George Siemens

I like libraries. The time at the public library in my community was perhaps the most important part of my youth. But I would have access to one in the community library. In addition, many libraries today include music, movies, video games, and other digital resources. This report supports the value of public libraries as places of equity of access: 32% of the US population uses libraries for computer/internet access I like the feel, the smell.

Library as starting point

David Weinberger

A new report on Ithaka S+R ‘s annual survey of libraries suggests that library directors are committed to libraries being the starting place for their users’ research, but that the users are not in agreement. This then calls into question the expenditures libraries make to achieve that goal. My own opinion is that libraries should let Google do what it’s good at, while they focus on what they’re good at. Library platform s can help.


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Harvard Library adopts LibraryCloud

David Weinberger

According to a post by the Harvard Library , LibraryCloud is now officially a part of the Library toolset. Internal to Harvard Library, it’s a metadata hub that lets lots of different data inputs be normalized, enriched, and distributed. To the Harvard community and beyond, LibraryCloud provides open APIs to access tons of metadata gathered by Harvard Library. This also would not have happened without Harvard Library’s enlightened Open Metadata policy

Library as a platform: Chattanooga

David Weinberger

I finally got to see the Chattanooga Library. In fact, you can see the future of libraries emerging there. That’s not to say that you can simply list what it’s doing and do the same things and declare yourself the Library of the Future. Rather, Chattanooga Library has turned itself into a platform. It had been the Library’s attic, but now has been turned into an open space lab that works in both software and hardware.

Making library miscellaneousness awesome

David Weinberger

Sitterwerk Art Library in St. All the items have RFID tags in them, and the shelves are automatically scanned so that the library can always tell users where items are located. The library has now installed Werkbank, which is a plain old table where you can spread out a pile of books and do your research. At the Harvard Library Innovation Lab , we wanted to do something that touches on some elements of this.

The future of libraries?

Clark Quinn

I had lunch recently with Paul Signorelli , who’s active in helping libraries with digital literacy, and during the conversation he talked about his vision of the future of the library. What I heard was a vision of libraries moving beyond content to be about learning, and this had several facets I found thought-provoking. Now, as context, I’ve always been a fan of libraries and library science (and librarians).

Future of libraries, Kenya style

David Weinberger

This video will remind you, if you happen to have forgotten, what libraries mean to much of the world: Internet, mesh, people eager to learn, the same people eager to share. A future for libraries. You can contribute here

Library News

David Weinberger

Did I ever mention the really useful site Matt Phillips and Jeff Goldenson at the Library Innovation Lab put up a couple of weeks ago? If you are interested in libraries and tech, Library News is a community-supported news site where you’ll find a steady stream of interesting articles. Or, put differently, it’s the Hacker News code redirected at library tech articles. Go library hacker nuts

Olin Library: Library as place, as lab, as local theater

David Weinberger

I went to see my friend Jeff Goldenson — we worked together at the Harvard Library Innovation Lab — at Olin College , where he’s director of the library. Jeff’s taken a library that was an under-utilized resource and, with full Administrative backing, turned it into a playground and a lab …by learning some lessons from community theater. The library’s got two floors, neither of them particularly large, and 15,000 volumes.

[aif] Re-imagining public libraries

David Weinberger

I’m at an early Sunday morning (7:45am) session on re-imagining libraries with John Palfrey of the DPLA , Brian Bannon (Commissioner of the Chicago Public Library), and Tessie Guillermo ( Zero Divide ). My seat-mate tells me that many of the people here are from the local library and its board.The audience is overwhelmingly female. SM: Libraries are being more used even though people can download books. Turning into community centers is risky for libraries.

Americans love themselves some libraries

David Weinberger

Here’s the summary from a new Pew Internet & American Life survey of 6,224 Americans 16 years and older: Some 90% of Americans ages 16 and older said that the closing of their local public library would have an impact on their community, with 63% saying it would have a “major” impact. I find it encouraging that while only 54% of Americans have used a public library in the past 12 months, 95% think libraries play an important social role.

