Social Eyes

June 10, 2010

“Library fines got you down? Help build our Facebook page to 500 people & I'll waive fines of two students.” This message streamed across the Luria Library’s Twitter feed. In less than 140 characters, it perfectly portrays the playful and forgiving nature of its library director, and demonstrates the rising value of social capital, which … Continue reading Social Eyes


Aggregating Web Resources

May 27, 2010

The Open Archives Initiative Object Reuse and Exchange specification defines a set of new standards for the description and exchange of aggregations of web resources. This presents an exciting opportunity to revisit how digital libraries are provisioned. ORE and its concept of aggregation—that a set of digital objects of different types and from different locations … Continue reading Aggregating Web Resources


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The Myth of Browsing

May 19, 2010

A headline in the November 12, 2009, issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education tells what is becoming a familiar story: “In Face of Professors’ ‘Fury,’ Syracuse U. Library Will Keep Books on Shelves.” Pressed by economic realities, hurting for space, and seeing the opportunities offered by existing and emerging information technologies, the director of … Continue reading The Myth of Browsing


Historians Await Access to the Library of Congress’s Twitter Archive

May 17, 2010

The microblogging service Twitter has gifted its entire archive of tweets, totalling billions of 140-character posts dating back to March 2006, to the Library of Congress. "The Twitter digital archive has extraordinary potential for research into our contemporary way of life," said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. "This information provides detailed evidence about how … Continue reading Historians Await Access to the Library of Congress’s Twitter Archive


A Library in Your Pocket

May 13, 2010

In Vermont, it was easy to ignore the mobile computing craze until 2009. Before that, AT&T didn’t have a presence here, so we couldn’t purchase iPhones in the state. That all changed last year, and now, barely a day goes by that I don’t see someone checking e-mail, texting, or browsing the web on their … Continue reading A Library in Your Pocket


Drupal: The Change We Need

April 28, 2010

"The change we need," according to Tim O'Reilly, keynote speaker on day two of DrupalCon San Francisco, "is DIY on a civic scale. " We've come to rely on what O'Reilly called "vending machine government," where we put tax dollars in and expect services out, but real progress in civic organizations during tough economic times … Continue reading Drupal: The Change We Need


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Will Social Media Activism Rescue Besieged Libraries?

April 20, 2010

Library workers and supporters nationwide are turning to social media to spread the word about proposed funding cuts and recruit advocates. Despite what looks to be a very bleak FY2011, social media blitzes to stave off cuts for the current fiscal year may have laid some groundwork toward influencing budgetmakers. In March, the Charlotte (N.C.) … Continue reading Will Social Media Activism Rescue Besieged Libraries?


Dipping into the Stream

April 20, 2010

When you think of Twitter, you might think of Oprah. You might think of Ashton Kutcher. But do you think of Roy Tennant, Jessamyn West, and ALA’s Association of College and Research Libraries? While social networks are useful for keeping up with celebrities, friends, and family, they’re also valuable professional networking tools that can connect … Continue reading Dipping into the Stream


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The Biggest Front Porch

April 20, 2010

There are few pleasures in life as rewarding as being in the presence of a great storyteller—an opportunity I get every year when the University of Washington SLIS hosts the Spencer Shaw Lecture, in honor of our beloved emeritus faculty member. This year’s treat was Patricia McKissack, whose talk was titled “On the Front Porch … Continue reading The Biggest Front Porch


Gadgets and Gizmos

April 15, 2010

If we think back, we can imagine a time before the book and, once books became inexpensive and widespread, how revolutionary and democratizing the book was as a tool for sharing information. It must have been incredible to think that you could have so much text in such a compact form, and so many of … Continue reading Gadgets and Gizmos