapsulate meaning by both simplifying and embodying conceptual theories.They make information more appealing, more persuasive. In the realm of art or activism, images reflect the underlying current of collective feeling by vocalizing both public consensus and private desires…

Images transcend linguistic and cultural barriers faced by text. There is no need for machine or human translation. No need for mediation.

Like videos, images can spread very quickly online with little artificial push. Are they inherently more ‘viral‘ than textual content? It is difficult to say with certainty if it indeed has a higher potential for popularity. But images have undeniable value in spreading ideas. Especially when they are elegantly integrated with the use of text to present information.

Unique, original images can attract an audience. They are not only high quality content for an interested readership but they can be useful promotional tools for anyone interested in gaining more attention. A particular form of image is relevant to this purpose: the infographic.

Visual representations of information, data or knowledge. These graphics are used where complex information needs to be explained quickly and clearly, such as in signs, maps, journalism, technical writing, and education. They are also used extensively as tools by computer scientists, mathematicians, and statisticians to ease the process of developing and communicating conceptual information…

Infographics are a form of concentrated nutrition for data consumers. They are multi-vitamins, fulfilling basic info requirements in a simple hassle-free way. Like a pill, knowledge is condensed into essential components, enough to satiate your basic informational needs. They give you a general overview, one you can convert into talking points and social currency…

Here are some examples from Princeton University’s International Network Archives. These infographics each give you a brief overview on a topic. See this page for full images and more.

The finished infographic is often beautiful to behold. Swirling gradients of color form into tangible shapes, contextually arranged to demonstrate quantifiable meaning. It’s easy to take it all in at one glance. Your eye darts around the numbers and skirts between the illustrations. You interact with it. You are thoroughly absorbed in its display of coherence.

And after looking, you’ll often think of sharing it. Maybe save the image, attach it to an email and fire it to a friend. Maybe you’ll include it in your latest blog post or tweet it. Or you’ll log into your favorite forum, drop the link and see what everyone else thinks.

There are many ways to propagate these images once they are produced. Apart from the usual social media channels, you can provide link codes by hosting the images and providing the html which points back to your site. Or you can package it into PDF formats along with other similar infographics to make a mini-report.

Unlike textual content, these images often do not include much text: you can consider pre-emptively translating them into other major languages so they can be shared more widely among different audiences.

They can also be produced on a regular basis as feature content. As a pictorial representation of information, infographics are often considered to be unique even if the data shared as already been elaborated elsewhere in text articles. Therein lies its appeal to a readership that might be jaded by the repetition of ideas in the content of other media sources/websites.

Good Magazine is an excellent example of a site that recently started creating infographics (known as ‘Good Sheets’) as regular online content. The print editions of these images were also given out free of charge at Starbucks. The combination of online and offline distribution is something that is suited to the nature of one-page documents like infographics.

Next time when you’re planning on sharing specific ideas or data, consider using infographics…”

Thanksgiving Redux…11.26.08

26 11 2008

Check out this enlightening proclamation by the first U.S. President taken from The Massachusetts Centinel, Wednesday, October 14, 1789 [modern English text in larger print below]:


The following is the text:

General Thanksgiving

By the PRESIDENT of the United States Of America


 WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favour; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a DAY OF PUBLICK THANKSGIVING and PRAYER, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

NOW THEREFORE, I do recommend and assign THURSDAY, the TWENTY-SIXTH DAY of NOVEMBER next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed;– for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish Constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted;– for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge;– and, in general, for all the great and various favours which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also, that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions;– to enable us all, whether in publick or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us); and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

GIVEN under my hand, at the city of New-York, the third day of October, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine.

(signed) G. Washington 1789

2009 Corporate Library Benchmarks…11.25.08

26 11 2008

Being a special librarian, the following data on corporate libraries from “The Corporate Librarian” blog post “2oo9 Version of the Corporate Library Benchmarks Study” [http://thecorporatelibrarian.com/2008/11/25/2009-version-of-the-corporate-library-benchmarks-study/] is interesting and worth further thought: 

“I haven’t actually ponied up for this yet – some unexpected expenses plus the onset of Tinselkrieg have forced me to postpone a few things – but I do want to take a look and see if there are any conclusions one can draw in terms of multi-year trends.

A few items of note from Primary Research Group’s press release [http://www.primaryresearch.com/]:

  • Companies in the oil/gas and pharmaceuticals industries accounted for many of the libraries which reported increased budgets in 2008. In the Bay Area there’s been at least one large (and controversial) pharma library closing that I know of, so interesting to see this.
  • The median amount of time spent reviewing content vendor license contract terms was 30 hours (the mean was 117.2).
  • Average spending on ebooks (I assume mean, rather than median) was slightly less than half as much as was spent on print books.
  • Over 29% of respondents said the library has become more important to competitive intelligence research efforts (compared with 20% who said it had become less important). Of course, this could also be reported as “About half of libraries said the library had not changed its importance to competitive intelligence research efforts,” but that’s not going to sell studies.

