A Successful BarCampOhio/LibraryCampOhio

I’m pleased to be able to report a successful running of a BarCamp here earlier this week. Billed as BarCampOhio/LibraryCampOhio — a mixture of .com and library technologists — we had a good turnout and a lively discussion on a variety of topics. Thanks and gratitude go out to OCLC for offering the space free-of-charge and to T-Mobile for sponsoring the event lunch.

We had about 35 people for the event, including out-of-state’rs from Pennsylvania and Maryland. Being a BarCamp, some of the most valuable conversations were the ones that weren’t organized, but among the organized topics the participants talked about Drupal, social media / marketing / community building, hardware and software management, virtualization and cloud computing, and SOLR.

Revision Proposed to ORE Atom Serialization

Last Friday, Herbert Van de Sompel posted a message to various mailing lists about a proposed revision to the serialization of OAI-ORE into Atom. The proposal by Michael Nelson, Robert Sanderson, and Herbert has two key components:

  • To express an ORE Aggregation at the level of an Atom Entry, rather than (as in the current draft) at the level of an Atom Feed
  • To convey ORE-specific relationships types using add-ons/extensions, rather than by making ORE-specific interpretations of pre-existing Atom relationship types

Here is the text of Herbert’s message:

Date: Fri, 01 Aug 2008 14:16:24 -0600
From: Herbert Van de Sompel <herbertv@lanl.gov>
Subject: Proposal to revise ORE Atom serialization

Registration Open for BarCampOhio/LibraryCampOhio (August 11, 2008)

Registration is open for the BarCampOhio/LibraryCampOhio meeting on Monday, August 11th from 10am to 5:30pm at the OCLC Conference Center in Dublin, OH. Other details are on the event homepage.

What is a BarCamp?1

First and foremost: This is NOT a conference. Do not expect to be talked at by an ‘expert’ behind a podium. This is an event similar to getting together with some friends at a bar to talk. That’s the “bar” part of BarCamp. The “camp” part is a little much for us to pull off so if you do read the BarCamp page, keep in mind that you do NOT need to bring a sleeping bag.

Final Version of the Higher Education Reauthorization Act Leaves Textbook Provisions Intact

Earlier this week U.S. Senate passed its own version of the “College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2007″ (H.R.4137 to amend and extend the Higher Education Act of 1965, and for other purposes) by unanimous consent (hence no recorded vote) and appointed members of a conference committee to resolve differences with the U.S. House version. The conference committee report was published yesterday1. This afternoon the House completed a roll-call vote approving the conference version. If I remember my civics class correctly, the bill now goes to the president for a signature. The conference report had to be approved by the Senate, which it did late Thursday night. Although the White House previously opposed the bill, the Associate Press reports that President Bush is expected to sign the bill.

Video Tour of OPAC Discovery Layer Tools

In March, I gave a presentation at the NISO forum on Next Generation Discovery Tools: New Tools, Aging Standards. For those that were there, you may remember the bulk of the presentation was in the screencast tours of the functionality of 10 OPAC enhancement tools. Topping out at over 750MB, the presentation file was too big to share, but I promised to put together a combination of the presentation audio and the screencast videos in a much more manageable size. That video, along with a cleaned up version of the audio, is posted below.

BarCampOhio and LibraryCampOhio, August 11, 2008

Announcing the BarCampOhio/LibraryCampOhio meeting on Monday, August 11th from 10am to 5:30pm at the OCLC Conference Center in Dublin, OH. Two camp communities! One day! All of the details, include stuff not covered below, are on the event homepage.

HOWTO Deal With Spam as a Mailman List Owner

Dealing with SPAM e-mail is a real hassle. Dealing with SPAM e-mail as a mailing list owner is an even bigger hassle. Here are some tips for dealing with SPAM e-mail on mailing lists using the Mailman software package.

The Symptoms

Unless you are making your users as well as yourself miserable, you’ve probably set the “Action to take for postings from non-members for which no explicit action is defined” to “Hold”. I believe this is the default setting for new lists.

\"Hold Nonmember\" Setting in Mailing list administration -> Privacy Options -> Sender filters

Hold Nonmember setting in Mailing list administration, Privacy Options, Sender filters

On the Internet, How Do You Know If You Are Talking to a Dog?

Published in The New Yorker July 5, 1993.
Image from The Cartoon Bank

The famous 1993 cartoon from The New Yorker has the caption “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” The question at the moment is: when you’re on the internet, how do you know you are not talking to a dog? When you ask to connect to a remote service, you expect to connect to that remote service. You probably don’t even think about the possibility that “myspace.com” might not be “myspace.com”. But what if you couldn’t rely on that? How about “mybank.com”? Believe it or not, you may exist in such a world today. Last week, US-CERT issued a “Vulnerability Note” on Multiple DNS implementations vulnerable to cache poisoning. What does that mean? Read on…

Colorado Community College System Announces Flat-price Electronic Textbooks from Pearson Education

Colorado Community College System (CCCS) signed an agreement with Pearson Education for flat-rate access to Pearson textbook content online. News of this comes by way of a link left by Lorcan Dempsey in a comment to an earlier DLTJ entry that pointed to a blog entry by Michael Cairns talking about yesterday’s Wall Street Journal article about custom textbooks, which in turn pointed to a blog posting by Alison Pendergast excerpting a Chronicle of Higher Education Wired Campus story about this agreement. (Whew! It was a long trail, but well worth it!) Key points in the agreement:

The Complex World of the Textbook

Who knew the college textbook marketplace could be so complex? The agents in this ecosystem and their interests are so intertwined that as a whole it poses a massive amount of inertia for those who attempt to change the marketplace. I’ve been involved for about a year with an effort to change the textbook ecosystem for Ohio college students, and I am amazed at the complexity with each new layer of the onion that is peeled back. I thought it worthwhile to document my findings here and ask what insights others have.