Does information has any connection to food? J.P. Rangaswami in his TED talk muses on our relationship to information and food.

I came across this interesting info-graphic that highlights how ‘Wikipedia’ is redefining research. Even though the quality of articles published on Wikipedia are questioned, but its usage indicates the popularity. I think, its stiff competition might have forced ‘Encyclopedia of Britannica’ to discontinue the print edition and continue only with their online services.


I do not agree that it is redefining the research, but certainly it has made a huge impact as most us refer to ‘Wikipedia’ to know the basic details of any topic of research.

QR Code for my BlogQR (quick response) Codes, are two dimensional barcodes which when scanned using mobile phones having camera (some phones may require installation of a QR reader application software) enables one to access some pre-written content such as a website address, email address, details of items in the catalogue, phone numbers etc. They are capable of storing much more information than that of conventional barcodes.

Libraries, I think are best placed to introduce these codes to enable patrons to get quick access to the information when they are on the move. The library information such as details of items in the catalogue, links to library URL address, e-mail address, tutorials, brochures etc. can be linked using these codes.  In the west, some of the libraries are using these codes for linking URL addresses, catalogue records, signage etc.  For example University of Bath library in UK is using these codes in the catalogue to enable library users to scan and transfer information about a book directly to their mobiles to save patrons from keying or noting the details. Other uses of QR codes made in libraries can be seen on a Library Success wiki.

ImageThe use of QR Codes in libraries even though looks simple, but requires libraries to make their website compatible to mobile phones or have different version for mobiles. Looking at the high penetration rate of mobile phones and their greater usage among the new generation of people, I think it is sensible to introduce these codes for disseminating library related information.

Apart from libraries, these codes, may also be used for other purposes such as on business cards, power point presentations etc. The generation of QR code is simple. It can be developed either by using any free QR generation application software or online tools such as Goqr.me.   For power point presentations and documents, further help is available from tagmydoc.

Richard Watson the author of Future Minds: How the Digital Age is Changing Our Minds, Why this Matters and What We Can Do About It,  examines how digital culture is changing the way we think today, and how it will shape our future. His views on libraries are also worth going through.

So all in digital age may not end well, we need to keep faith in our old forms of learning.



Recently, I came across an interesting article ‘Current research assessment could miss the big picture‘ on Research Information.  It highlighted on how traditional methods of research assessment (peer review, citations etc) could be failing those researchers who are fully embracing the possibilities of Web 2.0.  This has called for new methods of metrics (altmetrics), which better reflect today’s research practices and take advantage of the use of current social media technologies. However, such metrics to succeed requires widespread acceptance from the research community. I think researchers in general would consider this new metrics academic worthy and accept it to measure the impact of their research in the changing ecosystem of information landscape.

In the field of library and information science, I think it is worth to use altmetrics in line with bibliometrics, scientometrics, webometrics etc to measure the impact of research undertaken by individuals and organizations in different disciplines.

Recently, I came across an interesting video ‘Beware of online Filter Bubbles‘ on TED Talk. The speaker Eli Pariser talks about online filter bubbles and how they control flow of information to different group of users by giving an example of Google, Yahoo etc and how they retrieve different search results on the same topic to separate individuals.  Each one of these online tools are trying to create a comfort echo chamber zones for different individuals using algorithms, they then try to predict what we want or don’t want online. This may prevent people seeing all the information on a particular topic as someone is filtering information for you. Have a look at the following video:

The recent article on New York Times ‘The Trouble With the Echo Chamber Online‘ highlights some of these issues. As an information intermediary, we have a greater role to inform library users to be aware of these filter bubbles.

I came across an article ‘Embedded librarianship in the research context:
Navigating new waters
‘ in the recent issue of ‘College and Research Libraries‘.  As discussed in the paper ‘Embedded librarianship takes a librarian out of the context of the traditional library and places him or her in an “on-site” setting or situation that enables close coordination and collaboration with researchers or teaching faculty.’  It may further enable librarians in the research environment to collaborate with the faculty members or researchers and be integral part of research teams in undertaking projects.

The model of embedded librarianship is already being applied in information literacy programs as a means to overcome the limitations of the  one-time
library orientation class. However, this is happening more in the West than in developing countries like India.  The article also provides list of advices for the embedded librarian for successful implementation of this model.

I think it is a time for us to think in this direction and make our researchers and organizations aware of value of libraries and librarians in meeting the goals of the organization.