I’ve commented on past editions of the study here and here, and you can find out more on the latest edition here.”

“Notify.Me” Get Instant Updates on Favorite Topics…11.26.08

26 11 2008

Something to maybe worth trying is Notify.me to see how it works.  TechCrunch [http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/11/25/notifyme-offers-instant-updates-on-your-favorite-topics-across-the-web/] reported today:

“RSS readers may make it easy to quickly browse through all of your favorite news sources, but they can quickly become overwhelming – many of the most popular blogs publish dozens of posts a day. Notify.me is looking to help cut through the noise by offering keyword filtering for blogs and other sites that support RSS (like Craigslist), and the ability to send immediate update notifications across a variety of services.

Notify.me allows users to create a list of RSS feeds they’d like to monitor for a set of specific keywords. Whenever one of these keywords appears in a story, Notify.me can alert them through SMS, Email, instant message, or through a desktop application. Users can also receive immediate updates from their social networks, including Facebook and LinkedIn, by switching their social network account’s email address to [user]@notify.me

While creating an account is easy, the site itself is more barebones than it should be. The default list of available RSS feeds only offers one source for each category – something that was likely done for simplicity, but sort of defeats the point of being able to monitor a wide variety of sources for a single subject. The site does offer a bookmarklet for adding more feeds to your account later, but it would benefit from a broader selection and more intuitive interface.

Notify.me shares many similarities with Yotify, another customizable alert startup that we covered in September that was described as “Google Alerts on Steroids’. For more on Notify.me, check out its profile on Go2Web20 here.”

Kindle 2 New Release Date and Ebook Competitors Rising…11.25.08

25 11 2008

Because I am interested in one day purchasing a Kindle, Amazon’s wireless reading device or ebook reader, I have been following its development.  Here is the latest from TechCrunch [http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/11/25/amazon-kindle-2-slated-for-early-q1/]:

“Update on the Kindle 2: It was scheduled to be released in October in time for this holiday season, but Bezos himself reportedly pulled the plug for last minute changes to the software. Our sources now say it’s tentatively scheduled to go on sale in ‘early next quarter.’

The images that surfaced of the new Kindle in October are real – it’s a longer device but not as thick as the original Kindle, and fixes some of the button issues that plague users (like accidental page turns). larger-screen student version is still scheduled for the first half of 2009.

Amazon is slow to turn new versions of the Kindle, which isn’t surprising given that this is their first foray into actual devices. I still think they’d be better off licensing the platform and letting the factories in China iterate more often on the Kindle - from what we hear a bunch of new ebook products are about to hit the market, and some of them may be real competition to Amazon.”

Important Ruminations on Never Becoming Famous In Librarianship…11.25.08

25 11 2008

Below is a really great post by The Academic Librarian entitled “Meditations Upon My Lack of Fame” [http://blogs.princeton.edu/librarian/ to which the vast majority of professional librarians can relate and that I had to repost in its entirety.  I’m sure I’ll never be a “famous” librarian either, may never have another library position, or may never be “recognized” for my efforts but we do the best we can where we serve.  Anyway, here is the post:

“I’m pretty sure I’ll never be famous, and by famous, I mean ‘famous’ in that librarian kind of way: well known throughout the profession, popular speaker, etc. 

This isn’t something that bothers me much, but I was thinking about it last week. Last Friday I gave a talk at a small regional conference. I don’t speak often and almost never seek the opportunity out, but when I can manage to get myself up in front of an audience things seem to go well. One person even said she found my talk inspiring, but I have a feeling she was being overly kind. Nevertheless, when I compare my speaking abilities to other librarians, including some of them who seem to be everywhere at once, I think I could hold my own when it came to style. Though I always feel sick before speaking, once I start everything seems fine, and I get a performance high by the end. Teaching affects me in much the same way if a discussion has gone particularly well. I craft my talks, engage my audience, get some laughs, just like the big boys and girls do. So style doesn’t explain why I’ll probably never be famous. 

It’s most likely not substance, either. Most of the presentations I see librarians doing are based upon things they do in their job or as a hobby. Most of these topics aren’t things that require years of intensive study before presenting on them. Some of the hot topics of years past—like Library 2.0 or virtual reference or some others—I already know quite a bit about, both theoretically and practically, and sometimes when I’m watching a presentation or reading something on a library topic, I do think to myself that I could probably do just as good a job with it. As with my talk last Friday (on building librarian-faculty relations), I could probably come up with a hour of material on just about anything related to my work and at least keep the audience from being bored. 

