Bloglines is shutting down on October 1st. End ofan era, I remember that it was the first site I could use to see who was actually reading my site via RSS. And Vox.com is also shutting down at the end of the month. I transferred my content there, such as it was to a typepad blog which has been a long series of tech support conversations. I’m curious actually where those domains will even point to a month or two from now.
And I get a lot of library news from the pretty disparate fields of Twitter and print magazines. I’ve been reading Computers in Libraries‘ latest issue [Donna Ekhart and I share a column there] about social technology and enjoying it. Wishing more of the content was online and linkable. And Twitter just this afternoon has pointed me to some great blog posts like this one by Dale Askey about Yale’s new University Librarian and his utter lack of librarian-type qualifications. Strong stuff, and well put.
I’ll continue to use NetNewsWire (for all Mac devices) as my RSS reader, being slightly behind but not buried, as usual, and want to put in a plug for Sage, the Firefox plug in, for those who don’t want to hop on the Google Reader train. It’s a great time to be in the information management business. Thanks Bloglines, you had a good run.
So, I gave a short talk at the Library 2.0 Symposium at Yale on Saturday. Put on by the Information Society Project, it was a gathering of people ruminating on the nature of future libraries. Only a few of the participants seemed to know our profession’s definition of Library 2.0 but that didn’t seem to matter much. There are some great summaries of the panel discussions on the Yale ISP blog. Most people there were academic, but I did get to hang out with Josh Greenberg from NYPL and see Brewster Kahle talk about the Internet Archive’s book scanning project. My general angle was that while we talk a lot about the “born digital” generation, there are still places here in the US — hey, I live in one — where the sort of network effect that is necessary for 2.0 sorts of things still eludes us. We each got about ten minutes and I could have used twenty, but you can look at my five slides if you’d like.
The whole day was worthwhile, but it’s somewhat ironic that we were encouraged to use twitter and blog our reactions while the room the panel was in had almost no wifi and no outlets. I don’t know why this sort of thing still surprises me, but I just felt that a high-powered panel would be able to receive high-powered tech support and handle things like this. Not so.
Today we got notification that public library statistics are available for Vermont and got a link to this page. No HTML summary so I’m going to pull out a few things that I thought were notable so maybe other people can link to it or maybe I’ll crosspost on the VLA blog.
- Vermont has 182 public libraries, the largest number of libraries per capita in the US.
- 174 of these libraries have Internet access; 160 of these have high speed access. Do the math, that’s 14 libraries with dial-up and eight with nothing.
- Half of the public librarians in the state have MLSes or the equivalent.
- 73% of Vermont library funding comes from local taxes; 27% comes from other local sources (grants, fundraising)
- Eleven public libraries filter internet access on all terminals (as opposed to some libraries that offer a children’s filtered option)
The library that I work in serves about 1300 people and is open nineteen hours per week. We’re the only library at our population level (serving 1000-2499 people) that loaned more books than we borrowed via ILL. Ninety-six percent of the service population have library cards. I’m still reading for more details, fascinating stuff really.