Elsevier + NetBase = illumin8

March 26, 2008

Paul Miller’s ZDNet blog has a post discussing illumin8, a new joint-venture academic search technology from Elsevier and NetBase. From the folks at illumin8:

“illumin8 combines search and semantic indexing technologies to distill deep meaning, purpose and insight from the vast amount of Elsevier’s full-text content, scientific abstracts from 4,000 publishers, patents and billions of web pages. This research tool extracts and analyzes solutions, which are then categorized under organizations, products, technologies, approaches, and experts. Illumin8 is designed to go beyond simple keyword search, quickly finding and extracting crisp summarized answers and interrelationships that are semantically related to the context of the search query.”

So I’m not very clear on specifically how its outcomes are better than the competition’s, but based on the daunting array of buzzwords it ought to be really, really super-good.

(Miller had a chance to try it out and felt it did well at finding results for his queries.)


Bill in Bulgaria

March 26, 2008

Presumably Melinda too, but that’s not alliterative.

Not content to shower American libraries with IT grants, the Gates Foundation has made a grant to help Bulgaria modernize its libraries too. Why Bulgaria? “According to a survey from 2006, Bulgaria was at the bottom of the ranking of the 27 European Union member states in home internet access, with only eight per cent of households signing on.” Library internet access will be a major focus of the grant.

Code4Lib Journal v2.0

March 26, 2008

Code4Lib Journal has just published its second edition with some great topics, including:

  • Using Google Calendar to Manage Library Website Hours
  • Help! A simple method for getting back-up help to the reference desk
  • Googlizing a Digital Library
  • Participatory Design of Websites with Web Design Workshops

The Most Modern Library in the World

March 19, 2008

The Twisted Librarian has posted a piece about a visit to a cutting-edge library in Delfe, Holland, which refers to itself not as a library but a “library concept center”. When you walk through the front doors the library sends a BlueTooth message to your phone or laptop welcoming you to “the most modern library in the world”.

And whether or not it’s really the most modern, any library that encourages kids to stand on rolling bookshelves has got to have some crazy energy going on. Also some pretty good liability insurance.

Library of Congress To Become a Theme Park

March 19, 2008

So who needs Disneyland when you can visit the Library of Congress Experience?

“Mommy, Mommy, can I use advanced interactive technologies to virtually examine the Waldseemüller Map again?”

“Not right now honey.”

“Aw come on, pleeeease?!”

“No, sweetie. You’ve got a bellyfull of slushy and corndogs, and we don’t want you so worked up that you get sick all over the Virtual Gutenberg Bible later.”

Actually that sounds kind of fun. This press release has more details. Sadly, it doesn’t open until April 12th.

Code4Lib: LIS Geek Overdrive

March 8, 2008

Code4Lib.org is an interest group focusing on library software and software development. Besides its annual conference, the group is now publishing the online Code4Lib Journal, which also provides an RSS news feed:

“The Code4Lib Journal exists to foster community and share information among those interested in the intersection of libraries, technology, and the future.”

This appears to be one of the most consistently and deeply geeky places in LIS. (P.S. That’s a good thing.)

Building a Public Library in the Digital Age

March 5, 2008

This doesn’t have an exceptionally LIS-geeky focus, but slate.com is running an article (or rather an architectural slideshow with running commentary) that answers the question, “What sort of public library does the ‘digital world’ of Google, Wikipedia, and Kindle require?”