Monday, December 21, 2009

How I found librarianship

This post is part of the Library Routes Project.

I was never one much for reading books and stuff when I was a kid. My mom and sister were into science fiction. I tried reading some of their sci-fi books (Andre Norton, Lord of the Rings, etc.), but I found the stories to be contrived. When I had to do book reports for school, I found historical and sports-based books more to my liking.

In college, I had to get a job for my work-study so I figured the main library would be a good place to work. In my freshman year, I worked at the circulation desk for $3.50/hour processing and checking out books and reserve materials. I worked there about 8-10 hours/week. (In the next year, I got a raise to $3.55/hour!) I ended up working at the main library for four years during my undergraduate education. We also had a science library with a science librarian, but I never asked her how she came to work in the science library. I wish I would have.

For some strange reason, I remember seeing a flyer (late 1980's) about a library-based workshop at Mankato State University. At the time -- I thought to myself -- "Where the heck is Mankato State University?" and "Huh, I guess people who work as professionals in libraries go to seminars like this."

Anyway, I forgot all about that. I finished my undergraduate degree in 1989 with a BS in Physics. I got a job in optical manufacturing, moved out to the east coast to live with my girlfriend/now-wife, found a job in sales and then got married. I was not all that happy in my clerkish sales position. I searched my soul for a professional position, and I remembered that I liked working in libraries. I also liked programming and computers, and I thought maybe I could use my interests in a library position. In 1992/93, the Internet was starting to get some press, and I thought it would be a good time to jump onto the Internet bandwagon.

In 1993, I started course work at the University of Maryland, College Park. At first, I was thinking I would be a systems librarian. However, I remember reading an article about special librarianship in the sciences, and that just seemed perfect for me. (If only I could remember the article title or source.) I seem to remember that Liz Bryson from CFHT and Ellen Bouton from NRAO were quoted. Thus, I changed my focus from systems to public services pretty quickly. I graduated in 1995 and the rest is history.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

What is the future of the book? LRS wants to know your opinion

This survey just came out from the Library Research Service.

Recently, news outlets and blogs have been busy deriding and celebrating the recent ascension of e-readers. The growing popularity of this new format has come with murmurs about the death of paper books and some even surmise that as technology advances libraries will cease to exist!


Taking notice of the chatter, Library Research Service has decided to survey librarians on the matter. This new 60-Second Survey asks your opinions on e-readers and how you think they will transform reading.

  • Will e-readers be the demise of the paper book?
  • What will libraries circulate?
  • What is the future of the book?
Please let them know...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Keeping up with the discussion of #slaname

The vote is finally in -- 61% are in favor of keeping the name SLA. Now, there is lots of discussion concerning the process, the name, HQ, etc. Some of it is at:


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Brick and Click Symposium Stuff

Last week, I went to the Brick and Click Symposium. Many months ago, they accepted a paper of mine (Comparing Bananas with Grapes: Ebook Use Data from a Bunch of Vendors), and I traveled there to give a presentation on the topic.

Enough about me. I learned a heck of a lot, and I tweeted a bunch of the sessions. Below are the major things I learned about (or had good demonstrations of) at the symposium.

  1. Conduit might be a good service to create a library toolbar, in addition to our LibX installation.
  2. Use Jing to create short screencast videos (with audio) to explain how to search particular databases.
  3. "Informing Innovation: Tracking Student Interest in Emerging Library Technologies at Ohio University" by Char Booth.
  4. One can use a LibGuide page as the base for a conference presentation, such as this.
  5. Put in short poll quizes in LibGuides in order to get feedback from the students in real time.
  6. View your bit.ly statistics to see who is clicking on the library twitter links or from your blog.
  7. Promote your special collections. Put in external or reference links in wikipedia for the relevant encyclopedia entries.
  8. If you have any YouTube videos, put them in a scroller on the front of the website.
  9. SubjectsPlus could be used as an alternative to LibGuides.
  10. A Virtual Librarian in Any Class (Co-presented by Elizabeth Fox and Laura Wight) had links to a bunch of great resources, such as the Stuck in the Social Web Pocket Reference guide.
  11. Here is a plug for some of my LSW friends -- @webgoddess, @pigsinspace, @joshuamneff, @mstabbycat, and @roycekitts, @hbraum, @cclibrarian, and @gohomekiki. See the pics here, here and here.


Monday, October 26, 2009

Whole Earth Discipline mini quasi-review

I went to a book signing last week -- Tuesday, October the 20th to be exact. Stewart Brand was in town pushing his new book, Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto at the Tattered Cover. The presentation was associated with the Rocky Mountain Land Series. (See also their library.) I last saw Stewart Brand speak at the 2003 SLA conference in NYC.

Anyway, the presentation was really good. I learned about some new types of small nuclear reactors that are being developed. The best part of the talk for me was his discussion of the recommended reading list. I am glad that my academic library already has most of these titles, and I plan to buy the two books we don't already have.

Monday, October 19, 2009

SLA Name Change: First Impressions

I am not quite so keen on the proposed name change for SLA. The leadership announced about a week ago that they would like to change the name of the organization to the Association for Strategic Knowledge Professionals. This is all part of a strategic "alignment project". They say "this alignment project will not only help refine our current positioning in the marketplace, but provide a framework for discussing the inherent value in the profession and the Association in a clear, compelling and cohesive voice."

Some other relevant sites are the portal, research from Fleishman Hillard (ppt) and the SLA Name Change Info Center and the name change discussion forums. Many people have left comments on this post.

One of my first thoughts was that while the individual words strategic, knowledge and professional are all well and good, I was not sure if I liked the combination. It could be like throwing filet mignon, gourmet chocolate ice cream, and a nice dijon mustard into a blender. Yes, they are wonderful ingredients, but I am not so sure about the combination. Over the last week, the three word combination is starting to grow on me, a little bit.

However, I was a little perturbed when Stephen Abram wrote: "For those who don't read, discuss and absorb its insights and implications, then they're choosing to remain uninformed and unarmed. They're open to people lying to them that somehow this is against the librarian job title - which is so untrue and silly but apparently some people are easily lead. They're not real information professionals in my view since they're not informed and they're relying on their gut and experience instead of the fuller picture."

To say that librarians (or information professionals or knowledge professionals) who read, discuss and absorb the insights, and STILL disagree with the proposal are not "real information professionals" is ludicrious. That attitude will not win over many votes.

One of the aims of the proposed name change is to make it clearer to the decision makers in our organizations what the association does. I am not sure that the name change makes it any clearer.

The vote is NOT on the acronym, ASKPro. However, SLA leadership and the companies that helped in their research did consider the acronym when proposing the new name. Gloria Zamora noted that "we also eliminated names that did not have good acronyms or shortened versions associated with them." I do not like the acronym all that much for a variety of reasons, but since we are not voting on it, I won't go into any more detail.

