Over at Hangingtogether, Roy has posted In the Hall of the Mountain King, an inside tour of the OCLC computing and monitoring facilities. It includes a ten Petabyte tape backup, 180 Terabytes of disks, the WorldCat servers, and the infrastructure supporting Open WorldCat. "Taking a lesson from Google, this set of processors running in parallel is capable of providing millisecond response times by dividing up the index across multiple nodes and merging the results. Using commodity hardware from Dell and open source system software (SUSE Linux), OCLC is working at reducing infrastructure costs while maximizing performance."
Borders Group is "honoring America's teachers" by giving a 25% discount on regularly priced books, CDs, DVDs, gift and stationery and cafe items for classroom or personal use from tomorrow, September 26, through Tuesday, October 2.
Current and retired teachers, librarians, professors, homeschoolers and other educators are eligible for the Educator Savings Week. As part of the event, Borders is donating $50,000 to its literacy partner, First Book, which provides reading material to children whose families can't easily afford books.
Borders is holding receptions for educators at its superstores on Friday, 4-8 p.m. For more information about Educator Savings Week, go to Borders Media.
Margot Reiss writes "Brand new Web Based School and Library Administration site now up. Has been successfully beta-tested by private elementary school and professional librarian. Do complete school admin. (track students, books read, catalogue inventory, schedule classes, rosters, grades) and more!"
Questia Media Inc. has made its online library of more than 5,000 classic books free to the public.
Here's the company line..."We have a treasure trove of material we wanted to share with the world," said Tim Harris, chief executive of Questia. "These are some of the greatest and most influential books ever written. We felt that only giving our paid subscribers access to these books is a disservice to the Internet community as a whole. Now everyone can read them."
Amazon.com is experimenting with selling and delivering fresh produce and other grocery items to customers on Mercer Island, near its Seattle, WA headquarters, according to the AP and the Seattle Post Intelligencer. Offerings do not include books.
The Ohio-based Online Computer Library Center Inc. has become the sole shareholder of the European library network it has worked with for 30 years.
OCLC said Tuesday is purchased the remaining 40 percent of shares in OCLC Pica Group BV, a European supplier of library software and services. OCLC in 2000 purchased 60 percent of the shares in Pica, a Dutch library service provider that later became incorporated as OCLC Pica Group in 2002.
In honor of National Library Week 2007 (April 15-21), Thomson Gale is launching librareo, an online community for libraries and the people who love them. To make certain librareo gets off to a great start, from April 15 until the end of June, librareo will host a very unique contest - the "I Love my Library" video contest.
Here's how you enter to win:
Make a video no shorter than 30 seconds but no longer than two-minutes professing a deep, abiding love of libraries, librarians and those who depend on them. Load the video to the librareo group on YouTube before midnight EST on Friday, May 25, 2007.
...and here's the PR Web announcement with even more details. Get those video cameras out!
Somebody writes "Linux.com: The open source movement and libraries have a lot in common, not the least of which is the belief in free and open access to ideas and information. Yet, until recently, libraries have been slow to switch to open source software. Libraries have highly specialized software needs because the library community has developed its own complex standards and protocols to facilitate things like interlibrary loan, meta data sharing, and federated searching. Until recently, lack of commercial support made implementing open source unfeasible for libraries without an IT staff. Also, open source alternatives weren't perceived as scalable or feature-rich enough to handle the complex needs of most libraries. Now, commercial support has facilitated new levels of collaboration between libraries through sponsored development."
Somebody writes "Some of you may know Leslie Burger, the president of the American Library Association has a blog. Her Vendor Victim post from a few months ago caught my eye. She posted it back in September, so it's not quite a "Resolution" but it's an interesting statement coming from someone in her position:
"So my new vow is to no longer play the victim or to be held hostage to vendors who choose not to respond to my library's problems. I'm hiring the talent I need to solve the problems."