« December 2008MainFebruary 2009 »

28 January 2009

Biblios - social cataloging tool

Biblios - it’s like what, a social network for book catalogers; facebook for book people; BookBook?  BookFace?

from Library Journal via read20-l.

http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6632425.html

"As OCLC and its central role in the library cataloging world
has become a subject of much discussion, LibLime has brought
an open source approach to cataloging, debuting ‡biblios, an
open-source, web-based metadata tool for libraries and
biblios.net, a hosted version of ‡biblios with social
cataloging features such as forums, private messaging, and
chat.

"After beta testing since November, with 200 testers, it was
unveiled just before the American Library Association
Midwinter Meeting. More than 1000 people have signed up in a
week. A presentation Monday by LibLime CEO Joshua Ferraro drew
a curious audience.”

Like all good networks, there is a steep barrier to entry: in this case, working knowledge of MARC.  There is no gentle “MARC for Dummies” book, and the traditional barrier to entry is the MLS degree.

outside.in: geotag this story • Add to del.icio.us • Email this

Posted at 04:32 PM in BibliosPermalinkComments (0)

26 January 2009

LibX: a library lookup tool browser plugin (with a plugin builder tool)

from the web site:

LibX is a browser plugin for Firefox and Internet Explorer that provides direct access to your library’s resources. 
LibX is an open source framework from which editions for specific libraries can be built. 
Currently, 545 academic and public libraries have created public LibX editions.

Create your own LibX edition now, or take a look at the screenshots & screencasts hosted at this site.

LibX received the 2007 LITA/Brett Butler Entrepreneurship Award.

There isn’t (yet) an Ann Arbor District Library version of this plugin.

outside.in: geotag this story • Add to del.icio.us • Email this

Posted at 04:55 PM in LibXPermalinkComments (0)

09 January 2009

Google Book Search, CIC libraries, and the public domain

as a followup to a previous post on Google Book Search and the public domain, here’s an announcement from the CIC (Big Ten universities + Notre Dame) on their partnership.

Google Book Search Project - Introduction

In 2007, the CIC partnered with Google to digitize as many as 10 million volumes across all CIC library systems. This project represents one of the largest cooperative ventures of its kind in higher education, one that will enable CIC institutions to preserve a vast realm of legacy content and make material available worldwide within just a few years.

Under the terms of this landmark agreement, Google will scan some of the most distinctive collections from CIC libraries and their 79 million volumes. These legacy collections are known to scholars worldwide, reflecting decades of careful investment and curation to build exceptional resources for research. The Google partnership promises to open up these resources to a much broader audience, ensuring that they remain accessible and discoverable in a digital age.

Through this agreement, Google will scan and make searchable public domain works as well as copyrighted materials, in a manner consistent with copyright law. For books protected by copyright, a search will yield basic information (such as the book’s title and author’s name); at most a few lines of text related to the search; and information about book purchase or lending.  Public domain materials can be viewed, searched, or downloaded for printing in their entirety from the Google site.

Thanks to Ben Bunnell for the heads up to this - I had missed it the first time around.  Here’s his original announcement:from 2007

In addition, as part of this agreement, the CIC libraries are creating a “shared digital repository,” so that out-of-copyright books from any of the institutions can be easily accessed by any scholar regardless of geographic location. In essence, the repository will become both a “common good” for the consortium’s 400,000 faculty and students, and a “public good” for the general public. This repository is the first of its kind, and is a great example of what libraries, working together, can accomplish.

There’s a total of 78 million volumes in these collections - minus, of course, all of the items that had been deacquisitioned before being scanned.

outside.in: See more stories nearby in • Add to del.icio.us • Email this

Posted at 03:51 PM in Google Book SearchPermalinkComments (1)

08 January 2009

Google Book Search: not accepting books in the Public Domain

Bill Tozier tells this story of trying to submit scans of public domain works to Google through the Google Books Partner Program, and getting this rejection:

Hi Bill,

Thanks for your interest in the Google Books Partner Program. While an ISBN is not required for participation in Google Book Search, please note that participants may only submit copyrighted titles to Google Book Search for which they hold rights. We are unable to accept public domain books through our Partner Program.

If you have any further questions at this time, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

Sincerely,

Greg
The Google Book Search Team

Bill points out that he does not own the public domain:

Which kind of erosion of the public domain would you like me to try first, Google? Shall I show “snippets” of Public Domain Books, like Kessinger, and make people pay ridiculously inflated prices for crap POD copies of things that would be better downloaded for free [from you, I’d argue]? Or should I go through the motions of Greg’s interpretation of your Terms of Service and lie about my rights so that I can slot something into your ill-fitting business logic?

Or maybeperhaps, because these books are in the Public Domain, you might get a clue about what that actually means, and acknowledge that I, and you, and everybody has the rights to those works.

That’s what “Public Domain” means. We have the right.

