Monday, January 31, 2011

Daily Thoughts 1/31/2011 (Power Why Some People Have It, WEDC)

Ōta Nampo (大田南畝,1749-1823) was a late Edo period Japanese poet and fiction writer.

Daily Thoughts 1/31/2011

Talked to the Women's Enterprise Development Center in Yonkers about setting up a presentation in February.  I rather like their programs.  I also spent some time weeding in the storage area.

I am also looking at ereader equipment, apps, and ebooks which would part of an ebooks loan.

Today is a quiet, steady day. I put the book, Marshall McLuhan : you know nothing of my work! by Douglas Coupland on hold.  It was in the January 9, 2011 New York Times Book Review.  Our budget is slim these days, so there is not much to order.

I also checked out Power Why Some People Have It-- And Others Don't by Jeffrey Pfeffer.  It is an attention getting title. It is about organizational politics.

Web Bits

Library Posters

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cowboy Angels by Paul McAuley

Cowboy Angels by Paul McAuley.

Cowboy Angels by Paul McAuley combines the genre of alternate history with thriller writing. The Real is an America where Alan Turing created the theories which led to gates to alternate histories called Turing gates. There are some wonderfully dry thoughts on Schrodinger's Cat in association with the Turing gates.

This is Paul McAuley's best book. I like the main character Adam Stone, an orphan who is recruited into the CIA to change the course of different alternate histories preventing fascism, communism, and rebuillding where there is nuclear war. The descriptions of the visits to alternate America's are wonderful.

Paul McAuley successfully creates a sense of different Americas. There are descriptions of the art of The American Bund where for a short time the "Dear Leader" created monumental art, or the space where an atom bomb fell devastating areas of Manhattan.

I also like that the story starts in the past in 1983 when Carter is elected in the Real. This makes it feel like both a historical novel and an alternate history novel. The novel touches on so many different styles of writing.

Adam Stone is a very hardcore character. He shoots, interrogates, suffers beatings, and keeps on going. He is after a secret plot to change the alternate histories timeline. His actions are extreme, violent, and polemical. This may turn some people off, but I found it interesting.

Most of the technology is todays technology. The money is similar, the guns are similar, the art and culture are different. The differences are often philosophical. Adam Stone describing his past actions as an agent of the "Real" is describing a form of imperialism which can be hard to stomach. He kills for his countries beliefs.

The novel hinges on many philosophical and political ideals. Is it right to create one America under many skies? Is it manifest destiny to push your will in different worlds?

This is a fantastic story. It is full of constant surprises, strongly opposed ideals, and constant tension. It does not end they way you might expect it would. This book will create strong opinions for and against the story.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Daily Thoughts 1/29/2011 (Ebooks, Book Applications)

Teodor Axentowicz (1859–1938), Reading, 1899, Pastel on Paper.

Daily Thoughts 1/29/2011 

There are piles of snow everywhere outside.  I had to dig my car out.  Anyways, back to books.  I have been reading   The site has a section on libraries in the top menu bars.  I am gathering more ideas about how important ebooks are to libraries.  I also read some of No Shelf Required which is about digital content in the library setting.

What perturbs me sometimes when I read about ebooks is the almost total lack of conversation about digital music.  There are far fewer services for digital music in libraries than bookstores.  I have wondered when the amount of digital music available to libraries will increase.  I see an increase in book applications, but very little movement towards enhanced ebooks with music.  This would be a tremendous combination.  Books on musicians with digital music would be a very good idea.

There are other ideas which have come up.  How would you lend a book application in a library setting.  Libraries already have tremendous problems with lending computer programs.  Book applications are basically computer programs.  I think it would have to become more device focused.  You might want to lend an Ipad with a set of applications on it.  Eventually there will be tablets affordable enough for this. It is something which librarians should be thinking about.  I would like to be able to lend Ipads with book applications on them.  We already have laptops that are used inside our library.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Daily Thoughts 1/28/2011 (Ebooks)

Painting of Russian writer Evgeny Chirikov by Ivan Kulikov, 1904.

Daily Thoughts 1/28/2011

I finished reading Cowboy Angels by Paul McAuley this morning.  I would call it an alternate earth thriller.

I checked the displays this morning.  I also spent some time planning for the website for Twitter and the survey on the website.  I am reading more on ebooks to get better grasp of what I will say in the grant we are working on.

I have been thinking on recent reasons I have run into for ebooks in libraries.  Some of the things which come to mind are:

  • Transmedia literacy the ability to handle information across a variety of different devices.
  • The digital divide does not just apply to computers, it also applies to other electronic devices.
  • There is a need for greater information literacy.
  • Libraries are not prepared for enhanced ebooks or book applications.
  • The Ipad is more than just an ebook platform it has many other functions.
  • Children need to be shown ebooks early to prepare them for the digital future.
  • Libraries are just starting to build ebook collections. It will take time to match their book collections.
  • Libraries need to be renewed so they can be ready for a digital future and not be perceived as obsolete.

Web Bits

DBW Library-Publisher Panel Makes the Case for Ebook Lending

Ebooks and Immediate Gratification from Overdrive's Library Blog's+Digital+Library+Blog)&utm_content=Google+Reader

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Daily Thoughts 01/27/2011 (Web Content, Cowboy Angels)

The Artist's Father, Reading "L'Événement," 1866, Paul Cezanne

Daily Thoughts 01/27/2011

On the way to work, I read some more of Cowboy Angels by Paul McAuley.  Some of the alternate Americas are very interesting. 

I got to work a little late because of the snow today.  I spent some time working on a grant for ereaders.  I still have quite a bit to do.  I have been looking at the Sony Reader Program for devices and ebooks.  I also spent some time on the Overdrive site looking at compatible devices for the ebooks which we get from them.

I also took a few minutes to look at the new library survey which we have.  We are going to look at it a little more.  It needs some work.

I put the Web Content Strategists Bible by Richard Sheffield and The Content Management Bible by Bob Boiko on hold through interlibrary loan.  No libraries in our system currently have them.