Besides my general lack of ambition to be famous, I think the problem might be one of the hedgehog and the fox. Isaiah Berlin notes in his essay of that title that, “There is a line among the fragments of the Greek poet Archilochus which says: ‘The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing’” (The Proper Study of Mankind, 436). In his essay Turgenev is the fox, Tolstoy the hedgehog. It seems to me that the most famous librarians, especially the most sought after speakers, are hedgehogs, whereas for better or worse, I’m more like a fox.

This may sound critical or even dismissive, but that’s far from my intention. The famous librarians often have a shtick or a brand they push: that’s the One Big Thing they know. It’s not that they don’t know other things, it’s just that for the sake of public consumption everyone associates them with the one big thing. When people want them to speak, it’s because they know the person can speak well about that One Big Thing, whatever it is. “You’re planning a panel on X? I heard so-and-so speak on X and she was fabulous!” I don’t think I even have to name names. Everyone can probably associate a few One Big Things with particular people. I’m almost positive some readers of this blog are themselves associated in the librarian hive-mind with one big thing. 

I wouldn’t necessarily mind being associated with One Big Thing, but I have no idea what that thing would be. This presents a problem if I wanted to be famous. I know about a lot of topics, but I’m not sure there’s any library topic I know more about than any number of other librarians. Plus, I’m not very focused; just consider this blog. That has always my problem as an academic as well, which is partly why I’m now a librarian. I had too many intellectual interests to spend five years focusing on one of them long enough to get through exams and a dissertation, and I couldn’t find any way to reconcile them. Thus, I’m an intellectual dilettante who prefers the more neutral term of generalist. 

About the only thing I do that other librarians don’t is think about certain library issues in unusual, irrelevant (and some might even say inappropriate) philosophical ways: for example, classical teleology and library missions, Rawlsian political philosophy and collection development, Aristotelian virtue ethics and reference work, Hayekian social theory and the Wikipedia (as well as, coming to you from a webcast at ACRL next spring, organizational development). While I may be able to cobble together a book one day, this is hardly the sort of approach that becomes a Big Thing.  ‘Oh, you’re planning a conference on esoteric and impractical ruminations about librarianship? I saw Wayne speak on that at ACRL and he was fabulous!’

I’m definitely not envious, but I do admire the technique. I’m not envious because first, I don’t think being a famous librarian means that someone is any smarter or more capable or a better librarian or even any happier than me, and second, I would definitely rather stay home with the fam than do as much traveling as I know some librarians do. I have a good friend who has done library-related jaunts in China and Nigeria and other places, and while I admire her immensely I don’t think I would like that life at all. Even with domestic travel, if it requires me to jam my long legs into an airplane seat, I’d usually  rather stay home. However, there is something admirable about the ability to seize the day that some librarians have, to exploit the coincidence of the moment and their One Big Thing. Regardless of whatever abilities I might have, it’s clear I don’t have that particular ability. Whatever it is—the drive, the desire, the knack, the energy, the focus—I obviously don’t have, but definitely notice it in others and wonder if they feed on it and grow stronger, or if it all just seems old after a while. I suppose I’ll never know.”

Do Librarians Think Google Should Die?…11.24.08

24 11 2008

Stephen Abram’s (SLA President) pointed out the commentary on PC  Magazine’s thoughts on whether Google should die [http://stephenslighthouse.sirsidynix.com/archives/2008/11/why_google_must.html] is worth consideration:

“Interesting point of view . . .

Why Google Must Die by John Dvorak, PC Magazine (Nov 17)

I’ve been talking about this for years. Too many library folks say they they want all of our OPACs, federated search, and web site search engines to work ‘just like Google’. Indeed some of the more shallow ones actually implement the Google yellow or blue boxes in their institutions or communities! I have heard that at least four U.S. states have served up their state portals to Google alone.

Should we give up, raise the white flag and just go Google? To that I respond:

OK, which should I implement first:

1. Should I start manipulating the search results of library users based on the needs of advertisers who pay for position?
2. Should I track your users’ searches and offer different search results or ads based on their private searches?
3. Should I open library OPACs and searches to ‘search engine optimization’ (SEO) techniques that allow special interest groups, commercial interests, politicians (as we’ve certainly seen with the geotagged searches in the US election this year), racist organizations (as in the classsic MLK example), or whatever to change results?
4. Should I geotag all searches, using Google Maps, coming from colleges, universities or high schools because I can ultimately charge more for clicks coming from younger searchers? Should I build services like Google Scholar to attract young ad viewers and train or accredit librarians and educators in the use of same?
5. Should I allow the algoritim to override the end-user’s Boolean search if it meets an advertiser’s goal?
6. “Evil,” says Google CEO Eric Schmidt, “is what Sergey says is evil.” (Wired). Is that who you want making your personal and institutional values decisions?

