Friday, April 29, 2005

California Libraries Flooded with "Lame" CDs

As part of a 3-year-old antitrust settlement with music companies, nearly 700,000 CDs are being shipped out to California schools and libraries; the shipments will continue until June. Some Golden State librarians, however, are scratching their heads over the packages, which are heavy on overhyped but undersold CDs that apparently were gathering dust in the record companies' storage rooms.
"We already have three copies of the Ricky Martin album. Do we really need to have 19 now?" — librarian Steve Sloan


Thursday, April 28, 2005

Nottingham Trent University chooses ALEPH 500 and Verde to complement its MetaLib and SFX solutions

Library Technology Guides Article:
"Ex Libris (UK) Ltd. announced at the Library + information Show 2005 that Nottingham Trent University selected the ALEPH 500 Integrated Library System to replace the university's existing Geac ADVANCE system. Nottingham Trent University has chosen to enhance its ALEPH 500 system with the ADAM (ALEPH Digital Asset Management) Module and ARC (ALEPH Reporting Center). The university has also selected the Verde e-Resource Management system to complement their existing SFX and MetaLib solution....

About Nottingham Trent

Nottingham Trent University is one of the largest in the UK. It attracts students from across the world and has a total student population of approximately 26,000 - made up of around 21,000 undergraduates and 5,000 postgraduates. Its entry standards are consistently high and it remains one of the most popular universities in the country in terms of applications received. It has become one of the UK's top universities for graduate employment - with around 97 per cent of full-time students graduating from the university gaining jobs or going on to further study within six months of completing their courses.

Nottingham Trent has a multi-site library operation with a collection of over a third of a million items. Forward looking, it was the first academic library in the UK to implement a full self-service operation using RFID technology."

European Libraries Fight Google-ization

European Libraries Fight Google-ization | Europe | Deutsche Welle |:
"In a stand against a deal struck by five of the world's top libraries and Google to digitize millions of books, 19 European libraries have agreed to back a similar European project to safeguard literature.

Nineteen European national libraries have joined forces against a planned communications revolution by Internet search giant Google to create a global virtual library, organizers said Wednesday. The 19 libraries are backing instead a multi-million euro counter-offensive by European nations to put European literature online."

Cool OPAC Tricks

The Bedford Public Library System has added some neat features to their OPAC. First click on "Search" and then check out some of the "New at the Library" links at the bottom. According to librarian Donna Pletcher:
"This is done by putting a 695 field in the MARC record with a specially created subject heading. We've worked out a macro such that there is virtually no data entry involved for the cataloger. It's very simple on their end."

"The rest is done using the Pac Config module in HTML. You can look at the source on the search page and see where I've copied in the search URL for each new item link."

"I worked on this in February, brought it out in March and the staff love it. Patrons discovered it quickly and place holds on anything available, especially in fiction. I'd like to also create a link for award winners and maybe staff picks. People tell me they check it regularly looking for what's new and available."

Friday, April 22, 2005

BusinessWeek Says "Blogs Will Change Your Business"

Go ahead and bellyache about blogs. But you cannot afford to close your eyes to them, because they're simply the most explosive outbreak in the information world since the Internet itself. And they're going to shake up just about every business -- including yours. It doesn't matter whether you're shipping paper clips, pork bellies, or videos of Britney in a bikini, blogs are a phenomenon that you cannot ignore, postpone, or delegate. Given the changes barreling down upon us, blogs are not a business elective. They're a prerequisite.


Thursday, April 21, 2005

The iPod Experiments - in Libraries

Michael Stephens has written an interesting article for Library Journal on how libraries across the U.S. are using iPods.
No other consumer electronic device has created such an impact on popular culture in recent years as the Apple iPod. Since iPod's release in November 2001, music fans have been able to carry upwards of 15,000 song files on those sleek devices with their trendy white headphones. Over ten million iPods have been sold—nearly half of them in the last three months of 2004. A nationwide survey conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life Project found more than 22 million U.S. adults—approximately 11 percent of the population over age 18—have an iPod or another version of anMP3 player. iPods are hot, so we must look to them if we want to meet users at their technological edge.

Is there potential for a mass storage device in libraries? Are librarians using iPods? Yes, and in some surprising ways.


