Monthly Archives: September 2007

The amplified conference, again

Following my remarks about the ‘amplified conference‘ the other day, I was interested to read this from Andy Powell: A large part of your event’s impact will come from the collective writing, images and videos by the people who attended. The only effective way of tying all this material together after the event is via … Continue reading The amplified conference, again

Subject and genre clouds

Worldcat Identities now has subject clouds. These are based on FAST headings in records associated with the identity. Here is the cloud on the page for Conor Cruise O’Brien. Click on the image to get through to the Identity page. Then click on one of the headings in the cloud to get the top 100 … Continue reading Subject and genre clouds

Discovery happens elsewhere

I have been using the phrase ‘discovery happens elsewhere’ in recent presentations. I think it captures quite nicely an increasingly important part of how we think about our services. No single website is the sole focus of a user’s attention. Increasingly people discover websites, or encounter content from them, in a variety of places. These … Continue reading Discovery happens elsewhere

Knowing about libraries and services in the network

I bought the following book in the congenial City Newstand in Cheyenne this afternoon. The back cover tells me that it was the Wyoming Historical Society Book of the year … I like the ‘get it’, ‘save it’, ‘add to it’, and ‘share it’ features. Because I am sitting at a machine in the public … Continue reading Knowing about libraries and services in the network


I am writing this in the very fine new public library building in Cheyenne, Wyoming. I was speaking to the Wyoming Library Association conference this morning. I have been travelling this week, hence no posts. In the few minutes before the library closes …. When I told the children I was coming to Cheyenne I … Continue reading Westerns

QOTD: pensions and open access

One of the features of the open access discussion in recent years has been the collection of significant reports authored or co-authored by Alma Swan. I was struck by this paragraph in a recent entry on her blog: Many people argue for Open Access on the grounds that publishers make too much profit, but that … Continue reading QOTD: pensions and open access

Nobody got fired for buying IBM ….

I’m not saying, of course, that elite colleges have evolved to prey upon the weaknesses of large organizations the way enterprise software companies have. But they work as if they had. In addition to the power of the brand name, graduates of elite colleges have two critical qualities that plug right into the way large … Continue reading Nobody got fired for buying IBM ….

Ambient fulfilment and on-demand space

The iPod hookup with Starbucks has had a mixed reception. I thought that it was intriguing as one of those little newsflashes from the future. From a story about how the current iPod form factor will be replaced by one based on the iPhone. In a curious marketing twist, Apple will take advantage of the … Continue reading Ambient fulfilment and on-demand space

And speaking of value …

I quoted Eleanor Jo Rodger a while ago in these pages: News stories like this and the ongoing Amazoogle discussion prompt us to think about the value of libraries. In that context, I recommend that everybody read Joey Rodger’s article on value and vision: Valuable is not about our professional values; in the paradigm of … Continue reading And speaking of value …

An evidence base?

In all the discussion about bibliographic data and catalogs, and about their advantages or disadvantages when compared to other approaches, it is striking how little appeal there is to actual evidence. Evidence about value. Evidence about cost.