I still remain amazed at how many library folks are unaware of (or choose to ignore) exactly how Google makes billions of dollars in profit alone every year. You serve your primary customer and Google’s primary customer is not library end users (or searchers at all). Meeting the ends of advertisers and growing your revenue to meet the demands of the NYSE vortex.

Now libraries should be asking what creates a good saerch result that meets th end users needs – the big question research where the questions begin with ‘why’ and ‘how’ – not the simple who, what where, when Google searches. .Can they be as simple as Google? Should they be as simple as Google? Might thought, talent and learning be involved versus simple information transactions?

Libraries should be creating the third way – the one that doesn’t serve the needs of advertisers, politicians, special interest groups, etc. – the one that lifts people up in learning environments and communities.

And they should be training users to be aware of the algorithms behind Google and all the search engines.

And they should find their voice to talk to their host institutions and communities about their role.

If we don’t, . . .”

Microsoft to Rebrand “Search”…11.24.08

24 11 2008

TechCrunch reported [http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/11/23/microsoft-to-rebrand-search-will-it-be-kumo/] the following coming changes to Live Search:

Microsoft will relaunch Windows Live Search under a new brand sometime early next year, says a source within the company. What we don’t know is what that new brand will be, although a few names have been thrown around. According to our source, a ‘final’ decision has been made, but very few people inside of Microsoft are aware of it, and it could change.

Now LiveSide is saying there’s evidence the new search brand will be Kumo, which means “cloud” or “spider” in Japanese.

Why would Microsoft go through yet another rebranding effort? Live.com has a lot of different services under its umbrella (some server software, some client software) in addition to search. It’s also a burgeoning social network.

Over time, we’ve heard, Live.com will become a pure social network and personal productivity portal. You’ll go there to access email, calendar, photos, activity streams, etc. But search belongs somewhere else, and it definitely needs a fresh start.

Microsoft won’t comment on the name change, or even if there is a name change. But our sources caution us that nothing has been finalized, and the fate of Yahoo could swing this one way or another as well. So Kumo may very well be the name Microsoft is planning to use, but that decision may change.”

Google “Library” Not Based Upon Traditional Library Model…11.24.08

24 11 2008

At least somebody is hearing the message–The following excerpt was in The LA Times on Nov.10 on questions about Google and its library projects:

Google’s goal of creating a giant literary database may not fit the traditional model of free public libraries.

Google, whose corporate ambition is ‘to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful,’ has reached a breakthrough agreement with book publishers to make millions of out-of-print volumes accessible to the public. Unfortunately, it’s not clear how useful the pact will be to libraries and their patrons. That’s because the deal promotes a ‘pay to read’ approach that’s the antithesis of the free public library model…

Proponents of the deal say it’s just the starting point, and that Google and the registry will have the flexibility to explore more business models. The initiative will give publishers important new insights into how people want to use their works online and how digital technology is transforming the book market, they say. Nevertheless, some libraries are worried about a shift toward charging readers each time they take a book out of the digital stacks. It’s unfortunate that Google and the publishers didn’t take advantage of the emerging standards in the electronic book field to enable libraries to acquire and circulate digital versions of out-of-print titles. Companies such as Overdrive are providing a model for e-book lending that preserves the spirit of free public libraries. Google and the publishers should look for ways to apply that model to their new effort, helping libraries keep pace with a reading public that’s increasingly eager and equipped for a world with less paper.

Finding News Articles Using “Press Display”…11.24.08

24 11 2008

Linda J.’s post on Shelf Talk [http://shelftalk.spl.org/2008/11/23/tips-from-a-news-junkie/] tweaked my interest in checking out Press Display:

“…Recently I was trying to track down an article from the Seattle P-I, but couldn’t find it through the paper’s online search, which was absolutely crazy because I knew the exact headline and even the page where it appeared. Jesten points out that with PressDisplay, you see the newspaper in its entirety, so I could easily find the article on page 8 upper left corner I spied over someone’s shoulder on the 41. Check out Jesten’s post for tips on using PressDisplay…”

An excerpt from Jesten’s post [http://blog.spl.org/yablog/2008/11/18/i-am-a-press-display-junkie/] explains further:

“Growing up I looked at the Sunday ads and checked out the sports section to see if I was in the paper, but that was it. Occasionally I would visit a paper online or a news source online, but that was before I discovered Press Display. Press Display is a database the library subscribes to for us to use. It is free as long as you have a libray card with the Seattle Public Library.

Why would you ever use it?

  • You want to read the news, but you do not want to buy the paper.
  • You are into saving trees and doing your part to save the environment.
  • You are a news junkie.
  • You want to know what is going on in the U.S. and the world.
  • You just want to visit one place to get the news.  

What should you expect from Press Display?

