Libraries - organization and services

  • Three challenges: Engaging, rightscaling and innovatingJuly 05, 2013 – I was in Australia recently, primarily to attend the conference intriguingly entitled 'The edge of the world'. The presentation I gave is here, and is embedded below. This was the latest Theta conference, the Australian parallel to Educause. I very much enjoyed the host city, Hobart, not least because of...read full entry...
  • Defining the library ... reflexivelyMarch 21, 2013 – It occurred to me recently that the library definitions I most like have a reflexive quality ... Dan Chudnov, for example, is admirably succinct and direct: My professional mission as a librarian is this: Help people build their own libraries. That's it. That's all I care about. [One big library]...read full entry...
  • Systemwide organization - sourcing and scaling reduxFebruary 01, 2013 – Libraries are increasingly taking a system-wide perspective of their roles and services. This can take different forms. Think of the close collaboration within the Orbis Cascade Alliance for example, where academic libraries in Washington and Oregon are moving to a shared systems infrastructure. Or think of the various initiatives looking...read full entry...
  • Two things prompted by a new website: space as a service and full library discoveryAugust 31, 2012 – Drawn by a Tweet I looked at Stanford's very nice new library website just now. I only spent a few minutes there but I was immediately and strongly struck by two things. Each makes so much sense that I imagine they will become routine. The first was the foregrounding of...read full entry...
  • The enterprising librarian ... June 30, 2012 – I participated in an interesting event at the School of Information and Library Science at UNC a while ago. It was a symposium to consider the 'information professional' of 2050. Yes, that is 2050 :-) There was a mix of people. Some in LIS education; some in libraries; and some...read full entry...
  • Collections are library assetsAugust 31, 2011 – I quite like using the word 'assets' with reference to library collections. We tend to think of assets in positive terms, as things that are valuable. More of that later. I was interested to see Rick Anderson remark on the vocabulary used by my colleague Constance Malpas a while ago....read full entry...
  • Gamification: services and librariesJuly 24, 2011 – I have been interested to see more notes in my tweetstream about peoples' exercise or diet regimes. They are typically generated by network services as a by-product of some activity, running or cycling, for example, and are part of a motivating framework. The Withings bathroom scale is connected to the...read full entry...
  • Sourcing and scaling: the University of CaliforniaMay 19, 2011 – I was interested to see Heather Christenson describe The Hathi Trust as a collaboratively sourced web scale research library in a recent article (Hathi Trust: a research library at web scale. PDF). This reminded me of an entry I wrote a while ago about sourcing and scaling (which is referenced...read full entry...
  • Advocacy: public library as amenity and necessityApril 29, 2011 – Downward pressure on the cost of public services creates issues for public libraries. A growth in advocacy is a natural response, and this in turn creates pressing questions about value, and in particular about how different stakeholders potentially perceive value differently. Who one is addressing, and with what message, has...read full entry...
  • Lam-inating libraries ... reduxApril 13, 2011 – The shared interests between libraries, archives and museums (LAMs) has been an important line of work for OCLC Research. It is also of course a recurring service, organizational and policy issue in many contexts. A related issue is also of considerable interest for libraries. As we move into a digital...read full entry...
  • A small note on sustainability, business models and words ... April 12, 2011 – Sustainability is an important aspect of digital library initiatives. Partly because they are often funded by grant or special monies, out of the mainstream of business as usual. For this reason, it is not surprising to see how much attention the topic has received. Before coming to OCLC I worked...read full entry...
  • Internal boundary changes .. the library in the institutionMarch 31, 2011 – It has been interesting in recent years to see how library boundaries within universities have shifted as relationships with other campus providers potentially change. This is natural enough as the network has changed the way in which research, learning and administration are carried out within the university in important ways,...read full entry...
  • The library building and the library serviceMarch 23, 2011 – Inside Higher Ed has an interesting piece about library buildings, From modernist to modern. It talks about how Lafayette College and the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth embarked on projects to transform the Modernist libraries "at the heart of their campuses into modern, technologically advanced, sustainable centers for learning." Lafayette...read full entry...
  • The Collections shiftMarch 03, 2011 – A few things about library collection shifts came to my attention this week ... Taken together, they underline several central trends: the move to electronic, the managing down of print collections, and the curation of institutionally-generated learning and research resources. Rick Anderson has a typically pointed post about Cloud-sourcing Research...read full entry...
  • The institution and the network ... a question of scaleFebruary 24, 2011 – I was interested to come across this passage in a presentation [ppt] about library strategy by Dr Paul Ayris of University College London: Challenges Identifying the needs of UCL researchers and students, and recognising the most appropriate tools to meet these needs Fitting such developments into an electronic world which...read full entry...
  • The library network and the scholarly recordFebruary 13, 2011 – The library community is a highly interconnected one. Networks are motivated both by library mission and effective management of resources. This trend will accelerate as the Internet favors shared services, and libraries will see more benefit in building such shared services. The Hathi Trust is an important example. The growth...read full entry...
  • There is more to discovery than you think ...February 05, 2011 – Colleagues at the University of Minnesota have produced another must-read report on the discoverability of library resources [Splash page, PDF]. Importantly, it provides a framework within which to think about evolving issues and in this way makes a real contribution to our understanding of the environment and ability to plan...read full entry...
  • The service turn ... January 28, 2011 – A while ago I spent some time looking through the institution profiles collected by ARL. One of the themes I noticed was the 'service turn', where libraries were looking at the quality of their services in support of research and learning as important markers of distinction, more important, maybe, than...read full entry...
  • Managing down collections ...January 21, 2011 – I was interested to read this from Karen Schneider a while ago: "Centralized mass storage for legacy print materials (paper-based books and journals) is by far the most under-observed trend in libraries today". I agree, with the friendly qualification that the trend is about managing the relationship between local, mass...read full entry...
  • Evolving research life ...October 17, 2010 – I was interviewed for the British Library's Growing Knowledge: the evolution of research exhibition, which opened last week. I have not seen the physical installation yet but there is an online presence. See the gallery of digital research initiatives they showcase, for example, or the network research tools. One theme...read full entry...
  • Brutalist architecture and librariesSeptember 19, 2010 – I was talking to Carole Moore, Chief Librarian of the University of Toronto Libraries, recently about Robarts Library, described by Wikipedia as one of "the most significant examples of brutalist architecture in North America". Curious, I followed the Wikipedia link to brutalist architecture. I was interested to find several libraries...read full entry...
  • Emerging network level management of the collective print collectionSeptember 12, 2010 – One of the recurrent themes in these pages is that systemwide coordination of print materials is necessary as libraries begin to retire collections - to offsite storage or removing them altogether. There are various drivers here: the demands on space, the emergence of a digital corpus, the cost of managing...read full entry...
  • 3 stages of library websites ...August 22, 2010 – While writing about subject pages and library websites the other day, it occurred to me that we might think of library websites in three stages - which emerged successively and continue to exist together. Always mindful of the rule of three ;-) We might clumsily call these stages: [1] fragmentary,...read full entry...
  • Curating the web ...August 15, 2010 – A couple of recent events interestingly relate ... First, I read in Search Engine Land of the resignation from Yahoo of Srinija Srinivasan. Srinavasan was once arguably "the most powerful person in search" writes Danny Sullivan. This was when "humans edited the web" and Yahoo emerged as its central directory....read full entry...
  • Stitching costs - retreadJuly 18, 2010 – I am on vacation and traveling this week, and so am taking the opportunity to air again an entry of a couple of years ago on what I called 'stitching costs' .... We are familiar with switching costs, the costs of changing a supplier. I may decide not to change...read full entry...
  • Discovery layers - Top Tech Trends 2July 04, 2010 – [No 2 of 3. No 1 here.] I was pleased to participate in LITA's Top Tech Trends panel at ALA this year (see the video and live coverage). We were each asked to talk about three trends: current, a bit further out, and a bit further out again. In thinking...read full entry...
  • Mobile .. Top Tech Trends 1June 29, 2010 – I was pleased to participate in LITA's Top Tech Trends panel at ALA this year (see the video and live coverage). We were each asked to talk about three trends: current, a bit further out, and a bit further out again. In thinking about the exercise, it seemed to me...read full entry...
  • The cloud is currently a question, not an answerJune 23, 2010 – I will be on the LITA Top Technology Trends panel on Sunday. I have yet to finalize my thoughts, but I am sure that mobile and cloud will figure. We are increasingly familiar with the twin discussions about mobilization and the cloud, and about how each trend supports the other....read full entry...
  • Distinctive impact and specializationJune 21, 2010 – In the print era, the cost of interacting with multiple information sources was high so there were incentives for newspapers to present a complete view of news, entertainment, local affairs, and so on, to local audiences. In the network environment, that cost goes down and there is an incentive to...read full entry...
  • Outside-in and inside-out reduxJune 06, 2010 – I have been using this phrase, outside-in and inside-out, to discuss a contrast in information management practices that is becoming more important. Here is how I spoke about it a little while ago in these pages: Think, for example, of a distinction between outside-in resources, where the library is buying...read full entry...
  • QR codes again ...May 02, 2010 – Andy Walsh of the University of Huddersfield gave a very nice presentation on QR Codes at the recent EMTACL10 conference at NTNU in Trondheim. I particularly liked his introduction in which he provided some motivating context for his work. He noted that as library spaces became places for social activity,...read full entry...
  • People are entry points too ... reduxMay 02, 2010 – I have been reading The power of pull by John Hagel III, John Seely Brown and Lang Davison. They provide a broad framework for thinking about current changes and how people and firms should position themselves to operate effectively. A major part of this is a shift from managing 'knowledge...read full entry...
  • Focusing on the distinctive ...April 19, 2010 – Links to a story in yesterday's NYT are popping up around the place. Called Companies Slowly Join Cloud-Computing, it looks at recent moves by companies to source computing capacity in the cloud. There is some emphasis on Amazon's services, but others are also discussed. The thing which has jumped out...read full entry...
  • A web-siting at The University of RochesterMarch 28, 2010 – I was struck by several things on the home page of The River Campus Libraries of the University of Rochester One was the cover flow display of a small selection of new books. It may not provide a very full experience but it is a nice hook and links to...read full entry...
  • Lam-inating libraries ....March 28, 2010 – The shared interests between libraries, archives and museums (LAMs) is an important line of work for OCLC Research. However, a related issue is also of considerable interest for libraries. As we move into a digital environment, library work increasingly needs to understand and benefit from archival and museum perspectives. As...read full entry...
  • Mission of the library reduxMarch 07, 2010 – I heard Anders Söderbäck of the Royal Library in Sweden speak in Lund last week on the perennial topic 'what is a library'. He reminded us of Daniel Dennett's remark: A scholar is just a library's way of making another library. This in turn reminded me of a post I...read full entry...
  • Sourcing and scalingFebruary 21, 2010 – One of the major issues facing libraries as the network reconfigures processes is how appropriately to source and scale activities. What does it make sense to do at institutional level, what does it make sense to source elsewhere (repository services in the cloud, for example, or insitutional email services from...read full entry...
  • ReconfigurationsJanuary 16, 2010 – Readers will have noted recently that I have been interested in reputation management and impact, and in how libraries may support institutional goals in these areas. In this context I was interested to read the following in a thoughtful reflection on future directions for research libraries by Susan Gibbons: Another...read full entry...
  • Outside-in and inside-outJanuary 11, 2010 – An 'industry' pattern appears to have emerged which builds a discovery layer over resources available from the library (or from a group library service, at the level of a state or a consortium for example). Three characteristics come to mind. First, there is an attempt to provide an integrated discovery...read full entry...
  • Where are the numbers? The impact of the economic recession on university library and IT servicesJanuary 03, 2010 – 'The impact of the economic recession on university library and IT services' [pdf] is a report by market research company Ipsos Mori for several UK higher education organizations. A summary and a briefing paper are also available. It documents possible approaches to cost saving based on interviews with librarians and...read full entry...
  • Institutional researcher pages: an exampleJanuary 02, 2010 – I have written a couple of times recently (here and here) about institutional and indvidual reputation management. Think, for example, of faculty profiles: the managed disclosure of expertise and research activity. This has often been an informal personal or departmental activity. However, there is now a variety of institutional initiatives...read full entry...
  • Libraries and the long tail: introNovember 02, 2009 – Discussing grades of availability in my last post, I mention an article I wrote a few years ago on libraries and the long tail. Here is how it starts: Discussions of the long tail that I have seen or heard in the library community strike me as somewhat partial. Much...read full entry...
  • On the discriminations of availability ... November 02, 2009 – Seamus Heaney famously - and in poetry - complained about being included in an anthology of 'British' poetry. In the course of his poem he invokes Miroslav Holub's 'On the necessity of truth' where a man creates a disturbance in a cinema when he sees a beaver mistakenly called a...read full entry...
  • Research support servicesOctober 26, 2009 – I am pleased to note a collaboration between OCLC Research and the Research Information Network in the UK to explore changing research support needs in universities. We tend to focus on how technology changes library practices, but the impact of technology on libraries will be less important in the long...read full entry...
