Information Retrieval

Inside the Open Content Alliance Scanning Project

Have you ever thought about what it must be like to be a part of a huge book digitization process? search-engines-web dug up an article from the Wall Street Journal that profiles a "scanner" working for the Internet Archive, which is a part of the Open Content Alliance.

The group wants to build an online library of millions of old books and hopes to make a big batch accessible through Web searches as early as next year. For all its technical sophistication, the group needs the manual work of people like Ms. Ridolfo to make digitization a reality.

Students face tech inequity

rudimyers writes ""The 30 laptops and wireless networking that make it possible were paid for through a nearly $70,000 grant the school received earlier this year from Intel Corporation.
School officials pursued the grant after they realized it could be some time before the Olympia School District would be able to afford the equipment."

This problem exists everywhere. Think of the implications of teachers writing grants. When spending time doing that, what is going by the wayside?
Story at The Olympian Online."

British Library Digitizes With the Help of Microsoft

The British Library has struck a deal with Microsoft to digitize out-of-copyright books, journals, maps and manuscripts from its collection. The content will be available through the Library's website in conjunction with the recently announced MSN® Book Search. Microsoft plans to collaborate with organizations and libraries to develop an online archive collection to compete with the Google Print™ program.

Better Information Isn't Always Beneficial?

Slashdot Pointed the way to an interesting, though light on details, Wall Street Journal column by David Wessel. He says while the public has more and better information available now than ever before, he's not sure if it's always a good thing. Most of the time, speedier, cheaper information allows the economy to produce more from less, often by eliminating mistakes, cutting wasted effort and shrinking doubt. He points to Walmart, dug companies and "the lovelorn" as an example of people capitalizing on good information. But a couple new proprietary data sets are giving him pause. A program that helps companies choose judges based on how they've ruled in the past and the ability of Congress to get reelected are his examples.

He says computers have removed the limitation on the ability of any individual to process information, and have forced society to wrestle with practical issues that seemed only theoretical a generation ago.

I can't help but think libraries, free, open and accessible libraries have a part to play in the coming years. If we (libraries) make more information available to more people are we leveling the playing field, or just making things worse?

Is "Search" Redefining our Lives?

Durst writes "This article in the Seattle Times was referenced on the Army Librarians list. I think it says alot of things we already know, but of which the public is just now becoming aware."

Wiki in A Wink

Wiki is f-a-s-t! Check out this entry on the newly elected Pope Benedict XVI.

microsoft + wikipedia = moderated-pedia?

librarianscott writes "Here's One From Corante:

So Microsoft takes from the whole wikipedia anyone-can-edit encyclopedia, the subset idea of making it easier to suggest changes to specific encyclopedia articles.

Wikipedia depends on people making "free" edits--contributing for the greater good. Would these same kind souls contribute, if they know it will go through a moderator--an expert?"

What CIOs should know about records

Anonymous Patron writes "10 things every CIO should know about managing electronic records is a list from Though the list is obviously aimed at business CIOs, it's interesting and could be applied at libraries as well.They say without question, information management is a high stakes game. The paper trail is now digital, and its first stop is the CIO's office. Managing e-records risk pro-actively makes sense for business entities and the CIOs who routinely lead people, processes and technology in strategic enterprise efforts."

IBM's Intranet and Folksonomy

Really Neat Look at some cool projects at IBM. IBM will soon experiment with folksonomy. They are motivated by a need to maintain the pace of updates to how information is organized in their intranet and a need to help users access their system.
The scale of this intranet is remarkable. It serves 315,000 IBM employees worldwide in multiple languages with personalization by business role and interest among other facets. Even more remarkably, they have used a controlled taxonomy, one version of which contains 3700 nodes, to organize the information in this intranet. You can view the PPT slides Here.

We'll be running an interview with Sarah N Goldman the Lead, Taxonomy Management & Development soon!

British Mobile Phone Question-Answering System

Cavan writes "In Britain you can text any question from your mobile to AQA (Any Questions Answered) and it will be answered within 10 minutes for one pound (US$1.93). The system relies on a team of handpicked part-time researchers, supported by a database of previously answered questions. "The Independent" newspaper for March 17th, 2005, reports that the system, which has been oprerating night and day for ten months, answers 2,000 questions daily. Replies are limited to 153 characters. logy/story.jsp?story=620741"


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