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November 30, 2006

Polite Cell Phone Use Permitted

library signage
Originally uploaded by Michael Casey.

Library 2.0

I read T. Scott Plutchak's piece and disagreed with a few points but I didn't want to get into a debate -- I'm hesitant to try to redefine what Laura and I tried so hard to say in the LJ article. However, I just read David Rothman's newest post and he says pretty much exactly what I was thinking, so I want to point to it from here:

I think T. Scott Plutchak, like every reader, can infer what he likes from an article, but I don’t think Casey and Savastinuk implied that libraries have previously been opposed to reaching users or making use of customer input. I think they said that we should try to reach more users, to actively invite and facilitate customer input and have a stronger, clearer, more consistent conversation with our patrons. They’re not saying what came before is bad, they’re saying we can do better.

Libraries CAN do better, SHOULD do better, and WILL do better, and probably due in no small part to passionate people like Casey, Savastinuk and their contemporaries who constantly use mushy terms I am uneasy with, like “Library 2.0″ and “social software.”

Link to full post. 

Gliffy - Web-based Visio-like Drawing Application

Originally uploaded by Michael Casey.

What I really like about Gliffy (other than it being free and online!) is the ability to collaborate with others. Really cool for network diagrams and org charts.


More on the $100 Laptop

From today's New York Times comes this update on the $100 ($150) laptop, a project I have been following closely and with much anticipation: 

Mr. Negroponte, the founding director of the M.I.T. Media Laboratory, said he was amused by the attention his little machine was getting. It is not the first time he has been challenged for proclaiming technology’s promise.

“It’s as if people spent all of their attention focusing on Columbus’s boat and not on where he was going,” he said in an interview here. “You have to remember that what this is about is education.”

Seymour Papert, a computer scientist and educator who is an adviser to the project, has argued that if young people are given computers and allowed to explore, they will “learn how to learn.” That, Mr. Papert argues, is a more valuable skill than traditional teaching strategies that focus on memorization and testing.

The idea is also that children can take on much of the responsibility for maintaining the systems, rather than relying on or creating bureaucracies to do so.

“We believe you have to leverage the kids themselves,” Ms. Jepsen said. “They’re learning machines.” As an example, she pointed to the backlight used by the laptop. Although it is designed to last five years, if it fails it can be replaced as simply as batteries are replaced in a flashlight. It is something a child can do, she said.

Full story

November 29, 2006

Wikipedia to Library 2.0: You Can Stay

"The result was keep."

I liked the final comment on the deletion page:

Agreeing here with many of the above arguments to keep; although the term causes my teeth to grind, it is all over the relevant literature and a recurring topic at conferences and mini-conferences alike. This article provides valuable access points for those (such as MLS students or trustees) wishing to understand current library technical jargon. Granted it is a neologism, but it is also a key term for understanding the current debate about technological integration and innovations in the field of library and information sciences and, indeed, within libraries themselves. Many of the articles cited above by the contributors to this discussion will confirm. Disturbingly, I heard someone throw out the term "Library 3.0" the other day, so I'm sure we will eventually argue about deleting that future article as well! :P

I must say, I'm glad Wikipedia chose to retain the entry.

November 28, 2006

OPLIN and Google Co-Op

From Joel Husenits comes word of OPLIN's use of Google Co-Op:

The Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN) is using Google Co-op to power a search engine that searches all 251 Ohio public library websites. You can check it out at www.oplin.org/fal (we folded it into our existing "Find an Ohio Library" site). We thought other states and/or library systems might be interested in examples of localized custom search tools.

Very cool and, yes, I'm sure many libraries will be quite interested! 

November 25, 2006

LibWorm Search Worth Trying

Originally uploaded by mstephens7.


November 24, 2006

Graphic Novels for Teenage Girls

From Saturday's New York Times comes this article on teenage girls and a new line of graphic novels by DC Comics:

“It’s time we got teenage girls reading comics,” said Karen Berger, a senior vice president at DC Comics. And DC, the comics powerhouse best known as home to Superman and Batman, has a program to make that happen...In May, DC plans to introduce Minx, a line of graphic novels aimed at young adult female readers, starting with six titles in 2007, each retailing for less than $10. The stories will be far removed from the superheroes who more typically appeal to young males...Teenage girls, Ms. Berger said, are smart and sophisticated and “about more than going out with the cute guy. This line of books gives them something to read that honors that intelligence and assertiveness and that individuality.”

Full article here

Delete Library 2.0 from Wikipedia?

The Library 2.0 entry in Wikipedia is being considered for deletion. Please feel free to add your thoughts on this at the article's entry on the Articles for Deletion Page.

