Tags: library

"A collection of all the best bookshelf photos for people that *heart* bookshelves."

Bookshelf Porn

Tags: library porn

Snap: Sunset at Crozet Library

Tags: library

Blacklight 2.4 released

From the Blacklight team -

Release 2.4 of Project Blacklight is now available in our new Git flavor!

You can find the new improved flavor of Blacklight at http://github.com/projectblacklight/blacklight/tree/v2.4.0

In addition to our move to Git, we have listened to community feedback and have changed the installation process. Instructions for installation are at http://github.com/projectblacklight/blacklight/blob/v2.4.0/README.rdoc . In broad terms, Blacklight now uses a template to get required gems at installation time rather than bundling them in with the code. Besides our debut in Git and the move to a template, here are the changes for release 2.4:

Release Notes - Blacklight Plugin - Version 2.4

  • [CODEBASE-54] - rake gems:install does not work (using template now)
  • [CODEBASE-111] - Ae and Oe ligature characters are not normalized correctly
  • [CODEBASE-131] - Getting error from rails on startup that VERSION is already defined
  • [CODEBASE-134] - Authlogic error
  • [CODEBASE-135] - Fall back on net_http when curb gem is not present when using RSolr
  • [CODEBASE-138] - A copy of ApplicationController has been removed from the module tree but is still active
  • [CODEBASE-160] - why isn’t the email and SMS working on demo.projectblacklight.org
  • [CODEBASE-170] - Blacklight logo cannot be over-ridden
  • [CODEBASE-178] - 3 specs fail when run with rake solr:spec … no idea why
  • [CODEBASE-187] - bookmarking seems to be broken in the latest code
  • [CODEBASE-87] - Gracefully handle solr errors
  • [CODEBASE-172] - demo - solr config - only build spell dictionaries on optimize, not on newSearcher / firstSearcher
New Feature
  • [CODEBASE-3] - exporting to Zotero
  • [CODEBASE-109] - sort by pub date in demo
  • [CODEBASE-182] - Rails “Template” installer instead of ./script/plugin
  • [CODEBASE-183] - Add cursor focus to the search box on the home page
  • [CODEBASE-190] - Cursor focus in search form on home page
  • [CODEBASE-51] - Design a basic advanced search UI - see Stanford SearchWorks
  • [CODEBASE-70] - Need a plugin release as well
  • [CODEBASE-114] - demo index should have vernacular displayed [CODEBASE-146] - Change stylesheet link in the HTML to media=”all”
  • [CODEBASE-151] - get some dublin core test data
  • [CODEBASE-159] - get test data with call numbers
  • [CODEBASE-173] - marc_mapper.rb - no longer in synch with solrmarc; its presence is confusing.
  • [CODEBASE-176] - get continuous integration working again
  • [CODEBASE-177] - update demo app and readme at projectblacklight.org
  • [CODEBASE-186] - Implement Google Analytics on the main blacklightopac.org site

A great blog about configuring some standard types of data in the library domain.

I wonder if the new trie fields would be useful with the numerics, though that would require preprocessing on the client currently.  Depends on how range queries are used.

Tags: solr library

Blacklight featured

Blacklight 2.3

  1. installation instructions are now maintained in rdoc, and transformed to html with hanna. This makes our docs much more attractive and easy to search than they were previously. You can see the outcome at http://blacklight.rubyforge.org, where we publish our auto-generated rdocs.
  2. The demo app now uses solrmarc for indexing marc records. The previous ruby-based marc indexer is still there, but the instructions direct users to the solrmarc-based rake task. Generally, we don’t want to duplicate effort with solrmarc. It makes sense for that project to handle all our marc indexing needs, and we’ll just maintain a rake task and a config file for the demo project.
  3. Better graphic design for the demo app! You can see this in action at http://demo.projectblacklight.org
  4. Better error handling
  5. Capistrano deploy script for the demo app, which can be adapted for local deployment
  6. We merged the home controller into the catalog controller so removing all your searches now takes you back to the front page
  7. RefWorks and EndNote export
  8. Email and SMS texting of records
  9. Required gems are now vendored (i.e., distributed with the download), which we hope will make installation easier

