Sunday, July 30, 2006

Communitywise Blogging by Information Professionals

This is a running post: Updated Oct 26 2006

Open Univeristy librarian knocks up custom social web search engine: Social networking receives specialist search engine from academic expert,
By Tracey Caldwell 13 Oct 2006:

An experimental search engine is allowing users to search the social bookmarking service, using any links page, or the domains those bookmarks come from, to limit a search.

Information professionals are also contributing towards building a social infostructure - Doing community wise thinking and making us think is their primary moto. Keep up the good work. Good breeds Good.

And, among many that I frequently cross is Nancy White, whom I would list among the pioneers. See her most recent work on "Blogs and Community - Some thinking out loud:"

Part 1; Part 2; Part 3; Part 4; and Part 5 (the last part)

So we have identified three forms of blog based community, the single blog centric, topic centric and community centric. Now lets look at the implications for those thinking about designing and nurturing blog based communities. Can they help us strategically? (This assumes we believe we can "build" or "nuture" communities either from a top down or bottom up approach. I'll let you wrestle with the "if" part of that assumption and save it for later.)

I admire Nancy and a comment on her blog simply tells a long story in short:
Your 5 posts on the different blog communities are terrific. Thanks for thinking this through and sharing. I hope to be a lead staff soon for establishing a community of practice for youth worker practitioners and their respective non profit organizations (and some teachers) who are working with youth poverty and homelessness issues. Blogs will be one part of the effort to improves worker and organizational capacity in our Region, so your work is spot on for me. Continue reading Brent MacKinnon

To find something so similar is what is called as serendipity. The following is just wearing the same hat*, I think:
  • 'Four Social Bookmarking Services Compared,' in Tips on choosing a social bookmarking tool, by Marshall Kirkpatrick

    "Social bookmarking, or using tags to organize web pages into a publicly viewable archive online, is becoming increasingly common among nonprofit organizations and supporting technologists. Social bookmarking tools are preferable to browser bookmarks or favorites in a number of ways, including accessibility from any computer, superior detail in archiving and retrieval and the ability to share our bookmarks as a whole or by tag with other people.

    Most of the time it seems to me that the conversation about social bookmarking starts with - probably the most popular social bookmarking tool online. There are many more options available, however, and I thought it would be useful to provide some brief explanation of a few alternatives and some things to consider in making your selection...."

    Four Social Bookmarking Services Compared are:;;; and

    See also:
  • Lessons in Community Building: An Inquiry into the role of weblogs in online community building, Nurul Asyikin, @ KnowledgeBoard, 02-Feb-03
  • Understanding and Communicating Social Informatics Sheila Corrall, Ariadne Issue 47 - 30 April 2006
  • Folksonomies: The Fall and Rise of Plain-text Tagging, Emma Tonkin, Ariadne Issue 47 - 30 April 2006
  • Social Networks and Folksonomies, April 2, 2006 @
  • Social Computing @ COMO Presentations @ David's Random Stuff

    Previous posts at my blogs:
  • Isolatr Vis-a-Vis a Unified Theory of Web 2.0
  • Labyrinths, Sacred Geometry, Innernet & Visualization
  • Secularism, Laicism, Diversity, Pluralism: What's In A Name?
  • Knowledge Management Applications in Multifaith & / or Multicultural Transactions Revisited

    *quote from the site: Never Again International uses a wide variety of social web tools to bring together young people resisting violence around the world.
  • Tuesday, July 25, 2006

    Collection Development Templates

    What is collection development? What is the need for a template? Some answers are here:

           Finding quality items for your consumer health library can be a challenge. Here are some ideas for adding to your collection. Go to the local Barnes and Noble or Books-A-Million and browse the selection of health books. This is great, because you can actually see the item before you make your purchase or order. Read the customer reviews on Look at core lists from the Consumer and Patient Health Information Section of MLA at Look in Alan Rees' Consumer Health Information Sourcebook for recommendations.

    Here are some guidelines for evaluating your collection. Are there books older than five years on the shelf? Five years is a general guideline for currency. There should be very few exceptions to this guideline. Even anatomy books become dated. Are there duplicates that are not being used? Conduct an inventory. Are there missing/lost items? Are there some books that probably have newer editions?

