Solarium – PHP Solr client | opensource Solr client library for PHP applications

By offering an API for common Solr functionality you no longer need to compose complex querystrings and parameters manually, greatly reducing development time and complexity. Take a look at the examples shown above for a first impression. To get a good view of the difference compared to other Solr clients or manual requests see Why Solarium?

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Rediscovering Discovery — How We Find Things, and Its Implications « The Scholarly Kitchen

I recently attended the Midwinter ALA conference in Dallas. The longest line was at Starbucks.

What brought me to Dallas was an invitation to participate in a panel sponsored by Sage on discovery. Sage had commissioned a white paper on the topic, which you can find here. It’s a good paper, which I recommend to one and all. The authors of the paper were on the panel as well and spoke authoritatively to the question of how libraries are implementing new means of discovery. I had not realized how complicated the situation was. What was clear to me, though, is that librarians and publishers alike have an interest in improving finding mechanisms: librarians because they want their collections to be used, publishers because such usage translates into a stronger brand, which can help in making the case to purchase the next product.

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Open question: Do libraries help or hurt publishing?

questionmarkI might not know who Nancy Drew is if it weren't for libraries. Granted, I ended up buying most of the series — or rather, my parents did — but the library was the discovery zone. It still works like that for me today; I now own three Richard Russo books because of the library.

Libraries have been a part of most of our lives in one way or another, yet they are in a constant struggle for funding. Jerry Brown, the governor of California, is proposing a budget that would pull back all state funding for libraries. Some libraries, such as the Butler Public Library in Indiana, are thinking out of the box to raise funding (see the banner at the top of their site). And the struggle isn’t only in the United States.

With libraries around the world in such financial jeopardy, a couple of questions come to mind:

  • What purpose (if any) has a library served for you?
  • If libraries ceased to exist, what would the ramifications be?
  • Do libraries help or hurt publishing?

Please share your thoughts in the comments area. To continue the discussion, check out the TOC panel Solving the Digital Loan Problem: Can Library Lending of eBooks be a Win-win for Publishers AND Libraries? February 16 at TOC 2011.

TOC: 2011, being held Feb. 14-16, 2011 in New York City, will explore “publishing without boundaries” through a variety of workshops, keynotes and panel sessions.

Save 15% off registration with the code TOC11RAD

2010 Summary: libraries are still screwed, by Eric Hellman | TeleRead: News and views on e-books, libraries, publishing and related topics

In mathematics, catastrophe theory is the study of nonlinear dynamical systems which exhibit points or curves of singularity. The behavior of systems near such points is characterized by sudden and dramatic changes resulting from even very small perturbations. The simplest sort of catastrophe is the fold catastrophe.

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The Library: Three Jeremiads by Robert Darnton | The New York Review of Books

“When I look back at the plight of American research libraries in 2010, I feel inclined to break into a jeremiad. In fact, I want to deliver three jeremiads, because research libraries are facing crises on three fronts; but instead of prophesying doom, I hope to arrive at a happy ending.”

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ENRICH Project and TEI P5 | ENRICH

Article on TEI P5 development and use in frame of ENRICH project by James Cummings and Lou Burnard, Oxford University

There are several quite distinct traditions for the description of primary sources, in particular manuscripts. Unlike books, such sources are unique objects, often of great cultural value, which are typically catalogued locally by the many different institutions holding them. This contributes further to the diversity of approaches taken. Great institutions are able to produce richly detailed, highly scholarly descriptions, while smaller or less well-resourced institutions cannot hope to do so. But with the widespread increase in the practice of digitization of such primary sources, there is increasing pressure to make their cataloguing uniform, so as to facilitate cross-site searching, and the sharing of information about resources held at many different institutions.