Virtual Worlds, Real Libraries by Lori Bell and Rhonda Trueman begins with the Gartner Research Group estimate that 80% of all internet users will expVirtual Worlds, Real Libraries by Lori Bell and Rhonda Trueman begins with the Gartner Research Group estimate that 80% of all internet users will experience a virtual world of some sort by 2011. I doubt they're all librarians or library students, but many of them are.
Bell and Trueman's book is designed as a handbook to understanding the allure of worlds like Second Life and how they can (and are) used for things other than just play. There's some history of librarians and the libraries they've created.
That said, the book wasn't as comprehensive as I hoped. It's a little bit of everything and not a lot of anything in particular. This book would work best as a wiki. In that wiki I would put an atlas of library and university sites with clickable links. While many of the libraries are grouped together on a single island, not all of them are.
Part of my online course work at SJSU requires the use of Second Life. I have to admit that when I first heard that, I balked. Until school I'd had no desire to use the program having felt liked I'd gotten all of my virtual world needs out of my system as an undergrad using MMPORGs.
But my school has a virtual campus as do lots of other universities. Libraries are spawning virtual versions of themselves to handle remote reference questions. Google Books even has a library one can walk through to see the books that are otherwise ebooks in the real world....more
Boundaries of Home by Doug Aberley was another of my GIS research books. It came up when I was reading about public participation GIS, a term coined bBoundaries of Home by Doug Aberley was another of my GIS research books. It came up when I was reading about public participation GIS, a term coined by the author actually five years after the book was published.
As the book was written before GIS became widely available for public consumption through DGI (distributed geographic information), Aberley seems down on maps. He describes them as something for mass consumerism and not something that's taken seriously by the public. In the introduction he describes how the public has lost all context of where they live beyond being a small dot on a fold-out map.
The book goes on to explain how small community groups and individuals can create personal maps either by drawing maps based on walks through the neighborhood and surrounds or by augmenting professionally made maps (like the USGS quadrangles).
The USGS quadrangle suggestion was something that struck home with me. Back when we were still living on the peninsula we bought the map of our area (the northern half of San Mateo County) and marked with pins. We still have the map (minus the pins) in our downstairs hall way, and it was one of the things I referred to when the San Bruno neighborhood was on fire after the PGE pipeline explosion.
Now though, there is a faster, more immediate way to custom map one's neighborhood, Google Maps. As the book predates Google Maps by twelve years, I found the frustration over map access, especially for cooperative mapping, interesting in its historical context. ...more
I came across Collective Intelligence by Pierre Lévy in my research for the Patron 2.0 paper. It was cited in Henry Jenkins's book, Fans, Bloggers andI came across Collective Intelligence by Pierre Lévy in my research for the Patron 2.0 paper. It was cited in Henry Jenkins's book, Fans, Bloggers and Gamers. Although the book was written in 1997, well before the advent of social media, the theory is solid and completely applicable to the discussion of Web 2.0.
Lévy begins his discussion with books. The written word is humanity's first and longest lived way of generating collective intelligence. Libraries are repositories of knowledge waiting to be read and interacted with. The modern day wiki, blog, social tagging or microblogging site (such as Twitter) are new expressions of collective intelligence.
While the book wasn't entirely on topic for my research, as I was looking for discussions of blogging in a library setting, the theory was nonetheless fascination. It also provided background for me to format my own research questions around....more
Web 2.0 for Librarians and Information Professionals by Ellyssa Kroski was one of the first books I found in the early days of my Patron 2.0 researchWeb 2.0 for Librarians and Information Professionals by Ellyssa Kroski was one of the first books I found in the early days of my Patron 2.0 research paper. Having "Web 2.0" in the title made it easy to find when I wasn't quite sure yet what direction my paper was going to take.
Kroski's book is first a description of what web 2.0 is and a brief history of its development. Next it is a descriptive catalog of current (as of 2008) technologies at use for librarians. It includes examples of how to use each of the listed technologies.
For my research the book was useful for seeing what was available. Although I'm fairly savvy with social technology it was good to have a list to check against as I was following links to blogs mentioned in other research. For library professionals the book would offer a good reference for offering Library 2.0 services.
Ellyssa Kroski lectures sometimes at San José State, the school I am currently attending. I have not taken any of her courses....more
Interesting but not exactly on topic for my paper. It's focused on the commercial and marketing side of GIS. Ground Truth: The Social Implications ofInteresting but not exactly on topic for my paper. It's focused on the commercial and marketing side of GIS. Ground Truth: The Social Implications of Geographic Information by John Pickles is an oft-cited book. Having seen it appear in the references of so many of the books and articles I have been reading for my GIS and disaster recovery term paper, I requested a copy of it via Link+ to see if it would be useful for my paper.
The book is a series of essays on GIS and society. There are some articles that argue for GIS (and more broadly cartography) as being a power struggle. Those who make and control the maps have the power over those who don't. Other articles look at the social welfare aspects of GIS and how it can be used and abused in the tracking of demographic or medical information.