I am also not pleased with the fact that only 25% of the survey population were librarians or information professionals. The rest were marketers, C-level execs, HR people, etc. Many of the librarians in SLA are academic librarians. I would guess that the majority of the STM librarians in SLA are academic. Where are the academic leader responders to the survey? They were not represented. As an STM academic librarian, why do I care what a C-level executive thinks of the word "library" or "strategy" or "knowledge" or whatever? Yes, I know that the majority of the members of SLA work in corporate libraries, but it seems like the survey ignored the academic, government and non-profit sectors. [10/20/09 changes. Two of those groups were represented in the naming survey, see slide 8 of the "PowerPoint summary of that research". More discussion is here. However, it is not clear if the survey was of academic and government librarians, or academic and government administrators, or a mix of the two. I also don't like the sentence on slide 9 -- "They are accountable for ensuring businesses have the right information to grow, succeed and benefit the bottom line." I don't work in a "business"; I work in a non-profit educational institution. A LOT of SLA librarians don't work for "businesses". This assumption is just plain wrong. All this talk about the bottom line, competetive advantage, and "having access to the right information for the best business decisions" is not relevant to me.]

Michael Fosmire brought up the point that the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the IEEE have no (or little) problems with their acronyms. As long as we have innovative people in the association that can attract more innovative people, then why bother with the name change? Will changing the name of the association really attract more innovative thinkers to become members?

Hilary Davis of NC State (and chair-elect of the ST Division) asked a small sample of people about the proposed name, and 9 out of 10 preferred the "Association for Strategic Knowledge Professionals". However, one of her respondents said it "sounds more cerebral and formal, but I doubt anyone outside the librarian world would realize it had anything to do with libraries or librarians." Thus, does changing the name make it any clearer what we do as information or knowledge professionals?

Right now, I would vote for Information Professionals International if I could, but that train left the station years ago. I am leaning against the Association for Strategic Knowledge Professionals. Who says they are a "strategic knowledge professional"? When I talk to strangers when they ask what I do, I say either librarian or an academic librarian, and they have a sense of what I do.

Yes, I know that the association wants to reach out and attract more members, particularly IT and other information workers, but is this the best way? If it passes, I will deal with it. I will continue to be active in an organization that houses innovative thinkers and knowledge workers. And librarians. And we can also be strategic. But the full phrase -- "strategic knowledge professionals" is a mouthful. Maybe I will get used to it if it passes.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

New version of the Periodic Table


This MIT Technology Review blog post explains how a new graphical presentation of the periodic table of chemical elements was developed. For more background, take a look at the PDF of the research behind the idea.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Reasons why I like the APS

Gene Sprouse, Editor in Chief, from the American Physical Society (APS) displayed some data at the September 17th Publications Oversight Committee Meeting. His presentation was "A View from the Clouds". He gave me permission to publicly repost some of the slides from that presentation.


Data was derived from the Thomson/Reuters Science Citation Index and the "Physics" section. They have a high percentage of the citations while publishing a small number of journals.







Snapshot of top Physics Publishers. Data derived from Thomson/Reuters Science Citation Index and the Journal Citation Reports.







Average cost per article was derived from journalprices.com. The APS publishes their journals with very low cost per article.

Note: I am on a rolling position as a library adviser on the APS Publications Oversight Committee.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Monday, August 3, 2009

What I learned at the Handheld Librarian Conference

Here is the stuff I learned from the Handheld Librarian Conference.

The conference organizers set up http://www.flexyourinfo.com/track/hhlib2009/ for tracking images, delicious tags and tweets concerning the conference. During the course of the day, Guy and I learned about an even better real time twitter tracker -- http://tweetgrid.com/search?q=%23hhlib.

I Got to meet a lot of other really, really, really cool librarian tweeters, including two of the presenters. Val Forrestal's presentation is here. She posts many good articles (concerning twitter) at delicious, and she also wrote a followup to the conference.

I really liked the afternoon keynote by Tom Peters on "Mobility and Singularity: People, Communication, Information, Information Objects, and Information Services in Motion". I would "lug my guts" to meet Tom in person. In short, because of mobile communication technologies, people don't need to meet face to face to get work done, and people will travel less in the future for business purposes.

Joe Murphy did his session on "Sending out an SMS", but since I was not able to attend that hour, I could still get a sense of the session by following the tweets and comments. He also posted his slides at SlideShare.

From the twitter conversation, I also heard that the session on "Mobile Medical Information: View from the Medical Library" was very good. I will go back and listen (and/or look at the slides) to it sometime in the future.

It was a good, but long and productive day.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Running for SLA Sci-Tech Division Chair, 2010-12

Here is a draft stump speech. It will probably go into the STN and the sla-st discussion list sometime in August.

Joseph Kraus has been active in SLA for the last 15 years. He has volunteered for several committee spots in the Sci-Tech Division and in the Physics-Astronomy Mathematics (PAM) Division. Sci-Tech Division activities -- From 1996-2000, he was the Webmaster of the Sci-Tech Division. In 2002, he moderated the Contributed papers session. For several years after that, he reviewed the contributed papers. From June 2003 through June of 2005, he was the Secretary. In 2004, he gave a paper at the “Winner's Circle of Best Science Websites". PAM Division activities -- Over the last 15 years he moderated the PAM-wide roundtable twice, moderated the vendor roundtable and was a member of and chaired the Awards committee. He co-taught a CE class concerning science resources in 2002 and 2003. He presented a poster paper in 2006 concerning science and engineering library branch renovations. He was Chair-Elect, Chair and Past-Chair of the PAM division from June 2006 through December 2008. He was very happy to chair the PAM Division when the SLA Conference was in Denver in 2007.

There are several big issues I think the Division should address. We need to: 1) Attract and retain DST members. We also need to get more members involved in the Division. 2) Encourage greater use of the discussion list and other communication and social networking technologies. Since the division has such a wide variety of academic, corporate and other special librarians, we should encourage the sharing of innovative ideas and solutions to common problems. 3) Make sure that the June conference is intellectually and socially stimulating. 4) Address the serials crisis and open access issues.

In short, I think libraries and librarians should strive for even more sharing of ideas and knowledge. In my work, I try to share as much information and knowledge as I can with others. If you want to learn more about me, take a look at some of my social networking accounts.

http://friendfeed.com/jokrausdu

http://www.nuthingbut.net (miscellaneous thoughts on librarianship and other stuff)
http://sci-eng-penrose.blogspot.com (work blog)
http://delicious.com/jokrausdu
http://twitter.com/jokrausdu
http://www.facebook.com/jokrausdu


Handheld Librarian virtual conference

I will be attending the Handheld Librarian conference tomorrow. If you are attending, maybe you could win a door prize? Go ahead and enter here. They will also be tracking delicious tags and tweets concerning the event. Use #hhlib. Thanks to Luke for the info.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Shanachie Tour came to Chicago

The members of the Shanachie Tour (Erik Boekesteijn and Jaap van de Geer) are "World Famous" for their travels and interviews. Here are some new ones. They interview some great librarians and friends of mine.

ALA Annual Conference 2009 Chicago from Jaap van de Geer on Vimeo.


OCLC Blog Salon:Shenanigans with Shanachies from Jaap van de Geer on Vimeo.



Thursday, July 2, 2009

Nuthing to do with libraries...


Ok, this has nothing to do with libraries, but I would like to share this link concerning the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado (BBBS). I volunteer for this great non-profit organization. This year, they reduced their services to the community because they have not received the same level of corporate and individual donations. This fund-raising campaign hopes to alleviate some of the financial pressures the BBBS is facing this year. If you feel like it, please donate to this worthy organization. It will really help support a great kid and my mentoring activities.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

About 6 months to the STELLA Unconference

Now that I am done with the June SLA Conference, I am getting ready for the STELLA Unconference that I am hosting at the University of Denver in early January of 2010. What is STELLA? It is "Science, Technology & Engineering Library Leaders in Action!" Get ready for another spate of emails and such from me trying to get more attendees, funding, etc. I will also edit the wiki some more.

