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Librarians Today

Today's librarians are shelving stereotypes | - Houston Chronicle
.."Information isn't reserved for books
It's online, and today's librarians are experts at finding it"..

Posts from Hindi Blogs

Google Sites

Google Sites
..a new offering from Google Apps, makes creating a team site as easy as editing a document..

Revisit Libraries Again in 2020

[Photograph by Leonard G., licensed per Creative Commons ShareAlike 1.0.]
via a Slate Slideshow - Burrowed Time.

Continuing with my curiosity about future libraries of 2020 and discussions at email forums around Dec 2005, I feel Libraries would be very different than we have today. Didn't we had different libraries before the Printing Press and revolution it brought in knowledge generation and distribution. Internet is another big revolution after the Printing Press. Will the libraries become extinct in the year 2019? as predicted by Trends in the Living Networks: Will libraries disappear in 2019?

Libraries to me are collective reservoir of recorded wisdom of Human race. These will have to exist in one shape or the other. That is how humans are different from other animals on the earth.

Need for revision of Library and Information Science Syllabus

One of IGNOU's teachers has taken a bold step of initiating revision of BLIS Syllabus that too by asking open suggestions through a email based forum.

This would be a great opportunity to look into what is being taught for last two decades now. There has been number of changes that happened on the educational scenarios changing information needs of modern society taken collectively. 'Net' has been a major landmark revolution after the printing press revolution. And this has happened in roughly last two decades or so. The earlier press revolution changed what libraries were before printing press. 'Net' revolution would also change as how the libraries would be in near future.

I had made a little prediction as what would be academic libraries in the year 2020 around Dec 2005. Some of you did not agree to my assumptions. Again let me stress that changes would be dramatic. Perhaps some smaller institutions would be outsourcing their 'libraries'. Today's (27th Feb 2008) Times of India, carried a report that there is a proposal that Delhi University may be allowing access to its libraries to the students of other universities on payment of nominal fees. You may call it resource sharing, to me it is outsourcing (of library services and content) by other institutions and universities of Delhi from Delhi University.

Ok, let me come to the actual point of revision of Syllabus. This opportunity should be utilized to incorporate present day requirements of Library and Information Professionals. Since it is a professional course, the experience of working professionals would be more appropriate. Thus it would be great opportunity to take views of the working professionals.

The present syllabus needs to be revised drastically. To start with, I would just like see drastic changes in the first paper itself - i.e. Library and Society. This paper actually establishes and justifies the need of library for the human society. In this "net" age, first of all we have to re-establish the relevance of library. The conventional libraries could become more and more irrelevant to the society if these are not molded to the young and future generations of mankind. They are already saying that Reference Books are just like Dinosaurs in Libraries. I would myself key-in few words in Google (over cell phone) than to visit library and check out encyclopedia. I may be mature enough to evaluate and discount my 'net findings'. But the "google" generation is not that mature. A new concept - Library 2.0 is to be definitely is there. Then comes marketing of services by professionals. The philosophy of 'Open Access', which I believe is same what Ranganathan referred by saying "Books are for Use" has to be embedded within the future generation librarians.

I believe that educational model for Library and Information Science
Professionals should have three concentric cores (facets):

1 - CORE - having the essential LIS philosophy, theory, Tools and Best

2 - MIDDLE CORE - comprising of Information Technologies (All ICE
Technologies) that boosts the effectiveness of the CORE (1).

3 - INTERFACE CORE - This is the face that is perceived by Prospective
Employers. It takes the feedback from the job market, adjusts the
MIDDLE Core to satisfy the Employers' requirements.

(See discussions)

I would put the Library Users under the INTERFACE CORE. Applying Library 2.0 Concepts to this would mean mechanisms be taught were Professionals develop processes in their library systems to capture the user behavior and further refine and enrich library services and
Content by encouraging collaborative feed back from users. For example - OPAC may be developed to allow tagging and adding to their 'favourites'.


Why open source model for librarians?

Why look at open source now? - PLN
..The open source model offers librarians the capability to create the software that we’ve always wanted—-standards compliant[7], interoperable, extensible and scalable software that does what we want it to do: help customers find information quickly, conveniently, no matter where that information resides..
I will say choose open source because it gives you the freedom to use, change or distribute the way you want. Remember, Libraries are expected to stay much longer than the vendors. Vendors may not support a version which they sold you some time ago. Or they may go out of business. In that case all your work and investment goes waste. You may be forced to migrate to another version or another software. With Open Source, you know what it all contains. You may tweak it yourself or hire people to do so, but then it is always with you. You can make it to evolve for your library's evolving needs.

