Sunday, November 30, 2008


I am so confused...I've been getting the point that I don't know what comments counted where. ANYWAY here are some more comments!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

muddiest point

I understand why we all WANT libraries to have these huge presences online and in second life and in social networking websites. I get it - we need to reel in the new generation, convince them that libraries are important, justify our funding.

But is that really where we should be spending our time and money? I had this discussion with the head of Hillman Reference and it just seems like there are other more important places for reference librarians' time and expertise.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

week 13 notes

Let me start by saying that this link ( no longer works because Viacom has requested that youtube remove the video.

Also, didn't load, so I used the wayback machine. And to be honest, even with that I'm not quite sure what this place is. It seems to have been turned into a book whatever it was, but to me it just seems like a lot of people being nervous/paranoid about government powers to collect information on citizens. Yes, it is horrible that that 70 year old woman was detained because her name was similar to one on the terrorist watch list. But honestly - I'm not bothered by government powers. Also, please be nice. I know my feelings are very very different from those of most people, but I won't tell you you're crazy for being paranoid and I would appreciate it if you wouldn't tell me I'm a right wing nutjob for wanting the government to watch us and collect all sorts of personal information. :-)

- This website doesn't seem to have been updated for quite some time (the most recent news story took place when I was in my freshman year of college...and I'm in grad school now). But basically it seems to have been created to protest the something called total information awareness which seems to have been a program that would allow the government to collect and store for easy access/use, information about people who were considered a threat to the safety of the united states. As demonstrated by my previous answer, I think we know where I stand on this issues. I'm pro-information collection and I trust our government to use it wisely/correctly.

Jeffrey Rosen (Is Privacy Dead?)
- I found this interesting if a little slow. Rosen describes one case in which the need for privacy was balanced with the need for information (a scanning tool that instead of showing us naked shows just things hidden under clothes with a blob instead of a body), and then goes on to show us one case in which he isn't so optimistic (the use of surveillance cameras). That being said - his worries about NYC are unfounded. As someone who lived there I can say that you are basically on camera 80% of the time in NYC as it is (ATM/bank cameras, stores, people's vacation photos, etc.). The point that I most liked though was the assertion that people don't want privacy, they want control over how/when they're exposed.

Facebook video
- Eh. This is old news. Facebook isn't the greatest thing in the world in terms of information safety. But we all use it anyway. Companies also use it to check up on employees. I would like to point out though that Facebook started as something very different than it is now - when I joined in 2004 it was a closed system (only available to the ivy league students), now it's just a giant advertising website. But you still choose to open an account, use that account, and fill in all those fun bits and pieces.

Jonathan Zittrain (future of the internet)
-The author of "The Future of the Internet: and how to stop it" starts talking about the history of computers/the internet and then to the current situation (wikipedia). Also, I have never heard anyone actually articulate "pwnd", it was completely correct, but also super dorky. And I also enjoyed the mention of old school "phreaking" (and showed how much of a geek I am...for those of you who aren't giant dorks like me phreaking refers to hacking the phone lines - no longer possible but used a lot in the 70s and 80s).

muddiest point

Can something like CiteULike be considered a digital library? I can see arguments on both sides to be honest, and I'd like to know the prevailing opinions.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

week 12

Creating the academic library folksonomy: Put social tagging to work at your institution
- This article looks at the uses of folksonomy (taxonomies created by 'ordinary folks') in academic libraries. Suggests it would be particularly helpful for students who use the internet without knowing what is reliable, and for those topics that are particularly modern.

Using a Wiki to Manage a Library Instruction Program
- Looks at the benefits of using a wiki in a library instruction program, allowing librarians to share files online. Librarians can share problems and handouts. Points out the idea of mentioning if a professor's assignments tend to not incorrect or incompatible with current library technology.

- Introduces the ideas of weblogs and the uses, as well as the software available (or rather an overview of it). Finally, implications of blogs in libraries are discussed. RSS uses (no longer have to physicaly visit the website). Reference blogs as an alternative to reference binders (easier to find new materials). Suggests using blogs for class projects (better in theory than reality in my experience).

Wikipedia Video
- The founder of wikipedia discusses the uses of wikipedia, the issue of neutrality vs truth, and controversy in articles (particularly bush vs kerry in 2004).

Friday, November 14, 2008


muddiest point

A couple of other people have mentioned this and I'm interested/confused about it as well. When words for relevancy have multiple meanings (apple for tree, fruit, and computer company, to say nothing about the record company) do you just have to add modifier words to get a good search result? And how do you rank relevancy when there are so many possible answers just for the meaning of the word let alone the search?

