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Preview: Theoretical Librarian

Theoretical Librarian

Theoretical Librarian is the blog of Gerry McKiernan Associate Professor and Science and Technology Librarian and Bibliographer at Iowa State University Library, Ames, IA 50011. Theoretical Librarian, in general, will include announcements of past, pres

Updated: 2014-07-18T09:23:06.280-07:00


Hiroshima Memorial


Hiroshima Memorial
Originally uploaded by GMcKiern

TICER 2006: Digital Libraries à la Carte: New Choices for the Future


Digital Libraries a la Carte: New Choices for the Future

Modular, International Digital Library Course
Tilburg University, The Netherlands, 22-25 August 2006

The International Ticer School (known for its former International
Summer School on the Digital Library) offers a new, modular course
for librarians and publishers: "Digital Libraries a la Carte: New
Choices for the Future". The course will be held at Tilburg
University, the Netherlands, 22-25 August 2006.

From its 'menu' of four one-day modules, you can pick your choice:
* technological developments, relevant to libraries (lectures)
* Library 2.0 technologies to reach out to the customer (hands-on
in a computer room)
* libraries supporting research and Open Access
* libraries and teaching and learning

Subjects covered
* digital paper
* interoperability between repositories
* institutional portals and the role of the library
* developments in search/search engines
* blogs/RSS
* instant messaging in libraries
* Library 2.0
* eScience
* virtual research environments and digital libraries
* Open Access and the role of the library
* the role of the library in teaching and learning
* learning technology
* the application of gaming in libraries and education
* library impact measurement

Top speakers will present their views. Below is a selection.
* Malcolm Atkinson is Director of the National e-Science Centre
and the new UK e-Science Envoy
* Carl Grant is President & COO of VTLS, Inc.
* John Willinksy wrote 'The Access Principle: The Case for Open
Access to Research and Scholarship'
* Paul Miller is Senior Manager and Technology Evangelist at Talis
* Michael Stephen's blog 'Tame the Web' is read worldwide by
* Philip Payne is an expert on measuring the library's impact on
learning and teaching
* John Kirriemuir has extensively researched and published on
gaming in learning/teaching
* Herbert Van de Sompel is a driving force behind the Open Archives
* Sue Roberts co-authored 'Developing the New Learning Environment'
* Michael Fraser is the director of the Humbul Humanities Hub

To guarantee a highly interactive programme, the number of
participants is limited to 45 per module, lectures contain an
nteractive component, and one module consists of hands-on sessions
in a computer room. The course is recommended by JISC, DEFF -
Denmark's Electronic Research Library, the Swiss National Library,
Helsinki University Library, and FinELib (Finnish National
Electronic Library), part of the National Library of Finland.

The course website can be found at On the
website you can find the full programme, the complete list of 16
lecturers with short bios, abstracts of most presentations and
practical information about course fee and registration.

If you register before 1 June 2006, you will get a 150 euro

Do you want a quick update in just one to four days?
Then Tilburg is the place to be this summer!

Further information
Ms Jola Prinsen
Course Manager Ticer B.V.
P.O. Box 4191
5004 JD Tilburg
The Netherlands
tel. +31 13 466 8310
fax +31 13 466 8383

eProfile: WikimediaWorlds. Part I. Wikipedia


I am pleased to announcement the publication of my latest eProfile in Library Hi Tech News:

Gerry McKiernan, “WikimediaWorlds. Part I. Wikipedia,” Library Hi Tech News 22, no. 8 (September/October 2005): 46-54.

Overview/Summary from the publisher

ABSTRACT: Purpose – This article of part 1 of a two part series on wikis. Part 1 focuses on Wikipedia. Design/methodology/approach – The article is prepared by a library professional and provides a summary of the main features. Findings – A wiki is a piece of server software that allows users to freely create and edit web page content using any web browser. Wiki supports hyperlinks and has a simple text syntax for creating new pages and crosslinks between internal pages on the fly. Originality/value – This article is a useful summary of a development of interest to library and information management professionals

I have self-archived a copy at

[ ]

I would Most Appreciate Any and All Comments/Critiques/Observations or Cosmic Insights about this review.

