Monthly Archives: December 2008

Holiday note 2: QOTD: video games

John Lanchester has an article on video games in the current London Review of Books. Because of the cultural segregation between audiences that he describes below, it is unusual to see a serious treatment of video games in a venue like this. I was particularly interested to see this given the increase in gaming capacity … Continue reading Holiday note 2: QOTD: video games

Holiday note 1: Ohio

An off-topic holiday note for non-US readers. The first year or two we were in Ohio we spent quite a bit of time driving around the State. This lasted only so long: our children protested about long drives. For them, a long drive is anything that involves traveling further than to the mall 😉 Before … Continue reading Holiday note 1: Ohio

A timeline

Here is what I saw at the end of the page when I did a Google search on Edmund Burke … This functionality is available in Google News. I did not see it immediately in Google Book Search, although book content is contributing to the timeline. I tried a few names, but it only comes … Continue reading A timeline

Museum studies

The UK academic world was in a frenzy yesterday as the results of the Research Assessment Exercise were published. In this process, the work of academic departments is graded on a scale from 4* (‘world leading’) down. It is important for both reputation and revenue, as the results are keenly observed and are used to … Continue reading Museum studies

Card Catalogue Online

I was interested to come across the University of Bristol’s ‘Card catalogue online’, a resource based on scanned images of catalogue cards. The digitisation project involved scanning 300,000 cards covering pre-1978 material held in the Arts and Social Sciences Library and all other branch libraries (except the Medical Library). As well as providing a browse … Continue reading Card Catalogue Online

QOTD: putting book info in the flow

Mike Shatzkin writes about the changing environment for publishers in Publishers’ Weekly. There are some familiar themes … Network concentration (Amazon) and diffusion (recommendation and referral from social sites, widgets, …) … Print book review media and subscription book clubs are fewer in number and, most critically, bricks-and-mortar retail shelf space for books is being … Continue reading QOTD: putting book info in the flow

Sustaining the digital investment

The Blue Ribbon Task Force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access was launched last year by the National Science Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in partnership with the Library of Congress, JISC, CLIR, and NARA. It is jointly chaired by Fran Berman of the San Diego Supercomputer Center and by my colleague Brian … Continue reading Sustaining the digital investment

QOTD: Innovation

A couple of sentences in Joseph Stiglitz’s Vanity Fair critique of economic and financial policy over recent years jumped out at me: But innovation, like “change,” has no inherent value. It can be bad … as well as good. [Joseph E Stiglitz on capitalist fools. Vanity Fair]


I have mentioned SEO (Search Engine Optimization) a few times as an increasingly important area of interest for librarians. However, as I have suggested, I come across resistance on the grounds that this is some sort of base or mendacious activity. We are very interested in interoperability, however, and for this reason it may be … Continue reading SEO

Network environmental issues

I wrote a short piece for Portal last year. Reconfiguring the Library Systems Environment portal: Libraries and the Academy, Vol. 8, No. 2, April 2008. (.pdf: 195K/18 pp.) [Lorcan Dempsey: Selected publications [OCLC]] The introductory remarks about the environment repeat many of the topics discussed in these pages in the last few years …. … Continue reading Network environmental issues