In this issue:
Knowledge@Wharton • July 8, 2009
Have you wowed anyone recently? This article focuses on what makes a retail shopping experience extraordinary, but many of the elements are equally applicable to visiting a library or museum. The bad news is, there's no cookie cutter formula guaranteed to impress all patrons — opinions on what made an experience great varied based on customers' age and nationality — but one strategy stands out as key: hiring people who are courteous, knowledgeable and caring goes a long way toward getting to "wow."
George Benckenstein • June 29, 2009
Food for thought. The author cites the inability of most institutions to innovate — most institutions are too large to change quickly, and by the time they overcome their inertia, they're working on a problem that no longer exists because conditions have changed again. Benckenstein offers some good suggestions for any institution in flux (i.e., Forget Consultants) — check out his list and think about how you can steer your large institution into acting more like a small business.
Interview with Tim Berners-Lee, Part 2: Search Engines, User Interfaces for Data, Wolfram Alpha, And More
ReadWriteWeb July 9, 2009
Talking about the Internet of Things. Tim Berners-Lee discusses some of the new search efforts on the horizon and talks about what it will be like in the future, when everything is tied to the Web via its own RFID chip or URI. Berners-Lee calls it "the last link — the last mile," as the increasing use of embedded chips and environmental sensors open up a new world of real-time data at users' fingertips.
Fast Company • July 1, 2009
The book publishers' dilemma. Do they go with Jeff Bezos — the devil they know — or Steve Jobs — the devil they don't? While Bezos has aggressively courted publishers with his e-book business model, Apple's interest in all things digital should not be discounted. Read on for an interesting discussion of the future of the book (will Apple ultimately turn it into a multimedia event?).
The New Atlantis • Spring 2009
Loss of a legacy. A law passed in response to the scare over lead contaminants in children's toys has given the Consumer Products Safety Commission the green light to outlaw the resale of all children's books published before 1985 unless they pass a lead test. The problem? Prior to 1985, lead in miniscule amounts was a common ingredient in ink. Unless the books can be labeled "collectors' items," unlikely to be read by children, booksellers face $100,000 fine for selling the books or even giving them away. The article conjures up visions of book destruction on a massive scale -- what can we do to bring Congress to its senses?
The New York Times • July 9, 2009
Mirror on the real world. Social media researcher Danah Boyd says the changing demographics of the two largest social networking sites suggest that better educated, white and Asian users are migrating away from MySpace to Facebook. Her findings are echoed by other recent studies, and the results point to the evolution of an online world that mirrors the social divide in American society. "What we're seeing is a modern incarnation of white flight," says Boyd. "It should scare the hell out of us."
Library of Congress • July 9, 2009
Riding the wave. The venerable LoC now has a Facebook page and is active on Flickr, YouTube, Twitter and iTunes U. Check it out. (Meanwhile, we could not find an official Library of Congress page on MySpace.)
- David Walker Wins Third OCLC Research Software Contest
- QOTD: Seamus Heaney on Lecturing
- Shifting the Sourcing Model
- Library and Beehive ... Libraries of the Future
- When Poets Walked on Earth
- Fostering Innovation