Saturday, May 31, 2008

Technical Services as ER - TV metaphors for Libraries

I was pleased to see such a fun and creative video done about Technical Services:

The analogy of an emergency room is an interesting one and makes me wonder what might apply for other library service videos, such as; reference, instruction, circulation, etc.

CSI maybe an ideal TV expression of our roles in reference and instruction; I mention that because Kim Davies Hoffman and other librarians, working with the Education department at Geneseo chose CSI as a theme for a very successful instruction program with high school students last summer.

Anyone have other ideas from TV might work for our roles, teaching, services, etc.?

Best wishes, Cyril

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Marketing online books looses it's separate shelf at Microsoft

Some interesting news about Microsoft’s wonderful Live Search Books service.
Looks like their Book index is going away, and we just have to find those free full-text books in their general search engine.

Why am I sharing it?
There are lots of books and articles requested by ILL that are available online for free.
Although I more frequently find free full-text books in Google Books, I am happier with the free color full-text books, some new titles, and search results in Live Search Books. According to Microsoft, Live Search Books and Live Search Academic has digitized 750,000 books and indexed 80 million journal articles. I don’t think Google has published how many titles they have in Google books yet, but that would be interesting. Anyone know?

This news also makes me wonder about the competition and future of mass digitization. One of the most interesting aspects of mass digitization is one of the outcomes, a co-existence of free and fee works. Mass digitization is not only making works available online for free, the works are also being made into reprints for fee. Libraries can now upload their digitized public domain works into Amazon (relatively cheaply for about $99/book), and have them reprinted on demand (appears like any other book in Amazon’s search) If purchased, Amazon as publisher (see Book Surge:, takes care of printing, binding, and sending to a customer, and the library gets a % of the market sales. The specific benefits to resource sharing – free online or an answer to the problem of trying to borrow early editions that are increasingly being locked away as rare and medium rare books.

If you want to see examples of this service, just open up Amazon and search for books with “Michigan Historical Reprint Series” to see several thousand titles. A number of universities are now involved in this type of service – any comments from them?

Tips on searching for free online books:
Google Books: (Search - Full view only)
Microsoft (old location):
Open Content Alliance:
Project Gutenberg:
International Children’s Digital Library: (one of my favorite catalogs)

Anyone want to share their searching tips/locations?

Best wishes,