Knowledge Management

Knowledge Management

Libraries as Buckets

<a href="" title="At the well by zzzmarcus, on Flickr"><img src="" width="500" height="375" alt="At the well"></a> In his introduction to participants at the <a href="">5th Rizal Library International Conference</a> (RLIC), which was held at the <a href="">Ateneo de Manila University</a> last

Librarian's Web Site About the Metropolitan Opera Taken Down

The tale sounded like Goliath raising his heel to crush a spunky David. The Metropolitan Opera, irked by regular disclosure of its programming, far into the future, on a Web site’s page, asked its operator to cease and desist.

The script might have called for a First Amendment battle, heels dug in, lawyers engaged, acid news releases. Instead, with nary a peep, the Web site’s author — Bradley E. Wilber, a college librarian in upstate New York, film buff and crossword puzzle constructor — graciously agreed to discontinue that page. The Met offered inducements, but he accepted only the promise of opera tickets for his next trip to the city.

“I didn’t want to get into trading a lot of stuff for my compliance,” Mr. Wilber said in a telephone interview on Wednesday. “It’s really just a nice gesture.” Mr. Wilber’s opera page on his Web site was called Met Futures and dealt with subject matter that was seemingly obscure to much of the world but to opera fans was like red meat for hungry tigers. Mr. Wilber, 41, managed to sketch out the operas being planned by the Met, their casts and conductors often five or six years into the future. The subject is of passionate interest to opera buffs, who want to know whether their favorite singers are coming back, who is out of favor, what works are being revived from long ago and which operas are receiving new productions.

Mendeley Offers $10,001 for Best New Research Tool

From the Chronicle of Higher Ed
March 8, 2011, 4:32 pm
By Ben Wieder

The developers of Mendeley, a research-management tool that has more than a million users, want to put more than 70 million academic papers, reader recommendations, and social-networking tags to new and innovative uses. The company announced Tuesday its “Binary Battle,” a contest for outside developers to build applications drawing from Mendeley’s collected information, with a $10,001 grand prize for the best new application.

Wikipedia Storm Watch

I've been reading Alex Wright's Glut: Mastering Information Through the Ages, and the following quote (page 151) struck me:

[T]he Wikipedia is stirring tensions between established interests - academic scholars and publishers - and a rising populist sentiment. While Wikipedia is unlikely to spell the demise of traditional scholarship, it serves as a telling example of the power of "books about books" to challenge existing institutional systems. The Web, like the printing press, seems poised to augur long-term social and political transformations whose effects we are only beginning to anticipate. And once again, the humble encyclopedia may prove the most revolutionary "book" of all.

I remember an exercise in my Art Librarianship class where we had to compare Wikipedia with Grove Art Online. General consensus was, Wikipedia won over time for currency and accuracy. The David of reference work hath slain the Goliath of reference, at least in this case. (And Library Journal found similar results!)

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

Libtypos forum now in a new location

After losing its hosting due to organizational changes in NELINET, the Libtypos forum has regrouped in a new location at Google Groups. The forum is now found at The project, now more than 10 years old, tracks typographical errors found in library catalogs and encourages other librarians to maintain clean databases. Daily postings of the Typo of the Day for Librarians were not affected by this down time.

Emerging Trends and Technologies in Libraries and Information Services Blog

The aim of the International Symposium on Emerging Trends and Technologies in Libraries and Information Services (ETTLIS-2010) is, once again, to bring researchers, academicians, business community and research scholars on a common platform to share their experiences, innovative ideas and research findings about the aspects of emerging trends and technologies in the field of knowledge resource centres and information services.

Access blog at: ETTLIS 2010

Registry of Open Access Repositories (ROAR)

The aim of ROAR is to promote the development of open access by providing timely information about the growth and status of repositories throughout the world. Open access to research maximises research access and thereby also research impact, making research more productive and effective.

Quick Net Neutrality Column

Internet: Concept Not A Thing

By Stephen Michael Kellat, MSLS
Head Writer, Erie Looking Productions

The District of Columbia circuit is interesting among the federal courts of appeal. This is the main circuit in which the decisions and orders of federal regulatory agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency and Consumer Product Safety Commission can be appealed. As might be imagined, the Federal Communications Commission does wind up there at times too.

Wired recently reported that a panel of the circuit has questioned whether or not the FCC actually has the authority to enforce net neutrality. Marguerite Reardon of CNET reported that the Chief Judge of that circuit does not want any regulatory agency acting on its own without proper statutory authority. Tony Bradley of PC World stated that Comcast claimed there was no federal law for the Commission to interpret let alone apply or enforce in the case and that the author thought Comcast had a valid point. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski issued a statement reaffirming his belief that the Commission has the statutory authority to do what it is trying to do.

