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November 24, 2004


Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. On hiatus until Sunday, at the earliest.

CARL-North Conference

Oh no ... I'm not going. But if you're in the Bay Area and can take the time off, you should:


CARL-North is pleased to invite all librarians, library staff, students, and colleagues to a one-day mini-conference on December 10, 2004, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (registration begins at 8:30 a.m.) at the new Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, a collaboration between the City of San Jose and San Jose State University Library. Librarians at San Jose State University are our local hosts for this program. The conference program and schedule are (tentatively) as follows:

8:30 – 9:30 a.m.Registration, Refreshments, and Opportunity to Sign Up for Tours of the new Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library
9:30 – 10 a.m.“Welcome,” Patricia Senn Breivik, Dean, San Jose State University
“The Dr. Martin Luther King Library,” Jo Bell Whitlach, Associate Dean, San Jose State University
10 –11:00 a.m.“Better Together: Librarian and Faculty Interaction,” presenting techniques and opportunities to promote faculty/librarian collaborations and interactions, and how to evaluate them.
Craig Hawbaker and Robin Imhof, University of the Pacific -or-
 Tour [GROUP 1] of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Library
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.“The Top 5 Business FAQs” sponsored by ABLE, an opportunity to learn about important business questions and sources for both general reference librarians and even the most seasoned business librarians. Toby Matoush, San Jose State University, Cynthia Palmer, Golden Gate University, Sharon Radcliff, St. Mary’s College, Doug Highsmith, California State University, Hayward (moderator) -or-
 Tour [GROUP 2] of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Library
12:30 – 1:30 p.m.Lunch – Roundtable Discussions -or-
Tour [GROUP 3] of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Library
1:30 – 4 p.m.“Information Competency Student Learning Outcomes: Strategies for Intersegmental Collaborations in California Higher Education." Sponsored by CCIG and CARLDIG, this program will present strategies and examples of effective information competency collaborations from high school to college and share information provided by community college and CSU articulation officers about course articulation between the CCCs and CSUs. Bonnie Gratch-Lindauer, City College of San Francisco (moderator), Micca Gray, Santa Rosa Jr. College, Deanna Abma, Articulation Officer, City College of San Francisco, Clyde Brewer, Articulation Officer, San Jose State University, Topsy Smalley, Cabrillo College, Pam Baker, California State University, Monterey Bay, Susan Klingberg, San Jose State University -or-
1:30 – 2:30 p.m.Tour [GROUP 4] of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Library


Tour times are all tentative, depending upon interest. Participants will be asked to sign up for a specific tour time opposite a program or tentatively at the lunch time so that tour groups can be kept to an appropriate size. If participants take the tour during lunch, they may take their lunches to the afternoon program.


A $15.00 registration fee for this program includes lunch and refreshments. Library students may register for $10.00. Please make checks payable to CARL (California Academic and Research Libraries). Payment can be sent in advance to Sally DeLorenzo, University of the Pacific Library, 3601 Pacific Avenue, Stockton, CA 95211; alternatively, cash or checks will be collected on site.

Please sign up to attend with Sally DeLorenzo and indicate whether you would require a vegetarian meal (or have other dietary needs). Questions? Call Sally DeLorenzo or Jean Purnell at 209-946-2434.


The conference will take place on the second floor, Rooms 255/257 and 225/229, of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library. Please see the following web links for map and directions, public transportation options, parking information, and room locations:

King Library Directions
Floor plans -- King Library

This program is sponsored by CARL, California Academic and Research Libraries, a chapter of ACRL, the Association of College and Research Libraries. For more information about CARL and CARL membership, please see our website.

November 23, 2004

IL catch-up

I'm a very bad blogger. Not only did I not blog from The Internet Librarian, I didn't take many notes, either. Perhaps trying to shoehorn 4 conferences in 3 days was a bit too much.

Going to the 2nd day keynote and hearing the speaker relate brand loyalty to institutional goodwill that's been associated in this society with churches, libraries and museums ... well, that didn't help. Unfortunately, I didn't have time copy down that little bit from the slide.

