Written on: October 5th, 2009 in Blog Posts
Another selection of great reads as reviewed in this weeks’ New York Times Book Review. The books listed below as well as a number of other titles from the review are now available from libraries throughout the Delaware Library Catalog- click on the links to read more about the books or place a hold:
Written on: October 5th, 2009 in News
For almost 15 years, the Internet Public Library has provided online reference to visitors from around to world. IPL is a partnership, hosted by Drexel University, between a number of American library and information science programs..
IPL provides lists of reviewed and approved internet resources within a huge number of categories in the arts, social sciences, business, health and technology, among other fields- library science students and information professionals review the sites and maintain the categories, so if you need a reliable and high-quality website on a specific topic, the IPL is a good place to go.
Another good place to go is the Librarian’s Index to the Internet (LII), which has been collecting and reviewing websites for almost twenty years- first from California’s Berkeley Public Library and later as a partnership between the California and Washington state libraries.
Ten years ago it was realistic to think that a resource could be maintained which depended on human review, ranking, and categorization, and there wasn’t much difference between the LII and a leading search engine of the day such as Yahoo.com- you can see archived versions from ten years ago at these links- here for LII and here for Yahoo!
The exponential growth of the web in the last decade made the prospect of indexing the web in a controlled fashion impossible, and automated, algorithm-dependent systems like Google became dominant. Removing the human element from creating directories of internet sites has been one of the most significant contributors to information overload- to the point where new search engines like Microsoft’s Bing market themselves on the basis of providing fewer results than Google: one of the few points in Western capitalism where decreasing choice has been seen as a market strategy.
Both ILL and IPL have continued to provide their quality service- the decision was recently made to merge the two organizations in 2010 and become IPL² (their new logo is at the top of this article). We hope that the new site will continue to be the incredible resource to library staff, information seekers, students and teachers that the predecessor sites have been for so long. Congratulations on the merger!
Written on: October 2nd, 2009 in Blog Posts
Since 1901, the National Institute of Standards and Technology has been responsible for maintaining and creating official metrological measures for the United States
NIST also maintains an amazing library. It’s a beautiful facility with incredible resources. Web visitors can access a limited set of their online resources and digital periodicals- you can search Web of Science, Transactions of the ACM, read summaries of articles from Science, Nature and other leading science publications, and read about current projects of NIST scientists across every imaginable technical and scientific discipline, including their comprehensive and authoritative report on the fall of the Twin Towers
Their online exhibits on all manner of standards and technology-related subjects are a tremendous resource for classroom educators. It’s quite a find for museum geeks- there are all kinds of displays of different meters (the illustration at the head of this post, for instance, is one of the first official yards used in the US) kilograms, and devices for measuring time and temperature. NIST also maintains the Time.gov website.
NIST is also the agency that supports the Baldrige National Quality Program and the Baldrige Awards given annually to organizations and businesses that demonstrate outstanding quality according to a set of challenging standards. The Delaware Division of Libraries is one of several State of Delaware agencies that have participated in quality initiatives through the Delaware Quality Partnership
I was at NIST to attend a regional meeting of libraries who use SirsiDynix products to manage their libraries. There were presentations from company executives concerning development plans and new services, a tremendous presentation on marketing from the RAND Corporation’s head librarian Walter Nelson– a presentation notable a.) for the fact that the presenter was in California for the event, and b.) for the phrase “social media is word of mouth marketing on steroids!”