[liveblog] The future of libraries

David Weinberger

I’m at a Hubweek event called “Libraries: The Next Generation.” ” It’s a panel hosted by the Berkman Center with Dan Cohen , the executive director of the DPLA ; Andromeda Yelton , a developer who has done work with libraries; and Jeffrey Schnapp of metaLab. Sue Kriegsman of the Center introduces the session by explaining Berkman’s interest in libraries. “We have libraries lurking in every corner…which is fabulous.”

The Adaptive Path Library

Adaptive Path

Adaptive Path has a lending library for its employees and interns to use. The San Francisco Library has been around for about four years and we have 488 books in the collection, plus periodicals. I am the Librarian for the San Francisco Library; our other studios are working on creating libraries of their own. The library is run as a small, special library, much like the scientific library at the Rowland Institute at Harvard , where I used to work.

The future of libraries won’t be created by libraries

David Weinberger

Library Journal has posted an op-ed of mine that begins: The future of libraries won’t be created by libraries. Still, that doesn’t mean that libraries can wait passively for this new future. Rather, we must create the conditions by which libraries will be pulled out of themselves and into everything else That’s a good thing. That future is too big and too integral to the infrastructure of knowledge for any one group to invent it.

BoogyWoogy library browser

David Weinberger

Just for fun, over the weekend I wrote a way of visual browsing the almost 13M items in the Harvard Library collection. It returns 5-10 of the first results of a search on the Library’s catalog, and lays them out in a line of squares. LibraryCloud is an open library platform that makes library metadata available to developers. It’s called the “ BoogyWoogy Browser ” in honor of Mondrian. Also, it’s silly.

Aaron Swartz and the future of libraries

David Weinberger

I was unable to go to our local Aaron Swartz Hackathon , one of twenty around the world, because I’d committed (very happily) to give the after dinner talk at the University of Rhode Island Graduate Library and Information Studies 50th anniversary gala last night. These are heroes of libraries. (My And the reason for that is because in my heart I don’t think librarians are going to invent the future of libraries.

Full-text searching Harvard Library

David Weinberger

I’m a little proud of this, although it’s a total hack job, and not in the good sense.Take it as a library mashup. Harvard Library has 13M items in its collection. So, I wrote a little app that lets you search Google Books for text, and then matches up the results with books in Harvard Library. This project runs on top of LibraryCloud , an open source library metadata server created by the Harvard Library Innovation Lab that I co-direct (until Sept.).

Search 160

Libraries as community centers…of meaning

David Weinberger

I’m here to keynote an OCLC EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) conference about libraries. After three major revisions, I believe that on Tuesday I’m going to propose thinking about libraries as community centers. The idea arose in a conversation with Robert Fleming, executive director of the Emerson College library. It used to be that once a user checked a book out of the library, the library was out of the loop. Your local library

[2b2k] Libraries are platforms?

David Weinberger

I’m at the DPLA Plenary meeting, heading toward the first public presentation — a status report — on the prototype DPLA platform we’ve been building at Berkman and the Library Innovation Lab. But I’ve been thinking for the past few weeks about ways in which libraries can (and perhaps should) view themselves as platforms in a broader sense. Libraries are attached to communities, whether local towns, universities, or other institutions.

[2b2k] Library as platform

David Weinberger

Library Journal just posted my article “ Library as Platform.” It argues that there are reasons why libraries ought to think of themselves not as portals but as open platforms that give access to all the information and metadata they can, through human readable and computer readable forms ” It’s likely to show up in their print version in October.

[2b2k][liveblog] Wayne Wiegand: Libraries beyond information

David Weinberger

Wayne Wiegand is giving the lunchtime talk at the Library History Seminar XIII at Simmons College. He’s talking about his new book Part of Our Lives: A People’s History of the American Public Library. He exercises his curiosity in the field of library history. [ People love libraries, he says, citing the Pew Internet 2013 survey that showed that almost all institutions except libraries and first responders have fallen in public esteem.

