Does this count as my technology-related post?

March 28, 2007 at 7:33 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment



Different searches for different genres

March 23, 2007 at 7:46 pm | Posted in OPAC | Leave a comment

This post by Chris Anderson, the “Long Tail” guy, is very interesting. Anderson points out that different musical genres (classical, pop, jazz) are searched for differently:

But I was interested in Amazon’s classical music store for another reason: classical is a genre that the one-size-fits-all music aggregators such as iTunes don’t handle particularly well. They’re oriented around pop music, with its artist, album, track data format. Meanwhile classical music organizes around composer, conductor, performer, soloist, etc. … However, neither of them does a very good job with Jazz, where the individual musicians are often more meaningful than the band.

He goes on to point out that IMDB does a better job of allowing searching/linking by individual performer than Amazon and iTunes.

So, what collections or genres in our libraries (digital or not) could benefit from customized searching abilities? HmmmMMMMMmmmmmMMMMMM.


March 20, 2007 at 5:18 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Web archiving and crawling….don’t know where the “crawlapalooza” comes in, but it was included in the brief write-up of this presentation in D-Lib’s report on Open Repositories 2007:

Using OAI-PMH Resource Harvesting and MPEG-21 DIDL for Digital Preservation
Joan Smith and Michael Nelson To successfully preserve a web site, its resources must be crawled and the structure and relationships among the resources must be maintained. Joan Smith and Michael Nelson, Old Dominion University, propose involving the web server in the preservation process through “mod_oai”, an Apache module to harvest a web site packaged with its associated metadata thereby contributing to its long-term preservation.

 Look for the presentation to be posted later on the conference website.

Power vs. ease

March 20, 2007 at 4:12 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I like this post from the handy Creating Passionate Users blog because the image is so awesome and sums up so much of what bugs me about the yelping about simplifying the OPAC. Simplification and ease of use ARE very important, but it’s crucial to remember that power is also valuable, and sometimes simplification means that power is lost.

Well heck I can’t figure out how to include an image so I guess I will do that later.

Institutional repositories and their use

March 20, 2007 at 4:12 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A recent issue of D-Lib magazine contains an article by Cornell describing how faculty use (or don’t use) their institutional repository:

Of the eleven faculty members interviewed, only four knew about the existence of DSpace, and only one member (the historian) had deposited items in it.

Whoops.  Some interesting tidbits: a) many faculty don’t seem to care about the whole “information wants to be free” thing, preferring to protect their scholarly reputations and tenure-track-ability; b) some mentioned not wanting their work association with a repository that had a bad rep for including some crap in it; c) some (esp. in the humanities) did not want their preliminary research released before official publication, for fear of plagiarism; d) redundancy with personal/departmental webpages is a barrier.  The historian interviewed also noted the inflexibility of DSpace for categorization and searching.


On the “pro-repository” side, permanence/archiving was mentioned as a factor.  A few faculty were aware that materials in the depository had metadata that allowed them to be retrieved easily using Google (really?).


“It is not clear in my mind the future of journals versus the arXiv,” stated the engineer. “The old school of paper journals and digital repositories are on a collision course.”

The reward structure established by each discipline largely defines the motivation behind faculty behavior. As eloquently stated by the economist, “While we are going through a digital revolution – in the way we teach and communicate with each other – the reputation of being published in the print journals is still the strongest incentive for motivation.” This position was largely echoed by the engineer, who stated “what is holding us to the journal is the promotion procedure. This is about a problem of measurement with how Cornell evaluates my work.”

That said, there are real risks associated with changing one’s practices, especially when one assumes the role of an early innovator. As the communication faculty member summarized, “There has to be a better way than the current system, but I’m not willing to be on the leading edge in using that system.”

Some “new OPAC” stuff from Michael Doran

March 6, 2007 at 2:21 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Michael Doran is a very helpful memeber of the Voyager users discussion list. Here are some things he recently pointed out:

Lucene , some open source search software project. Their open source search server is Solr.

An example of Lucene in an OPAC from the National Library of Australia, in the Australian National Bibliographic Database.

An ApacheCon 2006 presentation by Chris Hostetter about faceted searching with Solr.

And, finally, a pilot project from Andrew Nagy at Villanova University Library called MyResearch Portal, presented at code4lib 2007. This one looks very interesting.

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