Friday, October 30, 2009

Hey, at least they're saving trees!

It's not news that libraries are considering digital alternatives to print, but to replace an entire collection with Amazon's proprietary Kindle reader? Today? In the Fall of 2009? Is the future really here, or has Cushing Academy jumped the gun?

USA Today reports that the Massachusetts school began removing its print collection entirely last summer and replaced it with a fully digital collection accessible through Kindle readers and through databases on student laptops. A few books still remain, but those are also slated to be removed.

Format may be less important than content, and getting reliable resources into the hands of the patron is goal number one, but is putting faith in a proprietary system this early in a very competitive game really wise? It's a question for the accountants. Is it cheaper to upgrade this technology if and when it gets outpaced by its (possibly open source) competitors than it is to wait? And from a research standpoint, has content been recreated digitally, or has it simply been replaced by something more palatable to high schoolers?

Whether or not it helps the school's bottom line, it does show that libraries are willing to grow with the culture and embrace technologies that will expand the information and services they are able to offer. It's a bold step forward by a boarding school that, USA Today tells us, was the first in the US to admit both boys and girls.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

YouTube Tuesday: Overstuffed

Information Overload
How does it affect you?

Do You Suffer From IOS?
Side affects include...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Impress Your Professor: Search Me

Just how nerdy are you? If you're like me, very, very nerdy. So nerdy in fact that you find the most recent ASIST Bulletin to be awesome. It's all abouts searching. In their article, "An Evolution of Search," authors John D. Holt and David J. Miller give an overview of how searching (Boolean, Relevance ranking, etc.) developed and evolved over time. It's utterly fascinating.

What's your preferred search style?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

EVENT: National Meeting Preview

Whether you're looking for a sneak preview of ASIS&T's 2009 meeting in Vancouver or can't make to Canada, join PVC-ASIS&T and the CUA Chapter of ASIS&T to hear preview talks from PVC-ASIS&T members who will be giving presentations at the national meeting.

INCLUDED: Dinner will be provided

Speakers Include:

Trudi Hahn
"The Information Connection in Times of Crisis"
A report of a federally funded project to study roles for public libraries in serving the information needs of their communities in times of disasters.

Joe Hourcle
"Interoperability in the Space Sciences"
To deal with the highly heterogeneous data needs, NASA has funded the creation of a number of specialized "Virtual Observatories" (VxOs) in the space sciences. This presentation discusses these original VxOs, as well as phenonomena based VxOs such as the Virtual Waves Observatory (VWO), browseable directories such as the Virtual Space Physics Observatory (VSPO), standardization efforts between the VxOs such as the Space Physics Archive Search and Extract (SPASE) and the associated query language SPASE-QL, as well as related international efforts.

Joan Lussky
"Social tags and other kinds of subject access occurring library catalogs"

WHEN: Monday, October 26, 2009
TIME: 6:30 - 8:30pm
LOCATION: Catholic University of America
May Gallery, John K. Mullen Library
620 Michigan Ave., N.E., Washington , DC 20064
Campus Map:

METRO: Brookland/CUA station, red line. 
From the metro, walk up the road past the guard station.  The Mullen Library is the large white building.  Go around the building to the front entrance.  Tell the attendant that you are there for the ASIS&T Event.  The May Gallery is directly to the right after passing the attendant.  We advise attendees to take the Metro. Limited parking is available in front of the library.)

$10  ASIS&T Members
$15  Non-members
$5   Students

Have a friend in ASIS&T?  Attend the meeting with him/her and attend at the member cost!

RSVP by: Friday, October 23, 2009 (5pm)

YouTube Tuesday: Catch the Wave

Google (Tidal?) Wave
A brief overview of the new Google program.

Make Waves @ Your Library
An animated short

Friday, October 16, 2009

Impress Your Professor: Google vs. Amazon, Sunday Sunday Sunday!

While the media was drowning in Google Wave's backwash this week, the information behemoth more quietly announced its intent to enter the e-reader market in 2010 with "Google Editions."

An article in Wired magazine details the announcement made Thursday at the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany. Five years after launching Google Books, the company plans to start selling e-books and put itself in direct competition with Amazon's Kindle and Sony's Reader. Editions users could buy e-books from Google directly or from other booksellers such as Barnes and Noble or Amazon and read them on any device with a Web browser, including smartphones.

Will Google Editions books on your phone be the Kindle killer that some expect?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

YouTube Tuesday: Voracious Reader

A tutorial on a circulation self-service station.

I Read them All!
A kid has read all the children's books in the library.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Impress Your Professor: Usenet Cautionary Tale

The new deadline for the revised Google Books Settlement is exactly a month away, and the web continues to hum with wildly varying perspectives. Google is shiny, sleek, and overwhelmingly competent-- when they want to be. In a particularly interesting cautionary tale, Kevin Poulsen uncovers what happens when Google gets bored with a project. The Usenet archive, which Google purchased in 2001, spans the history of the internet as we know it (and for many of us, far before we knew it); starting in 1980, this newsgroup functioned as a primary definitive record for the early web days. Its 700 million articles are now buried in Google Groups, basically unsearchable unless you already have a direct link. From unprofitable archives to orphan books, handing over information monopolies to major corporations can lead to serious accessibility issues.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

YouTube Tuesday: Library! Literacy

Information Literacy
You can never get too much... or can you?

Library! Library!
Warning: Ear worm ahead.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Impress Your Professor: You want books? Go to Barnes and Noble!

I see a future. A future where there are libraries. (Hurrah!) A future where people go to libraries to read. (Huzzah!) A future where libraries don't have books! (Hurr... wait, what?)

CNN posted an interesting article a few weeks back about Library 2.0. Yeah, yeah, I know this topic has been widely covered in academic and library circles, but this was the first time I had seen a story of this type in the mainstream media. CNN covers a story that we are already aware of and have heard before, but it does it in such a way that our users can understand.

So - in this age of 2.0 - how do we rebrand ourselves as tech enthusiasts in a way that excites both ourselves and our users?