Monthly Archives: December 2006

Emergent knowledge and intentional data

I have written about ‘intentional’ data on and off, data recording user preferences or choices. Such data has a variety of uses in our domain: we are all familiar with Amazon’s ‘people who bought this also bought this’ feature. One of the major lessons of Google is to show how important such data is to … Continue reading Emergent knowledge and intentional data

Library history

If you have $495 to spend, or £261.25, you can acquire The Cambridge history of libraries in Britain and Ireland. The publisher claims that this is “The most comprehensive history of libraries from their beginnings to the digital age”. Three volumes, 2072 pages, 4.99 lbs. I would be interested in reviewing the third volume if … Continue reading Library history

London displayed

The British Library has an exhibition on London and its maps. There is a ‘curator’s blog’. And there I read: Just a quick note to let you know about a fantastic new Google Earth layer based on London: A Life in Maps that a colleague in our web team has put together. You can download … Continue reading London displayed

The power of the Google flow

I mentioned the other day that of the three blog search engines – Technorati, Google Blogsearch, Ask/Bloglines – that I tended to use, Technorati had slipped to number three because of its slower response times. When it is part of the flow of what you are doing, you do not want to sit for that … Continue reading The power of the Google flow

Circulation and the collective collection again

I stumbled upon the pages at Swarthmore College Library devoted to WH Auden’s spell as a teacher there earlier today. There are a few nice pages pointing to his use of the library. Auden was a great poet and a provocative professor, but he was not always the ideal library patron. His sometimes indecipherable scrawl … Continue reading Circulation and the collective collection again

Knights and copyright

The Gowers Review of Intellectual Property [report home page] was released recently in the UK, and was welcomed by those opposed to the extension of the existing copyright term. More of that later … I recently watched Out of Ireland: from a whisper to a scream again, a video documentary account of the emergence of … Continue reading Knights and copyright

Holiday greetings

Check out our holiday card. Make sure to click on something …..

Comparing single search environments

Over time I reckon that ‘single search’ will replace ‘metasearch’ for general article access. This is not to say that there will not be target markets where niche databases do not continue to exist, rather that alternative solutions for general article searching seem inevitable given the difficulties of metasearch. Now, there is some discussion of … Continue reading Comparing single search environments

Google is the environment

The Guardian summarizes: Rich Skrenta, co-founder and CEO of, is fed up with hearing low numbers for Google’s market share when he reckons the real number is around 70%. Let’s start by agreeing that Rich is measuring something different: search referrals, rather than searches. However, referrals is actually a more important number, in reflecting … Continue reading Google is the environment

Library systems market

Prompted by Andrew Pace’s comments on the ILS a while ago, I noted that there was less discussion in the library community about the industry that supports it than one might expect. Given the various announcements since then, this is of even more interest (Coutts/Ingrams, Endeavor/Ex Libris, Blackwells/Wiley). Anyway, in this context, I was very … Continue reading Library systems market