wrap-up before the wrap-up

As you know, I usually post the list of what I’ve read at around this time, but I haven’t read enough this year by my own admission so I will be adding a few more leftover links in this space and posting a “best of” list in a day or two. First of all check out what I saw in Boston.

sexy librarian?

It’s an ad for Sony’s “Reader Digital Book,” one of a zillion plastered all over the subway and train stations of Boston. I find it vaguely annoying, mostly because I find the commodifcation of reading annoying. The implication that some stupid computer is sexier than a real live person to help you with all your information needs? Stupid. Here are some other things left over from my inbox.

  • Well this was in my literal mailbox… I never renewed my ALA membership after 2006. Last week I got a “Hey former member, maybe you’d like to reconsider?” piece of junk mail from them. I’ve been very happy with my VLA contributions and interactions, moreso than I ever was with ALA. While I’m happy to see the good things that ALA is doing, the fact that I basically did everything I could to get off of spammy mailing lists and emailing lists only to continue to hear from them is a bit disheartening. That said, my ALA website logins still work despite me not having paid them a thing. It all balances.
  • The Michigan University Librarian has a blog. Not a lot there but I really enjoyed the first post: Being in Bed with Google.
  • Washington state is the latest battlefield in the “let’s cut library positions in schools to save money” debacle. There is a very organized group called Fund Our Future Washington that is trying to stop this problem before it starts. Here’s an LA Times article with more information and a good recent supportive editorial from the Seattle Times.
  • I am revising my review policy. People mostly don’t read it anyhow. In short, I am reading less and have less time for unsolicited books. While I still like to receive books that people think I may like, I do not want to set expectations inappropriately. The short form is: if you will be upset if I do not read your book, please do not send it to me.

That’s it until the booklist. Happy New Year!

friday evening linkdump of sorts

So, I don’t make you all sit through my deli.cio.us links auto-posting, but sometimes I have a few unrelated things to share that don’t really have their own full posts to go along with them. So here are a few things that are only sort of library related that I think you might be interested in.

A few things that didn’t make it to the carnival…

There was so much good stuff in the Carnival yesterday, that I didn’t append some of my favorite links from the week, but here they are.

– Two links about Google Books. One is Scott Boren’s long piece on LISNews about full txt serching in books. What you can search and how you can search it. Great well-researched piece. The second is Julia Tryon’s contribution to FreeGovInfo concerning the amount of government information available via Google Books. Google provides no statistics. This will be part of an ongoing project she’ll be working on there, stay tuned.

When looking at the search results in Google for publisher field has GPO, I found 141,600 items, only 82,487 of which were available in the full view. And although it is nice to think that we have the full text for 82,487 documents, not all of them can be used. I randomly picked a title to see how it looked and chose the Statistical Abstract for 1954. The pages were clear enough to read easily but on every even numbered page part of the right hand column was chopped off.

– Also from FreeGovInfo comes this analysis of Google Video’s closing and what happened to all those DRMed video files that people supposedly “purchased” Please read Part I: DRM Killed the Files and also Part II: Why the Google Video story should scare you.

– Karen Schneider has been writing some great stuff lately. It’s been fun to see her getting into what I see as the more technical side of librarianing because her explanations of techie stuff are clear and free of nonsense while still being readable and engaging. Her article in Library Journal Lots of Librarians Can Keep Stuff Safe about LOCKSS and Portico really helped me understand the fairly complicated world of e-journal archiving.

– Bryan Herzog’s always-excellent blog has pulled some Reader’s Advisory suggestions off of ME-LIBS the Maine Librarie dicussion list and added his own commentary. Brian also made a custom book review search using Google’s custom search function. Very very nice. I’d love to see someone toss together a page of Google Custom Searches that were useful to librarians. Has anyone done this? I’ve already made a Custom Ego Search but that’s not the same thing.

Despite my Very Large Skepticism of Google in general, the tool itself is very easy to set up and is potentially extremely useful (especially for librarians). Basically, it lets you limit searching to a select group of websites – in this case, book review websites

friday night short link list

Here in the frozen north Friday nights can often be a time to cook a big meal and curl up with a book and/or laptop while people in more populated areas do whatever people in more populated areas do. Here are a few of the things I have been reading this evening.

linkdump 03aug06

Here are the websites that have been gracing my sidebar for the past few months, for those of you reading the site via your RSS reader. I’m also going to try adding a list of upcoming talks/presentations to the sidebar. You can see all the posts containing these lists by exploring the linkdump tag