Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Early September Links, volume 2

Well, here is the second part, and my list of unread posts in Google Reader is finally back to zero! Now to tackle the work email in-box, where I keep getting automatically generated "mailbox full" notes!

Iris Jastram always writes thoughtful pieces. (Often they are based in her real-life experiences.) She recently posted about her philosophy of librarianship. It is well worth reading, it notes the important role of librarian (especially reference librarian) as generalist. In fact, it makes me think that once upon a time when I was part of a team doing book selection, we made it a point to include one of the support staff who worked the circulation desk (and handled ILL). She brought some of that real-world grounding to our work.

One of the library humor blogs on my list is obnoxious librarian from hades. Its subtitle is : a satirical look at life in a large bureaucracy. One of the more recent posts, while posted as a satire, really pegs the state of e-books and libraries today.

I mentioned here that Abigail Goden is doing a series of "Data Friday" posts which continue this week. The most recent post talks about a book published in the UK (and soon to be published here) about access to web data.

Letters to a Young Librarian has a recent post by a law firm librarian talking about professional development. (This is also falls into my category of "continuous education.") Here is a key "take-away" quote:
It is true that you get out of professional development what you put into it. Anything that you can use to further your career, enhance your skills, or support learning and progress in librarianship counts as professional development.
There were a couple of posts about mobile apps and libraries. First from Bill Drew who casts his headline as either/or between mobile apps and mobile web sites. It turns out that he refers to two separate articles in Computers in Libraries each of which tackles one of the two topics. Based on his comments, the web sites will be easier to produce in the short run. I wonder how long the "apps" portion will be relevant.

Aaron Tay has a fairly long post about mobile friendly databases being offered by libraries. He notes both of the trends talked about by Bill, but focuses on database access as provided by our vendors (i.e. not library created). Because he is a librarian in Singapore, he takes a (literally) more global view than do many other bloggers I read.

Librarians are on strike at the University of Western Ontario. The author (Mita) blogs library issues at New Jack Librarian. She has an interesting philosophical take on information, copyright, the library's role, and how the university should be treating its librarians. (I will confess, while I have heard about the strike, I am not very well informed on the issues...)

Rory Litwin is continuing Library Juice and Library Juice press, but he has returned to school for a PhD, and has started a new blog, Non-Robots and Their World. One of his recent posts is about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and has the great title
Feeling and not feeling.

Finally, there are a series of four posts from Eric Hellman (I have mentioned him before). I am going to list them and comment in the order of chronological appearance:
  1. The first is on the value of a book. The post includes graphs and some sophisticated economic analysis. I'll probably have to read it a couple more times to really understand it.
  2. The second is about his new venture which is the process of raising money to make creative-commons licensed ebook editions of the books ... so that everyone, everywhere can read them.
  3. The third reflects on the sense of smell. I have often heard that it is the most powerful of the senses in memory recall. I have certainly experienced that in my life, times when just an odor brings back a very strong, vivid memory. One of my favorite quotes is: "When we smell a book all of these feelings resonate across time and they comfort us."
  4. Finally, Eric posted about orphan works and finding the true copyright holder. He noted that the Hathi Trust had proposed posting some orphan works. The Authors Guild then sued them. As part of their prep, the Authors Guild used its membership (and blog readership) to identify many of the authors not found by Hathi Trust. Eric's post is full of links.

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