Anyone want to make a cool looking logo?

Here are some posts with the background and the naming of the unconference.

Monday, June 8, 2009

My prelim schedule for SLA09

This is just my prelim schedule for the SLA conference this year. I always double and triple book many of the time slots, since one session might end up more interesting than another.

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Flight into town. -
Sunday, Jun 14, 2009
7:30 AM - 12:45 PM
Location: DCA, Reagan Airport

Frontier flight 728, Denver to Wash DC. 7:24 am to 12:42pm.
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INFO-EXPO "International" Networking Reception (A Taste of D.C.) -
Sunday, Jun 14, 2009
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Location: INFO-EXPO Halls D & E

Use this non-conflict time to learn more about SLA exhibitors without missing a session. Enjoy a Taste of D.C. with an international flare in the INFO-EXPO. Wine bars are sponsored by the Thomson Reuters businesses. Did you notice the all of the flags at Registration? They represent flags where are members are from.
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SLA Opening General Session and Awards Presentation -
Sunday, Jun 14, 2009
5:15 PM - 7:15 PM
Location: Convention Center Ballroom ABC

Former Secretary of State General Colin Powell will be our Featured Keynote.
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LSW meetup - http://thelsw.org/node/84
Sunday, Jun 14, 2009
5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Location: R.F.D. Washington

http://www.lovethebeer.com/rfd.html R.F.D. Washington 810 7th St. NW Washington, DC 20001 info@lovethebeer.com 202.289.2030
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Physics-Astronomy-Mathematics Division Open House -
Sunday, Jun 14, 2009
7:30 PM - 10:30 PM
Location: Division Suite

Join PAM Division members from around the world to network, discuss issues and/or just have fun!
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SLA Centennial Reception -
Sunday, Jun 14, 2009
7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Location: Convention Center Grand Lobby, Street Level

Join us for a kick-off reception for our Centennial Conference! Enjoy music, food and a cash bar. Catch up with friends and meet new ones at this exciting event to be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
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Science-Technology Division Business and Awards Breakfast - Ticketed Event #620
Monday, Jun 15, 2009
7:00 AM - 8:30 AM
Location: Renaissance Washington Hotel Congressional Hall A

Join Science and Technology Division members for breakfast while we congratulate the winners of our 2009 awards and find out what your division is planning next year.
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Physics-Astronomy-Mathematics Division Vendor Update -
Monday, Jun 15, 2009
7:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Location: Convention Center 209AB

Information about new vendor products.
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Radical Reference: Using Technology to Improve Access for All -
Monday, Jun 15, 2009
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Location: Convention Center 146A

We will be discussing Radical Reference and its history, purpose, and ideals; radical librarianship; censorship; and librarians as activists. We will also discuss using open source software, and how new methods of utilizing technology can provide more free access to information.
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SLA Unconference Session #1 -
Monday, Jun 15, 2009
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Location: Convention Center 204A

These sessions will be centered around the Unconference idea. Some of these sessions will be topics that are determined ahead of time on the SLA Wiki: http://wiki.sla.org/display/unconf/Welcome+to+our+UnConference+Wiki Other sessions, will be open sessions that will focus on what participants want to discuss. Pre-registration is not required, but the sessions are limited to 50 people.
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Open Access Mandates: From the Front Lines -
Monday, Jun 15, 2009
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Location: Convention Center 142

National and institutional open access mandates will be discussed by Neil M. Thakur, PhD, Special Assistant to the Deputy Director for Extramural Research at the National Institutes of Health, and Amy Brand, Program Manager, Harvard University. Get the inside scoop and hear success stories and lessons learned from key players in this critical development of scholarly communication.
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Materials Research and Wind Energy: Recent & Future Developments -
Monday, Jun 15, 2009
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Location: Convention Center 144B

Can wind power meet all of the U.S. energy needs? During the past 10 years, wind energy production has been a rapidly-growing industry. In the U.S. alone, more than 25 states now have wind farms generating electricity, and other countries are developing similar programs. Discover the role that materials science and its researchers are playing in this ambitious, valuable and increasingly global endeavor.
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Science & Engineering Resources 101 -
Monday, Jun 15, 2009
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Location: Convention Center 152A

This year in 101, get an overview of resources for alternative energy and agriculture. See how they fit into the life of an engineer or scientist. Our experts then introduce the best resources that help in discovering, obtaining, and working with these types of resources.
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SPOTLIGHT SESSION -- Social Networking: The Essence of Innovation -
Monday, Jun 15, 2009
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Location: Convention Center 145A

To stimulate innovation, people need to reach out beyond their own area. From scholarly journals such as the Journal of Knowledge Management and Knowledge Management Research and Practice Journal, to the more popular press such as Harvard Business Review and Newsweek, all have featured papers dealing with the emergence of social and organizational networking. The success of such initiatives is demonstrated, for example, by the 3 ½ year old Facebook social networking site, used by most college and high school students and increasingly more adults, and valued at about $15 billion. Social networking research highlights the importance of carefully constructing one's social networks to best leverage knowledge internally and externally. Organizations should aim to provide enabling mechanisms to stimulate knowledge discovery. Leibowitz discusses how social networking can lead to innovation, based on his book "Social Networking: The Essence of Innovation".
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Physics Roundtable -
Monday, Jun 15, 2009
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Location: Convention Center 140B

The ABCs of Physics Information. Issues of Physics librarianship will be discussed.
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Future of Voting -
Monday, Jun 15, 2009
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Location: Convention Center 143B

Voting machines? Internet voting? New technologies? How can technology improve how our elections - local, state and national - are run?
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Physics-Astronomy-Mathematics Division Daily Retreat -
Monday, Jun 15, 2009
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Location: Division Suite

PAM suite will be available to PAM members to check your email, network with friends, and relax for a while. Snack and refreshments will be available.
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SLA INFO-EXPO "White House" Networking Lunch -- Attendee Full Registrations Only - Ticketed Event #645
Monday, Jun 15, 2009
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Location: INFO-EXPO

Use this non-conflict time to learn more about SLA exhibitors while having your lunch in the INFO-EXPO hall and without missing a workshop. Take your lunch voucher to one of the food carts in the INFO-EXPO hall. Don't forget to continue to visit exhibitors with your passport and have a chance to win a 2009 Smartcar. Visit our President's Forum before you enter the INFO-EXPO Hall. Take a picture or two. SPECIAL NOTE: Only available with atendee full registrations. You must have SLA issued Ticket#645 which is worth up to US $15 for food and beverage at the food outlets and carts in the INFO-EXPO, Monday from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. only.
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Conversation, Collaboration & Community: Web 2.0 Has Something for Everyone -
Monday, Jun 15, 2009
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Location: Convention Center 147A

