The Shifted Librarian - Shifting Libraries at the speed of byte
 Friday, January 24, 2003

Houston, We Have a Problem

I host my sites on with Pair, and I've been extremely happy with their service. I don't think I've had a single second of down time that was due to them (due to my computers... months, but never them). They also provide me with statistics, which I looked at last night for the first time in a while. I have a 400MB per month quota on my disk usage and I'm already at 430MB, and it looks like I'm over my 500MB quote for bandwidth, too.


I guess my options are to upgrade to a more expensive account (um, no), switch hosts (is there another host out there that would give me more bandwidth and space for multiple domains plus all the amenities like every Perl module, SQL, etc., for $30/month?), or start trimming my site. So this weekend, I'm going to try switching my template to one of the more basic ones that has few-to-no images, preferably one with a two-column layout so it's easier to read the pages. I'll probably also switch my home page to display only one day's worth of posts, rather than two, and I may stop double-posting to my categories.

Just a heads up in case things look or act a little funny around here....

10:21:21 PM  |   Permanent link here  |    |   Trackback [] | Google It!

Just a reminder that registration is open for our upcoming workshop The Reference Interview in the Real and Virtual Worlds. It will be held at the Suburban Library System, Burr Ridge, on February 12, 2003, 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. We are very pleased to have Ellen Keith, Reference Services Coordinator, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD presenting this important workshop. The workshop is appropriate for both the experienced reference librarian and those new to reference work.

Register online via the SLS Calendar of Events at or contact Linda Bennett, Admin. Assistant for SLS Ref Service, at or at +1 (630) 734 5113.

If you have questions regarding the workshop, please contact Jolene Carlson at or +1 (630) 734 5110 or 5114.

4:38:52 PM  |   Permanent link here  |    |   Trackback [] |


Lori Bell sends word that North Suburban Library System has jumped on my RSS bandwagon and is making their weekly newsletter available via RSS. This would be great, since the participants in my grant project will be able to read NSLS news in their aggregators, but I find neither hide nor hair of an orange XML button anywhere on their site or in their search engine. Hopefully they'll make more of their site available this way, not just the one newsletter. For our grant project, every service area and all interested individuals will have their own blogs and RSS feeds!

Update: ah, you have to look on the pages of the individual issues to find the RSS feed.

4:25:46 PM  |   Permanent link here  |    |   Trackback [] | Google It!

HarperCollins Publishers Becomes First Major Trade Publisher to Sell E-Books to Libraries (emphasis below is mine)

"HarperCollins Publishers today announced that it has finalized agreements with netLibrary and OverDrive to sell PerfectBound e-books to libraries across the country, making it possible for libraries to lend them to their patrons.

These are the first such deals by a major U.S. trade publisher.

Both the OverDrive and netLibrary e-book management systems make it simple for libraries to add e-books to their collections, check e-books out to patrons, and check them back in again automatically at the end of the loan period. In addition, the systems allow each e-book copy to be loaned to only one person at a time, in the same way that a print book is loaned. As with all PerfectBound e-books, digital rights management technology will be used to protect the copyrights of HarperCollins authors....

'The technology is now in place to expand our e-book sales to the library market, which we believe has enormous potential,' said David Steinberger, President of Corporate Strategy and International for HarperCollins Publishers. 'Many libraries have already been managing electronic collections for several years, and recognize the benefit of instantaneous remote access to a large selection of high-quality books for their patrons. In addition, we believe that libraries will play a critical role in educating readers about the benefits of this developing format. This deal represents another opportunity for us to serve our authors and market their books to the broadest possible audience in as many formats as possible, consistent with the strategy articulated by our President and CEO, Jane Friedman.' " [Business Wire, via Library Stuff]

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I'll Definitely ReplayTV It on Sunday, Though!

MJ vs. MJ

"Coming up in this Sunday's Commercial Bowl, the ultimate basketball matchup. 'Super Bowl advertising is a high-tech art form unto itself. Witness the new spot pitting Michael Jordan at 23 against MJ at 39.' []" [Steven's Notebook]

I've been hearing and reading a lot about this commercial, so I earlier this week I went to Gatorade's site to see if there was a preview of it. Of course, there isn't. For another take on how they made the commercial, check out ESPN's article MJ's Ready for His Close-up.

Then the next day, I saw a very funny commercial for Compaq computers. A little boy asks a little girl how she got her shiny, new bike. She tells him that they have a swear jar in her house, and her dad has to contribute to it every time he swears at the computer. Then they show the father yelling at his laptop, and the girl says, "Cha-ching!" At the end, the girl refuses to let her father write a check for that day's contribution. I wanted to see it again and actually link to it here, but I couldn't find it on the Compaq site. I even tried but they've already closed up shop.

Go figure - when I actually want to watch TV commercials, I can't!

9:40:26 AM  |   Permanent link here  |    |   Trackback [] | Google It!

"Whatever We Can Do Is Doable!"

Kate and I have a new mantra, which may be the title of our book someday. It applies specifically to the SLS Union List of Serials (not the one behind that link, but the cool new one we're working on), however we're going to apply it to every work project from now on.

9:21:58 AM  |   Permanent link here  |    |   Trackback [] | Google It!