  • Hundreds of newspapers in 35 languages.
  • 83 U.S. newspapers alone.
  • The Seattle Times, Seattle Post-Intelliger and weekend combo.
  • Color and full page format.
  • Ability to print, listen, blog.
  • Share the article by e-mail, on Digg, del.icio.us, and Facebook.
  • RSS feeds.
  • Ability to translate most articles into another major language.
  • Today’s paper and 60 days back.

Give it a try, you will not regret it.

Library Pictograms from Sweden…11.23.08

23 11 2008

I have excerpted here something interesting from Nate Hill on the WPLA blog [http://plablog.org/2008/11/library-pictograms-from-sweden.html] about pictograms for libraries from Sweden where there is a “…national development and standardization project aimed at making public symbols more uniform and more serviceable in keeping with the concept of Design for All.” 

“…Creating visual standards is analogous to creating a controlled vocabulary. Can one create a global, visual, controlled vocabulary? It has been attempted before; it was part of Otto Neurath’s ‘isotype‘ vision at the Bauhaus. Arguable, progenitors of the field of infographics like Ladislav Sutnar were striving for the same kind of thing. Will librarians work with graphic designers to make these decisions? How will visual literacies determine the structure of information and information retrieval in the coming century?…” 
The rest of the entries:







Social Searching–“The Online Search Party”…11.23.08

23 11 2008

Here is an excerpt from a New York Times article entitled “The Online Search Party: A Way to Share the Load” http://www.nytimes.co008/11/23/business/23novelties.html?_r=1&ref=business&oref=slogin] on new social searching tools:

“OPPORTUNITIES for social networking abound on the Internet, but not when it comes to one standard job: using a browser and search engine to comb the Web for information. That task is still typically done solo, because browser displays and search procedures have traditionally been designed for a single user.

Now tools are being developed by Microsoft and other companies that let people at different computers search as a team, dividing responsibilities and pooling results and recommendations in a shared Web space on the browser display as they plan a family vacation, for instance, or research a medical problem.

Meredith Ringel Morris, a computer scientist at Microsoft Research in Redmond, Wash., has created one of these collaborative tools, SearchTogether, now available in a test version as a free download at http://research.microsoft.com/searchtogether. The program is designed to work within the Internet Explorer 7 browser…”

Google Search Wiki Disappears…11.23.08

23 11 2008

Michael Arrington reported on TechCrunch [http://www.techcrunch.com/]:

Users are reporting that the recent changes to Google’s search engine, called SearchWiki, have simply disappeared from the site. It’s certainly gone from my account.

I was (and remain) highly critical of SearchWiki, which wasannounced two days ago and became the default search interface for anyone who opted into it. The changes allowed users to move search results up or down on a page (or remove them entirely), add public comments, and add entirely new results to the page (there is a good overview of all features here).

User reactions were mixed but weighted heavily towards “this is lame,” and there was no way to turn off the features other than to conduct Google searches without being logged in. Another way to turn it off was to switch search engines.

I’ve emailed Google for a comment.”


“The Importance of Social Networking to Information Work”…11.23.08

23 11 2008

This is an excerpt from a post [http://www.thesocialorganization.com/2008/11/the-importance-of-social-networking-to-information-work.html] on The Social Organization blog:

“Collaboration software was designed for the information worker and it has indeed, helped tremendously by giving people more ways and channels to communicate and work together on content.  However, collaboration – in its more traditional definition – is too limited for what information workers need because it doesn’t acknowledge the entire work flow, it typically helps with different points along that process.  What instigates collaboration in the first place?  What is the actionable results from the collaboration?   Who and what are the actors in collaboration and how trustworthy are they?  When are formal processes appropriate and when are more informal processes needed?

I like to think of this information work process as a circular thing, one work flow impacting and influencing others.  The process is sometimes kicked off formally – through perhaps a executive strategy discussion – and other times the process is kicked of by an informal conversation between two colleagues.  To me, the process looks something like – each step informed by the information source:

Information Work

The other thing about information work that sometimes goes unacknowledged is…if you don’t publish, broadcast, and get buy-in you might as well have fell a tree in the middle of Alaska for the amount of impact it will have. So to me information work is not effective if it doesn’t get marketed to the audience it is intended to impact. Many, many people do not get this…working slavishly but feeling like they don’t get the acknowledgement they deserve because they fail to ‘market’ their work…”

Click on the link above to read the complete post.

EU’s Digital Library Unveiling and Relaunch in December with New Servers…11.22.08

22 11 2008

TechCrunch reported today [http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/11/22/eu-presents-ambitious-open-source-library-digitization-project-site-promptly-crashes/] on the European Union’s new digital library which is temporarily offline:

“A cadre of European politicians gathered Thursday at the Museum of the 18th century in Brussels to launch Europeana, a digital museum that allows visitors to explore classic paintings, photos, recordings and texts in the same manner in which it is possible to search, say, Amazon.com.

