NewsLink — Issue 73/November 2005
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IN THIS ISSUE
2) ITI SNAP POLL
3) NEWSLINK MONTHLY SPOTLIGHT
5) FEATURED ARTICLES
6) CONFERENCE CONNECTION
Welcome to the November 2005 issue of NewsLink, Information Today, Inc.'s FREE e-mail newsletter for library and information professionals.
If you were in Monterey with us (or tracking the show on http://www.infotodayblog.com ), you’ll already be up to date on everything that happened at our Internet Librarian conference from Oct. 24-26, 2005. If not, I encourage you to check out the postings on our infotodayblog.com and see what you missed. Overall, we had yet another successful event. Thanks to everyone who continues to make IL a top library conference nationwide!
Now that November has finally arrived, we can focus our attention on our two technology conferences in San Jose this month. KMWorld & Intranets conference and Streaming Media West are co-located this year at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center, from November 15-17. We changed venues from last year’s Santa Clara Convention Center, due to growing interest and attendance for these events. If you’re in the San Jose area, stop by and see us. You can register for an exhibits pass at either of the event Web sites: http://www.kmworld.com/kmw05 and http://www.streamingmedia.com/west. We hope to see you in California!
If you have any comments or suggestions on any special content you would like to see covered or on how to improve this newsletter and the information held in it, please let us know at email@example.com .
2) ITI SNAP POLL
Do you think the Google Print for Publishers program offers exciting new opportunities for publishers or presents only copyright problems and other challenges? Please comment at http://www.infotoday.com/
3) NEWSLINK MONTHLY SPOTLIGHT
The OTHER Book Projects
by Paula J. Hane
With all the press coverage lately about the Google Print project, as well as our two NewsBreaks this week, which cover the Open Content Alliance and Microsoft MSN Search book digitization projects, it looks like books may have achieved the status of "the next big thing," as Barbara Quint suggested. But, as we talked about these recent developments, she and I agreed that many other worthy book search and access projects seem to be lost from view. So, here’s a brief roundup of others that deserve recognition, including homegrown and commercial efforts.
The volunteer effort Project Gutenberg (http://www.gutenberg.org ) has been around since 1971—it’s the oldest producer of free e-books on the Internet. On its site, it now reports 17,405 e-books (that are in the public domain) and is averaging 250 new books per month this year. Books may be freely downloaded. Project Gutenberg is a participant in Yahoo!’s Content Acquisition Program. This provides a search of book metadata (author, title, brief description, keywords). Google provides a search of approximtely the first 100 KB of the full text. Michael Hart, founder of Project Gutenberg, has estimated that "there are already well over 100,000 eBooks already available free for the taking on various Internet sites, perhaps 50,000 of them from the various Project Gutenberg sites."
Other book projects include the California eScholarship Initiative (http://www.cdlib.org/programs/escholarship.html), the Electronic Text Center at the University of Virginia Library ( http://etext.lib.virginia.edu), and the Humanities Text Initiative at the University of Michigan (http://www.hti.umich.edu ), to name a few. The Online Books Page is a book index of some 20,000-plus free Web texts edited by John Mark Ockerbloom; it’s hosted by the University of Pennsylvania Library (http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu ).
There are also several European library and publisher initiatives. Reuters recently reported that the German association of book publishers plans to build a network by next year that will allow the full texts of the publishers’ books to be searched online by search engines, but it will not provide the texts to Google and the other engines.
The European Commission adopted an initiative in June titled "i2010: European Information Society 2010" in which digital libraries are a flagship goal. On Sept. 30, 2005, at a meeting in Brussels, Belgium, the commission unveiled a strategy for making "Europe’s written and audiovisual heritage available on the Internet." It presented a first set of actions at the European level intended to feed into a proposal for digitization and preservation for presentation in June 2006. At present, several initiatives exist in the member states, but they are fragmented. To avoid creating systems that are mutually incompatible and that duplicate work, the commission proposes that member states and major cultural institutions join the EU effort.
Other companies serving up access to digital books include NetLibrary, ebrary, and Knovel, as well as major publishers like Elsevier, McGraw-Hill, Oxford University Press, and others. Services aimed at the library market tend to focus on providing many value-add services and tools for users—and don’t forget these are all available free to library users with their library card.