However, here are some of the bloggers that did cover IL, with their commentary on the shindig:

Librarian In Black's recap
Walking Paper did a series of posts: [1], [2], [3], and [4].
Michael Stephens of Tame the Web also did "Is it live or is it Memorex" blogging from the con: [1], [2], [3], [4]
Michael Sauers of TravelinLibrarian has lots of posts. Start from the link and just scroll down ...
And there's Steven Cohen's Library Stuff: [1], [2]
Even the conference chair has a blog. And there's a wiki for the conference, too.

November 20, 2004

Thom Yorke's expensive words

As a fan of The Simpsons and Radiohead, I would really like this post regardless.

However, it starts with an interesting and rather sober digression from pop culture:


Which is to say: I paid $350 (in US funds) to use a handful of quotes from Radiohead songs in my book.

There are several odd things about the whole rigamarole that surrounded procuring this license agreement:

1) I was not required to fork over a single dime to quote from The Simpsons itself, nor to quote at length from Tony Hendra's excellent book Going Too Far, nor to quote from Foucault or Mark Twain or David Foster Wallace. But to use 87 words from the collected lyrics of Radiohead? Three hundred and fifty simoleons. Roughly $4.02 per word. (Which, incidentally, is more than double the highest amount I've ever been paid per word to write for a magazine or newspaper.)

2) Specifically, I paid to quote from "The Bends," and indeed I do - three lines of lyrics, 22 words total, as one half of the epigraph on the title page of my book's Introduction. I paid to quote from "Idioteque," and you'll find 24 words from the song on page 208 of my book. And I paid to quote from "I Might Be Wrong," and lo and behold you'll find nine lines (41 words) from the song on page 220 of my book, pursuant to a discussion of Lisa Simpson's symbolic connections with the left-wing activism of recent years.
On page 219, however, there are 15 words from "Karma Police," five from "Paranoid Android," and 18 from "Subterranean Homesick Alien." Total cost: zero, zilch, nada. Which means either a) you can quote from the Radiohead album OK Computer free of cost but not from other Radiohead albums, or else b) there is some threshold crossed between 18 and 21 words of citation (20 perhaps?) at which point citing Radiohead lyrics legally transforms from free-of-cost "fair use"/"fair comment" to use of copyrighted material requiring a licensing fee of $4.02 per word. I dunno which it is.

3) Perhaps the oddest thing about the situation: of all the TV shows and movies and books and rock & roll songs I discuss in Planet Simpson (a vast, vast, vast number), the only artists I've met personally are Radiohead. In other words, I've had to pay to discuss the work of the only people cited in the book who, in theory, I actually could've asked in person for permission to use their work.

November 14, 2004

CLA ...

... which does not stand for the Canadian Library Association. I've been attending the CA Library Assn. conference in San Jose this week. And I've not been blogging. It was a good choice for this conference -- I'm meeting lots of new people, going hither and yon to programming that has been very instructive (and interesting), despite the fact that most of it is by and for public librarians. I've just been absorbing and being friendly yet mouthy (I've been wearing a "First Timer's" badge and people have gone out their way to ask me how I'm enjoying the conference).

However, when I get to the Internet Librarian on Tuesday, I will have laptop in hand.

November 13, 2004

Buffalo/Erie PL threatened with collapse

Apparently, the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library is facing a wholesale closure of all of its libraries.


Unprecedented Cuts Would Devastate Our Library System

The proposed $19 million cut represents an 80% reduction from the $24 million in library property tax received from Erie County in 2004. The loss of these local funds triggers a reduction of an additional $2.8 million in State Library Aid as well as the loss of other library operating revenue. All 52 libraries across Erie County WILL CLOSE!

See the site for more details on advocacy for the Buffalo/Erie County system.

November 11, 2004

Preserving public TV

This makes me go "Yay!" ...

Thirteen/WNET and WGBH Team up with PBS and New York University to Plan Groundbreaking Archive to Save Programs

Thirteen/WNET New York, one of America's leading producers of public television programming, has been awarded close to $3 million by the Library of Congress for Preserving Digital Public Television, a new three-year planning project that will set the groundwork for preserving digital television programming.

