Wouldn't it be nice?

As president and CEO of #1 fastest growing company in SJ, I am always on the lookout for various opportunities that can further help libraries with their technology issues. And, as always, I go through myriad of ideas, what-if's and other scenarious to try to find the "next thing".

Having being recently voted as one of the 40 most influencial persons under 40 years of age ("40 under 40"), I was asked a question of what I would love to see different in my market space. Interestingly, my answer nearly matched the answer given by others. TELL US WHAT YOU WANT... was one of the most common replies by the other 39 recepients.

I and others wished that our customers would be a lot more forthcoming with what they need...hence the title of this entry. Often times, firms go through a lot of effort and resources to come up with what will work in the marketplace, only to find out that all they needed to do was ask. Unfortunately, people with good ideas, especially in the library market (not sure why), tend to shy away from voicing these ideas to others. Whether its because of being ridiculed, or false sense of fear for their job, or just shyness...but it is these people that give rise to great products, if only they would TALK or EMAIL.

So... for the fear of rambling to much, I offer this as an open invitation to email me directly (info@latcorp.com) your needs, ideas, concerns, wish-lists and yes, even complaints so that we can get to the end-result and deliver solutions to you-our customers faster and quicker.




Open Source Books

I am always posting stuff from books & comics:

Andy Warhol's Little Red Hen
The History of Architecture & Ornament
Boody Rogers' Sparky Watts
Ricordo di Pompeii
Acupunture Without Needles
Peter Rabbit, Magician

At my personal Blog

Problem is, it's hard to scan 'em without smooshin' em.
I bought a tripod but still need to create some sort of harness to hold the books.

But... I have since found these cool resources at Internet Archive:
The link in the text and pic were chosen because thay illustrate what regular folks are trying to do - provide scanned as well as OCR volumes in digital form at one resource. Groovy, huh?!!


Free Tank of Air With Every Self-Check Ordered

New Scientist has an article about storing knowledge on the hurricane (& oxygen) free satellite orbiting Earth commonly known as the Moon.

Cool concept - since there's no moisture they'll use the NOT dewey decimal system......


Dangerous Toys in Libraries

Highsmith has recently had a lead content test completed on a sample of the Bendable Cat and Dog toys sold to public libraries through the Collaborative Summer Library Program. This test, completed by Analytical Process Laboratories Inc., Milwaukee, WI, confirmed an earlier report from the Indiana Board of Health that the lead content in these particular toys exceeds the maximum allowable limit under current federal regulations.

The sample Highsmith tested registered .277% lead content. The Code of Federal Regulations, Title 16, Section 1303 stipulates that lead may constitute no more that .06% of the weight of the paint applied to a toy.

At this time, Highsmith has discontinued sale of this item and recommends all libraries cease distribution of any remaining Bendable Cats and Dogs in their possession and issue a recall to all patrons who may have received this toy. To control the proper disposal of these Bendable Cats and Dogs, Highsmith requests that all customers contact us at 1-800-448-4887 to arrange for return shipment and to receive a credit or refund for the product cost.

On October 14, 2005, prior to distributing these toys through the Collaborative Summer Library Program, Intertek Testing Services tested the Bendable that was to be distributed by Highsmith. The test reported that the Bendable was in compliance with the applicable federal code. Highsmith has documentation of this test in its possession.

For more information on the hazards of lead, visit:
http://www.cpsc.gov/BUSINFO/leadguid.html or http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/publications/PrevLeadPoisoning.pdf

Any questions should be directed to Matt Mulder, Director, Highsmith Publications at mmulder@highsmith.com or (920) 563-9571 x381.”


BookMooch - Possible weeding tool?

Check this out:
From the site:
"BookMooch is a community for exchanging used books.

  • Give & receive: Every time you give someone a book, you earn a point and can get any book you want from anyone else at BookMooch.

  • Points for entering books: you receive a tenth-of-a-point for every book you type into our system, and one point each time you give a book away. In order to keep receiving books, you need to give away at least one book for every two you receive.

  • Help charities: you can also give your points to charities we work with, such as children's hospitals (so a sick kid can get a free book delivered to their bed), Library fund, African literacy, or to us to thank us for running this web site .

  • World wide: BookMooch is not just for Americans.

  • Why create this?: if you're passionate about books, you know how emotionally difficult it is to throw a book away, even if you will never read it again. You want to find a good home for your books, have them find someone who appreciates them. "

  • 2006-08-03

    Barcodes anywhere video, or "Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'em"

    We did this video today to illustrate that we have the ability to read barcodes anywhere with our FlashScan units. We did front, back, inside, on the long end of a VHS, the back of a CD ....went a little nuts in the end tho...hey it hammers home our point.

    With scores of current installations, these scanning engines have proven to be able to process virtually any type of barcode with poor quality barcodes and/or poor lighting conditions. The engine is fully microprocessor driven and progressive scans up to 52 scans and 1650 scans of the barcodes per second to mathematically provide the “best scan”. With this capability, our engine has a far greater chance to read poorly printed or damaged barcodes.

    The barcode can be presented to the scanner in a variety of ways (in-line, upside-down, inverted, …etc) and will be read by the scanner appropriately. Internal validation mechanisms are in place to ignore non-library specific barcodes, such as UPC or ISBN codes often found to confuse patrons. (cool!) If the library wishes, a special prompt can be enabled that would read the “wrong” barcode type and let the patron know that they need to look for a library-specific barcode.

