Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Mick Jones Ups Librarian Cool Factor

Mick Jones, famed Clash guitarist, has opened his Rock-n-Roll Public Library in London. The repository is based in an office near Portobello Road, west London, close to where Mick Jones formed The Clash with Joe Stummer in 1976. The "guerrilla library" will include 10,000 items from the guitarist's private collection.

The Telegraph articles are here and here.

There's a video's below.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

ibiblio helps found open-source advocacy group

For immediate use: Wednesday, July 22, 2009

ibiblio helps found open-source advocacy group

CHAPEL HILL – ibiblio, a conservancy of freely available information on the Internet based at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is a founding member of a new group aiming to promote use of open-source technology by the federal government.

The new group announced today, Open Source for America, is a cross-section of more than 50 companies, universities, communities and individuals holding that government can and should become more transparent, participatory, secure and efficient by using open-source software.

The group also holds that the open-source community can drive collaborative innovation for government; and that a decision to use software should be driven solely by the requirements of the user. For more information about Open Source for America, visit

The term open source refers to software that is distributed with its source code, so that user organizations and vendors can modify it for their own purposes. Most open-source licenses allow the software to be redistributed without restriction under the same terms of the license. For more information, visit

ibiblio, accessed at, was one of the world’s first Web sites and is the largest collection of collections on the Internet. It is supported by UNC’s School of Information and Library Science and School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

We’re delighted to help explain and promote the rewards and benefits of open sources to the government sector,” said Paul Jones, director of ibiblio and clinical associate professor at both schools. “Open code is a giant step toward providing the kind of transparency and accountability that democracies require.”

Only two North Carolina universities are represented in Open Source for America: Carolina and N.C. State University in Raleigh. Others represented are the University of California’s Irvine and Merced branches; Carnegie Mellon; Oregon State University; and the University of Southern Mississippi.

ibiblio’s goals include expanding and improving the creation and distribution of open-source software; continuing UNC programs to develop an online library and archive; hosting projects that expand the concepts of transparency and openness; and serving as a model for other open-source projects.

School of Information and Library Science contact: Wanda Monroe, (919) 843-8337,

School of Journalism and Mass Communication contact: Kyle York, (919) 966-3323,

News Services contact: LJ Toler, (919) 962-8589

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Amazon's Orwellian Iterations

This is just too ironic, or is it coincidental? Anyway, on Thursday Amazon began e-mailing several hundred Kindle owners to notify them that AMZN had deleted their electronic copies of George Orwell's Animal Farm and 1984. Amazon did refund the $0.99 purchase price of the books, but nonetheless...

I am not sure this is legal and it is totally Big Brother creepy. The press has called it digital/electronic/virtual book burning which seems apropos. I did read a rumor that the FCC was looking into the legality of this too. In a related note, I read that Apple also possesses a remote "kill switch" for apps on the iPhone, though AAPL hasn't used this and says the kill switch is only for apps that might be malicious to the iPhone as a device. There are two stories on the AMZN brouhaha....TechCruch here and Information Week here.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Gates Foundation Picks Guilford Tech For New Program

I had read about this in InsideHigherEd about a week ago and the story recently got some play on the local news. Until the left is willing to work harder and collaborate a bit more effectively, this is our hegemony (and IMHO it's not all bad). Being an ex-community college instructor, this seems like important work in a pivotal and crucial educative space. Lastly, a lot of the Gates Foundation pilot work was done at Portland Community College in their alternative high school problem. My partner taught in this program and she had nothing but praise, well almost nothing but praise. So, here's the InsideHigherEd blurb and the local WRAL link follows.

New Gates Grants for Remedial Ed at Community Colleges

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and MDC Inc. are today announcing $16.5 million in
grants to 15 community colleges in 6 states to expand remedial education efforts that
appear to be having significantly more success than the norm. More than 133,000 students
take remedial courses at the colleges involved and the rate at which students move from
remedial to college-level work went from 16 to 20 percent for those involved. The
strategies involve the use of technology to teach basic skills, mentorships and better
coordination between high schools and community colleges. The five states and their
participating colleges are: Connecticut (Housatonic Community College and Norwalk
Community College); Florida (Valencia Community College); North Carolina (Guilford
Technical Community College); Ohio (Cuyahoga Community College, Jefferson Community
College, North Central State College, Sinclair Community College and Zane State College);
Texas (Coastal Bend College, El Paso Community College, Houston Community College and
South Texas College); and Virginia (Danville Community College and Patrick Henry
Community College).

WRAL link:

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Beaverella Strikes Again!

Here's a video of my very talented UNC English Department colleague, LF, participating in the Beaver Queen Pageant. It's a shindig to raise money for the Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association. Here's a link to an article in Durham Magazine, if you want some basic info on the event.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Russians Love Them Some SNS

Details of a comScore study excerpted verbatim from TechCrunch:

The comScore study found visitors in Russia to spend 6.6 hours and viewing 1,307 pages per visitor per month on average.

To put that level of ‘engagement’ in perspective: the average world-wide is 3.7 hours and 525 pages per visitor. Among the 40 individual countries reported by comScore, Brazil ranked closest to Russia at 6.3 hours, followed by Canada (5.6 hours), Puerto Rico (5.3 hours) and Spain (5.3 hours). The United States is ranked number 9, with 4.2 hours and 477 pages per visitor per month.

According to comScore, 65 percent of the worldwide Internet audience engages in social networking activities. More precisely, of the 1.1 billion people age 15 and older worldwide who accessed the Internet from a home or work location in May 2009, 734.2 million visited at least one social networking site during the month.