Andrew K. Pace: June 2008 Archives
So, either this joke was really funny, or the juxtaposition of two "big switch" players is intriguing to librarians. My money is on the latter. I'm pretty pleased that OCLC has embarked on record-sharing deals with Google because I have always thought that search companies with great algorithms generally undervalue the power of metadata. I'm convinced that they only way to prove the point is to show them, as libraries are starting to do with faceted browse catalogs.
I'm also insatiably curious as to what the first page of search results in Google Book search will look like when there are 100 million books in the database. What will Scholar look like with 100 million books and 100 million articles? The best answer I am able to get from Google is "highly relevant." Relevance ranking is hard, as we have learned in enhancing WorldCat with non-monograph metadata. Done well, however, it greatly enhances the discovery experience for patrons.
Other people are beginning to wonder out loud about the prowess of Google and WorldCat data. Another recent post had me wondering about the future of Google Books. CrossRef has created a new plagiarism screening service called CrossCheck (clever!). Another indicator of my love of data and what it empowers us to do and discover. It got me thinking (un-originally, apparently) about what Google could cook up in searching for plagiarism once it has millions and millions of books scanned. I understand that Google is doing duplicate checking in its scans to keep from scanning books twice, so I imagine that "plagiarism checking" would be rather simple for them too. Literary crime detection using Google could be a fun pastime.
I mistakenly thought that "retiring" from the column would amazingly free up half of my time at the next ALA, but I was wrong. Between LITA, OCLC events, and programming, I find myself completely booked again, and perhaps it's just as well. I will feel normal.
I have the great pleasure this year of kicking off my ALA by moderating the OCLC Symposium--"The Mashed -Up Library." I've been in on the planning for this and would encourage folks to register for this great event. Yesterday I got to speak to the keynoter, Michael Schrage, who has some wonderful writings and spot-on observations about innovation. I would say that any library that has worried about relevance, funding, and establishing persistence in the information space would be interested in hearing him speak. I'd be interested to meet the librarian who wasn't worried about any of those things!
Schrage will be joined by three fabulous librarians--Susan Gibbons, David Lee King, and Mary Beth Sancomb-Moran--on a panel that will share creative library mash-ups that are not the kind you've heard about over and over again. Insert an ice cream break in the middle of the event and I can't think of a better way to start ALA in Anaheim. I am certainly looking forward to it.
I was actually looking to see if I could pick up some used copies since I have given all but one of mine away, when I was pleased to see that I had joined the ranks of Wikipedia, albeit in an unusual way. My Wikipedia entry mentions my book, but apparently has me confused with a professor of artificial intelligence at U. Penn. The cite for Dr. Pace's book came from Google Book Search. I could not help but note the irony that I have been mashed up in cyberspace by a combination of Wikipedia and Google.
Some of the more famous entries in WorldCat Identities have links out to Wikipedia. It occurs to me now that Wikipedia could use some links in the other direction for us much less famous.