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Friday 18 July 2008

Library on Location trials

Via a link from iLibrarian I just discovered another library trying out the roving librarian model.

This reminds me I need to work on our report from our second trial (which went even better than the first trial, and we've got some great statistics).

I'm also steadily working on tidying up my list of libraries roving beyond the library walls. If anyone knows any more examples I could add to the list, please let me know!

Wednesday 9 July 2008

Social MARC

Roy Tennant writes that "Tags, ratings, and reviews should help enrich the whole, not one particular library catalog."

The problem is (after convincing TPTB that tags etc really do enrich the catalogue) how to get the data from one library to another. We're not really set up to share metadata like this with each other. --Uh, no, wait a minute. Isn't sharing metadata what copy-cataloguing is all about?

What if we simply (went through a huge bureaucratic decision-making process and) created some new MARC fields for tags, ratings, and reviews?

Then it'd be (a programming nightmare to allow customers to update these MARC fields and then to allow libraries to update to and from the network, but otherwise) dead simple to share tags, ratings and reviews with other libraries through the standard metadata-sharing networks.

Tuesday 8 July 2008

28 words

Playing with Page2RSS, I discovered that Google have found a way to fix its hidden privacy policy. (I'm blase about such controversies, but I like an elegant solution.)

Friday 4 July 2008

Database RSS alerts - Ovid

I've worked out the mystery from my last RSS alerts post: search alerts can be created on Ovid for Forest Science Database and GEOBASE but not for Biological Abstracts.

And I can now confirm that those RSS search alerts do in fact work (I got an alert for 58 new items including the word "properties" from the Forest Science Database this morning). So Ovid is redeemed.

Wednesday 2 July 2008

Non-English blog roundup #5 (French)

Still catching up, so pulling together a bunch of French content this time:

Bernard Rentier writes "A university which wants to be on the cutting edge of information as a communication tool cannot be unfamiliar with these new practices. It must even use them, not to "reform" them, even less to control them, these two objectives not being acceptable, but if it's a tool frequently used by many students, the Institution must be able to adopt this new concept and make itself a usage of it that is "sympathetic" and perceived as positive by everyone."

Risu suggests an easy method of increasing your library's visibility: enter it into Google Business Center with contact details, website, description, photos and videos, opening hours etc. "The whole thing takes 5 minutes and it's free."

Thomas on Vagabondages talks about "Lottobook", a game where every participant pledges to send a book to the winner. The winner is drawn and receives n-1 books, while a runner-up receives 1 book (from the winner) as a consolation prize and so even the winner doesn't know they've won until all the books arrive in the mail.

A meme being passed on via Marlene's Corner: "to give you the contents of my day as a 2.0 librarian on Monday".

In Bibliobsession:On DLog, Dominique writes about The two branches of the library:
Let's not confuse
  • the physical item;
  • a particular edition of which the physical item is a clone among clones;
  • the work, which is immaterial
I draw from this a new conception of conservation: no longer only for the future or for researchers, but also for the public, here and now."
And a new report has been published, Report on the digital book (pdf) by Bruno Patino, 30 June 2008. Very roughly, from the executive summary:
The entrance into the digital age seems to be happening later for the book than for other cultural industries. However, many publishing sectors such as professional, practice or reference books are already largely digitised. This development, so far, has challenged neither the commercial model, nor relations with authors, nor the customs of readers. But what would happen if digitisation were to accelerate, even to take over? Such a hypothesis, even if it cannot be predicted with certainty, still merits that the key players in the sector prepare for it, bearing in mind the very important effects that it could lead to on the precarious equilibrium of the book industry.

A particular vigilance should especially be brought to a possible new competition between the rights holders (authors and publishers), whose remuneration of their creations should be preserved and increased, and the access and network holders, who don't necessarily have any interest in increasing the intellectual property rights.

In this context, two elements are essential: intellectual property must remain the cornerstone of publishing, and publishers must retain a central role in determining price.

The committee therefore recommends a series of measures organised into four actions:
  1. Promote an attractive legal offer. [eg look at interoperability of digital content - formats as much as DRM; interoperability of existing metadata; pursue the policy of supporting digital books[
  2. Defend intellectual property. [don't modify intellectual property law, which can accomodate digitisation; open inter-professional discussions about the rights of authors]
  3. Put in place provisions allowing rights holders to have a central role in determining prices.
  4. Conduct an active policy with respect to community institutions. [Establish a bureau to promote intellectual property-related policy; request a lower TVA tax for digital cultural content.]
Discussion in various venues has ensued and seems likely to continue apace....