December 11, 2003
Project Gutenberg

I am now downloading a DVD image of 10,000 books from Project Gutenberg: Item: "pgdvd.iso" Copied: 85.9 MB of 3.85 GB Time remaining: About 2 hours Truly this is an age of miracles--for us infovores, at least....

Posted by DeLong at 01:32 PM

November 03, 2003
How to Search

Elizabeth Lane Lawley channels Mary Ellen Bates: mamamusings: Internet Librarian: 30 Search Tips in 40 Minutes: Mary Ellen Bates on tips for searching effectively. These are her tips, not mine. My comments, when I have them, are parenthetical. I almost hate to share these, because these are the kind of tips that let people like me come across as an “angel of information mercy” to the people who ask me for help in finding things! BTW, Mary Ellen is a great presenter. Funny, interesting, clear. She’s got a free “tip of the month” email update, which you can also read on her web site. Always use more than one search engine. (You’ll often get very different results; useful to triangulate.) See a test at Use AltaVista’s “world keyboard” to insert non-Roman characters. Use AltaVista’s “sorted by” box to filter results. It’s not an “AND”, but it causes results with the sorted-by contents to bubble up to the top. “Softer than an AND but more relevant than an OR.” Use thesauri and web dictionaries to identify key words, put client’s request in context. (e.g. Google’s define feature, etc) Use spell-check to identify American-only spellings (fiber/fibre, labor/labour, etc). Type search terms...

Posted by DeLong at 07:37 PM

July 07, 2003
Universal Free Online Library

Slashdot talks about Project Gutenberg's 32nd Birthday: the universal free online library of humanity in embryo....

Posted by DeLong at 09:57 AM

August 28, 2002
How Do You Find the Relevant Weblog?

How would you go about finding a relevant weblog? This is a hard question, and so people are starting to think about building tools to answer it. Yet another example of the possibility that in the information age, the librarians (broadly construed) will rule the world because they will be the only people who can find anything. The BlogMD Initiative: ...At present, numerous applications are available in the weblog world which provide interesting and useful methods of tracking weblogs and help users perform a vital sifting function to find the blogs that interest them most. Some tools track when a weblog was last updated ( ; some track the most popular Internet links currently being pointed at by weblogs (Blogdex) and more recently, the Blogosphere Ecosystem at The Truth Laid Bear has tracked the links passing between weblogs (as does the similar, but more powerful Myelin Ecosystem.) All of these applications are, at their core, doing the same thing. One way or another, they are gathering information about weblogs --- metadata --- storing it, analyzing it, and presenting their results on a web page.The guiding principle behind the BlogMD initiative is that by creating standards in the weblog metadata "problem...

Posted by DeLong at 09:34 AM

July 05, 2002
MIT Thinks About How to Build the Universal Library

One of the problems of the information age has been to figure out how to build the digital library of everything. It looks as though we are evolving a distributed system for indexing and evaluating the quality of information in the universal digital library: it's called Google. But how do we build the tools needed so that everything gets into the digital library? That's still a big question. MIT is trying to solve it. The Chronicle: 7/5/2002: 'Superarchives' Could Hold All Scholarly Output The most ambitious and most closely watched superarchive is being developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It is called DSpace, and its goal is to collect research material from nearly every professor at the institute --Athough participation will be voluntary. "We want to give faculty the infrastructure that supports alternative forms of publishing," says MacKenzie Smith, associate director of technology for MIT's libraries. Over the past two years, officials at MIT have been building a set of software tools to support the repository, and to make it easy for professors to submit material. Those tools are nearly ready, and four departments and programs at MIT will be testing them this summer. Beginning this fall, MIT plans...

Posted by DeLong at 09:24 AM