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Week 10

Muddiest Point
- What exactly makes XML better? I see why we have CSS to replace HTML, but what benefits does XML bring to the table? Is it easier to debug? Is it just the newest thing that we're all supposed to like because it's new and shiny?

Web Search Engines: Part I
- Looks at basic search protocol for bots searching the internet - particularly relating to etiquette and the vast scope of the information spiders look for. (ignoring duplicate material, how a site is chosen to be crawled and how it gets to the head of the line, cloaking: providing different info to bots than to people visiting the page)

Web Search Engines: Part II
- This article looks at how search engines index what they've found. There are millions of words that the indexers have to go through. Also explains how search terms are related to what pages are returned and in what order.

The Deep Web
- Apparently this is actually advertising material...interesting. But basically the "deep web" are all those webpages which are dynamically created (as a result of a search) and therefore are unavailable to index with bots. When websites were just files it was easier, but newer technology has changed that. While the deep web's info greatly exceeds the surface web - but much of that data comes from places like NOAA, NASA, and the like - the type of information a normal search is not looking for.

Current Developments...
- Looks at the Open Archives initiative which attempts to share metadata from a variety of sources (sheet music was one project, another looked at resources regarding the american south).

Monday, November 3, 2008


I'm very proud of myself. With the exception of the flickr photo links, I coded this entire website myself from scratch. I didn't use any sort of editing software at all. That's why it's kind of ugly.

Friday, October 31, 2008

week 11? What ever happened to week 10?

Digital Libraries: Challenges and Influential Work
- introduces some of the history of digital libraries as well as those projects that have been most influential

Dewey Meets Turing
- This article looks at the effect of the internet on the early development of digital libraries. Copyright issues created difficulties when digitizers were working with publishing companies (i.e. unable to share with colleagues). The differences between computer scientists and librarians caused friction.

Institutional Repositories
- Looks at the challenges and responsibilities of setting up an institutional repository at a university.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Thursday, October 23, 2008

week 9 - oops I forgot a reading!

Extend your markup
-I like that this article talks about using XML in a library - none of the other articles even mentioned it. Also, I think this is by far the most understandable of all the articles assigned this weekend.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Week 9

muddiest point - Maybe this is a little petty, but I don't see the point of having us learn basic HTML tags etc. if we're just going to use a page editing program to make our webpage. Since the code created by a page editing program is so involved that it's pretty illegible for someone with our skillset (or someone with my skillset) I don't quite see the point of introducing the code when we can't use it really.

Introduction to XML
-I'm pretty good at this computer stuff...but this article was over my head. I'm not a programmer so basically all I got out of this was that XML is great for databases.

Survey of XML Standards
-Wow...I had trouble navigating this webpage...let alone understanding the information in it. I do appreciate that he points out that XML is really tough for new users though...

XML Schema Tutorial
-Right off the bat - I don't really understand XML so this document won't be helpful to me. That being said, there are a few real life examples which make me kind of sort of understand what's going on (if you order 5 gross laser printers instead of 5 - your software would catch that was one of them)

Wow. XML = completely over my head.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Koha Bookshelf

It looks like there are two entries for the same book - but in reality they are two volumes in a series.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

week 8 notes/muddiest point

HTML Tutorial
- I don't think I've coded in HTML since middle/high school (my web design career was killed by a well timed cease and desist letter from J.K. Rowling's really, it was). That being said, this was a nice little tutorial - tough to read from beginning to end in one sitting (lots of info) but super clear and well written.

HTML Cheatsheet
- I'm probably more likely to actually refer back to this than I am the whole tutorial. Clear, simple, concise.

CSS Tutorial
- I don't really have any experience with css, although I've seen it as an option on a number of websites that I've done mini designs for. This is one that I really have to go back and read more about this - as good as the html tutorial was, I think the css isn't quite as clear, probably because it's a bit more complicated.

Beyond HTML
- Basically this article looks at the challenges of creating/working with a CMS (content management system). It is actually fairly interesting to see the problems that were faced not only creating the system, but then migrating course guides to a different system (in this case from a non-uniform mishmash of front page created guides to a universal style sheet).

Muddiest Point
- Telnet: I know sort of what it is, I've even used it in the past, but I don't really understand how one works...Is it just two computers talking to eachother without really sending data, or do they send data, just in a slower/less secure manner?

Sunday, October 5, 2008


Saturday, October 4, 2008

Jing Project!
(this is a link to my photoset for the screen shots - there are 5 photos in that set)

here are the links to the actual photos themselves just to be sure

And here is my video tutorial.

