Automation and Small Libraries, and CornerThing

The situation hasn’t really changed in the world of library automation since last year’s post.  Libraries find what works for them, given their  economic and human resources.  What is different, is a new tool, developed with some virtual interns.  I call it CornerThing, because I’m not very creative with names. I’ve got these small libraries (American Corners), where, for some of them, their “automation” consists of massive spreadsheets.  And LibraryThing.  Checkouts are still done by hand on cards.  They compile reports by hand, going through the cards each month, to send to me, or one of my colleagues.  It seemed Continue reading Automation and Small Libraries, and CornerThing

Automation and small libraries – first look

It’s kind of amazing to me that after over fifteen years in this business, I’m looking at a situation that pretty much hasn’t changed for small libraries looking for an automation system.  There wasn’t much available for them at a reasonable cost back then, and there is even less today.  Go ahead. Show me where I’m wrong. Seriously, a small library, a small public library, one that is supported, sometimes begrudgingly, by (too often non-existent) local public funds, does not have a lot to spend on annual fees for a library automation system.  They have even less to spend on a Continue reading Automation and small libraries – first look

Copyright and disruptive technology

What if you could give a book to everyone on earth? Get an ebook and read it on any device, in any format, forever? Give an ebook to your library, for them to share? Own DRM-free ebooks, legally? Read free ebooks, and know their creators had been fairly paid?  –From About, unglue.it Copyright is a round hole.  Paper publications are nice, round pegs.  Electronic items are square pegs.  Hard copies can be passed around, shared from person to person across time and space.  A copyright holder’s distribution rights are curtailed by the physical transfer of the copyrighted item (by purchase or gift) Continue reading Copyright and disruptive technology

Peer Review and Relevancy

The Code4Lib Journal exists to foster community and share information among those interested in the intersection of libraries, technology, and the future.  —Mission Statement, Code4Lib Journal A colleague on the Code4Lib Journal’s editorial committee has posted a defense of the Journal’s position on peer review, or more specifically, double blind refereeing.  I was tempted, several months ago, to address the topic in the opening editorial for Issue 16, but was too preoccupied with food.  I don’t always see things the way Jonathan does, although I’ve learned over the years he gets it right a lot more times than I do.  In Continue reading Peer Review and Relevancy

Administrators vs. Technology

Somehow this post got lost in the drafts folder.  But since it’s an enduring topic, it’s still current. A friend has some advice for library administrators:  The Top Ten Things Library Administrators Should Know About Technology.  It’s not a new subject, but it’s a topic that is being discussed openly more and more.   One gets the impression administrators are actually beginning to realize computer technology is not only not going to stand still, it is moving on at a dizzying pace that demands attention. Now Roy Tennant is one of those icons in the library technology world who is Continue reading Administrators vs. Technology