Also check out the following paper at E-LIS repository:

E-LIS - A Virtual Exhibition of Open Source Software for Libraries
..Open source software is quickly becoming a preferred solution, owing to the freedom to copy, modify and distribute it and the freedom from contracts, as well as for greater opportunities for interoperability with other applications..

Web 2.0 in LIS Schools

Main Articles: 'Web 2.0 in U.S. LIS Schools: Are They Missing the Boat?', Ariadne Issue 54
..a survey of the accredited schools of library and information science in the United States, to determine the degree of adoption of courses on Web 2.0..

Institutional Repositories - Ranks


Busy nurses and right information

Just go through article on how a medical librarian helps busy nurses by providing right information. - Information Overload?
.."With a constant barrage of new research studies and hundreds of trade and professional journals available online, most nurses need professional guidance to navigate the database maze"..

Institutional Blogs - Bioinformatics Institute of India

Bioinformatics Institute of India is encouraging its members - students, alumni, non students - to post and comment to its Blog. The Blog focuses on Bioinformatics, Biotechnology, Pharma Regulatory Affairs, Clinical Trials, Drug Design and Discovery, IPR, GMP.

Indian Bloggers - Active Lot

Indians are not just dominating global software industry. They are active on the blogosphere as well. They don't just blog, they network themselves as well. Just have a look at IndiBlogger. It is serves as a directory of Indian Bloggers and a platform for networking among them. They also meet in real world. At state level as well they do have groups - for example take the case of Delhi Bloggers Group. They are ready to form a registered society called - The Delhi Blog & New Media Society. Here also they network and meet together (Flickr: Delhi Blog & New Media Society). A new search engine cum directory - India Blogs- has been lunched. It is based on Google Custom Search and claims to cover India's top and most read blogs. Yet another tool is available to be in touch with Indian Blogs - BlogsJam It is an aggregating service brings best blogs at one place. There are other bloggers too but perhaps not listed in such general directories. Some Librarians and Information Science professionals blog too. They are listed at Librarians Library along with other content.

Top 25 Librarian Blogs by OEDb - is their methodology correct?

Found via Librarian Blogging, Top 25 Librarian Bloggers (By the Numbers) by OEDb. Got surprised a bit to notice that Google Librarian Central occupies 15th Rank despite the fact that it has not been updated since June 2007. The methodology used relies on Google PageRank along with Alexa Rank,Technorati Authority and Bloglines Subscribers.

We know that there are many better blogs than Google Librarian Central. Isn't Google PageRank giving better rank to its associated blog?


Share all your links with a LINK - Bunch them with LinkBun.Ch

Well this is interesting, innovative and from India. If you want to share a list of links, LinkBunch - is for you. It is yet in Beta (like most) but works well. I have been using a link shortening tool - Snipr to for referring to sites with long URLs in my emails. You know problem with long URLs, some email clients would break them into two lines and thus render them ineffective for clicking over. There might also be situation where we might like to share a set of links through emails or chat sessions - this could be of help. However I would like this tool to allow me to edit my set of links latter on and show me all my sets. Well Snipr does that. Hope that is soon coming up as indicated -
As of now, there isn't a way to edit bunches, but I'm working on a user account based system that will let you easily manage all your created bunches, favorite bunches, friend's bunches etc.

Another concern (though can understand this) - advertisements on the page created for the set of links.

Another educational videos site

Other day I shared my find VideoLectures, now here is another site for educational Videos -

We produce the knowledge they take away the profits.

Here is another reaction of a scholar on conventional scholarly publishing. Best scientific knowledge is produced (authored) and quality controlled (peer-reviewed and scrutinized by editorial board) by scientific and academic community. Arunn Narasimhan writes in his Unruled Notebook » Blog Archive » Open Access Publishing
.."As a researcher, I do all the hard work, think of an idea, find the research methods and tools, find the funding if necessary to accomplish certain tasks to realize the idea and see its merit, write the results using the idea and analyze the pros and cons of the idea and send that research article usually to a research journal office comprising of other researchers. The subsequent peer review process that qualifies my idea for its worthiness as original useful scientific knowledge is done by these academics and researchers mostly for no fee. It is a service they all must perform because it will be reciprocated in kind and quality by other researchers in the community to uplift their research work. Strict but free of money"..
Scholars give away their papers to journals without expecting any financial benefits in return. Their unknown peers do the quality control but do not even get a mention for doing so. Editorial boards consisting of eminent scholars take difficult decisions on some controversial papers. They also hardly get an annual subscription of the journal they edit. However, all these participants from the same academic and scientific community are doing all this because this is how the academic peer ranking and rating model works. And let us not forget, it is this very community that purchase the knowledge they have produced from the publishers. Without that producing or adding new knowledge won't be possible. Those not having enough purchasing power would obviously be handicapped in making contributions to such knowledge generation process.