BTW: Wikis (and Blogs) are Not Just For Breakfast Anymore:

“The Wiki and the Blog: Toward a Complex Adaptive Intelligence Community”

D. CALVIN ANDRUS (Central Intelligence Agency) [CIA]
[Studies in Intelligence, September 2005] / Link to full-text available at

Wikis: Disruptive Technologies for Dynamic Possibilities


I am pleased to announce the availability of my PowerPoint presentation titled “Wikis: Disruptive Technologies for Dynamic Possibilities” that was delivered at Digital Libraries à la Carte: Choices for the Future, an international workshop held at Tilburg University, The Netherlands late last month [ ]

BTW: TICER 2005 was a *Most Excellent * Program !

A self-archived copy of my presentation is available at

[ ]

The presentation reviews the general nature and structure of select wikis, the features and functions of popular wiki software engines, and describes the content and use of wikis by select businesses, colleges and universities, and libraries.

The presentation also speculated about the wiki as an environment, framework, and venue for Disruptive Scholarship, my proposed model for alternative scholarly authorship, review, and publishing [ ]

In this Era of Open Access, I conclude the presentation with The Bold Question:

“Is Wiki Method/Methodology the Full/True Means Of Achieving/Creating Real Open Access?”

Think About It !

As Always, I would Most Appreciate Any and All Critiques/Comments/Criticisms/ Etc. .


TICER 2005: Digital Libraries à la Carte: Choices for the Future | August 22-26, 2005 | Tilburg NL


Modular, International Digital Library Course
Tilburg University, The Netherlands, 22-26 August 2005

The International Ticer School (known for its former International Summer School on the Digital Library) offers a brand new, modular course for librarians and publishers: "Digital Libraries à la Carte: Choices for the Future". The course will be held at Tilburg University, the Netherlands, 22-26 August 2005.

From its ‘menu’ of five one-day modules, you can pick your choice:
• trends and strategic issues
• technological developments, relevant to libraries
• consortia and licensing
• Open Access and institutional repositories
• the role of libraries in teaching and learning

Top speakers will present their views. Below is a selection.
• Marissa Mayer is Director, Consumer Web Products at Google
• Derk Haank is CEO of Springer and former CEO of Elsevier
• Peter Suber is among the most cited authors on Open Access
• Jenny Levine’s blog ( is read by thousands of librarians
• Carol Tenopir has published over 200 journal articles and is cited frequently
• Deb deBruijn closed the worldwide biggest consortium deal (over 50 million dollar)
Gerry McKiernan is the compiler of several known Web registries
• Steven Gilbert is president of The TLT Group and an expert on learning landscapes
• Pat Maughan transforms the undergraduate curriculum at the prestigious UC Berkeley to include information literacy training

To guarantee a highly interactive programme, the number of participants is limited to 45 per module, lectures contain an interactive component, and two modules are concluded with a practical workshop. The course is recommended by JISC (, the DARE project (, and SURF Diensten (

The course website can be found at On the website you can find the full programme, the complete list of 20 lecturers with short bios, abstracts of most presentations and practical information about course fee and registration.

If you register before 1 June 2005, you will get a €150 discount.

Do you want a quick update in just one to five days?
Then Tilburg is the place to be this summer!

Further information
Ms Jola Prinsen
Course Manager Ticer B.V.
P.O. Box 4191
5004 JD Tilburg
The Netherlands
tel. +31 13 466 8310
fax +31 13 466 8383

NYTimes: Videos Challenge Accounts of Convention Unrest


Videos Challenge Accounts of Convention Unrest

Published: April 12, 2005

Dennis Kyne put up such a fight at a political protest last summer, the arresting officer recalled, it took four police officers to haul him down the steps of the New York Public Library and across Fifth Avenue.

"We picked him up and we carried him while he squirmed and screamed," the officer, Matthew Wohl, testified in December. "I had one of his legs because he was kicking and refusing to walk on his own."

