Sunday, June 20, 2010

MediaWeek (Vol 3, No 25): Joyce, Embedded Librarians, Cloud Computing Survey

You may have heard of the iPad & Ulysses controversy - here from the Observer:
Ulysses has what the racing fraternity call "form" in this regard. In 1926, for example, four years after its publication, the Cambridge English don FR Leavis decided that he wanted to quote from the book – which was then banned in Britain – in his lectures. He therefore wrote to the Home Office seeking permission to import a copy. For his temerity, he was then summoned by the university's vice-chancellor, who handed him a note from the director of public prosecutions revealing that the Cambridge police had been monitoring Leavis's lectures, and concluding with a recommendation that he "should be suitably and firmly dealt with". The publishers of Ulysses "Seen" are no doubt feeling relaxed and contented, on the grounds that if you can get round Apple's editorial control-freakery then you can get around anything. There is, however, one further possibly fly in their ointment. His name is Stephen Joyce. He is the grandson of the great man and since the 1980s has been in sole control of his grandfather's literary estate. More importantly, his desire to control the uses of his literary property makes Steve Jobs look like St Francis of Assisi.
Robert McCrumb on a busman's holiday in the Northeast (Observer):

In Washington I went to one of America's great bookstores – Politics and Prose on Connecticut Avenue – a beacon of traditional bookselling, run for the past 25 years by Barbara Meade and Carla Cohen. To the dismay of the locals, they have just announced their retirement and the business is for sale. But it's age (both women are in their 70s) not recession or competition from Barnes and Noble that's driving this decision. Meade told me that their book sales are actually up 30% in 2010.The US and Canada remain an enthusiastic and sophisticated book market. Unlike in Britain, there are hardly any festivals, but book clubs and reading groups make up the deficit, and everyone is a consumer, if not always a reader. A Martian would have to conclude that the thing called "the printed word" was enjoying a bonanza.

Embedded Librarians? (Inside HigherEd):

The model Roderer and her staff are pursuing is distributed not only in the sense that every researcher’s computer can access the library’s website and its vaults of electronic journal articles and e-books, but in that library personnel are embedded in various departments to work with researchers on their own turf. These staffers are no longer called librarians; they are “informationists.” (Roderer did not invent the term, but she prefers it to “librarian,” which she says evokes envoys from a faraway building rather than information experts whose skills are applicable anywhere.) Medical students, clinicians, and professors are loath to trek across campus to the library’s physical plant now that the majority of its collections are available in electronic format through its website, Roderer says. However, that does not mean the library’s staff is no longer of use to researchers, she says — nor does it mean the staff’s interactions with researchers need to be limited to e-mail and text-messaging.
Pew Research on the Future of Cloud Computing (Pew):

The highly engaged, diverse set of respondents to an online, opt-in survey included 895 technology stakeholders and critics. The study was fielded by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project and Elon University's Imagining the Internet Center. Some 71% agreed with the statement: " By 2020, most people won't do their work with software running on a general-purpose PC. Instead, they will work in Internet-based applications such as Google Docs, and in applications run from smartphones. Aspiring application developers will develop for smartphone vendors and companies that provide Internet-based applications, because most innovative work will be done in that domain, instead of designing applications that run on a PC operating system." Some 27% agreed with the opposite statement, which posited: "By 2020, most people will still do their work with software running on a general-purpose PC. Internet-based applications like Google Docs and applications run from smartphones will have some functionality, but the most innovative and important applications will run on (and spring from) a PC operating system. Aspiring application designers will write mostly for PCs." Most of those surveyed noted that cloud computing will continue to expand and come to dominate information transactions because it offers many advantages, allowing users to have easy, instant, and individualized access to tools and information they need wherever they are, locatable from any networked device. Some experts noted that people in technology-rich environments will have access to sophisticated-yet-affordable local networks that allow them to "have the cloud in their homes."

From the twitter: A good series of notes from John Mark Ockerbloom On bibliographic data and cataloging: #rmti A Failure to Communicate In lawsuit against Georgia St over e-reserves, scholarly publishing faces a defining moment Reader's Digest Moves to Mend Less ambition, fewer staff but looking to rebound. And in sports, England beat Australia and the rest is not worth mentioning. Lakers beat Celtics - always good.

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