Put your manager on the line, Greg.

I’m not sure who Greg’s manager is; it might be Ben Bunnell or Frances Haugen, both of whom have been involved in the program at one point along the way, and hopefully someone’s Google Alerts will trigger when I invoke them.

outside.in: See more stories nearby in • Add to del.icio.us • Email this

Posted at 04:01 PM in Google Book SearchPermalinkComments (0)

"Reconsidering Relevance" - Daniel Tunkelang talk at Google NYC 1/7/09

This was the announcement of yesterday’s talk; I hope it’s still relevant. Tunkelang is chief scientist at Endeca.

As posted to his blog The Noisy Channel: Reconsidering Relevance

Reconsidering Relevance

We’ve become complacent about relevance. The overwhelming success of web search engines has lulled even information retrieval (IR) researchers to expect only incremental improvements in relevance in the near future. And beyond web search, there are still broad search problems where relevance still feels hopelessly like the pre-Google web.

But even some of the most basic IR questions about relevance are unresolved.  We take for granted the very idea that a computer can determine which documents are relevant to a person’s needs. And we still rely on two-word queries (on average) to communicate a user’s information need. But this approach is a contrivance; in reality, we need to think of information-seeking as a problem of optimizing the communication between people and machines.

We can do better. In fact, there are a variety of ongoing efforts to do so, often under the banners of “interactive information retrieval”, “exploratory search”, and “human computer information retrieval”. In this talk, I’ll discuss these initiatives and how they are helping to move “relevance” beyond today’s outdated assumptions.


Google Tech Talk: Reconsidering Relevance View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: tunkelang daniel)

outside.in: See more stories nearby in • Add to del.icio.us • Email this

Posted at 10:32 AM in Information retrievalPermalinkComments (1)

07 January 2009

The role of libraries in economic hard times (recorded on WAMU Diane Rehm show)

On the Diane Rehm show on WAMU this morning: 
11:00 The Role of Libraries in Economic Hard Times
There’s a recording there too.

Libraries today have become multimedia centers, offering not only books but DVDs, e-books and Internet access. They can also be an especially important community resource during times of economic hardship. A look at the future of libraries in a slowing economy.

Guests

Carla Hayden, executive director, Enoch Pratt Free Library and past president of the American Library Association

Jim Rettig, President of the American Library Association. He is also the University Librarian at the Boatwright Memorial Library at the University of Richmond, Virginia.

Ginnie Cooper, Chief Librarian for the District of Columbia Public Library. She is the Former Executive Director of the Brooklyn Public Library.

outside.in: geotag this story • Add to del.icio.us • Email this

Posted at 02:46 PM in Public librariesPermalinkComments (0)

04 January 2009

amazon kindle vs. mobile phone based book readers

Some interesting comparisons from a set of people with enough discretionary income to keep up with the gadget race, but who are still dismayed at the mean time to failure and cost of repair of single-purpose electric book readers.  Philip Greenspun highlights his frustration at: Amazon Kindle bites the dust… $187 to fix

I may have to rethink my enthusiasm for the electronic book.  Realistically the way that people handle books, the Kindle is not going to last more than one year.  That means you’re spending $360 for the initial purchase and $187 every year for hardware repairs.  Some of the Kindle editions of books are edging their way up towards $20 (seethis Naipaul biography, for example).  Suppose that you read one book every two weeks, or 25 books per year…

Kindle:  $250 per year for hardware (spreading the cost of the initial Kindle purchase a bit) plus $312 for books at $12.50 per book = $562 per year.  Good for individual travel and treadmill usage; bad for having to worry about forgetting it somewhere; bad for taking on vacation with family due to difficulty of sharing; terrible for illustrations and photos.

Paper:  25 books at $15 per book = $375 per year.  Probably 50 percent of those books can be recycled into gifts, so the true cost is closer to $200 per year (assuming you need to buy gifts for friends and family periodically).  Heavy for long trips; awkward for treadmill usage; good for carefree life (risk of forgetting in coffee shop limited to $15); great for sharing; great for illustrations and photos.

The commenters of course urge the use of libraries and online library reserves, but there’s an interesting piece of the thread re using relatively advanced mobile phones as readers (iPhone, Android leading the pack).  Philip points to this from Robin Bloor at Have Mac Will Blog:  One Million Users: Is Stanza Killing The Kindle?

Does an ebook need a software application that runs on a device (like the iPhone) or does it need a purpose-built device (like the Kindle)?

Imho, the ebook is software and I have little doubt that I’m right about this. There will be some people who are prepared to buy a Kindle (or the Sony equivalent) in order to have a device that’s purpose-built for reading books. But if you can get equivalent functionality from an iPhone or iPod, then you’re not going to be happy to pay over $300 for the Kindle just for the privilege of buying ebooks. If ebooks were difficult to read on the iPhone/iPod then Stanza would already be dead in the water, but that’s not the case.