  • The library website: a unified service?September 13, 2009 – I mentioned the reworked University of Michigan Libraries website a while ago. Although it is still a layer over various other resources, I liked the way that the site aimed to project the library on the web as a unified service not as a set of unrelated opportunities. This extended...read full entry...
  • QOTD: public libraries and social engineeringSeptember 01, 2009 – From the Preface to Books, buildings and social engineering: We seek to rescue the historic public library building from a perspective that in the past has all too easily denigrated it. The mass construction - for that is what it eventually became - of early public library buildings is to...read full entry...
  • Ebooks and/or digital booksAugust 20, 2009 – I was in a meeting with a group of folks from research libraries the other week. I was interested in a particular terminological issue: 'ebooks' and 'digital books' were each being used in conversation. I asked was there a pattern of consistent use here. 'Not complete consistency' was the answer,...read full entry...
  • Shifting the sourcing model July 19, 2009 – 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,...read full entry...
  • A web-siting at the University of MichiganJuly 16, 2009 – 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...read full entry...
  • Visible peopleJuly 07, 2009 – 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...read full entry...
  • Libraries and catalogues: systemic attentionJune 05, 2009 – The Research Information Network in the UK has released a timely report: Creating catalogues: bibliographic records in a networked world [Splash page; pdf]. It is concise and has a useful Summary and Key Findings section. I found it an interesting read, in no small part because it rehearses various key...read full entry...
  • A single business system environment reduxMay 30, 2009 – The new prototype discovery service from the National Library of Australia caused a ripple of interest the other week when it was released. One reason for the interest is that it brings together access to a range of NLA resources (Picture Australia, Libraries Australia, and Pandora, among others) as well...read full entry...
  • The library of the future ...May 17, 2009 – A recurrent theme of this blog has been that networking changes the way we think about organizational boundaries. That said, there is generally not very much discussion of this issue in libraries, where the focus tends to be on individual services or applications, or on changing user behaviors. For this...read full entry...
  • Network managementApril 06, 2009 – Gary Hamel, management guru, has a couple of posts about about management in the network age. On the web, he says, authority trickles up, not down. The first, on a WSJ blog is called 'The Facebook generation vs the Fortune 500', and in it he discusses the expectations of Generation...read full entry...
  • Convergence ...March 12, 2009 – I have been glancing through the contributions to HANSON, T. (2005). Managing academic support services in universities: the convergence experience. London, Facet. They examine convergence between libraries, IT and other support services in universities. This is a phenomenon more common in the UK than elsewhere: more than half of UK...read full entry...
  • Web-sightingsMarch 11, 2009 – A few features I noticed recently on library web-sites ... Oregon State University explicitly notes resources that are unique to the institution ... These include the University Press, the institutional repository, and a range of digitized materials from different collections. With the exception of the University Press, these are materials...read full entry...
  • A multiscale catalogMarch 06, 2009 – From the Worldcat Local implementation at the University of Washington: The user can telescope between institution, consortium and Worldcat. I am not sure that 'telescope' is the right word here ;-) Aside: As we know we have different access models for stuff in journals and stuff normally found in the...read full entry...
  • Tile and organizational evolutionMarch 04, 2009 – A set of documents from the TILE project has appeared. TILE continues the work that was done by this group on the ILS last year. It extends this work by looking at library systems and services in broader contexts. In particular it looks at the library in the context of...read full entry...
  • Recording and disclosing print archiving commitmentsFebruary 15, 2009 – My colleague Constrance Malpas is inviting comments on the use of MARC Field 583 "to record and effectively disclose local print archiving commitments so that libraries might better judge the relative risk of local de-duplication efforts or, conversely, where maximum preservation benefit might be gained through a distributed archiving effort"....read full entry...
  • Libraries and research information practiceJanuary 21, 2009 – I am pleased to note the appearance of a new report which synthesizes research findings about scholarly information practices and draws out lessons for libraries .. Palmer, Carole L., Lauren C. Teffeau and Carrie M. Pirmann. 2009. Scholarly Information Practices in the Online Environment: Themes from the Literature and Implications...read full entry...
  • Always on: libraries in a world of permanent connectivityJanuary 07, 2009 – The January issue of First Monday has appeared and I am pleased to have an article in it about libraries and mobile communications. Here is the abstract: Mobile communication has been more widely adopted more quickly than any other technology ever (Castells, et al., 2007). It represents a diffusion of...read full entry...
  • A bright future ....November 19, 2008 – The Research Information Network, a national research and policy unit in the UK which looks at the information needs and practices of researchers, has produced what it calls a Guidance Booklet. The title is Ensuring a bright future for research libraries: a guide for vice-chancellors and senior institutional managers. The...read full entry...
  • QOTD: MurdochNovember 16, 2008 – Some interesting quotes from a Rupert Murdoch lecture on the current media landscape on CNET. He talks about "compacency and condescension" in newsrooms. "The complacency stems from having enjoyed a monopoly--and now finding they have to compete for an audience they once took for granted. The condescension that many show...read full entry...
  • Who we are ....November 01, 2008 – I was pretty interested to see this panel on the home page of the Kelvin Smith Library at Case. In recent presentations I have been noting that while we are increasingly used to seeing 'signed' network resources, library websites are often very anonymous. Think of reviews, ratings, social networking profiles,...read full entry...
  • SpinningOctober 23, 2008 – I have observed that 'concentration' - of data, of connections, of computing capacity - is major feature of Web 2.0. Nick Carr talked about the centripetal web the other day, and this was picked up in an interesting way by Mark Dahl: With the web as the medium, it becomes...read full entry...
  • User behaviorsOctober 21, 2008 – My colleague Lynn Connaway has been working on several collaborative projects looking at user behaviors over the last few years. Together, she and colleagues have produced a nice body of work looking at user attitudes and behaviors to library services, and to information work more generally. I thought it would...read full entry...
  • Starbucks and ArcadiaOctober 17, 2008 – Posting has been light as I am in Cambridge (UK) this week. Some of the time I was talking with folks involved in the Arcadia Programme. This initiative is potentially important in that it provides some space for otherwise busy practitioners to do some thinking .... The Arcadia Programme is...read full entry...
  • Stitching costsOctober 08, 2008 – We are familiar with switching costs, the costs of changing a supplier. I may decide not to change my phone or email arrangements, for example, because I do not want to incur the effort of notifying all my contacts. Libraries are very familiar with switching costs given the range of...read full entry...
  • Library resources on the webOctober 06, 2008 – Cambridge University Library has launched an interesting new website science@Cambridge. It provides the increasingly common combination of metasearch, catalog and e-resource search. However, around this it provides a range of contextual services, many of them feed-based and dynamic. What I thought was especially interesting was the focus on providing access...read full entry...
  • Supporting research data management needsSeptember 28, 2008 – Several recent reports discuss the evolving environment of institutional research data management with particular reference to library issues. Here is a list, with a quote from each and a comment or two. Skills, Role & Career Structure of Data Scientists & Curators: Assessment of Current Practice & Future Needs. Alma...read full entry...
  • QOTD: your friendly public librarySeptember 21, 2008 – A UK colleague sent me a pointer to this discussion of directions at Camden public libraries which includes this comment about public libraries by novelist Beryl Bainbridge: Camden Town novelist Beryl Bainbridge said yesterday: “Why do they want them to be friendly places? They’re meant to be sacred. I bet...read full entry...
  • Public library valueSeptember 17, 2008 – I wrote a blog entry from the fine public library in Cheyenne last year. I was interested to come across an article mentioning this same library in this week's Economist. Laramie County’s libraries are the best of an excellent lot. Their flagship is a three-storey, zinc-clad edifice in Cheyenne, a...read full entry...
  • Data at the network levelAugust 20, 2008 – The impact of networking on organizational evolution is interesting: how does networking impact how libraries coordinate their resources to get their work done effectively? In the 'network age' there have been several major shifts in how libraries coordinate resources (and by resources, I am thinking about their budgets, staff, and...read full entry...
  • The collective collection and RanganathanAugust 20, 2008 – Readers of this blog - or of the RLG Partnership work agenda - will be familiar with the phrase collective collection. We use it to refer to the intensification of systemwide interest in the management of collections, whether the system is at consortial, state, national or some other level. Consortial...read full entry...
  • Texting shelf informationAugust 04, 2008 – I have heard of people photographing catalog results with their cell phones and heading off to the shelves. And now I have just come across the Tripod library catalog. You can text yourself the bibliographic details - see the icon on the entry above. Here is what happens when you...read full entry...
  • Stuck in the middle ....August 03, 2008 – Much of our current model of network information and communication behavior is in the middle ground, it is based on the personal computer (desk- or lap-top) as a consumption target and the organizational website as the delivery target. In other words, the library website is the front door to network...read full entry...
  • QOTD: perpetually engulfed by books ...July 15, 2008 – Writing about the history of Cambridge University Library, David McKitterick [Worldcat identity; Worldcat search] says: There is one simple lesson to be learned from studying library history. Those administering, and those using, libraries have almost invariably faced a growth of knowledge, reflected in increasing numbers of books, that threatens to...read full entry...
  • QOTD: The cornerstone of the UniversityJuly 01, 2008 – Consider the following quote ..... The role of the library in the university is being transformed. Information technology is shaping both the practice of scholarly inquiry and the daily routine of students and faculty, while library services are becoming more client-focused and more integrated into teaching, learning, and research activities....read full entry...
  • Academic library and organizationJune 15, 2008 – Being in the UK for a few days has reminded me of how common the 'merged service' is in UK universities. This is where IT services, library, possibly management information services, and various other services may be combined in one unit. Of course, organizational boundaries and labels vary from institution...read full entry...
  • Long Room HubJune 04, 2008 – The picture selected to accompany Robert Darnton's article about research libraries in the New York Review of Books was of the Long Room in Trinity College Dublin. Robin Adams mentioned this at the RLG Programs Digitization and the Humanities: Impact on Libraries and Special Collections Symposium earlier today. He also...read full entry...
  • RLUKMay 30, 2008 – RLUK (Research Libraries UK) is where research libraries in the UK address shared issues. The organization has a new name (previously it was CURL), website, blog, strategic plan [pdf], and vision/mission. The plan identifies six strategic themes: Theme 1 Developing the research library workforce Theme 2 Building the new research...read full entry...
  • Analytics: mind the gapMay 23, 2008 – In a digital environment our actions shed data which can be collected and mined. We leave traces. In this context it is not surprising that 'analytics' has emerged as a central interest. 'Analytics' is often used to refer to how organizations analyse the data they collect to improve decisions or...read full entry...
  • Some readingMay 07, 2008 – Here are links to several unrelated publications ..... Reconfiguring the Library Systems Environment portal: Libraries and the Academy, Vol. 8, No. 2, April 2008. http://www.oclc.org/research/publications/archive/2008/dempsey-portal.pdf (.pdf: 195K/18 pp.) [Lorcan Dempsey: Selected publications [OCLC]] This is a short piece adapted from an earlier blog entry. Lavoie, Brian, and Günter Waibel. An...read full entry...
  • Libraries of the futureApril 21, 2008 – I spoke at the JISC conference in Birmingham last week. It was at a session related to the JISC's Libraries of the Future initiative. A special supplement on academic libraries is appearing in the Guardian Newspaper to accompany the initiative. A range of topics is covered; the treatment is high...read full entry...
  • The network levelApril 07, 2008 – Jeremy Frumkin of Oregon State University talks to Merrilee Proffitt about library services and moving to the network level in the second Parcast [file is here]. This is in response to the question "what keeps you awake at night?". What is a Parcast? Welcome to the OCLC Programs and Research...read full entry...
  • Full disclosure?March 23, 2008 – An interesting announcement from CLIR about a $4.27M competitive program to describe hidden collections has just appeared. The existence of such collections must be more fully disclosed if they are to release more of their value in research and learning: With generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the...read full entry...
  • An effective web presence?March 18, 2008 – The Library at University College Dublin (UCD) invited expressions of interest in a "website and online environment consultancy" a while ago. I thought that the document they prepared as background was nicely done, and that although specific in many ways to UCD it represented a general statement of common issues...read full entry...
  • You're so vain ... you probably want to look at your h-indexMarch 16, 2008 – And speaking of Elsevier, several colleagues and I received an email invitation from "the Scopus team" to look at our h-index [Wikipedia entry] on our very own Scopus profile page. Here is some of the text from the invitation: The h-index * can help you evaluate and benchmark your research...read full entry...
  • Engaging academic users in a library serviceMarch 09, 2008 – OCUL (Ontario Council of University Libraries) has released a nice white paper which discusses issues in providing an end-user access environment for its shared resources, and more interestingly, how that environment engages with the behaviors and expectations of its academic users. This document (pdf) was created to highlight opportunities and...read full entry...
  • The two ways of Web 2.0March 02, 2008 – I find Web 2.0 increasingly confusing as a label; no surprise there. This is not just because of its essential vagueness, but because I think it tends to be used in a couple of very different ways. Where this happens there is bound to be some confusion. Schematically, I will...read full entry...
