The Library, University of California,
ISSN: 1060-2356 - http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/CurrentCites/2002/cc02.13.7.html
Contributors: Charles W. Bailey, Jr., Margaret Gross, Terry Huwe, Shirl Kennedy, Leo Robert Klein, Margaret Phillips, Jim Ronningen, Roy Tennant
Editor's Note: This issue inaugurates a new infrastructure for creating Current Cites based on XML. Cites are submitted by contributors using a simple web form, which is processed by a CGI script into individual XML files. The files are processed by an XSLT stylesheet to produce the issue that we then put on the web in HTML. But if that is all we intended to do, there would be no reason to do it in XML. We are reengineering how we create and manage our citations so that we can both make it easier to produce the publication as well as add additional services. Some of these services may include sophisticated searching abilities as well as alternate views. We try to respond to the needs our readers, so if there is anything you would like to see let us know.
"OCLC White Paper on the Information Habits of College Students" (June 2002) (http://www2.oclc.org/oclc/pdf/printondemand/informationhabits.pdf). - Sparked by a desire to help academic libraries better serve the needs of their students, OCLC commissioned an international web-based survey of students who use the Internet. This ten-page report summarizes their findings and raises some specific questions for discussion. If you prefer to have a condensed version highlighting some of the findings, The Chronicle of Higher Education profiled the stuy in a recent article (http://chronicle.com/free/2002/07/2002071901t.htm). But you may miss some of the more provocative questions the paper rather pointedly asks librarians. - RT
"Building Digital Communities: Web-Wise 2002" First Monday 7(5) (6 May 2002) (http://www.firstmonday.org/issues/issue7_5/). - The May issue of First Monday reports on the Third Annual Conference on Libraries and Museums in the Digital World, and includes several papers presented at the conference. For anyone interested in the points of intersection between print, visual and museum collectionsdigital applications, one and allthis issue is very good reading for boning up on the pulse of development. Clifford Lynch's keynote speech (http://www.firstmonday.org/issues/issue7_5/lynch/) follows his usual exhaustive style that both entertains and challenges the audience, skewering ideologues and content purists. His principal focus is on the maturation of broadband and its impact on long-term cultural treasures. Current Cites alumnus Rick Rinehart (http://www.firstmonday.org/issues/issue7_5/rinehart/) joins the California Digital Library's Robin L. Chandler (http://www.firstmonday.org/issues/issue7_5/chandler/) in assessing the Online Archive of California, an ambitious, cross-institutional collaboration that is bringing several collections and groups of developers together. Timothy Cole (http://www.firstmonday.org/issues/issue7_5/cole/) presents a well-thought out framework for building good digital collections, which gives substantial attention to the issues of integration and aggregation among partners in development. The overall value of this issue to librarians, particularly those who may not handle visual collections, lies in the diversity of the offerings, and the common ground shared when it comes to describing, analyzing and addressing the challenges of long-term digital collection management and preservation. - TH
Information Highways Magazine 9(4) (July-August 2002). - Casey, Vicki "People seeking information: e-content's human face" and Hasulo, Susanne "Defining information literacy". These two articles address the usually forgotten component in the design, instruction and application of knowledge management technology - people. Human behaviour has been virtually forgotten by practitioners of knowledge and content management. Ms Casey cites the work of Chun Wei Choo, an associate professor at the University of Toronto. He developed an interest in human factors, after working in corporations where information systems were developed, but not used. His research provides a most interesting analysis of how humans behave when seeking, learning, and integrating information. Two online citations conclude the article: Closing the cognitive gaps: how people process information. Chun Wei Choo, Financial Post and Financial Times Information Management Mastering Series, Part 8 and Information seeking on the Web: an integrated model of browsing and searching. Chun Wei Choo, Brian Detlor, Don Turnbull First Monday, May 13, 2002. Hasulo's article complements Casey's by focussing on the flip side of learning - training for information literacy. Most enterprises in training their employees, concentrate on technologies. Employees are then considered to be information literate, and fully capable of contributing to business goals. Absent is the teaching of information literacy that goes beyond technical mastery. Skills taught should include those that allow the employee to assess, evaluate, make lateral connections, and?rn data into knowledge. Thus information literate employees become valuable to the corporation. - MG
