Power to the People of our fair city.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Christmas reading

What books will be finding their way under the Christmas tree this year?

The Guardian Books section has made their guess, and this article also provides some useful information on the state of publishing in the UK.

Jamie Oliver - Cook With Jamie (Michael Joseph)
Publisher's pitch: "With this ultimate kitchen companion you can be a student of Jamie's in your own home."
We say: After retailers' furious price-cutting last Christmas, Penguin has ramped up the RRP of Jamie's latest offering to £26 in an attempt to stop shops selling him below £10. Are people still hungry for Jamie in his incarnation as the "new Delia", and will he match last year's record sales? Odds: 7/4 favourite

Michael Palin - Diaries 1969-1979: The Python Years (Weidenfeld)
Publisher's pitch: "Perceptive, funny and riveting reading."
We say: Patron Saint Palin already has a couple of festive number ones under his belt for his travelogues. These diaries don't have an accompanying television series, but his unmatchable appeal and the promise of Python stories should guarantee a place in the top three bestsellers. Odds: 3/1

Billie Piper - Growing Pains (Hodder)
Publisher's pitch: "The funny, honest and insightful story of an extraordinary young life."
We say: Of the crop of starlets with Christmas autobiographies - Kerry Katona, Chantelle - Billie will stand out. The ex-Doctor Who star has the mum-and-daughter market wrapped up and supermarkets will sell this by the trolleyload. Odds: 3/1

Why Don't Penguins' Feet Freeze? (Profile)
Publisher's pitch: "Popular science at its most entertaining and enlightening."
We say: "The pick of the loo reads. This could find even more readers than its predecessor, Does Anything Eat Wasps? - number five last Christmas." Odds: 33/1

Richard Dawkins - The God Delusion (Transworld)
Publisher's pitch: "A hard-hitting, impassioned rebuttal of all religion."
We say: This has topped Amazon's bestseller list all week. Could Dawkins pull off an unlikely coup and outsell the celebrity autobiographies? Odds: 33/1

What happens when the library Blog dies - Shirley Library blog:

Its not quite a year since a post here but its all but dead. However the story that the article Shirley Library blog: One News Library story features has not been captured by the library it features (us).

NZ history looks to the future

Dreaming in Dewey

At a recent Library conference this was unvieled. It turns out to be the work of Brian Flaherty - a librarian at the University of Auckland. This is a part of the Digital Poetics section of the nzepc (new zealand electronic poetry centre). Brian is the one of the editors of this site which has amazing range of poetry, including lyrics.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Bootiful Bookmarklets

Search our catalogue, cinch database or localeye web site from any web page anywhere by bookmarking these links. Once you've added them to your bookmarks all you have to do is highlight some text on any web page and click the bookmark and a search will begin.

We're working on ones that will do the search in a new window so that you don't lose your current page. This could be really useful if you want to know if we have a book that is referred to on a web page.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Fired up or frustrated?

A couple of library blogs posts got me a bit fired up - or maybe it was the mochaccino and half a spinach & cream cheese muffin from our neighbouring muffin break. The first was Michael Stephen's post on tame the Web "Ten Things I Know About Libraries in 2006 (A Response to "Libraries are Obsolete")". The article that he is responding to has received quite a lot of reponses in the library blogosphere (did you even know that such a thing existed?) and you can read it here. Basically it's saying don't build another library - give people at home access to broadband and then they can get everything off Google. As most librarians will tell you there's a lot that isn't accessible through Google, however its a popular view.

But what kind put the icing on the cake for me this morning was SuperPatron's posting "Library catalogs have represented stagnant technology for close to twenty years" which echoes exactly what I've been feeling for years. How come we're stuck with library catalogues with such antiquated search technology when Google and Amazon (and etc etc etc) have advanced so far over the years? And how are we supposed to convince our publics that we're still relevant? grrr

Info Island Grand Opening

With all the talk about the place of digital libraries vs bricks and mortar libraries a consortium in the US is building a digital bricks and mortar library in the online virtual world Second Life. They've been going for a while now but are having their official opening next week. Here's what they say about themselves:

"Second Life is a 3-D virtual world entirely built and owned by its residents. Since opening to the public in 2003, it has grown explosively and today is inhabited by over 600,000 people from around the globe. There are shopping malls, events, homes, lands of different types, and best of all, participants can contribute content, buildings, and other digital creations.

Alliance Library System and OPAL are teaming up to utilize the programs currently offered online to librarians and library users to extend the programs to the Second Life virtual reality world. Although there are a couple of libraries currently on Second Life, none currently offers programs or services. Alliance and OPAL will start with programs and eventually hope to offer library services."

They have a blog at which is worth checking out if you're interested but you'll need a broadband connection to actually have a look at info island itself.