Reshelve all your books by the colour of their spine

Thanks to Iman for jogging my memory about this blog post which I’d been meaning to blog about for the last couple of weeks — in fact, I was chatting to someone after the ARCLib Conference in Liverpool last week about it, but couldn’t remember the name of the library for the life in me (it’s the Emily Carr University Library)…

The above was a senior grad project by ValΓ©rie Madill and you can find further details here: “Looking at Libraries: Defining Space Through Content“.
During my ARCLib presentation (which bizarrely ended up as a featured slideshow on the slideshare home page!?!), I mentioned the book shop in San Francisco that Chris Cobb famously rearranged by colour (see Flickr)…

I must briefly mention that the last session of the conference was given by Stephanie Davies of I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so much at a library conference πŸ˜€
Just in case anyone didn’t believe me that there’s a web page with a list of dirty library words, it’s here!
I’m itching to do something cool on one of our library’s plasma screens and I was wondering about hooking it up to a webcam and doing something like this, but using book cover thumbnails instead of the square blocks of colour?
I think I’ve still got the code I used to creating the “librarians as books” kicking around somewhere…

breaking news: Stephen Abram’s brain overloads (again)

It’s nearly two years since Stephen Abram’s brain last overloaded, but it looks like it might have happened again. According to a blog post that just appeared in the Google Blog Search RSS feed for “SirsiDynix”, Mr Abram recently said…

We eat a abandoned blueprint insomuch as this armorial bearings and are comfortable in passage to have tenure of ever so plurality perhaps-appreciated restraint of trade leaders who fob in good part uninfluenced their set and datum against the SirsiDynix Give birth to. Their service up befall toward the business dealings goodwill this humors is monistic in transit to the power to act in point of the SirsiDynix Float – ease off, critic familiarization from each and all buttery professionals.

Before you call for the men in white coats, I should point out that the blog post in question looks to be a randomly generated spam blog and it makes about as much sense as my GormanBot does.
However, if Meredith Farkas is looking for a new job title, I think “Culture Bookworm” sounds kinda cool!

Before RSS…

Have you ever wanted to monitor up to 20 different things at the same time? Looking for a response time of just 3 milliseconds? Need the flexibility of portable or rack mounts? If so, you need the Gulton Techno-rite TR-9020!
Bryony thoughtfully threw a withdrawn copy of the 1970 publication “Computer Technology for Textiles” my way. It’s a cornucopia of nerds trying to impress ladies by playing with knobs…
…consultants pointing at things…
…lady geeks (geekettes?) with fab hairstyles…
…and loads and loads of tape based storage…
…you can find the rest of the images in this Flickr set.

God bless Google (again)

The Guardian article about celebrity liar and all round Walter Mitty type Robert Irvine made for some chucklesome reading at lunch time today.
Not surprisingly, the “about me” page on his web site is now “Under Construction”. Fortunately, good ol’ Google still has the cached version from a few weeks ago…
Curiously, his “about” page fails to make any mention of his Knighthood and the castle in Scotland which the Queen gave him πŸ˜€
I’m also intrigued by the disclaimer on his home page which reads “The site is not affiliated with”.
So, to save any confusion, I’d like to take the opportunity to say that this site is not affiliated with,,, or However, I would like you all to start referring to me as “Sir Dave of Huddersfield”.

God bless Google!

…in particular, the Google cache of web pages that it’s trawled.
Although Woolworths have removed the “Lolita Midsleeper Combi” from their web site, you can still find the product via the Google Cache
(BBC News: Woolworths withdraws ‘Lolita’ bed)
I can’t decide what amazes me more — that a company would name a product for young girls “Lolita”, or that Woolworths don’t seem to employ anyone who was aware of the single definition of the word!
Anyway, I’m sure I can hear Nabokov giggling quietly in his grave πŸ˜€

Tasty mash-up

I must admit that when I think of a “mash-up“, food rarely enters my head (even though most people in the UK associate the word “mash” with mashed potato).
Anyway, what do you get if you mash-up the following: a picture, an RSS feed, Helene Blowers, a cake?

Just in case no-one said this on the day, Helene — you look good enough to eat! πŸ˜‰
I’m kinda curious how the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike licence attached to the image applies to all this… The licence allows you to make derivative works (e.g. a cake) but I guess you are not allowed to sell the cake. You have to share it (yay, I like cake!) and “distribute the resulting work only under a licence identical to this one”.
So, does that mean the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County has broken new ground by creating the very first Creative Commons cake?
All the very best with the new job, Helene!

Sue the libraries!

Nice to see libraries get a mention in this week’s IT section in The Guardian:
Sue the libraries – they’re letting people get content on the cheap

[Libraries] are the institutions which have the longest experience of making copyright goods available fairly to people who have not paid directly for them; and in all the time libraries have been around, no one has come up with a better model.

But the real value of libraries comes when they deal with large, expensive and valuable digital stores of information … To any individual subscriber the cost of all these would run into thousands of pounds a year, yet this reliable information is available free, without any of it being stolen.

Reminds me of this Tom the Dancing Bug cartoon (click for a larger version):