  • The big resource rich libraryFebruary 28, 2008 – Here is the opening paragraph of an article on libraries and the long tail I wrote a while ago. Discussions of the long tail that I have seen or heard in the library community strike me as somewhat partial. Much of that discussion is about how libraries contain deep and...read full entry...
  • Mixing open and restricted access materialsFebruary 26, 2008 – Over the Christmas break I read the interesting Global Ireland: same difference. And, in my convalescence, I have been looking at other materials on this topic. I had a look at OAIster. A search on Ireland and globablization returned quite a few results. I was interested in browsing through the...read full entry...
  • QOTD: "To every scholar the library is a personal realm of secret topography."February 23, 2008 – Fiona MacCarthy has a very nice article in today's Guardian about Colin St John Wilson and the building which was to become his life's work. Perhaps only an intellectual modernist such as Wilson could have tackled the architectural challenges inherent in designing the largest public building in Britain in the...read full entry...
  • Reference bookmarksFebruary 11, 2008 – When to use general network level services to get library work done, and when to develop library-specific approaches?: this is a question that now comes up in several places. Here is an interesting intiative from the National Library of Australia, using del.ico.us to support collaborative virtual reference. AskNow librarians need...read full entry...
  • Evergreen and PinesFebruary 05, 2008 – There is a lot of buzz around Evergreen: there is excitement about an open source integrated library system. There is another aspect of it that is interesting, which I haven't seen so much discussion about. Evergreen was developed to support PINES in Georgia. It was designed to support consortial working....read full entry...
  • QOTD: a lifted study-storehouseFebruary 01, 2008 – I mentioned the other day that the Times had nominated Philip Larkin, poet and librarian ("the toad work") as the greatest British writer since 1945. Through the wonders of resource sharing I have got hold of a copy of his history of the library at the University of Hull, updated...read full entry...
  • JargonJanuary 23, 2008 – Library jargon explained: a resource at Swansea University Library and Information Services. Good that they have provided this? Bad that we need it? Call number - The call number, the number placed on the spine of a book, is a code which provides information about the subject of the book...read full entry...
  • Library process automation: the ecology of providersJanuary 20, 2008 – Just as I began to see messages about the publication of Marshall Breeding's report on his survey of library perceptions of their system vendor I was reading The new economics of the BI market by Jerry Held on The Database Column blog. He talks about consolidation within the BI (Business...read full entry...
  • On the record: report of the LC working group on the future of bibliographic controlJanuary 10, 2008 – The final report of the LC Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control has been submitted and is now available on the LC website. On the Record: Report of The Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control (January 9, 2008) Read final report [PDF, 442...read full entry...
  • What the reader intends ...January 06, 2008 – From the ever-suggestive William Gibson .. Did Borges ever imagine a library in which we could know which volumes users were thinking about consulting? [William Gibson] He is pointing to a recent article about the analysis of user data by Google and the types of intelligence they can derive from...read full entry...
  • Got a problem? Got an answer?December 30, 2007 – I was interested to receive a note about the new Pew study [pdf] on how people go about solving problems involving information needs. It was interesting to see the positive message about libraries. The survey results challenge the assumption that libraries are losing relevance in the internet age. Libraries drew...read full entry...
  • Library strategy at EmoryDecember 13, 2007 – I find library strategy documents an interesting indicator of trends. I do think that looking at how organizations present themselves and what is important to them in the documents they produce is revealing, documents such as annual reports, strategies, job ads, websites, org charts, and so on. It would be...read full entry...
  • The union catalogue and collaborative sourcingDecember 03, 2007 – The National Library of Australia has released an interesting document about the value of union catalogues in general, and Libraries Australia in particular. Here is the concluding paragraph: As Australian library collections move from managing print-based materials to managing digital and licensed resources, the National Union Catalogue provides a significant...read full entry...
  • QOTD: a new class of librariansDecember 01, 2007 – It is always interesting to read about libraries and librarians when the writer comes from outside the library environment. I have just come across the December 2007 issue of the Canadian University Affairs. It contains an article intriguingly entitled The new librarians. A new class of librarians is emerging: forward-thinking...read full entry...
  • Collection HaikuNovember 24, 2007 – Dennis Massie has a nice post over on HangingTogether. A set of Haiku about collections - they relate to issues discussed at a recent planning event about managing collections in changing times. With difficulty, I limit myself to one here: On the library as destination: (End-user POV) Gather my gadgets...read full entry...
  • A bridge between town and gownNovember 18, 2007 – I gave a presentation in the Martin Luther King Jr Library in San Jose during the week. As many readers will know, this library represents an intriguing experiment as it is shared between San Jose Public Libraries and San Jose State University. Welcome to the largest, all-new library west of...read full entry...
  • The collective print collectionNovember 04, 2007 – We have just made available a report on shared storage facilities and the future of print collections as part of the Collective Collection strand of the RLG Programs agenda. It is written by Lizanne Payne, Executive Director of the Washington Research Library Consortium. It reviews storage facility designs and the...read full entry...
  • HBR interviews LB of the BLNovember 01, 2007 – Well, this must be a first! The current issue of the Harvard Business Review carries an interview with Lynne Brindley, Director of the British Library. Do you have a favorite piece from the collection? I never answer that question. I want people to understand that we’re not a museum. We...read full entry...
  • Whither the academic library ...October 28, 2007 – A more than usually interesting set of powerpoints is available from the Sustaining the Digital Library : Symposium, 13-14 September 2007, University of Edinburgh. It looks at the future of academic libraries from several perspectives. The presentations from Peter Buneman and John Houghton may make folks think a little differently...read full entry...
  • Processes and repositoriesOctober 16, 2007 – I find it convenient to think about current library systems activities in terms of support for three materials workflows: bought/print materials, licensed/electronic materials, and digital/digitized materials. This is being pragmatic rather than pure, and is open to challenge on many grounds. I have discussed these at more length here, and...read full entry...
  • Collections grid and digital conservancyOctober 09, 2007 – We use the following collections grid from time to time to help focus attention on particular collecting patterns in libraries. The bottom right hand corner represents materials that have not been highly stewarded and which are usually unique to a particular institution. The types of material which go in here...read full entry...
  • Research behaviors and the libraryOctober 09, 2007 – An interesting report [pdf] from the University of Minnesota Libraries looks at the behaviors of researchers in the sciences. It extends the earlier work done by the Libraries on researchers in the humanities and social sciences. Not unsurprisingly there is a major focus on having resources available online and when...read full entry...
  • Library servicesOctober 04, 2007 – I am attending events in libraries in the UK this week. I have already been in Oxford and Cambridge Universities, and head to the Open University tomorrow. The former two have collections of world significance. The third is figuring out how to better serve a widely dispersed population over the...read full entry...
  • Metadata creationSeptember 18, 2007 – "One of the main issues facing libraries as they work to create richer user services is the complexity of their systems environment." [The network reconfigures the library systems environment] This was how I began a post the other week about libraries and the systems that support their services. Karen Smith-Yoshimura...read full entry...
  • And speaking of value ...September 04, 2007 – I quoted Eleanor Jo Rodger a while ago in these pages: News stories like this and the ongoing Amazoogle discussion prompt us to think about the value of libraries. In that context, I recommend that everybody read Joey Rodger's article on value and vision:Valuable is not about our professional values;...read full entry...
  • An evidence base?September 04, 2007 – In all the discussion about bibliographic data and catalogs, and about their advantages or disadvantages when compared to other approaches, it is striking how little appeal there is to actual evidence. Evidence about value. Evidence about cost....read full entry...
  • Rareness is commonSeptember 04, 2007 – One of the findings of the custom collection overlap studies we have done is that rareness is common: there are low overlap levels between collections. The comparison of collections has become a topic of stronger interest as libraries look at mass digitization and shared storage facilities, and pressure on space...read full entry...
  • Intentional data again: Super crunchingAugust 31, 2007 – The current issue of Newsweek discusses a new book on the use of aggregated user data: Super Crunchers: why thinking-by-numbers is the new way to be smart. As more activities move online, we have more data about intentions, choices, attention. The punchline of the story is that service choices are...read full entry...
  • The academic library and its usersAugust 30, 2007 – I mentioned Jim Collins' book on the social sectors the other day. I have just acquired Susan Gibbons' book, The academic library and the net gen student: making the connections. I was interested to see her make use of Collins' material in the opening chapter where she suggests the following...read full entry...
  • A catalogue in your faceAugust 01, 2007 – I was interested to see the Page Tools in the University of Alberta catalogue (look in the left hand bar below). A reader can send a correction or suggestion to the library: it would be interesting to know how many folks use this option and what types of suggestion are...read full entry...
  • Is that a library in your pocket?July 25, 2007 – Looking through the presentations at the JISC digitisation conference, I was interested to read the following prediction from Peter Kaufman [ppt]: Over the next 13 years: an iPod or a device its size will be able to hold: a year’s worth of video (8,760 hours) by 2012 (5 years from...read full entry...
  • Why business thinking is not the answerJuly 24, 2007 – One of the business best-sellers in recent years was Good to great: if you have been in an airport in the last couple of years, you are sure to have seen it ;-) A while ago Jim Collins produced Good to great and the social sectors. In this he takes...read full entry...
  • ImageJuly 07, 2007 – That image thing again ... ON a Sunday night last month at Daddy’s, a bar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, more than a dozen people in their 20s and 30s gathered at a professional soiree, drinking frozen margaritas and nibbling store-bought cookies. With their thrift-store inspired clothes and abundant tattoos, they looked...read full entry...
  • The network reconfigures the library systems environmentJuly 06, 2007 – One of the main issues facing libraries as they work to create richer user services is the complexity of their systems environment. Consider these pictures which I have been using in presentations for a while now. Reductively, we can think of three classes of systems - (1) the classic ILS...read full entry...
  • MIT reportsJuly 02, 2007 – I like the format of the MIT Annual Reports on the web: the library director and her AULs report on major issues in their areas, and relate developments at MIT Libraries to the broader informational, educational and research context. I serendipitously landed on the most recent available report (FY 2005/06)...read full entry...
  • Developing a 'next generation' systemwide catalogJune 12, 2007 – Judith Pearce from the National Library of Australia left an interesting comment about the integration, or not, of full-text book indexes and library catalogs. Here is an excerpt:Here at the National Library of Australia, just as we are starting to address the challenge of getting nice fully FRBRised, relevance-ranked and...read full entry...
  • Data curation: a couple of thingsJune 09, 2007 – Curating our Digital Scientific Heritage: a Global Collaborative Challenge is the title of the third international Digital Curation Conference. I was interested to see scientific data described in this way as heritage given our sometimes restrictive use of heritage. Although the topic of data curation is now being more widely...read full entry...
  • Systemic change: CIC and GoogleJune 06, 2007 – Today Google and CIC announce an agreement to digitize ten million volumes across the CIC libraries. Google has been adding new partners since the first announcement was made about the Google 5. Some folks have wondered what rationale has governed selection of partner opportunities. We do not know, but they...read full entry...
  • What does the boss think?May 30, 2007 – Attitudes of presidents and provosts on the university library is the title of an interesting article in the current issue of College & Research Libraries [68(3), May 2007]. The authors found that, although leaders recognize the symbolic value of the university library, it is the functional role of the library...read full entry...
  • Social mediaMay 27, 2007 – I have just watched the video [video opens on a web page] of a fascinating talk by Joshua Prince-Ramus, the principal architect of the Seattle Public Library. He talks about two core positions. The first is that books are a technology, something, he suggests that people tend to forget. They...read full entry...
  • In the flow - Washington and WikipediaMay 24, 2007 – In recent presentations I have been referring to the University of Washington's initiative to systematically put links to its digital collections in relevant Wikipedia entries. I use it as an example of putting library resources 'in the flow' of their users's behavior. If Wikipedia is where many folks end up...read full entry...
  • Four sources of metadata about thingsMay 20, 2007 – I think it is useful to think of four sources of descriptive metadata in libraries. These are not mutually exclusive, and one of the interesting questions we have to address is how they will be mobilized effectively together. I don't have good names for these. How about: professional, contributed, programmatically...read full entry...
  • Academic Library OrganizationMay 04, 2007 – One of the reasons I liked Key Perspectives' report on Researchers' Use of Academic Libraries and their Services [pdf] is that it highlights a variety of important questions for libraries, and for the institutions which they serve. I hope to come back to some of the specifics of this report,...read full entry...
  • A small note on the catalogApril 30, 2007 – I visited the University of Virginia last week where I spoke about the future of the catalog. This was more topical than I had realized when I agreed the subject with my hosts! When I arrived, the first thing that people wanted to talk about was Roy Tennant! The second...read full entry...
  • ChallengesApril 27, 2007 – CAVAL carried out a training needs survey in 2006 among libraries in Australia and S.E. Asia. One of the questions asked respondents to list the top three challenges libraries face through to 2010. There were 328 respondents (this number is not broken down by job position of respondent). CAVAL analyzed...read full entry...
  • Supporting research and learning invisiblyApril 21, 2007 – The (admirably brief!) Macquarie University Library strategic plan states: Over the next three years we will be designing and implementing a new technical architecture to underpin all our activities. In this new electronic environment we aim to become "invisible" - by making our services and resources available in a seamless...read full entry...
