Online Libraries

The URLs From My Portland Talk

Following Edward Tufte’s advice, I’ve been wanting to offer a presentation without slides for a long time now; I finally got my chance in Portland. The downside is that now I don’t have anything to offer as a takeaway memory aid for my talk. My speaking notes are too abstract to offer for public consumption, […] » about 800 words

Shifting Borders

My first reaction to the notion of librarians running reading groups in Second Life was a question of whether this was akin to putting a reference desk in a bar.

My second reaction was a question of how our systems will support these extra-library interactions. Can people quickly and easily trade URLs to access the library materials they’re talking about? Will library systems ever be as easy to use as the game/social environments we’re trying to use them in?

My third reaction is a question of politics. The movement of people online doesn’t respect geographical borders, nor those of gerrymandered political districts. Libraries may serve online users, and some of them will be successful, but our funding models are for local libraries that serve geographically constrained communities.

The Library vs. Search Engine Debate, Redux

A while ago I reported on the Pew Internet Project‘s November 2005 report on increased use of search engines. Here’s what I had to say at the time: On an average day, about 94 million American adults use the internet; 77% will use email, 63% will use a search engine. Among all the online activities […] » about 1000 words