“Who has the most scientific knowledge of large-scale organization, collection, and access to information? Librarians,”

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sun, 04/25/2010 - 22:42.

For a humorous take on a previous transition—the shift from scrolls to books—
watch this clip from Norwegian television NRK (with English subtitles)

realNEO is popular with librarians, and our members are certainly data intellectuals, so I expect an extensive treatment of the future of libraries - Gutenberg 2.0 - in the May/June Harvard Magazine will be of great interest here.

The insightful feature begins:

“Throw it in the charles,” one scientist recently suggested as a fitting end for Widener Library’s collection. The remark was outrageous—especially at an institution whose very name honors a gift of books—but it was pointed. Increasingly, in the scientific disciplines, information ranging from online journals to databases must be recent to be relevant, so Widener’s collection of books, its miles of stacks, can appear museum-like. Likewise, Google’s massive project to digitize all the books in the world will, by some accounts, cause research libraries to fade to irrelevance as mere warehouses for printed material. The skills that librarians have traditionally possessed seem devalued by the power of online search, and less sexy than a Google query launched from a mobile platform. “People want information ‘anytime, anyplace, anywhere,’” says Helen Shenton, the former head of collection care for the British Library who is now deputy director of the Harvard University Library. Users are changing—but so, too, are libraries. The future is clearly digital.

I suggest you read on at Harvard here...

I'm going to go read James Joyce's Ulysses on my Nexus One for free...

It is included on an interesting list of "banned books" at Google Books...

Catch-22. A Farewell to Arms. Of Mice and Men. Hailed as literary classics, it's hard to believe that there are hundreds of attempts each year to remove these and other great books from schools and libraries. In fact, according to the American Library Association, 42 of 100 books recognized by the Radcliffe Publishing Course as the best novels of the 20th century have been challenged or banned.

Google Books is our effort to expand the universe of books you can discover, and we're proud to join libraries and bookstores across the country in celebrating Banned Books Week – a nationwide initiative to help people learn about and explore banned books. You can start by browsing the 42 classics below.

Read a great book and go to bed.

Libraries vs. Borders Bookstore

realNEO vs. Facebook and all the other commercial antisocial media, so UnCool in Cleveland.

Get it.

Disrupt IT

Borders is going down

The can't last much longer. They did a lot of damage in their days, responsible for the death of small independents who couldn't compete with the volume and the prices. The coffee thing also became an expectation of customers for bookstores.

I have a facebook account. I go on it every couple of weeks, and I am the first to say that I am not good at maintaining my share at Facebook. I do not see the point of it other than a way to connect with long lost friends in other states. So far, that has not happened, but I am so under the radar at FB due to ID theft, maybe no one can find me if they do not currently know me. 

I also have a twitter account but that is even lamer so it is retired, or unused to the point that it may no longer exist. I do not have any interest in twittering (and I don't know how), and ignore any request to connect for instant messaging.

Or maybe I am the problem because I have not cared enough to figure out how to use these medias. Certainly many people do participate worldwide and are happy with it. It may be their only source for e-networking. The teens and young adults are certainly adept and happy with Facebook.

Libraries and information

Libraries are certainly undergoing a transformation and the ability to access information is changing. 

We ARE losing the ability to classify and catalog information so that we may be able to find it again.  The article does not discuss--functional requirements for bibliographic records--an attempt to bridge both worlds--metadata and the human element of the search engine process.  Read Jeff Hamburger's comments:

Jeffrey Hamburger—a scholar of an even earlier medium, the medieval manuscript—who was recently named chair of a library advisory group, says that “the notion that we are going to abandon the codex as we have known it—the traditional book—and go digital overnight is very misguided. It is going to be a much longer transition than anyone suspects, just as the transition in the past between the oral tradition of literature in antiquity and silent reading as we’ve known it for almost two millennia was a long transition, taking the better part of a millennium itself.”

He later closes the article with this comment:

"The greatness of this university in the past and in the future rests on the greatness of our library. Without the library—old, new, digital, printed—this institution wouldn’t be what it is.”

The future is clearly NOT--digital. 

Monasteries saved civilization from ruins during the first Dark Age--and, some of us will preserve knowledge, even if it means returning to an oral tradition or to our days as mere scribes.

Don't tell Case Western Reserve!

They built a library designed on the premise that there would be no more books. Well its 2010 and they are storing books at Black Mountain because they are a library without space for books. I enjoy the convenience of digital data but I still enjoy books too.

I hope that digital media makes learning easier for those with learning disabilities and handicaps. It should be easier and cheaper than ever to create an audio version or large print version every book published.

I like digital books as I can control the fonts

With bad eyesight, I like digital text - in a few years, I may need my books to read themselves...

My great Aunt with Macular Degeneration did, and she "read" 1,000s of books on tape from the library for years, until she died.

Disrupt IT

And I love always having my books as near as my phone...

And I love always having my books as near as my phone... oh my gosh, my phone is my books, and my books are free! Wow, that is transformative.

Get a smart phone - a really smart phone...

Disrupt IT

love the video,

The video is great. I have to show it to my Dad who is still like that monk struggling with the book concept when he tries to us his computer. I think his secretary still does all his email for him because he could never get using the mouse.

Sharing books

An illustrator friend in a faraway land has asked me to share this site:

http://www.sharing-books.com