Bibliophile Adventures's blog

Gaming the Archives

From the Chronicle of Higher Ed
May 23, 2011, 5:13 pm
By Jennifer Howard

There’s no shortage of fabulous archival material lurking in college and university collections. The trick is finding it.

Without good metadata—labels that tell researchers and search engines what’s in a photograph, say—those archives are as good as closed to many students and scholars. But many institutions don’t have the resources or manpower to tag their archives thoroughly.

Enter Metadata Games, an experiment in harnessing the power of the crowd to create archival metadata. A team of designers at Dartmouth College, working with archivists there, has created game interfaces that invite players to tag images, either playing alone or with a partner (sometimes a human, sometimes a computer). Solo players think up tags to describe the images they see; in the two-player scenario, partners try to come up with the same tag or tags.....Read the rest here....

Where the Young and Tech-Savvy Go

From the WSJ Digits blog

What can Foursquare tell us about how people live?

The location-based social network, which lets people “check in” to places using their mobile phones, has about 8 million users and is used more than 1.5 million times a day world-wide.

To learn about where people go and what they do on Foursquare, Digits collected every check-in on the service for a week earlier this year, via the Foursquare “firehose.” And what did we find? ... Read the rest here with cool visualizations

Wanted: Your Ideas on How to Build a Digital Public Library of America

From the Chronicle of Higher Ed
May 20, 2011, 12:01 am
By Jennifer Howard

Think you know what the proposed Digital Public Library of America should look like? Now’s your chance to weigh in. The project’s steering committee has just announced a “Beta Sprint,” inviting the public to contribute “ideas, models, prototypes, technical tools, user interfaces, etc.” Anyone who wants to take part must submit a statement of interest by June 15, and final submissions are due September 1. Read more here

Taking a Closer Look at Open Peer Review

From the Chronicle of Higher Ed
By Jennifer Howard

Open peer review—which gives anyone who’s interested a chance to weigh in on scholarly content before it’s published—just got an institutional boost. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has given New York University Press and MediaCommons a $50,000 grant to take a closer look at open, or peer-to-peer (P2P), review, the press announced today. MediaCommons is a digital scholarly network hosted by the NYU Libraries and affiliated with the Institute for the Future of the Book.....Read the rest here.

Vatican Library on 60 Minutes

Probably the closest most of us will ever get to this incredible collection.

Watch it here

College Librarians Look at Better Ways to Measure the Value of Their Services

Report from ACRL 2011 in the Chronicle of Higher Ed
By Jennifer Howard
"How do you take the measure of academic libraries and librarians? At the Association of College and Research Libraries conference, which began here Wednesday, presenters took up the problem of how libraries can demonstrate their value to their institutions—and whether conventional attempts to measure return on investment, or "ROI," are any use in that campaign.

Like most of academe, libraries have been feeling increased pressure to justify themselves quantitatively. The bold title of James G. Neal's paper—"Stop the Madness: The Insanity of ROI and the Need for New Qualitative Measures of Academic Library Success"—indicated where its author stands on the issue. ..." Read the rest here

Deciphering Old Texts, One Woozy, Curvy Word at a Time

this was interesting.... makes those "capthcas" slightly less annoying, but not totally.

From the New York Times.
By GUY GUGLIOTTA
Published: March 28, 2011
In the old days, anybody interested in seeing a Mets game during a trip to New York would have to call the team, or write away, or wait to get to the city and visit the box office. No more. Now, all it takes is to find an online ticket distributor. Sign in, click “Mets,” pick the date and pay.

But before taking the money, the Web site might first present the reader with two sets of wavy, distorted letters and ask for a transcription. These things are called Captchas, and only humans can read them. Captchas ensure that robots do not hack secure Web sites.

What Web readers do not know, however, is that they have also been enlisted in a project to transform an old book, magazine, newspaper or pamphlet into an accurate, searchable and easily sortable computer text file....Read the rest here.

OMG, the Oxford English Dictionary Added New Words! We ‘Heart’ It! LOL!

by Brenna Erlich on Mashable

"Before you take to the comments to ream us out about the above headline: “OMG,” “LOL” and the symbol for “heart” have all been added to the Oxford English Dictionary Online.

