Monthly Archives: August 2005

Never mind the quality, feel the width

What should an excellent research library look like in 2015? Indeed, what would it mean to be a ‘top 20’ research library. The answer is not straightforward, but it is something that one library has been asked to think about. The University of Manchester is a new creation, built from the predecessor institutions Victoria University … Continue reading Never mind the quality, feel the width

UIUC blogs

My favorite course in library school was children’s literature, taught by Pat Donlon, the former National Librarian of Ireland. Having said that, I did not come across our (current) favorite children’s author, Mairi Hederwick, until several years later when I was looking in the bookstore in Edinburgh Airport for something to bring home with me … Continue reading UIUC blogs

Vernaculars of learning

New learning environments for the 21st Century, a presentation by John Seely Brown, is worth a look [pdf]. There are lots of suggestive moments. He looks at the learning and the learning environments of network people. “Today’s digitally experienced students learn differently and have new vernaculars.” These include the languages of cinema, games and the … Continue reading Vernaculars of learning

What’s the catalog for

David Weinberger noted Tim Bray’s nice post about the Bodleian a while ago. He discussed the catalog and went on to say: So, for fifteen years a catalog was useful for browsing for books you did not know existed. After that, the catalog reverted to being a tool for inventorying stock and as a look-up … Continue reading What’s the catalog for

iPods, platforms and ecosystems

There is an interesting article in Forbes suggesting that the closed approach that Apple is taking with iTunes and the iPod will lead to their decline. In an ecosystem, all the players share some key components. Devices that can read the Windows version of digital music (WMA) all share the song base, and almost all … Continue reading iPods, platforms and ecosystems

Digital Curation Centre

The Digital Curation Center, still in early days, looks as if it will be a valuable repository of materials. See for example the instalments planned (one has been completed!) for the Curation Manual. There is an overview of the DCC approach to digital curation, which is defined thus: Digital curation, broadly interpreted, is about maintaining … Continue reading Digital Curation Centre

I can’t get no …

Satisficing is a term associated with Herbert Simon, which refers to activity which aims to achieve a good enough end, not necessarily the best end. There do not seem to be corresponding nouns. Here are two suggestions, which can be used depending on perspective 😉 satisfiction satisvictory


Dan Farber writes: Martin refers to what I’m calling the recombinant Web (I’m probably not the first to utter the phrase) as Web mash-ups in his story. It’s not exactly the same as the music-related definition of mashing together a few pre-existing songs into something new, but it has the same flavor. Sometimes referred to … Continue reading Recombinance

GLAM people

Some years ago, I worked with a group assembled by the relevant part of the European Commission to work on ideas about overlap between libraries, museums and archives. As the poet said, ‘the words of things entangle and confuse’. We spent a long time discussing words and what was meant within the respective curatorial traditions … Continue reading GLAM people

The British Library

Colin St John Wilson, the architect of the British Library building wrote that he hoped that the library and its court yard would become a social assembly place and rendezvous point, particularly as the King’s Cross area is opened up by the arrival of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link. We visited the British Library on … Continue reading The British Library