Digital Culture

More ALA love…

…over at LITABlog! We’ve got a veritable army of bloggers covering the convention, and we’ll have tons of info flowing in over the next 3 days.

Digital Culture

Headin’ down to New Orleans…


As of tomorrow morning, I’ll be on my way to the Big Easy for the American Library Association conference. For those attending, if you see me, say “hi!” and make sure and attend the Monday 10:30 LITA Session “Next Step Blogging: Building a professional blog for your library” so that you may heckle me. It’s in the Convention Center Room 342. I’m also going to be out and attending a lot of the blogger shindigs, so I’m sure I’ll run into bunches of you.

I’m planning on blogging as much of the conference as I can, both here and over at LITABLog. There will be text, pictures, and other goodies…Stay tuned!

Digital Culture

New Books, Blogs, and Really Simple Outreach

Go now! My presentation is live…I’m not entirely happy with the presentation (I produced multiple screencasts resolutions, and they only linked to one) but overall, I think it’s pretty good.

If anyone needs other resolutions, or a stand alone download of the screencasts, I’m going to put links in the comments of the HigherEd BlogCon post.

Library Issues Personal

They like me! They really like me!

HigherEdBlogCon 2006

I was just notified that I’ve been accepted in the 2006 HigherEd BlogCon!

I’ll be doing a presentation on how we’ve leveraged/are leveraging blogs here at UTC to fulfill some not-so-straightforward information needs. My proposal says:

This presentation will walk through the installation, configuration, and customization of WordPress 2.0, with a discussion of the benefits of the Structured Blogging plugin, an RSS aggregation plugin, how to use PHP inside of WordPress Pages to create dynamic content. All of this will be framed in the context of outreach to patrons and interaction with academic departments, with discussion of what we’ve found useful, potential for integration with the larger University IT system, and a look at future uses of the technology.

Between this, an invitation from LITA to speak on a blog panel at ALA Annual, a presentation at the TLA/SELA Conference in April, and acceptance at the ACRL Immersion program…damn I’m going to have a busy year. But I’m thrilled!

Master's Paper

Further thoughts on Intellectual Property

Current intellectual property law is making, it seems to me now, what philsophers might call a category mistake, and here in libraries we might simply call misclassification. This sort of thing happens all the time in the history of science…it appears as if something should be classified one way, either because of explanatory power or just raw appearance. Lower organisms were thought to arise via abiogenesis, the sun moves around the earth, diseases are caused by an imbalance of humours in the body. It also happens in law…legal history is full of examples where classifications turned out to be simply wrong (primarily when it comes to women and minorities).

The reason that I make the science link is that often it is technology that allows the category error to be rectified. The microscope allowed abiogenesis to be proven false, the telescope to show that the shifting of the stars couldn’t be explained by the Earth being the center of the universe.

Broadband and ubiquitous computing, combined with the digital supply chain, will force a reexamination of copyright in much the same way that Pasteur forced a reexamination of the theory of disease. Before broadband and affordable personal computers, the supply chain of intellectual property had analog pieces…books, VHS tapes, the film at a theater. By the “digitization” of the supply chain, I mean that the chain via which media and other intellectual property is distributed is “broken” of its analog history…there is a step in which the property becomes digital, at which point our current tools (high speed networks and personal computers) tell us that what was once “property” cannot really be considered that way anymore. It’s like a microscope focusing for the first time on the eggs of the larva in leaf litter…the mystery of life is taken away from the inorganic, and moved into the realm of the biological. Computers are telling us that “intellectual property” may need this same shift to occur, that we need to take the focus off of “property” and find another label more fitting the object.