Overall, I have to say I’m disappointed with the frequency (or lack thereof) of updating by the sources I chose to monitor. Library Tech Talk hasn’t updated again since the Bibliobouts post. Library Technology Guides updated once between Jan. 27th and March 17th. The site did update twice on March 17th, however.
The quality of content on Library Tech Talk is excellent, which makes it all the more frustrating that updates are so infrequent. A number of useful, interesting, innovative, and unknown (to me, anyway) applications are introduced which could be of great use in a library setting. Unfortunately, all the posts for the last nine months fit on one page.
The content on Library Technology Guides hasn’t been as useful. As I said in a previous post, content on this site consists mainly of press releases announcing business partnerships. The last two posts on the 17th were somewhat higher quality. Although the most recent of those could still fall into the press release category, the announcement of the site administrator’s speaking engagements at the Computers in Libraries Conference gave an eye-opening look into the conference’s scope. Considering only the topics that Library Technology Guides “maintainer” Marshall Breeding is speaking on, they seem (from my first year lib. tech student perspective) to cover a wide range, including: Seamless Websites and Expanded Presence; Learning from Inspirational Libraries; Current OPACs and Next-Gen Systems; Technology and Applications; and Dead & Innovative Tech. Dude must know his stuff. Imagine if he, you know, wrote a blog or something!
The post previous to that promoted his article in the Smart Libraries Newsletter. The newsletter requires a subscription, but usually makes an article available for free. You can read it here: “Building Comprehensive Resource Discovery Platforms.” He talks about the need for content providers and publishers to include their content in “discovery system indexes” (basically, research databases, as far as I can figure out). Makes sense, right? What struck me was his proposed solution to publishers’ reluctance to do so:
In the same way that libraries routinely require license terms for providers of content products support practices such as COUNTER statistics for measuring the use of materials, SUSHI for automatically delivering those statistics, or OpenURL for linking, it would likewise be reasonable for libraries to introduce requirements that vendors make content available to the discovery services provider of their choice for the sole purpose of indexing. Although there seems to be a broader acceptance of content providers to work with discovery systems, making it part of the license terms will help close the gap on the content not currently supported in this important genre of library software. (Emphasis mine.)
Hang on, what was that? Libraries routinely require license terms from publishers they deal with? Because with all the fracas over HarperCollins’ 26 loan cap on eBooks, and the debate that’s been going on in the blogosphere ad nauseam, I kind of got the impression that libraries’ hands are tied on the matter, without boycotts and protests to rival those ongoing in Wisconsin anyway. I guess I need to go remove a few blogs from my RSS feed.