Accused of inciting a riot and resisting arrest, Mr. Kyne was the first of the 1,806 people arrested in New York last summer during the Republican National Convention to take his case to a jury. But one day after Officer Wohl testified, and before the defense called a single witness, the prosecutor abruptly dropped all charges.

During a recess, the defense had brought new information to the prosecutor. A videotape shot by a documentary filmmaker showed Mr. Kyne agitated but plainly walking under his own power down the library steps, contradicting the vivid account of Officer Wohl, who was nowhere to be seen in the pictures. Nor was the officer seen taking part in the arrests of four other people at the library against whom he signed complaints.


Can We Say Orwell ......................

Candidates for _SandBox(sm): Wiki Applications and Uses_


Candidates for _SandBox(sm): Wiki Applications and Uses_

I am greatly interested in learning of Any and All Wiki applications and uses implemented in

• Corporations
• Education
• Government
• Libraries
• Research Environments

for inclusion in my recently-established registry titled _SandBox(sm)_ .

_SandBox(sm)_ is located at

[ ]

and is currently UnderConstruction.

BTW: I Googled a number of months ago, and will do so again, but would prefer recommendations from my WorldWideWeb colleagues as well.

In addition to the application and use of wikis in the institutions/organization noted, I am also interested in their application in/for novel venues (e.g., conferences, directories, etc.).

I am also interested in learning of additional key/significant literature for potential inclusion in my WikiBibliography.

[ ]

P.S. Of course, in time, there will be a Wiki to allow uses to contribute, but it's not yet available [:-(] but StayTuned [:-)]

NPR: Ravi Shankar, Master of the Sitar


Ravi Shankar, Master of the Sitar

by Susan Stamberg

"Morning Edition, April 7, 2005 · Ravi Shankar, the renowned master of the Indian sitar, turns 85 on Thursday. He is considered one of the world's greatest musicians, and continues to give concerts, tour, teach and compose.

In the latest report for the NPR/National Geographic co-production Radio Expeditions, NPR's Susan Stamberg travels to New Delhi, the capital of India, to meet with the artist."

NPR: Acerbic Wit of Comic Commentator Lewis Black


"Arts & Culture
The Acerbic Wit of Comic Commentator Lewis Black
by Terry Gross

Fresh Air from WHYY, April 7, 2005 · Lewis Black is a playwright, stand-up comic, actor, and a commentator on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He's been described as having the mouth of a shock-jock and the heart of a liberal. But his comic rants are targeted at anyone he finds deserving.

Black has written a new book, Nothing's Sacred. In addition, he has several comic CDs, and a DVD of his HBO special Black on Broadway has been released."

MindShift: Disruptive Scholarship Revisited



If you have not yet made plans to attend the ACRL 12th National Conference in Minneapolis beginning today [ ], you still have time to do so!

In addition to many opportunities to Listen-and-Learn from a variety of pre-conferences, presentations and poster sessions


you could be among the select few to attend MySession in which I will elaborate on my wiki-based vision/version of Scholarly Communication known as Disruptive Scholarship

[ ]

Sooooo** Please mark you ConferenceCalendar:

Pair Two |
Saturday, April 9, 4:30 - 5:45 p.m.; 200AB

Quality Assurance in the Age of Author Self-Archiving. In the age of author self-archiving, there are forces, factors, and influences other than pending classical peer review that can assure the quality of scholarship before formal publication. Among these alternative approaches are institutional review, 'critical peer response', 'action learning', and Total Quality Scholarship. Gain an understanding of
the strengths and weaknesses of conventional peer review process and develop an awareness of current and emerging alternative models to traditional peer review.
Presenter(s): Gerry McKiernan, Iowa State University


NOTE: The emphasis will be on EMERGING!

BTW: If you are unable to attend the entire session, please don't hesistate to stop by at the end to offer to buy me a beer [:-)

Be Prepared For A MIND SHIFT !!!

Happy Birthday, Kristen


Today, April 5, 2005 is the 21st birthday of my middle daughter, Kristen.




Bibliocasting Listserv Launched


Introducing the Bibliocasting listserv.

