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Above the Fold

A weekly newsletter for the changing world of libraries, archives and museums

December 04, 2009
Vol. 2, No. 42
ISSN: 1943-1457

In this issue:


Is an E-book a Book?  (External site)

Commonplace.net   •  November 19, 2009

Food for thought. University of Amsterdam Library Systems Department head Lukas Koster ponders the differences between digital and hard copy manifestations of creative output. Read on for a thoughtful discussion of whether the FRBR conceptual model is suited to dealing with digital content and its various formats (see next item).

I hadn't thought about running the e-book through the FRBR conceptual model. After reading this I think I agree with his conclusion that e-books are manifestations and we need to register the manifestation identifier attributes. He's also right to think about the demand for "story-level" description of chapters, articles, etc. that will be unleashed by the e-book. Deciding whether the DOI will serve I leave to people who think about these matters often and intently. ( Michalko)


Challenges and Opportunities of the Small Screen  (External site)

Inside Higher Ed  •  November 19, 2009

Catering to the small screen. A recent New York Times article notes that there are more than 130 million smartphones, iPhones and iPod Touch devices that can run reading applications, compared with 4 million e-readers. Publishers — and eventually, libraries — will need to make some decisions on how to satisfy users' demand for small screen content.

We've been thinking a lot about the future of research information management and how libraries can be more deeply engaged and useful throughout the research process. This brief post makes me think that there may be a really useful set of things we can do to help our teachers "mobilize" — make suitable for mobile device delivery — their curriculum. ( Michalko)


Google Publishes Stanford Dissertations Online  (External site)

San Francisco Chronicle   •   November 16, 20099

Eco-scholarship. With more than 35,000 bound dissertations sitting on its library shelves, Stanford University is going green — allowing doctoral students to file their dissertations electronically rather than providing multiple hard copies on acid-free paper. The move is a step in the right direction on multiple levels: reducing carbon footprint, providing greater access to scholarly work, reducing staff labor and allowing greater creativity. What's not to like?

I agree. What's not to like? The green argument seems to miss the really important point that this work will more quickly find a much larger audience when it's delivered this way. ( Michalko)


Time-travelling Browsers Navigate the Web's Past  (External site)

New Scientist   •  November 16, 2009

Remembrance of pages past. A new browser system dubbed Memento provides an easy way to find older Web pages through a time-date stamp, eliminating the need to wade through archives. The system would simplify the task of finding noncurrent material on dynamic sites such as wikis and blogs that change their content frequently.

Herbert Van de Sompel the creator of Memento, is a professional friend and colleague. He's also one of the smartest folks working in our domain who has produced wonderfully elegant and efficient approaches to difficult problems. We were fortunate to have him present in our Distinguished Seminar Series at OCLC headquarters. After you read this introductory article you might like to view the web cast, see the demonstration video, flick through his slides or listen to the discussion. We've packaged it all up for you right here. ( Michalko)


6 Ways to Be More Creative than Thomas Edison on Acid  (External site)

Hello, My Name Is Blog   •  November 12, 2009

Creative common sense. How many brainstorming sessions have you sat through recently? Quit talking and start doing, says entrepreneur Scott Ginsburg, whose first suggestion is, "Brainstorming is the great time waster." Certainly bouncing ideas off colleagues can help you focus, but there are times when "brainstorming" is treated as an accomplishment in itself rather than a prelude to action.

Another set of admonitions. Good ones that are, as usual, very difficult to execute. I was glad to have someone offer permission to consider brainstorming a waste of time but Scott Ginsburg, who wears a name tag 24/7, may not be my most credible authority figure. ( Michalko)


10 Crucial Consumer Trends for 2010  (External site)

Trendwatching.com  •  December 2009

Infolust rules. Among Trendwatching.com's Top 10 trends for 2010 are expanded opportunities for tracking and alerting services. Besides using Twitter to learn when a fresh batch of cookies is available at your neighborhood bakery, some more useful applications include a Lufthansa option that alerts your loved ones when your flight has safely landed and a service that provides a heads-up for asthma and arthritis sufferers when weather conditions are expected to trigger health problems.

Here they come. The lists. Trendwatching.com has a full list of 10 trends characterized by some pretty tortured neologisms like "urbany" and "(f)luxury." It's all fun, partly true and only the beginning. If you google the phrase "Top 10 2010 trends" you can go for pages — new food, integrated marketing, wedding dresses, analytics, business intelligence and on and on. They all have ten top trends. Maybe we'll find some more in the next few Above the Fold issues. ;) ( Michalko)


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Above the Fold is a Web-based newsletter published by OCLC 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. Research items are supplied by staff in OCLC Research. Please send comments and questions about this or other issues to rlg@oclc.org.
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