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Vikas Kamat
 Vikas Kamat is a programmer- entrepreneur living in Birmingham AL. This blog is a complex mix of Indian culture, life in southern USA, computer sciences, and sports. Opinions are his own.
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Notes from Library Conference Durable Link to this BLOG
Notes from ALA MidWinter Meeting

I attended the American Library Association's meeting in Boston, hoping to learn new developments in digital library technologies. Some observations.

ALA Midwinter

  • Every Tom, Dick, Harry, Pete, and Steve how want to make money from the Internet, and everybody is offering what they call "Online Research Tools", and "Online Portals", and everybody has the same mantra --"federated search", "link to full text", and "usage statistics".
  • I asked "Open Access" gurus about value additions to open-access content -- like Open Access Research Databases, independent abstracts and reviews of OA papers, and they seem to be clueless. All they could tell me was "independently compiled abstracts and reviews are not original research and falls the outside the scope of OA movement." Great.
  • The vendor showcases are boring. I have been to several trade shows, the library shows are the worst. The most important person in library business (the researcher) had no representation.
  • You better believe in the stereotype librarian. They really are like that.
  • Whereas every vendor I spoke to was shivering with fear that their offerings are about to become history, the biggest players in the content and search business (Google and Yahoo) were completely absent. The librarians are still chanting "info on the web not reliable" mantra. Hello!
  • I asked every vendor in electronic content business how are they going to know a patron (a reader in the library) has access to a particular content (electronic music, electronic book, research paper etc) and they are seem to rely on the librarian to tell them that (as if the librarians have no other work). Anyway how does the librarian know what I bought on iTunes or Amazon?!

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Monday, January 17, 2005
Last Modified: 1/19/2005 5:19:15 PM

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