After the opening session at ALA’s Library and Information Technology Association National Forum, held in Salt Lake City October 1–4, American Libraries caught up with LITA Past President Andrew Pace, who said there’s a lot of work involved in diversifying the keynote topics. Each is chosen to strike a balance between “fact, fun, and fancy,” … Continue reading LITA Forum Speakers Make the Case for Mobile
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