  • Library collectionsApril 20, 2007 – On my way home through Hong Kong airport, I bought A case of two cities, one in a series of novels by Qiu Xiaolong about Shanghai poet and detective, Inspector Chen Cao. Chen ends up leading a delegation of Chinese poets to the US, an activity that criss-crosses with the...read full entry...
  • A perspective on the academic libraryApril 16, 2007 – The pattern of central funding for education and cultural areas in the UK has led to the emergence of a rich centrally managed support, policy, planning and service environment. One might have an interesting discussion about where this modus operandi is successful (removing redundancy and fragmentation by providing service at...read full entry...
  • NYU 21st Century Library Project April 05, 2007 – NYU Libraries have made available the interesting report of a study of 'faculty and graduate student needs for research and teaching': NYU 21st Century Library Project: Designing a Research Library of the Future for New York University [pdf]. The report includes a literature review and the results of individual and...read full entry...
  • Librarians in the flowMarch 30, 2007 – OK, a last note from the CIC Getting in the Flow conference, from which presentations are now appearing on the web. Cody Hansen spoke on the NextGen panel, with powerpoint nicely done in the Lessig/Hardt style [ppt]. His theme was that librarians should be personally more visible in the web-based...read full entry...
  • Excitation - making connections with citations: a couple of presentationsMarch 30, 2007 – I was interested to see a presentation about Sakaibrary [ppt] at Getting in the flow. The focus was on creating citation lists from library resources and making them available in Sakai. This is an example of what I have spoken about as bibliographic tissue, the growing interest in lightweight approaches...read full entry...
  • Moving to a 'single business' systems environmentMarch 26, 2007 – The National Library of Australia has made an interesting report available, National Library of Australia IT Architecture Project Report, March 2007. [pdf] Here is the declared purpose:The aim of this report is to define the IT architecture that will be needed to support the management, discovery and delivery of the...read full entry...
  • BookspaceMarch 24, 2007 – Hennepin County Library scored a small coup by securing the name Bookspace for their web pages devoted to reading. And they have made very good use of it. I was interested in the book lists provided by readers. They offer reading tips by genre, including the reader-contributed lists, new books,...read full entry...
  • Patterns of collecting of non-us books in ARL librariesMarch 21, 2007 – ARL has just released a report on patterns of collection of non-US books in member libraries based on an analysis of their holdings in Worldcat [pdf] The report “Changing Global Book Collection Patterns in ARL Libraries” was prepared for the Global Resources Network (GRN) by: Mary E. Jackson, Auto-Graphics, Inc....read full entry...
  • Finding TimeMarch 20, 2007 – A funny video about a library website? Yes, it is possible .... One of the highlights of the CIC 2007 Library Conference was in the presentation from Ellysa Cahoy of Penn State (you can see Ellysa's presentation on Slideshare). Her topic was how the library website should help the user...read full entry...
  • Getting in the flow - beside the Mississippi ...March 20, 2007 – I have just returned from the very congenial Getting in the flow, the CIC Library Conference at the University of Minnesota. The conference was about how the library can and must get more readily into the working and learning lives of faculty and students. I thought the organizers worked hard...read full entry...
  • Paper platformsMarch 14, 2007 – From BuzzMachine:Yesterday, Alan Rusbridger, editor-in-chief of the Guardian, told the staff of his newspaper that now “all journalists work for the digital platform” and that they should regard “its demands as preeminent.” [BuzzMachine » Blog Archive » ‘The web is preeminent’]Folks will notice that I occasionally quote from the Guardian...read full entry...
  • LC WGFBCMarch 09, 2007 – The first open meeting of the LC Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control was held yesterday. I am traveling but will post some thoughts in coming days. Karen Coyle was typing very fast and has posted a series of comments....read full entry...
  • QOTD: Google booksMarch 06, 2007 – Peter Brantley, the new Director of the Digital Library Federation writes about the library digitization initiatives with Google:We poisoned our hand before we played it. We were approached singly, charmed in confidence, the stranger was beguiling, and we embraced. For the love of selfish confidence, we spoke neither our fortune...read full entry...
  • Business intelligenceMarch 04, 2007 – The collection and analysis of data about collections, systems and services is becoming increasingly important for libraries. For management and accountability purposes. Here are some examples of where such data might be useful: to refine systems based on usage data, to develop data-driven knowledge of user behaviors, to support collection...read full entry...
  • Libraries, books and network level servicesMarch 03, 2007 – The growth in variety and volume of sites for personal collection management is fascinating to watch, especially those where addtiional value is created by pooling choices and preferences across users. Sites for music and books especially. Typically these sites display network effects, they improve as more people connect and share...read full entry...
  • LC Working Group on the future of bibliographic controlMarch 01, 2007 – The LC Working Group on Bibliographic Control is having an open meeting about 'uses and users' of data on 8th March at Google in Mountain View, California. This is the first of three open meetings. There will be several expert speakers, and interested parties are invited to attend or submit...read full entry...
  • Data curation educationFebruary 25, 2007 – What is data curation? Here is one view: Data curation is the active and on-going management of data through its lifecycle of interest and usefulness to scholarship, science, and education. Data curation activities enable data discovery and retrieval, maintain its quality, add value, and provide for re-use over time, and...read full entry...
  • The British Library websiteFebruary 23, 2007 – I notice that the British Library has redesigned its website. It now highlights a search for BL resources: allowing a single search across the website, catalogues, journal articles for delivery, and digitized collections. This is an interesting high profile example of the desire to offer readers more unified access across...read full entry...
  • The anxiety of influenceFebruary 18, 2007 – We are lucky to live a short walk from the Whetstone branch of Columbus Metropolitan Library. I was there a few months ago browsing in the literature section. I was interested to see the strong presence of Harold Bloom. There were both books by him, and collections of critical essays...read full entry...
  • Self disclosureFebruary 18, 2007 – In several venues recently I have suggested that it would be useful to do some content analysis on various documents to see how institutions are describing themselves, their priorities, their relationships and so on. I am thinking of strategy documents, annual reports, but also things like websites, organizational charts and...read full entry...
  • NFX: Weinberger interviews O'ReillyFebruary 11, 2007 – David Weinberger has a nice hotel lobby interview with Tim O'Reilly on the FastForward Blog (which is devoted to Enterprise 2.0 discussions).Tim O’Reilly, creator of the Web 2.0 meme, says that organizations have been slow to understand how “network effects” can benefit their business if applied internally as well as...read full entry...
  • Groups: Deff reportFebruary 05, 2007 – The role of the 'group' level in library matters is an interesting one, and one which - it seems to me - is becoming more important in the network environment. The cost and complexity of providing some services locally is pushing attention to the network level, where there may be...read full entry...
  • Tundish, maps and emergent knowledgeJanuary 27, 2007 – There is a famous passage in A portrait of the artist as a young man where Stephen Dedalus is talking to an English priest and is made uncomfortable about the Irish way in which he speaks English. Stephen uses the word tundish for funnel, a word unfamiliar to the priest....read full entry...
  • ERAMSJanuary 23, 2007 – One of the more interesting discussions I had at ALA was with Martha Whittaker of Serials Solutions. She was talking about their use of the expression ERAMS (Electronic Resource Access and Management Services). Here is some blurb from Serials Solutions leaflet describing ERAMS:Now that the nature of library collections has...read full entry...
  • Nelsonville catalogJanuary 13, 2007 – Mentioning Koha the other day reminded me that I have used the Nelsonville Public Library catalog in a couple of recent presentations. It serves Athens County in South East Ohio and uses Koha. See the entry for this title: The art of Richard Diebenkorn. They provide access to Amazon search...read full entry...
  • Justifying your place on the shelvesJanuary 01, 2007 – The Washington Post is carrying a story on collection development at Fairfax County Public Library. Collection development? Well, the hook is more their 'data driven' policy on discards. "We're being very ruthless," said Sam Clay, director of the 21-branch system since 1982. "A book is not forever. If you have...read full entry...
  • Emergent knowledge and intentional dataDecember 31, 2006 – 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...read full entry...
  • Library historyDecember 31, 2006 – 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...read full entry...
  • Circulation and the collective collection againDecember 27, 2006 – 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....read full entry...
  • Library systems marketDecember 18, 2006 – 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...read full entry...
  • Research ReserveDecember 13, 2006 – I mentioned below that I attended a meeting which discussed the UK Research Reserve (UKRR) last week (see UK Research Reserve Update [pdf], a presentation by Clare Jenkins, Imperial College, for details of this initiative). I was in London for other purposes and thought it would be interesting to attend...read full entry...
  • QOTD: the opportunity cost of storing print journalsDecember 08, 2006 – More on library space:Low-use journals taking up shelf space have become one of the top three concerns for CURL members. “You have to ask yourself, does it make sense to clog shelves in some of the most expensive real-estate in London?” Jenkins asked. The medical faculty of Imperial College ,...read full entry...
  • The book as platformDecember 04, 2006 – I was reading Benedict Anderson's Imagined Communities on a flight home the other day. A major part of his argument is that publishing - of books, newspapers, and so on - played an important role in creating a shared identity across geographically distributed communities, which in turn was important in...read full entry...
  • Knowledge and healthDecember 03, 2006 – The UK magazine Update recently carried a story on how health information provision is being coordinated in the UK National Health Service. It contains a striking quote about the value of information - the 'application of what we know' - from Dr Muir Grey who has been very involved in...read full entry...
  • Discovery, delivery, distributed inventory managementNovember 28, 2006 – Resource discovery has been a focus of much attention in recent years. Once discovery opportunities are provided, a focus on delivery is inevitable. Folks want to have what was discovered delivered, to get as well as find. And delivery, broadly understood, has indeed been a major focus of recent activity....read full entry...
  • Research library symposiumNovember 19, 2006 – Transcripts and audio recordings of the proceedings of the Research Library in the 21st Century Symposium at the University of Texas at Austin are available. I spoke on one of the panels....read full entry...
  • Library systems worldNovember 13, 2006 – It is surprising to me that there is not more discussion in the library community about the structure of the industry which supports it. Sure, there are complaints about ILS vendors, and some discussion about publishers, but very little about broader structural issues, especially as see change all around. Andrew...read full entry...
  • The Browne Issue System and the reordering of experienceNovember 11, 2006 – I was looking for a description of the Browne Issue System because I wanted to do an entry about it and avoid having to describe it. The State Library of Queensland provides a description. Briefly, a reader has several tickets, each with a pocket. Each book has an associated card,...read full entry...
  • All the online peopleOctober 19, 2006 – Collections of personal papers are important areas of interest for libraries and archives, and for the scholars and students that use them. In the last few weeks, several examples of digital - or digitized - personal papers have come over my horizon: Cambridge University has just launched The complete works...read full entry...
  • Getting to the stuffOctober 18, 2006 – This picture is from a talk by Chris Beckett about how publishers should optimize their web presences for use in changing network environments (some more about this below). I used it in a presentation at the Montana State University Libraries Symposium, where colleagues from academic librarians in Montana discussed challenges...read full entry...
  • Distributing the catalog discovery experienceOctober 13, 2006 – In a recent article on the catalog, I discussed how 'discovery' of library materials was increasingly going to be 'disembedded' from the local library catalog, and 're-embedded' in a variety of other contexts. Those other contexts might need to link back to the library system, which is becomes more of...read full entry...
  • Last copiesOctober 09, 2006 – My colleagues (Lynne Connaway, Ed O'Neill and Chandra Prabha) recently did some work with colleagues in Vanderbilt to explore the characteristics of 'last copies', items which have only one holding in Worldcat. They have published a paper on the results:Connaway, Lynn Silipigni, Edward T. O'Neill, and Chandra Prabha. 2006. "Last...read full entry...
  • National Library of Australia 2.0October 08, 2006 – A colleague pointed me at an article by the always interesting Judith Pearce about how the National Library of Australia is thinking about services in an age of 'crowdsourcing'. In summary our goals in this area are to explore new models for collecting material; to provide services that support the...read full entry...
  • CURL strategic planSeptember 27, 2006 – I was interested to come across the CURL Strategic Themes 2006-2008. CURL, for non-UK readers, is the consortium of research libraries in the UK and Ireland. Four themes are suggested: To contribute to the development of a national framework for research support To facilitate new approaches to support for research...read full entry...
  • What do writers and readers expect of the library?September 20, 2006 – Birte Christensen-Dalsgaard visited OCLC earlier this year, and gave an interesting presentation Developing Denmark's Next Generation Digital Library: Work Underway at Statsbiblioteket and DEFF [ppt]. One of the most interesting things she talked about was a study being carried out under the auspices of a DEFF project, User expectations and...read full entry...
  • Discovery and disclosure againAugust 27, 2006 – I have a short article about the catalog(ue) in the current issue of Ariadne:I think that this shift poses major questions for the future of the catalogue, and this shift is bound up with the difference between discovery (identifying resources of interest) and location (identifying where those resources of interest...read full entry...
  • The collective collection againAugust 25, 2006 – The discussion about mass digitization and the growing number of off-site storage initiatives have heightened interest in what I have called the collective or aggregate collection.Over the coming years we will take a more active role in managing aggregate or collective collections: thinking about the best disposition of collections within...read full entry...
