On Hiatus...

...while on vacation. Be back mid-January!


Comics and Wikis and Federated Search, Oh My!

Daniel was kind enough to link to my last post on my GovDoc Comics project on FGI, for which I am very grateful. If you have comics or links you'd like to call to my attention, you can put them directly in my wiki page on the topic (password to edit is "letmein"), or you can email me or post in the comments. At this point, I'm just gathering information on all the examples I can find, digital and in print--later I'll decide if this will be a research project to publish, or if it will evolve into a digitization project. I'm really tempted to digitize, but a lot of the ones I've been pointed to have already been digitized, so it may just be that I create a guide or finding aid in addition to an article.

In any case, I thank you from the bottom of my geeky heart for your help.

In other news, the Emerging Technologies Group (ETG) meeting this morning revealed that UNT Libraries will, in fact, unveil a library-wide wiki. Rejoice! It should be implemented sometime in January (using MediaWiki), which will be great--the primary decisions left are for the administration to determine if the wiki will be limited to library IP's, available remotely via Novell log-ins, or open to the world. I understand the hesitation to open the wiki, being that it will primarily be for internal use, but it would be so much easier to send things to colleagues if it was open. And being that one of the points of wikis is preserving previous versions, any vandalism could be quickly corrected. However, I'd wager a guess that Novell log-ins will be about as free as we get.

Which reminds me, I'll need to start looking at my "The 'How' of Wikis" presentation soon for Five Weeks to a Social Library, being that I'm set to present March 1st. That's what Christmas break is for, right? All those projects I don't have time for during the regular course of the year.

Also more from the ETG on our federated search progress (not to be confused with our simultaneous interest in faceted search)... Mark in the Digital Projects Unit has been messing around with it for awhile, and seems to be close to making a suggestion--the three in discussion at the moment are Webfeat, Metafind, and Metalib. I'm all for starting small with Webfeat and getting our feet wet enough to make a more informed decision later.

This is the last week here for My Awesome Boss, which I'm simultaneously trying not to think about and also trying to remind myself of, so that I ask all the questions I can and get in some more chat-sessions. We're just embarking on a new digitization venture--a very, very small one, but since our Interim Head has an office on the floor below us, I'll be the primary conduit of information, communication, and such. We've got a department meeting tomorrow that will primarily be about this project, and I'm hoping that the staff asks all their questions then, while the Interm Head is present. There were some concerns about the scope of the project and what additional workload it might cause--and frankly, these are the aspects of such projects that I haven't yet had to deal with, so it's all new to me. I have a feeling that this spring during the search for the new Dept. Head, I'll be learning quite a few such nifty new tasks. Ah, the joy of expanding one's skillset.

Later this week, I have a meeting to edit our Library Assembly's bylaws (organization of librarians and staff that discuss general library issues, such as the incredibly-frustrating construction going on outside the library, and try to make changes), and also a "Denton Reads" meeting (city-wide project inspired by the "Seattle Reads" project). I'm on the Graphics Committee for Denton Reads, so that ought to be a nice diversion from my usual work.

...Speaking of my usual work, I have a bunch of CRS Reports patiently waiting in a folder, and they won't choose subject headings by themselves!


GovDoc Bestsellers

NPR broadcast a story yesterday morning on the publication of the Iraq Study Group Report, which is anticipated to be a bestseller along the lines of the 9/11 Commission Report (if not nearly so compelling).I had to laugh--ruefully--when the reporter referred to these as anomalies in the "often stodgy" field of government publications.

Here's more on the sales of the Iraq report (from CNN). Now, wait a minute... didn't the public pay for this report? Isn't it government information? And now it's a best-seller on the private market--again, just like the 9/11 Commission Report. I opened my messages from GovDoc-L this morning, and found that Daniel Cornwall had the same feelings:

"First off, I'm disappointed that once again the private sector is going to benefit from the sale of a popular government document while GPO is still looking for nickels to rub together. First the 9/11 Commission, now the Baker/ISG Commission. While I doubt it is a conscious conspiracy, it is unfortunate that the hottest potential sellers are being diverted away from the government's official printer."

All this talk of hot GovDocs got me to start a reading list of some of the best-selling ones:

I'm thinking about reading the 9/11 report in graphic novel form, then comparing it with the text form and with Art Spiegelman's 9/11-themed graphic novel, In the Shadow of No Towers.

Which brings me to my latest research project... GovDoc comics! I'm interested in any government comic in any form, digital or print--if you know of any, please let me know. I don't know if this will turn into a digital collection, a presentation, or an article, but it combines three of my interests in one.