Content Enrichment Services


The more access to information we have, the more we want. But in the case of Content Enrichment Services,  it is not so much that we want more text, but that we want an enriched text.

Say you are searching for a book about C.S. Lewis and have in mind a book that you remember from your grandfather’s library. You might have a picture in your mind of the cover, and an idea that it was written by a colleague of Lewis’ but you you don’t know what his name was.

In a content enriched library catalogue  you would benefit  enormously from a MARC record that included book jacket images and a biography of the author.

The ability to read the summary or Table of Contents from a book gives the researcher evaluative information that is very useful. The Table of Contents, for example, will pinpoint to the researcher whether the book will discuss a specific topic for their research project.

Annotations, inside pages and examples of illustrations will give the researcher a glimpse  into the book as a physical object.

Of course the object being catalgued is not necessarily a book;  items like CDs, record covers or sheet music would all benefit from Enriched Content Services.

With some texts or items, the writing that has been added to the original text is as important as the original item.  What about a collectible book with interesting writing in the margins?

I am also thinking about my grandmother’s recipe box, a small tarnished golden box jammed with index cards and folded recipes.

I can transcribe those recipes and put them an a database, but I will lose something  in the translation. The most popular recipes are on worn out index cards, with yellowing spots from spilled ingredients.

The folded magazine articles that high-light recipes that save on butter and sugar for war time kitchens are collectibles. But most importantly, the recipes are in my grandmothers’ hand writing.

The only way to preserve these recipes, other than holding on to that little box and passing it on to my kids, is to scan and store the information.  In that way I will  preserve an item that is a piece of history.


Google Reader

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I am half way through Module Five and still reeling from the information. It seems to make sense as I read it but when I move forward to try to apply the information I feel as if I am struggling to understand a foreign country’s transit system without really knowing the language!

In terms of the first part of the second assignment, I have subscribed to all the student blogs through Google Reader. The only problem with this approach may be that Google has done much of the technical work for me (something I would normally approve of) and now I still do not know how to find the OPML address.

A good side effect of this section of the assignment is getting a chance to see EVERYONE’s blogs. I am impressed with how amusing and interesting they all are. This is likely a testament to the type of person who likes book and libraries; people who like to read are usually fairly good writers and that makes for a good blog!

I am sure I will figure out how to make a blogroll eventually. It is funny how much  anxiety is produced by my ignorance. As Gillian said in one of her comments  to one of our blogs, ‘Learning about a new technology is about playing’, so I am trying to remember to take that attitude, as opposed to the anxious teeth gritting one that can take over when I feel lost.

This anecdote will date me, but I still remember my only experience in teaching a new technology. While living in B.C. in 1990 I was teaching some women in my office how to use an electronic typewriter with word processing, and the women were terrified of making a mistake.

“Is it this button, should I push this? Agh! Is that ok?”  At the time I was the young gal teaching the old hands, and I was amused by their fear and hesitancy. Now I am the student, and I know my furrowed brow is  amusing to my daughter!

So I remind myself, on a mantra like basis, this is straight forward information, don’t complicate it!

Now back to the puzzle,








More Facebook finds: Protesting Librarians

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Found on Facebook

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Found this image on Facebook – with a lot of likes!


Notebook Computers replace Librarians


The  education department in New Brunswick is facing massive cuts. The cuts have included a decrease in the budget for school librarians.

Librarians are seemingly an old fashioned concept, like gym teachers or guidance counselors.

Tragically, at the same time that the province is cutting the education budget,  parents of grade nine students in our local high school are being offered  notebook computers in a provincially funded experiment to see if students will be more engaged with their studies if they can track it in their computers and save their projects in cyberspace.

The money may be coming from different areas of the budget, but it is a sad day for librarians when a portable computer is more important for learning than a trained research librarian.

In the presentation that was meant to promote the project the parents were told that students in China and India were out numbering us and achieving better scores and achievements.

Aside from the bizarre and questionable use of the comparison,  I have to think that if students in Asia are getting better grades and competing at a higher level, it is not because they have laptops, but possibly because they have more demanding schools, and possibly more discipline in the classroom.

The presentation video concluded with the statement that our students need to keep up with information technology.

In response to that, and speaking for all the outraged parents, I will say that librarians are more necessary than ever, in order to help students sift through all the information on the internet and glean the truth.

And moreover, there is nothing a person over 30 years can teach a young person about social media or comptuer technology that they don’t already know!

So our library sits in the dark as the kids are expected to protect an expensive ball and chain, that will weigh down their backpacks and monitor their every move on the internet.

The way of the future:  we told them,  ‘No thanks’.

Tricky Dilemma – Crime or Censorship

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I came upon an article that should cause some debate among librarians. Should a librarian be fired for reporting a man that was watching ‘child pornography’  on the internet computers at the public library?

As librarians we are in agreement that it is important to preserve the patrons rights and freedoms when it comes to reading material. We do not want to be in the position of police guards and we need to protect the rights of patrons to research topics that may be controversial.

However, when it comes to pornography there are many of us who may be of two minds. Obviously there are criminal laws are in existence to control images or texts that promote violence or hatred towards another race. And the same exist to protect women and children.

Some may argue that women who actively participate in pornography are not being harmed, this is debatable but can be left for another discussion.

The question is whether children should be protected from child pornography. I would argue that by the very fact that we have a category called ‘child pornography’  we are enabling a crime.

Supposedly pornography is acceptable in our society because the participants are voluntary.

Any text or image that uses children sexually should  immediately be categorized as a crime. There is no such thing as ‘child pornography’ ; any image or text promoting children in the sexual act is a crime.

In the case of this librarian, who had come across this patron at least twice watching the degradation of children on the public access computers, did she not do the right thing by reporting him to the police?

Or is the librarians’ mandate to protect intellectual freedom and rights paramount?

Trying to get the Stumble Upon Icon

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 I have been futzing away on the computer all morning trying to get the Stumble Upon button at the bottom of my Libraries Live posts, just as I have it on my Painfullyaboutme.wordpress blog.

It is a handy icon because you can suggest your own article be posted on the massive Stumble Upon site and people will randomly come upon your writing.

It might be that the style and theme I  have chosen for the Libraries Live blog has a more difficult built in block to this path. I am not sure.

I have managed to add Stumble Upon to my Blogroll but that was not what I was looking to do, as a matter of fact.

I have, in my web wanderings, come across an interesting wiki site on libraries:

which I will include for your reading pleasure.

Ultimately I should be able to set up a bookmark area where I can post interesting sites related to libraries that I can share with the other students.

I have also been working with because they seem to have the bookmark market.  But my Widgets have not turned up a convenient bookmark widget thingy.

The path of least resistance is to wait for the techy people to figure out how to offer these services to the non-techy people in our common lay person language, for example, with simple pick up and drag technology.

We are the people  who take our cars to the garage. Our eyes glaze over when the explanations get too layered. I can see the look of disdain, politely hidden with a patient smile, in the eyes of people who just seem to understand how everything works.

But I am still plugging away, and I do seem to achieve success at times. Although I am never really sure if I can repeat my success.

If you understand how to do what I am trying to do, please leave me a message.  Thanks in advance.

Back to the bloggin’.

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