Both of these show different features of a social networking website for knitters and crocheters called Raverly that is currently in beta testing.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

week 7 notes

Google Video
- I have a couple friends who work for google, so this video hasn't really told me much that I didn't already know, but can I just say how awesomely amazing the images were that demonstrated google usage? That globe with the searches by language were so darn amazing. And I have to laugh that they're introducing adsense in part of this video - one of my best friends/former roommates is doing a 3 month adsense training right now in their Boston office.

Dismantling Integrated Library Systems
- I found this article particularly interesting because of all the experience I've had with ILS as a patron. On the one hand, it has been very convenient to be able to access everything (well almost) through one portal -- on the other hand everyone knows that these programs are never quite as good as they seem on paper. I'm very interested in the idea of companies developing applications with the knowledge that they will be used with other firm's sofware. It will also be interesting to see how these companies adapt to the changing environment and how many go out of business.

How Stuff Works - internet infrastructure
- One of my biggest tech geek secrets has always been that while I am an internet wizard and have been using it for literally almost all my life (we got the internet when I was 5...yup...early dad works for the state of NY) - I was never really clear on how it worked. This article went a long way in explaining it to me which I think is very important.

Monday, September 29, 2008


Friday, September 26, 2008

week 6 article

oops - forgot this part

This article about RFID use in libraries is kind of fascinating - especially since I was recently involved in the large scale transfer of university IDs (and our library system) from a barcoded to a chip ID. We had a lot of discussions about privacy, about the problems, etc. so I found this reading to be interesting - seeing the issue from a scholarly point of view rather than a real world implementation.

week 6 notes

wikipedia LAN article
- I found this article fairly interesting. LANs are so ubiquitous these days that the actual history and inner workings of the network are fun to look at. I wish they had gone a little more into the real life uses of LANs like home wireless networks.

wikipedia computer network article
- this is basically a large overview of the various types of networks and their uses. I found it to be a lot less useful than it could have been since the article didn't go into much detail on most of the sections.

youtube video
- I didn't quite see the point of this one...the man in the video didn't say anything that wasn't dealt with in the other articles and on top of it he said it in a really silly accent.

muddiest point
-So if ASCII could only handle roman/english characters...what did people who used any other alphabet do? I know the ability to use non-roman character sets has been something that many people have been pushing for in other countries (I lived in Russia for a bit and there was a lot discussion as to why the internet couldn't handle other languages in urls.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


CiteULike Assignment

Friday, September 19, 2008

muddiest point

Is there a better way to reduce redundancy and better link records? I know that MARC records with their multiple name listings are an attempt to reduce that, but it seems like in reality catalogues have 50 listings for the same title or the same author.

week 5

Wikipedia article on Data Compression
-lossless compression vs lossy compression (when the file remains the same vs when the file is simplified to use even less space)
-LZR (zip), DEFLATE (PNG), LZW (gif)

data compression basics
-this article discusses the problems of data compression in terms of nonrepeated characters
-there is a minor problem with having a character that both signifies a beginning/end to compression AND appears in the data itself
-RLE requires three characters in a row to be useful => useful in images, used in faxes
-LZ works by referencing back to something already used (i.e. if it's used once, it isn't used again)
-entropy coding - the words get numbers, so a common word will get a low number (e.g. the = 1)
-lossy compression preserves the interpretation of data if not the exact data itself (i.e. taking This article a smooth grayscale and making it less smooth)
-the loss refers to mathematical data rather than perceivable data, and the process isn't reversable

Imaging Pittsburgh
-This article describes the difficulties and some of the logistics of setting up a digital collections of photos of Pittsburgh.

YouTube and libraries
-Gives a basic intro to youtube to someone who has never heard of it/used it. Then details the ways in which youtube could be used in a library (e.g. taping classes and putting them online so people could learn on their own time)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Flickr Digitization Project

Here's a link to the photoset I created for this project. In the photoset are the originals, the large verison, and a thumbnail (they should all be in order from smallest to largest, but a couple may be slightly out of order).

comment links

Friday, September 12, 2008

muddiest point

This is going to sound stupid, but I have trouble figuring out how all of the OS parts fit together. I understand pretty much everything when it is dealt with separately, probably because I've had to fix a ridiculous number of minor computer meltdowns, but I just can't quite wrap my mind around everything functioning together as a whole. For example, I know what the kernal is and what it does, and I understand what all of the bits and pieces of the OS do...but somehow I just can't understand how they all fit together and overlap.