On the way home, I read some more of Cowboy Angels by Paul McAuley.  It has gotten even better, there is now a twist in the turing gates.  The main character adds an element of time travel to the ability to travel to alternate histories.  This makes the reading captivating.

Ebooks, Ereaders, and Digital Content Publishing, The First Digital Show and Tell. January 20, 2011 3:30-6:30 p.m.

Ebooks, Ereaders, and Digital Content Publishing, The First Digital Show and Tell. January 20, 2011 3:30-6:30 p.m.

This was an interesting event to go to. It was at Sotheby's Institute of Art on the sixth floor. The program was sponsored by the Book Industry Study Group and Sourcebooks. The space was very nice. It had a clean, professional comfortable feel to it. This was the first of a planned series by The Book Industry Study Group.

There were two sessions where presenters were doing a round robin going from table to table giving seven minute presentations. A round robin is where you move from person to person in a circle and give a short presentation.

Both the presenters and the daters were an interesting crowd. I sat next to Paul Biba from Teleread which was interesting. He was using a Mac Air book which was incredibly thin and light. Margaret Harrison who is an acquisitioins manager from Vook was also at the table.

It was interesting. The first presenter at our table was Autography LLC. Autography had a way for authors to autograph ebooks. It also allowed them to date and add other identifying marks to ebooks. They showed us some signed ebooks. Thomas Waters and Robert Barrett were the presensters. Http:// Autography won one of the audience choice awards which was a free ticket to Book Expo America.

The next person was Wendy Bronfin, Directory of Product Management from Nook Color. She demonstrated the Nook Color. It was very interesting watching her scroll through magazines as well as show childrens books on the Nook. The color was the best part. Http://

Mike Violano VP of business development presented a bookstore application for the Iphone called the iFlow reader . It used a rotating slideshow presentation for the books both horizontally and vertically. I liked the look of the reader.

Michael Edson, the Principal of the Deti Group gave a brief presentation. He was talking about how to integrated social applications with publishing sites. He showed a twitter screen flow that took up the right side of a screen, next to a publishing article. This reminds me that Twitter is an open API which allows developers to do unusual things with it.

Jonathan Bertfield CEO of Peroozal talked about his new website. This is an author site where authors recommend their favorite books. It is a way to give a unique form of readers advisory. The main authors on the site were thriller authors. I can see how this would have an appeal. I even signed up to the site to look it over more. I think this could be very useful for publishers. Http:// It won one of the audience choice awards.

Patricia Samara talked about Choice Book Interactive which makes multicultural childrens books. Their series is called Alphabet Kids They were there to make contacts so they could make both ebooks and book apps. Book apps are a fairly new innovation. I have not heard of any libraries lending Kindles with book applications.

There was a short break between presentations where we had a chance to wander and have a light refreshment. I took a diet coke. I found it kind of amusing that they had five ladies bathrooms and one mens bathroom.

The second round of presenters started with Bowker. Patricia Payton was presenting a tool for full content indexing for ebooks.. This tool allowed creation of metadata sets for books and magazine publishers. It identifies keywords, assigns relevancy scores to keywords, tags keyword by facet, classifies general subject, audience and reading levels, and identifies similar material. Http://

Another presenter was Marc Jaffe, president of Cross-Platform Publishing Advisors. He showed an immersive version of Howard and the Purple Crayon for Ipad.

Aaron Travis and Miller Alber from Read Social presented their social book application that allowed people to share notes inside of ebooks. They are focusing on selling the application to developers in different segments of the book industry. This is a tool from Book Glutton. Http:// They won the audience prize.

Leah Hultenschmidt demoed a book application for The Fiske Interactive Guide to Colleges. It included video from the colleges, text, pictures of the campus and a variety of ratings. This is more than just a book. It allowed students to generate lists of schools and plan campus visits. I really liked how the application looked. They plan on releasing the application for Ipad later this year.

Vook is also an interesting book application. They combine books with video and audioclips. It was quite interesting to look at. One of the most popular items was a pilates exercise book which combined video on how to do the exercises, text, and pictures. It seemed like an excellent medium for how to books. Margaret Harris the Acquisitions Manager also had worked at Overdrive. They are planning on expanding their reach. This is something that I think would be of interest to public libraries. Http://

The final presenter was Andrew Malkin from Zinio. Zinio presents enhanced branding and applications for digital content. It was very pretty to look at. A lot of what they showed was fashion magazine material including catalogs for fashion. The main focus of Zinio is digital magazines.

I found the whole round robin presentation to be quite different. It was a chance to learn about new technologies and talk with people who used them. It was well worth going.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Content Strategy Meetup, January 25,Tuesday, 7 p.m. (Winter Social Session)

Content Management Meetup, January 25, Tuesday, 7 p.m., Winter Social

The meetup was kind of interesting.  I went there to learn more about the profession of content strategy.  It is an emerging profession.

First we met and introduced ourselves. I am hoping I remember most of the people there. There was Peter Gallo who was information architect. Brian E. Kirby was one of the organizers. He works for AIG as a managing editor for web content. He explained his job is more to decide what people are going to do with content than editing. Another of the organizers was Anna Svahn who works for an advertising agency. There was also Elena Melendy who was an independent contractor, Lynn Bernstein who works as an independent consultant, and Liz Weintrob who works for Saatchi and Saatchi as a managing editor and John who works as a technology person.

The atmosphere was quite comfortable. The first thing that they mentioned was a conference called Confab 2011 Anna Svahn was planning on going. It is in Minneapolis on May 9-11.

I asked about content strategy and what it was. They told me that it can mean a lot of different things. The field was relative new. It was about two years old. There is some relation between content strategy and content curation. It is more strategy than data management.

I asked about books which you could read. The first thing they suggested was that I look at Joe Pulizzi who is establishing the Content Management Association. He has a book called Get Content, Get Customers.

Several other books were talked about including; The Content Strategy Bible by Paul Sheffield. This book gives a good introduction to the field. Anne Rockley also wrote Managing Enterprise Content, A Unified Content Strategy. On the more technical side, they mentioned the book, Content Management Bible by Bob Boiko. It is a technical book on how to build a content management system including building, implementing, running, and managing a CMS.