Joining Thirteen as partners on the project are public broadcaster WGBH Boston, the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), and New York University. All four institutions will work together to plan standards, procedures and facilities which will lead to creating a long term preservation archive for public television programming produced in digital formats.

November 06, 2004

It's full of ... bloggers ...

BloggerCon 3

Reg: why is BloggerCon starting at 7:15 am? I got there at 7:45 am.
Continential breakfast: okay, very hi-carb; the coffee has disappeared. There's decaf. Eh.
Wow ... Adam Curry is pretty. Rock star pretty. Like Jon Bon Jovi pretty.

National Anthem session
Intro -- Larry Lessig
Remarks -- Dave Winer
Anthem -- "This Land is Your Land"

I need coffee; after grabbing a chair and a power outlet for the Academia , I go to the bookstore and get coffee. And a cranberry scone with a hint of citrus zest (lemon, I think ... it was really subtle)

Academia -- facilitator: Jay Rosen

* Why should academics blog?
--Post-scarcity model of information distribution
--Effective classroom tool
--Expansion of ideas outside of the classroom/university
--Can blogging substitute for formal educational models?
--Universities now use CMS to restrict content, not further
* What changes for academics when they blog?
--Possibility of world-wide audience
--More feedback
--"Valuation of knowledge" changes
--Changes in discourse (more challenges, less insulation from confrontation, less control)
--Parallels between journalism as gatekeepers and universities as gatekeepers
* What's the potential effect of blogging on the academic world?
--Blogs as augmentation for academic journals
* Why do academics make good bloggers?
* Blogs v. Blackboard
* Publish or Perish promotion politics
* Value of attending university in the age of blogging
* How can we have more attractive technology for academics?
* What tools can transcend ASCII
* Types & styles, what should be the audience?
* Blogs as effective learning tools for students
* What unique aggregation tools do academics need?
* University policy towards blogs

--Interpretative community: blogs allow for the advertising of interpretative community
--One person can destroy a blog community
--Will blogging become part of the system of gaining tenure?

Jay Rosen wrap-up: Blogging can be disruptive to an institution that has dedicated its to the control of knowledge; blogging is an attack on the DNA of the university

Break: They ran out of coffee again! Ay caramba! Why isn't there a tanker truck from Peet's parked right outside?

Journalism -- facilitator: Scott Rosenberg

Just kickin' it: lots of discussion of whether blogging and journalism are in a manichean, symbiotic, parasitic relationship
Issues of trust, authority, localism, expertise, freedom vs. constraint of approach, global issues/gentrification, transparency

Lunch: By the time I got to the buffet table, the plates were gone (plenty of food left, though). So, I took one of the large, empty, plastic sandwich trays and started to serve myself. A couple of people called me "resourceful".

Election 2004 -- facilitator: Ed Cone
Working session on tools -- don't vent about the election
Having a blog is not enough: how you leverage it is important
Timing is important

What worked and what didn't:

Do political blogs talk AT people or talk WITH people?
More interaction with the community
How digital divide issues affect online political outreach
"... Democrats lost the branding war ..."
Jay Rosen -- getting politicians to write their own blogs / Cone -- top-down or bottom-up? more likely to get local politicians to blog; issues being very popular/TOO popular: does blogging take away from fundraising, or can it drive fund-raising
Inviting politicians as guest bloggers (ex.: Lessig's blog)
Transitioning from election blogging to governance blogging

Law -- facilitator: Larry Lessig

Important law blogs
How can we make blogs immune from IP conflict
"future-proofing innovation against lawyers" -- Lessig


copyright includes the following rights: copy, derivative, distribution, preformance, display, digital preformance

Includes literary, musical, dramatic, choreograph, pantomine, motion picture, sound recording, pictorial, graphic, sculpture works

Current copyright system in the digital space: insanely complicated
"The law is not your friend right now"

Other issues:
Internationalization (ex.: protected, nonlibelous speech here may be considered libelous in the UK and suit may be filed)
Discrepancies between performance & digital performance
Overstatement of copyright (explicit denial of fair use rights)
Intermediaries don't care about fair use: de facto suppression of fair use/chilling effect
Los Angeles Times v. Free Republic.com -- quoting of entire articles

the power of trade associations to lobby and litigate
Lots of money pushing the strong copyright angle; public interest and cyberlaw programs adding lawyers on the other side
computing and software companies are forming effective alliances for lobbying