According to the OED‘s site, the newest edition of the dictionary (which comes out online today) revises more than 1,900 entries and includes a ton of new words — including the neologisms above....." Read the rest here

Help for the (Casual) Book Hoarder

by by Elissa Lerner at the New Yorker

"Are you a book hoarder? Mark Medley of the National Post is one, and he wants fellow hoarders to share their stories. As he points out in his essay “Confessions of a Book Hoarder,” hoarding is having its moment in the sun, largely thanks to A&E’s unlikely hit “Hoarders.” Medley acknowledges that his “morbid fascination” with the TV show is likely due to his own inability to get rid of a single book. He admits the issue is not the number of books he owns, but rather the fact that he can’t part with any of them. (Medley guesses that he and his girlfriend share a library upwards of one thousand books, a number he considers “rather paltry.”)"

Read more here

Research Libraries See Google Decision as Just a Bump on the Road

From the Chronicle of Higher Education:
Research Libraries See Google Decision as Just a Bump on the Road to Widespread Digital Access
By Jennifer Howard

Tuesday, a federal judge tossed out the proposed settlement in the lawsuit over Google's vast book-digitization project. Still, research libraries with a stake in that work said they were undeterred. They emphasized that widespread digital access is key to scholars' work, and reiterated their commitment to making as much material available to as many people as possible, whether or not the settlement is revived in some form. And they said they hoped the ruling, by Judge Denny Chin, would galvanize efforts to solve the vexing problem of orphan works, which are under copyright but whose rights-holders are unknown or unfindable......Read the rest here.

SXSW 2011: The Year of the Librarian

By Phoebe Connelly in the Atlantic

"Tech for tech's sake is over. In a year when social media is helping inform our coverage of everything from political upheaval in the Middle East to the unfolding nuclear disaster in Japan, your app better do something more than be cool.

I kept coming back to the librarians as I talked to people at SXSWi because this micro-track mirrored what I saw tweeted and written about the conference as a whole. Interactive didn't feel blindly focused on discovering the killer app. Tech didn't feel like an end unto itself -- rather, it was about processing data with a purpose; data for a greater good. ....." Read the rest here.

Literary Love: 12 Works of Book Art & Architecture

From the Web Urbanist

"The meaning of a book goes far beyond mere printed words. Books are symbols – for knowledge, fantasy, curiosity and so many other things – and even in an increasingly digital world where many books are only available in electronic format, these collections of bound pages maintain their hold upon our collective psyche. Perhaps that’s why they make such a startlingly unexpected and emotive medium for art of all kinds, from towering art installations to delicate paper sculptures. These 12 works of book art and architecture transcend the messages contained in the pages, both celebrating the books’ intrinsic value and tearing it down to convey something new...."the rest is here - with pictures.

Calling all cat ladies (or men)

Not really library-related but in my experience, librarians tend to be cat lovers (don't flame me....I know not everyone loves cats -- I'm speaking generally and from _my_ experience.)

Here's a chance to turn your cat loving tendencies into a travel career that might pay more than your library job...(at least for a while) courtesy of Purina. Read all about it here.

Mendeley Offers $10,001 for Best New Research Tool

From the Chronicle of Higher Ed
March 8, 2011, 4:32 pm
By Ben Wieder

The developers of Mendeley, a research-management tool that has more than a million users, want to put more than 70 million academic papers, reader recommendations, and social-networking tags to new and innovative uses. The company announced Tuesday its “Binary Battle,” a contest for outside developers to build applications drawing from Mendeley’s collected information, with a $10,001 grand prize for the best new application.

“If you’ve ever thought, ‘You know, I really wish I could search the literature better’ or ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if I could see how this idea evolved over time?’ or just ‘I wish I had $10,001 dollars,’ well, now’s your chance,” says the company blog.....More here...

Mendeley blog

How a Book is Made, Circa 1947

From the Brain Pickings blog
By Maria Popova
2011 is barely underway and it’s already been a tumultuous year for the evolution of publishing. As entire industries struggle to plot the future of the book, we find it important to take a step back and take a look at its past. An 8-bit unicorn tipped us off to the priceless 1947 documentary Making Books — a joint effort of Encyclopedia Britannica Films and the Library of Congress that will make you gasp and wince and gasp again as it opens its treasure chest of retro technology, matter-of-factly industrialism and unwitting vintage sexism.

