Saturday, November 25, 2006

What's Wrong?

LibraryCrunch has just reported that the term "Library 2.0" is being considered for deletion in Wikipedia. It's caused a ruckus. Understandably, there is discomfort with the term. What is it? What does it mean? I've discussed in a previous post my attitudes towards Web 2.0, I have similar thoughts for Library 2.0. Although it's disconcerting to see the overreaction, it's also exciting to see that controversy is forcing us to reexamine our profession and what it constitutes. Let's see where Wikipedia takes us in the next while.

Library 2.0

Michael Habib's Master's degree thesis is released. With great anticipation comes great expectations. All are met. It's definitely worth a read. What do I think of Library 2.0? It's a nice catchy term, definitely part of the "2.0" wave. However, stripped down to its essence, the principles of Library 2.0 need to be adapted into the library setting. It's the natural progression of where the profession and its resources are heading. So why should we resist? Let's use the ideas which best serves the user.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Mashups for Librarians

I recently gave a presentation on mashups. People were interested, and most of all, they realized that there's a lot one can do with mashups. I believe that librarians and information professionals need to know what mashups are, particularly since they are an essential element of Web 2.0. A mashup thus does exactly what Web 2.0 technology is supposed to: they allow greater interactivity, more user control of information, user personalization, the development of online communities, and greater democratic management of information.

Why are mashups relevant for information professionals and librarians? Matthew Dames lists two reasons: First, social software tools such as mashups are the perfect opportunity to extend its reach beyond the library building, particularly in a time when there is real fear that patrons are no longer use reference services as vehemently as they once did. Second: job security. Social software tools such as mashups allow librarians to “reclaim” areas of influence and expertise in the organization that have been ceded to the IT department.

I'd add one more, and it's pretty obvious: the main goal of the health librarian (and all librarians, for that matter) is to serve his or her user. Mashups help achieve that goal, and then some.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Open Access = End of Publishing

Library 2.0 has just written an intriguing entry titled, The Coming End of Completed Publications. Indeed, Library 2.0's entry has an exclaimer which warns us it's too early to judge whether the end of publishing as we know it will occur. But Library 2.0 does pose some interesting scenarios in regards to how open access is slowly bringing in complexities to the game of printed publishing.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Marketing Open Access

Today, UBC librarian Hilde Colenbrander gave a fascinating presentation on open access. She pointed out that the "impact factor" plays a large hand in the OA movement. The reason why is that scholars have an incentive to publish in established and prestigious journals. For young scholars who want tenureship, they must get published in such journals, not in open access publications, freely available to all.

Heleen Gierveld's recent article, Considering a Marketing and Communications Approach for an Institutional Repository proposes an "8P's" as a strategy for promoting institutional repositories. This article complements a previous entry that I had made, and supports the idea that creativity is essential for the OA movement.

One thing Colenbrander said which stood out in my mind: research and development. With a hectic work schedule, most academic librarians simply do not have time for study and reflection on gigantic issues such as open access. Without support from their institutions, librarians simply cannot devote the proper attention necessary. But librarians are supposed to be at the forefront of this moment; they need more support than they are currently given.

Friday, November 03, 2006

NHL on Google

The wait is over. The National Hockey League (NHL) has paved the road for professional sports' entrance into open-access. Understandably, there will be skeptics who cringe at the thought of a corporate entertainment giant taking a plunge into the online environment, and making a profit at the same time. But the NHL has just made an agreement with Google Videos which allows entire broadcasts to be online. Hence, classics such as the Vancouver Canucks-New York Rangers' Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals can be seen in its entirety, or games that you missed from yesterday can be replayed at a click of a mouse.

But the NHL is making a bold move. By putting its games online, it has unwittingly joined the realm of open-access, which includes among other things, "open collaboration, open authoring, open platforming, and open searching for everyone." Whether this hurts its NHL Network cable broadcasts remains to be seen. (They are live events, compared to Google Video's 4 hour tape-delay). As a sports fan, this is an unbelievable day. As a proponent of Web 2.0, I am ecstatic. The champagne is flowing endlessly. Let the games begin!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Web 3.0? How about 4.0?

Not surprisingly, some people are disturbed with Web 2.0. What is it? What makes it so different from Web 1.0? What is Web 1.0? It is understandable that there is anxiety, coupled with a certain element of skepticism.

With that said, I introduce to you Web 3.0. What is it? Phil Wainewright, a technology expert, believes that Web 2.0 is but a "transitional" period proto-Web 3.0 stage, where the best is yet to come. What do I think? Be careful what you wish for. Sooner or later, Web XP will be the latest version of the web that you and I will be using...