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Anybody want to work for Google? January 30, 2008

Posted by JR Dixey in jobs.
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They are hiring an Interaction Designer at the Seattle/Kirkland location:

Especially interested in those with an academic background in human computer interaction.


Worldwide Digital Libraries January 30, 2008

Posted by JR Dixey in news.
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Along with Google Books and the Internet Archive/Open Content Alliance, there is a lesser-known collaboration between Carnegie Mellon University Libaries and three international institutions (Zhejiang University 浙江大学, the Indian Institute of Science, and the Bibliotheca Alexandrina) to put “a collection the size of a large university library” on the Web for free.

A million and a half books – for now, mostly in Chinese and English – have already been scanned and are (well, 15% of them anyway) accessible through the website at http://www.ulib.org/.

Back a few months ago, I decided to take a look at the UDL. A quick search for “pickwick” brought up 19 different records of various versions of Dickens’ The Pickwick Papers, under many different titles and authors, including one “Charles Dicknes”, one “CHARLES DICKENS”, and one “Scott Russell” – the title for the latter being rendered as, “Dickenss Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club (1912)”. Multi-volume copies had their titles rendered variously as “Vol I”, “Vol. Ii”, “Volume Ii”, etc. For those books that actually showed a detailed record when the title was clicked – many simply said “Book currently unavailable” – the tables of contents had been typed in haphazardly, as well. One record had every chapter title entered, many with misspellings, all in lowercase letters.

Some versions rendered the Subject as “Unknown”, while others had Subjects ranging from “Fiction” to “Language, Linguistics, Literature” to “Social Science” to (curiously enough) “Biology”. The latter example appears to be 1936 book by Logan Clendening that shows up in WorldCat as “A handbook to Pickwick Papers”, is rendered here as “A Hand Book Of Pickwick Papers” and the Publisher as “Alfred .A. Knopf”.

We visited the site again at the ASIS&T meeting on Monday the 28th. There was a prominent notice that metadata errors had come to their attention and were being cleaned up. Sure enough, the Pickwick Papers seem to be in a lot better shape now. (And to be fair, Google Books lists one “Posthumous Papers OR The Pickwick Club” in its results.)

If you visit some of these, take a moment to compare interfaces, and also look at some digitization projects hosted by individual libraries (particularly Special Collections and Rare Books). A contrast that quickly becomes apparent is the book-as-object metaphor (the British Library’s incredible Turning The Pages, for example) vs. the book-as-searchable-content metaphor (Google’s scans, which eliminate covers, endpapers, etc. in favor of focusing strictly on the page). Post your feedback here in the Comments — I’d love to know what you think.

Happy digital book-hunting,


Code4LibJournal January 26, 2008

Posted by JR Dixey in news.
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Launched last month, Code4Lib Journal is an outgrowth of Code4Lib, an informally organized cadre of library-centric coders.

Code4Lib itself is so informally organized that it can seem quite opaque to outsiders; the main website lacks even an “about” statement, in favor of an ongoing stream of activity in the form of an online conversation. It’s good to see them begin publishing a journal, so that some of their energy and ideas can be both collected in one place and shared with others in a (slightly) more formalized way.

The Student Chapter’s First Meeting in 2008 January 22, 2008

Posted by desy wahyuni in events@UBC.
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Please come to ASIS&T Student Chapter’s first meeting of the year!

Irving K. Barber Learning Centre
4th Floor Group Study Room #416
Monday, January 28th
12:15PM to 1:15PM


1. Introduction to ASIS&T
2. Demo/Discussion: World Digital Libraries
3. Business Meeting
4. Executive Meeting

Everyone is welcome to stay for the executive meeting. If you are interested in an executive position, we will be electing the following replacement officers at this meeting:

  • Vice Chair
  • Webmaster
  • Communications

These positions will start immediately, and serve from January through April (the remainder of the academic year). Officers will also be elected in April to serve for 2008-2009 — starting in May 2008. So if you are a new student, this is a great opportunity to start small and take a larger part in the group next year.

Please see the ASIS&T@UBC Web Site for more information on these positions. You can also email asist.ubc@gmail.com to express interest in a position, even if you cannot make it to the meeting on the 28th.

Game Design Expo January 19, 2008

Posted by JR Dixey in events.
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This weekend, January 19 and 20.


Sunday’s open house from 10AM to 1PM still has space (you must register, but attendance is free).

“For those thinking about working in the game industry, the Open House is held in conjunction with Game Design Expo as a look inside the intensive one-year Game Design program at Vancouver Film School.

Visitors will meet Head of Department Dave Warfield, see demonstrations of student games, and experience workshop classes on such topics as Game Art, Level Design, and Sound Design and Music for Games taught by expert VFS instructors.”

Online Northwest: Coming Up in February January 10, 2008

Posted by JR Dixey in events.
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Sent out to the Pacific Northwest chapter of the Special Libraries Association:

Conference: Feb. 22, 2008
Early bird registration deadline: Jan. 28, 2008
Refund deadline: Jan. 28, 2008

Online NW is a one-day conference focusing on the use of technology
in libraries.  The conference attracts librarians from the Pacific Northwest
and beyond and is sponsored by the Oregon University System Library Council.

Use the online registration form available via http://www.ous.edu/onlinenw/

Friday, February 22, 2008

CH2M Hill Alumni Center on the Oregon State University campus,
Corvallis, Oregon

This year's topics will include:
- Usability
- Learning 2.0
- Next Generation Catalogs
- Remote Public services

Keynote:  Jared Spool
Jared Spool is one of today’s most effective, knowledgeable and entertaining communicators on the subject of usability. He’s been working in the field since 1978, before the term "usability" was ever associated with computers. He is the founder of User Interface Engineering (http://www.uie.com/), a company whose research teams help clients understand how to solve their design problems.  Spool is a top-rated speaker at more than 20 conferences every year and is a faculty member at Tufts University’s Gordon Institute.  Spool’s Online Northwest keynote is titled Why Good Content Must Suck: Designing for the Scent of Information.

Early registration ($100) is due on or before Monday, January 28, 2008

Visit http://www.ous.edu/onlinenw/
Email: online.northwest@gmail.com