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Magazines > Information Today > May 2004
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Information Today

Vol. 21 No. 5 — May 2004

A Roundup of Other CIL Sessions
ByShirley Duglin Kennedy

Below is a summary of several other conference sessions.

"Dead & Emerging Technologies"
— D. Scott Brandt (moderator and technology training librarian at Purdue University Libraries), Darlene Fichter (data librarian for the University of Saskatchewan), Bill Spence (CTO at Information Today, Inc.), Jenny Levine (publisher of The Shifted Librarian), Andrew Pace (head of systems for NCSU Libraries), and Stephen Abram (vice president of innovation for Sirsi Corp. and president-elect of the Canadian Library Association)

"Open source fanaticism, I hope, is dead," said Pace. "Nine out of 10 restaurants fail. Open source applications should be so lucky."

Levine derided e-mail reference lag times and said that libraries should be providing wireless access and using RSS to distribute content. And we need to be paying more attention to DRM. "This issue is going right past us."

Spence said he's weary of blogs and is tired of hearing "Google" used as a verb. He indicated that RSS is "not really simple." Also, he said, we should be avoiding CRT monitors. "Don't buy ... them anymore. It's like a radiation tanning bed."

Fichter said heavy laptops, bar codes, and library cards should die. "I am so sick of carrying a wallet of cards." She also noted that while the broadband home is "a true revolution," she's still looking for "the broadband library."

Abram said he's scared of end users. "They all make different stupid mistakes." He noted that people are still falling for Nigerian money scams. And, he reminded us, "It's not the size of your search engine. It's how you use it."

"Searching for Audio and Video Resources"
— Gary Price of

"The Web is much more than static text and, in many cases, static images," said Price. You can monitor breaking news as well as U.S. and foreign government proceedings, see programs before transcripts are available, learn foreign languages, and listen to and view archived materials. Price described a number of tools and services that facilitate multimedia searching. Most are free, some fee-based. Links to these resources are available at

"Supporting Enterprise Knowledge Management with Weblogs"
— Michael Angeles (information specialist at Lucent Technologies)

According to Angeles, Weblogs "help promote a healthy information ecology" in an organization. "Bottom-up conversations are a good thing," and the "new knowledge management" is, in fact, "bottom up." Angeles explained "k-logging": using Weblogs as knowledge management tools. Many solutions are available. Your choice should be dictated by the size of your organization as well as its culture, corporate policies, and industry constraints. This presentation is available at

"Tips for Keeping Up: Expert Panel"
— Gary Price, Rita Vine (, and Steven Cohen (

Price recommends the following:

• Website Watcher (also Watch That Page, TrackEngine)

• news alerts

• news alerts

• GAO What's New

• Topix.Net ("pre-built pages for thousands of topics")

(All links are available at

Among others, Vine recommends the following:

• Consumer Web Watch (

• Current Cites (

• (

Cohen recommends the following:

• RSS feeds ("Browsing is so 1995. Make the content come to you.")

• LISBlogsource (

• Delicious (

"The Wild, Wild Web: Spam Wars"
— Greg Notess (reference librarian at Montana State University and publisher of Search Engine Showdown)

Spam is a problem that's not going away in the foreseeable future. Notess said, "Unfortunately, I don't see a good solution to this on the horizon yet."

Because people are getting more aggressive about filtering their messages, Notess said, "When you send e-mail now, there's a chance the person you're sending it to will never receive it." Another consequence: The increasing reluctance to publish our e-mail addresses makes everyone harder to find.

Notess described different types of spam and offered some suggestions for cutting down on the amount you receive, such as using separate e-mail addresses for work, family, friends, and Internet e-mail lists. Various software solutions are available: for the desktop computer or via e-mail hosting vendors.

Notess said we will be seeing spam in instant messaging ("spim"), advertising in RSS feeds, and "in all online public communications forums." As for legal solutions, he said that legislation will be proposed and passed. ("Nobody expects it to work.") Spammers will be sued. ("Nobody expects it to work.") And spammers will increasingly move their operations offshore, where U.S. laws do not apply.




Shirl Kennedy is the reference librarian at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla. Her e-mail address is
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