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Who Makes These Decisions Anyway?

Brian’s comment at RemainingRelevant should resonate with many of us: Something to consider about why libraries end up with bad interfaces (at least as far as catalogs go) is that it might be that the people who use the interface (and help the public use it) are not the people who decide which interface to […] » about 300 words

Q: Why Do Some Things Suck?

A: Because we compare them to the wrong things. I’m in training today for a piece of software used in libraries. It’s the second of three days of training and things aren’t going well. Some stuff doesn’t work, some things don’t work the first (second, third…ninth) time, and other things just don’t make sense. At […] » about 600 words

Nature Concludes Wikipedia Not Bad

Fresh from Nature: a peer reveiw comparison of Wikipedia’s science coverage against Encyclopaedia Britannica:

One of the extraordinary stories of the Internet age is that of Wikipedia, a free online encyclopaedia that anyone can edit. This radical and rapidly growing publication, which includes close to 4 million entries, is now a much-used resource. But it is also controversial: if anyone can edit entries, how do users know if Wikipedia is as accurate as established sources such as Encyclopaedia Britannica?

Several recent cases have highlighted the potential problems. One article was revealed as falsely suggesting that a former assistant to US Senator Robert Kennedy may have been involved in his assassination. And podcasting pioneer Adam Curry has been accused of editing the entry on podcasting to remove references to competitors’ work. Curry says he merely thought he was making the entry more accurate.

However, an expert-led investigation carried out by Nature — the first to use peer review to compare Wikipedia and Britannica’s coverage of science — suggests that such high-profile examples are the exception rather than the rule. (link added)

Go read the whole story.

OCLC Report: Libraries vs. Search Engines

So, the report was released Monday, and it’s actually titled Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources (2005), but the part I’m highlighting here is the results of the question that asked users to compare their experiences with search engines against their experiences with libraries. Here’s the quesiton: Satisfaction with the Librarian and the Search Engine […] » about 200 words