And, as you would expect, Stanza will not be confined to the iPhone. There’s already a Beta version for Google Android and one will likely be developed for RIM. There are also versions for the Mac and Windows (you may not want to read books on those platforms, but you’ll want to keep your library somewhere. For Lexcycle it makes sense to port it wherever there’s a platform that might be used for reading ebooks.

At various points in the history of consumer computing technology there’s brief moments of “convergence” where everyone seems to be doing the same thing at least briefly before the tower of Babel hits again.  The trend-spotter in me looks at this and thinks that mobile phones are getting more capable at least as fast as any dedicated purpose-built book reading machine, and that coming from the other end the small cheap “netbook” laptops will squeeze prices from the other end.  To me that doesn’t leave much room for a special purpose mobile book reader, but suggests that there may be multiple plausible general purpose phone-like or laptop-like things that will have a bunch of book-like things ready to read on them.

outside.in: geotag this story • Add to del.icio.us • Email this

Posted at 01:21 AM in KindleMobile LibraryPermalinkComments (2)

02 January 2009

scrollmotion - mobile ebooks w/fairplay itunes DRM for iPhone etc

first, the Wired article (not much more than a press release):

ScrollMotion, a New York mobile app developer, has concluded deals with a number of major publishing houses, and is in talks with several others, to produce newly released and best-selling e-books as applications for the iPhone and iPod touch.

Publishers now on board include Houghton Mifflin, Simon & Schuster, Random House, Hachette and Penguin Group USA.    (via 2cooltools)

The implication is that books get sold through the iTunes app store, one application = one book; you don’t buy a reader + the book separate, but you get the whole bundle together.  Teleread is not exactly thrilled about this approach

I don’t care if ScrollMotion is the easiest e-reader on earth to use on the iPhone and iPod  Touch, which it may or may not be.

All I know is that ScrollMotion will treat iPhone/Touch books like apps—despite the existence of a 148-app limit.

Is a fix from Apple on the way?  If not, major publishers such as Simon & Schuster and Random House might be in for a rude disappointment after signing SM-related deals—which, alas, they have.

I’m looking for anything like a review of someone who actually bought this.  Here’s some cover art on a site with an reviewer who bought this “for her husband”, “cool beans” which isn’t exactly an in-depth analysis.

With this kind of rights management, libraries would be completely out of the loop for distributing this particular flavor of ebooks. You could imagine public production and distribution of free e-books in an iPhone reader flavor, and if you did you might find something like Stanza, which gives you 100,000 free works through a single application.  And you might note as they do that a number of books for sale in the app store are free on Stanza (free is good, you might suspect).   They generate revenue by creating non-free books also for sale through the App Store, so in some sense Stanza is the direct competition for ScrollMotion.

outside.in: geotag this story • Add to del.icio.us • Email this

Posted at 11:45 PM in Mobile LibraryPermalinkComments (1)

using an rss feed as a user interface, the iPhone experience

thanks to Brian Kerr for showing me this; Ann Arbor specific; I don’t have a screen shot to show you.

The iPhone’s Safari web browser has a good RSS viewer inside it, which will display a feed nicely as a web page so that you can make your way through it.

As a result, the private RSS feed that the Ann Arbor District Library provides for holds and checkouts - or the public feeds for searches - show up nicely.  Brian notes that the books that are available now show up first on the list when you display it.

When I go to my favorite iPhone simulator it doesn’t simulate the feed reader support, so I don’t have a screen shot here.

one more reason to support RSS

outside.in: geotag this story • Add to del.icio.us • Email this

Posted at 05:00 PM in Library mashupsPermalinkComments (1)

"Young Philly Politics" and the battle to save Philadelphia libraries

I didn’t catch this on the first go-around of Philadelphia library stories, but this caught my eye in a Philadelphia Inquirer story, “True Melting Pot Helped Save Libraries”:

"People just came together in a very fast and almost surprising way," said Irv Ackelsberg, a former Community Legal Services lawyer and City Council candidate who sued Nutter on behalf of seven residents and the union representing library workers. "We’ve just come through a few months in which the impossible happened: The Phillies won the world series and Barack Obama became president. My God, we can do anything."

Ackelsberg’s case was bolstered by the stories of his plaintiffs, who included a 15-year-old high school student from Ogontz; two women who homeschool their children, one from the Northeast and the other the Northwest; and a South Philly woman whose 11-year-old walks three blocks to the Queen Memorial branch.

He said the plaintiffs were “basically delivered” to him by a grassroots upwelling whose cohesiveness was partly attributed to the Internet community surrounding the Young Philly Politics blog run by his son, Dan Urevick-Ackelsberg.