10. Batgirl: When the comic wanted to generate female interest, a “grown-up” version of Batgirl appeared in January of 1967 in Detective Comics #359. In this later incarnation (the original, Bat-girl, was created in 1961), Barbara Gordon was the grown daughter of a Police Commissioner and worked as a librarian. She only began her crime-fighting career by accident, breaking up a robbery when she happened to be wearing her Halloween costume. Who was the victim of this crime? Bruce Wayne, of course!

Books, books, books

I’ve played with a sample of my personal book data in the past, and really wanted to once (but not for all, by any stretch) get my entire home book collection usable as a fun dataset to feed into Solr.  Thanks to LibraryThing and Delicious Library I have succeeded in very quickly getting the bulk of the books in my house scanned.  First, I purchased a Cue Cat scanner from LibraryThing.  Then I scanned them into my lifetime LibraryThing account.  Unfortunately the export from LibraryThing doesn’t give me as much info as I’d like (subject headings/genres), so I exported the LibraryThing data (through some basic spreadsheet manual massaging) into Delicious Library.  I’m not sure why, but Delicious Library 2 didn’t do the trick of refreshing the data from Amazon, but Delicious Library 1 did.  Then exported that to a tab-delimited file, which is easily indexable into Solr from there.

I had guessed there’d be around 1000 books in my house, but it turns out that was a bit high - ended up scanning in around 680 books.  There are a number of books that aren’t in Amazon or Library of Congress lookups though, so the LibraryThing collection of mine isn’t entirely complete.

I’ve added a LibraryThing sidebar on my Tumblr site, to show some random covers.

The fun now begins to do something with this data.  First stop will be to use it in my Solr Boot Camp class next week at ApacheCon EU.

I took some book shelf photos that I’ve uploaded to Flickr.

I love books!


In the letter, written in July 1842, Poe apologizes to publishers J. and H.G. Langley for his drunken behavior. He encloses an article he hopes the publishers will buy, as he is “desperately pushed for money.” He also blames a friend, poet and lawyer William Ross Wallace, for making him drink too many “juleps” and tries to make amends for the unfortunate result:

"Will you be so kind enough to put the best possible interpretation upon my behavior while in N-York? You must have conceived a queer idea of me – but the simple truth is that Wallace would insist upon the juleps, and I knew not what I was either doing or saying."


Poe Press Release

How I Find It - BPL Ad (via scolford)

What do you want to know?

Tags: library

Scrap paper (via aaron schmidt)
Apropos to the start of the code4lib conference.

Scrap paper (via aaron schmidt)

Apropos to the start of the code4lib conference.

Tags: library search

Divergent convergence

I’m leaving tomorrow for my favoritist conference ever.  Librarians and library geeks are the best people in the world.  I *heart* books and book-loving people.

This year, I volunteered to introduce Tuesday’s keynote speaker, my good friend Stefano Mazzocchi. I’ve been re-reading his great linotype site, CV, and reminding myself of why I admire him so much.  The work he did at SIMILE, not just the heavy lifting of creating powerful and clean semwebby things, but most of all how he presents it all.  Looking back at the volume of his work, there is a common theme of useful elegance in it all.

Stefano recently posted some thoughts on convergent and divergent thinking.  I’ve often given a great deal of thought, and even software development time, to these approaches to decision making.  I used to work for GroupSystems.com though I imagine the old ASP front-end to a Citrix-based Win16 MSWIN application that I worked on is no longer in service, but their ThinkTank stuff looks pretty much like it (which is to say the old stuff looked good too!).   The Brainstormer widget sounds interesting.

Thanks, Stefano, for the inspirations you’ve provided to many including myself.  It’s an honor to get to introduce you on Tuesday.

I’m looking forward to convergence at code4lib 2009.

Blacklight: Findability for your whole collection
Blacklight has a cool new look