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* Monday, November 13, 2006

Carnival of the InfoSciences #59

Hello and welcome to the Carnival of the InfoSciences #59! Lots of great entries for this edition, so let's get right to the fun.

First up, Jimmy Atkinson sent in his post Research Beyond Google: 119 Authoritative, Invisible, and Comprehensive Resources. It's nothing librarians don't already know - you can't find everything in Google - but it's a nice round-up of resources broken out by subject and is even annotated. It also includes some commercial databases potentially available through a user's library. The list is aimed at students, which is why I am especially glad Atkinson included the following statement: "Do you think your local or university librarian uses Google? Sure, but certainly not exclusively. In order to start researching like a librarian, you'll need to explore more authoritative resources, many of which are invisible."

Nicole Engard came away energized from the KM World & Intranets conference, particularly from David Weinberger's keynote "The New Shape of Knowledge." Engard did a great job of blogging the keynote, making me wish I'd been there to hear it in person. I was heartened to read that Weinberger used NCSU's Catalog in his talk, noting that it "is organized around your needs and way of thinking, not the thinking of a catalog librarian." Amen.

Janie Hermann sent in a link to her post asking Where Are the 2.0 Classes in Public Libraries? She examined the calendars of more than 30 libraries to see what kinds of 2.0 classes they were teaching, only to find that they aren't there yet. She notes, "Many libraries that integrate blogs, wikis, RSS and flickr as part of their services and web sites have not yet made the important leap to educating their customers about these technologies in the same way that we taught them about OPACs when we ditched our card catalogs and about email and the Web when we started offering Internet access." She did find a few smaller libraries that are leading the way and highlights their efforts.

In L2 Classes?, Kelli Staley responds with some potential reasons why libraries are not yet teaching topics like blogging, RSS, Flickr, etc., but goes on to provide advice to libraries that want to try.

Christina Pinkas attended ASIST2006 and submitted her conblogging of the event. You can read her coverage starting here. Lots of great talk about knowledge sharing, user-oriented services, virtual communities, and social networking. It sounds like there were some good case studies, too, which helped ground some of the theory in practice.

Rick Roche picked up on a meme that hit libraryland big time, the Google Co-op Search Engine, and sent in a post he wrote about his attempt to create a customized search engine of book reviews written by librarians. It's a great idea and he has given it the brilliant title Librarian's Book Revoogle. He has a core list of sites that are being searched, but he'd love your help in adding more URLs.

Discussion of the new Google Co-op Search Engine got off to a slow start in the online library world until Bill Drew wondered why on his blog and on the WEB4LIB mailing list. A flurry of posts to the list later and we had links to how librarians are already making the best use of this new tool (here, here, here, here , and here for starters, lots more here). Still more librarian-created search engines from lbr and Librarian in Tie-Dye. All of which is further proof that librarians catch on to this stuff pretty darn quickly to provide valuable services.

Meredith Farkas has been thinking about the new information landscape and sent in her post about Unintended Consequences of Content Portability. She uses RSS as one example of how we can move and remix content and notes some of the issues inherent in offering one's content for syndication. She raises some legal questions and believes that "the more portable our content gets and the more familiar people become with RSS, the more issues we are going to have with people taking our content and using it in ways we don't like or are downright illegal."

In my own web readings, I was glad to see skagirlie assessing Feed Awareness and Placement on library websites. In her own experiment, she "decided to take a look at how well the [HAPLR] list’s web presences match up to their service ratings. While there are some outstanding examples out there, I am concerned about how the library world is using that orange RSS/XML icon." She shows some screenshots to illustrate her concerns and suggests we work on an answer collaboratively.

Brian S. Mathews has written an article for Info Career Trends about his optimism for the future of our profession. In Librarian As Entrepreneur: A Blueprint For Transforming Our Future, he lists six suggestions for 21st Century librarians. He ends with a challenge to his peers: "The future of libraries is yours. What are you going to do with it?"

mapz provides some answers for those wondering Should Academic Libraries Spend Money on GIS Datasets, explaining that "like most questions in life, the answer is 'it depends'," along with some advice.

In The Trouble with Tagging, New Jack Librarian wonders if she is "the only person who thinks that giving the user the ability to add 'tags' to the library catalogue is a bad idea?" Her biggest concern is that tags don't expire, but she also highlights the uselessness of overly-broad, generalized terms.

In a coincidental counterpoint, Pegasus Librarian offers a rebuttal in the form of a conblog post of Roy Tennant's talk at The ILS Futures Forum: Catalogs and Discovery of the Future. It sounds like Roy was his usual, practical self and that as a result, "even the most conservative librarians in our group started talking about the possibilities."

Interesting to all librarians, not just our brethren in schools, was the discussion that took place at the recent School Library Journal Summit. Chris Harris sums up the good work that came out of it in a series of posts, including a detailed summary of Joan Frye Williams' presentation about embracing new technologies, empowering users, and integrating ourselves into the rest of the online world.

A quick pointer to a different view of magazines, Those Are Printed Out Web Pages... from Michael Lorenzen on his wonderfully titled blog The Information Literacy Land of Confusion.

Jessi is in library school to become an archivist and describes herself as An Old Soul in a Web 2.0 World. She finds herself stuck between the old and the new, appreciating both, wondering how we are going to archive the content of blogs, wikis, and other 2.0 tools. She writes, "All I can think of is what if Herman Hesse wrote his thoughts on a blog? Or Nietzsche? Or Goethe? Is it possible that an entire philosophy of a culture in a generation is being lost because it was created on a format that is so fleeting?"

Rochelle Hartman took the big plunge and dived into Second Life, just to see what it's like, Her experience, detailed in First Stop, RuneScape; Second Life Next is fascinating reading, especially her takeaways. She observes, "For me, my first visit to SL was too much like a visit to a real library might be for most users--too hard to use. I was also suprised at how much the SLL was modeled after a real life library, albeit with more comfy seating." Things get a bit confrontational in the comments, but the whole discussion is valuable.

There were so many great posts during the last two weeks that I could have gone on for several more scrolls, but this is already a huge list so I want to end by pointing to Brian Kelly's new blog, UK Web Focus, mainly to see what happens when a new blog gets included in a Carnival and is not otherwise marketed. For more details about his experiment in "word of blog," read Brian's post about Blog Statistics - 2006-11-11.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to submit to this round. The next Carnival will be hosted by Woody Evans on November 27, and you can send him your submissions via this form before 6:00 p.m. on November 26. Hosting is also a lot of fun, doesn't cost a dime, and builds up your karma so consider adding your name to the roster. Happy Thanksgiving to all (including the spirit of giving thanks for readers outside the U.S.)!

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