The Commission presently has a proceeding underway to codify net neutrality within the Commission's rules. If the appeals court rules against the FCC, all current efforts to codify net neutrality fail. Stretching interpretation and implication to the limits to reach desired policy outcomes may backfire when it comes to the Commission's goal of preserving an open Internet.

In the midst of all this action from above it is almost totally discounted that action can also come from below. Breaking free of the notion of the Internet being an agglomerated whole is the first step. The Internet is merely a collection of autonomous systems that interact with each other. That terminology may sound rooted in the Internet's early days in the late 1970's but age does not mean it is not still true.

The time seems to have come to start changing the Internet's topology from below. If communications companies have problems with what traffic is being carried, alternative methods of data transport should be explored. While the companies like Comcast and Time Warner Cable have complications with file downloading and a rich media world, older technology remains quite mature to handle less intense datagrams.

Bulletin Board Systems, UUCP (Unix-to-Unix Copy), Freenets, FidoNet, and the rest remain mature technology. Even though they are old, they do work. Before there was Hotmail or Yahoo! Mail, Internet e-mail was possible through a Freenet or even through a FidoNet-based gateway. The author's very first e-mail address from days gone by seemed a mile long and was from a Bulletin Board System that participated in FidoNet and passed traffic over the FidoNet to Internet gateway.

Removing the more "mundane" traffic from what is called the Internet today would help deflate the calls for much of these fairly aggressive network management practices. Letting the Internet become a place where only intense video game traffic and NetFlix streaming video happens would take the wind out of the sails of those broadband providers waiting to aggressively manage their networks. That such would also create an incentive to compete with their own video-on-demand offerings against NetFlix would also potentially help drive prices down. Those companies know how to provide content on-demand and would have a more level playing field upon which they could compete.

To remove the "mundane" traffic would require shifting towards different access topologies. Shifting things back to dial-up modems would mean a change for some while for others nothing would change. After all, there are still dial-up users of the Internet out there connecting to Earthlink and AOL through dial-up modems. For businesses clearing credit card transactions dial-up modems are still out there in use as backup systems in the event of the main connectivity tool's failure. There is one text published by O'Reilly detailing how community wireless networks using WiFi backbones could be created. The current access paradigm is neither inevitable nor desirable in today's world.

The easiest thing to do in this case is to throw hands in the air and claim that net neutrality is a lost cause. Libraries have long been centers of public access computing. Some even hosted Freenets back in the day. Since the imposition from above of net neutrality seems assuredly in danger of not happening it seems subversion from below is now the order of the day.

Older yet more mature tools remain viable ways to carry out the subversion. The question now, though, is whether or not there is will to carry such through. Using UUCP over an Iridium satellite telephone is just a somewhat costlier way of carrying the theme above. Worrying about the means now is far less important than simply starting to take action.

Where do you stand?

Creative Commons License
Internet: Concept Not A Thing by Stephen Michael Kellat is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

Code for America

Code for America is a new idea that’s in the process of becoming a program and a non-profit organization.

Cities are under greater pressure than ever, struggling with budget cuts and outdated technology. What if, instead of cutting services or raising taxes, cities could leverage the power of the web to become more efficient and effective? What if interacting with your local government was more like using Facebook or Yelp? What if, instead of reinventing the wheel every time, cities shared technology resources?

We believe there is a wealth of talent in the web industry eager to contribute to the rebuilding of America. Learn more by subscribing at this link and identifying yourself as either a ~geek~ or a ~wonk~.

Search Questions often Both Wacky and Weird

From MSN: “Search engines have pretty much transformed the way people get information,” says Patricia Wallace, psychologist and senior director of information technology at Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth.

“If you had a crazy question like ‘Why did my toenail fall off?’ 10 years ago, what would you have done? You might have gone to the library or maybe asked your doctor in an embarrassed sort of way, but you probably wouldn’t have asked a friend.”

Search engines, however, have become everybody’s favorite friend and confidante, a reliable ally that never flinches or judges or tells you you’re acting like a perv. "

School Librarians to learn Social Media through $1M grant in WI

The University of Wisconsin System School Library Education Consortium has been awarded almost $1 million to help school librarians become better versed in technology and social media such as Twitter.

The United States Institute of Museum and Library Services Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program will award $989,495 that will be used to train 50 new school library specialists for Wisconsin’s rural and high-need urban public schools. This was the only grant awarded in Wisconsin. More from Bizjournals/Milwaukee.

I wonder if Laura tweets?

