Sunday, June 24, 2007

Nearby Travelling

The ALA Annual Conference was in Washington this year so it didn't really take too much travel (a short subway ride) to get there.

Here's a view out of the still fairly new convention center at Mt. Vernon Square looking over to Washington's old Carnegie Library (formerly many things and currently mostly vacant, though still housing the Washington Historical Center).

Check Martinus Scriberlus for some of the literary and other events from the conference.

Author Program

The Imagineering Interest group hosted authors John Scalzi, Steven Erikson, Jeff VanderMeer at the Washington ALA Conference (2007). The authors were joined by Madeleine L'Engle's granddaughter who discussed the new edition of A Wrinkle in Time.

The speakers were all great!

Be sure to visit John Scalzi's blog, Whatever.

Still on Display!

My book for ALA Editions, Creating a Winning Online Exhibition, still gets some prominent shelf space at the ALA Bookstore at the Annual Conference (Washington, DC)

Purchase you own copy at the ALA Online Store

The Secret Lives of Men and Women

Author Frank Warren signs copies of his latest book, The Secret Lives of Men and Women.

Take a look at the PostSecret blog to learn more about Warren's project.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Pre ALA Meetings

Before the ALA meetings started, I had some meetings with people coming into town to discuss various Open Content Alliance topics.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

COLT Conference (Washington, DC)

Today I had the pleasure of giving the luncheon address at the 40th COLT (Council on Library/Media Technicians) in Washington, DC.

As always, it's great to see an enthusiastic group of library staff coming together.

The Biodiversity Heritage Library: An Overview Hosted by Smithsonian Institution Libraries

Join Smithsonian Libraries’ staff and others for an overview of the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) project. The BHL is a cooperative mass-scanning project done in collaboration with the Internet Archive. The BHL plans to digitize a significant portion of the legacy taxonomic literature (pre-1923 and selected titles after) and provide open access for all users.

In addition to an overview of the BHL project by two member librarians, Robert Miller of the Internet Archive will discuss the Internet Archive scanning project. There will also be time of a visit to the Smithsonian Libraries’ Internet Archive Scribe Scanning station located down the hall from the meeting room.

Welcoming Remarks. Nancy E. Gwinn, Director, Smithsonian Institution Libraries

“The Biodiversity Heritage Library: A Cornerstone of the Encyclopedia of Life”. Martin R. Kalfatovic, Smithsonian Institution Libraries

“An Overview of the New York Botanical Garden Digitizing Program”. John Mignault, Systems Librarian, The LuEsther T. Mertz Library, The New York Botanical Garden

“Universal Access to Human Knowledge: Book Scanning at the Internet Archive.” Robert Miller, Director of Books, Internet Archive

When: June 25, 2007, 10 am to 11:30 am
Where: Smithsonian Libraries, National Museum of Natural History, Cathy Kerby Seminar Room, East Court, CE340
Contact: Please RSVP to Martin Kalfatovic ( ; tel: 202.633.1705). Staff will be on hand to escort visitors to the Kerby Seminar Room
Details: visit the BHL blog for additional information on this event:

BHL Blog:
BHL portal:
Internet Archive:

BHL Member Institutions:
American Museum of Natural History (New York, NY)
The Field Museum (Chicago, IL)
Harvard University Botany Libraries (Cambridge, MA)
Harvard University, Ernst Mayr Library of the Museum of Comparative Zoology (Cambridge, MA)
Marine Biological Laboratory / Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (Woods Hole, MA)
Missouri Botanical Garden (St. Louis, MO)
Natural History Museum (London, UK)
The New York Botanical Garden (New York, NY)
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (Richmond, UK)
Smithsonian Institution Libraries (Washington, DC)

Monday, June 18, 2007

Quote of the Day: June 18, 2007

"People are not the better for the sun and moon, the horizon and the trees; as it is not observed that the keepers of Roman galleries or the valets of painters have any elevation of thought, or that librarians are wiser men than others. There are graces in the demeanor of a polished and noble person which are lost upon the eye of a churl. These are like the stars whose light has not yet reached us."
Ralph Waldo Emerson. "Spiritual Laws" in Essays (1841)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Quote of the Day: June 17, 2007

"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?"
Douglas Adams. Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1979). Cited from 2005 edition: Del Rey: New York, 2005, p.119.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

University of Illinois

Originally uploaded by martin_kalfatovic
A group of Biodiversity Heritage Library staff (from the Smithsonian and Missouri Botanical Garden) paid a visit to the Oak Street Library Facility at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign to see the Internet Archive scanning set up and visit with staff.

It was an extremely productive visit and informative to see the scanning center in operation.

AA Snow Crash (?)

Originally uploaded by martin_kalfatovic
American Airlines flight board at O'Hare Airport:

- screen 1: it's dead Jim
- screen 2: flickering snow crash
- screen 3: temporarily enabled

University of Illinois/Urbana-Champaign

Originally uploaded by martin_kalfatovic
Smithsonian and Missouri Botanical Garden staff paid a visit to the University of Illinois / Urbana-Champaign in June to see the Internet Archive scanning center. Betsy Kruger (UIUC) and J. Mauthe (Internet Archive) were our hosts and guides.

UIUC Scanning center: (left to right): Candace, Courtney, Betsy, J, Chris, Keri, Chris, Tricia (kneeling)

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Quote of the Day: June 10, 2007

"The human history of the Galapagos ... is mainly a tale of disaster, tempered by squalid crime."
David Lack. Darwin's Finches: An Essay on the General Biological Theory of Evolution (1947). Cited from 1961 reprint: Harper & Brothers: New York, 1961, p. 6.

Monday, June 04, 2007

RLG Programs 2007 Annual Partners Meeting

Jim Michalko: reviews progress since the combination with OCLC in moving services, operations and people into new environments.