Library 2.0

Library Cloud Formations of the PAST and the FUTURE

From The Atlantic.



Books are still there. What do you think?

Books out, 3D printers in for Reinvented US Libraries

How about that headline folks?

From New Scientist:

IN THE small town of Fayetteville in northern New York, you'll find the local library in an old furniture factory dating from the turn of the 20th century. The refurbished building retains hints of its industrial past: wooden floors, exposed beams, walls lined with carefully labelled tools.

But instead of quietly perusing stacks of books, many of the patrons are crowded around a suite of 3D printers. One machine is midway through a pink mobile phone case; another is finishing up a toy sword.
This is Fayetteville's maker lab – and it may very well be the future of libraries.

In 2011, Fayetteville became the first public library in the US to set up a maker lab. Besides 3D printers, the space features a laser cutter, electronics kits, workshop tools, Raspberry Pi computers and an array of sewing machines. It functions somewhere between a classroom and a start-up incubator – a place where people from all over the region can get involved with state-of-the-art technology.

Since the lab opened, similar spaces have been popping up across the country, including in cities like Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Denver and Detroit. According to the American Library Association, about 1 in 6 libraries now dedicates some of its space to maker tools and activities. The New York Public Library – one of the largest in the country – is watching these developments to inform its upcoming renovation.

LISTen: An Program -- Episode #253


Yes, the repercussions from the NSA spying revelations continue. Now we are seeing looming growth in the fracturing of the Internet with the imposition of national boundaries. Even OCLC may be impacted by this. We take a few minutes to discuss the situation and its implications.

A brief news miscellany is also presented.

Related links:

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Mendeley and RefWorks Flow: The next, next generation of citation management software

A decade or so ago, ISI's EndNote bought out most of the competition, practically obtaining a monopoly on the reference manager business. In the early Library 2.0 boom, web-based products like Zotero and CSA's RefWorks became the norm. Thomson Reuters played catch up by introducing EndNote Web, and NoodleBib and other adware/freemium clones cropped up in what is now again a crowded marketplace.

Mendeley, recently purchased by Elsevier, has gained fame by offering social media integration and and sharing cababilities. It notably works on the old Questia model of selling itself directly to individual users, not institutions. ProQuest is also putting the finishing touches on RefWorks Flow, which features similar collaboration tools.

The way these newer products allow users to share articles with peers raises interesting questions about them potentially being used as a new "Napster for subscription journals," especially since they are now both owned by major publishers. See my comment for some more philosophical questions....

The future of the library in the digital age

At 11:00AM EDT today, On Point, WBUR's outstanding NPR show, spends an hour asking, How Can Libraries Survive The Digital Age?

The guests are Anthony Marx, president and CEO of the New York Public Library and Eli Neiburger, associate director of information technology and production at Ann Arbor District Library.

The show is also available later in the day as a podcast.

LISTen: An Program -- Episode #238

This week's program brings a telephone interview with author Dan Flynn of who wrote a piece at The American Spectator that was commented upon by The Annoyed Librarian. After that there are a couple examples provided by federal agencies of how not to do public service announcements.

Google Sites a Good Tool for Libraries to Promote Visual Artists

When a talented young visual artist walked into the public library where I work in Takoma Park, Maryland, I found out he didn't have a web page yet. Easily remedied using Google Sites. The local newspaper, The Gazette, picked up the story in a nice profile article yesterday. Libraries bring hope into the world.


Tools for Reducing and Managing Link Rot in LibGuides

The new issue of code4lib as a interesting article "Tools for Reducing and Managing Link Rot in LibGuides".

From abstract

"This article describes tools for managing links in SpringShare’s LibGuides, a popular web platform for libraries. LibGuides includes a built-in link checker for only some links. Instructions are provided on how to run an automated link checker on all links within a single guide. Persistent Uniform Resource Locators (PURLs), hyperlinks which are maintained centrally and rarely break, are recommended for library electronic resources. Special consideration is given to the fact that many libraries using the LibGuides platform may not have easy access to in-house information technology (IT) personnel. A method is presented for implementing PURLs entirely within the LibGuides platform."

The automated link checker suggested is Xenu Xenu Link Sleuth which is fairly well known though clear instructions are given.

The second part of the article using LibGuides “Redirect URL" feature coupled with "Friendly URL" feature is pretty clever though, allowing you to create a PURL using just Libguides.

Full article here

Aaron Tay

"Fill our Shelves, Suggest a Book!" - Public Libraries in Singapore crowdsource for book recommendations

The public libraries in Singapore (under the National Library board) are holding a "Fill our Shelves, Suggest a Book!" contest from now until 1 July 2012.

They appear to be using the crowdsourcing platform that allows users to sign-in and vote and comments on submissions by others.

CrowdSourcing for book recommendations


As I write this I estimate there are about 1400 submissions (70 pages of submissions, 20 entries per page), of course quite a few are duplicates or suggestion for books the library already owns (e.g Hunger Games Series). The top recommended title right now is "The Dragon Book of Verse" and has over 50 votes.

Prizes will be give for Top 3 Recommenders (most number of suggestions submitted online) and Most popular title in each category (suggested title with most number of votes)

I am a academic librarian, so I was curious to see which academic libraries have done the same using this or similar platforms like Getsatisfaction.

Meebo Messenger, Meebo Me discontinued July 11, 2012

We were expecting this after it was announced Google bought over Meebo, but here's final confirmation.

Of interest to librarians, Meebo Messenger, Meebo Me, Meebo Mobile Apps will be shutting down July 11th, 2012. All embeded widgets will stop working and you can download all chat logs at by July 11, 2012.

For more details see

Meebo Bar will continue but I don't think many libraries use it. Meebo Me widgets of course are used by many libraries to provide IM reference support.

Other free chat widget alternatives exist including AIM, Chatango, Plugoo , Gtalk etc. 

EDIT : Others I see mentioned include Zoho ChatChatWing,  Digsby  Spark 

Depending on your needs you could get away with free accounts on Zopim, Olark etc though you probably will need to pay if you use the service heavily.

Library specific IM reference services exist of course include Libraryh3lp , OCLC's QuestionPoint and SpringShare who offer the popular LibGuides is readying LibChat.

Or perhaps in the age of Skype, Google Hangouts, SMS ref, Twitter & Social Media, IM reference is no longer so necessary?

Are you impacted by the closure of Meebo? Let us know in the comments.

Aaron Tay






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