Ramblings, citations and "brainwaves" of a college librarian in Toronto. 475 square feet refers to the size of my home, not the size of my office or library.

IT Seems to Not Be Living Up to Its Promises

MERS - bad data on mortgages

I can't help but look all around me and see the dysfunction IT brings to our world. For every plus, there are many more minuses it seems. Paper records were bad because they sat in one building, could get lost, etc. Online records seem to be even worse...again the technology is not the problem but the corporations using it certainly is. Corners get cut and people have no recourse for being victimized by bad data. People's lives are being ruined by bad data...Ruined.

I don't think Bradbury ever saw this coming...the Matrix looks less frightening than what we see going on in the U.S. foreclosure mess; online health records, etc.

12 Ways To Make Bad Decisions

12 Ways to Make Bad Decisions
via The Heart of Innovation by Mitch Ditkoff

1. Selective Search for Evidence
2. Premature Termination of Search for Evidence
3. Inertia
4. Selective Perception
5. Wishful Thinking
6. Recency Effect
7. Repetition Bias
8. Anchoring and Adjustment
9. Group Think
10. Source Credibility
11. Attribution Asymmetry
12. Role Fulfillment

Antifeatures! I Love This Guy!

Course Hero.....IP Issues

Seems there are all kinds of issues right now around who owns/controls course materials. One example is Course Hero.
You could upload a friend's course cheat sheet, that itself is full of insturctor supplied content...

Houston, we have a problem...

Open Education...bring on the lawsuits!

Something Entertaining About Mapping Mistakes


My new favorite blog...

Ambiance App

There are not many Desktop apps I'd recommend, but this is nice:

Great for that ocean waves, burbling brook, etc.

Turn Your Blog to a PDF Book

Two Decades of e-Reader Evolution

Libraries in the Cloud

3D Modeling From FLICKR Images

"Today, three years is an Eternity"

George F. Will

3 million iPods in 2.5 years
3 million Kindles in 2 years
3 million iPads in 80 days
3 million iPhones in 3 weeks

2001 iPod arrived. Les than 10 years later the number of employees of music stores declined from 80 000 to less than 20 000....but now folks shop online so the jobs are up at FedEx, UPS delivering what e-shoppers buy....destruction then creativity in three year blocks?

WWW killed the travel agent industry, is about to destroy Real Estate Agents, who is next??? Teachers?...I can see how technology can be used to teach more students with less teaching staff....at least at lower higher education levels...

Degrees - Business Sense = ?

Ian Cook, Director Research & Learning at the B.C. Human Resources Management Association was recently quoted (my paraphrasing):

...it is easy to recruit people who have a degree, but they have no business sense. They're bright, intelligent people but you can't plug them in and have them effective on day one. They need to be shaped, mentored, they need time to learn and develop skills....but the pace, change, complexity, uncertainty and ambiguity in which business is functioning right now, employers want 110% on day three. The talent pool has not changed, employer expectations have....apprenticeship and mentoring programs have been withdrawn, though they are still needed for long term grooming of productive employees.

Yup, employers want to take, they don't want to invest in their personnel assets. All the while higher ed. keeps pumping out more and more graduates, each cohort, having a lower success rate in finding meaningful employment. We focus on material waste in business, what about all the "human waste" being produced, by defective recruiting tactics?

Pre-internet it was difficult to connect job offerings with qualified candidates, so companies invested in providing students with experience to get a career under way. Today it is easy to fill most jobs that are fairly spec'd, so companies stopped giving back because it has no consequences to them. I love those job ads that list so many skill sets that nobody internal has, and it is for an entry level position.

"We want someone who can hit the ground running" is HR speak for we want to exploit someone who is vulnerable right now.

Creative Commons Public Domain Mark

eBrary Announcement
155,600 e-books for PDA

Silly Space Shifting on Kindle

Long Tail Feeds It Self

". . . . the same forces that created Amazon’s Long Tail in the first place may continue to make it longer over time . . . . First, exposure to niche products could drive consumers to develop a taste for more niche products. Second, by gaining access to “long tail” markets to stock their products, producers could have an increased incentive to create more new niche products over time. Finally, technologies that can drive consumers to niche products — such as search tools, product reviews, product popularity information, and recommendation engines — could improve over time, and consumers could become more familiar with these tools."

Brynjolfsson, Hu & Smith Download

Amazon Kindle Singles

New Profiteering/Publishing From Amazon.com

"Kindle Singles, which are Kindle books that are in the company’s words, “twice the length of a New Yorker feature or as much as a few chapters of a typical book.” Generally, Amazon characterized Kindle Singles as 10,000 to 30,000 words (roughly 30 to 90 pages)."

Tech Crunch

Science Blogging Directory

Google URL Shortener

Chronicle of Higher Education

I don't buy that if books vanish our civilization will suffer.

Jan Nolin writes....

"Boxism fits well with the needs of corporate actors and policy–makers. By adding a module landscape as a layer, the Internet becomes more predictable and regulated. With more transparent patterns of Internet behaviour, commercial exploitation becomes much easier. With this ideology, the chaotic and creative character of the distributed Internet is something that needs to be tame"

First Monday

Yes, this is happening.

Chronicle of Higher Education

Approval plans + overworked reference staff + consortial purchasing = homogenized collections.