Collaborate with a community of like-minded individuals who share your interests. Contribute to the continuous dialogue and converse in ways never before possible. Social media and blogs have created new and rich information sources. Today, blogs have become an important part of the information flow, transcending traditional communication barriers, unearthing expertise not otherwise realized. Blogs encompass transparency, community, and dialogue building; creating an environment of information sharing and open learning. The session speakers will share their experience incorporating Web 2.0 technologies into their own professional environments. You will leave this session confident that you can champion a forum for open communication and create a user community within your own workplace.
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PAM-wide Roundtable -
Monday, Jun 15, 2009
1:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Location: Convention Center 202A

An opportunity for first-time attendees to meet other Physics-Astronomy-Mathematics Division members, and discuss division-wide issues
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SLA Hot Topic: Wikis, Tweets, and Blogs, Oh My! -
Monday, Jun 15, 2009
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Location: Convention Center 145B

Copyright, Social Media and the Corporate Library: Yesterday’s communication buzz-words have become today’s industry standards. Social networking and new media are mainstream. Online forums and user-generated content directly affect your work as a librarian every day and you are faced with new questions surrounding the issue of copyright. Whether you are a social networking novice or immersed in the world of wikis, tweets and blogs, understanding how to use these tools has become an imperative for corporate librarians. Sponsored by: Copyright Clearance Center/Software Information Industry Association (SIIA)
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SLA Unconference Session #2 -
Monday, Jun 15, 2009
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Location: Convention Center 204A

These sessions will be centered around the Unconference idea. Some of these sessions will be topics that are determined ahead of time on the SLA Wiki: http://wiki.sla.org/display/unconf/Welcome+to+our+UnConference+Wiki Other sessions, will be open sessions that will focus on what participants want to discuss. Pre-registration is not required, but the sessions are limited to 50 people.
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Physics-Astronomy-Mathematics Division Publisher Liaisons Meeting -
Monday, Jun 15, 2009
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Location: OSA 2010 Massachusetts Ave; 20036

LOCATION: Optical Society of America Building, 2010 Massachusetts Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036.
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PUBLISHER LIAISON COMMITTEE MEETING -
Monday, Jun 15, 2009
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Location: Optical Society of America Headquarters.

2010 Massachusetts Ave., N.W. Washington, D.C. 20036 USA Tel: 202.223.8130 On the Red line of the Metro, Dupont Circle.
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Librarian 1.0 to Librarian 2.0: The Future of Managing Content -
Monday, Jun 15, 2009
3:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Location: Convention Center 147A

The meeting ended with all parties agreeing that the data from our catalog would be stripped of its catalog-y nature, reconfigured and re-formatted, to be pushed out to the client's Web site. More and more I find myself managing and mashing information, evangelizing about content, and pushing to think outside the box by using Web 2.0 technologies. How do I do it, and what tools do I use? These topics, and other issues will be discussed.
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SLA Unconference Session #3 -
Monday, Jun 15, 2009
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Location: Convention Center 204A

These sessions will be centered around the Unconference idea. Some of these sessions will be topics that are determined ahead of time on the SLA Wiki: http://wiki.sla.org/display/unconf/Welcome+to+our+UnConference+Wiki Other sessions, will be open sessions that will focus on what participants want to discuss. Pre-registration is not required, but the sessions are limited to 50 people.
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Science-Technology and Biomedical Divisions Academic Roundtable -
Monday, Jun 15, 2009
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Location: Convention Center 140B

Future Shock II: Libraries for Next Generation Science and Scientists is the theme for this roundtable discussion sponsored by the divisions of Biomedical & Life Sciences and Science-Technology.
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SLA Contributed Papers: Adapt, Leverage, and Communicate--Part I -
Monday, Jun 15, 2009
3:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Location: Convention Center 141

• "The Changing Terrain of Special Librarianship: A Report from the Workforce Issues in Library and Information Science (WILIS) Study,” by Deborah Barreau, Joanne Marshall, and Susan Rathbun-Grubb, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • "Science Research: Journey to a Thousand Sources," by Abe Lederman, Deep Web Technologies • "From Information to Inspiration: How Libraries Can Shape the Future of Diversity by Connecting People and Building Community," by Judy Bolstad, Lucia Diamond, Lillian Castillo-Speed, Teresa Mora, Ty Johnson and Susan Wong, University of California, Berkeley
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Information Technology Division Blogging Social -
Monday, Jun 15, 2009
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Location:

Get together offsite for drinks, snacks and networking! NOTE: Meet at the SLA Registration Center (located in the Convention Center) and continue on to a local restaurant for Dutch treat drinks, snacks and networking with your fellow bloggers.
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Physics-Astronomy-Mathematics Division Book Group in U.S. Naval Observatory -
Monday, Jun 15, 2009
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Location: Convention Center South Building, L Street Entrance

An assigned book will be discussed in the friendly environment of USNO. Round-trip transportation will be provided from the convention center. SPECIAL NOTE: All tours will depart promptly from the L Street entrance of the Convention Center's South Building. Please check in with the Capitol Services Inc (CSI) staff 15 minutes prior to tour departure from the Convention Center.
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U.S. Naval Observatory Tour - Ticketed Event #685
Monday, Jun 15, 2009
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Location: Convention Center South Building, L Street Entrance

Watch the stars, and get a tour of the observatory. A fun evening! Round-trip transportation will be provided from the conference center. To purchase tickets, visit the SLA Registration website . SPECIAL NOTE: All tours will depart promptly from the L Street entrance of the Convention Center's South Building. Please check in with the Capitol Services Inc (CSI) staff 15 minutes prior to tour departure from the Convention Center.
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Information Technology Division Open House: Sci-Fi Night -
Monday, Jun 15, 2009
9:00 PM - 11:45 PM
Location: Renaissance Washington Hotel Renaissance Ballroom East

The IT Division presents the authors John C. Wright, John Hemry, Brenda Clough and Bud Sparhawk at our annual Sci-Fi Open House. Meet the authors, network, and enjoy food and beverages with your fellow Sci-Fi fans.
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Physics-Astronomy-Mathematics Division Networking Breakfast and Business Meeting -
Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009
7:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Location: Convention Center 151B

Join PAM members for an informal breakfast.
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SLA Contributed Papers: Adapt, Leverage, and Communicate--Part II -
Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009
9:30 AM - 11:00 AM
Location: Convention Center 141

• "Saving Special Libraries in a Recession: Business Strategies for Survival and Success," by Arlene Fletcher, Mary Franklin, Joyce Garczynski, Glynnis Gilbert, Sara Mathis and Ping Wang, University of Maryland, College Park • "Federal Government Information Goes Social? Inspiration from Change.gov,” by Kim Lyall, NASA Center for AeroSpace Information operated by Chugach Industries, Inc • "From Information Chaos to Usability: Using a Content Management System to Manage Information and Connect with Users," by Adam Hudson, University of Southern California
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The Role of Social Networking Sites in Research -
Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009
9:30 AM - 11:00 AM
Location: Convention Center 144A

A panel of Washington Post researchers will lead a discussion on using social networking sites for research and the ethics involved in doing so.
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SLA Unconference Session #4 -
Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009
9:30 AM - 11:00 AM
Location: Convention Center 204A

These sessions will be centered around the Unconference idea. Some of these sessions will be topics that are determined ahead of time on the SLA Wiki: http://wiki.sla.org/display/unconf/Welcome+to+our+UnConference+Wiki Other sessions, will be open sessions that will focus on what participants want to discuss. Pre-registration is not required, but the sessions are limited to 50 people.
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Physics-Astronomy-Mathematics Division History -
Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009
9:30 AM - 11:00 AM
Location: Convention Center 201