    Cool and Funny Book Title Contest Results

    Coudal Partners said, "The idea is to mash up the name of a book with the name of a band." the results are here.

    Hey I love my job but this seems like a good place to work.........

    and speaking of chalkboards everywhere:


    Weeding? Get Your Library Friends to Make These....


    From Post:
    "Soooooooo, our Friends of the Library have books left over after our annual Book Sale, and we offered gleaning rights to the Women's Shelter and the Children's Shelter, and the VA Hospital, and various other groups, and there were STILL books left over. I hate the thought of books going to the dumpster, or to the landfill!!! But what's a body to DO??!!!Enter the idea of a Bookshelf made from books............and.........TA DAH!
    They were DOOMED Embarrassed, marked for DESTRUCTION.........and they've been SNATCHED from the JAWS of DEATH ITSELF!Transformed into USEFUL Shelves of BEAUTY!!

    4 megs!?!? Keep the book, just loan the tag!

    HP has developed a new passive RFID tag that hold tons of data.
    Ozma of Oz is only 216K for gosh sakes!!


    The Intelligent Media Manager in ACTION !!

    The Intelligent Media Manager in action. Simple to use. Fast operation. Easy for librarians. If you want more info about the IMM, look HERE

    Do we rock, or what?


    Why We Opted Out of ALA Summer This Year

    We were on the road at that time period presenting our cool solutions FlashScan & IMM to several consortiums and individual libraries. Orders have really been up as well, with the commensurate project management responsibilities we all bear that makes happy clients.

    Having said that, ALA Summer is like Woodstock (minus the mud), companies get lost in the morass (17,000 attendees!), and it becomes sort of a gamble as to whether the right people will see you as well as a gamble that your communication is being clearly heard. By example, I had more than one librarian currently interested in establishing a relationship with us say that they "wanted to come by the booth but there were so many meetings" after PLA in Boston, a much smaller show.

    Business is just nuts right now (which we love), we wouldn't trade the library market for any other, we'll have streaming video of the IMM on our blog sometime next week and we're beginning creation of several new information tools for our site. So long story short, we weren't there because things are great! We'll still do plenty of shows, though - we LIKE doing ALA - and I'll keep you posted.

    Link Fixed on Banned Books Entry

    Here it is again anyway.


    ....AND a FlashScan self-check! ..........AND an IMM!

    Hey, if there was a FlashScan self check, he might want to grab some books!

    Cool List of Banned and Challenged Books

    HERE'S THE LINK The Owner of the site states: "The books listed on my site were all challenged on some grounds by groups who wished to impose restrictions on them. Some were removed from reading lists, some were removed from school or public libraries, some were burned in bonfires. I do not claim that all of the books in my list are for the same age group, nor do I believe they are all equally suitable for academic reading lists. I merely report documented challenges to books, and in some cases poke fun at the rationale used by those who object to the works mentioned.

    I put the website together because I did not find any of the specific rationale for challenging the works I list compelling in any way. In fact, many of the reasons were quite humorous. I believe that books, and children, are individuals, and none deserve to be labelled."

    Now go and read the lyrics to XTC's "Books Are Burning"


    58% of the US adult population never reads another book after high school.


    An enormous list of statistics about books. Other statistics include: 57% of new books are not read to completion, 70% of US adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years, and 70% of the books published do not make a profit.

    My favorite Snippet:
    Libraries The library market was $3-billion in 1993. 68% of Baker & Taylor's sales are to libraries.


    Thanks DIGG!


    That's Gotta Hurt!

    Fond Du Lac Library had a BUNCH of DVD s stolen.
    Story Here:
    Library has rash of DVD thefts

    Deployment of an IMM would stop that:
    LAT IMM site


    Library 2.0

    library thing
    Library Thing allows people to form a Social Network (A la Flickr or del.icio.us) from their own private libraries.


    Libraries Top 1000 books

    Shown: # 139
    Cool Little Link.

    Librarian Under Fire for Upholding Constitution

    This is an incredible story - I truly hope they catch the guy and give him everything he deserves & then some - but in upholding the Constitution she also kept the case solid for the courts by insisting on a warrant, which was her main contention!

    Michelle Reutty - tough gal!

    More less RFID

    This is the article from Wired about RFID that talks specifically about RFID weaknesses. Like all technologies, hopefully mistakes will cause learning.


    Does RFID work?

    I come across a number of articles almost daily that "blame" the lackluster success of RFID technology on its poor performance. I was surprised to learn that readers often don't read, and tags sometime don't respond. A typical success rate hovers anywhere at 90-97% performance, which may be ok for a casual observer, but really sucks for any industrial/high-volume settings, where errors are measured at 1 per million (ppm).

    Any thoughts? Have you come across any RFID performance issues?


    Man - what an edifice - it would be like stepping back in time if not for the cool new art they installed outside.

    Baltimore library edifice

    7 Deadly Email Sins

    arcimboldo's librarian
    Thanks to articles like this one I feel I'm clearer via email. I still send huge files, but thanks to BOX.net I'll probably post a link going forward. Hey if you think I'm a sinner, please let me know in the comments.