Librarians Give Permanence to Twitter

Posted On Apr 1 2010 by

As is often the case, librarians rush in where the less organized fear to tread.  At a recent LITA Camp event, a bright librarian pointed out a method for preserving event-based Twitter posts.  Apparently this inspired a small handful of clever librarians with a cataloging bent.  What is happening to the historical record as created by millions of tweets? No need to fear, the librarians are here.  In an effort supported by the Mellon Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the American Library Association, generous funding will ensure that catalog records are created for historically, culturally, and particularly …


Sacred Cow #2

Posted On Aug 7 2008 by

Sorry for the long gap between cows…I had some technical difficulties that were making it hard for me to blog.  On with it… I’ve been thinking about one of the most bloated sacred cows in library management systems.  No, not the MARC record–I’ll leave that one to others.  I’m talking about Circulation Rules.  It’s become almost cliche to compare what we do in libraries (and this accusation is pointed primarily at academic libraries) to a typical commercial customer service. Picture me at the Blockbuster checkout desk. Me: Hi, I’m visiting here for the next six months and was wondering if …


Change is Good

Posted On Sep 12 2007 by

Is change really good? This is one of those phrases that is spoken like a truism. I wish it was one of those phrases that had been bastardized, like “money is the root of all evil.” Actually, “the love of money is the root of all evil” is more correct. Let me try this: “The love of change is the root of all disorder.” Of course, I say this with a love of disorder. I believe that some of us are drawn to librarianship not out of a penchant for organizing things or out of some deep-seated anal- retentiveness (though …


ICE is Nice

Posted On Aug 29 2007 by

I am willing to admit that I remain skeptical about the “one big pile” approach to next generation catalogs that is sweeping the library automation world. While I don’t agree that advanced relevance ranking techniques are ineffective on bibliographic records (go look, there is no literature that I can find on this topic…there’s tons on full-text, but nothing on surrogate record relevance), I wonder what happens when the catalog becomes more than it used to be. If a relevance algorithm is based on whether or not a library holds a title, what happens when an article is thrown in the …


What Next? Part 3: Challenge

Posted On Jun 6 2007 by

This is the third and final instalment of “What’s Next” for the library automation marketplace. Time to review: Major consolidation of the library automation market, the emergence of viable open source software solutions and new business models for supporting them, and a somewhat rancorous and impatient customer base that fears that profit and efficiency have out-gunned innovation and service. This is the making for a dangerous cocktail. What’s a vendor to do? What’s a library to do? The Prod IMHO, I suspect that most libraries are going to sit tight. As have been mentioned many times, the pain and expense …