Thursday, June 29, 2006
Just like in 2005, I am receiving invitations to visit booths at CLA (June 14-17) and SLA (June 11-14) on June 29. The strangest part of the OCLC invite for CLA is that it is postmarked June 24, 2006. A full 10 days after the start of the conference. Why bother?
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
The Canadian Library Association is pleased to announce that October has been established for the Canadian Library Month! The idea for a month dedicated to library and information services in Canada was developed by provincial and territorial library partners from across the country to help raise public awareness of the valuable role that libraries play in local communities. Canadian Library Month will be launched October 3, 2006 and will celebrate the theme "Libraries: the world at your fingertips"
Researchers are working on a project that could see two million books stored in an area the size of a postage stamp.
Leicester University scientists are co-ordinating an international project involving information storage on nanoparticles.
The EU-funded Nanospin project aims to manufacture and study the behaviour of magnetic nanoparticles.
Chris Binns, professor of nanoscience in the department of physics and astronomy at Leicester University, said: "Nanotechnology appears to hold the key to developments in a wide range of technologies, including materials science, information technology and healthcare."
(Leicester Mercury Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)
Monday, June 26, 2006
Grand Ideas Pay Off for Xerox Canadian R&D Centre -- Xerox Research Centre of Canada achieves 1,000th patent
MISSISSAUGA, ON, June 26, 2006 – The Xerox Research Centre of Canada (XRCC) today announced it has been awarded its 1,000th U.S. patent, surpassing a key milestone in the facility’s 30+ year record of innovation responsible for piquing the interest of, amongst others, the Canadian federal and provincial governments and global research community.
With only 120 scientists, XRCC has generated approximately 160 potentially commercial technology ideas every year in the past several years, working at breakneck speed to pursue almost four novel scientific ideas per week. This has resulted in 40-60 patents on average per year.
“Achieving our 1,000th patent is testament to the innovative prowess and productivity of XRCC people,” says Hadi Mahabadi, Xerox vice president and director of the Centre. “It emphasizes that building a research facility in a location rich with creative talent, a diversity of cultures and knowledge, and a multi-disciplinary scientific focus is a recipe for innovation success.”
Friday, June 23, 2006
A professional information and patent research specialist with a practice concentrating in education, motion picture technology, and patents. You can expect thorough intelligent research, attention to all details, excellent client communication, and workflows designed to conform with client specific expectations and requirements. Project output could consist of one or all of:
Hard copy of report;
In-person presentation of results to client;
Copies of articles, patents, standards, etc.;
Annotated list of web links
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
A post over at sciencebase (http://www.sciencebase.com/science-blog/google-your-job.html) led me to this little exercise.
David Bradley searched "scientists are known for" or "chemists are known for" in google and printed the out of context results.
I just had to do "Librarians are known for".
One is just plain weird, but the rest are ok (if not contradictory). They are as I found them, in the order I found them. I only deleted duplicates.
Librarians are known for:
• their propulsive basslines
• their expertise in evaluating information sources
• their tarot readings.
• experimentation and innovation in customer service.
• their dedication to public service.
• their creativity, and weblogs can be the platform to enhance that creativity without getting bogged down in technology.
• their resourcefulness, attention to detail and organizational skills.
• standing up for our principles
• having really ineffectual signage.
• being over-achievers.
• finding information fast
• most radical professional attitudes, advocating democratic freedoms in information.
• their creativity in providing programs that enrich, delight, instruct and enlighten those who attend.
• integrity and a devotion to the truth, even when it isn't something they personally agree with.
• their buns, you know, and you have the best!
• their dedication and the tremendous efforts they have put into developing access to information for all people.
• the ink so the clothes start flying off.
• their resilient adaptability to changes in information environments, and they have weathered other great transformations
• their ability to find hidden gems, and to share them with their colleagues.
• their sensible shoes.
• their fashionable shoes!
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Informal Learning and Community Libraries :: AO
Informal Learning and Community Libraries
John Seely Brown on reinventing the community library to deeply engage digital kids (and everyone else) and increase their passion to learn.
Irving Wladawsky-Berger [IBM] | POSTED: 06.13.06 @07:33
Last week I attended a fascinating lecture by John Seely Brown on "Rethinking Learning and the Community Library in the Networked Age" at the Westport (CT) Public Library. His talk explored whether there might be a way to reinvent the community library as a new kind of complementary asset to both the school and the Internet -- reinvent it in a way that deeply engages digital kids (and everyone else) and increases their passion to learn.
I have known John for many years and have served with him on a few committees and boards. He was Chief Scientist at Xerox and Director of its Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) for almost twenty years. Since retiring from Xerox, John has continued to be very busy as a speaker, writer, member of the boards of several public and private companies and lots of other activities. One of his main areas of interest is education, in particular how our Internet culture is introducing whole new ways of learning.
Earlier this year I met John at the Hawaii International Conference on Systems Sciences (HICSS). There, over dinner, he told me about the work he is doing to understand how kids - and more generally people of all ages - are learning all kinds of important skills through participation in online communities. John has been wondering if we shouldn't pay more attention to this kind of self-organizing, informal learning as a way to complement the more formal learning kids get in school. In conjunction with that he has been pondering the role that community libraries should play in fostering this kind of informal learning and self-education. His inspiration is Andrew Carnegie’s efforts over one hundred years ago when he promoted community libraries for self-education at a time when the emerging industrial age was making education much more important and the US was absorbing large numbers of immigrants. Carnegie helped build almost 1700 library buildings in the US through the Carnegie Library Grants.
