Thursday Threads: Kindle Singles and Kindle Accessibility, Sped-up Discourse, ISBN Troubles

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This week Amazon takes center stage of DLTJ Thursday Threads with a report of their new Kindle Singles program for medium-form digital content and a screen-reader-aware version of the Kindle reader application for PCs. After that is a look at how scholarly discourse is changing — radically! — with the availability and use of near-real-time feedback loops. And we close out with a peek at shaky ground in the world of ISBN identifiers.

New Web Expectations and Mobile Web Techniques

Late last year I was asked to put together a 20-minute presentation for my employer (LYRASIS) on what I saw as upcoming technology milestones that could impact member libraries. It was a good piece, so I thought I’d share what I learned with others as well. The discussion was in two parts — general web technologies/expectations and mobile applications/web.

Thursday Threads: Websites for Small Libraries, Open Source in Govt, Measuring Reliability

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It has been the longest of weeks and the shortest of weeks. Longest because of a working weekend with the ALA Midwinter conference in San Diego. Shortest because the activities leading up to, during, and after the conference didn’t leave much time for reading items to prepare a DLTJ Thursday Threads article. This edition has three short pointers: a report from Midwinter on a project from OCLC to offer a basic website for every library, why governments are coming around to liking open source software, and a discussion of measurements of reliability.

OCLC Introduces “A Web Presence for Small Libraries”

Screenshot of Sample Library Website

Screenshot of Sample 'Web Presence for Small Libraries'

On Sunday evening, the OCLC Innovation Lab held a public demonstration of a project with the working title, “A Web Presence for Small Libraries.” It is a templated website that could serve as a library’s barest bones presence on the web. The target audience is small and/or rural libraries that may not have the technological infrastructure — human knowledge, equipment, and/or money — to host their own web presence. If it comes to fruition, the basic service would give a library four pages on the web that can be customized by the library staff plus dynamic areas of content that would be generated by OCLC algorithms and optionally placed on each library’s site. A more advanced version of the service could include a light-weight book inventory and circulation option.

They created a sample library called Loremville, TN public library to demonstrate key aspects of the service. I did not ask them how long that particular example will be around, so you may follow that link at a later date and not find it.

Options in Storage for Digital Preservation

A last-minute change to my plans for ALA Midwinter came on Tuesday when I was sought out to fill in for a speaker than canceled at the ALCTS Digital Preservation Interest Group meeting. Options for outsourcing storage and services for preserving digital content has been a recent interest, so I volunteered to combine two earlier DLTJ blog posts with some new information and present it to the group for feedback. The reaction was great, and here is the promised slide deck, links to further information, and some thoughts from the audience response.

Thursday Threads: Ebooks in Libraries, Prognostications for the Year, Open Source Adoption, Public Domain Day

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The turn of the year brings commentary on the past 12 months and thoughts on the future. This edition of DLTJ Thursday Threads looks at the relationship between libraries and electronic books with an offer by Sony to explain e-reader hardware to libraries and an opinion piece that libraries need to get their act together on the adoption of e-books. Then there is a look forward at possible trends for the new year; I try to pick out the ones that I think will have an impact on libraries. One trend that does seem to be emerging is the migration of libraries from proprietary software to open source software for their integrated library systems. Lastly, we’ll wrap up with a look at Public Domain Day.

My ALA Midwinter 2011 Schedule

The end-of-year holidays are behind us and (in the northern parts of the northern hemisphere) the cold days of winter in front of us. What better time to bag it all and head to the warm(er) temperatures of San Diego, California for the ALA Midwinter meeting. I mean — come’on — do you really want to dive into all of that work that piled up over the past week or so? (You say that even more work will pile up if you attend the meeting? Bah, humbug!) If you are going, I wholeheartedly endorse the new ALA Connect-based meeting planner. It is at times frustratingly slow, but chock full of ways to slice-and-dice meeting events that were not possible in the earlier version. (I’m going to put in a suggested enhancement that the iCal file export includes URLs to the meeting listing online; that would be immensely helpful.)