Trying to access Europeana on the day of its launch, though, was akin to navigating the Vatican Museums in the tourist-thick month of August. It was impossible to see anything, as the project’s three servers were totally overwhelmed.

The Commission said Saturday in a press release that the site received about 10 million hits per hour throughout Thursday – double server capacity. The site was taken down Friday evening and is expected to be back up in mid-December.

Europeana’s three servers are located in the Hague, where the project is headquartered, but programmers plan eventually to put mirror servers around the world.

A pair of Dutchmen programmed Europeana in about 10 weeks, said technical developer Eric Van der Meulen. They added the final two of 21 European languages, Finnish and Hungarian, at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

Europeana, which is still in beta, was programmed using only open source applications, Van der Meulen said…

Technical challenges included harvesting and normalizing metadata from more than 1,000 different museums and libraries from around Europe. Half of participating cultural heritage institutions so far are French. The Louvre in Paris, the Institut National de l’Audiovisuel (which contributed footage shot on French battlefields in 1914) and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam are three of the biggest participating museums.

Europeana is an outgrowth of The European Library, on which Van der Meulen also worked. But it has in the press been compared to Google’s Library Project. Copyright concerns are abundant in all three projects.

Viviane Reding, European commissioner for media, worked to bring the European Digital Library to fruition prior to realizing Europeana.

Issues of intellectual property will certainly complicate Reding’s goal of adding 10 million more objects over the next two years. The project will receive 2 million Euro over the next two years for that goal, said European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso on Thursday. For now, all objects on Europeana are in the public domain…

The difference between Europeana and existing library projects, though, is in the diversity of digital objects available on Europeana…”

Review of Changes to Google Search…11.21.08

21 11 2008

This an important post from TechCrunch [http://www.techcrunch.com/] titled “Google, It Wasn’t Broke” about changes to Google search by 

Bucket tests and experimental products are one thing. But to mess with the real Google search is serious stuff. Why did they do it?

Google’s overall search share has grown substantially this year (and all other years since it went live). Their share of search advertising dollars is likely even higher.

The changes Google made to search today certainly make it more interactive and social. I can now write comments on search results, and read comments from everyone about TechCrunch (or anything else – see the awesomely useful TechCrunch comments in the image below, along with my votes on each) and vote them up or down. I can move search results around on the page – up, down, or off the page entirely. I can also add other URLs into search results.

In fact. Google paid Wikia Search the highest compliment possible today. They copied most of their features.

So, why did they do it?

In their blog post, Google says they’ve created a way to customize search results, and share (via the comments). They say they are striving to improve the search experience, and giving people tools to make search even more useful to them in their daily lives.

But Google search wasn’t broken. It’s one of the few things on the Internet that isn’t. I love it, as does 62% of everyone on the Internet. This new stuff is a mess of arrows and troll comments and stuff moving around the page. That doesn’t make my search experience more useful. It makes it move to another search engine.

My guess is they’ve made the changes to see what kind of data they get, and how it can be used to make their overall search results better. So when Google says “The changes you make only affect your own searches,” I think they’re only being half-truthful. All this data, in aggregate, will certainly be used to improve Google search results in general.

The worst part of the new stuff is you can’t turn it off. Once you click “Yes, continue” you’re in. And as far as I can tell, you can’t get back to the good old Google that worked just fine.

Google, I’m begging. Please pull a Lively and get rid of this thing fast…”


“The Informed Librarian Online”…11.21.08

21 11 2008

This might be a valuable resource to keep tabs on as noted by LIS Wire [http://liswire.com/]:

The Informed Librarian Onlinewww.informedlibrarian.com) is the information professional’s current awareness service.

Each month, we link you to the contents of 300+ valuable domestic and foreign library and information-related jourrnals, e-journals, magazines, e-magazines, newsletters, e-newsletter, and blogs.

In addition, Premium Members get free access to 15+ premium content articles each month, from Emerald, ScienceDirect, Sage, Taylor and Francis, Haworth, and IOS Press. A highlight of our site is ILOSearch, a database of 87,000 documents that are fully indexed and searchable. ILOSearch enables you to search through all the journals we link to.

All this and much more is accessible to our subscribers. Free memberships with limited access are also available. For more information go tohttps://www.informedlibrarian.com/authorize.net/premium_member.cfm

Arlene L. Eis
Informed Librarian Online
140 Norma Road
Teaneck, NJ 07666
Phone: 201-836-7072 Fax: 201-357-5575
URL: http://www.informedlibrarian.com
Serving the Information Professional since 1981″

Floor Plan Maps in Library OPACs…11.20.08

20 11 2008

Here is an interesting use of the OPAC in helping patrons find materials in the physical plant of the library as noted by The Ubiquitous Librarian today [http://theubiquitouslibrarian.typepad.com/the_ubiquitous_librarian/]:

“…I discovered a very cool finding aid to help users locate items in the stacks.

