Carnival of the Infosciences #88

February 4, 2008 at 9:39 am 2 comments

The bloggers of Library Garden welcome one and all to the February 4th, 2008 edition of the Carnival of the Infosciences. Only two submissions this week, but not to worry as the LG blog team submitted lots of favorites for inclusion. And now… one with the show!

Iris Jastram, the Pegasus Librarian, points us to her post in which she tackles the question Is “Traditional Reference” Dead? — a question she has been mulling for quite some time. While fully acknowledging that her experience is based upon being a librarian at a residential liberal arts college, she illustrates how reference can be and still is vital. She firmly states:

I think reference is alive and well just like the English language is alive and well. It isn’t bound by the same rules and expectations as it was once, and new rules have emerged over time, but that doesn’t mean that the basics have fundamentally shifted or become irrelevant…… Rather than being gatekeepers of information, we’re now expert in weeding through too much information, but we’re still helping people fill their information needs.

We also heard from Sol Lederman at the Federated Search Blog who submitted his post One-stop access to multiple federated search applications. In this post, Sol is offering up his time and energies to create a comparison site for federated search applications, but to do this he needs input and he asks:

In order to make this a fair comparison tool and one not biased by any particular party, in particular Deep Web Technologies who is sponsoring this blog, I ask for everyone who wants to participate to add a comment to this post listing up to 20 sources they would like to see in everyone’s demo. Remember, anybody can submit source requests, not just vendors.

So please stop by and leave your list of sources for Sol so he can get this project underway.

Next up is the selections by the LG bloggers and we will start with Ty’s selection, which was a post by Carlie Webber over at A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy entitled “Unpopular Opinions and the Edwards Award“. Ty, in selecting this post, writes:

The post itself is about whether Orson Scott Card should’ve received the Edwards Lifetime Acheivement Award (for Ender’s Game) because of his personal views and occasional writings on against homosexuality. Carlie brings up the point that, whether we agree with it or not, his views are certainly legitimate to a large part of our population. But furthermore, when we give an award… is it for the contribution or the artist? And, if we start denying awards for personal opinions, aren’t we practicing censorship and denying our first ammendment rights?

Robert Lackie weighed in with his selection by writing:

I spent a lot of time catching up on what’s been going on in the blogosphere this week, and although I found many interesting and intriguing posts, I will have to go with Gary Price’s post about the possible new MicroHoo (also known as YahooSoft ; ) as my top pick.

Although various posts provide interesting statistics or historical perspectives on both Yahoo! and Microsoft and the possibilities and pitfalls of a merger, Price’s post “Acquisition Time: MicroHoo?early this morning at Resource Shelf provided an outstanding overview of the possible merger, outlining “fast facts” about tech mergers, the real news from each of the search companies for the public and their respective employees, and most importantly to me and many others I am sure, such as the ramifications of mixing of these corporate cultures, the duplication of jobs and projects, and the possible search index and platform(s) to be used, among others. I certainly found Gary’s post to highlight and bring together the most pertinent issues at hand, even mentioning the Facebook/Microsoft investment plan and linking to some of the best posts, letters, and emails to hit the blogosphere on this intriguing proposition. Fantastic post!

Pete nominated Kate Sheehan’s “Sam’s Club” post. In sending me his submission he wrote: In the flurry of recent posts on Library 2.0, Kate does a great job of distilling the value of library 2.0 (personfied as “Sam”). She writes:

Sam loves libraries, Sam is devoted to libraries, Sam wants libraries to thrive. Sam wants librarians to love their jobs and patrons to adore their libraries. Sam hopes that everyone will be filled with so much love for the library, they will all be library evangelists. Sam likes technology and thinks there are some really useful tools out there. More than that, Sam is paying attention to the web-driven shifts in culture. Sam sees that people are coming to expect transparency, engagement, amazing service, responsiveness and efficient, convenient results from the organizations they interact with. Sam is a little worried about libraries. Libraries can be awfully good at getting in their own way and putting up well-intentioned road blocks between potential patrons and the wealth of resources the library has to offer. Additionally, libraries may be missing the boat when it comes to taking advantage of the information and perspectives offered by patrons.

Kate wraps it up by urging librarians to get over the semantics and “assess, meet and grow with the needs of our patrons”. Bravo!

Cynthia, our newest blog team member, makes her first ever pick for the COTI with the following:

My pick is the Annoyed Librarian’s January 30th post: Courses I wish I had in library school.

Why? Because it made me laugh out loud (as the AL often does), but also because this post points out something that library students seem to miss all the time–being a librarian is a job. As such, it means politics, it means jobs you don’t want to do (like fighting my nemesis the copier), it means smelly patrons, it means you have a boss who will be upset when you screw up and let you know, etc. All too often library students think their job is going to be all sunshine and happiness.

While I agree the job rocks and I am happy all the time, because I work in the best damn library on the planet (where all the patrons are above average and the staff is exceptional), on Sunday when someone stole my box of tissues, I was pissed! It’s a job and like all jobs, it has hard, stupid, and dull stuff attached to it and yes, politics! AL does a good job of making this clear without being a “mean” librarian.

Amy’s selection for the carnival were the posts by Rochelle over at Tinfoil+Racoon in which issues with loaning the Kindle were explored. In specific, Loaning Kindle to Patrons a No-No for Libraries and the more recent Never Mind Legal Issues; Kindle not good choice for most libraries. Both posts, and the ensuing discussion on the first, were very illuminating, especially as many libraries are currently trying to decide if/when to buy/circulate Kindles.

My pick? Well, I never managed to come up with one. I was on vacation in Vermont enjoying some time on the slopes at Smugg’s with my family and took a break from the blogosphere. My role was to coordinate the carnival for LG so I am going to take a pass on madly searching for a submission on my first day back in the office after a 12 day vacation (my voice mail and inbox are in serious need of my attention).

Oh, wait… a late breaking submission came in from Pete who sent me an email just now to say:

If it’s not too late, I’d like to nominate Aaron Schmidt’s post “More thoughts on a café branch“. Aaron asks, “Libraries are…putting coffee shops in libraries, why not go all the way and put a library in a coffee shop?” I admire the way Aaron both thinks outta the box, while grounding his ideas in reality, and anticipating and addressing possible objections.

Aaron writes:

Now before anyone gets bent out of shape, let me be clear. I’m not saying that all libraries should be like this, just that this model is an option. Libraries can certainly be much more than what I’m describing here, and they should be. However, libraries don’t always have to strive to be their full incarnation 100% of the time. Just like a small neighborhood branch probably doesn’t have an extensive collection of periodical back issues, so my hypothetical cafe library could shed some library baggage to free it to explore new territory.

And Pete exclaims: Right on dude, right on!

The next stop for the carnival is at A Passsion for ‘Puters on February 18th and they are on top of things and already have a call for submissions posted. Remember, participation is the key to keeping the carnival on the road, so be sure to submit early and submit often!

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2 Comments

  • 1. Infosciphi  |  February 7, 2008 at 11:38 am

    You folks RULE! What a great job. I certainly appreciate the work you put into this. I continue to be disappointed in the number of submissions we receive, but the quality of the Carnival posts still seems to remain high. Thanks for your work on this.

  • 2. Connie  |  February 17, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    I am just catching up. Great post! and great blog, by the way.

    Cheers,
    Connie


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