Out of Print Books Get New Life via Amazon and Participating Libraries

Why settle for mere digital copies of books (a la the Google Book Search project and the Open Content Alliance) when you can have an edition printed, bound and sent to you in the mail? That’s the twist behind a recent partnership announced by Amazon.com, Kirtas Technologies, Emory University, University of Maine, Toronto Public Library, and the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.

A View of Regional Digitization Centers

As a part of work for an OhioLINK strategic task force, I have been exploring the creation and operation of regional/collaborative/shared digitization centers. This is a report of findings to date after an open call for information. The report is structured with questions to be explored when considering a regional digitization center followed by narratives from conversations with the Collaborative Digitization Program (formerly the Colorado Digitization Program), the Mountain West Digital Library, and the Ohio Historical Society. My thanks go out to Leigh Grinstead, Liz Bishoff, Karen Estlund, Angela O’Neal, and Phil Sager for their assistance.

Information Explorers versus Editors

A post by Bill Harris at “Dubious Quality” with the title Information got caught up in my Technorati filter for disruptive change in libraries. Geoff Engelstein, a colleague of Bill’s mentioned this in an e-mail:

We were a generation of information explorers. They [Geoff’s thirteen– and eleven-year-olds] are a generation of editors.

The context is a reflection on Bill’s part of the trials and feelings of success when conducting research: “you’d have to pull out a rack in the card catalog according to the alphabetized subject and flip through the cards. If you got lucky, the title of a book or a brief description would point you in the right direction. Then you had to actually find the book, skim through it, and hope that you’d find some information.” Bill even includes a link to a bibliographic instruction page showing how an actual card catalog works.

HitchHikr Page for ALA 2007 Annual Conference

Following in the footsteps of last year’s annual conference and the midwinter meeting earlier this year, there is now a conference tracking page on the HitchHikr service for the 2007 Annual Conference in Washington DC. The URL for the tracker is:

http://hitchhikr.com/index.php?conf_id=212

From this one page, you’ll be able to discover blog postings and Flickr pictures related to the meeting. If you have a blog of your own, be sure to add the ‘ala2007′ tag to your postings so they will be picked up by HitchHikr. (If your blog software doesn’t offer tagging capabilities, just put this piece of HTML code — <a href="http://technorati.com/tag/ala2007" rel="tag">ala2007</a> — anywhere in the body of your blog posting.) If you post pictures to Flickr, assign the tag ‘ala2007′ and HitchHikr will find them. Share this information with bloggers and Flickr users to maximize the usefulness of our HitchHikr page!

“How can I Avoid Library Fines?” — Return Your Items!

A reader of DLTJ sent me a private comment this afternoon pointing me in the direction of a post on wisegeek with the title How can I Avoid Library Fines? This reply may never reach 246 Diggs (at the time of writing)1 as the original story did, but I’ll let you in on a little secret of our own:

Libraries Generally Don’t Care About the Fines.

“What!?!” – you say? ’tis true. The author of the wisegeek story says:

Survey on Library Professional Perceptions

Jenny Emanuel, Electronic Services Librarian at University of Central Missouri, posted an invitation to complete a survey on how library professionals think of themselves to several mailing lists. As part of the ALA Emerging Leaders 2007 program, she is part of a team look for options on rebranding the librarian profession in the digital world. This looks like it will have interesting results; if you consider yourself a “library professional” take the survey yourself: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?u=371423757475.

Out of all of the questions, number 10 struck me as the heart of the matter:

10. How strongly do you agree with the following statements?

Stereotypical Vendors?

Recent posts by Richard Wallis and Paul Miller, both of Talis (a 40-year-old company in the U.K. specializing in information and metadata management), question a perceived division of library automation vendor technical staff with that of open source solution technical staff. I wasn’t at Code4Lib this year (I’m going to try to get there next year), but from the context of the blog postings and comments it seems like the Talis developers were showing some really cool stuff and concern was expressed by participants that they don’t want to see Code4Lib turned into a vendor forum.

What Librarians Could Learn From Journalists

On Tuesday, the Poynter Institute (a school for journalists, future journalists, and teachers of journalists) released results of their EyeTrack07 study — an examination of reader behavior in the print and online mediums. An article on their website goes into more detail about the initial data but what caught my eye as of interest to the library community is the headline (“The Myth of Short Attention Spans”) and this conclusion “The reading-deep phenomenon [thoroughly reading a selected story] is even stronger online than in print.” Their website site has a video which explains the process and some of the initial results.

NDIIP Funding Statement by the Librarian of Congress

Early last month I mentioned what was happening to NDIIP funds with the impending passage of what became Public Law 110-5 [PDF] and posted a copy of a letter I sent to my senators urging them to reconsider the funding rescission. Of course, I wasn’t the only one who asked congress to reconsider. Strangely (I thought) the Library of Congress has been silent on the topic. Silent until last week, that is.