Curious about the varied and astonishing history of our division? Come hear thoughts and remembrances from past Chairs of the division, plus highlights of how PAM has been and remains in the forefront of scientific and technical librarianship. You'll hear from: * Dorothy McGarry, Chair 1982-83 * David Stern, Chair 1994-95 * Brenda Corbin, Chair 1998-99 * Michael Fosmire, Chair 2003-04 and I'll be sharing details from our History file by archivists Jack Wiegel (First Chair of the division, 1972-73) and Dorothy Manderscheid. Even if you've read the file on the web site, I hope you'll join us Tuesday, June 16th, from 9:30-11am, in CC201 to hear the stories!
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It’s All Academic: Open Roundtable Discussions -
Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009
9:30 AM - 11:00 AM
Location: Convention Center 140B

Join us for our first “unconference” session as we host multiple moderated discussions on topics such as information literacy, promotion/tenure issues, the evolving reference desk, building faculty relationships, and more. Whatever your subject specialty, if you work in an academic institution, you’ll find something of interest here.
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Physics-Astronomy-Mathematics Division Daily Retreat -
Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Location: Division Suite

Daily Retreat 2.
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SLA Unconference Session #5 -
Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Location: Convention Center 204A

These sessions will be centered around the Unconference idea. Some of these sessions will be topics that are determined ahead of time on the SLA Wiki: http://wiki.sla.org/display/unconf/Welcome+to+our+UnConference+Wiki Other sessions, will be open sessions that will focus on what participants want to discuss. Pre-registration is not required, but the sessions are limited to 50 people.
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Computer Science Roundtable -
Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Location: Convention Center 201

Informal and lively discussion of issues facing computer science.
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Interdisciplinary Science and Its Impact on Information Professionals -
Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Location: Convention Center 147B

As both the soft and the hard sciences become ever more interdisciplinary, how does this affect information professionals who work with and provide services to scientists? Do information professionals need to become generalists or narrowly-focused specialists? This session will examine the challenges and opportunities for our profession in an interdisciplinary science world.
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Future of Librarians in the Workforce Research Report -
Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Location: Convention Center 152B

Following four years of research the results of the IMLS-sponsored study into the future of librarians in the workforce will be reviewed. The study will identify the nature of anticipated labor shortages in the library and information science field over the next decade. It will assess the number and types of library and information science jobs that will become available in the U.S. either through retirement or new job creation; determine the skills that will be required to fill such vacancies; and recommend effective approaches to recruiting and retaining workers to fill them. The study is expected to result in better tools for workforce planning and management, better match of demand and supply, and improved recruitment and retention of librarians.
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Science of Imagination -
Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Location: Convention Center 144A

Can biochemistry and neuroscience really answer what "makes" imagination. What other scientific disciplines are in involved? What are the intangibles? This is another in the Sci-Tech series, "Science of ..."
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Mathematics Roundtable -
Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Location: Convention Center 201

Informal discussion of issues facing Mathematics Librarians. Thanks to American Mathematical Society and SIAM for sponsoring this session.
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INFO-EXPO "Washington Monument" Networking Refreshments -
Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Location: INFO-EXPO Halls D & E

Use this non-conflict time to learn about SLA exhibitors without missing a session. Visit the Washington Monument in the INFO-EXPO Hall. Grab an Ice Cream Bar to cool off in the INFO-EXPO Hall, sponsored by Copyright Clearance Center.
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All Sciences Poster Session and Reception -
Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009
5:00 PM - 6:30 PM
Location: Renaissance Wash DC Hotel Grand Ballroom Central/South

All Sciences Posters
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Information Technology, Leadership and Management, and Physics-Astronomy-Mathematics Divisions Open House: The Embassy Ball -
Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009
9:00 PM - 11:45 PM
Location: Renaissance Washington Hotel Grand Ballroom South

Join the IT, LMD and PAM Divisions for the annual Dance Party! Find your inner dancin' diplomat and boogie away to our DJ.
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Institutional Repositories Roundtable -
Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009
7:00 AM - 8:00 AM
Location: Convention Center 156

A roundtable for practitioners to share best practices and discuss repository issues independent of specific vendors.
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Luggage Check, Complimentary -
Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009
7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Location: Convention Center Registration Area

Attendees may check luggage in the Lobby near the SLA Registration Center.
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Physics-Astronomy-Mathematics Division Daily Retreat -
Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Location: Division Suite

Daily Retreat.
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Idea Showcase: SLA Chapters, Divisions, and Caucuses in Action -
Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Location: INFO-EXPO Hall E

Chapters, divisions and caucuses showcase examples of successful program topics, unusual meeting formats, membership recruiting campaigns, joint activities with other groups, sub-units that work well, and more. Take an idea back to your unit for consideration.
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Cyberinfrastructure and the New Construction of Knowledge: Will the University Survive? -
Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Convention Center 145B

The move is on to create a cyberinfrastructure that will revolutionize how scientists communicate and collaborate when performing research. This session will explore the basics of what librarians working with social scientists need to know about cyberinfrastructure and discuss possibilities for integrating products and services into this new model.
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Paradigm Shift in Scholarly Communication: Science and Technology Developments in India -
Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Convention Center 144B

Communication between librarians and their users is changing. Learn how it is happening in India as well as other areas of the world.
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Effective Communication Strategies: How to Understand and Be Understood by Customers and Co-Workers -
Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Convention Center 144C

In this presentation you'll learn: the four main communication styles and how to use each one; how to be perceived as a master communicator, regardless of your preferred style; tips to defuse any potentially confrontation situation; and secrets to remain calm in any environment. You'll recieve handouts with key points identified. Presentation will include speaking, harp music, relaxation/calming techniques. My website is www.MakeYourSuccessEasy.com.
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Mashups: Future of Changing Content -
Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Convention Center 143B

Nicole Engard, editor of "Library Mashups: Exploring New ways to Deliver Library Data," will explain what mashups are and how they can be used, while sharing examples from libraries around the world. Attendees will learn what tools to use to mash up library data with content from the Web in order to reach more patrons.
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Astronomy Roundtable -
Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Convention Center 149A

A lively session of emerging issues in Astronomy.
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The Business of Chemistry -
Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Convention Center 155

Learn some tips and techniques for finding chemical business information, such as competitive information, technology trends, latest news, industry and market information, in “traditional” scientific sources, free sources, gray literature, and specialized “for fee” sources.
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SLA Unconference Session #7 -
Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Convention Center 204A

These sessions will be centered around the Unconference idea. Some of these sessions will be topics that are determined ahead of time on the SLA Wiki: http://wiki.sla.org/display/unconf/Welcome+to+our+UnConference+Wiki Other sessions, will be open sessions that will focus on what participants want to discuss. Pre-registration is not required, but the sessions are limited to 50 people.
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SPOTLIGHT SESSION -- Creating Groupies: How to Add Value, Make Yourself Irreplaceable & Beat the Pants Off Google -
Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Convention Center 145A

It's no longer enough to efficiently and cost-effectively find the most reliable information available; we also have to ensure that our organization understands the skills we bring to the table. This Spotlight Session looks at practical ways that we can add value to our research products, develop the services that our clients can't find elsewhere and can't imagine living without, and demonstrate that relying on Google (or any other search engine) for making critical decisions is folly.
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INFO-EXPO "Historic" Networking Refreshments -
Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Location: INFO-EXPO Halls D & E

