Current Cites

Current Cites, June 2006

Edited by Roy Tennant

Contributors: Charles W. Bailey, Jr., Terry Huwe, Shirl Kennedy, Leo Robert Klein, Jim Ronningen, Roy Tennant

Taiga Forum Presentations  Chicago, IL: Taiga Forum, June 2006.( - The Taiga Forum was a two-day invitation-only event in March 2006 for AULs and library Assistant Directors to consider the many changes and challenges affecting libraries today. Among the program presentations you will find such gems as Dale Flecker's admonishment that "What hits you from left-field is likely as important as what you have been staring at." Speakers included library leaders such as Jim Neal, Karen Calhoun, Lorcan Dempsey and others, as well as library "outsiders" like Paul Duguid and Rick Lugg. Although PowerPoint presentation "mining" can be challenging, at least one includes notes to help flesh out the slides, and you can likely get at least the thrust of the remarks from the slides themselves. - RT

"Nature Peer Review Trial and DebateNature  (2006)( - Nature is offering another of its stimulating Web debates, this time dealing with the important issue of peer review. Like other Web debates Nature has offered, this one is a series of short position papers that express a wide range of views. However, this time, Nature is trying something new as well: an optional open peer review process for its authors on a trial basis. Of particular note in the debate section are: "Certification in a Digital Era"; "Evolving Peer Review for the Internet"; "An Open, Two-Stage Peer-Review Journal"; "Opening Up the Process"; "Reviving a Culture of Scientific Debate"; and "Wisdom of the Crowds." - CB

Associated Press, . "Cell Phone Cinematographers Make Feature Debut: Italian Directors Make 93-Minute Film With Technology  (15 June 2006)( - Another one to convince skeptics that the line between journalism and citizen journalism continues to blur, and that personal media technology is revolutionizing how we exchange information. The movie, titled "New Love Meetings," isn't only noteworthy because making a documentary film with a cell phone was cheap, but that it allowed the filmmakers to capture interviews with 700 people (about 100 made it into the movie) in a casual, unobtrusive way. Co-director Barbara Seghezzi said "To use a small instrument that belongs to people's daily routine allows you to establish an intimate dialogue, instead of using a regular camera. The interview becomes more like a chat." They admit that the visual quality isn't up to large-screen projection, but this kind of thing lends itself to be viewed on a smaller-scale digital display anyway. The Nokia N90 that they used is about to be one-upped by the Nokia N93, which the company says will have a 3.2 megapixel still camera and capture DVD-quality video. Granted that such high-end phones won't be in everyone's pocket right away, but they are previews of what's to become gradually more affordable. - JR

Bailey, Annette. "LibX -- A Firefox Extension for Enhanced Library Access"  Library Hi Tech  24(2)(2006): 290-304. - Part of outreach in the digital world, is adapting software and resources that our patrons already use in order to highlight library material. Some software is easier to customize for this purpose than others. In this article, we have an excellent example of the library at Virginia Tech creating an extremely innovative "extention" or add-on software for the open source Firefox Browser. This extention which they call "LibX" allows the user to search for library books and articles through a customized box at the top of the browser window. It allows for contextual searches depending on whether there's an ISBN/ISSN number on a given webpage. It also adds a tiny graphic which they call 'cues' to pages on Google, Yahoo, Amazon and B&N that link to catalog records. The article briefly goes over alternative approaches and privacy concerns as part of its thorough discussion of this utility. If you don't know your 'zippi' from your 'zool', this is a good place to start for some great ideas. - LRK

DiPerna, Paul. "K-12 Encounters the InternetFirst Monday  11(5)(1 May 2006)( - DiPerna takes a fresh look at the unintended consequences of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, or NCLB). Much has been written about the pressure the law places on school districts which can't afford to comply with it, but DiPerna's article takes another angle, exploring the potential of the Internet as a positive influence. "The convergence of NCLB realities with the Internet's ever expanding capabilities offers a window of opportunity to build a social network website service that is suited for K-12," he says. He explores three questions: how K-12 information is presented on the Internet; what in fact are the needs of K-12 teaching environments for Internet-based information; and whether a Social Networking Web (SNW) site could help meet these needs. He makes an important overall point: it's not enough to just throw technology dollars at the schools and expect them to make good use of them. It's critical that an effective culture for learning about how to use technology also takes root, and that it involves everyone: students, teachers and parents. SNWs (think of them as for school) could save time and energy by reducing overall email load. They could also generate more meaningful statistics on Web usage, and they could foster new and creative zones for informal learning. If SNW platforms are embraced by youth for fun, it follows that their potential may carry benefit for K-12 teaching as well. This article provides a good overview of the challenges of bringing technology to bear in the K-12 arena, and also provides some creative thinking about the teaching process. - TH

