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.

ALA Read Write Connect Wiki

ALA Read Write Connect Wiki.

Best Free Reference Web Sites

RUSA's Best Free Reference Web Sites 2006.

Design six pillars of Web 2.0 to use as the foundation for rebuilding a library Web site. These six pillars are as follows:

1. Radical decentralization
2. Small pieces loosely joined
3. Perpetual beta
4. Remixable content
5. User as contributor
6. Rich user experience

To see my example do a Google Maps search for pizza in Beverly Hills. You’ll get in your list of search results an option to “Call” each result. Clicking on that option gives you a space to enter your phone number. When you enter your number Google calls the business for you and then calls your phone.

ILL Mashup

A great idea for a mashup, ILL maps.

Flash Fiction

Flash fiction consists of short stories of limited word count that, unlike vignettes, have elements of plot such as setting, characterization, and resolution.

Here’s a few Webzines known for flash fiction: Brevity, double room, SmokeLong Quarterly, Vestal Review.

E-books offer new ways for readers to interact with content. An e-book that abandons the notion of reading from front to back, for example, encourages readers to take an active, self-directed role in how they learn. E-books incorporating audio, movies, and simulations facilitate deeper understanding of subject matter, while annotation features let users customize a text. Read more...

The idea: sell cheaper books to students, bypass the textbook monopolies—and make money.

Open Source Spying

Clive Thompson says:

Secrecy Is Dead:
The pre-Internet world trafficked in secrets. Information was valuable because it was rare; keeping it secret increased its value. In the modern world, information is as plentiful as dirt, there's more of it than you can possibly grok on your own -- and the profusion of cameraphones, forwarded emails, search engines, anonymous tipsters, and infinitely copyable digital documents means that your attempts to keep secrets will probably, eventually, fail anyway. Don't bother trying. You'll just look like a jackass when your secrets are leaked and your lies are exposed, kind of like Sony and its rootkit. Instead ...

Tap The Hivemind:
Throw everything you've got online, and invite the world to look at it. They'll have more and better ideas that you could have on your own, more and better information than you could gather on your own, wiser and sager perspective than you could gather in 1,000 years of living -- and they'll share it with you. You'll blow past the secret-keepers as if you were driving a car that exists in a world with different and superior physics. Like we said, information used to be rare ... but now it's so ridiculously plentiful that you will never make sense of it on your own. You need help, and you need to help others. And, by the way? Keep in mind that ...

Reputation Is Everything:
Google isn't a search engine. Google is a reputation-management system. What do we search for, anyway? Mostly people, products, ideas -- and what we want to know are, what do other people think about this stuff? All this blogging, Flickring, MySpacing, journaling -- and, most of all, linking -- has transformed the Internet into a world where it's incredibly easy to figure out what the world thinks about you, your neighbor, the company you work for, or the stuff you were blabbing about four years ago. It might seem paradoxical, but in a situation like that, it's better to be an active participant in the ongoing conversation than to stand off and refuse to participate. Because, okay, let's say you don't want to blog, or to Flickr, or to participate in online discussion threads. That means the next time someone Googles you they'll find ... everything that everyone else has said about you, rather than the stuff you've said yourself. (Again -- just ask Sony about this one.) The only way to improve and buff your reputation is to dive in and participate. Be open. Be generous. Throw stuff out there -- your thoughts, your ideas, your personality. Trust comes from transparency.

Best Selling Books

According to a study published by Lulu.com, the life-expectancy of a bestselling novel has been cut in half in the last decade.

The study looked at the average number of weeks that a new No. 1 bestseller stayed on top of the hardback fiction section of the New York Times Bestseller List. Here are the results by decade:

Decade Average Number of Weeks to Stay on the No. 1 Spot

1960s 21.7 weeks
1970s 13.9 weeks
1980s 7.2 weeks
1990s 5.5 weeks
2000s (so far) 3.0 weeks

Decade Average Number of Novels To Hit the No. 1 Spot Per Year
1960s 2.8 titles
1970s 4.4 titles
1980s 7.6 titles
1990s 10.0 titles
2000s (so far) 18.2 titles

From here we find this little factoid too:

"According to recent statistics from R.R. Bowker, U.S. publishers released 113,589 new titles in 1995. In 2005, publishers cranked out 172,000 new titles—a 51.4% increase. Bottom line: more titles are competing for the same number of available slots."

Stephen Abram

Bandwagon Innovation

Jim Carroll has insights into keeping up with the Jones'.

