Survey: Librarians on Library Automation

January 28, 2008

Marshall Breeding has done a survey of librarians to find out how satisfied they are with their current ILS software and vendor (summary: it varies) and whether they would consider an open-source alternative (summary: not so much).

Here are the survey results.


John Halamka’s Vision for Medical Libraries

January 28, 2008

ComputerWorld is running an editorial by John Halamka about how he feels medical libraries should evolve, with librarians acting as “knowledge navigators”:

“By the time a book is printed, the knowledge it contains may be outdated. So, [medical] libraries need to become clean, well-lighted lounges for digital media staffed by expert knowledge navigators. In my institution, the librarians have thinned the book collection, migrated paper journals to digital media and indexed digital knowledge resources to support our search engine optimization efforts.”

Of course librarians have been helping people to navigate knowledge since Reference began, though the “Knowledge Navigator” title does have a certain mythic zing.

Background: Dr. Halamka is CIO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and is also something of a rock star / lightning rod in the medical technology world. He’s an unabashed (some would say over-the-top) technophile. He made headlines a few years back for his strong advocacy of chipping (video) — implanting a subcutaneous RFID chip that contains an ID linking to your medical data — and for having himself chipped as part of effort… which some people thought was supercool, and some people thought was quite literally a sign of the Apocalypse.

Effectiveness of Affective Software

January 23, 2008

Library Student Journal recently posted a paper on Affective Software, and no, that “Affective” isn’t a typo. One suspects that reading a patron’s emotion will be much less easily… well, computable than some might hope. Still, it’s an interesting glimpse into a maybe-future of information technology.

And you’ve got to appreciate that the author most cited in this paper about futuristic technology is named Picard.

Library of Congress Posts Photos to Flikr

January 16, 2008

The Library of Congress has posted 3,000 public-domain photos to Flikr. Looks like they’re all from the first few decades of the 20th century. A note on the About page says they’re hoping to get tagging and identification assistance from us, The Masses.