Libraries of the future

David Weinberger

We’ve just posted the latest Library Innovation Lab podcast , this one with Karen Coyle who is a leading expert in Linked Open Data. And, if you care about libraries and are in the Cambridge (MA) area on Oct. link] at Sanders Theater at Harvard for a year of conversations about the future of libraries. Will we have perpetual but interoperable disagreements about how to classify and categorize works and decide what is the “same” work?

Local libraries are the 99%

David Weinberger

Libraries are a statement of a community’s commitment to the 99 Yeah yeah, not everyone uses them. But they could.

From the collection of…to your local library

David Weinberger

So, why not lend it to your local library? As the owner, you can reclaim it at any time, although maybe your library would prefer you lend it for a known term so that they can count on reducing the number of copies of a bestseller they have to buy. But that would help with the problem facing public libraries that the demand for recent books falls off sharply as the next bestsellers come along, leaving libraries with 99 more copies of 50 Shades of Gray than they need.

Rebooting library privacy

David Weinberger

The upcoming HyperPublic conference has posted a provocation I wrote a while ago but didn’t get around to posting, on rebooting library privacy now that we’re in the age of social networks. (Ok, Here’s the opening couple of subsections: Why library privacy matters. Without library privacy, individuals might not engage in free and open inquiry for fear that their interactions with the library will be used against them.

Bryn Geffert: Libraries as publishers

David Weinberger

With increasing prices for serials, libraries have less money for books. In 1986, academic libraries spent 46% of budgets on books. And the effect on book publishers is even worse: when they can’t sell books to libraries, they shut down publishing in entire disciplinary fields. Libraries have to boycott offenders. What is the mission of the academic libraries? U of Mich put its press under the library.

[templelib] Temple Univ. library symposium

David Weinberger

On Friday I had the pleasure and honor of attending a symposium about libraries as part of the inaugural festivities welcoming Temple University’s new president, Neil Theobald. Library, featured an amazing set of library folks. Here are the links, in chronological order (which of course is the reverse of blogological order): James Neal : 26 truths about libraries. Siobhan Reardon : Renewing Philadelphia’s public libraries.

[templelib] Craig Dykers: library architecture

David Weinberger

If you ask people to describe a library, you get different answers. Their first library job: designing the new library in Alexandria, Egypt. “Libraries don’t stop at the door.” During the uprisings, the students at the university and other citizens formed a human chain around the library to protect it — people on both sides of the argument. Libraries have always been about these interactions. The existing library was foreboding, scary.

Open Access and libraries

David Weinberger

I’ve posted the next in my series of library podcasts at the Library Innovation Lab blog. This one is with Peter Suber , the hub of the Open Access movement

The library-sized hole in the Internet

David Weinberger

Sarah Bartlett of OCLC interviewed me at some length about the future of libraries. At some point I will write up the topic of my talk at the OCLC’s EMEA Regional Council Meeting in Florence: libraries as community centers…of meaning You can read it here.

Linked Data for Libraries: And we’re off!

David Weinberger

I’m just out of the first meeting of the three universities participating in a Mellon grant — Cornell, Harvard, and Stanford, with Cornell as the grant instigator and leader — to build, demonstrate, and model using library resources expressed as Linked Data as a tool for researchers, student, teachers, and librarians. We are particularly focused on showing the value of the high-quality resources that libraries provide.

Libraries sans Dewey

David Weinberger

Barbara Fister has a terrific article in LibraryJournal about libraries who have moved away from the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) system, many in favor of some version of the BISAC system that arranges books alphabetically by topic. Libraries serve multiple purposes, so librarians have to make hard decisions. If the DDC isn’t the safe and obvious choice, then libraries have to confront the question of their mission.