It could be understood that prior to Internet era publishers were the only route for publishing nascent scientific literature. They have sound distribution network in the book trade coupled with marketing power. But Internet has given an alternative to their distribution network. Shouldn't now there be an alternative publishing model in the form of Open Access?

Zimbra Collaboration Suite 5.0

Zimbra has Launched Zimbra Collaboration Suite 5.0. Zimbra, a Yahoo! company, is into messaging and collaboration software. Zimbra Collaboration Suite (ZCS) integrates email, contacts, shared calendar, VoIP, and online document authoring into a rich browser-based interface.


How to publish Linked Data on the Web

..After a general overview of the concept of Linked Data, we describe several practical recipes for publishing information as Linked Data on the Web..
How to publish Linked Data on the Web

VideoLectures - I would rather go here than YouTube

I would rather prefer to visit VideoLectures to YouTube. Reason being simple - it is a mine of learning and educational videos. Majority of them are from the field of Computer Science including my favorite Information Retrieval.

Only minus point I feel is that it does not allow embedding of its videos. You can have just HTML code for linking from your site or blog.

Video - Semantic Web a Concise Introduction



Omeka is an online display platform for museums, historical societies, scholars, collectors and educators. Its under development and in private beta.

Update: 21 Feb 2008: Released public beta, which is located at


Open Source Softwares for Libraries being preferred.

Read an interesting item in Inside Higher Ed "Open Minds, Open Books, Open Source" Referring Perceptions 2007: an International Survey of Library Automation it mentions how librarians are shifting towards open source softwares.

I had also held the view that libraries should always go for open source solutions. Libraries are long living growing "organism" (Remember Dr S.R. Ranganathan's Fifth Law) established without any end-date or closing date. They grow, evolve and undergo change dynamically. It is difficult to trust any vendor to survive and grow with the needs of the libraries. If a vendor / producer of a commercial library software goes out of business, it can be imagined how difficult it could become to shift from one platform to another.

When I say open source softwares it means their source code is available. People can change these and further distribute without any breaking any rule. I keep visiting just to keep myself updated on open source softwares for libraries.

Firefox Plugin for Translation

If Google translation can serve your purpose, gTranslate (a Firefox Plugin) could be a tool for you. You can translate any text in a webpage just by selecting and right-clicking over it.



OAPEN - a new project for Open Access publishing of monographs.

Library 2.0 Books

Openness Transforms Health Care

Human Genome Project is a fine example of mass collaboration in biomedical research. It demonstrates benefits of allowing access to data and its manipulation by researchers around the world. Openness
allows contributions from large number of individuals thus often leads to greater innovation.

Openness with adequate care for personal privacy of patients has been recommended by a recent report - Harnessing Openness to Transform American Health Care by the Digital Connections Council of the Committee for Economic Development.

(Found via Transforming Scholarly Communication).


ibibo, How much time you would take to upload my Photos from Flickr?

I went for a try of much advertised ibibo - a new social network from India. It is supposed to provide a facility for uploading of Flickr photos. However it is not working for me. I have done what all is required to grant permissions from my Flickr account. Still after two tries in last one week, the same information is being displayed.

.."Your import is still in progress. Once this upload gets completed, you will be informed by mail. You can then upload photos from your other flickr accounts too"..

Update: 18 Feb 2008: Now my ibibo account shows 200 Photographs (My Flickr account has few more). However I am yet to receive any email from ibibo. Also the above message is still there.

Update: 20 Feb 2008: So finally I have been informed through email that my photos have been imported from Flickr.

All about Library 2.0

Library 2.0 Squidoo lens by Jenny Levine and Michael Stephens
is an excellent starting point to know all about Library 2.0. It is a model for a modernized form of library service that reflects a transition within the library world in the way that services are delivered to users. The model aims to harness library users in the design and implementation of library services by encouraging feedback and participation.

Harvard Faculty Adopts Open-Access Requirement

Back to School after Forty Years

I visited one of my schools last year after a gap of about four decades. My memories are still intact.