I looked at the Libraries section of the Young Philly Politics blog and saw a group that is very different from the “Friends of the Library” group you normally see - this collection of people is younger, more radicalized, more mobile, poorer, and more willing to fight without compromise.  Amazing, really, to see things like this:

So, you want to send Mayor Goode an email about his op-ed? Care to guess who it would go to? That would be the email of Sandy Horrocks, the Free Library’s spokeswoman. In other words, at worst, the Free Library wrote the op-ed for Mayor Goode. At best, they are coordinating a media campaign to shut down their own damn libraries.

It makes it a hell of a lot tougher to save the libraries when there is leadership on the inside that is pushing to close the doors, and is, in fact, waging its own bizarre public relations blitz against the neighborhoods it is supposed to serve.

with 46 comments on the post.

Thanks to Dave Pattern’s “Hot Stuff” blog for the word of the day for 1/1/09 (“block”) and the pointer that brought me back to dig deeper.

outside.in: geotag this story • Add to del.icio.us • Email this

Posted at 12:30 AM in Public librariesPermalinkComments (0)

ABOUT

ARCHIVES

CATEGORIES

Subscribe to this blog’s feed

SUPERPATRON BLOGROLL

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING ABOUT SUPERPATRON

  • So you’ve got Ed exploring the possibility space, and John working to enlarge that space, and together they’ve created a virtuous cycle of innovation. Now this is obviously an extreme example. You are not going to find a superpatron of Ed’s caliber and a superlibrarian of John’s caliber in every town. But I think the dynamic at work there can apply more broadly. And if it does, it will matter that these patrons and librarians are situated in a local context. (Jon Udell, Remixing the Library, GRL2020)
  • Der Supernutzer beschreibt 10 Möglichkeiten, der Bibliothek zu helfen….Den wichtigsten Punkt hat er vergessen, ihn aber selbst erfüllt. Sozusagen als Präambel könnte man also anführen:

    “Übe konstruktive Kritik an der Bibliothek. Ohne Resonanz können die Leute da drin nicht wissen, was Du willst.” Infobib.de

  • How come only some books in the Google Book Search have “find in a library” links next to them? Diglet asks, and gets an answer, sort of a lame one if you ask me. update: Kevin mentioned in the comments that it would be great to see this for all books in Google Books. I went to bed thinking “Oh yeah, I should look into that….” and while I was sleeping, Superpatron, aka Ed Vielmetti solved the crime, er problem, and created a Greasemonkey script (a plug-in that you can run with Firefox) that does this for Ann Arbor and can be modified for any library. (Jessamyn West)
  • Curse you Superpatron! t’s way past my bedtime, but the Ann Arbor Superpatron has been planting ideas in my head again… (Dave Pattern)
  • Superpatron is a blog run by a patron. The author posts entries about events and articles relevant to the library community, but does it with a patron point of view. (North Texas Regional Library System)
  • The blogosphere’s resident “awesomest patron ever,” Edward Vielmetti, appears in an article in School Library Journal about how he wrote a script tweaking (ahem, improving) Google Book Search. Vielmetti’s blog, Superpatron, is one I read daily and highly recommend to anyone in libraries looking to get a very smart user’s perspective.(Librarian In Black)
  • When I wrote him back, I called him the “AADL Super Patron,” which is very coincidental, since he has been planning to create a blog with almost the same name. Today, Superpatron is live and I’m sure it will quickly be filled with Ed’s terrific ideas about making libraries more responsive to patrons’ needs. So hurry up and subscribe already, ok? (Meredith Farkas)
  • The Superpatron (faster than a speeding reference librarian…) posts a presentation on the use of del.icio.us for research.Steven Cohen, Library Stuff
  • I’ve talked about Edward Vielmetti here before, but I never had the right name for him. Now I do. He’s Superpatron! (Jenny Levine)
  • Last fall, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, I gave a talk entitled Superpatrons and Superlibrarians. Joining me for this week’s podcast are the two guys who inspired that talk. The superpatron is Ed Vielmetti, an old Internet hand who likes to mash up the services proviced by the Ann Arbor District Library. That’s possible because superlibrarian John Blyberg, who works at the AADL, has reconfigured his library’s online catalog system, adding RSS feeds and a full-blown API he calls PatREST. (Jon Udell)
  • Little did I know that when I pointed to Ed Vielmetti’s blog, I was not only coining a phrase, but providing the name for Ed’s brilliant new blog. Ed is that (unfortunately still) rare creature that not only groks the net in fullness, but also has use for his public library. (Eli Neiburger)
  • Die Ann Arbor District Library hat einen Nutzer, der sie liebt. Und nicht nur das, er schreibt darüber. Oliver Obst

MYBLOGLOG

    Blog powered by TypePad

    « December 2008MainFebruary 2009 »

    28 January 2009

    Biblios - social cataloging tool

    Biblios - it’s like what, a social network for book catalogers; facebook for book people; BookBook?  BookFace?

    from Library Journal via read20-l.

    http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6632425.html

    "As OCLC and its central role in the library cataloging world
    has become a subject of much discussion, LibLime has brought
    an open source approach to cataloging, debuting ‡biblios, an
    open-source, web-based metadata tool for libraries and
    biblios.net, a hosted version of ‡biblios with social
    cataloging features such as forums, private messaging, and
    chat.