This is your last opportunity for non-conflict networking time and refreshments in the INFO-EXPO. Look for a few historical characters such as Abraham Lincoln, Benjamim Franklin, Frederick Douglass, and even Betsy Ross will bring the original flag still in its embroidery hoop with one last star to be sewed on and will chat about how she was chosen to make the first flag!
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SLA Closing General Session and Membership Meeting -
Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009
12:30 PM - 2:30 PM
Location: Convention Center Ballroom ABC

Judy Woodruff will be moderating this closing session, with Robyn Meredith, Neil deGrasse Tyson and John Patrick. These thought leaders will discuss leading topics of the future in their prospective areas and how they will affect the future of their fields and information professionals.
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SLA 2010 Kickoff & Closing Reception -
Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009
2:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Location: Convention Center Ballroom ABC

Join us as we kick-off the 2010 SLA Conference & INFO-EXPO Mardi Gras style! Enjoy entertainment, light refreshments and a cash bar. A great way to wrap up a fantastic conference!
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Flight back home -
Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009
3:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Location: DC to Denver

Leave at 3:00, get to airport at 4:00pm to prep for the flight at 6:00pm DCA to DEN Frontier Flight 725 6:00pm to 7:56pm

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Videos on the future of libraries

While I know about quite a number of websites and reports (see these blog posts from John Dupuis, this LISNews report, this PLoS article, this ARL report, this book, these ACRL reports, and the Darien Statements) that are about the future of libraries and other information services, I recently learned about some new videos that are about the future of libraries.

Betsy Wilson's Crystal Ball: New Directions for Libraries (Crystal Ball Gazing: New Directions for Research Libraries Tuesday, October 16; 8:30-10:00; Morrison Library, University of California, Berkeley)

New Directions: Imperatives Defining the Future Relevance and Impact of the Academic Research Library -- by Jim Neal (James Neal is the Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian at Columbia University in New York City, providing leadership for university academic computing and a system of 25 libraries.)

New Directions -- by Peter Brantley. (He is the Executive Director for the Digital Library Federation, a not-for-profit international association of libraries and allied institutions. He has served as the Director of Technology at the California Digital Library, New York University, UC Berkeley, and UCSF.)

• We can't forget about students... Take a look at a vision of students today -- by Michael Wesch (This summarizing some of the most important characteristics of students today - how they learn, what they need to learn, their goals, hopes, dreams, what their lives will be like, and what kinds of changes they will experience in their lifetime.)

• The Changing Landscape of Scholarly Communication in the Digital Age. This took place at Texas A&M University, February 11-13, 2009. A bunch of the videos and reports are relevant.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Interesting day in foodland

Two major governmental decisions were made recently concerning specific food items. One in the UK, and the other here in the US. We now know that Pringles are indeed potato chips (as decided by Britain’s Supreme Court of Judicature) and not "savory snacks" -- whatever that is. The other? Cheerios might be classified as a drug according to the FDA. What will happen tomorrow? Will the courts determine exactly how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie pop? The world may never know.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Twitter hashtag for DPAM functions

I'd like the Physics-Astronomy-Math division of SLA to decide on a #hashtag we will use when twittering at the SLA conference. SLA is recommending using the #sla2009 hashtag. Tweets using #sla2009 are retweeted to http://twitter.com/sla2009. This Mashable article explains how to use hashtags.



This website (hashtags.org) does a good job of keeping track of trends in hashtag use.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Digital Libraries Symposium, January 2009

One of my library friends was on this panel...

The 11th Annual Digital Libraries Symposium, in Denver (at the ALA Midwinter Conference) in January 2009, addressed "Next Gen Librarians: Who Are They & What Do They Want?" This is the relevant audio file.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

We like this new marketplace much better

This is my entry concerning thesis #72 from the Cluetrain Manifesto. It is: "We like this new marketplace much better. In fact, we are creating it."

In this little screed, I will focus on the marketplace of information, and how the landscape has changed in the last 10 years. As a librarian, this is what I am most attuned to.

The general public has taken a much greater interest in creating and distributing information of all sorts. With the advent of the Internet and Web2.0, it is much easier and cheaper to distribute digital information to a global community.

In the past, the gatekeepers at the small number of media outlets considered themselves to be the main filters of quality information and entertainment. If the editor of a newspaper didn't like a story, it didn't get published. If a TV executive didn't like a show (or it didn't get enough advertising revenue), it didn't get aired. There was only so much space in a printed resource, and only so much time on network TV. They operated on the premise of scarcity, but that problem has gone away.

Compared to traditional print media, there is now essentially unlimited digital space for magazines, journals and newspapers. While there is only so much time in each day, there is more choice in the number of television channels.

Concerning news, Craigslist has killed off the need for many people to advertise their used junk in printed newspapers, and this has really reduced their revenue. Blogs have created an outlet for the average person to publish an information source. Google has made the search for relevant news and information much easier to find.

The print encyclopedia industry is dead, but Wikipedia does a very good job, and it is getting better by the minute. The "wisdom of the crowd" is replacing the wisdom of the few.

The academic journal market continues to be a huge problem for libraries, but there are more and more Open Access outlets for researchers to get their articles published. Many authors also post their articles in subject-based repositories, and that makes it much easier for readers to find and read their research.

The book market continues to be heavily print based, but some publishers are printing books on demand for authors that would normally never see the light of day. It will also be interesting to see how much the Kindle (or even the iPhone) impacts the printed book market in the next 5-10 years.

We are creating our own entertainment with YouTube and other video sites. Many are mashing up video games software and scripts to create machinima.

We are creating virtual photo albums using our digital images. We no longer need to rely on the corner photo lab or drug store to process our film.

While the main television networks are still around, the big four networks are getting less and less viewership. People simply find other things to be more interesting, such as reading and writing blog entries, reading books, playing videogames, creating YouTube videos, watching other cable channels or playing frisbee.

While some see problems with too much choice in the information landscape, many others demonstrate that there are positives in the long tail of information and that having more options is a good thing.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The 95 theses from the Cluetrain Manifesto have stood the test of time

It is odd for me to write a blog post announcing that I will be writing another blog post (on April 28th), but this is the case today.

The 95 theses (not 96) from the Cluetrain Manifesto have now been around for about 10 years. For the most part, the theses form the heart of the Web2.0 revolution. The book turns 10 years old on April 28th, and in celebration, the author has asked for 95 bloggers to write blog entries that expand upon how the world has changed in 95 ways over the last 10 years. In short, I've signed up to expand upon thesis #72, which is "We like this new marketplace much better. In fact, we are creating it." I have an idea in my head about how I would like to expand upon this (talking about OA, blogs, wikis, new media, etc.), but maybe you would have some other ideas on how I could talk about how we are creating our own new media outlets.

I know some other library bloggers who are covering other thesis statements. Thanks goes to Connie Crosby for noting the celebration.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Changing a conservative scholarly culture...

The question I have today is -- how can the library change a very conservative scholarly culture when it comes to the sharing of faculty publications and research?

