Submitted by Joseph Watson
Many thanks go out to the folks at the Main Lib Circulation Desk for helping with the book sale last week! We made just over $1,500. We sold about 75% of the items that had accumulated to be discarded. About another 15% went for free at the end of the sale and about 10% remained to be recycled.
Every now and then we consider other ways to get rid of our discarded materials. There are some services that accept discarded books and forward them to charities. There are some web sites that will accept books, sell them for you and give you a percentage of the profit. But in order to use these services we would have to sort the books, pack them, and in some cases pay for the shipping. To get ready for a book sale here all we do is set the items aside as they’re discarded and when we have enough, we put them out for people to take them away, sometimes in exchange for money. It’s quick and and easy and requires much less staff time to manage than the other options we’ve explored. Plus people in the College community seem to enjoy buying the items!
Submitted by Patty Hornbeck
Google has recently announced a searchable collection of photographs from the LIFE photo archives. Most were never published and are now available for the first time through the joint work of LIFE and Google.
Submitted by Alex Chapin
Adam Franco and I attended meetings last week hosted by the MIT Office of Educational Innovation and Technology. Adam attended a meeting focused on OSID V3, the next version of the Open Knowledge Initiative open service interface definitions. Harmoni, our application framework, uses the OSIDs to provide services to Segue and Concerto. The latest version of the OSIDs solves some challenging obstacles to application interoperability. Adam will be collaborating with a developer from Sakai to create a prototype of an “enterprise service bus” that would demonstrate the power of OSIDs to allow multiple systems to share content. I pitched a similar idea in a brief presentation I did at Project Bamboo workshop earlier this month and in my contributions to discussions of a “services framework” on the the Bamboo wiki.
Concurrent with the OSID V3 meeting that Adam participated in was as another meeting I attended that focused on the idea of a “network for content and curriculum.” This is a logical extension of the Open Knowledge Initiative, exploring ways to make it easier for individuals and institutions to discover, access and re-mix educational resources. The meeting showcased the PERSEE project, a program at the University of Lumière Lyon II to digitize French scientific journals with the goal of provide interoperable access to this material.
Submitted by Lynn Saunders
Last week I had the opportunity to participate in a focus group gathered to review some websites created by the Center for Rural Studies. As a Federal Depository we are affiliated with the Center for Rural Studies as a State Data affiliate. The first site we reviewed was Vermont Indicators Online. This site is very user friendly and a great resource for Census information for Vermonters. The Center has compiled much used Census information in an easy to use format. You can check it out at http://maps.vcgi.org/indicators/.
Next we reviewed their Vermont Housing Data site. Here they have compiled state and federal housing statistics. You can even check out what you might be able to afford for a house. You can find this housing website at http://www.housingdata.org/.
Our final website review was the Vermont Planning Information Center. Again CSR (Center for Rural Studies) has compiled a great deal of information for local and state planners. There are manuals, guides and laws online. The site is user friendly and provides a comprehensive list of resources. This planning site can be found at: http://www.vpic.info/ .
The focus groups all agreed that the websites were user friendly, provided a great deal of information, and were very useful. The focus group was small but diverse.