Watch it here

TED, Known For Big-Idea Conferences, Pushes Into Education

This will be interesting to watch develop. I love TED talks.

From the Chronicle of Higher Ed
March 2, 2011, 12:36 pm

By Jeff Young

Long Beach, Calif.—The leaders of the annual TED conference, known for featuring short, carefully prepared talks on big ideas about technology and society, hope to apply their approach to education.....Read more here.

ARL Balanced Scorecard Webcast recording now available on the ARL YouTube Channel

The Valentine's Day webcast featured three ARL libraries—Johns Hopkins, McMaster, and the University of Washington—that have engaged the Balanced Scorecard framework, created by Harvard business professors Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton, in their strategy development through an ARL collaborative community based project. Ascendant Strategy Management, a consulting firm specializing in the application of the Balanced Scorecard framework in mission-driven non-profit organizations, will present the Balanced Scorecard theory with in-depth insights from organizations they have worked with in the not-for-profit sector. Ascendant is the consulting firm working with ARL to bring the effective implementation of strategy development with the Balanced Scorecard to libraries.

Workshop presenters include:

* Martha Kyrillidou, Association of Research Libraries
* Ted Jackson, Ascendant Strategy Management
* Winston Tabb and Liz Mengel, Johns Hopkins University
* Betsy Wilson and Steve Hiller, University of Washington
* Jeffrey Trzeciak and Vivian Lewis, McMaster University

The webcast is useful both for those interested in learning more about the Balanced Scorecard and for those who are interested in engaging with ARL and Ascendant in 2011 to develop their strategy using a well-established and proven perspective.

Watch it here.

Growing Knowledge: The British Library launches its strategy for 2011-2015

Always interesting reading....

The British Library has launched its new strategy, setting out how it plans to develop its collections and services over the next four years.

Growing Knowledge: The British Library’s Strategy 2011-2015 outlines the UK national library’s key objectives and strategic priorities to the middle of the decade, and emphasizes the need to deliver more for less in a challenging economic climate.

The new strategy follows the publication last September of the Library’s 2020 Vision, which highlighted the key trends and opportunities for the next decade. The 2020 Vision was based upon twelve months of extensive research and consultation; it presented five themes that would help deliver the Library’s ten-year vision of becoming “a leading hub in the global information network, advancing knowledge through its collections, expertise and partnerships, for the benefit of the economy and society and the enrichment of cultural life.”

The Library’s strategy for 2011-2015 contains five strategic priorities, based on the 2020 Vision’s themes:

1. Guarantee access for future generations
2. Enable access for everyone who wants to do research
3. Support research communities in key areas for social and economic benefit
4. Enrich the cultural life of the nation
5. Lead and collaborate in growing the world’s knowledge base

Read the details here.

The art of giving instructions: 7 practices for facilitators

Librarians frequently find themselves in the role of facilitator. This blog post by Chris Corrigan has some tips about giving instructions, an often overlooked art.

"I think one of the hardest things to do as a facilitator is master the art of giving instructions. Even for facilitators, public speaking can be a stressful experience, and there is nothing worse than trying to give instructions to a group while your knees are shaking and your mouth is dry. But for all facilitators, and and especially those of us who work with radically new ways of meeting, this is a whole art in itself. Giving instructions poorly leads to confusion and chaos and can quickly erode the trust of a group. Being too direct can shut people down and create a sterile meeting. The art is finding the space between the two......"

Read the rest here.

AOTUS at NFAIS

I had the pleasure of hearing David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States (and the first librarian to hold the position) speak this morning at the NFAIS conference in Philadelphia. I'll sleep better tonight knowing our national records are in good hands.

In addition to all the serious things he talked about (the twitter feed was #nfais11 and it was probably blogged somewhere) he told about a challenge put to the readers of the Prologue: Pieces of History blog: If our Founding Fathers had Twitter. Not quite The Gettysburg Powerpoint Presentation but still amusing.

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