Wednesday, April 20, 2005

First Podcast Novel - Free Download

EarthCore is the world's first podcast-only novel: you can't find it in stores, you can't download the full audio, and the only way to find out what happens is to subscribe to the podcast. This novel is a cross between episodic modern-action fare like "24" and classic sci-fi movies like Predator and Starship Troopers. Subscribe via RSS, or click on the episode links to download the MP3s.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Cross Goggle Maps with Housing Ads and....

This is what you get.

Blackboard and Amazon team up - Profit!

The Concord Masterfile Amazon Course Item feature for Blackboard 6 allows course builders to add recommended books as course items.

Using Amazon's published webservices interface, this building block links to the database, then dynamically renders a thumbnail and the item description, including pricing and availability.

The student can then click on the link and order the item using Amazon's shopping cart and transaction engine.

The institution can include its Amazon associate account number as part of the Building Block setup. This number is automatically passed to Amazon with each student order and the institution receives a referral fee for each item purchased - a great way to generate new revenue!


NY Times pageviews up 342% since RSS Added

According to the latest New York Times press release, the NY Times RSS feeds generated 5.9 million pageviews of their site in March, which represents a 342% increase year over year and a 39% increase from February.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Search Engine for Podcasts

TVEyes: "TVEyes, the real-time broadcast search provider, today announced Podscope®, the first engine to search within a Podcast. TVEyes’ Podscope, which makes every word searchable within a podcast, enables the audio indexing of podcast content, which is equally applicable to video blogs and personal videos. Podcasts are essentially downloadable radio programs distributed through RSS that can be put onto a digital media music player or iPod. Podscope will be generally available later this month."

More information is available here and here.

MIT students pull prank on conference

In a victory for pranksters at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a bunch of computer-generated gibberish masquerading as an academic paper has been accepted at a scientific conference.

Jeremy Stribling said Thursday that he and two fellow MIT graduate students questioned the standards of some academic conferences, so they wrote a computer program to generate research papers complete with "context-free grammar," charts and diagrams.


Thursday, April 14, 2005

The Infinite Library

Interesting aricle from MIT's "Technology Review"

The Infinite Library: "The digitization of the world’s enormous store of library books—an effort dating to the early 1990s in the United Kingdom, the United States, and elsewhere—has been a slow, expensive, and underfunded process. But last December librarians received a pleasant shock. Search-engine giant Google announced ambitious plans to expand its “Google Print” service by converting the full text of millions of library books into searchable Web pages. At the time of the announcement, Google had already signed up five partners, including the libraries at Oxford, Harvard, Stanford, and the University of Michigan, along with the New York Public Library. More are sure to follow.

Most librarians and archivists are ecstatic about the announcement, saying it will likely be remembered as the moment in history when society finally got serious about making knowledge ubiquitous. Brewster Kahle, founder of a nonprofit digital library known as the Internet Archive, calls Google’s move “huge....It legitimizes the whole idea of doing large-volume digitization.”

But some of the same people, including Kahle, believe Google’s efforts and others like it will force libraries and librarians to reĂ«xamine their core principles—including their commitment to spreading knowledge freely. Letting a for-profit organization like Google mediate access to library books, after all, could either open up long-hidden reserves of human wisdom or constitute the first step toward the privatization of the world’s literary heritage. “You’d think that if libraries are serious about providing access to high-quality material, the idea of somebody digitizing that stuff very quickly—well, what’s not to like?” says Abby Smith, director of programs for the Council on Library and Information Resources, a Washington, DC, nonprofit that helps libraries manage digital transformation. “But some librarians are very concerned about the terms of access and are very concerned that a commercial entity will have control over materials that libraries have collected.”

The Freesound Project

The Freesound Project aims to create a huge collaborative database of audio snippets, samples, recordings, bleeps, ... released under the Creative Commons Sampling Plus License. The Freesound Project provides new and interesting ways of accessing these samples, allowing users to

  • browse the sounds in new ways using keywords, a "sounds-like" type of browsing and more

  • up and download sounds to and from the database, under the same creative commons license

  • interact with fellow sound-artists!

We also aim to create an open database of sounds that can also be used for scientific research. Many audio research institutions have trouble finding correctly licensed audio to test their algorithms. Many have voiced this problem, but so far there hasn't been a solution.

Google Video (Beta) Upload Program launches

Ggoogle Video has added an upload feature that will allow users to upload and store personal videos.
Your work deserves to be seen.