    "After beta testing since November, with 200 testers, it was
    unveiled just before the American Library Association
    Midwinter Meeting. More than 1000 people have signed up in a
    week. A presentation Monday by LibLime CEO Joshua Ferraro drew
    a curious audience.”

    Like all good networks, there is a steep barrier to entry: in this case, working knowledge of MARC.  There is no gentle “MARC for Dummies” book, and the traditional barrier to entry is the MLS degree.

    outside.in: geotag this story • Add to del.icio.us • Email this

    Posted at 04:32 PM in BibliosPermalinkComments (0)

    26 January 2009

    LibX: a library lookup tool browser plugin (with a plugin builder tool)

    from the web site:

    LibX is a browser plugin for Firefox and Internet Explorer that provides direct access to your library’s resources. 
    LibX is an open source framework from which editions for specific libraries can be built. 
    Currently, 545 academic and public libraries have created public LibX editions.

    Create your own LibX edition now, or take a look at the screenshots & screencasts hosted at this site.

    LibX received the 2007 LITA/Brett Butler Entrepreneurship Award.

    There isn’t (yet) an Ann Arbor District Library version of this plugin.

    outside.in: geotag this story • Add to del.icio.us • Email this

    Posted at 04:55 PM in LibXPermalinkComments (0)

    09 January 2009

    Google Book Search, CIC libraries, and the public domain

    as a followup to a previous post on Google Book Search and the public domain, here’s an announcement from the CIC (Big Ten universities + Notre Dame) on their partnership.

    Google Book Search Project - Introduction

    In 2007, the CIC partnered with Google to digitize as many as 10 million volumes across all CIC library systems. This project represents one of the largest cooperative ventures of its kind in higher education, one that will enable CIC institutions to preserve a vast realm of legacy content and make material available worldwide within just a few years.

    Under the terms of this landmark agreement, Google will scan some of the most distinctive collections from CIC libraries and their 79 million volumes. These legacy collections are known to scholars worldwide, reflecting decades of careful investment and curation to build exceptional resources for research. The Google partnership promises to open up these resources to a much broader audience, ensuring that they remain accessible and discoverable in a digital age.

    Through this agreement, Google will scan and make searchable public domain works as well as copyrighted materials, in a manner consistent with copyright law. For books protected by copyright, a search will yield basic information (such as the book’s title and author’s name); at most a few lines of text related to the search; and information about book purchase or lending.  Public domain materials can be viewed, searched, or downloaded for printing in their entirety from the Google site.

    Thanks to Ben Bunnell for the heads up to this - I had missed it the first time around.  Here’s his original announcement:from 2007

    In addition, as part of this agreement, the CIC libraries are creating a “shared digital repository,” so that out-of-copyright books from any of the institutions can be easily accessed by any scholar regardless of geographic location. In essence, the repository will become both a “common good” for the consortium’s 400,000 faculty and students, and a “public good” for the general public. This repository is the first of its kind, and is a great example of what libraries, working together, can accomplish.

    There’s a total of 78 million volumes in these collections - minus, of course, all of the items that had been deacquisitioned before being scanned.

    outside.in: See more stories nearby in • Add to del.icio.us • Email this

    Posted at 03:51 PM in Google Book SearchPermalinkComments (1)

    08 January 2009

    Google Book Search: not accepting books in the Public Domain

    Bill Tozier tells this story of trying to submit scans of public domain works to Google through the Google Books Partner Program, and getting this rejection:

    Hi Bill,

    Thanks for your interest in the Google Books Partner Program. While an ISBN is not required for participation in Google Book Search, please note that participants may only submit copyrighted titles to Google Book Search for which they hold rights. We are unable to accept public domain books through our Partner Program.

    If you have any further questions at this time, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

    Sincerely,

    Greg
    The Google Book Search Team

    Bill points out that he does not own the public domain:

    Which kind of erosion of the public domain would you like me to try first, Google? Shall I show “snippets” of Public Domain Books, like Kessinger, and make people pay ridiculously inflated prices for crap POD copies of things that would be better downloaded for free [from you, I’d argue]? Or should I go through the motions of Greg’s interpretation of your Terms of Service and lie about my rights so that I can slot something into your ill-fitting business logic?

    Or maybeperhaps, because these books are in the Public Domain, you might get a clue about what that actually means, and acknowledge that I, and you, and everybody has the rights to those works.

    That’s what “Public Domain” means. We have the right.

    Put your manager on the line, Greg.

