Sunday, April 19, 2009

Daily Thoughts 4/19/2009

Ancient greek man with wax tablet Painting by ancient greek painter Douris (about 500 BC) . The image almost looks like a laptop computer.

Daily Thoughts 4/19/2009

I am reading the CREW Manual from Texas State University. They have an interesting acronym for weeding or as some people call it deselection.

M = Misleading (and/or factually inaccurate)

U = Ugly (worn and beyond mending or rebinding)

S = Superseded (by a truly new edition or by a much better book on
the subject)

T = Trivial (of no discernible literary or scientific merit; usually of
ephemeral interest at some time in the past)

I = Irrelevant to the needs and interests of your community

E = The material or information may be obtained expeditiously
Elsewhere through interlibrary loan, reciprocal borrowing, or in
electronic format.


There were also a few interesting selection lists in the online manual as well.

Video Round Table’s Notable Videos list at

“Top Fifty
Gaming Core Collection Titles” from Young Adult Library Services online at

I started reading Here Comes Everybody The Power of Organizing Without Organizing by Clay Shirky. The book started out rather slow, but has become interesting in the second chapter. It is about how the new communication tools make it possible to very quickly organize around a common interest for very little cost with minimal needs for hierarchical management.

This is a fragment of a sentence from P.107 of Here Comes Everybody, "The more an institution relies on information as its core product, the greater and more complete the change will be."

The book reminds of the earlier book on Google and Wikipedia which I have read. There seems to be a common thread running through these organizations. They are platforms for doing a specific task, Google started as a search engine, and Wikipedia started as a free encyclopedia. They both are becoming much more by harnessing a new set of social and organizational philosophies.

There seems to be an emerging pattern in the new social platforms; The are built initially by a very small group of people, they can scale very quickly, they require some kind of voluntary participation, there is usually a common interest attached to each platform (books, photography, fashion, etc.), all rely on continuous incremental improvement, all have easy to follow measurements, there is a strong customer service ethic, the technology is easy to use, they rely on the virtual world (not the physical world of atoms), and they can easily move into new ventures. You can say this of Twitter, Facebook, Google, Flickr, and many other successful social network platforms.

All I can say for libraries is that not far down the road, we have to be prepared to change rapidly. Google has previously indicated with books if it is in a library, it is worth scanning. The public domain is going to become a giant free platform available through dozens of different channels, flickr, Wikipedia, Google, Project Gutenberg and other locations. This platform is going to expand rapidly as people add to it forming novel ways of handling information. Wikipedia is already morphing into Wikibooks, Wikimedia, and other things. The technology comes first, then a period of disruption, and finally a new reality. I am not sure what it will be, but it will be a lot different than todays libraries, publishing and bookstores.

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