Bronwyn's Library Blog

Sunday, February 27, 2005

The Power of Blogs

Michael Gorman stirred up more than he intended with his comments about Google’s Library digitization efforts – or in his words “My piece had the temerity to question the usefulness of Google digitizing millions of books and making bits of them available via its notoriously inefficient search engine. The Google phenomenon is a wonderfully modern manifestation of the triumph of hope and boosterism over reality. Hailed as the ultimate example of information retrieval, Google is, in fact, the device that gives you thousands of "hits" (which may or may not be relevant) in no very useful order.” Bloggers picked up his story and gave it their honest opinions. Gorman now knows more about the existence and power of blogs. Read his article…

Friday, February 25, 2005

ISBN-13 the new Y2K?

This year sees the change of ISBNs from 10 to 13 digits. It has been suggested that the change will bring problems similar to those faced with the change to the year 2000 (Y2K), when systems had to upgrade their software to make sure it would handle the change from 1999 to 2000 without reverting to a date of 1900.

Patricia Harris is the executive director of the National Information Standards Organization. Patricia has said "This truck is coming down the road at us." "There are folks in the IT world of ... systems who need to know about ISBN-13 and prepare for it."

I suspect that this changeover will be as gentle as that to Y2K. The change is aimed for implementation by 2007. Already several publishers have begun supplying both the 13 digit and the 10 digit ISBNs to their distributors. We will certainly need to investigate the capabilities of our systems to deal with 13 digits, and ensure that our suppliers are able to cope with the change.

For information on ISBNs in general, and on the changes and their implications, read the article by Robert Brumfield.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Libraries, politics and the public purse

Spending the public’s money is a responsibility at any time, but when the budget is as large and as closely watched as San Francisco City Library’s is, then the responsibility is huge. Resource Shelf reported in its article Librarian picks words carefully that Luis Herrera spoke at a press conference about his new job, which begins in April and promised
: "There's a tremendous amount of responsibility, and I will not disappoint you. In a brief interview Tuesday, he showed political adeptness when he offered his views on the debate over whether the library should focus resources on building its book collection or expanding technology, such as putting more computers with Internet access into the branches." Read more of the article

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Library confidentiality

The issue of confidentiality as it pertains to library records is raising its head in America, and, therefore will be impacting on us in Australia as well. These two articles illustrate the importance of maintaining that confidentiality, even though it would seem to be totally against the best interests of all concerned.

Librarian fired for "good deed" that violated confidentiality
Steve Roberts, a former librarian at the Johnson County Central Library, did not take the library's confidentiality policy lightly. Overland Park police officer Tony Latus stepped up to the desk on Feb. 1 and asked Roberts for the telephone number of a library patron whose wallet had been found in a supermarket …article continues
Libraries, law officers sometimes clash

Dane County Sheriff's Detective David Mahoney walked into the Rosemary Garfoot Public Library in Cross Plains on Dec. 30 and asked to see the library's Internet sign-in sheet for the day.
Assistant Library Director Sue Freedman said no.
There was no unpleasantness in the exchange. Freedman said Mahoney was "very understanding" and waited several hours while she called the village attorney for legal advice. When she eventually told Mahoney that she would not turn over the sheet without a warrant, he left. Article continues

Sunday, February 20, 2005

BlogBib: Blogging @ Your Library

Here is an excellent blog about blogs - with the emphasis on library related blogs. Covers the history of blogs and their many uses with an excellent bibliography of the best bloggers. Glad to see Marylaine Block mentioned.