  • Synthesize, specialize, mobilizeAugust 25, 2006 – I have used the synthesize, specialize, mobilize triple as a way of organizing some recent presentations and have found it very useful. Unfortunately, I cannot claim credit for coining this. This is a formulation of my colleague Robin Murray of Fretwell Downing, now part of OCLC Pica. It is presented...read full entry...
  • The academic libraryAugust 22, 2006 – I got an email from a recruiter a while ago wanting to talk about candidates for a director at a UK research library. I was struck by some of the language used. The post was described as one of the "most significant non-academic posts" (my emphasis) in the college, and...read full entry...
  • Moving to the network level: MicrosoftAugust 17, 2006 – Of the big Internet age companies, Microsoft is in many ways the most interesting. It has to find a way of straddling its desktop legacy and the new world of web services. In this context, the recent presentation by Ray Ozzie, Microsoft's newly elevated Chief Software Architect, at the MSFT...read full entry...
  • Library logistics again: a UK reportAugust 14, 2006 – MLA in the UK has been working with PriceWaterhousCoopers on a framework for shared purchasing across UK public library authorities. They published a report a while ago, at which time I wrote:I have suggested in these pages that logistics is a central part of what we do. Logistics is about...read full entry...
  • Worldcat.org appearsAugust 06, 2006 – Worldcat.org has gone live. This is a major step: it consolidates access to the collections and services of thousands of libraries on the open web. 1.3 billion items in approximately 18,000 libraries worldwide, and growing. There is a downloadable search box to add to your own page. The syntax for...read full entry...
  • Flickr Australia and the flowAugust 05, 2006 – I participated in a question-answer session at WilsWorld last week. I enjoyed it and took away several things to think about. At one stage, I said something along the lines of:Not only can we not expect people to come to the library, but we cannot expect them to come to...read full entry...
  • The long tail: aggregating supply and demand at the network levelJuly 30, 2006 – The Long Tail book has arrived and has achieved airport display levels of prominence. Not unsurprisingly, there has been some renewed discussion about the long tail argument, and a notable critique appeared in the Wall Street Journal. In his commentary, Nicholas Carr links to this and to the response by...read full entry...
  • Resolution and transaction costsJuly 24, 2006 – Andrew Pace has a note emphasising the importance of OpenURL and resolution, placing it in the context of overall management of the supply chain that connects libraries and their partners. This is the right emphasis. A major challenge for libraries is removing transaction costs (the effort required to perform the...read full entry...
  • Some more public library reportsJuly 24, 2006 – I have been looking at Public libraries of New Zealand - a strategic framework 2006 - 2016 [pdf]. Interesting to see somebody brave enough to talk about ten years out, and it takes a suitably general and aspirational perspective. I discovered this in a press release which notes several new...read full entry...
  • Libraries, research and learningJune 23, 2006 – Academic library services will co-evolve with changing learning and research practices in network environments. So much is clear, even if the picture is still a little blurry. We have come through a period - a decade and more - where the main emphasis has been on putting materials on the...read full entry...
  • Talking about the catalogJune 20, 2006 – Given the growing discussion about the catalog, I was interested to look back over various entries here in the last while. Here is an incomplete list: Some general discussions: Lifting out the catalog discovery experience Thinking about the catalog The Owl of Minerva The catalog and the integrated library system:...read full entry...
  • Yet another public library perceptions reportJune 20, 2006 – A Research study of 14-35 year olds for the future development of public libraries [pdf]has just been made available. This is work commissioned by several UK bodies in the context of UK public library policy development and was carried out by a group called Define: research and insight. The study...read full entry...
  • The owl of MinervaJune 01, 2006 – The home page of the Rush Rhees library at the University of Rochester displays a picture of a statue of Minerva. I sat through an interesting presentation this morning from Jennifer Bowen and David Lindahl about the Extensible Catalog project at Rochester. Their powerpoint template prominently featured a picture of...read full entry...
  • What is your issue?May 29, 2006 – It is always interesting to read how people reflect on practice in the light of acknowledged environmental change. The provocative statements [pdf, transcribed as HTML here] issued by the Taiga Forum received some attention, and focused some medium term environmental factors and possible responses. I have been looking at some...read full entry...
  • QOTD - Bodley's LibrarianMay 26, 2006 – From the further information posted in relation to the advert for Bodley's Librarian and Director of University Library Services at the University of Oxford. The first holder of the post of Bodley’s Librarian was Thomas James, appointed in 1598. Sir Thomas Bodley enjoined that his Librarian should be ‘one that...read full entry...
  • Creating public valueApril 30, 2006 – The BBC is a major resource which faces interesting challenges moving forward. It is funded through a license fee, basically a national tax on TV ownership. How applicable is this model in a digital world? The BBC is actively positioning itself for the future. It is a digital pioneer, and...read full entry...
  • Beam it over ...April 28, 2006 – Doing homework with my children has been very interesting from a library resource point of view. Nothing unusual there, I am sure. Recently, I was summoned to help Eoghan (8) with a project on Granville T Woods, a pretty interesting character, born in Columbus, Ohio. We went first to library...read full entry...
  • The hybrid libraryApril 28, 2006 – The hybrid library was a term in common use in UK digital library development. It originated in the UK Electronic Libraries Programme, and, I think, was coined by that programme's director, Chris Rusbridge. It was discussed in different ways. The rationale for the term was to get around either-or discussions,...read full entry...
  • How much is that book in the window ...April 18, 2006 – Jack Ammerman has an interesting point in relation to my entry about what 'owning' a book might actually mean (Sharable and licensable). I note that given the restrictions on what one can do with the intellectual content of a book which is still in copyright that the gap between our...read full entry...
  • InnovationApril 13, 2006 – In the continuing discussion about the place of the catalog in the evolving set of library services and the wider network world, a couple of interesting links. First, a talk given a few days ago at OCLC:Birte Christensen-Dalsgaard (State and University Library, Aarhus (Denmark)) Developing Denmark's Next Generation Digital Library:...read full entry...
  • A family affairApril 11, 2006 – In discussion with some Members' Council folks last year, Lynn Connaway mentioned that one of the interesting things to emerge from the Sense-making the information confluence project was that students often turned to their fathers for advice and guidance when they had an information need. At the Taiga Forum, Susan...read full entry...
  • The network is the sunApril 11, 2006 – There is an interesting discussion about how to make the catalog visible on the open web on Web4Lib at the moment, specifically on how users might find their way back from Google to library resources. A theme is that it is also important to make library resources visible in the...read full entry...
  • Sharable and licensableApril 10, 2006 – We have several mass digitization initiatives underway. And there seems to be an expectation that these will continue, that more of our current collective book and journal collection will be digitized. There are a variety of drivers for this, both for libraries and for the other organizations which have stepped...read full entry...
  • Border country againApril 06, 2006 – I mentioned the Taiga Forum the other day, an event discussing how libraries organize themselves to continue to create value as learning and research behaviors change. The presentations are now available....read full entry...
  • Our businessApril 05, 2006 – The University of Aberdeen is recruiting a University Librarian. The University dates from 1495, and the upbeat recruitment brochure [pdf] tallks about a 'librarian for our sixth century'. I was struck by the positive terms in which the library was presented as a vital part of how the University operated:The...read full entry...
  • Border countryApril 02, 2006 – I spoke at the Taiga Forum early last week in Chicago. Readers may be interested in the provocative statements that were produced for the meeting, their level of provocation depending on your asssessment of the current state of, and prospects for, the research library. These were discussed by attendees, and...read full entry...
  • Conversations and evidenceMarch 21, 2006 – The Reading 2.0 conference has had some nice coverage. One of the interesting takeaways for me was the variety of requirements or use cases that drive service, and the dangers of substituting either-or discussion for and discussions. I kept thinking of two non-exclusive emphases: conversation and evidence. Major network presences...read full entry...
  • Sites: a pattern of expectationMarch 19, 2006 – On recent travels, I have been reading Malcolm McCullough's Digital Ground, an architectural consideration of interaction design in an age of pervasive computing. I was interested to come across this mention of public libraries:... A livable city is made up of types. Some of these, such as the sidewalk cafe,...read full entry...
  • Search, share and subscribeMarch 06, 2006 – We seem to have turned a corner with library search. For example, one of the strategic priorities for the British Library is to 'transform search and navigation' in support of access to their collections, although there is little detail about what will be attempted. There has been significant recent discussion...read full entry...
  • Quotes Of The Day: moving to the network levelMarch 06, 2006 – Much of our discussion of Web 2.0 has focused on its social networking aspects. However, this is one aspect only of the flatter Web 2.0 world. We are beginning to see much more general discussion of another aspect, of the way in which organizations and their relationships are being reshaped...read full entry...
  • The Long Tail and the used book marketMarch 03, 2006 – Work commissioned by the Book Industry Study Group reports that:"The real story is the dramatic growth of used trade books sold through on-line channels", noted Jeff Hayes, Group Director for InfoTrends/CAP Ventures and principal analyst on the study. "Used books are becoming mainstream as the Internet provides transparency into the...read full entry...
  • HedgehogsMarch 01, 2006 – Dan Chudnov has an interesting post on the mission of the library. What is the all-consuming mission of the library? His answer is an interesting one, which on reflection works surprisingly well. He argues that his professional mission as a librarian is this:Help people build their own libraries. [Because this...read full entry...
  • A catalog or two (cats and splats)February 25, 2006 – While on the Evergreen site, I had a look at the developer version of their catalog. A demo of Evergreen's online catalog is located at demo.gapines.org. A bleeding edge online catalog, with all of the latest, greatest features we're working on, is located at dev.gapines.org (note the development site may...read full entry...
  • Systemwide activities and the long tailFebruary 25, 2006 – The Pines Evergreen folks make some interesting comments on my Long Tail post in the context of their own situation. I agree with the drift of their comments. What the entry is talking about (my interpretation) is moving ILS activities to a shared level to achieve systemwide efficiences and increase...read full entry...
  • Ranganathan and the long tailFebruary 24, 2006 – Ranganathan's five 'laws' have classic status in the library community. I am using 'classic' in the Frank Kermode sense of being 'patient of interpretation' over time: they express something which remains relevant as contexts change. I wrote about The Long Tail in terms of aggregation of supply and aggregation of...read full entry...
  • Libraries AustraliaFebruary 23, 2006 – The National Library of Australia has made a version of its union catalog openly available on the web (an enhanced version is available to subscribers). Libraries Australia lets you discover what's in Australian libraries. You can find it, borrow it, copy it or buy it. [Libraries Australia - Home]This is...read full entry...
  • Libraries, logistics and the long tailFebruary 15, 2006 – [NOTE: this blog post formed the basis of a subsequent article: Libraries and the Long Tail: Some Thoughts about Libraries in a Network Age D-Lib Magazine, Vol. 12, No. 4, April 2006. http://www.dlib.org/dlib/april06/dempsey/04dempsey.html] [Warning: long, long, long] Those discussions of the long tail that I have seen or heard in...read full entry...
  • Libraries, networks and servicesFebruary 10, 2006 – Blogging has been a little light of late, as I have had a lot going on - including the writing of my contribution to the Ariadne 10th anniversary issue. Here is the conclusion to that article, which looks at changes in the network environment in which libraries operate. Given the...read full entry...
  • AttentionFebruary 01, 2006 – I linked to bubblegeneration.com on the 'economy of attention' a while ago. Simply put, he argues that in the Media 1.0 era production and distribution were more scarce than attention. In other words, given the expense of creation and distribution there were a limited number of materials available through a...read full entry...
  • Loan dataJanuary 20, 2006 – I notice that the test catalogue at the University of Huddersfield is showing loan history. Quite nice. Does it tell you everything about the book? No. Is it interesting? Yes. Does it enhance the user experience? Well, it did mine. I even played with it for a while looking to...read full entry...
  • Thinking about the catalogJanuary 12, 2006 – I said a few entries ago that I was working on an entry on the catalog. I need to hurry up! Some big catalogish things came along this week. First the University of California released a significant report on its bibliographic infrastructure, on how catalogs should be built, presented and...read full entry...
  • Code4lib and programmersJanuary 10, 2006 – A schedule has been posted for Code4lib 2006. I am pleased that several of my colleagues (Devon Smith, Jeff Young and Thom Hickey) are presenting. This promises to be a different sort of library conference, one where participants talk about their experiences actually building systems and services. There has been...read full entry...
  • Leadership and libraries?January 09, 2006 – From Good to great and the social sectors: why business thinking is not the answer.There is an irony in all this. Social sector organizations increasingly look to business for leadership models and talent, yet I suspect we will find more true leadership in the social sectors than the business sector....read full entry...
  • Keeping the public in publishing?January 03, 2006 – We are used to buying books. To sharing them. To giving and receiving them as gifts. To quietly marking them. Even sometimes to proclaiming ownership in a bookplate. We are used to copying parts of them for study, to quoting from them. Books circulate - through libraries, private collections, bookstores...read full entry...
