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From the Chronicle of Higher Education
February 28, 2011, 6:41 pm
By Tushar Rae
The steady growth of e-books has forced libraries to contend with how to curate and distribute materials in a way that makes them easy for increasingly technology-oriented patronage to access.
Some 150 public and academic libraries are trying to respond to that challenge through a new collaboration with the Internet Archive and Open Library. The arrangement will allow library patrons at participating institutions to access e-books owned and stored at libraries other than their home libraries. Brewster Kahle, founder and digital librarian at the Internet Archive, says the group has come up with a solution in which “the tech doesn’t suck” and “everyone will get paid.”......Read the rest here.
Reminds me that I want to visit BookMarc on Bleecker Street when the weather warms up....
By STEPHANIE CLIFFORD and JULIE BOSMAN
Published in the New York Times: February 27, 2011
Kitson, a group of boutiques based in Los Angeles, is the kind of store that appears regularly in the tabloids for both its stylish clothes and its celebrity clientele like Sean Combs and Joe Jonas. But in a town that is all about flash, Kitson is finding a surprising source of revenue that is not from its fashionable shoes or accessories. It is from books..... Read the rest here
From the Wall Street Journal
By AMIR EFRATI
Google Inc., long considered the gold standard of Internet search, is changing the secret formula it uses to rank Web pages as it struggles to combat websites that have been able to game its system.
The Internet giant, which handles nearly two-thirds of the world's Web searches, has been under fire recently over the quality of its results. Google said it changed its mathematical formula late Thursday in order to better weed out "low-quality" sites that offer users little value. Some such sites offer just enough content to appear in search results and lure users to pages loaded with advertisements.
By Jennifer Howard in the Chronicle of Higher Education
Social media have become serious academic tools for many scholars, who use them for collaborative writing, conferencing, sharing images, and other research-related activities. So says a study just posted online called "Social Media and Research Workflow." Among its findings: Social scientists are now more likely to use social-media tools in their research than are their counterparts in the biological sciences. And researchers prefer popular applications like Twitter to those made for academic users.....More here.
Opinion piece in the Chronicle Review by David Rothman, who is a writer and founder of TeleRead, a Web site devoted to news and discussion of e-books and related topics. He is also a cofounder of LibraryCity.org, an informal, nonprofit group working toward a universal national digital-library system. He clearly has some skin in the game.
It's Time for a National Digital-Library System
But it can't serve only elites
By David H. Rothman
William F. Buckley Jr., my political opposite, once denounced the growing popularity of CD-ROM's in student research. Shouldn't young people learn from real books?
I disagreed. Why not instead digitize a huge number of books and encourage the spread of book-friendly tablet computers with color screens and multimedia capabilities? ....Read the rest here
I clearly have too much time on my hands. It's not even Friday and here's another video about the new product called BOOK, with english subtitles, so you can watch it with the sound off....
Social media is an important technological trend that has big implications for how researchers (and people in general) communicate and collaborate. Researchers have a huge amount to gain from engaging with social media in various aspects of their work.
This guide has been produced by the International Centre for Guidance Studies, and aims to provide the information needed to make an informed decision about using social media and select from the vast range of tools that are available.......More here.
By Viva Sarah Press
February 21, 2011
A Weizmann Institute scientist says clues to the history of pollution can be found in old books - but not in the written word, rather in the paper itself.
Prof. Dan Yakir of the Department of Environmental Sciences and Energy Research in the Faculty of Chemistry found the paper in library collections of old books and newspapers contains a record of atmospheric conditions at the time the trees that went into making the paper were growing. Yakir says he has traced the effects of atmospheric pollution from burning fossil fuel going back to the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution.....Read more here.
Funny cartoon from The Telegraph
Who knew? It's not Friday but these are fun to watch.
Organizing the bookcase -- love the soundtrack!
Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society has set up a planning wiki as a place to get input from the public about the Digital Public Library of America initiative. It's in the early stages but will be interesting to watch and participate.. Check it out here.
This study, conducted by the Library Resource Guide (LRG) — in conjunction with Unisphere Research, the market research division of Information Today, Inc (ITI) — in October and November 2010 among libraries listed in ITI’s American Library Directory, reveals current spending patterns for public, academic, government, and special libraries and projects budget and other spending trends for 2011.
From Information Today. You will need to register to download the report.
From the Scholarly Kitchen Blog
With the recent surge in library e-book sales, serials aggregators are racing to add e-books to their platforms. ProQuest’s recent acquisition of ebrary and JSTOR’s expansion into current journals and e-books signal a shift from standalone e-book and e-journal aggregator platforms to mixed content gateways, with e-books and e-journals living cheek by jowl in the same aggregation..... Read more.
Any article that has the word "kerfuffle" in it gets a mention in my blog. This one, happily, is even of interest and relevant.
Subscriptions for the Masses. Talks about Apple's just announced subscription model for content. From the New York Observer.
From the NYT
Brian Jacques, Writer of Redwall Series, Dies at 71
By MARGALIT FOX
Published: February 9, 2011
He was a longshoreman and a long-haul trucker; a merchant mariner and a railway fireman; a boxer, a bus driver and a British bobby. But it wasn’t until he became a milkman that Brian Jacques found his métier.......Read more here
The SOAP (Study of Open Access Publishing) project has run a large-scale survey of the attitudes of researchers on, and the experiences with, open access publishing. Around forty thousands answers were collected across disciplines and around the world, showing an overwhelming support for the idea of open access, while highlighting funding and (perceived) quality as the main barriers to publishing in open access journals. This article serves as an introduction to the survey and presents this and other highlights from a preliminary analysis of the survey responses. To allow a maximal re-use of the information collected by this survey, the data are hereby released under a CC0 waiver, so to allow libraries, publishers, funding agencies and academics to further analyse risks and opportunities, drivers and barriers, in the transition to open access publishing.
From the Chronicle of Higher Education:
Academic libraries in the western part of the United States are one step closer to having a large-scale regional trust for print-journal archives. The University of California libraries announced last week that it has received a three-year grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to implement plans for the Western Regional Storage Trust, or West. The grant is about $700,000, according to Brian E.C. Schottlaender, the university librarian at UC-San Diego and a key member of the planning team....Read more here
Article in current Online by Jill O'Neill that looks at Google Wave and Google Buzz and their impact on communication and information dissemination.
Colleagues at the University of Minnesota have produced another must-read report on the discoverability of library resources [Splash page, PDF]. Importantly, it provides a framework within which to think about evolving issues and in this way makes a real contribution to our understanding of the environment and ability to plan for change.....Read more here
Podcast from the Chronicle's Tech Therapy series featuring Sue Stroyan, information-services librarian for Illinois Wesleyan University speaking about the trend to merge IT and Library services at academic institutions.