December 1, 2015

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.

Remembering PACS-L


If you weren’t there in 1989, this is going to be very hard to imagine. But go ahead and try to picture this: the world without the web, without mobile (let alone smart) phones, without so many of the things that we take for granted today. The Internet was here, certainly, but only for some […]

The Things We Carry


A long time ago I read the book The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. It is an eloquent and evocative account of the Southeast Asian War and how soldiers coped with a hell they could neither understand nor survive unscathed — if they lived at all. Today I am not writing about anything nearly […]

Only Good Enough to be Dangerous


I feel like I didn’t really reach adulthood until I became a commercial river guide. There are a few reasons for this opinion. One is that you probably don’t really become an adult until you are responsible for the health and well-being of someone else. As a guide and more importantly as a trip leader, that […]

These Things I Will Do


Recently in a conversation with one of my daughters I remarked that the only issue I thought might be more devastating to humanity than the status of girls and women in society is global warming. Upon reflection, I now feel that I was wrong. There is nothing more devastating to humanity than the status of […]

EBook Reader Ownership Falls. Duh.


A Pew Research Center survey has discovered something that some might be surprised to read: “Today, about one-in-five adults (19%) report owning an e-reader, while in early 2014 that share was a third (32%).” This is quite a notable drop, especially considering that MP3 player ownership has dropped only slightly in the same period. One […]

Knowledge Continues to be Unlatched


I’ve written before about two similar efforts to open up books by having individuals ( or libraries (Knowledge Unlatched) pledge money until a certain total has been raised. They both continue to work at these efforts, and KU recently announced a new offering for libraries to consider. The “KU Collection,” as it is dubbed, includes 78 new […]

Astonishing Public Service

Last night I dined at the bar of a run-of-the-mill chain restaurant. On the road for business this is my usual modus operandi, with the variant of dining in the hotel bar instead. You get the picture. So my bartender in this instance turns out to be flat out awesome. She’s there when I want her and not […]

IPFS: The Most Interesting Internet Technology You’ve Never Heard Of


Slinging across my Twitter feed came this: “HTTP is obsolete. It’s time for the distributed, permanent web.” Intrigued, I went to take a look. It wasn’t long before my jaw dropped open. What the post was describing was a nascent technology and protocol that was like a combination of the best parts of BitTorrent and […]

Where Your Favorite Programming Language Ranks


Every programmer knows that any time you want to start a religious war just ask everyone’s favorite programming language and why. This will almost certainly touch off an ever-more-heated exchange as to why one’s particular choice should be every thinking person’s obvious selection. It may even devolve so far as to include name calling. But hey, […]

The Oldest Internet Publication You’ve Never Heard Of


Twenty-five years ago I started a library current awareness service called Current Cites. The idea was to have a team of volunteers monitor library and information technology literature and cite only the best publications in a monthly publication (see the first page of the inaugural issue pictured). Here is the latest issue. TidBITS is, I […]