The once-exponential rate of growth in Wikipedia's size is slowing. The number of new articles per month peaked in 2007 at about 60,000, declining steadily to about two-thirds of that figure today, according to research by the Augmented Social Cognition Research Group at the Palo Alto Research Center. The number of active editors crested at … Continue reading Wikipedia Growth Slows
E-books are nothing new, and librarians and library patrons have long struggled with their lack of utility. Reading on a computer screen for long periods of time is not most people's cup of tea and leads to hundreds of pages-long printouts in many a library lab. However, in early 2008, e-books began to make waves … Continue reading E-readers in Action
On what was apparently a slow news day, the front page of the July 29, 2009, New York Times featured YAWA—yet another Wikipedia article—a variation on the enduring theme of “Wikipedia is changing the world; how shocking” (or how wonderful, depending on the mood of the reporter). This one highlighted an exploration of the ethics of … Continue reading What Do You See?
A little over a year ago, I received an e-mail from Cantaloupe Music announcing the release of a new live recording of Brian Eno’s Music for Airports, available solely as a download-only digital file through iTunes and the label’s website (Cantaloupe CA21045). At Northwestern University we typically buy most CDs released by Cantaloupe, so I … Continue reading The Download Dilemma
Ohio libraries have been spared the proposed budget cuts that had threatened to lower their state funding by 30%. However, the biennial budget passed by the state legislature July 13 still includes a reduction in library funding of some 11%. The budget legalizes racetrack slot machines and cuts several state programs to close a projected … Continue reading Ohio Budget Deal Includes Less Severe Funding Cut
Looking back, what would you say was the biggest threat to intellectual freedom that you have encountered? Judith Krug: The biggest threat that we have not only faced in the past, but that we face today and I presume we’ll face tomorrow, is ourselves. And this threat becomes much more pronounced as outside pressures begin … Continue reading On the Line for the First Amendment
A couple of generations ago, a catchphrase entered the American lexicon, representing growing concern about the quality of education and in particular a perceived decline in literacy. “Why Johnny Can’t Read,” from the title of 1955 book by Rudolf Flesch, became a byword for the perception of relaxed standards and concomitantly lower achievement in schools. … Continue reading Why Johnny Can’t Search