"Libraries and Electronic Resources: New Partnerships, New Practices, New Perspectives" Journal of Library Administration 35(1/2) (2001). - This special issue edited by Pamela L. Higgins includes a wide range of articles on how libraries are publishing, collecting, and providing access to electronic resources. Articles on the Open Archives Iniatiative, BioOne, university presses and libraries, Project Euclid, the Open eBook Forum, the Canadian National Site Licensing Project, eScholarship, and a number of other projects pack this 217 page issue. However, given the long production period for Haworth journals, these articles should be considered mostly of historical interest. - RT
Addis, Matthew, Paul Lewis, Kirk Martinez. "ARTISTE image retrieval system puts European galleries in the picture." CULTIVATE Interactive (7) (July 2002) (http://www.cultivate-int.org/issue7/artiste/). - Imagine an image database pulling together the disparate holdings of several prominent European art collections. Imagine being able to search the images based not on the usual information (i.e. artist, genre, period, etc.), but on color, pattern or texture, and (my personal favorite) cheesy fax copy of the original. The thing needs tweaking on the UI side of things but it actually exists and is described in this article. - LRK
Arlitsch, Kenning. "Digitizing Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps for a Full Color, Publicly Accessible Collection" D-Lib Magazine 8(7/8) (July/August 2002) (http://www.dlib.org/dlib/july02/arlitsch/07arlitsch.html). - This piece describes the first project to create full-color, freely accessible versions of old Sanborn Fire Insurance MapsTM, which are interesting and detailed historical records of U.S. communities. The maps were scanned at approximately 5,000 x 4,000 pixels and saved as uncompressed TIFFs (average file size 60MB). The maps are served online as MrSID (r) files, which requires users to have the free plug-in installed. With the plug-in, users can either view the entire map or zoom in on details. CONTENTdmTM was selected as the underlying metadata database. - RT
Crow, Raym. "The Case for Institutional Repositories: A SPARC Position Paper" The Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition (2002) (http://www.arl.org/sparc/IR/ir.html). - A number of academic institutions are beginning to set up repositories with which to capture and maintain the written scholarship of their academic communities. The growing importance of these "institutional repositories" is highlighted by this position paper from the Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition. The 37 page document (in Adobe Acrobat or HTML) "describes the potential roles of instititutional digital repositories in the evolving structure of scholarly communication..." and "explores the impact of institutional repositories on the major stakeholders in the scholarly communication process..." SPARC's stated intent is to "facilitate a practical discussion of institutional repository policy and management issues amongst operational decision makers." SPARC also promises to address the technical and operational details of implementing such a repository in a forthcoming SPARC companion document. - RT
Fraser, Janice. "The culture of usability : how to spend less and get more from your usability-testing program. " New Architect 7(8) p. 26-29 (August 2002) (http://www.newarchitectmag.com/documents/s=2450/na0802b/index.html). - It's hard to say where the journal New Architect (formerly WebTechniques) is heading but the August issue brought a number of interesting articles. This one by Janice Fraser urges the incorporation of usability methods as a routine part of the development process preferably using in-house resources. Not only is this cheaper than hiring an outside consultant but it gives a firmer foundation to what she calls a "culture of usability" within the organization. - LRK
Hargittai, Esther. "Second-Level Digital Divide: Differences in People's Online Skills" First Monday 7(4) (1 April 2002) (http://www.firstmonday.org/issues/issue7_4/hargittai/). - The author takes a closer look at the existing literature on the digital divide, which focuses mostly on the split between "haves" and "have-not". She argues that this matrix for looking at computer literacy is too binary, and too out of date. Ownership of a computer alone, she argues, is no longer a clear indicator of computer literacy. In order to understand how people succeed and fail to gain benefit from their computers, it has become necessary to map online skills. Her findings will not come as big surprises to anyone involved in end-user training (e.g., "age is a factor"), but the data and analysis are sound and help make the case for computer training and support sort of like the type that most libraries offer. - TH
Hawkins, Donald T. "Electronic Books: Reports of Their Death Have Been Exaggerated" Online 26(4) p. 42-49 (July/August 2002) (http://www.onlinemag.net/jul02/hawkins.htm). - As the article's subtitle implies, the market hasn't flatlined, but the vital signs are faint enough that a status report is timely. Many libraries which dabbled in e-books have adopted a wait-and-see attitude; this article will help a lot with the seeing part. Hawkins contrasts current conditions with those he described in two earlier Online pieces (reviewed in the Sept. and Oct. 2000 issues of Current Cites), when the prognosis was more optimistic. In his analysis of today's e-book disillusionment, he states that too much emphasis was placed on the reader technology, with a firm's fate resting on the adoption of particular devices, none of which really caught on with the public. And of course the dot-bomb effect didn't spare this niche of the new economy, bringing down businesses when investment dried up. Hindsight accounts for only a small part of this piece, however, with more emphasis placed on creating a clear vision of where things are headed. Hawkins describes the strategies of the remaining (and some brand new) players, how customized applications have emerged (like the medical reference works available on a physician's PDA), what library usage patterns have developed over the past few years, and which legal issues remain problematic. So, when the subject of e-book technology comes up, whether you'd cry at its funeral or dance on its grave, don't be too hasty ... it lives! - JR