Check it out. Go to FSU’s Library site  and search for something.  Cloning is always my default keyword.

You’ll see something like this:


When you click on “map” you get this:
It’s a great concept. Maybe all the catalogs are doing this these days—I have not been following the talk about 2.0 OPACs but this helps with a common challenge: finding books in the stacks. So I commend FSU for this. However, I tried to use their “texting” feature and after 2 hours it still has not arrived.  

So on a hunch I looked at several other Florida universities since I know they use the same catalog. Here are more examples of map/floor plan layouts that are linked out via the catalog: UFUSFFGCU,FAUUNFUWFUCF

You’ll find a lot of variation, but… FSU trumps them all with their low-tech image simply because it provides an indication of where the book can be found.  99% of the time I side with form over function, but this is one of those rare cases where 1% wins out. I like their map because it shows me where about on the floor I can find the book.”

Thanksgiving 2 Cents Worth…11.20.08

20 11 2008

Posting may be sparse the next week since I will be on holiday all week celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday with family. 

Check out this enlightening proclamation by the first U.S. President taken from The Massachusetts Centinel, Wednesday, October 14, 1789 [modern English text in larger print below]:


The following is the text:

General Thanksgiving

By the PRESIDENT of the United States Of America


 WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favour; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a DAY OF PUBLICK THANKSGIVING and PRAYER, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

NOW THEREFORE, I do recommend and assign THURSDAY, the TWENTY-SIXTH DAY of NOVEMBER next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed;– for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish Constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted;– for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge;– and, in general, for all the great and various favours which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also, that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions;– to enable us all, whether in publick or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us); and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

GIVEN under my hand, at the city of New-York, the third day of October, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine.

(signed) G. Washington 1789

“The Importance and Influence of Philosophical Thinking for Librarians”…11.20.08

20 11 2008

You can read the interesting article “The Importance of Philosophical Thinking for Librarians” by Nazli Alkan [http://www.webpages.uidaho.edu/~mbolin/alkan.pdf]

Here is an excerpt:

“…In librarianship and the information professions, PT reflects the critical and questioning intellectual activity of theorists and librarians engaged in exploration. PT makes it possible to disclose “whats”, “hows,” and especially “whys”; it makes it possible to explore the meaning, value, or purpose of a subject, an object, an entity, an event, a phenomenon, a concept, a relation, a practice, through systematic, consistent, logical, rational, critical, and questioning approaches and to reach a meaningful judgment. Theorists and practitioners may take different approaches. These differences stem from the fact that librarians may combinetheir thinking directly with their practices or their ability to engage in PT during their practices.

From the perspective of practitioners, PT is found in librarians who are open to conducting professional activities accompanied by thinking, questioning, and investigating. It is crucial for the librarians to know what they do not know. Reflective thinking may lead to the systematization of what is in the mind. At the end of the PT process, a philosophical thought may emerge, and this outcome, if it is completely new, may be a value created by the librarian.

PT may be influential in the emergence and development of a professional philosophy. Just as the PT exercises of reflective librarians may be initial steps in the development of a professional philosophy, the philosophical thoughts they generate may serve as basic building blocks of this philosophy. The views of Butler (1933), Danton (1934), Foskett (1962), Nitecki(1964, 1993, 1995), Mukherjee (1966) and Shera (1971) are particularly remarkable in the context of PT by librarians and the role of librarians in the formation of a professional philosophy. It may be fruitful to elaborate further and to discuss the PT of librarians in the light of the views of these authors…”

“Personality Types and Library Specialties”…11.19.08

19 11 2008

In May of this year, The Gypsy Librarian posted [http://gypsylibrarian.blogspot.com/2008/05/article-note-on-librarians-and.html] the following abstract/summary of a 2008 study entitled “The Personality Traits of Individuals in Different Library Specialties in Librarianship“:

“At the end of the day, this article helps to confirm what most of us already know: that librarians pretty much gravitate to their area of librarianship based on their personalities. In other words, to an extent, the old adage/rule that catalogers are less socially inclined than public services folks hols true. It’s just based on their personalities. Mind you, this is not perfect, but fairly close. The article draws on Holland’s theories on vocational choice. Keep in mind also that Holland’s work has been questioned at times.


