Pat the Elephant

There is a well-known fable about blind men with contrasting views on the anatomy of an elephant, each having examined a separate piece of the beast and independently concluded that it is either very like a spear, or a fan, or a snake, etc.  Even in combination their observations fail to provide a very good …

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Pick of the week: ATF 2 March 2010

Some of you may already be subscribers to Above The Fold (ATF) our weekly current awareness compilation and commentary. We just sent out the seventieth issue. Our objective in assembling the newsletter was to offer an information professional’s view of issues from outside our domain that were worth your consideration and related to library, archive …

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Museum Data Exchange – Report Executive Summary

The final report of the Museum Data Exchange grant will be released on the OCLC Research website later this month. As a first impression of key outcomes, I’ve posted the executive summary below. Stay tuned! ********* The Museum Data Exchange, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, brought together a group of nine museums and …

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The Cult of Brewster Finds Its Church

Last night Brewster Kahle of the Internet Archive unveiled his latest project in a venue suitable for any high priest or cult leader — a former Christian Science Church in San Francisco. As it turns out, the Internet Archive recently purchased the building, and as Brewster remarked during the grand unveiling of the Bookserver project, …

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Going Beyond: The Silos of the LAMs in the UK

After successfully wrapping up a series of panel presentations at ALA, SAA and AAM, we’re now taking our LAMs to the UK. CILIP asked us to create a day-long event around library, archive and museum collaboration. Internally, we’ve code-named this event “Beyond ‘Beyond the Silos of the LAMs,’” since we’re using our report [pdf] as …

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Impact Measures and Library Selection

I have just been reading a recent article by Kathy Enger* published in Library & Information Science Research that examines the potential value of citation analysis as a selection tool in academic library acquisitions. Enger proposes that citation analysis of the journal literature might be used to identify potentially high-impact books for inclusion in a …

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An open Smithsonian, all around

As part of the process for arriving at the Smithsonian’s Web and New Media strategic plan, Michael Edson created a Wiki on which Smithsonian staff discuss their points of view in plain site of anybody who is interested in listening in. This experiment in radical transparency is in and of itself noteworthy, and so is …

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Treasures on trucks (and other taboos)

About a million years ago (okay, in 2002) RLG held a forum called “Sharing the Wealth.” We used the event to poke and prod — why don’t special collections lend materials? Of course, some institutions do lend from special collections, but most do not. Could we use those that do lend as exemplars and learn …

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