    I’m not sure who Greg’s manager is; it might be Ben Bunnell or Frances Haugen, both of whom have been involved in the program at one point along the way, and hopefully someone’s Google Alerts will trigger when I invoke them.

    outside.in: See more stories nearby in • Add to del.icio.us • Email this

    Posted at 04:01 PM in Google Book SearchPermalinkComments (0)

    "Reconsidering Relevance" - Daniel Tunkelang talk at Google NYC 1/7/09

    This was the announcement of yesterday’s talk; I hope it’s still relevant. Tunkelang is chief scientist at Endeca.

    As posted to his blog The Noisy Channel: Reconsidering Relevance

    Reconsidering Relevance

    We’ve become complacent about relevance. The overwhelming success of web search engines has lulled even information retrieval (IR) researchers to expect only incremental improvements in relevance in the near future. And beyond web search, there are still broad search problems where relevance still feels hopelessly like the pre-Google web.

    But even some of the most basic IR questions about relevance are unresolved.  We take for granted the very idea that a computer can determine which documents are relevant to a person’s needs. And we still rely on two-word queries (on average) to communicate a user’s information need. But this approach is a contrivance; in reality, we need to think of information-seeking as a problem of optimizing the communication between people and machines.

    We can do better. In fact, there are a variety of ongoing efforts to do so, often under the banners of “interactive information retrieval”, “exploratory search”, and “human computer information retrieval”. In this talk, I’ll discuss these initiatives and how they are helping to move “relevance” beyond today’s outdated assumptions.


    Google Tech Talk: Reconsidering Relevance View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: tunkelang daniel)

    outside.in: See more stories nearby in • Add to del.icio.us • Email this

    Posted at 10:32 AM in Information retrievalPermalinkComments (1)

    07 January 2009

    The role of libraries in economic hard times (recorded on WAMU Diane Rehm show)

    On the Diane Rehm show on WAMU this morning: 
    11:00 The Role of Libraries in Economic Hard Times
    There’s a recording there too.

    Libraries today have become multimedia centers, offering not only books but DVDs, e-books and Internet access. They can also be an especially important community resource during times of economic hardship. A look at the future of libraries in a slowing economy.

    Guests

    Carla Hayden, executive director, Enoch Pratt Free Library and past president of the American Library Association

    Jim Rettig, President of the American Library Association. He is also the University Librarian at the Boatwright Memorial Library at the University of Richmond, Virginia.

    Ginnie Cooper, Chief Librarian for the District of Columbia Public Library. She is the Former Executive Director of the Brooklyn Public Library.

    outside.in: geotag this story • Add to del.icio.us • Email this

    Posted at 02:46 PM in Public librariesPermalinkComments (0)

    04 January 2009

    amazon kindle vs. mobile phone based book readers

    Some interesting comparisons from a set of people with enough discretionary income to keep up with the gadget race, but who are still dismayed at the mean time to failure and cost of repair of single-purpose electric book readers.  Philip Greenspun highlights his frustration at: Amazon Kindle bites the dust… $187 to fix

    I may have to rethink my enthusiasm for the electronic book.  Realistically the way that people handle books, the Kindle is not going to last more than one year.  That means you’re spending $360 for the initial purchase and $187 every year for hardware repairs.  Some of the Kindle editions of books are edging their way up towards $20 (seethis Naipaul biography, for example).  Suppose that you read one book every two weeks, or 25 books per year…

    Kindle:  $250 per year for hardware (spreading the cost of the initial Kindle purchase a bit) plus $312 for books at $12.50 per book = $562 per year.  Good for individual travel and treadmill usage; bad for having to worry about forgetting it somewhere; bad for taking on vacation with family due to difficulty of sharing; terrible for illustrations and photos.

    Paper:  25 books at $15 per book = $375 per year.  Probably 50 percent of those books can be recycled into gifts, so the true cost is closer to $200 per year (assuming you need to buy gifts for friends and family periodically).  Heavy for long trips; awkward for treadmill usage; good for carefree life (risk of forgetting in coffee shop limited to $15); great for sharing; great for illustrations and photos.

    The commenters of course urge the use of libraries and online library reserves, but there’s an interesting piece of the thread re using relatively advanced mobile phones as readers (iPhone, Android leading the pack).  Philip points to this from Robin Bloor at Have Mac Will Blog:  One Million Users: Is Stanza Killing The Kindle?

    Does an ebook need a software application that runs on a device (like the iPhone) or does it need a purpose-built device (like the Kindle)?

    Imho, the ebook is software and I have little doubt that I’m right about this. There will be some people who are prepared to buy a Kindle (or the Sony equivalent) in order to have a device that’s purpose-built for reading books. But if you can get equivalent functionality from an iPhone or iPod, then you’re not going to be happy to pay over $300 for the Kindle just for the privilege of buying ebooks. If ebooks were difficult to read on the iPhone/iPod then Stanza would already be dead in the water, but that’s not the case.

