Evil (Information) Scientist

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Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Do you know what they know about you?

Posted by Nathaniel on November 24, 2007

“The average economically active individual in the developed world is on about 700 databases,” said Niamh Gallagher, a researcher at think tank Demos who has spent six months researching the spread of personal data.

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Koha Evaluation – Conclusion

Posted by Nathaniel on November 7, 2007

After reviewing the features and issues in the potential implementation of Koha, its adoption by the five libraries would be favourable. It presents all of the features they would require to maintain shared resources for all potential users across the country. It also meets six important criteria in accordance with Boss’ evaluation. The amalgam also has experienced IT staff to establish and maintain the catalogue – this, together with a number of dedicated volunteers to help migrate the records. This would take a fair amount of coordination between the library and IT staff of the five ASOs, but that would likely be the case regardless of the solution.

That said, a new system for such an important program should not be implemented without some amount of caution. It would be advisable to set up a pilot program in which the resources of two libraries be migrated into Koha for a period of three months, while the libraries maintain their in-house catalogues. This would allow staff to grow accustomed to the program (so they can educate their colleagues later), and technical difficulties to be worked through. If successful, libraries could be added incrementally until all five collections function successfully within the framework. At this point, they could discard their individual systems in favour of a fully functional and integrated library system using the Koha ILS.

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“Do libraries matter?” Review (Conclusion)

Posted by Nathaniel on October 17, 2007

Chad and Miller (and Talis) present a broad vision of the future of libraries that is as exciting as it is unsupported.  Indeed, compelling ideas are presented with very little supporting evidence, relying, instead, on readers’ intuition or desire to find the proof in alternate sources.  This tendency towards vagueness continues with powerful sounding ideas that run into problems on further reflection until one begins to suspect that the lack of substance is due to commercial motives.  This weakens the authors’ aims significantly and obscures the credible vision and solutions they do present.  This paper gives no reason for library management teams to immediately access Talis’ services, but it does give a few hints as to where library management might begin to consider orienting themselves.

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