The Japanese do the verb string

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I’m still working through thoughts from my horrendously brief trip to Tokyo and one of my discoveries there connects up with recent posts by Lorcan Dempsey and my colleague Merrilee.

Lorcan’s post in which he mentioned RedLightGreen was appreciated:

“I was reminded of the discover-locate-request-deliver string as I have been looking at various publicly available union/group activities recently, and these words crop up from time to time:

* RedLightGreen offers a rich discovery experience, based on aggregate data from the RLG union catalog. It also has a marvelous name 😉 – one of the few library initiatives to have a name worthy of the Internet times we live in. I speculate that it has not had the traction that one might have expected because it does not integrate the locate-request-deliver verbs so well into the discover experience.”

His speculative criticism is well-founded and may be remedied by the recent partnership with Talis that was mentioned by Merrilee in this blog.

While explaining their research and service agenda the folks at the National Institute of Informatics (NII) showed off a web site that they’ve built which does a very nice job on the discover-locate-request-deliver continuum. You can check it out by clicking the banner above. It shows itself off nicely in English as well as Japanese. It has some of the locate-request power of OCLC’s OpenWorldCat because NII serves as a general library service aggregator in Japan similar to OCLC. I like the associative search function – it gives good, interesting and intelligent ranked results and lets you refine using the associations they’ve discovered. Try a search for “loyal samurai“. Try the same search in RedLightGreen. It gets you to the right story despite the relatively inaccurate search terms.

And incidentally I managed a brief visit to the Senga-kuji Temple where the forty seven loyal ronin are to this day honored. A reasonable English version of the story is here. A good scholarly entry is here. And here’s a view of the temple and graves.

The Sengakuji temple The graves of the 47 ronin