Current Cites

Current Cites, July 2005

Edited by Roy Tennant

Contributors: Charles W. Bailey, Jr., Shirl Kennedy, Roy Tennant

"Tenth Anniversary IssueD-Lib Magazine  11(7/8)(July/August 2005)( - This anniversary issue celebrates ten years of publication. From its first issue, D-Lib Magazine has been a key resource for those interested in digital library technologies and techniques. One of the strengths of the magazine has been its ability to attract important, useful articles from both the computer science and library science communities, and therefore serve as a common meeting ground where we can collaborate to further our common goals. As an example, even the first issue mixed an article on metadata from a librarian (Stu Weibel from OCLC) with an article on digital library architectures from a computer scientist (Bill Arms from Cornell). The anniversary issue appropriately inludes pieces from those two contributors as well as a number of other leading lights from both disciplines. Current Cites salutes the D-Lib Magazine anniversary, in particular since pieces from that source are cited frequently in our own publication. May D-Lib Magazine have many, many good years ahead. - RT

Dietz, Roland, and Carl  Grant. "The Dis-Integrating World of Library AutomationLibrary Journal  (15 June 2005)( - Dietz and Grant are by no means the first to advocate busting apart the integrated library system into interoperable components. Andrew Pace (in his February 1, 2004 Library Journal cover article) has certainly said as much, as have others. But what makes this piece so ground-breaking is that it is written by two leaders of library systems companies. In other words, these are the very folks with the power to put what they say into play. Skeptics may say they want to see them "put their money where their mouth is," but if so Dietz and Grant can point to the Vendor Initiative for Enabling Web Services (VIEWS) as evidence that they are serious. - RT

Gardner, Susannah. "Time to Check: Are You Using the Right Blogging Tool?Online Journalism Review  (14 July 2005)( - Blog we must, but how? And what's a trackback, anyway? Try this handy analysis of major blogging software, complete with a blogging terminology guide. Not to be missed is the link to the detailed "Blog software comparison chart." Before you know it you'll be moblogging and using bookmarklets. - CB

Mills, Elinor. "In Canada: Cache a Page, Go to Jail?CNET  (19 July 2005)( - Is it the beginning of the end for search engines? In Canada, a bill under consideration (Bill C-60) appears to make the storage and provision of crawled Web pages illegal. According to copyright attorney Howard Knopf: "The way it reads, arguably what they're saying is that the very act of making a reproduction by way of caching is illegal." Search engines could face a legal environment where they could be much more easily sued unless Web pages were removed whenever copyright holders requested it. Of course, this potential law has generated quite a buzz. A posting on Traffick takes a calmer view and provides a link to an analysis of the situation by Eric Goldman. It's worth a look. - CB

Quint, Barbara. "OCLC Pilots Traditional Libraries into Web ServicesNewsBreaks  (5 July 2005)( - We all know that many of our users are using Google for what they formerly used their local library to accomplish. And if they fail in Google, they may not think to fall back on us. So what to do? The best thing may be to meet them where they are -- in Google. But how? It clearly takes a big play, which no single library is really equipped to do. Enter OCLC. Their Open WorldCat program makes it possible for Google and Yahoo users to discover library materials in their search results. But as Barbara Quint reports in this article, OCLC sees that as merely the wedge into a wide array of library-based services. Having noted that some of the inquiries they were getting from users were reference questions and others were requests to buy the book, OCLC is now moving to serve those needs and still others as well. The end result for us is likely seeing some of the users we lost with the advent of Google being redirected back to us from Google when appropriate. Wouldn't that be nice. - RT

Talbot, David. "The Fading Memory of the StateTechnology Review  (July 2005)( - The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has a big problem. Because "(e)lectronic records rot much faster than paper ones," NARA has got to quickly develop a way of saving the "tsunami" of contemporary digital government records. "It is confronting thousands of incompatible data formats cooked up by the computer industry over the past several decades, not to mention the limited lifespan of electronic storage media themselves." The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and other core documents, "written on durable calfskin parchment," live in sealed glass cases, immersed in protective argon gas. NARA has hired two contractors, Harris Corporation and Lockheed Martin, to come up with a similar durable means of storage for digital records. A secondary issue is that many electronic records are simply not being retained in the first place. Organizations in the private sector are, of course, facing similar crises, but the sheer size and scope of NARA's situation is a problem of unimaginable complexity. And because the agency has no good system for absorbing more data, a staggering backlog of electronic records hangs in limbo at countless federal agencies. This article talks about research efforts and potential solutions to NARA's situation. - SK