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June 27, 2003

Public Library of Science

:: PLoS is in the news. Geoff reported on their new marketing blitz, a 30-second commercial, called "Wings", "...which humorously portrays the scientific progress that could be made if research and discoveries were openly and freely shared. The spot features a man leaving his house on his way to work." What's also of interest is the placement of the ad, to be shown during shows such as The Simpsons, Letterman, Leno, The Daily Show, and Discovery Sunday, in Boston, DC, and San Francisco.

"The campaign is linked to the October launch of PLoS Biology, a new peer-reviewed scientific journal that will compete with prominent publications such as Science, Nature, and Cell to publish the most significant works of biomedical research. Unlike these established journals, all works published by PLoS Biology will be immediately and freely available." PLoS argues that publically funded research should be freely available to all taxpayers, rather than at large universities and research institutions, which can afford to pay for the access.

Congressman Martin Sabo of Minnesota "is drafting legislation that would put publications describing research substantially funded by taxpayer dollars into the public domain." Coverage of the campaign has appeared in the NYTimes and the Wall Street Journal, among others. (Registration may be required)

June 25, 2003

CM Web and Annodex - new web tool to improve searching video, audio

From Nature science update: "A new web tool makes online video and audio as interactive as text, say its creators. The software could enhance surfing, and help individuals and organizations manage large quantities of footage" The new web tool, called CMWeb (Continuous Media Web) , is being developed by CSIRO in Australia, and is using what the researchers have termed, Annodex technology.

Alberta Society of Evidence Based Librarians

I am happy to announce that the Alberta Society of Evidence Based Librarians now has an official website: www.asebl.ualberta.ca with information about the society and soon to be posted presentation files from the recent conference.

Not familiar with evidence based librarianship? Do a little homework at eblib.net.

STM Lit Access, Corporate Blogging, Project Halo

:: Bonita Wilson's editorial in the latest issue of D-Lib Magazine, v9, n4, June 2003, discusses improving access to STM literature.

:: From the NYTimes: The Corporate Blog is Catching On. (via Karlin.)

:: From Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends, mention of Project Halo, a research effort by Vulcan Inc (founded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in 1986).

"Project Halo is a staged research effort by Vulcan Inc. towards the development of a Digital Aristotle, an application capable of producing user and domain-appropriate answers and justifications to novel (previously unseen) questions in an ever-growing number of domains.

The Digital Aristotle will differentiate itself from current search engine technology in a number of important ways. First, search engines require that a specific text containing the answer to a userís query reside somewhere in the searched corpus. Next, the document containing the correct answer must reside fairly high among the ranked lists of documents it returns given the userís specified keywords. And finally, the user needs to scan each document for the appropriate passage."

More information is available from this article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. What is of interest to scitech (and all) librarians is that the success of this project will have long-term implications for basic reference service. Digital Aristotle would provide a custom answer to each question, and "produce user and domain-appropriate justifications " each time, eliminating the production of ranked lists and the need for the user to scan them. Is this the next step in the evolution of virtual or chat reference?

Aventis Award Nominees

:: Are these books in your library? The 2003 Aventis Prize for Science Books for an general adult audience are to be announced today. The winning author receives £10,000, and the other authors in the running will receive £1,000. Tim Radford of The Guardian recently featured a column on the nominees.

June 23, 2003

We're Back

:: Greetings, everyone. Geoff and I have returned from SLA and post-SLA activities in NYC. Thank you for your patience.

:: Somewhat old news, but at the conference, SLA members voted to retain the name, "Special Libraries Association". SLA also appointed Janice Lachance as its new Executive Director.

:: Science has created a site dealing with SARS. Research papers are available as free content, not requiring a subscription to the online version of the journal.

:: The new NASA Technical Report Server has been available to the general public since April 2003. More information is available here.

:: The Internet Resource Catalogue of EEVL recently added its 10,000th record. EEVL is now available through Engineering Village 2.

:: Please see the Federal Communications Commission Release of Data on High-Speed Internet Access, which covers "summary statistics of its latest data on the deployment of high-speed connections to the Internet in the United States", during the period from July-December 2002.

:: Refereed papers from The Twelfth International World Wide Web Conference, 20-24 May 2003, Budapest, are now available.

:: For those of you working in libraries supporting civil engineering, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Civil Engineering Department has created a web site "devoted to providing resources that are intended to advance the use of the strut-and-tie method (STM) in education and design of structural concrete." This is a site that might be worth adding to your resource guide.

:: The Computer History Museum has created a timeline which explores the history of computing from 1945-1990. There is also a fascinating section on People and Pop Culture.