OCLC’s NetLibrary recently chose Autonomy as its technology partner to provide academic, public, corporate, and special libraries with improved search and retrieval functionality. Autonomy’s technology allows NetLibrary to index e-books, e-journals, and other content types regardless of format and/or location and make them available through a single search interface. Additionally, NetLibrary is using several other Autonomy features, such as cross-linking of files, content summarization, content suggestions, and spell-checking. These and other features will be part of a major site enhancement planned for this fall, called NetLibrary 4.0. NetLibrary currently provides customers with access to more than 95,000 full texts of reference, scholarly, and professional e-books, journals, and audio files.
ebrary has a growing selection of more than 60,000 full-text titles from more than 200 leading academic, STM, and professional publishers. More than 40,000 of these full-text titles are books. ebrary also offers users tools like highlighting, notes, bookmarks, copying, and printing. The ebrary Reader delivers pages to a patron’s desktop page-by-page, eliminating cumbersome downloads. InfoTools gives every document word-level interaction to link to additional information.
The bottom line is that all of these projects and products are complementary. Users benefit by having book contents searchable and available, no matter what the source. In fact, content that’s not digital could be in danger of extinction. We’re clearly moving to a digital information world.
Here’s what James Hilton, University of Michigan associate provost and interim librarian, said in a statement about the Google Print project (http://www.umich.edu/news/index.html?Releases/2005/Sep05/r092105): "In the future, most research and learning is going to take place in a digital world. Material that does not exist in digital form will effectively disappear. We need to decide whether we are going to allow the development of new technology to be used as a tool to restrict the public’s access to knowledge, or if we are going to ensure that people can find these works and that they will be preserved for future generations."
Paula J. Hane is Information Today, Inc.’s news bureau chief and editor of NewsBreaks. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a complete listing of previous NewsBreaks visit the Information Today, Inc. Web site at http://www.infotoday.com/newsbreaks.
NewsBreaks for Monday, October 31, 2005
Open Content Alliance Expands Rapidly; Reveals Operational Details
Just a few weeks after its launch, the Open Content Alliance (http://www.opencontentalliance.org) has already added dozens of new members to its Open Library project (http://www.openlibrary.org ). (For background on OCA, see the NewsBreak "Open Content Alliance Rises to the Challenge of Google Print" at http://www.infotoday.com/newsbreaks/nb051003-2.shtml.) Twenty-four new participants have joined the initial 10 founding members. All contributors have committed to donating services, facilities, tools, and/or funding. Microsoft Corp. has joined the effort with the announcement of MSN Book Search, a new mass book digitization project. (For coverage, see the companion NewsBreak, "Microsoft Launches Book Digitization Project—MSN Book Search" at http://www.infotoday.com/newsbreaks/nb051031-2.shtml.) The Research Libraries Group (RLG; http://www.rlg.org), a major library bibliographic utility, has also joined OCA, contributing its bibliographic metadata. In contrast with Google Print’s close-mouthed policy toward its proprietary digitization equipment, the Open Content Alliance has released extensive details on its Scribe system, as well as other options for participants and users.
Microsoft Launches Book Digitization Project—MSN Book Search
Everything old is new again. With the entrance of Microsoft into the mass book digitization process, the status of books as "the next big thing" in digital content has been confirmed. Newspapers and the general trade press continue to treat Yahoo!’s participation in the Open Content Alliance as its way of competing with Google Print in this now critical content arena. However, most of the activities in OCA appear to be centered around libraries and the Internet Archive, a not-for-profit organization. (For information on OCA’s expansion, read the companion NewsBreak, "Open Content Alliance Expands Rapidly; Reveals Operational Details" at http://www.infotoday.com/newsbreaks/nb051031-1.shtml .) Microsoft has also joined the OCA, but it clearly intends to make its book collection work within MSN, its portal service, as well. It has indicated that it will probably charge for value-added presentations of complete book information.
NewsBreaks Weekly News Digest
Verity Releases New K2E
ABN AMRO Reports Now Exclusive to Thomson Financial
Ingenta Launches New byDesign Service
5) FEATURED ARTICLES
For full-text coverage of the following articles please use the hotlinks provided.
