Monthly Archives: June 2004

Buy or borrow

I notice that Edinburgh University Library has a link to Blackwells Online Bookshop on their web site. This is a useful bibliographic retrieval system, which allows you to buy books. Wouldn’t it be nice if it were better integrated with the catalog, so that one could discover books through the same interface, and then go … Continue reading Buy or borrow

Structured reading lists

IMS has released its Resource List Interoperability Specification. In the future, I think, we will increasingly see the reading list as a ‘portable portal’ (a ‘portable’?), as you can have services on the contained objects. The Resource List Interoperability (RLI) specification details how structured meta-data can be exchanged between systems that store and expose resources … Continue reading Structured reading lists

Tranforming libraries or muddling through

This article — ARL 234: Libraries Dealing with the Future Now — discusses work done at the University of Arizona to identify ways in which the library needs to reallocate attention and resources to be a viable iinsitutional player in a climate of continuing resource constraint. The work reported here takes its cue from the … Continue reading Tranforming libraries or muddling through

Aaron Swartz on Google’s ad policy

It is increasingly clear that Google cannot enforce their censorship policy with any semblance of fairness. Worse, [their editorial policy in ads undermines their claim of fair, computer-generated results]( Google should stick to ensuring adds are accurate, and let the computer decide which ones to show based on which are popular. [Google’s Gag Order (Google … Continue reading Aaron Swartz on Google’s ad policy

Physical and virtual union catalogs

CC-Interop is a UK project looking at aspects of the interplay between what it calls ‘physical’ union catalogs and ‘virtual’ union catalogs. The latter are z39.50 enabled ‘clumps’ of catalogs. It has produced several reports, the most recent of which looks at the use of Collection Level Descriptions to ‘landscape’ an environment of catalogs. [pdf]

UK Web Archiving Consortium

A UK Web Archiving Consortium has been established by the national libraries of the UK, the National Archive, JISC and the Wellcome Trust. To address this problem, a consortium of six leading UK institutions is working collaboratively on a project to develop a test-bed for selective archiving of UK websites. [UK Web Archiving Consortium]


In general, there seems little point in trying to define terms for use except within some closely knit community of practice. Nevertheless, glossaries are often interesting attempts to clarify the conceptual context of activities. This is the case with the RDN discussion of structured and unstructured services, brokers and portals, and so on. Another interesting … Continue reading Glossaries

Bosak on XML

Discussion in the library community sometimes seems to imagine that XML alone can deliver full interoperability. A nice corrective: JavaOne Today: What’s the most common nonsensical notion about XML? Bosak: I guess that XML will, by itself, solve the information interchange problem. In reality, XML just clears away some of the syntactical distractions so that … Continue reading Bosak on XML

Arrow, Fedora and VTLS

Arrow is an Australian project developing institutional repository facilities for Australian Universities. The National Library of Australia will provide a ‘national discovery layer’ for the initiative. At Members’ Council somebody compared an institutional repository to a vertical file system; Arrow has a vertical file system motif on its web pages. The project has just selected … Continue reading Arrow, Fedora and VTLS

MIT libraries website

I like the fresh new look of the MIT Libraries website. The new look has not propagated throughout the website, and it seems odd to have news overwrite the title. Nice though. Of course, I not know how effective its users find the website itself. That said, it is good to see the growing emphasis … Continue reading MIT libraries website