It's a problem....

The more homogenized we become, the bigger takeover target we become for L.S.S.I.

I am always, and I mean always, impressed what comes out of this woman's mouth. Here is the best attack on tenure for librarians...

I like the 'start-up' imagery she used. Much food for thought. I'm all for reasonable job security, tenure not so much....

From the mindset, front line staff cost too much, comes libraries without people..

There has been a lot of hub bub about L.S.S.I. taking over the operations of more and more libraries. We have "outsourced" many municipal services, are libraries in the same group as police, fire, urban planning? or roads, garbage, parking? time will tell..but like anything I'm guessing L.S.S.I.'s purchasing power will help some libraries...

eTextbooks Are Not Getting Penetration in Higher Education

"The vast majority of students say they prefer print textbooks over electronic ones, and attitudes have not shifted markedly in the past year, according to the results of a survey by the National Association of College Stores."

Chronicle of Higher Education

Maybe they just see it for the scam that it is...pricing is still way too high for a license that expires and has no resale value.

Online education is nowhere near the marketing hype imagery used by Schools.

or you can force eTextbooks down student's throats via "materials fees" on their transcripts.

Prezi, if this is the Future, I'm Punching Out And Going Home

Library Future Keynote using PREZI

Entertaining - Yes. Would I want to sit through this - hell no. I guess I'd like to push it on colleagues who read slides, it may help them....

Books Just For Decor

Type Books

For a negotiated fee, they will build you a library collection that meets decor needs, existing shelving, current colours, current themes, integrates your current collection, etc.

They offer "libraries on demand", from small childrens' bedrooms to room sized master pieces full or rare copies and editions.

What a great business to be in!!!

LSSI Scares Me

I remember working with these LSSI folks back in 2002. Seems they continue to take over libraries and operate them like franchises.

In my setting, I can't see it happening.

If these guys got Walmart like consumer demand data, they could in theory do a better job than most libraries today. Realistically, if our faculty really did their jobs to the highest standard, they would select all the library's materials, teach IL in the classroom and work with LSSI to make online course readings infrastructure.

But it will never happen...because faculty want to do less and less, not more work. The library is a service for them and their students to consume not be part of...

I'm still watching LSSI though...

Internet's New Walls

Three sets of walls are being built on the internet:

1. National Firewalls (Ex. China, Australia). Block sites at ISPs.
2. Walled gardens, ex. Facebook; iPhone Apps.
3. Traffic tolling at ISPs & end users. Express lanes and clogged lanes. Pay to play. There will be nose bleed seats and front row. Which are you going to pay for?

Enjoy the amazing freedom and creativity before it is totally gone. It will be gone that much is certain.

Okay, We Should Be Doing This!!

Khan Academy
1600 - 15 minute educational videos for free~!

Google Instant Search vs Bing Type Ahead


Okay, why don't we have these live spellcheck, guess what you want technologies in library search engines, databases, etc?

Why are library content vendors always so far behind?

Rise of Apps Culture

Pew Internet Project

"Some 35% of U.S. adults have software applications or “apps” on their phones"

I wish library databases worked more like apps...the current interfaces are too old school, too cumbersome to use for most. They need simplification, to look and feel like apps.

Youtube Ad - Make Your Own

Everyone is chatting up digital textbooks, sounds like ebook chatter from 1998 to me. I don't see it. I see big bulky books at the coffee shop, on the bus, in the cafeteria...

Stephen, do you believe everything you read?

Digital Textbook Experiments

Maybe I should open my copyright sessions to faculty with this video?

Plagiarism Tariff

UK - National Plagiarism Guidelines

"Academics in the United Kingdom have drawn up a national tariff covering penalties for student plagiarism, which could be adopted as a worldwide system for dealing with offenders.

Studies in this area have found high levels of inconsistency in the penalties universities employ to punish students who are found guilty of copying, with wide variations between, and even within, institutions.

Now researchers from the advisory service plagiarismadvice.org have created a points-based system designed to act as a sector-wide “benchmark.” Setting out a range of penalties from informal warnings to expulsion, it allows staff to calculate a score for the seriousness of the offense and use this to select an appropriate penalty."

Internet Makes Us Slow Readers

Marjorie Kehe

"For many of today's readers – young ones in particular – reading has come to mean a rapid skim across a sea of websites, text messages, and e-mails.

Thomas Newkirk, a professor of English at the University of New Hampshire, is one of a growing number of educators concerned that – in the rush to race through more material – something essential is being lost. "

Streetsview + Randomizer = Genie?

Blackboard Gets Into Textbooks

Blackboard partners with McGraw-Hill, Follett and B&N, and acquires Elluminate and Wimba.

I can only hope iin time textbooks fess get automatically added to a student's account, and populated to their course.

This whole option book purchase thing does nothing for student success...we need another way!


Ditto book reviews...

Only 15,000 of the library’s 96,000 books will be on display in the new library and the rest will be moved to off-site storage. Librarians will no longer staff the desk but will be available to students through e-mail, Facebook, online chatting, or phone.

Cornell University’s engineering library is also moving most of its print books to storage and then dividing the remainder among other libraries on campus. In addition, Johns Hopkins University has decided it will no longer have a physical location for its medical library. The library staff will now work within the academic departments.


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