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Friday 29 May 2009

Non-English blog roundup #12

[Sitting around since last year...]

Bambou (French) writes about Wikimini, a Wikipedia-like project written by kids for kids: 8-13 years old. It was conceived by a teacher as a pedagogical tool.

Penser le futur (French) writes about the ease of amending incorrect data on Amazon - [not quite as immediate as Wikipedia perhaps, but] it only took clicking a button, adding details, and waiting while Amazon verified it - a few days later Amazon even sent an email explaining why some of the changes had been accepted and others left alone.

Frank den Hollander (Dutch) points to the experimental PurpleSearch (English) at the University of Groningen. PurpleSearch is a federated search engine that doesn't require users to select which databases to search - instead it parses the search keywords to guesstimate at which will give the best results.

And if you're interested in non-English blog posts you may be interested in LibWorld - library blogs worldwide, a book version of the essays on InfoBib.

[More recently...]

Vagabondages (French) lists French and francophone library twitter accounts and Biblioroots lists accounts for librarians, bibliobloggers, authors, editors, booksellers and more librarians as well as general information and technology accounts.

Erik Høy on Biblog (Danish), inspired by Google promoting short videos of its employees introducing themselves, suggests that librarians could do the same.

Links of interest 29/5/09 (with added cat)

Mosman Library, NSW, is running a "Mosman Library vs That Search Engine" challenge where the library e-collection is pitted against Google and free e-resources. Each librarian has 45 minutes to research, then 45 minutes to write up their search strategy and answer; then the public can vote on who's given the best answers (and explain why they made that choice). So far they're on day 4 of 5 rounds.

S92A of the Copyright Act is coming back - the government will begin a review to amend the controversial section that was repealed earlier this year thanks to Creative Freedom NZ protests.

Mary Ellen Bates writes about resisting budget cuts:
"the next time the library budget was cut, the first thing I eliminated was the popular daily news digest. I announced to all the readers why it was being "suspended", and asked for their comments on whether this service should be re-funded. Sure enough, it didn't take long before I had the budget restored. It's not a pretty process, but neither is eating into the behind-the-scenes budget and not allowing library clients to see the impact of the lost funding." has been launched in the USA "to increase public access to high value, machine readable datasets generated by the Executive Branch of the Federal Government."

VUW library and student association are holding a joint fundraiser for the library cat, which underwent expensive surgery for diabetes.

Tuesday 19 May 2009

Links of interest 19/5/09

NZ On Screen gives free online access to selected NZ On Air television. (They also won the Best Entertainment Site award at the 2009 Qantas Media Awards on Saturday.) The World Cinema Foundation has digitised a selection of international films.

Professor Peter Murray-Rust says "The bit of Wikipedia that I wrote is correct."

Wolfram Alpha has gone live. This is a "computational knowledge engine" - meaning it's intended to read and parse your question then search its index of facts and put them together to give you an answer (rather than Google which just gives you a bunch of pages which may or may not contain an answer). It's early days so of course a lot of questions will confuse it, but it does well on things like "How old is Helen Clark?", "Who directed Dangerous Liaisons?", "What languages are spoken in India?", and "What is the meaning of life?"

Christchurch City Libraries has their annual booksale this Friday/Saturday.


Tuesday 12 May 2009

Links of interest 12/5/09

Lav Notes: help for the stalled (pdf) is a one-side library newsletter posted in library bathroom stalls. A colleague of its author mentions a library which posted butcher paper in the bathroom stalls and invited temporary grafitti. Cheaper than repainting!

Finding Physical Properties of Chemicals: A Practical Guide for Scientists, Engineers, and Librarians (pdf)

From Twitter, "New Zealand music month + free performances = [Dunedin Public Library's] YouTube channel enjoy!"

"University of Oregon Library['s] faculty unanimously passed a resolution requiring all library faculty-authored scholarly articles to be licensed CC BY-NC-ND." That is, they retain copyright but authorise anyone to copy, share and use it so long as they attribute its source (BY), use it for non-commercial purposes only (NC), and don't change it (non-derivative=ND).

Notes from a presentation "on the potential use of mobile devices and cell phones for providing library services and resources".
More and more people have web-enabled cellphones. Examples of libraries who've done this include:

Tuesday 5 May 2009

Links of interest 5/5/09

"Links of interest" is an irregular series of posts I started making recently to MPOW's internal blog, based on items culled from FriendFeed, Twitter, and Google Reader. I started thinking it was a shame not to have it available publicly, so here it is. NB Dates on future posts will be in dd/mm/yy format....

Lessons from the library booth at a local festival: or how not to engage customers

A blog post on New Citation Rules in the 7th Edition of the MLA Handbook.

Merck makes phony peer-review journal to promote a drug, published by Elsevier.

Google Maps adds historical maps of Japan which turn out to accidentally facilitate discrimination.

UCOL tweets that: "UCOL Library now has over 20 wireless laptops students can use anywhere on campus. You can borrow a laptop for up to 3 hours."

National Library explains Twitter - they compare it to Personal Items columns in early 20th century newspapers, describe the feedback and interaction they've had for their account, and talk about how they do it.