Document Management

The Contemporary Analog to Jarndyce v Jarndyce

France24 reports that an appellate court has suspended the Google Books lawsuit proceedings.

See also this literary piece...

Help! Floor to Ceiling Books in Saskatchewan

UPI reports: Shaunna Raycraft is lost in a mountain of books. (CBC)What began as a book rescue mission has become a literary nightmare for a Pike Lake, Sask., woman.

Shaunna Raycraft took over a collection of 350,000 books when a neighbour threatened to burn them after her collector husband passed away.

But now Raycraft and her own husband don't know what to do with all the books and are forced to contemplate burning some books themselves.

Raycraft said she was amazed when she first set eyes on the massive collection kept by their neighbours on a nearby acreage. "There was a house floor-to-ceiling with books," said Raycraft. "He was the collector; she had tried to get someone to appraise the books but they wouldn't come out [to the rural setting]."

"She didn't know how to deal with them so she started to burn them," Raycraft explained. But the Raycrafts are book lovers and couldn't stand the sight of them being destroyed. Some of the books appear to be old and quite rare. "There was a first edition copy of Black Beauty on the top pile and the bottom was all charred off [from being burned] but the top was just immaculate," she said.

What to do?? Ideas anyone?

Stanford University's 'Bookless' Library

From the New Yorker's Book Bench: Amid all the fuss over Stanford University’s announcement that they are unveiling a bookless library (is it the wave of the future? A sign of the literary apocalypse?), everyone seemed to be missing one rather obvious point: when it opens in August it will, in spite of the misleading nomenclature, contain books.

True, the new physics and engineering library will house eighty-five percent fewer books, but it isn’t some sort of thought experiment (if a tree falls in a forest with no one to hear, will it still make a noise? If a library contains no books, is it still a library?) or Borgesian symbol. In fact, it isn’t even a sign of the end of books; it’s a result of schools being so overcrowded with them. According to the San Jose Mercury News, Stanford buys the equivalent of two hundred and seventy-three books a day. As you can imagine, that adds up to an awful lot of shelf space and, as a result, Stanford has been forced to move many of their titles to storage facilities miles away

Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2010/07/the-dawn-of-the-bookless-library.html#ix... ...and listen to the NPR story on the 'bookless library'. The library opens August 2.

Dept. of Justice Still Unhappy With Revised Google Book Search Settlement

It appears that there are at least couple of companies in the book biz that are too big for their britches as the saying goes.

Publishers Weekly reports: The Department of Justice dealt a serious blow Thursday evening to the chances that the Google Book Search settlement will gain court approval later this month when it found that the revised agreement still raises class certification, copyright and antitrust issues. The DOJ said that despite “good faith” efforts to modify the agreement, “the amended settlement agreement suffers from the same core problem as the original agreement: it is an attempt to use the class action mechanism to implement forward-looking business arrangements that go far beyond the dispute before the court in this litigation."

Not Just Some National Geographic, All Of It

It's the bane of many a public librarian. The phone rings, you answer it, and then politely decline the caller's offer to donate the last 60 years of National Georgraphic magazine to your library.

"Yes, I'm sure they're in fine condition. Oh? Been in your mother-in-law's house for the last 60 years huh? Yes, I know you want to help out, but we've got several years of it already. Yes, sir I can tell you're happy she's dead but we just don't have any use for that many magazines. No, actually they're not all that valuable - you do realize they print several hundred thousand at a time, right? Yes, so they're not exactly rare or anything."

Now there's a much easier way to get every single issue of National Geographic from the last 120 years and it doesn't involve any donations. You can buy it on its very own hard drive. That's right, you can get every issue of National Geographic since the dawn of humankind on a 160 GB external drive. As a bonus, the collection only takes up 60 GB, so you've got another 100GB to do with as you please.

I wonder if that'd be enough room for every issue of Popular Mechanics...

Digital Library of India

Access: Digital Library of India http://dli.iiit.ac.in/index.html
The MBP when completed will produce approximately 250 million pages or 500 billion characters of information. The storage requirements for the image files will be approximately 50 terabytes an order of magnitude larger than any publicly available information base. Creating and managing such a vast information base poses many technological challenges and provides a fertile test bed for innovative research in many areas (described below). The MBP is a multi-agency, multi-national effort that will require the database to be globally distributed. For location independent access, this globally distributed database should appear to be a virtual central database from any place around the world. Mirroring the database in several countries will ensure security and availability. The network speeds at the various nodes would be different. Research in distributed caching and active networks would be needed to ensure that the look and feel of the database is the same from any location.

See: Million Book Project http://dli.iiit.ac.in/

Digitizing the Grateful Dead

Deadheads rejoice! UC Santa Cruz has received a major grant to help digitize the Grateful Dead Archive at the University Library.

The campus was awarded a National Leadership Grant of $615,175 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)--the primary source of federal funds for the nation’s museums and libraries, one of fifty-one such grants awarded this year.

The grant will enable the UCSC Library to digitize materials from its Grateful Dead Archive and make them available in a unique and cutting-edge web site titled, “The Virtual Terrapin Station.” Report from UCSC.

Digital age and devices

In continuation of my blog entry last Friday, I have thought about the implication of digital device use in educational and other forums. As more and more information is made available in a digital format, I believe that equations about no cell phone, laptops, etc. during class (or other forums) is going to have to evolve even more than it has. It is interesting that some people expressed a reaction to Representative Cantor's use of a Blackberry during President' Obama's speech as similar to a student goofing off during a lecture or perhaps cheating during an exam, instead of possibly reading supporting documentation and taking notes (I do so with my Blackberry for important topics at meetings so I don't then have to fumble through various notebooks trying to find what I wrote). I wonder what kind of rules of conduct the Senate and House of Representatives have on digital device usage?

Two Institutional Repository Providers Merge

An announcement dated today notes that the entities behind DSpace and Fedora Commons have merged. The new organization will be called Duraspace and will compete against other packages such as Greenstone which most recently announced that it ported its package to Android after making such work on iPods.

(h/t pmlozeau)

'But I Want Encyclopedias' Says British Library Patron in Letter to the Editor

"I couldn’t believe it. Oswestry Library (UK) no longer stocks encyclopedias. Before the refurbishment, it had both the Encyclopedia Britannia and the World Encyclopedia, the latter beautifully printed and in some respects the better of the two.

The librarian told me that encyclopedias were “old fashioned” (tantamount to saying that books were passe, old hat) and I’d have to go online. Well call me a Luddite if you like (I had an IT bypass yonks ago) but at 68 I’ve no desire to tangle with new technology." More from the Shropshire Star.

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