    Something that will help you the next time you evaluate your collection is to create a collection development policy for your health collection. Be sure to include the scope of the collection, handling gifts, weeding, and dealing with challenges. Your collection development policy for consumer health should be a separate part of the institutional collection development policy.

    With these suggestions, you will be able to create and manage a consumer health collection:

    ·        Collection Development Policy: Policy Template


    ·       Guidelines for Writing Collection Development Policies

    · A Practical Approach to Writing a Collection Development Policy
    see also: Procedures enforcing the collecting policy

    Saturday, July 15, 2006

    Practical Tips for Buying & / Or Selling Books

    How to sell a book, with so much competition around. And, where to buy a book amidst so many stores? I found two sources, and I am posting these here:

    Selling a book:
    Rules of thumb for booksellers

    There’s a copy of Susan Halas’ rules of thumb for booksellers buying books (to resell) over at the Bibliophile Bullpen. Interesting stuff.
    Some samples:
    Q: You are looking through hundreds of cheap paperbacks for something of value, what are you looking for?
    A: Size smaller, the older paperbacks were a little bit smaller than the current size, you can see it on the shelf, look for the one(s) that are shorter. Cover price — the lower the cover price the earlier the issue. Collectible artist who signed the cover — look at the art work, 40s/50s pulp art has a following especially if in color and about SciFi or drugs other vices. Think lurid. Continue reading Rules of thumb for booksellers

    Buying a book:
    Notes: (Your experience may vary)
    1) Amazon has the widest selection of used books (sold by third parties). Used prices vary considerably.
    2) is a good alternative to Amazon. Has harder to find items at good prices and better service. Does comparisons...
    3) Bigger Books 'seems to' offer cheaper prices than even Amazon.
    4) Ecampus will be your best bet for text books.
    5) Booksamillion: free shipping. Use FREESHIP44 code.

    Other Options/Places:
    Questia Online Library - 48,000 online books, 390,000 online articles. Pay service.
    eLibrary - 28 million online documents. Pay service.
    Project Gutenberg - 10,000 public domain e-texts. Freebie.
    The Google box has possibilities. Google selects based on this page's contents. Continue reading Bibliography, Library Science and Information: What's Been Published

    Friday, July 14, 2006

    If You Are A Library Assistant, So What?

    Your work is invaluable in promoting the image of the library and information profession.

    Whatever is your title tag, you are first and foremost a knowledge worker, anyways.* Right? Those who think you are otherwise, just bear with them please.**

    I found an interesting article that lists the strengths of a Library Assistant:

    Merits of the Profession of the Library Assistant, by Bessie Mayes, ASSOCIATES (2006, July, v. 13, no. 1)

    Extract: What are the merits of being a Library Assistant? I will define the word “merit” not on whether this part of our library profession is worthy of existence--it is without question very important to the library organization and the community. But I will base the definition of the merits of this library assistant profession on the principle of what merits or worth an employee brings to the profession. This is the only way one can view the worth of any career or profession one chooses, and where we spend many hours of a day giving great attention. Continue reading Merits of the Profession...

    *I think whatever the title, Library Assistant, Librarian, Information Manager, Information Consultant, these are all contributors to the knowledge work.

    **Library Assistant
    Library assistants are not professional librarians, but they have been trained to help you with many of your research needs. Some reference departments hire library assistants to help answer reference questions and provide general information about the library. source: Library Vocabulary: Common Terms Defined

    Monday, July 10, 2006

    Citing Sources - Electronic, Print, etc.

    This is a running post: Updated 3 Oct, 2006

    1. As a rule we do copy from others (or from a published work that belongs to others and who have the authorship or copyright).
    2. And, it is a rule that we must acknowledge (or cite or quote or document) the source from which we are copying.
    3. And, it is also a rule that we follow some method to cite the cited source.

    If you are in the none of the above category, but believe in using an idea from others, then you are simply, plagiarizing, cheating and doing copywrongs.
    The bottom line: On Plagiarism, When in doubt, check it out!

