June 10, 2002

Well I finally got the job situation all worked out. More on that later. But now I'm in 'find an apartment and move' mode, hence the lack of posts. (If anyone knows of any vacancies in Providence, RI, let me know.) I'm headed down to Atlanta on Thursday, so if any of you will be there, let me know and we can chill.

May 23, 2002

Developers Kit for Factiva
Factiva, a global news and business information provider, has launched Factiva Developer's Kit; an application-programming interface which allows developers to create customized applications that integrate Factiva's content and functionality into end-users' workflow systems
Factiva hops on the API bandwagon. It'll sure be interesting to see what all the hipster librarians do with all these API's.

May 22, 2002

Position Details on HigherEdJobs.com - Virtual Information Librarians
Provide online reference services to students and employees from the 14 university State System of Higher Education of Pennsylvania (SSHE) and the public at large from home; retrieve information using a variety of electronic resources including Internet, CD-ROMs, and online databases; assist in marketing and public relations efforts to increase use; assist in the evaluation of new online reference and customer support techniques and software.
Be an academic librarian and never get out of your pajamas. Mansfield University may be on to something here. Though given the track record of Virtual Reference services i.e. no one uses them (yet), I'd be concerned about job security.

May 20, 2002

/usr/lib/info Not much there yet, but I reckon I'll be visiting this page often enough.

May 16, 2002

Excising Information
In the rush to secure the nation, government officials have once again looked to restricting access to information as a cure-all. We have statements from them decrying the availability of sensitive information and moaning that even pieces of non-sensitive information, when put together from disparate sources, could be transformed into sensitive data.
Interesting editorial on recent trends with regard to 'sensitive' information.
Worthington Memory
Worthington Libraries are partnering with the Worthington Historical Society to build Worthington Memory. The goals of this collaborative project are to collect and preserve local history materials through the creation of a digital library, providing greater access to and enhanced public awareness of Worthington's rich history.
Nicely designed digital library (at least in my browser anyway). (Link boosted from the LITA listserv.)

May 14, 2002

'Screen Language': The New Currency for Learning According to Seely Brown, there is a new kind of digital divide now and it is the divide between faculty and students. Faculty, stuck in yesterday's analog world, are confronted with students who arrive nicely fluent in digital technology and the virtues of hyperspeed. Students already have a handle on how to convey their emotional states electronically. It's up to adults to learn that vernacular, he said. Educators who create programs for adult learning and distance learning need to apply the vernacular and deepen and strengthen these new means of communication.
Digital preservation strategies
While digital technologies are enabling information to be created, manipulated, disseminated, located and stored with increasing ease, preserving access to this information poses a significant challenge. Unless preservation strategies are actively employed, this information will rapidly become inaccessible. Choice of strategy will depend upon the nature of the material and what aspects are to be retained.Extensive bibliography on this topic.
Mapping the Information Landscape
Librarians actually have a variety of information maps. They're kind of like those anatomy illustrations in an encyclopedia, with multiple see-through plastic overlays that one can superimpose on the outline of the human form. Which map we use will be determined by the kind of questions we're answering.
Creating a Framework of Guidance for Building Good Digital Collections
A Digital Library Forum convened by the IMLS and working in collaboration with participants from the NSF's National Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology Education Digital Library program has released a Framework of Guidance for Building Good Digital Collections to serve as a resource for practitioners and funding agencies. This Framework pays particular attention to digitization collection practices that facilitate integration and aggregation of digital information resources developed by museums, libraries, and similar institutions.
Lots of good stuff over at First Monday.

May 13, 2002

Semantic Web Metadata for e-Learning - Some Architectural Guidelines
Meta-data is the fundamental building block of the Semantic Web. However, the meta-data concept is too loosely defined to provide architectural guidelines for its use. This paper analyzes important uses of meta-data in the e-learning domain, from a pedagogical and philosophical point of view, and abstracts from them a set of fundamental architectural requirements for Semantic Web meta-data.
Residents of Alaska community love their tiny, packed library
Residents of this sportfishing mecca of 400 at the headwaters of the Kenai River prize their library like a gem, as precious as a sunny day at a secluded fishing hole.

