Thursday, February 28, 2008

blogging will continue

A number of folks have asked if I will keep blogging after I move to the Library of Congress -- I certainly plan to!

For now, though, blogging will be a bit sparse. I'm working on a transition plan at UVA, my house goes on the market tomorrow (I feel like I'm living through an episode of "Designed to Sell"), I close on a new place mid-March, and I feel overall deluged with paperwork (UVA, LC, Realtors, banks, etc). Yesterday I felt so tired and blah that I just stayed home and slept.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

leaving the university of virginia

Now that all the local announcements have been made, I can publicly announce that I'm leaving the University of Virginia Library for a position at the Library of Congress. I'll be joining the Repository Development unit in the Office of Strategic Initiatives. I am sad to leave the people that I work with and the projects that I have been working on, but I'm excited by the possibilities at LC.

The most daunting part of the transition is selling our house and buying something in a much more expensive market (fear not, we have something in the works, but we will be downsizing). The logistics have me briefly quite stressed. You wouldn't think that moving 2 1/2 hours away would be that complicated ...

Monday, February 18, 2008

MODS tools

We're chatting a lot about MODS at UVA, partly about data sharing via OAI and partly about possibly replacing some local metadata standards.

In the great synchronicity of our community, there were two posts on MODS creation tools today, one from the DIL and one from Peter Binkley. Between the tools mentioned in those posts and the DLF Aquifer MODS profile work, it's getting easier to work with MODS every day.

Friday, February 15, 2008

CrossRef Citation plugin

I'm running a WordPress and CommentPress experiment (very low key right now), and now I must look into the CrossRef Citation plugin.

why bind?

I love an effective visualization, and my colleague Holly has a very effective visualization to make the case for her binding budget.

museum data exchange study

Mellon has funded at great project and OCLC/RLG Programs for a project to prototype data exchange between museums. Here's the press release. I spent many years in the museum community dealing with this, so I am beyond thrilled to see movement in this area. I would like to have seen more vendor systems involved in the pilot, but this is still a very welcome project.

copyright infringement to sell salvaged CDs?

Via techdirt -- OK, there's a case to be made that dumpster diving for CDs (even if abandoned) and selling them is illegal, but it's a puzzle why it might also be copyright infringement.

book ripping

There was an interesting article in the Washington Post on the Atiz BookSnap book scanner and "book ripping" that I recommend.

Harvard open access policy

I am thrilled about the Harvard open access mandate. The text is available in this PDF. Robert Dranton made a strong case in a Harvard Crimson article. Here's the article reporting the approval in the Crimson and a brief article in the NY Times. Peter Suber has an excellent post roundup, another roundup, and a post on responses from Library Academic newswire. I especially recommend Dorothea's comments to all.

there will be news next week

I have not had time to blog of late. A series of brief posts will follow. Watch this spot for the news why.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

OpenID gets some major press with some major names

Via ReadWriteWeb, the OpenID Foundation announced this morning that Google, IBM, Microsoft, VeriSign and Yahoo! have taken seats as the organization's first corporate board members. Support is growing.

Michigan's millionth digitized book

I love the site that the University of Michigan Library has put up in celebration of the millionth digitized book. I especially love that they credit every one of their 436 staff members with contributing to the project and post some of their pictures on flickr.

West Virginia tax maps

Via Techdirt, it's reported that a company that acquired (via a Freedom of Information Act suit) public tax maps representing the state of West Virginia is being sued to stop them from putting the maps online. The basis of the suit?

"While government documents cannot be covered by copyright, apparently some gov't officials feel that preventing their ability to profit off of that public data is illegal."

the semantics of digital curation

I came across a reference to a blog posting entitled "The Digital Curator in Your Future." Not being familiar with the blog or its context, the first thing I thought was that this would likely be a post on digital curation, the evolving discipline around data curation and preservation. The phrase "digital curation" is all the rage these days.

Nope. This was a posting about online brand success, discussing the need for the intellectual curation, where subject experts "separate junk from art" in the online arena, curating site content to present the most relevant and essential content for their community.

I think this was the last place I expected to encounter the word curator -- describing a vital role in niche market success. That said, I think the posting was absolutely right. Whether you call them editors or curators or guides or whatever, a site aimed at a certain community or representing a brand requires selection/filtering/editing to keep focus, as long as the site also provides some mechanism for community involvement and isn't just a top-down kind of information feed.

The comments were just as enlightening. Some commented that many sites have this sort of human curation. Some commented that they use digg or delicious as an automated curation tool of sorts to locate what others have already identified as being of value (even though the posting explicitly posited that digg is not curation, it's aggregation). Some argued that it has to be expert and human to be effective curation. An interesting discussion.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

text-mining project for historical scholarship

Many congratulations to the Center for History and New Media for receiving NEH funding for a two-year study of the potential of text-mining tools for historical scholarship, entitled “Scholarship in the Age of Abundance: Enhancing Historical Research With Text-Mining and Analysis Tools.”

I have been in a couple of conversation recently about related topics: What are the differences in practice between literary and historical etext analysis projects? I understand that there's a diverse group having some interesting discussions about that topic to identify needs with an aim to seek funding to support a prototype service project.

What do libraries need to provide in terms of collections and services for scholars working with etext resources for their research? I'm hearing that our service model should be more about helping them learn to create their own resources and tools instead of providing all content and tools for them. This doesn't mean that we shouldn't digitize our rare collections and make them available for use and analysis, but that we need to finally do away with our old service model where we did all the work for the scholars. The "teach them to fish ..." metaphor. Of course it's sensible, but it's a real switch in terms of staff activities, requires some different skills, and requires faculty and folks on their project teams to take on work that they used to rely on us to do. For some in the Library and on the projects that's like shifting course for an oil tanker -- it takes some time and it's not precision steering. Luckily, the overwhelming majority are embracing this.

Monday, February 04, 2008

privacy and Facebook

A UVA undergraduate research team in computer science has shared their findings about privacy issues and Facebook applications. It's so worth reading that the Chronicle of Higher Ed picked up the story.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

twine making the news

Back in October I wrote about Twine. I sent in a request to participate in the beta but didn't get selected. The New York Times has an article based on the experience of one of the beta testers -- Sarah Miller, a librarian at Illinois Wesleyan University. Reading the article, I still want to try it.