John's ideas really struck a chord with me. Sometime in the late '90s I serendipitously wandered into the Westport Library's video collection room, browsed through the many films in the collection and took out "My Beautiful Concubine" using my wife's library card. And that - along with the Internet, especially great film sites like imdb.com which added tremendous depth and education to the experience, - got me into a love affair with films that continues to this day. But, as I thought more and more about the experience, I realized that rather than just watching films as entertainment â€“ which I definitely was as well â€“ I was truly taking a kind of self-taught, self- organized film course, which has led me to learn about China’s Fifth Generation of film directors, to appreciate the classic Westerns of John Ford and John Wayne and to discover the works of wonderful directors like Krzysztof Kieslowski.
I was so grateful to the Westport Library for this new-found passion in my mid-50s that I became involved in Library activities and subsequently joined its Advisory Council. So, when I returned home from the conference in Hawaii, I discussed John's ideas about community libraries with our Library Director and other colleagues from our Advisory Council and we quickly agreed to invite him to share his views with us by giving a talk at the Westport Library.
John's main thesis is that formal learning happens mostly in schools, as opposed to informal learning which happens outside of school. As we know, school reform has struggled on with limited success, so perhaps we should also look for innovative ways to influence and reform learning from the outside in, by focusing on informal learning and leverage what we learn there to help us transform the core of formal learning.
He gave a few concrete example of how powerful informal learning is in our society at this time. The open source movement, perhaps best exemplified by initiatives like Linux, represents a very powerful form of apprenticeship to a virtual community of practice, as people seek to raise their "social capital" by successfully contributing code and ideas to their open source community. The world of remix and mashups is another kind of social network where people are learning to "tinker" by combining existing sources in new creative ways, going way beyond what the original authors of the sources intended. This opens the door for many more people to learn to innovate on top of original innovative sources.
Another very important way kids are learning all kinds of new skills is by participating in the virtual worlds emerging around game playing, especially massively multiplayer online games like World of Warcraft and Second Life. What kinds of skills does it take to be good at such virtual world games? John listed among others: pattern recognition; continuous decision making; conquering immense complexity; and constant learning. World of Warcraft has the notion of "Guilds", and John also listed the skills needed by a good Guild Master: create a vision and set of values to attract others to your Guild; find, evaluate and then recruit players that have a set of diverse skills and which fit with your norms; create a platform for apprenticeship and the teaching of new Guild members; orchestrate group strategy and governance; and create, sell and adhere to the governance principles of the guild and adjudicate disputes. Are we talking about a game, or are we talking about the fundamentals for organizational leadership?
The world of multi-player online games seems to be providing us with more and more clues as to the kinds of skills and training tools that we need for the dynamic virtual work environments that seem to be increasingly important in the future. This came up, for example, in IBM’s recent Global Innovation Outlook in which one of the top recommendations is to look at massively multiplayer online games as one way of teaching the leadership qualities needed in the emerging world of massively distributed virtual work environments.
Formal education and schools have a major role to play in building the store of knowledge, teaching the core materials needed for critical thinking and providing institutional certification of expertise. But, if we insist that formal education is the only way to learn, we will invariably fail, both because there are limits to what you can teach formally and because considerable numbers of people learn differently and are thus left out of formal education, which can focus only on the majority. That is why it is so important to look for innovations in education amidst all the different ways we learn, and to focus particularly on the new ways people are learning informally, especially as part of communities that tinker, design, play games, create, remix and generally learn by doing things they really like to do.
Some of these communities will be virtual, with members distributed all over the world; some will be physical, with members living in the same towns and neighborhoods; and some will be a hybrid of the two. Libraries, which are pervasive throughout the US, can play a unique role by becoming social spaces for informal learning in their local communities.
Given that our knowledge-based age is basically an age when learning is more important than ever, there may be no more critical innovation challenge for us.
Monday, June 12, 2006
"It appears we have a raccoon in the building – it has caused some damage in offices on the C level. Mike and Andrew are currently working on the situation.
Please make sure that all food in your offices is put away and let us know if you see anything suspicious."
It would be hilarious if not for the fact that we are basically a wet chemistry lab.
Our building is a big curved metal "submarine". Any ideas how he/she got in??
Sunday, June 11, 2006
Launching in 2006 as a high-impact, open-access Letters journal, Environmental Research Letters (ERL) will provide a coherent and integrated approach including research articles, commentaries, news, views, and book and meeting reviews, as well as meeting and professional notices for the environmental science community. Completely free to read online, ERL will be funded by an article publication charge.
More information about the coverage of ERL can be found in the journal scope and General Information flyer (PDF).
Tuesday, June 6, 2006
Don't know why I think i will have time to keep this up, but I have created a personal site for my geneology research. This research is mostly wishful thinking. I browse the web, find things, then lose them.
I intend to keep them here.
I will post old photos, photos of grave markers, etc.
Families of interest Sidey, Strong, Gainor, Sackville, Darimont
Areas of interest: Bewdley, Northumberland County, Rice Lake, Port Hope, Peterborough
Next step is a geneology blog :)