September 20, 2014

The Library of Congress Recommends Preservation Formats

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The Library of Congress has now made specific recommendations on the best file formats for preserving access to content of various types: Textual works and musical compositions Still images Audio Moving images Software, electronic games, and learning modules Datasets and databases They take pains to explain that these recommendations are not meant to replace their […]

The Problem with Programming Languages

Recently I’ve been taking the very good CodeCademy course on the Python programming language. I’m doing this for several reasons. A number of my colleagues use Python, and I’ve been using their code and libraries. Knowing what I’m doing might be a good idea. Also, Python seems to be more of the language of choice […]

The Only Preservation Strategy is Commitment

commitment

By August I will have published the current awareness newsletter Current Cites every month for twenty-four years — with all but the first of those years (1990-1991) freely available on the Internet. My children, now in college, aren’t even that old. In fact, my only absence from its publication was the period shortly after their birth. […]

A Paean to the Filesystem

filesystem

pae·an - :  a joyous song or hymn of praise, tribute, thanksgiving, or triumph – Merriam-Webster I returned from the Code4Lib Conference recently chock-full of things I want to investigate. I was also reminded about just how much I love the Unix filesystem. Yes, really. I’ve long thought that the simplest solution to a problem is […]

Being a Savvy Social Media User

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Recently my colleague Karen Smith-Yoshimura noted a blog post that demonstrates effective traits for using social media on behalf of an organization. Titled “Social Change”, the post documents the choices that Brooklyn Museum staff made recently to pare down their social media participation to venues that they find most effective. As they put it: There […]

The Thing About Programming

pieceofcode

Sometimes I’m shocked to realize that I’ve been writing software for over 30 years — longer than some of my younger colleagues have even been alive. And people who know my code are shocked as well, that so much time could pass and my code still sucks. But I have an excuse: programming does not […]

The Importance of the Unforseen Purpose

mobile

I first came into contact with the importance of the unforseen purpose as a teenager. For whatever reason I had decided that I wanted to make a mobile or hanging sculpture. At the time, my bedroom where I was going to hang it was about 12′x12′ but with a 12-foot tall ceiling. I decided to make […]

A License to Skill

classroom

In many of the talks that I have given over the years I have taken pains to point out a key fact about library budgets: the vast majority of any library’s budget the budget for most libraries goes to staff. Usually I use this as a way to put investment in computer hardware in perspective. […]

When You Free the Data From MARC You Are the Roy

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Code4Lib is a unique place. I don’t know of another space like it in the library world. It has inside jokes all over the place, from the love of bacon, to the poking of fun at OCLC as an organization and me as an individual. Both myself and my employer (OCLC) are good for it, […]