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October 2006

Smart Libraries Newsletter v. 26, no. 10In The ILS Scoop by Marshall Breeding This Month...

  • PINES Sets Precedent for Open-Source ILS
    "One of the largest shared library-automation systems in the U.S. has migrated from a vendor-developed ILS to an open-source model," writes Breeding in the cover story for October. Georgia PINES (Public Information Network for Electronic Services), a program of the Georgia Public Library Service that provides library-automation services for 252 libraries in that state, recently completed the migration to its new ILS, which Breeding states is "an important precedent for the viability of this type of library-automation software."
  • New NISO Director Named
    Todd Carpenter, the new director of the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) came on board September 1, 2006. "Carpenter takes the helm at an exciting juncture in [the organization's] history but in an era marked by abundant challenges," notes Breeding.

Also in SLN in October...
"A LibraryThing to Love" by Tom Peters
Peters appraises LibraryThing, a Web application that enables users to catalog their personal book collections. LibraryThing, he observes, "moves the library field closer to the platonic ideal of a catalog—a mix of good, reliable, professionally developed metadata, lots of options for user input and customization, and numerous ways to connect with other people who enjoy the books and authors you enjoy."

Also by Tom Peters This Month
"Wikipedia Braves The Atlantic"
Peters ponders, from a librarian perspective, the The Atlantic's "The Hive," a second major essay about Wikipedia that's appeared in recent months. (In September, he reflected on the The New Yorker piece "Know It All.") Peters proffers, "The Wikipedia represents a serious challenge—but not an open threat—to both the academy and the library in other, more fundamentally unsettling ways, including:

  • The implicit authority relied upon by libraries, in their purchased

    reference resources compiled by experts and published by reputable

    publishers, has been challenged by the Wikipedia model. Wikipedia has

    opened wide the question of how many people (and who) should be allowed

    to collaborate in knowledge gathering.

  • If the majority in librarianship decides that the Wikipedia phenomenon is too chaotic, suspicious, or just plain too participatory, then we need to ask ourselves about the Library 2.0 movement: We can talk the talk, but can we walk the walk?"

"Ich Bin Ein e-Berliner"
A virtual citizen of Berlin? An electronic doughnut? Or none of the above? If you picked the third option, then you may already know about Bookpac, a Berlin-based startup that has recently announced its intention to build a new dedicated electronic-reading device based on e-ink technology. "Although most librarians I speak with believe that a dedicated portable device is not going to be widely accepted among the U.S. reading public," Peters begins, "there are a few [companies] that have a hunch there may be a worldwide market for dedicated-reading devices."