Submitted by Karen G. Schneider on March 13, 2006 - 1:28pm
I recently wrote about NCSU adding a search engine to its online catalog. But after talking to librarians who asked me, “So what did they get for doing that?” I realized I need to back-pedal and explain how a search engine makes an online catalog easier to use (or, as Andrew Pace puts it, "Why OPACs Suck").
Cream Rising to the Top
I'll start today with relevance ranking—the building block of search, found in any search engine, from Google to Amazon to Internet Movie Database to little old Librarians' Internet Index. Read More »
Submitted by Tom Peters on March 9, 2006 - 1:15pm
In today's online New York Times (no-cost subscription required), David Pogue has an interesting article ('Almost iPod, but in the End a Samsung') about the Samsung Z5 MP3 player as a pretender to the throne currently occupied by the iPod Nano.
If you're having a hard time imagining how a newspaper article about such a tight, techie topic could be interesting, let me tell you that I think this article really is about the gestalt experience of using any personal, portable infotainment / communication appliance, be it an MP3 player, cell phone, PDA, tablet PC, or anything else you can imagine. Read More »
Submitted by Tom Peters on March 6, 2006 - 2:45pm
Lately, I've been wondering if the mashup will become one of the defining characteristics of information technology during this decade. Will we remember this era as much for the mashups as for the mass-digitization crashups? Mashups may rule, while snippets drool.
According to the Wikipedia (visited on March 4, 2006), a mashup in this sense is “…a website or web application that seamlessly combines content from more than one source into an integrated experience." For example, if you're into downhill skiing, visit Ski Bonk for the latest integrated info, which mashes up ski resort reports, weather data, maps, and other data to create its service. Read More »
Submitted by Michael Stephens on February 28, 2006 - 9:10pm
A few weeks ago, Jenny and I found ourselves at a meeting at ALA Headquarters talking about Web 2.0, learning, and Library 2.0 initiatives with some of the ALA division heads, Mary Ghikas, Senior Associate Executive Director, and the Otter Group's Kathleen Gilroy. As a result of that meeting (and some forward-thinking continuing-education interest and work on the part of Mary Ghikas and the Otter Group), Jenny and I are authoring content for, as well facilitating, an online prototype “Learning 2.0” program that ALA will launch this spring.
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Submitted by Jenny Levine on February 28, 2006 - 6:28pm
At the Ontario Library Association Superconference earlier this month, I argued that library schools need to offer a course in copyright, licensing agreements for electronic products, and digital rights management (DRM), because they all affect the future of how libraries will interact with our users as entertainment and information becomes increasingly digital. It's unfortunate that at a time when the broadcast flag is again rearing its ugly head and media and publishing companies continue to try to buy legislation giving them free rein with users' rights, most librarians are completely unaware of just how much these moves could affect them. Read More »
Submitted by Michael Stephens on February 20, 2006 - 5:31pm
"All I ever wanted was to know that you were dreaming..."
Allow me a tangent here today—not to really talk about technology directly, but to talk about innovation, thinking creatively, and looking at our services in a new way. I've been writing a lot and reading a lot to prepare my proposal for research at UNT, to start toward my dissertation.
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Submitted by Michael Stephens on February 17, 2006 - 11:02pm
We were lucky to be heading to San Antonio's highly agreeable climate, though we were going there for different reasons: Michael for the ALISE Conference and Jenny for Midwinter.
Then came a note from Alan Gray, at Darien Library in Darien, Connecticut.
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