Here goes—a valiant effort to clean off some of my desktop before leaving for Denver for the LITA National Forum tomorrow. I'll be blogging at the LITA Blog for the weekend, so check it out. I have no idea what sessions I'll be blogging yet (I'm going as one of the student volunteers, so I go where they send me), but I'm sure that wherever I wind up, it'll be interesting.
And now, onto the links:
Much of this study falls into the, "Well, duh," category of research. College students prefer search engines over libraries because search engines are faster, more convenient, and easier to use? I mean, it's nice to have some survey data to put with the common knowledge, but this isn't exactly groundbreaking. There are a couple of interesting points, though. Three-quarters of college students realize that, on balance, the information in libraries is more likely to be credible and accurate than information on the Web. I hope that those students aren't blindly trusting everything they read in the library and dismissing out-of-hand everything that they read on the Internet, but it's still not a bad finding. And, finally, the item that really interested me was about students' perceptions of the relative effectiveness of reference librarians versus search engines. One-third of students think that librarians are better than search engines; two-thirds think that they're the same or worse. (I'm actually surprised that these findings are as positive for reference librarians as they are.)
Terje Hillesung writes about Reading Books in the Digital Age Subsequent to Amazon, Google and the Long Tail in First Monday. (Which, apropos of nothing, is the most confusingly-named journal I know. I was a political wonk before I was a library techno-geek, and "first Monday" already has a very specific meaning in political wonkery: the new Supreme Court term starts on the first Monday of October, which is sort of like Christmas for serious wonks. As much as I love First Monday, it's going to be a long, long time until it's the first thing I think of when I hear the words "first Monday.") I haven't had time to read the whole thing yet, but from the abstract it looks like another really interesting perspective on the future economics of publishing.
Some love for librarians in Semantic Web-land, and more about the Semantic Web and libraries (Hat tip for both: jackflaps.net.)
Reading this interview with Richard Ackerman (hat tip: LISNews.com) in the midst of reading Andrew Keen's The Cult of the Amateur is a very interesting experience, because they're talking about some of the exact same things (right down to O'Reilly's SciFoo unconference) and yet coming to totally different conclusions about them.
Yes, I've finally gotten around to starting The Cult of the Amateur. So far I don't have much to say about it. Keen writes very well, and I have not yet been tempted to throw the book across the room, but in the first 20-odd pages he really isn't saying much. As far as I can tell so far his big complaint about the Web is that it allows the hoi polloi to read what they're interested in, not what cultural gatekeepers like Keen think that they should be interested in.
I've recently discovered another great blog, called Cataloging Futures. Another librarian who's interested in the Semantic Web!