You've made a great video. Now who will watch it?

Whether you produce hundreds of titles a year or just a few, you can give your videos the recognition and visibility they deserve by promoting them on Google - for free. Signing up for the Google Video Upload Program will connect your work with users who are most likely to want to view them.
Sign up and upload...

We're accepting digital video files of any length and size. Simply sign up for an account and upload your videos using our Video Uploader (please be sure you own the rights to the works you upload), and, pending our approval process and the launch of this new service, we'll include your video in Google Video, where users will be able to search, preview, purchase and play it

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Talking Post-it Notes

VoiSec is a tiny button for recording, storing and playing short spoken messages with a good quality of sound.

VoiSec runs on batteries, requires no other devices and can be re-used time after time. It is designed for robustness and optimum ergonomics. Just press the lid to play the message, press again to abort. The flat surface of the lid can be used for marking by adhesive stickers or marker pens.

The button can easily be attached to other objects, e.g. to tell the contents of a package.The included attachment tray uses e.g. a double-sided adhesive patch, velcro patch or magnet to attach VoiSec to other objects.
When the button is removed from the tray and compressed, a new message may be recorded using the built-in microphone underneath.

Plazoo - a new RSS search engine

Plazoo is a beta RSS search engine. PLAZOO constantly spiders the news and information of thousands of RSS feeds. myPLAZOO is a free and easy-to-use tool selecting from these sources the news you are really interested in. According to your specifications myPLAZOO delivers the news in virtually real time. Plazoo


For those into reading books on your PDA, take a look at : "10,524 eBooks formatted for reading on your Palm, PocketPC, Zaurus, Rocketbook, or Symbian cellphone. (Librie format in beta)." For you RSS addicts, they have a feed for recent

Google Launches Cell-Phone Search Engine

Google just unveiled its latest service for cellphones.

If your phone has a Web browser (that works with XHTML — about 70 percent of current phones do), direct it to (Bookmark it so you won't have to type all that the next time.)

In the What box, type in what you're looking for, like "Italian restaurant." In the Where box, put your Zip code (or city and state). Click search, and boom — Google shows you the Yellow Pages and Web results, in a list and even on a map (which you can scroll or zoom).

By highlighting a result, you can click to place a phone call to that place, or get driving directions from your current location.

It's all free, and there are no ads. You go, Google.

Monday, April 11, 2005

The Centered Librarian: The Next Disruptive Technology

The Centered Librarian: The Next Disruptive Technology

New York Public Library to Sell Major Artworks to Raise Funds

The New York Public Library has decided to sell 19 works of art from its collection - including "Kindred Spirits," a widely admired landscape by the Hudson River School painter Asher B. Durand, and two seminal portraits of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart - so that it can better compete in acquisitions of important books and collections.


Friday, April 08, 2005

Integrating Library Reserves and Course Management Systems: Aleph, RSS, and Sakai

EDUCAUSE | Resources | Resource Center Abstract: "The University of Michigan Library provides course reserves information to the Sakai-driven campus course management system through RSS. We will discuss the system's framework, describe technical challenges, and suggest collaborative strategies for implementing a similar service. Usage statistics, user responses, and strategies for overcoming technical challenges will also be discussed."

Link to presentation here.

The Next Disruptive Technology Techsmart: The Next Disruptive Technology: "So, what is it? WiMax is the catchy name for a new wireless standard. Similar to how 802.11 was marketed as WiFi, WiMax is the consumer-friendly branding of 802.16, or high-speed wireless broadband, capable of spanning greater distances than WiFi. Whereas WiFi typically provides wireless broadband service up to 150 feet in so-called hot spots, WiMax is capable of covering a radius of three to 10 kilometers (about two to six miles)."

Thursday, April 07, 2005

libraries or bookstores?

Here's a way to find out how frequently a term appears in Google and how it compares to another term. This Googlefight will give you a comparison for the terms "libraries" and "bookstores," but you can enter other terms.


Here's another search engine that's worth a look. They'll search the Web, TV and your desktop simultaneously. The TV search takes your terms and searches the audio files of television programs. The results list features clips from the show. Pretty amazing. LINK to BLINKX

Tuesday, April 05, 2005 Movers & Shakers

Did anyone know that Amazon has a movers and shakers listing for the biggest gainers in sales? Could this be useful for collection development? RSS Feed me please....