Theory

Greenstone 2.81 Released

David Bainbridge from the Greenstone team posted a release noting that a new version of the package was released. Greenstone originates from New Zealand at the University of Waikato. Relative to the changes in the new release, Bainbridge wrote:

The main focus has been on multilingual support. Improvements include handling filenames that include non-ASCII characters, accent folding switched on by default for Lucene, and character based segmentation for CJK languages.

This release also features our new installer, which is 100% open source. Previously we had relied on a commercial program for this, which incurred a significant cost in keeping up to date; consequently we decided to develop our own installer, based on the excellent open source installer toolkits already available.

There are many other significant additions in this release, such as the Fedora Librarian Interface (analogous to GLI, but working with a Fedora repository). See the release notes for the complete details.

The post gives details on downloading the release as well as daily builds.

Is the Internet The Start of History?

Philosophically inclined to view the arrival of the internet as the 'beginning of history'? Here's a column by Calvin Ross of the Napa Valley Register which views the internet as a critical mileage marker of civilization.

From the article: "I’d like to propose my own theory that the Internet may in fact be a kind of new beginning of history, if one thinks of history as the chronicling of human events and accomplishments.
I marvel that we know anything at all about history and even prehistory — that period before writing was developed — and I have the greatest respect for historians, archeologists, anthropologists and librarians who have built and maintained the public records and archives that comprise our knowledge of human and natural events.

I am, however, suggesting that since the advent of the Internet the record of human events is extraordinarily more dense and complete than ever before, and there’s every reason to believe that from now on the record of human achievement will be chronicled on a massive scale. Until the end of time we will have access to more ways of learning about who we are and where we have been."

Reisinger on "Holograms"

Don Reisinger wrote in his column about CNN's recent use of "hologram" technology in covering election events Tuesday night. Reisinger, a tech writer, expounded his view that CNN's move wasn't so hot. Reisinger also presented some behind-the-scenes views on how the technique is implemented.

Everything I needed to know about library policy I learned from "generation kill"

Aaron "Boot Camp" Schmidt: "Doing things like knowing people’s names when they approach the circ desk and starting to check them out even before they have time to find their library card are a part of creating a good experience. And because we spent the time detailing exactly how we can best serve our patrons, no one has to break any rules to do it. The ability to provide good customer service is built in to our procedures."

Are you really doing anything in your library?

Christopher Harris wonders Are you really doing anything in your library? What are you telling people that you are doing in your library? This might be a better question to ask yourself. Now, more than ever, it is critical to remember that there is indeed a difference between what you are doing and what others know you are doing. Libraries of all types need to spread the word about what they are doing. We need to take ownership of the expertise that we possess and the valuable services we provide.

But isn't all of this just some marketing mumbo-jumbo? Does it really matter?

Target of "Anonymous" changes

Cade Metz reports in The Register about a hacking attempt made upon the personal Yahoo! Mail account of Sarah Palin. The online activist group known as "Anonymous" which previously targeted the Church of Scientology has now turned its sights on Mrs. Palin. The pilfered files are available at WikiLeaks.

Those seeking e-mail encryption tools can find such at the GNU with GNU Privacy Guard. A variety of guides by the NSA in configuring systems securely can be found online as well. Both can be useful in answering patron questions if patrons have fears rooted in the story.

National Explainer: A Job for [Librarians] on the Demand Side of [Life]

This Post Over At PressThink got me to wondering about how "we" could work as "National Explainers." Who is "we"? Librarians? Bloggers? Both.

This American Life's great mortgage crisis explainer, The Giant Pool of Money, suggests that "information" and "explanation" ought to be reversed in our order of thought. Especially as we contemplate new news systems.
1. The Giant Pool of Money: Greatest Explainer Ever Heard
2. Explanation leads to information, not the other way around
3. A case of demand without supply?
4. Start with clueless journalists!

Invisibility Cloak Metamaterial Could Speed Up The Net

One of the big stories circulating around the web is that scientists are working on an invisibility cloak that bends light around it kinda like the Predator.

Turns out that the metamaterial used for this cloak might also have implications for the future of the online world. Tonnes of data is transmitted every second by light waves in fibre optic cables. When these light waves get where they're going, they have to be spread out and processed by bulky equipment. In the grand scheme of computing, this is a fairly slow process.

It could be sped up. Now if only there were something capable of spreading large amounts of light around it, kind of like the materials you'd need to make an invisibility cloak.

More from the Beeb.

Can the Elliott Wave Predict Library Usage Patterns?

Eric Schnell Wonders Can the Elliott Wave Predict Library Usage Patterns?

Assuming that there is something to the principle, I wonder if one looks at circulation, gate count, interlibrary loan, reference transactions if the Elliott Wave will show itself.

Would tenure pressures in public libraries make good changes?

rudibrarian Wonders Would tenure pressures in public libraries make good changes?

To make clear my assumption here: since public librarians are not pushed to produce in the same ways that tenure track academic librarians are pushed, little time, space, resources are provided to resolving thorny issues in public librarianship. Or so it seems?

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