For something a bit simpler, they suggested reading Paul Krug's book about usability, Don't Make Me Think. I mentioned two books, Curation Nation aby Steven Rosenbaum and Letting Go of Words by Ginny Redish. It was interesting hearing about these books.

Most of the people were focused on corporate and advertising data. Liz Weintrob came from a publishing background and worked with Saatchi and Saatchi.

The field is very new. It is about two years old. When I mentioned that I was a librarian they suggested I might be interested in information architecture. I said, no, I am more interested in what goes into a website than the structure, I do collection development.

They described that they were dealing with enterprise content, not smaller systems like Drupal which they use in our library.

I was especially interested in some of the ideas about metadata. They only told me that they are often hired to go in and cleanup existing services which have inadequate descriptors for their records. The search engines and indexes are often not user focused. They are also involved in data mapping and data planning which means they plan out maps of all the data they are going to put in.

I think it was Lynn Bernstein who talked about how she often had to create descriptors for the records from museums and film which had not been properly labeled. It was often a focus on individual records being described. Their objective was to make it easy for the user not the creator. She mentioned three questions.

What do we have?
What are we doing?
What are we going to do with it?

There was an analogy that data was put into a cup. Then the content strategist asks who is going to drink from the cup?

It was a very interesting evening. I learned quite a bit.  As always, feel free to correct me, comment, and think on what was said. Please don't mind my functional, if somewhat personal grammar.

Daily Thoughts 11/26/2011

Capricho No 43, "The sleep of reason produces monsters." Francisco De Goya

Daily Thoughts 11/26/2011

Taking a break and resting today.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Daily Thoughts 1/25/2011 (Cowboy Angels)

MICHELANGELO Buonarroti The Persian Sibyl, Fresco, 400 x 380 cm Cappella Sistina, Vatican, 1511

Daily Thoughts 1/25/2011

I read some of Paul McAuley Cowboy Angels.  I think it is his best book so far.  It is really fantastic.  It is a story of an America that spreads its ideals to alternate earths.  Each earth is reachable by a Turing gate.

I love the line:


I also went to the Content Strategy Meetup which was very interesting tonight.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Daily Thoughts 1/24/2011 (Ebooks, Cowboy Angels)

Discourse into the Night, Blades, William: “Pentateuch of Printing with a Chapter on Judges” (1891)
Daily Thoughts 1/24/2011

I checked the displays this morning and placed some orders for the month.  I also posted a question on Quora and on Linked In, as well as the Linked In group, Ebooks In Libraries.  Quora has been useful for professional questions.  It is an answer system like Twitter.  The question I posted was, "Does anyone know of an example of a successful grant for ebooks and ereaders for public libraries?"

The book, 10 Rules For Strategic Innovators From Idea to Execution by Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble has come in for me to read.

We had a meeting where we discussed inventorying the collection in the storage area.  I am also probably doing to be doing some weeding in the 800s in storage.

On the way home, I started reading Cowboy Angels by Paul McAuley and flipped through a book on web design.  Cowboy Angels uses Turing Gates where people can travel to alternate Americas.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

What Technology Wants by Kevin Kelly

What Technology Wants by Kevin Kelly

Kevin Kelly views technology as a natural organic living process. He calls it the technium. He views it as being part of human evolution. I found the ideas to be fascinating but overly anthropomorphic. He gave living qualities to stone, steel, spoons, bricks, and computers. There is both a humanizing and a dehumanizing aspect to this writing.

The humanizing aspect is a view of increased possibilities, more opportunities to create greater freedoms and greater choice. The author shows how machines improve our lives and expand our possibilities. He also includes systems of thought like science, art, and law as part of technology. He describes how technology evolved as we evolved from the stone age to modern cities.

Where it fails and seems a bit dehumanizing is his taking a picture of nature that seems very utilitarian. He describes that eventually there will be no waste with biophilic technology. I think this lessens nature and makes it machine like. He even claims the Amish are part of the technium because of how they use technology. This was a bit far fetched to me. I don't like to think of myself as evolving in a similar way to a machine.

The unabomber, Ted Kaczynski's anti-technology views are gone into. This was quite daring to do. Kevin Kelly does not shy from tackling some opposing view points. He even talks about primitivism. This makes the book different.

There is a deeply philosophical bent to the writing. I can recognize some of the philosophy. Some of it is very much at the edge of high technology. He seems to be trodding a slightly different path than transhumanism where the idea is that we will become more than human when we integrate with machines. Kevin Kelly also does not argue for the singularity where machines become smarter than humans. Machines are a different kind of intelligence than human intelligence. His ultimate goal is to open infinite games for people, more choice, more freedom, more opportunities through technology.

Read this book it will open your mind to new ideas. It makes you think. Kevin Kelly helped launched Wired Magazine. His website is

The book is fairly dense reading. It includes notes, an annotated reading list, black and white photographs, charts, and an index. It is very much a popular science title.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Daily Thoughts 1/22/2011 (what technology wants)

Illustration drawing shows the interior of the reading room of the Boston Public Library, Bates Hall. 1 drawing : wash, opaque white and graphite. Published in: "The New Building of the Boston Public Library" by T.R. Sullivan, Scribner's magazine, 19:88 (January 1896).

Daily Thoughts 1/22/2011

I finished reading What Technology Wants. It has been quite busy today for me. It has been an extremely busy day.  I really did not get to read much today.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Daily Thoughts 1/21/2011 (What Technology Wants, Audiobooks)

A favourite author, Poul Friis Nybo (1869–1929), 1929

Daily Thoughts 1/21/2011

Today has been a good day.  We talked about grants in the morning.  I am going to be working on a grant for devices like the Kindle and the Ipad.  I am hoping I can get some book apps for the Ipad as part of the grant.

We also got a large donation of audiobooks that are fairly current.  Titles like K is for Killer by Sue Grafton, Testimony by Anita Shreve, The Master Sniper by Stephen Hunter, and The Overton Widow by Glenn Beck which are popular.  I used the new form for donations for the first time.

