Monthly Archives: July 2009


Andy Powell rang me a few days ago to tell me that our friend and former UKOLN colleague, Rachel Heery, had died. Although Rachel had been fighting cancer for a long time, I was shocked, as I had been speaking to her a few weeks before and she was in good form. Since being in … Continue reading Rachel

Related searches

Google has had some optional features for a while, although I have not seen much discussion of them. I don’t know if this is because they are not being much used, or there is some other reason. Anyway, I was interested to try the related search earlier on my own name. Here is what I … Continue reading Related searches


[I am on vacation the latter couple of weeks in July, so not much blogging happening.] I was not registered for ALA at Chicago and only dipped in briefly to present on one panel. Afterwards, I continued congenial conversation in the bar in the Hilton, Kitty O’Shea’s (see the entry in Wikipedia for some background … Continue reading Blogging

Library and beehive …

JISC has produced a short video about the library of the future … This is part of its Libraries of the Future initiative, and is about nine and a half minutes long. Two quick things. First, I wish that the card catalogue was not used so much as an image of the library. Second, I … Continue reading Library and beehive …

Shifting the sourcing model

A recurrent theme of this blog has been that networking changes the way we think about organizational boundaries. So, we have seen a major shift to webscale which has reconfigured whole industries as well as individual organizations. Some obvious examples are the influence of Expedia/Orbitz/Travelocity on travel, Amazon on retail, Netflix on movie distribution, and … Continue reading Shifting the sourcing model

QOTD: Seamus Heaney on lecturing

From Stepping Stones, a book-length collection of interviews with Seamus Heaney by Dennis O’Driscoll. The thing I should say, however, is that I am always nervous before a lecture. Even in my fifties, in Harvard, if I had a lecture, I’d be up early to try to get it squared out in my head – … Continue reading QOTD: Seamus Heaney on lecturing

A web-siting at the University of Michigan

I came across the University of Michigan beta library website the other day. I thought it was interesting what they had done. Its central part is organized around three areas: search, browse, and get help. News is prominent, alongside a ‘feature’. I liked the way the search results were laid out to show a full … Continue reading A web-siting at the University of Michigan

Visible people

I continue to be amazed at how difficult it is to find the name or contact details of the library director on many library websites. And in some cases to find the names of other relevant library contacts. This is especially the case given the emphasis on the human touch the library provides, and the … Continue reading Visible people

Ranking, rating and recommending

We are now accustomed to being able to rank or recommend on websites. More importantly, we are accustomed to seeing resources ranked, related or recommended. To the extent, I suggested in a recent talk, that when we don’t see these features on a site it is as if as if we are watching black and … Continue reading Ranking, rating and recommending

In English?

I thought I would post some numbers here which were prepared by my colleague Brian Lavoie for another purpose. The question was: how many of the books in US libraries are in English? First of all, what is a book? Deciding what a book is involves some choices (are theses in or out, for example?). … Continue reading In English?