Mobile reading

New models, new formats Recently I have been experimenting a bit with reading newspapers on my mobile phone (a G1 android device), or maybe I should say “reading news on my mobile”. I looked at two Dutch newspapers that adopt two completely different approaches. “NRC Handelsblad” publishes it’s daily print newspaper as a daily “e-paper” in PDF, Mobi and ePub format, to be downloaded every day to the platform of your choice. In order to […]

Old library, new library

On Sunday December 27, 2009 I was in the opportunity to visit the, otherwise closed, library of The Netherlands’ oldest museum Teylers museum in my home town Haarlem, together with a small group of Dutch library twitter people. We were very kindly shown around by librarian Marijn van Hoorn, who explained to us the library’s history and collection. Now I’m not going to say something about the pleasant real life consequences of getting to know […]

Is an e-book a book?

About cataloging physical items or units of content 2009 is the year of the e-book, or perhaps better: of the e-book reader. This is an important distinction that I will explain below. E-books are becoming more popular because of the increasing availability of various cheap e-book readers. But what is an e-book? Is it the same as a book? Some people say yes, some people say no. This question shouldn’t be so hard to answer, […]

Just in time or just in case?

Metasearch vs. harvesting & indexing The other day I gave a presentation for the Assembly of members of the local Amsterdam Libraries Association “Adamnet“, about the Amsterdam Digital Library search portal that we host at the Library of the University of Amsterdam. This portal is built with our MetaLib metasearch tool and offers simultaneous access to, at the moment, 20 local library catalogues. A large part of this presentation was dedicated to all possible (and […]

Roadmaps to uncertainty

What will library staff do 5 years from now? I attended the IGeLU 2009 annual conference in Helsinki September 6-9. IGeLU is the International Group of Ex Libris Users, an independent organisation that represents Ex Libris customers. Just to state my position clearly I would like to add that I am a member of the IGeLU Steering Committee.These annual user group meetings typically have three types of sessions: internal organisational sessions (product working groups and […]

No future for libraries?

Will library buildings and library catalogs survive the web?   Some weeks ago a couple of issues appeared in the twitter/blogosphere (or at least MY twitter/blogoshere) related to the future of the library in this digital era. There was the Espresso book machine that prints books on demand on location, which led to questions like: “apart from influencing publishing and book shops, what does this mean for libraries?“. There was a Twitter discussion about “will […]