April 3, 2009    |   Vol. 2, No. 11    |   ISSN: 1943-1457
Above the Fold
A weekly newsletter for the changing world of libraries, archives and museums

In this issue:

Where's the Bailout for Publishing?  (External site)

The Daily Beast   •  March 17, 2009

Preaching to the choir. Yale professor Stephen L. Carter argues that the physical nature of books forges a deeper relationship with readers than mere text on a screen. Most interesting is his suggestion that the brain is less able to retain or interact with information read on a screen versus hard copy. "Whatever we finally learn from the science, we can be certain of one thing: a screen is not the same as a page, and, as the migration continues, the experience of reading will itself be altered."

Another apologia for the book. Do we need more, he asks? From this one you may glean a few good quotes for your next talk about the online world and the book. I still think the most provocative work about the future of reading was an exhibit done by Xerox PARC back in 2000 called Experiments in the Future of Reading. The exhibit isn't online any longer but there are some good photos here. For me, the most interesting thing about this article is its source: The Daily Beast, an online compilation from Tina Brown and editors via Barry Diller and Ask. It's on my iPhone now. ( Michalko)

Three Forces Disrupting Management  (External site)

Gary Hamel's Management 2.0 / Wall Street Journal Blogs   •  March 19, 2009

RIP for legacy management. The rapid rate of global economic change, the introduction of online collaboration tools and the shift in next-generation expectations are rewriting management rules that were crafted almost 100 years ago. Fortunately, we're in better shape than many industries to adapt to this new scenario.

I think he's right about being in the midst of a new management revolution. For me, the most compelling driver is "the new expectations that Generation Facebook will bring to work in the years ahead." And he expands on the specifics of what that means in another entry here—I wonder whether you've experienced these behaviors in your workplace? ( Michalko)

Innovation Adjacencies  (External site)

Innovation in Practice   •  March 18, 2009

Courting the opportunity next door. Targeting adjacent markets can help you extend your outreach to new customers and better serve old ones. Focusing on close-to-your-core opportunities is a relatively low-risk way to stay active during volatile times.

The "Big Picture" quadrant used for analysis in this article presents an interesting challenge for libraries to complete. At this stage in libraries, is our objective the acquisition of users or retention? ( Michalko)

Is This Madness? How Losing by Just a Little Can Help a Team—or Company—Win  (External site)

Knowledge@Wharton   •  March 18, 2009

Exploiting the underdog factor. A study of more than 6,000 basketball games shows that teams who are slightly behind at the half push significantly harder in the second half. And Wharton professor Jonah Berger suggests that's true for organizations also. While bonuses and recognition are major motivators, don't discount the psychological boost of striving for an attainable goal that's just barely out of reach.

I'd suggest that we are trailing slightly but not certain that we can turn that into a motivator for ourselves. We're some distance from understanding a new set of goals and services towards which we can strive. ( Michalko)

Will NPR Save the News?  (External site)

Fast Company   •  March 18, 2009

Finally—a news success story. Amidst the gloom and doom surrounding the newspaper business, this article offers some reassuring evidence that this high-quality reporting operation is thriving. NPR's audience has doubled in the past 10 years and, although its embrace of digital media has produced conflict with some member stations, it's also demonstrated that loyal listeners—many of whom share demographic characteristics with our patrons—are willing to contribute to support online content.

While I'm a big NPR fan, I didn't understand this growth pattern. The connection between the institution and its audience really is the extraordinary element underpinning the pattern. There was a time when libraries leveraged a similar connection. ( Michalko)

Writing Math on the Web  (External site)

American Scientist   •  March 2009

Still waiting on that third R. Presenting mathematical or chemical formulas on the Web still often requires special software add-ons or plug-ins, and the results still sometimes render differently in different browsers. As scientific discourse moves online and collaborative work becomes the norm, a small change in Web infrastructure could make it easier for scientists to communicate. Embedding the fonts needed for math and science directly in the Web page could help ensure that what readers see is what the author intended.

Don't let the title put you off. This is a very interesting overview article of the issues associated with mathematical typography. (Okay, you might have to be interested in typography, or math, or at least mark-up languages to really enjoy it.) ( Michalko)

OCLC Programs and Research advances exploration, innovation and community building for libraries, archives, and museums.

Above the Fold is a Web-based newsletter published by OCLC Programs and Research. It has been developed to serve a broad international readership from libraries, archives and museums. News items are supplied weekly under contract by Suzanne Douglas, Ibis Communications Inc. Programs and Research items are supplied by staff in RLG Programs and OCLC Research. Please send comments and questions about this or other issues to rlg@oclc.org.
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