Lombardi, Candace. "U.C. System Signs on to Microsoft Book-Scan ProjectCNET  ( 9 June 2006)( - Microsoft's Windows Live Book Search got a big boost this month when the University of California System and the University of Toronto Libraries agreed to allow it to digitize out-of-copyright books and other material from their collections. UC has over 34 million volumes in its libraries, while Toronto has more than 15 million volumes. In contrast to Google Book Search, Windows Live Book Search takes an "opt-in" approach to digitizing works still under copyright through its Windows Live Books Publisher Program. Because it scans in-copyright books without permission, Google has been sued for copyright infringement by both authors and publishers, including a French publisher. However, Google asserts that its program is justified under fair use provisions since it shows only brief excerpts from books. Moreover, Google will remove books at the request of publishers. More details on the Windows Live Book Search deal can be found in Microsoft's press release. - CB

Potter, Bruce. "Wireless Hotspots: Petri Dish of Wireless Security"  Communications of the ACM  49(6)(June 2006): 51-56. - In a nutshell, this article's message is don't use a public wireless hotspot at all if you don't want to run the risk of getting hacked. Potter drives home the point by comparing the effective security measures of enterprise systems with the porous security of open environments. A centrally controlled enterprise network can utilize authentication schemes like the Extensible Authentication Protocol which presents system designers with choices such as simple username&password or the tighter security of bidirectional certificate-based authentication. In contrast, the "any port in a storm" nature of hotspot access leaves the OSI layer 2 (data link) vulnerable; layer 3 solutions placed on top of that weakness, such as firewalls or virtual private networks, aren't solving the problem. Eavesdroppers within range can configure wireless-enabled PDAs to run interception programs automatically, and (among other things) harvest personal data. These attacks are rarely detectable by the victim. Of course there aren't hackers lurking at every cafe table, but it only takes one spill of your data to make your life a real mess. - JR

Rutkoff, Aaron. "Social Networking for BookwormsThe Wall Street Journal  (27 June 2006)( - This article discusses LibraryThing, "a Web site where members can create library-quality catalogs of the books they own and display their collection to fellow online bookshelf browsers." Since its launch last August by creator Tim Spalding, "a computer programmer and bibliophile," the site has acquired close to 48,000 registered members "and a user-created catalog that includes more than 3.6 million volumes," which theoretically makes it "the 58th largest library in the U.S." The site is easy to use; registration is free and simple -- just pick a username and password. No personal info required. Then enter the authors, titles or ISBNs from the books in your personal library. "The LibraryThing search engine, which is connected to, the Library of Congress and 45 other libraries around the world (via the Z39.50 protocol), returns likely matches." You can enter your first 200 titles for free; unlimited use costs $10 annually or $25 for a lifetime membership. The social networking aspect comes in via LibraryThing's "book-recommendation engine," which offers suggestions based on the collections of "likeminded readers." The article refers to LibraryThing as "a sort of MySpace for bookworms." - SK

Teets, Michael, and Peter  Murray. "Metasearch Authentication and Access ManagementD-Lib Magazine  12(6)(June 2006)( - Those laboring in the metasearch (aka federated search, cross-database search, etc.) world know how difficult authentication issues can be -- especially if when working in a consortial environment. This paper reports on the work of the NISO Metasearch Initiative's Access Management Task Group (one of three groups) to make this easier and more effective. The group surveyed the authentication and authorization methods currently being used, developed use cases, considered environmental factors, ranked the various methods against the use cases and environmental factors, aggregated and modeled the rankings, and made recommendations based on their findings. Their key findings were that in the present environment, IP-authentication with a proxy server and good old username and password are the two most effective methods for authentication. - RT