The bibliocasting listserv ( is
dedicated to a discussion of streaming media in the library
environment. This list grows out of the increasing popularity of
"Podcasting," or the use of RSS and the Internet to download audio
programs (like audio blogs) to computers and MP3 players. A recent
Reuters story states:

"Twenty-nine percent of U.S. adults who own MP3 players like Apple
Computer Inc.'s iPod say they have downloaded podcast programs from the
Internet, the Pew Internet and American Life Project found...That means
more than 6 million people are listening to a form of communication
that emerged only last year, according to the nonprofit group."

So what to post on the list? Examples of how libraries can build on the
growing excitement of Podcasting; Questions on how libraries can use
podcasting and other multimedia information they create to promote
themselves and provide better service; Questions on how to podcast and
other technical questions on streaming media including QuickTime
Streaming, RealProducer, and others. In addition, the list will
include postings of key articles, reports, and news about podcating and
other streaming media in general and in the the library context.

Bottom Line: We are looking to build a community of individuals
interested in the application of multimedia in the library environment.


You can get the listserv in two ways. The first is through e-mail. To
subscribe to the list send an e-mail to with
the entire message (no subject line):

subscribe bibliocasting FirstName LastName

We have also set up a podcast for the list...that's right, you can
listen to the list. Each post is transformed from text-to-speech, and
syndicated using RSS. The RSS feed (podcast feed) for the list is at:

"Virtual Dave" Lankes, Ph.D.
Executive Director Information Institute of Syracuse
School of Information Studies, Syracuse University

Personalised RSS for Library - User Education (Talis White Paper)


Personalised RSS for Library - User Interaction
By Richard Wallis, published February 2005
Talis White Paper

"Blogging and RSS — The 'What's It?' and 'How To' of Powerful New Web Tools for Educators"


Blogging and RSS — The "What's It?" and "How To" of Powerful New Web Tools for Educators
by Will Richardson, Supervisor of Instructional Technology, Hunterdon Central Regional High School

"The internet has long been valued by teachers and librarians as a powerful research and communications tool, and in the last 10 years, it has brought about a sea change in the way students find, manage, and use information. But the promise of the Web as more than just a readable, searchable resource has been slow to be realized ... until now. Two new Internet technologies, Weblogs and RSS (Real Simple Syndication), are redefining the way students and teachers use the Internet, turning them from mere readers into writers to the Web as well, and making it easier to filter and track the ever-growing number of resources coming online each day. In fast-growing numbers, educators across the country and throughout the world are finding just how powerful this new interactive Internet can be."


NPR: Carnegie's Famed Dinosaurs Get a Makeover


Carnegie's Famed Dinosaurs Get a Makeover
by Michele Norris

"All Things Considered, March 29, 2005 · The Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh is in the process of making over its world-renowned dinosaur exhibit, which includes 15 soaring skeletons, some of which are several stories high. Among its dinosaur specimens is the first Tyrannosaurus rex fossil ever discovered.

The specimens won't just be cleaned -- their poses will be adjusted to more accurately reflect current scientific research. Michele Norris talks with the man in charge of the project, Phil Fraley."


Before joining the Library faculty at Iowa State University, I served as the Museum Librarian of the Library of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History (1983-1987).

BL: Einstein Speaks


The British Library Sound Archive

Albert Einstein - Historic recordings 1930-1947

Celebrating 'Einstein year', one hundred years since the great scientist's Special Theory of Relativity and fifty years since his death, this CD features previously unpublished and rare recordings. The centrepiece is a very rare recording of the celebrated fund-raising dinner at the Savoy Hotel in 1930, at which Bernard Shaw famously described Einstein as a ‘maker of universes’. Also included are a short newsreel from Einstein's historic appearance at a massed rally at the Royal Albert Hall, London, in 1933 and a radio broadcast from 1945, in which he discusses the responsibilities of the scientists who worked on the development of the atomic bomb.

NYTimes: Brazil: Free Software's Biggest and Best Friend


March 29, 2005
Brazil: Free Software's Biggest and Best Friend

SÃO PAULO, Brazil, March 28 - Since taking office two years ago, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has turned Brazil into a tropical outpost of the free software movement.

