Archive for the 'pr, hype & bs' Category

noted without comment: VPL sponsorship guidelines during the Olympics

Do not have Pepsi or Dairy Queen sponsor your event,” read guidelines sent to [Vancouver Public Library] branch heads and supervisory staff last fall. “Coke and McDonald’s are the Olympic sponsors. If you are planning a kids’ event and approaching sponsors, approach McDonald’s and not another well-known fast-food outlet.” [juice]

what’s going on with koha and liblime

“Meanwhile, if there is high ground to be had, I doubt it is currently occupied by LibLime.”

Roy Tennant explains what’s been going on at LibLime and links to a longer post at Library Matters. LibLime’s version of this announcement, on their news feed, is not very encouraging. As someone working with a tiny library and a free version of Koha, I’m particularly disappointed in the libraries that are helping bankroll this and are not pushing for more openness in terms of release dates for code and better communication all around. Meanwhile Nicole Engard whose work I respect a lot has taken a job at Bywater Solutions. They are lucky to have her.

dear Elsevier, stop digging, you are embarassing us

“Elsevier officials said Monday that it was a mistake for the publishing giant’s marketing division to offer $25 Amazon gift cards to anyone who would give a new textbook five stars in a review posted on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. While those popular Web sites’ customer reviews have long been known to be something less than scientific, and prone to manipulation if an author has friends write on behalf of a new work, the idea that a major academic publisher would attempt to pay for good reviews angered some professors who received the e-mail pitch.”

Ugh. [shelf]

Igeek open standards

From LISNews: “Geek the Library is a community-based public awareness campaign designed to highlight the vital role of public libraries for individuals and communities, and raise awareness about the critical funding issues they (we) face.” What do you think about it?

my librarian friend : i’m waiting for you to weigh in on the new OCLC thing that looks pretty but i don’t get.
me : which? OCLC is so barely relevant to me
my librarian friend : ha! http://geekthelibrary.org/
me : did you know that George from Flickr [who was doing the commons stuff] is now running Open Library?
my librarian friend : i did not know that
me : if OCLC has so much money why aren’t they giving grants or donations to smaller libraries so they can truly be a union catalog?
me : that’s how I’d like them to show their support for the library community
my librarian friend : yeah but then they couldn’t sell things to those libraries in the future, silly.
me : “Igeekopen standards”
me : wow, I did not know about this though
my librarian friend : make a badge for your site.
me : is the Igeek thing supposed to be evocative of like iPod?
me : do they know they’re doin it wrong?
my librarian friend : dunno why they decidedtoerasespaces
me : man this is annoying. Slick site, very functional and still this is where BMGF decides to put their cash?
my librarian friend : yeah, i want to like it just because a library “org” actually put out a nice site, but…
my librarian friend : plus? lou reed
me : and geek isn’t a verb, I mean I know that’s pedantic but this is totally advocacy from the outside
my librarian friend : is lou reed the only famous face?
my librarian friend : if so, odd.
me : I assume he’s someone’s friend
me : and where are, you know the ACTUAL LIBRARIES on that site
me : srsly
me : it’s all about bypassing the institutions to get at the readers/users, sort of? awareness capaign of the future libraries while ignoring the current ones?
me : I mean it’s easy to poke fun at
my librarian friend : what i don’t understand is how people declaring their interests on this site will lead to support for libraries.
me : there’s a page that tells you to call your mayor
my librarian friend : yeah
me : I see some more famous people
me : and a survery which is more data for them
my librarian friend : for the next report!
me : yep
me : it’s really graphically appealing

in case you needed another reason to raise an eyebrow at Elsevier

I sometimes get a case of schadenfreude reading about bad things that happen to big companies that have a hand in library businesses. This latest mess involves Elsevier publishing what can charitably called a “sponsored journal” and what can uncharitably be called a fake scam journal, sponsored by Merck and internded solely to be cited in support of their drug Fosamax. If anyone has ongoing dealings with Elsevier and would like to get across to them how uncool this is, I’d appreciate it. Original article published at TheScientist.com available here with free registration. [nowthis]

Elsevier acknowledged that Merck had sponsored the publication, but did not disclose the amount the drug company paid. In a statement emailed to The Scientist, Elsevier said that the company “does not today consider a compilation of reprinted articles a ‘Journal’.”

