Theory

Human Markup Language

OASIS, the XML interoperability consortium, has founded a committee to develop methods for describing human characteristics through XML:

The OASIS HumanMarkup Technical Committee (TC) will work to develop Human Markup Language (HumanML), a schema for embedding contextual human characteristics -- cultural, social, kinesic (body language), psychological and intentional features -- within information. OASIS said HumanML would have applications in artificial intelligence, virtual reality, conflict resolution, psychotherapy, art, workflow, advertising, cultural dialogue, agent systems, diplomacy and business negotiation. . .

More from Internet News . Thanks to Slashdot.

How and Why Are Libraries Changing?

Denise A. Troll, Distinguished Fellow at the Digital Library Federation has a draft of How and Why Are Libraries Changing? posted.

\"The purpose of this paper is to initiate discussion among a small group of university and college library directors being convened by the Digital Library Federation (DLF) and the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) to explore how and why libraries and library use are changing. This exploration is envisioned as the first step in a larger initiative that includes conducting research and presenting the research results to library directors, their provosts, presidents and faculty.\"

Sometimes I think Cam wants to be a librarian.

Growing pains for the Information Age

Brian Surratt writes \"The New York Times has an interesting article today about how scientists are (again) debating the nature of information. The article states that simple sets of information can create complex systems because of the way data relates to itself. For example, simple genomic information results in complex organisims. The article is Here but the NYT requires registration to access the site. \"

Mistakes and Failures at the Desk

Don Warner Saklad passed along Mistakes and Failures at the Reference Desk By Lydia Olszak
This study, based on data collected through observation and structured interviews, explores the incidence of mistakes and failures by reference staff in an academic library. Three main questions are addressed: (1) what actions or behaviors constitute a mistake or failure? (2) what techniques are used by reference staff to alert each other of mistakes? and (3) do mistakes at the reference desk conform with the typology developed by Bosk in his study of medical mistakes? Results suggest that reference librarians must deal with competing goals and that providing a correct answer may not be the most important goal for every transaction.

A Reluctant Father of the Digital Age

MIT\'s Technology Review profiles the pioneering information theorist Claude Shannon:

The entire science of information theory grew out of one electrifying paper that Shannon published in 1948, when he was a 32-year-old researcher at Bell Laboratories. Shannon showed how the once-vague notion of information could be defined and quantified with absolute precision. He demonstrated the essential unity of all information media, pointing out that text, telephone signals, radio waves, pictures, film and every other mode of communication could be encoded in the universal language of binary digits, or bits—a term that his article was the first to use in print. Shannon laid forth the idea that once information became digital, it could be transmitted without error. This was a breathtaking conceptual leap that led directly to such familiar and robust objects as CDs. Shannon had written \"a blueprint for the digital age,\" says MIT information theorist Robert Gallager, who is still awed by the 1948 paper.

A statue of Claude Shannon was erected in his hometown of Gaylord, Michigan on October 6, 2000.

Hate Reading Books? It\'s in the Genes

Hoser Yahoo was one place with a story on This Study that isn\'t exactly library related, but I can\'t resist.

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology ran a study called \"The Heritability of Attitudes: A Study of Twins\". They studied the genetic basis of individual differences in attitudes in twins. The study found that genetic factors accounted for 35 percent of the variation in attitudes, while environmental factors accounted for 65 percent.
And, yes, this included reading.

Why does feminism matter in LIS Studies?

Found This Interesting paper by Kirsten Anderson on why feminism does matter in Library and Information Studies.

Some of her points include, Feminism is for everybody, The status of women and the status of librarianship, Female intensive, but not female dominant and Gender division of labour.

Check it Out.

Higher Access Rates Good For Libraries?

AOL announced that it is raising its monthly fee to $23.90, its first price hike in more than three years, and This News.com story says that competitors such as EarthLink won\'t be far behind in trying to boost rates.I\'ve seen elsewhere that DSL and Cable Modem companies are raising rates as well.

According to a recent survey by Telecommunications Reports International, the number of U.S. homes with Internet access dropped slightly during the first quarter of 200 (Let\'s just ass-u-me it\'s accurate).

So... Does all this point to more people using their friendly neighborhood library to access the internet, and if so, is this even good for libraries?

Classic and Neo- Information

This week\'s Library Juice has an editorial called Classic and neo- information, about how the concept of information has changed without much notice, and about the implications of the change. Classic information is what\'s found in reference materials (for example), and neo-information includes anything that can be carried by an electronic signal. Values that apply to classic information are being used to support neo-information, and the failure to make the distinction has contributed to confusion about librarianship\'s future.

Unwritten Knowledge

Lee Hadden Writes:\" The March 29, 2001 issue of Nature has an interesting article by Jared
Diamond on \"Unwritten Knowledge: Preliterate societies depend on the wise
words of the older generation,\" Vol. 410, page 521.


Quotes from the article include: \"For us moderns, all information
essential to survival is transmitted in writing. We cannot conceive of a
preliterate society\'s absolute dependence on old people as the equivalent
of libraries.\" or \"We don\'t know, let\'s ask the old man (or woman).\"


You may purchase this article fro $7.00 if you do not already have an
account with Nature or access to it in your local library. Further
information is available at: nature.com\"

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