From Sept. 19–30, the clock in Geneva was ticking. After 3.5 years of ramping up, the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) was set to convene its final session in Tunis, Tunisia, on Nov. 16. It was already the middle of September when the delegations from more than 100 U.N. member countries arrived in Geneva for what was purported to be the very last preparatory meeting (PrepCom-3) before the big Summit. Less than 90 days remained to reach agreement. By the end of these last 2 weeks of meetings, the delegates were to have developed, in the words of WSIS Secretary-General Yoshio Utsumi, a concrete, clear road map for the future, and worthy of world leaders' attention … a way forward for Internet governance that is multi-stakeholder and democratic. The PrepCom-3 delegations gathered in the historic Palais des Nations, original home to the League of Nations and now home of the U.N. Office at Geneva, to seek, as so many generations of statesmen before them, just the right words to achieve international consensus. How should the digital divide be crossed? Where should financial resources be focused?
Have you heard of Delicious Library? If not, it’s worth checking it out. Delicious Library is a social software solution that transforms an iMac and FireWire digital video camera into a multimedia cataloging system. You can simply scan the barcode on any book, movie, music, or video game, and the item’s cover magically appears on your digital shelves along with tons of metadata from the Web. Even better, this sexy, location-aware, peer-to-peer, multimedia personal lending library lets you share your collection with friends and neighbors. It’s billed as an industrial strength library system, to go.
COMPUTERS IN LIBRARIES
In this column, Berkeley's Terry Huwe describes several wild-sounding technologies that actually do exist. The first is a visual display field made of microscopic water vapor, and yes, you can write on it. The other two are flexible, polymer-based technolgies. One has organic light-emitting diodes in material that can be bent, folded, or worn. The last one uses light-emitting polymers that can be programmed. This screen may be able to be rolled up or sprayed onto another surface. Some corporations are already using these and other tools to combine the worlds of virtual reality and videoconferencing, and Huwe sees future librarians using them for teaching or other social interactions.
You read the headlines every day: 40-plus million Americans have fallen victim to identity crimes. In fact, one out of every 23 adults will become a victim of identity fraud this year alone. And the stories keep coming about the growing number of large-scale security breaches: UPS loses CitiGroup’s CitiFinancial records on 3.9 million people and data files on millions of consumers; LexisNexis and ChoicePoint sell information to identity thieves; Wachovia and Bank of America customer records are stolen by employees and sold to collection agencies; CardSystems alone has exposed 40 million Visa, MasterCard, and other company cardholders to ID theft, resulting in the first class action lawsuit in this area. Even more headlines on identity theft will probably have emerged between the time I am writing this article and when you read it.
MULTIMEDIA & INTERNET@SCHOOLS
E-mail is the most common form of business communication today; it’s among the most common forms of all communication. Yet many people communicate poorly with e-mail. That’s the opinion of Janis Fisher Chan, and I agree. Chan is the co-founder of Write It Well (http://www.writeitwell.com), a publishing and training firm operating out of Oakland, Calif., that, since 1980, specializes in helping businesspeople write clearly and concisely in e-mail and elsewhere. She also authored the newly published book E-Mail: A Write It Well Guide, as well as eight other books on business writing and additional topics.
6) CONFERENCE CONNECTION
Get the latest event information available for the library and information fields in the Conference Connection. The Conference Report/Update gives you an inside look at the most recent information industry events, while the Conference Calendar is updated monthly to provide you with important contact information for up-and-coming industry events.
KMWorld & Intranets in November
November 14-15, 2005; DAM MOM Symposium. Los Angeles, CA
November 15–17; KMWorld & Intranets San Jose McEnery Convention Center — San Jose, CA
November 15–17; Streaming Media West San Jose McEnery Convention Center — San Jose, CA
For the complete Conference Calendar visit http://www.infotoday.com/calendar.shtml
Theories of Information Behavior
Edited by Karen E. Fisher, Sanda Erdelez, and Lynne McKechnie
This unique book presents authoritative overviews of more than 70 conceptual frameworks for understanding how people seek, manage, share, and use information in different contexts. A practical and readable reference to both well established and newly proposed theories of information behavior, the book includes contributions from 85 scholars from 10 countries.
July 2005/420 pp/hardbound
To purchase this title, please go to http://books.infotoday.com/asist/theorofinbeh.shtml .
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