Some/many of the faculty here are not used to sharing their ideas, papers and presentations over the web. (They could be afraid people will steal their great ideas...) In fact, some of our faculty were simply shocked to learn that DU doctoral dissertations were available online through Proquest. Some faculty are worried that their doctoral students will have a hard time finding a book publisher to publish the dissertation. Thus, they would have difficulty getting tenure after leaving DU. (There is no strong evidence to support this conclusion.)

The library would like to see more faculty involved in sharing their research through either our Institutional Repository or through the DU Portfolio Community. I am the head of a group called the "Open Access and Scholarly Communication Taskforce". In mid-May, we will be presenting some/all of these resources (see below) to a group called the Library Liaison Advisory Group or LLAG for short. The LLAG meetings invite one faculty member from each department, so this is a small representative sample of the DU faculty. I will probably only have about 10-15 minutes to present this to the faculty.

Here are some things I would like to present concerning the broad topic of "scholarly communication". This is probably too much information in the time allotted, but I am not sure what to cut out. What do you think? What should I take out or add?

1) Start with the Create Change Website and the "old" 6 page brochure.

2) Quickly look at the updated serials and book expenditures chart from the ARL, 1986-2006.

3) How researchers benefit from expanded dissemination of their work.

4) Mention the Harvard case and the SPARC response -- "Open Doors and Open Minds" white paper. (I am sure we will get questions about Harvard. Maybe some will also know about the MIT mandate and others.)

5) Address misunderstandings about Open Access.

6) How to make the new scholarly communication system work for the faculty in various roles.
• As a researcher and author
• As a reviewer
• As an editor or editorial board member
• As a society member
• As a faculty member
• As a teacher
7) Ask for advice on where to go from here. How do we change the "culture of DU"?

I was just talking to a grad student yesterday who is working with a faculty member about how to make greater open access to his faculty publications through DU portfolio, and I showed him the Sherpa Romeo website that explains which publishers allow for various flavors of green OA. I think many more faculty need to know that the majority of journal publishers allow for green OA in local repositories. Should I mention Sherpa Romeo at the meeting?

I know the culture will not change overnight, and it varies quite a bit by department, but we have to start somewhere.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

How the Penrose Library is using SNS tools

I was on a panel yesterday with a bunch of other great librarians. It was the spring workshop of the Colorado Association of Special Libraries (CoASL), a division of CAL. Some of the slides at the workshop are posted at the event page of Slideshare. Below is my presentation.

Wish I could have stayed for the whole day, but I HAD to go to the dentist...

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Darien Statements on the Library and Librarians

This is awesome! Three great minds -- John Blyberg, Kathryn Greenhill, and Cindi Trainor have THE answer to the Taiga document...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Pedagogy of Innovation

This was the title of the "Symposium for Colorado Teachers and Faculty" that took place right before the Bridges to the Future event.

I learned a lot of stuff about:

Scalable Game Design from the University of Colorado, Boulder
Humane game development for students and teachers
Scratch -- A programming language that makes it easy to create your own interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art.
Greenfoot -- Game development platform that is more appropriate for teenagers.
• David Thomson wrote the book, Law School 2.0: Legal Education for a Digital Age. This books is focused on how students are using social networking services. I really like how he used wordle at the beginning of each chapter.

I hope I can use some of these resources to help my son make his own video/computer games.

Science, Technology and Education: Mapping the Future

This isn't my title, but it is the title provided by the speaker, Steven B. Johnson for the Bridges to the Future quarterly conference at the University of Denver. He is the author of the book Everything Bad is Good For You: How Today’s Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter.

On the evening of March 31st, he essentially provided an update to this 2005 book. This was fine with me, since I haven't read the book, yet. I was originally thinking that he was going to talk about his new book, The Invention of Air: A Story of Science, Faith, Revolution, and the Birth of America. I did get Air signed by him before the presentation.

Anyway, the session covered:

Computer and video games.
• How kids are playing more challenging games such as the Sims series of computer games.
• The Sleeper Curve serves to "undermine the belief that... pop culture is on a race to the bottom, where the cheapest thrill wins out every time", and is instead "getting more mentally challenging as the medium evolves."
• Complex games and shows are more interesting, such as:
Civilization 4
Spore -- This game gets kids interested in interdisciplinary scientific topics.
Lost -- This is more like a game, than a tv show.

Participatory media. The phenomena surrounding the show, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" is interestings. There are Buffy Meetups and Vampire meetups. Way back in the 1990's, one vampire would have had a hard time meeting other vampires. As a kid, he created his own baseball game using dice and statistics from various baseball magazines and newspapers. What are students learning from the newer more interactive computer and video games? The games can be addictive, but they are also learing to adapt to more challenging games and situations.

Books. The Kindle is great, and he goes over the positives of the device.
Once can immediately decide on an impulse buy. He covers the iPhone and Google books such as Experiments and observations on Different kinds of Air by Joseph Priestley. How will people cite and link to specific pages and passages in ebooks, since the pagination is different depending upon the device one uses to read the book? Why write books in print at all? Because they can still influence people in a powerful way.

Then he took questions concerning Second Life, violence in video games, open access books, preschool kids' use of media, and journalists view of the world and the media.

Overall, it was a pretty cool session.

Monday, March 23, 2009

S&M and M&S Award Winners

Congratulations to all of the Shovers and Makers (S&M) and to the Movers and Shakers (M&S) award winners out there.

Somehow, I was awarded an S&M award this year.

Go ahead and nominate yourself -- you deserve it. You know you wanna.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Visited an EPA Library, Region 8 in Denver

Went to a presentation at the EPA Office in Denver today (Region 8). The presenter, David Selden, posted his slides from the talk on "Libraries and Environmental Sustainability" right here. David is a librarian at the Native American Rights Fund Library in Boulder, CO.

Here are the basics from his slides:

Global Warming or None like it hot video from Futurama
• The Hockey stick chart.
• Per capita carbon emission chart showing the US is horrible compared to the rest of the world's countries.
• By 2050, we should try to be 80% below our 1990 levels in CO2 emission.
• 80% of glaciers will be gone by 2035.
• The oceans will rise 1 meter over the next century. Shows what it will do to Florida.
• The Pika is threatened.

He provided some data showing how much CO2 emissions come from various activities like driving and flying. Some data can be found at Carbonfund.org, but these numbers do not match David's numbers precisely.The Building is a LEED Gold Standard building, and we saw some of it with a tour. Particularly interesting was the Green Roof at the top of the building. I also really liked the sails used at the top of the building to redirect light from the skylights to the lower levels.

We also went into the Library on the 2nd floor which is available to the public from 8am-4pm. I wish I could have taken pictures, but they don't allow that in the EPA building. It was pretty cool. I did get an EPA tatoo. Here is some documentation I grabbed. Overall, I really enjoyed visiting the EPA Region 8 library.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

What is the future of academic publishing?