June 15, 2003

Report from NYC

Hello everyone. To let you know, I am still on vacation in NYC, following the SLA convention last week. Last night I saw La Boheme (amazing), and comedian Darrell Hammond (from SNL). New posts will appear in the last week of June. I've noticed the subject-related listservs are rather quiet these days. People may be recovering from SLA, and preparing for ALA/CLA.

June 10, 2003

Report from SLA in NYC (2)

:: We are in Day 3 of SLA in NYC. I presented as part of a panel on guerilla marketing of engineering libraries yesterday, along with four other speakers, and the panel was a success.

:: At the IEEE breakfast this morning, we learned a number of things, including: 1) IEL will be indexed by Google later this summer, and free abstracts to guests will also appear; 2) a subscription identifier will appear with each search result, indicating whether or not the institution subscribes to that part of the db; 3) IEL's peak time is usually around 4:00 AM CDT, with ~83,000 visitors.

:: During Stewart Brand's keynote speech this morning, he noted that the average lifespan of a web page is approximately 43 days.

June 9, 2003

Report from SLA in NYC (1)

:: Greetings from New York City, home to SLA 2003. The conference is going well so far, the first keynote address happening at this time. Geoff and I are busy meeting new people and old friends, and preparing to attend a number of interesting sessions today and tomorrow as well as roaming through the exhibit area.

:: Charles W Bailey, Jr, has updated the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography.

June 5, 2003

Our Whereabouts

:: To let you know, Geoff and I are working at and attending the 2nd Evidence Based Librarianship Conference 2003, being held here in Edmonton on 5-6 June. On Saturday, June 7, we fly to NYC to attend SLA. There will be fewer postings during this time. To all who read our little blog, many thanks for stopping by, please continue to do so, and any feedback or suggestions are always welcome.

:: In the meantime, check this cool entry from Geoff's site. It's about a new glueless adhesive that one day might allow us to walk on ceilings.

June 4, 2003

LearningTimes Library Online Conference 2003: "Innovations by Information Professionals"

A new, fully online library conference is scheduled for late October. The following information is from a posting on the ACRLNY-L Listserv.

LearningTimes Library Online Conference 2003: "Innovations by Information
Professionals" - www.libraryconference.com

The LearningTimes Library Online Conference (LTLOC) will take place over 5 days in October (20 - 24), and is the first completely online forum to address in depth the philosophical, intellectual, and practical issues in today's libraries, historical societies, archives, and museums. LTLOC responds to the pressing need for high quality professional development and community building within the vast information service field during 4 days packed with over 30 industry leaders delivering interactive webcasts, voice and text based chat sessions, moderated discussion boards, and online "poster sessions".

LearningTimes is pleased to announce our keynote speakers:

Steven M. Cohen is Assistant Librarian for Rivkin Radler, LLP in Uniondale,
NY. He is the creator of Library Stuff, a library weblog dedicated to resources for keeping current and professional development. He is also the Internet Spotlight columnist for Public Libraries Magazine and his first book, entitled Keeping Current - Advanced Internet Strategies to Meet Librarian and Patron Needs, will be published by the ALA in October 2003.

Dr. Siva Vaidhyanathan, a cultural historian and media scholar, is the author of Copyrights and Copywrongs: The Rise of Intellectual Property and How it Threatens Creativity (New York University Press, 2001) and The Anarchist in the Library: How Peer-to-Peer Networks are Transforming Politics, Culture, and Information(FORTHCOMING from Basic Books, 2004).

Michael Weitzman, Director of the Task Force Against Hate and Terrorism at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, coordinates the SWC's research and activities on extremism, intergroup relations, the Internet, and hate crimes. Working closely with law enforcement, government, military, academia and the media, the seminars, lectures, publications and reports of the Task Force have had international impact.

LearningTimes is also pleased to announce some of our featured speakers:

Derek M. Powazek
Author, Designer, Troublemaker, Person
Author of Design for Community and creator of The Fray

Lisa McPhail, MLIS
Business Development Officer
Industry Canadaís Office of International Partnerships

Kim Dority
G. K. Dority & Associates
Former EVP, Jones Knowledge
and Jones e-Global Libraryģ

Amy Friedlander, Ph.D.
Special Project Associate
Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR)
Full-time at the Library of Congress

Steven W. Gilbert
The TLT Group

Dr. Nancy J. Becker
Assistant Professor
Division of Library & Information Science
St. John's University

George Cigale
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Sean Gallagher, Analyst and Emily Trask, Analyst and Senior Editor

Dane Ward
Associate Dean of Public Services
Illinois State Universityís Milner Library
Co-editor and co-author of The Collaborative Imperative: Librarians and
Faculty Working Together in the Information Universe (ACRL).

