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Google Books links now in Socrates

To help Stanford scholars find interesting and relevant resources more quickly and powerfully, SULAIR has added links to Google Book Search from Socrates.

In the Detailed records for most books from the Stanford University Libraries and other Google partners, patrons will now find
a link to the Google Books version of the book. Depending on the copyright status of the book, the Google Books link will take patrons to the full text of a book, a preview of the book, or a page with expanded information about the book.

Even in cases where neither the full-text nor a preview is available, patrons will often find book summaries, reviews, links to other editions of the book, popular passages, and much more. When available, the detailed record in Socrates will also show book jacket images.

Examples of Google Book Search links:

Patrons will also now find links to OCLC WorldCat records for many items in Socrates. The WorldCat records often provide additional information about an item, including reviews, a list of other libraries that own the item, user ratings and recommendations, and the ability to export citations directly to EndNote or RefWorks. For a full list of features available in WorldCat, see What is WorldCat?

These additions to Socrates are a step towards making richer search and online browsing of the libraries collections possible. As the Google Book Search project continues and more books are scanned, these richer views will become available for an increasing amount of the Libraries’ collections.

Spring MFA Documentary Film Screening


Screening of 8 16mm color film by First Year students in the Documentary Film and Video MFA program in the Department of Art & Art History. Q&A with filmmakers and reception will follow.

Date and Time:
Tuesday, June 10, 2008. 7:30 PM.

Approximate duration of 2 hour(s).

Location:
Cubberly Auditorium

For more information please click here.

Librarians discuss how to store world's data


Mike Keller is at a conference this week in San Francisco on digital archiving.

At a briefing between conference sessions, Stanford University librarian Michael Keller outlined the two-pronged challenge - preserving and digitizing the wisdom of the past, and deciding what to keep of the new facts, photos and videos being created at accelerating rates. Keller said preserving and cataloging the past, though no small feat, is the easier of the two tasks, and conferees in San Francisco heard some of the successes in that category, notably the new National Audio-Visual Conservation Center of the U.S. Library of Congress. The center, which houses more than 5 million recordings, films, videos and entertainment industry records, was donated to the government last year by the Packard Humanities Institute. Gregory Lukow, the library's audiovisual chief, said the foundation spent 10 years and more than $150 million to create a facility that includes dozens of climate-controlled vaults to preserve precious films and equipment to digitize recordings, videos and other cultural artifacts. When foundation officials gave the government the new facility last year, it was the largest private gift ever received by the Library of Congress, which named the new center after Silicon Valley icon David Packard, the primary benefactor.

"A tremendous amount of material is born digitally every year," said Keller, the Stanford librarian, adding that even a big institution like his can only collect 2 or 3 percent of the new knowledge created annually. And while the sheer volume of digital information being produced is daunting, the bigger headache is that e-knowledge keeps changing its wrapper, jumping into new programs, operating systems and hardware that provide new and more engaging ways to communicate.

How will librarians keep pace? Well, that's what the conferees will spend all week discussing. But Keller pointed out some main thrusts. Today, the tried-and-true method is migration - converting old digital data formats into newer ones on a case-by-case basis, which is costly and aggravating, especially given how formats change so frequently, he said. Down the road, technologists might discover how to present older digital creations in emulation - like running Windows software on a Macintosh computer. Alternately, libraries might store both the hardware and software for playback - like an old phonograph that plays wax records - a tactic called encapsulation. Whatever the approach, it should have started yesterday and now must run faster to keep up with tomorrow because, as Keller said, "everybody's a creator, everybody's a publisher."

Machine converts light from microfiche reader to music on a Casio keyboard

At last month's Maker Faire, Andrew (aka Pillowsopher) showed off his microfiche-to-MIDI machine. The microfiche machine takes light (in this case, from the screen of the microfiche reader) and converts it into MIDI signals that can then be sent to devices that take MIDI input, like synthesizers or computers. Andrew made the machine for a SF band called Microfiche. Anyone want to go to their next show on June 6?

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