"Innovation that is based on "jumping on the bandwagon" is doomed to fail, for many, many reasons:

* it's lazy: true innovation takes hard work. It involves massive cultural, organizational, structural change. It involves an organization and leadership team that is willing to try all kinds of radical and new ideas to deal with rapid change. An innovative organization can't innovate simply by jumping on a trend. Trying to do so is just trying to find an easy solution to deep, complex problems.

* it involves little new creativity: by linking a new approach to doing things with a commonly used phrase (i.e. "social networking") means that people end up shutting their brains down. Creativity is immediately doomed through commonality.

* it's just a bandaid: bandwagon based innovation causes people to look for instant solutions and a quick fix, rather than trying to really figure out how to do something differently.

* it's misfocused: it involves putting in a solution is sought without identifying a problem. It's backward in terms of approach.

* it encourages mediocrity: it reduces innovation to an "idea of the week," and does nothing to encourage people to really look at their world in a different way.

* it reduces innovation to sloganeering: truly creative people within organizations are tried of slogan-based management. They've seen far too many 'radical right turns' and 'new beginnings' -- and when they realize that their management team has jumped onto the 'social networking' bandwagon, their faith and motivation goes out the window.

* it destroys innovation: after the bandwagon effect ultimately fails (as they always do for the reasons above), people end up feeling burned out, cynical, demotivated -- and they'll be prepared to do little when the "next big thing" comes along."


Cut-and-pasted from Darlene..
Trying to find a map mashup you spotted last week or wondering if there's one related to your favourite topic? MapShark can help you find it.

See also:
YourGMap is a simple and straightforward web application for building a Google map mashup. Enter the addresses of particular locations one at a time, choose the type of pushpin, and description and notes or even a photo, and click preview/publish and create an account.

Build a Google map mashup with CommunityWalk by point and click and adding in some information from places you've worked, cities you've visited, historic buildings in your town, walking tours for visitors.


What's a placeblog?
"A placeblog is an act of sustained attention to a particular place over time. It can be done by one person, a defined group of people, or in a way that’s open to community contribution. It’s not a newspaper, though it may contain random acts of journalism. It’s about the lived experience of a place."

Placeblogger.com can help you find them.

IM Tools

"The biblioblogosphere went gaga for MeeboMe when it launched—and rightly so. Just think: a free little box that you can put on any webpage anywhere and anyone can IM you anonymously! Sweet!

Now there’s Plugoo. The difference between the two is that with Plugoo, if users send you an IM, it automatically opens the IM client of choice (MSN, AIM, etc.) instead of you (the librarian) needing to go through Meebo’s aggregator webpage IM service. Plugoo is available by invite right now.

There’s also a service called Gabbly that lets you simply add the prefix gabbly.com/ before any URL and then see other users who are on that page and chat with them (they have to do the same thing). You can also add a Gabbly chat window to your site.

So now, choices, choices! Which do you want to use to provide anonymous IM reference services on your library’s website?"

Via LibrarianinBlack

Seems some folks are thinking about adding IMDB links to films in their catalogues. I like it!


SlideShare is the Flickr of Powerpoint presentations.


"MapLib.net, is a tool that lets you turn any image into a Google map, applying all the Googly features you want to it, like zooming, annotations, thumbtacks with pop-up info, and more. Libraries could upload images of their floorplans and note different locations of materials and other important things like bathrooms and such."

via the LibrarianinBlack...

TechCrunch has a little ditty about a new free hosting service for Wiki developers without their own servers.

Search Engines vs. Library Video

YouTube fun for libraries. Hommage to the Mac/PC commercials.


"Tutorialicious is a community-driven aggregator of the best programming, design and Photoshop tutorials from across the web. The tutorials are voted on by users just like you. If a tutorial is good, it naturally rises to the front page with the help of satisfied users. Likewise, if a submission is deemed unworthy by users, it will stay at the bottom."


Do you care what other people read? If yes, Shelfari.com is what you need. Instead of Amazon.com's people who bought this also bought this, it has a bigger set of titles to draw on. I don't get it, but whatever!

Ranting about cell phones...

I just skimmed a great little ditty about ebooks. Nothing new but a great summary.

Tattletale Site to Complain About Bad Drivers

PlateWire is a fun Web site where you can enter the license plate numbers of cars you encounter and post your comments about the incident. You get to rate each car with an Award, Flag, Hazard, or Wink if the driver tickled your fancy. Right now, there are only 24,000 plates entered into the system. via BoingBoing

Best Mashup Album of 2006

Best of Bootie is labeled best Mashup album of 2006. Keep it coming.

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