Biblioteca Malatestiana – The world’s oldest public library

David Weinberger

The 400-year-old Biblioteca lays claim to being the world’s oldest public library. Nevertheless, you can get the gist that this is a damn old library, that it’s got some very old books, including one from the 11th century, and that it was managed jointly by a monastery and the city government. Then you are taken into the Pope Pius VII’s library, a well-lit room with 15th century music books on display.

Library WiFi: Three 21st Century Issues

Nine Shift

Libraries are arguing over how the federal government funds WiFi in public libraries. Space versus People Maybe the most interesting issue is whether WiFi funding should be allocated by the square footage of libraries, OR by how many users each library serves. Suburbs versus Cities Suburbs have larger libraries, and fewer people, so they will get more money than city libraries.

Issues 109

E-book licensingby libraries: an overview

David Weinberger

The Berkman Center’s David O’Brien , Urs Gasser , and John Palfrey have just posted a 29-page “ briefing paper ” on the various models and licenses by which libraries are providing access to e-books. It’s not just facts ‘n’ stats by any means, but here are some anyway: “According to the 2011 Library Journal E-Book Survey, 82% of libraries currently offer access to e-books, which reflects an increase of 10 percentage points from 2010.

Physical libraries in a digital world

David Weinberger

I’m at the final meeting of a Harvard course on the future of libraries, led by John Palfrey and Jeffrey Schnapp. They have three guests in to talk about physical library space. He begins by pointing out that until the beginning of the 20th century, a library was not a place but only a collection of books. He gives a quick history of Harvard Library. After the library burned down in 1764, the libraries lived in fear of fire, until electric lights came in.

Building a Solid Library of Use Cases

Luis Suarez

and Social Computing Guidelines and why you would still need them ) I guess it’s now a good time to talk further along about the next pillar in the framework: Building a Solid Library of Use Cases. . That’s why the third pillar of the Social Business Adaptation Framework I keep using all the time has always been about building a solid library of use cases.

Happy new year, libraries!

David Weinberger

May 2011 be the best year for libraries in a couple of millennia! So much is going on that it could be, you know. And how often do you get to say that?)

A day at the Bogota Library

David Weinberger

The Bogota National Library has been bringing in speakers this year to talk about the future of libraries, the relation of digital and cultural worlds, and library innovation, partially sponsored by the U.S. He and I had had lunch this summer when he was touring library innovation labs in the US. Alexis has the opportunity to re-do some of the space in the National Library. It has well over a million books, making it the largest library in Central America.

Professional library for sale

Jay Cross

FOR SALE: Professional Library of Jay Cross. Acquire an instant library! Classic marketing and sales library. Buy them all. I will throw in an afternoon on my back deck in Berkeley going over what I thought were the major messages of as many volumes as you wish. Shelves of inspiring books. Strong on instructional design, management, learning, eLearning, marketing & sales, and psychology. Some travel, humor, web 2.0, last 25 issues of Harvard Business Review. Lots more.

Will Digital Libraries Lose the Future?

Nine Shift

Will making libraries digital cost us to lose our future? . News reports a library will test going totally digital. The bottom row of books in my home library are encyclopedias from 100 years ago Some librarians are concerned. So am I. People are trying to digitize books written before the web was invented 20 years ago. But there's lots of information I cannot find online, and have to resort to my books from 100 years ago.

The library next door

David Weinberger

Louis Park couple had so many books that they bought the house next door and turned it into their own library. According to an article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune , a St. The article doesnt tell us how many books they own, but a reasonable guess might be, oh, 200 gigabytes worth

Harvard sets up library innovation “venture fund”

David Weinberger

Harvard has announced the creation of the Harvard Library Lab: The Lab promotes the development of projects in all areas of library activity and leverages the entrepreneurial aspirations of people throughout the library system and beyond. This is great news, both in its practical import and as yet another sign of Harvard’s desire to innovate to help make libraries more useful, valuable, and relevant than ever.