Archive for July, 2006


Sad Day In Libraryland

?Frederick G. Kilgour, a librarian and educator who created an international computer library network and database that changed the way people use libraries, died on July 31, 2006. He was 92 years old and had lived since 1990 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.?
It is indeed very sad today to note the passing of Fred Kilgour, librarian, educator and founder of OCLC. Dr. Kilgour?s place as one of the most important figures in the history of libraries and librarianship has been well established for decades and his passing gives us an opportunity to celebrate his life?s accomplishments.
Around the globe, Dr. Kilgour?s legacy with undoubtedly live on and grow. The ideas and innovations in information services that he helped bring to fruition in the early days of shared computing have become something libraries simply could not do without today.
Dr. Kilgour?s intellect, curiosity and creative problem solving are things of legend both at OCLC and in the library profession at large. In my time working at OCLC I can honestly say I have never heard a cross word spoken about the man. Everyone here seems to have a ?Fred? story and each one I have heard involves a hard working, intelligent, thoughtful and curious person who was always interested in helping libraries accomplish their missions more successfully.
The world is a better place because of Dr. Kilgore?s contributions and he will be missed even as the importance of his vision and work live on.
My favorite ?Fred? quote is one I use regularly in class. It seems very observant and timely as you read it, until you get to the end and see that it was written in 1981. 1981?! Wow.
?New applications of technology will enable libraries to shift from their traditional emphasis on the packages of data to furnishing information for decisions and action. Hence, the new technology will provide librarians with the opportunity of developing new concepts of librarianship, having as their main emphasis the provision of information to individuals when and where they need it. Finally, it must be recognized that this new librarianship will evolve step-by-step and in cadence with the cultural evolution of our society.? (link and link)
?Fred Kilgour, 1981
In respectful remembrance and in celebration of a life full of visionary accomplishment, libraries and library professionals around the world salute you Fred Kilgour!

A fine related link from the “It’s All Good” blog with more details about the mans’ life and accomplishments.

The OCLC Community Forum site for “Remembering Frederick G. Kilgour”

User generated, customized content works for Flickr. User generated customized content is Flickr. User generated, customized content makes Flickr stronger, adds value and increases market share. It makes loyal Flickr users and nurtures community. What if we took ?Flickr? out of those first four sentences and switched it to ?Libraries?. Libraries have a huge opportunity to expand use and deepen community connections here. Implementing select tools based on already existing library data and user generated content is the key. How could this work though?

Flickr opens its content. Flickr happily allows others to tweak, enhance and expand. Make no mistake, Flickr maintains authority and is the core information source in these shared transactions. Called a mash-up, called a partnership or simply called ?cool? (by the end users especially), this idea is important. Imagine customized library user profiles taking this idea from Flickr, ideas from Netflix and innovations from Libraries are in a remarkably unique position to spring on this market. Opportunities abound to secure our positions, grow our market and significantly increase level of loyalty amongst ?electronic library users?.’s Flickr toys offer a wide range of tools that let you mine, customize and repackage your data (photos and stats too) does an impressive job of introducing very easy to user tools to work with Flickr data. Look at some of their tools and imagine how library customs/patrons could do similar things with data from your library collection. Take it, tweak it and share it… all the while pointing people to the source of the info..THE LIBRARY.

Here is a happy little widget from ?fd? that is easy to imagine as a customized library tool, both for the library and all of it’s patrons:
libraryman. Get yours at

You can see the collection of fd’s Flickr Toys HERE.

Seems a bit like the LibraryThing widget of a slightly similar stripe, no? (pardon the scrolling you may have to do here due to a formatting snafu):

Inspired by “Tame The Web” Michael’s link to the new’s Flickr Toy.


Library Thing Is A Delicious Monster

In more deeply exploring some fairly well known, fun, scary cool library tech stuff today, the same ideas and themes surfaced yet again: This is for the masses, but similar services aren’t really offered through library web pages. Yet this is what libraries do. Dude! Can’t think of a single reason not to make this happen fast on a large scale. It is customized content, user generated, and could be tied into ILL/resources sharing/fulfillment. Stick a solid queue function in there, nurture use and community by exposing content from friends using the service and you’ve got the core of the new web library, yes? Yes! How do we make this happen?