Dr. Margit Misangyi Watts
Associate Professor
Director Freshman Seminars/Rainbow Advantage Program
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Author of the textbook College: We Make the Road By Walking

Call for Papers!
Present a paper, lead a text or voice discussion, or deliver a live online
workshop during LTLOC 2003. Proposals due June 30, 2003. Submit today!

Register Early,and Save!
Register before September 12th, and save 25% off regular registration

Who Should Attend:

∑ Academic Librarians
∑ Public Librarians
∑ School Librarians/Media Specialists
∑ Corporate Librarians
∑ Archivists
∑ Historians
∑ Museum Educators
∑ All interested in information services and the impact information
professionals have on society.

Register to participate:

Email: library@learningtimes.net
Phone: +1 212.420.6052

There is still time for you to participate as a presenters

Call for Papers!

Present a paper, lead a text or voice discussion, or deliver a live online
workshop during LTLOC 2003. Proposals due June 30, 2003.


Conference Tracks:

1. Creative Solutions to Fiscal Realities
2003 has brought unprecedented levels of budget cuts, affecting every
category of library and public information institution. While we have always
been an easy target for reductions in funding, it is getting harder to "do
more with less". This track is a call to share your most creative solutions
to current financial realities.

2. Case Studies in Information Management: Using Information Strategically
How have you and your organization effectively repurposed information or the
presentation of information to support a new or improved service, community
or product? Your innovation may be based on work at a library, museum,
archive or historical society.

3. Librarians as Educators, Scholars and Program Directors
Describe your adventures when you've been asked to act in a role not in the
job description of a traditional information professional. This is a forum
to discuss a variety of management scenarios in day-to-day situations,
scholarly work, or issues in course or program development.

4. Standards and Guidelines
How has the evolution of education, technology and world events changed the
nature of standards and guidelines in library service? This track showcases
presentations and discussions on how these vital and expanding issues impact
the practice of librarianship today.

5. History and Philosophy of Information Centers
How did we get here? This track looks at the historical roles of libraries,
museums, archives and historical societies. Highlight your recent work, lead
a discussion on the role of information centers in society today, contrasted
with what they have meant in the past.

6. The Future as You See It
How would you like to see information service and librarianship evolve? Take
this unique opportunity to present your ideal project, service, technology
or idea.

Email: library@learningtimes.net
Phone: +1 212.420.6052

Too Much Information

:: Mel DeSart sent an e-mail about an article in the June 2003 issue of Mechanical Engineering. The article is called too much information: Organizing information - after gathering it in the first place - is the key to actually using it. Mentioned within are libraries such as the Kurdt F Wendt Library at U Wisc Madison, and resources such as Knovel, Encyclopedia of Materials: Science and Technology, and SciFinder.

:: Thanks to Catherine for noting that along with EngLib (her blog) and Confessions of a Science Librarian (John Dupuis' blog), this blog is mentioned in the latest issue of Internet Resources Newsletter. Canadians rule!

June 3, 2003

Search Engines, Blogs and Spam

:: Student: "Can you suggest a good search engine I might use to find general information on mafic dyke swarms?" Reference Librarian: "Whaaaa--?" After learning that mafic means an igneous rock containing between 45 and 52% silica, and is dark coloured, you then need to suggest a search engine (the student has already searched GeoRef, and now she wants to learn what's out there on the web.) The latest issue of Search Engine Watch's SearchDay asks the question, ">What's the Best Search Engine? In the article, Chris Sherman notes that Debbie Abilock's Chose The Best Search For Your Information Needs is one of the best resources to answer the question. Information needs are defined (example: I need a pinpoint search using a unique phrase or word), and search strategies and engines are suggested. I was vaguely aware of NoodleTools, "a suite of interactive tools designed to aid students and professionals with their online research."

:: Interesting article discussing how spam-blocking technology could cause major problems for legitimate e-mail systems.

:: A new company based in Germany, called 20Six, has launched Europe's first commercial blogging service.

ALA and the decision to stay in Toronto

Rochelle Hartman offers her take on the ALA and its sharing of information about the situation in Toronto. (From LISNews.com).

June 2, 2003

Mixed-Bag Special 03.06.02

:: Often students visit the campus library and ask for help with a job search. Two useful sites for engineering students are justengineers.net and The Engineer Jobs, from e4engineering.com.

:: Nifty idea: MIT Libraries has created a Faculty FAQ. "This page provides quick answers and links to information on topics of high interest to faculty, including our teaching and research support services."

:: In August, Disney will begin issuing DVDs that self-destruct so that renters do not need to return them to the video store.