Monthly Archives: October 2006

Search protocols

Ralph Levan has a succinct article in the current Information Technology and Libraries explicating the current profusion of search protocols by placing them on a continuum of complexity. Here is the e-print. LeVan, Ralph. 2006. “OpenSearch and SRU: A Continuum of Searching.” Information Technology and Libraries (ITAL), 25,3 (September): 151-153. Pre-print available online at: … Continue reading Search protocols

Pick up a penguin, nostalgically

I grew up in a house with a lot of books. And dominant among them were those published by Penguin. Their orange and green iconic covers are deeply imprinted on my brain, and I remember individual covers in the Classics and Modern Classics series. Here is the Design Museum: The rigorous application of colour, grid … Continue reading Pick up a penguin, nostalgically

Scoping collective collections

Over the next few years libraries will devote more attention to systemwide optimization of collections – within consortia, regions or countries. We have been using the phrase ‘collective collection’ to evoke the more focused attention to coordinated development, management and disclosure of collections this suggests. The current interest in the long tail, off-site storage, mass … Continue reading Scoping collective collections

Keywords and information

Steven Johnson – who has featured in these pages before – has an interesting piece in the New York Times Book Review. He plays on the senses of ‘Key words’. He notes the well-known work by Raymond Williams called Keywords (first edition in 1976, revised and expanded in 1983) as an example of intellectual engagement … Continue reading Keywords and information


On my travels I am coming across many more discussions of space, especially in academic libraries. Space is a valuable, and, in some cases, a contested resource. And, for some, the opportunity costs of filling space with collections are being assessed in the context of how the library best creates value for its community. See, … Continue reading Space

Custom search

It is nteresting to see the quick take-up of the custom search engine from Google. Here are some examples that have come over my horizon in the last few days: OpenDOAR is a directory of academic open access repositories based at the University of Nottingham. They have implemented a search across the contents of the … Continue reading Custom search

Traffic flow

The Hitwise blog is always interesting. They refer to the Udell/Bezos interview I cited a little while ago. First a paraphrased quote from Jeff Bezos: When library patrons use Amazon’s catalogue to research what’s in the library, they’re creating flow through Amazon’s site, and Bezos says he’s all for that. Flow works both ways – … Continue reading Traffic flow

The camera never lies?

The camera never lies … until now, that is … HP has a line of cameras that incorporates a ‘slimming’ feature: They say cameras add ten pounds, but HP digital cameras can help reverse that effect. The slimming feature, available on select HP digital camera models, is a subtle effect that can instantly trim off … Continue reading The camera never lies?

A google cocoon, or Google as Gaeilge

OK, so I have just done an entry quoting eFoundations, the blog by Pete Johnson and Andy Powell. The other day, I did a Google search for eFoundations and was interested to see that my earlier mention of it came top of the results, with eFoundations itself coming in second. Now, a little while before … Continue reading A google cocoon, or Google as Gaeilge

QOTD: What’s my identity?

Andy Powell talks about the move in UK higher education from centralized identity management (Athens) to a federated approach (Shibboleth) and wonders what lies beyond that ….. But what of 5 or 10 years time? Well, it seems to me that strategically the current federated situation is just a stepping stone on the road to … Continue reading QOTD: What’s my identity?