  • Public libraries and gamingDecember 21, 2005 – Andrew Lewis of the Library and Information Services at the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead sent me a note about a couple of reports exploring library responses to games and gaming. The first is an account of experiences in a particular project in the library. The second is a...read full entry...
  • International collaborationsDecember 19, 2005 – There are several international research University alliances. Universitas 21 and WUN are probably the most visible. WUN has an elearning section on its website. Universitas 21 refers to university museums, an initiative to pilot the creation of e-books, and also has an information services group. Library collaboration does not appear...read full entry...
  • On demand services ..December 18, 2005 – I wonder will we see on-demand library systems emerge. I am thinking of services like salesforce.com (the poster child of the on-demand software phenomenon, it provides Customer Relationship Management services) or webex.com (a conferencing and online meeting provider). The idea here is that rather than installing local instances of an...read full entry...
  • The buzz world December 12, 2005 – I recently came across Creating Passionate Users, which among other things has been commenting entertainingly and passionately on the Web 2.0 buzz-world. Today, there is an entry which discusses the difference between buzzwords and specialized domain-specific lexicons.But there's a world of difference between a specialized lexicon of domain-specific terms and...read full entry...
  • Circulating intentional dataNovember 27, 2005 – I have posted a couple of times recently about intentional data, data that records choices and behaviors. I mentioned holdings data, ILL records, circulation records, and database usage records. One could extend this list to any data which records an interaction or choice. We are used to looking at transaction...read full entry...
  • On Beauty and communityNovember 26, 2005 – I see that On Beauty is for now on top of the list of 'hot books' at the justly admired Ann Arbor District Library website. It must be because of the Open WorldCat reviews ;-) While I was there, I noticed the Director's Blog, in which there was real exchange...read full entry...
  • Aggregate intentionsNovember 23, 2005 – I was interested to see the announcement about Ebsco and web services for bringing together Counter data.The wide acceptance of the Project COUNTER Code of Practice has assisted greatly in the standardization of how usage data is counted and presented. Libraries are now looking to consolidate this normalized data as...read full entry...
  • Discover, locate, ... vertical and horizontal integrationNovember 20, 2005 – I was involved in some work years ago which developed the discover-locate-request-deliver string of verbs to talk about integrating library services. One emphasis of the work was that discovery was one part only of a whole chain (discovery2delivery - D2D) through which requirements were met. Requiring the user to complete...read full entry...
  • Storage and logisticsNovember 17, 2005 – Optimising storage and access in UK research libraries [pdf], a report commissioned by The Consortium of University Research Libraries (CURL), in the UK, and the British Library, has been made available. It is addressing an issue which is arising now across the library community, and is being addressed in various...read full entry...
  • Space, cost and valueNovember 11, 2005 – An interesting short article about the University of Chicago building plans:The poll of 5,700 students' library usage habits on campus reveals the use of electronic resources is not crowding out use of libraries for research using conventional stacks, reference materials and other physical resources, as some have feared. [A new...read full entry...
  • Country collectionsNovember 08, 2005 – Check out the WorldMap where we have collected and presented a range of data about the country of publication of titles in the aggregate collection represented by WorldCat. We also show how the ARL aggregate collection breaks down by country of publication. Alongside this data, we have also assembled more...read full entry...
  • A suite of library blogs October 29, 2005 – I just landed serendipitously on the Georgia State University page of library news and blogs. An interesting selection. More generally, I find that I expect to see news as a central part of a website. Websites that are not volatile are not worth stopping by....read full entry...
  • Open Content AllianceOctober 26, 2005 – The Open Content Alliance has been meeting. Some of the discussion has been blogged here and in an earlier entry. I am also grateful to Peter for a link to the following Book presentation of background. This is available on the open library website.Last week, the Internet Archive launched Open...read full entry...
  • Pessimism of the intellect; optimism of the willOctober 10, 2005 – Peter Brantley and Dan Chudnov, as reported by Jeremy Frumkin, are concerned about the capacity of libraries to respond in changing times. See here and here for Peter and Jeremy's posts respectively. 'conversation' is one of the big Web 2.0 words and they must have interesting conversations at the California...read full entry...
  • The ping is the thingOctober 08, 2005 – Stories need hooks, and the Economist has one. Libraries versus conversations. Make that big-assed threaded conversations. Architecture follows metaphor, says David Sifry of Technorati, and he goes on to suggest that the search engines were built on the metaphor of the library. As librarians, Mr Sifry acknowledges, Google and Yahoo!...read full entry...
  • Making data work harder - intentionallyOctober 06, 2005 – Much of the data that we have, or potentially might have, represents choices. Choices made by users or choices made by a service provider to meet user needs. Holdings data. Circulation data. Database usage data. In its production services, OCLC tends to use holdings data quite a bit to rank...read full entry...
  • Painting a moving trainSeptember 26, 2005 – Blogged conference reports can be somewhat telegraphese - but are often interesting to scan. Here are a couple - followed by an observation. Richard Akerman blogs the Info-grid conference over several entries beginning here. A while ago, Overdue Ideas reported on Ex-Libris user meetings extensively. See the message here and...read full entry...
  • An information society?September 21, 2005 – Some media experiences in the last day or two: A TV ad: a driver is rung up and asked if he would like to schedule an oil change for his BMW. How did they know it was due? Why the car had communicated it to them directly. Another TV ad:...read full entry...
  • L'ogre anglophoneSeptember 21, 2005 – From BiblioAcid on the finding in our Aggregate collections article that about 50% of unique titles in the aggregate Google 5 collections were in non-English languages.Bref, l'�crasement de la francophonie par l'ogre anglophone Google semble largement fantasm�. [BiblioAcid]Of course, our figures refer to the collections themselves, not to the choices...read full entry...
  • The anatomy of an aggregate collectionSeptember 17, 2005 – Over the coming years we will take a more active role in managing aggregate or collective collections: thinking about the best disposition of collections within particular inter-institutional policy environments. The opportunity costs of managing print collections will ensure that this happens. My colleague and I state this as follows in...read full entry...
  • New model library system vendorsSeptember 05, 2005 – The formation of SirsiDynix prompted a couple of interesting posts. Kenton Good predicted that there would be another coming together this year and wondered would it be Innovative Interfaces and Endeavor Information Systems. He speculated that:Ex Libris feeling isolated will radically shift their business model. Leveraging their plans to modularize...read full entry...
  • Repository services for non-affiliated researchersAugust 29, 2005 – The British Library and the National Library of Australia are each involved in national Institutional Repository initiatives. These are Sherpa and Arrow, respectively. In each case, their role includes, among other things, providing a home for materials from independent researchers, those who will not have an institutional home for their...read full entry...
  • National Library of Australia - staff papersAugust 28, 2005 – The National Library of Australia provides search and browse (by year of publication) access to papers by its staff. It reaches back as far as 1995. This is really a nice resource, consolidating a useful range of papers, both as a current resource (NLA has been an innovator in several...read full entry...
  • Never mind the quality, feel the widthAugust 22, 2005 – What should an excellent research library look like in 2015? Indeed, what would it mean to be a 'top 20' research library. The answer is not straightforward, but it is something that one library has been asked to think about. The University of Manchester is a new creation, built from...read full entry...
  • iPods, platforms and ecosystemsAugust 18, 2005 – There is an interesting article in Forbes suggesting that the closed approach that Apple is taking with iTunes and the iPod will lead to their decline. In an ecosystem, all the players share some key components. Devices that can read the Windows version of digital music (WMA) all share the...read full entry...
  • The British LibraryAugust 15, 2005 – Colin St John Wilson, the architect of the British Library building wrote that he hoped that the library and its court yard would become a social assembly place and rendezvous point, particularly as the King's Cross area is opened up by the arrival of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link. We...read full entry...
  • PauseAugust 12, 2005 – I note that the Google Print Library program is being paused. It will be interesting to see what happens next: play, rewind, fast forward ...? Adam Smith writes in the Google Blog:We think most publishers and authors will choose to participate in the publisher program in order introduce their work...read full entry...
  • Library logistics (again)August 07, 2005 – I have suggested in these pages that logistics is a central part of what we do. Logistics is about moving information, materials and services through a network cost-effectively. Resource sharing is supported by a library logistics apparatus. The emerging e-resource discovery to delivery chain, tied together with resolution services, is...read full entry...
  • New lookAugust 07, 2005 – Check out the new look interface to Find in a library. See, for example, the (current) page for Information rules. I like the way it highlights subjects and other editions. IMHO one of the major features of OpenWorldCat is the way it is beginning to release the value of the...read full entry...
  • Libraries and the public sphereAugust 07, 2005 – For Habermas, the public sphere is the arena in which public opinion is formed, independent of economic or government influence. The public sphere depends on the flow of information and the ability to debate rationally. And so it may be variably realized depending on the governing regime: Habermas advances a...read full entry...
  • The collective collectionAugust 04, 2005 – There is an interesting piece in the current Update about Chemistry collections in the UK in the light of some recent high profile closures - of both chemistry departments and libraries. It is a practical discussion of some aspects of the growing interest in the 'collective collection'. No doubt we...read full entry...
  • Moving up the value chainJuly 28, 2005 – I have just spent some time at home in Ireland, a country which has changed enormously in the last fifteen years. On one of the several occasions that I was sitting in Dublin airport in recent weeks I read an article in the Sunday Tribune about the challenges facing Ireland...read full entry...
  • Relatively available at the point of needJuly 28, 2005 – Tony Hey who has been overseeing the development of the UK e-science core program has just been appointed Vice President for technical computing at Microsoft. I have just read his review of John S. Rigden's Einstein 1905: the standard of greatness in the Times Higher, July 1 2005. The review...read full entry...
  • Groningen thoughtsJuly 24, 2005 – The LIBER 34th Annual Conference in Groningen was a congenial event in an engaging city. LIBER, for those unfamiliar with it, is an organization which brings together European research libraries. I left thinking about three things, based on the presentations I saw and the conversations I had:Managing the collective book...read full entry...
  • Serving network peopleJuly 17, 2005 – A few months ago I was pleased to give a short presentation [ppt] over dinner at the Agnic Tenth Annual Meeting. I was looking forward to it as I had interacted with Agnic colleagues closer to the beginning of that 10 year span, and generally I like going to events...read full entry...
  • Value and impactJuly 06, 2005 – The LASER Foundation commissioned a report [pdf]from PriceWaterhouseCoopers looking at how one might measure public library impact. The report argues that public libraries have demonstrable impact and proposes "practical and consistent approaches to measuring impact". I liked this quote from a member of the public:(My mother) finds the library a...read full entry...
  • That Reading Room againJuly 02, 2005 – More about the The British Museum Reading Room, which was until recently a part of the British Library - until the latter moved to its new accommodations at St Pancras. Some years ago I was asked to contribute an article to a British Library publication on digital libraries. I wanted...read full entry...
  • The network and the libraryJuly 01, 2005 – Libraries have always been nodes in networks. They have managed flows of materials into those nodes from a range of suppliers, and between nodes in resource sharing initiatives. These flows are supported by multiply configured networks - of supply and use. In the print world, library services were concentrated in...read full entry...
  • Libraries, maps and platformsJune 27, 2005 – Thom previews Mike Teets' library mapping demo on the evolving Product works page. This page will be enhanced in coming weeks to showcase various of the ongoing initiatives which will find their way into OCLC services. Google Maps seems to have sparked a growing interest in location-based services, partly because...read full entry...
  • In the flowJune 24, 2005 – Workflow is important. We often think of the network as multiple individual opportunities: a mass of websites. However, just as we increasingly work, learn, research, and play in a network environment, so will services evolve to reduce effort and improve effectiveness. These services will support flow construction and resource integration...read full entry...
  • To integrate, disintegrateJune 20, 2005 – I liked this characterization of Eric Lease Morgan's Top Tech Trend number five on BiblioAcid:Pour vous int�grer, d�sint�grez votre site web [BiblioAcid: Pour vous int�grer, d�sint�grez votre site web]Eric's list is a nice one. I was also drawn to his trend number five as it is another example of what...read full entry...
  • The recordJune 20, 2005 – I was interested to see a link to a story about Stanford on the Sun website: Building a digital library: digitizing 8 million volumes. The story is available as video in the Sun Feedroom. The Stanford story is the Sun News item for 06/03 (I couldn't immediately see how to...read full entry...
  • Standardising library processesJune 18, 2005 – A colleague pointed me to Thomas Davenport's article in the current Harvard Business Review (June 2005. pp 101-108): The coming commoditization of business processes. He suggests:Firms seek to standardize processes for several important reasons. Within a company, standardization can facilitate communications about how the business operates, enable smooth handoffs across...read full entry...
  • Digital DelftJune 14, 2005 – From the 2003 Annual Report of the TU Delft Library:At the TU Delft Library, we have made a decisive choice for digitalisation. This means that wherever possible we will offer E-only services. Only if digital resources are not possible, will we also offer physical services. [pdf] Heading out in the...read full entry...
  • Balancing actJune 12, 2005 – Anne Wolpert characterizes the current situation of research libraries:In describing the state of the MIT Libraries in the 21 st century, we sometimes humorously characterize our situation as having "one foot on the dock, and one foot in the dinghy." Considerable amounts of time, energy, and resources are dedicated to...read full entry...
