Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Techie Looks at Libraries

Digital Web Magazine has an article on libraries, Getting The Most Out Of Your Library by William Hicks. Some interesting statemnents:
  • Think of the library system as something akin to the open-source movement before software.
  • You will not be happy with many library websites.
  • So you found the library catalog, fired off a search and found an item that sounds mildly intriguing. The result page probably didn’t have any real reviews of the book, it is doubtful there was a book cover, nor apparently any other related items. You’re most likely staring at a title, some notes on the author, a bunch of useless publication data, some subject headings, notes, and a string of letters and numbers. it is not. It’s not built for you the user. It’s built for the vendors, librarians, and their staff.
  • While you may not get instant gratification from a library, and few if any are really cutting-edge when it comes to their use of web technologies, there is something to be said for the diversity and quality of information they provide you in your daily development tasks.
WorldCat and the LibX Firefox toolbar are both mentioned.

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