Also, completely off topic - but I loved the screenshot of the 1984 Apple OS - that was one of the first computers I ever used.

Week 2/3/4 readings?

I have somehow screwed up on what week we're on for I'm posting all the readings I haven't done up to the point that I THINK we're supposed to be so that I can get back on top of where I am.

Introduction to Linux: Chapter One
- before Unix was developed, all computers ran on a different/unique operating system with customized software
- Linux was developed by a university student who was interested in setting up unix on his own computer
- Linux is currently used on servers, databases, as well as PDAs
- At first it was basically required to be a unix expert to set up a linux system, but now there are packaged systems available and the linux community is more helpful/welcoming
- Linux basically started the opensource revolution
- Linux can run on any platform, doesn't need to reboot, is free, secure, and quickly debugged
- But there are too many distributers, not very user friendly/good for beginners, how safe can opensource be?
- Linux is based on GNU opensource tools (e.g. gimp)
- different linux distributions are better suited for different hardware (w/ a list)

What is Mac OS
- Mac OSX grew out of Apple's desire to beat windows 95. It was based on the NEXTSTEP platform created by Steve Jobs after he left Apple in the 80s
- makes use of a number of opensource programs and applications, most heavily altered
- there is a section on how to boot MacOS and using telnet, I don't completely understand this part, which is funny because I can do a lot of it and I have done some of it on my own machine
- the Kernal (XNU) includes: Mach based codes, BSD runs as a part of the kernal and separate from user activity, I/P kit = driver framework of the kernal based on C++, platform expert functions as a driver and determins what type of platform,
- above the kernal there are the core services (based on carbon), appliation services (based on quartz), application environments (classic for OS9 and earlier, Cocoa is the favorite, then Java)
- details of startup
- HSF+ journals metadata (HFS+ is an improved version of HSF with more capabilities)
- this is primarily designed for people who are looking to program on a Mac, so a lot of the information gets into the bare bones of how the OS works
- intro to aqua, info on bluetooth and firewire compatibility, iLife suite (which isn't nearly as good as everyone claims)

MacOSX (Wikipedia)
- the beginning of this entry is basically a less technical version of the other OSX intro.
- systems are mostly backwards compatible with earlier hardware (especially with the intro of the macbook air w/o firewire ports)
- Aqua is the program that creates the graphics, automater, dashboard, finder (spotlight is amazing!)
- cheeta, puma, jaguar, panther, tiger, leopard,

Update on the Windows Roadmap
- Basically this is a letter sent out by a Microsoft executive addressing a number of the fears that were vocalized by PC users. In particular he states that Microsoft will continue to support WindowsXP through 2014 and will give users the opportunity to downgrade and use XP when they buy Vista (especially important for small businesses).

Database Wiki Article
- hierarchical model: inverted tree model, parent records, children, good way to organize data that is inherintly hierarchical, but not particulalry flexible
-network model: relationships called sets which associate members with an owner.
- relational model: lines and columns that associate information (i.e. employee name, phone number, etc.)
- object database models try to bring database and application programming world closer
- indexes are most commonly stored in table style with rows and columns that help allow quick scanning
- atomicity: the transaction must be completed or undone; consistency: each transaction must preserve the integrity of the database; isolation: two simultaneous transactions can't interfere; durability: transactions must not be able to be undone
- security of the database
- locking makes sure that only one process can alter data at a time

Setting the Stage
- metadata: the sum total of what one can say about any information object at any level of aggregation
- content: what the object contains; context is who, what, why, where; structure is the formal set of associations
- library metadata: includes indexes, abstracts, catalog records created according to cataloging rules and structural and content standards (MARC)
- the more highly structured an information object is, the more that structure can be utilized for search terms
- outside of repositories metadata can also refer to info being coded into HTML, systems and research documentation needed to run a magnetic tape full of raw research data,
- Dublin Core Metadata Element Set identifies a small simple set of metadata elements that can be used by any community to describe and search across a wide variety of information resources on the internet
- administrative metadata: used to manage and administer information resources
- descriptive metadata: describe and identify information resources
- preservation: related to preservation management
- technical: related to how a system functions or metadata behaves
- use: related to the level and type fo information resources
- doesn't have to be digital, relates to more than just description of an object, can come from a variety of sources, one objects metadata can be anothers as well
- increased accessibility: makes searching easier/more effective
- retention of context: documents and maintains the relationships between an object and its place and relationship in history (i.e. in a museum or archives)
- expanding use: can document changing uses in the system
- multi-versioning: allow data to link to more than one version

The overview of the dublin core model article is not available. I've tried a number of times to access it, but the article fails to load each time.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Unit Two Readings

Moore's Law Video
Surprisingly, I actually found this helpful. Moore's law relates to the doubling effect with transistors - i.e. they will get half the size and half that size and smaller and smaller. This allows us to have tiny tech devices.

