Monday, March 20, 2006

We are BoingBoing'ed

BoingBoing is a blog that is, as it bills itself, a directory of wonderful things. I read it not just because of the posts about Fat Albert, rat-cats, TV-bars, roasted alligator, barf bags, and Chinese gangster fiction (all this in the last 24 hours) but because of the gems that relate to my day-job.

Just today I was alerted to an article in The Guardian newspaper on the abundance of cheap consumer goods that got me thinking about a notion I've tossed around a good few times (and which of course does not originate with me): that libraries were constituted in times of scarcity and that times of abundance such as we are in (here in an economically priviledged country) have blurred the original purpose of libraries when content and information is as adundant as cheap t-shirts.

So, here's the sentence that caught me. "Unashamedly 'disposable' cheap goods, you could argue, are turning us into traders rather than curators of our posessions."

Well, there you go....the library dilemma in a sentence.

You're underwhelmed by this? Then perhaps you'll prefer the link to the blog maintained by "Geoffrey Chaucer"..."Yowre care maken myne eyes to watre with teres..."

Oh. The title of this post? Yes, OCLC was actually mentioned in this mega-A list blog. A short squib noting our list of the 1000 top books held by OCLC libraries. The work was done by OCLC Research staff at least a year ago but has seen new interest because Lorcan mentioned it recently at the Reading 2.0 conference (available talks here), and Tim O'Reilly blogged about it and so on and so on.


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