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.

Armies Led by PowerPoint

The Slide that has people talking about the limits of PowerPoint.

Elizabeth Bumiller (NYTimes)has a great piece today:
We Have Met the Enemy and He Is PowerPoint

I especially like:
"Commanders say that the slides impart less information than a five-page paper can hold, and that they relieve the briefer of the need to polish writing to convey an analytic, persuasive point. Imagine lawyers presenting arguments before the Supreme Court in slides instead of legal briefs."

Sounds a lot like higher ed today!


"Before PowerPoint, staffs prepared succinct two- or three-page summaries of key issues. The decision-maker would read a paper, have time to think it over and then convene a meeting with either the full staff or just the experts involved to discuss the key points of the paper. Of course, the staff involved in the discussion would also have read the paper and had time to prepare to discuss the issues. In contrast, today, a decision-maker sits through a 20-minute PowerPoint presentation followed by five minutes of discussion and then is expected to make a decision. Compounding the problem, often his staff will have received only a five-minute briefing from the action officer on the way to the presentation and thus will not be well-prepared to discuss the issues. This entire process clearly has a toxic effect on staff work and decision-making."

Many Blockbusters Are Simple

Wired Magazine

The Good Enough Revolution: When Cheap and Simple Is Just Fine

Why Can't Library Catalogue companies get this point? ditto Discovery Layers, ditto Serials vendors, etc.

I guess it keeps us employed....

Do I Look Fat in This?


Sometimes loved ones are not honest. Want honest, try this out!

The flipside?
"Haul Videos"

Online Book Piracy Study

Macmillan has introduced DynamicBooks, think textbook can can be edited down to the paragraph, illustration level...professor notes that can be added, etc. Cool!


How many times have you bough a book you learned about by seeing someone else reading it? A lot? Ebook readers eliminate that behaviour, opportunity.

Download it here

"Most institutions continue to direct resources in traditional ways towards operations that are marginal to institutional and national research priorities, towards processes and services that are ignored or undervalued by their clients and towards staff activities that are driven more by legacy professional concerns than user needs."

Sound the alarm!!!!!!!

DOAJ is now at 4,863 journals, having added a net total of 864 journals in the past year for a DOAJ growth rate of over 2 titles per day. The Bielefeld Academic Search Engine now searches over 23 million documents; this is an increase of over 1.2 million in the last quarter, or over 13,000 documents per day.

Cloud Storage for Libraries

100 Hints

"16. Introduce odd catalysts into your daily routine.
17. Get out of the office more regularly.
18. Play with fun toys in your office whenever you get stuck."

UIUC Library Goes Mobile

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign launched its mobile library site March 29. The site allows people to access the library catalog, find library locations and hours, search additional databases with mobile interfaces, and send text-message reference questions to librarians. It can be accessed from any computer or cell phone, including the iPhone and BlackBerry devices.

Why Libraries Are Doomed! Part 1.

Meredith Farkas has me thinking...

(me, not Meridth speaking)
Before the digital age, buying a item or subscription, was easy for libraries. Digital licensing changes the power relation completely. Vendors no longer need to sell to libraries at all. They can choose to embed exclusively licensed marquis titles in big expensive collection sets. Imagine if you went to the supermarket and wanted to buy an apple and the rule was, if you want say a Royal Gala, you have to buy one of each apple they sell? Maybe you would not buy that apple. Libraries are doing the same thing today. Where in the past they would have bought a book or journal when someone requested it, they no longer can given the strings attached and financial extortion taking shape. We are seeing a big re-set (as Daniel Pink would say) in library land, where big libraries distance themselves from the small; academic distance themselves from public and vice versa depending on the genre; and publishers by omission or design begin to bypass libraries to increase sales direct to consumer or limit technology and/or licensing expenditures. While we have an exposion in open access titles we also have more and more titles stopping print publishing and moving to one user, one login, online only access. If there is no technically possible communal access, the title is lost from libraries.

While the great recession has inundated libraries with users, as libraries begin to loose access to content, the masses will flock to online retail, underground online sharing networks or worst case, choose not to consume content at all. Aggravation can drive anyone to other pursuits.

Optimists will say libraries are getting cool again with all the ebook, online video offerings, but when book publishing revenue begins the big contraction, like the music business had, will they keep selling their content to libraries? or take a plug the dam approach and cut us off completely? Music did...we used to buy CDs, can we license collections of popular music for our patrons?...nope. Ditto feature films. I hear the buzz of Stephen King's "The Langoliers"...do you?

"Amazon site today announces availability of free downloadable
software that allows you to read your Kindle books on a PC, a
Mac, an iPad, an iPhone, or a Blackberry. I've tried both PC and
Mac and can attest that it works well: on a bright display,
rather handsomer than on the Kindle, and on a large screen,
easier to read e.g. maps that were too small to see on the
Kindle. When you open Kindle-for-PC, it tells you that you can
by one double-click access and start reading the books you
already have on your Kindle. That changes the "value
proposition" for me: buy a book once and read it on multiple
devices. Clearly a competitive move against the public release
of the iPad this weekend."

James O'Donnell

see also:
Amazon.com Debuts Kindle App for iPad

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