Looking to save millions of dollars in royalties and licensing fees, Mr. da Silva has instructed government ministries and state-run companies to gradually switch from costly operating systems made by Microsoft and others to free operating systems, like Linux. On Mr. da Silva's watch, Brazil has also become the first country to require any company or research institute that receives government financing to develop software to license it as open-source, meaning the underlying software code must be free to all.

Now Brazil's government looks poised to take its free software campaign to the masses. And once again Microsoft may end up on the sidelines.


[All About] Podcasting


"At it's core, Podcasting is audio blogging. The is the regular publishing of information, but in audio format instead text. Because of the rich nature of audio information, podcasts can take on additional dimensions of communication, such as sound effects and music, these additions facilitating more effective communication.

Podcasting came from the Apple Mac community, and in its purest form involves Apple iPod media players. However, there is nothing about producing and playing a podcast that can not be done with a PC."


Look Who's Coming to Podcasting!


Posting to DIG_REF Liserv |3/26/05 | 10:02:01 AM |

Hi all,

I've decided to play around with Podcasting (basically audio blogging
that you can download to an MP3 player...or listen to through the web).
I've posted the audio portion of some presentations I've done, but am
looking for other topics people might want to hear.

Take a look at:


"Virtual Dave" Lankes, Ph.D.
Executive Director Information Institute of Syracuse
School of Information Studies, Syracuse University

Open Access Bibliography


Open Access Bibliography: Liberating Scholarly Literature with E-Prints and Open Access Journal


ACRL has announced publication of a New Major Bibliography on Open Access compiled by Charles W. Bailey, Jr. of the University of Houston Libraries and compiler of the _Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography_ (Houston: University of Houston Libraries, 1996-2005) [ ]

_Open Access Bibliography: Liberating Scholarly Literature with E-Prints and Open Access Journals_

“The open access movement is reforming the system of scholarly communication by advocating free, online access to academic literature. This new bibliography presents over 1,300 selected English-language books, conference papers (including some digital video presentations), debates, editorials, e-prints, journal and magazine articles, news articles, technical reports, and other printed and electronic sources that are useful in understanding the open access movement. Most sources were published between 1999 and August 31, 2004; however a limited number of key sources published prior to 1999 are also included.

Where possible, links are provided to sources that are freely available on the Internet (approximately 78 percent of the bibliography's references have such links). The bibliography is conveniently organized into the following categories: General Works, Open Access Statements, Copyright Arrangements for Self-Archiving and Use, Open Access Journals, E-Prints, Disciplinary Archives, Institutional Archives and Repositories, Open Archives Initiative and OAI-PMH, Conventional Publisher Perspectives, Government Inquiries and Legislation, and Open Access Arrangements for Developing Countries. The publication also includes a concise overview of key concepts that are central to the open access movement”

I have learned from the author that "the entire bibliography is freely available as a PDF file" and that "Both the printed bookand the PDF are available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License."

"… The Times They Are A-Changin’": Political Protests - - Iowa State University - - May 1970


"… The Times They Are A-Changin’": Political Protests - - Iowa State University - - May 1970


Prepared and Organized By
Michele Christian, Records Analyst, Special Collections Department
Gerry McKiernan, Science and Technology Librarian and Bibliographer, Science and Technology Department, Iowa State University Library, Ames IA 50011


In early May 1970, thousands of Iowa State University students gathered to protest the expanding war in Vietnam and Southeast Asia and the killing of four unarmed students on the campus of Kent State University. This photographic essay seeks to document significant events of the first week in May 1970 on the ISU campus and in Ames, Iowa, utilizing photographs selected from the archives of the Iowa State University Library, Special Collections Department, excerpts of reports from the university newspaper, the Iowa State Daily, and summaries from a chronological account of these and other events presented in a masters thesis that analyzed the newspaper and its portrayal of events during the 'radical' decade, 1966-1975. In addition, selected quotes and excerpts from the university yearbook, Bomb, for 1970, have been incorporated.