I also spent some time selecting orders from my Ingram Alerts, Earlyword, Shelf Awareness and other sources.  I really like it has a nice selection for new material.

I read some more of What Technology Wants by Kevin Kelly.  He is talking about the interdependence of life, how life forms need each other to survive.  He compares this to how we increasingly need technology to live.

Web Bits

I think I am going to do this next week on Thursday, January 27, 2011
Libraries Are Essential: Providing Core Services To Readers

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Daily Thoughts 1/20/2011 (New York City Digital Show and Tell, Metadata)

An engraving of Harriet Beecher Stowe from 1872, based on an oil painting by Alonzo Chappel, published by Johnson Fry & Co

Daily Thoughts 1/20/2011

I have started reading Metadata Fundamentals for Librarians by Priscilla Caplan.  I am finding it surprisingly interesting.  The idea that there is a standard format for metadata called Dublin Core makes it easier to think about it.  Metadata is basically data about data.  I think I am getting the basic idea of how it works.  It is basically a way to standardize and index searching for data.

I made a few calls for programming today.  I talked to the senior services people in the city and the Womens Enterprise Development Center.  I also checked the displays to make sure things are in order.

I left a little bit early today to go to the New York City Digital Show and Tell. I was one of the people who watched, they were doing short pitches for different digital ebook products.  There were some surprises.  I will write more about it later.  I learned Book Glutton has a new spinoff product, Read Social.  I also found out about some interesting new sites like which is a site where authors recommend books they have read. I will write about it mor later. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Daily Thoughts 1/19/2011 (What Technology Wants, Metadata)

Daily Thoughts 1/19/2011

I read some more of What Technology Wants by Kevin Kelly.  There is a bit of intellectual daring.  Kevin Kelly addresses the thoughts of the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski.  This was quite different.  He also discusses how the Amish choose to use different technologies. I found this to be a different approach.  I like the idea of being selective on how you will use technology.  It gives a better sense of direction in daily life. 

We had our first order meeting for the year today.  It went fairly smoothly.  I also had a meeting for the Graphic Novels Club.  Today is the day they are giving the Regents exams for the high schools so not a whole lot of people came.  There were a few people.  As always people also took out some material.

The book, Cowboy Angels by Paul McAuley came in for me to read.  It is an alternate history novel.

Two more books came in that deal with information, Online Community Information by John C. Durrance, and Karen E. Pettigrew, and Metadata Fundamentals for All Librarians by Priscilla Caplan.  It is going to be a chance to learn a few new things.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Daily Thoughts 1/18/2011 (What Technology Wants, Job Search)

Paper cut, Therese Huber, Louise Duttenhofer 1776-1829

Daily Thoughts 1/18/2011

I read some more of What Technology Wants.  Kevin Kelly is comparing convergent evolution and convergent invention.  The idea of convergent invention is that often more than one person invents a new technology at the same time.  There are many examples of this from the telephone to the electric light bulb.  Kevin Kelly also describes how many technologies are predicted like the video phone which are predicted but when they become available, people are not interested in them.  I've found the book useful for its different take on technology.

Today, I tried a new program on Job Search sites, but it did not have much attendance.  People were more interested in the handouts on the different websites that are available to search for jobs in Westchester and the books on job searching than the computer lab session.  I'll probably have to make more of them.

We are planning a senior visit from the Armory next month.  It will be a way to offer older people access to the library now that the bookmobile is gone because of lack of funding.

I also spent some time on orders today.  It was interesting looking through the patron recommendations for books and other items from both our website and the collection management form we keep at the desk.  I will be ordering music for the first time.  I spent some time looking at music from the Billboard list.

Web Bits

An article on Weightless Books from Publishers Weekly.
I saw Weightless Books at the Brooklyn Book Festival.  They were part of Small Beer Press.  I like their approach which is very independent.

A national survey on budgets and staffing in libraries in the United States.

This quote from the article says it all.  "Nonetheless, the overall trend in FY10 was a brutal grasping by money-starved government officials for the low-hanging fruit of library budgets: 72 percent of survey respondents said their budget had been cut, and 43 percent had staff cuts."

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Other Side of Innovation Solving The Execution Challenge by Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble.

The Other Side of Innovation Solving The Execution Challenge by Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble.

The Other Side of Innovation is about innovation inside enterprises. It does not cover innovation inside startups. This is a business management book. The authors argue that there are usually two ways to innovate; build special innovation teams or improve on existing products.

Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble argue that for major changes it is important to create special groups of people outside of every day operations. This is because innovating requires different skills and mindset than day to day operations. They make the case that innovation is about learning, experimenting, and taking risks. These are not day to day activities in most corporations.

I found their argument convincing. Where they said innovation occurs inside a corporation is in its "performance engine". It is there that small continuous changes in process and execution can be introduced over time. This has to have more than just ideas and excution, it also has to be accepted by managers or it will not work.

The examples the authors use are from large corportations; Nucor, Fisher-Price, John Deere, Thomson West and other large corporations. The writing is easy to follow; it is in plain english. The book is written for the practitioner. It even includes a set of assessment tools at the end of the book.

There is a Scholarly Foundation section at the end of the book. Like all the content in this book, they justify their choices. They not only give bibliographic citations, they also give reasons why the material was cited. This makes the writing more believable.

This book is a quality business title. It is published by Harvard Business Review Press. Both Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble are faculty at The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. There is a companion website at I plan to read their other book, Ten Rules For Strategic Innovators. It is supposed to be more focused on startups.

Daily Thoughts 1/17/2011 (Content Strategy, What technology Wants)

 Portrait of writer Vsevolod Mikhailovich Garshin. by Ilya Repin, 1884 Oil on canvas. 88.9 × 69.2 cm. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Daily Thoughts 1/17/2011

This evening, I read some more of What Technology Wants by Kevin Kelly.  There is a real sense of anthropomorphism in this book.  Kevin Kelly attributes many characteristics of living systems to machines.  I don't agree with it in some ways.  The argument is interesting.  It reminds me of the idea that the fundamental building blocks of the universe at the quantum level is pure information.  There is a feeling that he is attributing the universe is a binary system.  It is the same kind of thinking that led Newtonian thinkers to think of the creator as the great watchmaker.  The book is very philosophical.