Current paradigm: copyright holders are rent-seeking

Is it possible to put the Internet into a separate international jurisdiction? Theoretically yes, practically no

IP is a property analogy -- it doesn't scan, IP under strong copyright is so much more restrictive than tangible property rights

Lessig -- not against the 'IP is a form of property' analogy

Is Creative Commons an opt-out of the current conflict, thus allowing the current situation to stand/not be addressed?
Ernie Miller -- Creative Commons is very important

Lessig supports "The Commons Is Good for Business"

Microsoft is now in the content management business; right now, DRM is not cross-platform, thus DRM also enforces proprietary software

How to help the commons: release more compelling content than the "strong rights" - holders; podcasting can help with this.

The new model must be present and proven to be secure and stable, with communities established, before real success in the legislative arena can happen

The artists who are most successful in the copyright system will naturally want to protect their interest; bloggers can be and are the future by 1) organizing and 2) using alternative tools to promote balance/commons/open content.

You can't take your eye off the ball with copyright or other measures of IP control; GPL and CC are not panaceas -- don't build a "dream world" around CC/alternative models without directly addressing the major systems in place (workaround != reform)

Wrap up -- facilitator: Dave Winer

non-conference: A conference for and of the user
a model for future conferences

great networking opportunities within blogging
possibility of creating DMOZ of blogs
BloggerCon as a permanent network
Have discussion leaders do their own write-up of each session
Creating regional BloggerCons / mini-Blogger
Taking BloggerCon to Atlanta / Carter Center
The blogosphere is growing and BloggerCon should go global/reach out internationally
Have a session on RSS/OPML -- concern - it would turn into a developers conference, not a users conference

Lots of discussion/tension on the role of vendors at BloggerCon
All in all, much more instructive (and fun) than I thought

Superman walks into a library ...

Jay Pinkerton has written a few sequels to the Superman movies (caveat lector: um, language, scatological humour and homoerotic themes). From one:

Superman II


Zod: "Once again, Superman � kneel before ZOD!"

Superman: "I think not, scum. I've got another plan in mind that I think will fit scum like yourselves perfectly."

Zod: "I � please stop calling us scum."

Superman: "Never, scum!"

Zod: "Look, really. All pretense aside, just guys talking here � stop it. It makes you sound like an idio�"

Superman: "Maybe a flight around the Earth at incredible speeds, thus reversing the planet's rotation, will fix your wagons!"

Zod: "Flying around the Earth at incredible speeds, thus reversing the planet's rotation? No! Our one weakness!"

Superman: "Ah ha ha ha! That's right! I did a little research on you scum before coming here!"

Zod: "But wherever would you get such information?"

Superman: "At the PUBLIC LIBRARY."

Library workers: the super-secret sidekicks of superheroes everywhere (except Barbara Gordon, of course).

November 03, 2004

Be a beta tester for ALA ...

From several ALA lists:

ALA has selected several search engines as possible replacements to the current search engine available on the ALA web site. They would like our help in evaluating the search tools. The testing is from November 1 to November 12. There are six tools to test, plus the existing search tool already on the site as a comparison. Please go to http://search.ala.org to test these search engines and complete a short evaluation survey.

SLA Drops Organizational Memberships

From a small list that made it onto a larger list:

Members of the SLA Technical Standards Committee:

As your Board liaison, I am sorry to inform you that due to budget cuts, SLA's FY 2005 budget does not include funding for membership in such organizations as NISO and CNI. The only paid membership we will be retaining is in IFLA. The current memberships will expire at the end of this year.

The FY 2005 budget was a particularly challenging one, and many items (and positions) remained unfunded. We have expectations for a better budget year in FY 2006, and may be able to reconsider some of our memberships at that time.

Your mission remains unchanged in monitoring, reviewing and commenting upon standards that affect special libraries and information centers, and serving to assist SLA members in understanding the changing world of technical standards that affect library and information services. For instance, your work in assembling the upcoming Toronto session on Unicode is an excellent example of fulfilling your mission.