These accounts are augmented by links to the full text of interview transcripts of select key individuals who were directly involved in the events of May 1970.

Wolfram Publicon® Gives New Momentum to Open Access Publishing


BioMed Central Press Release

10 March 2005

Wolfram Publicon® gives new momentum to Open Access publishing

"Wolfram Research and BioMed Central today announced a partnership to streamline Open Access publishing. Using Wolfram Research's new Wolfram Publicon software, authors gain the unique advantage of being able to submit properly structured documents ready for direct publication by BioMed Central, the leading Open Access publisher.

Open Access publishing provides free access to published material, while authors pay a small fee to cover editing, review, and publishing. Publicon gives editing and formatting tools directly to authors so that submissions go through the online publishing process with minimum intervention.

Publicon simplifies the process of writing and formatting technical documents in XML, XHTML, and MathML. Built-in style sheets and the user-friendly interface eliminate all the extra effort normally spent readying a paper for publication. As a result, BioMed Central and other publishers can rely on receiving properly formatted documents created in Publicon. Such an effective system significantly reduces the time and costs behind publishing important Open Access research."

Einstein 1905: The Standard of Greatness


Einstein 1905
The Standard of Greatness

John S. Rigden

"For Albert Einstein, 1905 was a remarkable year. It was also a miraculous year for the history and future of science. In six short months, from March through September of that year, Einstein published five papers that would transform our understanding of nature. This unparalleled period is the subject of John Rigden's book, which deftly explains what distinguishes 1905 from all other years in the annals of science, and elevates Einstein above all other scientists of the twentieth century.

Rigden chronicles the momentous theories that Einstein put forth beginning in March 1905: his particle theory of light, rejected for decades but now a staple of physics; his overlooked dissertation on molecular dimensions; his theory of Brownian motion; his theory of special relativity; and the work in which his famous equation, E = mc2, first appeared. Through his lucid exposition of these ideas, the context in which they were presented, and the impact they had--and still have--on society, Rigden makes the circumstances of Einstein's greatness thoroughly and captivatingly clear. To help readers understand how these ideas continued to develop, he briefly describes Einstein's post-1905 contributions, including the general theory of relativity.

One hundred years after Einstein's prodigious accomplishment, this book invites us to learn about ideas that have influenced our lives in almost inconceivable ways, and to appreciate their author's status as the standard of greatness in twentieth-century science."

NPR: Einstein Centennial


NPR: Einstein Centennial

Talk of the Nation, February 18, 2005 · One hundred years ago this year, patent clerk Albert Einstein published a series of scientific papers that would change the course of physics and brand him forever as a scientific and cultural icon.


Barry Barish, Linde professor of physics, professor, high energy physics. Director, LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory) Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

Richard Wolfson, author, Simply Einstein: Relativity Demystified. Video course instructor, Einstein's Relativity and the Quantum Revolution: Modern Physics for Nonscientists. Benjamin F. Wissler professor of physics, Middlebury College

Rolf Sinclair, retired program officer, division of physics, National Science Foundation. Senior scientific adviser, Centro de Estudios Cientficos in Valdivia, Chile

NEXT@CNN: Invasion of the Podcasting People?


Invasion of the Podcasting People?
By Christine Boese
CNN Headline News
Wednesday, December 8, 2004 Posted: 12:29 PM EST (1729 GMT)

(CNN) -- If you've seen the classic camp remake "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," you know what "pod people" do when they find a human who has not been replaced with an identical alien born of a pod: point and screech open-mouthed at the non-pod person.

That may be how some are feeling these days with the infiltration of MP3 players into mainstream consumer culture -- like outsiders as iPod people walk around with their earbuds, apparently hearing voices from some alien mothership.

Podcasts are like radio broadcasts for MP3 players, but that's about where the similarity ends.


See GrapeRadio on CNN
March 25th, 2005
GrapeRadio will be profiled on CNN this weekend. The segment, called Next@CNN, features up and coming technologies.

The show will air Saturday, March 26th at 3:00pm EST and then again Sunday, March 27th at 5:00pm EST.