Here's a neat idea. Ender, Duke of URL has started putting together a Google Map of of libraries in Maricopa County, Arizona. He writes "If anyone has any familiarity with block loading, so that my points could be made to dynamically load in a larger set of cooridinates, or to include uris/urls and links in my text-boxes, I'd appreciate the help. I've been told that after loading up several hundred points it starts to crawl, and you can't put more than a thousand in one map. It'd be cool to contribute towards a nation-wide map of libraries... "
Check out www.fromoldbooks.org
Over 1130 images scanned from more than 90 different old books, most with multiple high-resolution versions and many with text excerpts! They are mostly public domain (copyright-free, out of copyright) here in Canada, and often in other countries too, unless otherwise noted, and can be used as historical reference in teaching, royalty-free stock images, scrapbook clip art, or even on your own Web site (learn how). You can also get them on CD-ROM, or can donate money to encourage Liam to scan more images, or to help pay for the books.
Click here: Oddcast TTS Demo, text to speech conversion plus translations into any of thirteen languages.
You get to try it a few times before you are directed to their website should you wish to 'integrate our speaking characters into your web pages and web applications'.
So how many of you freaky librarians asked Kate to say something 'slightly off-color', hmm?
The AGORA program, set up by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) together with major publishers, enables developing countries to gain access to an outstanding digital library collection in the fields of food, agriculture, environmental science and related social sciences. AGORA provides a collection of 849 journals to institutions in 69 countries. AGORA is designed to enhance the scholarship of the many thousands of students, faculty and researchers in agriculture and life sciences in the developing world.
LibrErica writes: "Last fall, people from all 50 states contributed more than 22,000 smart, creative ideas for strengthening the economy and improving life for working men and women and their families during the SEIU's idea contest for the best idea since sliced bread. Three winners were selected, but the contest administrators don't want all those other ideas to go to waste. Sinceslicedbread.com is seeking volunteer taggers so that the ideas can be easily accessed by subject, allowing policy makers, government officials and citizens to find ideas about education or the environment, for instance. Classifying information into subject headings is something that librarians are uniquely qualified to do. Librarians to the rescue! If you have a spare moment, won't you visit and tag an idea or two ?"
It's possible I've pointed to John Kupersmith's Library Terms That Users Understand before, but if you missed it the first time, be sure to have a look. This site is intended to help library web developers decide how to label key resources and services in such a way that most users can understand them well enough to make productive choices. It serves as a clearinghouse of usability test data evaluating terminology on library websites, and suggests test methods and best practices for reducing cognitive barriers caused by terminology.
Cstout writes: "In my efforts to find instances of direct cooperation between the American Library Association (ALA) and the American Civil Liberties Association (ACLU) I discovered Libraryprivacy.org. A joint project of the California Library Association and the ACLU of Southern California, the website is an excellent resource for libraries nationwide to take action against the USA PATRIOT Act.
"The groups, 'believe that these new powers violate the basic tenets of intellectual freedom, that library users should have the right to read free of surveillance, and that a high wall of privacy should be re-established around an individual's private library records.'
"Included on the site are links to articles about the impact of the PATRIOT Act on library privacy, resolutions against the act and a 'Take Action' section that calls for support of amending the Act to protect library use privacy. This is an excellent resource for us in the librarian profession concerned about the privacy and protection of our patrons.
"No one has ever proven that terrorists used library materials or equipment in support of their activities. What has been proven though, is that the Bush administration has no problem secretly spying on American Citizens. The PATRIOT Act just makes it easier. Let's help the ACLU in their efforts to protect our freedom."
Kelly writes "Check out this very interesting web site, "The Neglected Books Page." As they state, "Here you'll find lists of thousands of books that have been neglected, overlooked, forgotten, or stranded by changing tides in critical or popular taste. Many are, or were at the time they were suggested, out of print, and prior to the introduction of the Internet and handy services such as AddALL, Alibris, and Amazon, a reader looking for an out-of-print title was forced to hunt for it one bookstore or dealer at a time."
Anonymous Patron writes "Librarians Without Borders, an organization that was born in February 2005 by a group of socially-minded MLIS students, has redesigned their Web site. The goal of the organization is to address the vast information resource inequity existing between different regions of the world."
Their first international project is in Angola...check it out.
Eric Lease Morgan recently had the opportunity to visit Zagreb (Croatia) to give a presentation at a national library conference on the topic of open source software. From what he saw, librarianship in Croatia is similar to librarianship in the United States except the profession does not seem to be graying. From a cultural point of view, Croatia is a mixture of old and new providing opportunities for a great deal of diversity.
You can view his travel log, or some images.