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July 20, 2005

Orientation Reception at KSL

On Monday, July 18, Kelvin Smith Library was the site of the incoming student reception as part of the orientation program. Several hundred new students, their parents and families descended on KSL to escape the oppressive heat, cool off and partake of refreshments (mountains of Greek food) and to have a chance to explore the library facilities and the new Freedman Center on the first floor. (Although the Freedman Center doesn't "officially" open until September 8th, they are now open for business--check it out.)

Here's a picture of yours truly, flanked on the left by Mayo Bulloch, Director of Educational Support Services, and Jameson Root, Resident Advisor and Orientation staff member. Deputy Provost Lynn Singer is at the left of the photo.

Bulloch, Robson, Root

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July 14, 2005

Internet Archive sued

The Internet Archive and its front end, the Wayback Machine, are the targets of a lawsuit, the New York Times reports today, by Healthcare Advocates. The other defendant in the lawsuit is a Philadelphia law firm that used the Wayback Machine to gather information about Healthcare Advocates in preparing a previous case.

Healthcare Advocates claims that the law firm and the Internet Archive have infringed on the copyright of their web pages, which are stored in the Internet Archive's database, as well as violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. A further issue is that Healthcare Advocates' web site had used the technique of "robots.txt" to prevent the Internet Archive's web-crawler bot from gathering displaying information it had gathered from the company's web site. The Internet Archive's bot respected the robots.txt command (although that is purely voluntary, and there would have been no legal requirement to do so), but it was still possible to search and find some of the pages that Healthcare Advocates had hoped to suppress by means of the robots.txt command.

Legal experts quoted in the article claim that it will be very difficult to prove violations of the copyright act. Brewster Kahle, the founder of the Internet Archive had no comment.

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July 07, 2005

Just as you dress for success, you should manage your gadgets for success

Today's New York Times has an article about cell phone etiquette in the work place: stories about people interrupting business meetings to take calls from their children arranging meal choices; seminar leaders stopping their sessions to take calls; patients taking calls while the doctor is in the office waiting for them. We've all heard the stories, and witnessed them, and perhaps even participated in such calls.

I have long wondered when we made the transition to the seeming requirement that we must be personally and professionally available at all times. Are we so removed from personal interaction that we need our mobile phones to make others think that we are important? Thankfully, Case has not been infected by the Blackberry (aka "Crackberry" in some circles for its addictive qualities) mania that has infected many business and government offices, which allows meeting attendees to ignore the meeting and read and send emails, not to mention a host of other antisocial behavior. There are stories about government workers flirting in noisy bars via their Blackberries.

Just as loud personal phone calls in the office disturb colleagues, one wonders about the lack of courtesy that people exhibit with regard to their colleagues and fellow travelers. Do I really want to know the intimate details of someone's love life or divorce proceedings? (No, I don't, although I've heard--unsolicited--both.) Then there is the noisy doc in the locker room at 1-2-1 Fitness Center who talks about his patients' diagnoses for all to hear. (He's usually in another aisle of lockers, so maybe it's a case of "I can't see you, so you can't hear me.")

Many libraries have banned mobile phones altogether. (I visited the New York Public Library main reading room in January and at the entrance, there is a huge standing sign of a cellphone with the international red slash "forbidden" mark through it. It's a little hard to miss their point.) The Kelvin Smith Library has articulated a policy of allowing mobile phones only in the lobby area outside the security gates of the library. The policy is widely ignored, although it does seem to have lessened the noise of ringers. More to the point, the policy empowers library users to ask others to stop using their phones, if the users find such use disturbing. There is a second reason NOT to use your mobile in the atrium and main staircase area is that the atrium acts like a gigantic megaphone, and everything you say on the stairs can be heard on all of the landings throughout the building. (Likewise the advice applies to conversations as well.)

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July 01, 2005

Case Electronic Theses at OhioLINK ETD Center

Every month OhioLINK releases statistics about the number of electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) that have been deposited in the OhioLINK ETD Center, which makes ETDs from OhioLINK institutions freely available to all.

Case has been a participant in the planning of the ETD center since its inception several years ago, and for the past year and a half, students have been depositing Case PhD dissertations electronically at OhioLINK. The ETD program at Case is managed by the School of Graduate Studies, in collaboration with Kelvin Smith Library. ETDs have a strong advantage of being available for use almost immediately (they are cataloged in EuclidPLUS and linked to the OhioLINK ETD center directly) and don't have to wait for library binding and processing. ETDs are an excellent way for Case departments to publicize the research output of their students. OhioLINK has an excellent FAQ that answers many questions that students and faculty have about ETDs.

As of July 1, 2005, Case has deposited 1136 full-text dissertations, which includes approximately 1000 retrospective ETDs back to 1990 purchased and deposited by KSL. We are third in Ohio for ETDs, behind the Ohio State University (1538 full text ETDs) and University of Cincinnati (1475 full text ETDs).

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