OOOOOOCLC

Posted On Jun 24 2008 by

A while back, I made a joke on April 1 about Google buying OCLC.  This was actually a well coordinated April Fool’s Day attack between myself and the folks at ALA Techource (none of our bosses from back then want to know how much time actually went into this coordination).  I guess one true test of a joke is its staying power, and this one has it, oddly enough (I suggest using Google to see the folks who took it seriously, and that way I can avoid embarrassing anyone).  From time to time, I even find current links to the …


Artificial Unintelligence

Posted On Jun 3 2008 by

Five years ago, I wrote a book.  Originally titled “Strange Bedfellow,” this work on the relationships between libraries, vendors, and dot-com entities was re-titled The Ultimate Digital Library: Where the New Information Players Meet.  Some of the better parts of that book seemed so radical then and look entirely passe now.  It’s hard to believe it’s been five years since it came out, but where was I supposed to go from “Ultimate?”  The More Ultimate Digital Library? I was actually looking to see if I could pick up some used copies since I have given all but one of mine …


A Break from the Heat

Posted On Aug 8 2007 by

My wife and I just decided that we would rather live without heat than air conditioning. We decided this after living for four days without it, during the hottest week of the year in Raleigh. A mixture of bad luck and some repairman incompetence made for a very long weekend. I remember when I first started at NC State, I jokingly asked one of the older staff why everyone in N.C. walked so slow. She replied—quite wisely—that you can separate North Carolinians into two camps: those who lived here before air conditioning and those who moved here after it became …


Google Acquires OCLC, World Domination Near Total

Posted On Apr 1 2007 by

What do you get when the 800-pound gorilla mates with the elephant in the room? Well, it looks as though you might just get the OCLC division of Google, Inc. The Mountain View, California, search giant has announced that it will acquire 100% of OCLC, the library cooperative based in Dublin, Ohio. The news was reported today on the ALA TechSource blog. Screenshot provided by ALA TechsourceThe news should come as a shock to the library community, which has waffled for several years between loathing their supposed competition and acquiescing to Google’s leading position in the search market. On the other …


Books More Digital

Posted On Mar 28 2007 by

I’ve always had a hard time explaining my position on e-books. Some of my esteemed colleagues are quick to point out the minor dent that e-books have made in overall book sales in this country and others. But when I started evangelizing about e-books back in the late 1990s, we were still talking about what I call the “curl-up factor.” I grew so tired of hearing people complain about not wanting to curl up with an e-book, or the inability to take an e-book to the beach, that as soon as I read either phrase in e-book commentary, I simply …