  • 93 people want to start using the library ..June 08, 2005 – This is one of the things that is among these people's 43 things to do. Some nice comments too, if you look at what people say about this particular goal....read full entry...
  • Who is the catalog for?May 18, 2005 – The current discussion about the catalog and its centrality or otherwise prompt me to repeat a passage from my favorite example of the library in literature. This is from Robert Musil's The man without qualities. Chapter 100 of this novel is General Stumm invades the State Library and learns about...read full entry...
  • The user interface that isn'tMay 15, 2005 – Increasingly we need to think about library services in the context of the full web of user experience. This is easy to say, but it is rather more difficult to tease out what it means. One way to think about it is to think about some of the characteristics of...read full entry...
  • Recombinance all the way up ... remixing all the way downMay 06, 2005 – I have been using recombinance quite a lot in the last year or two to talk about how network flow affects structures. You can tell that I am generationally challenged: I should be saying remixing, which is cropping up in places in the same sense. This is happening to structures...read full entry...
  • Just how simple?May 05, 2005 – So, thinking about some recent posts .... In the Bosworth presentation [ppt] mentioned below, the following desirable attributes of a 'web of data' are proposed: simple, standard, sloppy, and scalable. This is based on his view of what has made the web successful. Constrain choices and keep it simple. As...read full entry...
  • Search and memoryMay 01, 2005 – An interesting post on Ida takes tea talks about the use of bookmarking tools - such as Furl - as a sort of memory. And further:These (perhaps unanticipated) social and cognitive attributes of web service tools tend to support John S. Rhodes' related claim that search engines such as Google...read full entry...
  • Network-external and network-internalApril 24, 2005 – I have just written the following for other purposes: The library community is engaged in a difficult transition: from a network-external organization to a network-internal organization. In the former case, the library makes some services available on the network, but the network remains external to how it organizes itself; in...read full entry...
  • Which environment?April 24, 2005 – We are used to thinking about the user in the library environment. This will continue to be important. A major part of our challenge moving forward is thinking about the library in the user environment. The user is increasingly a network person, who may move through several environments....read full entry...
  • On Google Scholar and library instructionApril 13, 2005 – On Google Scholar is one of my more consulted RSS feeds. I like the mix of useful pointers and light but firm editorializing. A post on the recent ACRL conference steps out from this mode a little with a longish commentary. In the light of my comments here about library...read full entry...
  • Off-web and on-webApril 12, 2005 – Andy Powell writes [pdf] about potential points of contact between the range of information resources managed by JISC in the UK and the major search engines on the open web. Interestingly, much has happened between the end of last year when this was made available and now. Google Scholar is...read full entry...
  • Library collections viewed systemicallyApril 11, 2005 – OCLC Research has been doing quite a bit of work on collection analysis in the last couple of years: mining Worldcat for management intelligence about the characteristics of libary collections. One strand of this work was reported at the recent CNI meeting under the title 'A System-Wide View of Library...read full entry...
  • Public libraries in DublinApril 07, 2005 – Fintan O'Toole has a wonderful essay on the public library in The university of the people: celebrating Irish public libraries. He calls it: "Reading, writing and rebelling: growing up with public libraries". Unfortunately, it does not appear to be on the web. The whole eight pages is almost worth quoting!...read full entry...
  • A utopian place of criticismMarch 23, 2005 – I used two quotes in a (long) article written some time ago of which I am reminded from time to time. Technologists understand that they must build more stable and unobtrusive media. They must establish more coherent contexts into which the technology may disappear. Malcolm McCullough. Abstracting craft: the practiced...read full entry...
  • Metasearch, google and the restMarch 20, 2005 – How quickly things can change! Last year there were discussions about the Google-busting potential of metasearch. How naive. This year there are discussions about the metasearch-busting potential of Google Scholar. Let us wait and see. Clearly there are various issues with metasearch: the variety of data and interfaces that has...read full entry...
  • Oregon State UniversityMarch 17, 2005 – I tend to look at library strategic plans when they are available on the web. They are interesting indicators of where libraries think they most need to create value in coming years. I just came across the 2004 Strategic Plan [pdf] at Oregon State University. In conversations with our key...read full entry...
  • Thinking about metadata collectionsMarch 05, 2005 – Peter Murray [authority record] left a comment about my The Integrated Library System that isn't piece. From my world view, there is a fifth collection type that is capturing our attention: metadata collections. Into this category goes collections of OAI-PMH harvesters (someone else's "digital collection") and selected resource lists (e.g....read full entry...
  • Library websites againMarch 04, 2005 – The more I look at library websites, the more they do indeed seem to wrap a thin layer around a jumble of things which have not been designed for the web. Indeed, the individual pieces have not really been designed as a whole. Consider the not uncommon situation where a...read full entry...
  • Pumping up the valueMarch 03, 2005 – As we move through changes value becomes a critical word. The values of libraries are important; the value that libraries create in a changing world must be promoted and demonstrated. If libraries are not valuable to somebody, then talking about their values does not get us very far. Discussions of...read full entry...
  • LissadellMarch 03, 2005 – A third entry in a row with an Irish reference ... I recently had cause to look for Lissadell House, featured in the Yeats poem In Memory Of Eva Gore-Booth And Con Markiewicz. I was interested to find a picture (� Sligo County Library, Eccles Collection) of the House in...read full entry...
  • Net generation students and librariesFebruary 24, 2005 – Joan Lippincott of CNI writes about Net Generation users and libraries in a new publication: What are some of the major disconnects between many of today's academic libraries and Net Gen students? The most common one is students' dependence on Google or similar search engines for discovery of information resources...read full entry...
  • The integrated library system that isn't February 22, 2005 – One can read the phrase Integrated Library System (ILS) in two ways: as a system for the integrated library, or as an integrated system for the library. Although the latter is what was probably meant by the term, neither is an accurate description of what the ILS has become. In...read full entry...
  • Future of public librariesFebruary 19, 2005 – The Laser Foundation (in the UK) has been commissioning reports about the public library system. The latest takes a new direction. They worked with a group of 'young' (undefined?) middle managers in public libraries to develop a report on the public library of 2015.`Public libraries press all the strategic buttons...read full entry...
  • Library collections and services - some picturesFebruary 17, 2005 – The library co-evolves with the community it serves, and we need to remember that those communities also change, which in turn change the services they need from the library. This is readily apparent as learning, research and records management, for example, are also increasingly carried out in a digital environment....read full entry...
  • The value of librariesFebruary 17, 2005 – I mentioned the proposed cut in library staff by the administration at Bangor University a few days ago. This continues to make the news. A story in the national Guardian newspaper quotes from the University proposal:The document reads: "The support to the academic and student communities from the qualified subject...read full entry...
  • Pooling uncertaintyFebruary 17, 2005 – Posts have been light recently as I have been on the road. I have just come back from The Netherlands where I was at a meeting of the management groups of OCLC and OCLC|PICA. At that meeting I had been asked to do a short presentation comparing the 'library landscapes'...read full entry...
  • The cost of managing serialsFebruary 10, 2005 – The rising cost of serials occupies much discussion bandwidth. However, the cost of managing serials, including the A&I discovery apparatus, is also considerable. A growing number of libraries are investing in some or all of the metasearch/resolver/electronic resource management/knowledge-base suite of tools and associated data management services. They continue to...read full entry...
  • Software as a service?February 01, 2005 – Ex Libris announces SFX as a network 'service'. As I suggested a while ago, I think that it is inevitable that we will see much more of this type of application. Libraries spend a lot of time managing a systems framework which is increasingly complex. They need to find ways...read full entry...
  • Deskilling searching?January 27, 2005 – A discussion has broken out in the UK about proposals from the University of Bangor to reduce the number of librarians in light of the changed environment of search. This is a passage from the message from a library staff member which sparked the debate:The University of Wales Bangor in...read full entry...
  • SCONUL visionJanuary 24, 2005 – SCONUL, the UK Society of College, National and University Libraries, has a vision for libraries in 2010 posted on its website. It is a short document.Library and information services will move from a 'one-size-fits all' approach to the personalisation of the delivery and support of space, services and content provision....read full entry...
  • Eat your spinach, it's good for you ... January 16, 2005 – I had expected to see more discussion of Stanley Wilder's article on information literacy in the Chronicle recently. A sample:Librarians should not assume that college students welcome their help in doing research online. The typical freshman assumes that she is already an expert user of the Internet, and her daily...read full entry...
  • Google: The world's digital library?January 16, 2005 – Today's NYT has an article on Apple's recent announcements. Randall Stross, the author, notes in passing:Google has a near monopoly on the digital library business, which enables it to do very well with advertizing that monetizes eyeballs.[May require registration: Digital Domain: After 20 Years, Finally Capitalizing on Cool]The choice of...read full entry...
  • There are places I'll remember all my life ...January 09, 2005 – Looking at the Project for public spaces website I wondered if the only good places to live are expensive ones ;-) Nevertheless, it is nice to see their emphasis on libraries. They like New York Public Library but not the BnF (although some of the comments disagree with their assessment)....read full entry...
  • U Winnipeg websiteDecember 23, 2004 – The University of Winnipeg Library and Information Services website is one of the most engaging I have seen for a while. Others might learn from it. The colors, layout and logo are bright and fresh. The central panel displays library news; a flow of news means it is not static.It...read full entry...
  • Multiple intersections with behavior and lifestyleDecember 20, 2004 – I ran across several apparently unrelated things recently: The Wall St Journal reports that Ray Charles' Genius loves company was strongly assisted to a No 2 chart spot by sales in Starbuck's (September 9, 2004; Page B3). In fact Starbuck's accounted for 30% of its sales. The story quoted a...read full entry...
  • Southampton: research supportDecember 15, 2004 – The University of Southampton Library reports on a survey of its staff about their research support needs.Working through researchers' comments, it was clear that an overwhelming requirement was for more e-Journals, but also clear was that many respondents were not aware of the depth of the Library's existing support for...read full entry...
  • Catalog searchDecember 04, 2004 – Providing service at the point of need is a growing emphasis for service providers on the network. Why is there not a searchbox for the library catalog available on every library homepage? It would be nice to have it elsewhere also, but surely it should be at least be very...read full entry...
  • Library logisticsNovember 21, 2004 – Logistics is everywhere. During the recent Olympics, DHL and UPS were heavy advertizers. Recently, UPS has been advertizing that its role is to 'synchronize' companies. It seems to me that logistics is a significant part of what libraries do, they synchronize the need for and the supply of research and...read full entry...
  • British Library and wirelessNovember 20, 2004 – The introduction of wireless networking at the British Library has been noticed in several places. More interesting than the announcement itself, I thought, were some of the findings from their market research. John De Lucy, the Library's Head of Estates and Facilities, commissioned Building Zones, consultants in providing technology that...read full entry...
  • The library websiteNovember 17, 2004 – There is an interesting digest of Libqual results in the current ARL Bimonthly Report. What particularly caught my eye was the discussion of the library website:Yet according to LibQUAL+TM data, many library patrons, particularly undergraduates are not taking full advantage of the information available from library Web sites. While about...read full entry...
  • Westerville webOctober 27, 2004 – I like Westerville Library's web presence. It thinks about itself in terms of user interests, rather than library offerings. It incorporates news headlines. It gives you access to the catalog directly from a search box on the home page (all libraries should do this), has some materials from the interesting...read full entry...
  • ECDL 2004 reportOctober 21, 2004 – There is a report on ECDL 2004 by Jonas Holmstr�m in the current D-lib Magazine. Lorcan Dempsey from OCLC (Online Library Computer Center) spoke [ppt] about the rapidly changing library landscape and introduced some interesting new terminology. One of the most apparent changes libraries face is the change in expectations...read full entry...
  • Seattle public libraryOctober 19, 2004 – Check out Liz Lawley's photographs of the new Seattle Public Library....read full entry...
  • What is a library?October 17, 2004 – I talk about The Librarian below. I quoted from it alongside quotes from Ross Atkinson and Bob Martin in a presentation to the European Conference on Digital Libraries recently. [ppt] From The Librarian:'So why have I written this? I can't show it if it's going to contradict or undermine my...read full entry...
  • Eric Wainwright on future of academic librariesOctober 10, 2004 – Eric Wainwright writes reflectively and interestingly about the future of the academic library. [PDF]...read full entry...
  • Union CatalogsSeptember 30, 2004 – A list of union catalogs:During the research work on my latest book, Library World Records, I used both Worldcat and several European union catalogs, in my search for specific books, because I travelled to several European libraries, being able to know if particular books I needed, for my book project,...read full entry...
  • ARROW discovery serviceSeptember 26, 2004 – The Arrow (Australian Research Repositories Online to the World) project has a preview search system up. This discovery service provides access to Australian scholarly materials. It currently indexes metadata from 6 university repositories. [Australian Research Repositories Online to the World]...read full entry...
  • Reference for the 'Google generation'September 25, 2004 – The British Library is advertizing for a Head of Reference and Research. The post will 'reinterpret' reference for a digital world, and provide services for 'new audiences', including the 'google generation'. [Head of Reference and Research, London]...read full entry...
  • Preparedness for digital futuresSeptember 22, 2004 – CLIR is organizating a 'primer' on 'managing digital assets'. The text below is from the description of the event. I think it overstates the case, but it is an appropriate reminder that we are really in the early stages of constructing viable digital information environments. Aside from the largest research...read full entry...
  • VirtualizationSeptember 21, 2004 – Virtualization, outsourcing, ASP, ... Jonathan Schwartz signals a Sun announcement about 'computing utility' services. He provides some nice ways of talking about this phenomenon which could be applied to what we have historically known as 'bibliographic utilities', and also to current initiatives which look at providing shared infrastructure in the...read full entry...
  • Festschrift for Wendy LougeeSeptember 21, 2004 – I recently came across this online Festschrift for Wendy Lougee, marking her departure from Michigan. Digital libraries : a vision for the 21st century : a festschrift in honor of Wendy Lougee on the occasion of her departure from the University of Michigan / [edited by] Patricia Hodges, Maria Bonn,...read full entry...
  • More on library portalsSeptember 21, 2004 – I have agreed to write regularly for Update Magazine, the publication of CILIP in the UK. The first article to appear is on portals. Stepping back, we can see some trends. A major one is growing awareness that the library portal is only one step towards creating an effective network...read full entry...
  • Cataloging mission statementSeptember 10, 2004 – I have just come across the MIT Libraries' Cataloging Mission Statement.The cataloging units of the MIT Libraries develop and apply creative solutions to manage and facilitate the use of information resources. We continually build expertise in metadata standards and database structures, as well as knowledge of the resources and their...read full entry...
  • Learning and librariesSeptember 05, 2004 – The recent report released by DLF, Digital Library Content and Course Management Systems: Issues of Interoperation, makes it three: three recent reports on the increasingly important interface between library services and instructional technology applications. The three are: Digital Library Content and Course Management Systems: Issues of Interoperation. Report of a...read full entry...
  • Collection level descriptionSeptember 05, 2004 – Libraries have historically been interested in trees: their descriptive practices have focused on works and their manifestations. Libraries are becoming more interested in describing woods, the collections of which individual items are a part. This in turn creates an interest in collection level description. 'Collections' tends to be used here...read full entry...
  • Harvard hot libraryAugust 24, 2004 – According to the Newsweek Kaplan College Guide, Harvard has the "hottest" library among US universities:Harvard's library system ranks with the best of any kind in the country, even the Library of Congress. "It contains the largest collection of every kind of book and bit of information anyone would ever want,"...read full entry...
  • Demonstrating valueAugust 24, 2004 – The title of the 2003-2004 British Library annual report is an interesting indication of the emphasis on demonstrating value: Making a measurable difference....read full entry...
  • Search and visitAugust 19, 2004 – Jakob Neilsen:Increasingly, the Internet user experience is becoming one of dipping a toe into websites rather than truly "visiting" them. Using search engines as their Web interface, people simply grab query-related nuggets from sites, but don't engage with the sites themselves. [When Search Engines Become Answer Engines (Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox)]The...read full entry...
  • Organization of workAugust 01, 2004 – A suggestive panel discussion on Technology and the modern corporation: how different will it become is covered in Robert Patterson's weblog. Leaders from several industries discuss changing organizational patterns. Malone: I have a slogan for that. We need to change our thinking from "command and control" to "coordinate and cultivate."...read full entry...
  • Library spacesAugust 01, 2004 – An article in today's New York Times (free registration) talks about how academic libraries are developing as group learning environments. Education > Education Life > Spaces for Social Study">If digital access pushed libraries to reinvent themselves, it was developments in educational theory that helped turn them into academic town squares....read full entry...
  • Read for funJuly 31, 2004 – People who see FictionFinder occasionally say that it is a public library application. In this context I was interested to come across the Read for fun site at University of Notre Dame Libraries. Students often ask those of us who work in the library at Notre Dame for books they...read full entry...
  • Library consortiaJuly 30, 2004 – I have just come across Consortia in the next 25 years, a conference organized by Caval in Australia last year to celebrate its twenty fifth anniversary. The site has powerpoints looking at consortia from various perspectives going forward....read full entry...
  • Audit office report on remote services of the British LibraryJuly 28, 2004 – The British Library: providing services beyond the reading rooms [pdf] is a report from the UK National Audit Office on the networked services of the British Library. It makes interesting reading and is generally positive. Among the points it makes is that the Library needs to consider the management costs...read full entry...
  • What is a digital library?July 18, 2004 – There was a discussion on diglib a while ago about what is a digital library. This was more interesting than most, especially when it came to Eric Hellman's question about whether particular services counted as digital libraries or not.A digital library is "Any collection of digital resources managed with the...read full entry...
  • What is a digital library?July 18, 2004 – There was a discussion on diglib a while ago about what is a digital library. This was more interesting than most, especially when it came to Eric Hellman's question about whether particular services counted as digital libraries or not.A digital library is "Any collection of digital resources managed with the...read full entry...
  • Buy or borrowJune 28, 2004 – 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...read full entry...
  • Tranforming libraries or muddling throughJune 24, 2004 – 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...read full entry...
  • Physical and virtual union catalogsJune 22, 2004 – 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'...read full entry...
  • Arrow, Fedora and VTLSJune 19, 2004 – 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....read full entry...
  • MIT libraries websiteJune 18, 2004 – 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...read full entry...
  • LAM and memoryMay 09, 2004 – The policy framework for libraries, archives and museums has come together in several contexts, although actual services have not converged much. IMLS in the US, MLA in the UK, and other bodies have cross-domain responsibilities. I have just come back from visiting the newly formed Library and Archives Canada, but...read full entry...
  • Google vs phone vs libraryMay 06, 2004 – Light-hearted exercise where the library is pitted against Google in answering vital questions of the day.Google, the world's most popular internet search engine, is about to offer shares to the public. It has built its reputation on being the fastest and most accurate way to find information. But is the...read full entry...
  • Suber on OAI and ORMay 03, 2004 – Some nice remarks by Peter Suber in his latest SOAN:As I read the news, both halves of this prediction are coming true. On the one hand, mainstream, non-academic search engines are looking for ways to index scholarly content. Starting with OAI-compliant archives and CrossRef-compliant publications is a natural, both because...read full entry...
  • Decline in use of catalogs May 01, 2004 – Some interesting data from Dan Greenstein about relative use of catalog (and the library's physical holdings) and the newer digital licensed resources. Use of online journals and reference databases that the library licenses (but rarely owns) grows dramatically year on year (CDL 2002). The use of online public access catalogs...read full entry...
  • Libraries and LearningApril 25, 2004 – Bob Martin has been emphasizing the role of libraries and museums in support of learning. I now notice that the Institute of Museum and Library Services tagline includes the phrase "dedicated to creating and sustaining a nation of learners". That the end of libraries is learning has been a constant...read full entry...
  • NYT on Gates and public librariesApril 22, 2004 – The NYT is carrying an article on the impact of the Gates Foundation on public libraries through grants for technology adoption. Technology > Circuits > Libraries Wired, and Reborn">"Books are never going away, but the future of libraries is much more as community centers," Mrs. LeBoeuf observed. "I worked here...read full entry...
  • Elsevier CEO on open accessApril 18, 2004 – Reed-Elsevier argues value of existing publishing model. The use of scientific information is spreading as technology allows more researchers to access more information more frequently. Since 1999, the number of articles downloaded via Elsevier's electronic portal ScienceDirect has doubled each year, reaching 175 million downloaded articles in 2003 as its...read full entry...
  • Blogs from librariesApril 03, 2004 – libraries doing good things with blogs [blogwithoutalibrary.net]...read full entry...
  • agog with googleApril 03, 2004 – I spoke at the State Librarians' Meeting at OCLC last week. Myself and Phyllis Spies participated in a session with the Board of the Michigan Library Consortium this week where we were asked to discuss general information trends, the OCLC environmental scan, and OCLC directions. In each case, much of...read full entry...
  • Tennant on xISBNMarch 26, 2004 – Belatedly, it is worth noting Roy's remarks about xISBN in his recent LJ column:Useful on its own, it can be combined with the bookmarklet concept to become part of a compelling library service. Imagine a library user querying a catalog while viewing a book on Amazon and finding any version...read full entry...
  • Bielefeld proceedingsMarch 10, 2004 – The 7th International Bielefeld Conference: Proceedings have just been announced. Jay highlights the work of OR in his presentation. Roswitha Poll has an overview of a survey of users with some interesting results; the powerpoint gets in the way a little on this one. I thought that Hans Geleijnse's concluding...read full entry...
  • Inside California Digital LibraryMarch 10, 2004 – The California Digital Library has a web page [Inside CDL] linking to its working documents. This provides an interesting insight into the shared collection development and technical issues facing a large group of research libraries working to build future infrastructure. Check out its project page for example:In partnership with the...read full entry...
  • Trip report VALA conference MelbourneMarch 08, 2004 – I presented the closing keynote [ppt] at the recent VALA conference in Melbourne Australia [VALA2004 Conference Programme and Links to Papers]. (Added 13 March: just came across a trip report for the VALA conference by Steve Thomas, University of Adelaide.) Here are some brief notes about the meeting ......read full entry...
  • How good is the catalog?January 25, 2004 – Pretty interesting piece by a member of faculty in the history department at Swarthmore. I quote at length -- follow the link for the full piece.Using our library's catalogue, Tripod, I was both impressed at how generally strong our collection is for a small liberal-arts college (shared with Bryn Mawr...read full entry...
  • XISBN experimental useJanuary 18, 2004 – XISBN being used in UKOLN's demonstrator OpenURL application. Andy Powell writes:This looks pretty interesting. It uses knowledge of WorldCat and the IFLA Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) model to work up from any given ISBN to the 'work', then back down to other 'expressions'/'manifestations' of the same work. I.e....read full entry...
  • RootsDecember 21, 2003 – Announcing the availability of the resource below, The National Library of Ireland claims that genealogy is the most popular hobby in the US, and also that there are 40M people who claim Irish descent in the US. Certainly, serving this constituency is an important activity and revenue stream for the...read full entry...
  • TEL, SRU and CLDDecember 19, 2003 – The TEL project reports one of its main outcomes to be a "flexible systems architecture based on the SRU protocol". They have also produced an interim report on metadata issues. One of the interesting things about TEL is their support for the idea of collection level description (CLD) as a...read full entry...
  • Web services and DialogDecember 05, 2003 – "The information industry is changing, and we are at the forefront of the transformation," said Roy M. Martin, Jr., Dialog president and CEO. "Today, the imperative is to offer the tools necessary to integrate information into in-house networks and professional and consumer services on the open Web. We must reach...read full entry...
  • Where the money is goingNovember 28, 2003 – Academic libraries are funded to support the research and learning activities of their home institutions. As research and learning behaviors change so must they. A major issue for academic libraries in coming years is the increasing discrepancy between the needs of their faculty in science, technology and medicine and their...read full entry...
  • Dolorous GormanNovember 21, 2003 – Students graduate from the successors to library schools without a basic education in the core skills that define an effective librarian - reference work, cataloguing, library instruction, collection development, etc. - and without a grounding in the basic values of our profession - service, intellectual freedom, stewardship, literacy, etc. This...read full entry...
  • Book BrotherNovember 20, 2003 – Vote to evict a book at Book Brother. Part of a bigger initiative to encourage reading among young people, 4ureaders.net....read full entry...
  • u-PortalNovember 19, 2003 – I argued a while ago that libraries' integration challenge was not so much to integrate information resources with each other as it was to integrate them with emerging user environments. Examples I gave were the campus portal and the learning management system. I have just got an email from a...read full entry...
  • Library lookup and XISBNNovember 14, 2003 – Nice note on Jon Udell's blog about XISBN:It actually sort of works, which says a lot for the flexibility of Web and XML technologies. But the big news here is OCLC's decision to expose its grouping algorithm as a public XML Web service. I hope this signals the beginning of...read full entry...
  • Union catalog of art imagesNovember 10, 2003 – A Mellon-funded project at UC San Diego to create a union catalog of art images. The intention is to explore its use for shared cataloging. I wonder how many images are held by multiple institutions? This phase is focused on the development of an underlying union database and the technical...read full entry...
  • Dynix and web servicesOctober 26, 2003 – We use Web Services with our new Vendor Integration Protocol (VIP), through which acquisitions librarians can check book pricing and availability within a matter of seconds with their book jobber. Baker & Taylor, Ingram, Book Wholesalers, Inc., and Brodart all support the VIP protocol. This is just the tip of...read full entry...
  • Article on changes in scholarly communicationOctober 21, 2003 – Suzanne E Thorin provides an overview of changes in scholarly communication for a recent ARL conference....read full entry...
  • Recombinant libraries and special collections in ShelfLifeOctober 21, 2003 – The October 16 issue of ShelfLife refers to my forthcoming article on portals (now on the website):This article explores the design and use of portals in a library environment. It discusses the motivations for building portals, it discusses portal architectures and typology, and it examines the user environment in which...read full entry...