September 2008 Archives
This week, September 27 to October 4, is the ALA event, "Banned Books Week." From that site:
Banned Books Week... is observed during the last week of September each year. Observed since 1982, this annual ALA event reminds Americans not to take this precious democratic freedom for granted... BBW celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one's opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them. After all, intellectual freedom can exist only where these two essential conditions are met.
I took the list of "100 Most Challenged Books, 1990-2000" and put it into a WorldCat.org list of the same name [Note: when a series, like the "Harry Potter" books was given, I opted to just add the first book as a placeholder for the entire series].
As I went through the list adding items, I was struck by a fairly consistent set of themes among the challenged items. Books about sex, race, scary things (ghosts, psychic powers, magic) and adolescence (or some combo thereof) seemed to show up more than anything. Though, for many of us, adolescence and horror may have had some natural overlap...
I'm not a librarian, and have been in the industry only about 3.5 years. Perhaps somebody with more experience could explain to me in the comments why "Where's Waldo?" is on the list.
Being a fan of high-density linking, I exported my WorldCat.org list to HTML, put it into a Google Docs page, and deleted everything but the title names and links. That's what's pasted in after the jump. If you'd like to put it on your blog or web site to help promote the event, just view the page source and copy/paste the whole block.
If you’re a teacher or librarian and you want a free copy of Content, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and the name and address of your school. It’ll be posted below by my fantastic helper, Olga Nunes, so that potential donors can see it.
If you enjoyed the electronic edition of Content and you want to donate something to say thanks, check below to find a teacher or librarian you want to support. Then go to Amazon, BN.com, or your favorite electronic bookseller and order a copy to the classroom, then email a copy of the receipt (feel free to delete your address and other personal info first!) to email@example.com so that Olga can mark that copy as sent. If you don’t want to be publicly acknowledged for your generosity, let us know and we’ll keep you anonymous, otherwise we’ll thank you on the donate page.
Very cool idea. Once I've read the book (I've read some of the essays already over the years, and assume the rest will be as good), I'll get a review up on WorldCat.org and let y'all know.
- Main book page for "Content..."
- Free PDF of the entire book
- WorldCat.org entry for "Content..."
- WC Identities page for Cory
Just wanted to post a quick note to let you know that you will be seeing some changes to the WorldCat Blog coming through (....as you may have already noticed with our new header). We are updating our look a bit and reorganizing some of our content (via 'Categories') to structure things cleaner.
So when I posted an entry about the Internet Resources Icon a few months back, it turned into a much bigger UI project on our end. We decided to just revamp the way we display our icons all together.
We installed the new icons in early September, so you may see new icons appearing that weren't previously on worldcat.org, such as ebooks, downloadable audiobooks, video games, audiobooks on tape, and toys. It's a rather manual process to identify these new types, so an ongoing effort is underway to refine our definitions so that we are displaying what is most meaningful to our worldcat.org user. You may see these new icons and types gradually being introduced into the different parts of worldcat.org as we complete this effort. If you have any comments on the icons and types that we added to worldcat.org, please send them our way!
I don't have an iPhone yet, but I just found (another) reason to want one: there's now a WorldCat app developed for it, available for download at
iPhone Toolbox the Apple Web site apps section (for free). If you have an iPhone, download it and let us know how it performs for you. In fact, we might even send you a free WorldCat t-shirt in exchange.
...demonstrates how ubiquitous, popular and streamlined many of these spaces are becoming across the intraweb / ‘cloud’. With over 300 million frequenting or registering for the non-game based worlds and millions of new investment in 2nd and 3rd generation services..
There's quite a bit of disagreement about how widely (or deeply) some of these spaces are used; that is, how accurate are the gate counts for the services. But even allowing for some reasonable level of churn... 300 million is an enormous number. Habbo Hotel, which is aimed more at kids and tweens, references having had more than 7 million visits in the last 30 days. Second Life, one of the earliest and most technically advanced worlds, notes that more than 850,000 users have logged in during the last month, and that more than 400,000 of those users spent a total of (approximately) $159,000 in that virtual world (I converted from Linden Dollars to $USD at 125-to-1, which is pretty close to the usual exchange rate).
My purpose in posting all this info is to point out that social virtual worlds are still growing, both in numbers of services and users. For those who haven't ever tried even one of these spaces, it may seem like a fringe activity or "out there" thing to do. Increasingly, it's not. People are meeting, playing, chatting, studying, learning, creating and making money in these spaces. Unlike online games -- which are almost entirely entertainment related -- these services are usually built around communicative and creative activites. They are a new media.
I've started a working bibliography of works related to virtual worlds. Let me know if you have suggestions for things to add. Thanks.
Related note: I'd like to point out that Julian Dibbell's excellent "My Tiny Life," which has been hard to find for many years, is now available for purchase or free download from Lulu.
There's a new Web service available for you IT developer types, called the WorldCat Search API. It will help libraries integrate WorldCat data into their own Web sites, link resolvers and other applications. It joins other Web services like xISSN that helps library developers do more with WorldCat data.
Here's some more technical information about the API, borrowed from the information on the OCLC Web site.
With the WorldCat API, developers can:
- Query the WorldCat database, containing more than 100 million bibliographic records contributed by librarians and other information professionals at thousands of WorldCat member libraries worldwide
- Retrieve a geographically sorted list of WorldCat libraries that own a specific item. Each library listing includes the institution name, location and the URL of the library's Web catalog record for that item
- Gain access to WorldCat from clients that can send RESTful URI queries with either the OpenSearch or SRU protocols and can accept RSS, Atom, MARC XML or Dublin Core® responses.
I am really excited to see what cool new tools and mash-ups emerge from the developer community with this new point of access. In fact, we have an event for developers in the planning stages, related to the WorldCat API. If you've ever played around with Amazon Web Services, I think you're going to like this