While these essays were interesting and informative, none of them were on topic for my paper. I already have so much in the way of background and historical perspective for my paper that I didn't feel that this book had anything more to contribute and if anything was tangential to my topic....more
From September to December I have been read a pile of books about geographic information systems (GIS). I was working on a paper about GIS for one ofFrom September to December I have been read a pile of books about geographic information systems (GIS). I was working on a paper about GIS for one of my two classes. I chose the topic because I was working directly with two GIS implementations and the maps of a third when I was working for the Census over the spring and summer.
Sharing Geographic Information edited by Gerald Rushton and Harlan Joseph Onsrud was one of the books that came up during my research. I saw it as a potential source.
The book is a collection of essays about GIS and sharing information across agencies. The book though won't make into my paper for two reasons: age and focus. The book was published in 1995, and while it's not the oldest reference on my list by any means, it didn't cover any new or different ground from my other reference sources. There are only so many times and ways that I need terms defined. Had I read the book earlier in my research process I may very well have read it more closely and taken notes from it.
The second problem, from the point of view of my paper is the book's focus. For my paper I am most interested in how GIS can be used to plan for and respond to disaster. While this book does have essay on interagency sharing of information, none of them were really focused on the problems of including the general public in the equation.
The essays are informative but were not on topic for my paper. Three Stars....more
Walter William Ristow had a long career as a map librarian and cartographer. He worked as the head of the map divisions at the New York Public LibraryWalter William Ristow had a long career as a map librarian and cartographer. He worked as the head of the map divisions at the New York Public Library and later at the Library of Congress. Over the course of his career he wrote a number of articles on the challenges of working with maps in a library setting and aspects of cartography (Martin, 2006).
Many of those articles were reprinted in The Emergence of Maps in Libraries. I came across the book as a reference in Integrating Geographic Information Systems into Library Services: A Guide for Academic Libraries by John Arbresch, Ardis Hanson, Susan Heron and Pete Reehling (2008). I decided to track down a copy of this influential volume as I worked on building a foundation of understanding of how map keeping, cartography and geographic information services (GIS) come together under the library and information science heading.
Originally for my GIS term paper I was planning to write a basic history of the field and my experience using it when I worked briefly for the Census earlier this year. The Emergence of Maps in Libraries while not specifically about GIS save for a few early discussions about automated cartography, the cataloguing of maps and the scanning of map data, was pivotal for my understanding the seeds of GIS and why it remains so closely tied to library science.
What I didn't expect when I read the book was the great range of dates included in the book. The earliest articles are from the late 1940s and they go all the way through to the late 1970s. The book contains moments of contradiction, where in early articles Ristow says something can't, won't or shouldn't be done because it's too expensive, too difficult, not useful enough or just plain impractical. Then the next article, or one shortly thereafter will address the same problem and talk about how much easier the newer, cheaper technology is making the process of addressing the problem and providing solutions to researchers.
I loved how the librarian side of Ristow comes through in the inclusions of these contradictory articles. He demonstrates how he and his colleagues learned and adapted with technology. ...more
Fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems by Michael N. DeMers is another of the GIS books I read early on in my research for a term paper I hadFundamentals of Geographic Information Systems by Michael N. DeMers is another of the GIS books I read early on in my research for a term paper I had to write this semester. I had been working with a couple of GIS sites when I was working for the Census so I picked GIS as my topic to learn more about the tools I had been using with no training.
The book does exactly what it says, it outlines the fundamentals of GIS. It has the theory behind the tool, the history and the physical demands of setting up such a system (computers, software, networks and so forth).
There are also discussions of making and using maps, layers, themes and other data that can be stored in such a system. The book is a little dry in parts and a little basic in others but it just what I needed when I was first narrowing down my topic from GIS to disaster response using GIS....more
Last semester I worked on a Web 2.0 research paper where the emphasis was on library blogging and its use by and benefit to patrons (or Patron 2.0). OLast semester I worked on a Web 2.0 research paper where the emphasis was on library blogging and its use by and benefit to patrons (or Patron 2.0). One of the books I came across in the process was Fans, Bloggers and Gamers by Henry Jenkins. As an ex-film theory student, I had to read the book.
This book is an update to Textual Poachers, his book about fandom and fan fiction. His contention is that the fans of yore are the bloggers and gamers of today.
The book is organized chronologically into three sections: "Inside Fandom", "Going Digital" and "Columbine and Beyond." The fandom section is a rehashing of his studies of Star Trek fans and especially Star Trek slash. It was my least favorite part of the book.
The middle section was of the most interest to me as it covers blogging. The blogging though is specifically the subset of fans who post their theories, fan fiction and fan art and that sort. As I was researching the interaction between library, blog and library patron the blogging covered in this book wasn't on topic for my project. It was however an interesting slice of life, something I sometimes run across through book blogging. I did, once upon a time, use my site for posting fan art when I had nothing else to post.
The last section is Jenkin's turn to weigh in on the on-going debate about media violence and its effects (if any). They are worth reading. The basic gist is: media violence doesn't automatically make anyone violent. Those who are already predisposed towards violence might be pushed over the edge but that's a very small percentage of any given population....more