Internet

Libraries: Good Value, Lousy Marketing According to Pew Research Study

Results of a recent Pew Research Study are reported in Publishers Weekly.

The singular most important finding in the latest Pew study, Library Services in the Digital Age, is that libraries—in the opinion of most Americans—aren’t just about books. 80% of U.S. residents say that lending books is a “very important” service, but they rate the help they get from reference librarians as equally important. And nearly the same number, 77%, reported that free access to technology and the Internet is also very important. This triumvirate—books, help, and technology—runs through the entire report.

Could the library brand—historically bound to book borrowing—be undergoing a transformation? In the last major study of users, OCLC’s Perception of Libraries, 2010, patrons were asked to associate the first thing that came to mind when they thought of libraries. And for 75% of the respondents, the answer was books. While Pew didn’t play the same association game, it seems that Pew’s users have a more nuanced take on the library’s role.

The Pew study is based on landline and cell phone interviews conducted in English and Spanish, with a nationally representative sample of 2,252 people ages 16 and older. It could be that the study tapped into a younger demographic who make greater use of library technology. Or perhaps the recession, which has forced millions to rediscover libraries, was a catalyst for users to take fuller advantage of what the library offers.

Copy of the results of this latest study here. According to the authors "Patrons embrace new technologies – and would welcome more. But many still want printed books to hold their central place."

LISTen: An LISNews.org Program -- Episode #229

This week's episode looks around the LISHost galaxy while looking at some ambiguous information in a speculative manner.

Related links:

Download here (MP3) (Ogg Vorbis), or subscribe to the podcast (MP3) to have episodes delivered to your media player. We suggest subscribing by way of a service like gpodder.net. A way to send gifts of replacement hardware to Erie Looking Productions is available here via Amazon, as always.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/us/.

Scholrly: another attempt at academic search?

scholr.ly: Research, fine-tuned.
The first users in the early days of the Internet were professors and academics who shared their research and resources with unprecedented ease and speed. But nowadays, there is a dearth of lovingly crafted tools made for those who first popularized the Internet.
[VIA]

Building a State-of-the-Art Speller

Bing Search Quality Insights: "Is it Swarzinegar, Swarneger, Scwarznagger or Schwartiznegar? These are just a few of more than 2,000 different ways users on Bing have typed their queries in hope of searching for “Schwarzenegger.” The aim of the Bing Speller is to correct these queries so users receive relevant web results that match their intent even when their query is misspelt. A great speller makes a search engine feel like magic to the users. In this blog my colleague Jim Kleban provides an overview of Bing Speller technology with some examples of recent improvements we just shipped in December."

Library of Congress has amassed 170 billion tweets

The Library of Congress says it's amassed about 170 billion tweets since it began collecting an archive of all Twitter messages in 2010.
Twitter is donating its archive to the library, going back to the first one posted in 2006.

The Joint New Year's Eve Special

In concert with the team behind the Ubuntu UK Podcast, the Air Staff at Erie Looking Productions presented via WBCQ a New Year's Eve special broadcast via shortwave radio. Now that the show has finished being broadcast, it is being made available for download.

Download here (MP3). You can subscribe to the podcast (MP3) to have episodes delivered to your media player. We suggest subscribing by way of a service like gpodder.net. Stephen's shopping list of items to replace hardware damaged and destroyed due to adverse circumstances over the past week, which includes requiring replacement of our dead in-house server with a lower-powered Raspberry Pi at this point, can be found here where direct purchasing is possible to send the items directly to the Air Staff.

Creative Commons License
The Joint New Year's Eve Special produced by Gloria Kellat of the Air Staff of Erie Looking Productions is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

What Turned Jaron Lanier Against the Web?

Silicon Valley visionary, pioneer of virtual reality, recants his faith in Web 2.0: "You can draw an analogy to what happened with communism, where at some point you just have to say there’s too much wrong with these experiments”

Full article - Smithsonian Magazine

The Web We Lost

Post discussing the philosophy underpinning Facebook, Twitter., etc, and what web users have lost by adopting it.

The Web We Lost

Dec. 10, 1944: Web Visionary Passes Into Obscurity

Wired's This Day in Tech Blog remembers Paul Otlet and his dream of organizing the world's information. Sound familiar?

"Some historians see in Otlet’s work a prototype of the World Wide Web and the hyperlink. Although unsuccessful, it was one of the first known attempts to provide a framework for connecting all recorded culture by creating flexible links that could rapidly lead researchers from one document to another — and perhaps make audible the previously unheard echoes between them."

Browser Wars Flare Again, on Little Screens

And as the cloud grows more integral, both for businesses and people, the browser companies are engaged in a new battle to win our allegiance that will affect how we use the Internet.

It’s an echo of the so-called browser wars of the 1990s, when Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator fought for dominance on the personal computer. This time, though, the struggle is shaping up to be over which company will control the mobile world — with browsers on smartphones and tablets. Entrenched businesses are at stake. Google’s browser-based business apps, for instance, threaten Microsoft’s desktop software, and mobile Web apps threaten Apple’s App Store.

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