OCLC Research  

Above the Fold

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

March 30, 2010
Vol. 3, No. 12
ISSN: 1943-1457

In this issue:


eBooks in Libraries a Thorny Problem, Says Macmillan CEO  (External site)

go to hellman   •  March 10, 2010

eBooks are not the same as print. Macmillan CEO John Sargent is challenging libraries to come up with a viable business model for ebook-lending that makes sense for both sides. Blogger Eric Hellman says now is the time for publishers and libraries to sit down together and talk.

This is a good read with a good set of comments. Eric's blog engages a lot of issues about which we all care. You should put him into your RSS feed. Full disclosure: He worked at OCLC for about three years. We knew of one another but never met. You might also profitably read his post about the OCLC sale of NetLibrary assets to EBSCO. It was one of the most sensible reactions to come to my attention. ( Michalko)


Toward a New Alexandria  (External site)

The New Republic  •  March 12, 2010

Down with gatekeepers. Author Lisbet Rausing offers a wide-ranging discussion on the changing role of libraries and the issue of making selection, curation and archiving decisions in an age of endless electronic abundance. In societies where members of an educated public are engaged in private pursuit of knowledge, Rausing argues against the historical tendency among academic institutions and communities to restrict access to their collections to a small, scholarly subgroup.

If this did not come to your attention via Lorcan's blog then this is another chance. I urge you to read it in full. As Lorcan points out it is about the continuity of the scholarly record and told via richly allusive language. Lorcan's post about the essay is a very useful companion piece. Read that as well. ( Michalko)


The Year Open Data Went Worldwide: Tim Berners-Lee on TED.com  (External site)

TED University   •  February 2010

The power of association. Check out this five-minute video of Tim Berners-Lee demonstrating the information that can be derived from overlapping data sets. [Also worth a look—the dynamic life expectancy/fertility rate chart in Statistics for a Changing World: Google Public Data Explorer in Labs]

Linked data. It's everywhere. Or at least talk about it is everywhere. This is a good lay overview of what's being delivered on the promise. If you have a few more minutes then be sure to look at some of Hans Rosling's presentations. This one from 2006 incorporates is about life expectancy and infant mortality and is fairly titled: Hans Rosling shows the best stats you've ever seen. ( Michalko)


Tweet or Meet? How to Choose Your Medium Wisely  (External site)

Harvard Business Review   •  March 12, 2010

The medium is the message. Wharton professor Stewart Friedman suggests bringing better balance to your life and communicating more effectively by examining which medium you use for which purpose (e-mail/IM/phone/face-to-face for co-workers/family/bosses, etc.). The goal is "to use them so that we gain the benefits while keeping them from reducing the quality of our lives." He suggests a checklist of questions to decide whether you're getting the most out of your current communications patterns.

"Don't write anything you can phone. Don't phone anything you can talk. Don't talk anything you can whisper. Don't whisper anything you can smile. Don't smile anything you can nod. Don't nod anything you can wink." Earl Kemp Long, the 45th governor of Louisiana and brother of Huey Pierce Long, Jr., the 40th Governor of Louisiana. ( Michalko)


Summary of "Magazines and Their Websites"—Columbia Journalism Review Study by Victor Navasky and Evan Lerner  (External site)

Online Journalism Blog   •  March 6, 2010

It's a fact. "If it's fact-checked, it's not a blog"—this quote from one of the CRJ survey respondents reflects the study's finding that fact checking is much less rigorous for Web site content than for print, and blogs are hardly checked at all. This report is a reminder why the decline of print news in favor of online content may be hazardous to our health.

Good quote. Most interesting thing here for me was the relationship of profitability and traffic to the locus for content decision-making—Web editor, publisher, print editor. Guess before you look. ( Michalko)


News and Views

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  • RLG Partnership European Meeting, Moving the Past into the Future: Special Collections in a Digital Age
      22-23 April 2010 in Oxford, United Kingdom
  • 2010 RLG Partnership Annual Meeting and Symposium
      9-11 June 2010 in Chicago, Illinois USA












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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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