Kepler - A Digital Library for Individuals

"The purpose of Kepler is to give any user the ability to easily self-archive publications by means of an "archivelet": a self-contained, self-installing software system that functions as an Open Archives Initiative data provider. Kepler archivelets are designed to be easy to install, use and maintain. Kepler is a perfect solution for those that need to be OAI-PMH compliant, but do not have the resources for more complicated OAI-PMH software installations. Some features of Kepler include:

  • Configurable community standards
  • Tailored publication and search services
  • Broad and fast dissemination
  • Interoperable with other communities

In this web site we document and make code available from an NSF supported project to develop Kepler for communities that wish to tailor their publication and search services and enforce configurable standards. Our long-term vision is to provide tools and software for communities to easily deploy digital libraries that are customized for their needs, can be populated, managed, and are "open" for development of future services." [via Library News Daily]

8:13:47 AM  |   Permanent link here  |    |   Trackback [] |

Excellent Idea, Ernie!

Announcing PDF for Lawyers

"It is with great hope and little fanfare that I announce my new project:  PDF for Lawyers.  Right before the blog affliction took me I had been planning to write a book for lawyers on using PDF files.  I never was able to write the book (too much blogging no doubt).  Well, now that I understand how to use Radio better I have figured out how to host this at a different site and use Radio to post to it.  So, that's it.  If you are a lawyer interested in using Acrobat to make your office less paperful (going paperless is a dream) then tune in, drop comments, send me emails with tips and let's all learn more about using Adobe Acrobat.  Oh, and of course it has an XML/RSS feed." [Ernie the Attorney]

8:10:39 AM  |   Permanent link here  |    |   Trackback [] | Google It!

Trackback Goes Wide?

Centralized TrackBack Aggregation for News and Links

"Popdex now offers the ability to host TrackBack threads for any arbitrary URL.

The Problem: Conversations (threads, memes, etc.) tend to revolve at any given moment around a particular link (i.e to an online article or blog post). If you want to see what others are saying about that particular newsworthy item, there's no succinct way of doing so. The only option tends to be clicking through all the citation links, and trying to see what people are saying about that particular item.

Part of the Solution: TrackBack pings can now be sent to Popdex for any arbitrary URL, thus creating a hosted, third-party TrackBack solution for any URL on the web. A reverse chronological (most recent first) list of TrackBacks are now listed on all Popdex citation pages.

But I need your help, thus I am invoking the LazyWeb! [Popdex Blog]

Great idea, Shanti! I love this idea because I'm not technical enough to build something myself and I really want trackback for individual posts. How can I do this for Radio, though?

This type of tracking will be essential to my grant project so that I can monitor reactions and conversations across Illinois Library Systems and eventually my own libraries.

8:05:09 AM  |   Permanent link here  |    |   Trackback [] | Google It!

Manifest Destiny 101

The Growth of the United States (requires Flash)

"A ten-minute, animated atlas." [via The Noodle Incident, via MetaFilter]

12:35:54 AM  |   Permanent link here  |    |   Trackback [] | Google It!

I'm Still on the Fence....

"Among the most confusing dilemmas facing today's consumer is the question of which cell phone carrier is right for you. Even though Consumer Reports just published an article rating different carriers, the results are far from conclusive. I've been searching for web resources to cut through all the crap, and I thought I'd share a couple with the MeFi community, since typing "compare cell phone plans" into Google brings up a load of pop-up laden vendors thinly disguised as dispensers of advice.

  • offers the most comprehensive lists of cell phone features I've seen, a handy comparison tool, and a good number of intelligent user reviews.
  • suffers from a bit of that thinly-disguised-vendor syndrome, but it is useful for comparing different services and getting clearly presented, itemized lists of each service's features. Be wary of the service comparison tool, because it's rather incomplete, but it's a good starting point to compare plans." [Metafilter]
12:11:47 AM  |   Permanent link here  |    |   Trackback [] | Google It!

Broadband at 35,000 Feet

"High-speed Web and e-mail access are on their way to a tray table near you. A consortium of companies is rallying behind the Connexion airline Internet service system from Boeing, and tests of the service are already underway.

On February 18, the first British Airways plane carrying the in-flight Internet system will be tested. The workings are fairly complex: An antenna, fitted to the outside of a Boeing 747, will send to and receive signals from a satellite that communicates with a server sitting in an equipment rack fitted into the ceiling of the plane. The server connects to more than 15,000 feet of cabling running through the internal walls of the fuselage, into the seats, and up to the Internet connection points in arm rests. In addition to providing Internet access, the service could also enable broadcasting of live television and radio shows in flight. British Airways will test the system and gauge passenger reactions over a three-month period....

'The fallout from this will be an operating advantage,' said Wolfgang Mayrhuber, deputy chairman of Deutsche Lufthansa. 'We have an edge, and this is a first-rate customer loyalty tool.' " [Technology News from eWEEK and Ziff Davis]

That last bit is true - loyalty. That's why Wyndham is my favorite new hotel chain, despite the fact that the one in Palm Springs lied to me and said they had it when I called them.

12:02:48 AM  |   Permanent link here  |    |   Trackback [] |