Seeing the Future in NPR’s Custom News Podcast

National Public Radio has introduced a nifty little feature that lets you create your own custom podcast of NPR content on topics that interest you. Type in Obama or Madonna or whatever, and you can sign up for a stream of NPR clips that match your keywords that can be downloaded to your computer, smartphone, iPod or Zune.

I’m highlighting this, not because I think this particular feature will be all that widely used, at least in its current incarnation. Podcasts are not a mass market phenomenon now. For most services, only a small fraction of users choose any option that involves customization. And while NPR has done a decent job of making the service easy to use, it still has a few steps to it.

But I am very interested because I think that NPR is onto something that really shows where digital media is moving, especially for news.

Full story in the New York Times

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.

Google's growth makes privacy advocates wary

Most people today appear to me to love Google, but how much do people really know about this 'indispensable' tool? I'm not going to post an extended rant about how evil Google is in some people's eyes, but I do think that this AP story is worthy of consideration, especially considering the integration that Google is developing with libraries.

Google's growth makes privacy advocates wary


This article discusses how information that is collected by Google could be used in violation of current privacy statutes. Some Google tools, such as their Chrome web browser transmit your keystrokes before you press the Enter key. This information is then analyzed by their systems to predict your search terms and offer suggestions. There is an option to turn this feature off, but the activity still occurs, just without user notification, giving the sense that web activity is now 'private'. Along with the information typed into the web browser, your computers Internet address is also recorded, creating a history much like what is visible in your local web browser, but on their servers.

Key concepts from the article:

"It's about having a monopoly over our personal information, which, if it falls into the wrong hands, could be used in a very dangerous way against us,"

“Court says that with all its products, Google has more opportunities than its peers to capture personal information without users realizing it. “

Science 2.0 Gains Another Search Engine: Q-Sensei From Lalisio

Science 2.0 Gains Another Search Engine: Q-Sensei From Lalisio "While the 2 million-plus article content nowhere near reaches the size and scope of behemoths such as Elsevier’s Scirus or Google Scholar, the Q-Sensei search engine ( has a metadata orientation that offers some interesting search capabilities." and "At present, the Lalisio social network of scientists seems to be the most active side of the operation (" Read the full article in Information Today at: <a href="http://newsbreaks.infotoday

Running Digital Library Software On An Ipod?

Writing in the Greenstone Blog, Dr. Ian Witten of the University of Waikato brought light upon a paper presented at the recent Joint Conference on Digital Libraries held in Pittsburgh. Dr. Witten noted that New Zealand had more contributions to the conference accepted than South America, Africa, and Australia combined. The paper on running the Greenstone system on an iPod can be found using the Association for Computing Machinery portal.

If You Have a Problem, Ask Everyone

John Davis, a chemist in Bloomington, Ill., knows about concrete. For example, he knows that if you keep concrete vibrating it won’t set up before you can use it. It will still pour like a liquid.

Now he has applied that knowledge to a seemingly unrelated problem thousands of miles away. He figured out that devices that keep concrete vibrating can be adapted to keep oil in Alaskan storage tanks from freezing. The Oil Spill Recovery Institute of Cordova, Alaska, paid him $20,000 for his idea.

The chemist and the institute came together through InnoCentive, a company that links organizations (seekers) with problems (challenges) to people all over the world (solvers) who win cash prizes for resolving them. The company gets a posting fee and, if the problem is solved, a “finders fee” equal to about 40 percent of the prize.

Full article in the NYT

The Web Time Forgot

On a fog-drizzled Monday afternoon, this fading medieval city feels like a forgotten place. Apart from the obligatory Gothic cathedral, there is not much to see here except for a tiny storefront museum called the Mundaneum, tucked down a narrow street in the northeast corner of town. It feels like a fittingly secluded home for the legacy of one of technology’s lost pioneers: Paul Otlet.

In 1934, Otlet sketched out plans for a global network of computers (or “electric telescopes,” as he called them) that would allow people to search and browse through millions of interlinked documents, images, audio and video files. He described how people would use the devices to send messages to one another, share files and even congregate in online social networks. He called the whole thing a “réseau,” which might be translated as “network” — or arguably, “web.”

Full story here.

The Guide To Optimised Thinking

When it comes to the gathering, coalescing, and analysis of data, most places can't compete with the United States CIA. I think a lot of library types would like to know some of their secrets, at least when it comes to data and information processing.

Well, now you can.

The CIA recently released a book titled Psychology of Intelligence Analysis. Obviously, the book is aimed more towards people working for or with the CIA, but there's some interesting bits in their for the information science nerd too. The book is available online in its full text glory if you've got the interest.

via Mind Hacks.


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