Theory

Keyword searching is not organized knowledge

Organizing knowledge

At the LITA forum Karen Coyle stated that classification and knowledge organization seem to have fallen off the library profession's radar. She says we have spent considerable amounts of time and money on making modifications to our cataloging rules (four times in about fifty years), but the discussion of how we organize information for our users has waned. She illustrates what is at least her impression of this through some searches done against Google Books using its nGram service.

The End of Big Ideas?

to The Elusive Big Idea, from the NYTimes.

Lankes adds...

"People think the Internet is the enemy of libraries. It is in fact a great boon. Not only can librarians do their jobs better, the abundant information on the web makes people curious – a prime motivator of library use. No the enemies of libraries is the twin dilemma posed by anti-intellectuals on one hand, and the small thinking hipster on the other."

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Codebook Shows an Encryption Form Dates Back to Telegraphs

If not for a computer scientist’s hobby of collecting old telegraph codebooks, a crucial chapter in modern cryptography might have been lost to history.

The collector is Steven M. Bellovin, a professor of computer science at the Columbia University School of Engineering and a former computer security researcher at AT&T Bell Laboratories. On a recent trip to Washington he found himself with a free afternoon and decided to spend it at the Library of Congress, looking for codebooks that weren’t in his collection.

Full article:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/26/science/26code.html?_r=1&ref=technology

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Librarians are Revolutionaries and Society Needs Us

Amy Buckland: the talk i meant to give:
"Believing in access to information as a human right means fighting for our communities. fighting to make sure the digital divide continues to shrink. fighting for privacy for our users. fighting against the entire concept of censorship. and lately, fighting for libraries. so this is my call to arms. librarians are revolutionaries, and society needs us. and no i don’t mean killing all the things with fire. true thought leaders, true revolutionaries, are willing to overthrow the system, or join it, if that’s what works best for their community."

Confronting the Future: Strategic Visions for the 21st Century Public Library

Confronting the Future: Strategic Visions for the 21st Century Public Library [PDF]
The report explores how emerging technologies combined with challenges, such as financial constraints as well as shifts in the nature and needs of library users, require libraries to evolve rapidly and make strategic decisions today that will influence their future for decades to come.

ALA President Roberta Stevens said OITP’s brief clearly lays out why public libraries are in the midst of a true revolution.

“The most recent development – the rapid growth in e-book usage – is another example of the fundamental changes affecting libraries. Such changes present many new opportunities for serving the public as well as challenges in how to best serve them,” Stevens said.

Avoiding The future of libraries and research being decided by Google

Great Post from Karen Coyle:
"It's not enough for libraries to gather, store and preserve huge masses of information resources. We have to be actively engaged with users and potential users, and that engagement includes providing ways for them to find and to use the resources libraries have. We must provide the entry point that brings users to information materials without that access being mediated through a commercial revenue model."

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Why Don't More Authors and Publishers 'Get' Libraries?

If you're on twitter and you're a book person, you probably follow @glecharles, aka Guy LeCharles Gonzalez, the LoudPoet. If not, you should.

Here's a bit from a recent post from his blog:

Beyond all of the philosophical reasons to support libraries, there are three very concrete reasons I can think of:

  • Discoverability: With the volume of books being published each year growing exponentially, it’s increasingly difficult for any book to rise above the noise and connect with its audience. While “curation” is the buzzword du jour, librarians have been curating books forever, and there are far more libraries than bookstores in this country. Most library websites are better than your average independent booksellers’, too, and as ebooks become increasingly popular, being visible on more than Amazon, B&N and Goodreads will be a critical advantage. As ebook business models evolve, direct partnerships with libraries become an option, too, like the recent innovative deal between the Colorado Independent Publishers Association and Douglas County Libraries.
  • When old cliches were new

    When old cliches were new
    " For Barlow, we can be natives of the future through desire and understanding. Being a native is an act of will, not an accident of birth. Likewise, being born after a certain date doesn’t make one a native of the future. It requires opportunity and imagination. Information wants to be free only because it also wants to be expensive. Digital natives are born, but natives of the future need to recreate ourselves again and again."

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    The Economics of Digitization: An Agenda for NSF

    A Very Defiant Duckling Named Ender sent over The Economics of Digitization: An Agenda for NSF [PDF] by By Shane Greenstein, Josh Lerner, and Scott Stern. He added " Which might be a key place for librarians to fit into."

    Our starting point is the gap between research and recent changes brought about by
    digitization. The increasing creation, support, use, and consumption of digital representation of
    information touched a wide breadth of economic activities. In less than a generation digitization
    has transformed social interactions, facilitated entirely new industries and undermined others,
    and reshaped the ability of people –consumers, job seekers, managers, government officials, and
    citizens – to access and leverage information.

    Commensurable Nonsense (Transliteracy)

    Commensurable Nonsense (Transliteracy)

    Rothman, what’s your problem? Why are you picking on those nice transliteracy people?
    I’m not. I’m picking on their ideas and their writing. Their writing because it is awful and their ideas because…well…I think they have no new ideas.

    The world changes as technology changes. Education and libraries adapt (well or poorly, but they adapt). There’s nothing new here. There’s no need for a new movement, a new term, or so much discussion about nothing.

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