Delicious Monster – Delicious Library:
Delicious Monster - Delicious Library

LibraryThing Tour 1


Quotes From Attendees and Upcoming Dates

The “Keep Up! Practical emerging technology for you and your library” workshop is hitting the road again. Spend a fun, full day learning about a surprising variety of real, useable tools and concepts.

If the content is of interest, this really might be the class for you. I?ve debated when and how to share bits of the feedback from this class, but a recent work project had me reviewing a small sample of attendee comments. I seriously hesitated to post these for fear of seeming braggadocios, but remember, it?s the content (workshop subject) not the container (MP). These are direct quotes, honest:

“Informative and Fascinating”
“Humorous & effective”

“I’m re-energized about working in the wonderful world of libraries”

“This was far and away the most informative and entertaining OCLC training I have ever been to.” *Obviously this person wasn’t a cataloger or ILL person.* ;)

“…the most relevant and inspiring training I have been to”

“Michael is a gargantuan dork and I’ll bet he got beat up a lot in high school” Ok, ok, I made that last one up. The others were honest to goodness direct quotes. :)

Ready to attend? More info and sign-up links are HERE.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006
9:00 am-4:00 pm
Location: University of California, Davis, CA

Friday, September 8, 2006
9:00 am-4:00 pm
Location: Portland State University (Portland, OR)

Wednesday, September 27, 2006
9:00 am-4:00 pm
Location: Downtown Reno Public Library, Reno, NV

Hope to see you there! :)

Netflix Lovefest Results From Datamining Interface

This post was intended to be purely about numbers, stats and ranking of DVDs in Netflix and in Libraries using WorldCat. But the interactive, social, instant, business encouraging model at Netflix was so amazingly effective that intent was nearly trumped. Here’s a number that explains it all: 2.0. That isn’t enough though so here are some other juicy numbers for you via a screenshot of the offical Netflix Top 100 Movie Rentals. This is the version you see when you are logged in to an account (mine, in this case;), so if you don’t have a Netflix account this might be especially good to see:

Netflix Top 100 - July 2006

Track top 100 movement every two weeks? See what is already in your queue from the top 100 and add other titles with a click of the mouse? See which of the movies your other Netflix friends have recommended? Add your own ratings to any title in the top 100 instantly? With one click? Your friends then see your ratings and the ratings are also added to the collective rating of the movie? See what movies are popular in you geographic area? All on or launched from one page?! A page that makes sense when you look at it? ILS vendors! Hello! Open WorldCat folks? Anybody in LibraryLand? Please?

Dig a Bit (intended pun) of the Library Data
The following image reveals the Top 50 most widely held DVD titles in WorldCat and the number of libraries that ?hold? each title. Interestingly, couched in a Netflix and Libraries discussion, I have to say that the process involved in mining this data was not especially quick or easy. I don?t even know if most library folks would even be able to pull this info out of WorldCat. I certainly had help. It isn?t secret information by any means. In fact, WorldCat and OCLC both works to expose the quantity and quantity of information in library catalogs worldwide. Again, couched in a Netflix and Libraries discussion it is interesting and important information:

Top 50 WorldCat DVD Holdings

Anyone who might have the impression that Netflix has more DVD content variety or quantity than libraries gets a sneak preview here that might make them say ?hmmm..?. I?ll work on more stats, though again, the WorldCat data can be surprisingly difficult to mine at this point.

Many folks reading this already know about the Open WorldCat Program , but I’d be remiss not to mention is somewhere in this discussion. Such sweet, juicy potential!

Dream Time
*I know Netflix will surely have more copies of current popular titles, but they sell these in their store once popularity starts to wane. Sound like a library bookstore to anybody? Dream job? Working on a library partnership with Netflix for popular DVDs while also setting up a nationwide “Friends of the Library” interface to sell weeded library materials in partnership with Amazon. Yeah, buddy!*


Netflix Niagara and Libraries

**Picture Removed at request of Niagra University**
Request stated “The screen capture is a violation of copyright law.”

Niagara University uses Netflix to expand circualtion and patron access. Nice work!

**Update – “Niagara University Library will no longer be offering the service”. Yipes! Wonder what gives? **

A message to Netflix: Would you be interested in starting a program with libraries so that they can do this AND allow their patrons to browse the Netflix catalog?
**maybe not? Hmmm**

Thanks for the link Greg and nice work on this project, Samantha!