WorldCat Partial Identities

WorldCat Identies is a new OCLC project that presents OCLC information about authors in much richer form. My quibble is that it’s partial and restricted to that which is in OCLC’s silo. I looked up myself and found that after fifteen years of writing–including over 100 articles, hundreds of blog posts, and an unpublished thesis, plus articles in press, not to mention numerous mailing-list messages–I’m represented by five works.

Interesting concept, but it needs to be broadened beyond that particular pot of ownership.

My second brain

I’ve been on the road for nearly a week, attending a meeting and a conference (Code4Lib), and spending many, many mano a mano hours with colleagues who have ideas… vision… drive… concerns… people who share my passion for librarianship. I have a camera full of pictures (remember when you rationed out how many pictures you took because of the development costs and the hassle of lugging film around?), miniDV tapes of events, written notes, and a brain filled with ideas.

At my job, I spend all day communicating with people in my field, but  conferences and off-site meetings break through the static created by the “continuous partial attention” that typifies work-related discussions. The quality of learning away from the work setting reminds me of my favorite Far Side cartoon, where a student cheats on a test by pulling a second brain out of his bag. Just the chance to relax and focus, knowing that an interruption isn’t imminent, is like having a second brain.

Giant Chickens in Tallahassee!


Originally uploaded by freerangelibrarian.

I saw them with my own eyes!

Frisky Writing about the Future of the Catalog

In the January/February DLib, Karen Markey and the Karen Coyle-Diane Hillman dynamic duo have contributed two more sizzling articles about the future (or lack of one) for the online catalog. Mine their citations for links to Karen Calhoun’s article from last year and the excellent, almost chilling, Bibliographic Standards Task Force from the University of California.

My question: are online catalogs like the weather–everyone talks about it, but noone every does anything about it? I’m just wondering if developers and stakeholders are listening.

Roy Tennant to ILS Vendors: You Better Watch Out…

Roy Tennant uses the lessons of Eastman Kodak to fire a warning salvo at ILS vendors, while pointing out, once again, that the open source ILS is a serious competitor. Great open letter, linking to an equally eyeball-worthy article in Business Week (and we all need to  be reading way beyond library lit).

ETD Policies

One of the new areas for me in this job is the world of ETDs (electronic theses and dissertations). I have been conducting a virtual “MBWA” (Management By Walking Around) of ETD policies, and found this collection from Digital Koans. Despite a couple of broken links, it’s a useful list.

I notice that most policies…

  •  Encourage open access, and explain the value of electronic publishing;
  • Make it easy to submit theses and dissertations online;
  • Acknowledge that every discipline has a different culture;
  • Offer a range of options for the “openness” of ETDs, so that scholars in disciplines following old-school publishing models do not have to taint their publishing opportunities by placing their thesis or dissertation on the open Web.

My desk

My desk

Originally uploaded by freerangelibrarian.

Getting busy! The rest of the office is coming together, as well.