April 15, 2014

The Life of a High-Functioning Introvert


Please forgive me, upon occasion I dip into highly personal topics that do not focus on digital libraries. Since this is one of those times, you may wish to avert your eyes. Yesterday at ALA Midwinter I ran into someone I knew who was active in LITA and she asked me why I didn’t show […]

Exploring Digital Libraries with Karen Calhoun

I was a fan of Karen Calhoun’s work even before we happened to both join OCLC on the same day in 2007. And although she subsequently left OCLC while I remained, we have kept in touch. One of the projects that Karen took on when she left OCLC was a book on digital libraries. But […]

A Wellcome Trove of Images

L0033500 A Navajo man in ceremonial dress representing the Yebichai g

The highly regarded Wellcome Library in the United Kingdom has released a new web site with over 100,000 digital images for viewing, and in some cases, downloading. The images include “manuscripts, paintings, etchings, early photography and advertisements,” as well as contemporary images. Unlike most web sites that provide access to digital or digitized images, the […]

Frictionless Books


Last summer I went on a Great American Road Trip. In this case, I drove from New Orleans to my home in Sonoma, California. In preparation for such a journey, my wife and I of course went to our local public library to find and download audio books we would like to listen to on […]

The Mission of Librarians is to Empower


empower - give (someone) the authority or power to do something – Oxford Dictionary of American English Someone whom I greatly admire recently set me thinking about the mission of librarians. David Lankes has that effect on many of us. In a talk late last year at the Digital Library Fall Forum, Lankes recast the usual […]

What Google’s Acquisition of Nest Labs Really Means


Today’s news of Google acquiring Nest Labs, which produces one of the more expensive but also most advanced thermostats for the home, has been all over the place. As you might imagine when Google buys anyone, there has been a lot of speculation about what it might mean. I have a variety of opinions on […]

The Future of Computing: The ISE (“eyes”) Have It

Recently thanks to a colleague I’ve been playing around with iPython. iPython is an interactive version of Python that many people are beginning to use to teach Python, to create and run simulations and visualizations, and to just generally have a richer environment within which to work while coding. This investigation led me to Xiki, […]

A Tale of Two Lives, Well Lived

Photo by Barry Wheeler

I can’t say that 2013 was a great year for me and those close to me. And a couple of the low points were the passing of two great colleagues whom I have long admired. Both in the last several weeks of the year. Steve Puglia died on December 10, 2013 after a year-long battle […]

Unlatched or Unglued, It’s All Good


I and others on The Digital Shift have written about the efforts of Unglue.it to “unglue” books and make them openly available. The basic model is taken from crowdsourcing funding efforts. People pledge what they can, and if enough pledges are gathered before the time runs out the book is “unglued” and made openly available […]

Beall’s Bile

Jeffrey Beall has been on my radar for quite some time. Partly due to comments he has posted on blog posts of mine, but more importantly this piece that he wrote as a contribution to Radical Cataloging: Essays at the Front. I’m into criticism as much as the next person, but character assassination? Really? K. R. Roberto […]