    And, as you would expect, Stanza will not be confined to the iPhone. There’s already a Beta version for Google Android and one will likely be developed for RIM. There are also versions for the Mac and Windows (you may not want to read books on those platforms, but you’ll want to keep your library somewhere. For Lexcycle it makes sense to port it wherever there’s a platform that might be used for reading ebooks.

    At various points in the history of consumer computing technology there’s brief moments of “convergence” where everyone seems to be doing the same thing at least briefly before the tower of Babel hits again.  The trend-spotter in me looks at this and thinks that mobile phones are getting more capable at least as fast as any dedicated purpose-built book reading machine, and that coming from the other end the small cheap “netbook” laptops will squeeze prices from the other end.  To me that doesn’t leave much room for a special purpose mobile book reader, but suggests that there may be multiple plausible general purpose phone-like or laptop-like things that will have a bunch of book-like things ready to read on them.

    outside.in: geotag this story • Add to del.icio.us • Email this

    Posted at 01:21 AM in KindleMobile LibraryPermalinkComments (2)

    02 January 2009

    scrollmotion - mobile ebooks w/fairplay itunes DRM for iPhone etc

    first, the Wired article (not much more than a press release):

    ScrollMotion, a New York mobile app developer, has concluded deals with a number of major publishing houses, and is in talks with several others, to produce newly released and best-selling e-books as applications for the iPhone and iPod touch.

    Publishers now on board include Houghton Mifflin, Simon & Schuster, Random House, Hachette and Penguin Group USA.    (via 2cooltools)

    The implication is that books get sold through the iTunes app store, one application = one book; you don’t buy a reader + the book separate, but you get the whole bundle together.  Teleread is not exactly thrilled about this approach

    I don’t care if ScrollMotion is the easiest e-reader on earth to use on the iPhone and iPod  Touch, which it may or may not be.

    All I know is that ScrollMotion will treat iPhone/Touch books like apps—despite the existence of a 148-app limit.

    Is a fix from Apple on the way?  If not, major publishers such as Simon & Schuster and Random House might be in for a rude disappointment after signing SM-related deals—which, alas, they have.

    I’m looking for anything like a review of someone who actually bought this.  Here’s some cover art on a site with an reviewer who bought this “for her husband”, “cool beans” which isn’t exactly an in-depth analysis.

    With this kind of rights management, libraries would be completely out of the loop for distributing this particular flavor of ebooks. You could imagine public production and distribution of free e-books in an iPhone reader flavor, and if you did you might find something like Stanza, which gives you 100,000 free works through a single application.  And you might note as they do that a number of books for sale in the app store are free on Stanza (free is good, you might suspect).   They generate revenue by creating non-free books also for sale through the App Store, so in some sense Stanza is the direct competition for ScrollMotion.

    outside.in: geotag this story • Add to del.icio.us • Email this

    Posted at 11:45 PM in Mobile LibraryPermalinkComments (1)

    using an rss feed as a user interface, the iPhone experience

    thanks to Brian Kerr for showing me this; Ann Arbor specific; I don’t have a screen shot to show you.

    The iPhone’s Safari web browser has a good RSS viewer inside it, which will display a feed nicely as a web page so that you can make your way through it.

    As a result, the private RSS feed that the Ann Arbor District Library provides for holds and checkouts - or the public feeds for searches - show up nicely.  Brian notes that the books that are available now show up first on the list when you display it.

    When I go to my favorite iPhone simulator it doesn’t simulate the feed reader support, so I don’t have a screen shot here.

    one more reason to support RSS

    outside.in: geotag this story • Add to del.icio.us • Email this

    Posted at 05:00 PM in Library mashupsPermalinkComments (1)

    "Young Philly Politics" and the battle to save Philadelphia libraries

    I didn’t catch this on the first go-around of Philadelphia library stories, but this caught my eye in a Philadelphia Inquirer story, “True Melting Pot Helped Save Libraries”:

    "People just came together in a very fast and almost surprising way," said Irv Ackelsberg, a former Community Legal Services lawyer and City Council candidate who sued Nutter on behalf of seven residents and the union representing library workers. "We’ve just come through a few months in which the impossible happened: The Phillies won the world series and Barack Obama became president. My God, we can do anything."

    Ackelsberg’s case was bolstered by the stories of his plaintiffs, who included a 15-year-old high school student from Ogontz; two women who homeschool their children, one from the Northeast and the other the Northwest; and a South Philly woman whose 11-year-old walks three blocks to the Queen Memorial branch.

    He said the plaintiffs were “basically delivered” to him by a grassroots upwelling whose cohesiveness was partly attributed to the Internet community surrounding the Young Philly Politics blog run by his son, Dan Urevick-Ackelsberg.