May 10, 2002

Alexandria Repository
Alexandria is Canada's first national repository for educational objects. It is the actualization of a vision to make digital educational materials readily available to students, researchers and educators across the country and beyond.
Clever project, nonclever name.

May 09, 2002

Walt noted recently that certain library blogs are "becoming less and less frequent or fading away altogether" of which this here page is a bright shining example. Due mostly to two reasons. I've been busy trying to finish up final exams/projects so that I can graduate in a week or so and I've been trying to find a job (hire me!) so that I have a place to hang my hat after graduation.

But the bigger reason is the proliferation of the fab new blogs on the block coupled with exisiting blogs that continue to improve by leaps and bounds. By the time I get done reading them all (and I do read them all), I either don't have any time to post anything of my own, or someone else has already posted the things that I would have posted.

This is all to say that I haven't forgotten this here page, I've just been taking a little break.

April 24, 2002

Rotten Links Hamper Learning
It's downright annoying to come across a broken link on the Web. And for a professor teaching a distance education course - or referring "traditional" students to an Internet resource - it can be a major problem.
Two researchers at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln tracked so-called link rot after they discovered that hyperlinks disappeared before they finished developing distance education courses.

Of course we all thought PURL's would solve all this right? Not so much. Anyone ever use CORC? Best practices dictate we should be using PURL's to catalog items, but anyone who has ever used CORC knows that they're few and far between. Why? Well I reckon it's because people are lazy. And if the so-called experts in these matters aren't using this (relatively) simple solution to what is and will continue to be a huge problem, how exactly can we expect Professor Smith to use it?

April 18, 2002

Love and passion in the Reading Room
It has spawned more revolutions, incited more passion and created more art than just about any other place in the modern world. And it is a library. No, it is the library. For the past 150 years, the way to access that library was through the Reading Room at the British Museum.

April 17, 2002

Who's Responsible For High Book Prices?
Why are book prices so high? Not just new hardcovers, which are mostly hovering -- for another five minutes or so -- just below $30. But have you noticed that even paperbacks, the thing that revolutionized the book business once-upon-a-time by virtue of being affordable, are now just as over-priced as everything else?
AltaVista Tests "Paraphrase" Tool
AltaVista's new query refinement tool offers suggestions for improving your search terms. Also, the search engine is adding new content on a more frequent basis.
Railway to sue Google over sabotage links
Deutsche Bahn, the German national railway operator, will today (Wednesday) file a legal suit against Google because the search engine provides links to a Web site that offers instructions on how to sabotage railway systems. Lawsuits against Yahoo! and AltaVista also are being prepared.

April 16, 2002

Ship's Librarian : SUNY Maritime College,
The New York Maritime College of the State University of New York is seeking a qualified individual to be the librarian aboard the T. S Empire State VI during the 2002 Summer Sea Term. The Ship's Librarian is the sole professional information specialist serving aboard the training ship. He/she works on a full-time basis during the annual nine-week training cruise of the college. The Empire State VI departs from Fort Schuyler (Bronx, NY) on May 18, 2002 and returns to Fort Schuyler on July 18, 2002. The Ship's Librarian must report to the campus by May 15, 2002. The 2002 Summer Cruise includes the following ports: New Orleans (Louisiana); Dublin (Ireland); Bergen (Norway) and Freeport (Bahamas).

April 11, 2002

U. of Michigan Cancels a Closely Watched Portal Project
The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor announced on Monday that it would close down its bellwether portal, my.umich.edu, on June 30, a little more than a year after offering the personalized Web space to its students. Campus officials say the university can no longer sustain such a complex and expensive software-development project on its own.
I reckon an open source solution would've helped a bit. I wonder what effect, if any, this will have on the myLibrary vs. myUniversity debate?

April 10, 2002

Web standards not an oxymoron
It's time to say goodbye to the days of the wild west of Web development and say hello to building sites based on standards and valid code.

Trial version of ebrary available from March 1
ebrary offers an affordable solution for desktop delivery of valuable books and other documents from 100 leading publishers. The unique new service enables you to offer an unlimited number of patrons simultaneous access to authoritative titles in key subject areas? the majority of which were published within the past two years. Best of all, ebrary integrates with existing catalogue systems (OPAC) and other digital resources. ebrary is continuously growing its online collection in key subject areas, and will provide regular content updates at no additional cost.

Dialog Introduces NewsRoom
In the Olympian struggle among purveyors of online news sources, there are two measurements that people use to score performance: the number of sources included in a database and the completeness of the file. Dialog Corp. has just upped the ante in the number-of-sources competition by announcing it will put 6,500 news and business titles into one database that will be titled NewsRoom. The database, which was scheduled to launch March 1, will be exactly the same on Dialog, DataStar, and Profound.

April 09, 2002

Virginia Tech Police Seize and Search a Professor's Computer in Vandalism Case
Some faculty members at Virginia Tech say they're worried about their privacy and their intellectual-property rights following an incident last week in which campus police officers seized a professor's computer to search it for an e-mail message about a vandalism incident.
Mix equal parts of open source idealism, digital photography, php and mysql and you get The Open Photo Project. I think I still like istockphoto better, but hey, the more the merrier right?

April 02, 2002

All apologies for the lack of posts lately. I'm deeply entrenched in the process of a.) getting a job and b.) preparing for my comprehensive exams on Saturday. I hope to get back in to the swing of things soon enough. (Besides with all the great new(ish) weblogs coming along these days, there are plenty of other places to get your fix.)

April 01, 2002

Public libraries to test digital service
An experiment in digital publishing will take a step forward this week, with six regional library systems scheduled to begin testing online research services from start-up Ebrary.

March 28, 2002

Sno-Isle to offer 24-hour Internet aid
For example, if you connect with a librarian at 3 a.m., you may be chatting online with someone in Los Angeles. But at 4 p.m., your connection may be with a Sno-Isle librarian.

March 27, 2002

That's a lot of Birtiney Britannie Brtney Brittnyey Britney
The data below shows some of the misspellings detected by our spelling correction system for the query [ britney spears ], and the count of how many different users spelled her name that way. Each of these variations was entered by at least two different unique users within a three month period, and was corrected to [ britney spears ] by our spelling correction system (data for the correctly spelled query is shown for comparison).
One of the best Error 404: File not found experiences I've ever had.
Experts urge race against time to unearth last secrets of Herculaneum’s lost library
Behind them could lie a lost treasure trove of Roman scrolls, scholars say, part of the celebrated lost library of the Villa of the Papyri. However, a unique chance to recover great classical masterpieces, lost to humanity for 2,000 years, could fall victim to flooding or a new blast from the volcano Vesuvius, they warn. The leading names of ancient Greek and Roman studies in Britain and the United States are pleading for urgent action before it is too late.
Talking Books delivers 'freedom'
Reaves said four years ago one of her eye doctors told her about the Texas State Library and Archive Commission's Talking Books Program. The program lends both books and magazines on tape to people with physical, visual and learning disabilities as a library would, but with one additional service.

March 24, 2002

The folks over at kuro5hin.org are discussing ALA vs. CIPA. Join the fray.
The folks over at kuro5hin.org are discussing ALA vs. CIPA. Join the fray.

March 23, 2002

Learn with BOOK (Link inspired by SIGIA-L)
Advanced Google Search Operators (Link boosted from the brand spankin' new google weblog.

March 21, 2002

Instructional Design Standards for Quality Online Courses
More than a year ago, MVU began developing rigorous standards to guide the design and evaluation of online course quality. Based on decades of research and the work of the best minds in the field of Instructional Design, we have recently completed a comprehensive set of standards that can now be used to design and evaluate online courses.
This is about as in depth as you could get I imagine. (link boosted from lucdesk

March 19, 2002

Organize, collect, share your books with Singlefile
Singlefile is an easy-to-use web-based service that helps you organize the books you own, the books you are reading, the books you've read and the books you want to read.

March 16, 2002

Are Search Engines Biased
After all, search engines are just computer programs, and the people who create these programs have opinions and biases of their own. Not only that, the fundamental concept of identifying the "best" results for a particular query inherently requires that some sources of information be given preferential treatment over other sources. We wouldn't be happy with search results without this filtering and culling.

Science mags go high-tech
But effective Jan. 1 of this year, the university no longer receives the print versions of those journals. It has become the first research university in the country to rely instead entirely on an electronic format for storing Elsevier publications.
Network of online librarians can provide answers, 24/7
If you're bogged down trying to find the answer to a question, now you don't need to look any further than your own computer screen. With the introduction of Q and A New Jersey, a new Web site, people with pressing queries can have their answers in real time on the Internet.
US pledges books to Afghanistan
The US has just given 20,000 books housed in the American cultural centre in Kabul to the city's newly-refurbished university library.

March 14, 2002

Mark Anderson has moved his lending library to booklend.net. Go borrow a book.

March 12, 2002

In my (seemingly) neverending quest for employment, I was checking out VTLS Inc.'s site. They have no jobs for me, but they had two links which are pretty interesting. In the upper right hand corner is a link that says "Can I still use the old site?" Clicking on this link brings you to the version of the site before the redesign. On the bottom of the page is a link which says "preview". Clicking on this link takes you to what I assume is the next gernation of the site. (Near as I can tell, the only diff is a fancy new logo.)

It's an interesting concept, allowing access to the past, present and future of a sites design. If only I could get my own future sorted . . .
Boxes and Arrows is live. Into usability/info architecture/experience design/et cetera? It'll be worth your while. I promise.

March 11, 2002

Requirements for a Web Ontology Language
This document specifies usage scenarios, goals and requirements for a web ontology language. An ontology formally defines a common set of terms that are used to describe and represent a domain. Ontologies can be used by automated tools to power advanced services such as more accurate Web search, intelligent software agents and knowledge management.
Ran across this while validating some pages I've been working on.
Web Sites That Heal
The first purpose of this article is to explain the true causes of linkrot. The second purpose is to outline a new way to solve the linkrot problem.
Prospero v 2.0 is available for download.
Prospero 2.0 builds upon the success of it's previous version has grown to become a self-contained Internet Document Delivery (IDD) system. As an IDD client, Prospero 2.0 allows libraries to use the Internet toexchange
high quality ILL documents. As in all previous versions, Prospero 2.0 still allows direct to patron delivery.

March 09, 2002

IPRC : the Independent Publishing Resource Center, Portland, Oregon, USA I bet you wish your town had one of these. Go ahead and start one.
Final Chapter for a Cold War Relic
Researchers, Russophiles and spies made their way to Victor Kamkin Inc., which for decades collected and sold books detailing every aspect of life and history in the Soviet Union, all in their original Russian. A little more than 1 million bound volumes were in the last inventory, taken two years ago. Workers there estimate there could be nearly 2 million books and other published materials today. On Monday morning, Montgomery County sheriff's deputies are expected to receive the entire collection at the county incinerator.

March 05, 2002

Open Road
Open Road is a cyber-based radical lending library for the Portland, ME area.  The website helps folks share their informational and knowledge resources with the Portland Community in order to help bring about radical social, political, and economic change. This is done now by listing our materials at a common location (this Web Site!) for the public to browse. Each lender chooses what to lend, and what the policies for borrowing are. 
More from the DIY library front.