I put the book, The network is your customer : five strategies to thrive in a digital age by  David L. Rogers on hold.  I am also going to reread Content Strategy for the Web by Kristina Halvorson.

I have been thinking a little bit on the concept of content strategy a little more lately.  I think I am going to explore it a little more.

Our library system has integrated its catalog with the White Plains Public Library which is excellent.  They have some books which may be very useful to us.  This includes quite a bit on metadata and other web information.  I put several more books on hold, some of them from White Plains.  Metadata Principals for All Librarians by Priscilla Caplan,  Exploring Web 2.0 : second generation internet tools - blogs, podcasts, wikis, networking, virtual worlds, and more by Ann Bell and Online community information : creating a nexus at your library by Joan C. Durrance as well as The manual to online public records : the researchers tool to online resources of public records and public information by Michael L. Sankey.

Web Bits

The concept of Content Curation is starting to appear on the web again. 

The idea is that so many people are creating new content, that it is very hard to keep track of it all.  Therefore, there should be curators for web content.  It seems a bit like a marketing ploy right now.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Daily Thoughts 1/16/2011 (What Technology Wants, The Other Side of Innovation, Budget)

"Music and Literature," oil on canvas, by the American artist William Michael Harnett. Courtesy of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, 1878

Daily Thoughts 1/16/2011

I have been reading more of The Other Side of Innovation.  I learned that Fisher Price releases over 700 new products every single year.  Like the fashion industry, the toy industry has to constantly innovate.  This creates an atmosphere of continuous learning and continuing education.  I am finding the ideas about innovation refreshing in this book.

I read a little bit more of What Technology Wants by Kevin Kelly. This is a quote from P.83, "That's how it works.  This is how all technology works.  A gadget becomes a junky prototype and then progresses to something that barely works."  This sentences reflects on the deep understanding of the author of technology.

Web Bits

An article about the fight to save Britain's libraries.

The same argument seems to be playing out in Britain as in the United States.  Even though more people want to use libraries and there is an increase in usage, libraries are not an essential service.   This is a reminder that an argument on pure statistics will not work that well.  As in the United States it is an attack on the cultural foundations of society.  Much of what is preserved in libraries and archives is part of cultural memory.  There seems to be an attempt to rewrite our past by wiping it clean.  We do need to remember history and not allow this to happen.

On a more local level the budget is still being negotiated.  Mount Vernon City Council Overrides Mayor's Budget Veto.  This is a little more from an article that covers both the City Council President and the mayor.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Daily Thoughts 1/15/2011 (Captain Blood, The Other Side of Innovation)

Raffaelo Sanzio,Detail of The School of Athens showing Heraclitus and Michelangelo Buonarroti as one person, 1509

Daily Thoughts 1/15/2011

I have been reading The Other Side of Innovation. The authors are describing when and how to create internail and external teams for innovation.  They call the internal parts of an organization, the "performance engine".  It describes how it is necessary to bring some outside people in to help with innovation.  Not all major changes in a corporation can occur from inside an organization. It was interesting learning about how implementing innovative ideas is often more about learning to do things right than pushing execution.

I am also reading What Technology Wants. Kevin Kelly is describing how human evolution is increasingly tied to technology.  He seems to be pushing for a view that we are inseparable from modern technology right now.

I got a request to write short articles for The View From Here which is an online literary magazine.  I'll probably confirm tomorrow on Sunday.

I also watched Captain Blood today starring Errol Flynn and Olivia De Haviland.  It is Errol Flynn's first movie which is surprising. The movie is based on the book Captain Blood  by Rafael Sabatini.  The book was written in 1922 so it is well out of copyright.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Daily Thoughts 1/14/2011 (Art)

This picture was taken from the Dictionnaire encyclopédique Trousset, also known as the Trousset encyclopedia, Paris, 1886 - 1891.

Daily Thoughts 1/14/2011

Today was an interesting day.  We had a meeting about scheduling this morning which went fairly well.  The displays are in good order.  I also spent some time talking about ordering with the head childrens librarian.

We have display cabinets in the rotunda which we use as an art gallery. The rotunda has a fresco from the Works Project Administration which is a copy of the Unicorn Tapestry in the Cluny Museum in Paris.  I put in a variety of regular size and oversize books on African American and African artists to complement the show they are doing today.  It complements the Diaspora A Cultural Expression of Art exhibit opening which is this afternoon between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Web Bits

I am planning on going to Book Camp 2 on February 13, 2011 from 12:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Neil Gaiman on Ebooks

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Daily Thoughts 1/13/2011 (Nibbus Maximus, ebooks)

A recent novel, a young love, an old pipe. This picture was taken from Œuvres choisies de Gavarni (Selected works of Gavarni), Paris, 1848. Wood engraving by Piaud, after a lithograph by Paul Gavarni.

Daily Thoughts 1/13/2011 I am going to the New York City Digital Show and Tell on January 20, 2011 which is part of the Ebook, Ereaders, and Digital Content Meetup.

We put up a new banner made in Microsoft Publisher for the African American History display.  There is now a button to sign up for the libraries newsletter on the website.  The displays are in good order.

I was looking at CEO Reads and came across something that looked very interesting, Enterprise Social Technology Helping Organizations Harness The Power of Social Media, Social Networking, Social Relevancy by Scott Klososky, Green Leaf Book Group c2011.  This looks at return on investment for implementing social technologies in enterprises.

I put The Dervish House by Ian McDonald on hold.  It is near future science fiction set in Istanbul.  I also put the book Cowboy Angels by Paul McAuley on hold which is an alternate history.

