Dale Askey has written a great column on how libraries “share and fail to share open source software” and looks into some of the reasons that might be the case.
“Staff from the National Library of Australia performing Thriller at the 2008 staff Christmas party”
Sarah Houghton-Jan has written a great presentation that she gave as the keynote to the Arizona Library Association’s annual conference. It’s just a few MB pdf and you can get a lot of her points just by reading through it. It’s full of humor and good ideas. Go read: Sustainable Technology in a 2.0 World
Jean-Marie Gustave Le ClÃ©zio was recently awarded the Nobel prize for literature. His lecture (video) which is rich reading for bibliophiles generally, has a special mention of libraries. [thanks KÃ¡ri]
Culture, as I have said, belongs to us all, to all humankind. But in order for this to be true, everyone must be given equal access to culture. The book, however old-fashioned it may be, is the ideal tool. It is practical, easy to handle, economical. It does not require any particular technological prowess, and keeps well in any climate. Its only flawâ€”and this is where I would like to address publishers in particularâ€”is that in a great number of countries it is still very difficult to gain access to books. In Mauritius the price of a novel or a collection of poetry is equivalent to a sizeable portion of the family budget. In Africa, Southeast Asia, Mexico, or the South Sea Islands, books remain an inaccessible luxury. And yet remedies to this situation do exist. Joint publication with the developing countries, the establishment of funds for lending libraries and bookmobiles, and, overall, greater attention to requests from and works in so-called minority languagesâ€”which are often clearly in the majorityâ€”would enable literature to continue to be this wonderful tool for self-knowledge, for the discovery of others, and for listening to the concert of humankind, in all the rich variety of its themes and modulations.
The Library of Congress has finished a report (full report and shorter summary in pdf) summing up what they’ve learned after the first nine months of their experimentation with Flickr. Here is an excerpt from the summary. Look at these numbers.
The following statistics attest to the popularity and impact of the pilot. As of October 23, 2008, there have been:
- 10.4 million views of the photos on Flickr.
- 79% of the 4,615 photos have been made a â€œfavoriteâ€ (i.e., are incorporated into personal Flickr collections).
- More than 15,000 Flickr members have chosen to make the Library of Congress a â€œcontact,â€ creating a photostream of Library images on their own accounts.
- 7,166 comments were left on 2,873 photos by 2,562 unique Flickr accounts.
- 67,176 tags were added by 2,518 unique Flickr accounts.
- 4,548 of the 4,615 photos have at least one community-provided tag.
- Less than 25 instances of user-generated content were removed as inappropriate.
- More than 500 Prints and Photographs Online Catalog (PPOC) records have been enhanced with new information provided by the Flickr Community.
Between January and May 2008, the Library saw an increase in hits at its own Web site. For Bain images placed on Flickr, views/downloads rose approximately 60% for the period January-May 2008, compared to the same time period in 2007. Views/downloads of FSA/OWI image files placed on Flickr rose approximately 13%. Average monthly visits to all PPOC Web pages rose 20% over the five-month period of January-May 2008, compared to the same period in 2007. For additional information, see the Outcomes section in the full report.
Not only is that data good news about the project but being able to say “Hey when the Library of Congress opened up their photos to commenting and tagging, they only had to remove 25 inappropriate tags/comments out of 75K instances of user-generated content” thats a big deal.