Friday, February 20, 2009

Cites & Insights 9:4 (March 2009) available

Cites & Insights 9:4 (March 2009) is now available.

The 30-page issue (PDF as usual, but there's an HTML version of the essay) consists of one essay:

Perspective: The Google Books Search Settlement

As an author with nine out of print books (to which I hold the rights): Great! I might see a couple hundred dollars...eventually. As one who cares about fair use: Boo! Google backed away from a case I thought they could win--and did so in a way that will make it harder for others in a similar situation. As a reader: Great--Google Books Search will continue to grow, and we'll see more than snippess from (some? most?) of five million out-of-print/in-copyright books. (As for "buying" such books, or rather, "permanent" online access to indifferently-scanned pages that can't be downloaded as PDFs and don't appear to have first-sale rights: Eh.) As a library supporter and user: Unclear--extremely unclear.

We won't have final answers for a long time. Meanwhile, this issue reviews some of the summaries and commentaries, throwing in a fair amount of my own commentary.

Barring truly unusual events, the April issue will have more than one essay, and almost certainly more than two.

One note: While there is an HTML version of the essay, please don't print out that version. It will require 38 pages (or more), and it's almost certainly not as readable as the 30-page PDF. I'm providing it for online viewing, downloading, cut & paste, whatever...but printing it would just be wasting paper.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Cites & Insights 9:3 (February 2009) available

Cites & Insights 9:3, February 2009, is now available for downloading.

The 30-page issue is PDF, as usual. Three of the essays are available as HTML separates (using the links below). The first, which is also the longest, is available as a PDF separate--the inclusion of embedded Excel graphs within the document made HTML creation more cumbersome than I was willing to deal with.

This issue features the article versions of my two presentations for the OLA (Ontario Library Association) SuperConference, held just over a week ago in Toronto, Ontario. The first article is a longer version of my session "Shiny Toys or Useful Tools?"; the second article includes "My own take" as the first set of Tech Trends, and that was my initial commentary during the "Top Tech Trends" session.

Issue contents:

Making it Work: Shiny Toys or Useful Tools? (pages 1-9)

Blogs and wikis aren't shiny new toys for libraries and librarians any more. They've moved from toys to tools. This article includes the only defensible definitions of blogs and wikis that I know of, some comments about planning library blogs, and sections on the state of liblogs and library blogs in December 2008. Included--for the first time in C&I--graphs, eight of them. (As noted, the link is to a 9-page PDF.)

Perspective: Tech Trends, Trends and Forecasts (pages 9-18)

It's that time of year again--time for lots of trendy commentaries. For a change, I begin with my own set: The trends I see "as vital for thinking about libraries, technology and life."That's followed by tech trends and commentaries from nine different sources, six of them library-specific; two sets of general trends, one of them just full of trendy neologisms; and three sets of forecasts (short-term predictions), one of them coupled with a scorecard for 2008.

Interesting & Peculiar Products (pages 18-23)

One long commentary on "budget" high-end audio systems and "the rule of 10," plus comments on seven products (or groups of products) and seven editors' choices and group reviews.

Trends & Quick Takes (pages 23-29)

Four longer commentaries and six quicker takes.

My Back Pages (pages 29-30)

Four brief commentaries.