I have been reading A LOT lately about the demise of the newspaper business. Particularly interesting is Clay Shirky's take on the whole system -- Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable. Thanks to 2009 M&S winner, Dorothea Salo, I found found history. This post has a good analysis that compares/contrasts the demise of the newspaper market with the academic publishing market. Tom Scheinfeldt said: "In our world, parallels to newspaper publishers can be made, for instance, with journal publishers or the purveyors of subscription research databases (indeed the three are often one and the same). I’m sure you can point to lots of others, and I’d be very happy to hear them in comments. But what interests me most in Shirky’s piece are his ideas about how the advent of the unthinkable divides a community of practitioners."Just what I have been thinking. The academic journal market is sinking like the Titanic. The established publishers do not want that cash cow ship to sink. The problem is that the cost of publishing truly has decreased, even though the big publishers say it costs $2,850 or $3,000 or somesuch figure to publish an article. The $3k is the cost with the existing broken journal system! They cannot image a future that does not have the "the brand of the journal which gives the imprimatur to the research article." To generalize a tad, older established researchers do indeed care about the name of the container of their articles, since that carries much of the weight for tenure purposes. They may ask -- "What is going to replace the newspaper industry/academic journal market? It can't go away because it is such a venerable institution." Therefore, it can't go away. But, as we have learned from Clay Shirky, newspapers are going away, and it may take some time for journalists to find another way to document the news and culture of the day. Journals and publishers (and societies) will start disappearing, and authors will find other channels to publish their thoughts, experimental results and ideas. Indeed, many physicists already have since 1991.

Many students (and some researchers) do not care about the name of the journal that houses the article. They care about the article itself. This viewpoint will continue to grow as they get older. More and more patrons will find articles through Google Scholar and other databases instead of browsing the current issues of Science, Nature, JACS or whatever.

Believe or not, my library is going through a cancellation discussion for the first time in 18 years. Our faculty and students have not had to worry about cancellations in quite some time. Thus, they have been shielded from the growing STM serials crisis. The faculty and the students are not the ones who pay the bill for the information. The library pays (well, the University actually) and the patrons are the ones who enjoy the benefits of the access to all of the subscriptions. This strange economic model has been well researched by Mark J. McCabe.

I wish I had time to read all of the 87+ books - and - reports that John Dupuis posted to his blog. I've already read a bunch, but there is so much great insight to be gleaned from all of these. (I wish I had more time to read...)

I imagine a future world where scholars post their work on websites/blogs -- it gets critiqued by a variety of scholars, and the articles get rated. The scholarly articles that get the highest ratings, citations and links get brought to the top of search results. As it stands now, articles do not HAVE to live within the imprimatur of a journal brand to have an impact. They can live on a website, in an IR, at a preprint server, etc. In the future, more and more and more scholarly articles will simply live on the net as stand-alone items without being housed in a journal. This is where the scholarly article market is headed.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Gravitational Theory of FriendFeed

I propose the gravitational theory of FriendFeed. If a post has a small number of comments from some "big names", and the object is wandering in the right part of the universe at the right time of day, it will gather up some other interesting comments, which makes the post bigger, which gathers up a huge number of other comments.

When do the comments stop piling on? It is when the object wanders off into near empty space-time. The comments will also stop gathering on that object when another larger object comes into view, and people start commenting on more interesting "matters".

Thursday, March 5, 2009

How the Library Camp of the West was put together

Steve, Laura and I just finished the preprint for a paper (submitted to Collaborative Librarianship) and we posted it to the RCLIS eprint server at http://eprints.rclis.org/15739/.

Abstract -- From July to October, 2008, Laura Crossett, Joseph Kraus and Steve Lawson organized the Library Camp of the West (http://librarycampwest.pbwiki.com/). This was an unconference that took place on October 10, 2008 at the University of Denver. The authors used many technology tools to organize the event, such as email, wikis, blogs, two tools from Google, the Doodle scheduling Website, Flickr and more. This article will explain how they used those tools to prepare for the unconference.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My short review of the Age of Spiritual Machines

I came across this book (The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence) written in 1999 concerning the future of computing. Dr. Kurzweil has an interesting take on the future of computing and the human race. He sees things in a very positive light, and he is a very strong "strong AI" proponent. He had many specific predictions about the future of computing in 10 year increments. There are predictions for 2009, 2019, 2029 and 2099. Since it is now 2009, I thought I would look at his predictions for 2009 to see how accurate they are. The synopsis of his predictions come from pages 277-278, but chapter nine (pages 189-201) covers the year 2009 in more detail.

"A $1,000 personal computer can perform about a trillion calculations per second." This would be 1,000 Gigahertz computer. In looking at some Dell and Gateway desktop models that cost around $1,000, I see that they have processors such as a Quad-Core Intel® Xeon® Processor up to 3.33GHz or an Intel® Core™2 Quad Processor Q8200 at 2.33GHz. This isn't exactly 1,000 GHz, but with the dual and quad processors, they may be effectively operating at much greater than a 3.33 or a 2.33 GHz single Intel processor. Processing power isn't as important as it used to be. Memory is also very important, and that is not addressed at all in his book. Also, the speed of the computer can depend on the operating system that is used.

"Personal Computers with high-resolution visual displays come in a range of sizes, from those small enough to be embedded in clothing and jewelry up to the size of a thin book."
He kind of called this one, but wearable computers are not exactly in fashion these days, unless you consider an iPhone a wearable computer.

"Cables are disappearing. Communications between components use short-distance wireless technology. High-speed wireless communication provides access to the Web."
Plenty of cables are still around, but WIFI and G3 is taking care of the Web access.

"The majority of text is created using continuous speech recognition. Also ubiquitous are language user interfaces." Ummmmmmmmmmm, no.

"Most routine business transactions (purchases, travel reservations) take place between a human and a virtual personality. Often, the virtual personality includes an animated visual presence that looks like a human face." Well, we do make purchases and reservations online, but it is not with an animated virtual presence.

"Although traditional classroom organization is still common, intelligent courseware has emerged as a common means of learning." We are not even close to being there. I think Dr. Kurzweil doesn't understand the political and social inertia that is in the public education system and in the college educational system. High quality educational software is pretty difficult to devise.

"Translating telephones (speech-to-speech language translation) are commonly used for many language pairs." Another no.

"Accelerating returns from the advance of computer technology have resulted in continued economic expansion. Price deflation, which had been a reality in the computer field during the 20th century, is now occurring outside the computer field. The reason for this is that virtually all economic sectors are deeply effective by the accelerating improvement in the price performance of computing."
Well, no. However, how could he possibly have predicted the 9/11 bombings. The Tech bubble bursting in the early 2000's, and the economic and housing market collapse of the fall of 2008. We are in a stage of abundant over consumption, and humans need to learn not to consume so much and to save more.

"Human musicians routinely jam with cybernetic musicians." Again no. But, I do find the word 'cybernetic' interesting. Haven't used that word in some time.

"Bioengineered treatments for cancer and heart disease have greatly reduced the mortality from these diseases." I wish. As humans have gotten heavier, our heart problems have gotten worse. The war on cancer is still being waged.

"The neo-Luddite movement is growing." Another no. I see more and more people sharing their thoughts, ideas, images and videos using Web2.0 technology. We are seeing solutions to our problems being solved with crowd-sourced open-access software platforms.

Some other good reviews are at:

Fogel, David B., A true visionary's truly fantastic vision. IEEE Spectrum, (July 1999), Vol. 36 Issue 7, p9-10.

Casti, John L., Exit Homo sapiens, stage left. Nature (2/25/1999), Vol. 397 Issue 6721, p663-664.

Proudfoot, Diane, How Human Can They Get? Science (04/30/1999), Vol. 284 Issue 5415, p745.