Web Bits

Jim Woodring’s “Nibbus Maximus” (with video) (Giant Pen)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Daily Thoughts 1/12/2011 (What Technology Wants, Books)

Albert J. Franke (1860–1924): Die Schriftgelehrten. Signiert. Öl auf Holz.. 31 x 42 cm

Daily Thoughts 1/12/2011

I am reading What Technology Wants by Kevin Kelly. Kevin Kelly helped launch Wired magazine.  There is a new term which the author creates called the technium which is the globally interconnected web of technology around us.  It reminds me a bit of the gaia hypothesis which compares the earth to a living organism.  They are different ways to view the world.

It was snowing heavily last night.  I cleaned up the displays a little bit and worked on some minor projects; getting a button on the website so people can join our email list, converting a few flyers into jpgs for the website, and picking out some more graphic novels and dvds for the Graphic Novels club next week.  I also set the date for our first order meeting of the year.  Things are going steadily and smoothly.

I checked out The Other Side of Innovation Solving The Executtion Challenge by Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble.  It is published by Harvard Business Review Press.

I updated my selected links page with a few new links.

Web Bits

 Permanence Matters is an argument for printing hardcover books on better quality paper.  I think the hardcover titles that should survive should have better design, quality, and permanence.

Sisters In Crime, The Mystery Book Consumer In The Digital Age

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Information Architecture for the World Wide Web by Peter Morville and Louis Rosenfeld

Information Architecture for the World Wide Web by Peter Morville and Louis Rosenfeld

This book is an introductory text on information architecture for the internet.  The information in this book clarified and defined many ideas from this emerging profession.  It is quite relevant to librarians.  According to this book 40% of information architects come from a library science background.

Many of the concepts that were being described came right out of library school.  I remember reading about search engines, indexes, and classification in my cataloging class.  This book takes it one step further and describes how information on the web is turned into metadata, controlled vocabularies, and labeling systems. It also describes how indexes and search engines are designed.

It is more than just information systems, it is also the language of the nonvisible parts of websites.  It describes things which a chief information officer or a senior developer might talk about; web blueprints, taxonomy, wireframes, and content maps.  This is the planned architecture of enterprise websites.

The reader also learns the vocabulary and professional interests in education, strategy, and selling the profession.  Reading this was eye opening.  It gave me a description of how enterprise websites are created like or the MSWeb intranet.

After reading this, I am beginning to get a context of how complex websites are put together.  There is the content strategist who puts in all the different kinds of content in the site, and the information architect who creates the framework on which an enterprise website is built..

This was an incredibly useful book.  It helped me understand the internet in ways which I had not done before.  I would highly recommend this to people who are interested in technology.

Daily Thoughts 1/11/2011 (Rules for Revolutionaries)

Jean de La Fontaine, The writer is represented holding a folio with the first verses of The Fox and the Grapes. by Pierre Julien (French, 1731–1804) Marble, exhibited at the Salon, 1785. Louvre Museum, Department of Sculptures, Richelieu, ground floor, room 29

Daily Thoughts 1/11/2011

I applied to the Distribution to Underserved Communities art books offer.

Today has been quiet.  I have been reading a bit of Rules for Revolutionaries by Guy Kawasaki.  He reminds the reader about the need to have a product to ship that can be improved continuously.  The objective is not perfection but ship the product then improve it.  I found the book to be very easy reading. 

Sometimes, you think about things you have seen.  One search utility that I am fascinated with is dtsearch, I have never used it.  It just looks interesting.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Daily Thoughts 1/10/2011 (i live in the future and this is how it works, true grit)

De quoi écrire, Hermann Fenner-Behmer

Daily Thoughts 1/10/2011

I read some more of I live in the future and this is how it works by Nick Bilton.  He is writing about personalization and digital natives in the current sections I am reading.  Part of personalization is that it is easy to make people the center of web applications.  You become the center of the world on Twitter on Google Maps and Facebook.  For digital natives, people who grew up with the internet, this is perfectly natural.  We will see them coming into the workforce and changing it within the next five years.

This morning, I pulled some comics  for the Graphic Novels club and checked the displays to make sure they are in order.  I put up a new display for African American history on Friday.

A colleague found me a copy of True Grit by Charles Portis. It is something which I definitely want to read.  I also checked out Diana Gabaldon An Outlander Graphic Novel, The Exile illustrated by Hoang Nguyen.

I am working on a short list of websites for an Internet Job Search Hour on January 18, 2011.  Most of them come from the list on our website.

On the way home, I finished reading I live in the future and here's how it works by Nick Bilton. The book is taking current trends and pushing them into the future.  It ends with some things that fascinate me; Bug Labs which makes modular open source computer hardware,  Maker Bot with its Thingomatic,, and New York City Resistor which is a hacker collective for computer hardware .  This is a nice reminder that the changes in publishing and ebooks will soon spread out into manufacturing with 3d printers, wireless computer hardware, and a lot of new innovations.

I also had a chance to start with True Grit by Charles Portis.  More than anything else, it makes me want to watch the John Wayne film.  I like westerns.

I am also reading Rules for Revolutionaries The Capitalist Manifesto for Creating and Marketing New Products and Services by Guy Kawasaki.

Web Bits

If you are interested in where a picture came from, there is the Tin Eye search engine.  You upload the picture and it searches the internet for where it came from.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Daily Thoughts January 9,2011 (library renewal, quora)

Kenneth Whitley, Sept. 7 1939, Works Project Administration poster from the Library of Congress.

Daily Thoughts 1/9/2011

I finished reading Information Architecture for the World Wide Web this morning.  I also read a bit more of I live in the future and this is how it works.   There were a few ideas that caught my attention; 85% of twitter is links to news articles, and most retweets eventually reach 1000 people.  I like this.

Library Renewal is an organization that supports getting more electronic content into public libraries.  This is more than books; it includes all kind of content, books, video, images, and other content.  They want to see a greater ability for public libraries to be able to handle this kind of material as well as different electronic devices. 

Please join this movement.  It is at least a symbolic attempt to modernize libraries.

I joined  which is a question and answer network.  It looks a little bit like Twitter.
I'll see if it has any use soon. 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Letting Go of the Words Writing Web Content That Works by Janice Ginny Radish.

Letting Go of the Words Writing Web Content That Works by Janice Ginny Radish.

