Thursday Threads: Patron Privacy on Library Sites, Communicating with Developers, Kuali Continued

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In the DLTJ Thursday Threads this week: an analysis of how external services included on library web pages can impact patron privacy, pointers to a series of helpful posts from OCLC on communication between software users and software developers, and lastly an update on the continuing discussion of the Kuali Foundation Board’s announcement forming a commercial entity.

Before we get started on this week’s threads, I want to point out a free online symposium that LYRASIS is performing next week on sustainable cultural heritage open source software. Details are on the FOSS4Lib site, you can register on the LYRASIS events site, and then join the open discussion on the discuss.foss4lib.org site before, during and after the symposium.

Local and Unique and Digital: A Evolving Trend for Libraries and Cultural Heritage Institutions

These are slides and audio from presentation given at the LOUIS Users Group meeting, on October 4, 2013, in Baton Rouge, LA. The description of the talk was:

Libraries have been digitizing materials for decades as surrogates for access to physical materials, and in doing so have broadened the range of people and uses for library materials. With projects like Hathi Trust and Google Book Search systematically digitizing mass-produced monographs and making them available within the bounds of copyright law, libraries continue the trend of digitizing what is local and unique, and the emergence of projects like the Digital Public Library of America and OCLC’s WorldCat Digital Collection Gateway expand discoverability of the local and unique well beyond the library’s traditional reach. This presentation provides an overview of this trend, updates on what libraries can do, and describes activities LYRASIS is doing to help libraries and other cultural heritage institutions expand their reach.

WorldCat May Become Available as Library Linked Data under ODC-BY

On the second day of the OCLC Global Council meeting [agenda PDF] there was a presentation by Robin Murray (VP, OCLC Global Product Management) and Jim Michalko (VP, OCLC Research Library Partnership) called “Linked Open Data”. The title of the presentation was an understatement because the real heart of the matter was WorldCat data as linked open data. The presentation was about an hour long, and despite the technical difficulties was fascinating to listen to through the streaming video feed. OCLC says the archive of the meeting will be available at some point, and I urge you to check it out when it becomes available.

Thursday Threads: Research Works Act, Amazon Kindle Give and Take, OCLC’s Website for Small Libraries

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I’ve been away from DLTJ Thursday Threads for a while, but that doesn’t mean the fun hasn’t stopped. This week there are stories about the beginning and the end of the Research Works Act (again, one might add), Amazon’s continuing shifts in the ebook marketplace, and an announcement of beta access to OCLC’s Website for Small Libraries service.

Thursday Threads: SOPA Suspended, Lending Chromebooks, OCLC Introduces WorldShare

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This is the just-in-time-for-the-holidays edition of DLTJ Thursday Threads. The U.S. House Judiciary Committee suspended work on SOPA, and there was much relief from the technology community. The Palo Alto Public Library announced plans to lend Chromebooks (laptops with Google’s cloud-based operating system) to patrons. And OCLC announced a rebranding and expansion of its webscale activities with the WorldShare Platform.

Inclusive of all holidays of the season I wish you a safe, restful and happy celebration.

Open Repositories 2011 Report: Day 2 with DSpace plus Fedora and Lots of Lightning Talks

Today was the second day of the Open Repositories conference, and the big highlight of the day for me was the panel discussion on using Fedora as a storage and service layer for DSpace. This seems like such a natural fit, but with two pieces of complex software the devil is in the details. Below that summary is some brief paragraphs about some of the 24×7 lightning talks.

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.

A History of the OCLC Tax-Exemption Status

One of the baffling elements I’ve found in discussions of the history of OCLC is that of its tax exempt status under Ohio law. The latest example of this comes from documents filed in the SkyRiver/Innovative-vs.-OCLC case that make disparaging remarks about how OCLC got its state tax-advantaged status. (The text of the remarks in those documents are included below.) I was curious about this a while back and so did some research on the topic. I had set it aside and forgotten about it until this latest lawsuit brought it up again. So, to set the record straight, here is at least one version — hopefully written from a neutral perspective — of what happened nearly three decades ago.