Some of the comments: 

  • Yet Another Web Neologism. From the article: The term "Library 2.0" was coined by Michael Casey on his blog. Says it all, really. A neologism coined by a blogger and used by bloggers, not notable.
  • I'm unfamilar with this topic, but looking at the extensive references the term "Library 2.0" appears in the title of articles in both Library Journal and School Library Journal (among the other web or blog references) and appears to be a known academic concept, not a neoligism. I'd say this should be kept unless proof of a lack of notability could be shown, or other proof that this is some sort of odd fringe concept. Notability isn't based on where a term originates, but where it ends up.
  • From what I can see, the term is used only in Library-related publications, and on the web.
  • You mean only the experts on libraries use the term? Then it must be useless, of course.
  • I never liked "Web 2.0" and "Library 2.0" is even worse. However, the term has quite a bit of traction in publications already, and I won't support the deletion of an article just because I find its name silly, the concept fuzzy, or its origin too bloggy. We should have a decent article about this.
  • This looks like a well-referenced article demonstrating that the term is in use among library professionals. If there are any actual problems with the article, the nominator has not explained what they are.
[edit - 11/24/06 10:30AM Additional entries added below]
  • This entry should be kept as it has garnered so much attention, not only in the library community. Students are writing papers on it, library schools are dedicating full semester classes to it, entire conferences are built around it, and the theories are well grounded. It's very real, the subject of much discussion, and should stay in Wikipedia.
  • This entry should be kept! The term has been used for over a year in the library community. It has been morphing into a description of new ways to think in the library community - different ways of putting the customer first, new ways of serving a library's community, and new ways to even think about librarians and training. Also - if this term is removed, I'd say that Office 2.0, another wikipedia entry, should be removed too - since they're both offshoots of the term web 2.0.
  • While "Library 2.0" began as a bloggy term, its recent popularity in the field of Library Science has helped clarify its meaning and now has an academic "life of its own." This is an incredibly useful concept for those trying to communicate the changes in library technology. Is the name silly? Sure, but so is the Klingon language. Is the concept fuzzy? A little, but Wittgenstein made part of his career clarifying concepts such as "family resemblance" and this is no different. It's origin may be bloggy, but how is this different from the origin of many words from other technologies? It's not just a bloggy term anymore. I don't think the "origin police" should go after concepts solely because of a less-than-high-falutin origin.

Article discussion page here

November 16, 2006

Police Taser Student in UCLA Library



How many police does it take to remove one person from a library? Why did they taser?

Last year in Lawrenceville, Georgia, two civil rights groups held a protest on the one-year anniversary of the controversial death of a man police shocked five times in the chest with a Taser stun gun. Frederick Williams got into an altercation with police after his wife called 911 on May 25 of 2004. During the fight, an officer was injured and Williams was taken to the Gwinnett County Jail. There, Williams -- with restraints on his hands and ankles -- was shocked as six deputies held him down. He lost consciousness after four minutes and died two days later. Photos of the protest.

my new work blog

my new work blog
Originally uploaded by Michael Casey.

Most of my energy has been directed at work for the past few months. This is one of the things I was working hard to implement and I am very happy it now exists. Hopefully it will serve a good purpose.

November 12, 2006

The New York Times on Web 3.0

From Sunday's New York Times comes a very interesting article on the web as database:

From the billions of documents that form the World Wide Web and the links that weave them together, computer scientists and a growing collection of start-up companies are finding new ways to mine human intelligence.

Their goal is to add a layer of meaning on top of the existing Web that would make it less of a catalog and more of a guide — and even provide the foundation for systems that can reason in a human fashion. That level of artificial intelligence, with machines doing the thinking instead of simply following commands, has eluded researchers for more than half a century.

Referred to as Web 3.0, the effort is in its infancy, and the very idea has given rise to skeptics who have called it an unobtainable vision...

...The classic example of the Web 2.0 era is the “mash-up” — for example, connecting a rental-housing Web site with Google Maps to create a new, more useful service that automatically shows the location of each rental listing.

In contrast, the Holy Grail for developers of the semantic Web is to build a system that can give a reasonable and complete response to a simple question like: “I’m looking for a warm place to vacation and I have a budget of $3,000. Oh, and I have an 11-year-old child.”


Full article


November 11, 2006

Gaming and Libraries

Jenny's LTR
Originally uploaded by mstephens7.

November 03, 2006

Berry On "The Google Divide"

Today, like yesterday, the frustration camps out in every kind of workplace in our field: from the faculty of LIS programs where tenured traditionals hold off the digital drive from the new Library 2.0 students to the smallest public libraries where young digital innovators try to bring change to a staff and public who still view the role and purpose of the library and librarians much as Dewey did when he first called it a profession. It was there when Jim Welbourne rallied library school students to a Congress for Change in the mid-Sixties. It was there when Pat Schuman and a band of young librarians convinced the American Library Association to oppose the Vietnam War. It was even there when the young Charlie Robinson first shouted, “Give ’em what they want,” and when Fred Kilgour and Hugh Atkinson made shared cataloging a reality with their new OCLC.

Read John Berry's full essay at Library Journal