This book focuses on how to write content for the web.  It is more than just writing content. Janice Radish describes how to write links, describe pathways between different parts of websites, include images with text, and write specific types of informational pages.

Writing for the web is different than writing on paper.  Communication occurs in shorter paragraphs with more concise language.  Because it is more visually oriented, headings are more important, and paragraphs are often broken down into bulleted or numbered lists.

The examples in this book are mainly commercial pages.  There are many full color diagrams, photographs, and web page captures with explanations . This makes the book very easy to follow.  There is also a bibliography and index.

I found some of the things she describes quite useful.  For example, she tells us how to create an ideal user profile, and break apart large blocks of written text into shorter paragraphs with bolded headings and links. 

If you are writing a commercial or informational site this book should be quite helpful.  There are discussons on how to write a frequently asked questions page, add text to images, and create easy to follow directions between home, pathway, and information pages.

I found this book because I was reading about content strategy. Content strategy is about planning for all the different content that will go into a website including words, images, sound, and other media.  It is an emerging field of practice in web development.  It is often aligned with information architecture.

Daily Thoughts 1/8/2011

Symptoms of Wet Weather, 1846, John Leech Archive.

Daily Thoughts 1/8/2011

I watched some early Houdini episodes today. I really didn't do much reading. It was kind of relaxing.

Web Bits

Naughty Novels, a cartoon.

Playing Catch Up In a Digital Library Race.

I think we should have a national digital library.  It would be interesting to see.  I also think we should have a national digital library where every downloadable item that was not under copyright was sharable, easy to edit and reuse, annotatable, and easy to find.

This could have big implications. I can see the doctrine of first sale affecting galleys for books. It might be a reason for more companies to start using electronic galleys which could be considered software and have different end user license agreements. Services like Netgalley could have a spike in use because of this.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Daily Thoughts 1/7/2011 (Yonkers Public Library)

Portrait of Rembrandt van Rijn's son by Saskia van Uylenburgh, Titus van Rijn.
Signed and dated bottom left: Rembrandt f. 1655

Daily Thoughts 1/7/2011

This morning, I read a little bit more of Information Architecture for the World Wide Web.  The writers were explaining the concept of blueprints for websites and wireframes or mockups of websites.  I found it kind of interesting.  It is a relatively new concept for me. On the way home, I read a little more of the book.  The authors were pointing out some of the duties of being a professioinal; following an ethical code in choosing words, selling the profession, and being willing to follow a path of continuous eduction.

Today is another quiet steady day.  I looked over the new materials donation form and checked on some gift books.  I also updated the collection management sheet for patron requests.

We got a few gifts in and I did a little bit of weeding in the paperback section.  It was a very predictable day.  I have been thinking a little bit about how to reach out for donations.

I also read read a little bit more I live in the future and this is how it works.  Nick Bilton was describing how social networks act as filter for internet content.  Your social networks separate out the material you want to look at by creating a pool of selected links, images, and articles.  I fint Twitter quite useful for this.  I try and follow people who are in the book or library industry.  It serves as an alert to new occurrences and new technology as it emerges.

Web Bits

This is an article about Yonkers Public Library.  Many libraries are feeling the pinch of budget cuts.  Often libraries are viewed as an easy way to reduce funding.  A Properly Funded Library Essential for Yonkers Community.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Daily Thoughts 1/6/2010 (Information Architecture, Google Docs, library songs)

"Cutting and Holding the Feather" from: Johann Stäps: Selbstlehrende Canzleymäßige Schreibe-Kunst. Leipzig 1784

Daily Thoughts 1/6/2010

This morning, I read some more of Information Architecture for the World Wide Web.  I was reading about researching the site architecture for as site.  The writers were writing about usability and gathering information on websites.  They briefly wrote about tracking website statistics and how to do user surveys. On the way home, I read about the context of strategy in web sites.  This seemed a bit nebulous to me. They used terms like metaphor and imagery.  It wasn't concrete enough for me.

Google Docs can be used to make web surveys.  How to make Forms, Surveys, and Quizzes in Google Docs  It is a very nice

I spent some time talking about databases with a colleague.  I also did some weeding in the paperbacks today.  We are thinking of working on labeling and inventorying the storage area or mezzanine.

In the afternoon, I wrote the bi-monthly report with a colleague for the collection development and technical services department. We usually include some marketing materials with the report as well as statistics on items being added and deleted from the collection.  I still plan on doing some more weeding in the storage area or mezzanine.

I have been reading a little bit more of I live in the future and here's how it works.  Nick Bolton describes a new type of consumer that is more driven by immediacy than quantity or quality.  His term is consumnivore.  I find it to be mildly perturbing.  The consumnivore seems to graze in the land of social networks where the popular material is touted as the most buyable.  It reminds me of the idea of "romantic consumption", where positive sensual emotions are tied to buying consumer goods. It is a bit too hedonistic for my liking.

Web Bits

Songs about the library.

Wikipedia songs that retell a work of literature

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Daily Thoughts 1/5/2010 (Information Architecture, Meetup)

Doctor, lawyer, merchant, chief agree...these books are too good to miss! / I.K

Daily Thoughts 1/5/2010

Today has been another steady day.  I read some more of Information Architecture for the World Wide Web.  The section I was reading was on metadata and classification and schemes.  It was basically about how you used words and their meanings in indexes and search engines.  The authors wrote about synonyms, definitions of terms, and other minutiae.  Much of it concerned thesauri in the context of computers.  I like how computers have changed classification away from old systems like the Dewey Decimal System.

I have been working on a donation form for materials as well as a set of procedures for donations.  It has been interesting doing this.  I also took some time to look at Lexis which is now part of the library systems purchase.  We have a system designed for public libraries called Lexis Nexis Library Express.  It allows people to find basic legal material, company information, and news.

I also spent some time looking at Freegal which is a music download service for libraries.  The question right now, is whether or not it is worth it.  There are a lot of services which are quite expensive which people want.

