February 25, 2020

Roy Tennant: Digital Libraries

Since 2008 the blog of Roy Tennant, a Senior Program Officer for OCLC Research. Among other things, he is the owner of the Web4Lib and XML4Lib electronic discussions, and the creator and editor of Current Cites, a current awareness newsletter published every month since 1990. Follow him on Twitter @rtennant.

The Strange Case of Edwin Mellen Press

By now, you’ve no doubt heard about the lawsuits that the Edwin Mellen Press brought against McMaster University librarian Dale Askey. One of those suits (which also named McMaster as a plaintiff) was subsequently dropped, but as far as I know at this writing the other (naming Askey alone) still stands. I’m not writing to […]

The Coming Book Social Network Shakeout

Today’s news of Amazon acquiring the popular book social networking site GoodReads gives one pause. That is because Amazon already owns Shelfari, and also has a 40% stake in LibraryThing — arguably three sites that offer the same basic value proposition. Allow me to speculate. And let’s be clear, that’s all this is — speculation. Why […]

On Being Weeded

It finally happened. Someone confessed on Twitter that they were weeding one of my books. It had to happen at some point, and likely already has but remained unconfessed. I mean, this book is ancient history. It talks about Gopher and WAIS for crying out loud. And the very first edition (finished in 1992) barely […]

Google Drive as an Institutional Repository

Innovation comes in many guises. When we hear the word we probably most often thinks it means creating something new. But innovation can also be using something that already exists in a new way. Innovation of the latter variety was recently exhibited in an interesting post to the Code4Lib list. The message, from Chris Fitzpatrick, […]

Data Recovery From Corrupt MS Office Files

Anyone who follows me on Facebook knows that recently I experienced a corrupted Microsoft PowerPoint file. I still don’t know what caused it, but the upshot was that a file that I worked on for an hour (and saved!) would no longer open after several different attempts. Finally, in frustration, I set out to recreate […]

How the Web Reinforces My Worst Tendencies…And How You Can Too

I’m impatient. Just ask my family. I hate to waste time — so much so that I obsessively shave minutes from almost everything I do. And then I multi-task. As I back the car out of the garage I am buckling my seat belt, hitting the garage door opener, and turning on my headlights. I […]

The Top-Cited Recent Sources for Current Cites

I wear a lot of hats — some might say too many and they would not be far off. But be that as it may, one of the hats I wear is the Editor of Current Cites. Current Cites is a monthly current awareness newsletter that we (the Cites team, a set of volunteer reviewers) […]

Why You Should Not Learn HTML

It pains me a great deal to write this post, since at one point I advocated that librarians learn HTML, and not just as a lark. I was quite serious, and I even wrote a book to help librarians learn how to do it. The sales figures for that book should have been a clue. You […]

Being Different, Part 9: How Not to Die on the Plain of Suckitude

In parts one through eight I first introduced, then explained and summarized my Topography of Skill Acquisition. But as I made clear in Part 3, the absolutely essential event to ever add a skill to your resume is to not die on the Plain of Suckitude. Because if you do, you are never coming back. […]