Tools from Libraries Around the World

Thanks Dr P Vyasamoorthy for letting us know about Research Tools from Libraries Around the World - College


Softwares for Development of Institutional Repository

According to data culled from ROAR in February 2008, number of repositories powered by various softwares / platforms are:

Repository Software

No. of Repositories

















Open Repository


















DSpace and EPrints has majority of Installation base.  'bepress' stands for Berkeley Electronic Press which produces number of tools for content production and dissemination. Digital Commons is their hosted software / service for Institutional Repositories. The OPUS interfaces and documentation are primarily in German. ETD-db consists of a series of web pages and perl scripts that interact with a MySQL database. DiVA (Digitala Vetenskapliga Arkivet in Swedish) is from universities of Scandinavia and developed at Uppsala University Library, Sweden. CDS Invenio (formerly CDSware) is unique in the sense that it uses MARC 21 as its underlying bibliographic standard. Latest version is CDS Invenio v0.92.1, released in February 2007. Fedora Commons provides sustainable technologies to create, manage, publish, share and preserve digital content. Please do not confuse this with the RedHat supported linux project for community based development and distribution of Linux. Open Repository like 'bepress' is a service from BioMed Central which runs over DSpace. HAL is a repository platform rather instead of a software. ARNO Software is from ARNO project (Academic Research in the Netherlands Online) which aims to develop and implement university document servers to make available the scientific output of participating institutions. DoKS (Document and Knowledge Sharing application)  is a digital library tool that makes it easy to publish, store, share and find documents online. The original focus of the project is the publication of ETDs from Flemish Institutes for Higher Education.It can be downloaded from Fez/Fedora a Web-based digital repository and workflow management software system based on Fedora 2.1 It is PHP and MySQL based and works as a front-end and administration tool. MyCoRe uses Java and XML/XSL technologies and supports various backend systems for management and querying of content. Apart from Open Source backends like MySQLand Apache Lucene it also supports commercial backend systems like Oracle, IBM DB2 and IBM Content Manager. SciX Open Publishing Services (SOPS) is software that allows setting up various on-line scientific publishing media. However the SciX Project has been completed in 2004. So not many new developments may be expected. OJS is actually a very good open source software for managing online publishing of scholarly journals. However from the above data table it has also been used for repository. The above table also shows that number of local softwares and systems have been developed for establishing institutional repositories.

The ultimate decision for selecting a  repository software zeros down to DSpace and EPrints. Both are good candidates. EPrints uses PERL language and goes well with Standard LAMP configuration. DSpace is built on JAVA technology and runs on Tomcat. However internal a gateway can be established between Apache and Tomcat. In that case requests are handled by apache and processed by Tomcat internally.


Educating authors benefits of Open Access journals

E-LIS - Educating authors of biomedical publications to the benefits of Open Access journals
.."Educating scientific authors regarding the benefits of OA is the core purpose of an ongoing initiative aimed at establishing a pilot group of Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS, Italian National Institute of Health) researchers supporting the OA paradigm: their activity as starters of an innovative publishing policy is targeted to favouring OA principles among ISS research staff"..

Copyright policies of scholarly journals for authors

Author should check-up copyright policies of scholarly journals before sending their articles for publication. It has been empirically shown that articles freely available online are more likely to get cited. Thus preference should be given to Open Access journals or those journals that allow self-achieving in public or institutional repositories. Directory of Open Access Journals lists 3146 Open Access journals. RoMEO project maintains a database of publishers' policies relating to archiving. Another similar database (OAKList)has been announced containing information about publishing agreements and publishers' open access policies.


Live Video Streaming Services

TechCrunch's post on Yahoo Launches Live (Live Streaming Video Service) also includes some other similar services as well.

So the list of Video Streaming Services now includes:


Reference Books becoming mear decorative items ?

Who would take the trouble of locating a fact or meaning in reference books in Net Age? See an interesting item - VOA News - Are Reference Books Today's Dinosaurs?
.."encyclopedias are impressive in offices and dens. But they're becoming more decoration than everyday research aids"..

Google's Trends would tell you what India is looking for?

According to a post - What's India searching for online? on Google's Blog, Google Trends for India has been launched. It is updated daily for Hot Trends. You can compare search trends for different terms. Its also shows day's 100 Hot Trends.


InstantStorm is a Windows freeware tool for creating Flash based screensavers.

