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Magazines > Computers in Libraries > November/December 2009

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Vol. 29 No. 10 — Nov/Dec 2009
Big Stuff
by Dick Kaser

We thought seriously—albeit briefly—about calling this issue Colossal Endeavors, since so many of our contributors have come forward with grand ideas this month, often couched in a visionary context:
  • How to train a distributed userbase without ever leaving home
  • How to export knowledge from least-developed countries
  • How to get in the face of Users 2.0

Author Matthew Baker speaks from the heart when he talks about the future of libraries as publishers, media producers, and content distributors, who have a critical role to play in closing the Digital Information Divide. But, promoting information sharing across borders isn’t just something for librarians in the Southern Hemisphere to think about, is it?

Today’s library technology permits us to reach out to users wherever they are. This issue provides a case in point from the corporate world. Author Marilyn Caporizzo’s library serves a network of scientists working in pharmaceutical R&D all over the world. She trains them virtually … with video. You could do the same with a local crowd.

Cheryl Peltier-Davis, in fact, advocates that libraries not only make themselves look more hip but become more sustainable by serving Library Users 2.0 with the kind of handheld, micro information services they crave.

In a particularly timely and witty piece, Benjamin Johnson reviews the new approach to search Microsoft and Yahoo! have taken with Bing and likens it to the work that catalogers have done all along to promote “categorized search.” If Bing takes off then maybe, just maybe, he suggests, catalogers will get to wear their hats with pride again.

Big thoughts. Grand concepts. Noble ideas. We ended up referring to the issue as “To Do,” after the famous list by the same name, since though our authors, as always, have good ideas to share, there’s clearly a lot left to be done in fully deploying Lib Tech on a Global Scale.

We better get to it … right after the holidays.

May yours be merry.

Dick Kaser, Executive Editor


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