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Planning a Virtual World Conference

Submitted by Tom Peters on March 3, 2008 - 12:06pm

VW LEM conference venue as seen by a flying avatar.For the past two months I have been involved in a fascinating team effort to plan a one-day conference that will be held in a virtual world environment on Saturday, March 8th. The official name of the conference is "Virtual Worlds: Libraries, Education, and Museums" -- VW LEM for short. Although the conference will be held in Second Life, the speakers will be discussing other virtual worlds as well. As the name implies, the participants in this conference will explore how similar but distinct "public good" institutions -- libraries, educational institutions, and museums -- are using virtual world environments to pursue their missions. Read More »

Free and Fleeting

Submitted by Tom Peters on February 11, 2008 - 12:27pm

chained book, yearning to be freeOne of the pressing questions in the current publishing era concerns the effect of offering free online digital versions of books on the sales of the print versions.  Does a free digital version increase print sales, decrease print sales, or have no effect at all?  Only Rupert Murdoch's hairdresser knows for sure. 

The answer to that question probably depends on many other variables, such as: Read More »

Fishing for Results: In Interview with Christopher Harris

Submitted by Michelle Boule on February 7, 2008 - 5:48pm

Incorporating social software into libraries and the idea that the OPAC just may suck, have been discussed at length on this blog by various authors. Incorporating Web 2.0 ideas or technologies into your library's web page may be difficult for many reasons. If you are a school librarian, your obstacles increase exponentially. Many of the innovations available to other libraries are not accessible to school libraries.

There is a new tool, a multi-use platform really, that has been built by a small team in Rochester, New York which has the potential to greatly impact school libraries and their ability to implement social tools into their OPACs and websites. I wanted to share the project, called Fish4Info, with others. The leader of the team that created the program is Christopher Harris.
Read More »

Amazon Buys Audible

Submitted by Tom Peters on February 5, 2008 - 9:23am

Pork bellies as haute cuisineWe all have our pet industries, those quirky little eddies in our massively flowing economy (although it's not flowing well at the moment) that for some reason we love to watch and ponder.  For example, in the Eighties I became interested in the pork bellies market.  Maybe it was my Iowa upbringing, although I never lived on a farm and slopped any hogs.  Several times a week I would check in on pork bellies futures -- the old fashioned way, in a printed newspaper, as I trudged barefoot six miles through a raging blizzard to class.  Truth to tell, at the time I was in graduate school and working part-time at a restaurant-bar, so I never actually invested any money in pork bellies, but for some reason pork bellies captured and held my attention for awhile.  Read More »

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The Mirth of Comeuppance

Submitted by Tom Peters on January 21, 2008 - 12:02pm

For the past 24 hours I've been chuckling to myself and at myself, ever since I read the article in yesterday's New York Times (no-cost registration required) about the popularity of cell phone novels in Japan/>/>.  Evidently, quite a few young and often first-time authors have taken to writing novels on their cell phones in a style that would make Papa Hemingway proud:  short, pithy sentences, probably influenced more by text messaging than by American expatriates in Paris/>/> Read More »

Not-So-Chilly Philly

Submitted by Tom Peters on January 17, 2008 - 12:08pm

Last weekend I made my third trip to Philadelphia/>/> to attend an ALA/> Midwinter Meeting.  The first Midwinter I attended (early 90's?) in Philly was very snowy, and the second Midwinter (2003) was extremely cold.  (I have a vivid visual memory of watching Jay Jordan stoically traverse an arctic, windswept parking lot near the Convention Center.)  The most recent Midwinter w Read More »

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An Open Letter to the South Bend Tribune

Submitted by Michael Stephens on January 10, 2008 - 3:59pm

This sort of snuck up on me, but I'm breaking up with my hometown newspaper. I think this break from my print subscription is rather important, illustrating how the world of news and information is changing.  Read on for the details.


Dear South Bend Tribune:

I received your letter today asking for more information as to why I canceled my subscription last week.  Your letter included a brief questionnaire asking why I stopped the paper and how the customer service was when I called to cancel.  Yes, I called to cancel, because I couldn't find a way to do so online.  You might want to make that an option.
Read More »

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Blogging Platforms for Teachers and School Librarians

Submitted by Michelle Boule on December 31, 2007 - 11:19am

Michelle BouleIn the past few months, I have had the privilege to work with some amazing school librarians. Many of them want to begin incorporating more technology into their libraries, but are hampered by filters and lack of knowledge about the available tools on the Web. For some, even the most basic tools are blocked by overzealous IT and administrations. Read More »

Internet Years & Dog Years: Remembering Jake

Submitted by Michael Stephens on December 27, 2007 - 4:41pm

Digital photo of JakeMy dog Jake, the Internet, and I grew up together.

I've been doing some year-end reflecting. It's that time, as resolutions are made and the fresh, shiny New Year beckons with promise. If you follow my "lifestream" -- Flickr photos, the TTW blog, Facebook, etc. -- you know this year had some ups and some downs. Losing Jake to old age was rough -- and losing my other Labrador Charlie one month later still hurts.
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Overwhelmed by Spam Comments

Submitted by Tom Peters on December 20, 2007 - 4:25pm

Time to wash the windowsIf you haven't noticed, this blog is becoming overwhelmed by spam comments.  The blogging software we currently use allows us to ban spammers and delete spam comments, but only one at a time.  Deleting all these spam comments makes washing the windows on the Empire State Building seem like child's play.

In an effort to get the spam under control, we have decided to disable the comments function on this blog.  We really regret having to do this, because the non-spam comments often are very informative and insightful and lead to good conversation. 

Now that the spam-spigot has been temporarily turned off, we will try to catch-up on deleting the existing spam comments.    Read More »