Moore's Law Wikipedia Article
Every two years, the numbers of transistors able to be placed on a chip doubles. Observed by the founder of Intel Gordon Moore in 1965. As the 'law' progresses, it becomes more and more expensive to continue the push towards smaller and smaller transistors. Officially only relates to semiconductors, but is used to refer to almost all tech. predictions of doubling productivity/halving size. The fulfillment of Moore's Law does not directly translate into a comparable rise in computer abilities/speed.

Computer Hardware Wikipedia Article
A basic introduction to the various parts of a personal computer, as well as various peripherals and networking tools. very basic.

Computer History Museum
Various exhibits on the history of computers, the internet, and Moore's law. The timelines are actually quite interesting, if, again, a bit basic.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Unit One Readings

Information Literacy and Information Technology Literacy
Deals with the difference between IT literacy and Info literacy. How we need more today than just skills - we need an understanding of how technology works.
  1. information technology literacy = understanding the technological aspect of today's society as well as the implications in social/legal spheres
  • skills and the ability to use various tools (internet, word processing, etc.) vs understanding how the systems and technologies work
  • simply teaching tools leaves skills outdated quickly
  • severe lack of education as to how tech works at all levels
  • but if you aren't working in IT what's the point? - increasingly important because of the degree of IT integration in the workplace/world, will soon be a necessity to function in educated society (already is at this point?)
  1. information literacy = being able to access and understand the various types of information storage systems we use today - goes far beyond just textual, also includes multimedia
  • we need to accept that non text sources of information are also valuable, as well as recognize that formerly reliable sources (e.g. a photograph) can now be altered with easily available tech
  • the newly central role of computerized searches in organizing, storing, and retrieving information - but also the limitation of such a system as some sources will remain undigitized
  • people need to gain a conception of what information sources are best for their needs and what the limitations of all the different types are

Information Format Trends
Libraries need to adjust to the changing ways that information is disseminated. Since libraries are no longer the sole source of information, there is a need to find a new role. Also, the new trend of buying rights to use something rather than the thing itself is increasing. Article is a bit out of date - some of the trends it is mentioning have begun to slow (specifically ringtone sales).
  • the recent changes have 'unbundled' the traditional ways of getting info (books, journals, etc.) and are now provided as needed from outside the library
  • format agnostic - patrons no longer care about where the info comes from
  • we are offered snippets of info for free (amazon search within a book) but then must pay to get the full content
  • print publishing is slowing, good information is beginning to show up on the internet - i.e. medical schools and scientists are publishing their papers on personal websites as well as in traditional journals
  • info consumers are increasingly self sufficient, but they are also more discerning and demanding
  • the message is changed based on the mode used to disseminate
  • the internet and smart phones are decreasing traditional methods like mail and ILL, with no apparent cost
  • format of content becomes less important than getting it quickly and easily
  • content sent through email (journals, links, etc.) is significantly higher than that sent through traditional ILL channels (although libraries don't track virtual transactions like sending an article)
  • people are no longer tied to computers with the advent of smart phones - and the relative cheapness of mobile phones makes them more affordable/accessable
  • micro payment for micro content - we now pay for small parts of rights rather than the whole thing
  • social publishing - wikis and blogs could be a new way for librarians to reach out to their patrons
  • dayparting - when an online newspaper publishes different things at different times of day (weather and traffic in the morning, clubs and food at night)
  • ebooks are the fastest growing part of publishing
  • academic libraries are forced to cut costs - are looking more towards digital content
  • as open access increases (allowing students and faculty to download information free) library budgets will decrease
  • libraries must move beyond being just a collector of content and must now be a certifier - i.e. be able to say 'this info is good because we have it'

Lied Library @ 4 Years

A description of the technological updating of the Lied Library at UNLV including descriptions of new software systems, logistics, and the financial burdens related to the update.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Muddiest Point #1

In all honesty, I think I followed pretty much all of the first lecture without too much difficulty. I'm a little unclear as to how deep in depth we will be going in all of the different topics. While I wouldn't move to a more difficult class even if I was completely sure (my specialty isn't technical, consequently an easier class with a better grade would make more sense for me as opposed to an advanced but more difficult course), I'm wondering how basic the topics covered will be.