Evolving Web Cult of Hindi Language - “हिन्दीब्लॉग्स डॉट कॉम”

Popularity of Blogs (चिट्ठा) in India is really picking up and giving the much required boost to Indian Languages and scripts. Just take a note of
.."भाषा राष्ट्र की वह शक्ति है, जिसके माध्यम से वह आंतरिक संवाद क़ायम करता है। व्यक्ति राष्ट्र की इकाई है और ब्लॉग व्यक्ति की आवाज़ है। इन दोनों का समन्वय ही हिन्दी ब्लॉग जगत् है। “हिन्दीब्लॉग्स डॉट कॉम” इसी हिन्दी ब्लॉग जगत् को समर्पित है। यहाँ पर आप हिन्दी चिट्ठा संसार में हो रही नवीन हलचलों का अनुभव कर सकते हैं और हिन्दी के ब्लॉग्स की नयी प्रविष्टियों को यहाँ पढ़ सकते हैं।"..
And not just Blogs, people now express themselves in local languages. Take the example of Hindi Bhasha eGroups on Google Groups (हिन्द भाषा ई-समूह) having around four hundred plus members. Easy to use tools like are around to help people like me to try out typing in Dev Nagari. Google Indic Transliteration is even better.

Information Professionals will now have to rethink on developing skills and tools for managing online as well as printed knowledge being produced in Indian Languages and Scripts.

Journey to next Firefox

According to Blog, Firefox 3 Beta 3 could be released on 11th February 2008. I have am rather a fan of Firefox and would be eagerly waiting for its final stable release. I have Beta 2 installed, but could not really use it as many plug-in are yet not working (obviously). It is these plug-in that makes Firefox my favorite.

According to Wikipedia Entry on Web Browsers, Internet Explorer still rules at 75.47% of market share (January 2008) followed by Firefox at 16.98%. But than not all surfers are fussy like me.


Dressing up a Lady Librarian?

Have some fun at Librarian Dress Up! site. You can drag clothing and put on a lady. But, why only a lady librarian?

eGroup on Author Rights by SPARC

SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) has introduced a new discussion forum on the topic of author rights.

The scope of this forum includes discussion on:

• Ensuring copyright compliance with public access policies, including the new National Institutes of Health mandate

• Rights of faculty under copyright and contract law

• Availability and use of author addenda

• Working with publishers to secure agreements to retain needed rights

• Experiences in developing institutional copyright policies and educational programs

Send email to to request membership.


Another RSS to Email Service

Nourish is another RSS to Email Service that works very similar to SendMeRSS. With it you can create a Newsletter. Your readers can subscribe to such a Newsletter.


Keeping in touch with your favorite blog through email

You want to keep in touch with your favorite Blog but still do not want to use a RSS Reader, then SendMeRSS is a tool for you. It will send the feeds in your email account.


A tool for searching and sharing health information experiences

Found a new search engine that could be useful for people looking health related information. iMedix culls out information from reliable sources available at web. Along with search results, it also connects people interested in particular disease or health conditions. A person has to get registered to be able to share experiences with people having similar interests or disease.

The sources it search for are mostly HONcode compliant.


Hopes and Fears of Web 2.0 in Research and Education

Hopes and Fears of Web 2.0 in Research and Education:

Web 2.0 has great potential to influence how research would be conducted in future. The same is true for education and learning.

However there are concerns how these developments would impact the information professionals:

The question for information professionals working across all types of sectors and organisations is what will the impact be on them and their work is learning 2.0 in all its proliferations does turn out to be something more than marketing hype.

Technologies used for Web 2.0 also have some security related issues:
The very technologies that make Web 2.0 a reality (AJAX, in large part) seem to be considerably vulnerable to security breaches that can lead to data loss, theft and other malicious activities.

Anyway, the future would see Web 2.0 influencing all aspects related to information domain - its creation, quality control, dissemination, adding new knowledge and its applications. Information professionals be better prepared for the future.


How many Sukhdev Singh (s) on Net?

Everyday a new search engine comes up. People have ideas. Found Spock today. It is a special search engine to find out People.

I tried to search myself and found many Sukhdevs around. These profiles are probably taken from social network sites. Well it also provides a way out to register and put up a person specific profile.

लिब्रर्य्थिंग - LibraryThing is also now available in Hindi

अपनी पुस्तकों का सुचिपत्तर ऑनलाइन बनाये
.."जो आप पड़ रहें है, या अपना पूरा पुस्तकालय डालें! यह एक आसान, पुस्तकालय - गुणवत्ता सूचीपत्र है! जो लोग सामान्य चीज़ पड़ रहें है लिब्रर्य्थिंग आपको उनसे भी जोड़ता ह.."

Yes, LibraryThing is now available in Hindi also.