    Note: There is a difference between hyperlinks and citations. See "Fundamental Differences between Hyperlinks and Citations" an editorial by Dr. Alireza Noruzi, published in Webology

    Here are few links to do all the above - follow the rule:

    • Why Cite Your Sources?
    • Noodle Tools
    • Finding and Citing Full-Text Journal and Magazine Articles: Selected Resources, by Joanne O'Keefe
    • Citing Sources: Style Guides, © 2006 Seneca Libraries.
      "To mark citations in the text, the Chicago Manual's note-bibliography style places a superscript number after each quotation, paraphrase, or summary. Citations are numbered sequentially throughout the text, and each citation corresponds to a numbered note containing publication information about the source cited. Such notes are called footnotes when printed at the foot of a page and endnotes when printed at the end of an essay, chapter, or book. These notes generally serve two purposes: to cite sources and to make cross-references to previous notes. This chapter follows the conventions of the Chicago Manual's note-bibliography style".
      "Introduce the source of a sort quotation, paraphrase, or summary by using either a signal phrase set off by a comma or a signal verb with a that clause." [continue reading: The Chicago Manual of Style, 14th ed.] (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993).

    Understanding Citations
    Whether you are searching for information in indexes and bibliographies or citing sources in your own paper, you need to understand the conventions for documenting sources ranging from scholarly works to interviews. A bibliographic citation or reference should provide all the essential elements of information about the source to enable anyone to track it down. This includes the author, title, source and date of publication.
    Instruction on How to Interpret Citations
    Instruction on How to Cite Sources
    continue reading Information Literacy Tutorial

  • Citing Resources Using the APA Style: Citing web sites
  • Citing Resources Using the Turabian/Chicago Style Citing Web sites
  • see also: MLA Citation Guides
  • Avoiding Plagiarism. Sir Wilfrid Laurier Secondary School
  • Citing the Source, by Niall Kennedy on May 24, 2005
    Did you know that Technorati cites its sources within a watchlist? It's true.
    Technorati watchlists help users track the topics they care about. Many topics of interest have one or more authors of particular interest and you may want to every post from the author instead of just your watchlist matches. Technorati provides you with all the information necessary to subscribe to these different watchlist sources.

    My other related posts:
  • With Malice Towards None; And Citations for All
  • Sunday, July 09, 2006

    Cataloging, indexing Web sites - Librarian's Perspectives

    Given below are some samples of
    a) how a Web site is catalogued (as input),
    b) what descriptors are used (for thruput) and
    c) what format is the data available (as output)

  • Middle East Virtual Library: Islamic Libraries and Libraries with Islamic collections
  • Conscious.Be: Islamic Libraries and Information Centres
  • Middle East Virtual Library. Book in the Islamic Civilization

    NB. If you need any clarification, and / or similar info. on cataloging Web sites, please email me at mt2222 at

    Se also:

  • Multimedia Metadata Standards
    Metadata is an important aspect of the creation and management of digital images (and other multimedia files). Metadata standards for digital imaging can include information about:

    the technical format of the image file
    the process by which the image was created
    the content of the image

  • Metadata extraction and harvesting: A comparison of two automatic metadata generation applications, GREENBERG Jane, Journal of internet cataloging, 2003, vol. 6, no4, pp. 59-82
    This research explores the capabilities of two Dublin Core automatic metadata generation applications, Klarity and DC-dot. The top level Web page for each resource, from a sample of 29 resources obtained from National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), was submitted to both generators. Results indicate that extraction processing algorithms can contribute to useful automatic metadata generation. Results also indicate that harvesting metadata from META tags created by humans can have a positive impact on automatic metadata generation. The study identifies several ways in which automatic metadata generation applications can be improved and highlights several important areas of research. The conclusion is that integrating extraction of harvesting methods will be the best approach to creating optimal metadata, and more research is needed to identify when to apply which method.

  • Automatic Metadata Generation for Web Pages Using a Text Mining Approach
    Hsin-Chang Yang, Chung-Hong Lee, Chang Jung University
  • Metadata Schema Used in OCLC Sampled Web Pages, Fei Yu, Journal of Educational Media & Library Sciences, 2005, 43: 2, 129-152
    The tremendous growth of Web resources has made information organization and retrieval more and more difficult. As one approach to this problem, metadata schemas have been developed to characterize Web resources. However, many questions have been raised about the use of metadata schemas such as which metadata schemas have been used on the Web? How did they describe Web accessible information? What is the distribution of these metadata schemas among Web pages? Do certain schemas dominate the others? To address these issues, this study analyzed 16,383 Web pages with meta tags extracted from 200,000 OCLC sampled Web pages in 2000. It found that only 8.19% Web pages used meta tags; description tags, keyword tags, and Dublin Core tags were the only three schemas used in the Web pages. This article revealed the use of meta tags in terms of their function distribution, syntax characteristics, granularity of the Web pages, and the length distribution and word number distribution of both description and keywords tags.
  • Saturday, July 08, 2006

    Certificate vs. Certification

    An excellent visualization by Manish, @ elearningspace

    A certificate of completion states that an individual has completed a class or course and achieved a certain level of success in understanding the principles taught in the course.

    A professional certification or credential is an objective measure of a person’s level of experience and expertise in the profession -- as defined by the profession as a whole. Continue reading from Elearningspace

    Google for more similar content

    Thursday, July 06, 2006

    Visualizing the Emerging Nexus: Five Laws of Ranganathan and the WWW Era

    Given below are three recent attempts (with a focus of first on the Web, Second on hyperlinks, and third on search engines) to reflect samples of the emerging nexus between WWW era and Five Laws. The purpose, here, is to showcase areas where these Laws facilitate a friendly atmosphere in the WWW era.

    The most recent attempt to rephrase* the Five Laws comes from Me's blog, and it is called, Ranganathan's Web, posted on June 21, 2006.

    ME has very rightly incorporated the WWW era:

    Web resources are for use.
    Every user his or her web resource.
    Every web resource its user.
    Save the time of the user.
    The Web is a growing organism.

    Who can say that creative visualization has reached an end? Information visualization has a new guru, and that is Lennart Björneborn. In his doctoral research entitled, Small-World Link Structures across an Academic Web Space - a Library and Information Science Approach, Lennart goes an extra mile in rephrasing the Five Laws. This is shown below. Apart from this text-based sketch, a full graphic visualization of this in true colors is at his Web site. And, his thesis can also be downloaded from the same site:
    Links are for use – the very essence of hypertext;
    Every surfer his or her link – the rich diversity of links across topics and genres;
    Every link its surfer – ditto;
    Save the time of the surfer – visualizing web clusters and small-world shortcuts;
    The Web is a growing organism

    I did my own attempt to present a mindmap in relation to search engines, as follows:
    Search Engines are for Use,
    Every Searcher His / Her Search Engine,
    Every Search Engine its Searcher,
    Save the Time of the Searcher, and
    Search Engine is a growing organism.

    "The concept of facets was first introduced by Ranganathan in library science to provide – guess what – more flexible navigation of library catalogs. ... Today in Next Generation Search Systems seminar series we had Marti Hearst of UC Berkely. She talked about faceted metadata for navigation." Thus spake Prof. Ramesh Jain, Convergence in Search and databases May 15th, 2006.

    Other innovative expressions also show the nexus:
  • OA to Ranganathan, by Adri Edwards-Johnson, July 11, 2006
    [Thanks to Dr.Sukdev Singh, for this information, at his blog]
    I'm glad to see I'm not the only Ranganathan "fangirl". :-)
    Continue reading the actual story behind these citations: Jessamyn over at reports on this story: Open Access to Ranganathan.
  • Application of Ranganathan's Laws to the Web, by Alireza Noruzi, Webology, Volume 1, Number 2, December, 2004
  • Putting Facets on the Web: An Annotated Bibliography, by William Denton, Oct. 2003
  • Cana, M. (2003, July 5). Open source and Ranganathan's five laws of library science. [Extract: Recognizing Ranganathan’s five laws of Library Science and their underlying concepts as powerful inspirations for social change, I would like analyze the open source software, as defined by the Open Source Initiative (OSI), and its congruency with the five laws.]

    My publications relating to this nexus include:
  • Save the Time of the Godly: Information Mediators Role in Promoting Spiritual & Religious Accommodation,
  • The Reference Interview Through Asynchronous E-Mail and Synchronous Interactive Reference: Does It Save the Time of the Interviewee?
  • Every Book Its Reader - Ranganathan's Law Visualized
  • Information Visualization: Innovative Practices to Connect Every Book, Its Reader, A Survey
  • Searching Is Polarized; Will The Five Laws Get a New Revised Version: Every Search Engine Its Searcher
  • Library is a Growing Organism - Dr. Ranganathan's Fifth Law Revisited
  • The Informed Librarian Online: Save the Time of the Librarian

    The backend story as it unfolds: In the past, there has been a great appreciation of the works of this Indian guru of Information profession. For example, his mentor, Mr. Berwick Sayers, termed this age as the Age of Ranganathan.*** Another tribute, came from the American Library Association (1964): Your ideas are universal. You answer the challenge of the future with challenge. Most of us are not your disciples, all of us are your students. For a generation you have forced librarians to think. We are proud to be in your debt. Let us change our approach and start reading, learning and experimenting what Dr. Ranganathan has started and written for us. That will be appropriate tribute that we will pay to this greatest professional, scientist of the world.”"*

    * The Five Laws, as norms or principles, designed for library service received attention from individuals and professional bodies, alike.

    *** reported by Mahmud Hussain, Of Libraries and Librarianship. (Karachi, University Library, 1974), and cited in Libraries and Librarianship in India, by Mohamed Taher and Donald G. Davis, Jr., (Delhi, Concept, 1994): p. 103; Guru Dutt, K. The inwardness of Dr Ranganathan. "Herald of library science", 12 (1973), p. 122; and American revised version of Five Laws, in Ranganathan: A Universal Librarian, by Fazle Kabir, 2003; Gorman, M. (1995). Five new laws of librarianship. American Libraries, 26 (8), 784-785.
  • Tuesday, July 04, 2006

    The Informed Librarian Online: Save the Time of the Librarian

    The Informed Librarian Online is a monthly compilation of the most recent tables of contents from over 305 titles. The July 2006 issue of The Informed Librarian Online is now available.

    This month's highlights:

  • Guest Forum - Guest columnist is Rosalind Dudden. Rosalind explains what can be measured, evaluated and assessed in a library, and why these measurements are needed.
  • Featured Book - Gordon, Rachel Singer. The NextGen Librarian’s Survival Guide.
    Medford, NJ, CyberAge Books, 2006. 248 pp. THE INFORMED LIBRARIAN ONLINE copyright 2006 by Infosources Publishing

    I have my own reason to use a sub-title, viz., Save the Time of the Librarian. Read my comment about the value of this publication at my other blog Reviews From My Desktop:

    View a free sample issue

    Contact details for more info:
    Arlene L. Eis
    The Informed Librarian Online

  • Sunday, July 02, 2006

    Library is a Growing Organism - Dr. Ranganathan's Fifth Law Revisited

    The Fifth Law of Library Science (viz., Library is a growing organism*), encompasses every component of the library, including books, staff, infostructure, infrastructure, etc. And, information visualization of this lifeline is directly related to compassion and human outlook. It is, in short, about increase of the human touch. In this same human environment, libraries do stimulate social networks. Furthermore, some examples of growth of this network is seen in the literature, visible in the form of books promoting social network, as well as, books reading us. Don't believe, I suppose. Keep readng this post, and you will find out!!!

    Given below is a literature survey of WHAT WORKS, WHAT DOESN'T, and WHAT'S PROMISING in the above framework (i.e., in dealing with a growing organism):

    Quotable quotes:

    Part of that growing involved a move to grow beyond just 'books' and into all modes of information, service, community and entertainment. We evolved but didn't discard the past. [Stephen Abrams, source]
    The library: a growing organism
    Healthy libraries pursue opportunities for growth and renewal. There are always new fields of knowledge to acquire, new information formats to integrate, new technologies to implement, and new groups of unserved users to address. Libraries engage in short term and long-range planning to develop goals and strategies for remaining current, fresh and relevant to community needs.

    Libraries are living and breathing entities, the librarians within its walls should be as well. No longer is the stereotype of an old, shriveled woman behind a desk saying "SHHHH!" at every noise! [source]
    Libraries are living organisms. (Libraries are constantly changing to meet user needs.) [source]
    Libraries are living, breathing, growing, evolving, learning entities, and, when they're not, someone else needs to take charge of the books. [source]

    Libraries are living, organic entities. Like a garden, they do not grow (or even produce) without periodic weeding. [source]
    Our libraries are living organisms. They shall respond to the crisis. Some signs of this transformation are already here. [source]

    Libraries are living functional buildings which should be allowed to change with the times. [source]
    But libraries are living, dynamic institutions that must change and adapt to new conditions, including technological advances and user interests, in order to retain their strength and usefulness to the citizens. [source]

    Literature Survey:

  • The Social Life of Books
    Visualizing Communities of Interest via Purchase Patterns on the WWW
    by Valdis Krebs
    ...A book author and/or publicist could use the knowledge of existing book networks to position a book where there is a hole in the network. A publisher could view evolving book networks -- they may change weekly -- to adapt its marketing efforts. Amazon, of course, is still the big winner -- they have the data, and a rich upside of untapped possibilities of how to analyze the data and apply the findings. Continue reading The Social Life of Books

  • Digerati: The Social Life of E-Books and their Reader/Writers, Betsy McKenzie, June 26, 2006
  • The Book in the Network: Mitchell Stephens - Without Gods / McKenzie Wark - GAM3R 7H30RY 1.1
  • google and the myth of universal knowledge: a view from europe 06.30.2006, posted by ben vershbow
  • The Book Is Reading You
    Why publishers need to stop worrying and love the network
    by Ben Vershbow -- 6/5/2006
    Jorge Luis Borges, a great spinner of metaphors for the information age, once said, "A book is not an isolated being: it is a relationship, an axis of innumerable relationships." Publishers have an opportunity to reinvent their industry by plugging books fully into the new environment. They can let Google and Amazon do it for them, or they can take matters into their own hands. continue reading The book is reading you

  • The Social Life Of Books By Andrew Richard Albanese — May 15, 2006
  • Weiner, Sharon Gray "Resistance to Change in Libraries: Application of Communication Theories" portal: Libraries and the Academy - Volume 3, Number 1, January 2003, pp. 69-78
  • organic information design, Ben Fry | Master's Thesis | MIT Media Lab
  • Extract from my review of the book, Magic and Hypersystems: Constructing the Information-Sharing Library, by Harold Billings
    The fourth chapter: The Bionic Library, both by text and context, connect to a significant aspect that interest historians, biologists, technologists, theologists, linguists, etc. This connection is an important phase in visualization of a sense of living organism that dominates, more or less, equally well in the trio: information, knowledge and library. By reading the book one would feel that Billings gets the credit as responsible for coining the term, bionic library. Whereas the origin of the idea is from Dr. S. R. Ranganathan's master piece, famous as five laws of library science. Continue reading the review

  • Technostress in the Bionic Library, by John Kupersmith [Originally published in Cheryl LaGuardia, ed., Recreating the Academic Library: Breaking Virtual Ground,
    (New York: Neal-Schuman, 1998), pp. 23-47.]
  • Everybody Has a Librarian Inside, posted by Sukhdev Singh, April 28, 2006 [work cited: "The Librarian", a 1556 painting by Giuseppe Arcimboldo.]
  • Internet Librarian: Competing with Google: Library Strategies, By Sarah Houghton, Jul 14 2006 [Includes, Stephen Abrams' Top Ten Strategies for Competing with Google, viz., #1: Know Your Market; #2: Know Your Customers Better than Google; #3: Be Where Our Customers Are; #4: Federated Searching; #5: Support Your Culture; #6: Position Libraries Where We Excel; #7: Be Wireless; #8: Get Visual; #9: Integrate; #10: For Pete’s Sake, Take a Risk!]
  • "Information is a Growing Organism," my review of another book. See details: It's Alive: The Coming Convergence of Information, Biology, and Business by Christopher Meyer [continue reading the review at]

    The Punch Line:
    >>Ah, you must be a librarian. How did you guess, doctor?
    It's the boredom, you see; same old books, same old date-stamping, same old fines for late returners, same old shushing of noisy readers. I need to get out more, may be save a life or two or pass a signal at red. Continue reading Stress? Shhhhh . . . By Alan Hamilton, The Times, January 12, 2006

    >>Fighting fires may sound taxing, chasing criminals demanding, but a new study says that working in library is the most stressful job of all. Continue reading from Librarians 'suffer most stress' BBC NEWS, 12 January 2006
    >> as a librarian, identify one of ranganathan’s lawa of librarianship and explain how you would apply it in your library -- Principle 5: library is a growing organism, Formal Media International funds trust(FMIFT) Blog

    >>*Google for more on the Fifth Law of Library Science