Jeffrey Pomerantz

Librarianship First Principles

The more I prep for my Library 2.0 course, the more I find myself thinking about what Library 2.0 really is all about. And the more I think about what Library 2.0 means, the more I return to what I think of as the First Principles of librarianship. I don’t mean Ranganathan’s Five Laws, though certainly those are true enough, and useful as a way of framing the philosophical underpinning of the profession… Read More

Membership has its privileges

I’ve been doing some weird things to prepare for teaching the Library 2.0 course in the Spring: I recently finished reading Teaching As a Subversive Activity, I’ve become a disciple of Howard Rheingold’s pedagogical stylings, I upgraded our free LibraryThing account to Lifetime membership. I’ve also finally caved in to my CueCat lust: I asked Y to get me one as a stocking-stuffer for the holidays. (I mean, it’s only $15, big deal.).. Read More


I want to start this by saying that this was completely Kathleen Kern‘s idea. We were talking over dinner at LIDA last week, and she asked me, essentially, “Why isn’t there an equivalent of WorldCat for digital libraries?” I gave some lame answer: no standardization across DLs, complexity of dealing with item- and collection-level description simultaneously, cost, I don’t even remember what all I said. (In my defense, we were well into a.. Read More

Libraries of the Future

No, not the Licklider vision, but a new version from JISC. Through ‘Libraries of the Future’, JISC is hoping to explore these and many other questions, to open up – with partner organisations and librarians themselves – a debate about the future of the academic and research library. The theme will encompass a variety of activities – events, printed resources, interactive Web 2.0 services, podcast interviews, and so on – but encouraging debate.. Read More

My very own wiki

Once again, I come late to the party, but once there I join in with abandon… I now have my own wiki! I’ve installed MediaWiki in my ibiblio space. I’ve been meaning to install MediaWiki for a while now, but I had no real reason to do it other than just wanting it, so I never bothered. But Paul and I have recently been discussing proposing a course on Library 2.0, and Paul.. Read More

Thoughts on meeting Abby Blachly and reading The Long Tail

I was on a panel earlier today at the LAUNC-CH Conference, which I think went well, though I killed the conversation at one point, never a good sign. Anyway, Abby Blachly of LibraryThing was the keynote speaker, and I had the good fortune to have some conversations with her during the conference, plus have lunch together. I’ve written here about LibraryThing before, and I fear that I came across as somewhat anti-LibraryThing, or.. Read More

Kudos to the UW Libraries

It’s been a long time since I’ve done my librarians-need-to-take-professional-responsibility-for-the-reliability-of-Wikipedia-as-an-information-source rant here, mostly because I felt there was nothing more to say on the matter. However, I need to revisit it on account of this article in the latest D-Lib Magazine: Lally, A. M., & Dunford, C. E. (2007). Using Wikipedia to Extend Digital Collections. D-Lib Magazine, 13(5/6). In May 2006, the University of Washington Libraries Digital Initiatives unit began a project to.. Read More

Plymouth NH is cooler than you thought

My parents, who live in way northern New Hampshire, sent me an article the other day from Plymouth Magazine about a point of local technological pride: the information architect for the Lamson Library at Plymouth State University in Plymouth NH recently received the Mellon Award for Technology Collaboration. For what did he win this? For WPopac, an OPAC app based on WordPress. This OPAC now seems to be the default, and maybe the.. Read More