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The AP reports that financial shortfalls are causing Texas libraries to drop two popular databases from its collections: HeritageQuest and STAT!Ref. The two sites are primarily used for research by genealogists and medical students.
There may be a slight reprieve however, as the Dallas Morning News reports that library officials are starting a fund-raising campaign to keep the databases on-line.
Anonymous Patron shares this story with us.
"Industry experts have renewed their warning that the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, which comes into force next January, will place major new pressures on information professionals.
"The issues are as much cultural as technical or legal," said Guy Daines, principal policy officer at CILIP.
"The whole organisation needs to be aware of its responsibilities, otherwise it risks failing to comply with the Act."
Experts agree that librarians need to reassess their view on the information they hold.
"The library stock is information," said Martin Hughes, an FOI officer for the Scottish information commissioner, saying users will have rights of access to that data."
Pete sends "This BBC report which states that according to reports in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, science is the most interconnected of all human activities, and requires a new series of maps to chart the changing scientific landscape.Knowledge has left books and libraries and is now changing more rapidly than ever before, say researchers."
Cliff Urr writes "An article to pass on - urgently, asap - to your library administration, board or senior management! This superb article is distinguished by its sharing *much facts and figures* on what the author calls "information disasters" in terms of dollars and cents, as well as the human and even tragic costs of bad or insufficient information. This article is published in a journal that caters to an industry that seeks to provide software solutions to these problems, but I think most of what is stated in the article can be used to justify the critical need for capable and well-trained librarians just as much, or more so,, to deal with these problems."
The Technical Advisory Service for Images published this article about searching for images. The article describes how hard it is to find images and gives search strategies for finding the image you want. A very informative and useful article.
madcow writes "An academic at Swarthmore gives a pretty succinct critique of the problems of information overload and the library catalog. "Iâ€™m to the point where I think weâ€™d be better off to just utterly erase our existing academic catalogs and forget about backwards-compatibility...""
rteeter writes "On a day when a magnitude 6.5 quake hit California comes word that Earthquake Engineering Abstracts, which had been a free database at UC Berkeley, will soon become a fee-based database at Cambridge Scientific Abstracts."
David Dillard invites us to read his lengthy post on NetGold about how search engines, while not the end-all of research, do have their place in scholarly information retrieval. Specifically, he was looking for references to the term "Tourismification" in order to respond to a discussion thread in a sociology forum. He had no luck with the social science databases he normally turns to, but Google found him paydirt: Notice the Google search picked up in the
first ten records sampled mostly scholarly work.... Peer reviewed literature may be much more palitable [sic] to the academic scholar in terms of
its academic ethnic heritage, and the World Wide Web may be viewed as having been raised on the bad side of town. Nevertheless, not looking at
all possible search tools for a topic, particularly a hard to find topic may only result in impoverishment of the search result, and we all know that low income can send publications to live in the bad side of town.