A nation of packrats

Britons growing ‘digitally obese’, from BBC News The next step here is clearly a new reality show called The Biggest Deleter, where contestants have to delete an iPod’s worth of data by the end of the season. In all seriousness though, cheap storage allows us all to be packrats. It makes the notion of personal digital libraries more relevant than ever. Possible RQ1: What folk classification schemes emerge from individual’s.. Read More

Reinventing the wheel: Accuracy vs. satisfaction

Apparently Medicare is just dicovering what we’ve all known in library science for decades: satisfaction and accuracy are not the same measure! A GAO study of 1-800-MEDICARE, found accuracy rates of 61%. Remarkably close to 55%, I’d say. Indeed, their methodology was practically lifted from Hernon & McClure (1986): test questions developed for the study, asked by proxies, of different answerers. And then comes my favorite part: Medicare responds with.. Read More

Compare and contrast

Evelyn put up a new batch of cartoons outside her office door recently. This rotating display is always a treat because Evelyn has a terrifically dry sense of humor. One of the new cartoons was this one from the New Yorker. An exercise for the reader. Compare and Contrast: that cartoon, and Bono’s quote: “In America, you look at the mansion on the hill and think, ‘One day that will.. Read More

E > P

Everyone who I’ve ever been stuck behind in line at the grocery store while you write a check, take note: Paper checks going bye-bye? from CNN/Money The number of electronic payment transactions — by both debit and credit card — exceeded check payments last year for the first time, according to a survey conducted by the Federal Reserve and electronic payments companies.

Open source for the classroom

Will Open Source Software Unlock the Potential of eLearning? from the Campus Technology site. This article contains an interesting graphic of an institution’s investment in software, comparing commercial and open source. The differences in planning and training, it seems to me, explains a whole lot about how technology is implemented in educational settings these days. This article also contains what I think is a very pithy explanation for why so.. Read More

Update on The Librarian: Quest for the Spear

Before the first commercial break, Diane calls — I pick up the phone and the first words out of her mouth, before hello even, are: “He doesn’t have an MLS!” Well, his professor did say that he had, what, 22 degrees? I suppose one of them could have been an MLS. But it would have been nice if they had actually acknowledged that being a librarian means that, you know,.. Read More

The coolest thing I’ve seen today

Google Scholar is of course the talk of the academic town these days. And Firefox is just about the coolest thing ever. So it was only a matter of time before someone created a Firefox extension to harness Google Scholar. Ladies and gentlemen, let me present the Google Scholar OpenURLs extension, created by Peter Binkley of the University of Alberta Libraries. This exceptionally cool extension drops an OpenURL link on.. Read More

Some end-of-semester silliness

First it was Indiana Jones: a slightly geeky archaeology professor as hero. Then it was Jet Li as a seriously ass-kicking librarian. Now it’s Noah Wyle, geeky yet ass-kicking librarian. I have to admit to being absurdly excited about this, TNT’s new show The Librarian: Quest for the Spear, premiering this Sunday, conveniently at the end of the semester. There are a few movies out there with librarians as protagonists:.. Read More


Blogging is a strange thing to do. I’m writing something and posting it in a public forum that I don’tr intend or expect anyone else to read. I stated in my first post that this blog was for myself. So why bother doing it? Why bother posting things publicly that I wrote for myself? Why not just keep a journal? Alternatively, why kid myself that I’m writing for myself when.. Read More