I am tempted by the New York Tech Meetup.  Not sure if I want to go.  Haven't been to it yet.  There are usually over 700 people at the event.  They pitch five startups at each event.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Daily Thoughts 1/4/2010 (Budgets, Information Architecture for the World Wide Web)

Franz Volkmar Reinhard in his study, reading, 1811, Oil on Canvas
Daily Thoughts 1/4/2010

Today was a quiet steady day.  I checked the displays and printed some more flyers for the Library Tour.  I also made sure some programs went into the Calendar of Events.  I also checked out some books, I Live In the Future and This is How It Works Why Your World, Work, and Brain Are Being Creatively Disrupted by Nick Bolton and Running The Books The Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian by Avi Steinberg.

We had a session discussing budgets for the collection which I think was productive.  We also discussed book donations.  I pulled together a receipt for material donations and suggested a picture of children reading.  I felt it was quite productive.  I am also thinking about how we might get to help the older people in the Armory who want to get books without a bookmobile.

There was a little bit of discussion of how to handle donations.  I like going through book donations.  I find it enjoyable.  It is like digging for gems in the rough.  It reminds me a bit of when I used to go to flea markets to look for comics and other memorabilia. There is Booksalefinder which lists all the different booksales across the United States.

On the way home, I read some more of Information Architecture For The World Wide Web.  The authors are writing about search engines.  They are explaining the differences between precision and recall in search engines.  I am enjoying reading this book.  Many of the concepts read like they came out of my class on cataloging in library school.  I learned that 40% of information architects have a library science background.  The next chapter I am going to read is on Thesauri, Controlled Vocabularies, and Metadata.  This is a hot topic in library science. They are often looking for librarians with taxonomy skills.

I started reading I live in the future and here's how it works by Nick Bilton.  Nick Bilton is the Lead Writer and Technology Reporter for the New York Times Bits Blog. He opens the book by describing how he prefers to read the paper in digital form over the print form.

Web Bits

Steve Haber, The Changing Role of Libraries In The Digital Age from The Huffington Post,

Monday, January 3, 2011

Net Profit How To Succeed In Digital Business by David Soskin

Net Profit How To Succeed In Digital Business by David Soskin

Net Profit is about building profitable internet enterprises.  It takes the view that web businesses are businesses like any other.  The writing feels very different than writing coming out of Silicon Valley in California, or Silicon Alley in New York.  It does not evangelize technology.  David Soskin takes a different approach to business on the web which comes from his working in Britain in a company that he bought, Cheapflights,  and then grew into an international business.

This is not about the wonders of open source, or how to reach lots of people through social media.  It is about how to protect your intellectual property and stay focused on becoming a profitable business.  He is not writing about how to make a lot of money very fast.

The books takes a nuts and bolts approach to business focusing on customers, choosing the right products, hiring for appropriate skills, raising cash, marketing, and bringing a company into the international market. He follows the conservative ideal of using your own cash and then plowing money back into a company you have started. It is only the last chapter which is speculative which is on the future of the internet.  The book starts with a chapter on the history of the internet and how it works.

This is a book that takes every day business practices and shows how they apply in a web environment.  It is for business people who are a little bit circumspect of the internet, but want to understand how it works and how to do business on the internet.

Daily Thoughts 1/3/2010 (Mycomics, ebooks)

Rembrandt, A Scholar Seated At A Desk, 1634, Oil on Canvas

Daily Thoughts 1/3/2011

This morning, I checked the displays and spot checked the shelves.  I also pulled a few graphic novels for the graphic novels club next week including Sophie Crumb Evolution of a Crazy Artist, Edited by S.A. and  R. Crumb.

I also printed up a flyer for a library tour which I am doing on January 25, 2011 as well as a new flyer for the graphic novels club.  Once you do a couple of flyers, it becomes easier because you can create a template for future flyers.

On the way home, I read some more of Information Architecture for the World Wide Web. The section I am reading is on indexes, sitemaps, and other forms of organization.  The authors mention tag clouds and visual representations of the web.

Web Bits

This is the kind of article and app that makes we want to get an Ipad.  It is about a new comics application for Ipad.  I especially like the background with the bookshelves.

Open Book: The year of the printerruption in the e-book age from the National Post.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Daily Thoughts 1/2/2011 (On Media Conference, Crunchbase)

Standing panel, detail: St. Lawrence of Rome, hand with book, Heller Altarpiece, Between 1509 and 1511

Daily Thoughts 1/2/2011

I spent some time looking through Crunchbase which is a free directory of technology companies. are quite a few companies that are publishing oriented like Rethink Books, Wattpad, Ookabooka, Bookbrewer, and Open Story Board.  I have not really looked too closely at the individual companies yet.

I also found out where venture capital and media meet.  There is a conference called OnMedia NYC 2011 which focuses on wall street and media.

I have been reading some more of Information Architecture for the World Wide Web. Right now, I am reading about how to label sites.  It includes how to choose words by using surveys as well as keyword analysis.  It has a formal feel to it.  I am learning how informal the metatags I am using for this site are.

I applied to a job at Google tonight.  I have been applying to a few places here and there.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Daily Thoughts 1/1/2011 (Information Architecture, Meetups)

Jean Miélot at his desk, 2nd Half of the 15th Century

Daily Thoughts 1/1/2011

Happy New Year to all of you reading this blog.  Today, I resolve to make my refrigerator project a success.  For the last four months, I have been making notes here and there on a project and adding it to a file on my computer in a haphazard way.  It is slowly forming into an amorphous something.  It is enough of an amorphous something now to maybe put it up on a website.  It is the old throw it against the wall and maybe it will stick idea.  I am pondering it every day.

I read some more of Information Architecture for the World Wide Web.  The author is writing about different ways to organize information in a web site; topic, task, audience, metaphor, and hybrid methodologies.  Information organization is always somewhat political in nature.  It is a matter of choice which information gets primacy inside a website.

I am planning on going to the First NYC Digital Show and Tell for eBooks, Ereaders, and Digital Content Publishing on Janurary 20, 2011.

I also might try and go to the January 10,  2011, Tech Meetup if anything opens up.

Right now, I feel a bit tired.  I tried all I could do for where I worked, but it in the end may not make a difference.  I have to think of other things.
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