Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Who is the 21st century's equivilent of Melvil Dewey? Pretty soon, in fact most probably now, will be needed a classification scheme that will be able to organise, systemise, and importantly, search the multitude of Blogs, Weblogs, net communities and journals online at the moment. Have you ever been able to find (that is easily find) and information contained in a weblog? Unless the information is contained on a web page somewhere, a web page that is organised that is, you really don't have much of a chance of accurately finding anything on there.

I realise that most weblogs, journals etc are just opinions, ravings, links to funny stuff etc, but there are pearls hidden among the swine. (That is a saying, I'm not calling bloggers swine) There is no current way to search these site effectively.

I suppose I'll have to wait until Google expands so far that it covers the entire realm of cyberspace. I know there are subject guides and lists, but even if you show up on them, there is no reason to assume that your page will be bombared with hits. This page, The Librarydude!, is listed on at least four "Library-related Blogs" lists, including Open Stacks (which I really should read more) but nobody visits it.

And it's a pity that you need to know advanced Boolean Techniques to find anything via Google.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Well its been too damn long since I updated here, probably because I haven't had time, or anything really library-related to say.

I have recently (as readers of my Livejournal will know) got a new position at my library in the Call Centre. As we are not an extremely busy library, this gives me a lot, ( A LOT) of time where I can look at stuff on the net that interests me. I found copies of Christianity Today scanned on a website, and read a few articles from that. These were scanned in .pdf format, which is quite good for getting detail and retaining the layout of the original article but absolutely hopeless for being easy to read (without of course, printing the files off and then collating them)

I understand that Google are planning to keep electronic versions of text materials such as these. I hope they do, but also somewhere, there is kept a physical copy of the item. I simply do not trust electronic versions that much.

For all those people who are waiting and predicting that all libraries will soon (soon meaning in the next 20 - 30 years) be all electronic resources, I say thee nay! Maybe I'm showing my age here, but I cannot ever see the death of printed material, and thus libraries will always have printed material, even if electronic format takes off.

There, thats the negative aspect out of the way. there is also a positive to this. Distribution Of Information. Quickly, cleanly, reliably (mostly) and cheaply. I would never had read any of the CT articles had they not been available online. Ease of access is a big selling point, and any site, database etc that covers a lot of material, and can easily give you access to that is a good thing.

But I still enjoy holding the thing I'm reading in my hands. Books have got it good. They can be easily transported around(as opposed to being easily sent, theres a difference) and they get dusty. There's nothing as good as a dusty shelf of books!

I've raved enough. And nobody reads this anyway.

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