    I looked at the Libraries section of the Young Philly Politics blog and saw a group that is very different from the “Friends of the Library” group you normally see - this collection of people is younger, more radicalized, more mobile, poorer, and more willing to fight without compromise.  Amazing, really, to see things like this:

    So, you want to send Mayor Goode an email about his op-ed? Care to guess who it would go to? That would be the email of Sandy Horrocks, the Free Library’s spokeswoman. In other words, at worst, the Free Library wrote the op-ed for Mayor Goode. At best, they are coordinating a media campaign to shut down their own damn libraries.

    It makes it a hell of a lot tougher to save the libraries when there is leadership on the inside that is pushing to close the doors, and is, in fact, waging its own bizarre public relations blitz against the neighborhoods it is supposed to serve.

    with 46 comments on the post.

    Thanks to Dave Pattern’s “Hot Stuff” blog for the word of the day for 1/1/09 (“block”) and the pointer that brought me back to dig deeper.

    outside.in: geotag this story • Add to del.icio.us • Email this

    Posted at 12:30 AM in Public librariesPermalinkComments (0)

    ABOUT

    ARCHIVES

    CATEGORIES

    Subscribe to this blog’s feed

    SUPERPATRON BLOGROLL

    WHAT THEY’RE SAYING ABOUT SUPERPATRON

    • So you’ve got Ed exploring the possibility space, and John working to enlarge that space, and together they’ve created a virtuous cycle of innovation. Now this is obviously an extreme example. You are not going to find a superpatron of Ed’s caliber and a superlibrarian of John’s caliber in every town. But I think the dynamic at work there can apply more broadly. And if it does, it will matter that these patrons and librarians are situated in a local context. (Jon Udell, Remixing the Library, GRL2020)
    • Der Supernutzer beschreibt 10 Möglichkeiten, der Bibliothek zu helfen….Den wichtigsten Punkt hat er vergessen, ihn aber selbst erfüllt. Sozusagen als Präambel könnte man also anführen:

      “Übe konstruktive Kritik an der Bibliothek. Ohne Resonanz können die Leute da drin nicht wissen, was Du willst.” Infobib.de

    • How come only some books in the Google Book Search have “find in a library” links next to them? Diglet asks, and gets an answer, sort of a lame one if you ask me. update: Kevin mentioned in the comments that it would be great to see this for all books in Google Books. I went to bed thinking “Oh yeah, I should look into that….” and while I was sleeping, Superpatron, aka Ed Vielmetti solved the crime, er problem, and created a Greasemonkey script (a plug-in that you can run with Firefox) that does this for Ann Arbor and can be modified for any library. (Jessamyn West)
    • Curse you Superpatron! t’s way past my bedtime, but the Ann Arbor Superpatron has been planting ideas in my head again… (Dave Pattern)
    • Superpatron is a blog run by a patron. The author posts entries about events and articles relevant to the library community, but does it with a patron point of view. (North Texas Regional Library System)
    • The blogosphere’s resident “awesomest patron ever,” Edward Vielmetti, appears in an article in School Library Journal about how he wrote a script tweaking (ahem, improving) Google Book Search. Vielmetti’s blog, Superpatron, is one I read daily and highly recommend to anyone in libraries looking to get a very smart user’s perspective.(Librarian In Black)
    • When I wrote him back, I called him the “AADL Super Patron,” which is very coincidental, since he has been planning to create a blog with almost the same name. Today, Superpatron is live and I’m sure it will quickly be filled with Ed’s terrific ideas about making libraries more responsive to patrons’ needs. So hurry up and subscribe already, ok? (Meredith Farkas)
    • The Superpatron (faster than a speeding reference librarian…) posts a presentation on the use of del.icio.us for research.Steven Cohen, Library Stuff
    • I’ve talked about Edward Vielmetti here before, but I never had the right name for him. Now I do. He’s Superpatron! (Jenny Levine)
    • Last fall, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, I gave a talk entitled Superpatrons and Superlibrarians. Joining me for this week’s podcast are the two guys who inspired that talk. The superpatron is Ed Vielmetti, an old Internet hand who likes to mash up the services proviced by the Ann Arbor District Library. That’s possible because superlibrarian John Blyberg, who works at the AADL, has reconfigured his library’s online catalog system, adding RSS feeds and a full-blown API he calls PatREST. (Jon Udell)
    • Little did I know that when I pointed to Ed Vielmetti’s blog, I was not only coining a phrase, but providing the name for Ed’s brilliant new blog. Ed is that (unfortunately still) rare creature that not only groks the net in fullness, but also has use for his public library. (Eli Neiburger)
    • Die Ann Arbor District Library hat einen Nutzer, der sie liebt. Und nicht nur das, er schreibt darüber. Oliver Obst

    MYBLOGLOG

      Blog powered by TypePad

      Posted 4 years ago

      About:

      Following: