Phil the Web Crawler – Apple bans eBook, Academics slam cuts to LAC, hone your Google-fu and put your kid in the story.

– Canadian history, heritage are at risk from cuts to Libraries and Archives Canada, say academics.

Apple bans Danish eBook from it’s iBookstore because of nudity.

– News Corp, which owns book publisher HarperCollins, is reportedly in “preliminary” talks to buy CBS’s Simon & Schuster.

– Penguin expands library ebook lending with Baker & Taylor.

– 20 Google Search Shortcuts to Hone Your Google-Fu.

– Tolkien estate sues Warner Brothers over Lord of the Rings digital rights.

– If data is the new oil, don’t end up being BP.

– Amazon’s Jeff Bezos as ‘Businessperson of the Year’: Can the book world learn from him?

– ‘Put me in the story, mom!’ Now you really can.


Online Database Search Fundamentals

**crossposted at Literature Review for Library Techs**


This will be the first of many posts on the subject of search as it relates to library reference staff.  It is an area that fascinates me.  This literature review will examine some of the search strategies that you can employ in tracking down information on the databases.  It is intended to be an introduction to online database searching. Continue reading “Online Database Search Fundamentals”

Items of Interest

Library of Congress aims to implement RDA by March 31, 2013, giving time to train their staff.  Allied national libraries, including Library & Archives Canada, also plan to implement RDA in the first quarter of 2013.  Read more here.

Ammunition for school libraries: Informational Brief: Impact of School Libraries on Student Achievement is a report by the New York Comprehensive Center/RMC Research Corporation.  From the Executive Summary: “Based on the conclusions from the research cited in the brief, it is clear that school libraries play an important role in student achievement, curriculum development, and instruction.” (Thanks to Stephen’s Lighthouse for the link)

Stephen Abrams expanded on a great post by Sally Pewhairangi, “20 Everyday Ways to Escape the Library Echo Chamber”.  See Stephen’s post, others’ comments, and link to the original here.

Interesting results from the National Reading Campaign’s 2012 National Book Count:

  • Over 3.4 million books were counted as being sold or circulated for the week of January 23-29, 2012.  Thus over five books are sold or circulated every second in Canada.
  • Participating libraries saw an 8% increase in print circulation and a 50% increase in digital circulation for an overall increase of 9% total circulation over the past year.
  • E-books made up 10% of all books sold in English Canada.

See Stephen’s Lighthouse for links to the report and summaries.

Having trouble finding the advanced search on Google and other sites lately?  This post by Gwen at Internet News says it may get worse.

Conference season is coming up!  Check out Alyssa Kroski’s 8 Essential Apps for Library Conferences on iLibrarian (thanks to Stephen’s Lighthouse for the link).  Please comment – have you used any of these?  What did you think?

From January’s Current Cites:

Lewis, David W. “From Stacks to the Web: the Transformation of Academic Library Collecting” College & Research Libraries (November 2011)(
This is a pre-print of a piece slated to be published next year (January 2013), but the topic is certainly quite relevant now and waiting a year to heed Lewis’ advice will do no one any favors. Kudos to C&RL for not making us do so. Lewis asserts that the advent of computer networking has fundamentally altered the value proposition of libraries and that our classic way of building collections must respond to this in various ways. After noting particular developments in recent years that “drive change and provide the building blocks upon which new library practices will be constructed,” he provides specific advice that includes: 1) Deconstruct legacy print collections, 2) Move from item-by-item book selection to purchase-on-demand and subscriptions, 3) Manage the transition to open access journals, 4) Curate the unique, and 5) Develop new mechanisms to fund national infrastructure. Highly recommended. – RT

Speaking of academic libraries, Will Kurt discusses circulation trends in his ACRL Tech Connect article, The End of Academic Library Circulation? (thanks to Stephen’s Lighthouse for the link).

Concerned about your online privacy and/or sick of creepy targeted ads?  Chrome will finally accomodate the Do Not Track add-on.  It’s already available in Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari.  See Stephen Shankland’s CNET article for more info (thanks to Internet News for the link).

Bleary-eyed students (and, say, blog authors who get lost in Flickr pools) may be interested in this infographic from onlinecollege on effects of and remedies for sleep deprivation (thanks to Stephen’s Lighthouse for the link).

Phil the Web Crawler – eBook sticker shock, more clouds in your coffee, preparing for the flood and the future (is it Boxie?)

– Librarians Feel Sticker Shock as Price for Random House Ebooks Rises as Much as 300 Percent.

– The Library Cloud Pros and Cons.

Libraries of the Future is an article in The Tyee that pulls together a number of issues facing libraries today with an emphasis on VPL’s latest initiative.

– But what about the flood? In a Flood Tide of Digital Data, an Ark Full of Books.

– “In March, Read the Books You’ve Always Meant to Read”: Gorgeous Vintage PSA Posters, 1939-1941.

– College and university librarians are concerned about students’ search skills, and no wonder.

– Terrific new extensions for Firefox and Google (Beta) to protect privacy. HTTPS and Tor: Working Together to Protect Your Privacy and Security Online.

– Grounding Tomorrow’s Digital Library in Traditional Values.

– Fun Time:  Boxie the Robot needs your help.  Click here for more info.

Phil the Web Crawler – Clouds in my coffee, advertising in libraries, tracking internet footsteps and the future!

– Best Free Reference 2011: A Dozen Resources Spanning Arab Spring to World Public Opinion.

– What the?????  Tim Horton’s Library?  Ban books on tea?  Toronto Library To Sell Ads.

– This will not answer that ultimate question but it will give you some fodder for thought before going into your next job interview.   How to answer “What is your greatest weakness?”

– Half-Day Outage Darkens Microsoft’s Azure Cloud – ooooops!

– Some companies are already using their knowledge about you to determine what you see on the sites they’re affiliated with—not just the ads you see, but the actual content you read.  Eli Pariser: Beware online “filter bubbles”.

– So what can you do about it?  There are new add ons for browsers that prevent tracking.   A new one developed by Mozilla is called Collusion.  It gives an excellent visual demo on how tracking occurs.  View the demo here.

– Meanwhile this contrarian says: Stop the ‘Do Not Track’ Madness.

– OCLC announces new agreements with publishers around the world, adds more content and collections to WorldCat Local.

– A Potter in every eLibrary.  Harry Potter eBooks to be distributed to Public and School Libraries through OverDrive.

– Cell phones as classroom.

– Calling all libraries – a must have: Dickens, Twain, Kerouac, Warhol: 400 Years of New York Diaries.

– Something you need to know for…uh…future reference.

Items of Interest

10 LinkedIn Tips to Boost your Job Search by Kristin Burnham on IT World Canada.
(thanks to the Internet News blog, though their post isn’t working now)


As LTAIG and BCLA work on getting members from all over the province involved, check out how SLA did virtual conference attendance this year.  SLA Conference 2011 – Virtual Component by Dawn Bassett, from the SLA Western Canada Chapter’s Wired West blog.  Would you be interested in that kind of conference experience?


What is a Coordinator of User Experience, and what are they doing in the Langara College library?  Interview with Joyce Wong, also from Wired West.


An interesting excerpt from an SLA Future Ready blog post:

But even with a definition of what this type of economy is, what are the practical applications of being part of the information/knowledge economy? Knowledge and information is put on a pedestal, but information centers and libraries are not acknowledged as the base of that pedestal. Instead, this observer has come to view the situation as a kind of the-emperor-has-no-clothes scenario: everyone values information, but no one wants to fully fund it.

Is This the Information/Knowledge Economy? by Eileen Davenport, Oct. 21, 2011.


Want to search with both Google and Bing to make sure you don’t miss anything?  Try Askboth.  But wait, there’s more!  It will also search Twitter.  Yes, that’s right: three searches in one.  Recommended by Internet News.


On the other hand, how much are the results at these search engines distorted by being tailored to you?  (well, who it thinks you are)  Great Ted talk by Eli Pariser: Beware Online “Filter Bubbles.”


Still Awesome after All These Years: Eight Excellent Free Downloads by PCWorld, via Internet News.


Swim the Digital Tsunami with these 5 Web Tools to Fix Information Overload by Saikat Basu on makeuseof.  Internet News recommended them, particularly for managing social media.


And, in closing, a fun fact: the seventh-most common search engine string that found this blog is Savage Chickens.

In Defence of Libraries, and Other Items of Interest

During a CBC discussion of Toronto’s proposed library cuts Joan Crockatt, a Calgary journalist and commentator, recently said that people don’t go to libraries anymore. Stephen Karr, our intrepid website manager, has compiled responses from the library community on his new blog.

Surrey Libraries’ new City Centre branch is featured in the latest issue of Award magazine. The article discusses building features, including LEED Silver certification, and some of the community consultation that went into its design; even the furniture. The Surrey Libraries update says its grand opening will be September 24, 2011.

In database news, H.W. Wilson has been acquired by EBSCO. Wilson databases and controlled vocabularies will be added to EBSCOhost. Nancy Davis Kho wrote on VIP Livewire that “EBSCO customers stand to gain in functionality benefits if the integration happens as planned, but it’s one less vendor on the landscape driving price competition and product improvements.” For more, read the official announcement. Thanks to Internet News blog for the story.

Another interesting item from Internet News: Zakta has released an asynchronous collaborative search tool called Search Team. It would probably be especially useful for student group work (ahem, Pacific Rim Magazine projects at Langara). Greg R. Notess discusses it further at Information Today.