Jones, Maggie, Neal Beagrie. "Preservation Management of Digital Materials" Digital Preservation Coalition (May 2002) (http://www.dpconline.org/graphics/handbook/). - Preservation of digital material is one of those topics (as is copyright) that is likely to send those who know about it screaming into the night or else longing for early retirement. But at least now we have a variety of resources to help keep us from too hastily doing either one of those things. One such resource is this handbook from the United Kingdom, long a leader in digital library development. Although the web version can be annoying (how does one print the thing?) it nonetheless is chock-full of good advice. One figure alone (see http://www.dpconline.org/graphics/handbook/figure4.html) is worth the price of admission (well, more), in that it depicts in flowchart form the process of selecting materials for long-term retention. And while you're there, check out the Digital Preservation Coalition web site as well. - RT
Lewis, Valerie, Julie Klauber. "[Image] [Image] [Image] [Link] [Link] [Link]: Inaccessible Web Design From the Perspective of a Blind Librarian" Library Hi Tech 20(2) p. 137-140 (2002) (http://www.emeraldinsight.com/lht.htm). - The article is written from the perspective of a disabled person (one of the authors being legally blind). They go over a number of frustrating sites, both library and commercial, which are unfriendly to people with disabilities; they go on to offer tips and links for making our web pages accessible. Equally as important, they remind us that this awareness of accessibility issues should extend beyond the pages we create ourselves, to the subscription services we link to. One of several articles on accessibility is this issue of Library Hi Tech. - LRK
Litchfield, Malcolm. "...but Presses Must Stress Ideas, Not Markets" The Chronicle of Higher Education 48(42) p. B9-B10 (28 June 2002) (http://chronicle.com/free/v48/i42/42b00901.htm). - A companion piece to an article title "University Presses Aren't Endangered..." by Niko Pfund in the same issue, Litchfield (also from a university press) makes the case for university libraries to mount and manage the intellectual property of the university, and thereby make it freely available to all. Some university presses might fold, but others would be free to focus on publishing those items for which a clear market exists instead of publishing scholarly work for which no market exists but that otherwise would not see the light of day. In any case, as this discussion about the future of university presses unfolds, events are beginning to overtake the discussion at some universities. Libraries at the University of Michigan, MIT, and the University of California, among others, are increasingly involved with publishing efforts -- often in cooperation with their university press counterparts. Both of these pieces have a lot to contribute to the discussion of the future of university presses, and taken together they offer a good deal to ponder about possible futures and which of them may be the most desirable. - RT
Minow, Mary. "Library Digitization Projects and Copyright" LLRX.com (28 June 2002) (http://www.llrx.com/features/digitization.htm). - If you feel you are tiptoeing through a legal minefield while trying to digitize library materials, this article can provide some quick guidance on how to get to the other side in one piece. Minow, an attorney who is a former librarian, provides a short, breezy, illustrated introduction to the arcane topic of copyright law as it relates to digitization projects. After reading it, who can forget "Sail the ocean blue through 1922" as a rule of thumb for safely converting published and registered works? The document is in six parts. You may find (as I did) that it's easier to print them out, read them, then go back to the Web site and explore the links. Want more in-depth advice? Try The Public Domain: How to Find Copyright-Free Writings, Music, Art & More, which was reviewed in the April 2001 issue. - CB
Morville, Peter. "In defense of search" Digital Web Magazine (July 16, 2002) (http://www.digital-web.com/features/feature_2002-07.shtml). - Here's a hot one: Are search boxes deleterious to the health of a web site? Should we rely entirely on the architecture of the site and hence, on browsing? Jared Spool, a fine usability advocate if ever there was one, says yes. Peter Morville here in this response to Spool, emphatically says no. Search options are too valuable a tool for users, Morville argues. In addition, the kind of data they generate, namely search logs, are invaluable for site developers. No doubt the debate will continue. Stay tuned. - LRK