“Elsevier acknowledges the concern that the journals in question didn’t have the appropriate disclosures,” the statement continued. “It is worth noting that project in question was produced 6 years ago and disclosure protocols have evolved since 2003. Elsevier’s current disclosure policies meet the rigor and requirements of the current publishing environment.”

The Elsevier spokesperson said the company wasn’t aware of how many copies of the Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine were produced or how the publication was distributed in Australia, but noted that “the common practice for sponsored journals is that doctors receive them complimentary.” The spokesperson added that Elsevier had no plans to look further into the matter.

AL Direct, a “perq” from the American Library Association

The American Library Association has launched an email newsletter and they have sent it to every ALA member with an email address on file. The AL Direct FAQ states “AL Direct (American Libraries Direct) is an electronic newsletter sent to ALA personal members by e-mail as a perquisite of membership.” Here is what I noticed in the first 15 minutes of getting my first newsletter.

  • The links in the newsletter go to a combination of online content (already available) and giant PDFs that seems to come directly from the pages of American Libraries. I’m not sure I see the value-add.
  • I wish I could tell which links went to giant PDFs before I clicked them, but each hyperlink is an affiliate link through an outfit called ixs1.net (helpful error message here) which means no mousing-over the text to figure out which is which.
  • The site uses web bugs as near as I can tell, while this is not surprising, neither is it cool
  • There is an unsubscribe link, but I had to use my email’s find feature to locate it.
  • They don’t post old issues on the web site. This makes a certain amount of sense, since there is already an AL Online news digest as well as a weekly roundup of stories coming to interested members in their inboxes, but then there’s the question: why do this at all?
  • I specifically set my communications preferences with ALA — once there was a way to do so — to receive “official communications only” which is described as “ballot, renewal and membership card, American Libraries and division journals and newsletters specified in the ALA Handbook of Organization” on the Communications Preferences page. This may be nitpicky of me, but I don’t see why a heavily-advertiser supported newsletter — Sirsi is the sponsor for issue 1 — which is mostly rehashing news I already have access to elsewhere in ALA is seen as official communications. Put another way, why is me saying it’s okay for them to mail me a magazine seen as the same as saying it’s okay to put me on an email list for a newsletter?

For those of you who are already not fans of ALA, this will come as no surprise, ALA continues not to understand how to communicate in the digital world. For those of us who keep saying “No no, I think there’s still hope” each fumbling foray like this makes us wince and wish we belonged to a savvy organization that excited and interested us with their new ideas and options for intteraction.

There has been a lot of talk about Library 2.0 lately, and I’m with Steve that I’m more interested in doing cool stuff with my libraries than writing about libraries, or debating semantics, but I can say one thing for sure, I know it when I see it. In this case, I know I’m looking and not seeing it

above the fold retraction: there was no Little Red Book ILL

From the Daily Kos, my comments, and I’m sure many other places. Federal agents’ visit was a hoax Student admits he lied about Mao book

Consumer/librarian reviews

My favorite thing about blogs beyond the personal interactions that they afford is reading what people think about more products than I can usefully evaluate on my own. Two reviews that came through my reader lately have been true gems:

1. Mary “LibraryLaw” Minow discusses LibraryElf: My library elf – the joy and the horror
2. Sarah “Librarian in Black” Houghton tries a beta of QuestionPoint’s Flash interface: New QuestionPoint Flash Interface: LiB’s Review

Meredith “Information Wants to be Free” Farkas also does a lot of good no-nonsense reviews.

Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts database now FREE

This may be one of those things that everyone knows but me, but it looks like EBSCO has made their Library/Information Science & Technology Abstracts available now for free. The sexy URL redirects automatically to the longer internal URL. The press release with the announcement is here. [update: fixed link, thanks everyone]

reference IS cool

Get your Reference is Cool button from Salem Press. If you’d like, send them some visual verification.

Salem Press is inviting you to submit evidence that reference books, the people who use them, reference librarians and teachers are “cool.” We are using the expression ‘cool’ to mean ‘excellent’ or ‘first-class’ not the sense of the word that implies merely ‘acceptable’ or ‘satisfactory.’ It is permissible, but not required, that the person, action, thing or event be relaxed – cool. But not chilly, please.