  • The sample: ‘The participants for this study consisted of a non-random sample of 2,075 librarians and information science professionals who responded to print or e-mail solicitations during 2002 to fill out the personality inventory, which was available in print, as an e-mail attachment, or as a web form’ (276). Do note that any participants not actually working in a library or info science job were dropped from the sample (276).
  • ‘Taken as a whole, the results of our study clearly demonstrate that different librarianship subspecialties can be differentiated by broad and narrow personality traits which carry important implications for theorizing and future research in this area’ (282).
  • And this is where the adage part comes in: ‘Similarly, we found that high extraversion, low tough-mindedness, and high teamwork (among other variables for the various clusters) characterized person-oriented academic reference librarians, special librarians, public librarians, school librarians, distance education librarians and records managers. For the technique-oriented specialties, operational work style and low customer service orientation characterized catalogers, and high assertiveness and high tough-mindedness characterized the archivists and systems librarians” (282-283)… 
  • The authors propose the following implications: For recruitment purposes, you could use the personality tool for advising and guidance. Also useful for librarians wishing to change their track or line of work as they could see how their traits match a line of work.
  • The catch of the implications: ‘Of course, it must be acknowledged that trait change is not a simple process, and there are ethical issues surrounding selecting individuals for jobs based on their personality traits’ (283).”

UPDATE 02.2o.09:

Librarian Signal Personality “Patterns” Survey And DiSC® Profile Results…02.20.09

“Let Me Google that for You” Service…11.19.08

19 11 2008

This from Lifehacker [http://lifehacker.com/5093525/let-me-google-that-for-you-passive+aggressively-helps-your-friends] is interesting and perhaps useful:

“If you’re a power searcher, or other people think you are, and you’re getting tired of constant requests for answers to questions that a quick Google search would provide, try Let me google that for you. Enter a search term, click the Google Search button, and a link appears that you can copy, paste and send to your friend. When they click the link, an animation displays the complicated process of searching Google for information, and then directs the user to the actual search results page from Google. Snarky? Yes. However, the time the user is forced to study the search term you used, they might pick up a trick or two in keyword syntax, search operators, literal strings and the like. After all, give a man an answer, and he’ll come back tomorrow asking for more. Teach a man to search Google, and you’ll have to offer tech support when he ends up downloading malware while cruising shadier purveyors of adult entertainment and file sharing software.”

Amazon, Google, LibraryThing, WorldCat, and Open Library…11.19.08

19 11 2008

Posted [http://inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/2008/a-useful-amplification-of-records-that-are-unavoidably-needed-anyway/] on the In The Library With a Lead Pipe blog is an interesting overview of Amazon, Google, LibraryThing, WorldCat, and Open Library and how they may fit into the library universe that has been excerpted here:

“Depending on books can feel like relying on snail mail. “Now that I’ve showed you how to find some articles,” I say to people at the reference desk, “I’ll show you how to use our website to find some books you might want to check out. And after that, wouldn’t it make your grandmother’s day if you wrote her a letter?”

For anyone accustomed to the Internet, books can lack the immediacy of articles or websites. Books generally have slower developing narratives, and often have longer paragraphs, sentences, and words, which means they don’t lend themselves to skimming. Compared to digital material, relevant passages can be hard to find, and even finding the right book can be challenging.

Although library websites are improving, keyword searching doesn’t work well at most libraries and faceted browsingthe links down the left side of the page on Amazon—is still a rarity. More importantly, with one notable exception, there is a good chance that nothing on the shelf that is ‘printed on paper and constructed on the model of the codex’ includes the exact information you have in mind.

This is where universal catalogs come into play. If there’s nothing on the shelf that meets your needs, the next step is to figure out if such a book exists. There are five websites that provide relatively complete and easily accessible lists of books: Amazon, Google, LibraryThing, WorldCat, and Open Library. In order to make the best use of these websites, it can be useful to learn how each of them started, what keeps them going, and how their business models and practices affect the data they collect and and how they go about sharing it…”

OCLC and Google Policy Discussion Continues…11.19.08

19 11 2008

As the discussion about CHANGE in policies at 2 major library institutions garners rants, raves, and speculation, here [http://librarygang.talis.com/2008/11/19/library-20-gang-1008-policy-oclc-google-book-search/] is commentary worth reviewing from “The Library 2.0 Gang”:

“This month’s Library 2.0 Gang conversation is stimulated by recent announcements from two significant organisations in their spheres of influence.

Gang regulars Tim Spalding and Marshall Breeding chew the fat on OCLC’s policy change announcement(s) which has set the library blogosphere alight over the last couple of weeks and was the subject of a Talking with Talis podcast with OCLC’s Karen Calhoun & Roy Tennant..   What are the motivations behind it – is OCLC a good thing – what could the ramifications for the wider community – does the wider library community care enough about it?

Google Book Search and their provisional settlement with the Authors Guild and Association of American Publishers (AAP) around copyright issues.  One of the spin offs from the settlement being the setting up of Book Rights Registry, managed by authors and publishers, that will work to locate and represent copyright holders Book Rights Registry, managed by authors and publishers, that will work to locate and represent copyright holders.  Is this the beginnings of a change in the publishing industry to take on some of the attributes of the music industry?

As always another lively and entertaining conversation.”


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