Pfund, Niko. "University Presses Aren't Endangered..." The Chronicle of Higher Education 48(42) p. B7-B8 (28 June 2002) (http://chronicle.com/free/v48/i42/42b00701.htm). - Mr. Pfund defends the future of university presses in the face of an increasingly challenging environment. He correctly points out that publishers perform quite a number of tasks that are not immediately apparent to those who seek to self-publish or "self-archive" as some advocate. It is one thing to throw your ideas up on the web, and quite another to get anyone to know or care, he asserts. Although some arguments seem less than compelling ("it's not the way things are done"), he has some good points. University presses perform skilled, important work, and if they are not around to do these things, who will do them? For an interesting counterpoint, see the companion piece titled "...but Presses Must Stress Ideas, Not Markets" by Malcom Litchfield in this same issue. - RT
Sessions Stepp, Lauren. "Point. Click. Think?" Washington Post p. C01 (July 16, 2002) (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A9729-2002Jul15.html). - The Web has drastically changed the information-seeking behavior of college students, especially when it comes to research assignments. And this has not necessarily been a change for the good. One professor quoted in this article said that the Web is now students' "first recourse for any kind of information." Unfortunately, it's often their last recourse as well. They simply don't look anyplace else. A positive aspect is that students now work very quickly (because, in many cases, they procrastinate to the extreme) and, according to another professor quoted here, "They are more in control of facts than we were 40 years ago." This may be outweighed, however, by the fact that using the Web as one's only information source leads to shallow thinking. Librarian/Internet trainer Marylane Block, also quoted in the article, sums up the situation neatly: "The Internet makes it ungodly easy now for people who wish to be lazy." It's not news that the Internet has made cut-and-paste plagarism easier than ever, and that the quality of information on the Net varies widely in its quality and depth. Educators and librarians are well aware of all these problems, but politicians are using the Internet as an excuse to gut library budgets, since "everything" is on the Internet. Some savvier professors restrict the number of Internet resources a student can include in a bibliography, or require that a minimum number of books be used. - SK
Sturges, Paul. "Remember the Human: The First Rule of Netiquette, Librarians and the Internet." Online Information Review 26(3) p. 209-216 (2002). - Remembering the human, the author argues, means libraries respecting the privacy of library users. This is done by drawing up a credible policy on privacy whose general outlines are suggested in the course of this article. The author points out that while library users have great faith in the libraries' ability to protect their privacy, the libraries themselves may not yet be in a position to warrant such confidence. - LRK
Westman, Stephen. "Building Database-Backed Web Applications: Process and Issues" Information Technologies and Libraries 21(2) p. 63-72 (June 2002) (http://www.lita.org/ital/2102_westman.html). - For those who are ready to move beyond static HTML pages for their web site, this article, along with one by Kristin Antelman we reviewed in the January 2000 issue of Current Cites, are good overviews. But don't allow the apparent scope and complexity of creating database-driven web sites scare you off. It's actually a good deal easier to get your feet wet than you may suppose, and a small, simple project can often be the way to learn how to do more complex ones. Once you read over these pieces, go find a simple, straightforward tutorial on putting together a web database and pick a small, discrete project to implement. - RT
Zittrain, Jonathan, Benjamin Edelman. "Documentation of Internet Filtering in Saudi Arabia" Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard Law School (July 19, 2002) (http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/filtering/saudiarabia/). - Nothing shocking here. The authors of this study attempted to connect to about 60,000 websites via proxy servers in Saudi Arabia and found that slightly more than 2,000 pages (about 2%) were blocked by "Saudi-installed filtering systems." Restricted content included but was not limited to sexually oriented material. Also off limits were numerous sites covering religion, health, education, reference, humor, and entertainment. A list of the restricted sites appears in an appendix to this report. It's easy to assume from the titles alone why some of these made the verboten list -- e.g., Queer Muslims Home Page, asshole magazine, Israel.com - A Website 5,762 years in the Making! A number of blocked sites included those which facilitate anonymous Web browsing -- e.g., Anonymizer.com. Sites offering information about religions other than Islam were heavily restricted -- Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Jewish, Baha'i, whatever. Tasteless humor was also deemed off-limits -- e.g., Create-A-Fart. While the authors of this study expect that "tech-savvy users can devise new methods to circumvent blocking," they expect that Saudi network staff will be monitoring such actions closely and working to counter them. "We therefore conclude that filtering is likely to remain effective over time." - SK
Current Cites 13(6) (June 2002)
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